Tag Archives: dessert

Crepe Expectations

crepesCrepes are delicious and exotic, sweet and savory, simple yet complex, intimidating but…what are you talking about???…so easy to make!

Can we talk? I have always wanted to make crepes at home, but feeling so out of my element, fearing the technique might be so way over my head that I never attempted it. Besides, don’t you have to assemble the batter ahead of time and allow it to chill in the refrigerator for something like 20 minutes? Listen, I don’t do ahead of time too much. Especially when it’s mid-caffeinated-slowly-achieving-consciousness-o’clock, you know what I mean?

But when my 15 year old son came to me not too long ago and said “Hey Mom, can you make crepes?”, I realized the time had come to face my fear of the crepe and take the plunge. I mean, this is the kid who never offers a clue as to what he’d like to eat, but every clue as to what he doesn’t want to see on his plate.

So I Googled the recipe online, and to my great astonishment and relief, you don’t have to make the batter ahead of time, and you don’t have to chill it.  I whipped them up in under 10 minutes expecting to throw out the first batch, ala pancakes, but lo and behold, they came out perfectly the first time. I filled them with banana and Nutella, cherry pie filling, with apricot preserves, raspberry preserves and apple compote. It was a veritable crepe fest in my kitchen, yo. It was positively crepe-tastic!

And my son? He was actually impressed. He loved them! And that, my friends, is worth its weight in gold.  Or blue steel.

Then a wonderful thing happened. I mentioned my crepe experience to a friend who is culinarily in the know, telling him that I was considering investing in a crepe pan. He recommended a good, inexpensive pan and suggested I get two in order to crank the tasty discs out continuously.

A week or so before Christmas, a box arrived at my doorstep. Inside were the pans, courtesy of my culinarily in the know, incredibly thoughtful friend.  He later told me that his pans were almost black from use, with a nice patina which had formed over time and many crepes. The pans are, of course, also great for omelettes, their shallow, sloped sides, making flipping a cinch. They’re French, and they’re coated in a thin layer of wax that you don’t scrub off; that’s how they’re seasoned. You need only wash them with dish soap and a sponge, dry and further season with a light coating (about one tablespoon) of vegetable oil before the first use.

So now I’ve overcome my fear of the crepe. I make them almost weekly. Sweet, savory, dessert, breakfast, heck – I might even make a lunch crepe with ham and gruyere. Ooh – and some pear.  That rhymed.

Here is the recipe I use:  Courtesy of All Recipes.com

Makes 8 crepes
Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 20 minutes

Ingredients: 

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

To make: 

In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the flour and eggs. Gradually add the milk and water, stirring to combine. Add the salt and butter; beat until smooth. Heat a lightly oiled griddle or frying pan over medium high heat. Pour or scoop the batter onto the griddle, using approximately 1/4 for each crepe. Tilt pan in a circular motion to coat the surface evenly.

Cook the crepe for about 2 minutes, until the bottom is light brown. Loosen with a spatula, flip an cook the other side.

Serve hot.

Here’s where you can get the pans. I love them and highly recommend them.

Photo by PetitPlat – Stephanie Kilgast / CC BY 

The Amazing Women of Pie-giving 2014!

Our first annual Pie-giving delivery was an emotionally fueled one for me.

These women.

Inspire me to be a better person every day.

These women.

Remind me how strong we can be when we lift one another up.

These women.

Make me smile, laugh and cry.

Thank you for these priceless gifts!

I will remember and cherish this Thanksgiving always.

To all the past, present and future, women of First Step, you are my heroes!

And G-I-A-N-T thanks, hugs and kisses, to all of our family, friends and fans, who helped make this year’s Pie-giving possible! Let’s do it again next year…BIGGER & BETTER!

Here are a few of the amazing women I had the privilege of delivering pies to this year (click on each image to view the full photo):

“A League of Our Own” wine & dessert tasting event benefiting Harlem RBI and DREAM Charter School

I was having a particularly challenging personal day, during a particularly challenging personal week, during a particularly challenging personal month, when I received just the ray of sunshine I needed to begin parting the clouds of my psyche.

