Nutella Crepe Cake

⅓ C. flour

1 egg

½ C milk

Dash salt

Bigger dash sugar

Butter or cooking spray

I used a much smaller pan than is normally used for crepes, so it made a smaller cake that is more appropriate for two people. 

Set the pan over medium heat to preheat.

Combine all ingredients (except butter/ cooking spray), and whisk briskly. I mean go to town and whisk the you-know-what out of it, you don’t want any lumps. 

Turn the heat up slightly, and either melt the butter or spray with cooking spray. Using a ¼ cup measuring cup, hold the pan in one hand and dip out an almost-full ¼ cup of batter. Pour the batter into the pan, then quickly rotate pan in every direction to completely coat the bottom. 

Cook for about one minute, until it starts to color slightly on the bottom and the edges are dry. Then use a spatula to carefully flip. And don’t worry, the first one always looks terrible.

Cook on second side for about 30 seconds, then remove to a small plate. Top with a small spoonful of nutella, then start second crepe. As second crepe is cooking, spread the nutella over the first one, and don’t worry if it doesn’t go all the way to the edge. 

When second crepe is finished cooking, stack on top of first, and again top with nutella.

Follow this order until crepe batter is gone. I prefer not to top last crepe with nutella, but instead I sprinkle with a little sugar right before serving.

Set aside to cool and set slightly. Can be eaten warm or chilled, according to your preference.

February; Date Night Ravioli

Featured

I love being creative and trying new things with meals, and lately I’ve been experimenting with French cuisine. I recently found a second hand copy of Mastering the Art of French Cooking, and it has kicked me into a French phase with my cooking. The book is a wealth of information, and I think it will prove to be a great resource. I think the only “French” thing about this meal is the order of the courses. I quite like the French course order, as to me it makes sense to have the warm food first, then move to the cold food. Although, I don’t normally serve meals in courses, so it’s a new thing to me.

Course One; Hot Crab Crostini

Course Two; Spinach and Ricotta Ravioli

Course Three; Salad

Course Four; Cheese Plate

Course Five; Nutella Crepe Cake

All the courses laid out together, with the additions of a glass of white wine and a small cup of Limoncello.

Hot Crab Crostini

(makes 8, or 4 servings for this particular meal. You could have it as two servings, if there are fewer other courses)

¾ tsp mayo

½ tsp onion powder

⅛ tsp garlic powder

⅓ tsp lemon juice

¾ tsp water

⅛ tsp hot sauce

2 oz cream cheese

4 oz imitation crab, chopped

4 slices of loaf bread

1 Tbs bread crumbs

1 Tbs grated Parmesan

Combine everything except the crab and microwave for about 20 seconds, until the cream cheese is soft. Stir in the crab meat as well and set aside until ready to assemble.

Lightly toast regular sliced bread, then use a shot glass to cut small circles out of the bread. I try to avoid the crust, and I use the scraps to make the bread crumbs for the topping.

Combine the bread crumbs and parmesan cheese

When nearly time for the meal, place the toasted rounds on a baking sheet, top with a mound of crab mixture, then sprinkle with bread crumb mixture. Broil for a few minutes, until tops are toasted to your liking. 

Serve on a small plate.

Spinach Ravioli with Lemon Garlic Sauce

Two servings of pre-made ravioli

2 Tb olive oil

2 Tbs butter

5 minced garlic cloves

1/4 tsp red pepper flakes

1 tsp dried parsley

1 Tb lemon juice

Salt and pepper

2 oz grated parmesan

Boil ravioli according to package directions, drain.

Heat oil and butter on medium heat until radiating heat. Add garlic and red pepper flakes, and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. I like for the garlic to start turning golden brown. Remove from heat. Add the ravioli, lemon juice, cheese, and parsley. Serve, I prefer pasta bowls.

I think the ravioli filling should be the star, and this sauce lets the spinach and ricotta filling shine.

