Friday, May 22, 2015


When I was in my late teens and early twenties there was a crepe restaurant in my town called The Magic Pan. It was elegant. It was classy. It was impressive. I only ate there a couple of times, but I still remember it. I remember that I felt grown-up and sophisticated while there.

About that same time, I was working for a local department store and asked to test a product--a crepe maker. I was so excited! I could hardly wait. It was, as I recall, a convex, Teflon coated disk attached to something similar to a hot plate. Imagine a pin cushion the size of a salad plate weighing about five pounds with an electrical cord undulating from one side. The trial did not go well. It made a huge mess all over the counter and was very difficult to clean because you could not get the base wet.

I never again tried to make crepes and do not think that I have eaten them since. Until today.

I got a recipe from a member of an online community to which I belong, which was certainly very basic. I also consulted an Alton Brown recipe and a couple of others because the cooking instructions were so vague. I wound up working on a trial and error basis when it came to the cooking temperature. But all and all, they were easy. Why would anyone think that an appliance would be better than a simple pan and stove? And seriously, who has the storage for such things?

I used my 8" Calphalon non-stick skillet. No fancy pans or appliances.

I was told to plan on throwing away the first one and that was the case.
1 crepe photo IMG_20150522_130313_092_zpsrz2qm9uo.jpg

But, the rest came out perfect!

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4 crepe photo IMG_20150522_132503_374_zpsm6tty0cl.jpg

5 crepe photo IMG_20150522_133234_562_zps5dizwfru.jpg

6 crepe photo IMG_20150522_133619_122_zpsnhjajrbs.jpg

Basic Crepes

1 cup all purpose flour
2 tsp sugar
1/4 tsp salt
1 cup milk*
1/2 cup water
2 tsp melted butter
2 large eggs

Whisk together flour, sugar, and salt. In a separate bowl, whisk milk, water, eggs, and butter to combine. Add to flour mixture and stir well. (You can use a blender for this, but mine is on the fritz.) Cover and refrigerate for 1 hour.

Here is where the trial and error came in...

Alton Brown says to butter the pan. Since there were no cooking instructions with the recipe, I tried this. Don't. Heat the pan on medium heat and pour 2 tablespoons of the batter into the pan. Swirl it around to fill the pan. Cook for approx 30 seconds and flip. Cook another 10 to 15 seconds. Slide crepe out of pan and onto a flat surface. Repeat.

This recipe makes 16 (not including 1st and last) and each crepe is 41 calories. I served these with sliced peaches and dusted with confectioner's sugar. Alton Brown's basic recipe did not include sugar, but adds sugar for sweet crepes. For savory crepes, he suggests adding fresh herbs, sun-dried tomatoes, or spinach. Herbs sound yummy, don't they?

I laid these flat on baking sheets and froze them before placing them in storage bags and tossing them back in the freezer for another day. I may try some Crepes Suzette one day, because I love to set food afire.

*I used whole milk, but probably 2% would be okay.

Thursday, May 7, 2015

Blueberry Scones

My alarm went off at 4:15 a.m. so that I could drive my dad and three of his friends across town to catch a bus at 6 a.m. I got home a little before 7 and felt the need to bake. What? Don't you feel like baking when you could and/or should be sleeping?

Because I had a very large bag of blueberries in the freezer, I used my good friend Google to find a recipe from Sallysbakingaddiction.comm.

I have made scones before, but they always seemed very dry and almost flavorless to me. These were light and moist, and extremely easy to make.

Blueberry Scones

2 cups (250g) all-purpose flour (careful not to overmeasure)
1/2 cup (100g) granulated sugar
2 and 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup (115g) unsalted butter, frozen
1/2 cup (120ml) heavy cream
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 heaping cup (190g) blueberries (fresh or frozen, do not thaw)
coarse sugar for sprinkling on top before baking
1 cup (120g) confectioners' sugar
3 Tablespoons (45ml) heavy cream (or half-and-half or milk)
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 400F degrees. Adjust baking rack to the middle-low position. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat. Set aside.
In a large bowl, whisk the flour, sugar, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt. Grate the frozen butter (I used a box grater; a food processor also works - here is the one I own and love). Toss the grated butter into the flour mixture and combine it with a pastry cutter, your fingers, or two knives until the mixture resembles coarse meal. Set aside.
In a small bowl, whisk the cream, egg, and vanilla together. Drizzle it over the flour mixture and then toss the mixture together with a rubber spatula until everything appears moistened. Slowly and gently fold in the blueberries. Try your best to not overwork the dough at any point. Dough will be a little wet. Work the dough into a ball with floured hands as best you can and transfer to the prepared baking pan. Press into a neat 8″ disc and cut into 8 equal wedges with a very sharp knife. Top with a sprinkle of coarse sugar.
Bake for 20-25 minutes or until lightly golden and cooked through. Remove from the oven and allow to cool for a few minutes. To make the glaze, simply whisk all of the glaze ingredients together and drizzle lightly over scones right before serving. Scones are best enjoyed right away, though leftover scones keep well at room temperature for 2 extra days. Scones freeze well, up to 3 months.

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Incredibly tasty, these are perfect with a cup of tea or coffee for breakfast or a snack. This recipe is a keeper! Especially since I have lots of blueberries left after having made muffins, pound cake, cobbler, etc.

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