Buttermilk Pancakes

I made some fun rainbow pancakes for the kids the other day. I have seen pictures of them before and always thought they looked really cool - and they are! The kids loved them. I made them with my favorite from-scratch pancake recipe. It is a version of the IHOP recipe that I found years ago. They are yummy with fresh blueberries added, but almost better plain. My family thinks they are the best!

Buttermilk Pancakes

1 1/4 cups flour
1 egg
1 1/4 cups buttermilk
1/4 cup sugar
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
1/4 cup canola oil
pinch of salt

Preheat your skillet over medium heat. Blend all of the ingredients until smooth. Spoon approximately 1/3 cup of the batter onto the skillet. When the edges appear the harden and the bubbles pop at the edges, flip the pancake. Cook on the other side for the same amount of time. - If you add blueberries, you might have to flip a couple times to cook evenly in the center.

If you want to make the rainbow pancakes, start by doubling the recipe. Then, divide the batter into 6 bowls. Add the correct food coloring to each bowl and then stir to get the shade you like. I used a 1/4 cup to drop the batter instead of a 1/3 cup. It makes a little bit more of a mess - but it is fun!


Black Bean Soup

I saw this recipe a couple weeks ago on Our Best Bites and knew immediately I had to try it. Wow! This soup is so good. Seriously, I licked my bowl. And my spoon. And finished my kids bowls. Then I ate it for breakfast the next morning. I loved it.

Black Bean Soup

1 Tbs. olive oil
4 cloves garlic, chopped
3/4 cup diced carrots
3/4 cup diced celery
1 cup diced onion
2 cans black beans, rinsed and drained
1, 3.5 oz green chilies
2 cans beef broth
1 tsp. kosher salt
1/8 tsp. black pepper
1/4 tsp. cumin
1/2 tsp. oregano leaves
1 bay leaf
tobasco sauce to taste
1 lime

Warm a large soup pot on Medium-High heat and then add the olive oil. Add the carrots, celery, onion and garlic. Saute the veggies for about 5 minutes.

Add the beans, chilies and broth and then stir in the rest of the ingredients. Add as much tobasco sauce and you would like - I put in about 6 good shakes!

Cook uncovered for about 25 minutes, or until all the veggies are soft. Remove the bay leaf and take the pot off the heat.

Place the soup in a blender and puree the soup until it is smooth. The ladies from Our best Bites, suggested removing the stopper on top of the blender to let the steam escape. I used my smoothie maker, so already had a big opening. I did what they suggested and covered it with a paper towel, it worked great!

Squeeze in some fresh lime juice and mix. Serve with tortilla chips, cilantro, cheese & tomatoes.


Apple Bars

I have been buying a lot of apples lately - partly because they are on sale at Costco & partly because I am loving eating them with peanut butter for lunch. I love the taste of the two together & you don't have the guilt of eating too much bread. Which is my downfall!

I have made this recipe twice in the last week and need to stop now. It is too good to resist & I am trying to put as many into the kids lunches as possible to get them out of the house! These bars are so yummy. They puff up as they cook and the top gets crackly and crisp while the inside is soft and gooey. They have a bit of a fall feel to them, which I always love.

Apple Bars

1 cup melted butter
2 cups white sugar
2 eggs
2 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp. baking soda
2 tsp. ground cinnamon
2 cups peeled, cored and diced apples
1 cup chopped walnuts (optional)

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees and grease a 9x13 pan.

Mix the butter, sugar and egg until creamy. Add in the flour, soda and cinnamon and mix well. Stir in the apples and walnuts. Spread the batter into the prepared pan.

Bake for about 50 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean from the center. Remember, the outside will be crispy and look done while the middle might still be gooey!



Much Better Now

I am a recipe hoarder. I love to look at cookbooks, magazines and blogs about food. I love to rip out and print all of the recipes that look good to me. And I have a hard time getting rid of them - I might want to try it out soon!

I thought I had a good system down for my recipes, but my printing has gotten a little out of control. I have papers everywhere! I would try some of them out and then stick it into my trusty "binder" but it has become a little bit crowded. This is what my cookbook and recipe cupboard looked like... not good, see all the papers!

I had finally had enough. So while my hubby was out of town this week I started my organizing. I bought a pack of the 1 inch binders at Costco and figured out how I wanted to divide my recipes. I made a super quick cover for the front and one for the spine and then went to work sorting the papers. And I actually threw a bunch away!

I can't ever find any tabs that you can see when you use the page protectors, so I just made my own. I printed out the label on cardstock, cut it out, backed it with the same color page as the divider and then stuck it to the end with packing tape. It looks and works perfect!

I am so happy with how they turned out! They make me want to start baking more and I have so much room for new recipes!

I chose to make 6 binders and divide up my recipes in these categories -

*Bread & Breakfast
*Main Dish
*Cookies & Cakes
*Crockpot & Casseroles
*Soup, Salad & Sides
*To Try

Each of these binders has their own sub-categories also. For example, the Bread & Breakfast binder has a breakfast, quickbread, muffin and bread sections. This is just what works for me!

Much better now, wouldn't you agree?



Remember when I said the Mexican Meat Mix, which makes my favorite Chimmichangas also makes the best soup? Well, this is it. This soup is so good. I love it because if you already have the meat mix in the freezer, this soup takes no time! Everyone can top it the way they like - I like cheese, cilantro, green onions, shredded lettuce, tomato, avacado & chips. It is perfect for a cold night!

2 cans pinto beans (or black)
4 cups water - or to your desired consistency
1 tsp. salt
1 Tbs. chili powder

green onion
shredded lettuce

Add the beans, water, Meat mix, salt and chili powder in a soup pot. Cook uncovered for approx. an hour, stirring occasionally until it is heated all the way through.

Serve in a bowl over the chips. Garnish with the toppings of your choice. Enjoy!