The Looneyspoons Holiday Recipes

"Pimped Out" Pumpkin Pie Pancakes

Fluffy and flavorful pancakes made with classic pumpkin pie ingredients

1 cup whole wheat flour

1 cup all-purpose flour

1-1/2 tsp baking powder

1-1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice

½ tsp each baking soda and salt

1 can (14 oz/370 mL) 2% evaporated milk

1 cup canned pure pumpkin

¼ cup brown sugar (not packed)

2 eggs

2 tbsp butter, melted

1 tsp vanilla

¾ cup each vanilla-flavored Greek yogurt and pure maple syrup

Preheat griddle to medium-high heat. Combine both flours, baking powder, pumpkin pie spice, baking soda and salt in a large bowl. Mix well. In a medium bowl, whisk together milk, pumpkin, sugar, eggs, butter and vanilla.

Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients and stir just until dry ingredients are moistened.

Spoon batter by 1/3-cupfuls onto preheated griddle that has been lightly coated with cooking spray. Gently spread batter to about 4-inch diameter. Cook for about 1-1/2 minutes per side, or until pancakes are golden brown and cooked through. Be careful not to burn them. Serve immediately topped with vanilla yogurt and maple syrup.

Makes 12 medium pancakes

Recipe Tip--If you don't have pumpkin pie spice, use 1 tsp ground cinnamon + ¼ tsp ground ginger + ¼ tsp allspice instead.

Per pancake (with yogurt and syrup)-- 217 calories, 3.9 g total fat (1.7 g saturated fat), 6 g protein, 40 g carbohydrate, 2.1 g fiber, 47 mg cholesterol, 270 g sodium

Merry Cherry Cheesecake

Simple and scrumptious cherry cheesecake squares with a hint of lemon

1½ cups graham crumbs

½ tsp ground cinnamon

3 tbsp butter, melted

¼ cup freshly squeezed lemon juice

1 pkg (1/4 oz/7 g) unflavored gelatine

2 pkgs (8 oz/250 g each) light cream cheese

2 cups light (5%) sour cream

1 can (10 oz/300 mL) low-fat sweetened condensed milk (such as Eagle Brand)

Grated zest of one lemon

2 cans (19 oz/540 mL each) reduced-sugar cherry pie filling

To make crust, combine graham crumbs and cinnamon in a medium bowl. Add melted butter and stir using a fork until crumbs are moistened. Spray a 9 x 13-inch baking dish with cooking spray. Press crumb mixture firmly and evenly over bottom of dish. Refrigerate while you prepare the filling.

Measure lemon juice in measuring cup. Sprinkle gelatine over lemon juice and let stand for one minute. Add ¼ cup boiling water. Mix well, until gelatine is dissolved. Set aside.

To make filling, beat together cream cheese and lemon juice mixture on high speed of electric mixer until smooth. Add sour cream, sweetened condensed milk and lemon zest. Beat again until well blended. Pour filling over prepared crust and spread to edges of pan. Cover and refrigerate for at least 3 hours until set. Spread cherry pie filling over cream-cheese mixture. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.

Recipe Tips--Take the cream cheese out of the fridge about 30 minutes before you make the cake. It's easier to beat cream cheese if it isn't cold. Don't omit the lemon juice from this recipe—it, along with the gelatine, helps the filling set. (If you leave it out, the filling will be runny.) Don't forget to grate the zest from the lemon before cutting it in half to squeeze out the juice!

