DELIGHTFUL FRENCH CRÊPES

Posted by Carole

Last week, my boyfriend had one of those difficult days at work and I could feel is frustration and disappointment as we exchanged a few messages on WhatsApp during his lunch break. He had spent hours in counter-productive meetings with people going back on their promises and he just felt like all the hard work he had done over the past few weeks was pointless and leading nowhere. Pretty depressing feeling everyone who as ever mingle with the corporate world knows too well!

I really wanted to do something to help him feel better but wasn’t sure what could brighten up his day until I told him I was going to cook him French crêpes for dinner. A simple suggestion that came to my mind out of nowhere but that worked wonder! His mood completely turned from sadness to excitation, just like a kid who got told he was going on holiday at Disneyland!

I know he loves French crêpes but I didn’t expect him to react this positively however when I think about it, it makes total sense! In France, sugary crêpes are associated with childhood, celebration and rewarding good behaviour. Kids love the taste and smell of crêpes and love even more to fill their crêpes with the sugary condiments and jams of their choice – chocolate paste is always THE favourite though!

So today I want to give you a very simple recipe for sugary French crêpes so you can too delight and/or lift the mood of your loved ones when they are in need of some TLC.

Ingredients for 18 medium sized crêpes

  • 100 g of plain flour
  • 2 table spoons of cornstarch
  • 2 table spoons of casted sugar
  • 1 sachet of vanilla sugar
  • 1 sachet of baking powder
  • 2 table spoons of sunflower oil (use a tasteless oil)
  • 60 g of unsalted butter
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 glasses of water or semi-skimmed milk
  • A pinch of salt

In a large bowl, mix the flour, cornstarch and baking powder.

Form a hole in the middle of the bowl and add the salt, oil, casted and vanilla sugar and the eggs.

Pour a small quantity of water or milk on top and gently incorporate the flour, cornstarch and baking powder to the other ingredients using the tips of your fingers. Keep adding water or milk in small quantities until the preparation is smooth and liquid enough to be poured in a pan – the preparation should be quite liquid as French crêpes should be very thin, contrary to pancakes!

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Cover the bowl with a towel and reserve for one to two hours.

Heat a frying pan (there are pans specially made for this purpose but the thinner it is, the better) and add a small knob of butter. When hot, pour some of the preparation into the pan making sure it covers the entire surface in a thin layer (remember the thinner, the better!)

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Using a spatula, gently lift your crêpe to check if it looks nice and golden on the down side then flip it over to cook the other side.

Add a small knob of butter to your frying pan between each crêpe.

Serve your crêpes hot and offer a selection of sugary condiments to your guests such as

  • Chocolate paste
  • Jams
  • Caster sugar and lemon juice
  • Salted butter and caramel
  • Freshly cut fruits (kiwi fruit, orange, apple, banana)
  • Mapple syrup

Tip: You can replace the baking powder + water or milk by two glasses of bier!

Thank you for reading and Bon Appétit!

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Cooking From Scratch Made Easy

Posted by Carole

You know it already; banning ready-meals and cooking from scratch is the path to a healthy and glowy version of yourself but then there is reality…. and it’s easier to say ‘hey, when you come home late tonight you’ll have to wash and peel that veggies, chop and cook them and one hour later you’ll be free to finally sit down & eat and enjoy a nice moment with your loved ones… or your Netflix!” than to actually do it!

It’s true but think about it… What takes a lot of time when cooking is the preparation, namely all the washing, peeling and chopping of vegetables. Once they’re in the pan cooking you have a bit more time to yourself, only keeping an eye on the fire from time to time. And for this reason I totally understand why you wouldn’t want to go through all this when you’re exhausted or just can’t be bothered. Totally agree! I’m the same and very often cowardly simplify my meals so they don’t involve too much peeling and chopping.

But the good news is that there are some very simple tricks to help you cook from scratch on a daily basis and here they are:

  1. Freeze your veggies!

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Twice a month I buy large amounts of vegetables such as peppers, carrots, zucchini, eggplants to name a few and take advantage of a quiet Sunday afternoon to prep and freeze them. It’s easily done and actually quite an enjoyable task if you put some music on and maybe enjoy a little glass of wine to help you go through the chore!

All you have to do is wash and dry your veggies, peel if required and chopped them the size that is the more convenient (slicing is usually a good option) then store them in freezing bags, making sure each bag will correspond to a portion you will need for a future meal so all you’ll have to do later in the week is to take a bag out of the freezer to defrost rather than trying to separate a frozen bloc of sliced carrots.

You can also prepare bags containing a mix of vegetables like green beans, zucchinis and eggplants so you’re ready to cook a lovely and colourful “poêllée” one evening.

I know it sounds like a very obvious thing to do but believe me it will make a difference and help you enjoy healthy veggies a lot more often but also make your meals more varied! The only thing you have to remember is to defrost a portion well in advance if you don’t have a microwave with a defrosting function.

And yes, you can buy frozen veggies in the supermarket but by preparing them yourselves you’ll make sure to opt for the healthiest, tastiest and cheapest option!

  1. Freeze your meat and fish

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The same applies to meat and fish of course! You can cut, season and prepare them in advance and freeze them in convenient portions for future meals. Then it’s only a cooking job that awaits!

  1. Non-processed canned and jarred food

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Non-processed canned or jarred ingredients such as corn, asparagus, chickpeas or beans are very useful ingredients you should always have in your cupboards.

They are cheap to buy, can be preserved for a long time, are relatively healthy (I insist that I’m not talking about processed and seasoned canned or jarred food of course!) and are an easy way to accompany or complete a dish.

Think about a nice tomato salad, add canned corn and jarred asparagus tips, a couple of boiled eggs and a nice vinaigrette on top and you have yourself a perfectly good and filing meal to enjoy.

  1. Quinoa, rice, pasta….

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Remember that those only take a few minutes to cook and that a freshly made pasta dish is way better than a processed pasta ready-meal.

The Twinnie and I will give you some delicious yet healthy and easy to make rice and pasta recipes very soon so stay tuned!

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Veggies bags ready to be frozen!

Thanks for reading! Like and leave a comment below if you enjoy reading this article and would like to share your cooking tips with us!