Tag Archives: brunch

Whole Wheat Pumpkin Pancakes & A Kitchen Tip!

Since it’s October I’m taking full advantage of the excuse to celebrate two of my favorite things: pumpkin and horror movies! Both of these things are October staples – and I had plenty of each this weekend! After Body Pump on Saturday morning I whipped up some Whole Wheat Pumpkin Pancakes and bacon for breakfast. Up first – a tip for cooking bacon!

I learned this tip for Rachel Ray and have since seen it on many cooking shows and articles online. Apparently, restaurants bake their bacon on sheet trays rather than cooking it on the stove top. This prevents 1) grease from splattering all over the stovetop and 2) keeps the bacon from having those “less cooked” spots as it cooks and crinkles up in the pan. Another great tip is that if you bake the bacon up on top of a cooling rack over the sheet tray – all the grease will drop down below! I recently purchased a new set of cookie sheets from Bed, Bath and Beyond so I took full advantage of baking my bacon this weekend – but I have yet to find a cooling rack that will work to put up on top. As soon as I do I’m definitely trying that method!

Bake the bacon in a single layer in a 375 degree over for 12 – 15 minutes.

uncooked bacon

cooked bacon
Tada!

And while the bacon was baking I moved on to making the pancakes!

whole wheat pumpkin pancakes title

Whole Wheat Pumpkin Pancakes
Makes 7-8 pancakes.

    – 1 cup of my whole wheat pancake mix
    – 1/2 can of pumpkin puree (I’d say it’s about 1/2-3/4 of a cup)
    – 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
    – Enough milk (I used soy milk) to bring the mixture to a pancake batter consistency

Mix all ingredients together until smooth – don’t over-mix! Drop onto a hot skillet and cook until golden brown on both sides. Serve with butter and maple syrup.

whole wheat pumpkin pancakes

Yum! These pancakes were so delicious and filling on a nice, cool, weekend.

I spent most of the weekend being sort of a hermit and getting stuff done around my house while I caught up on TV shows and watched a few movies. And by “watched a few movies” I mean watched the Paranormal Activity movies in marathon format. It’s not the first time I’ve done this, and I swear I never learn my lesson. I absolutely love horror movies, and I enjoy the scary feeling they give me while I watch them but sometimes after a marathon like this (or a particularly scary movie) I wake up in the middle of the night seriously creeped out. Luckily, I’ve discovered that the Animal Planet show “Too Cute” is on Netflix Instant and it is seriously the best cure for a case of the late-night heebie-jeebies! I’m sure I’ll need it again soon, as one of my favorite horror franchises – the Halloween series – is on marathon all this week on AMC. Even though I own all the movies on DVD (except for that terrible third outing that doesn’t count because Michael Myers isn’t even in it) I cannot resist the urge to watch them and/or DVR them when they’re on TV!

Questions of the Day:
What are your favorite horror movies? Or do you like horror movies at all?
Are you addicted to pumpkin too? If not, what is your favorite fall treat?

Zucchini Pancakes

One of my best friends went home to visit her family last weekend which is good news for me because every time she takes a trip home, she brings me a load of fresh vegetables from her dad’s garden! 🙂

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Check out that huge haul of veggies! I actually knew it was going to be a challenge for me to eat them all myself. Luckily, my mom is coming into town for Labor Day weekend and I know her and I will eat up a ton of them! My friend also brought me some zucchini bread which I had never had before and is absolutely delicious. It takes like dessert to me! In addition to the zucchini bread, she also gave me two of the biggest zucchinis I have ever seen! I hope the picture does them justice – they were each literally the size of my forearm.

So one of my first challenges was to decide what to do with all this zucchini! I already had zucchini bread – so I was looking for other ideas. I decided on zucchini pancakes, or latkes or zucchini fritters – whatever you want to call them. I’ve seen them called a bunch of different names on the internet. Basically, they’re very similar to potato pancakes.

First thing, I shredded up about a zucchini and a half (I saved half and diced it up to use in a frittata). I was a little wary of the task of shredding up that much zucchini, but it actually went pretty easily – probably because the zucchini has such a high water content. Because of that, I didn’t want soggy pancakes so I put the shredded zucchini in a strainer with a little salt and let it sit for about 5 minutes. Then, I squeezed it out in a water towel. I’m glad I did because a ton of water came out!

