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March 2019

Recipes

Blueberry Pecan Pancakes with Blueberry Compote

These Blueberry Pecan Pancakes are the BEST pancakes I have ever had.  We first had these at a cooking class we attended while in Houston last year (called The Urban Chef).  We had an awesome chef that day teaching us how to make these along with some other great brunch food. We had a blast and, of course, loved eating all the delicious food our class made. We’ve made these pancakes several times since then and I personally crave these pretty often.  I even brought some to work one time for my fellow nurses and they loved them too (even the guy who doesn’t like pancakes loved them!!).  Toasting the pecans before using them makes a huge difference in the overall taste, so it’s worth the extra step. We also try to make our own blueberry compote (syrup) when we can and ladle it over them (recipe below). You can just add more blueberries and pecans on top drizzled with whatever syrup you like (as pictured above).  You will see that we like to add the blueberries and toasted pecans on top of the pancake when poured onto the griddle, but you can also mix it in the batter before cooking, if you prefer.  You can use fresh, dried or frozen blueberries for this.  Hope you enjoy!!

Blueberry Pecan Pancakes with Homemade Blueberry Compote

Print Recipe
Serves: 4-6 Cooking Time: 30 min

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup finely chopped pecans, toasted
  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
  • 3 Tbsp light brown sugar
  • 2 Tbsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 egg whites
  • 1 1/2 cup buttermilk
  • 2 Tbsp canola oil
  • Blueberry Compote:
  • 1 cups fresh blueberries
  • 1/2 cup real maple syrup (can also use honey), and add more or less to your taste
  • 1 tsp lemon zest
  • 1 tsp lemon juice

Instructions

1

Toast the pecans by heating in a shallow pan over med-low heat for 3-5 min until you can smell their nutty aroma. (Be careful not to burn them, shaking the pan often to keep them moving some). Set aside.

2

To make the blueberry compote: add the blueberries to small saucepan along with the maple syrup, lemon zest and juice. Bring to a boil then simmer on low for 8-10 minutes. Set aside and keep warm.

3

For the pancakes: Start with the dry mix by combining in a large bowl both flours, brown sugar, baking powder, cinnamon and salt. Whisk together.

4

For the wet, combine the eggs, egg whites, buttermilk and oil. Whisk until combine.

5

Dump the wet mixture into the dry mixture and mix with whisk just until combined (don’t over mix!)

6

Heat griddle to 325 degrees and add about 1 Tbsp of canola oil (it’s hot enough when a drop of water sizzles)

7

Use 1/4 cup measure to poor pancakes onto hot griddle. Place as many blueberries and pecans on top as desired.

8

When edges appear dry and are golden brown on the bottom, carefully flip each pancake. When the center of the pancake is soft and spongy to the touch, they’re ready! (Only turn them once! Over flipping them will make them tough).

Notes

If you prefer to add the blueberries and pecans into the batter, add them to the dry mix and stir to combine before adding the wet (this will keep the berries from sinking). Not everyone in this house likes the blueberries and/or nuts, so we add to them as we make them. (You can also add chocolate chips instead of berries! That would be delicious as well!)

Recipes

Pasta Carbonara

This Pasta Carbonara is probably one of my FAVORITE comfort foods IN THE WORLD! It is so easy and quick to make, I cannot believe it took me so many years to discover it!! There are many varieties of this dish out there, but this one (to me) is the best.  This is a great dinner to quickly whip up on any busy family weeknight, or a great romantic dinner you and your loved one can enjoy making and tasting together.  Many of my friends think we keep a fancy and expensive pantry to keep up with some of these dishes we put out there.  I do admit, we sometimes have to travel a little farther, or order online, to get some of the ingredients we need for our recipes.  However, THIS recipe’s ingredients can be found just about anywhere, in any small town (like ours!).  In fact, I made this last night even though we were short a few of our usual ingredients (here I used pics from last night’s results, along with another time when I did have all the ingredients).  So last night we were able to substitute the Parmesan cheese with Cojita cheese (a crumbly, mexican version of parmesan that is just as salty and yummy!), then just left off the parsley (since we didn’t have any inside, or outside, the house right now).   This dish usually calls for pancetta, but we cannot get that around here, or likely any smalltown, USA, lol. So, we just use good old fashion BACON.  How can anyone not like BACON?!?! I mean, c’mon….it’s PASTA and BACON! Together! What more shall I say?? Other than it never disappoints the palate nor the tummy! Enjoy!

