Tag Archives: scratch

Coconutty Pancakes w/ Pineapple Honey Syrup

I don’t know a soul that doesn’t crave something “tropical” during the summer months.  Not one.  So one morning, as I was doing just that, I realized I had no rum in the house (plus it was super early..) so I couldn’t whip up a mai-tai or pina coloda..poor me.  Instead, I thought I would treat the entire family to a delish breakfast that would transport us to an idyllic island!  Now I’m not sure if my kids fell for that part, but I sure imagined me and that mai-tai and they had no problem cleaning their plates!  Win!

The Starting Lineup

  • 1 1/4 cup flour
  • 2 Tbsp sugar
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 cup sweetened coconut
  • 1 Tbsp butter, melted (plus more for pan)
  • 1 cup coconut milk
  • 1/4 cup milk (buttermilk works great too!)
  • 1 egg

Syrup

  • 1 6oz can pineapple juice (I used a can of Dole juice)
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • pineapple chunks (optional)

Garnish

  • walnuts or macadamia nuts 
  • shredded coconut  

Begin this breakfast delight by starting the Pineapple-Honey Syrup.  In a small saucepan, simply combine the pineapple juice and the honey (plus the pineapple chunks if desired) and bring to a low boil while whisking.  Once combined turn to low and set aside. 

 Next, start the melting of the tbsp of butter in a small bowl in the microwave, remove and let cool slightly while you mix the dry ingredients.  *if the butter is too hot, you’ll end up with scrambled eggs..no good.

In a large bowl mix together the dry ingredients, including the 1/4 cup sweetened coconut. 

 

In the small bowl of now cooled melted butter, whisk in the coconut milk, regular milk and egg.  Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and stir till just together.  You do not want to overwork, lumps are a-ok!! 

 

Finally heat up your pan, skillet, griddle, what-have-you, along with another Tbsp of glorious butter.  Ladle about 1/3 cup of batter down and cook each side to your desired golden brown color. 

 

Let’s serve these pancakes!!  Pour the warm Pineapple-Honey Syrup over each stack and top with your choice of chopped nuts and more coconut!!  Enjoy! 

*Serve alongside some crispy bacon and eggs for a hearty, savory breakfast!

 

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Bourbon Pumpkin Pie

Have you ever had homemade pumpkin pie?  No, I don’t mean the slice that you bought at Marie Callendars restaurant and brought home to eat.  I mean a pie that you whisked and creamed and baked in your own oven!  

Now I’m not saying you’re hand scraping and roasting the baking pumpkins from your glorious garden, there may even be a can or two of pumpkin purée, but this is the real deal!  It’s light, creamy and not overly sweet.  Once it’s time for dessert, just add some homemade whipped cream and marvel in all of the “mmms, yumms, oohs & ahhs” you’re about to receive!  This one will make a believer out your most finicky pumpkin pie eater, which used to be me. 😉 

The Starting Lineup

  • 1 pie crust (home made or store bought)
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 3 large eggs, plus 2 egg yolks
  • 4oz bourbon
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 (15oz) can of pumpkin purée (NOT pumpkin pie filling)
  • 1 cup candied yams, drained from can
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup real maple syrup
  • 1/4 ground ginger
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • 1 tsp salt  

Now I do prefer to make my own buttery pie crust and with this recipe I always parbake my crust so that it has some texture to the bottom and doesn’t get soggy.  That is a personal preference though..some people love the softer bottomed crust. 

 Preheat the oven to 425 degrees and place a rimmed foil-covered baking sheet to heat up as well.

….To begin the filling!  In a medium bowl, whisk together the cream, milk, eggs & yolks, bourbon and vanilla extract.  Set aside. 

   In a large heavy-bottomed saucepan, combine the pumpkin purée, candied yams, sugar, maple syrup, ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt.  Bring to a simmer and mash and stir the mixture together continuously until thickened.  This will be nice and glossy after about 10-12 minutes of doing so. 

   Remove the purée from the heat and slowly whisk in the cream mixture (slowly so the eggs do not scramble in the hot purée). 

   Next, strain this mixture through a fine mesh strainer over a large bowl while pressing down the remaining chunks with a rubber spatula.  Once it’s all sieved through, re-whisk. 

       Pour this yummy, custard’y mixture into your prepared pie pan/crust.  Give a little jiggle to evenly distribute and place the pan directly onto the preheated baking sheet into the oven. 

