Sweet Apple Pancakes with Cider Syrup

Apple Pancakes with Cider Syrup

 

SWEET APPLE PANCAKES WITH CIDER SYRUP

Yields | 6 servings

Inspiration | Taste of Home

 

For the pancakes:

  • 2 cups complete pancake mix
  • 1-1/2 cups water
  • 3/4 cup grated apple
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

For the syrup:

  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 cup apple cider or juice
  • 2 tablespoons butter, cubed
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice

 

  1. In a small bowl, stir the pancake mix, water, apple and cinnamon just until moistened.
  2. Pour batter by 1/4 cupfuls onto a greased hot griddle; turn when bubbles form on top. Cook until second side is golden brown.
  3. Meanwhile, for syrup, in a small saucepan, combine the sugar, cornstarch, cinnamon and nutmeg. Stir in cider until smooth. Cook and stir over medium-high heat until thickened and bubbly, about 5 minutes. Reduce heat to low; cook and stir 2 minutes longer. Stir in butter and lemon juice. Serve with pancakes.

 

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Pumpkin Bread

Pumpkin Bread

 

This recipe for ‘Downeast Maine Pumpkin Bread’ is from allrecipes.com, and really IS worth every 6000+ 5-star review it’s received. I’ve included two versions of the recipe below: one to the (almost) exact specifications of the original, and one lighter version. Both create a soft, moist, amazingly yummy bread that rivals any bakery or cafe loaf.

Please note that these recipes make three 7×3-inch loaves. Both versions freeze quite well – so by all means make a full batch if you’d like – or cut the ingredients in half or into thirds. These also make fantastic muffins, served with a dusting of confectioner’s sugar or cream cheese icing. Or, throw in raisins, chopped walnuts or chocolate for an even richer loaf or muffin. Enjoy!

 

PUMPKIN BREAD (ORIGINAL VERSION)

Yields | 3 3×7-inch loaves

Inspiration | AllRecipes.com

  • 15 ounces pumpkin puree
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 2/3 cup water
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 cup light brown sugar
  • 2 cups caster sugar
  • 3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp ground cloves
  • 1/4 tsp ground ginger
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit/175 degrees Celsius. Butter three 7×3-inch loaf pans; set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, mix together pumpkin, eggs, vanilla extract, oil, water and sugars until well blended. In a separate bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves and ginger. Stir the dry ingredients into the pumpkin mixture until just blended. Pour into the prepared pans.
  3. Bake for 50 minutes to 1 hour in pre-heated oven, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of each loaf comes out clean.
  4. Cool in pan for 10 to 15 minutes, then invert onto a wire rack, remove pan, and cool thoroughly.

 

PUMPKIN BREAD (LIGHTER VERSION)

Yields | 3 7×3-inch loaves

  • 15 ounces pumpkin puree
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup sweetened applesauce
  • 1 cup light brown sugar
  • 1 cup caster sugar
  • 3 1/2 cups all-purpose or whole wheat white flour
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp ground cloves
  • 1/2 tsp ground ginger
  1. Follow instructions for original version above.

Baked Parmesan Zucchini Fries

Baked Parmesan Zucchini Fries

 

Every once in a blue moon, my baking takes a decidedly healthy turn – and boy oh boy, am I glad it did today! These baked zucchini “fries” are so crispy and flavorful, I would gladly eat them in place of the potato variety (and that’s really saying something, considering my deep love of all things potato!). They’re a great vegetable option for finicky kids, picky spouses, or those looking to shed fat and calories without sacrificing great taste. I ate every bit of cheesy breading that ended up on the aluminum foil after baking, and I bet you will too – enjoy!

TIP: The key to crisp “fries” in this recipe – and in others using vegetables with high water content, such as squash, eggplant, or cucumbers – is disgorging (or degorging). This involves sprinkling the sliced surface of the zucchini with salt, waiting approximately 15-20 minutes, then rinsing and patting dry. The salt causes the excess water inside the zucchini to expel through osmosis, thus preventing sogginess in the final product. Don’t forget the rinse and pat dry, however, to avoid needlessly salty “fries”!

