Cinnamon Crepes with Raspberries and Chantilly Cream

Mimi from Manger (a marvelous blog, btw, with fabulous photography by her husband) says she got this recipe from her Icelandic MIL, Jóhanna, who is famous for her cinnamon pancakes. Well, Mimi and her family call them pancakes, but they are without a doubt what we call crepes...the batter and the finished texture.  
I love the way she served them in a folded triangle rather than rolled up. They're easy enough to make but difficult to get an even golden brown on each and every one of them. Don't you think this would be fabulous in the fall with some caramelized apples? My mouth waters just thinking of it. 
Mimi  made them with pears, but said she was thinking strawberries, which is why I decided to post this now. Our strawberries and raspberries are lovely at the moment. (But I'm keeping this in mind for fall.)

Cinnamon Crepes with Raspberries and Chantilly Cream

From Mimi at her Manger blog

2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1/3 cup granulated sugar
2 eggs
 2 ½ cups full-cream milk
1 and 1/2 cups plain flour
¼ tsp fine salt
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon

Fruit of your choice
Chantilly Cream (recipe follows)

In a crepe pan, melt the butter, take off the heat and leave to cool. Meanwhile, in a large bowl, combine sugar and eggs. Whisk briskly for a minute, then gradually add the milk and flour, baking powder, salt and vanilla extract, until you get a smooth batter. Add the cinnamon, mix well, then finally add the all butter that was in the pancake pan.
Heat the pancake pan on a medium to high heat. When the pan is very hot, spoon ¾ of a ladle of batter and pour on pan, swirling the pan to evenly cover the surface. Cook for a minute or so, until the edges start browning. Lift the edges slightly with a palette knife and turn the pancake to cook on the other side. For 30 seconds. The pancakes are best golden brown. I placed wax paper between the crepes. Cover with a tea towel to keep the soft until cool and ready to serve.
Prepare whatever fruit you are using. Make the chantilly cream.
Place 1 tablespoon of whipped cream in the center of the pancake, add 2 teaspoons of diced fruit. Fold in half and fold again to form a triangle. Serve immediately.

Chantilly Cream

1 cup heavy cream
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon sugar

Put cream, vanilla, and sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment and beat until soft peaks begin to form. Cover and refrigerate until serving.

Surgery update: Much easier than I expected, I even walked out of the outpatient clinic on my own!  Walking quite normally now and will begin rehab soon to get complete extension back. All in all, a success.


Ice Cream Bombe

Back in Michigan, I had a good friend, Nina Collins. She was a hostess extraordinaire and entertained small groups nearly every weekend. Everyone loved going as not only was the food wonderful, but Nina always had a mixed bag of guests, which meant we nearly always met someone new. 
One particular dinner party remains in my memory...held during the Christmas season. Nina served an ice cream bombe for dessert. She used flavors of the season: peppermint stick ice cream, a homemade raspberry ice cream and the inside layer was a mixture of whipped cream, candied fruit, toasted almonds, rum and confectioners sugar. It tasted divine and looked amazing.....none of us had ever seen anything like it.
Well, bombes are made more frequently now, with any number of ice cream mixtures (Bombes always remind me of the movie Who's Killing the Great Chefs of Europe?) and while I haven't made one in a while, I thought I'd give it a try with peach (or mango) sorbet, either will do, 
Häagen-Dazs makes both, raspberry sorbet and pistachio ice cream. I really like the colors and flavor combo...I think you will too. Your kids may prefer strawberry ice cream, chocolate and vanilla..anything will work.

