Basic Pancakes

Basic Pancakes | Pinky's Pantry
This is my mom’s pancake recipe. She always said that pancakes were the easiest breakfast to make. And the easiest recipe to remember. In fact, you didn’t really need a recipe according to Mom. It was just “1-1-1.” One of everything except for the salt which you cut in half. Funny thing….. Mom was right! Not only is this an easy recipe to make, but it makes delicious, fluffy pancakes. The trick is not to overmix the batter. You want to gently stir the flour and baking powder into the liquid ingredients until the flour is just moistened and you’ve broken up any large lumps. Little lumps are okay. As Mom put it, “don’t worry about it. They’ll disappear during cooking.”

This recipe makes about 4 pancakes (more if you make small ones) but the nice thing is that you can easily double, triple or quadruple the recipe if you’re feeding more than two people. Set out some butter and syrup and have at it!

BASIC PANCAKES

  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 Tbsp. baking powder
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup whole milk (substitute buttermilk for buttermilk pancakes)
  • 1 Tbsp. sugar
  • ½ tsp. salt
  1. In a medium bowl, beat the egg, milk, sugar, and salt together until well-blended.
  2. Add the flour and baking powder, and stir until just combined. Don’t overmix! You want your batter to be lumpy.
  3. Let the batter rest for about 10 minutes to give any lumps a chance to absorb some moisture.
  4. While the batter’s resting, preheat your griddle to 375°F.
  5. Spread a little butter or margarine on the griddle and pour a scoop of batter onto it. Try not to put too much batter. Remember, the bigger the pancake, the harder it is to flip. You want about  1/3 cup of batter per pancake.
  6. When the pancake is starting to get filled with bubbles and the edges start looking dry, that’s your sign that it’s time to flip the pancake over.
  7. After you flip it over, it takes only a minute or two for the other side to cook.
  8. Serve warm with butter and syrup.

VARIATIONS:  You can add things like blueberries, sliced bananas, chocolate chips, chopped nuts, etc. to the pancake batter for a variation on the basic recipe.

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Basic Drop Biscuits

Drop Bisciuts | Pinky's Pantry
Drop biscuits are some of the easiest biscuits to make because you don’t have to roll them out or cut them with a biscuit cutter which makes for less equipment to use and less handling. Remember, the more you handle your dough, the tougher your biscuits turn out so you want to handle your dough as little as possible. These biscuits are Old Goat Honey’s favorite because he loves how they’re all crispy on the outside but chewy inside. I love making ham and cheddar drop biscuits, like the ones I have pictured, and serving them with eggs and coffee for breakfast.
Drop Bisciuts | Pinky's Pantry

BASIC DROP BISCUITS

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 Tbsp. baking powder
  • ½ tsp. baking soda
  • 1 tsp. sugar
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • ½ cup butter
  • 1 cup cold buttermilk (can substitute milk)
  • 2 Tbsp. melted butter, for brushing on top (optional)
  1. Preheat oven to 450°F. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, sugar, and salt together in a large bowl.
  3. In a small bowl, melt 1/2 cup butter in the microwave and let cool about 5 minutes.
  4. Pour melted butter and buttermilk into flour mixture and stir just till mixture comes together. You’ll have a soft, sticky dough.
  5. Drop about 1/3 cup of batter onto prepared baking sheet, about 1½ inches apart.
  6. Bake for 8-12 minutes or until tops are golden brown and crisp.
  7. Take biscuits out of oven and immediately brush tops with 2 tablespoons melted butter, if desired.

VARIATIONS:  You can add things to the dry ingredients like ½ cup shredded cheese, or ½ cup chopped ham, or ½ cup crumbled bacon, or ¼ cup minced herbs, etc., alone or in combination with each other, before combining with the wet ingredients. You may have to increase the buttermilk to moisten the dough some more if you add other ingredients.

NOTE:  For the biscuits pictured, I added ½ cup shredded cheddar, ½ cup minced ham, 2 chopped green onion stalks, and about another ½ cup buttermilk.

