The QueDog – Petit Jean Jumbo Grillers Giveaway

July is national hot dog month and it’s time for another yummy hot dog recipe. This hot dog celebrates another delicious summer food…BBQ. Okay, BBQ may not just be a summer food but summer is the time of year that we typically think about having picnics and big outdoor meals. Here in the south that often includes pulled pork or ribs or some kind of smoked meat.

This dog is delicious and brings new life to leftover pulled pork. So grab some pulled pork from your favorite local BBQ joint or make a batch of my delicious and EASY Crockpot Kalua Pork, some Petit Jean Jumbo Grillers and your favorite BBQ sauce. Now lets make a QueDog!

The QueDog on @eggsandherbs

Before I give you the super easy recipe I want to invite you to enter for a chance to with 4 packages of Petit Jean Jumbo Grillers Hot Dogs. They will even deliver them right to your door!

To enter just leave a comment on this post telling me what your favorite BBQ restaurant is and what you love about it.

You can also get more entries by hopping over and checking out my Tropical Hot Dog.

Contest ends August 1st and one winner will be chosen from all eligable entries comined from each post in my summer hot dog series. Winner must live in the continental US.

Now here’s the recipe for the QueDog!

The QueDog
A delicious BBQue Hot Dog.
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Ingredients
  1. Petit Jean Jumbo Grillers Hot Dogs
  2. Buns
  3. Leftover Kalua Pork
  4. BBQ Sauce
  5. Coleslaw (optional)
Instructions
  1. Cook the hot dogs using your prefered method. Grill or toast the buns. Place the hot dog in the bun. Top with your favorite BBQ sauce and a bit of coleslaw if you like. Enjoy!
eggs and herbs http://www.eggsandherbs.com/
Disclaimer: I recieved free Jumbo Grillers from Petit Jean Meats to help me with the development of these recipes. All opinions are my own.

Crockpot Kalua Pork

Kalua Pork (notice that it’s Kalua and not Kahlua!) is a traditional luau treat. Kalua is a Hawaiian term that literally means to cook underground and in a traditional luau a whole pig is wrapped in moist banana leaves and cooked underground in a hot pit or imu for 6-7 hours. Part of the ceremony in a luau is the unearthing of the pig.

hawaiian luau crockpot kalua pork

Kalua pork is typically very moist, slightly salty and slightly smokey. While it would be totally cool if we could all slow roast whole pigs in our backyards every time we wanted this tasty treat, that probably isn’t feasible. We can however create a very tasty, slow roasted version in a crockpot.

The flavor of this crockpot Kalua Pork is smokey, salty, moist and everything your would expect to find at a traditional luau without all of the work and non of the mess. Seriously, you’d need a backhoe or something to did a giant hole in your yard if you wanted to do this the traditional way!

Well let’s cheat! Were gonna throw FIVE ingredients into a crockpot, go about our merry business for 10 or so hours and come back to the most flavorful pork you will ever eat.

Crockpot Kalua Pork @eggsandherbs

 Note: This would not specifically be considered a {Budget Meal} because a large pork roast can be nearly $20.  However, when you consider the length that this single piece of meat will go, it would be a great choice if you were on a budget and found yourself with the ability to splurge a little.  We serve this as is with some potatoes and a vegetable on the first night. It makes it way back to our table all week in the form of tacos, BBQ sandwiches, a topping for hot dogs and we’ve even used it in enchiladas and to top nachos. 

