Monday, December 27, 2010

Perfect Pancakes & Buttermilk Syrup

I've been eyeballing this recipe from the Pioneer Woman for awhile. We love pancakes but not with a mix so much. I thought this recipe might be the magic recipe that I would use for the rest of my life. The other thing is the syrup. While at Primary Children's Medical Center with Natalie we heard about blueberry pancake day that is one day a week and served with a heavenly buttermilk syrup that made them something that the nurses and techs would line up to buy. We learned about this pancake day after we weren't there any more to try them but I was given the syrup recipe and have wanted to try it for a long time. I decided that on Christmas morning I would try the Pioneer Woman's Perfect Pancakes and I would make the Buttermilk Syrup to go with them. The recipes are at the end of the post.

The batter should be a little lumpy. Cook on a hot griddle until they are bubbly then flip.

I have to say these weren't as light and fluffy as I thought they would be. I am not sure they are my favorite but the men folk seemed to like them. The syrup is very yummy and makes a wonderful caramel-like sauce to serve over ice cream. MMMMM! Try this if you would like. I might make the pancakes again but I might try a different recipe or probably stick with the one I usually make. It was fun to try. Happy New Year!!!!

Recipe: Perfect Pancakes
Prep Time: 15 Minutes | Cook Time: 15 Minutes | Difficulty: Easy | Servings: 6
• 3 cups Plus 2 Tablespoons Cake Flour
• ½ teaspoons Salt
• 3 Tablespoons Baking Powder
• 2 Tablespoons Sugar
• 2 cups Milk
• 2 whole Large Eggs
• 3 teaspoons Vanilla
• 4 Tablespoons Butter
• Extra Butter
• Maple Or Pancake Syrup
Preparation Instructions
Mix together dry ingredients in large bowl.
Mix together milk, eggs, and vanilla in a separate bowl.
Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients, stirring very gently until just combined.
Melt butter and add it to the batter, stirring gently to combine.
Cook on a greased skillet over medium-low heat until golden brown. Serve with an obscene amount of butter and warm syrup.

Buttermilk Syrup
• 1-½ cup Granulated Sugar
• ¾ cups Buttermilk
• ½ cups Butter (or Margerine Works Fine)
• 2 Tablespoons Karo Syrup
• 1 teaspoon (or A Little Less) Baking Soda
• 2 teaspoons Vanilla
Preparation Instructions
Bring the first four ingredients to a boil for4 minutes, stirring constantly.
Turn off heat and add soda. Mixture will bubble up so you may want to do this over the sink if your pot is shallow.
Stir in vanilla and enjoy warm

Saturday, December 11, 2010

English Toffee

I have always wanted to make English Toffee. It really is very easy. All you need is a few ingredients and a candy thermometer that works. If you don't have a candy thermometer you can always use the cold water in a bowl method. My thermometer was broken when I tested it today so I went with the cold water test. Also with toffee you can kind of tell with your eyes. I kept watching the timer because the recipe said it takes about 10 minutes but I let it go a little too long (only cooked it about 7 minutes). It's not burned but tastes like it would have been in about 1 second of more cooking. Watch it. You can tell when it's the color of toffee then it's done. Good luck. Kitchen Kneads here I come for a decent candy thermometer:)

This recipe doesn't have many ingredients.

Make sure you butter the pan with quite a bit of butter. The recipe calls for pecans to mixed into it before you pour it into the pan but I have kids who don't like nuts so I just layered some chopped pecans on half of the pan.

As the butter and sugar begin to bubble make sure you stir constantly. It will scorch on the bottom if you don't.

I spread the top of the toffee with mile chocolate chips and waited until they softened. Spread it over the top with a spatula. I sprinkled chopped pecans over the half that has pecans in it. I decided it would be fun to get funky so I melted some white chocolate melts and with a fork worked a little magic. Kind of fun!

