Monday, February 28, 2011

Carrot Cake Pancakes w/ Cream Cheese Topping

I'll have to admit, I was a little nervous to try these pancakes because the pancakes I made previous to these were a savory veggie pancake and my kids would NOT touch them! I thought I would be doomed and banned from making pancakes after that. I actually made these pancakes the very next morning after that fiasco and I was trying to make the batter up quickly before my girls saw that I threw in the shredded carrots. I had this plan to tell them they were yummy sprinkles but my 2 year old came in and called me on it, she knew exactly what they were. Much to my surprise though, she wasn't put off by them and asked for a bite. In the end, both girls ate up their pancake and we all liked them.

Although these are carrot CAKE pancakes, don't let the name fool you. They are actually pretty healthy with whole wheat flour and flax meal, as well as little added oil and sugar. The cream cheese topping is quite a treat, but, again, not too sweet. If you like carrot cake, you'll enjoy this healthy version as a pancake.

Carrot Cake Pancakes w/ Cream Cheese Topping
1 cup all purpose flour
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1/4 cup ground flax seeds
2 tsp. baking powder
1 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
dash ginger
2 Tbsp. brown sugar
1 cup milk
1 Tbsp. canola oil
1 egg
2 cups finely grated carrot

Clean, peel and grate carrots. Mix flour, flax, baking powder, nutmeg, ginger and brown sugar in a large bowl. In a separate bowl, combine egg, milk and oil. Add liquid mixture to the dry ingredients and mix until just incorporated. Fold in carrots. Let batter sit while griddle heats up.

Using a 1/4 measuring cup, scoop batter onto preheated griddle. Cook over medium heat, flipping when the pancake bubbles and the edges become slightly dry. Continue cooking until batter is gone. Serve warm with cinnamon cream cheese topping.

Cinnamon Cream Cheese Topping
4 oz. cream cheese, softened
2 Tbsp. powdered sugar
2-3 Tbsp. milk
1 tsp. cinnamon

Beat cream cheese until smooth, then add powdered sugar, milk and cinnamon. Beat again, until well incorporated.

SOURCE: Adapted from Baking Serendipity

Here are a few more of my favorite pancakes:
Oatmeal Raspberry Pancakes w/ Berry Coulis

Banana Pancakes w/ Peanut Butter and Maple Syrup

Gingerbread Pancakes

Sunday, February 27, 2011

S'mores Pancakes and National Pancake Day

 Did you know that Tuesday, March 1st is National Pancake Day? That may not mean much to you, but to a pancake lover like me, that thrills me! Any excuse to make pancakes and I'll take it. I love celebrating food holidays. It gives me something to look forward to and also something fun to do with my kids.

Over the next couple of days I'll be sharing some new pancake recipes that I've made as well as sharing links to ones I've made previously. My first installment are these scrumptius S'mores Pancakes. Enjoy!

About right now, I'm longing for summer. And summer reminds me of camping and camping reminds me of s'mores. Every time I go camping and there's a campfire, I just have to have a s'more. Even if I'm stuffed from delicious Dutch Oven cooking, I still have to have a s'more. It's like a ritual. I've branched out here and there and made dump cakes in a Dutch Oven, but I just long for that s'more. There's something about that perfectly cooked marshmallow, sandwiched in between melty chocolate and graham cracker. Mmm, hits the spot every time.

Well, as you know I also love pancakes. These pancakes combine two of my favorite things. What better food to eat than that? These pancakes really were amazing! Although they are a little sweeter, studded with chocolate chips and drizzled with marshmallow syrup, than I usually make for breakfast, it was a special occasion so I felt like I could indulge a little bit.

If you are a pancake lover like me, or even a s'more lover, you will love this new take on pancakes.

