Sunday, February 7, 2010

French Crepes

Ahhh, back from Paris again and it’s so good to reacquaint myself with the wonderful sights and smells of this grand old city.  Crepes, Croques Monsieur, Baguettes, coffee, hot chocolate, and a new found favorite, Beuof Bourgnianne Fondue.  Okay, I really botched the spelling but it was so good, we had it twice!  Once we got home, it inspired me to make some Crepes for my friends at sorority.

Basic Crepe Recipe



  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon white sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 cups milk
  • 2 tablespoons butter, melted
  1. Sift together flour, sugar and salt; set aside.P7210004
  2. In a large bowl, beat eggs and milk together with an electric mixer. Beat in flour mixture until smooth; stir in melted butter. P7210006
  3. Heat a lightly oiled griddle or frying pan over medium high heat. Pour or scoop P7210007 the batter onto the griddle, using approximately 2 tablespoons for each crepe. (I used a 12” skillet and so doubled the amount I added to the pan.) Tip and rotate pan P7210008 to spread batter as thinly as possible. Brown on both sides and serve hot.  P7210010

And here is the trick—make sure your pan is hot, but not too hot. Have it lightly oiled.  When the batter looses it’s ‘wet’ look on top, it will be easy to flip over and be browned on the bottom.  My first attempts were too thickP7210018 and after several, I finally got it down pat. These are not pancakes, but crepes—a very thin pancake.  P7210019

I made a couple of batches and cooled them individually, then stacked them with waxed paper in between the layers.  To serve:

1. Reheat the pan with just a tiny bit of oil, medium-low to medium heat at most.  Slip a crepe in the pan and when it’s warm to the touch, fold it in half and:

Option #1: Sprinkle sugar on the whole thing
Option #2: Sprinkle sugar on it, add sliced bananas
Option #3: Spread it with Nutella
Option #4: Spread it with Nutella, add sliced bananas
Option: #5: Sprinkle cheese on it

Fold it into 1/3’s and serve warm!  They are so yummy—#4 is our favorite, but be sure to try it all ways or create your own fillings!

P7210020 With bananas and sugarP7210022 with Nutella and bananas

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Almond Bark Cookies

This is one of my favorite cookies to make at Christmas time. I don’t know why we only make them then, but we just do. It’s a no bake cookie, making it easy and fast to make. AND it makes a lot, like 8 dozen or so per batch!

Almond Bark Cookies



2# almond bark coating

1 cup chunky peanut butter

2 cups dry roasted peanuts

2 cups mini marshmallows

3 cups crispy rice cereal

Melt the almond bark coating P5260107 on a low setting in a large pan. When it’s melted, add the peanut butter and stir until blended.P5260108

Add the rest of the ingredients, mix well.P5260110 Drop by tablespoons (I used a small cookie scoop) onto waxed paper. P5260112 

Cool. (the cookies—but yes, I guess it’s cool that they are done SO quick and are SO good.)  These make great gifts for all the people in your life that make things so much better, i.e., the trash guys, the mail lady, the dry cleaner guy who delivers to us! 

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Homemade Canned Tomato Soup

I was looking through my recipes last week and came across a recipe for homemade canned tomato soup of my Grandma's. Later in the week, I stopped at a friend's house and was asking if were too late to still get tomatoes as I found out a great recipe. Turns out she had just picked the last of her tomatoes and was tired of canning them and gave me what she had just picked! I had enough to make a half batch of this yummy creamy tomato soup. Here's the recipe:

Enough fresh picked tomatoes to yield 32 cups juice (I forgot to weigh the bag--but it's about a paper grocery sack full--does that help?)
4-5 celery stalks, cut into thin slices
2 onions, diced
2 large green peppers, diced fairly small
1 tsp. cayenne pepper
2 tsp. chili powder
1/3 cup salt
2 1/2 cups sugar
1 cup butter, softened
2 cups flour

1. Wash tomatoes and remove stems. Blanch in boiling water long enough for skins to split.
2. Immediately put in cold water. The skins should just pop off at this point. Put peeled tomatoes in large stock pot.
3. Cook tomatoes until they are soft (about 5-10 minutes).

4. In the meantime, cook the celery, onions and green peppers in a small amount of water in another small pan.
5. When the tomatoes are soft, pour into a sieve and strain all the seeds and pulp to yield 32 cups tomato juice.
6. Pour the juice back into the emptied stock pot and add the cooked celery/onion/peppers, cayenne pepper, chili powder and salt. In a separate small bowl, make a roux with the softened butter and flour (do this with your mixer). Add a little tomato juice to make it more liquid. Pour this mix into the juice mixture. Bring to a boil.
7. Boil for 5 minutes. In the meantime, wash your jars with hot, soapy water. Put the new lids in a small saucepan with water and bring to a boil. Then simmer until ready to use.

8. Ladle the soup mixture into pint canning jars. Clean the rims of the jars to remove any residue. Add hot lids and screw the bands on the jars. Process in a hot water canning bath for 15 minutes. Remove from water and let cool on counter. Do not move the jars until they are completely cool and the lids have sealed (popped).
9. To serve, heat the soup mixture and 1 1/2 cups milk per pint. Enjoy!
I wish I would have found this recipe a month ago when tomatoes were being given away by the sackfuls! I'll have to remember that next year!

Now onto the grapes! Grape jam, here we come.......ahhh, I can smell it already!

Sunday, February 8, 2009

No Bake Cookies

This is one of the oldest recipes I have from Kirt's grandma and one of our most favorites as well. Even my vegan eating daughter will snitch a couple! They are so quick to make and if you are having a chocolate urge like I was tonight, it's really close to instant gratification!

