Friday, December 13, 2013

True Parisian Crepes

Having eaten crepes in France last week, we realized the ones we make here do not compare to the real deal.  So here is the secret sauce  (for 8-10 people)

Preparation time 10 min - Cooking time 3 min (but it has to stand for 30 min after preparing)

List of Ingredients

250g flour (1 1/2 cups of flour)
4 eggs,
one pint of milk
1 pinch of salt
50 g butter (3 1/2 tablespoons)
1 tsp vanilla sugar
1 tablespoon rum (5 cl)

In a bowl, mix the flour and eggs. Then gradually add the milk while stirring with a whisk.

Add the vanilla sugar, a pinch of salt, butter and rum
Let stand for 30 min and then heat the crêpe pan  and melt a little butter. 
Use a ladle depending upon the thickness of the dough. IT is not necessary that the batter is too thick. If it is too thick add a little more milk. IF it is too liquid add flour.
Use waxed paper to stack the crepes.  Put butter on pan between cooking each crepe to not make it stick
I am ready to make these in any of your homes.
(This is the recipe Micka was going to use in the US for his restaurant).

from Reid

and remember 'crepes' rhymes with 'reps' not 'tapes'

very important if you are making true Parisian crepes!

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Angelina's Hot Chocolate

That should read - chocolate chaud en Francis

Angelina's is a Patisserie in Paris and is said to have the best hot chocolate in the world.

I was there last week and I agree - if you like a rich decadent treat once in a while.  My everyday hot chocolate favorite is on this blog.

I searched for Angelina Hot Chocolate recipes and here are two quite different ones. I haven't tried either  yet.


6 ounces chocolate, chopped (fine-quality semisweet or bittersweet)
1/4 cup water, room temperature
3 tablespoons hot water
3 cups hot milk, divided
whipped cream, if desired (optional)
  1. In a double boiler over low heat, combine chocolate and 1/4 cup water until melted, stir until smooth.
  2. Remove top of double boiler pan from.
  3. Whisk in 3 tablespoons hot water.
  4. Pour into pitcher or divide among individual 4 mugs.
  5. Either stir 3/4 cup hot milk into each mug or serve milk in a separate pitcher.
  6. Pass sugar and whipped cream in separate bowls; add to taste.

Paris Angelina’s Chocolat L’Africain
Yield: 1 cup [which is not going to be enough for you alone]

3/4 cup whole milk
1/4 cup heavy cream
1 teaspoon confectioners’ sugar
4 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped
Whipped cream

Combine the milk, cream and sugar in a saucepan and heat over medium-high head until bubbles appear around edges. Remove from the heat and add the chocolate. Whisk until melted. You may n eed to returen to low heat. You are going to generate a very thick beverage, part of the charm.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

My Favorite Cook Book

Jane Brody's Good Food Book is my absolute favorite cookbook ever!

Her recipes are healthy and delicious.

I found the entire book online at Google Play

Refrigerator Bran Muffins

These are my favorite bran muffins - I've been making them for years.

You can keep the batter in the refrigerator for weeks - so warm, fresh muffins are just 15 minutes away!

They are from Jane Brody's Good Food Book - my favorite ever cookbook

3 cups whole bran cereal (all-bran or bran buds)
1 cup boiling water
2 cups buttermilk
1/2 cup butter or margarine
3/4 cup sugar
2 eggs
2 cups all purpose flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
2 1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup raisins, other dried fruit, or chocolate chips (my favorite)

In medium bowl, soak cereal in boiling water. Let cool. Stir in buttermilk

In large mixing bowl, beat butter and sugar until well blended. Beat in the eggs, and then mix in the bran-buttermilk mixture.

Sift or stir together the flours, baking soda, and salt. Add this to the bran mixture, stirring just enough to combine. Add dried fruit or chocolate chips.

Either refrigerate the batter in a tightly closed container for later use or divide it among 23 muffin cups (or 24 large ones) - filling each cup about two-thirds full.

Bake 400 degrees for 15-18 minutes.

Monday, September 23, 2013

Nellie Flint's Cocoa Marshmallow Cookies

I loved visiting my Grandparents' farm in Greencastle Indiana during holidays and summers - and I was so happy when Grandma Flint had her homemade pecan pie - or these cookies!

Grandma Flint’s Cocoa Marshmallow Cookies
1 ¾  cups flour
½ tsp salt
½ tsp baking powder
½ cup cocoa
½ cup shortening
1 cup sugar
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla
¼ cup milk
18 marshmallows cut in halves
½ cup pecans (optional)
Sift together flour, salt, soda, and cocoa. Cream shortening and sugar, add Egg, vanilla and milk, beating well. Add dry ingredients and mix.
Drop by spoonfuls unto greased baking sheet. Bake in 350 oven 8 minutes (don’t overbake).
Remove from oven and press ½ marshmallow cut side down on each cookie. Bake 2 minutes longer.
Cool, top with cocoa frosting, then press on a pecan half.
Makes 36-40 cookies

Cocoa Frosting
Combine 2 cups sifted confectioners sugar, 5 Tbs cocoa, and 1/8 tsp salt. Add 5 Tbs softened butter and 4-5 Tbs light cream.

