I don’t make crepes that often. Every time I do I wonder why not? I have very fond memories of watching my mother make crepes when I was a little girl. She would add the batter and tilt the pan to get the crepes smooth and thin. She made it look effortless. With a little practice they actually are. They are easy to make and versatile, too. They can be served for breakfast, brunch or dessert and can be sweet or savory. These are a slightly sweetened crepe, perfect for a fruit filling. I used strawberries – you can use your imagination to fill them any way you like. There is also a chocolate crepe variation down at the bottom.
1 recipe dessert crepe batter- see below
2 lbs.fresh strawberries, washed, hulled and sliced
sugar to taste- start with 1/2 cup, then adjust to your taste
1 t. vanilla
1 t. grated orange peel
whipped cream, optional
Make the crepe batter (recipe below) and cook the crepes. Toss the berries with the sugar, vanilla and orange peel. Place a crepe on your work surface and spoon berries down the middle. Fold up the sides of the crepe and move to serving dish. Repeat with remaining ingredients until you run out of something. I tend to put a lot of the berries in each crepe so I run out of berries and have left over crepes. How much fruit you put in each one is completely up to you and your taste. Dust filled crepes with powdered sugar and top with extra berries- if you have any left. You can also add some whipped cream on the top. I list it as optional- but I really think you’re going to want that whipped cream. Makes about 12 crepes, give or take.
1 c. flour
1 1/2 c. milk
1 T. sugar
2-T. orange-flavored liqueur or orange juice concentrate
1/4 c. butter, melted and cooled
Mix all ingredients in blender (except butter) until smooth, scraping sides often. Add butter and blend well. Let stand for 30 minutes before using, or batter can be refrigerated, covered, over night. Beat again, just before using.Heat 6 or 7 inch skillet. Brush with butter or oil and pour in about 2 teaspoons of batter, tipping pan to cover bottom of pan completely with batter. Cook until edges start to brown, turn over and cook until lightly browned (about 2 minutes per side.)Crepes can be made day ahead or even frozen between sheets of waxed paper and frozen.Makes 20.
Here is a variation you might like.
Add 2-3 T. cocoa to flour and mix well before blending. You will probably need to add 1-2 T. extra milk, but mix first.
These are always popular when I make them for breakfast or brunch. I love them for dessert topped with seasonal berries and whipped cream. You know you want them!!
2 eggs, room temperature
1/2 stick butter, melted and cooled
3/4 c. sugar
1 t. vanilla
1 c. buttermilk
1 c. flour
1/2 c. cocoa
1/2 each baking powder and baking soda
1/2 t. cinnamon
1/4 t. salt
1/2 c. chopped nuts, optional
1/2 c. chocolate chips, optional
Beat first three ingredients until light and foamy, about 2 minutes. Stir in vanilla and milk. Beat in dry ingredients just until blended. Stir in nuts and chips. Bake until waffles are cooked through. Makes 4 cups of batter. Serve with whipped or sour cream and fresh fruit.
I enjoy the taste of curry but don’t find myself cooking with it often enough. Curry is a mix of spices and the flavors will vary from one brand to another. I prefer to make my own. Last night I used the curry powder to enhance some vegetables I was cooking. The result was quite tasty. Here is the recipe with two recipes for home made curry powder, too.
Curried Mixed Vegetables
2 T. Olive oil
1 large onion, cut into chunks
2 cloves garlic, minced
2-3 medium carrots, peeled and cut in chunks
2 ribs celery, cut into chunks
2 c. chopped cabbage
2 small zucchini, trimmed and cut into chunks
2 sweet peppers, any color, seeded and cut into chunks
salt to taste
1 T. curry powder, or to taste
¼ t. ground cloves
Heat oil in skillet. Add onions and cook until tender. Add next four ingredients and cook until tender. Add remaining ingredients and cook, covered until vegetables are tender, about 10-15 minutes. Adjust seasonings to taste. Serve as a side dish or over pasta or rice. Serves 6-8.
