How’s your sugar hangover this morning? I find it best to ease off the sweets post-Halloween – no need to cut yourself off cold-turkey.
I’m a pretty sentimental gal. I get teary-eyed every time I see the Thai cell phone commercial where a family says farewell to their daughter at the train station when she leaves for college in Chiang Mai. This Halloween brought out the total sap in me. All October I felt nostalgic for the Midwestern Halloweens of my childhood with leaves underfoot and chili on the stove. My office had a Halloween party complete with kids in pumpkin costumes with chocolate-smeared mouths, and it made me all sorts of emotional with simultaneous feelings of joy and homesickness.
In this expat life of ours, there are two ways to tackle these moments of sentimentality about life back in the U.S. 1) Cozy up at home and be reflective or 2) go out and celebrate in our own new way. Last night, we chose the second, and we had what was a very fun, and decidedly non-traditional Halloween.
We went out for tacos and drank Coronas with lime. Spooooky, right?
And just when I was worried I wouldn’t have a single sweet all day, Frank surprised me with some treats. Fancy treats, at that.
Mint Chip Maltballs = heaven in a crunchy, chocolate-coated bite.
Though we were short on traditional fall activities this year, we were not short on pumpkin. This may go down as the fall of the pumpkin breakfast. I’ve been putting pumpkin in every single breakfast item that has come out of our kitchen. I even put it into baked oatmeal for a variation on my favorite baked oatmeal, but Frank deemed that to be far less delicious than these pumpkin pancakes.
Pumpkin pancakes are a win-win in my book because, not only does that pureed pumpkin add a good dose of healthful things to breakfast, but it somehow makes them extra light and fluffy. The texture of these is soft like cake, with a crisp golden exterior. They are not overly sweet; let a little syrup do the legwork on the sweetness front.
I have to mention quickly that I’m an absolute convert to homemade pancake mix, which I first wrote about here. I’ve shared the recipe again below, because it’s just that good.
Thanks to the mix, and the ease at which I can now make pancakes in any number, most Saturday mornings you’ll find us hanging out at the kitchen counter, sipping coffee and contemplating pancakes hot off the pan. They’re great plain or with blueberries, but the pumpkin are most definitely my favorite. They’d probably be even better with a few chocolate chips tossed in.
- 2 large eggs
- ¾ cups milk
- ¾ cups pumpkin purée (from a can)
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract
- 1½ cups Homemade Pancake Mix (recipe below)
- 2 Tbsp. granulated sugar
- 1 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
- butter, for greasing the pan
- butter and syrup (for serving)
- Place a large skillet over medium-high heat.
- Whisk the eggs in a large mixing bowl until the yolks and whites are evenly combined. Stir in the milk, pumpkin purée, and vanilla extract. In a separate mixing bowl stir together the pancake mix, granulated sugar, and pumpkin pie spice. Slowly add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients about ½ cup at a time, stirring them with a wooden spoon just until combined (don't overmix - the batter should be quite lumpy).
- When the skillet is hot, lightly grease the surface with butter. Gently ladle the pancake batter onto the griddle. When bubbles begin to set around the edges and the skillet-side is golden, gently flip the pancakes. Continue to cook 2-3 minutes longer until the pancake is cooked through. Serve immediately.
- 6 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 and ½ teaspoon baking soda
- 3 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 tablespoon kosher salt
- 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
- Combine all ingredients in a large lidded container and shake vigorously to combine. Store at room temperature for up to 3 months.