Pumpkin Spice Greek Yogurt Pancakes

I am crazy about pumpkin pie, but I pretty much only have it two times a year – at Thanksgiving and Christmas.  It’s not at all at a hard pie to make, but it just seems like a holiday pie to me! That said, I LOVE making other pumpkin recipes all year long, but since I ate pretty much whatever I wanted from the time the plane took off for our girls’ trip in Nashville in mid-October until Thanksgiving, I was wanting something I could eat that seemed indulgent – but would allow my pants to continue to fit by Christmas. 

I decided to see if Tracy’s Greek Yogurt Pancakes could become pumpkin-spiced, and I SO happy with the result.  Paired with your favorite syrup, these have just the right amount of pumpkin and not-at-all-secret spices to make you feel like you’re having a serious dessert.  These are definitely going on our Christmas morning menu – and a few other days in between, I’m sure, since my 5 year old has requested them several times, even though the recipe has only existed for about a week!  Hope you and yours enjoy them as much as we do.  ~Robin

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Ingredients:

  • 2 c. plain nonfat Greek yogurt
  • 1 c. pumpkin puree
  • 1 c. all-purpose flour
  • 2 tsp. baking soda
  • ¾ tsp. ground cinnamon
  • ¾ tsp. ground ginger
  • ½ tsp. (or very slightly more) ground nutmeg
  • ¼ c. plus 1 T. sugar
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 4 eggs, slightly beaten
  • 1 tsp. vanilla

Instructions:

  1. Pour Greek yogurt and pumpkin puree into a medium sized mixing bowl or the bowl of electric stand mixer. Combine all dry ingredients and add to yogurt/pumpkin mixture. Mix just until dry ingredients are incorporated well.
  2. Combine eggs and vanilla. Add to yogurt mixture and mix until well combined.
  3. Cook in sprayed skillet or griddle pan until each side is golden brown (on medium or a little cooler). You can gauge when to flip each pancake when bubbles begin to form on the uncooked side.

WW Freestyle Info.: Makes 24 pancakes at approximately 5-inch diameter each. Each pancake is 1 point. 

Cranberry Butter (Instant Pot or Stove Top)

Electric pressure cookers are the new-fangled popular kitchen gadget, aren’t they? Do you have one? I do, and I like it a lot — but I haven’t used it as much as I should. Okay, technically, mine is not an Instant Pot, it’s a Power Cooker XL. Instant Pot is the Kleenex of the facial tissue world. People use the brand name and product name interchangeably. What can ya do?

Lately, I’ve been making an attempt to use my electric pressure cooker more. It’s handy, so I might as well take advantage of its speed & versatility. Recently, I’ve seen a lot of fruit “butter” recipes on the internet. Many of them are crockpot recipes. Well, these led me to wonder if I could do the same thing with my pressure cooker. Turns out I can! I decided to put my own seasonal spin on the fruit butter trend by making this Cranberry Butter. It came out perfect on the very first try; I kid you not! It’s tart but sweet with warm spices. I think my eyes rolled back in my head the first time I tasted it on a cinnamon bagel with cream cheese If you like cranberry, you’ll love this. ~Erin

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Ingredients:

  • 1 (12 oz.) bag fresh cranberries, washed
  • 1 c. water
  • 1 lemon or small orange, washed & cut in half
  • ¼ tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1/8 tsp. ground cloves
  • 1 T. cornstarch
  • ½ c. sugar (or sweetener of choice)*

Instant Pot Instructions:

  1. Place the cranberries, sugar, water, lemon (cut side up), cinnamon, and cloves in the electric pressure cooker.
  2. Pressure cook for 30 minutes; quick-release pressure.
  3. Remove the lid and allow to cool slightly.
  4. Remove & discard the lemon.
  5. Blend the cranberries with an immersion blender until smooth.
  6. Add cornstarch and continue to blend until well combined.
  7. Simmer, uncovered for 10 minutes, until thickened.  
  8. Cool and serve on toast or bagels with cream cheese, in oatmeal, etc.  Keep Refrigerated.