S'mores Pancakes

For the pancakes:

1 cup whole wheat flour
1 cup graham cracker crumbs (about 1 sleeve of crackers, crushed)
1/4 cup brown sugar
2 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cups milk (I used almond)
2 eggs
2 tablespoon oil
½ cup mini chocolate chips

For the marshmallow syrup:

1 cup Marshmallow Fluff
2-4 Tbsp.  hot water

Whisk together the flour, graham cracker crumbs, brown sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a mixing bowl. In a separate bowl combine the milk, eggs, and oil and mix well. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix until just combined. Stir in the chocolate chips. Let batter sit while griddle heats up.

Spray griddle as needed. Pour batter by 1/4 cup on to the griddle and cook until bubbles start popping. Flip and cook another minute or two longer. Remove to a plate and continue with remaining batter.

For the Marshmallow syrup
: Mix the marshmallow fluff and hot water in a bowl. Whisk well to combine, until it becomes smooth in texture.

Serve pancakes warm, with marshmallow syrup and more chocolate chips, if desired. If you have a kitchen torch, even better...toast those babies up!!  If not, no biggie.  You could try it under the broiler or just eat as it, still delish!

Inspired by The Mixing Bowl Diary

Here are some more of my favorite pancake recipes:

Oatmeal Cookie Pancakes

Whole Wheat Apple Cinnamon Pancakes

Lemon Poppyseed Pancakes

Pumpkin Pancakes with Pumpkin Maple Syrup

Linked to...
Potluck Sunday
@ Mommy's Kitchen
Seasonal Sunday
@ Real Sustenance
Recipe Swap Thursday
@ Prairie Story
It's A Keeper Thursday
@ It's A Keeper
Sweet Tooth Friday
@ Alli-N-Son
Sweets For A Saturday
@ Sweet As Sugar Cookies

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Decadent Brownie Pie

This decadent dessert was actually part of our Valentine's Day celebrations, which we had about 5 days late because I was sick. When I was thinking what kind of dessert I wanted to make, I remembered back a couple of years ago when my husband bought me this flourless chocolate cake for my birthday. It cost a whopping $40 but it was every bit worth it. It was so delicious. I wanted to try something similar this year but couldn't find a recipe for a flourless chocolate cake I was happy with. I decided to look through all my desserts that I have bookmarked and came across this recipe for a brownie pie. Hello! I totally love brownies, and ganache, well that stuff just leaves me speechless. The recipe was so simple, I was worried it would deliver that intense, dense chocolaty goodness I was hoping for. Thankfully I was wrong.

This brownie pie practically melts in your mouth. If you want to eat it straight up, with out any toppings, I would suggest letting it sit out at room temperature first; and then, maybe even nuke it for 4-5 seconds. If you want to top it, I would HIGHLY suggest something raspberry, be it preserves, sauce, fresh or frozen. The dark chocolate is a perfect match with the raspberry. Other toppings you could try are caramel, ice cream, mints, peanut butter chips, you get my drift.

Decadent Brownie Pie

For the brownie layer:
2/3 cup butter, melted
1 1/4 cups sugar
1/2 cup light corn syrup
2 eggs
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup cocoa
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons milk

For the ganache:
1 cup heavy whipping cream
12 ounces semisweet chocolate, chopped

In a large bowl, add melted butter, sugar and corn syrup. Whisk to combine. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Combine the flour, cocoa and salt in a separate bowl; gradually add to the butter mixture alternately with milk, beating well after each addition. Spread batter into a greased 10-inch springform pan. Bake at 325° for 35-40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted 1 inch from side of pan comes out clean. Cool on a wire rack.

For the ganache: In a small saucepan, bring cream to a boil. Remove from the heat and pour in chocolate; let sit for 3-4 minutes, then stir until smooth. Set aside about 10 minutes until slightly cool. Pour ganache over brownie layer and refrigerate until ganache is completely set.

Take out of the fridge about 30 minutes before serving and let it sit at room temperature. Garnish as desired.

