appetizer

Hearty Pumpkin Pancakes

Fall and winter are the perfect time to incorporate pumpkin into your menu. Our family appreciates the versatility of this fruit ( seen by most as a vegetable) as evidenced by Pumpkin Cake which has replaced pumpkin pie at Thanksgiving and Pumpkin Fluff , a low fat and low sugar appetizer served with apples and graham crackers is  recommended  and prepared by our daughter, the registered dietician. Our newest addition to the pumpkin-fest is the pumpkin pancake.  I took a delicious recipe made with white flour and tweaked and tweaked until I came up with this whole wheat version ( I'm always on a quest for healthy and yummy). This recipe makes about 8-10, 4 inch pancakes.

Ingredients:

In one bowl mix the following:

1 1/4 c whole wheat flour

1 t pumpkin pie spice

1/2 t salt

2 t baking powder

2T sugar ( or Splenda if you cut sugar whenever you can)

 

In a separate bowl, mix the following:

1 +1T milk

1 egg

1 t vanilla

2 T melted butter

7 T pumpkin

Fold liquid into bowl with dry ingredients. Using a 1/3c, pour onto a hot griddle. Flip, when top side appears somewhat dry. These pancakes are nice and dense. They stick to your ribs and hold you for several hours.

My family  loves these  because they taste good but I  love pancakes because they they're like fingerprints, no two are alike. Each one swirls just a little differently from the one sizzling just beside it.

You're fingerprint is your mark of uniqueness. No one else looks like you, laughs like you or has a birthmark in the same place as you. Your hips or the texture of your hair may not be exactly to your specifications but you can be certain that there are things about you that others admire. Are you the organizer that  scattered women can't survive without or  the one with witty sarcasm that keeps the office in stitches?

I hope the next time you cook up a pancake, you'll check out how special each one is, then think about yourself and remind yourself that your swirls are practically perfect!

Connect to the Future

Whether consciously or subconsciously,women imitate other women. We draw from those we admire and those who take time to teach us . The best way to  "become who we are created to be" is to be led by our mothers and sisters. We might be biologically connected to these women or they might be people whose paths have crossed with ours  any place in the world. As a woman with a gift or talent (we all have them), we can then teach and lead others.  In our family, cooking and eating are  times to link generations and we begin to teach the culinary arts early in a child's life.  

 

 

Today is no exception as my daughter Kala and granddaughter Ava prepared a quick and easy summer appetizer.

 

 

Fresh Fig Appetizer

Ingredients

8 fresh figs

1/4c. honey or blue agave sweetener

1 fresh lime

cracked pepper corns

goat cheese

 

First, mix  the juice of one lime with the honey or blue agave.

 

 

Next, slice the figs in half (Ava is given a spreader and a couple of figs). Fill each fig-half with  1t. of goat cheese. Arrange figs on serving plate and drizzle the sweetener over them. Finish off with fresh cracked pepper.

 

While it takes a little time and patience to include a little one in food preparations, gardening or whatever it is that you do well, the payoff is great. Legacy is established, mentorship is birthed and trust binds lives together.

Time and love connect us to the future.

Basil-Cilantro Pesto

It's quick! It's easy! It's healthy and more than anything, it's DELICIOUS! Pesto is a sauce that can be added to pasta, used as a topping on pizza  and today it's featured in Pesto Chicken Salad. Traditional pesto ingredients include basil, pine nuts and Parmesan cheese. We're shaking it up a little and melding the sweet taste of basil with the fragrant mix of  parsley and citrus found in cilantro.

 

 

Ingredients:

1 c. fresh basil

1 c. cilantro (no stems)

1/3 c. walnuts

1 large clove garlic

1/3 c. Romano or Parmesan cheese (Romano is a little stronger)

1/4-1/2 c. extra virgin olive oil

pinch of kosher salt

 

 

First of all, run the walnuts through your processor.

 

 

Next, add the basil, cilantro, minced garlic, cheese, salt, and drizzle a little oil in the processor. Pulse and add oil. Repeat until it takes the form of a thick paste.

 

 

Chop 2 c. of chicken (what you see above is the last of a rotisserie chicken) and add some chopped black olives and the pesto. Because I like texture, I added some minced celery as an afterthought. Blanched almonds would also work. They would add texture, taste and visually change the look of the salad.

 

 

 

This Chicken Pesto Salad is whipped up in about 15 min. and served on a toasted baguette or crackers.