The Underwood’s Blueberry Muffins

I’m back!! I know I’ve been slacking.  I was finishing up grad school and with finals, my practicum, and a new part time job life has been crazy.  But, no worries I won’t let it happen again.

Now that school is over, I tend to cook and bake A LOT more.  I like to have little treats in the house to munch on and we have a terrible sweet tooth.  I’m also a teacher so anything that is simple and easy to pack for lunch or snack throughout my workday is a must.

This week to kill two birds with one stone (breakfast for the morning, and a sweet tooth fix), I mixed up a batch of blueberry muffins. This can be deadly in our house.  For some reason, my husband will eat 2-3 per day.  Which puts me mixing up more before the week is over with. They never last long in our house.


  • 2/3 cup white sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup of vegetable oil
  • 1/3 cup of milk
  • 2 teaspoons of vanilla
  • 1 1/4 cups of all purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons of cinnamon
  • 1  teaspoon of baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon of salt
  • 1/2 cup of sour cream
  • 1 1/2 cups of blueberries

Let’s Get Busy


  1. Preheat your oven to 375.  I’ve noticed lately when baking at 350.  The middle tends to under bake compared to baking on 375.
  2. I spray my pan lightly with Bakers Joy.  You can find it in the baking isle next to the other non stick sprays.
  3. In a mixing bowl combine  your sugar, oil, cinnamon, egg, milk and vanilla.  Mix until full combined.
  4. Next, add the flour, baking powder and salt.  I place it all on the wet ingredients to eliminate the extra dish.
  5. Now, mix until the wet and dry combines! BE CAREFUL not to over mix.  You may have some lumps it’s ok.  I tell myself about a good 10-12 “swirls”
  6. Now add your sour cream.  (additional 5-8 swirls)
  7. Finally, add your blueberries.  Be sure to wash and dry them.  When adding them to your batter no need to mix just fold the batter over the blueberries.  It’s completely ok to have some not covered in batter.

Time To Fill

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  1. I use an ice cream scooper and a regular cupcake pan.
  2. Fill your sections to the top to get that good muffin shape
  3. Bake on 375 for 20-25 minutes
  4. Make sure the center of your muffins are cooked through by checking with a toothpick
  5. Finally, ENJOY!!!


Tag us in your awesome creations on Instagram @jade.rikki ,Twitter @jadeandrikki and we can also see the yummy creations if you use the hashtag #jadeandrikki.  Feel free to email us, or comment below if you have questions or want us to try out one of your favorite cookie recipes.


Until Next Time,







Five Companies Who Provide Better Customer Service on Twitter Than By Phone

Ahhh Twitter has been known to be the platform for celebrity interactions, company advertisement, and a outlet for consumers to vent their frustrations.  I’ve been off Twitter for a while, and recently reconnected with it when we launched our blog.  It’s been interesting to say the least seeing the responses paired with the quality of service major companies provide via Twitter.


One day, I started venting about how  Verizon Fios channel packages are and how much I hate that they do not provide a basic line up.  Personally, the way they structure their packages is nothing spectacular either.  I had to sacrifice my Lifetime, Oxygen, and Entertainment channels so my husband can receive his sports channels. So what happened when I vented my frustrations via Twitter….

The initial interaction with Verizon sparked my curiosity.  So any issue that came up over the last few weeks I turned to Twitter to get answers and the results….WOW! I received some of the best customer service ever.    The reply time was quick, the problem solved within minutes and some of the most friendliest people ever!


My Snapchat was down one morning and it went down in the middle of a good Snapchat story series.  If that has ever happened to you, then you know how horrific that can be.  So, what happens when you contact Snapchat via Twitter? They troubleshoot for you in less than 5 minutes.


Turbo Tax

As the saga continues, I tried out the trend with Turbo Tax.  I waited until the first of April to file our taxes (I know I’m a procrastinator)  and calling for issues had me sitting on hold for 45 minutes.  When I tweeted about it guess what?  The issue was resolved in 10 minutes. FullSizeRender (60)

Papa John’s 

Just this weekend the Papa Johns close to our apartment were displaying what not to do to a customer.  This is by far the worst experience I have ever had from any type of restaurant.  They locked the door early, ignored us knocking, we called and they pick up and immediately put us on hold as we were standing outside looking at them (right, that face you are making was my face for the rest of the night). Guess who tweeted about it? Yep, me and I received a response via Twitter the next morning and a phone call from the area manager.

