Some nights, you just don't want to cook. I know, it's rare for us "foodies," but we all have those days. For those occasions, I keep a box of instant pancake mix on hand - a practice I embraced wholeheartedly in college to save pennies.
Truthfully, I'm a breakfast food junkie who could eat pancakes, eggs, cereal or any other breakfast food at any time of the day, so it's no surprise that this powdery mix is my standard fallback when culinary inspiration eludes me.
Tonight was just such a night. No meat thawed out. Lettuce was wilty (besides, I had a salad for lunch, and a girl can only take so much roughage for one day). Don't feel like pizza again. Hmmm....a few good carbs will do just the trick.
Now, I'm all about trying new things. And, we all know how much I love pumpkin. You can see where this is headed, can't you? Yep. Just this afternoon, my dad sent me his recipe for pumpkin pancakes, so I thought "let's give it a whirl!"
Until tonight, I had only ever had pumpkin pancakes from one of those $3.95 pre-mixed bags you buy at the apple stand on a crisp October Saturday in between college football games. They were delicious, but nothing that I couldn't have done on my own if I'm being honest. My problem is proportion intimidation: I am always fearful that the batter will be too runny or too dry. I don't know why I'm so freaked out since a little extra water or powder mix will solve the problem. Alas, "homemade" pumpkin pancakes were a first for me. (And, I use the term "homemade" loosely. Really it just means I opened up a can of pumpkin.)
I began with some premade pancake mix. I used Krusteaz (because I think it's delicious), but you could use whatever you have. Then, I added a bit of water and a smaller bit of canned pumpkin along with a pinch of cinnamon. It's that simple folks.
After whisking it all together until there are only a few lumps and bumps, I had this creamy, soft orange batter that reminded me of cupcake batter. How bad can that really be?
After dropping my 1/4 cupfuls onto a hot nonstick pan, I soon had pancakes that were golden brown and smelled of autumn goodness.
Add a pat of butter and watch it melt.
Now, I'm a weirdo and don't really like syrup on my pancakes. Ever since I was a little girl, I have put sugar and cinnamon on my pancakes (and french toast and waffles) instead. So, breakfast almost becomes dessert. Think cinnamon toast, but WAY better.
Now, that's dinner. Try them. Seriously.
Cinnamon-Sugar Pumpkin Pancakes
1 cup of pancake mix
3/4 cup water
1/4 cup of canned pumpkin
1 teaspoon cinnamon
Sugar and cinnamon (for topping)
Mix together all ingredients and drop mix by 1/4 cupfuls onto hot griddle or nonstick skillet, coated with cooking spray. Cook pancakes until bubble begin to form on top (or golden brown on the bottom); flip and cook for another 1-2 minutes (until golden brown). Top pancakes with butter or margarine and sprinkle with sugar and cinnamon. Dig in!