Orange Maple French Toast

Good morning all!!  Growing up my Dad had one specialty meal– his Sunday morning French toast.  He’d put on his Sunday morning music and cook away while Mom got 4 kids ready for church.

So here’s a recipe that’s so simple , it’s more of a tip than a recipe!  But it really kicks up the flavor or your Sunday morning French toast!  I think you’ll like it!

ORANGE MAPLE FRENCH TOAST
1 loaf French bread
3 eggs
1/2 cup whole milk (or half & half)
3 tab. grated orange peel (about 1 orange)
1/4 cup maple syrup

Slice the French bread into 1 inch slices.  Set aside.

Whisk together the eggs, milk, grated orange peel and maple syrup.

Heat the griddle to medium heat and spray with cooking spray (or use butter if you’re feeling indulgent!).  Dip both sides of each bread slice in the egg mixture and cook just about a minute on each side.

Store the cooked slices in a low oven until they are all cooked.  Serve with butter and more maple syrup!!  Delicious!

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Maple Pumpkin Granola

 

Hello there– On a trek through Target a couple weeks ago I spied it– a big end display of canned pumpkin!  I couldn’t help dropping a couple cans in my cart!!  Let the pumpkin baking begin!!

Love this crunchy granola– here with yogurt & honey– or sprinkled on oatmeal or ice cream– or scooped by the handful when I wander into the kitchen looking for a mid afternoon munch.

MAPLE PUMPKIN GRANOLA

3 cups whole oats
1/2 cup sliced almonds
1/2 cup walnuts, coarsely chopped
1/2 cup shredded coconut
1/2 cup pumpkin puree
1/4 cup olive oil
1/2 cup maple syrup
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. cinnamon

In a large mixing bowl, stir together the oats, almonds, walnuts and coconut.  In a separate bowl mix up the pumpkin puree, olive oil, maple syrup, salt & cinnamon.  Pour the wet ingredients over the dry ones and stir until it’s all well blended.

Cover a large baking sheet with foil and spray lightly with cooking spray.  Spread the oat mixture evening over the baking sheet and pop it into a 350 degree oven.

Cook for 10 minutes and then take it out and stir it up on the pan.  Bake ten more and stir it again.  Bake ten minutes more for a total of 30, maybe 35  minutes.

 

Maple Pecan Baked French Toast

Hi there– Every single Sunday morning while we were growing up, my Dad would take to the kitchen and griddle up piles of French toast while my mom got 4 little kids ready for church. We loved those hot syrupy slices.  I can’t think of French toast without remembering my fun-loving father.

So here’s a new version of that old French toast– with maple in the custard and a maple glaze on top for sweetness, plus pecans for a little crunch.  The nice thing is that you can make it a little ahead in the morning — or put it together the night before and keep it over night in the fridge until your ready to bake it.

MAPLE PECAN BAKED FRENCH TOAST
1 baguette
5 eggs
3 cups milk (or half & half)
1/2 cup maple syrup
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 cup pecans

Glaze:
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1/4 cup maple syrup

Slice the baguette into thin slices (about 1/2″ thick).  Arrange them in a 9″ x 13″ baking dish (I used a large round tart dish) that has been sprayed with cooking spray.

In a large mixing bowl, whisk the eggs for a minute.  Then whisk in the milk, 1/2 cup maple syrup and salt.

Pour the egg mixture over the slices of bread in the baking dish.  Cover with foil, tenting it up so it doesn’t touch the bread and let it sit for an hour (or overnight) in the fridge.

Bake the covered bread for 20 minutes in a 375 degree oven.  Remove the foil and then sprinkle the pecans over the bread and bake for 20 minutes more.

While that’s baking, mix together the powdered sugar and 1/4 cup maple syrup.  Pour it over the hot French Toast as it comes out of the oven– serve it up hot and sweet!!