If you don’t ice the cookies, bake the full 10 mins

Monday, September 16, 2013

Pumpkin spice cupcakes

I made these for Sunday dinner yesterday - delicious!

thanks to Chow

I decreased the spices slightly because I was making these for my grandchildren

Pumpkin Spice Cupcakes
  • 3 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cloves
  • 1 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine salt
  • 2 3/4 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 cup vegetable oil, plus more as needed
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 (15-ounce) can pumpkin purée (not pie filling; about 1 3/4 cups)
  • 1 recipe Pumpkin–Cream Cheese Frosting (optional)
  1. Heat the oven to 350°F and arrange a rack in the middle. Line 2 (12-well) muffin pans with paper liners. Alternatively, coat the wells with vegetable oil; set aside.
  2. Place the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, cloves, allspice, nutmeg, baking soda, and salt in a large bowl and whisk to aerate and break up any lumps; set aside.
  3. Place the sugar and measured oil in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Beat on medium speed until the sugar is incorporated, about 1 minute. Stop the mixer and scrape down the sides of the bowl and the paddle with a rubber spatula.
  4. Return the mixer to medium speed and add the eggs 1 at a time, beating well after each addition, about 1 1/2 minutes total mixing time. Reduce the speed to medium low, add the pumpkin, and beat until just combined, about 30 seconds. Stop the mixer and scrape down the sides of the bowl and the paddle with a rubber spatula.
  5. Turn the mixer to low speed, slowly add the flour mixture, and beat until almost completely incorporated, about 1 minute. Remove the bowl from the mixer and fold in any unincorporated flour at the edges with a rubber spatula, making sure to scrape to the bottom of the bowl.
  6. Fill the muffin wells three-quarters of the way (about a heaping 1/4 cup per well). Place the muffin pans side by side in the oven and bake for 12 minutes. Rotate the pans front to back and side to side and bake until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cupcakes comes out clean, about 10 minutes more.
  7. Place the pans on wire racks and let them cool for 5 minutes. Remove the cupcakes from the pans and cool completely on the racks. Frost withPumpkin–Cream Cheese Frosting, if using.

Here's Chow's frosting recipe - I actually used chocolate frosting because I was making my Easy Chocolate Cake for Sunday dinner too (big family) - so I'm not sure how this tastes but the reviews are good.

Pumpkin Cream Cheese Frosting
  • 4 cups powdered sugar, sifted
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
  • 12 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 8 tablespoons unsalted butter (1 stick), at room temperature
  • 1/3 cup pumpkin purée (not pie filling)
  1. Place the sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg in a medium bowl and whisk to combine; set aside.
  2. Place the cream cheese and butter in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment and beat on medium speed until fully combined and smooth, about 1 minute.
  3. Reduce the speed to low, slowly add the powdered sugar mixture, and beat until fully incorporated and smooth, about 3 minutes. Stop the mixer and scrape down the paddle and sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula.
  4. Turn the mixer to medium speed, add the pumpkin, and mix until fully incorporated and smooth, about 1 minute. Use immediately.

Sunday, September 1, 2013

My favorite lentil soup

This recipe is from my all time favorite cook book - Jane Brody's Good Food Book.

It's an old book but still available on Amazon

This soup is so good!

My Favorite Lentil Soup

2 T olive oil
2 large / 3 medium onions, chopped
3 carrots, grated
3/4 t marjoram
3/4 t thyme
1 28-oz can tomatoes with juice
7 cups broth
1.5 cups dried lentils--rinsed and picked
1/2 t salt
1/4-1/2 t pepper
6 oz dry white wine
1/3 C fresh parsley or 2 T dried parsley flakes

Heat the oil in a large pot with a heavy bottom. Sauté the onions, carrots, marjoram, and thyme for about 5 minutes.

Coarsely chop the tomatoes, then add them to the veggies. Add the broth and lentils. Bring to boil, reduce heat, cover and simmer for a half hour to 45 minutes or until lentils are tender.

Add the wine after the lentils are tender, then season to taste. 

I like to add chopped Kale near the end of the cooking time.

This soup is great topped with grated cheese

Basil walnut pesto

I've made this pesto 3 or 4 times this summer already - it's amazing spread on hearty whole grain toast and topped with cherry tomatoes.

This recipe is from Vitamix - but I think it would work in a good blender or food processor.

Basil Walnut Pesto
Yield: 1 c (240 ml)
1/4 cup (60 ml) olive oil
1/4 cup (25 g) grated Parmesan cheese
2 garlic cloves, peeled
2 cups (80 g) fresh basil leaves
1/4 cup (30 g) walnuts
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon salt

Place all ingredients into the Vitamix container in the order listed and secure lid.
Select Variable 1.
Turn machine on and slowly increase to Variable 7.
Blend for 45 seconds-1 minute, using the tamper to press ingredients into the blades.

Recipe yields enough sauce to coat one pound of pasta

Note - this recipe works better when doubled so that the Vitamix tamper can reach the ingredients - and it's so good you will eat it all up fast!

