Thursday, July 29, 2010

Holy Crepe!

What's that you say? I am in the process of some personal changes this year. One of the things I am doing is trying to introduce my kids, and my family, to more dinner options. In the past, we seemed to have gotten into a rut. Monday was a chicken casserole, Taco Tuesdays, Make-Your-Own-Salad Wednesdays, you get the idea. So at the start of this year, I have been mixing it up - literally and figuratively! We have had Fried Rice, Spaghetti Carbonara, Shrimp 'Po Boys, Shrimp and Grits, homemade potato chips, Berry Summer Salad, Strawberry Soup and the list goes on. So last night, I decided to go back to one of our favorite vacation memories - buying crepes filled with bananas and chocolate, Nutella and Gruyere cheese (not all in the same crepe!) off the streets in Paris. My kids gobbled them up so I decided to give them a go.

I have four favorite recipe resources:,, and my collection of 40+ cookbooks! What I love about the websites is that you can save recipes that look good in your recipe box. What I love about the cookbooks is the wrinkled pages covered in chocolate or smeared with something! Then when perusing for something for dinner, voila! So I came across a recipe for Chicken and Asparagus Crepes - yummy. I bought all the ingredients but didn't get around to making it for a week. When I actually got all the ingredients out of the fridge, I realized my carnivore children ate all the ham (also included in the recipe) so we went without.

To make crepes, you first have to make a mixture in a blender and chill for an hour. Done and here's the delicious recipe we followed from (submitted by Eric Nesbitt):

2 eggs
1 cup milk
2/3 cup all-purpose flour
1 pinch salt
1 1/2 teaspoons vegetable oil

In a blender combine eggs, milk, flour, salt and oil. Process until smooth. Cover and refrigerate 1 hour.
Heat a skillet over medium-high heat and brush with oil. Pour 1/4 cup of crepe batter into pan, tilting to completely coat the surface of the pan. Cook 2 to 5 minutes, turning once, until golden. Repeat with remaining batter.

Caitlin, my oldest, really got into making the crepes and took over the cooking of them. She also came up with a long line of other fillings you can make. I like the sounds of chicken, broccoli, bacon and Gruyere cheese!

Next came the filling, another recipe from (submitted by Angela Leinenbach):

1/2 cup condensed cream of chicken soup, undiluted
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1 dash ground nutmeg
1 cup chopped cooked chicken
1 cup cut fresh or frozen asparagus, thawed
1/3 cup chopped fully cooked ham (We didn't use since we were out)
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese, divided
1/2 cup heavy whipping cream, whipped
1/3 cup mayonnaise


In a small bowl, combine the soup, Worcestershire sauce and nutmeg. Set aside 1/4 cup. Add the chicken, asparagus and ham to remaining soup mixture. Spoon 2 tablespoonfuls over each crepe; roll up tightly. Place seam side down in a greased 9-in. square baking pan. Spoon reserved soup mixture over crepes. Sprinkle with 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese.
Cover and bake at 375 degrees F for 20-25 minutes. Gradually fold cream into mayonnaise. Spread over crepes. Sprinkle with remaining Parmesan. Broil 6 in. from the heat for 3-5 minutes or until bubbly and golden brown.

We served them with a simple salad of mixed greens, cranberries, sunflower seeds, goat cheese and a homemade dressing. The kids gobbled them up (my husband is a lawyer and currently preparing for a trial so he wasn't home until about 9:30 but gobbled them up then!).

So, my foray into cooking has officially begun this year. I have actually even started watching cooking shows which I used to find so annoying. I really don't like to watch other people eat. Something about the microphoned chomping that just drives me nuts! However, I can slowly feel myself being drawn to cooking more and more. What's the best part of it you ask? Having a fresh and exciting meal to serve my family? No. Having my family sitting together at the table? No. Having my girls clear the table and do all the dishes? You bet!!

P.S. I actually have photos of the crepes and the finished dish but am experiencing some camera issues. Will hopefully post soon!

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

The Sights of Summer . . .

Can't. Stay. Ahead. Of . The. Dog. Hair! HELP!!! I spent a good part of Sunday sweeping and vacuuming up the hair from our black lab, Hattie. Now she is a really sweet dog and I love her to death however, she has a real issue with shedding. Now I know that is not her fault I just wish she could learn to clean up after herself. Wonder if I used Rogaine on her, would she stop losing her hair??

Yesterday, I dropped both of my Invisalign braces on the ground. I found one immediately, the other I couldn't find. I got down on my hands and knees to get a better look. I started gasping at all the dog hair hiding under the TV stand, the bookcase, the couch!! Never saw the brace literally right in front of me! The hair was everywhere - AGAIN! At that moment, my husband, his friend and his 3 kids, not to mention the 3 kids already in my house, all walked in the door. Yes, I am on the ground, covered in hair and they want to know what I am doing (somewhat reasonable question I guess!). I tell them and they all rush over to help! This would have been fine, and appreciated, but I was mortified by the little patches of dog floating around my house!! Have no fear, the brace was recovered, covered in dog hair (yes, it's been cleaned) and everyone headed to the pool. Except me who got out the vacuum!

Skip ahead three hours later, Rich (my husband) and I finally sit down to eat after everyone's gone and the girls are in bed. We sit by the TV to watch the rest of the Tampa Bay Rays game (Go Rays! They won!). I just put my feet up and what to my wondering eyes goes by, not one, not two, but three little hair balls!! If I was Martha Stewart, I would gather them and knit them into a holiday quilt however, I am not. I therefore, me being me, decided to name them and enjoy them being in my house! Now when the girls ask for another pet, we have several already in our home! Pick one. If you can't beat them, join them!

Monday, July 19, 2010

I Sound Like a Broken Record . . .

Ok, so that analogy didn't go over well with my two girls. What's a record? That doesn't make any sense? Like a World Guinness Record? Mom, what are you talking about?? So my kids don't get that. In hindsight, I don't think anything will fill that void. We can't sound like scratched CDs or DVDs, they just freeze, not keep repeating themselves like a mom home with her kids on summer break.

Now bear in mind, I LOVE being a stay-at-home mom. It's the best part of my life however, we are now on Week 6 of summer vacation. I am trying REALLY hard to keep my house in shape (it is currently on the market and could be shown at any time). My kids are basically good but they are basically slobs at the same time.

Here is a sound bite of my typical day:
Me: Did you feed the dog?
Olivia: No.
Me (later): Did you feed the dog?
Olivia: Yes. (yeah, small victory)
Me: Where did you put the scoop?
Olivia: (no reply, just jumps off the couch and I hear her put the scoop back in the dog food.)

Me: Your purse in on the dining room table, can you please put it up?
Caitlin: (no reply)
Me: Did you hear me?
Caitlin (can't make out what she said).
Me (later walking by the dining room): Caitlin, your purse is still on the dining room table, I need you to put it away.
Caitlin: (no reply)
Caitlin (later - yelling): Mom? Where's my purse?

A broken record! I could give you many more examples but I imagine we all have them playing in our homes. My kids told me they were sick of me constantly repeating the same things - trust me kids, I am sick of having to say them!

We were all swimming in the pool on Saturday afternoon. We swam laps, had a frozen drink and were just hanging out in the pool. I went in to get some snacks and looked around the kitchen, it was clean. The girls had finished their lunches and put their plates AND cups in the dishwasher!! It was a major victory! I did a little dance, right there in the kitchen, to the sound of a broken record playing in my head!