Crepes Bonaparte – Food Truck Review

I had the pleasure of eating lunch at Crepes Bonapartes http://www.crepesbonaparte.com food truck the other day.  I am not the biggest crepe fan by any means and I am not sure I am now however; this was a wonderful lunch and inspired a similar sandwich creation at home.  I had the King Brie crepe.  The king brie is creamy brie, crisp apple slices, bacon and turkey breast.  Great combination.  Nothing was served with the crepe and I think some greens with vinaigrette would have balanced this rich lunch out nicely.

Crepes Bonaparte was featured on the Food Networks “On The Road” show.  From their Facebook page “Crepes Bonaparte gourmet food truck and private event crepe bar catering recreates the experience of enjoying French crepes on the streets of Paris, France with made to order breakfast, lunch, and dessert style crepes.”

I really enjoyed my lunch here with two exceptions; I think my crepe was a tad too crispy and it needed something clean and sharp on the side.

 

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Eggs Benedict Arnold.

You win some, you lose some, you completely botch some.

I was craving Eggs Benedict so I made them. Including the Hollandaise sauce…from scratch. I’ve had better. Not worse, but definitely better.

You see, what had happened was…I forgot a lemon at the store and figured oh well I have lemon powder that is dried out lemon juice. I love lemon and lemon powder might have over Super duper charged the lemon juice I made or the powder turned on me.

For this you need: Shaved Virginia Ham, free range eggs, English muffins, butter, fresh lemon juice and humility should it not turn out. I used salted butter and then added salt.  I think the two, salt and bad lemon mojo, conspired to humble me on this most aggrevating Tuesday.  The dogs liked it, but frankly they lick their own butt.

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I am not posting any further recipe at this time because it did not turn out BUT I will re-post this when I have figured out where I mucked it up.

Rogue Chili – got dang purt near burned my face

Ok this will be quick, I’m making dinner for the boys, creole chicken with cheese grits. I decided to throw a little Anaheim chili in with the grits so I cut it in half and was chopping it up and thought to myself ” I’ll eat a big piece as a snack, they aren’t hot” I dang near burned my face off. This Anaheim chili was as hot as a Serrano chili.

Lesson learned boys and girls, test your chili before throwing it in the pot.  Disaster avoided.

Eat well.

Jeffrey

Risin’ up straight to the top…of my favorite foods list! Tall Boy Biscuits

We all know the song.  Catchy tune.  If you don’t know what song I am referencing then email my husband for a pop culture education.  That is his realm, not mine.  I can’t name but a handful of actors, singers; Dame Judy Dench, Dame Hellen Mirren, Emily Blunt, Meryl Streep, you catch my drift…  I love British films or at least British actors.  Maybe these are proper English tea biscuits but I sincerely doubt it.

Anyway, welcome to my first real attempt at making biscuits.  I’m a prodigy so they turned out perfectly. Actually I am just kidding…about the prodigy thing; I think we all remember the cheese straw incident but the biscuits did turn out perfectly.

I researched a couple different recipes and sort of averaged them out.  I had plenty of flour and shortening so the risk on these was low, except cutting in the shortening which I actually did with two knives. Ree Drummond, The Pioneer Woman http://thepioneerwoman.com/ stated this method would never work for her but it does indeed work. (Someone PLEASE send me a pastry cutter because two knives took forever!!!)

This recipe  made 11 2 inch biscuits.  I wish I had made them larger, but you live, eat and learn.

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my usual all ingredient picture

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little salt dish we received more than 5 years ago as a wedding gift, I think Alton Brown has the same one

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flour leveled off with a knife, you should really weigh flour when baking

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whisking all dry ingredients together

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about to cut the shortening in to the flour mixture

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ha ha, I’m a cut up, or in

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after stirring in the milk

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I mean REALLY flour the board

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ready for baking SIR!

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fresh out of the oven!

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Yummy!

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close up to tease you

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delicious European butter

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going in for the kill

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you catch more flies with honey…

 

The Recipe

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.

2 cups of all purpose flour

1 T baking powder

1 t salt

1 to 1 1/2 T sugar

1/3 cup vegetable shortening

1 cup milk  * note, I always use whole milk when baking

butter, honey, jam – not required but you are going to want these on hand.  trust me on this one.