Maple Walnut Banana Bread

 

Hello there– We have a treasure sitting in our fridge– it’s a huge jug of real maple syrup fresh from upstate New York!  Our daughter-in-law’s Dad, Alfie is a warm and wonderful guy.  Every year he taps trees around his town and in the spring is joined by family a friends at in the maple sugar shack to boil down gallons of maple syrup.  Then being the generous guys that he is, he mails big jugs to people far and wide (including lucky us!!).

So this little recipe uses a precious half cup of that lovely syrup and which accounts for it’s rich and wonderful flavor.  Plus while it’s baking in the oven, for kitchen smells like that New York maple sugar shack– maple luscious!

MAPLE WALNUT BANANA BREAD
2 large ripe bananas
1/2 cup maple syrup
1/2 cup canola oil
1 egg
1 tsp. maple extract (optional)*
3 tab. milk
2 cups flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1 1/4  cup walnuts, chopped and divided
3 tab. brown sugar

In a large mixing bowl, smash the bananas to a creamy substance.  Then mix in the maple syrup, oil, egg, maple extract and milk until all blended.  Add in the flour, baking powder and salt and stir it all together.  Finally mix 3/4 cup of the walnuts.

Spoon the mixture into a 5″ by 9″ loaf pan** that has been sprayed with cooking spray.

Mix together the brown sugar and the remaining 1/2 cup of walnuts and sprinkle them over the loaf of banana bread.

Bake it all up at 350 degrees for 50 -55 minutes until it’s browned and a tooth pick inserted comes out clean.  Delicious warm from the oven– or toasted the next day for breakfast  with a smear of butter!!

*maple extract is optional– it just adds a little more maple flavoring.
** I used 2 half size loaf pans and cooked it about 5 minutes less.

Maple Chicken with Sweet Potatoes

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Hello all–  I’m up in San Francisco, spending some stormy days with the new grand-girl Lois, while her mom is off to work.  It’s been quiet and cozy in the house.  Today we baked a birthday cake (actually Lois mostly just looked on from her little chair!).  So this has nothing to do with maple chicken– just wanted you to know how much fun I’m having!!

The Maple Chicken with Sweet Potatoes came out of the kitchen last week– made it for a friend who is having shoulder surgery next week, after a bad fall.  Praying she comes through this all strong and back on the run.  Love her so.

The coating is sweet and peppery, makes the chicken bright and tasty– with those smoshey sweet potatoes, a good winter evening meal.

MAPLE CHICKEN WITH SWEET POTATOES

Sweet potatoes:
2 large-ish sweet potatoes
1/4 cup whole milk
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. vanilla

Chicken:
2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
2 tab. butter
2 tab. olive oil
2 to 3 tab. steak seasoning (such as Montreal)
1/4 cup maple syrup
2 green onions, sliced to small bits

Pierce the skin of the sweet potatoes and set them on a baking dish lined with foil (for easier clean up). Put them in a 350 degree oven fro 50 to 60 minutes, until the sweet potatoes feel tender when poked with a fork.

Let them cool for a bit, then peel off the skin.  Put the sweet potato flesh in to a mixing bowl along the the milk, salt and vanilla.  Beat it all with an electric mixer until it’s smooth and fluffy. (You can reheat these easily in the microwave when the chicken’s done).

Slice the chicken breasts horizontally to cut each of them into two thinner cutlets.  Coat the chicken with a sprinkling of the the steak seasoning.  Heat the butter and oil in a large skillet.  Cook the chicken cutlets 3 to 4 minutes on each side on medium high heat– unitl they are nicely browned and cooked through.

Take the chicken from the pan and add the maple syrup to the chicken drippings.  Let it all simmer on low for 2 minutes to thicken the sauce.  Return the chicken to the pan to coat the pieces in sauce.

On a platter heap the sweet potatoes next to the chicken cutlets.  Scrape the extra sauce from the pan onto the chicken and then sprinkle the green onion slices over the chicken.  Enjoy!

