Quick Tip #4.24.16

Pumpkin Pancakes

Love to make pancakes from scratch?  I most certainly do!  However, when you put the leftovers in the refrigerator and reheat them the next day, they don’t keep their moisture.  It’s like when you try to reheat something like say….french fries???… YUCK!!!  Well, here’s a tip I use every time I have leftover pancakes.

Allow the pancakes to cool to room temperature.  Grab a gallon size resealable bag.  Layer the pancakes like the photo below.  Get as much air out of the bag a possible. Seal the bag and place on a flat surface in the freezer.  Then, when you want a couple pancakes, pull out as many as you like.  Place them on a microwave-safe place and reheat on 50% power for 3-5 minutes, varying from microwave to microwave.  Start with three minutes.  If they are still cool in the middle, move them around so that different parts of each pancake overlap.  Reheat in increments of one minute at a time until warmed through.  Enjoy!

Frozen pancakes

 

 

Phat Pumpkin Pancakes

Looking for something to make for Sunday breakfast?  Why not mix it up and serve a “fall” pancake to remind you why you appreciate spring!  Even though pumpkin is a traditional fall ingredient, it’s great anytime of the year.

So, here I go again..using up some of that delicious pumpkin I froze last fall.  I have to admit that this is not my original recipe (credit: Allrecipes.com).  However, as any good cook does, I modified it to my liking and taste.  These pancakes rose like no other before them.  I was THRILLED with the rise, texture and taste.  I hope you enjoy them as much as I did!

Pumpkin Pancakes

INGREDIENTS:

1 1/2 cups milk

1 cup pumpkin puree

1 egg

2 tbsp canola oil

2 tbsp apple cider vinegar

2 cup unbleached all-purpose flour

3 tbsp light brown sugar

2 tsp baking powder

1 tsp baking soda

1 tsp ground cinnamon

1/4 tsp ground ginger

1/4 tsp ground nutmeg

1/4 tsp ground cloves

1/2 tsp salt

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Preheat a griddle to medium high heat.
  2. In a medium bowl mix together the wet ingredients.
  3. In a separate medium bowl whisk together the dry ingredients.
  4. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and mix until just combined.
  5. Lightly oil griddle.
  6. Ladle approximately 1/4 cup of batter onto the griddle for each pancake.
  7. Once the edges bubble and steam is coming through the cakes, turn and continue to brown until done.
  8. Serve with butter and real maple syrup.
  9. *Optional:  serve with sliced bananas and chopped toasted pecans.

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Scones

20160408_181908Okay, so it might just seem as though I’m on a bit of a scone kick lately.  That may very well be true, but this time I was going through the freezer trying to use up some of the stuff from last summer’s garden.  Spring is managing to squeeze in a warm day here and there and today was no exception.  It was a balmy 54 degrees and sunny!  Impressive for April in mid-Maine!  But, I digress.  So, spring makes me think of spring cleaning….cleaning out the freezer… ahhh, and there I find some pumpkin I cooked, processed, and froze last fall.

Some things you just know go well together…. peaches and cream, strawberries and rhubarb, chocolate and peanut butter, Bert and Ernie…(clearing my throat), okay so that one doesn’t really fit in, but it’s funny…..right?!  To my pleasant surprise pumpkin and chocolate are also a match made in heaven.  If this is news to you, then  you haven’t made my Pumpkin Cheesecake with Chocolate Crust.

Excuse me?  You haven’t made my cheesecake yet?  WHAT?!  Okay, okay…I know cheesecake is a little ambitious for some.  This recipe is pretty straight forward and pretty darn delicious, too!  So, no excuses this time….chocolate….pumpkin…..yes, you too can do this!20160408_175135

INGREDIENTS:

2 3/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour

1/3 cup granulated sugar

1 tbsp baking powder

1 tsp ground cinnamon

1/8 tsp ground ginger

1/8 tsp ground nutmeg

1/8 tsp ground cloves

1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, chilled

1 1/2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips

1 cup canned pumpkin

2 large eggs, room temperature

1 tsp pure vanilla extract

1/4 cup heavy cream (or milk)

turbinado sugar20160408_175120

DIRECTIONS:

  1. In a medium bowl combine all the dry ingredients
  2. Cut in the butter with a butter cutter until butter looks like course crumbles
  3. Stir in chocolate chips
  4. In a small bowl, whisk together pumpkin, eggs and vanilla extract
  5. Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients, stirring until it forms a slightly wet dough.
  6. Pour dough onto floured surface, divide in half and form into two disks or circles about an inch thick.
  7. Place disks on a parchment-paper lined baking sheet.
  8. Brush tops of disks with heavy cream, sprinkle with turbinado sugar and place in freezer for 30 minutes.
  9. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
  10. Remove baking sheet from freezer and cut each disk into 6 to 8 wedges, separating each wedge by about 1/2 inch.
  11. Serve warm.  Once cooled, place in airtight container and freeze for up to one month.  Using the “timed defrost” feature on the microwave, set timer for 2 minutes 30 seconds to 3 minutes, depending on microwave, remove and serve warm.  The scones will taste like they just came out of the oven!20160408_181846

 

*I used pumpkin from our garden, which is lighter in color.  So, if you used canned pumpkin from the grocery store it will have a deeper orange color.

Bruiseberry Cobbler

cobbler2The first time I made this delectable delight, it was still warm from the oven and we scooped our favorite vanilla bean ice cream over the top.  It was divine!  I came up with the idea after making an almost-as-delicious peach cobbler.  So, with that said, the actual crumble is the key to cobbler heaven…the fruit choice is ALL YOURS!  Dare to dream!  Peaches and blueberries, strawberries and nectarines, it’s up to your own vast imagination. 

The most important thing to remember when making a cobbler is, when rinsing your fruit be sure to allow it sufficient drying time; otherwise, your fruit may be a bit soggy.  Now some cobbler connoisseurs find this to be the “bees knees”, as it creates its own drizzle, but that’s a personal choice.  I’m still “on the fence” with that one.  I like it both ways, but the liquid in the bottom side-of-the-fence works over my tendency towards perfectionism….given its “sloppy” appearance.  That’s a discussion for another day, of course! LOL  So, play around with it and see what your preference is….sharing results is desired!  So, come back and comment with your results!

Ingredients:

2 cups (1 pint) fresh blueberries

2 cups (1 pint) fresh blackberries

1 1/4 cups granulated sugar, separated

1 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour

1/2 tsp salt

1 1/2 tsp baking powder

2/3 cup unsalted butter

1 egg, lightly beaten

Directions:

1. Place fruit in bottom of deep baking dish with 1/4 cup of sugar and gently mix.

2. In a medium bowl, mix together all the dry ingredients.

3. Cut butter into the dry ingredients.

4. Add in egg and gently mix into a crumble.

5. Gently and evenly spread over fruit, being sure to cover ALL the fruit.

6. Bake in a preheated 375 degree F oven for 35-40 minutes until golden brown.cobbler

Ukranian Babka Bread

Thought it appropriate to go back in time, four years ago, and share this awesome recipe yet again!  If you are one to keep traditions or are looking to make new ones, this is a shoe-in for Easter.  Now I know, I know Easter is practically over as it is almost midnight here, but it’s worth the time to make this holiday sweet bread sometime in the very near future….say NOW!  LOL  Okay, so that’s probably a little unreasonable…but, wait…not if you’re reading this say in….California….or Hawaii…..hmmm.  Getting back on topic! LOL  Read on my blog-reading friends and let me know how this one turns out!  I LOVE feedback, so be sure and comment!!  Feedback tells me if I’m making what interests not only me, but my followers… wherever you are..out there….in internet….land………LOL

This Easter weekend I made this wonderfully delicious, genetically pre-disposed recipe for the first time.  Okay, I guess I’ve watched too much Big Bang Theory!!! (genetically pre-disposed?????  really???? LOL)  My father’s father’s parents were from the Ukraine and Belarus; so, it’s only fitting that I would choose this recipe over say, the Polish version.  Although, if you were to ask my grandmother, may she rest in peace, she would’ve said we have some Polish in us also; but, that is a discussion for another day. Babka is a slightly sweet Ukrainian breakfast bread made on Easter morning, to “celebrate the rising of Christ”*.  Now ironically, in Belarus, Babka refers to a potato dish; so, I’ll have to investigate that further and try that one out in the future!  Ukrainian Babka Bread falls somewhere between cinnamon roll dough and coffee cake.  All I can say is it is well worth the wait, as it has to rise for a total of three hours.  Are you running in the other direction yet?!  Don’t let the rise time scare you!  Making the actual dough is no more difficult than making cinnamon rolls or coffee cake.