I have to give credit where credit is due, the phone called I received from the Area Manager was one of the most genuine apology you will ever receive from a manager.  He reviewed the cameras and confirmed everything I had noted.  He sounded so disappointed for their actions and genuinely wanted me to give them another shot. He called on a Sunday afternoon when most people would wait until Monday mid-day in hopes of catching the voicemail.  I was blown away. So yeah, Papa Johns will get my pennies once again.  FullSizeRender (58)

Crate & Barrel

Last but not least, Crate and Barrel.  I love this overpriced company but geez, if you have ever ordered anything from them, then you know their back orders take FOREVER. By, the time they are filled you have falling in love with a completely different style or item.  Personally, I think they need to eliminate the whole back orders shenanigans.  The table mats I ordered in February had not arrived by the end April.  I was on hold for about 20 minutes and was growing impatient.  Like always, I took to Twitter, provided them my order number and they squared me away and sent me a confirmation email.  No phone, no waiting, just request and it was done.FullSizeRender (59)

What are your thoughts on customer service via Twitter? Have you encountered any issues and contacted the company via Twitter.  I wanted to hear your thoughts.  Leave a comment below or you can always tweet us (@jadeandrikki). Happy Tuesday readers!

Until Next Time,





Small Business Saturday

Fave Etsy Shops

I’m all for shopping small.  Why give your hard earned money to corporations where the CEO’s make more money than some of us will see in a lifetime.  I come from a business orientated family.  My parents is into real estate, my grandparents owned a funeral home, and my aunt has a restaurant.

When I first got engaged, I found a new love for Etsy.  I could get things personalized and it always added unique out the box touches.  Below are my favorite Etsy shops. You can find ANYTHING on Etsy and can browse the different shops for the best prices. The list is in no particular order and this post is NOT sponsored.  Enjoy.


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Ms. Suzette customer service is AMAZING! We had a lost package.  She contacted the post office and replace the item.  It’s an awesome shop if you are searching for the perfect baby shower gift.  I love how she makes the little knick knacks that we forget about.  Paci clips, door silencer, etc.


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Handcrafted wood items! In the age where Farmhouse decor is in this is the place to buy those finishing touch items.  We purchased the stained pallet wine race in the color slate (pale grey).  It came out beautiful.  We get lots of compliments on it.  The quality is amazing, no assembly required, and the drilling instructions come with it along with the nails.



I ordered robes for my bridal party and they came out amazing.  They were good quality waffle robes and the monograms on them were flawless. Along with the great product the shipping was fast.  My bridal party still send me SnapChats of them rocking their robes. It’s been over a year and they still look fresh.


All the way in California slaying custom ties and bowties for the men.  I had to add something here for the men.  We order my husband bowtie for the wedding from here. They also do the cutest bowtie options for babies and toddlers along with the cutest father son combos.

Let us know some of your favorite Etsy shops or small business stores. I would love to give them a try.  Leave the names below, tweet us @jadeandrikki, or Instagram @jade.rikki.  Shoot us an email if you would like a small business feature.  We would love to partner with you.


Until Next Time,




Date Night

A Day At Boordy Vineyards

If you haven’t noticed by now, the love I have for wine is out of this world. Now, I call myself fancy and desire a nice cheese board to pair with it (our National Drink Wine Day post has a great cheeseboard option). I’m rubbing off on my husband, because he is officially a wino with me.

We are red wine drinkers.  Merlot, Pinot Noir, Cabernet, Malbec are staples around the house.  One of my anniversary treats from JaMarcus was a trip to a local vineyard, which included a tasting of over 15 wines and a tour  with a very informative tour guide.  It was amazing.  I’ve been to an winery before, but that was before I fell in love with the art of wine.

