Friday, October 5, 2012

Pumpkin Pancakes

Hello everyone, and happy fall.... I'm bringing you a recipe that is perfect for a cool, autumn morning. I love to make these pumpkin pancakes on an October weekend. Invite some friends or family over for brunch, and serve them with sausage links and hot coffee. They are a family-favorite, and my kids look forward to them every year. The kitchen smells heavenly when these are on the griddle!

Here's the recipe:

2 cups all-purpose flour
2 Tbsp. sugar
4 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. cinnamon
1-1/2 cups milk (I used 1%)
1 cup pumpkin puree
4 eggs, separated
1/4 cup melted butter (You can use light butter if you wish.)

Preheat a griddle to medium-high. In a large bowl, combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon; set aside. In a separate bowl, combine the milk, yolks, pumpkin, and butter. Stir the wet ingredients into the dry just until combined - do not over-mix. Beat the egg whites until you get stiff peaks. Then gently fold the whites into the pancake batter.

Pour by ladlefuls onto a hot griddle, sprayed lightly with cooking spray. Cook until you see bubbles form and the edges of the pancakes look rounded and firm. Flip the pancakes, and cook them for 1 - 2 minutes longer, or until cooked through.

You should get about 15 to 18 pancakes, depending on size. (I make mine about 4".)


Friday, June 22, 2012

Raspberry Muffins

Happy summer! In a couple of weeks, we'll be picking wild black raspberries from the old bushes on our property. Every summer I ask the kids to pick me at least 1-1/2 cups of raspberries so I can make these muffins. I bake a dozen, and they are gone within 24 hours. I think the thing that makes them so good is the texture - they're moist and dense, and the berries add the perfect sweetness. Be sure not to over mix or over bake these - if you do, they'll turn out tough and dry. I used store-bought raspberries here since our bushes aren't ready for picking yet. They were just as delicious, though I do prefer the smaller, wild raspberries. You can substitute other kinds of berries if you wish. These are perfect for a Saturday morning on the porch with a cup of coffee, or an afternoon snack with some ice-cold lemonade. Enjoy!
(Recipe adapted from Mad About Muffins, by Dot Vartan)

Here's what you need:

  • 5 Tbsp. butter, softened
  • 1 c. granulated sugar, plus extra for sprinkling
  • 3 c. all-purpose flour
  • 2-1/2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 2 eggs, slightly beaten
  • 1 c. half and half
  • 1-1/2 to 2 c. (approximately) fresh raspberries

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease or paper-line a standard sized muffin pan.

In a large bowl, cream together the butter and sugar. Add the eggs and mix thoroughly to combine. In a separate bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, and salt. Add this dry mixture to the wet mixture alternately with the half and half. NOTE: The batter will be very thick, and it may be necessary to add an additional Tbsp. of half and half if it seems too dry. It should look like this:

Fill each muffin cup with approximately 1 Tbsp. of batter. Place 5 or 6 raspberries (or more if your berries are very small) on top of the batter. Push 1 or 2 of them down into the batter. Then add an additional Tbsp. or so of batter over the top of the berries so they are mostly covered.

Bake at 350 degrees for 18 minutes or just until they are set and a toothpick comes out clean. Do not over bake - you don't want them to be brown. While they are still hot, sprinkle the tops with granulated sugar.

Let muffins cool for 10 minutes before removing from pan. Recipe should yield 1 dozen.


Sunday, April 29, 2012

Cinnamon Flop

This is a fun coffee cake recipe... it's easy, doesn't require many ingredients, and it's done a little differently than your typical coffee cake. I remember making it for my husband many years ago as a breakfast treat. I recently made it for my kids, and they loved it, and were both asking when I would make it again. The cake batter is very basic, but the topping is the interesting part, and it gives you a buttery, gooey, delicious cake. It's comfort food, trust me! The recipe comes from one of my most-used cookbooks: From Amish and Mennonite Kitchens, by Phyllis Pellman Good and Rachel Thomas Pellman.

Here's what you need....
For the cake:

  • 1 c. sugar
  • 2 c. all-purpose flour
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 tbsp. melted butter (Reserve the rest of the stick of butter for topping.)
  • 1 c. milk
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract

For the topping:

  • flour, brown sugar, cinnamon - no exact measurements needed
  • butter (Use the remainder of the stick from the butter used above. Cut the remaining 7 tbsp. up into small chunks.)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray two 9" cake or pie pans with non-stick cooking spray and set aside.

Combine sugar, flour, and baking powder.