Stove-top Instructions:

  1. In a medium stockpot, stir together the cranberries, water, sugar, spices and juice from half a lemon (instead of the whole lemon as in the Instant Pot instructions).
  2. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low and simmer for 30 minutes, uncovered.
  3. Remove from the heat and blend with an immersion blender.
  4. Add the cornstarch and blend again until smooth.
  5. Return to the heat and simmer over low heat, continuously stirring, 3 – 4 minutes until mixture is thickened.
  6. Cool and serve on toast or bagels with cream cheese, in oatmeal, etc.  Keep Refrigerated.

WW Freestyle Info.: This makes about 1 1/2 cups of cranberry butter. With regular sugar, 1 Tablespoon is 1 point. With a zero point sweetener, this could easily be zero points per serving.*

*I have not tested this recipe with a sugar substitute so I suggest adding it gradually, after blending in cornstarch, and taste-testing for desired sweetness.

Need an immersion blender? Check out our Four Sisters Favorite Things post for a recommendation. Plus enter to win one of our favorite kitchen gadgets!  This can also be blended in a regular blender but you have to cool the mixture almost completely to room temp before blended.  Never blend hot liquids in a regular blender!

Savory Bacon & Onion Bread Pudding

By now, most of you now have probably seen the two-ingredient dough recipe floating around all over the internet.  Folks use the it to make lots of things, like pizza crust or pretzels, but the most popular use is bagels.  The bagels (recipe below) make great breakfast sandwiches so I bake them often.  I wish I knew who to give credit for this recipe, but it’s viral Internet information now and somewhere out there is a two-ingredient genius!

Anyway, I’ve been on a bread pudding kick.  I recently made a protein-packed cinnamon vanilla bread pudding.  It got me thinking about a savory bread pudding, as opposed to the traditional sweet versions.  It just so happened that, when I had this brainstorm, I had just baked up some two-ingredient bagels a couple days before.  Naturally, I immediately started experimenting, using the bagels as the base for the recipe.  I decided the best version of savory bread pudding would have to include my favorite 3 ingredients ever:  bacon, onions, and garlic.  Is there a better flavor combination?  No, ma’am, there is not.  It’s the flavor trifecta with an aroma that makes my mouth water every time!  I was right, it’s the perfect savory bread pudding mixture.

Most bread puddings have a sauce or topping of some kind.  I knew right away what I wanted as my topping… an over-easy fried egg that will ooze over the nooks and crannies of the top of the bread, seeping its creamy yolk into the garlicy bacon and onion bread.  I strongly urge you to top your slice with an egg.   I don’t even normally like runny eggs but, as a “sauce” for my bread pudding, it’s amazing (if I do say so myself).  ~Erin

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Here’s a quick rundown of how I make it (more detailed recipe below):

Cook the bagels & tear them up.

savory bread pudding step 1

Chop the bacon, mince the garlic, and dice the onions.  I use this thing to dice onions ALWAYS.  This is the Alligator Chopper and it saves me time and tears.  It’s one of my favorite kitchen gadgets!  I only share my favorites with y’all, promise.  Get yours here:  Alligator Chopper

 

Cook the bacon, onions, and garlic….. Mmmmmm

 

Mix it all with the bread and sprinkle on the cheese.

 

Whisk the custard ingredients together in a small bowl and pour them over the bread.

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Bake it, slice it, top it with an egg (if you like), and enjoy!

Ingredients for two-ingredient bagels:
  • ½ c. self-rising flour (I use Gold Medal brand)
  • ½ c. plain non-fat Greek yogurt
  • dash of salt, optional
  • 1 egg, beaten
Ingredients for savory bacon & onion bread pudding:
  • 2 baked and cooled bagels (instructions for bagels are below)
  • 5 slices center cut bacon (I use Oscar Mayer), sliced in small pieces
  • 1 medium yellow onion, diced
  • 1 – 2 cloves garlic, minced (I suggest only one, if they are large cloves.)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 c. fat free half & half
  • ¼ tsp. salt
  • ¼ tsp. black pepper
  • 3 T. shredded parmesan cheese (not the powdery stuff)