Makes 18 cheesecake squares

Per square-- 248 calories, 8.9 g total fat (5.5 g saturated fat), 7 g protein, 37 g carbohydrate, 0.3 g fiber, 28 mg cholesterol, 212 mg sodium

Hakuna Frittata

Simple and delicious vegetable and herb frittata with feta cheese

2 tsp olive oil

½ cup diced red onions

1 tsp minced garlic

½ cup each diced red bell pepper, thinly sliced zucchini and chopped mushrooms

1 tbsp minced fresh oregano leaves, or 1 tsp dried

1½ tsp minced fresh thyme, or ½ tsp dried

8 eggs, lightly beaten

Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

½ cup crumbled light feta cheese (2 oz/57 g)

Heat olive oil over medium heat in a 10-inch, non-stick skillet. Add onions and garlic. Cook and stir until onions begin to soften, about 2 minutes. Add red pepper, zucchini and mushrooms. Cook and stir until vegetables are tender, about 5 more minutes. Stir in oregano and thyme. Cook for 30 more seconds.

Reduce heat to low. Pour eggs vegetables, making sure that vegetables are evenly distributed in skillet. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Sprinkle feta cheese evenly over egg mixture.

Cover skillet with a tight-fitting lid and let cook until eggs are completely set, about 12 minutes. Slice into 4 servings and serve hot.

Makes 4 servings

Recipe Tip--You can substitute fresh dill for oregano for a different (and delicious!) flavor. Make sure you use a good-quality, non-stick skillet to make any frittata. An old skillet with scratch marks and chipped non-stick coating makes removing the frittata a pain in the butt.

Per serving--219 calories, 15.4 g total fat (5.5 g saturated fat), 15 g protein, 5 g carbohydrate, 1.3 g fiber, 432 mg cholesterol, 416 mg sodium

Rolls Royce

Ooey, gooey cinnamon rolls with a hint of whole wheat & flax, drizzled with cream-cheese glaze

Dough

2 cups all-purpose flour

1 cup whole wheat flour

¼ cup ground flaxseed

1 pkg (8 g) or 2¼ tsp quick-rising yeast

1 tsp salt

1 cup 1% milk

¼ cup brown sugar

2 tbsp butter

1 tsp vanilla

1 egg, lightly beaten

Filling

2/3 cup brown sugar

1 tbsp cinnamon

2 tbsp butter, at room temperature

Glaze

2 tbsp light cream cheese, at room temperature

1 tbsp butter, at room temperature

½ cup confectioner's sugar

½ tsp vanilla

To make dough, combine both flours, flaxseed, yeast and salt in a medium bowl. Mix well and set aside.

Add milk, butter, sugar and vanilla to a small pot. Heat over medium heat, stirring often, just until milk is warmed, butter is melted and sugar is dissolved. Do not simmer or boil. Remove from heat and carefully pour into a large mixing bowl. Add half the flour mixture and egg. Stir using a wooden spoon until well blended. Add remaining flour mixture and stir until a soft ball forms. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Add a bit more flour if dough is too sticky. Knead dough until smooth and elastic, about 1 minute. Place dough in a clean bowl that has been lightly greased. Cover with a tea towel and let rise in a warm place for 30 minutes or until double in size.

Meanwhile, make filling. Mix brown sugar and cinnamon in a small bowl and set aside.

Line a 9 x 13-inch baking pan with parchment paper and set aside.

When dough has risen, turn out onto a lightly floured surface. Roll out dough to a 12 x 14-inch rectangle. Using a butter knife, spread 2 tbsp butter evenly over dough. Sprinkle with brown sugar-cinnamon mixture and spread evenly to edges. Roll up dough jellyroll style. You should end up with a 12-inch long roll. Using a very sharp knife, slice roll into 12 equal pieces. Arrange rolls in a single layer in prepared pan. Cover with a tea towel and let rise in a warm place for 30 minutes.

Preheat oven to 350°F. Bake rolls for 25 minutes. They should be puffed up and light golden brown. Remove from oven and let cool slightly while you prepare glaze. Using an electric mixer, beat together all glaze ingredients in a small bowl until smooth. Spread evenly over warm rolls. (Note: Add 1 tbsp milk to drizzle glaze as pictured in photo.)

Makes 12 rolls

Per roll--269 calories, 7.1 g total fat (3.7 g saturated fat), 6 g protein, 47 g carbohydrate, 3 g fiber, 33 mg cholesterol, 227 mg sodium