Nina's Ice Cream Bombe

2 pints peach or mango sorbet

2 pints raspberry sorbet
1 pint pistachio ice cream


Try to find three bowls of decreasing size. I had two glass mixing bowls, one was 8 inches in diameter and the other was 6 1/2 inches. I didn't have the next size down, but found a smaller bowl that was about 4 inches, so used that.
Soften the peach sorbet and place in the largest bowl, spreading it evenly. Cover the entire bottom of the 6 1/2 inch bowl with Saran wrap and press into the larger bowl until the sorbet reaches up to the top. Put both bowls into the freezer until firm. In the meantime, soften the raspberry sorbet. Remove the 2nd bowl and spoon in the softened raspberry sorbet. (You will have some of this sorbet left over) Cover the bottom of the smallest bowl and again press into the sorbet until it reaches up to the top all around. Place in the freezer again until firm.
Soften the pistachio ice cream. Remove the smallest bowl and fill the opening with pistachio ice cream. Cover and freeze.
When I removed the bombe the next day, I took a large, sharp knife and evened the top so all the layers were level. Dip the bombe into warm water and invert on a serving plate. It took several dips and finally I used a long knife to urge the bombe out. Place in the freezer until ready to serve. I found the easiest way to cut the slices was to take it out of the freezer and run very hot water over a large knife. It will cut through like butter.


A little side note: Tomorrow morning, I am having arthroscopic knee surgery on a torn meniscus. I did a lot of advance cooking for the blog so I'll have plenty to post, but please forgive me if I'm not as prompt to comment. 



Memorial Day: Honoring the Fallen

And please don't forget our veterans...they need our support!

(Comment free post over the holiday)


Polenta and Rhubarb Slices

This Donna Hay recipe turned out beautifully. An awesome combo, the crumb has a slight texture from the polenta, balanced with the tart/sweet rhubarb nestled in the middle of the loaf. It's another perfect take-along for a picnic.  

Rhubarb and Polenta Slices
From Donna Hay Magazine, Issue 74

750g rhubarb  trimmed and chopped into 6-7 inch pieces
1 cup superfine sugar
1/4 cup honey
1 tablespoon grated orange rind
2 tablespoons orange juice

200g unsalted butter, softened
1 cup superfine sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
4 eggs, room temperature
1 1/4 cups instant polenta
3/4 cup almond meal
1 1/4 cups flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/3 cup sour cream
confectioners sugar for dusting

Preheat oven to 350.
Mix the rhubarb, honey, sugar, rind and juice and place in a deep-sided baking dish. Try to find one in which the rhubarb will fit snugly in a single layer. Cover with foil and bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until tender. Allow to cool slightly, remove the rhubarb from the syrup and set aside.
In a mixer, beat the butter and sugar for 8 minutes or until pale and creamy. Add eggs, one at a time then add the polenta, almond flour, flour, baking powder and sour cream. Beat on low until just combined.
Spoon 3 cups of the dough into a lightly greased and lined 8 by 12 baking pan. (the 8 by 12 is approximate...adjust and use what you have available. I used two smaller loaf pans.)
Using the back of a floured spoon, spread the dough into the base and up all 4 sides about 3/4 inch. Arrange the rhubarb slices on top and then add the remaining dough, once again using a floured spoon to press into the pan until even.
Bake at 350 for 25 minutes, then cover with foil and bake an additional 25 minutes until cooked through when tested with a skewer. Allow to cool completely in the pan. Remove and dust with confectioners sugar.


Mango and Papaya Pasta Salad with Creamy Lime Vinaigrette

You're going to love this vinaigrette. It's half the reason I continue to make this recipe. (The other half is the recipe came from Cathy at Noble Pig. She never misses.) It's an awesome summer salad; the colors are light and summery and I almost wish I was throwing a luncheon just so I could serve it! It really should sit in the fridge for 4-6 hours after mixing it together, so you could make it in the morning and then take it along for a picnic. Mango and papaya are fabulous right now...take advantage of it!

Mango and Papaya Pasta Salad with Creamy Lime Vinaigrette
From Cathy at Noble Pig

1 pound rotini pasta, dry
2 mangoes, seeded and cubed
2 papayas, seeded and cubed
4 green onions, sliced, white and green parts
1/2 cup flaked, sweetened coconut

Creamy Lime Vinaigrette
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1/2 cup fresh lime juice
1/4 cup sour cream
4 teaspoons sugar
2 teaspoons minced garlic
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes

Cook pasta to the al dente stage according to package directions. Drain and rinse with cold water. Set aside until cool.
Mix all the vinaigrette ingredients together, shake and store in the fridge until ready to use.
While pasta is cooling prepare mango, papaya and green onions. When ready, combine mango, papaya, green onion, coconut and vinaigrette, toss well. Place in the refrigerator for 4-6 hours before serving.