Instructions: 

  1. Instructions for making the bagels:
  2. Make the bagels the night before the bread pudding.
  3. To make the bagels, begin by combining the flour, salt, and non-fat Greek yogurt. I use a rubber spatula and just keep scraping and working it together until it forms a ball.
  4. Divide the dough into 2 portions and work each portion into a 1-inch “snake” by rolling it between your palms; connect the ends to make a circle.
  5. Brush each bagel top with beaten egg (or just dip them in it).
  6. Bake on the top rack of a preheated 375°F oven, on a parchment lined sheet pan, for 25 minutes; or bake in your air fryer (LINK TO AMAZON?) at 330°F for 11-12 minutes.
  7. After they cool, cut them open and toast them slightly in the oven, toaster, or air fryer. This step helps dry out the bread.
  8. Tear the bagels into small pieces and spread in a loaf pan or small casserole dish.
  9. Cover loosely and leave out overnight to dry further.
  10. Instructions for making the bread pudding:
  11. Cook bacon in a nonstick skillet over medium-low heat, stirring often, until the bacon pieces brown.
  12. Reduce heat to low and add the onions and garlic; cook and stir often until the onions become translucent (about 5 minutes).
  13. Mix the bacon, onion, garlic mixture into the dry bagel pieces.
  14. Sprinkle the parmesan over the top.
  15. In a small bowl, whisk together the eggs, half & half, salt, and pepper; pour the egg mixture over the bread/bacon mixture.
  16. At this point, I preheat the oven to 350°F. The bread pudding needs to sit a while so the custard will soak into the dried bread. I’d say at least 20 minutes but it’s fine if you need to let it sit longer (just make sure to refrigerate it in the meantime). Let it come back to room temperature before baking if it’s been refrigerated.
  17. Bake in the preheated oven for 50 minutes.*
  18. Serve warm. Perfect topped with an over-easy egg.

WW Freestyle Info.: This recipe makes 4 servings at 4 points each.

This post contains affiliate links.  If you purchase items through the links provided, we receive a small commission.

*This could also be cooked in the air fryer but I have not tested times and temps yet.  I’d try 350° for 10 minutes, to start with, but that’s just a guess.  If you try it, let me know how it works!  Or I’ll try it soon myself.  I was just too anxious to share this recipe to test it in the air fryer first.

Bread Pudding Lightened Up

I’ve had something like this in mind for a while now.  I wanted a bread pudding I can eat without guilt.  It’s taken me a few fails to figure out a good recipe.  For instance, while 2-ingredient dough bagels are delicious, they do not make a good bread pudding.  That turned out bad.  This cinnamon swirl bread is perfect though!  It’s already mildly sweet and cinnamony.  The sweet bread soaked in a protein shake custard is just the combination I was looking for!  I can even eat this for breakfast and feel like I’ve started the day right!  ~Erin

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Ingredients:
  • 2 ½ slices Pepperidge Farm Cinnamon Swirl bread
  • ½ of an 11 oz. carton of Vanilla Premier Protein Shake
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • ¼ tsp. cinnamon
  • 2 tsp. sugar
  • Caramel ice cream topping, regular or sugar free (optional)

Instructions: 

  1. Air fryer and conventional oven cooking instructions are included below.
  2. If using a conventional oven, preheat it now to 350°F.
  3. Tear the bread into small pieces and place into a ramekin or oven safe mug; lightly pack together.
  4. In a small bowl, beat together the egg, protein shake, cinnamon, and sugar to make a custard.
  5. Slowly pour the custard mixture over the bread, until all the bread is soaked but not swimming in custard; discard any leftover custard mixture – there shouldn’t be much if any.
  6. For air fryer: Cook at 350°F for 10 minutes.
  7. For conventional oven: Cook in the preheated 350°F oven for 45, until the top is brown.
  8. Drizzle with caramel ice cream topping, if desired.

WW Freestyle Info.: This recipe makes 2 servings. Each serving is 5 points, not including caramel topping.

