Intro

With a fridge full of produce and a pantry loaded with the essentials (grains, oils, vinegars, salts & spices) I see limitless dinner possibilities.

In my kitchen it is rare to find a cookbook propped open on the counter. There is no weekly meal planning, although I have tried that but I always revert back to my disorganized and spontaneous ways. It is inspired and guided by what we have and what’s in season.

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This is how I learned to cook.  My mom would come home exhausted from work. She would open the fridge, assess the contents then dinner was born. An assortment of fresh vegetables would hit a hot pan drizzled with olive oil. They cracked and spat as hidden drops of water fought with the oil. A second pot was filled with water and set to boil rice or pasta. Meat was usually in the equation as my two older and much hungrier brothers were always growing.

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On occasion forethought was given to the meal, a cookbook would be used and we all gathered around the dining room table in anticipation of the “special” dinner.

Special or not each meal was delicious. By observation I learned which spices and herbs compliment each ingredient. I learned confidence and creativity in the kitchen and to this day the kitchen is where I am the most confident, the most “me” and definitely the most creative.

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The thing is I am also a baker which seems to contradict the style in which I cook. But contrary to what some say, baking involves much creativity and gives you great freedom to invent, add and subtract to your hearts desire. With some foundational knowledge of method, baking ingredients and the science behind them endless possibilities abound.

In my kitchen dinner is created on a whim. I visit the market regularly and keep fresh produce close at hand. Typically pasta is mixed together with roasted seasonal produce and a simple salad with homemade vinaigrette and toasted nuts accompany.

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I get giddy when I discover a new go to dinner that can be whipped up quickly, easily manipulated and altered while being incredible delicious and satisfying. And as a baker if there is anyway to involve a little flour, sugar and butter into the menu then I am a very happy girl.

This week I experiemented with crepes. I have always been reluctant to try my hand at these paper thin pancake-like creations. I thought that special equipment and years of experience were needed – why else would that vendor charge so much for them at the Farmer’s Market?

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Inspired by Alton Brown I went for it and I am so glad I did. Of course not every crepe was perfect. Actually none of them really were but once they are wrapped up housing either a mixture of strawberries, whipped cream and chocolate sprinkles (the Dutch variety) or caramelized onions and goat cheese – perfection doesn’t matter.

Pretty sure I ate five and then went back for more an hour later.

I doubled the batch then refrigerated the leftover crepes in a ziplock with a sheet of wax paper in between each one to prevent sticking (they can also be frozen for up to one month). The next day the leftovers became peanut butter and jelly crepes and accompanied the boys and I to the park for a lovely picnic. Again I ate my share – and some of the boys’ share.

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While we stuck with some very classic fillings for our crepes use your creativity and let seasonal produce be your guide.

If I had some sort of dinner schedule this one would definitely be in the rotation. Instead it continues to randomly pop up on a whim.

Basic Crepes

2 large eggs

3/4 cup milk

1/2 cup water

1 cup flour

1 tbl. brown sugar

3 tablespoons melted butter

1/4 tsp salt

Butter, for coating the pan

Combine all of the ingredients until completely incorporated (an immersion or regular blender work splendidly for this). Let batter chill out in the fridge for at least one hour. This allows the bubbles to subside making your batter nice and smooth. If you are a better planner than I you can make this as far as 48 hours ahead of time.

Heat an 8″ non-stick pan (or whatever you have). Add butter to coat. Pour a scant 1/4 cup of batter into the center of the pan and swirl to spread evenly (you want a very thin even layer of batter – adjust amount of batter according to the size of pan you are using). Cook for 45 seconds and flip. Cook for another 20 seconds and keep a stockpile in a warm oven. When you have a nice stack – assemble then ring the dinner bell.

 

27 Responses to “How I cook.”

  1. Marguerite

    I completely agree with the cooking, this is how I do it, too! The crepes look delicious! Last time I made some my children went crazy, because I couldn’t make them fast enough and I ended up being totally stressed by the experience. Also, on a completely different note, the blog redesign is gorgeous!

    Reply
    • Ashley Rodriguez

      Stockpiling is a great trick. I get a nice stack going in a warm oven then call everyone in.
      I’m so glad you enjoy the site. Switching over was/is kind of stressful but I really love how the look turned out.

      Reply
  2. Gabe

    Thank you! I needed a basic crepe recipe for Saturday morning breakfast!

    Reply
  3. Anticiplate

    How fun! I am sure I would mess these up ( I mess up anything like this..pancakes, waffles, omelets) but at least they would still taste good:)

    Reply
  4. Jessamyn

    I adore buckwheat crepes filled with mushrooms, cheese and vegetables. We like to sit at the stove and eat them as they come out of the pan.

