Grandma Betty’s Crepes

I present you with an EASY crepe recipe!

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My great grandma Betty gets all the credit for this crepe. This recipe means so much to me; the fact that it’s an old family recipe and that every birthday breakfast-in-bed had these on my platter as a child. These were one of my first recipes trying on my own when I first started baking at 10 years old. They are so simple to make, but turn out so fancy and with endless filling possibilities. You can go savory with chive cream cheese and smoked salmon, or sweet with fresh peaches and whipped cream. My family’s special filling is a bunch of butter that melts as you spread it across the crepe, with cinnamon and sugar (a bunch of that too). It tastes like a cinnamon roll- and also like my childhood. And now, my husband REALLY enjoys them, and I get to pass the recipe down to my daughters!

When you serve these at Saturday breakfast, your family will think you hired a Parisian chef.

 

Enjoy!

Grandma Betty’s Crepes

Makes: 12 large crepes

1 can evaporated milk

1 can water

3 eggs

3 Tbsp sugar

1 ½ tsp vanilla extract

1 ½ cups flour

3 tsp baking powder

½ tsp salt

cinnamon/sugar

butter

  1. Beat together milk, water, eggs, vanilla, and sugar.
  2. Add flour, baking powder, and salt and mix thoroughly
  3. Heat small amount of oil in large skillet over medium heat.
  4. Add ½ cup of crepe mixture to pan, tilting pan in all directions to cover completely.
  5. Cook until bubbles form on top of crepe. Flip and cook an additional minute.
  6. Generously butter crepe then sprinkle with cinnamon and sugar and fold or roll up. Or use filling of your choice.

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Fresh Strawberry Pie

Fresh fruit is one of my favorite things to eat and bake with.

One thing I remember doing often in the summer months when I was growing up in Iowa is going berry picking. Although it was hot, sticky work, it was so worth it to come home with ridiculous amounts of fruit. This recipe is my grandma’s from when we came home with so, so many fresh strawberries.

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I’m so in love with this pie because it doesn’t require cooking the strawberries down (although that also sounds amazing). It leaves the berries in their natural state. The crust is simple, and not too sweet to let the strawberries be the star. When they are mounded high on this beautiful golden crust, they really shine.

 

Enjoy!

 

Fresh Strawberry Pie

Serves: 8                   

For the crust:

1 cup four

2 Tbsp sugar

1/8 tsp salt

½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted

  1. Preheat oven to 375°.
  2. Mix flour, sugar, and salt
  3. Add in melted butter and mix until well blended.
  4. Press into 9” pie pan, making sure you spread it all the way up sides of pan.
  5. Bake for 12-14 minutes, or until lightly browned.
  6. Let cool completely

For the filling:

1 cup water

2 Tbsp cornstarch

½ cup sugar

1 3oz box strawberry Jello

2 pts fresh strawberries, sliced

whipped cream (for topping)

  1. Whisk water, cornstarch and sugar in a medium sized pan until it comes to a full boil over medium high heat.
  2. Remove from heat. Add the strawberry Jello and mix thoroughly.
  3. While mixture is cooling, wash, thoroughly dry and slice strawberries.
  4. Put some Jello mixture on pie crust, then some sliced strawberries. Keep layering and end with Jello mixture.
  5. Refrigerate for 3 hours before serving.
  6. Top with whipped cream. Keep in refrigerator for up to 4 days.

 

*If you don’t like jello, swap it out for ½ cup juice (strawberry or strawberry blend)

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Sweet Potato Hash

We have turned into a society that brunches. And I love it! A fried egg on top of anything and everything? Bloody Marys and mimosas? YES please!

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This recipe was put together from my love of sweet potatoes, my husband’s and daughters’ love for grits, and all of our love for anything breakfast. I decided to create something simple, but different from what I’ve seen. And let me tell you; Rosemary and cinnamon work together like peanut butter and jelly! The chili flakes add some nice heat as well but not too much spiciness for my girls. This dish is so beautiful, with lots of colors and freshness. The grits become rich and creamy with the cream cheese and parmesan, and the sweet potatoes add some crunch and sweetness. The ground turkey really “beefs” up the dish. The tomatoes bring some acidity and the spinach is a healthy, fresh addition. A fried egg tops this bowl of goodness, which is like the cherry on top of a sundae. This meal is hearty, filling, and just the right dish for your next brunch.

 

Enjoy!

