Sunday, April 10, 2011

Incredible & Edible

My favorite food is an egg. Boiled, scrambled, poached, baked or fried it doesn't matter - I love eggs. LOVE eggs. (My second favorite food is an avocado, but that's another post.)
I am always looking for new ideas and recipes that use eggs. I especially love eggs and toast, but in my opinion, if you're gonna eat toast with eggs, the yolk HAS to be runny. It just has to. So, yesterday afternoon I was watching all of the "Mad Hungry" episodes I had recorded this past week. I never get the chance to watch them during the week, so as soon as I can wrestle the remote from my 6 year-old's sticky little hands and turn off Spongebob... I finally get some quality time with my DVR.
Now, I record a ton of cooking and food shows, but I have to say my new favorite is "Mad Hungry" with Lucinda Scala Quinn. It comes on right after Martha Stewart on the Hallmark Channel, and I think what I love most about LSQ (that's what I call her) is that she makes "real" food - stuff I would actually cook myself. And she uses 3, maybe 4 utensils in the kitchen - one of which is a cast iron skillet (which I had to run out and buy once I started watching her show). She also uses this simple little wooden-spatula hybrid thingy and a Le Creuset pot. I am fairly certain that with these 3 things, you could cook anything. Seriously.
One of the Mad Hungry shows last week had to do with foods/recipes for those feeling under the weather or for when you or your family just need a little comforting. She made this ahhh-mazing chicken broth recipe you can turn into Tortilla Soup, but that, too, is another post. One of the dishes she made was nothing more than buttered, toasted bread with a 4-minute egg over it. That's it. So this morning when I walked into the kitchen I saw we had maybe 5 slices of bread left and I knew we had eggs, so I thought, eh - why not try it. It was wonderful. It was simple and filling and perfect. The plus side... we didn't spend money on sub-par fast food. I love that such a simple, average egg-on-toast breakfast can make you feel good about taking the time to make something for your family. I highly recommend checking out the "Mad Hungry" show on Hallmark and taking a look at the awesome blog here:

4-Minute Eggs over Buttered Toast
(Oh yeah, and Sriracha sauce.. 'cause it's awesome.)

A little side note on my photos.... the camera on my Blackberry is crappy. But I'm lazy and use my phone instead of dragging out the Canon and downloading photos. Plus I was hungry and couldn't wait.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

"Best Thing in the Whole World" Pumpkin Pancakes

HELLO EVERYONE IN BLOGLAND! Or Blogville. Or, whatever you call this place....
It's been a looooong time since I've posted anything, but I have been having some fabulous kitchen adventures lately and I really wanted to brag about my mad culinary skills. So, naturally I decided to revisit my little blog here. Plus, I noticed that I still get an insane amount of traffic to my blog, even though I haven't posted anything in oh, I guess about 10 months. HOLY COW! It's been 10 months since I posted anything? Wow...
Anyhoo, here I am. There's nothing really new to report, well except that Ben is almost done with Kindergarten (Oh. My. Gawd.), I went full-time at my job in December, and, um, I guess that's about it.
After sleeping late this morning and spending the early afternoon mindlessly browsing the internet, I finally thought of what to do with that can of Libby's Pumpkin Puree that's been staring me in the face every time I open the pantry door. I decided to make Pumpkin Pancakes. While I was making them, I knew all I had in the pantry was regular pancake syrup of the Aunt Jemima variety, so I thought I would just make some homemade whipped cream, to keep with the "pumpkin pie" theme I had going. They turned out DIVINE, and the hubbs moaned the whole time he ate them. Ben declared them the best thing he has ever eaten. Which would sound like a big deal, but he actually declares everything I make "the best thing in the whole world" - don't get me wrong, I love that he loves my cooking, but he actually once announced that the Nutella I spread on Ritz crackers was "the best thing in the whole world." So, you see my point, right?
So, if you are faced with a can of pumpkin puree in your pantry and would love to make some of these "Best Thing in the Whole World Pumpkin Pancakes", here is my recipe. Since I don't really write recipes, it might not be exact, but cooking is an adventure - taste as you go, make adjustments when you need to and be confident in your final product. Trust me.

1 1/4 cups flour
2 tbsp sugar
2 tsp baking powder
2 tsp pumpkin pie spice (this is where you should taste - I like a lot of this, you may not)
1 cup milk
6 tbsp pumpkin puree
2 tbsp melted butter
1 egg

Combine all your dry ingredients in a bowl and whisk together. Taste the flour mixture to make sure the pumpkin pie flavoring is how you like it. Next, combine all of your wet ingredients. Make sure your melted butter has cooled enough that it won't "cook" your egg when you combine them. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and stir just until combined. You want the mixture lumpy.
Lightly grease a skillet over medium-high heat and pour just under 1/4 cup of batter for each pancake. Flip when small bubbles form on the top of the batter. Once you take them off the skillet, put a very small pat of butter on each pancake.
Now for the whipped cream... I used about 1 cup of heavy whipping cream, 1 tbsp sugar, 1 tspn very good vanilla extract and pumpkin pie spice to taste (start with a little, taste as you go). I used my electric mixer until the cream was fairly thick, but not butter. But almost butter - you see, I was putting this on pancakes and I knew it would melt a little, so I wanted it thicker than regular whipped cream. It was a good idea to make it thicker - since we ended up spooning the whipped cream onto each pancake and rolling it up to eat it. Hee hee....