Friday, November 27, 2009

Juliann's Special Pancakes

A few weeks ago, Kyle and I went a visited some friends of ours from church.  Their daughter, Juliann, makes these special pancakes that are really good.  I asked for the recipe and as her mom started to let me in on the secret she got "sushed" from Juliann to not give it away.  Juliann finally gave in when I agreed to let everyone know it was her Special Pancake recipe.  I obliged.  They are special and very tasty.

The recipe starts with 1 1/2 cups of pancake mix.  The homemade pancake mix recipe that their family uses is:

Mix together 5 cups white flour, 1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour, 1 cup cornmeal, 1/3 cup sugar, 2 tbsp. plus 2 tsp. baking powder, and 2 tsp. salt.

To make traditional pancakes, you mix 1 1/2 cups of the pancake mix above, 2 eggs, and  1 1/4 cups of milk (this makes a pretty thin and flat pancake (which I love), but if you want a thicker pancake, reduce the milk).

Now... on to the Special part!

You add, in no certain amount, some vanilla extract and cinnamon.  I loved seeing her handwritten recipe on a paper towel that said there was no certain amount to the vanilla and cinnamon - so cute.  So for mine I added a splash of vanilla and a few shakes of cinnamon.
Here are some action shots of the pancakes sizzling:

The finished product.  So good! I added a few chocolate chips to a couple and those were good too.  Kyle also loved them which is a plus.  I will definitely be making these babies again.  Thanks Juliann!!!

Thursday, November 19, 2009

CEiMB: Peach French Toast Bake

The Not So Skinny Kitchen chose this week's Craving Ellie in My Belly recipe, Ellie Krieger's Peach French Toast Bake.  For being a lighter, healthier version of a french toast bake it wasn't bad.  It had great flavor with the cinnamon and nutmeg I added and I also really enjoyed the warm peaches nestled on top.

I did make a few substitutions... I used really stale bread (which usually is perfectly fine for recipes like this) and I left out the lemon juice and vanilla extract because I was out.  I decided to add nutmeg in place of the vanilla extract and it seemed to work just fine.

I will definitely make this again if I'm craving a french toast bake, but don't want all the calories that come with the normal Paula Deen butter and cream laden recipes.  Trust me.. those are rich and extremely decadent, but you'll pay for it on the scale.  If that doesn't bother you, check out a really good French Toast Bake recipe here.


Sunday, November 15, 2009

MSC: Candied Sweet Potato Cupcakes

The Martha Stewart's Cupcakes recipe this month was chosen by Karen at Karen's Cookies, Cakes, & More.  I'm not going to lie - I really didn't want to make this for some reason.  Maybe it was the thought of sweet potatos in a cupcake recipe, I'm not sure.  Regardless, I made it.  And it was wonderful.  It reminded me of the pumpkin patch cupcakes I made last month.  I couldn't really taste the sweet potato - they had the same fall-like taste with nutmeg and cinnamon. 

I decided to bring them to Oscar Night at my church and a lot of people like them.  I talked to a few people to see what they thought and they both wanted the recipe.  My mother-in-law also loved them. 

My only recommendation is to put the candied pecan pieces on the marshmallow pile before they get toasted.  I sprinkled the candied pieces on top after I transferred the toasted mallow piles and they didn't seem to stick that well. 

I definitely recommend you give this recipe a try.  Thanks Karen for such a great pick!

Thursday, November 5, 2009

CEiMB: Linguini with Shrimp and Vegetables

I was excited to make this week's Craving Ellie in My Belly recipe because I love shrimp, garlic, and asparagus.  I never thought I would add asparagus to a pasta dish, but it was surprisingly good and crunchy - the perfect bite.

It's also really simple and fairly quick to make.  Heat some olive oil in a skillet and sauté the asparagus and garlic.  Add the shrimp and cook until pink.  Remove mixture and use the same skillet to make the sauce (lemon juice, reserved pasta water, and white wine).  Add the mixture back once the sauce is reduced and add parsley and halved cherry tomatoes.  Add cooked linguini noodles and toss until combined. 

Yum!  It also tasted great reheated this week at work.  Another plus, my husband also really liked it.  I was happy that he did too because this dish has a lot of good brightly colored vegetables.

Thanks Confessions of a Novice Baker for such a great CEiMB pick!  To view the complete recipe, click here.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Baked French Toast Casserole with Maple Syrup

I've made this recipe a couple of times and it never fails to please those who are lucky enough to get some.  I believe my mom first introduced me to it - Paula Deen's Baked French Toast Casserole with Maple Syrup.

It's the perfect Christmas morning breakfast.  You prepare almost everything the night before and all you do in the morning is add the pecan topping and bake for 40 minutes.  It makes your house smell wonderful and it tastes delicious.  It has the perfect texture - crunchy and soufle like.

Recipe below.

Baked French Toast Casserole with Maple Syrup
Paula Deen


1 loaf of French bread (13 to 16 ounces)
8 large eggs
2 cups half-and-half
1 cup milk
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
Dash salt
Praline Topping, recipe follows
Maple syrup


Slice French bread into 20 slices, 1-inch each.  Arrange slices in a generously buttered 9x13 inch flat baking dish in 2 rows, overlapping the slices.  In a large bowl, combine the eggs, half-and-half, milk, sugar, vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt and beat with a rotary beater until blended but not too bubbly.  Pour mixture over the bread slices, making sure all is covered evenly with the milk-egg mixture.  Cover with foil and refrigerate overnight.

The next day, preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Spread Praline Topping evenly over the bread and bake for 40 minutes, until puffed and lightly golden.  Serve with maple syrup.

Praline Topping:

1/2 pound (2 sticks) butter
1 cup packed light brown sugar
1 cup chopped pecans
2 tablespoons light corn syrup
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg

Combine all ingredients in a medium bowl and blend well.