Allow to bake at 425 degrees for 10 minutes *I like to cover my crust in either the beginning or end to reduce over browning.  Reduce the heat to 350 degrees and continue to bake for another 30-35, or until the pie is set and jiggles only slightly.  *It will continue to cook and set once removed from the oven.  Allow to cool completely before serving or refrigerated.  *Keep in the refridgerator overnight if serving the next day. 

   Enjoy!!

Margarita Chicken Fajitas

I’m pretty sure that when one has fajitas, it is also the norm to be sipping on a margarita.  Now…how about we combine the two?  Which is really no problemo here in my casa!

The flavors and ingredients of your traditional margarita are the exact components that make a chicken flavorful and tender.  Everything about this is right!  Now add a warm flour tortilla, large dollop of sour cream, salsa and grilled veggies…oh my my my… 

The Starting Lineup

  • 2lbs chicken breasts (cut into strips) or chicken tenders
  • 1/2 quality margarita mix (NOT lime green 😉
  • 1/2 cup tequila
  • 1 tsp margarita (kosher) salt
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 3 limes, juice and rinds
  • 1 jalapeno, quartered
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • Bell pepper, cut into strips
  • Red onion, sliced
  • 2 Tbsp evoo (I used a hatch green chili infused oil..but regular is fine! 😉

Garnish

  • Tortillas
  • Sour Cream
  • Salsa/Hot Sauce
  • Cilantro
  • Pico de Gallo   

    Sipping on this delight is an essential part of making Margarita Chicken Fajitas!

     

In a large ziplock bag (set into a dish in case of ‘spillage’), combine the margarita mix, tequila, salt, cumin, lime juice plus rinds and the quartered jalapeno.  Zip and give a good shake! 

       Next, you’ll add the chicken into the bag of marinade and zip on up!  Place this in the refridgerator for 1-3 hours (turning over to distribute once per hour if possible). 

 Right before you’re ready to take the marinating chicken out of the ‘fridge, feel free to slice up the onion and bell peppers!  *I like all colors of onion & pepper really, so whatever you have on hand works fine!! 

 Heat a large skillet, cast iron or grill to med-high heat.  If using a pan, add about 1 Tbsp oil and heat up till almost smoking or grease your grill so that the chicken does not stick.  

Once hot & ready (and depending on the size of pan/grill), add one-half to all of the chicken and marinated jalapeno.  Cook for a few minutes on each side until a nice brown sear occurs.  Set aside on a plate to redistribute the juices. 

   Now that the chicken is done, add the sliced up fajita veggies to the same pan and sauté till slightly browned but still crisp (a few minutes). 

   Plate the cooked chicken and veggies and serve with warm tortillas, garnishes of your choice and a cold margarita!  Enjoy!

Fall Harvest Pizza

If you love the Fall season as much as I do, then you’ll absolutely adore this pizza!  It has all the savory flavors and colors this time of year is known for, with a hint of sweetness too…excellent combination!

Plus, you can get the same taste an easier route if you purchase a lot of the veggies prepped and premade dough.  A Fall family favorite right here! 

The Starting Lineup

  • 1 pizza dough (homemade or store bought)
  • 3 links chicken sausage (I.e. Apple flavored)
  • 1 large onion, (red or yellow) sliced
  • 2 cups kale, torn
  • 1 1/2 cup butternut squash, cubed
  • 1 Apple, thinly sliced
  • 2 cups cheddar cheese, shredded
  • 2-3 Tbsp Bleu cheese, crumbled
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • EVOO 
  • Honey, drizzle
  • Sage leaves (optional), crisped
  • Cornmeal (optional), for crust  

Preheat your oven to 400 degrees.

Assuming your pizza dough is ready for baking (if you prefer not to make your own, you can of course buy it in your freezer aisle, your local pizzeria or even a Boboli crust), we’ll prep our veggies!

Ok….in today’s world, you can absolutely buy your squash already cubed and the kale already torn in a bag, etc…genius!  However, I took the hard approach and if you did too, then here we go!  Slice your onion into slices and with a vegetable peeler, you can actually peel off the butternut squashes rind.  It’s actually pretty easy.  I peeled about half of my butternut squash, cut the peeled part off and cut into cubes.  Save the other half for another meal 🙂 

   Have a sauté pan with 1 tbsp EVOO heated to medium and add in your onions and a pinch each of kosher salt and sugar.  Allow to cook down and caramelize while stirring occasionally.  Also add the squash to a baking sheet, drizzle with EVOO and top with a pinch of salt & pepper.  Transfer this to the oven and roast for 20 minutes, till tender, while your onions are sautéing. 

