The Best Pumpkin Pancakes

pumpkin-pancakesEvery few months Josh Carlile hops in his car and drives through three states for a pumpkin pancake fix.  Yesterday the craving got the best of him, so I was blessed with an impromptu visit with my adopted son.  As we poured the syrup, we reminisced about that fateful Thanksgiving many years ago in Alaska when he and his brothers came over to visit my sons and a surprise ice storm locked us in the house together for three days.  This recipe was part of my “feed an army of teenage boys without warning” repertoire and thus began Josh’s pumpkin pancake addiction.  I wouldn’t share this recipe if it risked Josh mixing his own pancakes and skipping these sweet one hundred seventy-six mile trips (each way), but I think he likes the hugs too.  Hugs are more addictive than pumpkin pancakes, and the recipe is even simpler.  Just hold as often and as long as you can.

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Mom’s Enchilada Casserole

My Mom often made this casserole for company- it’s economical and easy to double or triple for a crowd.  Serve with salad, Spanish rice, salsa and chips and it’s a full blown fiesta! Once Mom made the salsa a bit too spicy and our guests were politely chewing while their eyes were tearing up and bugging out.  We probably shouldn’t have laughed at them, but we did.  For years.

PS- Later in life I improved this menu with Alaskan blueberry margaritas and started a wild craze that has followed us everywhere.  If you bring me Alaskan blueberries I will share the recipe:)img_3370

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The Best Baked Oatmeal

dsc_0581  We treasure a mountain of memories of visiting the Silveira clan in their Valdez, Alaska home.  Over the years, several of their family recipes have entered our repertoire.  Sandy often made this breakfast dish when our large family invaded their peaceful dining room, and it fueled our many adventures of flying over glaciers in Paul’s plane, 4 wheeler rides dodging bears, hikes in the hills, salmon fishing and shrimping, etc. I sure miss these folks!  I enjoy making her recipes while recalling the special times we shared.

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Wedding Present Brownies


Rosie stuffed this hand written recipe card into a healthy eating cookbook she gifted me as a wedding present twenty four years ago,”For when you’re not counting calories”.  Apparently marriage seriously distracted me from calorie counting, cause I bet I’ve baked a bazillion batches of these fudge like brownies!  All five of my children can stir these up by heart as well- they enjoyed introducing new friends all around the world to Wedding Present Brownies.  This is my favorite brownie recipe because it uses simple ingredients, whips up in under 5 minutes and only uses one pan.  You will never need a mix again!!!

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