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TIP OF THE DAY: Buckwheat Crepe (Galette) Filled With Ham & Eggs

A crêpe is a type of very thin pancake, that can be served unfilled, with only a sprinkling of confectioners sugar, or with sweet or savoury filling.

  • They can be simple or elaborate—like Crêpes Suzette, flambéed with orange liqueur.
  • They can be folded (photos #1 and #2) or rolled into a tube shape.
  •  
    In their native region of Brittany, France, crêpes are made with wheat flour. Those made with buckwheat flour (photo #2) are called galettes*. In the U.S., you can use either term.

    Buckwheat crêpes are a gluten-free alternative to a traditional crêpe. A common galette filling in France is ham and cheese with a sunny-side-up egg on top.

    Play with the ingredients and make yourself a breakfast galette filled with the types of eggs, cheese and breakfast meat you prefer. You can also use combinations of:

  • Other meat, fish or seafood
  • Vegetables
  •  
    Galettes are just one type of buckwheat pancake. Blini are smaller and thicker, buckwheat pancakes, often served with caviar and sour cream. Here’s a photo.
     
     
    RECIPE: BUCKWHEAT CRÊPES (GALETTES)

    This recipe for galettes is from King Arthur Flour. Prep time is 20-35 minutes, cook time is 20-25 minutes.

    You can halve the recipe if you need five or fewer servings.

    Ingredients For 10-12 Crêpes

  • 1 cup buckwheat flour
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup milk (whole, 1% or 2%)
  • 1 tablespoon melted unsalted butter
  • 1/4 to 1/2 cup water
  •  
    For The Filling

  • Eggs
  • Cheese of choice
  • Ham or bacon (we used prosciutto)
  • Optional herbs
  •  
    Preparation

    1. MAKE the crêpe batter: Combine all the ingredients except water in a blender, and blend until smooth.

    2. COVER the batter and let it rest in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours or overnight. When you’re ready to make the crêpes…

    3. THIN the batter with water, using less water for thicker crêpes and more water for thinner ones.

    4. PREHEAT a crêpe pan or non-stick skillet over medium-high heat. Lightly grease the pan with butter, oil, or pan spray. Pour in enough batter to thinly coat the bottom of the pan. Swirling the pan as you pour the batter will help ensure an even coating.

    5. COOK the crêpe for 1 to 2 minutes on the first side, until it’s golden and lifts from the pan easily. Flip it over and cook for another 1 to 2 minutes on the other side.

    6. TOP with 2 tablespoons of grated Swiss cheese and a thin slice of ham. Cook until the cheese is melted and the underside is browned. In a separate pan, fry an egg to desired doneness. Place the egg in the center of the crêpe, sprinkle with herbs, then fold the edges towards the center to make a square.

     

    Buckwheat Crepe
    [1] A breakfast crepe (photo and recipe courtesy King Arthur Flour).

    Simple Crepe
    [2] Plain crêpes with a sprinkle of confectioners sugar. Here’s the recipe from Lauren’s Latest.


    [3] A rolled crêpe. Here’s the recipe from Let The Baking Begin.

     
    7. TRANSFER the cooked crêpes to a plate, keeping a towel over them to hold in the warmth. Fill as desired; serve immediately.

    While the crepês won’t keep—a stack of unfilled crêpes will start to adhere to each other—you can follow up the ham-and-egg crepes dessert crepes, filled with jam, fruit, ice cream, etc.
    ________________

    *Two pastry types are also called galette. First is a crusty flat cake (an inch or two high), such as an Epiphany Cake (galette des rois). The term is also given to a French pastry similar to a tart or a pie. Created in the days when most people lacked pie pans, the pie filling is placed atop the pastry dough on a work surface, and the dough edges are turned up to create an edge. Here’s a photo.

     

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    RECIPE: Cream Cheese Pound Cake For National Pound Cake Day

    Cream Cheese Pound Cake
    [1] Cream cheese pound cake bundt from The Baker Chick.

    Vanilla Beans
    [2] Vanilla beans (photo by Claire Freierman | The Nibble).