Crockpot Kalua Pork
Smoky and salty luau style pork.
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Prep Time
10 min
Prep Time
10 min
Ingredients
  1. 1 Pork Shoulder (choose a size that fits your needs)
  2. 3-5 pieces of smoked bacon
  3. Sea Salt (use Hawaiian salt if you have it)
  4. 3-5 cloves of garlic, halved lengthwise (optional)
  5. Hickory Flavored Liquid Smoke (optional)
Instructions
  1. Cut 6-10 slits into the fatty side of the pork shoulder. Insert half a piece of garlic into each slit. Generously cover the outside of the pork shoulder with salt. You want to add quite a bit of salt, several teaspoons to several tablespoons depending on the size of your roast. Lay 3-5 piece of uncooked smoked bacon across the bottom of the crockpot. Place the salted roast fat side up into the crockpot. Sprinkle with several dashes of liquid smoke. Place the lid on the crockpot and cook on the lowest setting at the longest time. My crockpot will cook for 10 hours on low. When it is finished you will want to remove the roast from the liquid that forms as it will be quite salty. The pork should be falling apart, tender and juicy. Enjoy!
eggs and herbs http://www.eggsandherbs.com/

Pineapples Don’t Grow on Trees – Tropical Hot Dogs {Petit Jean Meats Giveaway}

Nothing speaks more of summer than hot dogs on the grill. Add some tropical fruit and you’ve got a hot dog that’s perfect for any pool party, lake side grill-out, or family barbecue.

tropical hot dog

About 10 years ago I visited the Dole Pineapple Plantation in Hawaii. The thing that surprised me the most was that pineapples grow in the ground and not trees. Here I was, in my mid 20′s, and I should have known this simple fact. I was shocked to say the least but have since come to realize that it is very common for people to believe that pineapples grow on trees. If you take away nothing else from this post, please remember that pineapples don’t grow on trees!

When my friends over at Petit Jean Meats asked me if I could come up with a few unique hot dog recipes for the summer I immediately thought of pineapple. I knew I wanted to create a dog that included this quintessential summer ingredient.

Today I have for you a delicious Tropical Hot Dog that even my somewhat picky husband enjoyed. PLUS, you can enter to win a 4-pack of Jumbo Grillers Hot Dogs from Petit Jean Meats!  That’s right! Petit Jean Meats will send one lucky reader 4 packages of Jumbo Grillers Hot Dogs.  You can enter today and each Friday during July.  Contest ends on August 1st and one winner will be randomly selected from all eligible entries in each Friday’s hot dog recipe post.  Continental US only.  All entrants must be 18 or over.

You have four ways to get an entry.
1. Leave a comment here on the blog and tell me how your spending the Fourth of July.
2. Share this post via Facebook then leave a SEPARATE with a link to your FB post.
3. Pin a photo from this post and then leave a SEPARATE comment with your Pinterest user name.
4. Share this post on Google+ and then leave a SEPARATE comment with a link to your Google+ post.

Check back each Friday in July for another opprtunity to get 4 entries. I will be sharing with you recipes for the QueDog, the B&B Dog, and the Yankee Dog.

Tropical Hot Dog
Serves 4
This Tropical Hot Dog with a fruity pineapple relish is sure to please and beat the heat this summer.
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Ingredients
  1. 1 Package Petit Jean Jumbo Grillers Hot Dogs
  2. 4 King's Hawaiian Hot Dog Buns
  3. 6-8 slices of Petit Jean Hickory Smoked Bacon
  4. 1/4 of a large red onion, chopped
  5. 1/4 of a fresh pineapple, chopped
  6. 1/2 of a fresh mango, chopped
  7. 1/4 cup of sweet relish
Instructions
  1. Cook the bacon until lightly browned and crisp. Set aside to cool.
  2. In the same pan, reserve 1 tbs. of the bacon grease and saute the onions until just tender.
  3. Chop the bacon and combine in a bowl with the onions, pineapple, mango and sweet relish.
  4. Chill for at least one hour before serving.
Notes
  1. Top Petit Jean Jumbo Grillers with a big scoop of the tropical relish and serve with mac and cheese or your favorite hot dog accompaniment.
eggs and herbs http://www.eggsandherbs.com/
Disclaimer: I was provided with free hot dogs from Petit Jean Meats for recipe development purposes. All opinions are my own.