Vanilla Raspberry Semifreddo

Spring always turns my mind to ice cream and frozen desserts. You can't have enough of them in your repertoire. Especially semifreddos, not quite as simple as granitas, but  you don't need an ice cream machine with this either.

You know how much I like Gail from
pastry studio and this is yet another of her recipes. She also has a link on this site for a pistachio semifreddo....definitely going on my to-make list. As it uses the same base, almost any fruit or nut (or combination) would work perfectly. You have to make it a day ahead..a plus as far as I'm concerned.

Vanilla Raspberry Semifreddo
From Pastry Studio

12 oz fresh raspberries, divided                                   
1/4 cup sugar

4 oz cream cheese, room temperature
2 tablespoons  sugar
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract

3 large egg whites, room temperature
pinch salt
1/4 cup sugar

1 cup cold heavy cream
2 tablespoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Line an 8 1/2” x 4 1/2” loaf pan with plastic wrap, leaving a 4” long overhang on each side.  You can also place a strip of parchment paper on top of the plastic to help form a smoother finish. (I used a longer and narrower loaf pan)

Place two-thirds of the raspberries in a bowl with 1/4 cup of sugar and mash coarsely with a fork.  Set aside. 

Beat the cream cheese with 2 tablespoons of sugar and 1/4 teaspoon vanilla until smooth.  Set aside.

Whip the egg whites with a small pinch of salt until they are opaque and hold soft peaks.  Slowly add 1/4 cup sugar a little bit at a time, increasing speed to high.  Beat until meringue holds stiff, glossy peaks.  Set aside.

Whip the chilled cream with 2 tablespoons of sugar and 1/2 teaspoon vanilla just until it holds soft peaks.

Using a rubber spatula, gently fold the meringue into the whipped cream, then fold this into the cream cheese mixture until smooth.  Pour a third into the prepared loaf pan, then add a layer of half the raspberries.  Repeat the process and end with the cream mixture.  Smooth and level out the surface.  Cover the top with  overhanging plastic wrap and place in your freezer until firm, about 6 – 8 hours or overnight.

To serve, combine the remaining 3 oz raspberries with sugar, to taste.  Run a thin knife or small metal spatula around the edges of the loaf pan to loosen. Place a serving plate on top of the pan and invert.  Pull off the pan and carefully peel off the wrapping.  Cut into slices and serve immediately with the extra raspberries.

Some of Gail's notes:

1. When lining the loaf pan, place a strip of parchment on top of the plastic to create a smoother surface. If you don’t have parchment, once you've unmolded it, you can use a warm knife or metal spatula to smooth the creases.
2. The 1/4 cup sugar used with the raspberries in the semifreddo seems sweet but it helps to prevent the fruit from becoming too icy when frozen.
3. Rather than layering the raspberries, swirl them in for a different effect.
4, Strain out the raspberry seeds if you prefer.
5. As always, exercise caution when using raw egg whites.  They should not be served to small children, pregnant women or individuals who are at risk due to compromised immune systems.


Stuffed French Bread

This old recipe brings back memories! I first tasted this bread in the mid 50's while we were in the Air Force..one of the AF wives had a Tupperware party and served the stuffed bread , along with a salad, for lunch.

Those parties were all the rage back in the 50's and 60's. Considering how well made Tupperware is, it's a wonder I don't have any left. I do remember I bought a fabulous cake carrier...the first I'd ever seen.

As time went on, stuffed bread became a staple at most of our crowd's cookouts...steak, salad and stuffed bread was standard fare for many years. I saved the original AF recipe and when I Googled it, was amazed how popular it still is. Onions seem to be added in most recipes I found, but I'm posting the original 50's recipe.

PS: My mother made a sandwich back then with similar ingredients: she used hamburger buns, slathered them with a beaten mixture of butter, poppy seeds and mustard, topped with slices of ham and Swiss cheese. Then she wrapped the "burgers" in foil and baked them in the oven until they were all melted and gooey. To this day, my kids refer to them as "Grandma's Sandwiches." They froze a dream so she always had a bunch in the freezer, ready to pop in the oven.