     

    March 4th is National Pound Cake Day. The original cake was created in England in the 1700s. Here’s the history of pound cake.

    Dense, buttery pound cake is one of our favorite cakes. This recipe is even richer, thanks to the added cream cheese.

    The recipe was sent to us by one of our favorite bakers, The Baker Chick. Easily made in a bundt pan, the recipe has a glaze for drizzling.

    We left off the glaze and enjoyed ours with ice cream, mascarpone and whipped cream (not all together!).
     
    RECIPE: CREAM CHEESE POUND CAKE BUNDT

    Ingredients

  • 1½ cups butter (3 sticks), softened
  • 1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese, softened
  • 2½ cups white sugar
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • Optional: 1 teaspoon lemon or almond extract -or- 1 tablespoon lemon or orange zest
  • 6 eggs, room temperature
  • 3 cups cake flour, sifted *
  • 1 vanilla bean, split open
  • 3 tablespoons whole milk (or a mixture of lowfat milk and heavy cream)
  • 1-2 cups powdered sugar
  • Cooking/baking spray
  •  
    Preparation

    1. PREHEAT the oven to 325°F. Spray well or grease a 10-inch bundt cake pan.

    2. CREAM together the butter, cream cheese and sugar for about 5 minutes or until very light and fluffy. Stir in the extract orr zest.

    3. ADD the eggs, one at a time, scraping down the bowl as needed. With the mixer on low speed, add the flour slowly and gradually. Do not over-mix—you’ll get a tough cake.

    4. POUR the batter into the prepared pan. Bake for 65-75 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Let cool. Meanwhile…

    5. MAKE the glaze. If you start the glaze when the cake goes into the oven, it will be ready when the cake is cooled. Pour the milk into a glass measuring cup and scrape in the vanilla bean.

    6. STEEP for an hour to give the milk mixture a strong vanilla flavor. Then add the powdered sugar and whisk with a fork until it’s thick and the right consistency for drizzling. Drizzle over the cooled cake.

      

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    TIP OF THE DAY: Healthy Snacks For National Snack Day

    March 4th is National Snack Day. Quick: Name your favorite snacks!

    Now, take a look at these better-for-you snacks, and see how you measure up.

    Most are easily portable. To sweeten the snacks, consider a Splenda/cinnamon mix: a packet of Splenda with a dash of cinnamon.

    In alphabetical order, we suggest:

  • Apple chips. Dried fruit can be high in calories. But unsweetened apple chips are a caloric bargain. Try them with plain yogurt, too,
  • Cheerios. It may sound strange, but think of them as you would a handful of nuts. Whole grain, crunchy comfort food, you can enjoy them plain, seasoned with a Splenda/cinnamon mix, with tea or coffee, or with a glass of nonfat milk.
  • Cottage cheese. This diet staple can be flavored with fresh herbs or a Splenda/cinnamon mix or Sugar-Free Jell-O.
  • Dark chocolate. Have a large square of chocolate, 70% cacao or more. The higher the percentage of cacao, the lower the sugar. Great with a cup of coffee or tea.
  • Diet egg cream. One of our favorite sweet treats: Mix diet chocolate soda with nonfat milk. Just 80 calories.
  • Fresh fruit. Another diet staple: Berries and melon cubes are the best caloric value; but apples, bananas and oranges are easier to pick up at delis and other grab-and-go locales.
  • Hard-boiled eggs. These days, it’s easy to buy them cooked and peeled (photo #2). Then, sprinkle with a pinch of salt and pepper (we like to spread them with Dijon mustard).
  • Hummus and crudités. Hummus is very nutritious but high in calories; so eat it with lots of crudités. Bell peppers, carrots, celery, cherry tomatoes, cucumbers and radishes pair well.
  • Jerky and beef sticks. Look for a brand that isn’t loaded with sugar and salt (photo #1). Because jerky is so chewy, a little goes a long way in satisfying snack cravings.
  • Nori strips. You don’t have to be a sushi lover to enjoy crisp nori snacks (photo #4). If you don’t like it plain, there are so many flavors, from barbecue to wasabi.
  • Nut butter with crudités. Carrots, celery and cucumbers bulk up the snack. Another pairing option: Triscuit Baked Whole Grain crackers.
  • Nuts. The USDA recommends one ounce of heart-healthy nuts daily. That equals 23 almonds, easy to carry around. Here are the other heart-healthy nuts.
  • Oatmeal. We keep unflavored packets in our desk drawer and cook them in the microwave, to enjoy plain or with our Splenda/cinnamon mix.
  • Olives. A staple of the Mediterranean diet, you can find them in snack pack sizes, or wrap up your own.
  • Popcorn. A big, fluffy cup can be enjoyed plain, with salt and pepper, or garnished in sweet or savory ways. Try chile flakes, flavored olive oil, grated parmesan, or a Splenda-cinnamon mix. Bonus: Popcorn is a whole-grain snack.
  • Rice cakes. Whole-grain brown rice cakes are filling, and while they aren’t high on nutrition, they’re only 35 calories apiece. Combine them with hummus, nut butter or yogurt.
  • Roasted chickpea snacks. A great source of protein, and a good choice of flavors.
  • Sardines. We drizzle a can of sardines with balsamic vinegar, and sprinkle whatever fresh herbs are in the crisper.
  • String cheese. Always popular. Or, have an ounce of cheddar with some Triscuits.
  • Sugar-Free Jell-O. There are numerous flavor choices, all at 10 calories per serving. Have all you want by itself, or with cottage cheese or yogurt.
  • Tuna or salmon pouches. Protein-packed, these are seasoned and ready to it, with or without crudites (photo #33).
  • Veggie chips. We dehydrate our own in the microwave with Mastrad trays.
  •  

