halloween brunch.

Winona Ryder in Beetlejuice. That's who I'll be next year, doggonit. Yep, I typed that.

Last week, pumpkin pancakes dictated the time of my morning alarm.

I woke up a tad early so I had time to whip up a batch. Ridiculous? Yes. Totally enjoyable? You bet. It’s possible you prefer the sleep time (you rational person, you), but I humbly recommend using the weekend status to sleep in, enjoy pumpkin pancakes, and sip blood orange mimoas, all in honor of Halloween, of course. I feel perfectly qualified to offer advice on how one should spend Halloween because it’s my third favorite holiday. I digress…

If you’re like me, this is a good way to use the pumpkin puree leftover from your other cooking and baking ventures. My cooking decisions are often guided by random leftovers in my fridge, and this is no exception. The blood orange mimosa was inspired by the fear associated with the word “blood” (did I mention I love Halloween?) and the ever-enjoyable experience of drinking champagne before noon.

I recommend that you listen to Fences, an emerging Seattle band I’m falling for, while you chow down on pumpkin pancakes and/or nurse a hangover from last night’s party. Fences and Pumpkin Pancakes are nice bedfellows. They both feel like fall.

Boo! lv, molly

P.S. As I was listening to this Fences song, I tipped my mug of coffee off my desk, and it splattered all over my white carpet. You can imagine how singing the refrain fit in nicely with this situation. Let’s hope Wine Away works as well on coffee as it does on wine…

Pumpkin Pancakes

Serves 4

1 1/4 cups all-purpose or whole wheat flour (or a combination of both)
2 tablespoons sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon salt
6 tablespoons fresh pumpkin puree or canned
1 cup milk
2 tablespoons melted butter, plus additional for griddle or pan
1 egg, lightly beaten
maple syrup for serving
whipped cream, optional
apple compote, optional (see below)

In a large bowl, combine flour, sugar, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt. In a separate bowl, whisk together milk, pumpkin puree, melted butter, and egg. Fold wet ingredients into the dry ingredients until well combined. Melt some butter in a griddle or skillet over medium heat; pour about 1/3 cup batter for each pancake. I just eyeball it and try not to let the pancakes run into each other. Cook pancakes about 3 minutes per side, or until bubbling in the middle, and serve with freshly whipped cream or syrup.

Optional apple compote topping…

I didn’t feel like measuring anything, but bear with me. I trust you’ll get it.

Peel and core some apples. Chop apples and saute in butter with cinnamon, pinch of sugar, and a few tablespoons of lemon juice. Cook on a low heat, covered, until apples are slightly mushy, and the mixture has the consistency of a compote.

Blood Orange Mimosa

Serves 1 (kidding! Serves….4?)

1 bottle Prosecco or champagne
1 1/2 cups freshly squeeze blood orange juice
2 Tbl orange liqueur, such as Grand Marnier

Chill bottle of Prosecco. Combine fresh blood orange juice with orange liqueur in a large measuring cup and stir to combine. Cover and refrigerate until chilled. Pour into the bottom of Champagne glasses and slowly top-off with ice-cold Prosecco. I go a little heavy on the Prosecco and a little light on the juice…. just me?

P.P.S. I did this dance as I flipped the pancakes. Sadly, I was unable to levitate.

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