   Once these are both finished cooking, transfer to seperate dishes and set aside.  *Keep your oven on that same 400 degrees for the pizza, add in either a large baking sheet or a pizza stone to heat up while you finish prepping.

In the same pan you cooked the onions down in, now add in the chicken sausage and cook through…typically about 6 minutes per side.  Once the sausage is finished, set aside and allow to cool & rest before you slice. 

   While the sausage is resting, you can now rinse and tear up the kale (if needed) and thinly slice your apple.  You should have all of the toppings prepped at this point. 

Optional:  Crisped Sage, heat 2 tbsp EVOO in pan to medium heat.  Add in a couple sage leaves and cook for about 20-30 seconds on each side.  Immediately take out and transfer to a paper towel.  You’re done! 

   It’s pizza assembly time!!  Roll out the dough to your desired shape..Don’t worry about that perfect circle here.  I think a roundish square works and is rustic and charming.

After I rolled out my dough, I carefully placed it onto a piece of parchment paper coated in cornmeal (optional).  Brush EVOO ALL over the dough top and sprinkle the with minced garlic (if your crazy like me, earlier in the prep heat up  EVOO in a pan, add the garlic to it and immediately take off the heat and set aside for this.).  

 After the dough has been brushed with EVOO and minced garlic, we’ll start layering the toppings.  It goes like this:  Caramelized onions and any drippings first, the kale leaves, the roasted butternut squash, the Apple chicken sausage (now sliced), then the Apple slices.  Top this all with shredded cheddar cheese and a sprinkle of Bleu cheese crumbles. 

  

  

  

So I used a large preheated baking sheet (upside down) as my base, and carefully lifted the parchment paper topped with the loaded up pizza onto it.  *careful that baking sheet is hot!!  Transfer to the 400 degree oven and bake for 20 minutes, till cheese is melted and crust is browned. 

 When time is up, remove the pizza and drizzle with the honey all over the top and crisped sage. Allow to rest for 5 minutes.  We prefer ours with a small salad and a good bottle of hard cider!  Enjoy! 

   

Glazed Pumpkin Pie Snickerdoodles

In my home right now, Fall IS in the air!  The pumpkin pie spiced aroma is almost too much to take as my boys and I are baking, so we decide to play outside as the cookies cool.  …Going outside to play, that again told me it was Fall and no longer the hot summer months.

It also made it that much more pleasurable to go back in and REALLY smell that sweet & spicy goodness!  These delicious cookies are topped off with a glaze that can only make them better..if you can even imagine!! 🍂🍃🍂

The Starting Lineup

  • 2 3/4 cups all purpose flour
  • 2 tsp cream of tartar
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 tsp pumpkin pie spice
  • 2 sticks butter, unsalted softened 
  • 1 cups sugar, divided
  • 1/2 cup light brown sugar
  • 1 egg, room temperature 
  • 3/4 cup of pumpkin purée 
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract

Crust

  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 tbsp pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 tbsp cinnamon

Simple Glaze

  • 1 1/2 cup confectioners sugar
  • 3 Tbsp milk
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract  

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees and have to baking sheets prepped with parchment paper.

In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, cream of tartar, baking soda, salt and pumpkin pie spice. 

 In a seperate bowl with a hand mixer or a stand mixer and paddle attachment, cream together the softened 2 sticks of butter and the white and light brown sugar till fluffy (2-3 minutes) on medium speed. Add in the egg and vanilla extract and beat for 1 minute. Finally add in your pumpkin purée and beat together till just combined. 

     Now you’ll slowly add in the dry ingredients (flour mix), scraping the bowl as needed, and beat again until just combined. Do not overmix! Saran Wrap the top of this dough and refrigerate for 20-30 minutes (meanwhile clean the mess 😉 and get the ‘crust’ together. 
   In a shallow dish combine the 1/4 cup sugar and 1tsp each of the pumpkin pie spice and cinnamon. (Remove dough from refridgerator). With a small spoon or better yet, a small small ice cream scoop, scoop out a ball of dough and roll in the ‘crust’. Make sure to fully coat..you may need to make more sugar mix. 

