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Archive for January, 2012

Crepes

Family recipes are seriously my favourite. So much nostalgia is wrapped around different recipes that we make and I hope that one day I will be able to have and create that with my own family.

Take these crepes for instance. They are a family tradition on my dad’s side, one that my Grandpa was always in charge of making and now my dad and his brothers have taken up the duty. Stories about eating competitions and who could eat 12 of these crepes in one seating always creep up around the brunch table. That’s not even a competition that I want to be a part of, give me 2 and I’m definitely down for the count.

Tradition has it that these crepes are eaten with butter, lemon and sugar. Take the flat crepe, butter it, sprinkle with sugar and then squeeze fresh lemon juice on top of it all. Next, roll the crepe up and repeat the process on the thin top. Annnnd consume.

Different variations are more than welcome. Savoury instead of sweet? Highly possible, but why!? Fresh berries and whipping cream? Love it. Banana slices and nutella? Sold. My absolute favourite.

Easy to make and delicious to consume. Thank you Grandpa, thank you tradition.

 

Crepes

5 heaping tbsp flour     4 eggs

3/4 cup milk

In a large bowl mix together the flour, eggs and milk. Whip long enough so that the mixture runs off of a spoon but isn’t too watery.

Spread Crisco in the frying pan and heat until melted (the pan should be hot before pouring the batter thinly over the surface).

Cook at medium heat (around 4). Check underneath the crepe with a spatula so as not to brown the bottom but the top should be dry. Do not turn over.

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Apple Sharlotka

Credit: Smitten Kitchen

I’ll be the first to admit that I have a bit of an addiction to baking blogs and, even worse/the best, to Pinterest. Like any addiction this one probably isn’t the healthiest, especially because I not only end up staring at delicious looking desserts for copious amounts of time, but I also find myself making and eating an unhealthy amount of treats.

Things hit a new low, or maybe high, a few weeks ago when Smitten Kitchen posted a family recipe of hers: Apple Sharlotka. Never have I made a recipe on the same day that a blogger posted that very recipe. This was necessary though, crucial to my own existence I’m sure. I had to make this asap.

Thankfully I had a friend with me that night to help with my own portion control issues. This dessert is delicious. Definitely on the lighter side of things (although that first night we did add ice cream to the mix) this cake can be enjoyed as an afternoon snack or even as breakfast. In fact, I see no problem with eating this at any hour of the day.

Credit: Smitten Kitchen

Just be warned that this will disappear quickly. So quickly in fact I wasn’t even able to take my own pictures. All credit to Smitten Kitchen on this one. She’s a pure genius.

 

 

 

 

Apple Sharlotka

Adapted from Smitten Kitchen

Butter or nonstick spray, for greasing pan
6 large, tart apples, such as Granny Smiths (but I used what was on hand – Gala)
3 eggs        1 cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla   1 cup flour
Ground cinnamon, to finish

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Line the bottom of a 9-inch springform pan with parchment paper. Butter the paper and the sides of the pan.

Peel, half and core the apples, then chop into medium-sized chunks.

Pile the cut apples directly in the prepared pan.

In a large bowl, using an electric mixer, beat eggs with sugar until thick.

Beat in vanilla, then stir in flour with a spoon until just combined.

Pour over apples in pan, using a spoon or spatula to spread the batter so that it covers all exposed apples.

Bake in preheated oven for 55 to 60 minutes, or until a tester comes out free of batter.

Cool in pan for 10 minutes on rack, then flip out onto another rack, peel off the parchment paper, and flip it back onto a serving platter. Dust lightly with ground cinnamon.

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Monkey Bread

Something that I will never understand…why do New Years Resolutions have to start in January? I mean really, of all the months that you could choose, January?

Let’s just think about this for a second, we’ve just celebrated Christmas and New Years. How many left overs are sitting on the counter and in the fridge? How many cookies have been placed in the freezer to be taken out and nibbled on over the next few weeks? How many boxes of chocolates from students are sitting on the other counter? Oh that’s right, there’s enough food around here to last until at least the end of the month.

Can we not even mention the fact that the rain has been pounding down for days and I have no interest in going for a run? Perfect. What I’m really trying to say here is that Anorexic January has been pushed back and renamed Anorexic February.

One of the many reasons why weight was put on this break? This amazing monkey bread. I had been wanting to make this for quite some time but because of its lengthy process it took me a while to get around to. My bad, this should have been made long long ago. Seriously it’s one of the best things that I have ever made in my entire life. Hands down. End of story.

Eating instructions are as follows: as soon as this comes out of the oven, cools for 5 minutes and has the cream cheese glaze poured all over it, go to town and demolish the whole thing. I really can’t think of anything that I’d rather eat more than this. You probably want to make this when there are more than 3 of you around (yes sharing is okay) and even though it is still good the next day, nothing compares to it fresh from the oven.

Cinnabon, you have some serious competition.

Oh, and good luck keeping those New Years Resolution with this around.

 

 

 

 

 

Monkey Bread

Adapted from Smitten Kitchen

Dough
4 tablespoons butter, divided (2 tablespoons softened, 2 tablespoons melted)
1 cup milk, warm (around 110 degrees)
1/3 cup water, warm (also around 110 degrees)
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 package or 2 1/4 teaspoons rapid rise or instant yeast
3 1/4 cups flour
2 tsp salt

Brown Sugar Coating
1 cup brown sugar
2 tsp cinnamon
8 tbsp melted butter

Cream Cheese Glaze

3 ounces cream cheese, softened
3 tbsp icing sugar, plus extra if needed
2 tbsp milk, plus extra if needed
1/4 tsp vanilla

Adjust oven rack to medium-low position and heat oven to 200°F. When oven reaches 200, turn it off. Butter Bundt pan with 2 tablespoons softened butter. Set aside.

Make dough: In a large measuring cup, mix together milk, water, melted butter, sugar, and yeast.

Mix flour and salt in large bowl. Make well in flour, then add milk mixture to well. Using wooden spoon, stir until dough becomes shaggy and is difficult to stir.

Turn out onto lightly floured work surface and begin to knead, incorporating shaggy scraps back into dough. Knead until dough is smooth and satiny, about 10 minutes. Shape into taut ball.

Coat large bowl with nonstick cooking spray. Place dough in bowl and coat surface of dough with more cooking spray. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and place in warm oven until dough doubles in size, 50 to 60 minutes.

Make brown sugar coating: Place melted butter in one bowl. Mix brown sugar and cinnamon in a second one.

Form the bread: Flip dough out onto floured surface and gently pat into an 8-inch square. Using a bench scraper or knife, cut dough into 64 pieces.

Roll each piece of dough into ball.

Working one at a time using a fork, dip balls in melted butter, allowing excess butter to drip back into bowl. Roll in brown sugar mixture, then layer balls in Bundt pan, staggering seams as you build layers.

Cover Bundt pan tightly with plastic wrap and place in turned-off oven until dough balls are puffy and have risen 1 to 2 inches from top of pan, 50 to 70 minutes.

Bake bread: Remove pan from oven and heat oven to 350°F. Unwrap pan and bake until top is deep brown and caramel might begin to bubble around edges, 30 to 35 minutes.

Cool in pan for 5 minutes (no longer, or you’ll have trouble getting it out) then turn out on platter and allow to cool slightly, about 10 minutes.

Make glaze: Beat cream cheese with powdered sugar until smooth and light. Add milk and vanilla. Mix and drizzle the glaze over warm monkey bread, letting it run over top and sides of bread.

Serve warm.

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