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Pork & Butternut Squash in Maple Glaze

 

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Hi all-  My sis Lulu and I were snooping around the mall and wandered into the William Sonoma store (one of our favorite window shopping stops).  The clerk there was giving out sample of stewed chicken and veggies cooked in their bottled maple bourbon sauce.  It was delish– and set me to thinking about dinner at home.

So I chunked up a pork loin and roasted squash to stir up in my own simple version of a maple glaze.  It turned out just fine– enjoyed it with my sister and her husband sitting at the table with us.  That makes every meal good!

PORK & BUTTERNUT SQUASH IN MAPLE GLAZE
1 1/2 pound (or a little more) pork loin
3 tab. olive oil
1 small butternut squash (1 1/2 to 2 pounds)
1/2 cup red or yellow bell pepper, chopped to small bits
1/4 cup sliced almonds
2 green onions, cut to bits-green part only

sauce:
3/4 cup water
3 tab. soy sauce
1/4 cup maple syrup
2 tab. cornstarch

Cut the butternut squash in two halves the long way, and scoop out the seeds the stringy part of the squash.  Put it cut side down on a baking sheet and cook at 400 degrees for 15 to 20 minutes, until the the squash is tender and slices easily with a paring knife. When it cools a bit, peel off the skin with a knife and cut it into small chunks.

To get the sauce ready, put the water, soy sauce, maple syrup and cornstarch in a container with a tight fitting lid.  Shake it heartily until it’s all well blended and set aside.

Cut the pork into smallish chunks.  Heat a large skillet with the 3 tab. of olive oil on medium high.  Drop in the pork and cook 8 to 10 minutes until the pork is browned and cooked through, but still tender. Remove the pork from the pan, but leave on the heat.

Put the butternut squash and bell pepper in the hot pan for two or three minutes to absorb the juices in the pan.  Add the pork back in.  Then give the sauce a few more shakes to make sure it’s all blended and then stir it in to the pan until the sauce thickens, 2 or 3 minutes.

When you’re ready to serve it up, stir the almonds into the pork mixture.  Serve it with rice or farro or noodles on a large platter and garnish the top with the green onions.  Rich and delicious!

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Pumpkin Pecan Scones with Maple Glaze

FullSizeRenderHello all– We’re pretending it’s autumn around here.  Today is suppose to be cooling down to 85 degrees today.  But I looked at the 10 day forecast and next week we’re up into the mid 90’s again.  yikes!  I’m afraid kids will be wearing bathing suits for Halloween costumes.

But it the kitchen (with the air conditioning all on) I’m baking with pumpkin and just pretending it’s a bit chilly outside.  Here’s a batch of scones I made for the Monday Bible study friends who come in every week. The recipe comes from a bakery and makes 18 fine large scones, so you may want to cut it in half.

But no matter how many you bake up or what the weather is outside your door, I think you’ll love the warm, friendly taste of this fall baking.

PUMPKIN PECAN SCONES WITH MAPLE GLAZE

Scones:
3 cups flour
1 cup brown sugar
3 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
2 tsp. pumpkin pie spice*
1 cup butter (2 sticks)
1 cup pumpkin puree
1 cup buttermilk
1 tab. vanilla
1 cup pecans, coarsely chopped
1/2 cup currants

Glaze:
4 tab. butter. melted
1  1/2 cup powdered sugar
1 tab. maple syrup
1 to 2 tab. whole milk (0r half & half)

FullSizeRenderIn a large mixing bowl stir together the flour, brown sugar, baking powder, salt and pumpkin pie spice.

Then cut in the butter with a pastry blender (0r two forks) until it’s broken up in bits the size of small peas.

Stir in the pumpkin puree, buttermilk, vanilla, pecans and currants all at the same time until it’s thoroughly blended.  (please don’t over beat the dough!)

Flour the counter and take out 1/3 of the dough and form it into a round disk about 1 ” thick.  The dough will be sticky.  You may need to flour the top and bottom.  Cut the circle shape into 6 pie shaped wedges and set them on a baking sheet that has been sprayed with cooking spray.

