Best Dish is an occasional feature that highlights the favorite recipes of home cooks.

Best Dish is an occasional feature that highlights the favorite recipes of home cooks.


Name: Diana Schumacher


City of residence: Springfield, Ill.


Occupation: Homemaker, former food service worker and sanitarian


Family: Spouse, Dan


Hobbies and interests, other than cooking: Coupon cutting, shopping thrift stores, visiting family and friends


Favorite TV food show: “America’s Test Kitchen”


Name of dish: Pumpkin Pancakes


History of the recipe: I found it around 1977 in “Betty Crocker’s Bisquick Cookbook.”


Did you tweak the recipe? I added more pumpkin, changed regular milk to soy milk, substituted Hodgson Mill all-purpose flour for Bisquick and substituted pumpkin pie spice for the separate cinnamon, nutmeg and ginger. I also substituted dark brown sugar for refined sugar and substituted extra-virgin olive oil for salad oil. The changes were to eliminate chemicals and make the pancakes healthier.


Why do you like this recipe? The pancakes are so tasty and make good use of some of our homegrown pumpkins.


Tell us about an occasion when you made the recipe for others: For breakfast during a visit by my mother and mother-in-law for Thanksgiving several years ago, they thought the pancakes were delicious and really different from plain pancakes.


Any advice for someone who will be making the recipe? Whenever possible, using fresh pumpkin is the best. Pumpkin pie spice seasons them better than any other spices.


Describe your cooking style: Low-fat, low-alt, sugar- and chemical-free.


Other dishes you have been complimented on? Meatloaf, turkey chili, homemade chicken and vegetable soup, cookies and pastries, especially my chocolate chip-oatmeal cookies and my Italian pizzelles.


Pumpkin Pancakes


2 eggs


1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour (Hodgson Mill brand preferred)


2 tablespoons dark brown sugar


2 teaspoons baking powder


1 1/2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice


1 cup soy milk


3/4 cup fresh, mashed and cooked pumpkin (may substitute canned)


Extra-virgin olive oil


Beat eggs in small mixer bowl with electric hand mixer on high speed for 5 minutes or until thick and lemon-colored. Stir in remaining ingredients, except for olive oil. Pour batter with a soup ladle onto medium-hot griddle greased with olive oil. Bake until puffed and bubbles begin to break. Turn and bake on other side until golden brown. Serve with pure maple syrup and sausage. Makes about 12 pancakes.