Course Three; Salad

Lettuce or salad mix of choice (I like romaine and spinach, but all my grocery store had was iceberg)

A small carrot, shaved into strips with a vegetable peeler

Parmesan cheese

Croutons (I cut up the scraps from the crostini to use as croutons)

A light dressing, I used a basic Italian vinaigrette

Course Four; Cheese

A few slices of whatever cheese you like. I’ve been trying out new ones lately, so we had a Whiskey Maple Gouda and a bit of Parmesan. I plated it with a few slices of bread with a small bowl of olive oil with italian herbs and salt. The plate stayed on the table for the entire meal, and we ate from it throughout, so I’m not sure this technically counts as its own course.

Course Five; Nutella Crepe Cake

⅓ C. flour

1 egg

½ C milk

Dash salt

Bigger dash sugar

Butter or cooking spray

Nutella

I used a much smaller pan than is normally used for crepes, so it made a smaller cake that is more appropriate for two people. 

Set the pan over medium heat to preheat.

Combine all ingredients (except butter/ cooking spray and Nutella), and whisk briskly. I mean go to town and whisk the you-know-what out of it, you don’t want any lumps. 

Turn the heat up slightly, and either melt the butter or spray with cooking spray. Using a ¼ cup measuring cup, hold the pan in one hand and dip out an almost-full ¼ cup of batter. Pour the batter into the pan, then quickly rotate pan in every direction to completely coat the bottom. 

Cook for about one minute, until it starts to color slightly on the bottom and the edges are dry. Then use a spatula to carefully flip. And don’t worry, the first one always looks terrible.

Cook on second side for about 30 seconds, then remove to a small plate. Top with a small spoonful of Nutella, then start second crepe. As second crepe is cooking, spread the Nutella over the first one, and don’t worry if it doesn’t go all the way to the edge. 

When second crepe is finished cooking, stack on top of first, and again top with nutella.

Follow this order until crepe batter is gone. I prefer not to top last crepe with Nutella, but instead I sprinkle with a little sugar right before serving.

Set aside to cool and set slightly. Can be eaten warm or chilled, according to your preference.

Order of Operations;

The very first thing I did was to assemble the salads, except for the croutons and dressing. They were basic salads of lettuce, shaved carrot, and parmesan cheese. I put them into bowls then refrigerated until it was time to eat. Then I sliced the cheese onto a small plate and refrigerated that, as well. Next, I made the crepes and assembled the cake, also refrigerating until meal time, as I like it chilled and set. Then I mixed up the crab dip and prepared the bread for the crostini, but didn’t assemble until time to put them in the oven, as I didn’t want the bread to get soggy. Then I boiled the ravioli and started the sauce. Before I combined the ravioli and the sauce, I assembled the crab crostini and broiled for a few minutes, until the tops were toasted. Then I combined the ravioli and sauce, plated everything, and supper was ready! 

For February, I wanted to show a date night meal, since Valentine’s Day is coming up, and I’m sure a lot of people will plan a special meal. I think this meal is relatively simple in each part, but the combination of everything together gives it a fancy feel. My husband and I enjoyed this meal as a Wednesday night supper, but I think it would be great for a special occasion.

There are quite a few recipes in this post that originally came from elsewhere, then I modified. I’ve included the original links, but I’ve also posted the recipes as I made them. Some were as simple as reducing the number of servings, but I also made some proportion and ingredient changes, as well. 

Another thing I’ve been trying to do lately, is actually cooking for two people. For most of my experience, I was always cooking for at least five people, normally more. So cooking for two has been a new experience for me. Thankfully, my husband and I both enjoy leftovers, so it hasn’t been a huge issue. I would still like to get better about cooking for just the two of us.

I also want to note that there are a lot of shortages at the grocery stores in my area. This meal would look very different if I had been able to find everything I wanted, but I was still happy with how it turned out. My point is, don’t feel restricted to exactly what I did. Feel free to make substitutions and changes as needed (or wanted). 

I hope you can take some inspiration from this meal. Whether you follow the same menu, or pick and choose between the recipes. Whether you share this in a romantic meal, or with friends. I hope you have fun, stay safe, and eat good food!

Holiday Dessert as a Personality Profile

This may be a little late for the holidays, but I eat these desserts throughout the year anyways. I don’t normally subscribe to the personality profile types of quizzes, but I kind of think a person’s favorite holiday dessert might say something about them. Let me explain.

