Tag Archives: homemade

Make French Crepes with a Real French Guy

12 Apr

I’m back!!! I’m ending a several-month silence by making traditional French crepes with my favorite Frenchman. Check out the video and let me know what you think! Have you ever made homemade crepes? This is an easy recipe – give it a shot!

Traditional French Crepes

2 cups unbleached all purpose flour
4 eggs at room temperature
2 teaspoons granulated sugar
4 tablespoons melted butter
Pinch of salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 cup beer
4 cups half and half or whole milk at room temperature

Put the flour in a large bowl and make a large well (Geoff calls it a pit) in the center.

Whisk the eggs well and pour into the well, along with the melted butter and salt. Begin whisking in the center, very slowly and gently, to start incorporating flour from the sides of the well. Slowly add the milk in small amounts along with the beer, whisking constantly to prevent lumps. The beer helps the crepes to be light and fluffy, but pick something with a mild flavor, like High Life (the champagne of beers – sort of French?) so that you can’t taste it. You’ll whisk for 10-15 minutes total, and the batter will be very thin. The batter can be made a day ahead and stored in the refrigerator.

Get a small nonstick pan very hot over high heat and spread a tiny amount of canola oil in the bottom with a paper towel to prevent sticking. You’ll only have to add oil every 5-10 crepes, not every time. Pour 1/4-1/3 cup of crepe batter into the bottom of the pan and swirl so that it reaches the sides and coats in a very thin layer. The edges of the crepes will be lacy. If your first crepe is too thick because your pan is smaller, just use a little less batter on the next pour.

Cook over a medium-high flame until the edges of the crepe look browned and feel crispy, 1 to 1-1/2 minutes. Run a spatuala underneath the crepe to make sure it doesn’t stick, and flip the crepe to cook on the other side. Afraid of flipping like we do in the video? No problem – you can also use the spatula to turn it like a pancake. Contine cooking until the crepe is set, 1-1/2 additional minutes. Remove from the pan and continue making crepes like a French boss.

This recipe makes a huge stack of crepes – great for a party, or for a crepe cake! If you don’t want to make them all at once, store the extra batter in the fridge for 1-2 days. Whisk it well before using.

Homemade Caramel Corn for Christmas

23 Dec

I don't know what the deal is, but I am really, really, inexplicably into the holidays this year.

Perhaps it’s because I’ve been working on holiday stuff at work for months.

Perhaps it’s because I’m in love.

Perhaps it’s because this is the first time in my life that I live in a place large enough to host my entire family for Christmas dinner, 17 large, including Grandma.

It’s probably a combination of all of these things, but at this point, I’m so damn Christmas-y that I’m beginning to annoy the people around me. I’m even annoying myself. Since when do I think it’s a good idea to listen to the Glee Holiday Station on Pandora, anyway? I’ve never even seen an episode of Glee! And I made a wreath for my front door out of twigs that I gathered from the park across the street, and then SPRAY PAINTED WHITE. I freaking crafted!?

Since this is my first time hosting Christmas for my family, I want to make it special. I’ve borrowed the appropriate amount of folding tables and chairs. I’ve purchased 21 pounds of short ribs and all of the trimmings for the big meal.  I’ve wrapped the gifts.  And this afternoon, I did what I can only hope will be my final cutesy activity of the season. I cooked up a delicious batch of homemade caramel corn with peanuts.

Homemade Caramel Corn with Peanuts

Nothing cutesy about that, right? Just delicious, buttery, sweet, crunchy goodness.

And then I maybe I blacked out, because somehow the caramel corn ended up packaged in theselittle bags that look like Santa’s fat stomach. 

What is happening to me???

Seriously, somebody take my temperature. Maybe I have a fever that’s making me hallucinate or something. I’ve been surrounded by this kind of thing for the past 4+ years at my job in the Wilton Test Kitchen, but somehow managed to remain uncrafty, until this holiday season. And now, I just can’t seem to help myself. I just want to make stuff!

So now, please excuse me. I have to go build some teeny-tiny gingerbread houses for my nieces. Probably gonna jam to the smooth vocal stylings of Michael Buble while I’m at it. Ugh.

Caramel Corn with Peanuts

3 tablespoons vegetable oil
1/2 cup popcorn kernels
3/4 cup salted peanuts
3/4 cup (1-1/2 sticks) unsalted butter
1/2 cup dark brown sugar
1/2 cup turbinado sugar
2 tablespoons honey
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon baking soda

Preheat your oven to 250°F. Line 2 large baking sheets with parchment paper.

In a large pot with a lid, heat the vegetable oil over medium heat. Drop one popcorn kernel into the oil. When the kernel pops, the oil is hot and ready. Add the rest of the popcorn kernels. Cover the pot and give it a gentle shake to coat the kernels in oil. You’ll hear kernels beginning to pop shortly. When the popping sounds slow down, remove the pot from the heat and transfer to the popcorn to a large bowl. Dump in the peanuts.

In a medium saucepan, melt the butter, sugars, honey, and salt together, stirring occassionally until the sugars are dissolved. Cook over medium heat for 3-5 minutes. The color will deepen slightly, and the mixture will bubble up. If you like your caramel flavor lighter, take the pan off of the heat at 3 minutes. If you prefer a stronger, more burnt flavor, continue cooking the caramel to a darker color, but removing it from the heat before it begins to smoke. Off the heat, carefully add the vanilla extract and baking soda. The caramel will bubble up angrily when these ingredients hit. Let the mixture settle a few seconds, and stir to combine well.

Pour the hot caramel over the popcorn and toss it together to coat. Divide the popcorn evenly between the two baking sheets, and spread it into a single layer. Bake the popcorn to dry out the caramel for 15 to 20 minutes, stirring the popcorn to break up the pieces every 5 to 6 minutes.

Cool the popcorn completely before storing.

Makes about 4 quarts.

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