Thursday, October 28, 2010

Pumpkin Spice Pancakes - Addictive is the right term for these babies

We are addicted to these pancakes and they make a wonderful Saturday breakfast. We love them with ripe pears although applesauce works well too.

Pumpkin Spice Pancakes

Yield: 15 smallish pancakes

1¼ cups all-purpose flour (we use half unbleached all purpose flour and half whole wheat flour)
2 tbsp. brown sugar
2 tsp. baking powder
¼ tsp. salt
2-3 tsp. pumpkin pie spice mix depending how strong you like it (the original recipe calls for separate spices but I am lazy even though I have all the spices mentioned)
1 cup milk  (if you use whole wheat flour you may need about a ½ cup more as the dough gets too thick otherwise)
½ cup pumpkin puree (we like to use a bit more than that)
1 large egg
2 tbsp. vegetable oil or melted butter

Preheat the oven to 200˚F. Set aside a baking sheet or oven safe serving platter.
Whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, salt and spices in a medium bowl. Make sure to blot out any chunks of brown sugar. In a separate small bowl, combine the milk, pumpkin, egg and oil or butter. Stir into the dry ingredients and mix until just combined. The batter may still be lumpy.
Heat a greased skillet or griddle over medium heat (325˚F for the griddle). Pour the batter on the griddle or skillet in 1/3 cup portions. Use the back of the spoon or measuring cup to smooth the batter into desired circle shape. When bubbles start forming on the top, carefully use a spatula to flip to the other side. Let cook for a few more minutes until golden brown. Transfer the pancakes to the baking sheet or oven safe platter; place in the oven to keep warm until serving. Repeat with the rest of the batter until it has all been cooked, regreasing the pan as needed. Serve with cinnamon sugar, honey or  maple syrup.

Adapted from a recipe found at

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

A sad commentary on the content of America's shopping carts

Yesterday my darling husband went to Sam's Club to shop for some items I needed.  And as he stood at the check-out a nice, elderly lady commented how nice it was to see a man eating so healthy. My husband informed her that it was as per a shopping list his wife gave him for our family. Upon hearing that the nice lady said: 'Oh, bless her heart for feeding her family so well.'

What was in that cart you ask?
1 g. Milk
1 3lb. tray of stew Beef
1 bag Gala Apples
I  box Grapes
3 Cucumbers
1 bag Onions
1 3lb. bag Broccoli
1 bottle White Wine
1 box of fake (Cholesterol Free) Eggs

The thing that we find so sad is the fact that a shopping cart filled with healthy food is so noteworthy as to provoke a comment. Had he stood there with his cart full of cardboard, plastic and preservatives he wouldn't have stood out at all. But apparently a cart full of fruits and veggies is unusual. To me this is another sign that maybe I am doing something right after all. We are eating fewer and fewer preserved items. Even my son has lately turned into a veggie chomping kid who happily snarfs down all kinds of veggies. It took time to bring him to this point but it happened.  Yes, we eat chocolate and Nutella makes a regular appearance on top of whole wheat bread in our home. But we also eat a ton of veggies and fruits and apparently that is a rare thing among those who shop at Sam's.  My kids like juice as much as the next kid but have gotten used to the fact that we don't have it every day. As to 'sugar bubbles' aka soda... we never buy that for our home. It simply isn't something that finds it's way into our diet unless we make a rare trip for junky fast food.

Fresh foods aren't that hard to make. And by eating healthier foods we end up eating less. Tonight's dinner was Chinese Beef Broccoli. 1 lb of beef and almost a pound of broccoli florets fed the four of us with a little left over.

I am not a health nut. But I have, over the last two years or so, become increasingly aware of the garbage we put into our mouths. And we, as a family, are working on fighting back. We do eat out once in a while. And yes, we eat Nathan's Hot Dogs once in a while too while gulping down coma inducing amounts of liquid sugar (aka Coca Cola).  But we believe that it's OK, as long as those indulgences are tempered with a healthier daily lifestyle which includes lots of  fresh vegetables and fruits.

Now if I can only nail down the exercising part....

I shall rant and rave about 'high fructose corn syrup' in an other post.... LOL

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Slinky Malinki that dastardly cat....

Book Cover of 'Slinky Malinki
 If you haven't read Lynley Dodd's books to your kids yet you've really missed out.  We started with 'Slinky Malinki' and the fun tempo of these well illustrated books is a joy to read aloud.  The words rhyme well and even young children will catch on quickly when it's time to say 'Slinky Malinki'.  Lynley Dodd wrote several other books along the same line and they all are great read-aloud books we can't recommend enough.

We give this book an enthusiastic thumbs up!