My mother is known in our family for her pumpkin roll. She normally makes it at Thanksgiving and Christmas, and it is delicious. It’s the classic tast of pumpkin pie, plus delicious cream cheese frosting, rolled in the method of a swiss roll. Have I mentioned how good it is? Traditional flavors in a modern presentation. Also, I tried making it one time, and it certainly takes a LOT of practice!

I feel like that’s my mother in a nutshell, traditional but modern and she has practiced her crafts to the point of perfection. A master seamstress, dressmaker, upholsterer, cook, calligrapher. The list goes on, but I think you get the point.

My dad, also, is a bit traditional, though he has some modern tendencies as well. Exemplified in the french apple pie he loves so much. Compared to the classic american apple pie with a double crust, french apple pie has a crumbly topping. I have taken on making it every year for thanksgiving, and have found the secret is to use a ton of apples and stack it really high. 

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is serving-slice-dutch-apple-pie-260nw-1072328183.jpg
Stock photo until I can find a photo of one I’ve made!

I have become known for a cake I make every Christmas. It is a cranberry orange version of a classic Victoria sponge, with an orange sponge, homemade cranberry jam filling, and orange cream cheese frosting. It is delicious, and I think it seems fancy and unique. It’s really very simple, a little orange zest in the cake, zest and juice in the frosting, and cranberries reduced in sugar until they’re slightly below setting temperature.

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is 20191224_135555-1.jpg

My husband’s favorite holiday desert is pecan pie. Classically Southern, expensive ingredients, but an easy-going dessert. It’s easy to make and doesn’t have complicated flavors. Unless you have a family or friend that has a pecan tree and will give you some, getting good Georgia pecans is kind of expensive. That certainly describes my husband; easy-going, Southern, and expensive taste.

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is depositphotos_33302931-stock-photo-slice-of-pecan-pie.jpg
Stock photo until I can make a pecan pie and photograph the process!

French Apple Pie

1 cup sugar

1 tsp cinnamon

8 or 9 cored, peeled, and sliced granny smith applies

2 tbsp flour

Mix sugar, cinnamon, and flour, then mix through the apples.

Pile high in a pastry line pie pan, then dot with butter.

Pack the following crumb topping onto the apples.

1/2 cup butter

1/2 cup brown sugar

1 cup flour

Bake at 400 degrees F for 15 minutes, then turn oven down to 350 for 45 minutes.

It’s done when it gets bubbly around the edges.

Cranberry Orange Sponge Cake

  • Orange Sponge Cake:
  • 1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 ⅓ cups all-purpose flour
  • 3 ¼ teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ¾ cups plus 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 3 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 2 tablespoons whole milk
  • Cranberry Filling;
  • 1 bag (about a pound) of cranberries
  • 1/2 to 3/4 cup sugar
  • Frosting:
  • 8 oz cream cheese, softened
  • 1 lb confectioner’s sugar
  • zest of an orange, and a little juice
  1. Heat oven to 350 degrees and place a rack in the center. Grease and line the bottoms of two 8-inch round cake pans with parchment paper.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder and salt.
  3. In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Beat in eggs, one at a time, until incorporated, then beat in milk, scraping down sides of the bowl as necessary. Add the orange zest and mix until just combined. Mix in flour mixture until combined, then scrape into prepared cake pans, smoothing the top.
  4. Bake cakes until golden brown and springy, and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, 25 to 30 minutes. Let cool for about 10 minutes, then flip them onto a wire rack to cool completely.
  5. Add to a saucepan the cranberries, about half to three-quarters a cup of sugar, and a good squeeze of orange zest. Bring to a bubble, then simmer about 20 minutes, until it has reduced and is still shiny. Cool completely.
  6. Beat the cream cheese in a stand mixer, gradually adding in the confectioner’s sugar. Add the zest of an orange and use orange juice to loosen the texture, as needed. This frosting can be a stiffer consistency than usual, so be careful when adding liquid.
  7. Transfer one cake (the less attractive one) to a serving platter, and spread slightly more than half of the cream cheese frosting evenly on top. Add slightly more than half of the cranberry mixture, spreading almost to the edge of the frosting. Stack the other cake on top, then add the frosting and jam in the same order as before.