   Place each dough ball onto the parchment lined baking sheets about 2″ apart. *I typically fit about a dozen per sheet. 

 Place the baking sheet into the preheated oven for 10 minutes, rotating the baking sheet halfway through (at 5 minutes). Cool for 5-7 minutes and then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. Complete with the remaining dough and baking sheets till all are cooked and cooled. 

 Meanwhile, prepare the Simple Glaze for your finished cookies.  In a small bowl combine the glaze ingredients and whisk till smooth.  Now with the cooled cookies still on the wire rack over the baking sheet, you can either drizzle the glaze or dunk the cookie tops and replace on rack to soak in and harden. 

     Set these beauties on a pretty platter or immediately serve alongside a cold glass of milk!  Also…get ready to make another couple dozen, as they go quick!! 

 

Cinnamon French Toast Pancakes

This hybrid of a breakfast will knock your socks off and get your morning off to a great start!  In my home there are some of us that prefer pancakes, while there are the others that prefer french toast…now it’s no more fighting and just eating!  Amen to that!

The Starting Lineup

Pancake Batter

  • 1 cup flour
  • 2 Tbsp sugar
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1 egg
  • 2 Tbsp vege oil
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract

French Toast Batter

  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 tsp cinnamon  

Heat a skillet or griddle to medium heat (you may add a tbsp of vegetable oil and/or butter if using a cast iron).  Also preheat your oven to 225degrees and get a baking rack/baking sheet ready.  You’ll keep your pancakes and then turned to french toast here to keep warm!

In a larger bowl, combine your dry ingredients:  flour, sugar, cinnamon, baking powder, baking soda and the salt. Whisk them to combine. 

 Now in a smaller bowl combine the wet ingredients: buttermilk, egg, oil and the vanilla extract.  Slowly stir the wet ingredients into the dry.  It is OK if there are a few lumps my friends!  So please do not overwork the batter with your whisking…that will result in a flat pancake.  No Bueno. 

    Pour almost a 1/2 cup of batter onto the hot skillet and let cook till bubbles have started to form on the top, about 2-3 minutes.  Flip your pancake with a large spatula and cook for about 1-2 minutes..repeat till the batter is finished.  After each pancake is done, transfer to the preheated oven to keep warm (on an oven safe plate or sheet people! ;)) 

      Ok..meanwhile, you have gotten the cinnamon French toast batter ready..or you should have at least.  I like to use a pie plate for mine.  It’s both shallow and round, just like the pancakes!! 

 In an easy assembly line line-up, have in order your cooked pancakes, French toast batter and the same heated skillet/griddle ready…(add more butter if needed). 

 Dip the cooked pancake into the French toast batter, flip to cover both sides.  Next transfer to your hot pan and cook for about 1 minute on each side and then transfer to the oven to keep warm.  Repeat until…until you’re out of pancakes!

Serve this delicious hybrid breakfast with a bit of butter, warm syrup and perhaps a dash more of cinnamon and powdered sugar.  Enjoy!!! 

 

French Onion Dip

Everyone loves a good chips & dip as a snack, but sometimes they can taste too salty or artificial. Yuck….but did you know you can make your own with ingredients that you likely already have on hand?!  Truth.  A few fridge and pantry staples will make you the star of snack time!

The Starting Lineup

  • 1 1/2 large yellow onions, sliced
  • 1 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise 
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2 tsp onion powder
  • 2 Tbsp EVOO
  • Kosher salt & Pepper   

Heat your extra virgin olive oil in a sauté pan over medium heat.  Once the EVOO is hot, add in your onion slices along with a pinch of salt.  You’re going to cook these onions for at least 20 minutes, while stirring occasionally.  You want them to darken and caramelize.  I like to drop the heat a bit and cook a good 30 minutes +. 
     Once your onions have finished cooking, add in your minced garlic.  Give this a quick stir, take off the heat and set aside. 
 Next, in your food processor, add together the sour cream, mayo, 3/4th of the caramelized onions, onion powder and a pinch each of the salt & pepper. Pulse until combined. 
 Roughly chop up the remaining 1/4th of the caramelized onions and fold into the sour cream/mayo mix. Keep in the refrigerator until chilled and serve with potato chips, vegetables or use as a sandwich spread! Enjoy!! 
 

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