Vanilla Bean Crepes with Orange-Cashew Creme

My family and I love waffles, pancakes, and crepes. I don’t make any of them often, as I see them more as a treat. But oh my goodness, when I do make them, they are so dang tasty. Typically a weekend morning splurge, we change-up the components on these bad boys to make them extra special.

This weekend we enjoyed some that I’d like to share with you. They are vanilla bean crepes; lovingly speckled with fresh vanilla bean and filled with home-blended cashew creme with a splash of orange extract. It’s almost like taking in the scent of budding flowers on afternoon day, while lying in tall green grass with the sun kissing your winter skin. It’s the simple things in life that need not be taken for granted.

Ingredients:

Batter: 

1 3/4 cup unbleached all-purpose flour

2 tsp. baking powder

1/2 tsp. sea salt

1/4 cup organic cane sugar

1 1/2 Tbsp. ground flax meal

4 Tbsp. expeller pressed safflower oil

2 1/2- 2 3/4 cups of almond milk, adjust if you need it thinner (I light mine a bit on the thicker side)

1/2 of 1 vanilla bean, scraped

1/2 Tbsp. cinnamon scented vanilla extract (by Edwin and Lesha)

Cashew Creme:

2 cups of roasted cashews

1/2 cup of filtered water

1/4 cup maple syrup

2 Tbsp. organic brown sugar

1/4 tsp. of orange extract

pinch of sea salt

Directions:

Preheat oven to 200 degrees for holding prepared crepes until you are ready to fill.

For the batter: Add all dry ingredients to a bowl and whisk thoroughly (flour, baking powder, sea salt, sugar, and flax meal) Add wet ingredients in a separate bowl and whisk well (safflower oil, almond milk, vanilla bean, and cinnamon-vanilla extract).  Combine dry to wet and mix well.

For the cashew creme: Add  all ingredients to a blender and blend until smooth. Set creme aside in a bowl.

To prepare the crepes: In a crepe pan, heat a small amount of safflower oil, and then place 1/4 cup of batter into heated pan.  Swirl into a circle and prepare the same way you would a pancake. Make sure one side is cooked before flipping to the other. Place on a cookie sheet in the warmed oven until you are ready to fill.  When you are done preparing the crepes, take each one and place 1 Tbsp. of cashew creme on half of the crepe and then fold in half, or roll.  It’s all up to you how you’d like to display or eat them. We like them folded two ways, and garnished with fresh fruit.

 

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No-Knead Sourdough Loaf

Sometimes my recipes derive from requests.  Thanks Kerri Kiran for this recipe development.  Without failure this go, this recipe turned out quite nice.  I love making it into a nice loaf of sliced sourdough bread. My sourdough starter is 3 months old right now; just a baby. But I intend to continue to nurture it, so it will be around for a while.

SOURDOUGH STARTER:

1 package (2 1/4 tsp.) active-dry yeast

2 cups warm water (105 degrees-115)

2 cups unbleached organic all-purpose

To Create Starter: In a medium bowl, dissolve yeast in 1/4 cup warm water.  Add remaining water and flour and mix well.  Place the bowl, uncovered, in a warm place overnight.  In the morning, put the 1/2 cup of starter in a sterilized pint jar, cover it, and store it in the refrigerator or a cool place for future use.  Leave lots of room for expansion in the container, or set the lid without tightening it.  The remaining 3 1/2 cups of starter can be used immediately.

Set the Sponge: Place the 1/2 cup of starter in a medium bowl. Add 2 cups warm water and 2 cups of flour. Beat well, and set in a warm, draft free place to develop overnight.  In the morning, the sponge will have risen and wil be covered with air bubbles and smell yeasty.  It’s now ready to use.

To Store the Starter: It will keep almost indefinitely if covered in a clean glass container in the refrigerator.  Never use a metal container or leave a metal spoon in the starter. If unused for several weeks, the starter might need to sit out an extra night before adding the flour and water to rejuvenate it.

Feeding your Starter: To feed, means to continue to allow the starter to grow for future uses.  Each time I use my starter, I add 2 cups of flour, and 2 cups of water.  I allow this to sit out overnight in a warm spot, covered. If I am not going to use it right away, I refrigerate it.

SOURDOUGH LOAF:

1 cup sourdough starter

5 cups unbleached all purpose flour

1 1/2 cups warm water

1 Tbsp. organic cane sugar

1 1/2 tsp. sea salt

2 tsp. active-dry yeast

Directions:

Mix  sourdough starter in a bowl with warm water, cane sugar, and dry yeast. In a separate bowl, mix flour and sea salt.  Combine wet to dry and mix well.  Place the mix in a parchment lined bread loaf. Allow to ferment overnight.  This will allow the mix to rise also. When you are prepared to bake the loaf, preheat the oven to 425 degrees.  Drizzle olive oil over the loaf, and sprinkle it with filtered water.  This allows for a nice golden loaf and crusty top.  Bake for 35 minutes.

