Archive for November, 2012

Recipe: Pumpkin Pecan Pancakes

So the day of thanks has come and gone, and you’re probably still recovering from the celebratory meal. Welcome to the holidays and the bounty of leftovers that come with it.

Many recipes at this time of year have to do with leftover turkey but overlook the supporting cast from that Thanksgiving meal. Yet those pantry extras deserve just as much respect and can allow for even greater culinary creativity.

Take that canned pumpkin purée, for example. While most people will use it to make pie, canned pumpkin adds a delicious sense of the fall season to other foods such as breads, cookies, and soup. Or even pancakes.

Pumpkin and pancakes may seem unlikely partners at first, but the purée blends seamlessly into the batter. When cooked, you get orange-hued pancakes that are autumn on a plate. I like to add pecans, another staple of the season easily found in markets, for a bit of crunch and extra flavor.

With this recipe, you can quickly and easily use that extra can of pumpkin purée (or have a reason to try the stuff in the first place) and load up on some breakfast carbs ahead of the holiday madness.

Let’s make some pumpkin pecan pancakes.

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Last-minute Thanksgiving survival guide

The countdown is on. We’re just days away from Thanksgiving.

By now you have hopefully bought and are thawing your turkey — in the refrigerator, remember — and are finalizing the last small details of your Thanksgiving feast.

Things can move pretty fast this time of year, and I’m not just talking about the onward rush of the holidays. Now more than ever is the time to be take a deep breath and enjoy the moments rather than stress about them. This advice is also relevant in the kitchen.

As the holiday cooking season moves into high gear, it’s good to slow down and remember to enjoy the process. If you can think of what you are doing as an expression of love instead of a load of work, it will make the day that much more enjoyable.

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Easy recipe: You can rock these Ranchero Beans

I probably don’t need to tell you that beans are magnificent. Yes, you probably already know that they’re packed with stuff like protein, fiber and other nutrients that will do your body good, all while being very low in fat and simple sugars. They are also extremely inexpensive. Even in canned form, at about a buck a pound, it’s hard to find a food that packs this much nutritional density for the price.

Beans are also very adaptable. And that’s a good thing, because let’s face it: When eaten alone, popular beans such as pintos aren’t exactly multifaceted in their flavor. But throw in other ingredients and some seasoning to the party, and the beans that anchor a dish can be eaten and enjoyed in a whole new light.

I recently stumbled upon one such dish – ranchero beans – in the deli section of a Ralphs of all places, and was surprised at how well the humble pinto livened up with a larger culinary cast. I promptly decided to re-create this recipe myself, adding even more impact with additional ingredients.

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