Brinner: It’s What’s for Dinner

Dana Lark

Fall is now synonymous with pumpkin spice EVERYTHING.

You can partly thank Starbucks for starting this trend in 2003 with the unveiling of the beloved pumpkin spice latte. Since then, many of the mainstream brands have jumped on the bandwagon with their own twist on flavor.

However, this year pumpkin spice has been forced to share the seasonal spotlight. Maple has had an increasing number of name-drops on menus this season. Rumor has it that maple pecan could be the new pumpkin spice.

So, let’s welcome maple pecan with open arms and while we’re at it, let’s break the dinner routine wide open. It’s a nice change in taste, pace, and monotonous procedure.

Brinner: breakfast + dinner, or breakfast in the place of dinner, is one of my favorite ways to change a necessary daily meal into something magical. I rarely eat breakfast, and I know I’m not alone in that habit. It’s unfortunate, but if you substitute breakfast for dinner, are you even missing out on “the most important meal of the day?”

I think not.


The fancy-shmancy New York Times has a tasty recipe for Maple Pecan Pancakes. Pancakes from scratch, people! The recipe also had a few ingredients that I knew for a fact I would never use again, and you probably wouldn’t either. I took the risk and decided to sub-out a few for items I had on hand.

As I have no need for 15 pancakes, I cut the recipe in half. If you do, just double the recipe. The adjusted version is below:


  • ¾ cup flour (NYT includes part whole-wheat, part almond. I used all white flour.)
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ⅛ teaspoon salt
  • 1 egg
  • ½ tablespoon maple syrup
  • ¾ cup unsweetened almond milk (NYT includes buttermilk, but I had almond milk.)
  • 1 tablespoon canola oil
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ¼ cup chopped pecans
  • ½ cup mini chocolate chips (NYT stated dried cranberries, but nah.)
  • Butter or oil for the pan
  • Mix the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a small bowl.


In a separate medium-sized bowl, whisk the eggs. Whisk in the maple syrup, milk, oil, and vanilla. Then, whisk in the flour quickly until no lumps are present. Add the pecans and chocolate chips, but don’t overwork the batter. (Basically, after you’ve stirred in those last two ingredients, chill bro.)

Set the batter to the side and preheat your pan, griddle, or skillet on MEDIUM. (Note: the original recipe said to cook them on medium-high and I burned the first two pancakes beyond the point of redemption. After that point, the pan was still way too hot. Even after reducing the heat, the remaining pancakes had a charred look.)

Using a ladle, or ¼ cup, drop them in the pan. When the bubbles subside on the top of the batter, it’s time to flip them with a spatula.

Continue that process until you’re out of batter. Bam! You’ve got yourself some maple pecan pancakes. Pumpkin spice who?