I love this time of year. From Halloween to Christmas, there are so many fun things to do. My pinterest gets filled with various arts and crafts, food is transformed and decorated for the holidays, and there are plenty of events in the area to fill the weekends.
To make breakfast special for Halloween, it is easy to transform your pancakes into ghosts. I used the recipe from Sew You Think You Can Cook, but most basic pancake recipes will work well.
Before I get to the rest of the recipe, I wanted to share some photos from Evan’s first field trip a couple of weeks ago in case anyone is local and looking for fun activities. We spent the day at Belvedere Plantation in Fredericksburg, Virginia.
Belvedere Plantation runs their Harvest Festival from late September to the beginning of November. Check out their calendar for hours. There are plenty of activities to keep little ones busy. Admission includes a hayride to the Pumpkin Patch, the Maize Maze, Fun Barn, Ziplines, Olde Barnyard, Pumpkin Mountain Slide, Jumping Pillow, Barrel Train, Pedal Tractors, Little Farmers Corral, Swine Speedway, Dangerfield Downs, Straw Jump, Trike Track, Spider Web, Ball Zone, Colonel’s Corn Box, and Backyard Games.
We started the day riding in a hay-filled wagon pulled by a tractor with Evan’s class to the Great Pumpkin Patch. Evan absolutely loved all the tractors and pointed out every one that we passed, along with the one that was pulling us. The pumpkin patch was huge with plenty of room for the kids to spread out and search for their perfect pumpkins. Be careful with new walkers. The abundance of vines tend to trip little feet. When returning to the main festival, there are wheelbarrows available to tote the pumpkins (and children) back to the car before continuing with the rest of your day.
For those who enjoy taking pictures, there are plenty of places for photo ops with the family.
I personally appreciated that the facilities were geared towards small children. Changing stations were available and had rocking chairs for nursing mothers. I did not use a stroller, but many others did.
Evan had a blast with all the activities available. His favorites were the jumping pillow, sand and corn boxes, and the spider web hammock. Here is a full list of everything the festival has to offer.
As you leave the festival, be sure to check out the Plantation Market and Bakery. Here you will find fresh cider (plus apple cider slushies), local jams, preserves, honey, candy, and freshly baked treats from the bakery. There are also toys and carving kits for those newly picked pumpkins.
Besides the bakery, other eating options include fresh-popped kettle corn, funnel cakes, and lunch items at the Red Rooster Grill.
If visiting during the evening hours, insect repellant is recommended.
Now back to the ghost pancakes. Lauren used a measuring cup to pour batter onto the hot griddle in the shape of ghosts. I tried that, but had more control by transferring the batter to a squeeze bottle and outlining the shape on the hot skillet, then quickly filling it in. The squeeze bottle also gives you the option to make words such as “BOO”.
She also pushed chocolate chips into the ghosts while they were on the skillet for form the faces. Since I was already in the piping mood, I melted the chocolate chips and piped the faces on the cooked pancakes (though looking back on it, piping the faces into the wet batter while they are in the skillet will probably work better to make the faces level with the pancake).
Adjust the temperature between medium low and medium high as needed. Griddles may need to be closer to medium high. My cast iron skillet gets very hot and I tend to keep it around medium low.
Adapted from Sew You Think You Can Cook
~10 (1/3 cup) pancakes
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
3 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/4 cup milk
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and slightly cooled
~30 chocolate chips
Oil for greasing
Preheat a large skillet or griddle over medium heat. Grease lightly with oil.
In a large bowl, combine flour, baking powder, sugar, and salt. Make a well in the center and add the egg, milk, and butter. Whisk together to create a smooth batter.
Use a measuring cup and spoon to pour pancakes shaped like ghosts on the hot skillet or transfer the batter to a squeeze bottle and squeeze out the outline of a ghost, then quickly fill in in a thin layer. If using chocolate chips, place two towards the top of the pancake for eyes and one below them for the mouth. Cook until lightly golden on the bottom and bubbles for on the top. Flip and cook until the other side is golden. Repeat with remaining batter, greasing as necessary.
If piping the ghost faces, place the chocolate chips in a medium bowl and microwave in 20 second increments, stirring each time, until smooth. Allow to cool slightly, then transfer to a piping bag or ziploc bag with a small piece of the corner snipped off. Pipe eyes and a mouth on each pancake.