meatless monday : a ploughman’s platter

cheese glorious cheese

cheese glorious cheese

the other night i explained to some friends …. “yay i’ve been trying to eat like a hobbit lately” needless to say some wine might have almost come out of a nose or two when i made that statement. but its TRUE! i am rereading the lord of the rings trilogy. me the nerd that i am i like to get in the mood when reading novels. drinks, music, food that all go with the theme of the book. on heavy music rotation …. the chieftains, drink of choice lately fallish beers pumpkin and mead and yes foods i have declared “hobbitish” fish and chips, sheppard’s pie and my meatless monday creation a ploughman’s platter……some drunkin goat cheese, fresh carrot and apple slices, homemade bread and almonds and yes of course an ale in a giant ceramic mug. life ain’t to bad as a hobbit.


Now those are some pumpkin pie pancakes…

2014_10_30-Pumpkin Pancakes-5

Alas. They are not my pumpkin pie pancakes. My lovelies photographed like this…

photo (1)

Though not as pancake glamorous as the previous photo, they were pretty good. If you’re anti-pumpkin spice– stop reading this now. However, if you can’t wait for the autumn breeze to blow in tastes of cinnamon, ginger, clove, and of course, the famous gourd– then read on my spicy friends.

I love fall just for the pumpkininess of it all. Butternut squash is good too, but come on, let’s be honest, it’s a back-up to all other autumn flavors. Pumpkin Spice Rules. I’ll admit that perhaps this year things did get a little out of hand. When a whole page of the grocery store ad is dedicated to pumpkin-spiced-you-name-it-products, I do start to question my devotion.

BUT– then I make something like these pumpkin pie pancakes. Suddenly, I forget about the Pumpkin spiced Oreos and fall in love all over again with the cozy smells of autumn drifting up from my plate.

Pumpkin Pie Pancakes Recipe:

I adapted the kitchn recipe, due to my preferred pancake consistency (which is cakey and a tad bit dense).

What you need: Makes 10 pancakes, or more if you keep them small!

2 cups (9 ounces) all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons brown sugar
1  teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1 1/2 cups milk, preferably whole
1 cup canned pumpkin puree  (not pumpkin pie puree)
2 large eggs, separated
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Canola oil (or butter– yeah, you know who you are), for cooking

The How-To:

Add flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, brown sugar, and spices in a mixing bowl and stir to combine.

In another bowl, or large measuring cup, combine buttermilk, pumpkin puree, egg yolks, and vanilla.

Pour the liquid mixture into the dry ingredients. Don’t over stir. There should still be visible clumps of flour. Over-stirring is the killer for all pancake mixes.

Fold in the egg whites. They won’t combine all the way. You’ll still see a glossy shine on the top of the mixture, and that’s okay.

Let the batter to rest for about 10 minutes. This will make your batter fluffier. I learned this trick making cornbread. While you wait, wash the dishes and get the syrup ready!

Preheat a large cast iron skillet or griddle on medium-high heat

Add 1 tablespoon of canola or a tablespoon of butter.

To test the heat of your skillet, dab on a teeny-tiny pancake. When the batter starts to bubble, then your skillet is ready!

Add 1/4 cup portions of batter to the skillet.

Lower the heat to medium and cook until the batter starts to bubble.

When this happens, flip the pancakes and let them cook for 2-3 more minutes.

Set those pancakes aside (a plastic container with a lid will keep them warm), then re-grease your skillet. I do this between each batch. You might need to lower and then increase your heat if the skillet gets too hot.

Keep pumpkin pie pancaking away until you run out of batter!



meatless monday: broccoli mac and cheese

it can't be beat

it can’t be beat

i’ve noticed at work that the lunch ladies will often comment about how the dinners they cook at home seem to match up with the menus we serve at work. i believe we unconsciously think “mmmmm chili” but then we don’t want the usda approved recipe chili we want our homemade recipes. for me this week it was cheesey broccoli mac & cheese. the kids won’t touch it at work but i used to love the stuff. now i grab a box of vegan mac & cheese mix, stem fresh broccoli and i have yummy cheesey dinner. and of course to make sure all food groups are present some apple slices!



meatless monday: spicy tofu lettuce wraps and vegetable dumplings

its never as good as blue koi

its never as good as blue koi

i’m always on a quest to recreate the meals i loved to get at restaurants from cities i used to live in. for meatless monday i was trying to recreate some lettuce wraps and dumplings i used to get in kc. i make a spicy tofu that has had a variety of stir-fried veggies added to it and the dumplings are steamed with my curry-peanut sauce on top. its good but not as good as the original. i’ll keep trying and one day i’ll figure out the secrets!