Fall Breakfast

3 Oct

Since Rob and I got married, it has been go, go go.  His job, my job, keeping house, both of us being under the weather from stress and little kid germs… we have been busy.  That’s not to say that we haven’t been having our share of fun.  We have been having our own date nights, and happy hours, and the occasional wine tasting at the Empire Cafe down the street.  The last two weekends, Rob has been on duty one day, and we took a day trip to Eugene the other, but this weekend we devoted it to ourselves – food, fun, and relaxation.

This morning, I SLEPT IN.  It was fantastic.  Rob actually came in to the bedroom around 9:45 to make sure I was ok.  He kindly awoke me from a blissful, diagonally-whole-bed-hogging sleep, and I noticed the cool fall Oregon foggy air, and thought about the football games that were probably already making an appearance on the TV downstairs.  And, opposite of my usual granola with fruit and hard-boiled egg breakfast, the first thing that came to my mind for breakfast was Rob’s personal favorite: pancakes (he tried his hardest to hide his enthusiasm).

For those of you who also share a dry and sarcastic humor, you may be familiar with the late Mitch Hedberg and his take on everyday ideas.  He does a one-liner on pancakes and how we crave them, but then you have one bite and you are sick of them.  Like many jokes, it’s funny because it’s more than likely true.  I couldn’t eat a plate of pancakes if you paid me!!  Well, that’s not true…. how much??

But the pancakes we flipped this morning, I ate 3 of them!  They weren’t your typical buttermilk pancakes.  Please note, I’m not knocking the buttermilk pancake – there are many diners that make fabulous buttermilk pancakes (and maybe after a collegiate night of liquid indulgence, a whole double order of them).  Today’s pancakes were indulgent.  And unique.  And very yummy.

Is there anyone in this world that does not love the sweet/salty, crunchy/creamy combination?  On many brunch occasions and Mother’s Day celebrations I have made maple glazed bacon.  It’s a mixture of sweet and salty flavors that have been around forever, similar to the rustic Tuscan melon and prosciutto appetizer.  But I wanted to do a little bit more.  It’s fall, the Washington Honey Crisp apples just popped into season, and what better accompaniment to apples than cinnamon?  Bacon and Maple.

I took my basic whole wheat blueberry pancake recipe, and simply added cinnamon, nutmeg, and the crunchy apples.  The smell of bacon getting super crunchy filled the household (my secret is cooking it in the microwave – thanks mom!), and I made a simple maple glaze by combining confectioners sugar, grade A maple syrup, and a touch of cinnamon.  Sticking to my roots, I still needed that raw fruit for breakfast, and the end of the summer plum turned out to be the perfect palate cleanser at the end of the meal.

So, pour a cup of coffee, and let the aromas of cinnamon, apples, bacon and pancakes fill your house with comfort and warmth.  Enjoy the crunch of the apples and bacon, and the creaminess of the pancake and it’s sweet, sticky glaze.  It’s perfect for a blustery fall morning to share with others, or a fantastic treat for yourself.  And don’t forget your serving of healthy fruit!

Cinnamon Apple Pancakes with Maple Bacon Glaze (serves 4)

  • 1 c whole wheat flour
  • 1/3 all purpose flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/8 tsp nutmeg (ground or freshly grated)
  • 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 c skim milk
  • 1 c half and half
  • 1 med. Honey Crisp Apple, small dice
  • 1 tbsp butter, for the griddle or skillet

Mix dry ingredients together, then add the wet ingredients.  Fold in the apples.  On a preheated, buttered griddle or skillet, use a 1/3 dry measuring cup, spoon out batter.  When small bubbles start to form in a fairly even layer on the surface of the pancake, it is ready to flip.  Using a spatula, flip!  Cook on other side until it easily lifts from the pan, and put on reserve plate.  Serve hot with Maple Bacon glaze.

NOTE: To keep cooked pancakes warm while cooking batter, put pancakes on oven-proof plate in a 170 degree oven.

Maple Bacon Glaze

  • 2 tbsp confectioners sugar
  • 1/2 c grade A maple syrup
  • a pinch of cinnamon
  • 2 strips of bacon, cooked crispy

Cook the bacon to crispy by putting 2 sheets of paper towels on a microwave proof plate, and lay strips of bacon on the towels.  Cover the bacon with another sheet of paper towel.  Microwave on high for 3-4 minutes, until bacon is crispy.  Remove from microwave (plate will be hot!), and set aside for towels to soak up excess fat.

Meanwhile, mix confectioners sugar, maple syrup and cinnamon.  When bacon is cool enough to handle, crunchle it into the glaze (aim for small pieces, but imperfect pieces always look wonderfully homemade).

Pour desired amount of glaze over hot Cinnamon Apple Pancakes, and ENJOY!!

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