Taking a couple hours to escape reality one Wednesday afternoon, I decided to stroll through Chelsea Market. I love everything about the space from its origins as a Nabisco factory to the live webcam catching glimpses of visitors as they pass the waterfall to the myriad of vendors who now call the space home. I can’t fathom how anyone can wander through the market without buying a little something along the way.

Anyway, on that afternoon as I perused the bacon fat slicked brussels sprouts in Dickson’s Farmstand Meats’ window, I received a telephone call. Harlem RBI was hosting their 5th  annual “A League of Our Own” event on the evening of Thursday, March 7, at Radio City Music Hall, and they were wondering if Alecia Bakery NYC would be interested in participating.

Two years after we opened our doors to East Harlem boys in 1991, a group of girls marched into Harlem RBI offices and demanded a league of their own. Since then, girls have enjoyed a place to play, learn and grow at Harlem RBI. Today, Harlem RBI and DREAM Charter School annually serve more than 600 girls and young women and will continue to support them as they become our leaders and change makers in the community and beyond.

 A League of Our Own is our fifth annual wine and chocolate tasting event set at the historic Radio City Music Hall. The elegant affair includes exquisite wines, chocolates and heavy hors d’oeuvres from premiere New York restaurants and dessert shops. A silent auction will support our programs in East Harlem. Join us as we celebrate the strength and perseverance of the girls and women at Harlem RBI and DREAM.

Interested? Very little could have pulled me away from ogling the gorgeous green orbs, but this proposition made my heart soar! After a bit more discussion, it was agreed that an assortment of our caramels would be most fitting for the event’s expected 300 guests. And with that simple decision, the smile returned to my face, all of the “garbage” that had been weighing on me began to fall away from my shoulders and I felt reenergized.

Its quite simple. Nothing makes me feel as good as when I’m helping others. And it was an honor and a privilege to be given the opportunity to help such an amazing organization.

                   

                                                     

The ol’ gal can still clean up pretty well!

I rarely have time to go out socially these days and even rarer still are the occasions that allow me to get “all dolled up,” as a dear friend commented recently. But, on the wet, blustery winter evening of the event, I walked into the glittering Grand Foyer of Radio City Music Hall feeling like a modern day Cinderella. Dessert stations presented attendees with such an array of chocolate desserts that even the most fanatical chocolate lover would have been dizzied by the amount of cacao on display. Wine glasses sparkled and clinked. And wooden trays of delectable savory morsels floated by on the arms of servers dressed in Harlem RBI tees.

It was an evening I will always remember, but perhaps not for the reasons you may think. You see, many years ago I was a public school teacher in two extremely challenging school districts (Flint, MI and Jersey City, NJ). I gravitated towards the students who were at most risk, who had the least hope, who needed the most encouragement. I found joy in being their personal cheerleader. So while all of the luxe accoutrements of the evening’s event were spectacular, it was the three women who spoke and the stories they told that captured my heart and made me a Harlem RBI and DREAM Charter School supporter for life.

A beautiful young lady spoke of her “a-ha” moment when she realized what it was like to be a part of a team at Harlem RBI. One of the four highest ranking female executives at Delta Airlines shared her most terrifying professional moment — when she had to explain why she was qualified to continue to do the job she had successfully earned and loved, but due to a torrent of bad luck had failed miserably. And the effervescent Principal of DREAM Charter School recounted one of her most challenging cases — an 8 year old boy who when asked by his mother in the presence of the Principal, “Why did you say you aren’t going to college?” answered plainly, “You didn’t.”

All of the stories shared that evening served to remind me that every obstacle can be overcome and every goal can be reached with perseverance and the help and support from others. Oh, one more thing, and my favorite quote from the evening, “There’s a special place in hell for women in business who don’t help one another.”

Click on the image for more pics from the event!