Carrot Cake Pancakes with Maple-Cream Cheese Spread

Thursday, September 30, 2010

With the remnants of Tropical Storm Nicole hovering over the DC area today, we're in smack the midst of a drenching, dripping kind of day.  The kind of day where staying home and curling up with a good book sounds really nice right about now.   Too bad life with five kids rarely allows for that kind of indulgence, so instead I'll settle  for these thick autumn inspired pancakes to warm me up on my way out into the soggy world.   They were the perfect whole grain breakfast treat to keep us warm and cozy on this drippy day and the maple-cream cheese topping accented them with a nice creamy element.  Now I just need to find my umbrella....

Click here for printable recipe.  

The ingredients:
3 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
2 Tbs. maple syrup
1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon

1/4 cup walnuts, chopped
1 cup shredded carrot
1-1/2 cup whole wheat flour
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1-1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp. ground allspice
1/4 tsp. salt
1-1/2 cups milk
1/3 cup packed brown sugar
2 eggs
1/4 cup vegetable oil

Directions:   To make the spread:  In a medium bowl, stir together the cream cheese, maple syrup, and cinnamon until blended and smooth.  Set aside.  Makes 1/3 cup. 

To make the pancakes:  Preheat the oven 300°.  Spread the walnuts on a baking sheet and toast until fragrant (about 5 minutes).  Chop the nuts and set aside. 

Meanwhile, place the carrot in a small microwaveable bowl.  Cover loosely with plastic wrap and microwave on high power for 1 minute or just until tender.  Set aside to cool.

In a large bowl, whisk together the whole wheat flour, all-purpose flour, baking powder, cinnamon, allspice, salt, and walnuts until blended.  Make a well in the center of the flour mixture.  Add the milk, sugar, eggs, and oil and whisk the ingredients together until blended.  Add the cooled carrot and stir just until blended.  If batter is too thick, additional milk can be added a tablespoon at a time.

Preheat a large nonstick skillet or griddle over medium-high heat and coat with cooking spray.  Ladle 1/4 cup batter for each pancake and cook until bubbles form on the surface.  Flip with spatula and cook for 1 minute longer, or until cooked through and golden brown.  To serve, spoon a rounded teaspoon of the maple cream cheese spread on each pancake and drizzle with additional maple syrup, if desired.  Makes 12-14 pancakes.



Minted Honey-Lime Fruit Salad

Monday, September 27, 2010

My kids are not huge fans of cooked veggies, so I'm always looking for fun new ways to serve up fresh fruits and veggies to change things up.  My 9-year-old daughter found this recipe in a cookbook, gave me a grocery list, whipped it up for us, and even took the pictures.  The honey, mint, and lime gave the fresh fruit a perfect splash of flavor, so if you're looking for a unique way to serve up some fruit--this is the recipe for you! 
Click here for printable recipe.  

The ingredients:

1 tsp. grated lime peel
2 Tbs. lime juice
3-4 Tbs. honey (depending on the sweetness of the fruit)
3 Tbs. chopped fresh mint
1/2 small honeydew, cubed
1/2 cantaloupe, cubed
1 pint fresh strawberries, halved and hulled
2 cups fresh pineapple or mango cubes

Directions:  In a large bowl, stir together the lime peel, juice, honey, and mint until combined.  Add the honeydew, cantaloupe, strawberries, and pineapple or mango.  Toss to combine. Makes 8 servings.



Chipotle Chicken Pasta

Thursday, September 23, 2010

This unique pasta dish was a combination of Italian and Mexican and got completely gobbled up by my kids, particularly my teen son and his friend.  I was a little wary of the chipotle peppers so skipped the adobo sauce, but ended up wishing I'd  added it...especially when a couple of kids ended up adding hot sauce to spice it up.   You'll want to make sure you take the seeds out of the chipotle peppers before adding them, since they're painfully spicy.  The pepper itself without the seeds is fairly mild, but with the seeds you'll need a fire hose to quench your burning mouth.  

 Click here for printable recipe

The ingredients:

1 pound fusilli pasta (or other twisty noodles)
6 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (2-lbs.)
1 Tbs. olive oil
1 medium onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1/2 tsp. ground cumin
2 canned chipotle chiles, seeded and finely diced (leaving the seeds could make it unbearably spicy)
1/2 tsp. adobo sauce (from the chipotle peppers)
2 medium tomatoes, cored and cut into 1/2-inch cubes (about 2 cups)
1 cup heavy cream
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. pepper
2 Tbs. chopped fresh cilantro

Directions:  Cook noodles in a large pot of lightly salted boiling water until al dente, firm but tender.  Drain, reserving 1/2 cup pasta cooking water.

