Pumpkin Pecan Waffles


It’s Sunday, so that means make breakfast for the family to kick off family day! This week in honor of Halloween and Fall, I’m mixing up some pumpkin waffles! It’s like having a crispy pumpkin pie for breakfast (oh yeah and a serving of veggies).

1 c whole wheat flour
1 1/2 c all-purpose flour
1/3 c packed light brown sugar
2 1/4 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp ground cloves
4 large eggs
1 c milk
1 c buttermilk
1 can canned solid-pack pumpkin
1 c chopped pecans
6 TBSP butter, melted

Preheat waffle iron.

Whisk together flour, brown sugar, baking powder and soda, salt, and spices.

Whisk eggs in a large bowl until blended, then whisk in milk, buttermilk, pumpkin, and butter until smooth. Whisk in dry ingredients just until smooth.

Brush waffle iron lightly with oil and spoon batter (about 2 cups for four 4-inch Belgian waffles) into waffle iron, spreading quickly. Cook according to manufacturer’s instructions.

Makes 12 4-inch waffles

Mini Cheesecake


I found this recipe on the WW site, though I made a few changes by lessening the sugar and adding lemon zest. These are the perfect mini treat and not too hard on the waistline.

1 stick of low fat cream cheese, room temp
2 egg whites
3 TBSP lemon juice
Zest of 1 lemon
2 tsp vanilla
2 TBSP low fat butter
3/4 c graham crackers

Preheat oven to 375. Line a muffin pan with muffin liners.

In a food processor, pulse graham crackers until finely chopped, add melt butter, pulse to combine. Place 1 TBSP of mixture in each muffin liner, press down firmly.

Wipe out processor. Add sugar, process until fine. Add cream cheese, zest and lemon juice, vanilla, process until well combined. Add egg white process until smooth. Pour into muffin papers – I use a large glass measuring cup with a spout, pour a little in each and go back to make them even. This recipe does not fill them to the top.

12 servings.
3 WW PP per serving.

Chickpea and caramelized onion patties


I found this recipe on the Chow site, I made a few changes to lighten it up a bit. Its a great veggie lunch. I served mine in a pita with a little fresh Greek yogurt.

For the caramelized onions:
2 tsp olive oil
2 large red, Spanish or sweet onions, thinly sliced
1 TBSP fresh rosemary leaves
1⁄2 tsp kosher salt
For the patties:
1 can chickpeas, rinsed, drained and mashed by hand
1⁄4 c panko breadcrumbs
6 garlic cloves, minced
2 TBSP chopped fresh cilantro leaves
2 TBSP sesame tahini
2 TBSP fresh lemon juice
1 TBSP chopped fresh rosemary leaves
1 tsp salt
1⁄2 tsp black pepper
2 lemons, quartered

To make the caramelized onions:
Place a large skillet over low heat and when it is hot, add the oil. Add the remaining ingredients and cook, stirring only occasionally as necessary, until the onions are deeply browned and slightly gooey, about 40 minutes. If the onions dry out, add water, 1 tablespoon at a time. Use immediately or cover and refrigerate for up to 2 days.

For the patties.
Place the chickpeas, onions, panko, garlic, cilantro, tahini, lemon juice and rosemary in a large mixing bowl and mix until well combined. Divide the mixture into 4 portions and form each into a patty about 3⁄4 to 1 inch thick, tossing it back and forth between your hands.

Place a cast iron skillet over high heat and when it is hot but not smoking add the burgers to the dry pan. Cook until well seared on both sides and heated throughout, 8 to 10 minutes. Serve immediately, garnished with lemon quarters.

Fox & Hound Cocktail


This was Chow’s weekly Friday night cocktail this week – it sounded great, so I figured I’d give it a try. I used Pernod since I don’t have any absinthe on hand – it still tasted great!

1 1/2 oz bourbon
1/2 oz lemon juice
1/2 oz Simple Syrup
1/4 oz absinthe
1 large egg white
3 dashes Orange Bitters

Place the bourbon, lemon juice, simple syrup, absinthe, and egg white in a cocktail shaker and shake vigorously to combine, about 10 shakes. Add enough ice to fill the shaker about halfway and shake vigorously until the egg white is frothy and the drink is thoroughly chilled.

Strain into a chilled cocktail glass and top with the bitters.

Sauted Chanterelle Mushroons


I love chanterelle mushrooms, this simple recipe really allows their flavor to shine. This adapted from a Gourmet
I use less fat and added white wine – wow!!

1 TBSP butter
2 tsp olive oil
1/2 c white wine
8 oz fresh chanterelle mushrooms, quartered if large
1 TBSP minced shallot

Melt butter with oil in heavy large skillet over medium-high heat. Add shallot sauté until soften add a little wine of the pan is to dry, stir in mushrooms; sauté until lightly browned, add wine and cook for 6 – 8 minutes until most of the wine is absorbed. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

2 – 4 servings.