Boordy Vineyard is a HUGE vineyard tucked away on the outskirts of Baltimore.  It is located in Hydes, Maryland and the grounds are immaculate.  For $17 we were able to try a wide variety of wines and take home a souvenir glass. What I love about wine tasting is the educational part (clearly I’m a teacher). To learn the process on how to make wine, obtain a certain flavor, or achieve particular body amazes me and boy does the employees at Boordy know their stuff.


We actually fell in love with Boordy wine at our local Farmers Market (another deadly addiction for me).  They had a booth there, we stop for the free samples and walked away with a bottle (that’s how they always get me).  All the wine we sample that day were light body and even the reds had a sweet taste to them.  We had talked about it for a few days then let it go.  When we started brainstorming anniversary plans, JaMarcus mentioned it again and it was definitely a must.

When we walked into the tasting room, I was surprise to see quite a crowd.  There were about eight others in our tasting, and there was another group in the room participating in a tasting also.  The traffic coming in and out was also shocking.  We looked at each other and realized we stumbled upon a “hot” spot.


The first half of our tasting we were able to sample all nine Landmark wines.  I love when they provide a sheet detailing the wines because I like to take notes. When I take notes I rank them, note what I don’t like so in the future, we don’t make the awful mistake of buying a bottle we don’t really prefer.

After, we made our way down the list and finished the tasting, they invited you up to the sitting area where you could enjoy a bottle of wine you purchased, or do an extended wine tasting.  Who could say NO to more wine? It was only an additional $2 dollars which made the offer even more appealing.

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At the second tasting, we were able to try five additional wines.  The sweet lady in the photo provided us with some serious knowledge.  She took her time during the tasting and just made us fall in love with the place even more.  During our conversation with her, she informed us that they have a host of events during the summer.  Live bands, karaoke, and they even have a food truck on the property.  Not only do they have a variety of events, they also allow you to bring food into the vineyard.  You are allowed to have a picnic out there (I’m sold).  I wish I would have known that before we came, we would have loaded up!

After we went through all the wine tastings, we purchased a bottle of wine and sat down to enjoy the vibe.  We started on the outside, then shifted to the inside. It was the perfect kick off to our anniversary weekend.

For all of my wine connoisseurs, this is a must add to your vineyard bucket list.  Pack a picnic or a nice cheese board and enjoy.  You have to do the full wine tasting, it’s worth it!

Boordy Vineyards 

Address:12820 Long Green Pike, Hydes, Maryland 21082 USA

Located in Baltimore County, 8 miles northeast of the Baltimore beltway (I-695) exits 29 or 31, and a thirty minute drive from downtown Baltimore. Boordy is 50 miles from Washington D.C.; 90 miles from Philadelphia, PA; and 45 miles from Annapolis, MD.

Leave a comment and let me know what vineyards I should add to my bucket list.  Follow us on Twitter @jadeandrikki to keep up with all the content we are working on for you guys.  We are also on Instagram (@jade.rikki) where you can see the world through our eyes.

Until Next Time,



Product Reviews

3 Wash & Go Must Haves

Oh the joys of being natural.  I’ve only been natural of 2 years and about a year and three months of that was me transitioning.  In the last three months, my wash and go’s are a success and I’m loving it. If you are natural then you know the pure excitement that bring after your transition.

The famous wash and go was one of the reason why  I went natural.  The convenience and true natural state is what I desired. Of course, as a newly found natural I’m still in my over extended product junkie phase.  It’s just so many options out there and I love comparing the curl definition each one offer.

Ranked in order my top three wash and go products are:

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Shea Moisture Curl Gel Souffle

I love this product.  My biggest tip is use a SMALLLLLL amount. It’s a very thick and rich product, caking it on weighs my hair down and make it feel so greasy. It will also flake if you use too much. The saying “dime size” remains true when using it. This product allows my wash and go’s to last at least five days which works out perfect for the work week.  This product also work well 4a, 4b, or 4c products.

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Eco Styler Olive Oil Styling Gel

We all know this is a must have for any curly girl collection.  I love how light weight it is and it dries quickly and clear.  It’s perfect for the wash and go during the summer months.  I also prefer it on the long pool days during the summer because, the olive oil based product it’s an added protection from the chlorine. The Eco Styler also helps combat some of my frizz so that’s always a win. This product normally allows my wash and go’s to last 3-4 days which is perfect for someone who wants to switch it up towards the end of the week.