1. Sift or whisk together the dry ingredients.

2. Cut in the shortening until you have crumbs the size of small peas, like La Seur baby peas.  I love those….

3. Slowly stir in the milk until the dough comes together.

4. Turn the dough out onto a floured board.  Well floured folks!  This dough does not like to be poked, prodded or otherwise fussed over.

5. Gently form the dough into a disk about 3/4 to an inch thick.

Bake 12-14 minutes or until just golden brown on top.  Eat immediately.  OK, you can wait if you want to but I ate these immediately.

Sorry, I am still learning to type out recipes!

*NOTE – I brushed the flour off the tops because I do that when baking breads, I think it looks and tastes better to not start eating something covered in flour.

Blondies – Call me, call me any, anytime

There are few desserts that I find more simply satisfying or simple to make than Blondies.  I prefer to sing some song by Blondie when I make them, for good luck or good music – either way it works out for me.  I suggest “Call Me”, “Heart of Glass” or “Maria”.  Blondies are not at all like a brownie without chocolate.  A blondies flavor comes from the brown sugary goodness.  It is a dessert in its own right, not to be lumped in with brownies; a dessert I am sure to cover one of these days.  Blondies almost cry out to be served with a glass of ice-cold milk.  They are quick and easy and the result…amazing.  In an 8×8 pan you get 9 blondies.  I eat four, leaving two each for the boys.  Blondies have never brought out my best charitable attributes.   Don’t feel bad if you fall prey to their amber colored siren song.

This time, despite my best efforts of locating vanilla in our postage stamp sized kitchen, I used maple extract.  Maple brown sugar?Can’t be all bad.  Against my better judgement I threw in the 1/3 cup butterscotch chips.  There may be too many things going on and thereby overcomplicating my long-time favorite dessert.

I was at the casino once with my Husband Timothy and he bought one of the largest, best blondies I have ever had.  I should have asked for the recipe but I had casino fever; I came out about a grand ahead, but that was long ago.

The boys love these, I love these.  I don’t think I know anyone in real life that doesn’t like blondies.

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All the materials.

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buttered pan

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buttered and floured pan

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I love love love the look and feel of brown sugar.

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I could swim in the butter brown sugar mixture.

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Here I added the maple extract

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Added the salt, baking powder and baking soda.

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Hoping the butterscotch chips were a good idea.Image

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I always panic they weren’t going to level out in the pan.

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Nothing to do with blondies, but I got this for Tim for Christmas from http://fredandfriends.com

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Blondie belly button 🙂  obviously, that is the hole from the toothpick test.

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OMG cooled and ready to eat.

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looking good old friends

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Serves 9 or 2 depending…

Preheat your oven to 350 F oven.  I think with baking it is important to preheat the over for at least 20 minutes prior to ensure even heat.

1/2 cup of butter, melted
1 cup of tightly packed dark brown sugar
1 egg, lightly beaten
1 t of vanilla – I used maple extract.
1/2 t baking powder
1/8 t of baking soda
pinch of salt
1 cup of all-purpose flour
1/3 cup of butterscotch chips

1) Preheat the oven to 350F. Prep an 8X8 pan with some butter and flour. Whisk together the melted butter and sugar in a bowl.

2) Add the egg and vanilla extract and whisk.

3) Add the flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt, mix it all together. Add the chocolate chips or other mix-ins.

4) Pour into the pan and spread evenly. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Allow to cool. Cut into squares and serve.

Cheese Straws – Southern or not, mostly delicious

Although my friend Mo and her mom Cat might deny that Cheese Straws are indeed a Southern Classic; I made them and they are wonderful…but what do you eat them with?  The boys “liked them” but the oldest said they dried his mouth out a little and maybe some ham on them would be better.

Below is the recipe I used.  I am not sure I will make them again anytime soon.  Maybe I am not Southern enough or maybe I just wasn’t the biggest fan.  I have read other recipes and they say to bake until crisp.  Maybe I just need to play around with these some more.

