Thursday, February 18, 2016

It’s All In The Ingredients

If you do much cooking then you know, the secret to having a successful recipe starts with using the right ingredients. They can make or break a dish, (no pun intended).

But what if you accidently leave out an ingredient? Yikes, right?

One of my favorite things to make for breakfast, especially when its cold out, is buttermilk pancakes with maple syrup. My family loves them. They are light and fluffy and simple to make and I’ve made them dozens of times. Thus the problem.  

One morning I was rushing through the preparation of the pancakes and I accidently forgot to put in the sugar. The recipe only calls for three tablespoons so you wouldn’t think it would be a big deal. Wrong! The pancakes just didn’t taste the same at all. What a disappointment.

The same can be said for writing an inspirational romantic suspense. The book just wouldn’t be the same if you left one of these key ingredients out. Without the romance, the inspiration, or the suspense, the story loses its flavor, much like my pancakes.
In Rocky Mountain Pursuit, we have a hero who is a former CIA agent forced into hiding because some very bad men are coming after him. When Reyna Peterson, the widow of his former comrade, shows up at his door asking for his help, Jase doesn’t hesitate. The attraction between the hero and heroine starts from the beginning, but the suspense elements in the story have them running for their lives. Still, Jase and Reyna put their faith in God to protect them and they are able to survive and bring the bad guys to justice. And all three ingredients combine for a successful end.

For any of you who would like to try out my pancake recipe, I’ve included it here. But don’t forget the sugar. Trust me, it won’t be the same.  
All my best...
Mary Alford 
Buttermilk Pancakes
·         3 cups all-purpose flour
·         3 tablespoons white sugar
·         3 teaspoons baking powder
·         1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
·         3/4 teaspoon salt
·         3 cups buttermilk
·         1/2 cup milk
·         3 eggs
·         1/3 cup butter, melted
1.      In a large bowl, combine flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. In a separate bowl, beat together buttermilk, milk, eggs and melted butter. Keep the two mixtures separate until you are ready to cook.
2.      Heat a lightly oiled griddle or frying pan over medium high heat. You can flick water across the surface and if it beads up and sizzles, it's ready!
3.      Pour the wet mixture into the dry mixture, using a wooden spoon or fork to blend. Stir until it's just blended together. Do not over stir! Pour or scoop the batter onto the griddle, using approximately 1/2 cup for each pancake. Brown on both sides and serve hot.






  1. Yum! Those pancakes look good this morning. I had to laugh when I read your post. I've left out ingredients before, and there's that moment when you take your first bite, full of anticipation, and know right away that something's wrong. Then there was the time that someone in my family mistook baking soda for cornstarch. When the sauce didn't thicken, more baking soda went in. Um, yep. It ended up inedible...and reinforced the need for reading glasses.

  2. Oh, no, Christine. I can imagine that was disappointing. I've started wearing reading glasses to prepare recipes. Can't imagine how bad my food would turn out without them.

  3. Oh, Mary, now you have me wanting pancakes.

    I remember a recipe in which someone in my family mistakenly substututed salt for sugar. Yuck!

    Your book sounds wonderful.

    I remember a number of years ago seeing some sort of article explaining about how inspirational books had a faith arc in addition to character and plot arcs. I never have been able to find it again. It haunts me!!! ;)

  4. Haha...I once forgot salt in my dinner rolls and they were a disaster!! You wouldn't think a little thing like that would matter, but it was the difference between fluffy, light rolls and flat, hard, inedible ones! Try that with a house full of Christmas that's the making of a comedy act :-)

    Reminds me of the scripture about salt, and I am so thankful God brings those lessons to mind! Thanks for sharing Mary, I too have a favorite homemade pancake recipe. I even make them for dinner, I love them so much :-)

  5. Funny, Cate.
    Trixi, you wouldn't think a small think like salt would make a difference, but it does.

  6. Thanks for the recipe, Mary! I hate when I leave out ingredients. Especially if it's something critical! :)


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