Thursday, September 25, 2014

Pumpkin Spice Pancakes

I'll admit -- I'm just as much a sucker for pumpkin things as the next person, come sweater season, but my favorite way to indulge is through sweet things cooked and baked in my kitchen. These scrumptious pancakes are no exception. 

A delightfully easy autumn breakfast, these can be whipped up in 5 minutes flat (minus the cooking time). Bonus: This recipe works equally well with cooked sweet potatoes.

Pumpkin Pancakes

1 1/2 c. flour (all-purpose, whole wheat or a combo)
3 1/2 t. baking powder
1 t. salt
1/2 t. nutmeg
1 1/4 c. cooked pumpkin
2 eggs, beaten
1 1/2 c. milk
1/4 c. butter, melted

Mix together dry ingredients in a large bowl. Using a whisk, stir wet ingredients into dry until they are dissolved into the wet. Batter will be lumpy. 
Drop 1/4 c. full of batter onto greased skillet. Flip over when you begin to notice edges solidifying. (They don't tend to get bubbly like regular pancakes.) Remove after about 1 minute on second side.

Don't forget to drizzle with a bit of warm maple syrup or a dollop of peanut butter!

Friday, September 19, 2014

Crockpot Tri Tip

My brother, Gabe, knows how to create a good, heartwarming meal. We invited him and his girlfriend over for dinner last week and it seemed fitting to celebrate his birthday as it was only a few days before.

I asked him what he wanted to eat and he unhesitatingly requested tri-tip. And, of course, a little bacon jalapeno mac and cheese and sesame green beans on the side, finished off with a pumpkin pie. (You can't get more comfort food-esque than this, folks!)

I'm no pro on the BBQ but we wouldn't let that stop of us from enjoying a juicy piece of red meat.

Crockpot to the rescue! We had such great success that we may never place one on the grill again. It melted apart.

So easy to do, it is definitely a necessity for your autumn dinner repertoire.

Crockpot Tri Tip

2-3 lb. tri tip sirloin
2 c. beef broth
2 T. Worcestershire sauce
a few dashes of Tabasco
about 2 t. steak seasoning (enough to thoroughly cover the top of the roast)

Fill the crockpot with the beef broth, Worcestershire sauce, and Tabasco. Place sirloin into crockpot. Sprinkle steak seasoning liberally over the top. Cook on low for 8 hours (or 4 on high).

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Apple Galette

Evey and I stepped out of the car to wander into the shop of a local orchard to pick up some apples and any other delectable pieces of fruit we could find. We were immediately caught off guard by the delicious smell of cinnamon and spice wafting from the kitchen. This particular place knows how to draw their customers. When sweet smells of the season hit my nose, I cannot walk away.

It took everything in my will power not to purchase one of their pies hot off the shelf. They prominently display them in the bakery window where you can easily see the warm steam rising off their golden crust and smell the treasure hidden within.

I wanted to wait and enjoy one alongside my husband. So, as dinner cooked in the oven, I quickly whipped up this galette. Perfect when you're pressed for time (due to a lovely toddler who is pulling every last thing out of every cupboard and off every shelf...or for any other reason). Easier than apple pie (which is pretty easy), roll your dough out into a circle, fashion your sweetened and spiced apples in the middle, and roll up the edges. Prep is about 20 minutes flat from start to finish.

Apple Galette

3-4 large apples, peeled, cored and sliced
3 T. brown sugar (or more, if you like)
1 t. cinnamon
half a lemon

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Mix apples with brown sugar, cinnamon, and juice of the half lemon. Let it sit and mingle while you prepare your crust.

For crust:
1 1/2 c. flour (I used all-purpose, but whole wheat would be great too.)
1 T. sugar
1/4 t. salt
8 T. cold, unsalted butter
1/2 c. or so of ice cold water

Place all dry ingredients into a bowl and mix together. Cut butter into dough and mix together with your fingers until chunks are about pea size. Mix water in by the tablespoon, until there is just enough to hold dough together. Try not to overmix. 

Place some flour on your work surface, and roll your dough out to about 12 inches in diameter. Place dough onto a baking sheet by rolling it carefully onto your pin and unrolling it onto the sheet.

Arrange apple mixture onto the middle of the dough, allowing about one inch around the perimeter of the dough for folding. Once you've artistically arranged your apples ;), fold and pinch the dough around the apples. 

Cook in the oven for about 45 minutes, until crust is a golden brown. (Check after 30 minutes and place foil on top if apples are beginning to brown.)

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Summer Reading : Cookbook-Style

The theme of the adult summer reading program at our local library this year is Reading is SOOOOO Delicious -- a theme I can always get on board with.

My average check-out per week is somewhere in the range of 10-15 books. Although I could try and claim many of them are for my daughter, truth is, the majority are definitely mine. And always heavy in the food category. Big surprise there. Hey, I'm just trying to follow the summer prompt! ;)

We've been attempting to do a little cleaner eating around here {which I hope to blog about at some point in the near future} so I've been snatching up cookbooks that will aid us in that department.

A great find has been Homemade with Love: Simple Scratch Cooking from In Jennie's Kitchen by Jennifer Perillo. As of yet, I haven't made any of the recipes, but I have several in queue for meals this week. {Including those mouth-watering lemon buttermilk donuts on the cover!} I've been itching to try my hand at homemade pizza dough, and she's got a recipe in here that seems rather foolproof. Also, the chicken pot pie with drop biscuits is sure to lift my husband's spirits at the end of a long day. {And we've been having too many of those lately.} Jennie's wholesome meals are easy for the most amateur of cooks and budget-friendly.

Another unexpected, great find has been Gwenyth Paltrow's It's All Good. I didn't expect to be learning some fantastic cooking tips from an actress, but good ideas come often in unexpected places. ;) The photography for her book is rather beautiful as well. There is a photo nestled in there of her cooking a whole fish over a campfire. It looks absolutely amazing. I told my husband that I wanted to cook that fish and I wanted to cook it just like that, in that exact setting. Anyone have a beach we could borrow for an evening?

We're not vegetarian but we're loving every recipe we've tried from Heidi Swanson's Super Natural Every Day. A Bay area blogger, she has the benefit of great farmers' markets, but even without that selection, she makes it easy-peasy with various substitutions in every recipe. We've done her tortellini dish about half a dozen times, but with a different variety of fresh veggies and nuts each time. So adaptable. Her baked oatmeal has been on the breakfast table a few times too, again with different fruits and nuts every time. I'm inches away from making a purchase for our permanent collection of this one. 

Is your summer reading list cookbook-heavy too? Please share some of your current favorites!!

Friday, July 26, 2013

Happy Distractions.

Unfortunately (or fortunately, depending on how you look at it ;)), I'm not able to give the same attention to this blog as I used to. There is a little person who has absolutely captured my attention and heart, and she requires most of my time these days. I hope to get more posts up on here in the near future (I would like to shoot for once a week), but I'm not promising anything....

If you'd like to follow our family adventures, I'm posting over at, our family's little piece of the Internets. Would love to have you follow!

And if you have any recipes you'd like to see posted on here in the future, please comment below!! :)