Waffled Biscuits and Gravy

Biscuits and Gravy | Pinky's Pantry
My sister-in-law, Anna, loves Biscuits and Gravy. It’s one of her favorite American breakfasts. Whenever she comes to visit, we always make sure to go out for breakfast and invariably, that’s what she orders. Biscuits and Gravy is an old American favorite, especially down south. It’s literally a biscuit topped with sausage gravy, sometimes also called Sawmill Gravy.
Biscuit Waffle | Pinky's Pantry
For this recipe, instead of just baking my biscuits in the oven, I cooked them in a waffle iron. The little wells made by the waffle iron made perfect little pockets to catch more of the savory gravy. Yum! Added to that, they looked so darn cute! If you don’t have a waffle iron or you’re feeling lazy to pull it out, just bake your biscuits in the oven like normal.

WAFFLED BISCUITS AND GRAVY

  • 1 lb. bulk breakfast sausage
  • 1/3 cup flour
  • 3 cups milk
  • 2 green onions, chopped
  • 1/2 tsp. dried sage, optional
  • 1/4 tsp. pepper, or to taste
  • 1/4 tsp. salt, or to taste
  • 8 biscuits, homemade or purchased refrigerated biscuit dough (like Pillsbury)
  • butter for greasing the waffle iron
  1. Brown sausage in a medium pot, breaking up with a spoon, until completely cooked.
  2. Sprinkle in the flour and stir till flour is all absorbed.
  3. Pour in the milk, stirring well.
  4. Add green onions, sage, pepper, and salt. If using refrigerated biscuits, you may want to omit the salt because store-bought biscuits are pretty darn salty.
  5. Continue to cook, stirring until thickened.
  6. Cover and keep warm over low heat.
  7. Preheat waffle iron on medium-high heat. Brush center lightly with melted butter.
  8. Place 1 biscuit round into waffle iron and gently close without pushing down.
  9. Cook halfway, then close lid completely and continue cooking until biscuits are golden and cooked through.
  10. Repeat with remaining biscuits.
  11. To serve, place a biscuit on a plate and top with sausage gravy.

Blueberry Buttermilk Cake

Blueberry Buttermilk Cake | Pinky's PantryIt’s blueberry season! Every year, my sister Helen takes her daughters blueberry picking with a bunch of their school friends and their families. They go to this blueberry farm up in the hills and have an absolute blast while they’re there. Helen’s youngest daughter, Sophie, is a little blueberry-picking speed-demon and can fill up a bucket faster than you can say blueberry pie!

Anyway, whenever they go, they always make sure to bring me back a bagful of the beautiful little blue gems. This year was no exception. The berries are always so sweet and juicy. If you’ve never had blueberries fresh off the bush, you’ve got to find a way to try some. Commercially sold blueberries are good, but they pale in comparison to these ones. I think it’s time for some Blueberry Buttermilk Cake!
Blueberry Buttermilk Cake | Pinky's Pantry

BLUEBERRY BUTTERMILK CAKE

  • 2 – 2½ cups fresh blueberries
  • 3 cups flour
  • 3 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 cup butter, at room temperature
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 4 eggs, room temperature
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • ¼ cup demerara sugar (or white granulated sugar)
  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease 9×13-inch baking pan.
  2. Place blueberries in a small bowl.
  3. Take 2 tablespoons of the flour and toss it with the blueberries. Coating the blueberries with flour helps keep them from sinking to the bottom of the cake as it bakes.
  4. Combine remaining flour, baking powder, and salt together in a bowl.
  5. In another bowl, beat butter and sugar together until light and fluffy.
  6. Add vanilla and beat in eggs, one at a time.
  7. Beat in the flour mixture, alternating with the buttermilk, in three additions until completely combined.
  8. Fold in blueberries.
  9. Spread batter in prepared baking pan.
  10. Sprinkle top evenly with demerara sugar.
  11. Bake for 45-50 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.
  12. Cake can be served warm or cool completely before serving.

NOTE:  If you don’t have buttermilk, you can make your own homemade buttermilk by placing 1 tablespoon of lemon juice in a glass measuring cup. Add enough milk to the cup till it reaches the 1-cup line. Let stand for 5 minutes, then whisk with a wire whisk for a few seconds.

