Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Crepes - My Dad's Recipe

Do you have "breakfast for dinner" sometimes for your weeknight meals? We often do. I schedule it for nights when we are going to be extra busy.

Often, it's an omelette or scrambled eggs. Sometimes I make egg and biscuit/bagel sandwiches which my kids enjoy. Sometimes it's French toast. When I'm feeling like I want to take an extra step, I make my Dad's crepes.

My Dad whisks his crepe batter in a bowl, but I use a blender as mine is usually close by. (We're going through a Smoothie Phase right now.) The blender is not necessary, but do make sure to get rid of all the lumps of flour.

My kids like to eat their crepes with strawberries and whipped cream. In the middle of winter, I defrost a small container of pre-sweetened strawberries and we're good to go. Right now, California strawberries are becoming more reasonable. On this night, I sliced some fresh strawberries, mashed them slightly with a fork, and added a pinch of sugar. But maple syrup also tastes great with these.

To stick with tradition, however, I must eat at least one crepe with my Dad's favorite topping -- molasses. Just one sniff and I'm a kid again. Do you have some molasses in your cabinet for baked beans or gingerbread? Give it a try!

Dad's Crepes

1 cup flour (sifted, if you can)
2 T. sugar
2 tsp. salt
1 cup milk
3 eggs

Mix all ingredients together, using a whisk or a blender. Using a scant 1/3 cup measure of batter, pour a circle of batter into the center of a pre-heated non-stick pan. Swirl the batter around until it completely coats the pan. When you start to see the edges of the crepe are dry, flip. They are done when there are very light brown.

Warning - the first crepe usually doesn't come out well. It's for the cook! Crepes re-heat well the next day. Store them between plastic wrap or waxed paper.

Friday, April 2, 2010

Books for Foodies III

You must read Kitchen Confidential: Adventures in the Culinary Underbelly, by Anthony Bourdaine.
I've always enjoyed Bourdaine's personality on TV -- part rebel and part cook. His show, "No Reservations," takes me to exotic places that I may never be fortunate or brave enough to visit. While in other countries, he takes risks when deciding what to eat, and he admits he does get sick sometimes. But, he feels you must accept these risks in order to fully appreciate other cultures.

Anthony Bourdaine is a great story-teller. In this book, he is honest (painfully honest) about his what it's like behind the kitchen doors of our favorite restaurants. Some of the information is hard to hear, but it does make you feel like an insider. For one, he says that most restaurants re-use their bread from their bread baskets. He basically says, "Get over it." He advises to never order fish on Mondays because it's been too long since their last fish delivery (probably at the end of the past week). In addition, food served at brunches is notoriously filled with stuff which should be on its way to the garbage. He never orders mussels at a restaurant because they are so small -- checking to make sure each one is still alive is too time consuming. Don't take the chance!

After reading his book, I bought tickets to see him "perform" in a live show. He basically talked to the audience for two hours. It was fun seeing him in person, and he did a great job fielding questions and comments from people. I'm an official fan.
He even has a blog which is always fun to read. You must read his article about an encounter with Sandra Lee! It's called A Drive By Shooting.
Put Kitchen Confidential at the top of your must read list!
Here are some other Must-Read Books For Foodies!

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Books for Foodies II

On an earlier post, I made a quick summary of some "Foodie" books I read. I've since read a couple more books, so here's my take on them.

Paula Deen: It Ain't All About the Cookin' by Paula Deen with Sherry Suib Cohen

For me, watching Paula Deen on the Food Network has always been enjoyable. She's so cheerful, warm, and she has a great laugh. Her recipes look yummy, but I hadn't tried any of them before reading this book. The reason? I'm constantly trying to find recipes that use less butter, not more.

However, I enjoyed reading this book from start to finish. As I read, I felt like I was listening to an old friend chat with me over a cup of tea. Her story is truly inspiring because she started out with nothing. She is a success today because of a lot of hard work, determination, and a little bit of luck.

Before reading this book, I felt like her sons (whom you constantly see on her shows) were riding on their mother's coattails. (I mean, they even have their own show?) Now I see that they were an integral part to building the empire that she is today.

The details about her agoraphobia are shocking and graphic. You feel her pain, and when you finish the book you will like her even more.

I was inspired to cook one of the "recipes" she describes in her book. I said "recipes" because you're going to laugh when you see how easy it is, but it is SO GOOD.

Paula's Romantic Puff Pastry Dessert

Buy a box of puff pastry and let it defrost. Cut the pastry into squares (about 5" X 5"). Brush each square with some milk, and then place a mini chocolate bar in the center. (I used mini Snickers bars.) Bring the corners up to form a small package and seal the edges. Bake in a 425 degree oven until brown. (I made four in my toaster oven.)

Oh. My. God. So good! You must try making these at your next dinner party. People will flip.

Even though it seems that I see Paula's name on every kitchen product around these days, I think she deserves every penny! A great read.

Julie & Julia by Julie Powell

I was inspired to read this book after enjoying the movie. Loved, loved the movie.
The book, however, did not work for me. As a fellow-semi-foodie-blogger, it was interesting at the beginning. I enjoyed reading about how she cooked each dish, what went wrong, right, finding the ingredients, etc., and then it started to feel repetitious. Then it continued to feel repetitious. Then I felt bored. So quite honestly, I stopped reading it when I was about half-way through. Is that wrong? But I highly recommend the movie.

Here's a link to my earlier post on Books For Foodies.