your thanksgiving breakfast and a giveaway winner

The older I get the more I love and long for the holidays. Any excuse I can get to have my whole family in one place eating together, I’ll take it. But I have never been a huge lover of Thanksgiving {something about stuffing yourself silly on foods that are only ‘good’ because you have them once a year – if they were truly that good wouldn’t you eat them more than just once? – has never been that appealing to me}. For some reason I can’t wait for it this year! And this is what I hope to be eating for breakfast, pumpkin chocolate chip pancakes with vanilla whip cream.

This recipe is barely even a recipe its so simple {thank you Trader Joes} so its the perfect thing to make the morning of a marathon day of cooking. You should probably put it on your Thanksgiving menu too, you will not be sad you did.

Warning: this recipe is anything but exact so if you have a phobia of recipes that tell you to use your best judgement, its time to be brave, you can do it.

Ingredients

Pancakes
Trader Joes Multigrain Pancake Mix {or any pancake mix but this is THE BEST}
Eggs, Oil, Milk {amount varies depending on how many pancakes you are making}
1-2 Teaspoons Vanilla Extract
~1/3 of a 15 oz can of pumpkin {for 6-8 pancakes}
chocolate chips for sprinkling

Whip Cream
Heavy Whipping Cream
Vanilla
Powdered Sugar

Directions

Prepare pancake mix according to the directions on the box, whisk in pumpkin until smooth. If you need to add a little extra milk to bring it back to batter consistency {you want it to be easily pourable but not too runny}. Heat a pan over medium heat, use a little butter or non-stick spray so pancakes don’t stick. Pour pancake batter into pan and sprinkle {generously} with chocolate chips. Flip pancakes when the underside is golden brown and the top begins to bubble. Let pancakes finish cooking and serve hot with a giant scoop of vanilla whip cream.

For the whip cream, pour whip cream, vanilla and powdered sugar into bowl use a mixer to whip the cream until it looks like something you would want to put on pancakes. {The specific amount of vanilla and powdered sugar is up to you, I like mine super vanilla-y  and slightly sweet.}

Happy Thanksgiving Morning!

And now for the giveaway winner!

Congratulations! You will be contacted by me via email with details on how to pick your prize!

Thank you all for entering and spreading the word about my shop. I’ve already had to re-stock and will continue to do so over the next couple of weeks!

I am giving myself a little Thanksgiving Vacation so have a happy holiday and I’ll be back next week!

starbucks knock-off: maple nut scones

I spent the better part of my working life at Starbucks. What started out as just a college job turned into something that felt like a forever job. While I was there I saw a lot of products come and go – for some reason the ones that went always happened to be my very favorite! So I’ve had to take matters into my own hands and make some of them myself. For example, the Maple Nut Scone. They just have a fally-wintery feel  that I have been craving the last couple of weeks so I made a batch and as far as I can remember, they were a match! Ahh, Maple Nut Scones, how I’ve missed you.Starbucks Maple Nut Scones
via Eating Out Loud

Ingredients

{Scones}
1 1/2 cups flour
1/2 cup oatmeal, finely ground
1/2 cup oatmeal, coarsely ground
1/3 cup brown sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup chilled butter
1 beaten egg
2 Tablespoons maple syrup
1/2 cup heavy cream
3/4 chopped pecans

{Egg Wash}
1 beaten egg
1 Tablespoon heavy cream

{Maple Glaze}
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
2 Tablespoons heavy cream
1 Tablespoon maple syrup
1 teaspoon maple extract

Directions

{Scones}
In a large bowl, dry ingredients, cut in butter until pieces are smaller than the size of peas. Stir in the chopped pecans. *Because I hate cutting in butter I use a food processor for the entire scone process. I start by grinding 1/2 c oats finely, add the rest of the dry ingredients (reserve pecans for later) along with the butter cut into small cubes. Pulse a few times and the butter is perfectly incorporated. 

