The other day I felt like having a banana. Then I remembered that we had leftover orange infused sugar in the fridge. I pulled out the bag of sugar and saw some delicious kiwi fruits sitting in the drawer. I sliced the banana, peeled and diced the kiwi and tossed them in a bowl. Sprinkled my creation with orange sugar and stirred. The juices from the kiwi and banana mixed with the sugar to create a syrupy coating. It was excellent and I wish I had thought to fill the crepes with this syrupy fruit mixture instead of just butter and sugar. For a quick and easy fruit makeover… toss on some flavored sugar! (Regular sugar would work as well).
My dad flew into town this weekend so he could take one of our cars back to California. It was great to see him but sad because it will be a while before we get together again. He landed after 11pm on Friday night, so Red, mom and I stayed up to go get him (Red was definitely grumpy being up past his bedtime). Fully expecting to sleep in on Saturday morning, Red woke me up around 8 and coaxed me into to walking and feeding him. Around 9 we decided to go wake up the parents with slobbery kisses (well only Red did the kissing). My sleepy dad rolls over and inquires about what we might be having for breakfast. Naturally, my mother volunteers me to cook and starts listing meals that I know how to make! (Apparently I’m the designated cook in the family now… didn’t see that coming when I started this blog). My dad said that crepes sounded good, clearly unaware of the requirement for the batter to chill for at least 2 hours or overnight. Aiming to please, I agreed to cook and went to work on the batter figuring that the refrigeration was a guideline and not a rule. My second hurdle that morning was a lack of butter… and when cooking from Julia Child’s book, that qualifies as a disaster.
I found a partial stick in my mom’s butter serving dish so I just threw that in the batter and hoped it would be close enough to the 5 Tbs I needed. After blending the batter and putting in the fridge, it occurred to me that my mom wanted to “fill” the crepes with butter and sugar. The only butter we had left was laced with tarragon from a steak cook out we’d had over the holidays. With my tail between my legs, I walked back to my parents room and announced that breakfast would be delayed because I needed to run to the store for butter. My mom went with so I could just run in and out quickly. While at the store, I also grabbed a couple oranges, green onions and mushrooms. I started making the crepes (the batter probably chilled for about 45 minutes) and the process was far from smooth sailing. I couldn’t seem to get the temperature right, or keep the pan at the same temperature. I only adjusted the temperature knob once in the beginning but the crepes alternated between cooking super fast and super slow. Some of them were a deep dark brown color that could possibly be construed as black, and some barely had any brown but some faint tan spots on both sides. I’m attributing the cooking difficulties to the mystery amount of butter in the batter and the lack of time for the ingredients to “settle” in the fridge. There’s just no way it could have been my fault!! (haha). My mom made orange sugar for the filling by rubbing the sugar in orange peels (Julia’s recommendation) and zesting the two large oranges into the sugar. Despite the struggles the result was delicious and most wouldn’t notice that there had been any problems in the kitchen.
Once I finished filling the crepes I tossed the sliced mushrooms into the pan and after sufficiently sauteing them, I added chopped green onions and then egg whites (with one whole egg added). Seasoned with salt and Pepper and scrambled the eggs. Over all it was a delicious breakfast! Green onions and mushrooms are one of my favorite veggie combos to scramble with eggs or add to an omelette. Enjoy the pictures.
And, the funny picture of the day: I screwed up one of the crepes pretty badly and it resembled scrambled eggs. I photographed the anomaly and dubbed it “scrambled crepe”! (My mom added butter and sugar and ate it anyway).
