Thursday, November 19, 2009

Rainy Morning Breakfast

I woke up Tuesday morning to a dreary rainy morning, and what better for a rainy morning than a stack of fresh fluffy pumpkin pancakes?  So I got up and found a recipe and got to work, hoping to surprise Philip with a good breakfast.




While I was standing over the stove cooking 2 pancakes at a time I had this crazy thought.  I wished that I could capture the scent of these pancakes cooking and staying warm in the oven, and find some way that whenever you read this post you got a taste of that wonderful smell.  Knowing this isn’t possible the best I can do is tell you to make them so you can experience it for yourself.

I found a recipe for Pumpkin Spice Pancakes over at Joy The Baker and decided they were what I wanted to make.  These were ridiculously simple to put together and absolutely delicious.  I would never guess just by taste that they have any whole wheat flour in them, they were flavorful and oddly enough fluffy and dense at the same time.

Philip got his serving of pancakes while I was still cooking, and I held my breath as he tasted, knowing that with the pumpkin dislike it might not be what he wanted.  He took his first bite and when asked how they were he made a face that I couldn’t quite decipher so I turned back to the stove worried that they were a bust.  When I turned around after flipping the ones still in the skillet he had just about finished his plate and I knew that they were, in fact, a hit, when I had to tell him to wait to have seconds till after I was able to eat my first serving.  So good even someone who doesn’t like pumpkin devoured them in a matter of seconds, I think that speaks for itself.


Pumpkin Spice Pancakes

From: Joy The Baker


3/4 cup all-purpose flour

1/2 cup whole wheat flour

2 Tablespoons brown sugar

2 teaspoons baking powder

1/4 teaspoon salt

3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon fresh grated nutmeg

pinch of ground ginger

pinch of ground cloves (omitted)

1 cup milk

1/2 cup canned pumpkin

1 egg

2 Tablespoons vegetable oil or melted butter


Whisk together dry ingredients.

In a separate bowl combine wet ingredients

Pour wet ingredients into dry and stir until just combined.  It’s ok to have a few lumps, you don’t want to over mix the batter.

Let batter sit while you heat the skillet.  (The trick I was taught for testing whether the skillet is ready is to sprinkle a bit of water on the skillet and when the water dances around a bit the skillet is hot enough)

Melt a bit of butter or oil in the skillet and drop on about 2 Tbsp batter.  Once the batter starts bubbling and the edges are firming a bit, flip.



Set the oven to 200* and have an oven safe plate ready to keep the pancakes warm until they are all eaten.


This recipe made about 23 pancakes for us, which we enjoyed them with maple syrup that first morning.  The leftovers made several appearances later in the week, several times I spread them with cranberry juice we had in the fridge and topped that with maple syrup, and that was delicious.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Pumpkin Puree

Before Sunday the only experience I had with whole pumpkins was gutting them and carving Jack-O-Lanterns and the last time I did that was years ago (unfortunately, I think I need to make sure I do it again next year).  I’ve also never really cooked much with pumpkin, growing up we never really had anything pumpkin except pumpkin pie on Thanksgiving and our family Christmas celebration, and since moving out I didn’t try till last year because Philip has told me he hates pumpkin.  Last year, however, I decided I wanted to make some pumpkin baked goods and I didn’t care if he ate them or not so I bought myself a can of pumpkin puree and baked.  That actually was the spark that inspired me to start this blog, unfortunately I hadn’t saved the recipes I used.

So fall rolls around this year and I start seeing pumpkin recipes showing up all over the place, and decide that once again I need to cook with pumpkin this year, and as I recall, Philip didn’t complain about the pumpkin last year.  I wanted to take an extra step this year though, and decided that since I’ve been trying to eat fewer processed foods I would go ahead and make my own pumpkin puree.  So I looked at several blog posts about this, and I Googled it and everything I looked at said something different so I came to the realization that it didn’t really matter exactly how I did it as long as I baked the pumpkin until the flesh was soft.  That being said, here’s how I did it.


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Pumpkin Puree


1 Sugar Pumpkin (mine was about 4.5lbs)


Preheat the oven to 375

Cut the pumpkin in half and scoop out the seeds (since my Jack-O-Lantern carving days I’d forgotten just how difficult it can be to actually get all the seeds and stringy bits out, but I managed it with minimal amounts of pumpkin splattered all over the kitchen)

Cut pumpkin into chunks (I cut it into 8ths)

Place on aluminum foil lined baking pan and bake for 1 to 1 1/2 hours.  (I wasn’t sure how to put my pumpkin on the pan, flesh or skin up, and I put it flesh up.  I think I’d do that differently next time as the outside layer of flesh turned out a bit tougher than I expected.  I actually covered it with aluminum foil about halfway through the baking because I was worried about it drying out too much)

Once the pumpkin is baked so that the flesh is tender (tested with a fork) take it out of  the oven and let it cool enough to handle.

Scoop the flesh from the skin and put it in a food processor and blend till smooth.


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Find pumpkin recipes to fill your house with the aromas of fall.


I had my frustrations while making this, but mostly because I get impatient.  For example, it really is important to let the pumpkin cool before scooping the flesh out, as I nearly burned my hands several times trying to do this step too soon.  However, I found it rewarding and feel much better using this puree as opposed to canned because it came from my kitchen and I know that it is pure pumpkin with nothing added.

Now I just have to keep finding recipes that call for pumpkin, not too difficult especially this time of year so expect some pumpkin goodies coming soon.