Archive for November, 2011



Pipe Dream #72: To Eat European – Crêpes

Can I say something? What? This is the blog that I write and I can say what I want? Ok.

I love pancakes. I ate them every single week this summer and never got sick of them. They have a certain je ne sais quoi that is just so satisfying. And now, I would like to say something else, as well as present a proof and offer an opinion.

Europe does everything better. Yes, I said that. And since pancakes are merely a second-rate American imitation of French crêpes, crêpes are better than pancakes. And because I think that second-rate pancakes are so awesome, it follows that crêpes are absolutely bomb. They are je ne sais quoi-ing all over the place. But you probably already knew that because of the above picture.

When Wades went to France this last summer, she came back with a whole bunch of experiences. She saw palaces; she let French boys pay for her snails…she wore heels biking in the rain. Whatever. It was awesome. Anyway, she also came back with a new appreciation for French food. This is to the benefit of my entire family, as you can well imagine.

One of the best parts about the way the French cook is that they cook with their emotions. 1/4 teaspoon of salt? Eh, I’ll just throw it in until I feel like there’s enough salt. I put the recipe for crêpes below as per usual, but feel free to interpret the measurements a bit. Be French for a day. Live the dream. It’s not often you get to feel your way through a baking recipe.

The key to a good crêpe is thinness. You know you are a master when your crêpes are so thin than that they are translucent, Wades says. Actually, don’t try for that. I just made that up. But you still want to try for thin crêpes. You have to move the batter around the pan really fast to make a perfectly round crêpe, too, otherwise…

…this will happen. Very pretty, still tasty, but not masterful.

It’s perfectly all right to turn your crêpes with a spatula, but if you are feeling ambitious, you should go for the flip. Besides looking incredibly authentic, you will probably also look really cute. Look at Wades. There is a hopefulness in her eyes that just kills me.

Once flipped and browned, you can dress your baby up any way you like. I chose Nutella for my first and third crêpe, but in between I slathered one with cinnamon sugar and butter. You could also put on jam or honey. There is really no losing combination when it comes to crêpes.

Au revoir, mes amis,

L

Crêpes

As written by ma soeur, Wades

1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
3 eggs
3/4 cup milk
3/4 cup water
1/4 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons butter, melted

In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the flour and the eggs. Gradually add in the milk and water, stirring to combine. Add the salt and then the butter; whisk until smooth. Note: smoothness is ideal for the perfect crêpe, but don’t be bummed out if there are a few small lumps here and yonder; it’s practically inevitable.


Heat a lightly oiled frying pan over medium(ish) heat. Pour or scoop the batter onto the pan, using approximately 1/4 cup for each crêpe. Tilt the pan in a circular motion so that the batter coats the surface thinly; make sure it’s even. 


Cook the crepe for about 2 minutes, until the bottom is light brown. Loosen with a spatula, turn and cook the other side. Or, if you’re feeling rather Francais, flip it.

Favorite Shots: Movie Set

Walking in Edinburgh felt like being on a movie set. It was crazy and cool and fun. I will tell you about it later. More pictures to come… :]

L

Pipe Dream #71: To Be More Exotic Than 4500 Miles Away From Home

My girl Christy is a beauty. We had so much fun taking pictures the other day, and my favorite thing to do with Christy was pose her by the random tropical plants on the grounds. It looks like some model spread where they flew to some random island to shoot and all the shots look really exotic.

I’ll fake it ’til I make it,

L

Pipe Dream #70: To Be So Biased – French Bread

France and its bread are inseparable. Like peanut butter and jelly, I will forever associate the two with each other. This is likely because of my American upbringing. All we know about France is bread and the Eiffel Tower. And our ‘French bread’ is probably not really like the real thing. But that doesn’t mean I don’t enjoy this bread. It is soft and mild, with a pretty dense feel to the crumb. It doesn’t have oodles of flavor, though. All in all, it is a good bread for a slather of egg salad or jelly.

Technically, I didn’t make this bread; I just helped cut it. But I cut it on the bias. So that makes it special. Trisha is double special, though–she gave me the skinny on the recipe and made the bread err week like a pro.

Ain’t she for cute? You could be this cute if you made french bread. Try it and just see. You could post a link to the picture in the comments section. Or just say hi. Whatever teeters your totter.

J’adore,

Lauren

French Bread

Adapted from Trisha from camp

Makes 2 long-ish loaves

2 packages yeast

2 1/2 cups water

1 teaspoon sugar

6 cups flour

1 1/2 teaspoon salt

Combine water, sugar and yeast in a medium bowl. Let stand for five minutes. Combine flour and salt in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a dough hook. Add the yeast mixture (sponge) and mix with the dough hook until dough pulls away from the sides of the bowl. It will be quite sticky.

Transfer dough to a well-floured surface and knead until dough just comes together. Form into loaves and place on a jelly roll pan, or place dough into loaf pans. Bake at 425 degrees for 25-30 minutes.

Favorite Shots: These Boots Were Made For…Planting

I love how green this place is. It can be damp, and it can be cold, but it is always green.

L

Pipe Dream #69: To Capture Sweeping Grandeur


I was really looking forward to visiting the Lake District this fall. It’s one of those places that you read about in Jane Austen novels and imagine to be beautifully lush and idyllic. And as with most things I’ve found here in England, it is.

It is always frustrating to try and capture the sweeping grandeur of a beautiful landscape. I used my widest lens, and still, I can’t seem to encapsulate how BIG a moment feels, and how clear and real everything looks. Looking at landscapes like this in real life makes me feel small and very alive.

Pictures that can’t capture how a moment feels to me are just rubbish. By the way, ‘rubbish’ is a terribly English word.

Even though these pictures only capture an inkling of the true Lake District experience, it is enough for now to remind me of what reality feels like and leave me craving a brighter one.

Psalm  8:3-4,

L


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