Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Fall Food

The air turns a bit nippy, leaves are crunching below my feet and before I can spell autumnal equinox I get the urge to start cooking.  And since it's been a while since I posted a recipe, I figured it was about time to share a couple of our fall family favorites.

Pumpkin Pancakes - the original recipe came from All Recipes.com, but since I've altered it I'll share my version.

2 cups flour (sometimes I substitute 1/2 cup whole wheat flour for 1/2 cup white flour, but then I have to add a bit more liquid)
1/4 c. brown sugar
2 t. baking powder
1 t. baking soda
1 t. pumpkin pie spice
1 t. cinnamon
1/4 t. ground ginger
1/2 t. salt
1 1/2 cups milk
1 c. pumpkin puree
1 egg
2 T. oil
2 T. vinegar

I like to keep prep simple so I just dump all the dry ingredients into a medium sized bowl and give it a few stirs to mix it up.  Then I add all the liquid ingredients and stir vigorously 10-12 strokes until everything is just mixed.  Don't over mix pancake batter or the gas bubbles created from the baking soda/vinegar reaction will burst leaving your pancake batter flat and your pancakes even flatter.  If the batter has small lumps and air bubbles then you've done it right.  Fry on a hot griddle.  Serve piping hot with butter and real maple syrup or try my homemade fake maple syrup.  Yummy!

Philly Cheese Steaks at Home
Now this is super simple.  Great for lunch or serve up with a big salad and dinner is on the table in no time.  First slice a family sized loaf of French or Italian bread in half the long way be careful to not cut all the way through.  Spread both sides with about 2 T. soft butter and sprinkle generously with your favorite garlic salt.
 Slice a large onion and small green pepper.  Don't be a perfectionist.  Just get off the outer layer of the onion and scoop out the seeds from the pepper and chop/slice roughly.  Saute in a small amount of butter until onion is as soft as you like it.  I like it best when they just start to brown a bit.
Now layer on 1 pound of deli roast beef, the sauteed veggies and generous slices of cheese.  I like provolone.  Warren likes pepper jack.  This time I used Amish cheese.  I'll share the story at the end of this post.  Stick under the broiler for about 4-5 minutes.  Set a timer.  Stay in the kitchen.  Watch carefully.  After all this believe me you don't want to burn the cheese steak.  Fold the top over the sandwich.  Slice into various sizes and enjoy.  Unfortunately we were so hungry that I forgot to take a photo of the end product.  But what you're going for is melty, bubbly cheese and bread that's lightly toasted. 
Why do we call it Amish cheese?  Because our horse stable friends have an Amish young man who works for them training horses.  He happens to be the 2nd or 3rd of 12 kids.  How awesome!  His dad is a wheeler dealer kind of guy and he got a phone call.  Yes you read that right, the Amish man got a phone call.  They can't have phones in their home, but they can have a centrally located phone that serves their community in a "phone booth" with an answering machine.  Anyway he received a message that 10,000 pounds of cheese had been mislabeled, couldn't be sold to the public and if he wanted it he could have it for FREE.  So he set a delivery time and in the meantime contacted all his friends and sold the cheese at $0.30 per pound.  They had to pick up their cheese immediately.  Well he gave a couple 40 pound blocks to our stable friends and they shared.  It is good.  Tastes like a white sharp cheddar.

1 comment:

  1. Yum, Yum! Will give both a try- thanks for sharing! The pumpkin pancakes will hopefully convince my 3yo that his sudden dislike of pumpkin is temporary....

    When I was living in Denver, it seemed that everyone had their own preferences on Philly Cheese Steak Sandwiches (and a couple of people who had lived in Philly said that there you chose your favourite vendor). There was a lot of discussion about the virtues of real cheese versus the fake tinned stuff (urgh). Your Amish cheese looks like a good option to me!


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