B E C K Y . M O O R E

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Perfect Pumpkin Pancakes

We’re pancake afficionados at our house, but today I went above and beyond … by creating the perfect pumpkin pancakes. Sigh. These are good.

pumpkin_pancakes

Ingredients
–  1-1/4 cups flour*
–  3 tsp baking powder
– 3 Tbsp granulated sugar*
–  1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
–  1/4 tsp ground cloves
–  1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
–  1/2 tsp salt
–  1 whole egg
–  1-1/4 milk
–  1 tsp pure vanilla extract
–  1/2 cup pumpkin
–  2 Tbsp vegetable oil (olive oil is a little heavy for these)

*I typically use whole wheat flour and brown sugar for this type of yummy, but since we’re out of whole wheat, I decided the brown sugar wouldn’t taste as good.

Directions
1. Add all dry ingredients to a mixing bowl; whisk together.
2. Add the remaining ingredients; whisk together until batter is smooth.
3. Ladle onto heated pan or griddle; cook as you would pancakes.

I like to make a combination of sizes, so I don’t really have a count, but on our square Calphalon griddle, we can cook four “large” pancakes at a time. We also mix it up to make silver dollar pancakes (which are the favorites of our son, and our beagle, Magnolia May), and can do 12 silver dollars at a time. Because sometimes you want a serving of pancakes, and then sometimes you just need a silver dollar to finish you off.

And I don’t know what kind of syrup you prefer, but if you’re like me, pure maple syrup is the only way to go. Enjoy!


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Tipping My Hat to A Better Biscuit @tupelohoneycafe

As a southerner, I take pride in my homemade biscuit making prowess. But for the last few years, my boys (the 14 year old and the 40 year old) have really preferred the simplicity of Calumet baking powder biscuits. Like with technology, I follow the KISS principle in baking: keep it simple, stupid.

I fear the simple days of Calumet are gone forever, though … because I got a kickass new cookbook. The Tupelo Honey Cafe cookbook. And I made the Tupelo Honey Ginormous Biscuits. There’s no going back now. Look at those beautiful biscuits. I did a good job!

Imagine recipes for Lemon Vinaigrette (p. 48), Blackberry Skillet Jam (p. 38), Chicken Andouille Stir-Fry with Orange Jalapeno Glaze (p. 134), Chicken Apple Meat Load with Tarragon Tomato Gravy (p. 132), Peach Cobbler with Candied Almonds (p. 215) … and the Tupelo Honey Ginormous Biscuits (p. 189). Did you notice lots of chicken dishes? Since we don’t eat red meat, this book seems to have been tailor-written for us.

If you only buy one cookbook this year, give your attention to these “spirited recipes from Asheville’s new south kitchen.” I promise, you’ll thank me. I can’t wait to go back to Asheville so we can eat at the Tupelo Honey Cafe. It’s nice to find some new recipes to try at home, but everything tastes better when somebody else makes it.

– – > Are you a cookbook fan?
Got any suggestions for can’t-be-missed titles?


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Granola Cookies

I was inspired during our hiking trip to Arizona last week, to creat a yummy granola-type of cookie that would combine my soul mate’s love of oatmeal cookies, with my need for chocolate inclusion to make the calories worth it. I think I’ve struck the mother lode. For realz.

Ingredients

  • 3 cups uncooked Irish-style oatmeal
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 tsp fresh ground nutmeg
  • 3/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 2 Tbsp pure maple syrup (it’s totally okay if a little extra overflows the spoon … just saying)
  • 3/4 cup softened salted butter
  • 2 whole eggs
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 11 oz bag of white chocolate chips
  • 1 cup toasted or roasted almonds, roughly chopped
  • 3/4 cups dried cranberries

Directions

  1. 1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Mix together butter and sugar until creamy, then add egg, and dry ingredients … add the chips, nuts and dried cranberries at the very end to make sure the “cookie” part of the recipe is well-mixed.
  3. Line your cookie sheets with parchment, or prepare them however you normally do.
  4. Drop cookies 1/2-inch apart–they don’t really spread too much–and pop in the oven.
  5. Bake for 10 – 12 minutes, then let cool and enjoy!