SOURCE:Let's Dish

Linked to...
Recipe Swap Thursday @ Prairie Story
It's A Keeper Thursday @ It's A Keeper
Sweets For A Saturday @ Sweet As Sugar Cookies
Potluck Sunday @ Mommy's Kitchen

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Lemon Ricotta Pancakes

Let me just tell you that these pancakes were a dream!! They were gone all too quickly, if you ask me. I make a lot of pancakes, so I don't mind the few mintues it takes to whip them up a couple of times a week. If that is a stretch for you though, you may want to reserve these for a special occasion, because they require a little more effort and time than your average pancake. But, don't give up because they are totally worth it.

Lemon and ricotta are perfect in these pancakes. The ricotta makes them super tender and moist and the lemon flavor is present but not too much. It makes a perfect pair with some raspberry preserves, in fact it was pretty much heaven. My girls snarfed down THREE pancakes each, and that is unheard of. I have never seen them eat that many pancakes in one sitting.

Make these today for breakfast, lunch or dinner. If you don't have some ricotta on hand, just strain some yogurt really well over some cheesecloth (about 15-20 minutes) and it works perfectly.

Lemon Ricotta Pancakes
1 cup ricotta cheese
1 cup milk (I used almond, but whatever is fine)
3 large eggs, separated
Zest and juice of 1 lemon
1 1/2 cups cake flour*
1 tbsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 cup sugar

Raspberry preserves, warmed

*You can substitute 3/4 cup plus 2 tablespons all-purpose flour plus 2 tablespoons of cornstarch per 1 cup of cake flour.

Combine the ricotta, milk, egg yolks, lemon zest and lemon juice in a large mixing bowl. Whisk to combine. Add in the cake flour, baking powder and salt and mix just until incorporated. In another clean, dry mixing bowl, beat the egg whites on medium-low speed until foamy. Increase the mixer speed to medium-high and continue to beat, adding the sugar gradually, until medium-soft peaks form.

Fold one third of the egg white mixture into the ricotta mixture with a spatula until completely incorporated. Add in the remaining egg whites and fold in gently until the mixture is smooth and light.

Heat a griddle or skillet over medium heat. Grease as needed. Ladle a 1/4 cup of batter onto the cooking surface for each pancake. Allow to cook until bubbles begin to form on the top surface. Use a large spatula to carefully flip the pancake and cook the other side until light golden and cooked through. Repeat with the remaining batter. Serve warm with raspberry preserves.

SOURCE:Annie's Eats

Friday, February 18, 2011

Mango Madness Green Smoothie

I've been trying out some new combinations in my green smoothies lately. I want to create a handful of really good smoothie recipes I can make any time that I know are delicious, instead of leaving it to chance every time, wondering if this fruit is going to taste good with that, etc. I don't want EVERY green smoothie I drink to be an experiment.

I was really surprised how tasty and refreshing this smoothie was. I think it has something to do with two unsuspecting characters, fresh ginger and lime. They go great with mango. I guess it's kind of tropical if you think about it, especially if you use coconut milk. I love the taste of ginger but it is also a natural remedy for many things, like nausea and morning sickness. I recently found that it is also good for respiratory conditions because it helps loosen and thin mucus that forms when you get sick.

So, whether you're sick or not, you'll love the tropical blast you get from this refreshing smoothie.

Mango Madness Smoothie
1/2 cup coconut milk*
1 cup water/ice
2 big handfuls of spinach
2 cups mango, sliced (frozen or fresh)
1 Tbsp. lime juice
1 tsp. freshly grated ginger (I added 1 Tbsp. when I was sick)

Pour milk and water into the blender and add spinach. Whiz for 10-20 seconds to blend the spinach fine. Add the rest of the ingredients and whiz for about 30-60 seconds, until smooth. Pour into drinking glass and enjoy!

Makes about 3 cups.

*I used coconut milk from a carton, like you find next to the regular milk. You could probably use lite coconut milk from a can, almond or rice milk or even yogurt. If you are sick I would avoid using diary milk as it tends to create more mucus.

Thursday, February 17, 2011


Guess what, I'm being featured!!! Well, actually my Bananas Foster bread is being featured today over at It's A Keeper.

