Apple Pancake Family Recipe

Standard

Even though it is in the 90s today in Washington DC and Virginia, fall is upon us and that means it is apple season. We love apple season as it gives us an excuse to not only bake apple pies and apple crisp but also apple pancakes.

When the Savory Sisters were growing up, we frequently would wake up on weekend mornings to the sweet smell of cinnamon and butter.  The minute we smelled it we could not bring ourselves to go back asleep as the smell wafted throughout the house.  Instead, we would go downstairs and wait with salivating mouths for our mom’s special apple pancake to come out of the oven. Oh the torture but so worth the wait.

A sort of breakfast apple pie, apple pancake is a baked breakfast dish made up of apples, cinnamon and butter mixed into a slightly sweet batter.  Our family recipe is derived from a somewhat sweeter version created by the Walker Brothers Restaurant located a couple of miles from our mom’s hometown outside of Chicago.

Apple Pancake

The recipe is as follows:

1/2 cup milk

1/2 cup flour

3 eggs beaten

pinch of salt

vanilla

1-2 apples, peeled and sliced.

Saute the apples with a tablespoon of butter until soft but not soggy.  Mix the rest of the ingredients together and add the apples.  Pour into greased 9 x 13 pan or a pan of similar size.  Bake at 500 degrees for 15 minutes.  Dot with sugar and butter and sprinkle with cinnamon.  Place back into the oven for another 5 minutes.  Drizzle with maple syrup and you have delicious breakfast treat! Enjoy!

The Pioneer Woman’s Homemade Cinnamon Bread

Standard

Photo Courtesy of The Pioneer Woman

Looking for something to do this weekend or do you just want to try the most amazing cinnamon bread in the world? If yes, do yourself a favor and make The Pioneer Woman’s homemade cinnamon bread.

I’m not sure how many of you have heard of the The Pioneer Woman. She is basically my hero as she combines my two loves, food and photography, into a witty blog that is truly inspiring. If you haven’t already, I highly recommend checking out her blog at http://thepioneerwoman.com/ and also check out this post http://thepioneerwoman.com/blog/2009/06/a_hobby_of_mine/ for an afternoon smile.

After salivating over The Pioneer Woman’s recent post on homemade cinnamon bread (http://thepioneerwoman.com/cooking/2010/08/homemade-cinnamon-bread/) I decided to try making it myself. It was a good six hour process, as you have to let the dough rise for a total of 4 hours, so don’t start making this recipe late at night. However, it is totally worth the time and effort as the bread is truly life changing. Toast a slice of this bread and then spread some butter on top and I am pretty sure you will enter food euphoria. Just try it.

I’m not going to re-write The Pioneer Woman’s recipe as it is all on her website and she already does a  fabulous job explaining all the steps. Instead, I’m just going to post some photos of my cinnamon bread making experience.

Melting butter with milk. The Pioneer Woman says she feels like a rebel cooking with whole milk. I feel like a rebel cooking with 2%.

Watching my Kitchen Aid work its magic.

That looks better

Now it is rising time. I hope the yeast likes my kitchen.

Yup, the yeast clearly likes my kitchen. Yay for hot humid Virginia and being too cheap to keep the AC turned up high :).


Mmmm butter

Mmmmm cinnamon & sugar

Rolled up and risen

Time to coat in an egg milk mixture

ok, so I'm a little messy when I bake.

yum yum yum

Taking a slice to my hubby on the ship because I'm a pretty awesome wife :).

The World’s Best Banana Bread Recipe

Standard

There is nothing that reminds me more of home than my mom’s banana bread. It is moist, sweet, and just utter perfection. My mom would make her banana bread often for us growing up and I have continued to make it whenever I find myself with overly ripe bananas or when I’m just craving its deliciousness.  This recipe has been a family secret for years but my mom was gracious enough to let us share it this one time with our Savory Sisters readers. Enjoy!

Ingredients (for one loaf):

1 cup granulated sugar

1/2 cup unsalted butter

3 very ripe mashed bananas

2 eggs well beaten

1 1/4 cup flour

1/2 tsp salt

1 tsp baking soda

1 tsp vanilla

Now let’s make the world’s best banana bread!

Cream together sugar and butter. Add banana, eggs and vanilla.

In a separate bowl mix flour, salt and baking soda.

Blend flour mix into banana mix but don’t over mix.

Turn batter into a greased 9x5x3inch pan. Preheat oven to 350. Bake for 55 minutes or toothpick test.

Ladies and gentleman, let me introduce you to the world’s best banana bread! So my mom’s recipe says to turn out the loaf and let it cool completely. But I don’t have the patience for that. I’ve already spent the past 55 minutes just staring at the oven. There is no way I am waiting any longer for banana bread. So I cut myself a slice.

