Playing with Pancakes

As many of you may know, I am absolutely obsessed with breakfast, so it is only natural that I love pancakes.  Over the past few months I have been really interested in how different types of pancakes are made, and I have been looking at all kinds of recipes to try and find a pancake that is unique, and somewhat healthier than the traditional buttermilk pancake.

While looking on Pinterest one day, I came across a banana pancake recipe that was literally just a mashed banana and an egg.  I immediately ran to the kitchen to try it out, seeing as bananas and eggs are both a huge part of my diet.  The pancake came out well, but I found it to be way too moist.  It was hard to flip it without it falling apart.  But after that pancake adventure, I decided that I would continue to make that banana pancake, but each time I made it, I would alter the recipe a little, just to see what would happen.  After about a week of pancake experimenting, I finally had a solid recipe that I was very happy with and that is what I am sharing with you now.  I just love how versatile a pancake can be!

Here is my recipe for Banana Oat Pancakes

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Ingredients

1 cup Old Fashion Oats

1/2 banana, mashed

1/4 cup whole wheat flour

1 egg

1/4 cup milk

2 Tbsp Honey

1 Tbsp unsweetened applesauce

1 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp salt

coconut oil for pan

 

Directions

Mix all ingredients together until just combined.  Heat pan on medium and add coconut oil.  Use a 1/4 cup measure to spoon batter into the pan.  Wait for bubbles to appear around the edges of the pancake, about 1-2 minutes, and then flip.  Repeat with the rest of the batter.

And that’s it! Easy, right? And so delicious (and healthy!)  I encourage everyone to play with this recipe too, and let me know if you come up with something even better.  After I made this, I thought adding cinnamon and a little nutmeg might make it even better!

Keep experimenting and Enjoy!

 

Breakfast Pizza

Ok, I know, I haven’t posted in over 6 months! How dare I!  But last semester was long and challenging…but good news, I GRADUATED!!  And now I am officially a grad student.

So then why did I not have oodles and oodles of time to cook over the summer?  Because I worked at a wonderful camp called Birch Trail for 9 weeks.  Yes, it was amazing.  No I did not cook anything while I was there. But it was a great summer!

But onto the important part…the food!  As some of you may know, my all-time favorite meal is breakfast.  I love eggs, bacon, sausage, waffles, pancakes, french toast, hashbrowns…the whole 9 yards.  But I wanted to try something a little different when cooking at home.  I got the inspiration for this breakfast pizza from a restaurant I went to with some of my friends over Labor Day weekend called the Armsby Abbey.  Although I did not end up ordering the breakfast pizza there, I made a mental note that I had to try making something similar when I got back to my apartment.

So without further ado, here is my version of the Breakfast Pizza

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Breakfast Pizza
Ingredients
1 bag prepared whole wheat pizza dough (I got mine from my local gorcery store)
1 lb fresh mozzarella cheese, sliced
3 thick slices Canadian bacon, cooked, chopped
3 eggs
2 medium tomatoes, diced
green onions, sliced for garnish
Directions
  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees F
  2. Divide pizza dough into three sections and roll each section into a ball.  Roll out each portion of dough into a 9-inch circle
  3. Prepare the toppings. Slice the mozzarella, chop the bacon, scallions, and tomatoes.
  4. Place one 9-inch circle of pizza dough on a greased baking sheet and spread the mozzarella in an even layer on the dough. Top with the bacon. Crack an egg in the center of the dough and bake in the oven for 15 minutes or until the crust is golden and the whites of the egg are cooked. Remove pizza from the oven and top with fresh tomatoes and sliced green onions. Repeat with remaining 9-inch dough rounds.
  5. Enjoy (with others, or by yourself…like I did) 😉

Recipe adapted from cherryonmysundae

I promise that I will try to post as much as possible this semester.  Every time I make something I take a picture of it (yes, I’m one of those people), so I might as well put it on my blog too!

I hope this inspires some of you to look at breakfast in a different way! Enjoy!

Pumpkin Pie for Breakfast

I have always loved the amazing taste of pumpkin pie.  It reminds me of beautiful fall days and getting together with family and friends for the holidays.  But the problem I always have with pie is that it is served as dessert.  Being such a foodie, I am usually too full from an amazing dinner to have room in my stomach for pie.  I can’t fully enjoy my pie if I’m already stuffed full from a previous meal.  So this is the solution…have it for breakfast!!  That way I can start the day with the delicious flavor of pumpkin and I can fully enjoy the taste of it because I will not be suffering from the food coma of a prior meal.

Because this recipe is the breakfast version of pumpkin pie, it is in the form of a muffin (a traditional breakfast food) but it still has all the flavors and spices that a normal pumpkin pie would have.  It’s perfect for a crisp fall morning when I’m running to class and don’t have enough time to sit down and eat a bowl of cereal.