I’m not really sure how many cookies it would make if you used tablespoon-sized scoops because I make about a dozen larger cookies, then scoop the rest of the batter in tablespoon-sized balls. Let’s say it’ll make 35 – 50 cookies, depending on how big you want them. 🙂

YUM-OLA.


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The Perfect Parfait

I am not a dairy person.

There, I said it. In all of my life, I know one other person who doesn’t eat cheese, and she’s one of my best friends. Perhaps it’s the weirdness that brought us together. Who knows. My two main sources of dairy-based calcium, though, are skim milk and yogurt. I try to have both each day, though I’m very particular about the yogurt. I can’t just put a spoonful of yogurt in my mouth … yuck!

So I like to make parfaits. And I think I’ve perfected them, from simple, healthy ingredients, to fresh seasonal fruit, to cost efficient efforts, I think I have crafted the perfect parfait.

INGREDIENTS

  • 4 ounces vanilla yogurt (I like Vanilla Activia)
  • 1 Tbsp granola (I make mine homemade; keep on reading for my EASY method)
  • Fresh fruit (today we’re using about 9 fresh raspberries)

To make the granola:
I’ve tried several different recipes for homemade granola, but in the end have come to the conculsion that this basic method is the most tasty and holds up to being mixed in with the granola. The oatmeal plumps up after a minute or two and offers a satisfying texture (while helping to keep your cholesterol low), and the toasted almonds are so yummy.

Spread your plain quick oats onto a baking sheet no more than 1/4 inch (‘ish) thick. Add in a handful of plain sliced or slivered almonds. My typical ratio is for 1/2 cup of oats, I use about 1 Tbsp of almonds. I like it nutty.

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Easy assembly:

Spoon your yogurt into a bowl deep enough that you can use a spoon to mix it around. Shallow cereal bowls = fail. Sprinkle about 1 Tbsp of your cooled granola into the bowl and stir it in.

~ ~ ~

Add your fresh fruit. When I use raspberries, I like to mash them with my spoon so they break apart and the sweet juice helps to flavor the parfait.

My very favorite fruit to add is white peaches during the summertime, but fresh blueberries are also divine!

~ ~ ~

And Wa-la! The Perfect Parfait.

 


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High 5: Christmas Cooking

I’m a baker. But I’m not really a huge consumer. That is to say … I love baking over the holidays, but after having one piece or serving of a recipe, I wind up giving most of it as gifts to friends and neighbors. My boys are appalled that I have this inclination because they’d rather be goodie hoarders, but ultimately they get that the baking is cathartic and let me share. Check out this recipe redux from the blog (Becky Moore and Dolly Sickles). They’re good to share or have on hand when unexpected company drops in:

  1. Snickerdoodles
  2. Pancakes
  3. Homemade Hot Chocolate Mix
  4. Spiced Pumpkin Bread
  5. Bunny Cookies

Got any great recipes to share?


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Spiced Pumpkin Bread

There is no better smell filling our home than spiced pumpkin bread. At breakfast yesterday, my son asked if I’d make some and I thought: why not? Seriously, this is like manna from heaven.

Ingredients

  • 3 cups sugar
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 16-oz can solid pack pumpkin
  • 3 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp hazlenut extract
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp ground cloves
  • 1 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 2 Tbsp ground golden flaxseed
  • 1/4-cup brown sugar (optional, for sprinkling on top)

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Butter and flour your pans (I like to make 6 muffins and 2 medium-sized loaves of bread). Beat together the sugar and oil in a large bowl to blend. Mix in eggs, pumpkin and your extracts. Sift in the dry ingredients (flour, cloves, cinnamon, nutmeg, baking soda, baking powder, salt) and blend well. I typically use a large whisk and mix it all by hand. My arm’s killing me by the time it’s done, but I enjoy the process.

Scoop the mixture by 1/3-cup measurements into the six muffin cups, and then divide the remaining batter into the two loaf pans. Sprinkle plain brown sugar on the top of the batter (streusel-style). Bake until your cake tester comes out clean when you insert it into the center … about an hour and a couple extra minutes. Transfer to racks and cool completely.