Crepe Batter

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This week my fixation is on crepes. It is a delicious thin cooked pancake typically consisting of

wheat flour, eggs, milk, butter and a bit of salt.

The origin is in Brittany, France and its popularity has spread throughout Europe, United

States and Canada.  In Africa there is the injera, India has the dosa and the Mexicans have the sope.

 

Essentially, there are two types of crepes. One is sweet and the other is savory. The sweet version

contains wheat flour, jam, fruit and chocolate. Typically, it would be a dessert type of crepe. The other

is savory containing buckwheat and is unsweetened. Most likely this would be served for lunch or dinner.

 

This crepe batter is the traditional recipe containing wheat. I will also be providing future blogs with

vegan crepes and paleo crepes to compare the taste of all of these.

 

Recipe:

4 eggs

1/2 c flour

1/2 c milk

1/2 c water

1/2 t salt

2 T oil

Instructions:

1. In a bowl, whisk the eggs together. Add in the flour and salt. Then add in the milk

and the water and lastly the oil. Ensure that everything is mixed well.

2. Place in the fridge for one hour.

3. In a hot crepe pan, pour in 1/4 c batter and tilt the pan to cover the entire surface.

4. When it is set, flip over and lightly brown.

Yields about 8 medium sized crepes.

Adapted from 3chefs.

Beet Ravioli

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This beet ravioli is brilliant! When I came across this recipe, the photo was stunning with the vividness

of the beets and it is a stroke of genius!

Within many cultures, the idea of a stuffed dumpling is varied. In the asian culture, we have

dumplings that are steamed or pan fried. In the Italian culture, there are cheese or meat filled raviolis.

In the Hungarian culture, there are cabbage rolls. The list goes on and on.

I love the taste of beets. Years ago, I tried to grow my own crop of beets with the greens attached. To

my dismay, a rabbit ate all of my beet greens and my beets were not thriving.  Nowadays, I purchase

my beets from my grocery store.  I like to roast my beets with a hint of garlic and olive oil mainly.This

delectable gluten free, vegan and paleo beet ravioli is divine. The essence of the beets is nutty and

sweet. The topping is cashews, garlic and basil which is subtle and an excellent partner for the beets.

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Recipe:

2 small beets, peeled

1/2 c cashews, soaked in water

1/8 c water

1 T lemon juice

1 clove garlic

1/3 c basil

Instructions:

1. Slice the beets thin. Boil them in a pot for 5 minutes. Drain.

2. Puree the cashews,juice,water, garlic and basil.

3.Place a beet on a plate. Spoon some of the puree on the top.

4. Place another beet to match the size of the beet.

5. Top with basil, tomato, pesto or any other.

Serves 1.

Adapted from andcece.

Ratatouille Crepes

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The almighty egg does it again! The crepe is like your palette and you are the painter.

Your imagination will create wonderful  assortments of toppings. You will be judged on the

basis of visual and taste appeal. I know that you are up to the challenge. Every day that we

are in our full equipped kitchen, we are enthralled with our role as chief tester, chef and sous chef.

Instead of a base of tortillas, flatbread, naan or pitas, a crepe alternative can be gluten free, paleo

and vegan. I aim to try all of these variations to determine which one is my favorite. A crepe is a lighter

version of a pancake. My kids grew up eating them for breakfast and dessert. Yesterday, we took the

crepe to a higher level by eating them for lunch.

Late August is time for tomatoes. If you are lucky enough to have a plethora of garden tomatoes,

you may be ready for canning them for the winter. My little patch of tomatoes is simply enough for

preparing ratatouille.I look forward to dining on ratatouille with pita crisps, in an omelet, on a crepe

or served with pasta. 

What is ratatouille? It is a French dish that is like a thick vegetable stew simmered on the stove or

baked in the oven with tomatoes, zucchini, eggplant and basil. As it slowly cooks, the flavors infuse

into the sauce and it is unbelievably exquisite.

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Recipe:

1/3 c extra virgin olive oil

5 minced garlic cloves

2 sliced onions

6 chopped tomatoes

3 medium Japanese eggplants

3 zucchini, sliced

1/4 c chopped basil

sea salt to taste

Instructions:

1. In a dutch oven, heat the oil on medium heat. Add the garlic and saute till lightly browned.

2. Reduce heat and add the onions. Use a lid to cover while the onions are cooking. 

3. Remove the lid after the onions are browned. Add the tomatoes, simmer for about 10 min.

4. Next add the eggplants, zucchini, basil and season with salt. Stir to combine all the ingredients.

5. Cover and simmer for about half an hour.

Serves 4.

Adapted from http://norecipes.com

Hasselback Potatoes

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This has been on my bucket list for years. Finally, now I took the time to read it through and 

determined that it really is not that difficult.

Hasselbacken is the swedish term for these festive looking potatoes. With a sharp knife, you

slice through the potato without cutting to the bottom. As the potato cooks, the vertical design

looks festive. One could very easily add toppings throughout the slices such as bacon if you

prefer.

These Hasselback potatoes are crisp on the outside and so tender on the inside. With your next

roast chicken or roast beef meal, these scrumptious potatoes will look very enticing on your dinner

table.

