food Archives - Simply Complicated Mom



The Best & Easiest Pancake Recipe Ever!

In Honor of #nationalpancakeday,  I’m sharing with you my super simple recipe for the Best Pancakes!

Happy National Pancake Day!…I’ve never met a pancake or a pancake recipe I didn’t like,  have you?  What’s not to like, their fluffiness, sweetness, butteriness goodness? I could go on forever, but I’ll spare you.  In fact, I love them so much I make them every single Sunday for our “Big Family Breakfast,” rarely deviating from the menu. Because of this, I have perfected my pancake recipe.  And not to brag but the words “these are the best pancakes” have been heard in my kitchen.  So in honor of National Pancake day, I thought I would share the love and the recipe, a word I am using generously (you will see why below) #nationalpancakeday


The Best Pancake Recipe Ever

The Best Pancake Recipe Ever…Are you ready for it?  It’s so easy, I’m not even going to use the recipe format for this one.  You just add one teaspoon of Mexican Vanilla to your batch of pancakes, that’s it, folks. Nope,  I don’t do a special scratch pancake batter, I have tried some in the past but for the amount of work that went into them, I didn’t find them to be any better.  So I went back to boxed pancake mixes. I do however have a preference in boxed pancake mixes…Krusteaz!   The Best Pancake Recipe Ever

If you have been reading my blog, you know I’m married to a bodybuilder, so adding extra protein to every meal is an unwritten rule in my household.  So when Krusteaz came out with their new buttermilk Protein pancake mix I thought I would give it a whirl. Boy howdy, I was not disappointed,  these pancakes are light and airy, yet filling and sweet (because of the vanilla)

The best pancake recipe ever
Swirls of Sweetness from the Mexican Vanilla

Start by mixing up your boxed pancake mix and add 1 teaspoon vanilla per 12 pancakes. Pop those babies on your very well greased, hot griddle and cook up as usual.  That’s it ladies and gents.  The difference in taste is night and day, and your family will let you know, these are different, better and your family will want you to make these from now on.

Pancake Tricks for Pancake Virgins

If you are a pancake virgin here are a few hints that will help you to make your best pancake

  • Grease your griddle with butter (real salted butter not spray) in between each batch of pancakes.  The pancakes will taste richer and flip easier.
  • Don’t flip your pancakes until you see bubbles throughout the pancake.  The bubbles let you know the pancakes are done. The best pancake recipe ever

Why Mexican Vanilla?

One of the many benefits to living in a border town is having items like Mexican Vanilla readily available.  Therefore I don’t know any different.  Well, not true…I accidentally bought vanilla extract from the grocery store once in my 20’s and I learned my lesson quickly.  The depth of flavor and richness in color just does not compare.  You have to do your label research though.  Many vanillas labeled “Pure or Mexican” are not pure Mexican Vanilla.  True Mexican Vanillas are processed differently (mainly by hand)  therefore deriving a different flavor. Some critics and the FDA warns against Mexican vanilla citing high levels of a toxin Coumarin, I’ll take my chances. I’m not drinking it or bathing in it for peet’s sake.

So there you have it, my hack for pancakes…Add Mexican Vanilla and it will up your pancake game 100% and the compliments will start pouring in!

The Best Pancake Recipe Ever

What food hacks have you discovered lately? I’d love to know in comments!

For more easy food tips and tricks click HERE…




 Grilled Romaine Salad~The Easiest & Most Affordable Side Dish Ever!

This Recipe for Grilled Balsamic Romaine Salad is my “go to” when I need a side dish.  Grilled Balsamic Romaine Salad is super inexpensive and really easy.  10 bucks & 10 Minutes and you can feed about 10 people.  You can’t beat that.  I serve it with just about everything from burgers to steaks.  I hope you enjoy!Grilled Balsamic Romaine Salad


Grilled Romaine Salad

Quick and Simply Grilled Salad! 

Course Salad
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 5 minutes
Total Time 10 minutes
Servings 8


  • 2 Heads Romaine Lettuce Not just the hearts the whole head
  • 1 cup Italian or Balsamic Dressing of your choice
  • 1/2 onion Sliced (optional) Yellow or Red is fine


  1. Slice the Heads of Lettuce down the middle in half,   As well as the onion.  Place on Medium Heat Grill.  Grill for 5 minutes or until Grill marks.  Do not over grill, the salad will be wilted. 

  2. When you get the grill marks you desire, remove from heat and chop immediately.  I slice the onion very thin,  I don't like it to overpower the salad. 

  3. After chopping toss with dressing of your choice.  I use Olive Garden Dressing I like the sweetness of it against the char of the grill.  I have used Balsamic before that also works.  

  4. Serve warm and Enjoy! 

Check out more Easy Recipes HERE… 




100 Meatless Recipes for Lent!

We are into the second week of Lent with six more to go, and I am already racking my brain for “meatless” meals for my family.   So I have scoured the web and have complied over 100 Meatless Family Friendly Ideas from some of my favorite blogs for you.

My oven has been a nightmare to deal with lately,  It has decided to cook everything at a cool 500 degrees.  So I have been having to rely on my grill and crock pot until I find another one.  The kiddos had requested wings.  Problem- no oven so I had to improvise.  It turned out ok well better than ok,  They loved them so I thought I would share! 

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