More FUN with Eggs January 17, 2010
My mom and I are living in the house by ourselves right now which forces us to make decisions about what to eat for every meal. She and I tend to go with the flow on decisions but there’s no one else here to suggest something. That being said, we’ve been opting for easy healthy meals that can use up ingredients we already have. There is always a carton of eggs or egg whites waiting to be cooked up into a delicious omelette or scramble. On this particular evening my mom announced that I was in charge of cooking dinner, and as I opened the fridge to take inventory I was happy to find that there was quite a selection of vegetable for my omelette dinner. I decided to try broccoli, red onions and cheddar cheese on an egg white omelette. I actually cooked up way more of vegetables than would fit in the two omelets so we topped our eggs with the extras. Not much to say about the recipe, I chopped the veggies, fried them in a skillet, poured the eggs into the pan, let the eggs cook a little and then add cooked veggies, cheddar cheese slices and seasonings (salt and pepper in this case). When the eggs are mostly done, flip one side onto the other make sure both side are golden brown and serve.
Breakfast Pizza Mexican Style December 30, 2009
I’m not going to repost the breakfast pizza recipe but these are much better pictures than I posted before. I only had my iphone available for pictures the last time we made this. As I stated in the previous post, the recipe is versatile. Here is one example of a different flavor combination for the pizza. We replaced the pork sausage with Chorizo (which is basically the same thing but it has some awesome mexican spices). We used a mexican cheese blend and replaced the hash browns with diced red bell peppers. I also sprinkled some dried cilantro on top to complement the mexican spices. I’m at home with my parents and I have access to a wider selection of kitchen accessories, which is why we were able to create a round pizza this time. Its a fairly simple recipe to whip up, so if you don’t mind waiting 25 minutes for the pizza to cook, I highly recommend giving it a chance!
Jeremiah was hungry for breakfast and I had already eaten so we made this recipe up based on our available ingredients. A couple nights ago my dad and I were watching Bobby Flay’s Throwdown and we saw him win a grilled cheese contest. My dad thought the winning recipe sounded delicious so he went out and bought the ingredients. I arrived home on Christmas eve after a long day of skiing at Snowbowl (near Flagstaff, AZ) and my dad called to tell me that I was in charge of grilling the sandwiches and I could find everything I need already in the fridge. The “grown up” grilled cheese sandwich was made with brie and goat cheeses, green tomatoes and bacon. We had leftover cheese so I thought a brie and goat cheese quesadilla would be delicious. I would have added some sliced green tomatoes if we still had any. I’m posting this because the cheese combination is really good and worth trying. I also forgot to photograph the grilled cheese sandwiches. Brie is the perfect compliment to the sharp and tangy goat cheese.
Christmas Breakfast from Julia Child December 25, 2009
My roommate Desiree gave me Julia Child’s Mastering the Art of French Cooking so I decided that I needed to try one of her recipes for a Christmas meal. Many of the recipes didn’t sound too appealing (aspics…) but its hard to go wrong with a dessert type recipe. I had never cooked crepes before but I love them and have always wanted to try. So I flipped to the dessert chapter and found a recipe for crepes with almond cream. The great thing about this recipe was that the almond filling can be made up to a week in advance and the crepe batter gets mixed up the night before so all I had to do this morning was cook and fill the crepes. The almond cream was probably the hardest part because I had to whip up liquid into a custardy texture without scorching the milk or getting the mixture stuck to the bottom of the pan. My arm was pretty darn tired when I finished. The crepe batter just gets blended up so that was definitely my favorite part. As I cooked the crepes this morning I realized that the pan and cooking surface place a large part in your ability to make crepes. I had trouble getting the pan to the right temperature (kept swinging between too hot and not enough heat). I used a nonstick pan instead of cast iron. The recipe calls for cooked crepes and almond cream so I had to use the recipes for those to get to step one for the final process. I’ll include all the recipes in this post so you can make this recipe at home.
Crepes Fourrees, Frangipane (Crepes with Almond Cream)
12 cooked crepes 6 inches in diameter
1.5 cups frangipane (almond custard)
2 ounces or squares of semi sweet baking chocolate
2 Tb melted butter
1 Tb granulated sugar
Directions: Use any of the three recipes for crepes (I used dessert crepe recipe and that’s what I’ll include here). Spread 2 Tb of frangipane on the less-good side of each crepe. Fold the crepes into wedge shapes, or roll them, to enclose the filling, and arrange in the baking dish. Grate the chocolate over the crepes, sprinkle on the melted butter, then the sugar. About 20 minutes before serving, set in a preheated 350-degree oven until the chocolate had melted. Serve hot or warm.
