I’m one of those people. You know the ones who get giddy and drive you crazy with Facebook, Instagram and Twitter posts, first in anticipation then reveling in happiness at the arrival of pumpkin this and pumpkin that. I’ve had my addiction long before a certain coffee chain began making Pumpkin Spiced Lattes and another ice cream establishment offered Pumpkin Pie Blizzards™. I discovered pumpkin pancakes at a pancake establishment and declared them delicious. Recently I’ve been making traditional buttermilk pancakes on weekday mornings for my granddaughter, Warrior Girl as part of my Nanny Granny duties. I’m not sure why I ever bought frozen pancakes because they are far too easy and take little time to prepare and cook.
Once I had the buttermilk cakes down it was time to make that which I love, Pumpkin Pancakes and since I made that decision I also decided they needed the perfect syrup to go with them, namely Butter Pecan Syrup. So, this weekend all of this went down to the sounds of “Mmmm!” “Yum!” and “Soooo good!”
Start the syrup first so the flavors have a chance to meld while you mix up the pancakes and cook them.
Perfect Pumpkin Pancakes
1¼ cup flour
3 Tablespoons sugar
1 tsp baking powder
¼ tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp all spice
(or 1 tsp of pumpkin pie spice in place of the cinnamon and all spice)
1 egg beaten
1-½ to 2 cups buttermilk
2 Tbsp oil
1 tsp. vanilla
1/2 cup canned pumpkin puree
Preheat griddle to 300°
In medium-sized bowl, whisk together dry ingredients.
In second bowl, lightly beat the egg. Whisk in remaining wet ingredients.
Pour wet ingredients over dry ingredients and stir until well combined. It’s OK if the batter is a little lumpy, but it’s also OK if its completely mixed. I’ve had equeal success both ways.
If you don’t have a griddle, heat pan over medium heat. When a few drops of water sprinkled on surface skitter around and just sizzle (not spit and sputter-too hot) then pan is hot enough. Lightly oil surface with a your oil of choice using a folded paper towel. Pour 1/3 cup of batter and lightly spread into circles onto heated griddle/pan. Be sure pancakes aren’t too close. Cook until edges look dry or peek and see of they are nicely browned. Flip the pancakes and cook until nicely browned.
Serve hot with butter and warm butter pecan syrup. A blob of whipped cream would be appropriate as well.
Butter Pecan Syrup
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup water
3 Tbsp butter
Generous splash of REAL maple syrup (2-3 tablespoons)
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 cup chopped pecans divided
Place first five ingredients and 1/2 of the pecans into a medium size sauce pan. Heat over medium high heat, stirring frequently. When the syrup comes to a boil set timer for 4 minutes and continue boiling. Remove from heat and add remaining pecans.
Serve warm over pancakes.
4 medium red potatoes, coarsely cut up
1 large peeled cut up carrot
1 whole onion coarsely chopped
1 four ounce package of crumbled Gorgonzola
12 oz . Bottle of wheat beer ( Heffeweizen-recommended)
2 cups of strong chi Ken broth (Better than Bouillon).
1 cup of heavy cream,
kosher salt and black pepper to taste
1 cup sharp cheddar – apx
Optional: Serve with Hot Hungarian paprika and crumbled bacon
in about two quarts of water, cook potatoes, carrots & onion. When well done, cool and put through a food processor till very smooth adding some reserved potato water as needed to make it good consistency, but not too thin.
Return to medium heat and add remaining ingredients except for cheddar. Stir until gorgonzola is melted and soup is hot. Add sharp cheddar, stirring constantly so soup doesn’t seize or break.
Top with Hot Hungarian Paprika and crumbled bacon
Hi! My name is Debbie and I have an addiction. An addiction to dill pickles. It forces me into crazy things like driving to the next town to obtain Old Dutch brand Dill Pickle chips which are hands down, the best dill pickle chips ever. My friends and family are also quite familiar with my addiction and when they find something they know I will like they share and multiple friends shared a recipe for Dill Pickle Soup which, of course, I had to try.
