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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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.

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.

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.

Blueberry Lemon Bread

Blueberry Lemon Bread | Pinky's Pantry
I had a bunch of blueberries that I needed to use up. Today didn’t feel like a blueberry pie kind of day so I decided to make cake instead. Blueberries and lemon form the perfect sweet and sour flavor combination. Specially if you get blueberries when they’re in season and are at their peak, practically bursting with juicy sweetness. This recipe makes a super moist cake that’s great for breakfast or for an afternoon snack with a nice cup of hot tea.

Speaking of which, I saw a picture somewhere (probably on Pinterest) of a blueberry cake that was cut in small little rounds so I decided to try doing that. I baked one loaf cake with half my batter, but poured the other half of the batter into an 8-inch round pan to make a thinner cake which I cut into little circles with a mini-biscuit cutter. Don’t those look adorable? How perfect for a dessert table or for my annual Mother’s Day tea party!
Blueberry Lemon Bread | Pinky's Pantry

BLUEBERRY LEMON BREAD

  • 2 cups fresh blueberries
  • 3 cups flour + 2 tbsp. for tossing with blueberries
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 cup butter, melted
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 cup plain yogurt (can substitute sour cream)
  • zest of one lemon
  • juice of one lemon
  • 1 tsp. vanilla or lemon extract

Topping:

  • 1 tbsp. lemon juice
  • 2 tbsp. butter, melted
  • ¼ cup sugar
  1. Preheat oven to 350ºF. Grease bottom and sides of two 9 x 5 inch loaf pans.
  2. Toss blueberries in 2 tbsp. flour. This helps keep them from sinking to the bottom of the loaf. Set aside.
  3. Combine 3 cups flour, sugar, baking powder and salt in a large bowl.
  4. In another bowl, whisk eggs together; then whisk in melted butter, milk, yogurt, lemon zest, lemon juice, and vanilla.
  5. Pour into dry ingredients and mix until just combined.
  6. Gently fold blueberries into batter.
  7. Divide batter into prepared pans and bake for 50 to 60 minutes.
  8. Cool on a wire rack for 10 minutes before removing from pans.
  9. Make topping by mixing lemon juice and melted butter together.
  10. Brush lemon-butter mixture on top of loaves.
  11. Sprinkle with a heavy layer of sugar while tops are still wet.

NOTE:  My kids love the crunchy sugar topping made by sprinkling granulated sugar over the loaves, but if you prefer to have a glaze for the topping, just omit the butter, replace the granulated sugar with 1 cup of powdered sugar, and stir in 2-3 tbsp. of lemon juice till it reaches a good consistency for drizzling.

A nice trick to help you remove a cake from a loaf pan is to line the bottom of the loaf pan with a strip of parchment paper long enough to go up the short sides and stick out at least a couple of inches past the edge of the pan on either side. After your cake has cooled for 10 minutes, grasp the ends of the parchment paper that stick out past the loaf pan and use them like handles to lift the cake up and out. You can then tip the cake on its side to peel the parchment strip off.

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.

King Ranch Chicken Casserole

King Ranch Chicken Casserole | Pinky's Pantry
This dish is a Tex-Mex favorite. In fact, I hear you can’t go to a church social or potluck down in Texas without seeing one version or other of this dish on the table. It’s not surprising because not only is it delicious, but it can be made ahead of time and it travels well.

You can make a low-fat version of this dish by substituting reduced fat cream of mushroom soup, reduced fat cream of chicken soup, and reduced fat cheese. It turns out just as yummy.

I like to serve this dish with some sour cream and salsa on the side. I never have any leftovers when I make it. Try making this easy recipe for your next weeknight dinner or office potluck and you’ll see what I mean.
King Ranch Chicken Casserole | Pinky's Pantry

KING RANCH CHICKEN CASSEROLE

  • 2 Tbsp. canola oil
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 1 large green bell pepper, chopped (can substitute red bell pepper)
  • 1 poblano pepper, chopped (optional)
  • 1 whole cooked chicken, deboned and shredded (about 3-4 cups chicken)
  • 1 can (10¾ oz.) can cream of mushroom soup
  • 1 can (10¾ oz.) cream of chicken soup
  • 1 can (10 oz.) Rotel diced tomatoes and green chilies
  • 1 tsp. chili powder
  • ½ tsp. garlic powder
  • ¼ tsp. salt
  • ¼ tsp. pepper
  • 12 (6-­inch) corn tortillas
  • 4 cups shredded cheddar cheese (or use your favorite – I like Mexican blend)
  • 2 stalks green onion, chopped (optional for garnish)
  1. Preheat oven to 350°F and lightly grease a 9×13-inch baking dish.
  2. Heat oil over medium heat in a large skillet.
  3. Sauté onion, bell pepper and poblano pepper until onions start to become translucent.
  4. Stir in chicken, soups, Rotel, chili powder, garlic powder, salt, and pepper.
  5. Remove skillet from heat.
  6. Tear 4 tortillas into 1-­inch pieces and scatter on bottom of prepared baking dish.
  7. Top with 1/3 of chicken mixture and 1 cup cheese.
    NOTE:  It’ll seem like you don’t have enough chicken mixture to fill the layer to the edges of the dish, but don’t worry. Just spread the filling really thin. It’s okay to have some empty spots. Once you bake it, it’ll all fill in and be just fine.
  8. Tear 4 more tortillas into pieces and make a second layer of tortillas, 1/3 chicken mixture and 1 cup cheese.
  9. Tear the last 4 tortillas to make a final layer with the last of the chicken mixture and top with 2 cups of cheese.
  10. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes or until casserole is bubbling and cheese is browning at the edges.
  11. If desired, garnish with chopped green onion before serving.

NOTE:  This casserole can be made ahead of time and refrigerated up to 2 days, or frozen for up to 1 month. To cook from frozen, thaw in refrigerator overnight, then bake as directed.