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Gluten Free Pumpkin Orange loaf

A great flavor for Halloween; a wonderful way to embrace that full pumpkin fare.

INGREDIENTS:

1 3/4 GF Bob’s Red Mill all purpose flour

1/2 cup rice flour

1 1/4 tsp. baking powder

1/2 tsp. salt

1/2 tsp. baking soda

2/3 cup maple syrup

1/3 cup safflower oil

2 Tbsp ground flax meal

1 tsp. pumpkin pie spice

1/4 cup cranberries

1 Tbsp. freshly grated and minced orange peel

1/4 cup toasted walnuts

1/4 cup almond milk

1 cup of Pre-baked and pureed pumpkin

DIRECTIONS:

* Pre-bake and puree peeled and seeded pumpkin. To do so: slice, peel outer rind, cube and place on oiled baking sheet. Bake at 350 for 30-45 minutes until tender.  Add to a blender and place on puree.  If it seems too thick, add 1 Tbsp. at a time until you get the desired consistency. Should be the consistency of baby food. (In fact, if you have a baby, this is a great way to introduce solids; full of nutrients)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a bowl, combine the all purpose flour, rice flour, baking powder, sea salt, baking soda, pumpkin pie spice, and orange peel.  Whisk.  In a separate bowl, the maple syrup, safflower oil, flax meal, almond milk, and pureed pumpkin.

Add wet to dry. Mix well. Fold in cranberries and walnuts.  Bake at 350 for 35 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean.  It is sweet enough on it’s own to go without icing or powdered sugar.

 

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Gluten Free Apple Spice Loaf

I created this recipe today for my darling Margeux.  Poor thing has such a sensitivity to gluten. I got lazy over the last month, and was not as careful or restrictive with her flour and she has been experiencing more issues lately. So, back on the wagon I go.

LOAF INGREDIENTS:

1 cup all-purpose GF flour

3/4 cup white rice flour GF

1 1/4 tsp. baking powder

1/2 tsp. sea salt

1/2 tsp. baking soda

2/3 cup organic cane sugar

1/3 cup safflower oil

2 Tbsp. ground flax meal

1/4 cup water

1/3 cup walnuts (optional)

1 cup apples, peeled and diced small

1 tsp + 1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon

1/8 tsp. ginger

1 tsp. vanilla extract

1/4 cup coconut milk

ICING:

1/4 cup organic powdered sugar

1 Tbsp. lemon juice

2 tsp. coconut milk

DIRECTIONS:

oven to 350 degrees.  In a bowl, combine the flax meal with the water. Whisk and set aside. In a mixing bowl, combine all-purpose flour, white rice flour, baking powder, sea salt, baking soda, sugar, cinnamon, & ginger.  Whisk well.  In a separate bowl, combine oil, vanilla, coconut milk. Add flax meal mixture to wet, and whisk well.  Combine wet ingredients to dry ingredients, and then fold in apples and walnuts. Bake at 350 degrees for 35 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean from center of loaf.  Allow to cool for 15 minutes before glazing.

For the glaze, combine all three ingredients in a small bowl and whisk.  When apple loaf has had 15 minutes to cool, drizzle on lemon glaze.

Allow apple loaf to cool thoroughly before cutting.  Cooling overnight in a refrigerator will bind the loaf better.

 

 

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Rustic No-Knead Bread Loaf

Kneading bread has always been therapy for me.  There is something so therapeutic about kneading bread over and over and forming a supple smooth mound; like a babies butt. It’s enjoyable and relaxing. But time ticks away, and every now and again, I’m in a pinch for not enough time.  This recipe is great for preparing, leaving alone, and coming back to when you’re ready.  Not only is it easy, it’s incredibly delicious. I hope you find this recipe as easy as I do, and as enjoyable.