If you have a minute head on over to It's A Keeper and check out the It's A Keeper Thursday blog hop party to see all the lovely crafts and food everyone is linking up.
It's a Keeper.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Sweet Italian Sausage and Spaghetti Bolognese

Years ago I began making my spaghetti sauce with ground beef because, like most daughters, that's what my mother did and my cooking roots came from her. It wasn't until I got married that I explored other things in making my spaghetti sauce. For example, I threw in mushrooms and zucchini lots of times and per my husband's request started using Italian sausage. I found out that I really loved sausage in my spaghetti sauce and that I much preferred it over ground beef. One thing that I didn't like about sausage though, was that if you're not careful about what kind you buy, you can get some pretty gristly stuff that's not too appetizing. Finally, I got to the point where I didn't even want to buy pre-packaged sausage and started searching for a recipe that I could easily make at home with the knowledge of every single ingredient that went into it.

In my search, I found this breakfast sausage blend that we really love and enjoy but I didn't think the flavor combination was quite right for a big bowl of Italian-style spaghetti. Then I came across this Italian blend and as soon as I saw the list of ingredients, I knew I was going to love it! And love it we did. My girls, however, didn't like the big fennel seeds in it so next time, I might try grinding them a little bit before I add them. This is a very flavorful sausage, so whatever you pair it with, I would make sure it is very lightly seasoned.

Sweet Italian Sausage
5 lbs ground meat (chicken, beef or pork or a combination)
40 grams kosher salt
35 grams sugar
20 grams toasted fennel seeds
6 grams cracked black pepper
4 grams ground nutmeg
1 cup minced fresh parsley
1 head garlic, peeled and chopped
1 cup dry sherry (I used sherry cooking wine)

Mix all the spices together then add it to your meat. Using the paddle attachment to a stand mixer (or a stout wooden spoon, or your VERY clean hands), mix the sausage well. Add the sherry to the meat mixture. With a stand mixer set on level 1, let this go for 90 seconds. It might take a little longer with the spoon or hands. You want the mixture to get a little sticky and begin to bind to itself – it is a lot like what happens when you knead bread.

Now you have sausage. I like to portion mine out in to 1 lb. sections and freeze it. You could make 1 lb. blocks, links, patties, meatballs or whatever shape you want!

For the Bolognese sauce:
olive oil
1 small onion, finely diced
1 quart crushed tomatoes (you could also use tomato sauce)
1 lb. Sweet Italian Sausage

Drizzle olive oil into a large saucepan and add onion and sausage. Fry on medium-high heat until sausage is no longer pink. Add crushed tomatoes and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 20-25 minutes. Serve hot over cooked spaghetti and shave fresh parmesan over the top.

SOURCE:Sausage recipe Adapted from Simply Recipes

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Butternut Squash Gratin

I got a surprising thumbs up from my husband for this dish! While I really enjoy butternut squash, I have a hard time making it any way that my family would like it. I almost never make gratins because of all the dairy but I thought I would try coconut milk in place of the typical cream. Although the coconut milk imparted a slight sweetness to the dish, it paired really well with the butternut squash and the saltiness of the Gruyère balanced out the flavors. I really liked using Gruyère because it melts really nicely and since it's an aged cheese doesn't have any lactose.

Butternut Squash Gratin
1 small (about 1.5 pounds) butternut squash, peeled, seeded and cut into 1/3-inch-thick slices
1 shallot, finely chopped
1 cup shredded Gruyère cheese (about 3.5 ounces)
1 cup canned coconut milk (or heavy cream)
1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup whole wheat bread crumbs

To make the bread crumbs, toast well one slice of whole wheat bread, then either cut into very small pieces or crumble between your fingers into a small bowl.

Preheat oven to 375°F. Butter a 2 quart casserole dish and arrange half of the squash slices in the bottom. Sprinkle with shallots and half of the cheese. Cover with remaining squash and sprinkle with remaining cheese. In a small bowl, whisk together coconut milk (or cream), salt and pepper; pour mixture over squash. Sprinkle with bread crumbs and bake until browned on top and bubbling, about 45 minutes. Cool 15 minutes before serving.

