I’ve loved delicious treats (especially breakfast ones!) for as far back as I can remember. Sunday mornings, we would always have waffles, sometimes even bacon waffles, where the bacon was cooked inside the waffle. Then they were topped with delicious maple syrup. Um, yum! On the other hand, I just love fresh fruit. When summer comes, I do as much fruit harvesting as I can. We grow strawberries here, raspberries, and grapes. If we don’t grow it, we go pick it at local U-Pick farms, which always makes for a fun family day out. Usually by the time summer is over, I’ve got jars of jams and jellies, and plenty of fresh fruit tucked away into the freezer to use all winter long. While it doesn’t taste quite as good as fresh off the vine, it still tastes better than store bought, out of season fruit. The photo below is my husband and son enjoying an afternoon picking strawberries at a local farm. A bonus in this, is supporting local farmers! We picked 7 1/2 lbs of strawberries for about $10!
Today, I want to share with you my favorite recipe for delicious fruit crepes. They come together quickly and easily. I’ve combined a few different recipes to create the perfect crepe. You start with a basic crepe, filled with a delicious ricotta/cream cheese blintz filling, topped with fresh fruit mixed with a tiny bit of sugar and a bit of maple syrup. If you’re daring, you can add a bit of homemade whipped cream on the top too. Hey, I didn’t say it’s the healthiest thing on the planet, but it sure is a nice treat now and again.
I typically use a strawberry topping for my crepes, but you could also do a mixed berry topping, or realistically any topping that you’d like! Last summer, I tried making a Blueberry Lemon Honey syrup that turned out delicious, and I’m sure if you used that on top of a fluffy pile of crepes, you wouldn’t regret it! Throw in some fresh blueberries and it’d be delish! Here’s the link to the Blueberry Lemon Honey Syrup!
And now, let’s get on with it! I suggest making your filling and topping first, so that your crepes are hot and ready to be filled, topped, and served. We will start with the filling. It’s quite simple, and I do recommend a hand mixer or even a stand mixer to help make it smooth.
Blintz Filling Ingredients
- 1 cup lowfat ricotta cheese (or nonfat if you are watching fat intake)
- 1 package (8 oz.) cream cheese (or Neufchatel cheese)
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 2 tsp fresh lemon juice
- 1 tsp vanilla
- Pinch of salt
Blend all of the above ingredients together until smooth. Some people like it a bit lumpy, and I’ll leave that up to you. Blend to your desired consistency. I personally prefer it smooth. Set aside for now.
- 2 cups fresh strawberries
- 1 tablespoon sugar (or you could use agave nectar, or even a sugar substitute)
- 1 tablespoon maple syrup
Place your strawberries into a medium sized bowl, and then add your sugar and maple syrup. Next, use a potato masher, or a large spoon to squish them and mix until desired consistency. If you want a syrup with no chunks of fruit, you can process this in a blender. I usually like to have fruit chunks in my topping. Set aside.
Now, it’s time to make the crepes! If you have a crepe griddle, that makes a huge difference, but any non stick pan works fine. You’ll want a reasonably sized one so you have room to flip the crepes. Make sure your spatula is handy! This recipe can easily be halved to make less crepes if you don’t want as many. In fact, you can halve the topping and filling recipes as well if you only need a small amount.
Basic Crepe Recipe
- 2 cups all purpose flour
- 4 eggs
- 1 cup milk
- 1 cup water
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 4 tablespoons butter, melted
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- In a large mixing bowl, combine all the wet ingredients (eggs, milk, water, butter and vanilla) and blend well. Sift the salt and flour in another bowl, and then slowly add to the wet ingredients, blending to combine. You want your batter to be very smooth, with no lumps.
- Heat your crepe griddle or pan to medium high heat. Lightly oil it (not a lot or the edges of the crepes don’t quite set, and as long as your pan is a true non stick pan, you only need to oil it once at the beginning), and then pour or scoop about 1/4 cup of the batter onto the griddle or pan. I use a ladle to do this, and then I use the bottom of the ladle to swirl the batter around to cover the pan. You can also tilt the pan with a circular motion to coat the pan as well.