Yummy and so so easy! This just screams holidays. Enjoy :0)

1 c. granulated sugar
1/2 lb. butter
3 tbsp. water
1 tsp. vanilla
3/4 c. pecans
Mix well and cook until brown (about 10 minutes). Stir continually. It may take longer depending on how high the heat is. If it separates, keep on boiling and it will mix back together again. It must be brown. Put in 3/4 cup of chopped pecans. Pour into buttered pan. Lay 4 small Hershey's bars across the hot mass and spread. Sprinkle nuts on top, if desired. Cool and break into pieces

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Pumpkin Caramel Cheesecake

I had to try one more pumpkin recipe before November ended. I have been eyeing this recipe for a long time. I really did make it in November but didn't try it until today. I'm glad that I made it. I probably will make it again next year, but for now I will leaven pumpkin and spice behind for peppermint and chocolate. I followed the recipe with a couple of exceptions. I didn't use the caramel sauce or pecans in it because I have some fussy eaters. Instead, I put the caramel sauce and the pecans on top at serving time so everyone can have their way and be happy.

Most of the ingredients.

Use store bought ginger snaps and crush them in a food processor if you have one. Add the brown sugar and melted butter and mix together . Dump into a 10 inch spring form pan and pat down evenly along the bottom and a little up the sides of the pan. Put in the refrigerator to chill while you make the filling.

Mix the four packages of cream cheese and the sugar together and mix until creamy!

Add the pumpkin and spices to the cream cheese and mix well.

Add the eggs one at a time and mix well after each.

Add the cream at the end and mix just until incorporated! (I know, big words)

Into the Crust

Spread mixture evenly in the pan. I used a cookie sheet under the spring form and I'm glad I did. Some of the butter leaked out and would have made a huge mess (probably a fire) in the oven. Don't forget your cookie sheet:)

Just out of the oven. Let it cool a bit on the countertop and then add more of the caramel sauce to top it off and chill. Chill at least 4 hours.

Makes a pretty dessert on a pretty plate.

LOVE this cheesecake-not to spicy-not too pumpkin-y! JUST RIGHT!!! mmmmm:)

Recipe: PW’s Caramel Pumpkin Pecan Gingersnap Cheesecake
• 12 ounces, weight Storebought Gingersnaps
• ½ cups Chopped Pecans
• 6 Tablespoons Butter, Melted
• 2 Tablespoons Brown Sugar
• 1 dash Salt
• _____
• Filling
• 4 packages (8 0z. Packages) Cream Cheese
• 1-½ cup Sugar
• 1 can 15-ounce Pumpkin Puree (NOT Pumpkin Pie Filling)
• 1 teaspoon Ground Cinnamon
• 1 teaspoon Allspice
• ½ teaspoons Nutmeg
• 4 whole Eggs
• 2 Tablespoons Heavy Cream
• 1 jar (about 12 Oz.) Caramel Topping
• Extra Chopped Pecans
• Extra Crushed Gingersnaps
Preparation Instructions
For crust:
In a food processor (or large ziploc bag) crush gingersnps. Add chopped pecans, melted butter, brown sugar, and salt, and pulse (or mix) until thoroughly combined. Press into bottom and sides of a 10-inch springform pan. Chill for 20-30 minutes.
For filling:
In a mixing bowl, beat cream cheese and sugar until light and fluffy. Add pumpkin and spices and mix again. Add eggs one at a time, mixing for 20 seconds between each addition. Add cream and mix until just combined.
Remove crust from fridge. Pour 1/2 jar of caramel topping on crust. (This can be omitted. See note below.) Sprinkle caramel with chopped pecans. Gently pour cheesecake filling into pan. Even out the top with a flat spatula.
Bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour 15 minutes, or until no longer soupy. Cheesecake should still be somewhat jiggly.
Cool on counter for 30 minutes. After 30 minutes, pour the rest of the caramel topping over the top. Smooth with a flat spatula until evenly smooth. Cover and chill cheesecake for another four hours or overnight.
When ready to serve, remove rim from pan and slice. Sprinkle each slice with extra crushed gingersnaps.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Pumpkin Doughnut Muffins

These little muffins remind me of a family favorite called French Breakfast Puffs. They are like a donut in muffin form and are rolled in melted butter and cinnamon and sugar. When I saw this recipe I just had to try it. I like it-not as much as French Breakfast Puffs, but it's good. These would be good for anytime but really good for breakfast. I hope you try them out. They are pretty easy. The recipe says it will make 12 but I got 15 out of one batch.

Most of the main ingredients.

Cream the butter and sugar and egg together with the vanilla and then add the pumpkin.

