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.

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.

French Coconut Pie

French Coconut Pie | Pinky's Pantry
Unlike its name, French Coconut Pie did not originate in France but was actually invented in America. Wherever it originated from, it’s one of the easiest pies you’ll ever make and tastes amazing to boot! You can make your own pie crust if you want to. I have a great recipe for homemade pie crust here. Or you could just purchase a ready-made pie shell from the grocery and save yourself some work. Either way, this pie turns out delicious! It’s literally a pie to die for.

FRENCH COCONUT PIE

  • 3 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk
  • 1/2 cup butter, melted and cooled
  • cup sweetened shredded coconut
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 Tbsp. flour
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 deep-dish 9-inch pie shell, purchased or homemade
  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  2. Bake pie crust for 18-25 minutes until lightly golden on the edges.
  3. Mix all ingredients together in a medium bowl until well combined.
  4. Pour filling into pre-baked pie crust. Crust doesn’t have to be cool for this step.
  5. Bake 45-55 minutes or until lightly browned and custard is set.
  6. Transfer pie to a wire rack to cool completely, at least 1 hour, before serving.

S’Mores Cookie Cups

S'mores Cookie Cups | Pinky's Pantry
S’mores are a classic American camp out dessert. There’s nothing like roasting marshmallows over an open fire. It sure brings back memories of camping with my family up in Yosemite. Sadly, Old Goat Honey is just not the outdoorsy type and he hates camping so I never get to go anymore. But, no big deal. I created these cookies in response to that little obstacle. These cookies have all the flavor of traditional S’mores without any camping involved. Now I can honestly say that I don’t miss camping at all!

S’MORES COOKIE CUPS

[Makes about 36 cookies]

Graham Cracker Cookies:

  • 2 cups graham cracker crumbs
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 can (14 ozs.) condensed milk
  • 1/2 cup butter, at room temperature
  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  2. In a bowl, whisk together graham cracker crumbs, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
  3. Using an electric mixer, beat condensed milk and butter together until smooth.
  4. Reduce speed to low and gradually add dry ingredients to condensed milk mixture, beating until just combined.
  5. Spray wells of mini muffin pans with cooking spray.
  6. Fill each well with one tablespoon of cookie dough.
  7. Bake for 8 minutes.
  8. Allow to cool for 15 minutes or until cool enough to touch, then spin each cookie in its well to loosen it and make sure it isn’t stuck to the muffin pan.
  9. Set pans aside and let cookies cool completely in the pans.

Chocolate Ganache:

  • 4 ozs. semisweet or bittersweet chocolate chips
  • 6 Tbsp. heavy cream
  1. Place chocolate chips in a heatproof bowl.
  2. In a heavy saucepan, heat cream until just simmering.
  3. Pour hot cream over chocolate chips and let sit for a few minutes.
  4. Stir together with a rubber spatula until smooth.

To Assemble Cookies:

  • graham cracker cookie cups
  • chocolate ganache
  • 1 bag marshmallows
  1. Turn broiler on high.
  2. Transfer cookie cups to parchment lined cookie sheets. Arrange them so they’re about 1-inch apart because the marshmallows puff up when you broil them.
  3. Cut marshmallows in half with scissors dipped in flour. You’ll have to wash and dry the scissors after every few marshmallows or they get too sticky.
  4. Spread a little chocolate ganache on top of each cookie cup.
  5. Place a marshmallow half, cut side down, on top of each cookie cup.
  6. Broil until marshmallows are golden brown. Watch carefully so you don’t burn the marshmallows.

NOTE:

  • If any any of the cookies did happen to be a little too close to the one next to it so the marshmallow toppings touched and stuck to each other during baking, no worries. Just let the cookies cool completely. Then pull them slightly away from each other so you can see where to cut, and snip them apart with scissors dipped in flour.
  • I like to use jumbo campfire marshmallows. I snip them horizontally into three pieces because I think half is too much, then I use the top and bottom halves, placing them cut side down on top of each cookie. I save the center portion of the marshmallows to make rice crispy treats or to float on top of hot cocoa.
  • You could also use mini marshmallows and arrange them on top of each cookie to resemble a flower shape.

Gluten Free Sour Cream Coffee Cake

Gluten Free Sour Cream Coffee Cake | Pinky's Pantry
I keep trying to create gluten free recipes for my daughter, Spunky. It’s not always easy though. Especially with baked goods. You usually have to use 2 or 3 different non-wheat flours, and add specialty ingredients like xanthan gum, guar gum, gelatin, or agar-agar. And some things just don’t turn out right when you try to convert them using commercial gluten free flours.