Next, I mixed the shredded zucchini up in a bowl with granulated onion, granulated garlic, eggs, and a little flour.

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I heated up a few tablespoons of oil in a skillet and dropped in small, silver-dollar sized pancakes of batter and cooked over medium-high heat until golden brown on both sides.

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I drained the pancakes on paper towels to soak up the excess oil.

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Ta da! These are delicious. They really remind me of potato pancakes, and a little bit of hashbrowns. They would be great served up with ketchup, or sour cream, or even apple sauce (which is traditional for potato latkes). I definitely saved up the leftovers for my mom and I to enjoy for brunch on Friday!

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Zucchini Pancakes
Makes approximately 12 pancakes, depending on size.

    – 2 cups shredded zucchini
    – 2 eggs
    – 2 teaspoons granulated garlic
    – 2 teaspoons granulated onion
    – 1 tablespoon flour
    – 1 teaspoon cracked black pepper

Mix all ingredients together and sauté a few tablespoons of batter (small pancake size) in hot oil until golden brown on both sides, approximately 5 minutes per side. Serve for breakfast or brunch.

Spring Vegetable Frittata

On Sunday I was seized by the sudden urge to make a frittata. Does that happen to other people? I guess there are worst problems I could have. I think it started because I still had potatoes to use up. Trying to “use something up” is pretty much a constant state of being for me. Also, I was finally working my way through a backlog of Rachel Ray episodes on my DVR and she was making a frittata so of course I wanted to make one too. Monkey see, monkey want to cook. Plus, I knew the leftovers would make the perfect “Meatless Monday” lunch!

Frittatas are one of my favorite “use up what’s left in the fridge” recipes (along with salads). Starting with a base of potatoes and onions, you can add pretty much any vegetables you like, top with some eggs and voila! You have a hearty meal. This particular combination was borne out of a combination of what I had available, and what sounded tasty to me at the time. And I can tell you – this was a particularly winning combination! I will definitely be making this exact frittata again.

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Spring Vegetable Frittata
Serves six

    – 4 small potatoes (such as Yukon gold), thinly sliced
    – 1 medium onion, sliced or chopped
    – 2 cloves garlic, minced
    – 2 teaspoons dried thyme
    – 2-3 tablespoons of olive oil
    – 6 eggs
    – 1 cup milk
    – 1 cup of feta cheese
    – ½ cup frozen spinach, defrosted
    – ½ cup frozen peas
    – Salt and pepper, to taste

Pre-heat your oven to 350 degrees. Thinly slice your potatoes. I used my mandolin which is quickly becoming one of my favorite kitchen tools. Then, slice or chop your onions (depending on how you like your onions) and mince or paste up two cloves of garlic. Heat up 2-3 tablespoons of olive oil in a medium sauté pan (enough to cover the bottom) and add the potatoes, onion, and garlic. Season with salt, pepper and thyme, and cook for 15 minutes over medium heat, or until the potatoes are cooked through.

Meanwhile, crack the eggs into a bowl and whisk together with 1 cup of milk. Most of the frittata recipes that I see call for mixing the eggs with cream or half-and-half but I find the meal is plenty rich with just milk (especially with the cheese!) but feel free to substitute if you’re feeling decadent or if you have cream to use up! 🙂 Add the defrosted spinach (be careful to let it cool so it doesn’t start cooking the eggs), peas, feta cheese and salt and pepper to the egg mixture. Once the potato mixture is done, add the egg mixture to the pan and gently stir to evenly distribute the potatoes throughout the frittata.

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Just before going into the oven…

Cook on the stovetop until just set around the edges, and finish in a 350 degree oven for 20 minutes.

Note: I saw some frittata recipes that only cook in the oven for 10 minutes, but I find that mine usually need 20 minutes or more. Temperatures and times vary from oven to oven, so check on your frittata regularly and remove from the oven when the center is set.

Just like with cakes, pies, brownies, etc – the first slice never comes out pretty. But I took a picture anyway just to show all the wonderful ingredients layered throughout the egg.

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It was such a delicious, light, dinner! I was plenty full with just the frittata, but you could bulk it up by serving bread and/or a salad on the side. Also, I chose to make this frittata meatless, but you could add any meat you like (I’ve used Canadian bacon in the past with great results). Frittatas are great brunch or breakfast items also, and can be served warm or at room temperature so they are pretty low-maintenance! I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as I did! 🙂