No Bake Cookies


2 c. sugar

1 stick butter or margarine (I use Parkay)

1/2 c. milk

3 TBSP. cocoa powder

Melt the butter over medium heat in a large saucepan. When melted, add the butter, milk and cocoa powder. Stir until thoroughly mixed. Bring to a boil and boil 1 minute. Remove from heat and add:

1/2 cup peanut butter, stir in until melted

1 tsp. vanilla

3 cups quick cooking oats

Stir until blended. Drop by TBSP. onto a waxed paper. Let cool. Enjoy!

By the way, this is a recipe where it's best to assemble and measure all the ingredients ahead of time. You should constantly stir the mixture and when it's done boiling, it's important to add things as quick as possible so it will not set up too quick.

I'm off to enjoy a few with a cold glass of milk!

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Kroketten (croquettes)

I'm visiting my friend Ted (yes, she's a girl!)in the Netherlands and she made Kroketten (a dutch word for croquette) for lunch today. It's a VERY typical Dutch snack treat or for lunch. People rarely make them at home anymore, they are usually bought at a snack bar with fries, or at the supermarket, frozen, to be cooked at home. I have had them here in Holland at snack bars and liked them, but Ted's were even better! Some just eat them with their hands, but Ted eats them on a piece of bread or roll, smashes the kroketten with her fork a bit, spreading it around and then putting mustard on it. (Sorry-photo is a bit washed out)
This is their mustard--what a clever idea! In a tube. It's a bit thicker than our standard yellow mustard.

600 grams cooked meat (roughly 1.33 pounds)
To make the roux:
1 onion, finely chopped
60 gram butter (about 2 oz)
60 gram flour (about 2 oz.)
1/2 liter bouillion (1.75 cups)
pepper, salt, nutmeg to taste
a dash of maggi (a seasoned salt)
For the breading:
toasted breadcrumbs

Prepare in advance: Chop the meat very finely. Make a roux(see below) with butter, flour and bouillion, but start with sauteing the onion. When the sauce is ready, add meat and spices. Let the ragout (the beef mixture) cool completely in the refrigerator.
To prepare: Keep the ragout in the refrigerator until just before making the croquette. Use your hands to form sticks (about 4 x 1.25 inches). For the breading: take three soup plates, put flour in one, beaten eggs in the second and bread crumbs in the third plate. One by one, cover the croquette with flour, then eggs, then bread crumbs. Make sure to cover them completely or they will leek out when you fry them. Return the croquettes to the refrigerator for thirty minutes. Heat oil to 355 degrees. Fry the croquettes to a golden brown, about 4 minutes. Drain on paper towels.
The basics of making a roux: A roux is very easy to make. Just remember one thing: butter and flour have to be equal amounts in weight. What you make depends on how much liquid you add. If you make a soup, use thirty to fifty gram butter/flour for one litre, for making a sauce use forty to fifty gram butter/flour for a half litre, for a really thick sauce (like for kroketten), use sixty gram butter/flour for half a litre.Start with melting the butter. Depending on whether you want your roux blond or brun, keep the butter light or heat a little longer. A blond roux works best for soups and most simple sauces: Add all flour at once. Stir with a wooden spoon or a whisk until it has blended with the butter to a paste. Keep stirring on a low fire for a few minutes, without letting the paste colour. Now you start adding the liquid that can be either hot or cold. Begin with adding a very small amount of liquid (one tablespoon). As soon as it hits the paste, the paste will become crumbly and turn dough-like. No panic, keep stirring until it is smooth again. Then add a little more liquid, stir until smooth again, more liquid, stir, stir, liquid, stir, stir, stir. The more liquid as already been absorbed, the more you can add in one go. But wait each time until the liquid has been completely absorbed, and the sauce is smooth again and has bubbled.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Killer White Chili

This soup is the bomb! It has a nice bite to it and full of beans and fiber! It makes a fairly large size batch, but it only lasts us through dinner and I get a bowl for lunch. But then, my hubby loves soup, especially those with a kick to it. And it is the EASIEST soup to make! It's nice to have all the ingredients on hand so when you get in a time pinch, it's ready in likity split!

Killer White Chili

48 oz. jar Great Northern Beans

16 oz. salsa (get the amount of 'heat' that you like)

12 oz. beer (and no, it does not taste like beer, and you can get just one bottle at the store)

1 large can chicken

1/2 can chicken broth

12 oz. Monterey Jack cheese with peppers, cut into small chunks so they'll melt easy

Dump all the ingredients into a pan over medium heat and stir on occasion until cheese melts.

My hubby likes to put crushed tortilla chips or fritos on top.

Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Green Beans Almondine

When I used to cater with a couple of my friends, this was a favorite Green bean recipe we made. We also made this for my daughter's wedding. Just something different from the french onion recipe. Green Beans Almondine
(2) 16 oz. cans green beans
8 slices bacon, cooked, drained and crumbled
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
small package sliced almonds
1/2 cup sugar
1 bunches green onions, sliced
In a skillet, cook the bacon until crisp. Remove the bacon, add the sugar, almonds and vinegar. Bring to a boil and then remove from the heat.
In a 2 qt. casserole dish, add the green beans. Mix in the green onions. Pour vinegar/almond mixture over beans and stir until mixed. Crumble the bacon on top. Cook in a 350 degree oven for 25 minutes until thoroughly heated.
Yield: 10 servings
Recipe source: Beta Sigma Phi Company's Coming Cookbook