It is an easy recipe which goes from cutting board to table in about 45 minutes. As much as I love dill pickles, this recipe was a bit heavy handed with the flavor. After the crew taste tested it with the same opinion I dumped the bowls back into the pot and went to work adapting the recipe.
The alterations lend nicely to additions to take it from a side dish to the main element of a meal.
32 oz box chicken stock
1 pound chopped turnips or potatoes
1cup diced carrots
1/2 cup diced onions
1/2 cup diced (small) dill pickles
1/4 cup butter
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup sour cream
1/2-3/4 cup water
1/4 cup dill pickle juice*
2 Tablespoons chicken base
1 teaspoon Old Bay seasoning
1/2 teaspoon table salt (taste taste taste!)
1/2 teaspoon coarsely ground pepper
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper (or more if you like it spicy)
1/2 teaspoon herbs de provence
1/2 teaspoon basil
Shredded parmesan cheese
Fresh ground black pepper
For a heartier meal:
Add 1 cup diced cooked chicken after vegetables cook.
In a large pot, combine broth, turnips/potatoes, carrots, onions and butter. Bring to a boil and cook until tender are tender. Add pickles and continue to simmer.
In a medium bowl, stir together flour, sour cream and water, making a pourable paste. While whisking, slowly pour sour cream mixture into soup.
Add pickle juice, Old Bay, herbs de provence, basil, salt (if needed after tasting), pepper and cayenne. Cook 5 more minutes and remove from heat. Serve immediately.
All pickle juice is NOT created equal. Some are saltier than others. I recommend using GOOD pickles, like refrigerated fresh pickles. Taste your soup after you add the pickle juice and seasonings and add salt if needed.
A recipe for nectarine pie showed up in my Facebook newsfeed and for some reason, it never occurred to me you could make a pie from nectarine. Silly right? Especially since peach pie is a thing. A pretty BIG thing in the pie world. My younger sister Wendy loves peach pie and I thought I should come up with a good recipe in honor of her and so we could know if it’s good. I guess since it’s going up on a blog post it’s safe to say, it is DELICIOUS!
I made my pie with the skins on. This imparts more tartness to the pie which I like. With a big scoop of vanilla ice cream it is heavenly! If you would like it sweeter, slip the skins.
6-9 Ripe Nectarines
3 Tablespoons corn starch
2 Tablespoons brown sugar
1 teaspoon Cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon All Spice
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon cardamom
1 Tablespoon Vanilla Extract
2 teaspoons Lemon Juice
2 Tablespoons brown sugar (additional)
1 Tablespoon butter cut into small pieces
Double Pie Crust
Preheat oven to 425°
Prepare your favorite pie crust, roll out and fit into a 9 inch pie pan. (I use Sylvia’s Perfect Pie Crust found on Pioneer Woman website)
In a large bowl combine ingredients through lemon juice. Pour into prepared pie crust, sprinkle remaining brown sugar over the top and dot with butter. Fit a slit/vented top crust onto the pie, crimp and trim. Whisk egg white to aerate then brush onto crust. Sprinkle sugar over the top.
Place pie on cookie sheet in 425° oven for 15 minutes. Reduce to 350° for 40-50 minutes until crust is golden brown.
The iconic Pumpkin Spice Latte has been resurrected early this season. What better time for me to resurrect my own recipe which, by the way, includes real pumpkin and fabulous spices and you make it at home for a fraction of the price of the big name AND you get to drink it from your favorite “Grandma” coffee mug. You don’t even need an espresso machine to make this. Just brew a good strong cuppa. If you’ve got a machine? Yay!
In case you didn’t know, I’m kind of, sort of, in love with pumpkin. Pumpkin pie, pumpkin pie blizzards (oh my heaven do I love pumpkin pie blizzards) and yes, Pumpkin Spice Lattes. I celebrate these seasonal treats and indulge in them as long as they are available. Imagine my joy to find a recipe on line and I could make Lattes at home! I made adaptations and adjustments in the Lah-BOR-atory and the Mad Scientist had her own recipe.
