We are big fans of pancakes around here (in fact my gluten-free husband only really starting loving pancakes once he switched to eating gluten-free, so that is a testament to a healing body and a really good recipe). Lazy mornings often find me whipping up a batch for breakfast. I’ve made the recipe so frequently, that I have it memorized. And while we love the simple taste of lightly cinnamon-spiced pancakes with a dollop of plain yogurt and a drizzle of real maple syrup, lately I’ve been experimenting with add-ins to fancy up our pancake fare. One day it was mashed banana and a handful of chocolate chips. Another day frozen blueberries. And most recently, chopped fresh cranberries and apples.
You can of course make this recipe with regular wheat flour, but for those of you that are gluten-free this is a great recipe. Perhaps your Christmas breakfast might include pancakes this year?
(adapted from The Artisanal Gluten-Free Cooking)
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1 c. gluten-free all-purpose flour (if your favorite does not include xanthan gum, add 1/4 tsp to the dry ingredients)
2 to 4 Tbsp ground flax-seed (opt.)
1 Tbsp sugar
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp salt
1 c. milk
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 Tbsp salted butter, melted
1 small apple, peeled, cored, and diced
1/3 c. rough chopped fresh or frozen cranberries
Whisk together all the dry ingredients. Add the egg, milk, and vanilla. Stir to combine. Add in the melted butter and mix. Add in the chopped fruit and stir once more to combine.
Heat a skillet over medium-high. Grease with cooking spray. Spoon batter into rounds in the skillet. Cook until bubbles have formed on the surface of each pancake. Flip and cook until the other sides are golden.
Makes about 12 pancakes.
If you’re looking for a different, quick, and seasonal side dish to accompany your Christmas feast this year, I’d like to propose these Sauteed Brussels Sprouts with Cream. And that proposition comes from one who is generally not a fan of Brussels sprouts. This is easy enough for a quick weeknight side, but special enough for a holiday table.
The other evening, my husband told me twice how much he enjoyed the Brussels sprouts I fixed for supper. Coming from him, that is a huge compliment! The idea for the recipe goes to The Bonne Femme Cookbook: Simple, Splendid Food That French Women Cook Every Day. But, as usual, I added my own twist.
These Brussels sprouts will definitely be gracing our dinner table again.
SAUTEED BRUSSELS SPROUTS WITH CREAM
(slightly adapted from The Bonne Femme Cookbook)
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1 pound Brussels sprouts
1 Tbsp unsalted butter
1 Tbsp olive oil
salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
2 to 4 Tbsp heavy cream
Trim the stem ends of the Brussels sprouts and cut length-wise into 1/4-inch-wide slices. Place in a saucepan and add enough water to cover. Bring to a boil and cook for 4 minutes (do not overcook–you want the green color to sparkle). Drain, rinse under cold running water, and drain again.
Wipe the saucepan dry, and melt the butter with the olive oil in the same pan over medium-high heat. Add the Brussels sprouts and sauté briefly, until nicely coated and just a little more tender, about 2 minutes. Season to taste with salt and freshly ground pepper. Drizzle cream over the Brussels sprouts and gently toss to coat. Serve.
I enjoyed concocting this seasonal salad, packing it full of the colors, flavors, and textures of fall. And to tie it all together, a lovely fall-inspired maple vinaigrette to drizzle over top.
This would be a perfect addition to your Thanksgiving table. It will definitely be a part of our menu because right now, it’s my new favorite salad!
AUTUMN CHOPPED SALAD WITH MAPLE-DIJON VINAIGRETTE
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6-8 oz. Mixed lettuces (leaves torn or chopped)
1/4-1/2 c. dried cranberries or fresh pomegranate seeds
1/4-1/2 c. chopped pecans or walnuts
4 green onions, sliced (or chopped red onion, if you prefer)
2 strips bacon, cooked and crumbled (opt.)
2 oz. plain or honey goat cheese, crumbled
Wash and spin dry lettuce before placing in a large bowl. Top with pear, apple, onion, and dried cranberries. Drizzle with vinaigrette and toss to coat. Sprinkle salad with nuts, bacon, if using, and goat cheese. Serves 4.
2 Tbsp olive oil
1 Tbsp pure maple syrup
1 Tbsp whole grain Dijon mustard
1 tsp white wine vinegar
salt and pepper to taste
Combine all ingredients in a glass jar. Shake well.