Repeat twice with the remains 2/3 of the dough– so you have 18 scones.

Bake them 15 to 18 minutes in a 400 degree oven until they are crispy around the edges and nicely browned.

Let them cool before you add on the glaze.

To make the glaze, whisk together the melted butter, powdered sugar, maple syrup and 1 tablespoons of the milk.  If it seems too thick add the second tablespoon and mix it in.

Drizzle the glaze over the scones either with the tines of a fork, or using a pastry bag fitted with a tip with a small opening.

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Yogurt Pancakes with Maple Apples

IMG_7795Good morning– Saturday morning.  Pancake time!!  When I read this recipe, I thought, “is this going to work?!”  Only 1 cup of flour with all that yogurt and buttermilk?  The answer is YES!  They were light and tender– and with the maple apples –exquisite.  I think I have a new Saturday morning go-to pancake recipe.

YOGURT PANCAKES
1 cup flour
2 tab. yellow cornmeal
4 tab. brown sugar
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1 cup buttermilk*
1 cup unflavored yogurt
1 egg
2 tab. canola oil

Mix together the dry ingredients–flour, cornmeal, sugar, baking powder an salt in a pourable mixing bowl. (do you have one with a spout to pour out pancakes?)  Then blend in the buttermilk, yogurt, egg and oil.

Heat the griddle with butter or a spray of cooking spray. And cook the pancakes on medium until golden on both sides.  Makes about 15 lovely pancakes.

MAPLE APPLES
2 tab. melted butter
3 large apples, peeled, cored, cut into chunks
2 tab. maple syrup

Melt the butter in a nonstick skillet.  Drop in the apples and maple syrup.  Saute the apples for about 5 minutes, until they begin to brown a bit and are tender.  Serve with more maple syrup if you like (and I do!).

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Kale & Apple Salad with Pecans and Maple Dressing

IMG_7415Hello there eating friends– When we rolled back home from a super eating weekend in San Francisco with kids, who know all the best places to dine, it was hard to think of one more big meal.  So dinner that night was salad, pure and simple.  It was hearty enough with some lovely crunch, but light enough to not feel, once again, like we’d happily overeaten.  A perfect post vacay meal.

KALE & APPLE SALAD WITH MAPLE DRESSING
4 hardy kale leaves
2 slices bacon (optional)
1 Granny Smith apple
1/3 cup pecans

1/4 cup olive oil
3 tab. maple syrup
2 tab. tarragon vinegar
2 shakes salt
2 grinds of fresh pepper

Toast the pecans for just 5 or 6 minutes at 350 degrees (watch they don’t overcook!)  Chop the bacon to small pieces and cook til done just right.  Remove the bits from the pan and drain them on a paper towel.  Cut the stems from the kale leaves and toss them out.  Then chop the leaves into tidy bite size bits.  Remove the core and dice the apple to small pieces.
Then layer the kale, bacon, apple and pecans all on a nice plate.

In a small container with a tight lid, shake together the oil, syrup, vinegar, salt and pepper until they are complete emulsified.  Pour over the salad when you’re ready to eat.  Enjoy!

Nutty Maple-y Chocolate Pie

IMG_6362Hi all– Do you ever get a recipe recommendation from a friend who is such a super cook, that you just know it’s going to be luscious even before you take the first bite?  I do.  I can count on my cousin Brenda to always come up with things we just love, love– her apple cake and nutty granola to start the list…   So when she sent me this chocolate pie recipe, I knew what I was going to bake up for Christmas supper with my young mom friends.  They loved it and so did I.  You can count on Brenda!

NUTTY CHOCOLATE PIE
1  9″ pie crust*
2 squares unsweetened chocolate**
1/4 cup butter
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup milk***
1/4 cup maple syrup
1 tsp.vanilla
1/4 tsp. salt
3 eggs
1 cup coarsely chopped walnuts*** *(or a bit more if you like nuts like I do!)
Whipped cream or ice cream to top it off!

