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_ I love crêpes but for some reasons, we don’t make them very often. Therefore, when we do, it is like a party at our house! It is so easy, quick and simple to make and you can really fill them in with so many ingredients. Usually, when we make crêpes, we make Savory crêpes, and then Sweet crêpes for dessert. Then, there is left over batter for the day after and we usually make Sweet crepes for breakfast! There are 2 key factors to delicious Crêpes, whether it is Savory or Sweet: 1. The Crêpe batter should be liquid, and not thick like for Pancakes. 2. Your first crêpe is usually never the best one as your pan is not enough hot, or too hot, or you did not put enough batter in the pan, or too much. So really, do not give up and try again! It is a lot of fun to do with kids, for friends, or just for your family.


_Ingredients for the batter (this makes around 10 crêpes):

  • 1 cup of Flour
  • 2 cups of Milk + ½ cup of milk
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon of powdered Vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon of Salt

Preparation:

In a large mixing bowl, combine 1 cup of flour, 2 cups of milk, 2 eggs together and whisk it. You can either do it manually with the strength of your hands, or pour everything in an electric blender and it will blend quickly, smoothly, and easily. You want your batter to be smooth. Then, add salt and Vanilla extract, whisk again. Cover the bowl with a hand towel, and let it sit at room temperature for about 1 hour.

When you are ready to eat, stir the batter with a big spatula. Make sure it is smooth.

Your crêpe batter is ready. All you need to do now is decide what you want inside!
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_ Tonight, we had the following ingredients (for 3 crêpes):
  •  ½ Lb of Ham, diced
  • 3 white Mushroom, sliced
  • 3 Eggs
  •  ½ onion, diced
  •  2/3 cup of Cheddar Cheese, shredded

Cut, slice, dice and shred everything in advance. In a pan, cook the ham, onion and mushrooms slightly, until the onions become transparent. Put aside.

Heat up a non sticky pan on medium heat.  Coat it with butter, and wait until it is hot. In the non-sticky pan, pour 2/3 of a ladle full of crêpe batter into the pan and swirl gently until the pan is evenly covered with the batter. Let it cook for about 5-7 minutes on one side. With a butter knife (you want to use a non-sharpened knife to not scratch the pan), un-stick gently the edge of the crêpes. You know your crêpe is ready to be flipped when it un-sticks very easily from the pan.

With a spatula, flip your crepe. You can also just flip it in the air, it is more dangerous (for the sake of the kitchen ) but a lot of fun, especially with kids and friends!

Once the crêpe is flipped, this is when you have to go a little faster. Start with cracking an egg on one half of the crêpe.  Feel free to break it with the spatula so it will cook faster.
_ Top it off with shredded cheddar, (feel free to add a little bit of cheese all over the crepe) and then add the ingredients you previously cut. Don’t forget to add seasoning on the top.

Fold back your crêpe so you have a half crêpe in your pan. Let it cook until the egg is no longer runny.

Serve hot and tasty!

And...what did we have for dessert? Raspberry & Nutella Crêpes!
 
 
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I have never realized how delicious a Bechamel Sauce was until I made it myself. You can use this sauce with pasta, rice, couscous, meats or fish. We use it mainly when we make Croque Madame, another typical French recipe that you can find on this blog. Making the Bechamel Sauce is not complicated, you just have to stir and be present at all times to avoid stickiness or the sauce to burn.

Ingredients:
  • 5 tablespoons butter
  • 5 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • Milk (4-5 cups depending how liquid you want it to be)
  • Salt
  • Freshly grated nutmeg (it depends on your taste. You can either just sprinkle it for light taste, or add up to ½ teaspoon for stronger taste)
Preparation:

In a saucepan, melt the butter over medium-low heat, add the flour and stir until smooth. Over medium heat, cook until the mixture turns a light, golden color, about 5 minutes.

Meanwhile, boil the milk in a separate pan. Add the hot milk, continuing to stir as the sauce thickens. Bring it to a boil. Cook 10 minutes, stirring constantly, then remove from heat. Season with salt, basil and nutmeg, and set aside until ready to use.

Add the hot milk, continuing to stir as the sauce thickens. Bring it to a boil. Stir until your meal is ready to pour it on.

Bechamel Sauce

Croque Madame covered with Bechamel Sauce

 
 
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I have always wanted to experiment Chocolate Chip Madeleines, but never got a chance to. With Easter and a dinner party, I decided to try it out and Oh, my!! It was so worth it. You can use any chocolate chip (milk, dark or white chocolate). I only had Milk chocolate chip available yesterday, but I will most likely try it again with a mix of both white and milk chocolate chips!

You need the same ingredients than the ones you use for regular Madeleine. You can find the recipe for plain (and original) Madeleine here. All you need to add is the chocolate chip!