    Chomps Grass Fed Beef Sticks
    [1] Grass-fed, non-GMO beef sticks from Chomps.

    Pete & Gerry's Organic Hard Boiled Eggs
    [2] Lots of protein: a real hunger quencher (photo courtesy Pete & Gerry’s).

    Star Kist Jalapeno Tuna Pouch
    [3] Seasoned tuna pouches: protein and omega-3s (photo courtesy StarKist).

    GimMe Teriyaki Seaweed Chips
    [4] Flavored seaweed strips in a variety of flavors (photo courtesy GimMe Health).

  • Yogurt. Plain greek yogurt or sugar-free yogurt is best. We’re not keen on the sugar-free varieties, but we do like to add 25 calories’ worth of topping to Greek yogurt: apple chips, diced strawberries, Cheerios, mini chocolate chips, pumpkin seeds, etc. We also like the yogurt plain with a packet of Splenda and a dash of cinnamon. Another option: Mix in a spoonful of jam or sugar-free jam.
  •  
    Your next step: Decide which of these to substitute for your less-than-good-for-you snacks.

     

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    TIP OF THE DAY: Cook With Peanut Butter

    Peanut Butter On Spoon
    [1] It’s National Peanut Butter Lovers Day. Enjoy peanut butter straight from the jar (photo courtesy Jif).


    [2] Celebrate by trying a new brand of artisan peanut butter (photo courtesy Once Again Peanut Butter).

    Spicy Thai Peanut Noodles
    [3] One of our favorite ways to cook with PB: Spicy Thai Peanut Noodles (photo courtesy Sable & Rosenfeld).


    [4] Rice noodles—they’re gluten-free (photo courtesy Sunbasket).


    [5] Sriracha, Thai hot sauce (photo courtesy Team Liquid).

     

    Once Again is a line of artisan nut butters that are organic and non-GMO.

    Located in a small rural community in western New York, it is a good corporate citizen: 100% employee owned and philanthropic. The company donates to more than 100 charities each year.

    The product line includes:

  • Almond Butter
  • Cashew Butter
  • Peanut Butter
  • Sunflower Seed Butter
  • Chocolate Hazelnut Butter
  • Packaged Nuts
  • Honey
  •  
    Within the nut butter category, there are sizes from snack packs to 9-pound tubs, along with the popular 12-ounce and 16-ounce jars.
     