And yes, it is falling apart because I didn’t let it cool but I am going for taste and not presentation. The bread is so moist and the chunks of banana are warm gooey goodness. A slice of this bread and a cup of coffee…I’m in heaven. Thank you mom for the recipe!

Easy Black Bean & Corn Salad

Standard

Black Bean & Corn Salsa

Light, healthy and full of protein, this salad takes just minutes to put together and makes a great side dish for a bbq or cookout. I’ve also put it on tacos, fajitas, quesadillas, crab cakes and even bruschetta (toast some french bread with olive oil then put goat cheese and the salad on top = deliciousness).  The salad can be made the day before and transports well.

Ingredients:

1 can, 14 ounces, black beans, rinsed and drained

1 can corn, rinsed and drained  (can use frozen or roasted corn)

1 small red bell pepper, seeded and chopped

1/2 red onion, chopped

1/2 cup chopped cilantro

1 lime, juiced

2 tablespoons olive oil

salt and pepper to taste

Combine all ingredients in a bowl, toss, chill in fridge then serve.

How easy is that?

Bringing Sushi to Your Kitchen

Standard

Who ever said you need to go to an expensive Japanese restaurant for sushi?  As long as you can find some fresh fish it’s super easy to bring those same flavors to your kitchen.  Here is my recipe for a deconstructed tuna-avocado roll…

Tada!

1. First marinate fresh sushi-grade tuna for an hour in…

1 tsp of grated fresh ginger

1/2 cup of orange juice

3 tbsp of soy sauce

1/3 cup sweet chili sauce

2.  Remove tuna from marinade and coat both sides with sesame seeds

3.  Heat canola or vegetable oil in a saute pan and cook the tuna for about 2 minutes on one side and a minute on the other

4.  Slice tuna at about 1 cm wide slices and serve with avocado, white rice (I use Jasmine since it’s easier to find than sushi rice) and sliced ginger.  Drizzle with any soy-based sauce such as teriyaki or gyoza dipping sauce.

Deconstructed Sushi

Guilt-Free Creamy Cheesy Mushroom Rigatoni Bake

Standard

I have a love-hate relationship with creamy cheesy pasta sauces. They are absolutely delicious but I hate the guilt that comes with eating thousands of calories and tons of fat is a single pasta dish. Therefore, I was ecstatic when I came across the low calorie/low fat creamy cheesy Mushroom Rigatoni Bake recipe from Cooking Lite. The dish is packed with flavor with a thick asiago sherry thyme sauce that is rich yet guilt-free. I often make this dish for guests as it can be made ahead of time and I can clean up the kitchen while it is baking in the oven. Therefore, when my guests arrive I can simply sit back, relax with a glass of wine and enjoy their company.

I’ve adjusted the Cooking Lite recipe slightly, using a little more cheese and sherry than called for (because you can never have too much cheese and wine) but I also use skim milk instead of 2%. The Cooking Lite recipe also calls for a variety of mushrooms but I just use baby bella. So the next time you are craving creamy cheesy deliciousness without the guilt try out my revised Cooking Lite Mushroom Rigatoni Bake recipe below:

Mushroom Rigatoni Bake (Serves 4)

Mushroom Rigatoni Bake

Ingredients:

8 ounces rigatoni

1 tablespoon butter

1/4 cup sliced shallots

1 package sliced baby bella mushrooms (or any mushroom of your preference)

1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

3 garlic cloves, minced

1/4 cup dry sherry

1/4 cup all-purpose flour

2 cups skim milk (or whatever you have on hand)

1 to 2 cups (depends how dangerous you feel that day) grated Asiago cheese, divided

Preheat oven to 375. Cook pasta al dente, drain well, set aside.

Melt butter in large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add shallots, saute 3 min or until slightly carmelized. Add mushrooms, thyme, salt, pepper, and garlic. Saute 8 minutes or until mushrooms are tender. Add sherry, cook 1 minute, stirring frequently, remove from heat.

Place flour in a dutch oven or small sauce pot (whatever you have on hand) over medium-high heat. Gradually add milk, stirring constantly with a whisk. Bring to a boil, cook 1 min or until slightly thick. Remove from heat, add half of the cheese, stirring until melted.

Mix pasta, mushroom mixture and cheese sauce together. Spoon pasta mixture into a greased 8-inch square baking dish. Sprinkle evenly with remainder of cheese. Bake at 375 for 30 min or until cheese melts and begins to brown. Garnish with thyme sprigs if desired.