Caramel Pecan Cream Cheese Pancakes… and the bananas are optional ;)

Other than the desserts and cookies, THIS recipe would have to be one of the best dishes on this site. And it’s easy to make it a nice presentation too.

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The last time I was at a Bob Evans restaurant for breakfast, I was looking at the menu and, as usual, everything was grabbing me. I always have that problem at restaurants. Sometimes it’s so bad that after we’ve ordered and are waiting for our food, I forget which one of the 5 things I couldn’t decide between that I actually ended up ordering. Anyway, when I saw these pancakes on the menu, the decision-making was OVER.

To make a long story short, I got hungry for these and decided to do a search to see if there was a recipe online. I found one at Meemo’s Kitchen …this cooking blog has alot of recipes from restaurants on it! 

I didn’t do any short cuts, in fact there are 3 recipes within this recipe! So, this is REALLY from scratch! 😉

Caramel Pecan Banana Cream Cheese Pancakes …I think Bob Evans’ and Meemo’s name for them was a little different, but mine aren’t EXACTLY the same, so I’ll name them this.

Printable recipe for now.

2 cups vanilla pudding
2 cups (or 2 8 oz pkgs) cream cheese

Pancake batter

2 Tbsp. honey-roasted pecans

1 banana, sliced (So far, in talking about this recipe to my friends, there’s been some opposition to the bananas… you know who you are! 😉 They (the bananas) could easily be left out and it would not take away from the quality at all.) 

Caramel sauce

Powdered sugar

Whipped topping

I very seldom use instant vanilla pudding. Instead, I use the filling recipe that I use in peanut butter pie. I grew up with homemade pudding like that and there is just no other pudding that compares to it. So, I made this pudding, measured out 1 cup, added an 8 oz block of softened cream cheese, and whisked the mixture till smooth.
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For the pancake batter, I used my regular pancake recipe here.

For the honey-roasted pecans, I took regular pecans, tossed them with some honey (approx 1/2 cup pecans w\ 1 Tbsp. of honey) and baked them at 350 for about 15 min.
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For the caramel sauce, I put 1 cup of sugar in a kettle (dry). Stir over medium heat and eventually it turns to a tan liquid! I should’ve timed it, I’d say it took maybe 7-10 minutes. After it’s all liquid, add 6 Tbsp. butter and stir.
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Remove from the heat and slowly stir in 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream. Whisk till smooth. Pour into a different container to cool. Note: That sugar is easy to burn! I made the caramel sauce twice because the first time, I stirred it intermittently while doing other stuff and burned it a little. I didn’t know it was burned till I tasted it, it wasn’t bad, it just had a tiny bit of a burnt flavor. The second time, it turned out perfect and was actually a shade lighter in color.

Now, the fun part… we’ve got it all ready to go here:

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Pour batter into the frying pan like usual. I always do 3 pancakes in my frying pan because that’s what fits the best. So, instead of a stack of 2 big ones like Bob Evans does, I made a stack of 3 smaller ones. And yeah, sometimes they get too big and run together, so my pancakes don’t always turn out round. Put a few banana slices and some pecans on top.
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Flip pancakes as usual (and sometimes a banana slice may go flying off).
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When done, put a pancake, bottom side up, onto a plate.
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Spread a couple spoonfuls of the pudding mixture on top.
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Put another pancake on top.
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Spread some more pudding mixture on and drizzle with caramel.
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Put the 3rd pancake on top, drizzle with more caramel, sprinkle with powdered sugar,
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…and add a dollop of whipped topping.
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Mmmmm, I can’t tell you how good this is! And it’s very filling too! I didn’t even eat lunch.

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You’ve gotta try this! If it looks too complicated, you could buy caramel sauce, use regular pecans, and use instant pudding. But, it’s so worth it to do it from scratch, especially the pudding!!!! (In my mind, I’m adding about 20 more exclamation marks about the pudding.)

Oven Denver Omelet… Good morning! :)

I love hot breakfast foods. Sometimes when we go out to eat to we-serve-breakfast-all-day restaurants, I never get past the breakfast section of the menu. So, there I am, eating an omelet or stuffed French toast while everyone else is eating a cheeseburger and fries. But I’m fine with that. I don’t get hot breakfasts enough. And now that I think of it, I guess that’s nobody’s fault but mine, what with me being the cook around here.