PPS: You can still host tupperware parties!  Have you ever been to one?

Stuffed French Bread

1 loaf french bread
1 stick butter, soft
1 tablespoon poppy seeds
2 tablespoons French's mustard (yes, the old fashioned yellow kind)
8 oz. Swiss cheese
3 slices raw bacon

Slice bread taking care not to slice all the way through. Mix butter, poppy seeds and mustard. Spread on both sides of inside slices. Tear the Swiss cheese to fit between slices. Put bacon across the top of the loaf and bake in a 375 oven until bacon is done, cheese is melted and bread is hot, about 35-40 minutes.


Mother's Lemon Angel Pie

                         Happy Mother's Day!

One can't help but think of one's mother this weekend, whether you are fortunate to have her with you, or only hold her in your heart. The photo below was taken in the late 80's...it's three generations...my mother, daughter and me.

I know I've mentioned my mother was a great pie-maker. One of her favorites was wild blueberry....we'd go out in the woods and pick them for her. I've never had another like hers. The crusts were always flaky and delicious (always makes and breaks a pie as far as I'm concerned) and you just can't beat the taste of wild blueberries. Yes, there really is a difference.

Her next favorite to bake for us was a lemon angel pie. But there's no crust here. Or not much of one. This crust is a baked meringue. Yum. It's a gorgeous pie, but does tend to crumble a bit when cut. It's the nature of the beast if you've ever made one. And all that tart lemon with the crunch of the meringue crust and the coolness of the whipped cream in every mouthful. I have to say, it's awesome. And it's always been my sister's favorite pie, BTW.  Happy Mother's Day to you too, Sharon!

Mother's Lemon Angel Pie

1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
4 egg whites, room temperature
1 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 pt. heavy cream
4 egg yolks
4 Tablespoons sugar
4 Tablespoons lemon juice


Add salt and cream of Tartar to egg whites and beat on high, gradually adding the sugar until stiff and glossy. Add vanilla. Butter a pie plate. Pour in the meringue. Spread evenly in the pan, but form a slight crust with it around the edges. Bake 275 for 1 to 1 1/2 hours. Cool. Mix egg yolks, sugar and lemon juice. Stir in the top of a double boiler until thick. Cool. Beat whipping cream. Spread lemon mixture on meringue, then top with whipped cream. Chill for at least 6 hours, or overnight.


Tres Leches Cake for Cinco de Mayo

Cinco de Mayo officially commemorates the anniversary of an early victory by Mexican forces over French forces in the Battle of Puebla on May 5, 1862. It's a festival of Mexican pride and heritage in the United States.

And to celebrate, I made a Tres Leches Cake. It's a dense, moist cake topped with a cloud of vanilla whipped cream. What makes it unusual is that after it's baked, it's perforated and soaked in a mixture of three different milk products: evaporated milk, sweetened condensed milk, and whole milk or heavy cream, hence the name Tres Leches. The three milks, when combined, create just the right sweetness, density and "mouth feel" for a rich cake, making it moist but not mushy. The cake is like one big giant sponge soaking up the delicious milk syrup. 

Tres Leches Cake


1 cup sugar
5 large eggs, separated 
1/3 cup milk 
1/2 tsp vanilla extract 
1 cup all-purpose flour 
1-1/2 tsp baking powder 
1/2 tsp cream of tartar

For the milk syrup:

1 can (12 oz) evaporated milk 
1 cup sweetened condensed milk 
1 cup heavy (or whipping) cream 
1 tsp vanilla extract 
1 Tbsp dark Cuban rum


Fresh whipped cream

Preheat oven to 350F. Generously butter a 13 x 9-inch baking dish.
Beat 3/4 cup sugar and the egg yolks until light and fluffy. Fold in the milk, vanilla, flour and baking powder.
Beat the egg whites to soft peaks, adding the cream of tartar after 20 seconds. Gradually add the remaining 1/4 cup sugar and continue beating until the whites are glossy and firm. Gently fold the whites into the yolk mixture. Pour into the buttered baking dish.