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Favorite soft sugar cookies

I made these cookies star shaped for our back-to-school, all-star, grandchildren!

Sour Cream Sugar Cookies - from
(I added a little almond extract)

Sour Cream Sugar Cookies I
recipe image
Submitted By: Janel Deppe
Photo By: justamom
Servings: 30
"Soft sugar cookies =)"
1 1/2 cups white sugar
1 cup butter
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 eggs
1 cup sour cream
5 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese
2 tablespoons evaporated milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/8 teaspoon salt
4 cups confectioners' sugar
1.Cream together 1 1/2 cups white sugar, butter or margarine, 1 teaspoon vanilla, and eggs. Add sour cream.
2.Mix together 5 cups flour, 1/2 teaspoon salt, baking powder and baking soda. Gradually add to the egg-sugar mixture.
3.Cover and chill dough for 1 hour.
4.Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C).
5.Roll out on lightly floured surface to 1/4 inch thick. Cut out cookies. Bake on lightly greased cookie sheet for 10 - 12 minutes.
6.To Make Frosting: In small bowl, with mixer at medium speed, beat together the softened cream cheese and evaporated milk until smooth. Add 1 teaspoon vanilla, 1/8 teaspoon salt and confectioners' sugar. Beat until well blended. Color as desired and frost cooled cookies.

Sugar Cookie Icing - also from
(I made the icing thicker and spread it on the cookies)

Sugar Cookie Icing
recipe image
Submitted By: JBS BOX
Photo By: HappyHousewife
Prep Time: 15 Minutes
Ready In: 15 Minutes
Servings: 12
"Sugar cookie icing is a quick and easy recipe using ingredients you most likely already have on hand."
1 cup confectioners' sugar
2 teaspoons milk
2 teaspoons light corn syrup
1/4 teaspoon almond extract
assorted food coloring
1.In a small bowl, stir together confectioners' sugar and milk until smooth. Beat in corn syrup and almond extract until icing is smooth and glossy. If icing is too thick, add more corn syrup.
2.Divide into separate bowls, and add food colorings to each to desired intensity. Dip cookies, or paint them with a brush.

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Tumeric Tea

How To: Making Turmeric Tea
Published: 8/7/2013

Turmeric (Curcuma longa) is a culinary spice that spans cultures - it is a major ingredient in Indian curries, and is what makes American mustard yellow. Evidence is accumulating that this brightly colored relative of ginger is a promising disease-preventive agent as well, outperforming many pharmaceuticals in its effects against chronic, debilitating diseases such as Alzheimer's, arthritis, cancer and even possibly depression - all with virtually no adverse side effects.
To get more turmeric into your diet, consider drinking it in tea form. The recipe is simple, and you can experiment with the ingredients and flavorings until you find a combination that suits your taste.
Turmeric Tea
  1. Bring four cups of water to a boil.
  2. Add one teaspoon of ground turmeric and reduce to a simmer for 10 minutes.
  3. Strain the tea through a fine sieve into a cup, add honey and/or lemon to taste.
Some people like to add a teaspoon of ginger along with the turmeric. While ground versions are more convenient, it's worthwhile to experiment with freshly grated turmeric for a more vibrant flavor. These distinctive, deep-orange roots are increasingly available in American grocery and natural food stores. Enjoy!

Easy Chocolate Cake

Love this cake!

I made this last week for our Sunday Dinner on the deck. All the family was here so that means 17 hungry grandchildren running around. We gave the kids ice cream bars and the adults (mostly the ladies) gathered around the table and devoured every bit of this 9x12 cake. We just kept cutting off little pieces as we chatted. We told the kids - "this is the grown up dessert."

The recipe (and picture) is from Cinnamon and Spice and Everything Nice

Chocolate Sour Cream Snack Cake

1 + 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 + 1/2 cups sugar
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa*
1 + 1/4 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup shortening or butter, softened
1 cup milk
1/2 cup sour cream (regular or light, not non-fat)
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
4 tablespoons butter, at room temperature
1/3 cup sour cream (not non-fat)
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa, sifted
4 cups confectioners’ sugar, plus more if needed
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Butter and flour a 9x13x2 inch baking pan.
  2. In a large mixing bowl sift flour, sugar, cocoa, baking soda and salt together. Add shortening, milk and sour cream; beat on medium speed 2 minutes, occasionally scraping down sides of bowl. Add eggs and vanilla; beat 2 more minute.
  3. Pour batter into prepared pan; bake 35 to 40 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean from center. Cool on wire racks 15-20 minutes, turn out and cool completely. Frost with Chocolate Sour Cream Frosting.
  4. To make frosting: in a large mixing bowl cream butter and sour cream together until fluffy on medium speed, beat in vanilla and cocoa powder, add one cup of confectioners’ sugar at a time until you reach a nice, thick consistency, continue to beat on medium speed until fluffy 3-4 minutes. Spread evenly over top of cake.
*Use Dutch-processed or European cocoa.
Recipe adapted from McCalls ©1910

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