Saturday, July 14, 2012

Spinach and Ricotta Crepes - Gluten Free

I have been listening to so many people talk about Gluten Free recipes lately
that I thought I would give one a try. No one in my family has any gluten
allergies but I have several friends who do so learning a how to make a
gluten free meal will prove to be good resource. 

I liked this recipe for Spinach and Ricotta crepes because it reminded me of
Manicotti, which my family makes from scratch for Christmas Eve Dinner. 
I adapted this recipe from Simply Gluten Free.

Spinach and Ricotta Crepes


5 large organic, cage free eggs

7 tablespoons water – use divided

2 tablespoons chopped fresh flat leaf parsley

Kosher or fine sea salt and pepper

Gluten free, non-stick cooking spray

2 tablespoon olive oil – use divided

4 cloves garlic, minced – use divided

1/2 cup chopped onion

6 ounces baby spinach leaves

2 cups ricotta cheese (part skim or full fat) at room temperature

¼ teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg

1tbs. lemon zest

½ cup grated parmesan cheese – use divided

1 pint cherry or grape tomatoes, halved

½ cup fresh basil, chopped

1/2 tbs. dried oregano

Olive oil and Balsamic Vinegar for tomatoes


Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a large skillet over medium high heat, add the chopped onion and cook for 2 -3 minutes, add 2 minced garlic cloves and cook for about 1 more minute. Add the spinach, 1 teaspoon of salt, ½ teaspoon of pepper and cook, stirring, until the spinach is wilted, about 2 minutes. Let cool then place the spinach in a paper towel and squeeze out all the water. Place the spinach in a mixing bowl, add the ricotta cheese and ¼ cup of grated parmesan cheese, lemon zest, nutmeg and mix well. Set aside for now.

In a small casserole dish put your cherry tomatoes, 2 minced garlic cloves, 1/4 cup  or so of olive oil and 1/2 cup balsamic vinegar, salt, pepper and a sprinkle of dried oregano. Roast these tomatoes on 375 for about 20 - 25 minutes. Until the liquid gets a little thicker and the cherry tomatoes get real soft.   This can cook while you make and fill the crepes.  Add the fresh basil to the tomatoes when you take them out of the oven.    

With a fork, beat the eggs with 5 tablespoons water and a pinch of salt until the whites and yolks of the eggs are fully incorporated. Stir in the chopped parsley.

Heat a 6 inch non-stick crepe pan or small skillet over medium heat. Test the pan by dropping a tiny bit of water on it and listening for a "sizzle sound".  If you hear the sizzle - you are ready to start cooking.
Spray the pan lightly with some cooking spray. 
Pour or ladle about 3-4 tablespoons of the egg mixture into the pan (or enough to create a thin coating on the pan) .
Move the pan back and forth to evenly distribute the egg mixture.
Cook about 2 minutes or until the edges come away from the pan slightly and the bottom is browned. Carefully flip the crepe over and cook about one more minute then slide crepe out of pan onto a plate. Continue until you have 10-12 crepes.

Spray a 9 inch by 12 inch baking dish with some cooking spray. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.

Place about 2 heaping tablespoons of the ricotta mixture on each crepe, roll into a log and place seam side down in the prepared baking dish. Repeat until all crepes have been filled and rolled. Sprinkle with the remaining parmesan cheese. Bake for 15 minutes or until the filling is warm.

Top the crepes with the roasted tomatoes and serve.

 This is a very savory dish. Nice and light. The roasted tomatoes add a nice sweetness
 to the creamy ricotta filling.  Ok my gluten free friends I found a dish I can make for you. 

Making Baby Cakes at the Viking School of Cooking

This week I took the "Baby Cakes" class at the Viking School of Cooking with my friend Linda.
We had a great time learning how to make four different types of mini cakes.  

The Menu was:
Pound Cake Petit Fours
Chocolate Bouchons
Mini Mason Jar Strawberry Cakes
Little Lemon Pudding Cakes

As you will see from the photos below ~ I think all the cakes turned out great!
My favorite was Lemon Pudding Cakes and the Chocolate Bouchons.

If you like interactive cooking classes you should check out the
Viking School of Cooking.
The chefs that taught our class, Sandra & Leslie,
were super friendly and gave a lot of great tips to us as they showed us
how to make each cake.    You also get to keep all the recipes! 

                                                           Pound Cake Petit Fours

                                                 Mini Mason Jar Strawberry Cakes

                                                               Chocolate Bouchons

                                   One of each on a plate for eating of course - YUM!!

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Peachtree Road Farmers Market

Thank you Robin for introducing me to the Peachtree Road Farmers Market.
What a delightful market, super organized and filled with so many great vendors.
We enjoyed a wonderful Saturday morning at the market listening to music and strolling
along as we checked out each vendor. 

Jim had a very yummy blueberry and peach tart from
the Red Queen of Tarts.

I had a excellent apple and cheddar tart from
the Little Tart Bakeshop.

and of course we had to stop by the
King of Pops cart and try
some of their homemade pops.

              There were so many other great vendors but we couldn't get treats from all of them.
                                                                 H&F Bread Company

Greendale Farm - selling Artisanal Raw Milk Cheeses


Souper Jenny

Peachtree Road Farmers Market, we will be back!!

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Crock Pot Pulled Pork

There are not a lot of recipes on my blog that involve the crock pot and
that's not because I don't like it ~ it's just a different type of cooking.
Most of the time I enjoy the chopping, sautéing, multi-tasking that preparing
a meal usually requires but there area lso times where I wish making
dinner took less of my time.

I find that crock pot cooking is great for those times when you don't have
the time to be in the kitchen for hours but you still want a good meal. 
The beauty of crock pot cooking is you can put all the ingredients in the
 pot and walk away or even go to work and come back to a good meal.

This is a very easy recipe for Pulled Pork that is made in a crock pot.
The pork turns out so tender and has a wonderful flavor.

Pulled Pork Recipe

4-5 lb. Pork Shoulder or Boston Butt
1  ( 18 ounce) bottle of your favorite BBQ sauce
1 (12 ounce ) can of Root Beer
1/2 cup of Chipotle Enchilada Sauce
1 tbsp of spicy mustard
1 tsp. of chipotle seasoning

Pour all the ingredients in the crock pot
except the pork shoulder.  Mix the sauces
and seasonings around until they are
combined. Place the pork shoulder in the
crock pot.  It is ok if it is not completely
covered with the sauce.  Use a spoon
to pour a little sauce over the top.

Cook the pork on low for 7 -8 hours
turning it once or twice. 

You will know when it is done because
the pork will be so tender it will break
apart easily with a fork. 

I only had a 3.5 lb pork shoulder and it cooked for about
6 hours. It fell apart so easily.   I sauted onions and apples
 in a little butter and added a little spicy mustard and a
splash of apple cider vinegar. 

                                 I place the pulled pork on nice rolls and topped it with
                                                           the onion, apple mixture.