Thursday, January 8, 2009

Crepe update

"Leaving you honey bronzed and very desirable" (Snik sun tan cream description)

I made crepes this afternoon, following the arrival of my mom's much-anticipated recipe:

3 eggs
1 c milk (whole milk, which is standard for me)
2 T oil*
1 T sugar
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp cinnamon

Beat in:
2/3 c flour (I used a tad more)

Cook on medium heat, about 1/3 - 1/2 cup per crepe.

These turned out as I was hoping: taste like my mom's, feel like my mom's. They're a bit spongy in comparison to the last batch I made, because of the higher egg:milk:flour ratio, but I think it makes them better.

* I used olive oil, because I don't have any other around, but I really don't see the problem with it. Some people feel that its taste is too strong, and it overpowers some dishes. I like the flavour.

Served with bananas, yoghourt and syrup.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Blackstone Porter - Driftwood Brewery

Blackstone Porter
650mL 5.1% alc./vol.
Driftwood Brewery, Victoria, BC

(This post may turn into a porter/stout tasting, because I've been enjoying a few lately.) This porter was brought over by a friend, a touch of serendipity as I had eyed it up while in Victoria a few weekends ago but didn't want to carry it back.

It is well-described on the label and website (see below), so I won't go into detail about its taste. The chocolate wasn't exactly overwhelming, but it had a perfect blend of bitter and rich malty flavours. It was smooth without being bland, and is brewed locally.

It is available in Vancouver at Brewery Creek, at 14th and Main.

On the label:
"This London style porter is distuinguished by a bittersweet chocolate character derived from the delicate balance of a traditional sour mash and a blend of select black and chocolate malts."

From the website:
"With just enough dark malt to be black this Porter leans toward the dry side in its malt profile. The addition of a partial sour mash (not uncommon in pre-Industrial Revolution Porters) lends a subtle tartness to the bittersweet chocolate flavour that dominates."

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Pita bread

Perfect pita.

As a child my family hosted a family from Iran for several months as they got used to Canada, learned English, etc. I have fond memories of eating pita and hommous with a salty soft white cheese, like feta but soaked in brine. I recently bought some soft Bulgarian sheep feta at a local deli and it made me want that pita and cheese again. So I found this recipe at (odd, I know) and got to it.

1/2 c warm water
2 1/4 tsp yeast (1 package)
1 tsp sugar (I would use honey next time)
Let yeast flower.

3 c flour
1 1/4 tsp salt

Form hole in middle of flour. Pour yeast liquid into hole, add 1 c warm water and stir. Knead for 10-15 minutes, until dough is elastic. Let rise until doubled in size. Punch down. Form about 10 balls from the dough. Let sit covered for 10 minutes. Roll out dough into circles, 5-6 inches across, 1/4 inch thick. Bake at 500F on preheated sheet for 4 minutes until it puffs up, then flip and bake for 2 more.

This is working wonderfully; the pictures should tell the tale well enough. I am so pleased with this. The recipe is prefaced with this: "It is very hard to duplicate in a home kitchen". Well, thanks for the warning, but no need. The recipe is simple, and these are great.

One minor thing: Next time I won't knead for so long, as they are a bit chewy.

Doubled in far less than the suggested 3 hours.

Waiting for the rolling pin.

This was a pretty magical experience; until they puffed up I didn't quite believe that they would.

Friday, January 2, 2009


Served with leftover cranberry sauce and sour cream, and apricot jam and cream cheese, both topped with maple syrup.

I went to make crepes the other morning, and couldn't find my mom's tried and true crepe recipe (see Edit below). I searched for about 2 1/2 minutes on the interweb and found two similar recipes, at all recipes and Alton Brown's on foodnetwork.

The first think I noticed is that both use water and milk, which struck me as odd. I followed the first one, though made a suggested change from the comments section: it says to mix the eggs and flour then add wet. The suggested change was to follow standard procedure and mix wet then add dry.

Mix (using great new electric beaters):
2 eggs
1/2 c milk
1/2 c water
2 T butter, melted
(I added vanilla)

Mix in:
1 c flour
1/4 tsp salt
(I added a splash of sugar)

They turned out okay, but not as good as I'm used to. It may have been the water. I'm going to get my mom's recipe and try again.

On the plus side, I did get to use my new mixing bowl and egg beaters. They performed admirably.

Frying in the cast ire.

Edit: My mom just emailed it to me. Much higher ratio of eggs/milk to flour. And none of this water in addition to milk business.
3 eggs
1 cup milk
1 T sugar
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp cinnamon
2 T oil
2/3 cup flour
Eggs milk etc in blender, add dries