Fall weather is here and that means I’m on another pumpkin kick.  Pumpkin pancakes are the perfect start to a chilly morning!  They’re dense but fluffy, naturally sweet, and filling!

Also, other delicious pumpkin breakfast recipes I’ve made are Whole Wheat Pumpkin Waffles and the famous Pumpkin Cream Cheese Stuffed French Toast.

Ingredients:
-1 1/2 Cups Milk
-1 Cup Pumpkin Puree (not Pumpkin Pie Filling!)
-1 Egg
-2 Tablespoons Vegetable Oil
-2 Cups All Purpose Flour
-3 Tablespoons Brown Sugar
-2 teaspoons Baking Powder
-1 teaspoon Baking Soda
-1 3/4 teaspoons Pumpkin Pie Spice
-1/4 teaspoon Salt

In a bowl, mix together the pumpkin puree, egg, and oil.

In another bowl, mix together flour, brown sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and pumpkin pie spice.
Pour the pumpkin mixture into the flour mixture and stir until just incorporated.
Heat a griddle or skillet to medium heat.  Scoop the batter in 1/4 cup amounts.  Flip once bubbles rise to the top and edges lift.

Keep warm in the oven until ready to serve.  Sprinkle with some toasted pecans and powdered sugar and serve with warm maple syrup!

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Now that Summer is wrapping up, I am finally sharing this incredible ice cream recipe with the world.  I had made a couple batches of other flavors of ice cream, but this one is life-changing!  I love cheesecake, I love strawberries, and I love ice cream…what more could you want?

Go grab some fresh strawberries while you still can and give this a try!

Ingredients:
-12 Ounces Strawberries, hulled and sliced
-8 Ounces Cream Cheese
-1 Cup Sour Cream
-1/2 Cup Half & Half
-1 Cup Sugar
-1 Pinch Salt
-3 Graham Crackers, crushed

Puree the strawberries and pour into a medium sized bowl.
Add sour cream and cream cheese.

Add half and half, lemon juice, sugar, and salt.  Mix well until it is all incorporated.

Chill in the fridge for 3-4 hours, until well chilled.  Pour into ice cream maker and make according to manufacturer’s directions.  During the last 5 minutes, add the crushed graham crackers.  Freeze overnight.

Scoop and serve!

After being inspired by a good friend’s fritatta with Swiss chard, I decided to try it on its own.  Swiss chard is buttery and delectable when sautéed (even without butter!)  It is one of the most healthy vegetables out there, second to spinach.  I don’t suggest eating it raw because it is a little tough and bitter, but once cooked down, it completely changes character.  If you haven’t tried it, I highly suggest giving it a shot!

To prep:  Rinse and pat dry the chard leaves.  Cut the leaves off from the stems and then into bite sized pieces.  Discard the stems for this recipe.  I’ve seen recipes out there for the stems, so if you’re feeling creative, do a quick search!

Ingredients:
-1 Large Bunch of Fresh Chard
-1/4 Cup Onion, finely chopped
-2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
-2 Tablespoons Water
-Pinch of Crushed Red Pepper
-1/8 teaspoon Garlic Powder
-Salt to taste

Heat skillet to medium heat.  Add olive oil, onion, and crushed red pepper. Cook for a minute or two until onion is translucent.  Add the chopped Swiss chard leaves, toss to coat, and cover for 3 minutes.  Remove the lid and add 2 Tablespoons of water.  Cover for another 3 minutes.  Serve immediately.

I had never had meatloaf that I enjoyed.  My husband, however, is a meatloaf fanatic.  When he was in college, his mother would send him back with a meatloaf or two.  Never have I made it until now.  I scoured the internet for ones claiming to be the best meatloaf recipes.  I wasn’t convinced, and tweaked a few combinations of recipes to come up with this final shot at me liking meatloaf.  Guess what?  It was actually good. It was great.  Who knew meatloaf could be enjoyable?

P.s. can we please rename meatloaf?  It just sounds unappetizing.  It doesn’t give an actual good meatloaf any justice.

