Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Pumpkin Chip Pancakes with Cranberry Topping

Luckily the cold weather has inspired Jacob to become my personal husband-gone-cooking-machine. It's pretty awesome because 1. I have been eating absurdly well and 2. the cooking bug has slightly affected me as well. Mostly in the way where I am mad about making breakfast every morning despite the fail-proof event of my stomach wanting more food an hour later. However, I find it worth the hassle, especially since it is now pumpkin time. Jacob and I have horded an incredible amount of pumpkin puree. You see, we had the full intention of making pumpkin pie from scratch until we realized that I have far too many knitting orders to complete (if you're saying "whaaa?": click here) and not enough time to create 4 glorious, shimmering pumpkin pies and decided to, instead, ingest mass quantities of various other pumpkiny goods.

Know what else November means? Cranberry sauce. You see, I can make as much cranberry sauce as I please because it's literally a 5 minute process- water, sugar, crans, boilboilboil, fridge. It was only a matter of time before we discovered that pairing cranberry sauce with pumpkin pancakes was like almost the same amount of awesome as pairing a shirtless Ryan Gosling with any movie role ever. So we decided to get a little crazy.

I discovered dairy free eggnog at Whole Foods yesterday which went from being potentially the most amazing invention ever to being practically this holidays greatest disappointment. It's made with rice milk (which is great) it sort of tastes like eggnog (which is also great), however, it is the consistency of water and therefore YUCK. We decided to just go wild and make lattes from it to go with the incredible pancake madness that awaited us. This recipe is pretty much awesome- it's pretty thick so once you put the batter down, you have to carefully spread it out. Also, it refrigerates well and lasted us each 3 separate breakfasts. Note: it is dairy free but NOT vegan. It can easily be made vegan if you use egg substitute or some good old flax seeds.

Pumpkin Chip Pancakes with Cranberry Topping
  • 1 1/2 cups almond milk
  • 1 cup pumpkin puree
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 2 tablespoons vinegar
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup vegan chocolate chips
  1. In a bowl, mix together the milk, pumpkin, egg, oil and vinegar. Combine the flour, brown sugar, baking powder, baking soda, allspice, cinnamon, ginger and salt in a separate bowl. Stir into the pumpkin mixture just enough to combine. Add chocolate chips.
  2. Heat a lightly oiled griddle or frying pan over medium high heat. Pour or scoop the batter onto the griddle, using approximately 1/4 cup for each pancake. Brown on both sides and serve hot.
  3. Cover with cranberry topping and top with whipped cream substitute of your choice.
Cranberry Topping
12 oz. cranberries
1 cup sugar
1 cup water

Combine all ingredients in sauce pot and boil until cranberries are soft and mixture is thick.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Winter's Calling

For as long as I can remember I have loathed winter. Even in high school, after learning how to snowboard (and despite loving it), I still could not properly cope with the fact that it was going to be THAT freaking cold for THAT freaking long. When Jake and I planned our trip to Europe last year, many people asked why we were leaving in late September. My answer was always, "because I would like to avoid winter in Maine at all cost." "But you know there will still be winter in Europe, right?" they would retort, to which I would state, "Yes, but at least when I'm freezing in the snow I will be surrounded by something beautiful and new." And it was true.

Last winter, I spent a lot of my time coughing my lungs off with bronchitis, washing dishes, and hanging laundry. However, I also spent a lot of time learning to knit. Probably one of the main reasons I kept my sanity in those wacky, cozy sheds, was the fact that Seona had taught me something useful and creative. Since returning home, I hadn't really felt much urge to continue knitting. In the spring, I made some fingerless gloves for a few friends, knitted a few pairs of baby booties, but I never felt the need to knit like I did in England. Until this fall.

Roughly a week before the wedding it started getting absolutely frigid. I went to the yarn shop and stocked up on yarn, and started in on a couple of projects. This week, however, it has hit me full boar. Not only am I feeling the need to knit, I am feeling the need to knit CONSTANTLY. I daydream about Catherine Hill in Frome, the wool shop in Wells, and I just become so unbelievably depressed. Don't get me wrong, KnitWit is absolutely wonderful, but something about the yarn shops I went to in England - they are a comforting memory, and knitting at home is a way to deal with missing Frome and the Chapmans.

With this knitting compulsion also comes the comforting fact that I want to keep learning. Having had my grandfather's flax wheel in the apartment for 8 months, I am just itching to take spinning lessons. What an amazing coincidence that the lessons are only held on my days off! How odd, that this is the first year in which I am not dreading the Maine winter.