Thursday, February 9, 2012

Chocolate Crepes with Vanilla Caramel Sauce

Life revolves around love. Songs and music are inspired by it, wars are fought, hearts are broken, and hearts are healed, all in the name of love. Love can be shown in so many ways, and I show my love through food. So in the theme of love, since Valentine's Day is right around the corner, I bring you a perfect dessert recipe that will warrant you a hug, and is SO much better than a box of chocolates.

This is not my first attempt at making crepes, I make them pretty often, usually with nutella and some fruit. But I wanted to experiment with CHOCOLATE.  The rich chocolate crepes are perfect for a Valentine's Day (or night) treat! And for those of you who are dazed by how quickly the days are going by, the 14th is next week! 

Crepes are amazing; so versatile. You can make them savory or sweet, mix and match hundreds of fillings and toppings, and eat them as appetizers, main dishes, or dessert. The possibilities are endless! I have been having a huge craving for crepes, so tonight my awesome husband cooked me dinner and I made crepes for dessert :). 

My chocolate crepes are filled with nutella and bananas, drizzled with vanilla caramel sauce, and topped with strawberries and toasted almonds. This is what heaven is. I cannot begin to describe the AMAZING-ness of this dessert! Do yourself a favor and make this for the special person or people in your life. I guarantee that you will be rewarded with ooh's and aah's.

Chocolate Crepe Batter: makes 4 crepes

- 1/3 cup all purpose flour
- 1 tbs dutch processed cocoa
- 2 tbs granulated sugar
- pinch of sea salt
- 1/2 cup milk
- 1 1/2 tbs melted butter
- 1 egg yolk
- 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
- 1 tsp pure almond extract
- nutella, sliced bananas, sliced strawberries, powdered sugar, toasted almonds


Sift together flour, cocoa, sugar, and salt.  In a separate bowl, whisk together milk, butter, egg yolk, and extracts.

Add flour/cocoa mixture to the liquid and whisk until smooth.

Heat up a skillet until hot. Spray pan with butter or melt 1/2 a tbs of butter. Pour a 1/4 of batter into pan and tilt in order for the batter to spread into a thin large pancake.  Cook for about a 1 1/2 minutes, flip carefully, and cook for another minute.

Spread nutella onto crepe, top nutella with bananas, and fold over crepe. Sprinkle with powdered sugar, top with sliced strawberries, drizzle with vanilla caramel (recipe to follow), and sprinkle with toasted almonds!

Vanilla Caramel Sauce:

- 1/4 cup butter
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1/4 cup light brown sugar
- 1/4 cup heavy whipping cream
- 1/2 tbs pure vanilla extract


In a small saucepan, melt butter and add sugars, and heavy whipping cream on medium heat. Let this mixture come to a rolling boil for about 5 minutes to thicken up.  Turn off the heat and add vanilla. Top your crepes, or use this sauce on ice cream, fruit, and other desserts!

Valentine's Day is not just for couples, it is for friends, for brothers and sisters, for parents, for pets, and any other important people in your life. So celebrate this day with those who make you feel special and loved! It doesn't have to be a huge production with flowers, candy, and gifts. Cook dinner together. There is nothing like bonding over cooking and enjoying a good meal, or dessert!

Happy eating and happy Valentine's day!

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Asian-y Baked Wings

Super Bowl weekend is upon us!! I am not a huge football fan, but I do love the excitement and fun Super Bowl brings. Who are you rooting for this Sunday, the Patriots or the Giants? My husband and our brother in law are huge Patriots fans, which means I need to dig out Shazad's Patriots shirt from the depths of one our many drawers so that I can wear it. Yeah, you read that right, so that I can wear it...weirdly, he never wears sports shirts.  But he wears this super old Astros hat EVERYWHERE! We all have our things.

Sidenote,  I am super excited about Madonna performing the half-time awesome is that?? It's MADONNAAAA!  One of the greatest musical icons ever.  Don't talk to me during the half-time show.

On to the more important question, what are you snacking on? Everyone knows the best thing about watching the BIG game is the noshing on chips and dip, mini everything, the drinks, and the football inspired desserts! One of the most popular snacks you will probably see at your Super Bowl party are the infamous chicken wings...fried, battered, sauce-y, grilled, buffalo-style, the list could go on...but have you tried BAKED chicken wings? They are absolutely delicious and flavorful, and so much healthier than your popular fried version. They take a little more time because of the baking, however, you can use that time to watch pre-game happenings, place your bets on who will win the coin toss, or what will Kelly Clarkson wear as she sings the national anthem (people actually bet on this?). 

No matter who or what you are betting on, these Asian inspired chicken wings will be sure to please both Patriot and Giant fans alike!

Disclaimer:  For those of you who know me, I never measure when I cook. Only when I bake. Since these wings are seasoned to your liking, sprinkle as little or as much dry seasoning as you want. I was helpful though, and have measurements for the sauce. You're welcome.

What you need:

- 20 wings and/or drummettes
- sesame oil
- salt
- pepper
- ground ginger
- garlic powder
- red chili flakes
- 1 tbs brown sugar
- 3 tbs soy sauce
- 1 tbs oyster sauce
- 1 tbs hot sauce
- 4 tbs butter, melted
- sesame seeds, for garnish


Preheat oven to 350.

Wash wings and thoroughly dry them with paper towels.

Lay the wings out into a glass dish, and  drizzle them with sesame oil. Sprinkle them with the salt, pepper, ground ginger, garlic powder, and red chili flakes. Rub the spices into the wings.

Bake wings for an hour.  As wings bake, get started on the yummy sauce!

In a large bowl, whisk together brown sugar with the soy sauce, oyster sauce, hot sauce, and butter.

Toss the baked wings in brown sugar sauce (wings are hot, be careful). Lay the wings back into the glass dish and allow them to bake for an additional 10 minutes. Set the oven on broil and broil wings for a final 5-7 minutes, or until nice and crispy. Keep an eye on them when on broil. They can easily burn!

That's it! You are ready to enjoy some finger licking good wings! I served these with baked seasoned potato wedges.  They would be great with sweet potato fries, veggies, and of course, do not forget the ranch and blue cheese dressings!

Enjoy your Super Bowl festivities, be responsible, sober drivers post-game, and may the best team win! The Patriots of course ;).

Happy Eating!!!