Curry Powder 1
1 T. cumin
1 T. ground coriander
2 t. ground turmeric
2 t. ground nutmeg
2 t. salt
1 t. cinnamon
½ t. cayenne pepper
¼ t. freshly ground black pepper
Combine all ingredients in a spice mill until powdered. Store in a cool, dry place.
Curry Powder 2
3 T. coriander seed
3 T. cumin seed
2 T. turmeric
1 ½ T. mustard seed
1 T. fennel seed
1 T. salt
2 t. ground ginger
2 t. ground nutmeg
2 t. peppercorns
½ t. cayenne pepper
8 whole cloves
5 cardamom pods
Combine all ingredients in a spice grinder or blender until powdered. Store in a cool, dry place.
When its hot- and even when its not- cold, fizzy drinks are great. Want a super easy, super tasty drink you can make at home? No special equipment required and better for you than commercial pop. I use 2 ingredients- club soda and either concentrated fruit juice or fruit syrups. In every grocery store you can find juice concentrates in the freezer section. Just place a spoonful of the concentrated juice in your glass- add club soda and stir gently to mix. Add ice and serve. Ready when you want it. .
One benefit is that you can control how much juice to add. Make it more or less sweet to suit your taste. You can also use fruit syrups- sold in lots of grocery stores and beverage stores. Read the label. The ones I buy have 2 ingredients- fruit juice- which is listed first and sugar which is listed second. That’s it. No high fructose corn syrup or a bunch of artificial ingredients.
I’ve make “soda” from frozen grape juice, orange juice, apple juice and pineapple juice. I’ve used syrups made from blueberries, sour cherries, strawberries and blackberries. You can use them individually or do combos. They are fun for kids to make, too.
Dress them up with fancy ice cubes. I add small pieces of fruit or mint leaves to ice cube trays and then fill with water and freeze. Also nice when guests stop over.
Is this stuff better for you than water? I suppose not. I actually drink water most of the time and really like it. Sometimes we need something different. For me this is a nice option- fizzy fruit juice.
This dessert is easy to make and a nice alternative to ice cream. Don’t get me wrong, I love ice cream but sometimes I want something lighter. Nice for those who are lactose intolerant, too. If you do like ice cream you can also serve this as a Strawberry Creamsicle- a scoop of vanilla ice cream topped with a scoop of the sorbet.
2 c. fresh or frozen strawberries (allow frozen berries to thaw a little first)
1/4 c. sugar, or to taste
3 T. fresh lemon juice
Place ingredients in food processor and process until smooth. Place in shallow pan and freeze. If you are using frozen berries re-freezing will take only about 1 hour. Up to 30 minutes before serving remove sorbet from freezer and allow to soften enough to break into chunks. Place in processor and blend again until very smooth. Serve immediately. Serves 4.
Berries can be frozen with or without sugar. Rinse and drain berries then hull. Un- sweetened berries are just placed in freezer containers either whole or sliced. To freeze berries with sugar add 3/4 c. sugar to each quart of prepared berries, stirring gently until well-coated.
Chatting with a very nice lady about canning beets. She got 100 lbs. of beets as is planning on canning them. Put me in the mood for Chocolate Beet Cake. Moist and flavorful it is always a welcome guest at the party. The taste of the beets are subtle enough that even non-beet people like it. I think you will like it, too. It is made with cooked, then shredded beets. I often cook extra then freeze leftover shredded beets in the amount I’ll need for cake ( 1 1/2 cups).
Chocolate Beet Cake
2 cups all-purpose flour
1½ teaspoons soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups sugar
1/2 cup cocoa powder
3 large eggs, beaten
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons oil
1½ cups grated cooked beets
2 teaspoons vanilla
Powdered sugar, optional, or cream cheese frosting- recipe below
Preheat oven to 350°. Combine flour, soda, salt, sugar and cocoa in a bowl; set aside. In a mixing bowl, combine the eggs and oil. Beat in vanilla and continue beating until well blended. Slowly beat in dry ingredients until well mixed; stir in beets. Pour into a greased and floured 9×13-inch baking pan. Bake at 350° for 25 to 35 minutes, or until cake bounces back when touched lightly with finger. Cool in pan on a rack. Frost cooled cake or dust with powdered sugar.
