Saturday, February 12, 2022

Vanilla Crepes with Strawberry Filling

I love making crepes on Sunday for breakfast or for brunch. They are actually very easy to make and so much healthier than pancakes. The ingredients are very simple and once you get the idea, you’ll find they are easier to make than pancakes too.  Fill them with whatever you like chocolate, whipped cream, cream cheese and blueberries.  Here’s my favorite….
Vanilla Crepes with Strawberry Filling

Strawberry Filling

2 lbs strawberries
1 cup sugar
1 cinnamon stick

Wash the strawberries and remove the stem. In a saucepan, put the strawberries cut into small pieces together with the sugar and the cinnamon stick. Mix with a wooden spoon and simmer over low heat about 1 hour until it thickens, stirring occasionally. 

Turn off the heat, remove the cinnamon stick and let cool completely. Put small portions of the filling on each crepe, spreading a single line on the middle across the crepe. Roll the crepe over the filling, garnish with powdered sugar and serve.

Vanilla Crepes

1/2 cup milk
1 egg yolk
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons sugar
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon and 2 teaspoons melted butter
Powdered sugar
Whipped cream (optional)

In a large bowl, mix together the milk, egg yolk and vanilla. Sift together the flour, sugar and salt into the bowl. Add the melted butter and stir until well blended.


Heat a round, smooth 9-inch pan over medium heat until hot. Coat lightly with cooking spray or melt a small amount of butter. When the pan is hot, pour 1/3 cup of batter into the pan, and slowly tilt the pan to evenly spread the batter in a circle, until the bottom is completely covered.  






Cook for 45-60 seconds, or until the batter is just set and the bottom is lightly browned and then flip to brown the other side. Remove to a plate and cover to keep warm. Repeat with the rest of batter.

Place the crepe on a plate, fill with 2 tablespoons of strawberry filling, and fold the bottom up and over the filling, tucking in both sides as you go and roll.  You should end with the seam side down. Repeat with rest of crepes. Dust with powdered sugar and serve immediately.  Top with whipped cream if desired.

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♥ Strawberry Shortcake

Who doesn't love strawberry short cake? Cold, creamy, sweet and light ....the perfect summer dessert.....who am I kidding? I would eat this any time of year! 

Strawberry Short Cake

4 cups fresh strawberries, cleaned and stems removed
2 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon squeezed lemon juice
1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest

Combine all ingredients in a medium mixing bowl and toss to thoroughly coat strawberries. Let sit at room temperature at least 20 minutes before using. Strain berries, reserve syrup and set aside.


2 cups cake flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/4 cup water
1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
6 large eggs, separated
1 1/2 cups sugar

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour two (8-inch) cake pans. Sift flour, baking powder, and salt together into a mixing bowl; set aside. Mix together vegetable oil, water, lemon zest, vanilla, egg yolks, and 1 and 1/4 cups of the sugar. Mix for about 5-7 minutes until mixture is light and airy. Turn off the mixer and scrape down the sides of the bowl; add dry ingredients and whip until smooth, about 1 minute more.

In a clean bowl, whip egg whites to medium peaks. Add remaining 1/4 cup sugar and continue whipping until stiff peaks form, about 1 minute more. Using a rubber spatula, fold 1/4 of the egg whites into the cake batter until evenly incorporated; gently fold in remaining egg whites until just combined.

Divide batter between prepared cake pans. Bake until surface of cakes springs back when pressed and a toothpick or cake tester inserted into the center comes out clean, about 30 to 35 minutes. Remove cakes from the oven, and let cool 15 minutes. Run a knife around the perimeter of each, and turn them out onto wire racks to cool completely.


1 cup mascarpone cheese
1 cup heavy cream

Combine mascarpone cheese and heavy cream in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, and whip until stiff peaks form, about 2 minutes. Cover and refrigerate until ready to use.


1 tablespoon vanilla extract
6 tablespoons granulated sugar
3 cups heavy cream

Place the cleaned bowl of the stand mixer and the whip attachment in the freezer for 10 minutes. Combine vanilla extract, sugar, and heavy cream in the chilled bowl and whip at medium speed until medium peaks form, about 2 minutes.
Cover and refrigerate until well chilled, at least one hour.