In a small bowl, stir together heavy cream, egg, and maple syrup. Add this to the dry ingredients and mix until just combined. Do not over mix the mixture. Stop when the liquid is absorbed and the dough is just coming together. *If you chose to use a food processor I pour the wet ingredients in and stop as soon as the mixture comes together. Add the pecans now and knead together. 

Empty dough on to a floured surface and knead until it holds together. Pat the dough in to a circle about 1 1/2″ thick and cut into 8 wedges. Place scones onto a greased cookie sheet. Brush tops and sides with egg wash. Bake at 375F (190C) for 20 minutes. 

While the scones bake, mix glaze. Start with powdered sugar, maple extract and maple syrup. Slowly add heavy cream until the glaze reaches your desired consistency – you may not use all of the cream. After baking, allow scones to cool on a cooling rack for about 5 minutes. Glaze while still a little warm so glaze melts into all the cracks and crevasses. Let glaze harden slightly before eating.

*My pregnant brain always wants to make me think that eating two scones is a good idea. It’s not. I rarely give in and listen to it but the way I get back is to cut the scones in half before baking making 16 small scones instead of 8 large ones. That way I can still eat two! And they some how disappear a lot slower when there are twice as many. There is still time to enter this week’s giveaway!

double coconut muffins

I LOVE LOVE LOVE coconut. Not so much artificially flavored coconut, but real coconut is one of my all time favorite flavors! These double coconut muffins are absolutely amazing! Not too sweet, so moist and with a delicious toasted coconut topping. I could eat them for breakfast, second breakfast, lunch and dinner, oh, and probably dessert too! This recipe comes from one of my very favorite food blogs. In fact, I think Smitten Kitchen is the first blog I had ever read. I get some of my favorite recipes from her site, if you’ve never visited you should check it out.She also recommended using parchment paper squares in lieu of muffin cup liners. I tried it and I may never regular liners again! Just cut 5″ x 5″ squares of parchment paper, crease the paper around the outside of each cup and fill with batter. The parchment paper peels away so easily, much less messy than the regular liners. And I love the way they look – like they came from a bakery! If you do choose to go the parchment paper route I would recommend piping the batter into the cups. It helps avoid the messy frustration of bits of burnt muffin all over the corners of the paper.Double Coconut Muffins
recipe via Smitten Kitchen
Again, if you have never visited Deb’s blog you should definitely check it out! 

1/2 cup coconut oil
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup whole wheat pastry flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1 cup greek yogurt
1/3 cup sugar
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla extract
3/4 sweetened shredded coconut

*It helps if the yogurt and egg are at room temperature to maintain a batter-like consistency. If they are cold, the muffins will still turn out, the coconut oil will get firm up and make the batter hard to mix

Preheat oven to 375. Warm coconut oil until just melted either on the stove or in the microwave – it will liquify quickly. Mix together flours, baking powder, salt and 1/2 cup of shredded coconut. In a separate bowl, whisk together egg, sugar, melted coconut oil, yogurt and vanilla. Mix into dry ingredients until combined. Fill muffin cups, sprinkle reserved shredded coconut and bake at 375 for about 20 minutes. Begin checking after 15 minutes, muffins are done when a tester comes out clean. Transfer to a rack to cool.

This is another great recipe to keep in the fridge in a ziploc as described in my poppyseed muffin post. 

poppyseed muffins

When I visited my cousin a while ago she made these amazing poppyseed muffins. They were so delicious, not too sweet, perfectly moist and they even look fancy with their sugary topping. I tried my hand at making them for my moms group last week and I will say, they were good but not nearly as good as my cousin made them. The recipe is the same, the only difference is, I have turned into a horrible baker since I’ve become a mom! No matter how hard I try to pay extra attention I either forget an ingredient or I forget to set a timer for the oven. I used to be so attentive! All that to say, this really is an amazing muffin recipe and as long as you pay more attention to your baked goods than I seem to, you will not be disappointed. Poppyseed Muffins

Ingredients

1/2 c softened butter
3/4 c sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp almond extract
3/4 c milk
1/2 tsp salt
2 1/2 tsp baking powder
2 1/13 flour
2 1/2 tsp poppyseeds