*This post contains affiliate links.  We earn a small small commission on purchases made via these links.

Air fryer and conventional oven cooking instructions are included below.

Check out getting your own air fryer at Amazon here:

Here is the bigger one (6 qt.!) that we love even more, but it was not available on prime when we checked last, though that sometimes changes:

Cinnamon Cookie Butter Pinwheels

I’ve made these Cinnamon Cookie Butter Pinwheels for baby showers (In fact, I made them for Robin’s baby shower a few years ago.), teacher appreciation breakfasts, holiday brunches, etc. and they are always met with rave reviews.  They are like little cinnamon roll cookies.  Easy to grab and snack on… no fork needed!

You can see in the picture that I drizzled a few with a powdered sugar/milk/vanilla glaze but I decided, in the end, that the glaze isn’t needed.  The cookie butter is sweet on its own and it’s perfect with the buttery crescent dough.  Add a dash of cinnamon to bring them over the top!  ~Erin

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Ingredients:
  • 1 can (8 count) refrigerated reduced fat crescent rolls (I used Pillsbury.)
  • 8 T. Biscoff Cookie Butter
  • Cinnamon

Instructions: 

  1. Spray a sheet pan with non-stick cooking spray or line with parchment paper.
  2. Roll out the dough and pinch the seams together into one large sheet.
  3. Spread the cookie butter evenly onto the dough.
  4. Roll tightly beginning with the long edge.
  5. Wrap in plastic food wrap and chill for about 15 minutes.
  6. Preheat the oven to 375°F.Cut the roll into 16 pieces (about ¼ inch each).
  7. I start in the middle, then cut those pieces into two, then those into two, etc., until I have 16 even slices.
  8. Place on the cookie sheet about 2 inches apart and sprinkle them lightly with cinnamon.
  9. Bake for 9-11 minutes until lightly browned.

WW Freestyle Info.:  3 points each; makes 16 servings.

Greek Yogurt Pancakes

When trying to keep my family, and of course myself, eating anything that resembles healthy food, it seems that breakfast is one of the hardest meals to conquer. A person can only eat so many eggs and the variations I’ve tried of whole wheat, protein packed pancakes and other goodies have been met with less than enthusiastic reviews. Now that our friends at Weight Watchers have made nonfat Greek yogurt zero points on the new Freestyle program, I’ve re-invented my classic sour cream pancakes into a healthier breakfast option. My teenage sons didn’t even notice I’d changed the recipe. I’d say that’s a success! And they’re only 1 point each on Weight Watchers Freestyle! ~ Tracy

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Ingredients:

  • 2 c. plain nonfat Greek yogurt
  • 1 c. all-purpose flour
  • 2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 4 eggs, slightly beaten
  • ½ c. low-fat milk (1%)
  • 1 tsp. vanilla

Instructions:

Pour Greek yogurt into a medium sized mixing bowl or the bowl of electric stand mixer. Combine all dry ingredients and add to yogurt. Mix just until dry ingredients are incorporated into the yogurt.

Combine eggs, milk, and vanilla. Add to yogurt mixture and mix until well combined.

Cook in sprayed skillet or griddle pan until each side is golden brown. You can gauge when to flip each pancake when bubbles begin to form on the uncooked side.

WW Freestyle Info.: Makes 14 pancakes at approximately 5 in. diameter each. Each pancake is only 1 point.

Overnight French Toast

I’ve gotten lucky with a lot of things in my life, and one of them is that I have a husband who fixes my boys’ breakfast every school day (he makes their lunches, too)!   I readily admit that I don’t always manage it, but to mix things up a little bit, I usually try to make something a little special on the weekend.   This easy but delicious Overnight French Toast makes it seem like I’ve spent hours in the kitchen, but still gives me time to sit and really savor a big cup of coffee!  ~Tracy

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Ingredients:

  • ¼ c. (half a stick) butter, melted
  • ¾ c. packed brown sugar
  • 1 loaf brioche or firm French bread (enough to generously cover a 9 x 13 pan, cut into 1½ in. chunks)
  • 8 eggs
  • 1 c. milk (preferably whole milk)
  • 2 tsp. pure vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp. ground ginger
  • Pinch salt

Instructions:

In a small bowl, combine the brown sugar and melted butter.  Spread butter and sugar mixture in the bottom of a 9 x 13 baking dish that you have pre-sprayed with cooking spray.