IMG_6352Line your 9″ pie plate with the pie curst.  Then melt the chocolate with the butter in the microwave.  Whisk in the sugars, milk, maple syrup, vanilla, salt and eggs until it’s thoroughly blended.  Then fold in the walnuts.

Pour the chocolate mixture into the crust and pop it in the oven at 350 degrees for 45 to 55 minutes until it’s well set.  Cool it for better cutting and serve it up with whipped cream or a scoop of ice cream.  So rich and delicious!

I know. I know.  Too many asterisks! *** But I wanted to talk a bit more about this recipe—
*You can make your own beautiful, buttery pie crust, but I was in a hurry and used a PIllsbury pie crust– I read it was the best pre-made pie crust at a cooking test kitchen. **If you don’t have unsweetened chocolate squares on hand (like I didn’t), you can substitute 3 tab. of melted butter and 1 tab of Hershey’s unsweetened chocolate powder for each square of chocolate.
***I used half & half to use up a carton sitting in the fridge–even more yummy
****Of course, you can substitute pecans, but I like walnuts here– more crunchy and substantial.

OK, that’s it. No more add ons.  Hope you like it as much as we did!  Thanks Brenda!

Sour Cream Maple Muffins

IMG_5920Hey friends– I had completely forgotten about these muffins, when Ani called this week.  She was making a Thanksgiving dinner for her office full of engineers and asked for the recipe.  We used to make these cozy things all the time a few years back– so it was so nice to get reacquainted with them.  They’re homely, bumpy
muffins, but smell so maple-y good coming out of the oven.  So right with a big bowl of soup– or a Thanksgiving dinner.

SOUR CREAM MAPLE MUFFINS
1 3/4 cup flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 cup canola oil
3/4 cup maple syrup
1 cup sour cream
1 egg
1/2 cup pecans, chopped to bits
a spinkling of brown sugar
more pecans to top off the muffins

Stir together the flour, baking powder and salt.  Then mix in oil, maple syrup, sour cream and egg.  Fold in the 1/2 cup pecans.  Spoon the batter into muffin tins lined with muffin wrappers.*  Sprinkle on a little brown sugar and few more pecans to top off the muffins and make them pretty as they come out of the oven.

Bake at 350 degrees for 20 to 25 minutes until they are toasty brown.  Makes 14 or 15 standard muffins.  Perfect with Thanksgiving turkey or for a big Thanksgiving weekend breakfast with family in to stay.

IMG_5897I divided this recipe in half, made 6 standard muffins for dinner and baked the rest into these mini muffins for friends coming for coffee in the evening.

*If you live in Socal– Sprouts has the best cupcake wrappers.  They are a soft brown color a lightly waxed so your muffins never stick!  Love those little guys.

Pumpkin Spice Oatmeal

IMG_5843Happy Thanksgiving!!  It’s almost here.  And if you have family or friends to feed for breakfast on that busy morning– while your basting the turkey, setting the table, peeling potatoes and turning out pies– here’s a quick filling bowl of breakfast that will hold them over until the big meal later in the day.

PUMPKIN SPICE OATMEAL
1 cup “quick oats” oatmeal*
1 cup milk
1 cup water
1/4 tsp. salt
1 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
1/2 cup canned pumpkin puree
1/4 cup brown sugar
Pecans
Maple syrup

In a microwave proof mixing bowl, stir together the oats, milk, water, salt, pumpkin pie spice, pumpkin puree and brown sugar.  Pop it into the microwave and cook 1 minute on high.  Give it a stir and cook one minute more.

Spoon it into bowls and top with the pecans and maple syrup.  Makes 2 to 3 servings. Eat it while it’s hot!

*Quick oats are the big cylindrical box that say “cooks in 1 minutes.”