I oughta start doing what my mom does… I grew up with having one evening meal a week a breakfast foods meal. With school and Dad going to work early, it didn’t work out in the morning to have breakfast as a family, so that is how we got those good hot breakfast meals in… have them for supper. I know quite a few of my friends do that now and then too.

This baked omelet is what we had for a Saturday brunch recently. Mmmmmm, it was good! And quite easy too! It comes from the 2001 Quick Cooking annual cookbook. By the way, if you’re keeping track of how often I’ve used this cookbook lately, awhile ago I sat down with it and whenever a recipe grabbed me, I wrote the recipe name and the page # on a separate piece of paper. Till I got to the end of the cookbook, I had 25 recipe names written down. So, little by little, I’m making them.

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Oven Denver Omelet

Printable recipe

8 eggs
1 cup milk
1/2 tsp. seasoned salt
2 cups frozen shredded hashbrown potatoes
1 cup diced fully cooked ham
1 cup (4 oz) shredded cheddar cheese
1 Tbsp. dried minced onion

In a large bowl, beat the eggs, milk, and seasoned salt.
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Stir in the remaining ingredients.
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Pour into a greased 8″ square baking dish.
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Bake, uncovered, at 350 for 45-50 minutes or until a knife inserted near the center comes out clean.
Yield: 6-8 servings.
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I’m going to have you all start helping me a little with serving ideas. I find a recipe I want to make and then get stuck on the ‘What shall I serve with it?’ question. I like to have a minimum of 3 things at each meal. What would you serve with the Oven Denver Omelet?

I know, it won’t help for this time because I already served this omelet, but I want your suggestions anyway for future reference, in case I make this again or something like it. By the way, I served this with Raspberry Cream Cheese Cinnamon Rolls, fruit, and orange juice.

Baked Oatmeal

I’ve never made baked oatmeal. I think I’ve had it before (Mom might have even made it at home), but I don’t really remember when. The only oatmeal I really liked (before this) is the stuff in packets, the maple & brown sugar flavor. I just saw this recipe while looking for something else and it kind of grabbed me, so I decided to try it. And, it was GOOD!!! It’s filling too! (with seconds, that is) 😉

It’s easy and quick too… you can get out of bed, make it in your pjs, put it in the oven and by the time you’re dressed and combed and have the bowls, spoons, and milk around, it’s ready to pull out of the oven. Make it tomorrow morning!

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Baked Oatmeal    … recipe taken from the Simply with Taste cookbook

Printable recipe

1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup butter, softened
2 eggs, beaten
3 cups quick oats
2 tsp. baking powder
1 cup milk
1/4 tsp. salt

Cream sugar and butter together until light. Then add the eggs and mix well.
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Add the baking powder and salt, then alternately add the oats and milk, mixing just until well blended. Pour into a greased 9×9 baking dish.
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Bake at 350 for 30 minutes.

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Serve this warm with milk for a breakfast dish or with ice cream for a dessert. When I got this out of the oven, Lexi thought I had made bars! We all really liked it, even the girls had seconds, which by the way is quite something… usually at mealtime we deal with “Do I have to eat all this?” instead of “Can I have more of that stuff?”

Up next on Kitchen Scrapbook: Super Pizza Subs (from the 2001 Quick Cooking annual cookbook, if you have it and want a sneak peek)

Katie’s Strawberry Scones

I don’t know who Katie is, but her scones are GREAT!!!! This was one of those recipes that I saw and right away knew I had to make. I got the recipe off of a new cooking blog I found last week: Kelly Cooks…and Other Amazing Feats. I had fun browsing thro’ her other recipes too.

One thing that grabbed me about these scones was that they take fresh strawberries. We don’t have fresh strawberries around here yet, but I’ve still been getting them regularly because they’re perpetually on sale at the grocery store. And that has got to be one of my favorite fruits, especially cut up and mixed with sugar. As the season wears on and I’ve had lots of strawberries and foods with strawberries in them, I get over my craving, but for now, strawberries it is. Second to chocolate… which of course is a helpless non-stop year-round craving.

