Basic Crepes

I’ve always been intimidated by crepes. First of all, anything from the French cuisine immediately makes me nervous to make (but I’ll gladly eat it all). Secondly… brace yourselves… I don’t like pancakes, so I rarely make them (unless the boyfriend asks nicely, and I have Bisquick mix on hand). My inexperience combined with my hesitation to cook anything Frenchy meant that, until last weekend, crepes were something I could only have in a restaurant.

Most of my cooking decisions are random, and Saturday morning was no exception. I was awake, the boy was still asleep, so I hunted online for an easy crepe recipe. All of the ones I found online required batter to sit refrigerated for at least an hour before the actual cooking occured, but I wanted crepes ASAP!

I finally came upon a recipe that would supposedly give me delicious, thin crepes in about 15-20 minutes from start to finish. Supposedly. This assumes I don’t let the intimidation get the best of me!

Luckily, I survived, as did my crepes (except for one…)! On the left you have mine filled with almond butter and chopped up apples that had been cooked with butter, topped with plenty of Saigon cinnamon. My boyfriend, whose palette is less refined, had his filled with peanut butter and topped with chocolate syrup.

Much to my pleasant surprise, the picky boy I love said he’d eat them again — a huge success that has only occurred less than a handful of times in the eight years we’ve been together. If the boy likes it, the recipe is an immediate winner. With the weekend coming up, this recipe should be on your mind as a great brunch option. I bet you have all of the ingredients on hand… so, no excuses! (Not even fear of French cooking!)

Note: It’s been a few days since I made these, and I’ve lost the recipe that I found! When I do find it, I’ll give credit to the originator, even though I made my own tweaks to it.

Basic Crepes
Makes 6 crepes, serves three.

For basic crepes, all you need is:

  • 1 cup all-purpose unbleached flour
  • 1 cup milk of choice, plus a few tablespoons (I used unsweetened almond milk)
  • 1 egg

If you want your crepes to be sweet, also add:

  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 tbsp sweetener of your choice (I used honey, but you can use maple syrup, agave, etc.)

Whisk all ingredients in a bowl until combined. If the batter seems too thick, add additional milk. Remember, you need it to be thinner than pancake batter so it will be thin enough to roll, fold, or wrap around your filling of choice. I made sure mine was about the consistency of Elmer’s glue.

Heat a large pan over medium-high heat. Very lightly spray with non-stick cooking spray. When pan is hot, pour 1/4 cup of batter into center. Immediately tilt your pan so that the batter spreads as far and thin as possible. (Mine never did coat my entire 9″ pan; it maybe reached 7″.)

When the edges start to pull away from the pan and the top is beginning to get a bit dry, it’s time to flip! It took my crepes less than 3 minutes to reach that stage of done-ness. Flip your crepe, then let it cook on the opposite side for an additional minute. Remove the crepe from the pan and repeat all steps with remaining batter. Fill with your fillings of choice!

You can see that I rolled mine, but two local creperies in my neighborhood folds them into a triangular shape with the fillings inside.

This website has a really comprehensive list of traditional crepe fillings if you need some inspiration… but I’m sure you have plenty of stuff on-hand you can use. Just get creative! Your taste buds will love these crepes no matter what.

Busketty, Part Two

If you come upon two spaghetti squashes and want to explore different ways of enjoying the 6 cups of flesh they yield, look no further than my previous post as well as this one!

Last time I showed you two sauces that complement spaghetti squash’s awesomeness. Now, it’s time for a twist!

Spaghetti squash… in muffins? Yep. Whole wheat? Yep! Vegan, too? Uh-huh! And it’s filled?? Yep again!

BLACKBERRY-LIME SPAGHETTI SQUASH MUFFINS
Yields about 14 muffins.

Inspired by this recipe.

Get yourself…

  • 1 cup of cooked spaghetti squash, blended in a food processor
  • 3/4 cup evaporated cane juice + additional for sprinkling (I use Trader Joe’s brand)
  • 3 tbsp ground flax mixed with 6 tbsp warm water (or a one-egg substitute of your choice, or one egg if you don’t care about it being un-veganized)
  • 2/3 cup soy milk (or other non-dairy milk), divided
  • 1/2 cup softened vegan butter (I use Earth Balance Buttery Spread)
  • 1-3/4 cups whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • a dash of salt
  • juice and zest of one lime
  • 14 teaspoons of all-natural blackberry jam (or other jam of your choice… strawberry would probably be awesome, too!)

Preheat oven to 375 degrees and line your muffin pan.

In a large bowl, mix baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Set aside. In another bowl, whisk the sugar and softened butter until smooth. Add remaining ingredients except 1/3 cup of the milk and the jam. When combined thoroughly, add wet ingredients into the flour mixture and gently fold with a spatula or spoon until everything is moistened. (Don’t whisk unless you want flat, ugly muffins! You have been warned!) If the batter looks too dry (it should be slightly thicker than cake batter, but not as thick as cookie dough) add more of the milk until you get the right consistency.

Fill the muffin wells barely 1/3 full of batter. For me, this was about a heaping tablespoon. Add a teaspoon of blackberry jam on top of the batter, using the back of your spoon to make a small dimple so the jam can sit in it. (Don’t worry if it doesn’t stay put though!) Add batter on top of the jam until each muffin cup is about 3/4 full.

Sprinkle the top of each with a little of the reserved sugar and bake for 20 minutes. Let the muffins sit in the pan for 5 minutes, then enjoy!

The best ones were definitely those that showed a little bit of the jam peeking through the top.

Am I right or am I right?

These disappeared in record time when I brought them to work this week! Nobody could tell there was spaghetti squash in them. I hope that next time someone in the office brings in produce from their home garden that the rest of my coworkers aren’t scared to try something new!