Serves 5-6

SOURCE: Whole Foods Market

Linked to...
Seasonal Sunday @ Real Sustenance
Recipe Swap Thursday @ Prairie Story

Saturday, February 12, 2011

SLK Facebook Fans

Apparently there has been a problem with facebook that everyone cannot see the feed from the Sweet Luvin' In The Kichen page. Here is a link that explains it. Hope it is helpful to you all.

Facebook Settings

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Bananas Foster Bread

If I were to tell you I've been under the weather a little bit, to try to explain my lack of posting the past week, that would be a great understatement! To be honest, I haven't felt this terrible in a very long time! I know in the long run, a week or two of being sick isn't too long, but while I'm here deep in the trenches of it all, it seems like never ending darkness. I've been trying to keep it low key around here so I can recover quicker but I'm a doer and a busy body and there's only so much time I can sit and do nothing.

That said, I told myself I would get this post up today. Period. I actually tried writing it the other day but my brain was too foggy and I couldn't think straight.

Now, let's get on with this bread. If you like banana bread, I think you're going to be blown away with this one. I totally love banana bread and used to make it often. Now that I use bananas in my smoothies I hardly ever have brown bananas on my counter to "take care of." However, a little while back I bookmarked some new and interesting banana bread recipes that I wanted to try, and I actually bought brown bananas at the store just to make bread. Twice. Last week I made banana bread three times, all different recipes, and this was my favorite.

I jokingly called this bread boozy banana bread because of the rum (extract in my case) that it calls for. But I love the rum flavor and think it goes great with the roasted banana flavor. With the sweet glaze you may not want to eat it for breakfast, but definitely save room for dessert!

Bananas Foster Bread
1 1/2 cups mashed ripe banana
1 cup packed brown sugar, divided
6 Tbsp. butter, divided
1-2 Tbsp. rum extract (If you wish, the original recipe called for 3 Tbsp. dark rum or cognac. In that case, omit the milk.)
1/3 cup plain yogurt
1/4 cup milk (cow's milk, almond, coconut)
1 large egg
1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
3/4 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/8 tsp. allspice
Cooking Spray
1/3 cup powdered sugar
1 tsp. rum extract (cognac or rum)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Combine banana, 1/2 cup brown sugar, 5 tablespoons butter and rum extract in a nonstick skillet. Cook over medium heat until mixture begins to bubble. Remove from heat; cool slightly. Place banana mixture in a large bowl. Add yogurt, milk, remaining 1/2 cup brown sugar and egg. Beat with a mixer, or whisk, until well incorporated.

Combine flour and next 4 ingredients in a small bowl. Add flour mixture to banana mixture; beat just until blended. Pour batter into a 9x5-inch loaf pan coated with cooking spray. Bake at 350 degrees F for 50-60 minutes or until a wooden toothpick inserted comes out clean. Remove from oven and cool 10 minutes in the pan. Remove bread from pan and cool on a wire rack.

For the glaze, melt remaining tablespoon of butter and combine it with the powdered sugar and 1 tsp. of rum extract. Add milk, if necessary to thin out. Drizzle over warm bread.

SOURCE:Adapted from Cooking Light

Linked to...
Recipe Swap Thursday @ Prairie Story
It's A Keeper Thursday @ It's A Keeper
Sweets For A Saturday @ Sweet As Sugar Cookies

Thursday, February 3, 2011

February 2011 Menu

Happy February everyone, it's the month of LOVE! Well, first things first. As you may have noticed to the right, I have created a Sweet Luvin' In The Kitchen Facebook page. If you're not a fan yet, make sure you are one when you leave and spread the love to others. I'll have to admit, it took me longer than I would have liked to create and it still may need to do some tweaking. So, if you know of any tricks or have suggestions to help a girl out, PLEASE, send them my way.