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Curls Creme Brule Whipped Curl Cream

I love the whole Curls collection.  The only thing I hate about the line is the price point which is why it ranked number three.  It’s on the higher end but it’s worth it.  The products smell so good and the curl definition it provides has no comparison.  My friends that have 4a , 4b, or 4c hair is not a fan of this line.

Leave a comment and let me know your favorite wash and go products.  Follow us on Twitter @jadeandrikki to keep up with all the content we are working on for you guys.  We are also on Instagram (@jade.rikki) where you can see the world through our eyes.  Happy Friday!

Until Next Time,





Baked Stuffed Manicotti

Once again we are back in the kitchen!

We are huge Italian fans.  We are in the processes of saving our coins to go to Italy next year (future blog on how we did it coming one day ).  Italian has so many simple, but flavorful dishes.  The meals are beyond filling, and you can guarantee leftovers. One of my husbands favorite thing to order at an Italian restaurant is any manicotti or cannelloni stuffed dishes.  That was my inspiration to start trying to make a few at home.

Making this dish was a complete leap of faith.  I knew our taste preference and with some liquor courage I was excited to see what I could come up with.  Below is the cheesy yummies, that had my husband giving sweet kisses when he cleaned his plate.

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  • 1 box of Manicotti rolls
  • 1 pack Mozzarella (2 cups)
  • 1 pack Parmesan (2 cups)
  • 1 half container of ricotta (about 4 oz.)
  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tablespoons of pesto
  • 1 can of marinara


Let’s Get Busy

  • Boil your manicotti rolls
  • Cook your ground beef (Italian sausage works well also)
  • While your manicotti rolls are boiling, mixed your cooked ground beef, 1 cup of mozzarella, 1 cup of Parmesan cheese, two eggs, 2 tablespoons of marinara and ricotta cheese
  • Once your manicotti rolls are done boiling, run them under cold water and let cool.
  • Once cool, stuff your rolls with your ground beef mixture
  • In a long 13×9 pan cover the bottom with Marinara  sauce
  • Then place your rolls with small space in between
  • Cover your rolls with marinara and top with the rest of your cheese
  • Bake covered for 30 mins and then uncover and back for an additional 15


This is a perfect dishes for potlucks in the office or pre-prep dinner that the sitter can just pop in the oven.  I do not even want to think about the calorie count for this dish, but live on the wild side and run later 🙂

Tag us in your awesome creations on Instagram @jade.rikki ,Twitter @jadeandrikki and we can also see the yummy creations if you use the hashtag #jadeandrikki.  Feel free to email us, or comment below if you have questions or want us to try out one of your favorite cookie recipes.

Until Next Time,



Cinnamon Walnut Sugar Cookies

And we are back in the kitchen…..

I’m on spring break (one of the few perks of being a teacher) this week and our family just left after an awesome visit.  As we were chit chatting I felt like baking but, I did not feel like running out to get ingredients. After searching through the pantry, I had all the ingredients for sugar cookies but wanted to jazz them up a little.  That’s where the cinnamon and the walnuts came in.  If you haven’t noticed yet, I love anything with cinnamon.

My husband loves to eat and he is my personal food critic. So, when I told him what I was going to attempt to make he was all for it! I envy him because he doesn’t gain a pound but me on the other hand…….

