Pumpkin Pancakes with Cinnamon Syrup

Having found this recipe while I was looking for soup recipes a few weeks ago, I could not resist making it at the earliest opportunity. Despite the extensive availability of fresh pumpkins in New England in November, I used canned: you can pillory me at will, but I also didn’t grind my own flour or sugarcane, or harvest my own cinnamon bark.

A few things I noticed: This recipe makes more than 6. I tripled it, because we like leftovers, but got 24 without scraping the bowl.

These would be maybe even better with butter instead of vegetable oil, but the oil is pretty easy to use. The pumpkin isn’t—getting it whisked into the wet ingredients was a pain, and I still had pumpkin chunks at the end. Using the stand mixer would, I’m sure, solve this problem, but my new beater blade just arrived last night, and I haven’t washed it yet.(1)

I forgot the salt, but it wasn’t (much) missed—I could tell when I ate them, but it wasn’t as bad as when I’ve left salt out of yeast breads or quickbreads.

The cinnamon syrup is *really* good and makes the dish (in presentation, too). I made only one adjustment: instead of 1 tsp of ground cinnamon, I used 1/4 tsp of the cinnamon extract that Ariel gave me. This was *more* than enough, and might be too strong for some. That stuff is *potent*!

(1) The original had some chips, so I replaced it with this, which had an unfortunate trip through the dishwasher and now leaves black Al oxide on everything it touches. Yum (only not)


Dim-sum style"Turnip" Cakes

The turnip is in quotes because this has no turnip. “Daikon Cake”
would be a better name for the original recipe. I, however, also did
not have daikon, so I used parsnips, radish and carrots to make a nice
imitation of one of my favorite dim sum dishes. I started from this recipe, but diverged pretty quickly. (I know, you’re shocked)

The Substitition List

No daikon -> radish, carrot and parsnip No rice flour -> potato flour and pastry flour

The Recipe

  • ~ 3 cups finely chopped carrot, parsnip and radish (I let the food processor run for a while)
  • 1.5 c water
  •  2c potato flour 
  • 1/2c pastry flour (I started with just the potato flour, but it looked too soupy)
  •  1 tsp salt

The Process

I let this sit overnight, which is totally optional—I think it neither hurt nor helped, but I didn’t have time to steam it for an hour before leaving for choir Tuesday night, and did not have the inclination to do so after I got home. The steaming was a bit of an adventure. I needed to find something in which I could fit my 10″ round cake pan, which would not run out of water in an hour and which I could prop said cake pan over the water level. I tried our pasta pot with a metal bowl, but steam got trapped under the bowl and bounced it around. Then I tried our metal colander in the pasta pot, but the colander is just a little too tall for that—the lid wasn’t on, so no steamer there. The winner was the colander in our *huge* soup pot, which was a little awkward to get the cake pan into and out of (I ended up with veggie goop on one of the hot pads) but totally worked.

Fits in the Big Pot!Steaming the "turnip" cake

1 hour of steaming later, I had the firm to the touch texture that the
recipe suggested. (I was really not sure this would work, since I was
barely following the recipe at this point.) I let it cool on a wire
rack for another hour, then ran a knife around the edge and turned it
over onto a cutting board. Nothing happened, so I took a gigantic ice
cube and iced the bottom of the cake pan a bit, then thumped it hard.
That popped a nice jelly-looking orange thing out of the pan!

Steamed and coolingDecanted from the cake pan

It was pretty tasty even without frying (which is apparently a totally
valid way to eat it) but I wanted the authentic well, I wanted
a tasty fried thing. So I put a little peanut oil in a pan and fried
slices for about 2 minutes on a side. They stuck to the pan a bit, but
came out quite good! I ate some with Sriracha, but it would also have
been good with watered-down soy sauce with spices, or with plum sauce
or something.

Fried with Sriracha


Brian fried some this morning in more oil, and they came out like the
most delicious hash brown sticks ever.


Shrimp with rice, but *spicy*

I had more chinese cabbage, so I made more shrimp with rice. This time
I defrosted the shrimp and some frozen corn in a flat-sided frying pan
with a lid: I put then in with maybe 1/2c of water, and then let them
steam for 5 minutes or so. Then I removed them from the pan so I
could braise the cabbage. I put ~ 10 cloves in the pan with the
cabbage this time, which was a bit much.

2 tbsp soy sauce
1 tbsp sugar
3 tbsp water
2 tsp ginger
2 tsp garlic
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
10 cloves

Apparently that many cloves is not really healthy, especially if you
accidentally eat them (which we didn’t—we found them all) Also,
this was far too spicy for Emi, but helped clear mine and Brian’s
stuffy noses!