Creamed Spinach

There really is no food that warms my soul quite like a big, juicy, medium-rare steak.  Steak is the one food that I find myself craving over and over again.  Almost as much as I like steak, I like the traditional steakhouse sides like garlicky mashed potatoes and creamed spinach.  Traditional creamed spinach sounds like it should be good for you but contains enough butter and cream for an army with a calorie load to match.  

weight watchers creamed spinach steakhouse

When I came across the recipe for creamed spinach in this months Cookbook of the Month, WeightWatchers 50th Anniversary Cookbook, I was ecstatic. And, it’s good! I mean REALLY good. Pair it with a delicious steak (my husband and I shared the one pictured below) and a small baked potato and you will have a meal that rivals any 5-star steakhouse!

weight watchers creamed spinach steakhouse style

Creamed Spinach
Serves 4
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Cook Time
20 min
Cook Time
20 min
Ingredients
  1. 1 pound spinach, trimmed and torn
  2. 1 onion, minced
  3. 1/2 tbs. flour
  4. 1/4 tsp. salt
  5. Freshly ground pepper
  6. Freshly ground nutmeg
  7. 1/4 cup fat-free milk
  8. 1/4 cup light cream cheese, softened
Instructions
  1. Steam the spinach for about 2 minutes until it is lightly wilted. Drain in a colander. When cool enough to handle, squeeze out the excess moisture and coarsely chop.
  2. Saute the onion in a medium skillet with nonstick cooking spray until transluscent.
  3. Combine flour, salt, pepper and nutmeg in a small bowl and stir into the onion. Add the milk and cream cheese and cook 1 minute, stirring constantly with a whisk. Add the spinach and cook until heated through. Serve.
Adapted from WeightWatchers 50th Anniversary Cookbook
Adapted from WeightWatchers 50th Anniversary Cookbook
eggs and herbs http://www.eggsandherbs.com/

Huevos Rancheros in Tortilla Cups

My mom and dad own a Bed and Breakfast so I am always on the lookout for good breakfast dishes.  My husband also loves breakfast and while we don’t often have time for a hot breakfast during the school year, we typically enjoy breakfast several times each week during the summer.  I try to find a variety of recipes so that we don’t get bored.  

This month’s Cookbook of the Month is the WeightWatchers 50th Anniversary Cookbook and I couldn’t wait to make this recipe for Huevos Rancheros in Tortilla Cups.  One serving is only 289 calories and 7 PointsPlus.

Huevos rancheros

Huevos Rancheros in Tortilla Cups
Serves 4
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Ingredients
  1. 4 (6-inch) corn tortillas
  2. 1 (14.5 oz) can of Rotel
  3. 1 (15 oz) can of black beans
  4. 1/2 cup canned diced green chiles, mild
  5. 2-3 tbs. Frank's Red Hot Sauce
  6. 3 tbs. chopped cilantro
  7. 4 large eggs
  8. 1/4 cup reduced fat cheddar cheese, shredded
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 425°F. Lightly spray tortillas with cooking spray. Place over inverted custard ramekins on a cookie sheet. Bake about 10 minutes until lightly crisp and golden. Remove from oven and allow to cool.
  2. Combine the Rotel, beans, chiles, Frank's and 2 tbs. of cilantro in a large ovenproof skillet. Bring to a boil over medium heat. Reduce heat to low and simmer about 4 minutes. Spread the mixture and break four eggs over the sauce, spacing them evenly apart.
  3. Place the pan in the oven and bake the eggs about 6-8 minutes until the eggs are almost set. Sprinkle cheese over each egg and cook 1 minute more until the cheese is melted.
  4. To serve, place the tortilla cups onto plates and spoon in the eggs and sauce mixture. Garnish with remaining cilantro and serve.
Adapted from WeightWatchers 50th Anniversary Cookbook
Adapted from WeightWatchers 50th Anniversary Cookbook
eggs and herbs http://www.eggsandherbs.com/

Herbed Crepes with Eggs and Ham to Celebrate Dr. Seuss’s Birthday!

