Category Archives: Our Creations

Crêpes!

In American culture, pancakes are a common tradition among families, churches, and pretty much any organization looking to attract kids. (Remember Breakfast with Santa?) And as good as pancakes are, it’s funny to me that crêpes, their delectable cousin, are so uncommon. After all, they’re just a tad thinner, and a tad more delicious. Perhaps people are intimidated by them because they seem harder to make? Or is it because they’re French and we can barely pronounce them? Maybe if we called them “Freedom Cakes” they would gain notoriety. 😉

All kidding aside, crêpes are really are easy to make, and you can do it at home. A good pan is really important to the process, and we’ve found that our cast iron skillet does a bang-up job!

Breakfast scramble crepe with lemon caper sauce & berries

We call this the Breakfast Scramble Crêpe. Add scrambled egg, ham, mozzarella, & a touch of fancy homemade lemon caper sauce & berries on the side.

Be sure that your skillet is nice and hot when you begin, and don’t be afraid to sacrifice a bit of batter for the first trial crêpe that soaks up any residual flavor on your conditioned skillet. Grease the skillet with a dab of butter so your crêpes won’t stick.

The trick is to pour just enough batter into the pan to cover the bottom. Then use the flat bottom of a measuring cup to smooth the batter out and around the pan. Once it has cooked through enough to flip, give it a toss and cook the other side just for a minute or two. Pop it out of the pan and add your favorite toppings. Remember, crêpes can be sweet or savory, so go wild!

Berries & Nutella Crepe

Nutella and berries make a simply divine treat!

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Everything is Better with Bacon. Even Pork!

Bacon-wrapped Pork Tenderloin

Bacon-wrapped Pork Tenderloin

All it takes is one thick slice of bacon and some savory herbs to give your pork chop all the flavor you could ask for. And the searing/baking method of cooking it locks in all the juices so you’re sure to have a tender, juicy piece of pork.

Begin with a very thick (1/2 lb) pork chop and salt one side. On the other side, dip the pork chop in Italian bread dipping seasoning. Wrap the pork chop in a strip of bacon, and pin on with toothpicks. Roll the bacon in crushed pepper, and pan-sear the bacon on each side.

Bake the pork chop for 25 minutes at 350 degrees. Be sure to make sure the internal temperature of the meat reaches 140 degrees.

Serve over a smear of cream cheese with slices of fresh green onions. Asparagus and baked potatoes with dill are great traditional sides, but the red grape slices added a nice bit of sweetness to balance everything out!

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Pizza Crust – The Stuff Dreams Are Made of

Pizza on a PaddleIt seems that making pizza at home has become commonplace. After all, you can buy pizza sauce in a jar, throw on some mozzarella, pepperonis, and your other fav toppings and boom you’re done! Oh wait, there’s that one pesky ingredient called the crust, that is oh-so-difficult. Plenty of easy substitutions have cropped up, like Pillsbury rolls dough in a can or Boboli. Don’t get me wrong, sometimes these options are quick, easy, and yummy enough to get by. But what if you could have *real* crust at home? Just like they make in the pizzeria down the street? Trust me, it’s even better than Di’Giorno.

Doug has been working on the perfect crust for about a year now. We’ve had pizza on the grill and pizza from the oven, but both require one important point: high heat. If you crank up your oven to about 500 degrees, it guarantees the crust will crisp and puff just the right way, rather than getting soggy and sad.

Our other recommendation is to find yourself a good pizza stone, and even a wooden pizza paddle if you can splurge a little. We found ours on Amazon. If you own a paddle, you can preheat the pizza stone inside the oven while you work on the dough.

When making the dough, add your flour into a big bowl, and make a well in the middle. Add 1 tsp of sugar (a buffet for yeast) and 1 (.25 ounce) package active dry yeast. You definitely don’t want to skimp here; poor quality yeast will disappoint you every time. Then add 1 cup of hot water from the tap, about 110 degrees. Cover the bowl with a towel, and give it about 15 minutes to gorge on the sugar water. THEN begin stirring the water/yeast mixture into the flour, until a stiff dough forms. Then begin the kneading process (we figured a video is easier to follow than photos!) Once you’ve thoroughly kneaded your dough, cover it with a towel again, and wait another 30 minutes. It should double in size.

Congrats! The hard part is over! You don’t actually need to toss it in the air like Doug, you can just roll it out. Be sure to throw some cornmeal under the dough before baking so it doesn’t stick to the surface. Top with sauce, cheese, and your favorite toppings, bake in preheated oven until golden brown, about 20 minutes. Bon appétit!

Makin' some serious dough.

Makin' some serious dough.

Mama Mia, Pizzeria!

This can take some practice, but isn't required. You can just roll it out if you aren't feeling daredevil with your dough.

Cornmeal keeps the dough from sticking to the stone

Cornmeal keeps the dough from sticking to the paddle. Your stone should be preheating in the oven. Use the paddle to shimmy the pizza onto the stone in the oven.