    Reply
  5. Stacey

    Your family sounds a lot like mine was growing up! My mom never planned a thing and NEVER used a cookbook unless it was a holiday. The only thing is she stopped cooking altogether when we hit college age. :(

    Anyway, LOVE this crepe recipe, it looks absolutely delicious. I am a bit intimidated by the thought of making crepes, but I think I might try it out!

    Love your blog!

    Reply
  6. rheba

    Oh, this makes me miss Paris! I cannot wait to try this recipe.
    I found your site looking for more info on Storyville coffee. I have to say, I will be checking back in. It is beautiful, well written and makes me hungry! Besides, anyone who loves GOOD coffee is worthy of visiting more than once! (ps. did you know that in the month of May, Storyville is donating every penny spent at Storyville Coffee to the International Justice Mission? Makes me love them even more!)

    Reply
  7. Poires au Chocolat

    Lovely crepes – they’re so much easier than people think. We often whip up a batch after dinner and roll them with the traditional lemon juice and sugar, or maple syrup and cream, or sliced bananas with ice cream and honey or chocolate sauce. To be honest they are almost always eaten flipped out onto a plate in the kitchen and devoured on the spot.

    We do have them savoury too – most sauce-type things work well – a favourite is a family recipe for prawn and cucumber curry. Sounds weird but tastes lovely!

    Also – you can keep crepe mixture in the fridge for a few days, just give it a stir when you take it out. Sometimes it goes a little grey on top but tastes fine, and crepes are always best fresh out of the pan.

    Reply
  8. Deborah

    I wish I thought more like you, because I would probably enjoy cooking more. I have, however, enjoyed cooking *a little* more since we made our farmer’s market commitment. That *little* bit is huge for me! It was great having you here and help inspire us to take another step in the right direction. I love seeing your “thrown together” dinners, especially when they include local fare!

    Reply
    • Ashley Rodriguez

      Baby steps. I think it helps to start simple and build your confidence. From there you can expand your repertoire. You might enjoy the book, “The Flavor Bible”. I have yet to get my hands on a copy but in there they teach you which flavors go well together so that you can begin to cook as I’ve described.

      Reply
  9. Lara

    I cook and bake exactly the same way. I throw together meals based on whatever appeals to me at the grocery and I bake on a whim based on tried and true recipes, but tweaked to my standards. It’s perfect!

    Reply
  10. The Prudent Homemaker

    Crepes are easy! I learned how to make them in France. Not long after I first made them, I was in the kitchen with several different women who were arguing over how much butter and how many eggs truly belonged in the crepes. I’ve found that no matter the recipe, I love them all. Sometimes I make sweeter ones with a little sugar and vanilla, but usually I make them plain so that I can add savory ingredients as well. I have to make a lot with 5 children, but they are so good! We usually eat them with several different toppings each time.

    Reply
    • Ashley Rodriguez

      Five kids?! Amazing. I’m still working on trying to convince my husband that we should have three even though I sometimes feel maxed out at two. :) I am so glad that you too understand the simplicity and deliciousness of crepes.

      Reply
  11. Sally G

    My Grandma made crepes for us when we were growing up. We called them “rolled-ups”. She made them in two cast iron skillets so we had to eat really, really fast. She greased the pans with bacon grease. Maybe it’s nostalgia, but the way she cooked them still rates as the best I’ve ever tasted.

    I loved this post. I’m not much of a meal planner myself, so I can relate very much to your cooking style.

    Reply
  12. Laura Muir

    Hi! I just ran onto your blog and I love it! This post about crepes is great! I grew up eating crepes for dinner or breakfast at least once a week. They were quite the staple in our home. I enjoyed reading about how your mom would cook for you in your family. It is so similar to my experience growing up with a tired working mom who could whip up something delicious out of a fridge where us ignorant children only saw “nothing in the fridge to eat”. Isn’t that just how it is with kids?

    Anyway, love the blog. Beautiful photography. :)
    Swing on over to my little cooking blog if you so please.
    freshcookinghappypeople.blogspot.com

    Reply
  13. fati's recipes

    Many comment got deleted before it posted!
    I tried your recipe and loved it despite having my own tried and tested recipe. I love that it makes a good batch – not too large. We had chocolate spread and sliced strawberries on our crepes – the girls did the fillings themselves and really enjoyed it!
    Here is one of their crepes :) i.imgur.com/9bqztJD.jpg
    Cheers!

    Reply

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