Maple Apple Crisp

IMG_5122Good morning!  I’m eating my Sunday breakfast right now as I type this up–warmed by the sunshine coming in the kitchen back door and digging into a largish bowl of apple crisp.  (yes, Laurel, with just a bit of breakfast ice cream!)

The apple crisp is actually leftovers from breakfast with 30 girlfriends yesterday.  They came pouring into the house for strata, apple crisp and Sue’s famous almond croissants.  It was a glorious morning of laughing and talking, hugging and praying together.  And lucky for me, there was leftover apple crisp!

MAPLE APPLE CRISP

filling:
5 large apples, peeled, cored and sliced
1/3 cup maple syrup
1/2 tsp. cinnamon

topping:
1/4 cup flour
1/2 cup whole rolled oats (oatmeal)
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 cup butter
1/4 cup pecans (or walnuts)*

Prepare the apples into friendly size slices.  Mix them together with the maple syrup and 1/2 tsp. cinnamon.  Turn this all into a 9-10″ pie or tart pan sprayed with cooking spray.

Stir together the flour, oats, brown sugar and cinnamon.  Cut in the butter with a pastry blender or two forks until it all looks like coarse crumbs.  Mix in the pecans and sprinkle this all over the apples in the pan.  Bake it up at 350 degrees for 3o minutes until the topping is golden.  Do I need to mention this is best hot with a big scoop of vanilla ice cream?  Delish!

IMG_5108*If you love pecans as much as do, you’ll sprinkle an extra handful over the top just as you pop it into the oven– can’t have too many pecans!

Maple Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies

IMG_9261Hey all–  Home from school today for Presidents’ Day–thank you George Washington!  And Larry’s here too.  So he’s out in the yard, getting the veggie patch ready to plant.  So we are weeks away from real tomatoes, fresh chard, basil…  So glad for that.   And I’m here in the kitchen (where else?!) –just put these cookies into the oven.  But the best part of the day is ahead.  We’re walking around up and down hill through Craig Park and over to the new Lazy Dog Cafe to try it out for lunch. Sounds promising…

MAPLE OATMEAL CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIES
1/2 cup butter
1 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup white sugar
2 eggs
1 3/4 cups flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
2 tsp. vanilla
1/2 cup maple syrup
1 3/4 cups oatmeal
1 cup walnuts, chopped
2 cups chocolate chips

IMG_9265With an electric mixer* cream the butter and sugars together.  Beat in the eggs.  Than add the flour, baking powder, salt, vanilla, maple syrup and oatmeal.  Beat it all together until  you have coarse crumbles.  Then add in the walnuts and chocolate chips and combine with the mixer until it’s a solid cookie dough.  Drop by spoonfuls onto cookie sheets sprayed with cooking spray.  Bake at 350 degrees for 12 to 14 minutes.  They are a bit soft when you take them off the cookie sheet, but firm up as they cool.  Best eaten along with grand-girls and a mugs of milk.

*Thanks Brian for the new mixer.  It’s “unbeatable!”

 

 

Pumpkin Pecan Maple Coffee Cake

Hello friends– Can I throw in just one more pumpkin recipe?? After all, in a couple weeks pumpkin will be fairly obsolete– and we’ll all be browsing sugar cookies and spiced wassail recipes.  This coffee cake is moist and a little spicy.  If you have Thanksgiving guests for the weekend, this would be a lovely Friday morning brunch treat.  Or if you don’t have guests–it’s OK to make one all for yourself!

PUMPKIN PECAN MAPLE COFFEE CAKE

Cake:
1 1/2 cup flour
3/4 cup brown sugar
2 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. pumpkin pie spice* (or cinnamon)
2/3 cup buttermilk**
1/2 cup canned pumpkin puree
1/3 cup canola oil
3 tab. maple syrup
2 eggs

Pecan Topping:
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup white sugar
1 tsp. pumpkin pie spice (or cinnamon)
4 tab. butter (1/2 stick)
1 cup chopped pecans

Mix up the flour, brown sugar, baking powder, salt and spice in a bowl.  The stir in the buttermilk, pumpkin, canola oil, maple syrup and eggs just til they’re all blended.  Spoon the batter into a 9″ square pan of a springform pan sprayed with cooking spray.