Once your batter is prepared and you have filled up the Madeleine Mold, you just need to add the chocolate chip. Depending on your taste, add as many (or as few) as you wish. I have added between 3 and 6 chocolate chip per Madeleine mold.
You can now put it in the oven for about 10 minutes at 375F. You have to wait until the Madeleines are golden brown. Bon appétit!
 
 
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I love mashed potatoes, and the key to a delicious one is a combination of cream, cheese, shallots and green onions. What better way to celebrate Thanksgiving than making delicious Creamy Mashed Potatoes.


_ Ingredients:

  • 3Lbs of Potatoes
  • 8 cups of water
  • ½ stick of butter
  • ½  cup of heavy whipping cream
  • 2/3 cup of onion
  • 2/3 cup of shredded cheddar
  • 3 big cloves of shallots (if you don’t have shallots, you can replace with Garlic)
  • Green Onions
  • Seasoning: cayenne pepper, salt and Herbs

Preparation:

Peel the potatoes and cut them in big dices. In a big pot, pour 8 cups of water, add the diced potatoes, and let it cook until the potatoes are soft. Use a fork to see when they are ready. It should take approximately 15-20minutes.

Slice the onion and shallot. In a medium saucepan coated with olive oil, cook both onion and shallot until the onion is transparent.

When the potatoes are ready, drain them. Add ½ stick of butter in the big pot, and add back the potatoes. With a potato masher, mash the potatoes. Add ½ cup of heavy whipping cream. Your mashed potatoes should now become very creamy, smooth and…delicious. Add the shredded cheese. And finally, add the onion/shallot mix. Stir with a spoon. Add seasoning.

_ Just before you are ready to serve, add the sliced green onion.

It is ready…and yummy!

 
 
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_ This Apple Tart is a traditional dessert/snack family recipe from my amazing Grandmother, again. Since I can remember it, every single time the family would meet for celebrations, holidays, or just as a get together, there was always, to these days, this amazing Apple Tart. Not only does it remind me of great childhood memories, and how awesome my grandmother is, but I think that you will all love it. The whole recipe is 100% homemade, from the pie crust, to the Apple sauce. It literally is divine. Because this is our family recipe and one of the best my grandmother makes as a tradition, I have decided to name it after her. Mamy’s Apple Tart! “mamy” means grandmother in French, and I call her that way. She does not have the Internet, but she actually started learning English a few years ago (did I tell you my grandmother is amazing?), so maybe one day, she can see and read this and I know she will be extremely happy to see that her recipe is traveling across the borders. Do not hesitate to leave as many comments as you would like if you get to try this recipe, I will make sure to pass them along to her.


_ Ingredients:

  • 2 Lbs of Apples for the Apple Sauce
  • 2 extra apples, sliced
  • 1 Pie crust
  • Butter & Flour for the Pie dish
  • Sugar
  • Vanilla extract (powder)

Apple Sauce:

Slice 2 Lbs of Apples.

In a pot, combine ½ cup of water and the sliced apples. Cook under low-medium heat. Stir until the apple is soft. This process should take approximately 10-15 minutes. With a fork, mash the apples to make a crunchy Apple Sauce.


Preparation:

Make your own pie crust following my grandmother’s recipe or buy a pie crust at the store.
Make your own Apple Sauce following my grandmother's recipe (see above).

In a tart dish, butter and sprinkle flour at the bottom to avoid the pie crust to stick. Then, spread the pie crust. Make a few holes using a fork in the crust.

Spread your Apple Sauce at the bottom of the crust. Top it off with thin slices of apples all over.

Sprinkle sugar and vanilla powder on top of the apple slices. The quantity is really up to your taste. Make sure it is thinly and evenly spread out. (Note: for this recipe, I used ½ tablespoon of sugar and 1 teaspoon of powdered vanilla).

Put it in the oven at 400F for about 40 minutes. Let it cool off a little.

You can serve it on its own, or with a scoop of Vanilla Ice Cream. It is delicious either way and a perfect French dessert!

 
 
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_ This year, I have challenged myself to make more soup than I have ever had before. After trying out my first “Healthy Watery Soup” a few weeks ago, I decided to try something quite similar but with Bacon. It was supposed to be a very simple soup with Potatoes, Bacon and cheese, but then, the husband came into the kitchen and requested a few other ingredients because the previous soup was a big hit. I took my husband’s advice to not “reinvent the wheel” and followed his advice.


Ingredients:

  • 6 cups water, boiling
  • 1 cup low sodium chicken broth 
  • 1 cup low sodium vegetable broth
  • 4 medium potatoes washed, cooked and cut in dices
  • 2 cups of green beans 
  • 2 cups of corn 
  • 1 large onion diced 
  • ½ red and ½ green pepper bell, chopped
  • 5-6 slices of Bacon, cooked and chopped
  • 2 cups milk 
  • 1.5 cup of shredded cheddar cheese
  • Seasoning: Cayenne pepper and Basil

Preparation:

In a very large pot, bring the water to boil. Then, add both the chicken and vegetable broth.