Now, on to the menu for this month. I've been dragging my feet the past couple of days to get it done because I have had sick kids! If any of you have kids you know how rough it can be, especially trying to get a good night's sleep. Well, I finally sat down this afternoon and wrote it out while my girls were watching a movie. The menu is going to be a little shorter this month because I'm a few days late and it's a shorter month. Also, as I've mentioned previously on a few posts, I get a CSA produce basket about every other week and I like to leave room on my menu to allow me to fit in what produce I get.

My husband and I don't have any Valentine's Day dinner plans yet so I don't have anything special on the menu, but I'm sure when the time comes it will involve either steak or shrimp if he has anything to do with it. I am, however going to make a few treats with my girls and for our preschool co-op group.

Peppery Bacon Cheddar Scones
Carrot Cake Pancakes
Cinnamon Roll Pancakes
Breakfast Cookies

Thai Meatballs w/ Ginger Sauce, Coconut Rice and steamed Brussels Sprouts
Chinese Chicken Salad
Butternut Squash Gnocchi and roasted asparagus

Ham Fried Rice & veggies
Fettuccine with Cashew Cream & peas, Orange Edamame Salad
Beans & cornbread

Tortilla Soup
Cold Sesame Noodles
Chipotle Beef Taquitos, Spanish Rice, salad
Pasta with Kale Pesto, Butternut Squash Gratin with Gruyere

Spicy Thai Shrimp Soup
Spaghetti Bolognese, garlic bread sticks & Salad
Grandma's Chili w/ fresh pico de gallo and guacamole
Pistachio Chicken w/ Coconut Rice

Other things I'll be making
Roasted Garlic Hummus and Whole Wheat Pita Chips
Chewy Pretzel Bites
Homemade Italian Sausage
Peanut Butter & Jelly Bars
Peanut Butter Pretzel Truffles
Flourless Chocolate Cake

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Raspberry Almond Cookie Bars

Before we bought our place we live in now, we rented this little farm house where we were completely spoiled. We had free reign over a nicely established raspberry patch in the back. It was huge. During raspberry picking season it would take me about an hour and a half to pick the whole patch, and that was picking about every 2-3 days. I was in heaven because I am a huge lover of raspberries.

I also love to make treats, especially on Sundays and, with my girls when possible. On Sundays we don't do much else other than go to church and maybe an occasional family dinner, so I like to do something special with my girls. My oldest said she would make cookies with me the other Sunday and when I asked her what kind she wanted to make, she said raspberry. I was at a little of a loss because I wasn't exactly sure how I was going to make them. I've seen raspberry flavored icings on cookies, raspberry chips and even raspberry jam, but I wanted that pure, unadulterated raspberry flavor that comes from using real berries.

Well, I altered a simple bar cookie recipe and this is what I came up with. They were amazing! I was kicking myself for only making a very small batch because they didn't last more than 4 or 5 hours. My husband said he liked them as much as I like brownies. Now that's saying something.

Raspberry Almond Cookie Bars
1/2 cup flour
1/2 cup oats
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup almonds (slivered, sliced or roughly chopped)
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
1 cup packed brown sugar
1 egg
1 teaspoon almond extract
1/2 cup fresh raspberries (if using frozen, thaw and let drain)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray an 8-inch square baking pan with cooking spray, line with parchment paper. then spray again.

Combine flour, oats, baking powder, salt and almonds in a medium bowl. Cream together butter and sugar until light and fluffy; 2-3 minutes. Add egg and almond extract and mix to incorporate. Mix in the flour mixture until just incorporated.

Spread about 2/3 of the dough into the prepared baking pan. The dough is pretty sticky, you could use a spatula to help you spread it out or even just drop it by the spoonful very close together. When it cooks, it will all come together anyway.

Gently lay raspberries evenly over the first cookie layer, then drop the rest of the dough by spoon fulls over the raspberry layer.

Bake for 25-30 minutes. Let cool for about 10 minutes in pan, then gently pull them out with the parchemnt paper and let them completely cool on a rack.

Linked to...
Recipe Swap Thursday @ Prairie Story
Sweets For A Saturday @ Sweet As Sugar Cookies
It's A Keeper Thursday @ It's A Keeper
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...