Friday, September 9, 2016

Pumpkin Swirl Pancake Recipe

It’s getting closer to fall
 and time for all that autumn comfort food!  
I’m jumping on the pumpkin bandwagon
with this Pumpkin Swirl Pancake recipe.

 We’ve picked a few of our “pumpkins” which are actually
 crookneck type pumpkins or winter squash. 
They’re huge this year!
I'm guessing I shouldn't have planted them in the little garden. 
The vines from two seeds, planted together,
have covered over thirty feet and completely outgrown
the small cottage garden out back. 
They’ve traveled over the boxwoods at one end
and up into the tall shrubs along the fence at the other.

 And apparently, while I wasn’t looking,
there was a marriage with the tomatoes which I can’t dissolve.

 I guess I’d better get in the mood
 for some baking this fall and winter.
There are a lot of pounds of pumpkin on those vines!

 If any of you are in the pumpkin mood,
 here’s an adaption to a basic pancake recipe that I came up with. 
It’s not difficult, and definitely something a little extra special,
 for a Saturday morning breakfast (or supper!).  
Hope you enjoy!

 (There should be a little red popup on the photos that will allow you
to save the recipe to a Pintrest board if you wish.)

 Pumpkin Swirl Pancakes

Basic Pancake Recipe
2 cups flour
1 tablespoon sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 ½ cups buttermilk
2 eggs
¼ cup oil

Pumpkin Swirl
1 ½ cup thick pureed cooked pumpkin 
 (or pumpkin  type squash)
1 egg
¼ cup packed brown sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
½ teaspoon ginger
¼ teaspoon nutmeg

Mix dry ingredients for basic pancake batter.
Add buttermilk, eggs, and oil. 
Whisk until well combined.

In a separate bowl, 
whisk all ingredients for the pumpkin swirl. 
Put the pumpkin mixture into a squirt bottle.
(A clean syrup or ketchup bottle works fine!)

Pour amounts of batter into hot greased skillet
in the size you like your pancakes.
Squirt a generous swirl/spiral of the 
pumpkin mixture on top.
Fry until browned on the bottom and then flip,
and fry until browned on the second side.
Serve with butter and syrup 
or your own favorite toppings. 
(My mind’s thinking of a dollop of whipped cream,
some chopped pecans and a dash of cinnamon!)


Friday, September 2, 2016

Mantis Munchies

Here’s a post for the kids.
Or the kids at heart.

September is a great month for insects! 
Just listen when you go outside and hear all the chirping and buzzing.
 It’s like the creatures are making life count before it gets cold
and the frost puts an end to the summer fun. 

If you’re lucky, you might be able to spot
one of the coolest insects around  -- the Praying Mantis!

This Mantis is cleaning her foot.

It’s famous for being the only known insect that can turn its head and look over its back.
  That might be what makes it look just a little spooky!  
Their eyes are very sharp (this makes them great at catching prey),
 and they watch you as if they are extra smart.
 And maybe they are!

Here is a Praying Mantis on our front porch.

If you do get to spot a Praying Mantis, you may want to give it a little snack.
 It’s very easy, actually.
 (Watching insects eat is a fascinating thing!  Last year I wrote about feeding Ant Lions. 

We caught some crickets in this jar.

 First, you’ve got to do some hunting! 
Your prey is whatever a Mantis likes to eat – pick something that looks really tasty!
  Maybe not a stinkbug?!!  
We’ve found that they really like crickets and small grasshoppers.
 And those insects are usually fairly easy to find,
 just crawling or hopping around in the yard.  

Once you’ve captured a cricket (or something else) pop its head off to kill it.
  Then choose a skinny stick or extra-long stem of grass or weed
and poke the dead insect onto the end like this.

 Slowly crawl the dead insect toward the Praying Mantis, making it look as though it’s alive.
 I bet it will only take an instant before she will turn her quick eyes to watch the new insect. 
She’s hoping this might be supper!!! 
Creep the Mantis dinner very close, and she should pounce on it and start gnawing. 

Now just sit back and watch!!!  

Munch, Munch!

A cricket drumstick.

Cassia is making the cricket "crawl" along the arm of the bench.

 Mantises love to eat insects and are very helpful in the garden for eating pest insects.

Now there’s one thing about the Praying Mantis.
 Please, please, please, be careful with them.
 If you want to hold one, don’t scoop it up.
 Don’t grab it up. 
They can be damaged easily!  
Especially if they have large swollen abdomens.
 These big fat ones are females who are getting ready to lay their eggs
 in a special foam sack that’s like a tiny brown insulated cooler.
 This sack will protect her eggs all through the winter until next spring,
when the little green baby Mantises hatch out. 
So… if you do want to hold a Mantis, carefully put your hand in front of it,
 and gently nudge it forward so that it crawls onto you by itself. 
This way you won’t accidentally bend its legs or squish its soft belly.

If you’d like to see some more cool insects,

 Happy hunting!!!

 “But ask the animals, and they will teach you,
or the birds in the sky, and they will tell you;
or speak to the earth, and it will teach you,
or let the fish in the sea inform you.
Which of all these does not know
that the hand of the Lord has done this?
In his hand is the life of every creature
and the breath of all mankind.”
Job 12:7-10
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...