Crepes Fines Sucrees (light batter)
3/4 cup milk
3/4 cup cold water
3 egg yolks
1 Tb granulated sugar
3 Tb orange liqueur, rum, or brandy
1 cup flour (scooped and leveled)
5 Tb melted butter
Directions: Place the ingredients in the blender jar in the order in which they are listed. Cover and blend at top speed for 1 minute. If bits of flour adhere to sides of jar, dislodge with a rubber scraper and blend 3 seconds more. Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours or overnight
Frangipane (Almond custard filling)
1 egg yolk
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup flour
1 cup boiling milk
3 Tb butter
2 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 tsp almond extract
1/2 cup pulverized macaroons or pulverized almonds
Directions: Beat the egg and egg yolk in he mixing bowl, gradually adding the sugar, until mixture is pale yellow and forms the ribbon. Beat in the flour. Then beat in the boiling milk in a thin stream of droplets. Pour into saucepan and set over moderate heat. Stir slowly with the whip, reaching all over the bottom of the pan. When mixture begins to coagulate into lumps, beat it vigorously until it smooths and thickens into a stiff paste. Then over moderately low heat, beat it with a wooden spoon for 2 to 3 minutes to cook the flour thoroughly. Be careful the custard does not scorch on the bottom of the pan. Off heat, beat in the butter, then the flavorings and macaroons or almonds. If not used immediately, clean custard off sides of pan and dot top with softened butter to prevent a skin from forming on the surface. Frangipane will keep for a week under refrigeration, or may be frozen.
Diet Soda Baked Apples October 25, 2009
Before departing on the trip to my lovely new home in Pensacola, I visited my sponsor family in Annapolis is say goodbye. They gave me some glass lock storage containers (which have been awesome for storing my leftover foods) and a wonderful appetizer serving dish which I haven’t been able to use yet. We’re planning to have a dinner party soon so I’ll finally get to break it out! On a side note, I found out that if you place one glass lock container inside the other… there is a pretty strong possibility that they will get stuck together! I was trying to conserve packing space and managed to get two of them stuck! We tried cold water on the inside one and hot water on the outside one with no luck. We tried brute force but didn’t want to crack the glass just to separate them. We tried soaking them in soapy water for days right side up and up side down. I was not present for the final separation but somehow my roommate was able to pry them apart! Thankfully, I still have a fully functional set of containers. The point of this explanation is that while I was visiting my sponsors they had just picked apples from an orchard and offered some to me. I grabbed a couple of HUGE cooking apples. I’m not sure what type they were. Its hard to tell when they don’t have a cute little grocery store sticker with the name right on it. I’ve been trying to figure out the perfect way to use them as I’m not a huge fan of apple pie. I was flipping through my Hungry Girl cookbook today (shocker… I know… you’d think I didn’t own any other books). I found a recipe for baked apples. It seemed super simple too, just some diet soda, cinnamon and splenda. So I baked them this morning and they were awesome!! Well worth the 45 minutes wait. Plus, the apples were so big we still have 3 pieces left. I had to cut them into pieces to fit in the pan, normally you would want to keep them hole and just choose smaller sized apples. Here’s the recipe, just in time for fall season, so you can cook these at home.
“Bestest Baked Apples”
4 medium Rome apples
1 can diet black cherry soda
1/2 no calorie sweetner packet
Dash of cinnamon
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Core apples. Place in a casserole dish. Pour the entire can of soda over apples. Sprinkle cinnamon and sweetener over apples. Place dish in the oven and bake for 45 minutes or until apples are tender. Serve warm, hot or cold. MAKES 4 SERVINGS.
PER SERVING: 72 calories, <0.5g fat, 10mg sodium, 19g carbs, 3g fiber, 14g sugars, 0g protein