Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Basic Crepes

One of my favorite things about going to visit my family in North Carolina is that my mom will normally make Crepes, Caviar, and Mimosas for Sunday brunch. So now, my new Christmas tradition is to make the same for my family. These are so simple to prepare and work wonderfully with caviar, fruit, jam, or any other desired topping.

This recipe was inspired by one posted on

Servings: 10 Crepes

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
3 eggs
1 cup skim milk
1/2 cup water
1/4 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons butter, melted

In a medium mixing bowl, incorporate the eggs into the flour with a whisk. It will be very clumpy.

Whisk in the milk a 1/4 cup at a time until thoroughly combined.

Add the water and continue to whisk.

Add the salt and the melted butter and whisk until combined and smooth.

Spray a small skillet with cooking spray and heat over medium heat.

Add just enough batter to cover half of the bottom of the skillet.

Lift the skillet and tilt in a circular motion until the bottom of the skillet is coated evenly.

Let the crepe cook for about 20-30 seconds or until slightly golden.

Use a spatula to flip the crepe and repeat the cooking process on the other side.

Serve with your favorite toppings.

Use the whisk like a potato masher to gently fold the eggs into the flour. This prevents it from clumping severely in the whisk or dirtying other dishes by using an extra utensil. The batter will thin out when the milk is added.

Use a large measuring cup with a spout for cooking. It helps with pouring and to prevent dripping.

Move quickly when tilting the pan and cooking the crepes. The entire process, start to finish, only takes about 15 -20 minutes.

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Spaghetti alla Carbonara

Carbonara doesn't have to be only a dish you eat when you go to a nice Italian restaurant. This super easy recipe is one of my go-to meals when I have no idea what to make for the family and I just start pulling ingredients out of the pantry. It takes very little time and is so delicious, you'll be Master Chef for the night!

This recipe was inspired by Tyler Florence's Spaghetti alla Carbonara.

Servings: 6 - 8

1 pound dry spaghetti
4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
5-6 slices of bacon, sliced thinly (or, if you are feeling fancy, use pancetta)
1 tablespoon of minced garlic, about 3-4 cloves
2 large eggs
1/2 cup of shredded mixed Italian cheese, plus extra for serving (I used a blend of Parmesan, Asiago, Fontina, and Provolone)
Ground black pepper, to taste
Parsley, to taste

Bring a large pot of salted water, with 2 tablespoons of olive oil, to a boil.

Add the pasta and cook for 8 - 10 minutes or until cooked al dente.

Reserve 1/4 cup of the cooking water and then drain the pasta.

While the pasta is cooking:
Heat the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a large, deep skillet on medium to medium high.

Add the bacon and cook until crispy, not burnt.

Add the garlic and saute for about 1 minute, or until the garlic is soft.

Remove the pan from the heat and add the drained pasta. Stir with pasta spoon, or wisk, until combined.

Whisk together the eggs and the cheese and slowly add to the pan, stirring quickly to avoid scrambling the eggs.

Add the reserved water and stir until completely incorporated.

Add ground pepper to taste.

Serve with extra cheese and parsley. 

Have the bacon already sliced and the eggs and cheese already whisked before you start cooking. This will keep you from getting overwhelmed when it is time to combine everything.

It is extremely important to remove the pan from the heat before you add the pasta. Keeping it on the heat will cause the eggs to scramble when you add them.