    EVERY TYPE OF PB

    Because March 1st is National Peanut Butter Lovers Day, we’re going to home in on that product line. There’s everything a PB-lover could want:

  • American Classic Crunchy No-Stir Organic Peanut Butter
  • American Classic Creamy No-Stir Organic Peanut Butter
  • Old Fashioned Natural Creamy No Salt Peanut Butter
  • Old Fashioned Lightly Salted Natural Crunchy Peanut Butter
  • Old Fashioned Natural Crunchy No Salt Peanut Butter
  • Old Fashioned Lightly Salted Creamy Natural Peanut Butter
  • Organic Lightly Salted Natural Crunchy Peanut Butter
  • Organic Crunchy No Salt Peanut Butter
  • Organic Creamy Lightly Salted Peanut Butter
  • Organic Creamy No Salt Peanut Butter
  •  
    Wow, that’s a large menu of choices.
     
    DIFFERENT WAYS TO USE PB

    All those PB choices got us to thinking about cooking with peanut butter, beyond dipping sauce/peanut sauce, sandwiches/wraps/lettuce cups and sweets (brownies, cake, cookies, fudge, ice cream, pies, pudding etc.).

  • Bacon burgers condiment, other burgers and sliders
  • Energy bars and protein balls
  • Marinade (coconut milk, Greek yogurt, peanut butter)
  • Oatmeal and pancakes
  • Peanut butter chili (recipe)
  • Peanut soup (recipe)
  • Satay, kabobs and other chicken, fish and pork recipes
  • Shakes and smoothies
  • Stews
  • Thai pizza
  • Vinaigrette (rice vinegar, peanut butter, oil, sriracha)
  • Yogurt, yogurt dip
  •  
     
    RECIPE: SPICY THAI PEANUT NOODLES

    Thanks to Once Again Peanut Butter for this yummy recipe.

    Ingredients For 4 Servings

  • 1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 1/2 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
  • 1/4 cup warm water
  • 1/4 cup sweet chili sauce
  • 1/4 cup fresh lime juice
  • 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon dark brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon fresh ginger peeled and minced
  • 2 teaspoons soy sauce
  • 2 teaspoons sesame oil
  • 2 teaspoons sriracha
  • 1 clove garlic chopped
  • 1 8-ounce box or bag pad Thai rice noodles
  • 1 cup carrots, julienned or shredded
  • 1 cup red bell peppers, julienned
  • 1 cup snow peas, julienned
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • Garnish 1 lime wedge
  • Optional garnish: chopped scallions, julienned basil leaves
  •  
    Preparation

    1. PLACE the peanut butter, cilantro, water, sweet chili sauce, lime juice, rice vinegar, sugar, ginger, soy sauce, sesame oil, hot chili sauce and garlic in a blender. Purée until smooth. Set aside.

    2. HEAT the vegetable oil over medium high heat. Add the vegetables, season lightly if desired, and sauté for 3-4 minutes, until the vegetables have softened but still maintain some crunch. Set aside.

    3. COOK the noodles in simmering salted water for 1-2 minutes. Note that rice noodles cook very quickly. Drain the noodles and place back in the pot. Toss with the peanut sauce.

    4. SERVE: Arrange the noodles in a shallow bowl or on a plate. Top with a large scoop of the vegetables. Garnish with a lime wedge and basil.

      

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    TIP OF THE DAY: Create A King Cake Variation For Mardi Gras

    Will you be celebrating Mardi Gras on March 6th?

    If you hadn’t planned to, perhaps this fun food dessert project will appeal to you.

    Your challenge: to create your own version of King Cake, the staple Mardi Gras dessert (the history of Mardi Gras).

    Or bake this recipe from scratch.

    Or, make your favorite bundt with tri-colored boiled icing. Or cupcakes, with colored batter and/or variously iced in green, gold and purple.

    It could be any type of cake, cheesecake, a cream pie, cookies, trifle, pastry…. Apply a King Cake theme to one of your favorite desserts.
     
     
    WHAT IS KING CAKE?

    The King Cake (photo #1) is a Mardi Gras tradition in New Orleans, made only during this time of year. Just about every bakery sells the cake. Fans all over the country purchase the cakes by mail order.