Pizza

Just look at that crust! Crispy, fluffy, divine.

You can make outstanding pizza from home!

You too can make outstanding pizza from home!

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Pesto Pepper Paninis

Peppers

Dice up Red Peppers and a few Pablano Peppers for a spicy kick

Red Peppers and Pablano Peppers in Balsamic

Marinate the peppers in balsamic vinegar and olive oil

Soon to be Panini: pesto, marinated peppers, and mozzarella

Soon to be Panini: pesto, marinated peppers, and mozzarella

Warm and cheesy! Fresh from the panini maker.

Warm and cheesy! Fresh from the panini maker.

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Perfectly Timed Pork Stew

Perfectly Timed Pork Stew

Perfectly Timed Pork Stew

Pork Stew with Beef Broth Base

Pork:

  • Brown the pork in olive oil after coating in flour and herbs.
  • Set pork aside.

Soup:

  • Sweat the garlic, onion, carrots, celery in left over grease from the browning for 5 mins.
  • Add some dry wine and reduce.
  • When reduced, add the broth and pork to the sweating veggies.
  • After a 30 minute simmer, add leeks, pork, both sweet and russet potatoes, more carrots, and squash.
  • After another 30 minute simmer, add 1 TBSP of butter, and the remaining flour you used to coat the pork.
  • Stir for 5 mins and serve with some awesome bread from the Ann Arbor Food Co-Op.
  • Top with pepper and parmesan cheese.

*Hint: It’s better the second day.

Pork Stew

I love to add the bread and let it soak.

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Chicken Dumpling Soup?

Chicken Dumpling Soup

I love chicken Dumplings + I love chicken noodle soup from scratch.

Dumplings:

  • Dumplings mix
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Parmesan cheese

Soup:

  • Boiled chicken
  • Stock from chicken
  • Rosemary
  • Garlic
  • Celery
  • Carrots
  • Onion

*LEAVE OUT THE NOODLES

When the soup is done cooking, add the dumplings to the pot in big spoonfuls. Cover and cook till done.

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Dr. Pulled Pork

Pulled Pork Sandwich

Pulled Pork Sandwich - snapped with an iPhone

Cooking the Pork Roast:

  • Pull the fat off the pork
  • Place in slow cooker
  • Add one 2 Litre of Dr. Pepper
  • Let cook for at least 7 hours *DO NOT OPEN THE LID!
  • Separate pork
  • Add BBQ Sauce from Cherry Republic

Creating the Sandwich:

  • Fresh bun
  • Coleslaw
  • Kettle chippies
  • Pulled pork

Note: We first tried using this coleslaw recipe from AllRecipes.com, and thought it was good but just okay. Later we adapted it recipe and made our own!

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Who Needs Lettuce?

Cabbage from the Garden

When you've got a head of cabbage this big, you must make lots of coleslaw!

Fresh Coleslaw

Makes you never want to eat the KFC kind again.

Our Coleslaw Recipe:

  • Fresh cabbage
  • Regular mustard
  • Stone ground Inglehoffer Mustard
  • Mayonnaise
  • Parsley
  • Carrots
  • Hint of sugar
  • Hint of salt
  • Hint of pepper

Goes great on pulled pork sandwiches too!

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Math Tastes Good.

Ham Bagel With Avocado and Cream Cheese

Ham Bagel With Avocado and Cream Cheese

Don’t forget to pick up your half-dozen Zingerman’s bagels for FREE on your birthday!

Check out our other Zingerman’s bagel recipe ideas.

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Make banana pancakes, pretend like it’s the weekend

Anyone who’s a Jack Johnson fan will appreciate this post, because his song, “Banana Pancakes” is exactly what inspired us to make these pancakes once upon a time. The original recipe didn’t include walnuts though, but we found that they add a certain delightful crunchiness, and the fruit topping is far better than syrup could ever hope to be!

(Note: The Berries and Cherries topping comes from Cherry Republic, but we also made these with blackberry jam and fresh sliced strawberries on top, which were equally amazing!)

To make delicious pancakes, you have to start with delicious ingredients.

To make delicious pancakes, you have to start with delicious ingredients.

Walnut, spice pancake batter

Mix crushed walnuts and all-spice into the pancake batter

Rather than mixing banana into the batter, fry up banana slices in coconut oil

Rather than mixing mushed bananas straight into the batter, fry up banana slices in coconut oil, then sprinkle the slices with cinnamon or all-spice. Flip em!

Pour the pancake batter on the frying banana slices

Pour the pancake batter on the sizzling banana slices and cook as you normally would. Feel free to throw in a few blueberries too!

Then top the pancakes with berry-cherry topping from Cherry Republic!

Then top the pancakes with "Berries & Cherries Fruit Topping" from Cherry Republic! All photos snapped with an iPhone 4

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