Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Pumpkin Pancakes with Apple Cider Syrup

Yay for fall!  I have been waiting all summer to test our some of the fall-time recipes I never got to last year.  This one is phenomenal!  For the first time, we pressed our own cider at a local farm, and it pretty much rocks my world :)
 Yes, we gathered the apples, washed them by hand, ground them, pressed them, and jugged them up from start to finish. 
And how in the world am I going to enjoy the fruits of my labor?  Well on pancakes of course!  These pancakes seem too good to be a breakfast, more of a dessert-type meal.  It is DEFINITELY worth the indulgence!  The pumpkin pancakes were lite and airy, and the syrup just simply rocked...enough said. Onto the recipe....

Pumpkin Pancakes with Apple Cider Syrup

Apple Cider Syrup

3/4 Cup sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar
2 TBs cornstarch
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
2 cups fresh apple cider (or juice would work)
1 Tbs fresh lemon juice
1/2 tsp vanilla
1/4 cup butter

Mix sugars, cornstarch, cinnamon and nutmeg well. Add apple cider, vanilla, and lemon juice. Bring to a boil and continue boiling for 1 minute, stirring constantly. Remove from heat and stir in butter. Store leftovers in the refrigerator, use within a week or two.

Pumpkin Pancake Recipe

2 cups flour (I use at least 1/2 freshly ground white wheat flour)
3 Tb brown sugar
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp ground all spice
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ginger
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 cup buttermilk (I do an overflowing 1/2 cup)
1 cup pumpkin puree
2 eggs
2 Tb canola oil
2 Tb vinegar

In one bowl mix together the buttermilk, pumpkin, eggs, oil and vinegar. Combine dry ingredients separately and them stir into pumpkin mixture just until combined. Heat your pan or griddle (lightly butter or oil if it is not seasoned), using about 1/4 cup for each pancake. Brown on both sides and serve hot with apple cider syrup.

Recipe Source:  The Sisters Cafe

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Copykat Kneaders Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Bread

I have yet to go to Kneaders (I know....I'm sure you are all gasping).  I don't live in Utah, and that doesn't help by any means.  Hopefully this will change very soon!  There is one going being built close to my parents house, so next time we visit I'll have to check it out finally.  What I have heard is that it is amazing!  I am excited to try some of their baked goods, sandwiches, and breakfast!  

If this bread is any indication of how good the restaurant is, I can't wait to try the other delicacies they have :)  This bread recipe has more pumpkin than other recipes I have tried recently, and is so moist and  delicious.  You won't be disappointed.  Make up a batch, give 2 loaves to friends and you will still have one for yourself.  Your friends will love you :)  Happy Fall baking!

Copykat Kneaders Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Bread

3-⅓ cups unbleached all purpose Flour
1 tsp pumpkin pie spice
1 tbsp Cinnamon
2 teaspoons Baking Soda
1 teaspoon Baking Powder
1-½ teaspoon Salt
2-⅔ cups Sugar
⅔ cups Softened Butter
4 whole Eggs
1 pound (or 1 30oz can or 2 15oz cans) Mashed Pumpkin
⅔ cups Water
1 cup Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips 

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.

Sift together dry ingredients and set aside. Cream sugar and butter until well incorporated. Add eggs one at a time and then add the mashed pumpkin. Alternate adding dry ingredients with water. Fold in chocolate chips.

Pour into three large greased bread pans and bake at 325 degrees for 55 to 60 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the middle of the loaf comes out clean.

Makes 3 loaves.

Recipe Source:  Burnt Apple

Friday, September 21, 2012

Pumpkin Bread with Pumpkin Buttercream and Caramel Drizzle

Ready or not here come the pumpkin recipes!  This first was is a good one to start with for the season.  I made a couple loaves for my husband to take to work, and they all loved this yummy moist bread (which is delicious on its own).  Then comes the pumpkin buttercream....oh the pumpkin buttercream!  I may or may not have eaten a few spoonfuls of this on its own :)

Pumpkin Bread with Pumpkin Buttercream and Caramel Drizzle


1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
2 large eggs
3/4 cup packed dark brown sugar (I substituted light brown sugar)
1/3 cup granulated sugar
2 teaspoons freshly grated orange zest (I omitted this)
1 teaspoon freshly grated lemon zest (I left this out, too)
1/2 cup canola oil
1 1/4 cups canned pure pumpkin puree
1/2 cup chopped, toasted pecans or walnuts, optional (I didn’t add the nuts to the batter, but sprinkled them on top of the frosted loaf instead)

Pumpkin Buttercream Frosting:

1/4 C butter, softened
2 tbsp pumpkin puree
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp vanilla
1 1/2 C confectioner's sugar, sifted
2 tsp milk

For the  Caramel Drizzle:

3 tbsp brown sugar
1 tbsp water
1 tbsp butter
1/4 tsp salt

Position your oven rack in the middle of the oven, and preheat oven to 325 degrees. Grease and flour a 9 x 5″ loaf pan; set aside.
Combine flour, cinnamon, baking powder, baking soda, salt, nutmeg, and allspice in a medium bowl and whisk until thoroughly combined; set aside.
In another bowl, or bowl of an electric mixer, beat eggs on medium-high speed for two minutes or until lightened in color. Add the brown sugar, mixing for about 2 minutes, then the granulated sugar, mixing for about 1 minute. Add the orange and lemon zests, if using, and beat for another minute. Scrape down the bowl as needed.
Drizzle in the canola oil with beater on medium-low. Reduce speed to low and add the pumpkin puree. Mix until thoroughly combined. Add the dry ingredients in two additions and blend for 10-15 seconds just until incorporated. Fold in the pecans using a rubber spatula.
Spoon the batter into your prepared loaf pan and bake for 60-65 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool loaf in pan for 10 to 15 minutes, then remove and cool completely on a wire rack.
While bread is cooling, begin preparing the frosting. Cream together butter and pumpkin puree. Add in cinnamon and vanilla and beat until creamy. Slowly add confectioner's sugar and milk. Beat until well-combined and creamy. 

Spread frosting over the top of the cooled bread.

In a small saucepan, stir together brown sugar and water. Dissolve sugar over medium-high heat. Continue heating until caramel turns dark brown and starts to boil, making sure to stir constantly to avoid burning. Add butter and salt. Stir to combine and remove from heat. Continue stirring for another 1-2 minutes to cool the caramel somewhat before drizzling over the top of the frosting. 

Slice bread and serve! Store leftovers in the refrigerator.

Recipe Source:  Bread from Nancy Creative, Buttercream and Caramel from A Kitchen Addiction

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Quinoa with Corn and Scallions

Here's some more quinoa goodness for you.  It turned out fabulously and with the addition of corn, you have 2 side dishes in one :)  

Quinoa with Corn and Scallions

4 ears corn, shucked
1 Tablespoon grated fresh lemon zest 
2 Tablespoons fresh lemon juice
½ stick (¼ cup) unsalted butter, melted
1 Tablespoon honey
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon black pepper
2 cups uncooked quinoa 
4 scallions, chopped

Place the corn in a large pot and fill it with enough water to cover the corn. Cover the pot and bring it to a boil. As soon as the water comes to a boil, turn off the heat and let the pot stand, covered, for 5 minutes.

Remove the corn from the pot and let it cool on a cutting board until it's easy to handle. Then, using a sharp knife, cut the kernels off the cob.

Prepare the dressing by whisking together the lemon zest, lemon juice, melted butter, honey, salt and pepper in a large bowl.

Rinse the uncooked quinoa in a sieve under cold water until the water runs clear.

Cook the quinoa in a pot of of boiling salted water per the package directions.

Add the quinoa, corn kernels and chopped scallions to the bowl with the dressing and toss until it's evenly coated. Season with salt and pepper and serve.

Recipe Source: Taste Test

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Feta and Pesto Stuffed Pork Chops

It was 4:00 and I had a full day of things to think about other than dinner.  I knew I had to use up my pork chops in the refrigerator, so I did a quick search and found that I had everything for this recipe.  I'm glad I found it!  The flavors were great, and anything with pesto in it usually makes me quite happy :)  These only took me about 10 minutes to put next time you find yourself in a pinch for dinner, give these a try...they are great!

Feta and Pesto Stuffed Pork Chops

3 tablespoons crumbled feta cheese
2 tablespoons chilled basil pesto
1 tablespoon toasted pine nuts
4 bone-in pork loin chops, 1 1/4-inch thick
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1/4 teaspoon ground thyme
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C).

Mix feta cheese, basil pesto, and pine nuts in a bowl. Use the tip of a sharp boning or paring knife to cut a 3-inch slit in the side of each pork chop, 2 inches deep and 1/4-inch away from the bone, to make a pocket for stuffing. 

Stuff pork chops with pesto filling and secure with toothpicks.

Mix black pepper, oregano, garlic, red pepper flakes, and thyme in a small bowl; rub both sides of each chop with the spice mix. Place chops into a shallow baking dish.

Bake in the preheated oven until chops are browned and stuffing is hot, about 40 minutes. An instant-read meat thermometer inserted into the center of the stuffing should read 145 degrees F (63 degrees C). Brush chops with balsamic vinegar and bake until vinegar forms a glaze, another 5 minutes.

Recipe Source:  Allrecipes

Monday, September 10, 2012

Chicken Bacon Cheddar Ranch Pasta

I am all about my super fast weeknight meals lately. As of right now, we only have one car after having to sell one when we moved across the country. Having to go pick up my husband right in the middle of prime dinner-prep time has presented some problems! The crockpot and quick skillet meals have saved me lately.

