Banana Walnut Pancakes

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Happy Saturday, kiddos!

The temperatures outside are now officially fall-like (yay!), which means that it is totally appropriate to bring out all the apple-, pumpkin-, and spice-flavored baked goods that go into hiding the other 8 months out of the year. Fall is definitely my favorite season for food (anyone else?).

To honor the descent of the temperature into the low-60s, I want to share with you a pancake recipe that I tried out a week ago (when it was still 80 degrees outside). You all know my love of banana nut muffins (I’ve made them twice on the blog), so when I had some overripe bananas and the hankering for a spice-flavored breakfast item, inspiration struck.

And Banana Walnut Pancakes were born!

The pancakes start with my regular ‘ole pancake batter.

First, assemble the dry ingredients in a big bowl.

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Flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg all get added and then thoroughly whisked together. And perfumes the kitchen with the smell of fall!

The wet ingredients – skim milk and eggs – are whisked in a separate bowl…

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… and then poured over the dry ingredients. Gently mix the wet into the dry until just combined. Please don’t overmix your pancake batter – it will never forgive you!

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The last two additions to the batter are two overripe bananas that have been thoroughly mashed and some delicious flavorings. You also know that I think whiskey and bananas are a great combo, so I added in some whiskey to the batter along with some vanilla. If you don’t like cooking with alcohol, you can leave it out!

And now, it’s time to cook.

I set a pancake griddle over medium-low heat and sprayed it with cooking spray.

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When the griddle was hot, I poured ¼ cup scoops of batter onto the griddle. (this makes the perfect size pancakes)

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Then sprinkle on some finely chopped walnuts. I love walnuts in my banana nut muffins, but pecans work here too!

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**Side Note: This pancake recipe is great as is, but sometimes you want to be a little extra sweet. I added in some mini chocolate chips to some of the pancakes to try and yep, they were delicious too! **

When the pancake starts to bubble, flip them over.

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Allow the pancakes to cook for an additional minute on the other side. And then they’re done!

I usually pop the cooked pancakes onto a wire baking rack set in a 185 degree oven. The pancakes stay warm, but don’t dry out.

When all the pancakes are made, then it’s time to eat!

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Serve them up with your favorite pancake syrup!

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And dig in.

I hope you enjoy this pancake recipe that will warm you up on a chilly fall morning!

Your pancake flippin’, banana nut muffin lovin’ friend,

C

Banana Walnut Pancakes

  • Servings: 6 people
  • Difficulty: easy
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Ingredients:

2¼ cups all-purpose flour

4½ tablespoons sugar

3½ teaspoons baking powder

1½ teaspoons salt

1½ teaspoons ground cinnamon

¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg

3 eggs

1¾ cup skim milk

1½ teaspoons vanilla extract

1½ teaspoons whiskey, optional

2 overripe bananas, mashed

½ cup walnuts, finely chopped

Mini chocolate chips, optional

Cooking spray

 

Steps:

  1. Preheat oven to 185 degrees. Place pancake griddle over medium-low heat.
  2. In a large bowl, combine flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Whisk to combine.
  3. In a small bowl, combine eggs and milk. Whisk to combine.
  4. Slowly pour wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and mix gently to combine – don’t over mix! Add in the mashed bananas, vanilla, and whiskey. Stir to combine.
  5. Grease preheated pancake griddle with cooking spray. Ladle batter onto the griddle in ¼ cup measures. Sprinkle chopped walnuts over each pancake. Add chocolate chips if desired. When the pancake begins to bubble, flip over and cook for an additional minute until the underside is golden brown. Store cooked pancakes on a wire rack and place rack into the preheated oven.

Serve the pancakes with warm syrup.

Enjoy!

 

Nutrition Information (3 pancakes):

354 calories Ÿ• 57gm carbohydrates Ÿ• 3gm fiber Ÿ• 12gm protein •Ÿ 9gm fat Ÿ• 1.5gm saturated fat Ÿ• 854mg sodium Ÿ• 95mg cholesterol Ÿ• 2.6mg iron Ÿ• 231mg calcium

Belgian Waffles

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Happy Wednesday, everyone!

How’s your week going?

