How to Make Crepes

Crepe 1

I personally have always been a little afraid of making crepes. I think it goes back to a disastrous blackened, smokey kitchen, burned-to-the-pan experience I had at around age 17 after returning from a trip to France. I had seen them easily whipped up into paper thin, warm, delicious vessels of all of the very yummiest things like cheese, chocolate, and oozy fruit compote. And I thought, I can totally do this.

It turns out that I can, but there are a few things that I needed to mess up first before learning how to make it work on the stovetop in a frying pan without that very cool little wooden sweeper rake thing that the French swish around the griddle to make perfectly even, thin crepes. First of all, recipes always seem to call for a medium high heat to cook these over and that burns my butter immediately and turns my crepes into something more like giant flour based potato chips, instead of velvety soft envelopes for treats. So I use medium heat, and am poised to turn it down a bit if I notice things going south. My crepes certainly do not come out perfect looking, but they are very tasty and easy to whip up.

Crepe 4

For this morning’s breakfast (which, let’s face it, was really brunch because I didn’t really get rolling on making proper breakfast until around 11AM), I made crepes with a slice of swiss cheese thrown in and folded over on in the hot pan, and a pile of plain crepes that could be embellished however the person chowing down on them felt. There happened to be lemons and confectioner’s sugar already in the house, which is a classic flavoring for plain crepes and is absolutely delectable. This is a fun thing to make if you’re throwing a brunch, because it can be made much like a fancy, French, taco bar with a pile of crepes on a warm plate that you made ahead of time, and bowls of possible toppings ranging from sweet to savory (cheeses, fruit, nutella, maybe even smoked salmon??). Add in mimosas and you are officially a class act. (Or just actually serve tacos for brunch, that sounds like my kind of party 😉 )

The recipe below and here is adapted this recipe from Allrecipes.com, with a few slight changes and more notes on technique and details like how much butter to put in the pan, when to replenish to keep the crepes from sticking, but not drown them in butter, etc. Things that I learned the hard way, but you don’t have to!


{my crepe making audience}



2 eggs

1/2 cup milk

1/2 cup water

1 cup flour

 1/4 teaspoon salt

2 tablespoons butter, melted and cooled


1.  Whisk the eggs into the milk and water in a medium sized mixing bowl, preferably with a spout.

2.  Sift in the flour, or fluff it with a fork before forking it into the liquids. Basically, you’re trying to minimize lumps here. Whisk it all together thoroughly until relatively lump free.

3.  Whisk in salt and cooled melted butter (hot butter will cook the eggs).

4.  Heat a standard frying pan to medium. Give the batter one last whisk and then drop a small pat of butter into the hot pan. Whirl the butter around to coat the entire bottom of the pan and up the sides. Make sure you’re thorough with the butter or these things will stick!

5.  Pour about 1/4 cup of the batter into one side of the pan and immediately swirl around to coat the bottom. It’s ok if it’s a little lacy at the end of your swirl and doesn’t completely coat, the crepe will still taste good 🙂

6.  Cook for about a minute of so. When you see the edges starting to curl away from the pan, take the opportunity to slip a thin spatula in there to take a peek and see if the bottom is lightly browned. If it is, flip the crepe. I do this by tilting the pan almost completely perpendicular to the stove and pulling the crepe almost completely out onto the spatula and then popping it back in with the uncooked side down. This works because the crepes aren’t as heavy as classic American pancakes.

7.  Cook the opposite side for about a minute until lightly browned and then slide out onto a warm plate. If you are melting cheese into the crepe, put the cheese on top of it in the pan as soon as you flip it and melt for a minute before folding and then removing from the pan.

8.  Add a new pat of butter only when you need it. You can do at least a few crepes in between each re-buttering of the pan. They’ll be greasy and drowning in butter if you add a fresh pat in between each crepe.

Crepe 3


Lemon Bars

It seems that lemon bars are everywhere on the internet lately. I spotted them here, and a key lime variant here. A commentor even made mention of my beloved Smitten Kitchen’s adaptation of Ina Garten’s famed lemon bar recipe. Had enough yet? We’re not done. I agree that our taste buds need a jolt this time of year to get through this period of wintertime blues, so I’m throwing my hat in the ring as well.

I found this recipe about a year ago in Cooking Light magazine and have yet to taste it’s equal. Never say never, but using less sugar and cutting calories in the shortbread bottom makes for a delightfully light, tart bar, with a crisp cookie crust. I whipped these up using Meyer lemons I found at Trader Joe’s last week while stocking up on my tomato sauce and beef winter staples.

Baker’s Note: I omitted the toasted pine nuts in the recipe, lovely as they sound, because they are a bit more expensive than I wanted this batch to be. I’ve substituted almonds in the past, but wanted to see if this could be made nut-free for potentially serving to people with allergies. To make up for it, I used a cup of lightly spooned flour, stead of 3/4 of a cup. Worked like a charm.

This came out so well, that I think I’ll whip up another batch to bring to work for Valentine’s Day!

Italian Pasta Dinner with Spiced Up Sauce


Although I love the taste of simmered-all-day tomato sauce on my pasta, the absence of an Italian granny permanently installed in my kitchen prevents me from having it more more than once in an extreme while. To make up for the gaps, I’ve learned to freshen up bottled sauce in a snap with bright cherry tomatoes, and freshly clipped basil leaves. For a fast (almost) authentic Italian dish, serve it over spaghetti cooked perfectly al dente. Bellissimo.

*Note: This dish is inexpensive to make and can be easily enlarged for groups or parties.




(I can never resist dipping some bread into the sauce, can you?)


Homemade Guacamole


I was recently at a small summer pool party where the host decided to go super simple by serving hot dogs, hamburgers, and a HUGE bowl of fresh, homemade guacamole with chips. It was delicious. She didn’t stray from the classic pool party foods (which everyone, I mean everyone, loves.) and infused a little freshness and an exotic touch with the homemade guac. Here is my quick recipe for guacamole that has never failed me (or take more than 10 minutes to make when it’s just before kickoff time).


(super fresh cilantro, love how bright green it is)

(ground sea salt)


Melon Fruit Bowl


Fruit bowls are always a great contribution to pot lucks, barbecues, and fourth of July parties. I always feel a little more original because I didn’t bring pasta salad or macaroni salad, and just a little more healthful even though I’m pretty sure the sugar content in an entire bowl of fruit is enough to match a big slice of cake. This recipe takes the plain fruit bowl up a level in creativity and makes a really nice presentation on the buffet table. Set the melon halves on a tray or platter on a bed of ice to keep the food chilled and delicious even on a hot summer’s day.


(gorgeous in-season fruit)



Turkey Bacon Wrapped Dates Stuffed with Goat Cheese


This is a simple tapas-inspired snack that looks and tastes like it takes hours in the kitchen to prepare. Luckily for all of us date/bacon/goat cheese aficionados, it doesn’t. The melted goat cheese stuffing elevates the sweetness of the dates, which are balanced by the saltiness of the turkey bacon. Also, these travel well, we piled ours into a to-go container with a bottle of wine and brought to the park to see an outdoor local theater production of Spamalot. See the recipe here and pictures of the process below.

(loving this sweet La Bonne Vie goat cheese packaging)