Corned Beef Tater Tot Casserole

Corned Beef Tater Tot Casserole | Pinky's Pantry
This is another dish that’s going on my Christmas Breakfast table this year. It’s a play on one I saw from the Food Network Kitchens a couple of years ago. It’s different because it’s made with tater tots instead of the usual hash browns. I use canned corned beef which is more readily available year round from my local grocery store. If you prefer to use fresh corned beef, by all means go for it! Just chop 1½ pounds fresh corned beef into ½-inch cubes and use it in place of the canned corned beef in this recipe.
Corned Beef Tater Tot Casserole | Pinky's Pantry

CORNED BEEF TATER TOT CASSEROLE

  • 1 bag (32 ozs.) frozen tater tots
  • 1 small yellow onion, chopped
  • ½ red bell pepper, chopped
  • ½ green bell pepper, chopped
  • 2 cans (12 ozs. each) corned beef
  • 8 large eggs
  • 1½ cups whole milk
  • 1 tsp. dry mustard
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • ¼ tsp. pepper
  • 2 cups shredded Cheddar cheese
  1. Preheat the oven to 450°F. Grease a 9×13-inch baking dish with olive oil or cooking spray.
  2. Set aside about 2 cups of the tater tots to use for topping.
  3. Arrange remaining tater tots in single layer on bottom of prepared baking dish.
  4. Drizzle a little olive oil over the tater tots or spray lightly with cooking spray.
  5. Bake about 25 minutes or until tater tots are golden brown. Set aside to cool.
  6. In large skillet set over medium-high heat, sauté onions, red and green peppers.
  7. Add corned beef and cook, breaking up corned beef with the back of a spoon and stirring together well. Allow to cool.
  8. Whisk eggs together in a bowl, then whisk in milk, mustard, salt and pepper.
  9. Spread corned beef mixture over cheese.
  10. Pour egg mixture over everything. If making ahead, cover the casserole at this point and refrigerate overnight.
  11. To cook, remove casserole from refrigerator at least 30 minutes before baking.
  12. Preheat the oven to 350°F.
  13. Scatter reserved 2 cups tater tots over casserole.
  14. Top with shredded cheese.
  15. Bake until egg mixture is set and top is golden brown, 55 – 60 minutes.

Breakfast Corn Casserole

Breakfast Corn Casserole | Pinky's Pantry
This is a great casserole to serve for breakfast on a weekend morning. I’m making it for Christmas breakfast this year actually. It’s easy to do and better still, you can make it a day in advance. I like to serve this casserole with a bowl of salsa on the side. Yum!

BREAKFAST CORN CASSEROLE

  • 3 Tbsp. butter
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 4 ozs. chopped fresh kale
  • 1 tsp. fresh thyme leaves (can substitute dried)
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • ¼ tsp. pepper
  • 2 cans whole kernel corn, drained
  • 2 cans cream-style corn
  • 1 lb. ham, diced
  • ½ cup sour cream
  • 1 box cornbread mix (like Krusteaz or Marie Callenders)
  • 2 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese
  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Grease a 9×13 pyrex glass baking dish.
  2. Melt butter in a large pot over medium heat.
  3. Add onions, kale, thyme, salt and pepper, and cook, stirring frequently, until kale is soft and onions are translucent.
  4. Add corn, ham, and sour cream, and cook until hot and bubbly.
  5. Pour corn mixture into prepared baking dish; set aside. If making ahead, cover and refrigerate overnight at this point.
  6. Next day, remove casserole from refrigerator at least half an hour before baking.
  7. Prepare the cornbread batter according to directions on the back of the package.
  8. Stir 1 cup cheese into cornbread batter.
  9. Pour cornbread batter over corn mixture in baking dish.
  10. Top with remaining 1 cup cheese.
  11. Bake for 35 minutes or until corn is bubbling and corn bread topping is done.