 

Things have finally settled down around here after a big weekend of celebrating E’s birthday… I think she had a nice time having a celebration in her new place with her new friends and a celebration at home with her family. Best of both worlds!

Being the birthday girl meant that she got to choose all the foods for each meal on Monday – our favorite burger joint for lunch and our favorite Mexican place for dinner. What was left was breakfast… and what E asked for surprised me. E loves eggs and I assumed that she would want baked eggs and scones for breakfast.

She threw me for a loop when she requested Belgian waffles… but the birthday girl gets what she wants (plus, who does not love a good waffle?).

Belgian waffles are super easy to make but do require some steps.

They start with two eggs that are separated, with the whites going into a small bowl and the yolks in a large one.

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Beat the egg whites with a hand mixer (or by hand if you want to work out your muscles!) until soft peaks form. Set aside.

To the yolks…

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Add in some milk and vegetable oil. Whisk to combine thoroughly.

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Then add in some flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt.

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Stir gently to combine, but don’t worry if there is a lump or two.

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Then add in the beaten egg whites.

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And gently fold them into the batter – if you mix too vigorously, the egg whites will deflate and your waffles will lose their light texture (and you will be very, very sad… trust me).

Portion out the batter into your pre-heated waffle iron and cook using the appliance directions.

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For my waffle iron, I portion out 1 cup of batter in the center of the iron and allow the weight of the lid to push out the batter evenly. The amount you need for each waffle can vary depending on the size and shape of your iron – I have a large waffle iron that makes 4-4” inch Belgian waffles.

To keep the waffles warm, I keep them on a wire cooling rack in a 185 degree oven.

Then just serve them up with your favorite toppings – we went with a selection of fresh berries and a dusting of powdered sugar but the options are endless.

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PB&J, chocolate hazelnut spread, chocolate chips, Greek yogurt and honey, fresh strawberry sauce, chicken tenders (chicken and waffles… food nirvana), plain ole maple syrup, etc etc etc.

 

A sweet birthday breakfast for an even sweeter sister!

Have a great week, kiddos!

Your waffle makin’ friend,

C

Belgian Waffles

  • Servings: 5 people
  • Difficulty: easy
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Ingredients:

2 eggs, separated

1¾ cup + 1 tablespoon skim milk

3 tablespoons vegetable oil

1¾ cup all-purpose flour

2 tablespoons sugar

4 teaspoons baking powder

1 teaspoon salt

Cooking spray

 

Steps:

  1. Preheat your waffle iron according to the manufacture’s instructions.
  2. Separate the eggs, placing the egg whites in a small bowl and the egg yolks into a large bowl. Whip the egg whites until they form soft peaks, about 1-2 minutes. Set them aside.
  3. In the large bowl with the egg whites, add in the milk and oil. Beat until thoroughly combined. Add in the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. Gently stir to combine – don’t over mix (a few small lumps are okay!).
  4. Add the beaten egg whites to the batter and gently fold to combine, leaving some patches of egg white.
  5. Grease your preheated waffle iron with some cooking spray. Portion out the batter into your waffle iron according to the manufacture’s directions – make sure you cook until golden brown and crisp!

Serve with your favorite toppings (the possibilities are endless!).

Enjoy!

Easy Pumpkin Pancakes

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Happy Monday, everyone! How was your weekend?

Did the time change totally throw you?

Oh, good… me too.

Sunday mornings are slightly busy around my house – getting up, feeding The Cat, trying to squeeze in a little exercise, making breakfast, watching my BFF Pioneer Woman on Food Network, getting ready for church, and actually physically get to the car to go to church. Like I said, we’re slightly busy.

Throw in a time change and things get crazy. But we got to church on time (victory!).

With my body still in early morning rotation mode, I woke up in time to whip up a hearty breakfast for my parents before the morning craziness got started.

A quick scan of the fridge revealed half a can of pureed pumpkin that was begging to be used. So I whipped up some pumpkin pancakes – a perfect Fall dish for a Spring (ahead) day!

The dry ingredients are simple.

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Flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg.

The wet ingredients are just as simple.

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Skim milk, an egg, and the pureed pumpkin.

What I love about pancakes are their simplicity.

