Pumpkin pancakes with apple maple syrup

Right now I am sitting in a coffee shop. Michael is sitting across from me doing work on a paper for Sweden. He’s a big deal. The couple at the table next to us is having a first date. Michael and I text back and forth about them. He has nice eyes. She’s a lot smaller than him. He was probably skinnier back in the day, but maybe he doesn’t have time to workout now that he has a 9-5 job. And HOLY SHIT WTF does that dude have a tail? Welcome to Broad Ripple. In order to make this afternoon more…cafe-like, I’m listening to Pink Martini on my phone. Some of their songs sound very Parisian cafe. All of them sound like they could be on the soundtrack of a black and white movie from the 40s. It’s making the ambiance less dude-with-a-tail-y. I feel fancy.

I love breakfast. Have I said that before? Making a pot of coffee, taking the time to cook eggs or pancakes or biscuits, making my plate look pretty before I set my fork to the food, and then sitting on the couch and eating at a relaxed speed without the pressure of having to run to work hanging over my head. I love drinking multiple mugs of coffee over a few hours, really taking in and enjoying the taste. Breakfast can really be a ritual.

I have two weekend breakfast stand-bys: eggs with runny yolks, poached in my new-old egg poaching pot from my grandparents house or fried eggs, or pancakes. I have a variety of pancakes in my weekend breakfast repertoire. The latest addition are these pumpkin pancakes. They’re filling and thick and made with whole-wheat flour, and full of autumn spices. And the apple maple syrup. Oh heaven. sautéed and cinnamoned apple slices briefly cooked in a dousing of maple syrup. This is the breakfast of autumn kings and queens. Or at least the exact breakfast I’d like to eat on a blustery November day. This recipe makes more than enough for one or two people for one meal. I still like to make the full recipe though, and put the extra batter in the refrigerator to use for a quick weekday breakfast.

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Iced Pumpkin Bread

This is a story of how I made my own pumpkin puree and how it was awesome and not scary. This is also the story of how I put the puree in things like my morning oatmeal and pumpkin bread.

Here’s a warning – do not get that pumpkin pie filling stuff. Use pumpkin puree for all your pumpkin cooking and baking needs. You can get it canned this time of year (and only this time of year. Why??), or you can make it yourself. I promise you up and down and all around that making your own is not hard to do. You will need a bit of time. I’d suggest making the puree either the day before you plan on actually using it and then storing it in the fridge, or just giving yourself a couple of hours for puree-making + using puree. All this recipe involves is cutting up the pumpkin into quarters, baking it, peeling off the skin, and pureeing it.

So I spotted pie pumpkins in my Farm Fresh…err, nope GREEN Bean Delivery (they changed their name FYI), and decided it was high time I stopped buying cans of pumpkin. Pie pumpkins are smaller than your average pumpkin, but really I think you can make puree out of any kind of pumpkin. They all seem to be the same to me.

Now you have your pumpkin puree plan. What will you do with it? I suggest pumpkin bread. Or oatmeal. Or put a bit in your favorite pancakes. There are tons of recipes out there. I’m going to attempt to try a few more this fall.

I had one thing in mind for my puree: pumpkin bread. One of Adam’s all-time favorite baked goods is pumpkin bread, and a couple of years ago his mom gave me her recipe (this was also the same time she gave me the potato chip cookie recipe. So now I can pretend to be Adam’s mom by baking him pumpkin bread. And that’s not weird at all.

Make this pumpkin bread. It’s spicy (in a cinnamon and nutmeg sort of spicy way) and pumpkin-y, and never dries out. This time I topped it with cinnamon cream cheese icing, but it’s equally delicious plain.

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