In a pan, cook your bacon. Put it aside, lie all slices on paper towel to take out the extra grease. Chop.

Dump the extra grease from the bacon pan, and in the same pan, cook the onion and peppers.

Cook the potatoes in the micro wave (using the potato option) or in a big pot of boiling water. When cooked, peel your potatoes and cut them in cubes.

Add corn, green beans, onion/peppers, and potatoes in the soup.

Pour in the milk. Stir.


_ Add the chopped bacon and seasoning. Stir again.

Finally, add 7/8 of the grated cheese, and stir until melted.

Serve in a bowl and top if off with the leftover Cheese.

Be careful, it will be super-hot! Enjoy
:)

 
 
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The pizza below is all about being homemade. The only thing not homemade (and that will change next time we make a pizza) was the tomato sauce. The one thing that should be the easiest was missing. Why is that? Simply because we did not think about it until we realize that everything else was not only tasty and amazing, but also so much better than other  Pizzas we had had that we were not quite made with all homemade ingredients. This pizza is made with homemade Pizza Dough (recipe here), homemade Pesto (recipe here), and fresh ingredients.


_ Ingredients:

  • 2 Romano tomatoes, 1 diced and the other one cut in thin round slices
  • ½ small onion
  • ½ green pepper
  • Pepperoni or sausage (as many as you wish). For our recipe, we used about 2 Oz of sliced pepperoni
  • 2 cups of Mozzarella & Parmesan combined together
  • ¼ cup of homemade Pesto – Find the recipe here- (If using pesto from a store, I would suggest ½ cup as it never tastes as strong and fresh as homemade Pesto)
  • 2/3 cup of Tomato Sauce
  • 1/3 cup of Sour Cream

Preparation:

In a medium sized bowl, combine 2/3 cup of tomato sauce, 1/3 cup of sour cream and ¼ cup of Pesto. Stir. Set aside.

Cut, chop, dice, slice all vegetable (onion, pepper, tomatoes) and meat.

Shred the Mozzarella and Parmesan together. The quantity of cheese is really up to your taste. For our recipe (keep in mind we LOVE Cheese), we used approximately almost 2 cups of cheese.

In a Pizza pan, roll out your Pizza dough. We made our own Pizza dough (recipe here). Make sure to put a little bit of flour at the bottom of the dish.

_ Start with spreading your Tomato Sauce mixture.

Then, sprinkle a thin layer of cheese (about 1/3 of the cup).

Then, add a layer of Peperoni (or sausage). In the pizza we made, we only added Peperoni to half of the pizza as I am not a pepperoni lover.

_ Sprinkle all veggies (onions, pepper, diced tomatoes) all over the pizza.

Add the left over cheese all over the vegetable, and top it off with the round thin slices of tomatoes.

_ Just before putting it in the oven, crack 2 eggs (1 on each half). Let it cook in the oven at 425F for no more than 17 minutes (all ovens are different though, so you want to check on your pizza quite often to make sure that the eggs are cooking and the pizza not burning).

Voila!

 
 
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I don't like sandwiches very much, but Grilled Cheese, I DO! I saw these mini Grilled Cheese on Pinterest and decided to give them a try as they looked so good and seemed so quick and easy to make. I would definitely say that you have got to add quite a bit of butter though it is not mentioned explicitly in the original ingredients, but other than that, it is just delicious!

Ingredients:
  • 3 Wholewheat slices of bread
  • 9 slices of Cheddar
  • 2 tablespoons of butter (yes!!!)

Preparation:

You basically need 1 slice of bread per Mini Grilled Cheese. 3 slices of Cheddar (if using small package size). And...a lot of butter :)
So, it is very easy, quick and yummy to make. Take your slices of bread and cut the crusts on all 4 edges. Flatten each slice of bread with a knife or spatula. Add very thin slices of butter in the middle. Then, place 3 slices of cheddar on 1 side of the flatten bread, and carefully roll the bread and place the seam side down. Repeat for all 3 slices of bread.

In a non stick pan, add BUTTER. Yes, a LOT of it. You probably have used about 1/2 of a teaspoon to butter your bread, so don't hesitate to add at least the 1.5 teaspoon left of butter in the pan. Heat it up. Place the Mini Grilled Cheese, seam side down on the pan and make sure that they stay rolled up. Once the seam is sealed, roll around in the melted butter until all sides of the bread have butter on them. Let it cook for a few minutes, flipping them half way through. They will be ready when the cheese is melted and the butter is golden brown.

Serve them as appetizer or with a Soup!