 

Sweet potato Hash

1 Tbsp oil

4 cups sweet potatoes, diced

1 lb ground turkey

½ tsp salt

¼ tsp black pepper

1 clove garlic, minced

¼ cup onion, diced

½ cup diced tomatoes

2 cups fresh spinach

½ tsp rosemary

¼ tsp cinnamon

¼ tsp red pepper flakes

1 ½ cups quick cooking grits

1/4 cup cream cheese

1/4 cup parmesan cheese

  1. In a medium sauté pan, heat oil over medium heat. Add onions and ground turkey. Brown the meat, stirring occasionally.
  2. Add in garlic, sweet potatoes, tomatoes, salt, pepper, rosemary, cinnamon, red pepper flakes. Stir and cook for 3 minutes.
  3. Add ¼ cup water and spinach. Stir and cover. Cook for about 10 minutes until sweet potatoes are tender but not soft (you can stick a fork in). Stir occasionally so nothing sticks to pan.
  4. Cook grits according to directions on package. Add in cream cheese and parmesan.
  5. Using a large sauté pan, cook 8 eggs over easy. My trick is to melt butter or oil in pan add eggs, then 1/8 cup water over eggs, then cover. Take off heat once the yolks get a slight opaqueness.
  6. Assemble bowls by placing grits on bottom, then hash mixture, then fried egg on top.

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Whipped Goat Cheese and Tomato Bacon Jam Tostinis

If you haven’t tried goat cheese, you are missing out! I have to admit, sometimes unconventional ingredients can be intimidating to cook with. My advice- try new things when you go to dinner parties or restaurants and then use it in a recipe in your own kitchen!

A dinner party of Angelo’s friends when we were stationed in San Antonio is actually what inspired this recipe. He had this amazing charcuterie board filled with breads, prosciutto, fruits, veggies, and goat cheese with cherries on top. It was my first time trying goat cheese. It is creamy and tart, and pairs well with many ingredients. The toasted, buttery bread and tomato bacon jam with fresh basil on top creates the perfect bite!

This is a great appetizer to show your fancier side at dinner parties.

Enjoy!

Whipped goat cheese and tomato bacon jam tostinis

Serves: 12

1 loaf Italian bread, sliced ½ inch thick and buttered

4 oz (1/2 cup) goat cheese

½ cup cream cheese

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1 Tbsp corn starch

¼ cup sugar

½ cup water

1 Tbsp oil

5 slices bacon

2 Tbsp butter

1 pint grape tomatoes, halved

½ tsp salt

½ tsp oregano

½ tsp chili powder

3 basil leaves, cut into thin strips

  1. Let goat cheese and cream cheese sit out for 30 minutes to soften.
  2. Broil buttered bread on high until browned (about 5 minutes). Set aside.
  3. Cream together goat cheese and cream cheese with mixer until fluffy. Set aside.
  4. In sauté pan, add oil over medium heat. Add bacon and cook until crispy.
  5. Remove bacon and add butter to same pan. Once melted, add tomatoes and spices. Let tomatoes cook down, stirring frequently, about 8-10 minutes.
  6. Chop bacon and add to tomato mixture.
  7. Stir cornstarch mixture into tomato mixture.
  8. Spread goat cheese mixture onto tostini, then add tomato mixture. Top with fresh basil.
  9. Serve immediately.

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The BEST sugar cookies (seriously)

Oh. Wow. You guys. These cookies. I am sharing a special gift with this recipe, courtesy of my mom!

sugarcookies1She had this big brown, wrinkled paper bag full of cookie cutters and when I saw it out on the counter, I knew we were about to make these cookies. My mom would use the cookie cutters to make the cutest versions of these rolled out sugar cookies. Covered in frosting and sprinkles, my mom, my sisters, and I would sit at the kitchen table, decorating cookie after cookie. It is one of my favorite childhood memories.

AND. THE. DOUGH. All consideration of eating raw egg goes out the window with this cookie dough; it is just that good.

Although it takes a few steps to get to the final colorful cookie, this recipe is simple and so so yummy! My favorite way to eat them is from the freezer- it really elevates the almond flavor and makes them melt in your mouth.

These cookies are great for everyone because they can be adapted to be crunchy, soft, or somewhere in between, depending on how you prefer your little clouds of heaven.

Enjoy!