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Just add wet to dry and mix carefully to JUST combine everything together.

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Stir in some vanilla extract and some melted butter.

And plunk your batter onto a hot griddle.

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Pancake perfection.

My mom and I decided to play off our Pumpkin Chocolate Chip muffin recipe and add in some mini chocolate chips.

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This is totally optional, but it added a little sugar to get us moving. Plus, pumpkin and chocolate = BFFs.

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All that’s left is to serve them up with a drizzle (okay, maybe a small river) of pancake syrup and dig in.

Enjoy, everyone.

Your fall-inspired breakfast lovin’, slightly sleep-deprived friend,

C

Easy Pumpkin Pancakes

  • Difficulty: easy
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Ingredients:

1½ cup all-purpose flour

2½ tablespoons sugar

3 teaspoons baking powder

½ teaspoon salt

½ teaspoon ground cinnamon

¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg

1 egg

1¼ cup milk

6 tablespoons pumpkin puree

1 teaspoon of vanilla

1 tablespoon unsalted butter, melted

Mini semi-sweet chocolate chips

 

Steps:

  1. Preheat a griddle or large skillet over medium-low heat.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, combine flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Whisk together to combine.
  3. In a medium-sized bowl, combine the egg, milk, and pumpkin puree. Mix well to combine.
  4. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and gently mix together until the batter is just combined. Stir in the vanilla and butter.
  5. Grease the griddle or skillet with non-stick cooking spray. Portion out ¼ cup servings of batter onto the skillet – sprinkle in mini-chocolate chips if desired. Cook pancakes for 2-3 minutes per side, or until they are golden brown.

Serve immediately with warm syrup.

Slightly adapted from Martha Stewart.

 

Challah French Toast

There is nothing more that I love in life than a perfect, relaxing morning. Last Sunday, I was able to enjoy one of those mornings. A five-mile run, a leisurely trip to the farmer’s market, and French toast.

But not any French toast.

Challah French Toast.

I love French toast. It is delicious, impressive looking, but cooks fairly quickly with no fuss. If you have impromptu sleep-over guests, then French toast is a quick hot breakfast option that allows you to enjoy spending time with your guests (and sleep in a little).

As much as I love sandwich bread French toast, challah bread elevates it to a whole other level. This egg-based bread is commonly sold in the grocery store and can be identified by itself distinctive braided style.

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This is the one I picked up at the grocery store… those knobs are French toast perfection!

To make my easy Challah French Toast, grab a couple of eggs. I usually do one egg per person eating French toast… so one egg per two slices of challah bread. Then add a some milk, cinnamon, a touch of nutmeg, and some vanilla…

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It seems simple but this mixture will give the french toast great flavor!

Then grab your challah bread.

Place the challah bread into the baking dish with the egg mixture.

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Using a fork, pierce the surface of the bread so the egg mixture can completely soak through the bread. Let the bread hang out in the mixture while you heat up your skillet.

My family broke out the big guns and we used our pancake griddle!

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To which we added some butter (or you can use non-stick cooking spray).

And then the French toast gets placed onto the griddle.

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I usually cook my French toast on medium-low heat. Since the challah bread is cut relatively thickly ( ½ to ¾ inch thick pieces), I want to make sure the middle cooks through before the edges burn. It takes a little longer, but it is totally worth it.

I usually start taking a peek at the bottom of the French toast after 2 minutes.

And flip over when it becomes delightfully golden brown.

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To serve, place on a plate, pour on the syrup…

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… and dig in!

Enjoy, kiddos.

C

Challah French Toast

  • Servings: four people
  • Difficulty: easy
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Ingredients:

8 slices of challah bread, cut into ½ to ¾ inch thick pieces

4 eggs

½ cup of milk

1½ teaspoons of ground cinnamon

¼ teaspoon of ground nutmeg

2 teaspoons of good vanilla extract

 

Steps:

1. In a bowl, combine eggs, milk, cinnamon, nutmeg, and vanilla. Pour into a deep-sided dish.

2. Place the slices of challah bread in the egg mixture, piercing both sides of the bread with a fork. Let slices sit in the egg mixture until it’s time to cook.