Using a long serrated knife, trim the tops of the cakes as necessary so they are level. Place cake rounds on a clean, dry surface and, using a pastry brush, brush 1/2 of the reserved strawberry syrup on the cut side of the first cake round; repeat on the cut side of the second cake round.

Evenly spread 1/2 of the filling over the cut side of the bottom cake layer. Arrange strawberries standing upright, stem end down, over the filling layer and trim as necessary to create an even layer. Cover berries with the remaining filling, being sure to fill in any empty space.

Place second cake layer over filling and strawberries, cut side down, pressing gently to secure it. Using an offset spatula or a long, thin spatula, spread 3/4 cup of the frosting in a thin layer over the top and sides of the cake. Return remaining frosting and cake to the refrigerator until frosting on cake is set, about 15 minutes.

Spread the remaining frosting all over the top and sides of the cake, saving some of the frosting to add to a piping bag if you choose to decorate. Let sit in the refrigerator at least 15 minutes before serving.

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Saturday, January 22, 2022

French Toast Monte Cristo


















Okay, I admit it. I've been holding out on you all and not sharing my favorite breakfast recipe in the whole wide world. One of those recipes that is just so cool and so awesome and when you make it you feel such a sense of accomplishment.  Imagine French Toast with a little vanilla and a pinch of cinnamon stuffed with egg, ham, turkey, cheese....just like a Monte Cristo.  OMG, this is just decadent. Slightly crisp on the outside and so moist and tender on the inside and just a touch of sweetness.  Like a Monte Cristo, I usually drizzle some maple syrup over it or some powdered sugar.  Its one of those breakfasts that you eat in the morning and think about it all day. It’s different and it’s so delicious. You probably won't find a recipe like it anywhere might but I don't think so.

 French Toast Monte Cristo

 The French Toast:


3 large eggs

3/4 cup whole milk 

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

4 slices white bread (at least 1/2-inch-thick)

2 tablespoons butter 


The Sandwich:


3 tablespoons unsalted butter

5 large eggs, lightly beaten 

Pinch of salt 

4 thin slices Swiss cheese 

8 thin slices Black Forest or honey ham 

4 thin slices cooked turkey breast 

Maple syrup, for serving 


Make the French toast:


Whisk together the eggs, milk and vanilla in a medium shallow bowl. Place the bread slices in the bowl of egg mixture and coat both sides. 
























You need a skillet that will easily hold 2 slices of bread. Melt half the butter over medium heat. When the butter begins to foam and brown slightly on the edges, arrange 2 slices of bread in each skillet. Cook until the undersides have browned, 3 to 5 minutes. Turn the slices over and cook for an additional 3 to 5 minutes, reducing the heat to medium-low if the bread is browning too quickly. Transfer the French toast to a plate and let cool slightly. Wipe out the skillets.


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.


Make the sandwich: Return the skillet to medium heat and add about 1 tablespoon butter. Allow the butter to melt and froth, swirling to coat the bottoms of the skillet. Pour half th eggs into skillet (saving the other half for the second sandwich). Swirl egg on bottom to cover the pan evenly. 



















Arrange two slices of the French toast, slightly apart, in each skillet. Cook, shaking the skillets a little bit so the eggs don't stick. Continue to cook until the eggs start to firm up and come away from the sides, about 1 to 2 minutes.  



















Spread just a little butter on top of the French toast while it is cooking in the pan. This will be the bottom of your sandwich and the butter will help it get crisp. 


The Tricky part.  Slide a spatula underneath the eggs and flip everything over so the buttered French toast slices are now on the bottoms of the skillets. I usually slide a flat spatula under the middle and put my hand on top to hold it in place. Season with a pinch of salt. 




















Layer one of the slices of French toast with the cheese, ham and turkey. I like to use about 2-3 slices of meat and fold over a slice of cheese. 


















Now slide the spatula under the other slice of French toast that has no meat or cheese and fold it over.  You want it to look like a sandwich!






















At this point my cheese usually melts and there is no need to put it in the oven but if you’d like you can transfer the skillet to the oven until the cheese melts and the centers get hot for about a minute or two. 










Transfer the sandwich to a cutting board and cut in half. Serve two halves on each plate with maple syrup for drizzling and dunking. 






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