DOUGH:

3 cups organic unbleached all-purpose flour

1/4 tsp. dry yeast

1 1/2 tsp. sea salt

1 1/2 cups filtered warm water

1/4 cup organic corn meal

1/8 cup olive oil

additional pinch of sea salt

1/4 cup blend of sunflower seeds, chia seeds, sesame seeds, flax seeds (optional)

parchment paper, dutch oven

DOUGH DIRECTIONS: In a mixing bowl, combine the flour and sea salt. Whisk.  In a separate bowl, combine the warm water and yeast. Whisk. Combine the wet to the dry and fold in using a rubber spatula.  Roughly mix it all together. The mound does not need to be smooth. It will look jagged and pointy. Cover with a clean kitchen towel or cover with plastic wrap. Set aside in a warm location for 8-12 hours. When you see the mound after the time is over, it will be bulbous and smoothed out.  This is due to the yeast working its wonder and the time allowed to ferment (fermentation process allows for easier digestion of bread/ much like sourdough) After this process, line a dutch oven with a piece of parchment paper and sprinkle with 1/8 cup cornmeal.  Roll the dough into the dutch oven and cover for one additional hour in a warm location.

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BAKING DIRECTIONS: Lower all racks in oven to the lowest possible allowed. Preheat oven to 425. Drizzle with olive oil. Sprinkle the top with the remaining 1/8 cup cornmeal, optional seeds, and sprinkle of sea salt. Bake for 35 minutes on lower rack with lid on. When the 35 minutes is over, bake with lid off at 425 for an additional 5 minutes or until golden brown.  Allow to cool before cutting.

*** I have allowed much longer rising time.  I’ve prepared the dough at 2 pm and not allowed the 1 hour additional rising time until 9 am the next morning. It just gets the dough to have more of a sour taste; which I prefer (much like a sourdough)

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Zucchini-Raisin-Walnut Bread

I enjoy cooking. I really do. But, I LOVE to bake.  So here is another yummy recipe, this time using fresh zucchini from my mom’s garden.  If you hate zucchini, try this regardless. I think I’ll make a lover out of you.

INGREDIENTS:

1 3/4 finely ground spelt flour

1 1/4 tsp. baking powder

1/2 tsp. sea salt

1 Tbsp. flax meal

1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg

1/2 tsp. ground ginger

1 tsp. ground cinnamon

1/2 tsp baking soda

2/3 cup maple syrup or cane sugar

1/3 cup safflower oil

1/4 cup almond milk

1  cup freshly grated zucchini

1/2 cup organic raisins

1/4 cup walnuts (optional)

DIRECTIONS:

1. Preheat oven to 350. Stir together flour, baking soda, sea salt, flax meal, nutmeg, ginger, cinnamon, and baking soda.  Whisk until blended.

2. In a separate bowl, whisk together maple syrup  (or sugar) safflower oil, and almond milk. Mix wet into dry.

3. Grate 1 cup of zucchini and gather 1/2 cup raisins + walnuts (optional). Fold in to wet/dry combo.

4.  Bake at 350 for 30-40 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean.

5. Allow to cool before slicing.

 

 

 

 

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Crispy Crackers

Why make your own crackers, you might ask? Any mother could understand why.  This recipe takes a total of 25 minutes of my time. That being said, by the time I strap my three young daughters into their carseats, and make my way to the grocery store, and meander down the aisles with their harmonic wants and persistent grabbing at products, and then return to strapping them back into the car and back, and make my way home…. you get the point. I could be done without ever leaving home.  Plus, they are fresh and I know exactly what goes into them. The temporary displacement of scrambling for a quick grocery jaunt, is completely eliminated.  This is a recipe my mom passed along to me, and one I wish to share with you. These are delicious!

INGREDIENTS:

2 cups all-purpose flour

3/4 tsp. salt

1/4 cup olive oil or butter

1/2 cup water, plus more as needed

1/4 cup sesame seeds

DIRECTIONS:

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a bowl, mix the flour and salt. Then add the oil or butter and water. Lightly blend the ingredients, adding more water as needed.

2. Roll the dough on a lightly floured surface until it has reached a thickness of no more then 1/8 inch.   If the dough is thicker then 1/8 inch, the crackers won’t be as crisp as they should be, so this is important.

3. Transfer the dough to an ungreased baking sheet, and lightly mark the dough into 2-inch squares using a knife. Don’t cut all the way through the dough.  Next, use a fork to poke tiny holes in the top of each cracker.

4. Sprinkle the crackers with salt and sesame seeds, and bake until crisp for 15-20 minutes. If you crackers are more then 1/8 think, extend the cooking time. Makes 36 crackers.

* I have tried the seeds two different ways, one the way the recipe suggests (topping before baking), the other is mixing them into the dough before adding the wet to dry. I prefer the second way to the first because the seeds and nuts stay in the cracker, as opposed to falling off.  Also, I added flax, chia, and sunflower.  Be creative. This recipe is just the beginning of what you can alter to make your own way.

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My at home co-op brings fresh vegetables every other day.

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Here, I topped the crackers with home made hummus, fresh picked mache, garden picked arugula, home grown lemon cucumbers, and heirloom tomatoes.