A cooking and baking journal

Crepes--Definitely 'Good Eats'

4/26/09: Reheated Chicken Taco and Sloppy Joe leftovers (see my Sloppy Joe experience here) that we previously froze. And for dessert: crepes from scratch.

  • Sources: The crepe recipe came courtesy of Alton Brown, the host of Good Eats on Food Network.
  • Defining moments: Well, just saying, "I made CREPES," is amazing and jaw dropping for me. Crepes sound so exotic and impossible to make, but I quickly discovered that they're not all that bad. And I mustn't forget that this would be my first time making an Alton Brown recipe. I've been watching him since we first switched from cable to Dish Network, so that's, um, eight years. You can see that I am more of a watcher than a doer.
  • What I learned: Crepes don't stick! I've heard again and again that crepes are notorious for sticking and that is why everyone uses a non-stick skillet. In the beginning I thought that I wouldn't be able to do the crepes well because a) we don't have a non-stick skillet, and b) I was going to use our large, family-of-eight-sized griddle. As soon as I was done making the crepe batter I decided to just make one tiny crepe using our everyday stainless steal pan. Guess what? No sticking whatsoever and since I didn't notice any tearing problem I made the choice to not refrigerate the batter, as the recipe says to do. According to the recipe, refrigerating the batter for an hour will remedy any crepe tearing.
I did 1 and 1/2 times the recipe and cranked out seventeen crepes in all but only managed to serve fifteen. Gosh, I wonder what happened to those two? :) Yes, I did sample my first one! I had to try it out. And the second one. . . Well, he died a miserable death in a pan that was way too hot. I learned.

Here are my personal crepe making instructions: preheat pan (I used a 10") to medium-high heat, spread a teeny-weeny bit of butter in the pan or use cooking spray, pour about 1/4 cup of batter into the pan and spread it around, wait 10 seconds, start lifting the edges a little with you spatula, wait until you see bulges forming and flip, keep flipping until both sides are a bit brown. See the photo below.
  • How it tasted: "Bon," as the French would say. We had it with Smucker's triple berry ice cream topping and whipped topping. Yummy!
  • How about a 2nd time? Once you have three pans going at once you can make a lot of these in a short amount of time. So, yeah, I think it is possible for me to make them again and highly probable to find people to eat them.

Oui, Madame, we have ze crepes on thee menu. :)

The Best Blog Design Award Goes To. . .

My sister! Thank you Catherine for taking the photos of our blue/white floral dish set and adding it to this blog. You do fantastic work!

Your eternally grateful sister

All Nicely Folded and Crimped - Making Calzones II

4/19/09: Calzones with Pork Sausage for the 2nd time
  • Sources: myrecipes.com. Original recipe is called Sausage and Pepper Calzones and you can find it HERE.
  • Defining moments: First time for a second time. Does that make sense? Let me explain: this would be my first time reusing a recipe that I posted here on my blog. There, that's better. See my first attempt.
Another defining moment: I had the privilege and honor of cooking alongside one of the most talented chefs in the world: my youngest sister.

  • What I learned: I learned that I always seem to pick a cold, windy day for making bread dough! I made it through alright though, the dough seemed to feel snug as a bug in the warm oven where I left it for an hour. Anything else? Well, yes. Since I couldn't find any small can of tomato sauce or pizza sauce to use in the calzone filling, I decided to add some homemade salsa and picante sauce. So I learned that they make great substitutes!
  • How it tasted: I think they were better than my first. . . Well, they look tidier anyway! I had positive feedback from everyone. Calzones must be 'satisfactory' (as my Papa would say) to everyone--they didn't pin me up against a wall when I suggested it!
  • How about another time? Three's a charm, they say. :)
Here I am crimping and forming the calzones:

And here they are all baked up and oozing with goodness:

What happened to Easter Sunday?


Q: So why no post for Easter Sunday?
A: Had a day off because the Easter dinner meal consisted of precooked ham, marshmallow salad, and yams--all made by my parents. So didn't end up tying on my apron that day.

Oven Fried Chicken with Curly Fries

4/05/09: Oven Fried Chicken with Curly Fries

  • Sources: For the chicken--allrecipes.com, for the curly fries--original recipe (see below).
  • Defining moments: First time using cornflake coating for chicken and first time making homemade curly fries.
  • What I learned: I learned how to use the curly fry machine (aka Tater Twister).
  • Modifications: I changed the spices for the chicken from sage seasoning to poultry seasoning, and I also went lighter on the rosemary. For the curly fries, I just added olive oil, salt, and pepper.
  • How it tasted: Good reviews from everyone.