This pasta was easy to put together, and the sauce is absolutely awesome! You won't be disappointed in this quick dish!

Chicken Bacon Cheddar Ranch Pasta

1 pound mostaccioli or other short pasta
6 strips of bacon, diced
1 tablespoon butter
2 boneless skinless chicken breast halves, cut into bite-size pieces
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 packet ranch dressing mix
2 cups milk
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
Salt and pepper to taste

Cook pasta according to package directions in boiling salted water; drain, return to pot, and keep warm.

Meanwhile, cook bacon in a large skillet over medium heat until crisp. Drain on paper towels. Drain all but one tablespoon of bacon drippings from the pan.

Season the chicken with salt and pepper. Add the butter to the reserved bacon drippings, then add the chicken to the same skillet. Cook until tender, no longer pink, and slightly browned.

Sprinkle the flour and ranch dressing mix over the chicken, stirring to coat evenly. Stir in the milk, and cook, stirring occasionally, until thickened and bubbly. Stir in the cheddar cheese and half of the reserved bacon; cook and stir until the cheese is melted. Taste for seasoning and adjust as needed.

Serve each plate of pasta with more bacon sprinkled over the top. Green onions would also be a delicious topping.

Recipe Source: Cassie Craves

Sunday, September 9, 2012

BBQ Burger with Secret Sauce

I have a hard time letting go of grill season.  I do.  So I will probably have a few more recipes to share that make you think summer rather than fall.  Oh well, I'll get to the fall recipes soon enough :)  This recipe in particular is a great way to fulfill your grill craving, even in the middle of the winter!

This burger is full of flavor and turned out super yummy and juicy.  The trick to these is to use an indoor grill pan, they are too fragile to head outside (your burger will probably fall through the grates of the grill.  Enjoy :)

BBQ Burger with Secret Sauce

2 lbs ground beef 85/15
sesame seed buns
1/2 cup of grated Monterrey jack cheese
1/4 cup BBQ sauce
season salt to taste
cracked black pepper
onion powder
Secret Sauce
3/4 cup of mayo
1/4 cup ketchup
1/4 cup relish
2 tablespoons worcestershire
seasoned salt

Combine the ground beef, grated cheese, bbq sauce, and seasonings. Shape patties that are about 1 inch thick.

Then it is very important to push a 1/2 inch indent into the center of the patty–this is what prevents the patty from becoming a dome. These burgers stay extra moist because the bbq sauce and cheese are mixed in with the meat.

Wait for the skillet to get super hot and then apply a very thin layer of butter to the pan. Place the patties on the pan, indent side up.

Reduce heat to medium and allow this side of the patty to cook for about 4-6 minutes, but make sure it doesn’t burn. Then flip the burger over and cook until done.

For the sauce: Combine all ingredients and whisk until well mixed. Taste and adjust ingredients to your liking.

Assemble the burgers and serve with avocado, lettuce or your choice of toppings!

Recipe Source:  Little Miss Momma

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Mediterranean Flatbreads

I am all about zucchini lately.  I have made a couple batches of Zucchini Nut Bread, had these Zucchini Sticks, ate them with my feta pork chop skillet, and one of my favorite meals, Copycat Spicy Chicken Teriyaki Rice Bowl with Rumbi Rice.  I was excited when I saw this recipe, though, because Mediterranean cuisine is my new favorite.  Especially since my favorite Mediterranean place is now thousands of miles away and I crave it constantly!

It is a great way to have a vegetarian lunch or dinner without feeling cheated of not having meat. The flavors rock, and I'm pretty sure these will make an appearance on my lunch rotation for myself a few times a week :)

  • Mediterranean Flatbreads

  • 1 package flatbread pitas (Mine were a little to thin, I'll look for thicker ones next time)
  • 1 tub of hummus
  • 1 bottle of roasted red peppers (you can find these by the pickles in your grocery store)
  • 1 bottle of artichoke hearts (also by the pickles)
  • 1 carton cherry tomatoes (left these out)
  • 2 to 3 small zucchinis
  • 1 container of crumbled goat cheese (or tomato and basil feta, or regular feta)
  • Cut the zucchini into bite size pieces and saute it in a fry pan with a tiny bit of oil, just until it begins to look cooked (you don't want it to get too soft). Then chop up the roasted red peppers and artichoke hearts into small pieces.
  • Take a flatbread pita and generously smother it with a layer of hummus (like you would pizza sauce). Top the hummus with the red peppers, artichoke hearts, zucchini, tomatoes, and then sprinkle all over with goat cheese.
  • Place the pizzas on a cookie sheet and place under the broiler until the tops of the pizzas begin to get toasted. This only take a few minutes so watch it closely!
Recipe Source:  Favorite Family Recipes