Sunday, August 26, 2012

Pleasing Pumpkin Pancakes

I am back from a two week vacation.  We drove down to Tennessee to see my brother and his wife.  They live right near the Smoky Mountains.  There is so much to do in the Smoky Mountains.  Millions of people visit there each year.  There is a lot to do but I am picky about what my kids do there.  I like to focus on local culture and learning with some wild fun thrown in.  Its nice to have a mix of visiting and sight seeing.  

We visited The Lost Sea Cave,

The Museum of Appalachia (pronounced apple-latch-a),

The Knoxville Zoo (a must for the kids) If you go make sure you take a bathing suit and towel because they have a little splash park now,

and the Visitor Center with WDVX where they had some live Blue Grass Music (you can check it out here).
Count This Penny
These people are from Madison, Wisconsin.  If you live in that area and get a chance to visit them- do it, it will be worth it.  They have a nice smooth sound.
Gina Forsyth
Gina Forsyth lives in New Orleans.  She is a pleasure to listen too.  She has a rich voice and great picking skills.  Her songs are about things that most of us can relate to, from light and funny to sad and lonely.  She runs the gambit of emotion.

We also went swimming in the Tennessee River and walked around market square down town.  We even did a little volunteer work at the Raptor Center in Clinton TN.

While visiting Market Square in downtown Knoxville we ate at a place called Tomato Head (they have a great blog with recipes!)and had this great pizza there.  One of the best pizzas I have ever eaten.  Thin crust in the middle, high on the sides, loaded with vegetables and cheese.  The crust was very tender and delicious.
fresh spinach, red onion, roma tomato, kalamata olive, banana pepper feta cheese, fresh oregano & organic baked tofu or andouille sausage

This is the view from my brother and sister in laws place.  That is Crepe Myrtle growing there.  Just beautiful.

I went to  take some close ups of the blooms and found a preying mantis on the flower- very cool.  Don't they look wise for some reason?


adapted from this recipe at Allrecipes.

1 cup coconut milk
1/2 cup water
1 cup pumpkin puree
1 egg
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 tablespoons vinegar
2 cups all-purpose flour

1/3 cup brown sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon ground allspice
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon salt

In a bowl, mix together the coconut milk, water, pumpkin, egg, oil, brown sugar, and vinegar. Combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, allspice, cinnamon, ginger and salt in a separate bowl. Stir into the pumpkin mixture just enough to combine.

Heat a griddle or frying pan over medium high heat. Pour or scoop the batter onto the griddle, using approximately 1/4 cup for each pancake. Brown on both sides.  I turned down the heat as the griddle gets hotter, otherwise they cook too fast and you end up with brown on the outsides and uncooked in the middle.  Any leftovers can be toasted in the toaster for a quick breakfast on another day.

More on our next state to visit coming up...

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