”Nonsense wakes up the brain cells. And it helps develop a sense of humor, which is awfully important in this day and age.” ~Dr. Seuss

I’m pretty sure what he really meant by nonsense was a hardy breakfast made with Petit Jean Meats EZ Carve Ham and Great Day Farms Eggs!
Herbed Crepes with Eggs and Ham Collage
Theodor Seuss Geisel, or Dr. Seuss as we now know him, began his famed writing career while in attendance at Dartmouth College in Hanover, New Hampshire. Still Ted Geisel at the time, he was writing for the campus based humor magazine Jack-o-Lantern of which he became editor-in-chief during his Junior year. As was tradition for the publication, the content within the magazine was rarely signed by the author. While he claims to have contributed a number of pieces his exact contribution is unclear except in terms of his artwork. The magazine also published artwork which unlike its “lit” was nearly always signed. The publication was peppered with his illustrations from 1921-1925. He admits that, during this time, he “discovered the excitement of ‘marrying’ words to pictures.”

It was during 1925 that he first adopted the use of the name Seuss. On the evening before Easter of his senior year, Seuss and nine of his friends gathered together and shared a pint of gin in his room in Randall Hall. The dorm father discovered what they were doing and called the local police chief who raided the room.

Remember that this was during the time of prohibition. Geisel states, “We had a pint of gin for ten people, so that proves nobody was really drinking” but they were brought before the dean and placed on probation for violation of Prohibiton, “especially on Easter Evening.” This meant Ted was relieved from his duties as editor-in-chief of the Jack-o-Lantern.

But fear not because the anonymous format of the literature portion of the magazine allowed Ted Geisel to keep right on writing. The artwork created another problem however since they were usually signed. So the last four issues of the 1925 school year contained multiple cartoons that were credited simply to the artist, “Seuss” or on occassion “T. Seuss”. The Dr. was added later on.

So today, in honor of the 110th anniversary of Dr. Seuess’ birthday I bring you some “green” eggs and ham!
Herbed Crepes with Eggs and Ham
I was first introduced to Great Day Farms Eggs about 6 months ago when a representative of their company sponsored a breakfast at a conference I was attending. As we ate a delicious breakfast prepared with Great Day Eggs the rep spoke about the company. One thing that really struck me was when he stated that he believes “yard eggs” are the best eggs but that Great Day strives to provide a quality product to those who weren’t fortunate to have their own fresh eggs. Having eaten nothing but “yard eggs” from my own chickens for years I admit I was hesitant to try store bought eggs. My previous experience with store bought eggs wasn’t a great one but my first bite of these and I knew something was different. They were good! And when my chickens quit laying eggs during this cold, dark winter I immediately sought out the Great Day Farms Cage Free brown eggs. At about $4.25 for a package of 18, they were a little more expensive than the other eggs but their quality in color and taste is far superior.

I used the Great Day Farms Eggs to whip up a batch of my Easy Crepes and placed three (one for me and two for my husband) on a well sprayed,foil lined cookie sheet to prevent sticking and make cleanup a breeze.

Easy Crepes

Onto each crepe I placed a slice of Petit Jean Meats EZ Carve ham which I cut in half and warmed slightly in a skillet.

Crepes with Petit Jean Ham

We have been eating Petit Jean Meats in our house for several years. This Arkansas based company makes delicious bacon, ham and sausages in a variety of styles and flavors. In addition to their EZ Carve ham they make great family size hams that would be perfect for the upcoming Easter holiday! You may want to check out my Holiday Menu featuring Petit Jean Spiral Sliced Ham.

After I added the ham to each crepe I carefully cracked an egg into the center of each crepe and folded up the sides before placing the whole tray into a 350º oven.

crepes

The trick is to bake the eggs until the whites have set and the yolk is still runny. This takes about 8 minutes but you should watch closely. To check for doneness just jiggle the pan a little. The white of the egg should no longer look wet or runny. The yolk should give slightly when touched.