Preheat oven to 350. Cream together butter and sugar, add eggs one at a time along with vanilla and almond. In a separate bowl combine salt, baking powder and flour. Alternate adding dry ingredients a milk to butter/sugar mixture starting with flour. Mix until just combined and add poppy seeds. Using either a greased muffin pan or cupcake liners, fill muffin cups with batter about 3/4 full. Bake at 350 for 15 – 18 minutes until a tester comes out clean. (these guys are tricky, the batter is so light in color that they tend to look underdone but a tester will give a good indicator of doneness) Makes about 12 cupcakes.

I also learned after making these muffins that they really are best right out of the oven. However, I find that to be a bit difficult since I think muffins are most satisfying in the morning. I don’t know about you but I don’t have time in the morning to whip up a batch of muffins. So here’s what I’ve come up with to still get that fresh-out-of-the-oven muffin without having to wake up too early. I make the batter the night before and store it in a ziploc bag in the fridge over night. When you wake, up pull the bag out of the fridge and let the batter come to room temperature. When you’re ready to bake the muffins just snip a corner off of the bag and fill your muffin cups and pop them in the oven. Quick and easy, fresh out of the oven muffins with almost no extra work in the morning!

For the pretty sugar topping melt a tablespoon of butter in a bowl just big enough one muffin, fill a separate bowl with white sugar. Quickly dunk the muffin into the melted butter and then roll in sugar. See how pretty?

banana bread with oat crumble

banana breadI love it when food is tied to memories. When the smell wafts through the house or you take a bite and are flooded with reminders of another time or place. I have many fond memories associated with certain foods. Baked macaroni and cheese reminds me of childhood, ebelskivers of my grandparents and family vacations to the mountains, falafels bring memories of my brother and a summer trip to Seattle, vanilla soy mistos take me back to our honeymoon in Hawaii and german pancakes of being pregnant with Everly.recipeBanana bread also brings one of those take-me-back moments. Whenever I see, smell or make banana bread I am filled with fond memories of college and my dear friend Shirley. Shirley was a mom-away-from-home to many during our time away at school. Her home was always open, she was constantly available for a listening ear or a much needed mom hug. Someone to laugh and cry with, and someone to pray with. She had a way of making you feel so loved and cared for and was a sense of calm when everything felt crazy. Shirley was and is today, a very good friend. One of the ways Shirley chose to bless us was through gifting her mom’s special banana bread. She would pass out mini loaves at one of our bible studies or leader meetings. It was always such a gift to have a tasty homemade treat.jarsTo date this is my favorite banana bread. Feeling a bit adventurous this weekend and inspired by a failed recipe I had made a while ago, I wanted to switch things up and add an oat crumble to this already delicious treat. And I have to tell you, it resulted in something wonderful!spoon in drymixing

Banana Bread with Oat Crumble
Shirley’s mom’s recipe with a slight modification

ingredients

1/2 c butter – softened
1 1/4 c sugar
2 eggs
3 or 4 very ripe smashed bananas
1/2 c buttermilk
1 tsp vanilla
2 1/2 c flour
1 t baking soda
1 t salt

oat crumble

1/4 c rolled oats
1/4 c brown sugar
2 t ground cinnamon
1/2 t ground nutmeg
1 T chilled butter

Preheat oven to 350. Cream together butter and sugar. Incorporate eggs into mixture and add mashed bananas, buttermilk and vanilla. In a separate bowl combine dry ingredients, once combined slowly incorporate into wet ingredients. Mix until just incorporated – do not over mix batter.

Prepare topping in a seprate bowl – I use the same bowl I used for the dry ingredients – combine oats, brown sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg. Once combine, cut in chilled butter and mix until butter is the size of small peas. Once your topping is ready grease only the bottom of a large loaf pan. Fill the pan with half of the batter, sprinkle half of the oat crumble evenly over batter, add the remaining batter and top with remaining crumble.

