Folks, my kitchen mojo has been off. Way off. I think that in the moving shuffle, I lost not only my iPod charger, a pair of Chuck Taylors, but my baking motivation. Besides my daily bowl of oatmeal and my late night Ben & Jerry’s Cherry Garcia treat, I’ve spent the past avoiding my kitchen. It just doesn’t feel right. I know it’s all in my head, but still.
This happens to the best of us, I suppose. Financial anxiety, moving stress, isolation… These are all the things that I am trying to balance on my plate right now. It’s just unnerving to me, especially since I was the girl who would bake up a storm when under any duress. Finals and papers due? Throw me a baking book, grab some flour and butter, and leave me alone.
But this is not the case now and I think I know why: my house is not a home. Does that make sense? I’m still trying to get used to the place. I got to break it in before it feels like home. I thought that the minute I walked through my new doors, I’d instantly feel at ease and comfortable in my own private space.
That is so not how it works. In fact, up until last Friday, I was scared to even be alone in my new place. Ridiculous, I know, but living alone is not all peaches and cream, especially when it’s your first time (roommate situations aside) out on your own. You have to get used to so many things, like house noises, neighbors, kinky appliances, etc. For instance, I’ve noticed that my central heat/air is so loud that I have turn it off at night for fear that it will wake up the neighborhood. Also, I’ve noticed that my block is full of potentially cute boys, which is always a plus. As you can see, I’ve kept my eye on the important details.
In the meantime, while I sort out my new-place-mojo, I want to share with you my great crepe escape. Inspired by Martha Stewart Living’s feature on crepes, I spent an entire morning last month, working on crepes. I had my first crepe while I was in Paris. I remember sitting in the Jardin de Tuilerres with my just-purchased-off-the-street nutella crepe and hoenstly, in that moment, life couldn’t get any better. The smooth nutella mixed with the hot crepe and the cold wintery morning… I can’t think of a more perfect moment. Now whenever I have crepes, I am taken back to that perfect day.
A thinner and more delicate pancake, crepes are one of my breakfast options. I love me some pancakes but crepes are great alternative. Savory or sweet, they work fabulously for brunches or long weekend mornings. And I shouldn’t sell them short because they are great for dinner too. I happen of request a cute café in Midtown Sacramento called Crepeville, where they specialize in crepes of all kinds. I always get the Chicken Pesto Crepe or the Salsa Crepe, both of which are filled with chicken and cheese, accompanied with a healthy side of potatoes.
While I didn’t go the savory route with these crepes, I did manage to whip up a pretty tasty batch. The trick to crepes is to let the batter sit for at least an hour, while some recipes ask that the batter sit overnight. I don’t plan that far ahead so I let mine sit for an hour while I prepared my fillings and gulped down some coffee. The longer they sit, the better of the crepe will be.
I don’t know what you like to fill your crepes with but I am a decadent kind of gal. It’s all about the nutella. World Nutella day was last month, and I sadly missed it. So I dedicated these crepes in the holiday’s honor. While I try not to keep nutella in my house for fear that the entire jar will go “missing” in one sitting, I can savor this yummy treat every now and then.
Right after my crepes were done frying, I smeared some nutella on the wram crepes, and almost started drooling as the chocolate melted slowly. I tossed in some chopped walnuts too, just to give a nice crunch. On the other hand, I am also a fan of simple jam crepes. I like my blackberry preserves from Trader Joe’s but pick whatever jam you prefer. This particular morning, I decided to go crazy and had both. Yes, I’m out of control. And it was well worth it. This recipe is exactly what it’s called: basic. It’s not frilly, and the crepes are pretty simple. Not to say that they weren’t good; in fact, they were just what I wanted. Small so you can eat two without feeling guilty, yet rich enough to keep you full until dinner.
If you want a more thorough summary of crepe-making, check out David’s post about crepes here. He is basically the master of all crepe-goodness. Want more crepe inspiration? Check Heidi’s Jam Crepes here or try Lisa’s Crepes with blueberry sauce.
● 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
● 1/2 tsp. coarse salt
● 2 cups whole milk, room temperature, plus more if needed
● 3 large eggs, room temperature
● 2 1/2 ounces (5 tablespoons) unsalted butter, melted, plus more for skillet
Sift flour and salt into a large bowl. Whisk together milk and eggs in a medium bowl. Pour milk mixture into flour mixture, whisking to combine. Whisk in butter. Strain mixture into a medium bowl, and refrigerate for at least 2 hours (or up to 1 day). Batter should be the consistency of heavy cream; add more milk if needed.
Heat an 8- or 12-inch nonstick skillet over medium heat, and brush with butter. Ladle or pour 3 tablespoons batter (for small crepes) or 1/3 cup batter (for large crepes) into pan, turning and tilting skillet to coat bottom evenly with batter. Cook until top of crepe appears set, bottom is firm and golden brown in spots, and center is lifted by pockets of air, about 1 minute. Run a spatula around edge of crepe to loosen. Slip spatula under crepe, and gently flip in one swift gesture. (If it doesn’t land quite right, that’s OK; use the spatula to unfold or rearrange it.) Cook until bottom is firm and golden brown in spots, about 45 seconds. Transfer to a plate, and cover. (The first one will not be your finest.) Repeat with remaining batter, brushing pan lightly with butter as needed (every 2 or 3 crepes). Serve immediately.