Add the melted butter, milk, and vanilla. Stir until well-blended.

Divide the batter between two, greased 9" pie or cake pans. The pans won't be filled all the way - the batter will just cover the bottoms.

Sprinkle tops first with flour:

Next, sprinkle brown sugar over top of the flour:

Then, sprinkle cinnamon over top of the brown sugar:

Lastly, push the chunks of butter into the batter. This makes holes and gets gooey as it bakes.

Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.

Serve warm with coffee! Enjoy!

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Carrot Cake

This carrot cake recipe is a family favorite and the only one I ever make. It's moist, rich; and, as far as desserts go - healthy (though it doesn't taste like it). It's shown here in a Bundt style, but you can bake it in a 9x13 pan if you wish.

Here's what you need:

  • 2 c. unbleached flour
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 2 tsp. baking soda
  • 2 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1-1/2 c. sugar
  • 1/3 c. frozen orange juice concentrate, thawed
  • 3 egg whites
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 2 c. shredded carrots
  • 1 small red apple, peeled and shredded
  • 3/4 c. canola oil
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Coat a 10" Bundt pan with nonstick spray, dust with flour, and shake out the excess. Set aside.

In a large bowl, combine the flour, sugar, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt.

In a medium bowl, combine the eggs and egg whites. Beat lightly with a fork. Stir in canola oil, orange juice concentrate, and vanilla. Add carrots and apple. Stir to mix well.

Pour the wet mixture into the flour mixture, stirring until just moistened. Pour the batter into the prepared pan.

Bake for 55 to 60 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean. Cool in the pan on a rack for 10 minutes, then invert the cake onto the rack and allow to cool completely before frosting.

For the Frosting:

You will need:

  • 8 oz. reduced-fat cream cheese, softened
  • 3 to 4 c. confectioner's sugar, depending on the desired consistency
  • 1-1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
In a medium bowl, combine the cream cheese and vanilla. With an electric mixer, beat on low speed until creamy. Gradually add the confectioner's sugar, one cup at a time, beating after each addition until smooth and the desired consistency is achieved.

I used about 3-1/4 c. of sugar for a fairly thick frosting that was still able to be drizzled. If I were frosting a flat cake, I would have used the 4 cups of sugar for a thicker frosting.

This cake can be refrigerated, covered tightly, for up to one week. Enjoy!

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Asian Turkey Burgers

I know a lot of people think of turkey burgers as dry, flavorless health food. If you're one of those people, I hope these burgers will change your mind! The bad thing about ground turkey is that it is bland and it needs the cook to give it flavor and make it palatable. And that's also the great thing about ground turkey - it's bland and it can take on lots of great flavors - it's a blank canvas, so to speak.  I think this recipe is simple, healthy, and flavorful. It only requires a handful of ingredients. One of them is Sriracha Sauce. You may be unfamiliar with it, but it's an Asian ingredient that is gaining popularity. You can find it in any grocery store around the Lehigh Valley - in the international foods section. Sriracha is a mildly spicy, garlic-infused chili sauce. Don't be afraid to try it - it's not so spicy that it will burn out your sinuses. And it's got great flavor. I only use a tablespoon in the recipe; and if you'd like, you can try mixing it into some mayonnaise to make a great condiment for these burgers.

Here's what you need:

  • 1 lb. lean ground turkey
  • 2 Tbsp. soy sauce (low-sodium preferred)
  • 2 tsp. sesame oil
  • 1 Tbsp. Sriracha sauce
  • 1/4 tsp. salt (not pictured above)
In a large bowl, combine all of the above-listed ingredients.

Mix thoroughly and form into patties.

Remember that ground turkey doesn't shrink as it cooks like ground beef does, so whatever size you make your patties - that is the size they will be when finished cooking.

I actually got 6 patties out of this recipe, but if you prefer them to be larger, you may only get 4 or 5. Preheat a large skillet (coated with cooking spray) over medium high heat. Cook the patties for 3 to 4 minutes on one side.

Flip them, and cook them for an additional 2 to 4 minutes, or until they are cooked through. The cooking time depends on how thick you make the patties; you may wish to use a meat thermometer to be sure they are cooked through. The internal temp. should be 170 degrees.

Serve on a toasted kaiser roll with lettuce and/or tomato. If you'd like, try mixing 1-1/2 tsp. Sriracha sauce into 3 Tbsp. mayonnaise for a great complimentary condiment.... spread on toasted bun. It adds an extra kick to this delicious burger!