Braised Lamb Shank


This recipe is adapted from a recipe I found in Elle Magzine, of all places. It is meltingly tender and oh so meaty!

Braised Lamb Shank

4 lb bone-in lamb shank
Salt and pepper
2 tbsp olive oil
1 large onion, diced
3 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
2 tsp fennel seed, toasted
2 tsp yellow mustard seed
2 tbsp tomato paste
1 c dry red wine
2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
1/4 c dry sherry
5 c dark chicken stock (veal or beef stock will work too)

Preheat oven to 350.

Season lamb all over with salt and pepper. In a large Dutch oven or heavy pot, heat oil over medium-high heat. Cook lamb until golden, 3 to 4 minutes per side. Transfer to a plate.

Add onion, garlic, fennel seed, mustard seed, and tomato paste to pot. Cook, stirring occasionally, until onion is softened, about 3 minutes. Deglaze pot with wine, and cook until liquid has mostly evaporated. Add vinegar, Worcestershire, sherry, and stock, and bring to a simmer. Return lamb to pot, cover and place in oven. Turning the meat every hour. Cook until lamb is tender and falling off bones, 3 to 4 hours.

Remove meat from pot, cover with foil and set aside. Place pot on stove and cook over medium high heat to reduce. This will take about 30 – 45 minutes. Add meat, cook for 5 minutes to warm and serve.

Apple Pancakes


These maybe the best pancakes I’ve ever had! They taste like apple pie! I used toasted pecans but you could use walnuts as well. I also used 4 different varieties of apple to give it a more complex recipe. This recipe is adapted from Dorie Greenspan’s pancake book, I doubled it and used buttermilk instead of regular milk. These freeze great for a quick weekday breakfast – just pop them in the toaster to reheat.

2 c whole wheat flour
1 c all purpose
2 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp all spice
1/4 tsp nutmeg
Pinch of salt
3 c buttermilk
4 eggs
8 TBSP butter, melted
1 TBSP vanilla
4 apples, peeled, cored, finely chopped
1 c nuts, chopped

Mix dry ingredients, add wet, combine well then stir in nuts and apple.

Cook on a griddle over medium heat.

Pasta Carbonara


This recipe is basically bacon and eggs with pasta – the perfect comfort food. If you can’t fine guanciale, you can use pancetta. This dish is very rich, but oh so wonderful.

Fine sea salt
7 oz guanciale, cut into 1/4 inch dice
3 large egg yolks
1 cup freshly grated pecorino
3/4 cup freshly grated Grana Padano or parmigiano
Freshly ground black pepper
2 TBSP olive oil
1 lb spaghetti or whatever pasta you have on hand

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat.

In a medium bowl, whisk together egg yolks, grated cheeses, 1/3 cup water, and pepper.

In a 12 inch skillet, combine guanciale and oil; cook over medium heat, stirring frequently, until browned, about 15 minutes.

About halfway through guanciale cooking time, cook pasta in the boiling water until al dente (ideally pancetta and pasta will be ready at about the same time). Reserving ¼ cup of the pasta cooking liquid, using a slotted spoon, add the pasta to guanciale and toss to combine. Remove from heat and Immediately add egg mixture and 2 tablespoons pasta cooking liquid; quickly stir to combine. Moisten with additional pasta cooking liquid, if desired. Serve immediately, passing cheese and pepper at the table.

4 – 6 servings.
12 WW PP per serving.

XYZ cocktail


I always forget how much I love dark run! This little cocktail is delicious but has the potential to be dangerous. Perfect way to start the weekend.

2 part dark rum
1 part Cointreau
1 part lemon juice

Combine in a shaker with ice, shake well and serve in a martini glass with a lemon twist.

Carrot, Coconut, Pecan, Raisin Waffle


This recipe is adapted from a Dorie Greenspan’s Waffle book – they are amazing!! I used buttermilk and a little less sugar and made a cream cheese glaze – so hearty and yummy!

1/2 c golden raisins
2 c grated carrots
2/3 c pecans, finely chopped
2/3 c coconut, shredded unsweetened
1 stick butter, melted
1 c all purpose flour
2 c whole wheat flour
2 TBSP baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 TBSP cinnamon
2 tsp ground ginger
1/3 c brown sugar
3 c buttermilk
4 eggs
2 tsp vanilla

Cream Cheese Icing:
3 oz cream cheese softened
2 TBSP half and half
2 tsp cinnamon
2 TBSP powdered sugar

Combine dry ingredients. Combine wet ingredients. Mix together until combined. Pour into your favorite waffle iron.

For the icing – combine all the ingredients into a mini processor, if it is too thick add a little more 1/2 and 1/2.

Makes 5 – 6 large waffles (4 squares).