Bake at 350 for an 1 hour and 15 minutes (begin checking for doneness after 1 hour). Let bread cool in pan for 5 minutes then remove and place on rack to finish cooling.

loaf

we may have eaten half the loaf before I could snap all my pictures...

mmm…two slices w-cream cheeseTrue confessions – my favorite way to eat banana bread is with a smattering of cream cheese. So figure friendly, but who cares!


german pancakes or dutch babies?

german pancake closeEver since I can remember, german pancakes have been my very favorite breakfast food. For birthdays or special weekend breakfasts growing up, I would always request german pancakes. Fluffy, buttery, slightly crunchy german pancakes. These are my comfort food. german pancakes 4xEmbarrassing fact – I ate a whole 8″ x 8″ pancake about 3-4 times a week for my entire pregnancy (usually one batch makes about four normal servings…). This is one of those recipes I know by heart so I am never stuck with out them. Its always been a debate about what they are called. I know them as german pancakes, some people only recognize them as dutch babies. But whatever you call them, I can never say no. german wholeWhile they are in the oven they puff up into a gorgeous golden brown pillow of goodness. I love how tall and fluffy they get, hard to snap a picture before they start falling though. Here’s the recipe you should definitely give them a try!

German Pancakes
3 eggs
2 T butter
1/2 c milk
1/2 c flour
1/2 t sugar
1/2 t salt

Preheat oven to 450. Place baking dish with butter in pre-heated oven until butter is melted and starting to brown. While butter is melting, whisk eggs and mix dry ingredients in a separate bowl. Whisk milk and dry ingredients into eggs alternately. Once butter is browned remove baking dish from oven and pour batter into the dish. Reduce heat to 425 and bake for 18-20 minutes. Serve immediately with a dusting of powdered sugar and lemon wedges.german pancake w/ lemonI won’t judge if you eat the whole thing!

this post is linked up to the tuesday talent show at Chef in Training

fried apple pancakes

fresh off the tree

We started a new family tradition this fall – apple picking! I grew up going to u-pick berry farms but I didn’t know about u-pick orchards. They are all over the Northwest! Apples, peaches, pears, plums, all over! Picking apples goes much faster than picking berries which is perfect for my short attention span. Within minutes we had buckets full of these beautiful, fresh-off-the-tree apples. They were honestly the best apples we had ever tasted. I’m not sure about you, but I think food always tastes WAY better when you get to pick or grow it yourself. We dream of having a small orchard of our own one day but for now, this is a great alternative. We can’t wait until next year!

family apple picking

she really did have fun, just got a little scared when the train drove by

After bringing home buckets of these tasty treats I began looking for apple recipes. We made a lot of food for the littlest one, some amazing homemade cider (both hard and not so hard) and had a bunch just for eating. But I also came across an idea for fried apple pancakes. I’ve never really been much for pancakes. I like them, but they’ve just never been something that I crave in the morning, that is, until I came across this delicious version.

Heres what you need:

:: your favorite pancake mix – I plan on making my own soon from this site

:: 1 tsp vanilla

:: one apple

:: 1 tsp butter

STEP ONE: make the pancake mix according to the instructions on the package – I always add vanilla to my pancakes it makes them taste like they didn’t come from a box, shhh – don’t tell anyone my secret

mix

STEP TWO: slice apples to about 1/8 inch – I love the pretty design in the middle of apples

sliced apples

STEP THREE: core apples

cut and cored

STEP FOUR: send the apples for a dip in the batter

dunk 'em

STEP FIVE: butter a frying pan and fry pancakes until golden brown on both sides

fry

Serve with warm maple syrup and a geat cup of coffee!

pancakes

I have also made these with pears which were equally delicious. You really need to try these!

Note:

I realized that I have been very breakfast focused so far. Here’s the thing, in the middle of winter the lighting is much better in the morning. I’ve made a few dinners with photos but they look less than appetizing under the fluorescent bulbs in our kitchen. Don’t worry I do make other meals and intend to share them with you, I’ll try not to make you wait until summer!