Babka Bread

1/2 cup warm water (approx. 110 degrees F)

2 packages (4 1/2 tsp) dry yeast

1/2 cup scalded milk

3/4 cup granulated sugar

3/4 cup melted butter/margarineSweet Easter!

1 tsp pure vanilla extract

1/4 tsp cinnamon

1 tsp salt

2 tbsp grated orange zest

3 eggs

6 cups unbleached all-purpose flour

1 small box raisins (1/2 cup)

vegetable shortening

1 cup confectioners sugar

1/2 tsp almond extract

1/2 tsp vanilla extract

4 tbsp fresh orange juice

In a small sauce pan over medium heat, bring the milk to just a low simmer.   Remove from heat and add butter/margarine to milk, allowing it to melt.  In a separate cup/bowl, mix together the warm water and yeast, allowing it to activate for 5-10 minutes.  It will foam on top, when fully activated.  In a large bowl, mix sugar, cinnamon, salt, orange zest and milk (with butter/margarine).  Cool mixture for about 10 minutes.  Once cool enough to touch, add vanilla extract, eggs an raisins to large bowl, followed by activated yeast.  Add four of the six cups of flour.  If the dough is sticky and not formed, add a fifth cup of flour. 

On a flat surface, spread 1/2 cup of flour in a circle.  Dump dough onto floured surface and knead.  Fold surface flour into dough while kneading for at least five minutes.   If dough feels sticky, add more flour throughout the kneading process, until it no longer sticks to the surface or your hands.    Shape dough into a ball, folding the creases under the ball, leaving a smooth surface on top.  Place in a well-greased bowl, creases down; then, lightly grease dough and cover with a towel.  Place in a warm draft-free place and allow to rise for two hours or until doubled in size.  Once risen, punch dough one or two times, divide into two pieces.  Shape dough and place into greased baking pans, either loaf or fluted pans work well.  Allow dough to rise again, doubling once more, about one hour. 

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Bake bread for 40-45 minutes, until golden brown and pulling away from sides of pan.  Remove and cool for 10 minutes.  Remove from pans and place on cooling rack.  In a small bowl, mix confectioners sugar, both extracts and orange juice.  Drizzle over bread and allow to rest another 10 minutes; then, serve warm.

* definition source, Wikipedia

Traditional Oat Scones

20160318_191834After making the Orange Scones, I got on a kick!  I made more scones!  These little guys are great with coffee, tea or milk and it’s your choice if you like them with or without jam or preserves.  They are great for breakfast or a morning snack. The oats add a nice texture and give a little extra “energy” to the day.

Ingredients:

2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour

2 cups old fashioned oats

1 tsp salt

4 tsp baking powder

4 tbsp granulated sugar

t tsp pure vanilla extract

1/2 cup butter (1 stick)

1 cup milk

1/4 cup heavy cream

1/4 cup turbinado sugar20160318_184716

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F

2. Mix together all the dry ingredients in a medium bowl.

3. Cut butter into small cubes, then cut in the butter with a pastry cutter.

4. Add extract to milk.  Slowly pour in milk while mixing dough with fork.

5. Mix until dough sticks together.

6. On a floured surface, pat the dough into a round, about 3/4 of an inch thick.

7.  Cut into wedges and lay on a parchment-lined baking sheet.

8. Brush with heavy cream and sprinkle with turbinado sugar.

9. Bake for 15 minutes, or until golden brown.20160318_18473220160318_191734

 

Recipe Rescue: Raspberry Cream Coissants

When “they” show up unannounced and you need something to serve with coffee,  tea, and “me”,  here’s a quick and easy save! The idea for these little gems ca…

Source: Recipe Rescue: Raspberry Cream Coissants

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