Tag Archives: breakfast

Crepes!

2 Apr

Ah, crepes.  So simple, yet so delicious.  Yes, I said simple! 

Rarely have I ever made pancakes from scratch (i.e. not a box mix), but I’ve made crepes from scratch numerous times.  Surprisingly, the batter could not be simpler or easier to make.  You just throw all the ingredients in a blender and you’re done!  Then, the amount of topping/filling combinations you can make are endless.

Today I want to share with you the basic recipe I use, plus two ideas for savory crepes (Rolled crepes with mushrooms, spinach and Brie and ham-and-egg crepe squares). They make a perfect breakfast, lunch or dinner.  And of course, the amount of sweet variations you could make using this base recipe is also endless – I would recommend Nutella + bananas or strawberries, powdered sugar + any fruit, especially blueberries or raspberries, or even a sweet and savory combo, like Brie with strawberries.  MMM. I LOVE CREPES.

My go-to crepe recipe is Alton Brown’s.  It’s worked flawlessly every time I’ve made crepes.  This time, I made a few slight changes, which I mention below.   After you make the batter, the recipe calls for a “resting” time, where you chill the batter in the refrigerator for 1 hour (or up to 48).  This may seem unimportant, but it really does make a difference in how easily the crepes tear.  So make sure to plan ahead and refrigerate (I speak from experience).  I like that you can really make this batter way ahead of time – up to 48 hours – and then have it on hand any time you want some fresh crepes.

Basic Crepe Recipe, slightly modified from Alton Brown’s original recipe

Time: 5 min prep, 1 hour chill, 20 min cooking; Yield: 17-22 crepes

  • 2 eggs
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 1/2 cup whole wheat flour (optional modification – you can use all white flour if preferred)
  • 1 large pinch sugar
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 3 tablespoons butter, melted, plus more for coating pan

Combine all ingredients in a blender and pulse for 10 seconds. 

Chill in the refrigerator at least 1 hour, or up to 48 hours.

*If making sweet crepes, add 2 more tablespoons sugar to batter.

How To Make Crepes:

You don’t need a fancy crepe pan to make crepes, but you can use one if you want to.  I have one from a long, long time ago, just like this crepe pan.  It’s really just a simple pan with low sides, which makes it easier to get your crepe spatula underneath the crepe to flip it.  A normal ~8″ fry pan and spatula will work just fine though.  Last time I made them, I made them double time – using one crepe pan and one normal pan, and they came out equally well.  But if you want to be fancy, invest in the pan and the spatula.  If you’re going to pick one, pick the spatula – it’s wooden, so it won’t scratch your non-stick pans, plus it’s the perfect shape for gently sliding under the crepe and flipping it.

Anyway, to make a crepe, heat your pan over medium-low heat, and add a small amount of butter to coat the pan. 

Pour in 1/8 to 1/4 cup batter into the pan, lifting and swirling the pan to help the batter form a thin layer which covers the whole pan. 

Cook for 30 seconds, then carefully slip spatula under the crepe and flip. 

Cook for another 1o-20 seconds, then remove from the pan.  Serve immediately, or allow to cool separately, then stack and refrigerate for later use.

Fill with one of the following suggestions, or your own creation!

Spinach, Mushroom and Brie Rolled Crepes

  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 8 ounces baby bella mushrooms, cleaned and sliced (or any other variety you like)
  • 1/4 cup red onion, thinly sliced
  • 2 cups fresh baby spinach
  • 2 tablespoons cooking Sherry (or white wine), optional
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
  • Salt and pepper
  • 4 ounces Brie, rind removed, cut into pieces
  • 6 crepes

Melt butter in a saute pan over medium heat.  Add the mushrooms and onions and cook until tender.  Add in thyme and season with salt and pepper. 

Add the Sherry and cook until mostly evaporated.  Add the spinach in the pan and wilt. 

Meanwhile, place pieces of Brie down the center of 6 crepes.  Once spinach is wilted, spoon hot spinach and mushroom mixture over top of Brie. 

Roll up crepes and serve.

 

Ham and Egg Crepe Squares

  • 4 slices ham
  • 4 eggs
  • 4 crepes
  • Salt and pepper
  • Shredded cheddar cheese, optional

Preheat oven to 350°F.  Lay crepes flat on baking sheet sprayed with cooking spray.  Place one piece of ham on each crepe, then crack an egg over top.