Owl and Elephant Blanket



Now that it has gone to the intended recipient, I can post about my
latest blanket: the Elephant and Owl baby blanket!
This one is for my daughter’s godparents, one of whom loves owls and
one of whom loves elephants, and who have a four month old little boy.
This was my first experiment with lining a blanket, mostly because
the owl nose and attaching the eyes left some strings on the back of
those squares. Loose strings + baby = bad, and one of our favorite
blankets was a very heavyweight one with a fleece back (it works
really well on the floor for a young baby to play on), so I wasn’t too
afraid of it being too much.

Like the other big blankets, this one is 20×20 granny squares in
double crochet, with an H hook and Caron Simply Soft yarn. I used
some other yarns for the owl, because I didn’t have Simply Soft in
tan, but I don’t know what the tan *is*—just an unlabeled big skein
from my stash.

Elephant Owl blanket

The elephant is not a new pattern—I used the same one as for the Ella-phant blanket (Not that it isn’t still adorable). The owl, though, I am
pretty proud of:

Owls in Process

The body is very simple, and what makes it really work are the
attached eyes (also quite simple—just rounds). They are stitched on
with very visible brown yarn, which is also used for the nose.
Despite being a variety of colors, I think they go well together:

Elephant and Owl - closeup

The very last thing I did is attach a backing fabric and then crochet an edging:

The backing fabric was my second attempt—the first fabric I picked
was an adorable monkey print in the same color as the green yarn of
the plain squares, but it was a stretchy cotton and Simply Would Not
Block. This one is a relatively thin flannel, and is perfect—the
non-stretchyness of the material helped me square the blanket. I used
a machine to sew around the edge, and then down the center both
horizontally and vertically. The edging is a scallop stitch, done
very tightly, which also helps make the final product more square and
makes up for the fact that the squares which were pulled from my
spare-white-squares pile were not quite the same gauge as the ones I
made more recently.

Sweet Potato Muffins

  • 1 tablespoons butter, softened
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tbsp vanilla extract
  • 3.5 cup sifted all-purpose flour
  • 3 teaspoons baking powder
  • 2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 4/3 cup evaporated or regular milk
  • 3 cups peeled finely shredded sweet potato 

These turned out really good! My visiting taste-tester agreed that
(a) they are better than the average use for sweet potato and (b) they
go really well with leftover cinnamon frosting!

Ladybug Dress Pattern/Tutorial

This dress is worked from the bottom. You can adjust sizing pretty
easily, and it is very forgiving of dropped or added stitches in the
lower sections—it’s just a big tube with a very small amount of
shaping. If this were an everyday dress, it might want to be lined,
since it is crochet and therefore full of holes.

Row 0: chain 80, turnrow 1: chain 3, double crochet 79, join in a
circle (careful not to twist—mobius sweaters are no fun!)Rows 2-13:
double crochet 80Row 14: dc 16, skip 1, repeat 3×15: dc 15, skip 1,
repeat16: dc 14, skip 1, repeat17: dc 13, skip 1, repeat18: dc 12,
skip 1, repeat19-30: dc 60
Now make straps!

31: ch3, DC 30, turn.??32: Skip one DC, ch3, DC 28, turn.
Right Front Strap:33: Skip one DC, DC 9, turn34: Skip one DC, ch3, DC
9, turn35-37: ch3, dc 7, turn
Left Front Strap:Skip 10 DC and repeat rows 33-37

Rear Straps:Starting from Row 31, skip 5 DC31: DC 22, turn32-46: ch3,
DC 7, turnSkip 6 DC, then repeat rows 32-46 for the other strap.

Corned Beet Hash


Brian made some beet burgers for last night’s dinner—kind of like a
falafel with turnip and beet instead of chickpeas. It looks *exactly*
like raw ground beef:

Beet burgers

But there were a lot of leftovers, so we needed something else to do
with them. I wanted something breakfast-y, so I decided that the beet
burgers, which were already a bit crumbly, would work great in hash.
We washed and chopped some potatoes and two of the carrots I just
pulled from the garden, and boiled them for a few minutes to soften,
then tossed them in the cast iron pan with some onions frying in olive
oil. I spiced them with cayenne, garlic and salt (paprika instead of
cayenne for the less spicy bowl) and Brian poached eggs (very
impressive! I can not do it!) to go on top.

This was actually really good! The beet sweetness was not
overpowering, but noticeable, and if I had been a bit more patient or
used a little more oil they texture would have been perfect.