As always, I had some music going, a full glass of wine, and creativity flowing.  Below you will find the key to all the yummies we are enjoying today. Nothing about this cookie is healthy, but everyone needs some type of guilty pleasure to enjoy after a salad 🙂

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Serving Size–12 medium size cookies

3/4 cups of butter softened

1 cup of granulated sugar

2 eggs

3 teaspoons of vanilla (I like to add a little extra)

1 tablespoon of cinnamon

1 cup of walnuts (we prefer extra nuts)

1/2 tablespoon of brown sugar

1/2 teaspoons of salt

2 1/4 teaspoons of baking powder

2 1/2 cups of all purpose flour

Frosting Ingredients:

2 3/4 cups of powdered sugar

1 stick of softened butter

3/4 tablespoon of vanilla extract

1/2 tablespoon of ground cinnamon

A splash of milk


Let’s Get Busy

  • In a mixing bowl, cream together your butter and sugar
  • Now,mix in your eggs one at a time
  • Next, add your vanilla and cinnamon
  • In the same bowl add the baking powder, flour, and salt (mix long enough to remove all or most of the lumps
  • Add walnuts and fold over until all your walnuts are covered
  • Cover and let it your dough chill for 2 hours
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  • Line your baking sheet
  • Roll cookies into balls (small to medium balls)
  • Bake for 8-12 minutes (I like to bake mine for 9 mins turn the oven off and let them sit in there for an additional 2 mins)
  • They should be a nice golden brown on the bottom

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  • While your cookies are cooling you are going to prepare your frosting.
  • In a medium mixing bowl, add powdered sugar and butter until it’s creamy.
  • Now add it’s time for the vanilla and cinnamon
  • Add your milk one small splash at a time until you reached your desired consistency (we do not like a thick icing for our cookies)
  • Once the cookies have completely cooled, apply your icing
  • Last but not least, ENJOY!!!!


Tag us in your awesome creations on Instagram @jade.rikki ,Twitter @jadeandrikki and we can also see the yummy creations if you use the hashtag #jadeandrikki.  Feel free to email us, or comment below if you have questions or want us to try out one of your favorite cookie recipes.

Until Next Time,



Jack Daniel’s Soap Dispenser

So today, I felt the need to get my Pinterest status on and complete a DIY craft project.  Something simple while my sweetie wasn’t home. I have to be honest, I am still and will FOREVER be a CALI Girl! So with that being said we have no clue how to do anything without directions. With directions…I’m a beast!!

I stumbled across a Jack Daniel’s Soap Dispenser that looked pretty cool, not too feminine and not too masculine. Plus, I had plenty of Jack Daniel bottles lying around (not really lol)!

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  • One regular bottle of Jack Daniel’s Honey

Fun Fact: Try mixing it with Ginger Ale & it will change your life

Disclaimer: Ages 21+ please, and no drinking and driving!  (I’m still an officer LOL)

  • Regular Soap Dispenser

You can buy them anywhere, I picked one up  Target because they were on sale. Most regular soap dispenser will fit your Jack Daniels bottle. Just choose the color and look you want.

  • A Dollar Tree empty Spray Bottle

The inside of the cord will be too short for the bottle, the cheapest thing to do is buy the bottle and just use the cord.  All of them are interchangeable but, once you buy the soap dispenser, you will understand why a longer cord is needed

  • Your Favorite Liquid Hand Soap
  • Scissors


  • After you purchased the soap dispenser and cheap empty bottle, unscrew the tops of each bottle set it aside.
  • Next, make sure to clean your Jack Daniel’s bottle out with soap and water, don’t want you to waste the last drop of “goodness”!
  • The cord that it is attached to the new soap dispenser will be too short. Pull down on the cord to remove it (its very easy to take out).
  • Now, switch the cords. The cord from the cheap spray bottle should be on your Jack Daniels dispenser now
  • It is likely the cord “should” be extremely way too long to use in your bottle like it is. Cut it accordingly to your liking. It may take a few measurements and few cuts at a time to get it right!
  •  Add your favorite liquid hand soap.  I just used a generic dollar tree soap to start with.  Remember, whenever it needs a refill  you can always pick a different soap.
  • Screw the top on and VOOOOOILLLLAAAAAA! Magic! (in my best rapper voice). It cannot get anymore simpler than that!!!!!!

FYI: You can decorate it up, put rhinestones on it, bows, and string, anything you want. I kept it classic for now, but who knows what will happen in the future with it!!

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Send me more simple DIY crafts!! We are on Pinterest @jadeandrikki.  Send me pins so I can try them out. As always, tags us in your creations on Instagram @jade.rikki or #jadeandrikki on any social platform.