To serve, plate each crepe and sprinkle with fresh herbs and a pinch of salt and pepper. Serve with Thyme and Scallion Potato Pancakes, fresh fruit and english muffin. Enjoy!

Herbed Crepes with Eggs and Ham

Herbed Crepes with Eggs and Ham

1-2 Crepes per person (See my Easy Crepe recipe.)
Great Day Farms Eggs
Petit Jean Meats EZ Carve Ham
Minced Herbs (I used Sage, Rosemary, Thyme and Scallions)
Cooking Spray
Salt and Pepper

Prepare crepes according to my Easy Crepes recipe. Note: for added flavor you can add a tablespoon of fresh chopped herbs to the crepe batter. Preheat oven to 350º. Place 1-2 crepes per person on a cookie sheet sprayed will with cooking spray. Place one slice of ham on each crepe. Crack an egg into the center and fold up the sides of the crepe. Cook approximately 8 minutes or until the eggs are set to your liking. Plate each Herbed Crepe with Eggs and Ham and sprinkle with fresh herbs. Enjoy!

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Disclaimer: This post is sponsored by both Great Day Farms and Petit Jean Meats and they provided me with eggs and meat for this recipe. All opinions are however my own and I would not promote a product that I don’t honestly and authentically stand behind.

Article Source: The Beginnings of Dr. Seuss: An informal reminiscence. Geisel, Theodor Seuss, 1904-1991.
From the Dartmouth Digital Collection.

Save Money in the Kitchen 7 Tips to Get You Started

You may have noticed that food prices are going up, up and UP! Today I am going to share with you 7 practical tips to help you save money in the kitchen WITHOUT having to use coupons or play the “grocery” game.
save money without coupons

1. Clean out your fridge and the pantry.

About once a year I do a major clean out my fridge. I mean REALLY clean it out. I remove everything, scrub the shelves, check expiration dates, toss all the old stuff and then put back everything in a neat and orderly manner. I did the same with my pantry. They both looked amazing and I really worked hard at keeping them clean.

I noticed in the next few weeks my grocery bill was down just slightly. Why? Because I suddenly remembered all that great stuff that I had to cook with. Keeping a clean fridge and pantry are essential to saving money in the kitchen because if you know what you have, you don’t waste money buying it again.

I recommend doing a MAJOR cleaning at least once a year. I also recommend that you do a quick clean out just before each grocery shopping trip. You just might find a hidden container of sour cream so you won’t need to buy another one!

2. Maintain a well stocked fridge and pantry.

Now that your fridge and pantry are clean it is time to make sure it is well stocked with the items you frequently use.

What belongs in your fridge or pantry will be different for everyone and your pantry may look totally different than mine. A quick Google or Pinterest search will provide you with pleanty of resources on keeping a well stocked pantry.

A note about using coupons to stock your pantry – I am NOT really a fan of using coupons. I have a family of two. Using coupons is not really cost effective for us. We don’t have a need for extras of stuff and I don’t have time in my day to play the “grocery game”. I am also not typically brand loyal on most pantry items and tend to buy either what is cheapest or what looks the best.

3. Plan Your Meals EVERY Week.

Let’s face it! No matter how your family does dinner you are likely faced with the age-old question, “Whats for dinner?” Deciding what to cook or even where to eat out at can be a big hassle. If you are the primary (or sole) chef in your house this question is likely the cause of some deeply harbored ill-feelings from time to time. Nothing irritates me more than when I ask my husband for meal ideas, he doesn’t give any, and then acts disappointed with what I decided to make.

Step 1: Make a database of family favorites.

A database of family meals can be a great tool for solving this problem. Gather up your family and start making a list of some of your favorite meals. This list should contain only the tried and true recipes that you have made. Your “wish list” of food items will come later. You want this to be a list of meals that you know and love.

Once you have the list compiled – write it out, type it up, put it on index cards, etc. Put it somewhere where it is accessible to you AND your family. I keep mine stuck to the fridge but there are a ton of cute meal planning boards on Pinterest that make great use of this database of family favorites.