- You’ll want to cook the crepe for about 2 minutes or so until the bottom is a light golden brown. Loosen it with your spatula or shake your pan very gently to loosen it, and then turn and cook the other side of the crepe. I set my finished crepes on a plate nearby and cover with foil to keep them hot.
To Assemble Your Crepes:
Now it’s time to put them together! Take a warm crepe and put a tablespoon full of filling on it, and spread it around to cover the crepe. Roll it up, and then do the same with the remainder. Fill each plate with desired number of crepes, and then place desired amount of topping over the crepes. Lastly, add a dollop of whipped cream if you so desire! Tada! Your crepes are complete! Here is an image of mine when they are filled and topped. YUM! Enjoy!
Many people love to grow their own vegetables in the summer. If that’s you, you might want to tune in to this post, since it uses fresh tomatoes and basil…and nothing is better than picking it straight out of your own garden right before you begin cooking. That’s one of the biggest thrills of gardening for me, the produce yields. Whether it be fruit or vegetables, it’s still exciting every time you get to pick something that just ripened to perfection, with plans to use it in tonight’s dinner. Tomatoes and basil are both a very simple backyard gardening effort, as long as you have a decent amount of sunshine and ample water. Basil can even grow year round if you have it in a pot that you can bring indoors during the colder months. Tomatoes typically grow from mid-May until September or October, depending on the summer. Picking a fresh tomato (regardless of variety) and cooking with it that day makes for some excellent flavor in your dinner, I promise!
In our household, we have a picky 2 year old who doesn’t eat much besides cheese, yogurt, cereal, mac n cheese and hot dogs, much to my dismay. I love to cook and it’s very difficult to find meals that he will eat. Shockingly, he actually ate a good portion of the noodles in this dish, although he did pick around the tomatoes a bit, and steered very clear of the basil. He does appreciate some garlic on occasion, and I always tend to go a bit overboard with it because I am just a huge garlic lover. This is a very light and delicious dinner, and served next to a loaf of homemade bread, it’s downright delicious. I would recommend this to anyone, and I sure do hope you’ll try it. It’s well worth it.
I have varied the types of tomatoes I’ve added to this dish, you can use varieties such as early girl, roma, and even cherry tomatoes like sun golds or sun sugars. Each tomato has it’s own unique flavor and I think if I had to choose, a mix of fresh roma and cherry sun sugars is my favorite. It just emanates summer. If you make this recipe in winter and buy the tomatoes from the store, I’d highly recommend just using roma tomatoes or a mix of roma and grape tomatoes. We make it in winter because it’s just too good to wait all the way until next summer to eat it again, and it brings nice fluffy feelings…and reminds us that summer isn’t too far off again.
Another fun twist, if you’re tired of chicken or just have a hankering for seafood, you can easily substitute shrimp into this recipe instead. If you decide to go that route, skip cooking the chicken at the beginning and just start by sauteing the tomatoes. As the last step, you’ll add the shrimp (peeled and deveined) and cook for 4-5 minutes or until pink and cooked through. Pre-season them with salt and pepper, and if you’d like, a seafood seasoning. Both ways are delicious!
Lastly, the type of noodles can easily be varied as well. Linguine, fettuccine, spaghtetti, etc. It’s even more fun if you make your own homemade noodles. 🙂
And without further ado, here is the recipe!
Tomato & Basil Chicken with Pasta
Ingredients: (4 servings)
- 2 chicken breasts, sliced into strips (or 1/2 pound shrimp, if substituting)
- salt and black pepper
- 2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 2 cups roughly chopped fresh tomatoes
- 2 tsp minced fresh garlic
- 4 Tbsp cold butter
- 1/2 cup fresh basil, chopped
- freshly grated Parmesan cheese, for garnish
- 1/2 lb dry pasta of your choice
Season chicken breast slices with salt and black pepper. Add olive oil to your skillet, and heat oil on medium high. While waiting for the oil to heat, start your pasta according to package directions, or if using homemade pasta, follow recipe directions. You don’t want to have to wait for your pasta to finish at the end. Make sure your oil is hot before adding chicken, you can splash a small amount of water on the oil and if it sputters, it’s hot enough. Add the chicken when hot, and cook until chicken is no longer pink.