The BEST Sugar Cookies (seriously)

Makes: about 36 cookies

For dough:

1 ½ cups powdered sugarsugarcookies10

1 cup butter

1 large egg

1 ½ tsp vanilla extract

¾ tsp almond extract

2 ½ cups flour

1 tsp cream of tartar

t tsp baking soda

  1. Cream together softened butter and powdered sugar using handheld or stand mixer.
  2. Add egg, vanilla, and almond. Beat for 30 seconds.
  3. Mix in rest of ingredients.
  4. Transfer dough to container to chill for 2 hours minimum.
  5. Preheat oven to 350°.
  6. Take out half of the dough. Flour surface and use floured rolling pin to roll dough out to ¼ inch thickness. Cut dough with your choice of cookie cutters. Repeat with other half of dough.
  7. Place on cookie sheet and bake for 8-10 minutes, or until lightly browned.

*If you prefer thinner, crunchier cookies, roll thinner and bake a bit longer. If you prefer thicker, softer cookies, roll out dough thicker and take them out of the oven when they are still blonde.

For frosting:

½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter at room temperature

4 cups powdered sugar

3-4 Tbsp milk

1 tsp vanilla extract

½ tsp almond extract

food coloring and/or sprinkles (optional)

  1. Cream butter on high for 1 minute until it turns a pale yellow.
  2. Add powdered sugar, 3 Tbsp milk, vanilla and almond.
  3. Add more milk if frosting is too thick.
  4. Divide frosting into bowls, keeping in mind how many colors you will be using. Add food coloring to each bowl until desired color is reached.
  5. Frost cookies. I like to place frosted cookies in freezer for a few minutes to harden the frosting so they can be stacked in plastic container between parchment paper.

 

*Cookies can be kept in freezer unfrosted for up to 2 months, and frosted for up to 1 month.

Green Tea Ginger Lemonade

Get ready for a refreshing, tart, and healthy drink. Every so often, my husband, Angelo, and I will try to get off coffee, (I mean hey, we can try right!?) but it is difficult to quit caffeine cold turkey. Green tea has so many health benefits; it boosts your metabolism, is loaded with antioxidants, improves your brain function, and has some caffeine (yay!). Hot green tea is great with some honey and lemon juice, and warms your soul, almost as much as coffee. However, I created this recipe because I would let my green tea steep, but after running around with two toddlers, by the time I could get to drinking it, it was almost cold. Insert the idea of a healthy lemonade! Lemon juice actually helps quench your thirst and aids in digestion. I love the bite ginger has, giving this lemonade an another depth of flavor. It also has a ton of health benefits including being an anti-inflammatory. I love using honey as a sweetener because it is a great alternative to sugar, and less is more because it is so naturally sweet. Get your caffeine fix, and feel healthy while doing it.

Enjoy!

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Ginger green tea lemonade

Serves: 8                  

greentea2.jpg4 cups water

12 green tea bags

6 lemons, juiced

2/3 cup honey

1 tsp grated ginger

3 slices ginger

4-5 cups ice cubes

  1. Boil 4 cups water in teapot or pot.
  2. Pour into pitcher and drop in tea bags, grated and sliced ginger. Let steep for 20 minutes.
  3. Take out tea bags and ginger slices. Add in lemon juice and honey. Stir well.
  4. Add in enough ice to double the amount (4-5 cups should do it).
  5. Serve with fresh lemon wedges.

 

*You can double this recipe and have a big batch in the refrigerator all week!

**Use a spoon to peel the skin off the ginger root

Shrimp Boil Chowder

Tender shrimp, spicy sausage, al dente potatoshrimpboil2es, crispy corn, all in one pot. This soup tastes just like a low country boil, only better because you can use a giant piece of bread to sop up the amazing buttery broth! Any kind of soup or chili is one of my favorite things to cook and eat (that’s a given, always a given), because it’s all about building the flavors and letting the food do the work. Although there are very few ingredients, they all work together to create a smooth, creamy chowder, with depths of flavor. When first tasting it, it is buttery, but then the classic Old Bay Seafood Seasoning comes through without being overpowering, as the lemon cuts the hotness. Summer time in a bowl.

Enjoy!