Step 2: Make a meals “wish-list”.

Did you see something yummy on the Food Network? Did you try something in a restaurant that you think you could replicate at home? Does your food board on your Pinterest account have 300 pins that you have never cooked?

Make a wish list of 24 or so meals that you and your family would like to try in the next year. (If applicable provide links or cookbook page numbers to recipes.) Take your list and pin it on the fridge right next to your family meals database.

Step 3: Make a meal plan every week BEFORE you go grocery shopping.

First, you want to consult your pantry,fridge and freezer to see if you have anything on hand that needs to be used up. Next, take a look at your database of meals and pick 5-6 of your family favorites and once or twice a month throw in one of your wish list meals.
Make your list and stick to it!

4. Plan for your leftovers.

Making good use of your leftovers can really save you some money.  Pack leftovers into reheatable containers and take them with you to work for lunch.  I rarely have to purchase lunch because I plan on taking leftovers most days of the week.  This saves our family about $20 each week not to mention that those leftovers are no longer getting tossed in the trash.

5. Make the most of expensive key ingredients like meat.

If you are willing to eat Ramen Noodles every night you could certainly make a serious dent in your food budget. I myself have never been a fan of Ramen so one way I cut my food budget is to make the most of the meat we purchase.

Whether it is chicken, fish, or expensive cuts like Prime Rib I try to make the meat do double (or even triple) duty in the kitchen. A beer can chicken becomes chicken enchiladas or chicken and dumplings later in the week. Leftovers from a hearty pork roast become Asian lettuce wraps or BBQ pulled pork sandwiches. A large piece of salmon makes a great meal on its own and then resurfaces (HAHA! Do you see what I did there?) later in the week as salmon cakes or salmon burgers. And while we typically only eat Prime Rib once or twice a year during the holidays we stretch this meat too. The tender and flavorful leftovers make amazing fajitas and hearty cheesesteak sandwiches.

Another way to save money on meat is to buy it in larger quantities. Meat is typically cheaper by the pound when you purchase the larger “family packs”. Additionally, if you check your store frequently you will find that most meat counters will slash prices on the day when new meat shipments come in. The meat will still be several days away from its expiration date but likely several dollars cheaper. Bring it home to cook that night or portion it out and stick it in the freezer where it will keep for six months or more.

6. Eat out occasionally.

Eating out may not sound like something that will help slash your food budget but hear me out. I am the SOLE cook in my house. My husband has no interest in learning to cook so the burden of the meal planning and execution falls entirely on me. What that means is that there are nights when I am sick to death of cooking. There are nights when I just need a break. Eating out on occasion keeps me sane and also helps to give me ideas for future meal plans.

But the real bonus is that sometimes eating out can actually be less expensive than eating at home; if you plan well.
There are certain meals that I love and could make at home but once I factor in any special ingredients, the time involved in making the dish and possibly the fact that no one else in my house likes the meal, it becomes obvious that it is more sensible just to eat this meal out.

It is also possible to save a lot of money at restaurants by following them on social media or signing up for email newsletters. Chili’s sends me coupons for free desserts and free appetizers almost weekly. Chick-fil-a sends me text message deals which often include free nuggets and free milkshakes. IHOP and Jason’s Deli send me coupons for a free meal on my birthday. I even won a gift card to a local restaurant just by participating in a social media giveaway they were offering!

7. Invite friends over.

Entertaining can be a lot of fun and Does NOT have to be expensive. Sure it’s fun to invite all your friends over and cook them a 4-star meal but that is also not practical all the time. Entertaining can be fun and exciting AND cost effective if you let everyone chip in. Here are a few ideas:

Finger Foods and Games
Invite several couples (or families) over for an evening of card games or board games. Each family brings a finger food that will feed their family plus a few extra. All you provide is a single finger food and some plate, silverware and napkins. You could serve a simple drink or ask everyone to bring their own. Set the food up buffet style and dig in. Everyone gets a selection of food and only had to do the work for a single item.

