thanksgiving

Pumpkin Cornbread by Brohgan Dieker

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Today, my son and I went on a walk just because we could. We had a few minutes before lunch with nothing to do, and it's hard to spend a beautifully cool August day like today inside.

We counted leaves and dandelions. The seasons are already changing, and there were far more leaves than dandelions today.

After looking at the calendar ahead, I started experimenting with fall flavors a few weeks ago.

This was a great decision. I love autumn, and I look for ways to incorporate the wonderful flavors year-round.

My first success out of the oven: pumpkin cornbread.

I wish you could smell my kitchen right now! It smells like everything you hope for in autumn.

Pumpkin and spice all in a warm sweet bread. It bakes up like a savory cake.

These sweet little pumpkin cornbread muffins were gone within hours of pulling them out of the oven!

I added a little pat of butter on a couple, but it isn't necessary. They are sweet and moist all on their own.

Simple enough to make on a weeknight, but also special enough to include with any fall get together. I anticipate making this recipe many more times this autumn.

I wish you could smell my kitchen right now! It smells like everything you hope for in autumn. Pumpkin and spice all in a warm sweet bread. It bakes up like a savory cake. These sweet little pumpkin cornbread muffins were gone within hours of pulling them out of the oven! Simple enough to make on a weeknight, but also special enough to include with any fall get together. I anticipate making this recipe many more times. Pumpkin cornbread would be a great addition to any Thanksgiving feast!

These muffins were delicious, but even sweeter was the opportunity to use my grandma's cast iron cornbread pan. I've been looking for an excuse to pull it out, and it won't be the last time! (Here's a link to a similar pan.)

But, if you don't have a cornbread pan, a muffin tin will do. I also included instructions on how to make this in an 8x8 pan below the recipe.

Pumpkin Cornbread

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup cornmeal
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp ground cloves
  • 1/2 cup packed light-brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter (melted)
  • 1 cup canned pumpkin puree
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 2 large eggs
  • butter or honey (optional)
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Grease a muffin tin.
  2. Combine all ingredients in a large mixing bowl. Mix gently until combined.
  3. Using two spoons, gently fill each muffin cup until half full to allow room for the cornbread to expand.
  4. Bake for 12 minutes. Using a fork, gently check the center for doneness.
  5. Cool and enjoy.

If you would prefer a single cornbread loaf over muffins, pour batter into a greased 8x8 pan and bake 25-30 minutes. Check center for doneness before removing from oven.

I wish you could smell my kitchen right now! It smells like everything you hope for in autumn. Pumpkin and spice all in a warm sweet bread. It bakes up like a savory cake. These sweet little pumpkin cornbread muffins were gone within hours of pulling them out of the oven! Simple enough to make on a weeknight, but also special enough to include with any fall get together. I anticipate making this recipe many more times. Pumpkin cornbread would be a great addition to any Thanksgiving feast!

 

Savory Potato Pancakes by Brohgan Dieker

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Happy Thanksgiving from the Diekers! I hope your holiday was as wonderful as ours! So, leftovers.

And after all that feasting, how could you ever even think of food again?

But alas, there are leftovers.

Take a break, and use the leftovers creatively.

Leftover mashed potatoes are not considered to be a problem at my house.  Honestly, they never last long enough.

But I have been known to "accidentally" make excess mashed potatoes, just for the excuse to have potato pancakes later that week. I love potato pancakes -- they are my ultimate comfort food, and I normally only make them a couple of times a year.

Something about crispy potato texture with that homemade flavor built in.

Start with those leftover mashed potatoes.  If you're anything like me, they're already full of some sinful holiday combination of butter, cheese, garlic, salt, milk, or cream.  The potatoes I used were garlic butter potatoes with extra garlic.

 

(Excuse my lumps.  My beloved Kitchen-Aid was being used for a fundraiser, so we considered the lumps in the potatoes to be an act of charity.  Apparently I do not have the patience to hand mash perfectly smooth potatoes.)

Swoon.

You might want to consider kicking up the flavor of your favorite potato recipe a little, because next you are going to add 1/3 cup of plain breadcrumbs (or panko), which will significantly dull the flavor.

 

 

Combine these two items by pushing the back of a spoon against the side of the mixing bowl.

Prep a griddle with a generous drizzle of olive oil.  Turn burner to medium-high heat.

Use your hands to shape potato mixture into patties less than 1 inch thick.  Size will depend on stickiness of your mashed potato recipe.

Immediately after pancakes are laid on the griddle, pull out ingredients to start eggs.  Add 4 eggs and 1 tbsp butter to a sauce pan, and set to medium heat. Break yolks and mix thoroughly.

I tend to ignore the eggs until after the butter is mostly melted, only stirring occasionally.

Once pancakes are golden brown, flip.  I had enough potatoes for 8 pancakes.

After butter has melted, mix eggs constantly.  If the pancakes are demanding your attention, temporarily remove from heat.  If eggs start to cook too quickly, lift off pot from the burner.  For more details about these eggs, check out Gordon Ramsey's video.

Pancakes and eggs should be done cooking close to the same time.  If pancakes are done before the eggs, turn off burner and leave on griddle until eggs are cooked.

These are all gone now, but just looking at the pictures is making me hungry all over again!

Feel free to drizzle with your favorite hot sauce or ketchup.

Savory Potato Pancakes

A terrific recipe for the morning after Thanksgiving, these savory pancakes are quick and filling. They're wonderful when paired with gourmet scrambled eggs!

Potato Pancakes:

  • 2 C Mashed Potatoes (seasoned with salt, pepper, garlic powder to taste)
  • 2/3 C Plain Bread Crumbs
  • 1 tsp Olive Oil

Gourmet Scrambled Eggs:

  • 4 Large Eggs
  • 1 tbsp Unsalted Butter
  1. Combine mashed potatoes and bread crumbs in a bowl until evenly mixed.
  2. Drizzle olive oil on griddle (or skillet) and set to a medium high heat.
  3. Form breadcrumb/potato mixture into pancakes using hands.  Add additional bread crumbs if needed.
  4. Lay pancakes on griddle allowing at least 1 inch of space between pancakes. Flip occasionally, and fry until golden brown on both sides.  This process takes around 4 minutes per batch.
  5. Immediately after the first pancakes are laid on the griddle, crack eggs into a small sauce pan and add butter.  Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally at first, and then constantly after butter melts.  (If pancakes need to be flipped, eggs can be removed from heat and temporarily set on another burner. Begin stirring again once pancakes have been attended to.)  Once eggs are finished cooking, immediately remove from heat.
  6. After last pancakes are golden brown, remove from heat and enjoy!