Katie’s Strawberry Scones

2 1/4 – 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour (depending on how ripe your strawberries are) I used 2 1/4 cups.
1/4 cup granulated sugar, plus extra for sprinkling
1 Tbsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
1 stick (8 Tbsp.) butter, chilled and cut into small pieces
1 egg
1/4 cup yogurt (I used strawberry yogurt.)
1/4 cup milk
2 tsp. orange zest  (I didn’t have oranges on hand, so I skipped this.)
1 cup fresh strawberries, diced

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. In a small bowl, combine egg, yogurt, milk, zest; whisk to combine thoroughly and set aside. In large bowl, combine flour, sugar, powder, salt, and whisk to combine. Using pastry cutter and two knives, cut butter into flour until all pieces are smaller than pea-sized. Add strawberries, and toss to coat.
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Add wet ingredients to dry and mix in lightly with fork until dough just comes together. Turn dough out onto well-floured work surface and pat into large ball. Cut the dough ball in half.
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Shape half of the dough into a flat disk shape and cut into 8 slices. Place on baking sheet and repeat with other half of dough. Sprinkle tops of scones with sugar. I shaped the disks right on the baking sheet. One thing I wasn’t sure about is if the wedges were supposed to be separate or still in a circle for baking. But it turned out great like this!
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Place in the oven. Bake until slightly brown, about 25 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool on a baking sheet for 10 minutes.

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T
ransfer to a wire rack and let cool.

I think they’re best if you eat them while they’re still warm. To serve, I cut one in half and spread butter inside, then put a dollop of whipped topping on top. Just delicious!!!

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These got rave reviews around here from all of us! I’d like to experiment a little with using different yogurt flavors and maybe even different fruits, in addition to or instead of the strawberries. Also, I’ll bet the orange zest really adds something too. I want to be sure and have that on hand next time.

Carrot Pancakes – Out of My Comfort Zone Cooking #4

Does ‘carrot pancakes’ strike you as odd? It did me, for 2 reasons: 1. The thought of carrots in pancakes. and 2. These pancakes do not get served with syrup… there is a cream cheese mixture that goes on top of them instead. All my life, pancakes have gotten served with syrup. Sometimes with peanut butter underneath the syrup, but always with syrup. If we’d decide to put jam on them instead, that was not the norm.

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This recipe actually sounds really good. It’s got pecans in it… YUM! and it’s got cinnamon and brown sugar in it and that cream cheese spread sounds really good!!! And they are really good, except the carrots kind of wreck them, which is unfortunate because that’s the main ingredient.

Carrot Pancakesfrom the 2003 Quick Cooking Annual Cookbook

1 1/4 cups flour
2 Tbsp. finely chopped pecans (I didn’t chop them very fine, I like running into chunks)
2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. ground ginger
1 egg, lightly beaten
1/3 cup packed brown sugar
1 cup milk
1 cup grated carrots
1 tsp. vanilla
Cream Cheese Spread:
4 oz. cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup powdered sugar
2 Tbsp. milk
1/2 tsp. vanilla
Dash ground cinnamon

In a bowl, combine the first 6 ingredients. Combine the egg, brown sugar, milk, carrots, and vanilla; mix well.
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Stir into the dry ingredients just until moistened.
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Pour batter by 1/4 cupfuls into a greased hot griddle.
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Mmmmm! Look at all those chunks! …too bad so many of the chunks are carrots, huh?

Turn when bubbles form on top of pancakes;
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cook until second side is golden brown. 
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Place the cream cheese, powdered sugar, milk, and vanilla, in a blender or food processor; cover and process until smooth. Transfer to a bowl; sprinkle with cinnamon.
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Serve with pancakes. Yield: 4 servings. This recipe makes 11 pancakes.

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Next time, and I think there might be a next time, I would put in a few more pecans and considerably less carrots. They were fun to try for something different. Lexi (5) wouldn’t touch them with a 10′ pole (and I sounded excited about them to her, carrots and all), but Tiffany (2) downed a whole pancake like nothing. Shannon didn’t get a chance to taste them because he was at work, but I think his take on them would’ve been similar to Lexi’s.

Edit: I tried these again later and replaced the cup of carrots with 1/3 cup of pumpkin and doubled the pecans, but kept everything else the same. I think I should’ve added nutmeg too. Anyway, they were delicious!

I’m actually having alot of fun with this Out of My Comfort Zone series. It’s fun trying stuff I’d never try otherwise. Next week, I’m planning to try a lettuce salad with fruit and maybe nuts in it.

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