Meanwhile, cut chicken into 2 x 1/2 x 1/2-inch strips.  Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat.  Add chicken; salt and pepper to taste and saute 5 minutes or until it begins to brown.

Add onion; cook 3 minutes.  Add garlic and cumin.  Reduce heat to medium; cook 1 minute.

Add chiles, adobo sauce, tomatoes, cream, salt, and pepper.

Lower heat; simmer 5 minutes.  Add cilantro.

Add pasta to sauce; toss. Stir in reserved pasta water as needed for a creamier consistency.

Serves 6.  Enjoy!


Layered Coconut-Lemon Cake

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Ever since I started on my once-a-week sugar quest in February, dessert recipes have become pretty sparse here on the Recipe Shoebox.   This is a cake my teenage daughter created for us one Sunday, which just so happens to be my sugar day.  The way it all came together with the lemon filling, coconut, and fluffy frosting made it completely unforgettable in taste and presentation! 

 Click here for printable recipe.

Juice and grated rind of 2 lemons
1 cup sugar
2 eggs, beaten
2 Tbs. butter, melted

Put all the ingredients in a double boiler ( a metal bowl over a pot of simmering water).  Stir over simmering water until thickened, about 15-20 minutes.  Chill.

6 Tbs. butter, room temperature
1-1/2 cups sugar
3 eggs, separated
2-1/4 cups flour
3 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
3/4 cup milk
1 tsp. vanilla

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Cream butter and sugar.  Add egg yolks and beat until thick and lemon colored. With a fork, mix together dry ingredients and add them to the egg mixture alternately with the milk; stir in vanilla.  Fold in stiffly beaten egg whites.  Divde batter between 3 well-greased 8-inch cake pans and bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes. Cool completely and remove from pans.  Before fosting cut off rough edges of cake with sharp scissors. 

1/3 cup water
1 cup sugar
1/8 tsp. cream of tartar
pinch of salt
2 egg whites
1 tsp. vanilla
sweetened coconut

Stir the water, sugar, cream of tartar, and salt together in a small heavy-bottomed pan.  Hook a candy thermometer to the edge of the pan and boil without stirring until mixture reaches 240 degrees F. Meanwhile, beat egg whites until stiff.  Pour the 240 degree syrup over the whites in a thin stream, beating constantly until thick and glossy.  Stir in vanilla.  Frost the cake and sprinkle coconut onto sides and over the top.

Put the chilled lemon filling between the cooled cake layers--trying not to let too much of it get on the sides of the cake.

Frost the cake

then sprinkle on coconut thickly, gently pressing it into the sides.

During this process the cake may slip and slide a little, but just slide it back straight.  Garnish with raspberries, lemon slices, and/or mint leaves.



Six Cheese Spinach Crespelles with Tomato Alfredo Sauce and Smoked Sausages

Thursday, September 16, 2010

This delicious recipe is from my sister-in-law Mika.  She based it on a dish she'd had at Olive Garden, but I have to say it was better (and cheaper) than any dish I've ever had there!   My husband and kids all adored the cheesy blend of Italian flavors.

Click for printable recipe

 The ingredients: 

3 eggs
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup water
3 Tbs. butter, melted
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp. salt

1 package (8-ounces) six Italian cheese blend
1 carton (15-ounces) ricotta cheese
1 package (10-ounces) frozen chopped spinach, defrosted and drained
2 eggs
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese

1 pound smoked sausage, sliced and cooked until golden
1 jar (15-ounces) Alfredo sauce
1 can (29-ounces) whole tomatoes, undrained

For Crepes:  (You can make the crepes early in the day and keep them wrapped in damp paper towel until assembly)  Combine all ingredients in blender container; blend about 1 minute.  Scrape down sides with rubber spatula, and blend about 30-seconds more.  Refrigerate batter for  1 hour (we usually skip this step).  To cook, heat omelet, crepe, or regular frying pan on medium-high heat just hot enough to sizzle a drop of water.  Brush pan lightly with melted butter.  For each crepe, pour in just enough batter to cover bottom of pan, tipping and tilting pan to move batter quickly over bottom. (NOTE:  We made them slightly thicker than normal crepes to make them a little heartier) If crepe has holes, add a drop or two of batter to patch.  Cook until light brown on bottom and dry on top.  Remove from pan and stack on plate.  Makes 12 crepes.  