    You can make a classic King Cake with this kit from King Arthur Flour.

    King cake is typically a Danish yeast ring (some are elaborately braided), brioche or cinnamon bread. It is covered by a poured white icing and sprinkled with purple, green and gold colored sugar.

    What makes a King Cake fun is the hidden charm—originally a baby, representing baby Jesus and now any charm you like.

    SAFETY NOTE: To avoid broken teeth on a coin, or accidentally swallowing a small charm, choose your charm wisely.

    And don’t bake a plastic charm in the cake: It will melt. Inserting a plastic charm from the bottom of the baked cake is the best way to go. (Poke a hole in the underside and insert the charm.)

    The person who gets the slice with the charm gets luck and prosperity for the year. In some traditions is given a gold cardboard crown (the Epiphany Cake tradition) and becomes “king” or “queen” for the day.

  • Most are covered in bright sanding sugars or icings in the Mardi Gras colors: green (faith), gold (power) and purple (justice).
  • Some are filled with candied or glazed fruits.
  • A small toy baby, representing the Infant Jesus, is typically inserted into the cake. The person who gets the slice with the baby wins a gold [cardboard] crown.
  •  
    If you’d like to understand more about it, here’s the history of King Cake.
     
     
    HOW WILL YOUR INTERPRETATION TAKE SHAPE?

    Whatever you make, use the three Mardi Gras colors (green, gold and purple). You can do this, for example, with:

  • Candied fruits
  • Candies (Sixlets, fruit sours, etc.)
  • Colored batter or dough
  • Colored dessert sauces
  • Colored fillings
  • Colored icing or whipped cream
  • Colored sauces or purées
  • Edible flowers
  • Fondant or marzipan
  • Sprinkles/sprinkle mixes, confetti, pearls and other garnishes
  • Colored white chocolate bark, fondue, etc.
  •  
    Here are some ideas.

  • Cheesecake (including individual cheesecakes) with tricolor toppings (fruits, glitter, etc.—photo #2)
  • Cookies, from iced sugar cookies to macarons (photo #5)to peanut butter (photo #4) and spritz cookies (photo #3)
  • Cream pies
  • Ice cream
  • Ice cream cake
  • Iced cupcakes, donuts, cinnamon rolls
  • Individual cakelets
  • Layer cake
  • Muffins with tricolor fruits
  • Popcorn with tricolor sprinkles
  • Pudding/mousse (colored vanilla, white chocolate)
  •  
    And, it doesn’t have to be sweet. In Spain, Roscón de Reyes (or rosca de reyes—ring of the kings) is traditionally eaten to celebrate Epiphany. You can add the Mardi Gras colors to create King Cake’s brother, King Bread.

    Consider a savory bread filled or topped with yellow, green and purple bell peppers (photo #6).
     
     
    MARDI GRAS RECIPES

  • Colored Cocktails In Gold, Green & Purple
  • Easy Gumbo
  • Gumbalaya (a cross of gumbo and jambalaya)
  •  

    King Cake
    [1] Classic King Cake: a yeast ring with boiled white icing and tri-color sprinkles (photo courtesy Hudson Chocolates).

    /home/content/p3pnexwpnas01_data02/07/2891007/html/wp content/uploads/king cake cheesecake restaurantrevolutionNOLA 230
    [2] A deconstructed King Cake, a fun variation and a way to show your creativity. Note that the baby is standing on top of the cake (photo courtesy Restaurant Revolution | NOLA).


    [3] Many cookies are just waiting to be decorated in green, gold and purple. Here’s the recipe for these spritz cookies from Karen’s Kitchen Stories.

    Mardi Gras Peanut Butter Cookies
    [4] You don’t have to be an expert baker to create your King Cake interpretation. These peanut butter cookies were transformed with food color (photo courtesy Jif).

    Mardi Gras Macarons
    [5] Tri-color macarons (photo courtesy Sucre | NOLA).

    Savory King Cake - King Bread
    [6] A savory bread ring with Mardi Gras colors: King Bread (photo courtesy Tres Pupusas).

     

     

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