Block Party

February 9, 2012

Maybe we’re crazy, but every day Katie and I have the same debate about what to have for dinner. We’ve moved in to a place of meal planning and after coming up with all kinds of fun and new ideas, we get tapped out before our list is complete.

So.

I got creative and decided I’d make something to help us out.

I started with a piece of 2×2 and cut it in to uniform cubes.

I sanded down the edges so we didn’t have splinters, and then I got really lazy. The pretty thing to do would have been to paint them. I just didn’t care that much, so I took them inside and began making little suggestions for them.

Each block contains a set of foods – one is protein, one is veg, one is carb/starch and we just have a set to roll. I also did one for breakfast since we do a special Sunday breakfast each week.

 

This may all seem a bit silly, but the intention is to roll them to get a basic idea of where to go. It inspires ideas instead of sitting around with the convo “I don’t know, what do you want to have.”

This is an example. With this roll, I’d be inclined to pull together a BLT. Similarly you could make breakfast omelets with toast. It’s just a way to kick off some ideas. These aren’t fancy and took me less than 30 minutes to make INCLUDING the drying time of the glue. If you wanted to you could paint them, seal them, do all kinds of things to make them flashy.

BLOCK PARTY!

Crepes

January 15, 2012

Crepes have always been one of those things that is hyped up to be hard. So one day I thought why not? It turns out that they’re not too hard to make and they are quite a versitile vehicle to hold other food. Like fruit. Or chocolate. We’ve made them for sweet and for savory crepes, as well as in the traditional crepe and chocolate crepes (add cocoa powder!). Here is the basic recipe:

1 cup flour

2 eggs

1/2 cup milk

1/2 cup water

2 tablespoons melted butter

salt

Stir the wets together and add the drys, stirring just until they’re incorporated.The batter can be a little lumpy but try and smooth out the big bumps.

You can see in the back bowl there are a few lumps but largely the batter should pour nicely. Get a flat pan with some sides (we used a frying pan but a saucier is ideal) and get it screaming hot. Spray the pan with oil and pour in your first crepe. They don’t always turn out well, so we photographed the second one.

I find that to get a nice, large crepe, to use about a half  a cup of batter. Once it’s in the pan, swirl it around until you have a flat, even layer. They sell a special tool for spreading out the batter, but you don’t need it.

You can see that the liquid batter is coming over the now cooking edge along the bottom. Keep swirling in circles (although I make slight rounder crepes than Katie did :D)

When all the liquid batter has begun to cook, give it a moment to fully cook. You have to work pretty fast because these are thin little pancakes that will cook quickly. Once it’s cooked on the bottom, flip the crepe over and give it about 20 seconds on the other side. We flip them in to our oven set on warm to keep them toasty.

Before, during, or after, you can consider your filling. Ham and cheese is nice – I’d put those in as the bottom is cooking and then roll it omelette style, nutella and bananas, fresh strawberries and cream – the possibilities are endless. For this particular breakfast, I sauteed some apples in butter and brown sugar.

After dicing the apples, I threw a tab of butter in to the pan and let it melt and get hot. I then added the apples.

I gave these a moment to cook down, and then flipped in about 2 tablespoons of brown sugar. That melted and began to caramelize, so I also added some honey and cinnamon. This cooked until the apples were soft (but not mushy) and nicely caramelized – about five minutes. This will depend on how finely your apples are cut.

You can see they took on a nice chicken brown color. They also smelled delicious.

To prepare the crepes, I took one from the oven, filled it with a line of apples, and rolled it up. We had two each topped with the remainder of the apples and the leftover caramel sauce.

Oh so yum. Hopefully you’ll give these a go, and they will seem a little less scary. They’re totally worth it.