 

BAKED PARMESAN ZUCCHINI FRIES

Yields | 4 servings

Inspiration | Food.com

 

  • 4 small fresh zucchini, quartered lengthwise
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/3 cup seasoned breadcrumbs
  • 1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • Pinch of cayenne pepper (optional)
  • 1 egg, beaten

 

  1. To disgorge zucchini, sprinkle sliced surface liberally with salt. Wait 15 minutes, then rinse with water and pat dry. Set aside.
  2. Preheat oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit (230 degrees Celsius).
  3. In a bowl, combine bread crumbs, cheese, garlic, and cayenne pepper (if using).
  4. Dip zucchini strips into egg, then into crumb mixture. Place on baking sheet coated with nonstick cooking spray.
  5. Bake in preheated oven for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown and tender. Serve with ranch or honey mustard dressing.

 

 

Baked Chicken Bacon Pumpkin Pasta

Baked Chicken Bacon Pumpkin Pasta

 

BREAKING NEWS Y’ALL: it’s pumpkin season!!

You didn’t know, right? Well, it IS kind of a secret. It’s not like you’ve been getting pummeled with all things pumpkin-flavored, pumpkin-scented, and pumpkin-hued since August, yea? Did anyone even bother to tell you it was FALL?!

Truth be told, I like pumpkin. In fact, I f___ing love pumpkin. I haven’t met a pumpkin recipe I don’t like, and eagerly await Fall each and every year so I can go cray on the pumpkin baking. Pumpkin pie. Pumpkin doughnuts. Pumpkin custard. Pumpkin cookies. Pumpkin cheesecake. Pumpkined pumpkin, with pumpkin. I want it all.

It might therefore come as a bit of a surprise that – before this week – I had only once tried my hand at a savory pumpkin dish. Why waste perfectly good pureed pumpkin on something that isn’t, well, filled with equal parts sugary deliciousness and creamy yummosity? Because, my friends, sometimes perfectly good pureed pumpkin can be mixed with chicken, bacon, sage and garlic, and make the dreamiest baked pasta EVER.

I had my doubts about this recipe. I don’t care for onions, and wasn’t convinced I would like the combination of chicken, bacon, and pumpkin. Silly me – this was SO tasty. My husband – who also doubted he’d like this – was instantly hooked as soon as he took a cheesy, velvety, pumpkiny bite. It is the perfect Sunday dinner; while a little extra cooking time is needed, you’ll have delicious leftovers for days!

It’s good to see you, pumpkin season. Stick around for a while, won’t you?

 

BAKED CHICKEN BACON PUMPKIN PASTA

Yields | 8-10 servings

Inspiration | Pinch of Yum

 

For the pumpkin sauce:

  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 1 yellow onion
  • Splash of white wine (optional)
  • 1 large clove garlic
  • 18 ounces pureed pumpkin (about 2 cups)
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 1/2 tsp chopped fresh sage
  • Pinch of freshly grated (or just ground) nutmeg
  • Freshly cracked black pepper, to taste

For the pasta:

  • 1 lb uncooked pasta
  • 1 lb boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • 1 cup mozzarella cheese
  • 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese
  • Crumbled, cooked bacon (as little or as much as you want)

 

To make the sauce:

  1. Heat the butter in a large skillet over medium-low heat. Cut the onion into thin slices and add to the melted butter. Keeping the heat on medium-low, cook the onions until they are caramelized and deep golden brown, about 20-30 minutes. For a little extra sweetness, add a splash of white wine as they’re cooking.
  2. While the onions are caramelizing, puree the garlic, pumpkin, chicken broth, milk, olive oil, salt, sage, nutmeg, and pepper in a blender until smooth. Add to the caramelized onions in the pan and cook until heated through. Remove from heat and set aside.
  3. Bring a pot of water to a boil and add the chicken, cooking for 10-15 minutes or until the chicken is no longer pink in the center. Remove from the water; when cool enough to handle, shred the chicken into the pumpkin sauce. Add the crumbled bacon, if desired.

To make the pasta:

  1. Cook the pasta according to package directions, stopping a little early so they are still firm enough to hold their shape in the oven. Drain.
  2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit (175 degrees Celsius). Toss the cooked pasta, chicken, bacon and pumpkin sauce with 1/2 cup mozzarella cheese. Transfer to a greased baking dish, top with remaining cheese and cover with greased foil to prevent sticking. Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until the cheese is melted and the sauce is bubbling. Let stand a few minutes before serving.

ONE YEAR AGO: Pumpkin-Ginger Pancakes with Freshly Whipped Cream

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