For the topping, mix the sugars and spice.  Cut in the butter with a pastry blender or 2 forks until it looks all crumbly.  Stir in the pecans and sprinkle half of the mixture gently over the coffee cake.  Bake it at 350 degrees for 15 minutes and then carefully put the rest of the topping on the cake and bake for about 20 minutes more until the cake is firm to the touch and nicely browned.

Delicious warm from the oven and need I add it would be lovely to pile on some whipped cream if you are serving it for dessert.  Hope you like it!

*I get yummy pumpkin pie spice at Trader Joe’s at a great price.  But they only have it in November!  So I got 5 bottles to see me through all year.
** If you don’t have buttermilk (and I don’t) just pour a couple tablespoons of cider vinegar into your regular milk and let it sit a couple minutes.  It will work just fine.

Yogurt Pancakes with Maple Apples

Hey friends–  Sunday lunch I was happily flipping up these pancakes when it suddenly came to me that I was suppose to be meeting a young couple at church in about 20 minutes!!  Rats!  I’m sure you’ve never been so forgetful– So I pulled Larry away from the ball game to flip, while I raced off.  In spite of all that, the pancakes came out just fine.  You might like to try them…

YOGURT PANCAKES WITH MAPLE APPLES
1 cup flour
2 tab. cornmeal
1/4 cup brown sugar
2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1 cup buttermilk*
1 cup unflavored yogurt
1 egg
2 tab. canola oil

Stir together the flour, cornmeal, brown sugar, baking powder and salt.  Then add in the buttermilk, yogurt, egg and oil.  Mix til it’s all blended and pour on to a medium hot griddle sprayed with cooking spray.  They do expand (!) so don’t put them too, too close together.

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MAPLE APPLES
2 tab. butter
3 apples, peeled, cored and sliced into chunks
1/2 tsp. pumpkin pie spice**
1/4 cup maple syrup  (plus more to serve with the pancakes!)

Melt the butter in the pan.  Stir in the apples until they cook through, about 5 minutes.  Then stir in the pumpkin pie spice and maple syrup.  Spoon them over the hot pancakes and dig in!
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*In place of buttermilk (that I almost never have on hand), I used milk with a couple tablespoons of cider vinegar.
**No pumpkin pie spice?  Cinnamon works just fine.

The buttermilk and yogurt make these pancakes nice and tangy against the sweetness of the maple syrup and apples.  And thank you Bigarels for the huge jug of syrup mailed all the way from upstate New York.  We’re still enjoying it!  So thankful.

Maple Chicken


Hey there– OK, well I really don’t want to brag about how especially delicious a recipe on this blog is, BUT this maple chicken is simply scrumptious.  You’ll be sopping up all the sauce with your bread so you don’t miss a drop!  It has an unlikely set of ingredients, but honestly, it’s super.

MAPLE CHICKEN
1.5 pound package of chicken thighs (about 4 or 5)
1/2 cup brown mustard
1/4 cup maple syrup
1 tab. tarragon vinegar
a sprig of rosemary, finely chopped

So you just mix together the mustard, maple syrup, and vinegar.  Pour it over the chicken in a baking dish and pop it in a hot oven at 450 degrees.  Cook it for 40 minutes and baste the chicken with the sauce a couple times while it’s cooking.  When it comes out of the oven, move the chicken to a serving plate, sprinkle on the finely minced rosemary and then spoon over the lovely sauce from the baking dish.  So good!

We ate this tonight out under the maple trees in the backyard, with marinated tomatoes, a leafy green salad of avocado, plums and apricots and crunchy bread.  I hope you give it a try.