World Tour – Creative Crepes

This week we ‘jetted’ off to France for another leg of our world tour.  As always, we began by finding North Carolina on the globe and then the various continents and countries that we’ve already studied, until we found France.

Next we read two books that provide a simple overview of French culture.  (France by Alan Blackwood and Brigitte Chosson, and Take a Trip to France by Jonathon Rutland).  Of course, the kids were more than ready to sample some French cuisine, so we began with crepes!

My friend Isabelle, who is a French citizen, gave me this recipe (the following does include a few of our own modifications).  She told us that she had never actually eaten crepes for breakfast until she moved to the United States – that at home they were always eaten as a snack or for a dessert.  You learn something new every day!

Since this week has gone haywire and the only meal we seemed guaranteed to eat at home this week was breakfast, we went ahead and ate our early-morning Americanized version.  They sure were good, though!

Start with a crepe batter:

1 c. flour
1 pinch salt
1 T. sugar
1 1/4 c. milk
2 T. melted butter + some for the pan
2 eggs

Whisk together until smooth.  (Isabelle’s original recipe says to refrigerate for an hour or overnight.  I tried that, and it worked, but we liked it better prepared just before eating.  Isabelle doesn’t mix hers ahead, either.)

Over medium heat, butter a small non-stick frying pan and let it get hot.  Add a few tablespoons of the batter and rotate the pan until covered.  Pour the rest back into the bowl and let it cook until the top appears dry.  Flip with a rubber spatula.  The second side will cook in seconds.  Slide out of the pan and repeat until batter is gone.

Now comes the fun part!

My Big Helper wanted to make cinnamon apple crepes.  (Something we saw on Pinterest.)  To make these, we peeled and thinly sliced two apples, added a drizzle of water, a drizzle of honey, and a small pat of butter.  We cooked them in a small saucepan over medium-low heat until soft, then added cinnamon to taste and stirred.

After cooking a crepe, we filled it with apples.  My Big Helper wanted to try chocolate sauce on hers, so we used Hershey’s (Don’t tell Isabelle – she makes the real stuff!)

She loved them!

My Little Man was less sure, but he thought the apples were great.

The best part about crepes is that like a tortilla, you can fill them with anything.  So, next we went with fresh fruit – and again with the chocolate.

The pineapple-chocolate combo was my personal favorite.

Today for breakfast we served these again to our guests – they liked both the fresh fruit and eggs/ham/cheese varieties.

How do you like YOUR crepes??

PS – Thanks, Isabelle, for the recipe!  We’ll definitely be making these again!

Field Work Friday – Ice Cream in a Bag

June is National Dairy Month, and with the heat we’ve been having, I’ve been craving ice cream!  We decided to head to a local park and make some.

First, though, we had to get some energy out and work up a good sweat.  Who can eat ice cream when they’re as cool as a cucumber?

Next, we had to hike over to the new dock and throw a few rocks and pine cones in the lake.  Really, who could possibly concentrate on cooking when all that cool water is beckoning?

Finally, we were ready to make ice cream.  This recipe is super simple and can be prepared in about 20 minutes.  You can make it one of two ways:  in nested freezer bags, or in nested coffee cans.  The cans are my favorite because you can then roll the cans back and forth and make the work into a game – but the bags work just as well.

First, in either your small can or one quart freezer bag, pour 1 cup of whipping cream (or any non-homogenized cream), 1/2 cup of sugar, and a splash of vanilla.  Seal it tightly and put it into the larger container – either the larger coffee can or a 1 gallon freezer bag.

Layer ice and rock salt in the outer bag or can and then seal that.  If you are using the cans, start rolling them back and forth.  If you’re using the bags, turn on some music and have a dance party!  The idea is to keep that cream moving, moving, moving, until it thickens up into ice cream.  Don’t let the cream stop moving!

This guy turned his bag over and over and over and … well, you get the idea.

When it has reached the consistency you like, open the bags very carefully – you don’t want to get the salty water from the outer container in the ice cream! – and scoop out your ice cream.  Add any toppings you like – but it’s really great plain, too (and I don’t even like vanilla ice cream!).

I meant to take a picture of the finished product … but we were too busy eating it.  I forgot.  It was really yummy.

Next time your kids are hot and a bit bored, get out some bags, crank up the music, and make some ice cream!