Maple Pecan Pancakes

We eat pancakes at my house on a weekly basis and I would say, sometimes, on an occasion, it’s on a bi-weekly basis, like when I might throw pancakes into the mix for lunch or even one night for dinner.

We love pancakes especially on the weekends: (1) because I make them from scratch and (2) on a weekend, I don’t have to rush and make waffles, I can literally sit there & flip them one pancake at a time and turn them into on really nice stack.

Well this morning, as I was awake & aware because of the time change, aaannnnddd the fact that my kids were up early, well a little earlier than usual (said every mom & dad on this morning) in their rooms & clowning around, (plus the fact that I have been mulling over a particular maple pecan recipe #soontomake for several days now). I said, “Why don’t we make maple pecan pancakes?!”

Since I always have willing helpers, the kids took their place at the kitchen island and we got to cooking.

So, with this recipe, we substituted 1/2 cup of maple syrup for 1/2 of the full cup of milk that we usually use & added in a 1/2 cup of chopped pecans.

We topped off our maple pecan pancakes with a warm maple-flavored syrup & butter mix.

This goes back to a warm waffle & pancake syrup that I have been making for the past few years. There are a hundred & one variations of it, but the main part of it is flavor, flavor, flavor. *P.S. If you don’t have pure vanilla extract handy, then you had better go & get some.

The right vanilla extract means everything.

My grandmother was famous for buying all types of different, exquisite, and might I add expensive pure vanilla extracts. It made no sense to me in at the time in my teenage years but as an adult, and a self-proclaimed chef, baker, cook, whatever you want to call it. The right flavors mean everything. Don’t short change on the flavor, whether you’re baking or cooking. Tangent over.

Homemade Maple Pecan Pancakes & Syrup

Dry Ingredients

1 cup of bread flour

1/4 teaspoon of salt

2 teaspoon of baking powder

1 teaspoon of ground nutmeg

2 tablespoons of granulated sugar

1/2 chopped pecan pieces

Wet Ingredients

1 egg

1/2 cup whole milk

1/2 cup of maple syrup

2 tablespoons of vegetable oil

2 teaspoons of vanilla extract

Additional vegetable oil or melted butter for cooking.

Directions:

In a large mixing bowl, add and combine all of your dry ingredients until they are fully combined.

Next add in your, egg (and don’t mix yet), milk, maple syrup, vegetable oil, & vanilla extract. Once you have all of your wet ingredients added to the bowl of the dry, you can stir until fully combined.

One a large, flat, heated griddle, melt two tablespoons of oil or butter to start. Now the oil will already be in a liquid state, but you still want to have it heated before you pour the batter on to it.

Depending on how many people you’re looking to serve and the size of your pancakes, begin adding the pancake batter to your pan, sticking to the center of the pan as your cooking space. Allow to set for 4-5 mins before flipping, and then flip, and repeat the 4-5 minute set time until both the inside and the outside of your pancake are done.

You can use whipped cream & sprinkles to jazz it up too if you’d like.

Bon Appetit!

Easy Savory Morning Breakfast Quesadilla

I love a good breakfast.

Let’s be honest, I love a good brunch, actually, because like most moms, my breakfast time doesn’t come around until about the 11th hour of the morning… Hello, somebody!

For productivity’s sake, except on the weekends, I try to stay away from the heavy & sweet carbs in the mornings, because those things weigh me down like it’s nobody’s business!

If we haven’t it on hand, my morning veggie of choice is broccoli-raab. If we don’t then I’ll go for spinach. And if we don’t have that, which it’s a rare day that we don’t, then I’ll aim for broccoli. Some kind of dark and green, leafy or not leafy veggie to pair with onion or some fresh garlic will usually do. However, today, I had an appetite & I mean a BIG appetite. I knew that I was going to need more than just something quick, but I didn’t want it to make me sluggish and impact my productivity for the day. So I thought, “Why not make a quesadilla?!”