I think more salt, and maybe some dry mustard would be an improvement or even some bacon grease, but then again there are very few things that bacon grease doesn’t improve in the kitchen.  Even our cat Thai would likely agree to this idea!

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Our family cat: Thai

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Sifting the dry ingredients together.

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Creaming the butter and cheese together.  Total nightmare. Next time I am using the stand Mixer. OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Cool it buddy!

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All finished

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Ingredients:
A little less than 2 cups all purpose flour

1/2 t cayenne pepper

1/2 t kosher salt

2 sticks butter, at room temperature ( apparently softer than 2 hours in a 73 degree house)
2 cups shredded Cheddar cheese although I hear parmesan works great too.

The How To:

Preheat the oven to 310 degrees F.

Use a mixer to cream together the butter and the cheese then set this aside.  At this point I was ready to throw in the towel because cheese and not quite soft enough butter were flinging  all over the kitchen.  Sift the flour, cayenne pepper and salt together  into a bowl.  Add the dry mixture 1/2 cup at a time into the creamed butter and cheese.  I was told to pipe them onto a cookie sheet using a large star tip.  That wasn’t going to happen in a million years.   I did not get a soft batter but more like a soft pie dough consistency.  Luckily my husband had a cookie spritzer and I used that, which was the perfect tool in my opinion.

Bake for about 15 minutes until set and lightly toasted.  Cool on cookie racks.

Bánh mì for me

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I have been craving a Bánh mì sandwich for about 2 weeks now.  It is an extremely satisfying sandwich; the crunch of the baguette, creamy mayonnaise, heat from the serrano chili, refreshing citrusy notes from the cilantro and the richness of the pork all combine to make kitchen magic.

They sell them everywhere in the Vietnamese section of town about 10 miles from where I live.  However close that might seem somehow, as most foodies do, I rationalized that it would be easier and better to go to the market buy the missing pieces and make it myself.

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I have never made one myself so the recipe below is mine and mine alone.  I left out the carrot because it is my kitchen after all and I couldn’t buy just one carrot.   I also substituted daikon radish sprouts for actual daikon radish; sprouts and I typically do not get along.  I like the texture and look of them but there is this certain dirty taste to them I cannot shake so I might pluck those off.

The bahn mi came out better than good, but not great – easy fix.

I marinated the pork tenderloin for 2 hours in :

1t minced garlic

1/4 t lime zest

1t chopped cilantro

1/3 cup soy sauce

3T rice vinegar

1/3 light brown sugar – not packed

I grilled the pork tenderloin until it reached an internal temperature of 160 and then removed it from the grill and wrapped it in foil until it settled and reached 170 degrees.  So far so good.  This was a great pork tenderloin; juicy and flavorful.

 

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I then split the baguette and hollowed out a small trough on both sides.  I spread the baguette with a lime mayonnaise  (1/4 cup mayonnaise with the juice of one lime) that I added a pinch of salt and 1/3 of a serrano chili minced.  This is where I went wrong.  The sandwich was missing its signature heat.  I wish I had used more serrano and I will for the next one I eat.

I then layered slices of the pork, cilantro and the daikon radish sprouts. Remember when I said I didn’t know how I would like the sprouts? I LOVED them.  They provided some of the crunch that was missing with the omitted carrot and had wonderful flavor and texture.

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Scallions, Green Onions or Chives

Two or three days a week when I am picking up my very boring lunch in the company provided “cafe” I hear people asking for chives on their baked potato while pointing to scallions.  There is a distinct difference between scallions, green onions and chives.

A scallion should not have a white bulb on the bottom but will usually have a white portion towards the bottom.  A green onion has a small white bulb on the bottom and is a young onion.  A chive is an herb and the smallest edible member of Allium schoenoprasum. 

All three are members of the Allium family with each offering different tastes.  Chives offer a very delicate flavor and when cut look like tiny beautiful green bugle beads.  Not to downplay green onions and scallions but chives will always be my favorite.  You can even tie asparagus bundles with them for a beautiful presentation.

We could go on from here to cover other members of the onion family up to and including garlic chives but really I just needed a moment to clarify the difference because I am craving the perfect scrambled eggs with smoked Gouda and chives.

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