Pasta Carbonara

Print Recipe
Serves: 6-8 Cooking Time: 30 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 Lb. dried spaghetti (we use whole wheat pasta to make ourselves feel better about it, it's all about balance, right?)
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 4 Ounces bacon, sliced into strips or cubed
  • 4 Garlic cloves, peeled and chopped
  • 1 tsp red pepper flakes (or more if you like it spicy like us!)
  • 2 Large eggs, whisked
  • 1 Cup freshly grated Parmesan-Reggiano (or just Parmesan freshly grated, or pre-grated, if that's all you can find)
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • Handful of fresh flat-leaf (Italian) parsley, chopped

Instructions

1

Timing is important with this dish, so cook the sauce while the pasta boils. The pasta must be hot so the raw eggs will cook when mixed in at the end.

2

Add the dry pasta to pot of boiling water that has been salted generously (I do 1-2 palm fulls of kosher salt) and cook according to package directions.

3

Heat large pan over medium heat, add olive oil and bacon. Cook until bacon is crispy and the fat is rendered.

4

Meanwhile, whisk the eggs and cheese together in a bowl; set aside for later.

5

When the bacon is done, add the garlic and red pepper flakes, then stir continuously 2-3 minutes (keep it moving so you don't burn the garlic!)

6

Using tongs, transfer the cooked pasta directly from the pot into the large pan and toss the pasta well with tongs to coat the strands with the bacon fat. (you can also drain the pasta, but be sure it stays hot and reserve 1-2 cups of the pasta water to use later)

7

Take the pan off the heat (so as not to make scrambled eggs!) then add the egg/cheese mixture, quickly tossing it all together until the sauce has coated the pasta.

8

Thin the sauce by adding pasta water, 1/4 cup at a time, until desired consistency (I usually end up adding 1 - 1 1/2 cups, but I like it creamy!)

9

Season with freshly ground pepper and salt to taste.

10

Sprinkle the top with parsley and more grated cheese, if desired.

Recipes

Boudain Kolaches (Klobasnek)

These Boudain (that’s the Cajun version of boudin!) rolls are a HUGE hit at our house.  These hearty rolls of scrumptiousness are very easy to make for breakfast, snack or whenever! They usually don’t last very long around here.  The times I have made some for a work potluck, they are pretty much gone in 60 seconds.  We prefer them spicy, but if you prefer it mild, just go with plain boudain.  Here in the south, we call these Kolaches (although the correct name for this is Klobasnek – pastry with savory meat inside, we find it much easier to say ko-lach’-ees!) Plus, this was their name when we first discovered them around here in a local donut shop.  Now we found a way to make them at home anytime we crave them.  Hope you enjoy as much as we do!

Boudain Kolaches (klobasnek)

Print Recipe
Serves: 6 Cooking Time: 30 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 pkg (12 oz) Zummo's Jalapeno Boudain (this is our favorite, but any boudin will work)
  • 1 pkg (8 oz) Crescent Dough Sheet
  • 1 Lg egg
  • 1 Tbsp water
  • 1 Tbsp dried parsley (optional)

Instructions

1

Preheat oven to 375 degrees and line baking sheet with parchment paper.

2

Cook the Boudain according to package directions. (We cook our links in shallow pan with 1" water until internal temp is 160 degrees--casing may burst and it is OK!)

3

Transfer the Boudain to a bowl and remove casings. Set aside to cool, about 10-15 min.

4

Roll out crescent dough sheet and cut into 6 even squares (or can make smaller squares if you want them more bite-sized)

5

With spoon or ice cream scoop, place Boudain mix onto squares, then fold corners towards the middle and gently pinch together until seams are closed and roll is formed.

6

Place seam-side down onto parchment-lined baking sheet.

7

Whisk egg and water together and brush on top and sides of rolls. Sprinkle with parsely (if using)

8

Bake 13-15 min, or until golden brown.

9

Transfer to serving platter and enjoy!

Notes

You can use crescent roll dough as well. With the pre-cut dough, you can mold each triangle around the boudin for snack-size option, or press the pre-cut seams together and make your own cuts!