Way back when a couple of my co-workers and I used to love to cook. I mean, we all liked cooking. If there was one thing that we all liked to do in our spare time, it was to cook. It was a fairly small staff of maybe 20 people including the people that worked in the warehouse & the janitorial staff, and whoever didn’t like to cook, liked to eat. It was a win-win situation! About once every other month or so, we’d have a cooking day on our downtime. No one would go out for lunch that day, and we’d plan who would bring what. I’ll never forget that one of the workers was from Chile & his wife owned a bakery and he’d bring in this giant Chilean cake with thin layers of cake, interlayered in with yummy peaches and cream. I don’t know what it was called, but it was so good. I didn’t want him to sign up to bring anything else, except that. It was that good!

One particular time, I brought in everything that I needed to make chicken or veggie quesadillas. They were so good & so versatile. If you didn’t want chicken, then you didn’t have to have chicken. If you were going the veggie route, (if I remember correctly, one of my co-workers was a vegetarian) then you could have just a portabella-centered quesadilla with all of the other sauteed vegetables and it was just as good.

This morning felt like one of those days at my old-workplace. Even though it was breakfast time, I felt like a “hearty” “healthy”, “I-don’t-need-alot-but-I-don’t-want-to-be hungry-when-I’m-done-eating-either” type of a morning.  So this is what I came up with:

Easy Savory Morning Breakfast Quesadilla

Serves: 1 (but can be doubled.  Recipe by Things She Makes)

November 1, 2019 

Ingredients

1/2 large yellow onion, sliced

1 tablespoon minced garlic

2 cups of spinach leaves, chopped

1/2 of jarred roasted red peppers, sliced

1/3 baked chicken breast, thinly sliced

1/4 cup shredded swiss cheese

1 large flour tortilla

3 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil

 

Directions:

In a medium saucepan, over medium-high heat, add one tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil and allow to sit for 3-4 minutes until the pan and the oil are warm.

(Using a wooden spoon for everything)

Add sliced yellow onion and sauteed until light brown and clear.  Remove from the pan and set aside.

Using the same pan, add a 1/2 tablespoon of olive oil, add a tablespoon of minced garlic and saute for two minutes & then add spinach leaves.  Saute until spinach begins to wilt (about 2 mins) and then remove from pan & set aside.

With your sauteed onions, minced garlic and spinach set aside, add one more 1/2 tablespoon of olive oil to the pan, allow it to spread and then add the flour tortilla. 

Wait 90 seconds (to allow it to warm up, but not burn) and sprinkle on shredded swiss cheese.  Next, add jarred roasted red pepper slices and the spinach, and minced garlic mixture.  Randomly place the sliced of baked chicken breast (leftover chicken is perfect for this), on top of the quesadilla. 

Allow it to sit in the pan, on medium heat, unfolded for another two minutes and then fold.

Breakfast is SERVED!

There you have it:  A simple, delicious, good for breakfast or good for lunch (if you’re catching breakfast a little late), start to your morning!

 

 

Five Delicious Things That You Can Make with Pumpkins {Besides Pumpkin Pie}

There are so many delicious things that you can make with fresh pumpkins that you might be bringing home from the store or the pumpkin patch, that you will almost want to try them all!

I don’t want this whole fall season to go past without expanding your mind to the endless possibilities of this interesting & delicate squash. Squash, yes that’s right, a pumpkin is actually no more than that. A pumpkin is a squash. While being made into a pumpkin pie is the most common use of it, there are lots of other delicious treats that both you and your family can enjoy, if you give them a try.

1. Roasted Pumpkin Spinach & Feta Salad

Source: Recipe Tin Eats

Check out this delicious Make-Ahead Roasted Pumpkin Spinach & Feta Salad by Recipe Tin Eats. It’s called make-ahead because you have to roast your pumpkin bites before adding them to the rest of the fresh ingredients in your salad.

Roasting fresh pumpkin in easy. You simply:

  • Clean the outside of your pumpkin
  • It is your preference whether or not you choose to remove the skin
  • Cut the pumpkin in half or initially into 4 large quarters
  • Remove the seeds and all of the stringy flesh with a large metal spoon
  • Unless you’re planning on consuming the seeds, you can dispose of all of the seeds and all of the inside stringy flesh
  • Cut into smaller 2-inch chunks
  • Place face down on a lightly greased baking sheet
  • Lightly season with sea salt & pepper
  • Bake at 350 for 15-20 minutes, until tender

For this recipe, you’ll want to set your roasted pumpkin bites aside to cool before for adding to your salad, or else you will cause the spinach leaves to wilt.