Bake about 30-45 minutes or until a cake tester comes out clean. 
Let the cake cool completely in baking dish. 
Combine the evaporated milk, sweetened condensed milk, cream, vanilla and rum in a mixing bowl. Whisk until well blended. 
Pierce the cooled cake all over with a fork and pour the milk syrup over the cake, spooning the overflow back on top, until it is all absorbed.

When ready to serve, cut and top with freshly whipped cream.


Pimento Cheese Toasts

So...you thought this was a southern recipe, right? Not so. According to author and food historian Robert Moss, pimento cheese actually began with Northern cheese manufacturers who wanted to spread the word about their new popular product, cream cheese. (Which is amusing because there isn't any cream cheese in MY recipe, although some people do add it along with the cheddar.) Georgia does lay claim to pimentos, however, as it became the leading grower and producer of pimentos in the nation in the early 1900s. No matter, really, as pimento cheese is now identified as a Southern food...with varying recipes. 
This is the one I've always used and while some people like Velveeta cheese, onions or olives or jalapeno peppers, along with various seasonings like Worcestershire sauce, onion powder, or garlic, I keep it simple...two kinds of cheese, mayo and a kick of cayenne, with a switcheroo on the pimento: roasted red pepper. I used to make it often when I had Derby Day parties.

Now, I always go to the Delray Beach Club on Derby Day. The women go all out in the hat department, the place is decorated to the nines, there are betting booths and tons of large screen TV's all over the dining room so the run for the roses can be seen from every corner. Because there are floor to ceiling windows overlooking the ocean here, they even lower the hurricane shutters to darken the room just for the race. I always get a chill when everyone stands up and sings My Old Kentucky Home. We have a great time and I wouldn't miss it for worlds.

But if you're the one hosting a Derby party this year (or have been asked to bring an appetizer to someone else's home), consider making these Pimento Cheese Toasts. With a twist....no pimento! This recipe uses roasted red pepper and when broiled, these cheese toasts turn into sheer heaven, perfect for a party.

Pimento Cheese Toasts 


10 ounces extra-sharp Cheddar, coarsely grated (4 cups) Use half orange cheddar and half white cheddar for best results.

1/8 teaspoon cayenne

3/4 cup mayonnaise

1/4 cup finely diced bottled roasted red pepper (rinse and pat dry first)

1 baguette

Preheat broiler.
Stir together all ingredients, except baguette, plus 1/8 teaspoon pepper and salt to taste.
Slice baguette crosswise 1/3 inch thick and spread bread thickly with cheese mixture. Broil 5 to 6 inches from heat until cheese is bubbling and browned, about 2 minutes.

Cheese spread can be made 3 days ahead and chilled, covered.


Ina First Fridays: Shrimp Salad

Honestly, I don't think you can beat Ina's shrimp salad. Love, love love it. Such a simple recipe, but I always have compliments when I serve it. It sits in the fridge until you're ready to serve, in fact sitting in the fridge helps meld the flavors. I like to serve it in a radicchio cup with some tomatoes and hard boiled eggs. Perfect for summertime....a great supper and a super lunch for company.

Ina's Shrimp Salad
From Barefoot Contessa Parties, 2001


4 pounds large shrimp in the shell (16 to 20 shrimp per pound)

1 lemon, cut into quarters

2 cups mayonnaise
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
6 tablespoons fresh dill, minced
1 cup red onion, minced
3 cups celery, minced

Bring 5 quarts of water, 3 tablespoons salt and the lemon to a boil in a large pan. Add half the shrimp, reduce heat and cook uncovered for only 3 minutes or until shrimp are barely cooked through. Remove with a slotted spoon and immerse in cold water. Bring the water back to a boil and repeat with remaining shrimp. Let cool, then peel and devein the shrimp.

In a large bowl, whisk together the mayonnaise, mustard, vinegar, salt, pepper and dill.
Combine with the shrimp. Add the red onion and celery and check the seasonings.

Serve or cover and refrigerate for a few hours.


Ina Fridays participants:
Chaya @  Bizzy Bakes
Linda,  @ Tumbleweed Contessa
Mary @ The Egg Farm
Minnie @ The Lady 8 Home
Patti @ Comfy Cuisine
Rocky Mountain Woman @ Rocky Mountain Woman


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