That’s why I was so happy to discover Bob’s Red Mill Gluten Free 1-to-1 Baking Flour at my local grocery store. My sour cream coffee cake turned out great with it! It really took the guesswork out of converting an old family favorite into a gluten free recipe. I decided to research and learned that there are other brands of cup-for-cup flour replacements out there like King Arthur Flour’s Gluten Free Measure for Measure Flour, or Cup4Cup Gluten Free Multipurpose Flour, but since Bob’s Red Mill is what my local grocery store carries, that’s what I used for this recipe. I’ll have to experiment and test the other brands someday. If you have a favorite cup-for-cup gluten free replacement flour, feel free to try it out with this recipe and then let me know how it turned out.

GLUTEN FREE SOUR CREAM COFFEE CAKE

  • 2 cups Bob’s Red Mill gluten free 1-to-1 baking flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cups butter, softened
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup sour cream

Streusel

  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts or pecans (optional)
  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Grease a 10-inch tube pan or angel food cake pan.
  2. Mix streusel ingredients together in a small bowl and set aside.
  3. In another bowl, stir flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt together.
  4. With an electric mixer, cream together butter, sugar, and vanilla until fluffy.
  5. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition.
  6. Beat in flour mixture alternately with sour cream.
  7. Spread half the batter in the pan, then sprinkle half the streusel over it. Top with the rest of the batter, and finish with the remaining streusel.
  8. Bake for 30-45 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.
  9. Cool cake in pan for 10-15 minutes, then loosen from sides of pan with a knife.
  10. Remove cake from pan and place topping side up on a serving plate.

NOTES:

  • You can substitute buttermilk or yogurt in place of the sour cream in this recipe.
  • This cake can be made in a 9×13-inch rectangular baking pan. If you prefer to use a 9×13-inch pan, I would just pour all the batter into the pan and then sprinkle all the streusel on top. It’s a pain to make the layers, though it can certainly be done. Just bear in mind that you’ll have to spread the batter really thinly if you want layers.

Wedge Salad with Bacon Buttermilk Dressing

Wedge Salad | Pinky's PantryWedge Salad is a typical salad served at classic American steak houses as a starter to your meal. It’s traditionally served with crumbled blue cheese and blue cheese dressing, but blue cheese isn’t one of my kids’ favorite cheeses. I love wedge salad, though, so here’s a version I make for them without any blue cheese in it. If you find you’re really missing the blue cheese flavor, go ahead and sprinkle some crumbled blue cheese on your salad. It’s all good!

WEDGE SALAD

(Makes 4 servings)

  • 1 small head iceberg lettuce
  • 6 slices of bacon, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 2 slices sturdy white bread, crusts removed
  • 3 Tbsp. butter or margarine
  • garlic salt, to taste (optional)
  • 1 small tomato, chopped
  • 1/4 small red onion, very thinly sliced
  • chives, minced (for garnish)
  1. Cut the lettuce into 4 wedges and place them in the refrigerator to keep cold until ready to use.
  2. Fry the bacon until crisp, then transfer to paper towels to drain.
  3. Dice the white bread into small cubes, a little less than a half-inch big.
  4. Melt butter or margarine in a skillet and fry bread cubes, stirring often, until golden and crispy.
  5. Season bread cubes with garlic salt to taste, if desired.
  6. Assemble the salad by placing one wedge of lettuce on each of 4 salad plates.
  7. Pour some dressing over each wedge.
  8. Top with a little tomato, onion, bacon, and croutons.
  9. Garnish with minced chives, if desired.

BACON BUTTERMILK DRESSING

  • 1/2 cup buttermilk
  • 1/3 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 Tbsp. lemon juice
  • 2 tsp. Dijon mustard
  • 1/2 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp. ground black pepper
  • 4 slices bacon, cooked crisp and crumbled
  1. Place all ingredients into bowl of a food processor and process until combined.
  2. Chill until ready to serve.

NOTE:  Dressing can be made up to 2 days in advance and kept chilled in the fridge.

Jiffy Corn Casserole


This is a play on a recipe I got years ago from a package of Jiffy corn muffin mix. It’s yummy! Corn casserole makes a great side dish to serve with your Thanksgiving meal or any time of year, actually. It’s wonderful with barbecued meat or chicken. It’s really easy to make and tastes oh-so-delicious! When I take it to potlucks, it gets gobbled up pretty quick. You could also add ½ to ¾ cup of sugar for a sweet corn casserole. The kids love it that way!