Crescent Sausage Breakfast Squares

Crescent Sausage Breakfast Squares | Pinky's Pantry
This recipe makes a delicious breakfast casserole. If you’re looking for something filling and easy to prepare, you need look no further than this rich and creamy dish. The recipe is very good as is, but I’ve often thought I would like to try adding some sliced mushrooms or diced red bell peppers to it. I might still try doing that one of these days.
Crescent Sausage Breakfast Squares | Pinky's Pantry

CRESCENT SAUSAGE BREAKFAST SQUARES

  • 1 lb. bulk breakfast sausage (pork or turkey)
  • 1 pkg. (8 oz.) cream cheese, cut in pieces
  • 2 stalks green onions, chopped
  • 2 packages crescent rolls
  1. In a small pot, brown sausage; drain well.
  2. Stir in cream cheese and green onion, and continue to cook until cream cheese is completely melted.
  3. Preheat oven to 375°F.
  4. Unroll one package of crescent rolls and place in a 9×13-inch baking dish.
  5. With your fingers, gently pinch and press the seams together to seal them.
  6. Spread the sausage mixture evenly over the crescent dough in the baking dish.
  7. Unroll the remaining package of crescent rolls, place on top a sheet of wax paper, and pinch and press the seams together to seal.
  8. Flip the wax paper with the crescent dough over the sausage mixture and carefully peel the wax paper away.
  9. Bake for about 20 minutes or until golden brown.
  10. Cut into small squares and serve.

Chocolate Cobbler

Chocolate Cobbler | Pinky's Pantry
A cobbler is an old-fashioned American dessert that’s been around since the 1800’s. It’s traditionally made with fruit, like peaches or blackberries, that are baked in their juices and topped with a cakey or biscuit-like dough. There are different variations on how the topping is made depending on where you’re from.

A chocolate cobbler breaks from tradition in that it isn’t made with fruit, but as far as making it goes, it’s just as easy to put together as any fruit cobbler and it’s every bit as delicious! Served warm with a scoop of vanilla ice cream, it’s absolutely to die for. Whenever I make this, it disappears almost as soon as it comes out of the oven!
Chocolate Cobbler | Pinky's Pantry

CHOCOLATE COBBLER

  • 2 sticks butter
  • 1¼ cups sugar
  • 1½ cups self-rising flour
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • ¾ cup evaporated milk

For the Chocolate Layer:

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 6 Tbsps. cocoa powder
  • 2 cups boiling water
  1. Preheat oven to 350ºF.
  2. Place the 2 sticks of butter into a 9×13 pyrex glass baking dish and put in the oven to melt.
  3. While butter is melting, stir together 1¼ cups sugar, flour, vanilla and milk in a bowl.
  4. Pour the batter over the melted butter. Do not stir!
  5. In another bowl, mix the 1 cup sugar and cocoa powder together, and sprinkle on top of the batter. Again, do not stir!
  6. Pour the boiling water on top of everything. Resist the urge to stir! Just don’t do it!
  7. Bake for 30-45 minutes or until you have a nice golden brown crust on top.
  8. Serve warm with vanilla ice cream.

Crescent Breakfast Wreath

Crescent Breakfast Wreath | Pinky's Pantry
Everybody knows Pillsbury’s famous Taco Crescent Ring. Well, this is a play on that recipe but made into a yummy breakfast dish. I just love crescent roll dough, don’t you? It’s so versatile and you can do so much with it from sweet desserts to savory meals. This recipe is really easy to put together and is great for a breakfast or brunch shindig.