Spinach Meatball Pizza

The joys of struggling to decide on dinner ever Friday night haunts me!  Clearly no one wants to cook a five star meal, and picking a restaurant is too demanding after a long week of work.  So for convenience we do homemade pizza night about once a month (twice if we’ve been hit by the pizza fever).

I hit the jackpot with my husband.  He can cook, although he allows me to do most of the cooking, certain meals are deemed “his”. This week instead of exploring a local Happy Hour, we opted for a relaxing pajama required dinner.

Prince Charming got to cooking while I was able to kick back with a glass of wine and unwind with the 2000’s R&B Pandora station playing.  As he calls it, the Spinach Meatball masterpiece was our poison for the night. It came out beyond amazing, and it was our first time using this particular combination of ingredients.

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Serving Size–2 pizzas

1/2 bag of spinach

1 can of Barilla Roasted Garlic Sauce or Tomato & Basil

6 Turkey Meatballs

2 Pillsbury Thin Crust pizza crust

1/3 cup of flour

2 tablespoons of pesto (per pizza)–there no such thing as too much pesto

1/4 Cup of Smoked Gouda

1/2 of Pizza Blend Cheese (combination pack at your local grocery store or Italian will do)


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Let’s Get Busy

  • First preheat your oven to 425
  • Chop your spinach
  • Next, flour your stone pizza pan lightly (we sprinkle just enough to cover the main spots so it wont stick! See the picture below)
  • Next, open  your dough and roll it out to your desired preference
  • Now, spoon out your desired amount of sauce (we put it in a bowl and add pesto, salt, pepper, red pepper flakes and olive oil to it)
  • Cover the rolled out dough with the sauce
  • Add your toppings (cheese, spinach, meat, more cheese)
  • Now, to the oven it goes (cook time 8-12 minutes, we like it a nice golden brown which is a 10 minute cook time)
  • Last but not least, ENJOY!!!!!

Tag us in your awesome creations on Instagram @jade.rikki ,Twitter @jadeandrikki and we can also see the yummy creations if you use the hashtag #jadeandrikki.  Feel free to email us, or comment below if you have questions or want us to try out one of your pizza recipes.

Until Next Time,










Vanilla Cinnamon Pancakes

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And we are back in the kitchen….mixing up Sunday morning pancakes.  Growing up, on the weekends my Dad would cook pancakes for the family.  As we completed our chorus, he could mix up such a simple, buttery pancake that would put us all to sleep afterwards.

Now that I’m older, I find myself reverting back to childhood traditions. Some traditions I keep the same, and some I find myself adding a little tweak here and there.  I have a love for anything that requires extra vanilla or cinnamon.  So, why not add it to pancakes?

Below is my version of a vanilla cinnamon pancake.  This recipe makes about 8-10 pancakes.  It also works well if you add a cup of pecans or blueberries.

Perfect for National Pancake Day coming on March 8, 2016!!!


  • 2 1/2 cups of flour
  • 1/4 cup of sugar
  • 1 1/12 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 3/4 cups of milk
  • 2 tsp of vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp of ground cinnamon
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup of slightly melted butter

Let’s Get Busy….

  1. Combine dry ingredients first (flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt)
  2. Whisk ingredients well
  3. Combine wet ingredients (milk, vanilla, cinnamon, slightly melted, and egg)
  4. Now, combine your wet ingredients with your dry (I normally do it in 3rds)
  5. Whisk until the ingredients are combined evenly
  6. Be careful not to over beat the ingredients, your pancakes will not be fluffy if this happens! Trust me, I’ve done it a few times.  It’s ok to have lumps 🙂 
  7. I normally use an electric skillet (275 degrees) , because it cooks more than one pancake at a time.
  8. Butter the skillet lightly
  9. I use a half of ladle per pancake
  10. Allow 3-4 mins of cook time per side


Mark your calendars, National Pancake Day is March 8, 2016. Tag us in your awesome creations on Instagram @jade.rikki ,Twitter @jadeandrikki and we also see the yummy creations if you use the hashtag #jadeandrikki.  Feel free to email us, or comment below if you have questions or want us to try out one of your pancake recipes.

Until Next Time,