Ingredients:
-1 Onion, chopped
-2 Garlic Cloves, minced
-1 Tablespoon Olive Oil
-2 Eggs
-1/2 Cup Milk
-2 teaspoons Dijon Mustard
-2 teaspoons Fresh Majoram (or 1 teaspoon dried)
-1 1/2 Pounds Veal, Pork, and Beef mixture*
-1 1/2 Cups Breadcrumbs

For the Glaze:
-1/2 Cup Ketchup
-4 Tablespoons Brown Sugar
-3 Tablespoons White Vinegar

*A note about the meat.  It is essential that you use a mixture of at least pork and beef.  I used a mixture of beef, veal, and pork from Whole Foods.  If you just use ground beef it will taste like a giant baked burger.  (No thanks!)

Preheat oven to 350F.  Saute onion and garlic in olive oil on medium heat until cooked, about five minutes.  Set aside.

In a small bowl, whisk together eggs, milk, mustard and marjoram.  In a large bowl, gently mix together the meat, eggs, breadcrumbs, and onion mixture.  Pour in the milk mixture and gently mix until incorporated.  Bake in a loaf pan for an hour.

While baking, prepare the glaze.  Whisk together ketchup, brown sugar, and vinegar.  After the meatloaf has cooked for an hour, remove from oven and pour glaze over it.  Bake for another 15 minutes or fully cooked.

Labor day is quickly approaching and the grills will be firing up!  For some of this, it marks the end of Summer.  I know I will be celebrating the cooler temperatures since my poor garden fried up and died in this year’s heat.

Royal Burger
Italian Burger
Cabernet Burgers

Try your hand at homemade buns if you have some extra time!
Homemade Buns
Rosemary Buns

Summer and vacation and have come and gone and I have neglected this blog a little.  I still have been enjoying cooking fresh and delicious meals, but haven’t had the patience to pull out the camera.  I’ve kept busy with my Doberman puppy (now five months old) who doesn’t leave me much time to cook something before tearing something up.  She’s a blast, but as soon as I turn around she’s getting into something.  I was able to cook a bit this morning, after taking her to the park for tracking, a two mile walk, and playing in the lake.  Thank goodness!

These pancakes are a delicious treat for breakfast (or really, any meal!)  This recipe has a banana mashed in the batter, since I have found I don’t like the appearance of slices in the pancakes but would miss the flavor.

Ingredients:
-1 1/2 Cups Flour
-1 Tablespoon Sugar
-2 teaspoons Baking Powder
-1 1/4 Cup 2% Milk
-1 Large Banana, mashed
-1 Egg
-1 teaspoon Vanilla
-1/4 Cup Chocolate Chips

Optional:  Garnish with banana slices and additional chocolate chips.

In a medium bowl, mix together flour, sugar, and baking powder.  In a separate larger bowl, mix together mashed banana, egg, milk, and vanilla.  Mix in the dry with the wet ingredients, and fold in chocolate chips.  Let rest for a few minutes while your griddle or pan heats.  Flip when bubbles appear and keep warm in the oven until ready to serve.

One of my friends recommended a local company that delivers produce.  It’s super convenient!  Each week I pick out online what I want in my produce bin.  They label whether each item is local, grown in the US, organic, etc. Prices start at $35 for the basic vegetable and fruit bin, and it includes delivery.  It’s plenty of food for two!  I’ve really been enjoying it because it has encouraged me to try out some things I’ve never had before (Saturn Peaches!  Pluots!) and to implement things I wouldn’t normally use in recipes.  Not to mention, I’m supporting a local business and local farms!  It actually ends up being cheaper than buying my produce at Whole Foods, so all in all, I’m very happy with the service!

The folks at Green B.E.A.N. Delivery offered me a discount to write an honest review.  In return, I also received a promo code to share with my readers.  You’ll get $15 your first order from them, which makes your first order $20!  The promo code is 15TDC.  If you try it, you’ll have to let me know what you think!

Here’s a few pictures of what I’ve been getting!  Everything is super fresh and gorgeous.  Usually it’s also better looking than what I can find in the stores!

The food comes in a green insulated bin with a freezer pack.

Spinach and green beans.
Red skin potatoes.

Gala apples.

Yellow peaches.

Everything has been great with Green B.E.A.N. Delivery so far!  Feel free to check out their website at http://www.greenbeandelivery.com.