I made a recipe from the back of a box of powdered milk and it wasn’t terrible

I’m moving.

It’s not like I’ve never moved before; I’ve probably done it more than the average Midwesterner. But having lived in the same city for 18.5 years, and having spent all but one of those years in the same neighborhood, it’s a bit daunting to imagine being in a new place. (And in case you’re wondering, I’m still going to be in Chicago half time, for now.)

It’s also an opportunity.

Something I love about changing places is the chance to really dig into the pantry and try to use up strange ingredients in the way back and on the top shelf. The idea of moving pantry items drives me a bit batty, but so does throwing things out. So, for the next few months, I’ll be figuring out if I can use up some of these more obscure items for (hopefully) palatable recipes before Julie and I shift our lives downstate.

Like powdered milk, for example: I use non-fat powdered milk to make a delicious hot chocolate mix, but there’s always a little bit left in the bottom of the box. This morning I was out of fresh dairy and wanted pancakes, so I thought, why not?! Let’s try the pancake recipe from the back of the powdered milk box.

While this was a totally different pancake from the ones I typically make, I’m not confident that my standard pancake recipe is better. So bravo, generic-brand, probably-expired powdered milk, for guiding me toward a delicious Sunday breakfast!

Drop cheddar biscuits next, anyone?!


(courtesy of the off-brand powdered milk box)


    • 1-1/4 C. all-purpose flour
    • 1/3 C. powdered non-fat milk
    • 2 TB sugar
    • 2 tsp baking powder
    • 1 tsp baking soda
    • 1 tsp salt
    • 1-1/4 C. water
    • 1/4 C. vegetable oil
    • 2 large eggs*


    1. In a large mixing bowl, combine flour, dry milk, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
    2. Whisk in water, oil and eggs* until just combined. Let stand 10 minutes (I’m not sure this step is totally necessary). Heat flat skillet over medium heat.
    3. Pour about 1/4 cup pancake batter onto skillet, repeating to fill skillet. Cook until bubbly, flip and continue cooking until golden brown and cooked through

* I ran with the “use it up” inspiration and substituted evaporated milk for the eggs, 1/4 C. per egg. It worked great.

* That’s not true, I was just out of eggs.

Finally, I whipped up some syrup from scratch, because I didn’t have any of that either, and used the remaining evaporated milk in my coffee…

…and with the exception of the coffee, I’m not mad about any of it.

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Lauren Warnecke is the dance critic at the Chicago Tribune and editor/senior writer at See Chicago Dance. Her writing has appeared in Chicago Magazine, Milwaukee Magazine, St. Louis Magazine and Dance Media publications, among others. Lauren is an adjunct faculty member at Loyola University Chicago in the dance and exercise science programs. She has been a writer-in-residence at the Bates Dance Festival (Lewiston, ME) and the JOMBA! Contemporary Dance Experience (Durban, South Africa), and was part of the first low-res dance writing lab cohort at the National Center for Choreography in Akron, OH. Since 2009, Lauren has blogged about dance and performance in the American midwest at artintercepts.org.

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