JIFFY CORN CASSEROLE

  • 1 box (8.5 oz.) Jiffy corn muffin mix
  • ½ cup butter or margarine, melted
  • 2 cans (15 oz. each) whole kernel corn, drained
  • 1 can (14 oz.) cream-style corn
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1½ cups shredded cheddar cheese
  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease an 11×7-inch casserole dish.
  2. In a large bowl, stir together the melted butter, corn kernels, creamed corn, sour cream, eggs, and corn muffin mix.
  3. Pour into prepared casserole dish.
  4. Bake for 45 minutes or until center is firm.
  5. Remove from oven and top with shredded cheddar cheese.
  6. Return to oven for 5 minutes or until cheese is melted.

NOTE:

  • You can omit the eggs if you like. The eggs make the dish a little lighter but it turns out perfectly fine without them.
  • This casserole can be made a day ahead. Prepare the recipe up to Step 3, then cover tightly with plastic wrap and store in refrigerator for up to 24 hours. When ready to bake, take the casserole out of the fridge and let it sit on the counter for 30 minutes to bring it closer to room temperature, then continue with Step 4.

Caramel Apple Pie

Caramel Apple Pie | Pinky's PantryA friend of mine shared a video with me that he had seen on YouTube for a cinnamon swirl apple pie where they showed you how to make this swirly pie crust. The pie looked like it was topped with flat little cinnamon rolls. So unusual!

Anyway, I had some apples I needed to use up so I decided to make a Caramel Apple Pie for dessert tonight, but I thought why not try using that fun technique for the top crust of my pie? I didn’t bother doing it for the bottom crust since no one would see that anyway. It turned out really cute! It made you feel like you couldn’t wait to take a bite out of the pie! I’m going to post the instructions here for making the cinnamon swirl top crust, but if you don’t want to go through the trouble, feel free to make this recipe with a plain crust on top.

I like to use 2 or 3 varieties of apples whenever I make an apple pie. I always start with 3 Granny Smiths for their tart flavor and firm flesh – perfect for baking. Then I add in some sweet varieties. I always add 3 Honeycrisp apples when Honeycrisps are in season because they’re sweet and juicy and have a firm flesh that doesn’t break down too much when baked. Then I include 2 Braeburns, or Galas, or Fujis, or Jonathans, any of which are great for baking because they’re sweet and hold their shape well throughout cooking. I find that the combination of tart and sweet adds a complexity of flavor that’s delicious in this American comfort food classic.

CARAMEL APPLE PIE

  • double pie crust, store bought or homemade
  • 8 apples, peeled, cored, and thinly sliced (use a combination of apple varieties)
  • ¼ cup flour
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • ⅛ tsp. ground nutmeg
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • melted butter or margarine for spreading on top crust
  • cinnamon for sprinkling on top crust
  • ½ cup thick caramel ice cream topping or caramel apple dip
  • 1 egg beaten with 1 Tbsp. water, for egg wash

Bottom Crust:

  1. Fit one pie crust into bottom and up sides of a deep dish pie pan.
  2. Place crust in refrigerator to chill until ready to use.

Filling:

  1. In a large bowl, combine flour, sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt.
  2. Add the apple slices and toss to coat well.
  3. Set apple filling aside while you prepare the top crust.

Top Crust:

  1. Place a sheet of parchment paper on top of your work surface.
  2. Place second pie crust onto the parchment.
  3. Brush top of crust with melted butter.
  4. Sprinkle buttered surface with cinnamon.
  5. Roll crust up to form a log.
    Step 5
  6. Slice the log into disks a little smaller than ½-inch thick.
    Step 6
  7. Lay the disks on their sides not touching each other.
    Step 7
  8. Cover the disks with another sheet of parchment paper.
    Step 8
  9. Using a rolling pin, roll the disks to form a circle large enough to cover the top of your pie.

Assemble Pie:

  1. Preheat oven to 375°F.
  2. Take pie pan with bottom crust out of refrigerator.
  3. Give the apple filling ingredients another good toss.
  4. Pour apple filling into prepared pie crust, lightly pressing apples down. It’ll seem like a lot of apples, but just mound them high in the center.
  5. Pour the caramel evenly over the apples. If you need to, warm the caramel in the microwave a few seconds to make it easier to pour.
  6. Peel the top sheet of parchment off the top crust.
  7. Flip the top crust over onto the apples and carefully peel the parchment away.
  8. Tuck the edges of the crust under.
  9. Brush top crust with the egg wash.
  10. Place pie on a cookie sheet to catch any drips and transfer to oven.
  11. Bake for 50-60 minutes or until top is golden brown.