Fold up sides of crepe to form a square.

Season with salt and pepper and sprinkle with cheese.  Bake 10-14 minutes until white of egg is set and yolk is your desired doneness. 

Enjoy!

Muffin-Tin Egg Frittatas

3 Feb

Finding out I’m starting a new job next week has got me thinking about quick, yet satisfying breakfasts for on-the-go.  I am a breakfast person in general, and it needs to be a hot breakfast (cereal just doesn’t cut it for me – I’ll be hungry an hour later!).  Eggs are an obvious choice, but seeing as how I just found out I have to be at work at 8am (thus leaving the house at 6:30am to commute), I don’t think I’ll be waking up any earlier than I absolutely have to to cook eggs.

My solution is making mini egg frittatas, individually portioned using muffin tins, and keeping them in the freezer.  Then, I can reheat them in the microwave, just like these individual baked oatmeals.   Maybe I’ll even have one frittata and one oatmeal muffin each morning for a really complete breakfast :)

This recipe can be adapted in any way, shape or form you wish, with any ingredients you want.  I used half egg whites, half regular eggs, because adding a full 16 eggs somehow seemed excessive to me.  However, you can easily do this with all whole eggs.   If you want to incorporate more veggies, like bell pepper or onion or zucchini or broccoli or spinach…or…whatever, just make sure to saute them a bit first so they’re not too crunchy or watery in the finished frittatas.  Unless you like them crunchy.    Feel free to change up the type of cheese and/or the type of milk/cream (I used half-and-half and 1% milk, but you can use any combination you want).  It’s all up to you!  Just use whatever you have on hand.  I wrote some suggestions below for different combinations of ingredients, so have fun with it.

The recipe below yields 24 egg “muffins”, but feel free to cut it in half if desired.  You definitely want to fill the muffin tins pretty full before baking.  While in the oven, they rise (almost like mini soufflés), but as soon as you take them out of the oven they fall very quickly, and can end up being pretty flat.  Kind of like disks.  But I promise they’ll still taste good though even they might look a little funny.

Muffin-Tin Egg Frittatas

Yield: 24 “muffins”, Time: 25 min. active, 25 min. inactive

  • 8 whole eggs
  • 2 cups egg whites (or one 16-ounce container Egg Beaters egg whites)
  • 1/2 cup 1% milk
  • 1/2 cup half-and-half
  • 8 ounces ham, diced in small cubes (about 1 cup)
  • 1/2 cup red bell pepper, diced small
  • 1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese, plus more for topping (if desired)
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
  • 2 tablespoons chives, chopped
  • Several grinds of fresh black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

Preheat the oven to 350°F.  Coat 2 muffin tins with cooking spray.

Whisk together the eggs, egg whites, milk and half-and-half until well combined.  Meanwhile, saute the bell pepper (or any other veggies you use) briefly to soften.

Stir in the ham, cheeses, pepper and other remaining ingredients into the egg mixture.  The addition of freshly grated parmesan really adds a nice nutty flavor, so I highly encourage you to use real parmesan (read: not the stuff from the green can).  A block of real parmesan will keep a very long time in your refrigerator, and, since it has way more flavor, you can use less of it than the fake stuff.

Spoon mixture into each muffin tin well, filling at least 3/4 of the way full (the muffins rise like a soufflé, but then fall again, so no worry about over-filling).  Sprinkle with more cheese, if desired.

Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until set in the center.

Remove from the oven  and flip onto a wire rack to cool (they will get lines on the top from the wire grating, but this ensures the bottoms are not soggy).

Cool for a few minutes, then either serve immediately, or flip over and cool completely on the wire rack, if freezing.

Freeze in gallon freezer bags or Tupperware.  Reheat in the microwave.   I reheat mine at 50% power for 40 seconds then 100% power for 10 seconds (lower heat will reduce the likelihood they get rubbery, but adjust times to your microwave and liking).

Here are some ideas for other combinations that would be tasty:

  • Spinach and feta (chop and saute spinach first)
  • Crumbled sausage, red peppers, and pepperjack cheese
  • Chopped cooked broccoli and cheddar
  • Sun-dried tomatoes and goat cheese
  • Bacon and… anything!