 
 
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I always thought that making your own Pizza dough would be difficult and time consuming. But since I started making my on Pie Crust which is very easy and quick, I challenged myself and tried homemade Pizza Dough. And the first time was a success! It is messy, I will admit that. So be prepared to have your fingers covered with butter, flour, dough, but it is really worth it! Give it a try, and let me know how it went :)

Ingredients:

  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 2.25 teaspoons of dry yeast
  • 3 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 3.75 cups of flour
  • 1.5 teaspoon of salt
  • 2 teaspoons of Sherry cooking wine

Preparation:

In a mixing bowl, whisk 1 1/3 cup of warm water and sugar. Add the yeast, whisk and set aside until foamy for about 10 minutes. Then, stir in the olive oil and the Sherry cooking wine.

In another mixing bowl (large), whisk the flour and salt together. Make a little well in the center and pour the previous mixture in it. Stir with a spoon until you have a rough dough.

Use a big baking mat and sprinkle flour on it. Take the dough out of the bowl, and knead until smooth and elastic. Add extra flour (I probably added the equivalent of 1/4 or 1/3 of extra flour while doing it!!) through the process of kneading. This is the messy part as the picture will show below. Don't get discouraged though as it will soon come to an end and be all worth it :)
Form into 2 balls.
In 2 big bowls, brush slightly with olive oil the bottom and edges and add 1 ball of dough to each. Use the dough ball to coat with the oil. Cover each bowl with plastic wrap and set aside at room temperature for about 1 to 1.5 hour. The dough should have gotten bigger by then.
Take the dough out of the bowl and sprinkle a little more flour. By now, it should no longer be messy and very little should stick to your fingers.  Use 1 ball to roll out and make your pizza. You can freeze the other ball (or make 2 pizzas the same day) by wrapping it in plastic wrap and freeze it up to 1 month.

 
 
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_ Lately, I have been cooking a lot of pasta, always with a different sauce. I did Pesto Pasta, Spinach Lasagna, and today, I wanted to try another Baked Pasta. I opened up a word document, and started writing the ingredients that came to mind to make my own recipe. The more I would write down ingredients, the more I could picture the upcoming dish I was about to cook. I (and actually he does too) feel like I don’t give enough credit to the husband since I started my blog. So I will take the opportunity with this recipe to do it. While I love trying out new recipes, creating new sauce and cooking in general, the cutting part is never my forte. Luckily, the husband is great help when it comes down to mincing, chopping, dicing, or just slicing vegetables. When I got home today, I was unbelievably tired, and looking at the amazing dish I just put in my oven, I not only wonder how it happened after such a long day, but how excited I get when cooking and sharing recipes with my Foodie Friends (yes, YOU, who is reading right now…I know you are smiling as well now that you realize I am talking to YOU). For this dish to happen, I used my creativity, my excitement and my husband to discover and try out new recipes. Hopefully you have a nice helper like I do with my hubby.

_ Ingredients:

  • 1 Cream of Mushroom
  • ½ cup of Heavy whipping cream
  • 1 green pepper
  • 1/3 cup of Pine nuts, minced
  • 3 cloves of Garlic, minced
  • 1/3 of onion, chopped
  • 1/3 cup of green onion, chopped
  • 12 thin slices of Peperoni
  • 5 small Mushrooms, sliced
  • Parmesan, shredded
  • Cheddar, shredded
  • 2/3 cup of Tomato Sauce + ½ cup of tomato sauce
  • ½ cup of Ricotta Cheese
  • Seasoning: Cayenne pepper, salt and Basil

 Preparation:

In a medium size mixing bowl, combine the cream of mushroom, the heavy whipping cream, the tomato sauce (2/3 cup) and finally the ricotta cheese. (tip: when using the measuring cup, finish with the ricotta cheese as it will whip up all the leftover of previous sauce measured in that cup). Put aside 1/3 of the final sauce.

Cut all the ingredients: garlic, onion, green onions, peppers, mushrooms, pine nuts. Add the chopped ingredients except for the pine nuts in the [2/3 of the] previous sauce made.

Cook the pasta per the directions. When cooked, drain the pasta, put it back in the pot and pour ½ cup of Tomato Sauce.

In an oven dish, spread a little bit of olive oil to avoid the pasta to stick to it, and then add a layer of 1/3 of the sauce that you had previously put aside. Add half of the pasta. Then, add half of the sauce (the 2/3 you had put aside with the vegetable mixed in). Add a layer of shredded cheese (we used ½ cup of cheddar cheese). Add a layer of peperoni. Then, repeat the steps: Add another layer of pasta, the last half of the sauce and top it off with a mix of shredded cheddar (another ½ cup) and Parmesan (½ cup). Finally, sprinkle minced pine nuts on top.

_ Put in the oven at 350F for about 30 minutes or until the sauce is bubbly.

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