Mix alternately with the milk and the dry ingredients. Don't beat too much:)

Drop by spoonsful into greased muffin tins. Don't use cupcake liners!

Roll them while they are warm in melted butter and then in a mixture of sugar, cinnamon, cloves and nutmeg.


These are actually really good and would be wonderufl with a cup of hot cocoa or cider if you like that stuff. Otherwise, just gobble them up and ask for more. Happy Thanksgiving everyone.

Pumpkin Doughnut Muffins
• 1-½ cup All-purpose Flour
• 1-½ teaspoon Baking Powder
• 1 teaspoon Pumpkin Pie Spice
• ½ teaspoons Salt
• ½ cups Sugar
• 1 stick Butter
• 1 whole Egg
• 1 cup Canned Pumpkin (not Pie Filling)
• 1 teaspoon Vanilla
• ½ cups Milk
• ½ cups Sugar
• 1 teaspoon Pumpkin Pie Spice
• 1 teaspoon Cinnamon
• 1 stick Butter, Melted
Preparation Instructions
In a mixing bowl, stir together flour, baking powder, 1 teaspoon of pumpkin pie spice, and salt; set aside.
In a separate bowl, cream together 1/2 cup sugar, butter and egg. Mix in pumpkin and vanilla.
Add flour mixture and milk alternately to the creamed mixture, beating well.
Fill 12 greased muffin cups 2/3 full (don’t use paper baking cup liners). Bake at 350F for 20 to 25 minutes or until golden brown.
Combine 1/2 cup sugar, 1 teaspoon of pumpkin pie spice and cinnamon. While muffins are still hot out of the oven, submerge in melted butter, and then roll in sugar ‘n spice mixture until coated. Serve warm

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Roll Out Cookies

I absolutely love these cookies. Our family does not call them sugar cookies like most families do, we call them Roll Out cookies because, you know, you roll them out. My mother who was a wonderful cook gave me this recipe and she got it from her mother who got it from her mother. Yep, it's been in our family for generations. I claim it! It's mine and few dozen other family members. We are glad to share but just remember, they are Roll Out cookies NOT sugar cookies:)

This dough is so easy to work with and so yummy. If you are a dough eater, try something. For some reason, the dough that has not been rolled out tastes different than the dough that has been worked. Try it and see if it's in my head or not. The rolled dough is sweeter!

Roll out the dough not too thick but not too thin. I usually roll them a little thinner than a quarter inch-give or take!

These cookies are wonderful anytime of year but I have to say that frosted orange as a jack-o-lantern or green as a Christmas tree makes them taste best of all!

The recipe says to bake for 7 minutes. I adjusted the recipe to that time because if you bake them too long, they are just hard. Depending on your oven you might need to adjust the time too. I bake them so they look not browned on top and sides and barely brown on the bottom. What ever your oven bakes like, DO NOT overbake!!!:)

These cookies are fun for fat little hands and fingers to decorate. The best part is licking the knife with the frosting on.


These cookies are just about the best thing I have ever eaten. They make any and all holidays special. We all love them and I think after you try them you will love them too. Happy Halloween!!!

Roll Out Cookies

1 cup shortening 7 cups flour
2 cups sugar 2 tsp. soda
2 eggs 4 tsp. baking powder
1 cup milk 2 tsp salt
2 tsp. vanilla

Cream the shortening and sugar together and then add eggs one at a time beating well after each. Add the milk alternately with the dry ingredients stirring that last 3 cups of flour into the dough with a spoon. Roll out and cut into shapes. Bake at 350* for 7 minutes. Do Not Over bake. Frost and enjoy!

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Bread and Trifle:)

I decided to try this recipe so I could try the trifle recipe that I posted below. It is good. I might have baked it a little too long because the edges are a little hard. It's good though and it worked well in the trifle.

Here are the ingredients. It actually worked up really fast. You just throw all the wet ingredients into the bowl and mix and then add the dry ingredients. Easy!

It makes three large loaves!