I originally posted the recipe on my writing blog and since I made the decision to start a blog dedicated to The Mad Scientists adventures in the kitchen, I figured now was a great time to bring this recipe home to where it belongs.
Mad Scientist Spiced PUMPKIN Latte
- 8 oz strong brewed coffee – a small cup on a Keurig
- 1/4 to 1/2 cup whole milk (depends on how strong you like your drink)
- 1 “cube” frozen pumpkin
- 1/8 tsp all spice *
- 1/8 tsp cinnamon *
- 2 tsp brown sugar
- REAL whipped cream
So today my daughters friend threw her a surprise Birthday party and it was a carry in picnic. I was tasked with bringing buns for sloppy joes and a side dish. I decided I was going to make an old standby, broccoli salad. You know; the one with bacon and raisins? Of course, I was two ingredient shy and had to make a grocery store run. While grabbing a red onion, I see the pile of avocados and my Mad Scientist brain starts running so I grab the avocado, and a few more ingredients and head back
to the laboratory home.
My Favorite Things Salad
- 1 package frozen Broccoli florets thawed and drained then cut into bite sized pieces
- 1 cup frozen new peas, thawed
- 1/2 cup diced red onion
- 1 ripe avocado peeled, deseeded and chopped
- 1/2 cup sunflower nuts
- 4.5 oz package REAL bacon bits (or make your own)
- chow mein noodles
- 1/2 cup mayo
- 1/4 cup sweet & sour salad dressing (mine is Kroger brand)
- 2 T rice vinegar
- Half & Half (or whatever type of milk you use)
- 1 T dijon
In a large bowl, combine all salad ingredients except for the chow mein noodles. In a small bowl, whisk together dressing ingredients. Drizzle in half and half (milk) to thin the dressing to pouring consistency. Pour dressing over salad and combine to evenly coat all ingredients.Stir in about 1/2 cup of noodles. Top salad with additional noodles. (don’t be shy – the crunch is wonderful)
Chill before serving.
I love iced coffee and it took me years and many different tries to find out, it is not complicated and you don’t need a specific “iced coffeemaker” to make it.
So, take a deep breath and relax; let’s make some iced coffee.
1. Many coffee drinkers already own a french press coffee pot and after much trial and error, I’ve found this to be the easiest, least complicated, and not messy way to make it. Mine is a 34 oz or you may find the size called an 8-cup.
2. My favorite coffee to use is coarse ground bold coffee, but I’ve had success using Foldgers Black Silk or Yuban Bold. I like to grind it myself because it has less silt, but if you don’t have a coffee grinder and don’t want to get one, it’s not a necessary part. For me, it’s personal preference and I already have the grinder.
3. Cold water. That’s it. Plain jane cold tap water or filtered from your fridge. You choose.
Here’s the specifics.
1/2 cup of ground coffee
Place the coffee in the bottom of the press pot. Slowly pour cold water over grounds and gently stir to wet all of the grounds. Fill to 3/4 ” from the top. Pull the press all the way to the top (plunger UP) and lid the press. Do NOT press yet! Brew the coffee cold on your kitchen counter for one day. Then, press the grounds to the bottom of the pot and pour slowly into a decanter of your choice and store in the fridge.
To make a creamy delicious iced coffee, fill glass 3/4 full with ice, add coffee and cold water to the strength you like. Some like it strong and go full strength. I use a 1/3 water to 2/3 coffee ratio. Add milk, half & half (my fav), soy, almond or coconut milk. If you like it sweet or flavored do that too. I like mine simply sweetened and keep a container of homemade simple syrup (recipe below) in the fridge for iced tea and coffee. Give it a stir and enjoy.
2 cups granulated sugar
1 cup water
Splash of lemon juice (this keeps the syrup from crystalizing after it’s cooled)
Place ingredients in a 2 quart sauce pan over medium high heat. Stir until sugar has dissolved. Bring to a boil and continue to boil for 2 minutes. Remove from heat, cool completely, pour into decanter and refrigerate.