8 oz. Cream cheese, softened
3/4 c. powdered sugar- or more to taste
1 stick butter, room temperature
Beat all together until fluffy. Frost cake and refrigerate until ready to eat.
These are a simple cookie, but loaded with flavor. Shortbread cookies are one of my favorites. Adding mini chocolate chips makes these just a little more special. The addition of cornstarch gives them a delectable melt in the mouth texture.
Chocolate Chip Shortbread Cookies
1 c. butter (no substitutions), softened
½ c. brown sugar
1 t. vanilla extract
2 c. flour
¼ c. cornstarch
½ c. mini chocolate chips
2-3 T. granulated sugar
With electric mixer beat butter, brown sugar and vanilla until well mixed. Stir in flour and cornstarch and then stir in chips. Form into 1-inch balls and place on ungreased baking sheet. Pour granulated sugar on a small plate and dip bottom of drinking glass into the sugar and use this to gently flatten down the cookies. Bake in a preheated 300-degree oven for 15-20 minutes or until the cookies start to brown on the bottom. Cool on sheets 5 minutes before removing to a cooling rack. Makes about 3 ½ dozen.
I love blueberries and am always looking for new places to use them. I added some to dinner tonight in a chef salad. Made a Honey-French dressing. Served it on a bed of fresh lettuce from my garden.
Blueberry Chef Salad
1/3 c. honey
1/4 c. white wine vinegar or cider vinegar
1 t. paprika
1 t. dry mustard
1/4 t. salt
1/2 c. olive oil
3 cups blueberries
6 c. torn salad greens
12 oz. cooked chicken, turkey, ham etc, cut into strips
1 c. cubed cheese
1/2 c. cashews
In blender, combine first five ingredients and start running machine on high. Add oil in a slow stream until mixture becomes thickened. Pour into bowl and stir in berries and chill, several hours if you can. When ready to serve arrange greens on one large platter or on smaller salad plates. Arrange meat and cheese on platter or plates. Spoon over the dressing and cashews then serve. Serves 4-6.
Thought I would share a few little hints with you. Hope you fine them helpful.
When you cut up a pineapple, melon or other juicy fruits do you get annoyed at juices dripping everywhere? Simple solution: Place your cutting board in a jelly roll pan. That way drips are contained and clean-up is so much easier.
Bothered by fruit flies? They seem to turn up out of nowhere. Simple solution: Place a 1/2 cup of cider vinegar in a jar and add a drop of dish detergent. Cover with plastic wrap and poke a few holes. Fruit flies are drawn to the smell and drown in the vinegar.
Leftover chow mein noodles? There are always some in any order of Chinese take-out. Do you just toss the extras? Simple solution: They are still noodles, just fried. You can add them to soup or casseroles. They soften quite quickly in almost any liquid.
Dirt everywhere from potted plants? Simple solution: Before filling a planter with potting soil drop a couple of coffee filters in first. They will keep the soil from falling out of the bottom of the pot but will still allow water to drain.
Wanted a quick dinner tonight. Decided to go through the fridge and freezer and see what I could come up with. I must say this pasta dish was just what I was looking for. It is light but quite satisfying and cooked up in no time. I had frozen quite a bit of local asparagus but fresh would have worked fine, too.
Asparagus with Pasta
8 oz. uncooked pasta
1 T. butter
1 T. olive oil
1 onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 lb. asparagus, cut into 1-inch pieces
salt and pepper to taste
Put pasta on to cook. While it is cooking saute onion in skillet in butter and oil until onion is wilted. Add garlic and cook 1 minute longer. Add asparagus and saute until asparagus in tender. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Drain pasta and toss into skillet with asparagus. Toss to combine, adjust seasonings. Sprinkle generously with cheese and serve. Serves 2.