CRESCENT BREAKFAST WREATH

  • 1 can (8-ozs.) crescent roll dough
  • breakfast meat:  ½ lb. bulk breakfast sausage, browned; or ½ lb. ham, chopped; or 8 slices of bacon, fried crisp and crumbled
  • ¼ cup chopped onion
  • ½ cup chopped green or red bell pepper
  • 1 cup frozen hash browns
  • 6 eggs, beaten
  • 1 cup shredded cheese (cheddar, colby, monterey jack, or any kind you like)
  1. Preheat oven to 350ºF.  Line cookie sheet with parchment paper. (I didn’t have any so I used waxed paper.)
  2. Unroll crescent roll dough and separate into eight triangles.
  3. Arrange triangles in a circle on prepared cookie sheet with the short ends of the triangles towards the center and overlapping a little, and the long ends pointing outwards to form a sun shape.
    Crescent Breakfast Wreath | Pinky's Pantry
  4. Fry the onions, bell pepper, and hash browns in a large frying pan until potatoes begin to brown.
  5. Remove from heat, add cooked meat to hash brown mixture and stir together well.
    Crescent Breakfast Wreath | Pinky's Pantry
  6. Scramble the eggs in a skillet until eggs are almost cooked but still moist.
  7. Stir scrambled eggs into hash brown mixture.
    Crescent Breakfast Wreath | Pinky's Pantry
  8. Spoon filling over overlapping portion of crescent rolls, using your hands to help press and shape the filling into a ring.
    Crescent Breakfast Wreath | Pinky's Pantry
  9. Pull points of triangles up over filling and tuck under dough in center to form a ring.
    Crescent Breakfast Wreath | Pinky's Pantry
  10. Carefully sprinkle cheese over top of ring.
    Crescent Breakfast Wreath | Pinky's Pantry
  11. Bake 20 minutes or until cheese is melted and crescent rolls are golden brown.
  12. Cool slightly to allow filling to set.
    Crescent Breakfast Wreath | Pinky's Pantry
  13. Slice into wedges and serve.
    Crescent Breakfast Wreath | Pinky's Pantry

NOTE:  To transfer the wreath to a serving platter, carefully run a spatula between the ring and the parchment paper to separate them, then slide the wreath onto the platter.

Blueberry Cream Cheese French Toast Casserole

Blueberry Cream Cheese French Toast | Pinky's Pantry
One of the nurses at work gave me her recipe for blueberry french toast several years ago. She loved it because it was very easy to make and could be prepared the night before so it was perfect to take to an office potluck. I had to agree with how easy it was to make, not to mention how delicious it was. I love biting into a little chunk of cream cheese when I’m eating it. The sweet-tart blueberries make the perfect backdrop to each creamy bite. And my blueberry sauce gives it just the right finishing touch.

I love making this casserole with brioche bread which is soft and silky and has a very thin crust. If you can get your hands on some brioche, give it a try. It makes a rich and wonderfully delicious french toast.

BLUEBERRY CREAM CHEESE FRENCH TOAST CASSEROLE

  • 14 slices of white bread, cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 12 ozs. (1½ boxes) cream cheese, cut into ½-inch cubes
  • 2 cups blueberries, fresh or frozen
  • 12 eggs
  • 2 cups milk
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  1. Spread half the bread cubes in the bottom of a 9 x 13″ baking pan.
  2. Sprinkle with half the cream cheese cubes and half the blueberries.
  3. Cover with the other half of the bread cubes.
  4. Sprinkle with remaining cream cheese and blueberries.
  5. Mix the eggs, milk, and sugar together.
  6. Pour egg mixture over bread cubes in baking pan. Push bread down very lightly with a spatula to make sure top layer gets soaked. Don’t smash it down!
  7. Cover with foil and place in refrigerator overnight.
  8. Next day, remove from refrigerator about half an hour before putting in the oven.
  9. Preheat oven to 350ºF.
  10. Bake covered for 30 minutes; then uncover and bake another 30-40 minutes or until firm.

BLUEBERRY SAUCE

  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1½ cups blueberries
  • 2 Tbsp. cornstarch
  • juice of one lemon
  • 4 Tbsp. butter
  1. Combine the water and sugar together in a small saucepan.
  2. Bring to a boil over medium heat.
  3. Add the blueberries and simmer until most of them have burst, about 10 minutes.
  4. Dissolve the cornstarch in the lemon juice.
  5. Add the cornstarch-lemon mixture and cook, stirring constantly, until thickened.
  6. Remove from heat and stir in the butter.
  7. Serve sauce warm with french toast.

NOTE:  My kids like a lot of sauce so when I make this, I double the sauce recipe. You could also skip it and just serve this with plain syrup if you don’t feel like going the extra step of making the blueberry sauce.