Here is the recipe for Pumpkin Pie Muffins

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Pumpkin Pie Muffins
Makes about a dozen

  • 1 cup pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie filling)
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 eggs
  • ¾ teaspoon cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon ginger
  • 1/8 teaspoon cloves
  • 1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1½ cups flour
  1. Preheat the oven to 350ºF.
  2. In the bowl of an electric mixer, combine the pumpkin, sugar, vegetable oil, and eggs. Mix until smooth.
  3. In a separate bowl, whisk together the cinnamon, ginger, cloves, nutmeg, baking soda, salt, and flour.
  4. Gradually add the dry ingredients to the pumpkin mixture, and mix on low until just combined.
  5. Divide the batter among lined muffin tins, filling each cup ¾ full.
  6. Bake for 17-22 minutes, or until a toothpick stuck in the middle comes out with just a few crumbs.

Recipe courtesy of SnixyKitchen.com

Although pumpkin pie is a classic fall food, it is sometimes fun to present those flavors in a new way.  I chose muffins because breakfast is my favorite meal of the day.  I hope you enjoy these muffins as much as I (and my roommates) did! Enjoy!

Let’s start with the basics…Bread

Bread. we eat it all the time and it is definitely a staple in college.  Although buying it at the supermarket is easy and fast, I have a few reservations when it comes to cheap bread. Why the heck do so many breads contain high fructose corn syrup?!  I was so surprised when I first found this out; I didn’t want to believe it, so I checked the labels myself.  And sure enough, there it was in the ingredients list of a variety of breads at the store, along with some other ingredients that I couldn’t quite pronounce.

It was then that I decided that I should just make my own bread! Then I could decide and know exactly what I was eating.  The only problem was time.  Real bread (with active yeast) takes about 4-5 hours to make (including rising time), and in between classes, practice, and other college life commitments, there was no way that was happening during the week.  But weekends were a different story.  On a normal Saturday I get up really late, go on Facebook, and watch TV.  So I figured if I devoted 4 of those hours to baking bread, it would not be a huge sacrifice….And boy was I right.  That was the best decision I ever made.  Not only did the bread taste WAY better (and fresher) than anything at the store, but it also made the whole apartment smell like a bakery. How can you argue with that?!

Here is the recipe for the scrumptious Honey Wheat bread I made.

Honey Wheat Bread

Honey Wheat Bread

This recipe makes 2 loaves of bread, but since this was my first time making it, and since there is only one loaf pan in the apartment, I made a half recipe.

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 1 cup old-fashioned rolled oats (not quick-cooking) plus additional for topping
  • 1/2 cup warm water (105-115°F)
  • 2 tablespoons active dry yeast (from 3 packages)
  • 1/2 cup mild honey
  • 1/2 stick (1/4 cup) unsalted butter, melted and cooled, plus additional for buttering pans
  • 3 cups stone-ground whole-wheat flour
  • About 2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • Vegetable oil for oiling bowl
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten with 1 tablespoon water
  • Special equipment: 2 (8- by 4-inch) loaf pans

DIRECTIONS

Heat milk in a 1 1/2- to 2-quart saucepan over low heat until hot but not boiling, then remove pan from heat and stir in oats. Let stand, uncovered, stirring occasionally, until cooled to warm.

Stir together water, yeast, and 1 teaspoon honey in a small bowl; let stand until foamy, 5 minutes. (If mixture doesn’t foam, discard and start over with new yeast.) Stir yeast mixture, melted butter, and remaining honey into cooled oatmeal.

Stir together whole-wheat flour, 1 1/2 cups unbleached flour, and salt in a large bowl. Add oat mixture, stirring with a wooden spoon until a soft dough forms. Turn out onto a well-floured surface and knead with floured hands, adding just enough of remaining unbleached flour to keep from sticking, until dough is smooth, soft, and elastic, about 10 minutes (dough will be slightly sticky). Form dough into a ball and transfer to an oiled large bowl, turning to coat. Cover bowl loosely with plastic wrap and a kitchen towel; let rise at warm room temperature until doubled in bulk, 1 to 1 1/2 hours.

Lightly butter loaf pans. Turn out dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead several times to remove air. Divide dough in half and shape each half into a loaf, then place 1 loaf in each buttered pan, seam side down, tucking ends gently to fit. Cover loaf pans loosely with a kitchen towel and let dough rise in a draft-free place at warm room temperature until doubled in bulk, about 1 hour.

Put oven rack in middle position and preheat oven to 375°F. Lightly brush tops of loaves with some of egg wash and sprinkle with oats, then bake until bread is golden and loaves sound hollow when tapped on bottom, 35 to 40 minutes. (Remove 1 loaf from pan to test for doneness. Run a knife around edge of pan to loosen.)

Remove bread from pans and transfer to a rack to cool completely, about 1 1/2 hours.

(Recipe courtesy of epicurious.com )

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Don’t be afraid to make something new, or put a little time into your cooking!  After making this bread, I realized that, not only was it cheaper in the long run to just make my own bread, but it was also a great experience.  And now, since I know the basics of bread making, I can make all different kinds!  So get off Facebook, and get in the kitchen and make some bread!  Everyone will be jealous, you’ll see! Enjoy!