 

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Shrimp Boil Chowder

Makes: 8 servings

2 Tbsp oil

4 Tbsp butter

½ of an onion, chopped

4 cloves garlic, minced

1/3 cup flour

6 cups chicken broth

2 cups water

1 lb cleaned shrimp

1 (12.8 oz) package Andouille sausage, cut into slices

1 Tbsp Old Bay seasoning

1 lb baby potatoes

2 cups corn, fresh or frozen

juice of ½ lemon

  1. In a bowl, combine shrimp, sausage, one tablespoon oil, and Old Bay seasoning. Mix well.
  2. In a large pot, heat 1 tablespoon over medium heat. Add shrimp and sausage and cook for 3 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  3. Remove sausage and shrimp and set aside. Add butter to pot and then oil. Once melted, add onion. Cook until onions are soft and translucent.
  4. Add garlic and cook for 30 seconds, then add flour. Cook for a minute, stirring.
  5. Whisk in chicken broth and water.
  6. Add potatoes and corn. Bring to a boil. Simmer for 12-15 minutes, or until potatoes are tender.
  7. Add shrimp and sausage back into pot and the juice of ½ a lemon. Simmer for an additional 2 minutes.

*I cook the shrimp with tails on to get as much flavor as possible (the shells of shellfish have TONS of flavor), then remove tails while soup is cooking to make it easier to eat.shrimpboil3

Welcome to Bring to the Table!

Don’t we all have something to bsmall logoring to the table? It’s probably a question we don’t ask of, or for, ourselves often enough. The name of this blog actually came about because when I was contemplating starting one, I thought, “What do I have to bring to the table that is different from any other food blogger out there?”

Recently, after the reality of turning 30 in September has set in, I find myself asking what I have to offer the world. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not dreading turning 30; I think it’s a solid rite of passage. But I do have thoughts of have I done enough to claim 30? Am I where I want to be to officially be an adult (I’m declaring 20s as still the transition into adulthood)? And am I really living out my dream? *Queue existential crisis* But in all seriousness, I realized there is only one me and maybe someone will find what I have to say and share interesting. And if not, I have somewhere to log all my tried and true recipes!

My love for food exceeds just eating it. The recipes I will be sharing on my blog each mean something to me and each have a story. Food is a common denominator in relationships, community, and culture. Cooking is an expression of myself, and has been a bigger part of my life that I’m just starting to appreciate.family 1

I am a wife to an amazing husband, and a stay at home mom to a 4 and 2 year old in this military life we live. Angelo (hubby) is in the Army, which means we move more than the average family. I resourcefully make a kitchen in a new area code work for

DSC_0186me every couple of years. Cooking and baking has been a constant for me in an unpredictable life; I can take it with me wherever we go. Each duty station inspires new recipes.

I grew up in Ames, Iowa, home of Iowa State University (go Cyclones!) Although I never lived on a farm, there seemed to always be a cornfield within sight. I have come to realize growing up in the country’s heart of farming made an impression on how I view food. Don’t get me wrong: I ate my fair share of overly processed, sugary, salty food. I mean hey, I was a 90’s kid; the generation of, “let’s see how long we can make ‘food’ last and how neon bright we can we color it!” But I had the exposure to fresh, farm-to-table food constantly and the knowledge of where it came from just from looking a little beyond my backyard.

My grandma, who lived just down the street delighted in always busying herself in the kitchen. I observed how it connected her and my mom in a special way, as if they were part of some club- a club I wanted to be a part of. I got my first cookbook when I was 10, and with the encouragement from my grandma, I started to try things I never thought I could do. When I got a little older, I worked at a local bakery through college, and still use what I learned there in my kitchen today.

Although I don’t have any formal training, I like to think the love I pour into my recipes makes them special in their own right (and the fact my toddler girls actually eat

me and angelo (1)my food helps). I am also so grateful for my husband. To have someone who believes in me and my abilities in the kitchen as much as he does makes me feel like I graduated from the top culinary school. He is the first one to try my new innovations and gives me to resolution to keep cooking (and dreaming). So thank you baby; this blog is dedicated to you and us 🙂

My culinary point of view is simple, clean, fresh, and delicious food. I don’t like putting a million ingredients in my recipes, because I like to know what I’m tasting. My version of clean usually means from scratch, so I know exactly what I’m putting in my food. I spend most of my time in the produce section of the grocery store because fresh food tastes the best and I think something fresh should always be a component of a recipe. Of course, my recipes are always tested to make sure they taste great!

I am here to help you be bold with ingredients and excited by recipes, not intimidated or overwhelmed. I am just a regular home cook, and I want my food to be approachable and confidence boosting. I will also be trying new things on this blog journey, so stay tuned!

Being able to express my creativity through cooking and baking is a blessing and my calling. The amazing thing about food is there are endless possibilities. Thank you for going on this journey with me. I am excited to get started and hear what you all think of what I bring to the table! Remember to ask yourself from time to time what you have to bring to the table, and make sure you’re bringing it!

Enjoy!

Allison