Crepes

DSC_0004The work load increases on the farm as the weather warms up.

The hours of daylight in the evening after school and work are the busiest, making it hard for the family to sit down for a meal.

One of my favorite meals for nights like these are crepes.

What’s a crepe? It’s a fancy word for a thin pancake that acts like a tortilla shell.

The batter can be mixed up in advance.  Then I stand at the stove and fry up fresh crepes to serve the troops as they file in from gardening, mowing, fixing fence, or bringing in the laundry.

For fillings I’ll set out whatever I can find in the fridge – left-over meat, cheese, rice, beans, lettuce, veggies. You can be creative with this and use up those bits of left-overs.  It’s always first come – first served on crepe night.

When they’ve had their fill of savory crepes – they can move on the sweet ones. I use the same batter but we fill it with fruit or pudding.

Combinations like strawberries, sour cream and brown sugar are favorites here.  Chocolate pudding and whipped cream is yummy, too! No pudding? Just throw some chocolate chips on your whipped cream and wrap it up!

Crepes

2 large eggs
3/4 cup milk
1/2 cup water
1 cup flour
3 tablespoons melted butter

Combine all the ingredients in the blender. Place the batter in the fridge for 1 hour. (You can skip this step – but the batter may tear some when you try to flip the crepes.  If I’m in a hurry – I just cook them since my crew doesn’t really care how they look!)

Heat a small non- stick pan. Add some butter and pour a spoonful of batter in the middle of the pan. Swirl it around to coat the pan. Cook for about 30 seconds and flip carefully with a spatula. Cook another 30 seconds and serve hot to hungry family members!

If you have batter left when the troops are fed, it can either be refrigerated for a few days to use later, or you can fry up the extra crepes and keep them in the fridge up to a week or the freezer up to a month.

Enjoy!

Pots de Creme – Chocolate of Course!

Pots De CremeOne of the perks of hosting Easter dinner is enjoying the amazing left-overs!

Which we did. All last week.

When I finally got to the bottom of the refrigerator, I discovered a surprise – two containers of egg yolks. One from the dozen egg whites I used to make our traditional homemade angel food cake.

The second was from the other dozen egg whites I used in my attempt to make a gluten free angel food cake to honor one of our guests. (And you know – it was surprisingly tasty- even if it did fall in the middle!)

So – what does one do with 2 dozen egg yolks? I hid them in scrambled eggs and used them in pancakes but I still had a dozen waiting in the fridge.

It was time to call in the heavy guns – chocolate pots de creme.

The real stuff – thickened with egg yolks. Six eggs yolks.

Super easy. Super rich.

So good – it makes me want to make another angel food cake.

Chocolate Pots de Creme

1/2 cup heavy cream (ideal – but I used whole milk and it worked)
5-8 ounces of chocolate chips (you can use whatever kind of chocolate you have – we used dark – but milk or semi-sweet would work 0r any combination of them. I’ve even been known to melt left-over candy bars – but don’t tell my children!)
6 egg yolks
1 teaspoon vanilla

Place the chocolate and cream in the top of a double boiler over boiling water. Stir until melted and blended.

In separate bowl beat the egg yolks slightly. Add about 1/2 cup of the chocolate mixture to the eggs and mix well. (This will bring the eggs to the temperature of the chocolate so they don’t turn to scrambled eggs when added. It’s called tempering.)

Then slowly add the egg mixture into the chocolate and milk mixture, whisking as you pour.

Continue to stir until the mixture begins to thicken. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla.

Pour into 4 pretty serving cups.(It’s the prefect time to use those pretty stemmed dessert glasses!)

Refrigerate until set and serve with whipped cream.

I told you it was easy!

And so yummy!

Enjoy!

Stinky Situation

The outrageous price of gas has caused us to drastically rethink every car trip. We’ve put off trips – combined trips – and skipped things all together.

One area that we have been putting off was bringing in the recycling.

Since we live out in the country – there are no plastic recycling buckets to set out for the garbage truck every week .  We wait till we have a bunch and then take them into town ourselves.

But now, due to budget restraints, several of our closest small towns no longer have the large community recycling bins.

Except for one. Although it’s only about 20 minutes away, we have no reason to go there, except to recycle.

So the pile of cans and jars kept growing until Jan decided that with a little detour from our regular route – we could go right through that small town on our way home from church, thus eliminating a separate trip.

It seemed like a good idea at the time – and actually worked pretty well during the winter months.

But then spring arrived. One beautifully bright Sunday morning Jan and the boys loaded the recycles in the car and we left for church. I didn’t notice anything peculiar on the way there – just some really quiet kids.

But as soon as we got in the car after church and shut the door, an almost overpowering stench hit me.

It smelled like something dead was in the van with us. Like maybe a mouse had crawled into one of the cans and died. Then – as the car sat in the heat of the sun for the 3 hours we were in church – it ripened.

I quickly rolled my window down and hung my head out – feeling sorry for the poor kids in the back seat of the van whose eyes were watering and didn’t have a window.

The 2o minute drive to the recycling bins took forever as I rode with my head out the window like a dog – just lapping in the fresh air.

I really wonder what people thought as they passed us?

Jan kept looking at me with a sheepish grin and saying, “I guess I’m in the dog house this time.”

Yep.

Let’s just say that they are sometimes you can take thrifty just a little too far!