2. Homemade Pumpkin Butter

Source: Bandingan.com

Looking for another delicious alternative for breakfasts in the fall (besides my Homemade Pumpkin Spice Pancakes Recipe), then try this Quick & Easy Pumpkin Butter Recipe by Bandigan. You can use one medium (up to 4 pounds) fresh pumpkin. You will want to remove the skin, pulp & seeds before you add this to the slow cooker with seasonings.

Pumpkin butter is delicious on toast, biscuits and even pancakes on a cold fall morning. I like to add a spoon or two to my homemade vanilla ice cream base mix to make a pumpkin spice flavored ice cream.

Once you get into the habit of bringing your pumpkin home, cutting it in half and baking it at 350 degrees for 30 minutes, making up batches of homemade pumpkin butter is something that you can grow to love. It even makes a great gift to share with friends & neighbors. Should you choose to can your butter to preserve it, it will last even longer.

3. Oven Roasted Pumpkin Seeds

Source: The Kitchn

I can remember being a kid in kindergarten, and it being fall and my kindergarden teachers roasting pumpkin seeds in the oven that we had in our classroom, and serving it to all of the little kids.

The were delicious, roasted and had a delicate taste.

They were dark green and they were crunchy.

We had to take the shells off of the pumpkin seeds in order to eat delicious seeds that were on the inside.

Not only were they a treat to eat, but I will never forget the process of them carving out the inside of the pumpkin because we were going to be making our very own roasted pumpkin seeds!

4. Pumpkin Cookies with Brown Butter Icing

Source: All Recipes

Now you can also make these cookies with either fresh pumpkin or canned pumpkin.

If making with fresh pumpkin then you definitely want to make sure that you’ve clean, cut and baked your pumpkin the day before. After you have removed the seeds and the pulp, you will bake your pumpkin and allow it to cool completely and then you can proceed with your recipe.

I have often (mainly with canned pumpkin but you can do the same with the same quantity of fresh pumpkin), cooked with pumpkin down in a little sauce pan before I’ve added it into my butter and spices etc. I don’t know that you have to cook down the canned pumpkin, since in a way, it has already been processed, but I like to.

5. Pumpkin Dump Cake

Source: Dinner at the Zoo

I am not a fan of recipes that include the word, “dump” anything, but this Pumpkin Dump Cake Recipe by Sara from Dinner at the Zoo, has made a believer out of me!

Sara uses pumpkin pie filling to make this cake but you could also do the same if with fresh, pre-baked pumpkin. I would choose to go with a pumpkin pie pumpkin or a sugar pie pumpkin, like the one that we talked about in this post. All in all, hopefully we have explored a few different options of delicious things that you can make with the abundance of pumpkins that you’ll be seeing this fall. Remember, if you’re going to make a pie from a fresh pumpkin then you’ll want to go with a “sugar pie” pumpkin. If not, if you do not plan on carving every pumpkin that shows up on your front porch, you might want to try some of the recipes in this post.

I hope that I’ve inspired you to try something delicious!

Sincerely,

Things She Makes

Gone Peach Picking: Peach Enchildas

It is my birthday this week & the one thing that I really, really wanted to do was..well it was two parts: (1) go peach picking and (2) make homemade peach enchiladas.

If you’ve never even heard of peach enchiladas, there’s a place down in South Carolina off of Highway 252 called, Mac Pride’s or MacLeod’s Peaches.

They are known for their peaches and peach enchiladas and a host of other things, but I had to have my own homemade peaches and peach enchiladas for my birthday & and I did! *happy dance*

I had never made my own peach enchiladas, but on top of that, a friend had given me this recipe years and years ago (actually 10 years ago, in 2009 to be exact). And I never made them.

He knew that I liked to cook and bake and so he said, “You’ve got to try and make these.” What intrigued me about this recipe was the fact that it was made with soda. I knew then that you had to add either 7up or Mountain Dew to this recipe to make it complete and I liked that. I kind of liked the idea of having to add soda to it. I don’t know why.

