The Great Big List of 50 Pancake Topping Ideas

Saturday mornings are pancake mornings at our house. In fact, I was looking through some old videos yesterday (on my day off) and I had recorded some footage of my then-toddler daughter and I cooking pancake shapes and then smothering them in syrup. That is evidence enough that this has been a tradition for at least a decade around here.

This morning was no different: chocolate chip pancakes on the cast iron grill topped with some mixed berries and a generous slog of maple syrup (…did I mention we live in Canada?)

My plate looked particularly photogenic this morning, and so I took a shot before digging in. All of this, the old videos, the Saturday routine, the fresh fruit and maple syrup of course got me thinking about how we fall into routine and stick with the things that are comfortable. Chocolate chip pancakes are amazing, but we don’t veer far off course of the toppings list.

So, if I someday soon decided to stray a little bit from my patriotic imperative of supporting the national maple syrup industry, here are some of the things I might consider as a good starting list of familiar, unique, interesting, tasty, and maybe a little off-the-wall ideas to add to or on top of my Saturday pancakes:

  1. maple syrup (obviously)
  2. powdered sugar
  3. butter
  4. strawberries
  5. chocolate
  6. fruit syrup
  7. banana slices
  8. chopped toasted almonds
  9. shredded coconut
  10. mixed berries
  11. peach slices
  12. hazelnut spread
  13. whipped cream
  14. caramel sauce
  15. crumbled bacon
  16. lemon sugar
  17. cinnamon sugar
  18. lox
  19. blueberries
  20. fruit compote
  21. vanilla ice cream
  22. dulce de leche
  23. peanut butter
  24. baked apple slices
  25. poached egg
  26. yogurt
  27. raisins
  28. toasted macadamia nuts
  29. cream cheese
  30. honey
  31. marshmallow cream
  32. crumbled graham crackers
  33. cottage cheese
  34. avocado slices
  35. grilled ham
  36. candied ginger
  37. nut butter
  38. apple sauce
  39. corn syrup
  40. ricotta
  41. raspberries
  42. canned pears
  43. lemon curd
  44. mango coulis
  45. pineapple slices
  46. grilled spam
  47. hot fudge
  48. rhubarb sauce
  49. candied nuts
  50. chopped candy

…and now go check out my chocolate chip pancake recipe if you need some inspiration for where to put all these amazing options for toppings.

Iceland: Chasing Waterfalls

I snapped close to ten thousand photos over the course of not-quite-two weeks travelling around Iceland in 2014, and disproportional number of those pics included waterfalls.

for whatever one photo is worth:

Sk贸gafoss is a huge waterfall on the Sk贸g谩 River in the very southern bulge of Iceland. It was one of the first big waterfalls we saw on our trip along the ring road of the island and notable not just because it is an impressive waterfall, but having climbed up the slick and narrow path to overlook the crest I saw something even more interesting.

A trailhead.

On my visit I wasn’t carrying much more than a camera bag, but others sharing the trail with me were lugging much more substantial loads. Backpacking gear. Obvious overnighting equipment. Crampons. Warm clothes. As I turned to climb back down after snapping my photos, they were hopping over a low barrier and setting out on a serious backpacking trip.

The Fimmvorduhals Trail (as I researched later) is one of many incredible adventures in Iceland. From what I can tell it is part of an extensive hiking and backpacking network in that country and people come from all over to walk them.

To be perfectly honest, until I saw those people trekking outbound from where we had stopped for a tourist break, it had not occurred to me that there might be some seriously awesome backpacking to be had in Iceland. We were going to explore by car with the family including my (at the time) seven year old and her grandparents.

To be even more honest, it hasn’t left my mind as a backpacking trip I’d love to take on. Sooner than later. Had there not been a global pandemic, it was actually an idea I’d floated with a friend for this upcoming summer to celebrate his fiftieth birthday. It inspired me to see those people setting out, and a pang of jealousy has always stuck like a splinter in my brain that I got back into an SUV and drove on while they set off into the wilds for something far more epic.

This picture, then, as simple and beautiful as it looks is actually hiding a personal point of interest for me: it’s the trailhead of one of my bucket list hikes.