Next, add your tomatoes. Stir and cook for about a minute, and then add your fresh basil (reserve a small amount for garnish). Your kitchen will be smelling wonderful about now, so enjoy it! Then add the cold butter, and allow to melt, making a very delicious, thin sauce. Lastly, add in your garlic. At this point, you can sneak a quick taste and if you like, season your sauce with additional salt and pepper. Stir the sauce and chicken together well.
Your pasta should be ready by now. Top the pasta with the chicken and sauce, and garnish with Parmesan cheese and remaining basil, and serve!
I hope you all enjoy this recipe as much as we have! Feel free to share and leave a comment below telling me what you think!
Ok, so we all love banana bread, right? At least I sure do. This is a fun little recipe that adds a crumb topping and it just tastes fantastic. And who doesn’t love a muffin in the morning? Or afternoon. Or evening. Or even 3am. Whenever, really! This recipe is quick and easy as well, and can make use of those overripe bananas in your kitchen that you or your kiddos forgot to eat. A big thanks to Lisa Kreft for this recipe. 🙂
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 bananas, mashed
3/4 cup white sugar
1 egg, lightly beaten
1/3 cup butter, melted
1/3 cup packed brown sugar
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 tablespoon butter
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Lightly grease 10 muffin cups, or line with muffin papers.
- In a large bowl, mix together 1 1/2 cups flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt. In another bowl, beat together bananas, sugar, egg and melted butter. Stir the banana mixture into the flour mixture just until moistened. Spoon batter into prepared muffin cups.
- In a small bowl, mix together brown sugar, 2 tablespoons flour and cinnamon. Cut in 1 tablespoon butter until mixture resembles coarse cornmeal. Sprinkle topping over muffins.
- Bake in preheated oven for 18 to 20 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into center of a muffin comes out clean.
Quick and easy! And they’re yummy!
I found an amazing recipe that features two of my most favorite things: artichokes and feta cheese. In most cases, I’d do backflips just for feta. Add in artichokes too and you might get some flying backflips! Found this recipe in the March edition of Good Housekeeping, and I just adore it. They outline that feta cheese is lower in fat than many other cheeses and the array of vegetables in this dish help deliver plenty of “health boosting antioxidants.”
Total time 30 minutes and makes 4 main dish servings.
Each 1 cup serving; 325 calories, 18g protein, 32 g carbohydrates, 14g total fat (5g saturated), 3g fiber, 205mg cholesterol, and 515mg sodium.
1lb small red potatoes, cut into quarters
1 tbsp. Plus 1 tsp. Olive oil
2 green onions, sliced
1 orange pepper (8oz), chopped
1 Pt. Grape tomatoes
1 can (13-14oz) artichoke hearts, rinsed and chopped
4 lg. Eggs plus 4 lg. Egg whites
1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese
1. Arrange oven rack 6 inches from broiler heat source. Preheat broiler.
2. To medium microwave safe bowl, add potatoes and 1/4 cup water, cover with vented plastic wrap. Microwave on high 8 minutes or until tender. Drain. On jelly-roll pan, toss potatoes with 1 tsp oil and 1/8 tsp each of salt and pepper. Broil 6 minutes or until browned.
3. Meanwhile, in non-stick 10inch skillet, heat 1 tbsp. Oil on medium heat 1 minute. Add green onions and orange pepper, cook 5 minutes or until golden, stirring occasionally. Add tomatoes and artichoke hearts, cook 2 to 5 minutes or until tomatoes start to burst, stirring occasionally.
4. While vegetables cook, in a medium bowl, beat eggs and egg whites with 1/4 tsp each of salt and pepper and half of the feta. Pour over vegetables and tilt skillet to distribute evenly. Top with remaining feta. Cover, cook 5 to 6 minutes or until set. Serve with potatoes.
All in all, I think this is a wonderful dish. Served with a nice and flavorful wine like a twist of Cabernet Sauvignon blanc and I’m sure it would be wonderful. I’m not the best at pairing wines with food, but maybe someone could give the recipe and a bottle of wine a try and let me know their thoughts and reviews? The picture of the dish below comes straight from Good Housekeeping, I take no credit for it. I forgot to take a picture when I made it. Enjoy!
Till next time, my friends. ❤