Individual Baked Oatmeal

23 Jan

I have been wanting to try baked oatmeal for a long time, but it wasn’t until I saw these individual baked oatmeals on Pinterest that I actually tried it – it seemed much more reasonable for 2 people to make lots of individual ones than one giant casserole of baked oatmeal, which we probably could not finish.

I don’t normally like oatmeal.  Call me crazy, but the mushy texture kind of makes me want to gag.  The only reason I eat it is because it’s healthy, so thank God I found this recipe which combines the healthfulness of the oatmeal and a much better texture!  Now I can actually enjoy my oatmeal!  The texture is more similar to a muffin: chewy on the top and soft in the center, but they contain no flour at all (so they are also gluten-free).  Plus, if you make a big batch of these babies and freeze them, it actually takes less time to heat one of these up than to make a real bowl of oatmeal!

I modified the original recipe to the ingredients I had on hand (the original recipe calls for applesauce, flaxseed and Stevia, all of which I didn’t have and didn’t miss!).  This seems like a recipe that you could really play with and customize to your likings.  Especially if you want them to be more kid-friendly (add chocolate chips or raisins!  And maybe even more sugar) or more healthy (use the flaxseed like the original recipe or experiment with sugar substitutes).  Here is the recipe that I followed (with pretty fabulous results!):

Individual Baked Oatmeal  originally from Sugar-Free Mom 

Yield: 20 muffins, Time: 20 min. active, 40 min. inactive

Please find the original recipe and ingredient list here.

My modifications:

  • Used 1 cup brown sugar, not any Stevia
  • Used 1 cup fresh blueberries (but fresh or frozen anything (like cranberries, apples, cherries etc.) would work.  Even raisins or chocolate chips or dried coconut would work, but I would probably use less than 1 cup)
  • Added 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • Eliminated the flaxseed and applesauce
  • I would also suggest increasing the amount of banana if you like banana!

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350°F.

In a large bowl, stir together the eggs, vanilla and sugar, then stir in all the fruit.

In another bowl, combine the oats, salt, baking powder, cinnamon and nutmeg.

Dump the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients; stir to mix well.

Pour in the milk and stir until combined.  The mixture will be pretty soupy – and it will seem too wet, but it’s not!

Scoop mixture into paper-lined muffin cups (I sprayed mine with cooking spray too just to make sure they would come out easily) – scoop with a measuring cup and make sure they have an even amount of liquid in each cup.  See how liquidy they look before baking?  It’s weird but they’ll turn out fine, don’t worry!

Bake 35-40 minutes or until the center of each muffin is set. (Mine took 35 min)

Cool and enjoy — or freeze them in gallon freezer bags.

To reheat from frozen, just pop them in the microwave for 30-40 seconds til warmed through.

Bruléed Grapefruit

10 Jan

Eating a bruléed grapefruit is pretty much life-changing.  I’m not sure you will be able to go back to eating grapefruit plain again.  And you will wonder what you’ve been doing all your life before this.  It’s that good, I swear.

Here are the steps to finding eternal happiness:

1.  Slice a grapefruit in half (I assume that didn’t need a picture demonstration?):

2.  Run your knife all the way around the edge of the fruit to help loosen the sections (doing this beforehand makes it much easier to eat later!):

3.  …And cut between the sections:

4. Then, and this is key, you must slightly dry the grapefruit halves.  Gently squeeze out some of the juice (save it to drink!) and then lay the grapefruit halves cut-side down on a paper towel to soak up even more of the juice, for about 5 minutes.  If you skip this step, the sugar will dissolve too quickly and you won’t be able to get a crunchy brulée.  And I’m speaking from experience.  So make sure to do this step!

5.  Top with brown sugar.  Or white sugar.  Add a sprinkle of cinnamon if you want to get really wild.

6.  Use a culinary torch to brulée the top – using a smooth back and forth motion – until the sugar is melted, bubbling and golden brown.  Alternatively, you can put the grapefruit halves on a rimmed baking sheet and place under the broiler, about 5-8 minutes, watching closely to avoid burning.

7.  Crack the hard candy shell…………..

8.   Take a bite.  Bask in the caramelly, crunchy goodness and the fact that your life will never be the same…. and that I may be insane.

Fruit has never tasted so good.

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