NOTE:  If you want to see the cinnamon swirl crust actually being made, click on the link above to watch the video my friend sent me.

Cherry Cobbler

Cherry Cobbler | Pinky's Pantry
It’s cherry season and the cherries are out in full force. I see them everywhere – at the farmer’s market, in the grocery stores, on street vendor’s tables – and they’re absolutely delicious! So dark and sweet and juicy.

I picked up a sackful from the store yesterday and decided to make them into a fresh cherry cobbler. I love fruit cobblers, don’t you? Especially when they’re just out of the oven and served warm with a big scoop of vanilla ice cream melting on the side. Yum! As an added bonus, they make the house smell so good while they’re baking, too!

If you have a cherry pitter, use it. It sure makes the work of pitting each cherry a lot easier. I used to be the Room Mom for my kids’ kindergarten classes and one year, as a thank you gift, the children gave me a pretty white basket filled with fresh cherries. Tied to the basket’s handle with a red-and-white checkered ribbon was a silver cherry pitter. I still have that same cherry pitter to this day. It’s proven to be a mighty useful contraption over the years.
Cherry Cobbler | Pinky's Pantry

FRESH CHERRY COBBLER

  • 4 cups fresh cherries
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2 cups flour
  • 3 tsp. baking powder
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • 1 can evaporated milk (or 2 cups fresh milk)
  • 1 cup butter, melted
  • ¼ cup demerara sugar (or plain white sugar), optional
  1. Wash, stem, and remove the pits from the cherries. Set aside.
  2. Preheat oven to 350°F. Generously butter a 9×13 pyrex glass baking dish.
  3. Using a wire whisk, whisk the sugar, flour, baking powder, and salt together in a large bowl.
  4. Empty the can of evaporated milk into a measuring cup and add enough water or fresh milk to make it amount to 2 cups.
  5. Add the milk and melted butter into the flour mixture and whisk together well. Batter will be thin.
  6. Pour batter into prepared baking pan.
  7. Scatter the cherries over the top of the batter, distributing them evenly so you get a cherry in every bite.
  8. Sprinkle the top with the ¼ cup demerara sugar, if using.
  9. Bake for about 50 minutes or until top turns light brown and toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.
  10. Serve warm with vanilla ice cream or whipped cream.

NOTE:  You can make this cobbler with blackberries, raspberries, blueberries, strawberries, peaches or any other fruit you like.

This recipe can easily be halved and baked in a 9-inch square pan for a smaller cobbler.

Fluffy Tapioca Pudding

Fluffy Tapioca | Pinky's Pantry
My mom used to make tapioca pudding for us all the time when we were growing up in the Philippines but since fresh cow’s milk was not very easily obtainable, she made it with evaporated milk or evaporada as we called it. I have to say, we love tapioca pudding made with evaporated milk more than fresh milk. The evaporated milk gives it a creaminess and a rich flavor that you just don’t get from plain, bland cow’s milk. Give this recipe a try and you’ll see exactly what I mean.

FLUFFY TAPIOCA PUDDING

  • 1 egg, separated
  • 6 tbsp. sugar, divided
  • 3 tbsp. MINUTE tapioca
  • 2 cups evaporated milk
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  1. Beat egg white in small bowl with electric mixer on high speed until foamy.
  2. Gradually add 3 tbsp. sugar, beating until soft peaks form.
  3. Mix tapioca, remaining sugar, milk and egg yolk in medium saucepan. Let stand 5 minutes.
  4. Cook on medium heat, stirring constantly, until mixture comes to full boil. Remove from heat.
  5. Quickly fold egg white mixture into hot tapioca in saucepan until well blended.
  6. Stir in vanilla.
  7. Cool 20 minutes; stir.
  8. Serve warm or chilled.
  9. For creamier pudding, place plastic wrap on surface of pudding while cooling.
  10. Stir before serving.

NOTE:  Store leftover pudding in refrigerator.

TO PREPARE DIFFERENT SERVING SIZES:

To Double:  Use 1/3 cup tapioca and double all other ingredients.
Makes 6½ cups or 8-10 servings.

To Halve:  Use 1 egg and 1/2 of the other ingredients.
Makes 1¾ cups or 2-3 servings.