Arrange pieces of bread in dish, overlapping if necessary.

In a separate bowl, beat eggs.  Add milk, vanilla, salt, cinnamon and ginger and mix well.

Pour the milk and egg mixture evenly over the bread pieces.

Cover the dish in plastic wrap and refrigerate for a few hours or overnight.  Overnight is best, since this allows the liquid mixture to completely soak into the bread.

To cook, remove plastic wrap and allow to sit at room temperature for at least 10 – 15 minutes.

Preheat oven to 350°F and bake for 30 to 35 minutes.   Serve with maple syrup.  Makes approximately 6 to 8 servings.

Orange Ricotta Pancakes

We are NOT morning people at our house.  Carver, however, loves his sister so much he REALLY wanted to drop her off at her bus yesterday. But he was also still pretty much asleep–anybody else struggling to get into a good school-year routine? He decided he could manage both.  See exhibit A in photo–yes, that’s his blanky he’s curled up with. On the sidewalk. That’s how we roll.

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We may not be morning people, but we are breakfast people – bigtime.  Breakfast food is hands down my favorite (probably because you get to eat things that taste like dessert and call it a meal)!  As a result of this combo, we do a lot of breakfasts for dinner.

These holiday-worthy pancakes melt in your mouth. The first time I made them, I was afraid the ricotta would be grainy, but it melts down on the griddle and just adds to their just-right, slightly tangy, light orange flavor. I didn’t believe I could love a pancake more than my usual, plain pancake — or, occasionally, the basic recipe plus blueberries. But these fancy schmancy pancakes have totally won me over.

They’re perfect for a weekend brunch, an evening when you’re feeling indulgent (throw some bacon on the griddle & you’re rocking a complete meal in my book, folks), or, if you’re more ambitious than we are in the mornings, actual breakfast.  ~Robin

Ingredients:

  • 1 ½ c. all-purpose flour
  • 2 T. sugar
  • ½ tsp. baking soda
  • 1 ½ tsp. baking powder
  • ¼ tsp. salt + a pinch
  • ½ c. orange juice
  • 1 tsp. orange zest
  • ¾ c. milk
  • ¼ c. half & half
  • 1 lg. egg
  • 1 c. ricotta cheese
  • ¼ c. butter (½ of a stick)
  • ½ tsp. vanilla
  • Oil or vegetable shortening for cooking on the griddle*
  • A bottle of your favorite maple syrup…I have a passion for Griffin’s original maple syrup; it is by far the best syrup I’ve ever had – and Griffin’s is a local(ish) Oklahoma business! We even ship some out to Kathy now and then since, alas, her Utah grocers don’t carry it–yet.

Instructions:  

In a medium bowl, mix together the dry ingredients:  flour, sugar, baking soda, baking powder, and salt.

In another medium bowl, whisk together egg, orange juice, orange zest, milk, half & half, well-softened butter, and ricotta.

Pour wet ingredients into dry ingredients and gently whisk together.  Do not overmix – some lumps are normal.

Heat a skillet or griddle to medium heat. Tip: To test the heat, wet the tip of your finger and (from a safe distance) flick a drop of water into the pan – it should sizzle immediately upon contact if pan is hot enough.  When hot, add a dollop of vegetable shortening or a drizzle of oil to the pan and allow to spread/heat through.

Pour about ¼ c. of batter into the pan for each pancake. Pancakes will spread out on their own for the most part without assistance – if they seem extra thick in the middle, you can carefully tilt pan to spread batter.  Do not attempt to “peek” or lift the pancake until several big bubbles have formed (usually a couple of these bubbles have even popped when they’re ready to flip) in the topside of the pancake.