Recipe:

4 baking potatoes, scrubbed

4 T melted butter

sea salt and pepper

1 c shredded cheese

Instructions:

1. Preheat oven to 425.

2.Cut the bottoms in order for the potatoes to sit flat on your dish.

3. Use a sharp knife to make vertical cuts a few inches apart. Make sure that you are not cutting

through all the way.

4. Brush the outsides with melted butter. Try to open some of the slits and brush some butter

down them. Season with salt and pepper.

5. Bake about 60 min.

6. Sprinkle with cheese.

Serves 4.

Glazed Meatballs

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In the summer, are we preoccupied with burgers and steaks? Instead of another burger on a bun,

how about meatballs with salad?

Generally, I prepare burgers once a week for the family recreating the perfect one with a twist here 

and there with a stuffing in the middle of the burger or an interesting marinade.  This meatball recipe

was originally a burger which I downsized to meatballs instead.

These tasty sirloin meatballs are bursting with flavor and the ultimate glaze is engaging. The

relationship between the tasty meatball and the glaze is exceptional. The glaze is composed of hoisin,

honey, bbq sauce and a hint of cinnamon.

Many of my friends have devices to prepare perfectly uniform patties or meatballs. I prefer to shape

them with my own hands. Once in a blue moon, I have been known to purchase pre made patties or

meatballs if I am short on time to prepare them from scratch.

Recipe:

1 1/2 lbs ground sirloin

1 c cheddar grated

1/4 c chopped herbs

1/4 c chopped onion

1/4 c hoisin

1 T chopped garlic

1/2 T worcestshire sauce

1 egg

1/4 c panko

1 t salt

1 t ground white pepper

*1 c chopped bacon

Glaze:

1/4 c bbq sauce

1/4 c hoisin

1 T honey

1/2 t cinnamon

Instructions:

1.In a mixing bowl, combine the above ingredients except the bacon.

2. In a small pan, saute the bacon. Drain on a paper towel. Add to the bowl.

3.Form into 4 patties or small meatballs.

4. In a small bowl, mix the glaze ingredients together.

5. Grill the burgers, brush glaze on whenever you turn them over. When cooked ,brush with glaze and place on a platter.

Serves 4.

Adapted from 3chefs.

2 egg Pound Cake

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How lovely is this 2 egg pound cake! I was determined to find a pound cake recipe that consisted

of less than 4 eggs.  This is absolutely perfect for a mid day break with a hot cup of tea or coffee.

My mom’s pound cake was always the highlight of christmas ,because she only baked it as

her annual tradition. It was so moist and decadent with the eggs and sugar. I must ask her

to bake it for me on my next visit.

I don’t think that I have ever rejected a piece of pound cake ever. The butter and the eggs combine to

produce an exquisite cake indeed. We are conscious of sugar and fat so this one is lighter on the

calories and does not skip on taste.

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Recipe:

2 c flour

3/4 t baking powder

3/4 t salt

2/3 c milk

1 t vanilla

2/3 c butter

1 c sugar

2 eggs

Instructions:

1. In a large mixing bowl, cream the butter and sugar till fluffy. Add each egg, one at a time,

beat well after each one is added.

2. Sift the dry ingredients in a bowl. Add to the butter mixture, alternate with the milk and vanilla.

Do not mix too much.

3. Preheat oven to 325.

4. Pour into your prepared loaf pan and bake for 1 hour or until your cake tester comes clean.

Yields 1 loaf

Adapted from about.com

Cauliflower Tarts with Kale and Kalamata Olives

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Boy, do these cauliflower tarts look good! There is definitely not your typical calorific tart.

The difference is that the tart is gluten free and does not contain any puff pastry at all. The

wholesome taste of cauliflower is the essence of this sumptuous vegetarian tart.

I grew up thinking that tarts had to be flaky and buttery made from puff pastry or pastry dough

laden with butter. Nowadays, the gluten free/vegan varieties are so delicious without the added

calories. Also tarts tended to be of the sweet variety instead of the plethora of savory ones that are

prevalent today.

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You will absolutely swoon over these delicious savory vegetable tarts filled with sauteed kale

and red onion topped with an irrestible kalamata olive. Other fillings could be tomatoes, feta

and olives or butternut squash with goat cheese.

Recipe:

2 c cauliflower florets

1 egg

salt and pepper

1/4 c parmesan

1/2 t oregano

 Filling:

1 c kale leaves without the ribs

1/4 c red onion sliced

1/2 c kalamata olives

Instructions:

1.Preheat oven to 425.

2. In your food processor, process the florets till fine.

3. Boil them in a pot until soft.

4. Squeeze out the moisture using a cheesecloth.

5. Place in a bowl with the egg, seasonings, herb and parmesan.

6. Mix well.

7. Prepare your muffin tins well so the tarts will not stick.

8. Use your fingers to press the mixture into the bottom and up

the sides a little.

9. Place some of the kale onion mixture into each tart.

10.Bake for 20 min.

11. When cool, top with a kalamata olive or two.

Serves 8.

Adapted from http://www.chefdehomme.com