Anyways, it’s been years. We actually went to Mac’s Pride last year and had to get their peach enchiladas. So this year, I was making my own!

Here is the recipe that I used to make my enchiladas:

Peach Enchiladas

2 (8 oz cans) of crescent rolls

1 cup of butter

1 1/2 cups of sugar

1 tsp cinnamon

4 blanched peaches, cooled and quartered

12 oz. of Mountain Dew Soda

Directions:

Melt butter and then add cinnamon and sugar until blended and set aside.

Unroll crescent dough and place 1-2 peach quarters on each crescent.

Roll dough around the peach, the same way you roll the dough for the crescent shape.

Place in a 9 x 13 pan.

Pour the melted butter mixture over the rolls, then pour over with the Mountain Dew.

Bake at 350 for 45 minutes, uncovered.

Bonus: Serve with homemade French vanilla ice cream or your favorite, good quality vanilla ice cream from the store.

Bon Appetit!

I absolutely LOVED making this recipe! And my kids loved going and picking their own peaches and making it too!

I Love Lemons: Leveled-Up Lemon-Crusted Chicken

Can I tell you how much my family loves this recipe?

Can I tell you how much when I dredge something, somethings in a certain order with the right flour-egg wash- and leveled up bread crumbs combo mix, I have them singing my praises?

Are you really trying to be here for something delicious?

Okay then, Betty, I’m going to need you to grab your apron, clear your kitchen counter, put your game face on and when anyone of your family walks past the kitchen & asks what’s for dinner, I just want you to quip back with up, “Level Up.” And when they say, “Whaaaat?” Just wink. That is all. Just a quick but sure wink back, because, “You got ‘dis”.

Now let’s get cooking.

Okay, first things first: Let’s pretend that you’ve never had a lesson in dredge or let’s say that you think the only way to fry chicken is to drop it in some plain flour and seasonings and then to drop it in frying oil. Let’s just say that’s where you’re coming from. Okay? Scrap that!

Because we’re in beast mode, you are going to need a dish or bowl for your flour and flavor mix, your egg wash, and then your bread crumb and more flavor mix. We’re talking levels…..levels of flavor!

Leveled-Up Lemon Crusted Chicken

Flour & flavor layer

2 cups of all-purpose flour

2 tsp of salt

1 tsp of pepper

2 tbsp of onion powder

1 tsp of chili powder

1 1/2 tsp of ground bay leaves

Egg wash layer

3 beaten eggs

Bread crumbs and more flavor layer

(If you have Panko bread crumbs on hand, use them. If not:)

1 1/2 cups of seasoned bread crumbs

1 tsp of chili powder

1 1/2 tbsp of lemon zest

(The lemon zest is your wild card here. If you’re making a recipe that lemon doesn’t go with, then omit that part).

2 boneless chicken breasts

Directions:

In a large dish or bowl, combine only the ingredients for your flour mix layer, and set aside.

In your next section of the station, beat three whole eggs and set aside. Specifically right next to flour mix, as seen above.

Next, combine only the ingredients for your bread crumbs and flavor and set them aside, keeping them in their separate bowl.

*Note: None of these separate ingredient bowls should be combine before we layer them on to our chicken breasts. The goal is to layer in the flavors. That is key!

What I like to do with my chicken breasts, since they are particularly thick, is to divide them. You can either pound them with a meat mallet and then make little slices, or divide them thickness-wise. The method there is up to you.

Once you have done that, you are going to heat half of cup of extra virgin olive oil into a large frying pan, and then add one cup of canola oil to it.

I usually let most of the olive oil cook off before adding the canola oil because I feel like the olive oil adds more flavor.

Once your pan is warm and ready to go, begin to dredge your meat and add it to the pan, one at a time.

Chicken is one of those meats that you want to make sure is completely done with no-pink in the middle before consuming. So don’t rush through this part of the process.

Drain your chicken cutlets on a plate lined with a couple of paper towels, and make sure that all of the excess oil has soaked onto the plate, and not into your food. 😉 Bonus points: I drizzle mine with a little bit of honey right after they’re done draining. Cover them if you’re not serving right away and….

Bon Appetit!

I promise you, that this is a recipe that your whole family will love!