Then flip each one; the 2nd side will not take as long as the first, but since the pancake is already fairly well-formed, it’s okay to “peek” after a minute or so on this side to determine its readiness. Remove when 2nd side reaches a golden brown color of the first.

These gorgeous babies are best served with a handful of berries (fresh cranberries are awesome in the fall and winter time when you can get them) and that perfect Griffin’s maple syrup. Best when served immediately.

*Pancakes are a recipe for which I insist on using Crisco shortening like Mom did — yummmmy. But you can also just use your favorite cooking oil (as long as it’s not something with a strong flavor like peanut oil, of course). For me, I have no delusions that this a health food, so I go for it generously with the Crisco that can really brown the edges a bit like I love (see photo – oh my!).  If you don’t want that lightly crisped golden brown edge (it’s worth at least trying — texture is a big deal for food, after all), you can do less of whatever oil you’ve chosen.

May’s Chicken Salad

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When I first moved to the town where I currently live, there was a lovely little tea-room restaurant named after Mrs. Pawnee Bill, May Lillie.  Though the restaurant has been closed for many years, the chicken salad recipe is still a community favorite, often served at banquets, potlucks, and baby showers.  My sisters and I have made several adaptations to the original recipe, but I’d like to think that May Lillie would have served it proudly in her mansion.    ~Tracy

By the way, a visit to Pawnee Bill and May Lillie’s historic home is a must if you’re ever in our neck of the woods.  Plan your visit at:

http://www.travelok.com/listings/view.profile/id.5773  or  http://www.okhistory.org/sites/pawneebill.php     

Ingredients:

  • 4 cups cooked and shredded chicken breast
  • 1 small bunch green onion, finely chopped
  • 1 stalk celery, finely chopped
  • 1 cup dried cranberries
  • 1 c. chopped walnuts (pecans are fine too, but walnuts seem to best compliment this recipe)
  • 1 c. mayonnaise (no miracle whip)
  • 1 c. sour cream
  • ½ c. sugar (adjust sugar to your personal taste)

Instructions:

Mix all ingredients in large bowl and chill.  Serve on your favorite croissant, roll, or crackers.

Mama’s Flaky Cream Biscuits

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Our Mom, a great cook and an even better baker, has a love for collecting cook books.  For years, though, it was a running joke in our family as to whether or not her biscuits would turn out like hockey pucks (sorry Mom!) – they were flat, dry, and occasionally hazardous to teeth (okay, that last part might be an exaggeration).  To Mom’s credit, if you’ve ever made many homemade biscuits, you know it can happen pretty easily!  Then, in one of her many cookbooks, she found this recipe and decided to give it a try. They are, well, the opposite of her earlier attempts:  amazing!

What could be better than a biscuit made with butter?  Well, it’s a biscuit made with butter and heavy cream.  Rich and decadent, this recipe has never failed any of us (even Mom)!  😉  Now we all use this recipe to make rich, buttery, flaky biscuits.

Ingredients:

  • 2 c. all-purpose flour
  • 1 T. baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 4 T. butter, cold, cut into bits
  • 1 c. heavy cream
  • 2 T. butter, melted

Instructions:

Preheat oven to 425˚F.

Lightly grease a baking sheet.

Into a bowl, sift the flour, baking powder and salt.

Add the bits of cold butter and blend with a pastry cutter, or two knives, until mixture resembles coarse meal.

Make a well in the center of the flour and add the cream; stir the flour into the cream just until a dough is formed.

Transfer dough to a lightly floured surface and knead gently for one minute.

Pat out dough to a 1/2” thickness and cut with a floured 2” cookie cutter (or the rim of a glass).   Gather remaining dough and reshape to 1/2’” and cut into rounds.

Transfer the biscuits to the prepared baking sheet.

Brush the top gently (or drizzle) with melted butter.

Bake for 12-15 minutes or until the biscuits are golden brown on top.

Serve warm with your favorite toppings!  (Pictured here with butter and honey.  Yum!)

*This recipe can easily be doubled.

*This recipe can easily be doubled.