I’m never satisfied. I want my Mad Scientist creations to truly be scratch made. No prepared ingredients as ingredients. I’ve been wanting to adapt my BBQ sauce recipe to eliminate catsup as an ingredient so I started scouring the internet, reviewing nearly a dozen recipes to get a jumping off point.
Today was the day. The Captain put a brisket on the smoker and I wanted my Super Mad BBQ sauce as THE condiment and not a bottle a grabbed off the grocery shelf. So, the counter became extremely cluttered with an array of ingredients and cupboards left open for easy access to even more ingredients to begin the lab experiment.
And Mad Scientist Crazy Catsup was born.
Mad Scientist Crazy Catsup
12 oz. can tomato paste
3/4 cup white vinegar
1/2 cup water
2/3 cup sugar
1 teaspoon granulated garlic
1 teaspoon onion powder
2 Tablespoons molasses
1 Tablespoon Kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon dry mustard
A pinch each of: Cinnamon, All Spice and Cayenne pepper
Combine all ingredients into a saucepan over medium/low heat and whisk until smooth. Heat until the catsup starts to bubble, then remove from heat and pour into bottles. Store in the refrigerator or if you’re have the equipment for canning do that thing and then you can store it in your pantry.
A friend asked me if I had a bread recipe similar to the bread served at a large chain restaurant. Having only eaten at the restaurant two or three times and it’s been quite a while since the last time. I researched copycat recipes to see what the possible ingredients were and determined it is a whole wheat bread. I had a great starting place with my whole wheat bread recipe, and with a couple of tweaks, I came up with,
Honey Wheat Bread
1-1/2 cups very warm water
4 Tablespoons rapid rise dry yeast (I use Saf-instant brand)
1/3 cup olive oil
1/2 cup molasses
3 eggs (room temp and beaten)
2/3 cup honey
1/4 cup gluten
2 Tablespoons cocoa powder
3 cups whole wheat flour
6-8 cups whole wheat flour (in addition to the three)
1 Tablespoon baking powder
2 teaspoons salt
4 Tablespoon cider vinegar
Honey Butter Egg wash ingredients:
1 large ROOM TEMPERATURE egg white
1 Tablespoon of honey
2 Tablespoons melted butter cooled (don’t want to cook the egg white)
In your mixer bowl (or a large mixing bowl) combine first nine ingredients It’s OK, really. Just throw the yeast and everything right into the bowl. Now run the mixer (Paddle attachment) just until the ingredients come together. Then let it stand until it’s bubbly and double in size. (This takes approximately 30 minutes)
After the mixture has doubled, in a small bowl combine the baking powder, salt and vinegar. This gets good and foamy. Immediately add it to the yeast starter mixture and start your mixer.
Add 7 to 8 cups of whole wheat flour one cup at a time. Don’t add more than a cup at a time, otherwise you will have flour EVERYWHERE. Take it slow and don’t add too much. You want the dough to still be slightly sticky.
Once the dough has formed a ball in the bowl, you can either run the dough hook for 3 minutes to knead, or go all pioneer and turn it out on a floured surface an knead for 4 minutes. Add additional flour sparingly because you still want a slight tack when you make your loaves or dinner rolls. It forms easier and smoother when the dough is slightly sticky.
Place dough into a large greased bowl and cover. Let it rise aproximately 30 minutes or until doubled in size. Punch it down, cover and rise a second time. Start your oven (see last line) now to be sure it’s heated. The warm stove top helps the bread rise after you cut into loaves.
Punch down after second rise, then cut into 4 loaves. I go all kitchen nerd here and use a kitchen scale so the loaves are uniform in size. Place the loaves in greased loaf pans. You can also make pull apart dinner rolls. Probably use two 9×13 cake pans.
Whisk together the honey butter egg wash ingredients and brush the tops of the loaves or rolls with with the mixture.
Bake 30 minutes at 370 degrees in glass pans or 375 degrees in metal pans or until loaves or rolls are deep brown.
Turn the loaves out onto a clean dish towel and allow to cool completely before bagging up for storage. You don’t want your loaves to sweat which makes your bread soggy.
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