3. Heat a skillet or griddle over medium-low heat. When hot, spread with butter or spray with non-stick cooking spray.

4. Place soaked bread slices on griddle and cook until side is golden brown, about 2-4 minutes. Start checking on the French toast after 2 minutes. Flip the French toast when it is golden brown and cook for an additional 1-4 minutes, until the reverse side is golden brown.

5. Serve immediately with butter, syrup, fruit, or jam.

Procrastination

So I should be sorting through the mountain of work, but I decided that I wanted to write a blog post instead. But truthfully, if I need to de-stress, I cook or bake. There is something soothing about stirring sauce, chopping vegetable, and tossing pasta. It gets you into a better mind space, makes your kitchen smell DIVINE, and then you have yourself lunch.

I find this concept of de-stress cooking works best with a recipe that you know particularly well (less of a chance of messing up if your mind wanders back to that long to-do list)… so I made pancakes. And they were the best, mind-clearing, soul-restoring pancakes I have ever created. This is how to make them:

Assemble…

1 ½ cups of all-purpose flour

3 tablespoons of granulated sugar

1 tablespoon of baking powder

½ teaspoon of salt

1 teaspoon of cinnamon

¼ teaspoon of nutmeg

1 ¼ cup of milk (whatever you have)

2 eggs

1 teaspoon of vanilla

Total side note – I have apparently been using incorrect measuring cups for basically my whole school cooking career. When I made this recipe today, I ended up with two containers of leftover batter (rather than one)… So I wonder if my food will get better now that I have proper measuring instruments? Since my old measuring cups were clearly inadequate, I took the opportunity of being home for Thanksgiving and had my parents purchase me some new ones. My mother decided to throw practicality out the window and we purchased “whimsical cat” measuring cups…

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They are a pain to use, but oddly endearing. I love them.

To continue with pancake awesomeness…

Combine all the dry ingredients together in a big bowl and mix until thoroughly combined.  In a separate bowl, combine eggs and milk – beat until combined. Add the milk/egg mixture into the dry ingredients and stir gently to combine. Then add the vanilla and mix well. Now you are ready for the griddle.

I use an old non-stick pan to make my pancakes and I grease it with non-stick cooking spray. I also test to see if the batter tastes alright by making a little baby pancake. If something is off, I can fix it at this point.

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Now it’s pancake time! I use my remaining measuring cup and ladle out ½ cup portions per pancake… you can make yours bigger or smaller if you want. Then comes the fun part… STUFF. Plain pancakes are well and good, but I am a big fan of stuff. Today was mini-chocolate chip pancake day. Add anything you like, just make sure that you keep it towards the middle of the pancake.

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When little bubbles begin to form, it’s time to flip. Then let the pancake cook for about a minute on the other side and then you are done!

Pour on some maple syrup and you are in breakfast (or lunch) heaven.

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Now that I am stuffed with pancakes, maybe I should start doing work again…

Basic Pancakes

  • Servings: 4 people
  • Difficulty: easy
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Ingredients:

1 ½ cups of all-purpose flour

3 tablespoons of granulated sugar

1 tablespoon of baking powder

½ teaspoon of salt

1 teaspoon of cinnamon

¼ teaspoon of nutmeg

1 ¼ cup of milk (whatever you have)

2 eggs

1 teaspoon of vanilla

Steps:

1. Preheat a griddle or a large frying pan over medium-low heat.

2. In a large bowl, combine flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Combine thoroughly.

3. In a separate bowl, combine milk and eggs. Mix well to combine.

4. Pour wet ingredients into dry ingredients. Stir gently to combine. Stir in vanilla extract.

5. Grease the griddle with nonstick cooking spray.

6. Pour about a quarter to half a cup of batter (depending on how big you want to make your pancakes) onto the griddle. After the bottom begins to set, you can add a modest sprinkle of your favorite mix-in. Mine’s fresh blueberries!

7. Once small bubbles pop on the surface and craters remain in their place (bottom should be golden-brown deliciousness), flip the pancake over. Cook for an additional minute. Place on a plate for immediate eating or in a 200 degree oven to keep warm until serving.

8. Serve with butter, syrup, or honey and dig in!