Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Crepes with Kids!

Sometimes it is so nice to wake up in the morning and realize that you have no place to be.  The car can sit in the driveway all day.  Children don't have to be brought to school at an ungodly hour and you can stay in your pajamas for as long as you want.  No one is coming over, because no one else has to be anywhere and your house is definitely not a destination.  That happened yesterday.  The planets aligned and my alarm clock didn't go off.  It was a perfect day for a hot warm filling breakfast from my kitchen.

My newest acquisition in my kitchen is a new crepe pan.  The idea of crepes has always fascinated me.  I love that they are thin, not too sweet and can be filled with anything.  Last year when my husband and I took our annual mecca to Traverse City I fell in love with crepes.  We went to a small French bakery and they served crepes fill with smoked salmon, capers, creme fraiche, onions, field greens and dill.  It was probably the best breakfast I ever had.  So I decided to introduce my children to the world of crepes.  One mangled, non-circular crepe at a time.

Crepes take talent.  A lot of talent.  Crepes take patience.  A lot of patience.  Crepes take practice.  A lot of practice.  There also is the timing, temperature of the pan and the speed that you put the batter in the pan.  Half of our first batch went into the garbage or the dog (one was happier than the other).  After the talent, the patience and practice you soon get to see some crepes appearing.  It does get easier.  I promise.

There are a million crepe recipes out there.  I found one that was easy to prepare, did not require a wait time and can be made with ingredients that can be found at home.  A lot of recipes for crepes require the recipe to refrigerate for an hour or more.  I will attempt that at some point, but when you have hungry kids, time is of the essence.  Speaking of the hungry kids, they decided they wanted something sweet to put inside of the crepes.  What better than warm homemade applesauce and some fresh whipped cream!



  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons butter, melted


  1. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the flour and the eggs. Gradually add in the milk and water, stirring to combine. Add the salt and butter; beat until smooth.
  2. Heat a lightly oiled griddle or frying pan over medium high heat. Pour or scoop the batter onto the griddle, using approximately 1/4 cup for each crepe. Tilt the pan with a circular motion so that the batter coats the surface evenly.
  3. Cook the crepe for about 2 minutes, until the bottom is light brown. Loosen with a spatula, turn and cook the other side. Serve hot.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Chocolate Makes Everything Better

As I promised!  Chocolate!!!!!!  A rich, chocolate, fudge cake that will definitely take care of what ails you.  This recipe came from the newest addition to my collection.  Paula Deen’s, “The Lady & Sons Just Desserts”; I won a copy of this book at a wonderful auction to benefit the elementary school two of my children attend.  The book was one of many prizes I could have chosen, but of course the cookbook naturally ends up in my hand.  I tell you, I am deadly in Barnes and Noble. 

Back to the issue of chocolate, this recipe entitled, “Chocolate Fudge Ripple Cake”, is loaded with the delicious stuff.  It starts with a boxed cake mix then you add two boxes of instant chocolate pudding.  The base of the cake is very, very dense and thick.   The thickness of the batter did make it a little difficult to spread into the cake pan and when the directions called to pour the sweetened condensed milk mixture on top of the next layer it was hard to pat the second layer of cake down.  I just had to spread it around the pan the best I could. 

The cake smelled fantastic baking in the oven, (yes I have my oven back and yes, I am in love with him again).  The directions call to let the cake cool in the pan for 10 minutes.  That may not have been long enough.  When I tipped the cake out onto a rack some of the sweetened condensed milk mix, that had pooled on the bottom of the cake (when I flipped it out it was the top) stuck to the pan.   There also is a glaze that went on the cake.  I didn’t have a chance to make it so we enjoyed this cake naked, (the cake, sillies not the family) You are welcome to enjoy it naked if you wish, but make sure you close the blinds. Not the prettiest cake in the world, but it was delicious. 

Chocolate Fudge Ribbon Cake


1 18.25oz box fudge cake mix
1 3.9oz box instant chocolate pudding
½ cup milk
4 eggs
1 cup vegetable oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup chopped walnuts or pecans

2 tablespoons butter, softened
1 tablespoon cornstarch         
1 14oz can sweetened condensed milk
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract


2 1-oz square semisweet chocolate
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons water
2 tablespoons milk
1 cup confectioners’ sugar, sifted
½ teaspoon vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. 

Grease and flour a 10-inch Bundt pan.

Mix together cake mix, chocolate pudding, milk, eggs, oil and vanilla in a large bowl
Beat for around 2 minutes using an electric mixer (the batter will get really thick).

Fold in the chopped nuts at this point.
Pour half of the batter into the prepared pan.

In a separate bowl, beat together the butter and cornstarch together.

Slowly add the condensed milk.

Pour mixture evenly into pan containing half of the batter.

Pour other half of batter on top.

Bake for one hour.

Invert onto a cake plake and allow to cool completely.

While it cools prepare the glaze.  In a small saucepan over medium-low heat, melt together chocolate, butter, and water.

Stir until melted.
Add milk and mix well.
Remove from heat.
Stir in sugar and vanilla, and continue stirring until smooth.

Drizzle over cooled cake.