For filling:  Mix cheese blend, ricotta cheese, spinach, eggs, and Parmesan cheese.  Stir well and set aside.

For sauce:  Place the whole undrained can of whole tomatoes into the blender and mix until smooth.  Add Alfredo sauce and blend until well combined.

To assemble:  Stuff each crepe with filling and roll up and place in large greased baking dish.

Cover with tomato-Alfredo sauce.

Bake at 350° for 35 minutes.  While crespelles are cooking, slice and cook sausage.

Place sausage slices over the top of the crespelles and serve immediately.



Karey's Oatmeal-Raspberry-Chocolate Chip Pancakes

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Thanks to my sister-in-law Karey for this awesome new pancake recipe.  With raspberries and chocolate chips, who needs syrup?  These pancakes were perfect with some whipping cream and fresh raspberries. 

 Click here for printable recipe.  

The ingredients:

 1-1/4 cup buttermilk (divided)
1 cup rolled oats
1 large egg
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup butter, melted
3/4 cup flour
1/4 tsp. salt
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1 cup raspberries (frozen or fresh), slightly mashed
1/2 cup mini chocolate chips

Combine the oats and one cup of buttermilk and let stand 1 hour or overnight.  (NOTE:  In my natural laziness, I tried to skip this step the first time, but the pancakes did not hold together well at all.  As much as I hate to wait, I highly recommend waiting the full hour before cooking.  Or if you don't mind pancakes that fall apart, they still tasted great!)

After the hour, add a large egg to the oat/buttermilk mixture and stir together.  Then add the brown sugar and melted butter and mix well.  Sift in the dry ingredients and stir to combine.  Stir in 1/4 cup buttermilk, raspberries, and chocolate chips.

Cook on hot, buttered griddle until golden brown on both sides.  Enjoy!


Menu 9/13-9/19

Sunday, September 12, 2010

The kids are finally back to school, which means means we're reestablishing routines and trying to figure out what works and what doesn't in our new schedule.  I'm enjoying the extra time in the afternoon to prep for dinner, but struggling with how crammed dinner seems in our evening routine.  Here's another week of menus! 
--Avocado Chicken Salad in pita bread

Tuesday--Taco Casserole

Wednesday--Blueberry Lemon Muffins

Feta Pasta Bake (new)

Thursday--Tomatillo and Chicken Tostadas
Friday--Bruschetta Pizza

Saturday-- Caramel Rolls

Zucchini Soup
Sunday--Spinach Lasagna (new recipe)
French Peasant Bread

Chocolate Chip "Pizzookies"
Go check Organizing Junkie for lots more Menu Plans!



Dad's Coleslaw

Thursday, September 9, 2010

This simple recipe is my Dad's summer specialty and it's one of the few salads I make that everyone devours.   Everyone loves the crunch of the peanuts and dry ramen noodles.   This particular salad in the pictures below is an extra special salad, since the cabbage we used was straight out of the garden and 100%  nurtured by my 9-year-old daughter.  It was the best coleslaw we ever had.  :)

 Click here for printable recipe.  

The ingredients:

1 large head cabbage, shredded (or two 10-ounce packages shredded cabbage)
2 packages dry ramen noodles, crunched up (discard the seasoning packets)
3/4 cup sunflower seeds
3/4 cup honey-roasted peanuts

DRESSING:  (When I'm feeling lazy, I just use store bought slaw dressing.  I like Marzetti's brand.)
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1-2 tsp. sugar
1 Tbs. vinegar
1/4 tsp. salt

Directions: Pull cabbage out of garden and run it inside as quickly as possible.

In a large bowl, combine cabbage,

sunflower seeds,

dry ramen noodles,

and peanuts.

Set aside.  In a small bowl, combine dressing ingredients.  Just before serving, pour dressing over coleslaw and stir until evenly coated.



About This Blog

My name is Lara and while I'm definitely not a gourmet cook, I do love preparing tasty, healthy meals for my family. Finding new recipes to try and sharing the ones we've already fallen in love with is a passion I've had since college and the reason why I've started this blog! With five kids, I'm usually in a hurry, so you'll find most of these recipes kid friendly and simple to make.

  © Blogger template On The Road by 2009

Back to TOP