This bread actually is very good. It is a little dense but I like it that way. You could make it without the chocolate chips but I love pumpkin and chocolate together. You can eat it plain or make it into something more wonderful like the pumpkin bread trifle recipe below. Have fun:)

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Bread

• 3 cups white sugar
• 1 (15 ounce) can pumpkin puree
• 1 cup vegetable oil
• 2/3 cup water
• 4 eggs
• 3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
• 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
• 1 tablespoon ground nutmeg
• 2 teaspoons baking soda
• 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
• 1 cup miniature semisweet chocolate chips
• 1/2 cup chopped walnuts (optional)
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease and flour three 1 pound size coffee cans, or three 9x5 inch loaf pans.
2. In a large bowl, combine sugar, pumpkin, oil, water, and eggs. Beat until smooth. Blend in flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, baking soda, and salt. Fold in chocolate chips and nuts. Fill cans 1/2 to 3/4 full.
3. Bake for 1 hour, or until an inserted knife comes out clean. Cool on wire racks before removing from cans or pans.


I saw this little Trifle on Studio 5 and thought, "umm, maybe I should give it a try", so here it is. It is super easy and so yummy. It just screams autumn:) It is very rich so be careful. I think you could use any pumpkin bread or cake but I just went ahead and used the bread that I had made. I hope you take the time to try it. Good Luck!

Pumpkin Bread Trifle

• 1 loaf Pumpkin bread, cubed
• Caramel ice cream topping
• Toffee bits
• 1 qt. heavy whipping cream beaten with 1 ½ c. brown sugar and 1 tsp. vanilla

Create trifle by layering above ingredients. Start by placing half of the pumpkin bread cubes in the bottom of the trifle dish. Drizzle caramel sauce over the pumpkin bread. Next, sprinkle toffee bits over the bread and caramel. Spread a generous layer of the whipped topping over the pumpkin bread. Repeat all of the above for the second layer. Garnish as desired

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Pasta e Fagioli

I love soup. Natalie loved soup. This is a recipe that is supposedly close to Olive Garden's Pasta E Fagioli. It is super easy and the recipe says to use a crock pot. That will be wonderful on a cold snowy day but I didn't put that much fore thought into my menu today so I just made the exact same recipe on the stove top and it worked like a dream. Needless to say this recipe is just YUM!

Most of the ingredients I had in my food storage. I did have to buy a can a white beans but everything (except the onion, carrots, & celery) else came from my freezer and off my shelves. That is so cool!

After I browned the burger, (You might want to use more than the recipe calls for if you or those you live with are carnivores)I did as Rachel Ray says, put all the ingredients into the hottub and let them cook until the carrots and celery were almost tender. Then I added the pasta. I also added a little more pasta and a little water to off set the absorption. I didn't have any Tabasco sauce so I sprinkled in a very small amount (not even 1/8 tsp) of Cayenne pepper.

This soup is amazing and so so easy. I topped it off with shredded parmesean cheese and served it with biscuits. I would use French Bread or better yet, garlic bread next time. I will make this recipe again and again. It has become one of my new favorites in just one taste. I think it would be great in the crock pot but it worked just great on the stovetop. I hope you will try it and let us know if you like it or not.

Pasta Fagioli

--1 pound lean ground beef, browned and drained
--1/2 large red onion, chopped
--1 cup carrots, chopped
--2 celery stalks, sliced
--2 cans (14.5 oz) diced tomatoes (and juice)
--1 can kidney beans, drained and rinsed
--1 can white beans, drained and rinsed
--4 cups beef broth (check label for gluten!)
--1 jar (16.5 oz) pasta sauce
--2 tsp oregano
--1 T Tabasco sauce
--1/2 tsp salt
--1/4 tsp black pepper
--1/2 cup dry pasta, to add at end of cooking time (I used TJ's brown rice fusilli)

The Directions.

Use a 6 quart or larger crockpot, or cut the recipe in half. This makes a lot.

Brown the meat on the stovetop, and drain well. Let it cool a bit.

Chop up the carrots, onion, and celery. Add it to the empty crockpot.
Drain and rinse the beans, and add them. Add the whole cans of tomatoes, and the pasta sauce. Add the beef broth. Add the salt, pepper, oregano, and Tobasco sauce. Stir in your meat.

Cover and cook on low for 8 hours, or high for 4. When the vegetables are tender, stir in the 1/2 cup of dry pasta.

Cover and cook for another hour on low, or until the pasta is tender. It will swell quite a bit.

Serve with a bit of parmesan cheese if you have it