Casserole and Sides
I LOVE lasagne but it is also very expensive to make and even if I divide the recipe and freeze half it is always more than my husband and I can eat. Solution: make the lasagne as planned and invite over a couple or two asking them to provide a side salad and bread. You get a delicious meal with good friends, everyone pitched in and you don’t have to fret over money wasted on food not eaten.

Progressive Dinner Party
This is a fun event if you live in a neighborhood but works well even if you are a little more spread out. Each family is responsible for one part of the meal from the appetizer to dessert. Families meet at the first house and all enjoy the appetizer together. Travel to the next house for a salad then on to the main course and so on. You get an evening of great food and the party keeps moving which adds interest to the conversation.

Food can be expensive and we all have to eat. Which tip listed above will you use to help save money in the kitchen? Do you have any tips that I failed to mention? We’d love to have you leave a comment.

Sweet and Savory Crepes At Home {It’s not as difficult as you think!}

Ten years ago I visited France. At the time, I wasn’t into food quite like I am now and I missed out on a lot of the culinary masterpieces that France has to offer. Sure we ate some delicious tartlets and pastries, charcuterie, bread and an abundance of cheeses. We ate crepes from street vendors, picnic-ed in le Jardin des Tuileries, but only ate one authentically French dinner in a quaint cafe with tables that spilled onto the sidewalk. The meal I ate there (a delicious chicken crepe with asparagus) stuck with me, yet not once have I tried to replicate it even though I drew it in my sketchbook and took copious notes about the dish.

A few weeks ago I stumbled across a Pinterest board that was full of ideas for crepes, both savory and sweet. That meal from all of those years ago crept back into my consciousness. I found myself wanting to recreate the dish. So…I did. It was amazing!

Chicken and Ricotta Crepes with Asparagus and Lemon Butter Sauce

Chicken Ricotta Crepes with Asparagus and Lemon Butter Sauce

    8 crepes (recipe below)
    2 1/2 cups shredded chicken (about 2 large breasts)
    1 1/2 cups ricotta cheese
    3/4 cup parmesan cheese (divided, plus extra for garnish)
    1/4 cup chopped fresh herbs (I used basil, thyme and rosemary)
    Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
    3 Tbs. Butter
    1 Shallot
    1 Bundle of Asparagus
    Chicken Stock (about 3/4 cup)
    Zest of one Lemon

Boil the chicken breast in water until cooked through. Allow to cool slightly and then shred the chicken following my super easy shredding method found here.
Preheat the oven to 425˚ and lightly butter the bottom and sides of a casserole dish.
In a bowl, combine the chicken, ricotta cheese, 3/4 cups of parmesean, about 3 tbs. of herbs and salt and pepper to taste. Evenly divide the mixture between the 8 crepes. Carefully roll up each crepe (crepes can be delicate) and place them seam side down in the casserole dish. Cover with foil and bake for 15 minutes or until the filling is hot. Note: if you prepared your chicken in advance and refrigerated it, it may take longer than 15 minutes.
In a medium skillet melt 3 Tbs. of butter. Thinly slice the shallot and cook until tender. Chop the asparagus into bit sized pieces and add to the skillet, cooking until tender but not mushy. Add the chicken stock, the remaining herbs and the lemon zest. Allow this to simmer for several minutes until the sauce is slightly thickened. Add the remaining 1/4 cup of parmesan cheese and salt and pepper to taste.
To serve place the crepe onto a plate and spoon over a generous portion of the asparagus sauce. Serve with roasted potatoes and a spring mix salad with balsamic vinaigrette for a delicious meal.

Making the Crepes

Crepes are amazingly delicious and although slightly time consuming (you can only cook one at a time) are relatively easy to make. If you want a quality crepe you need to use quality ingredients. I love to use my farm fresh free range chicken eggs from the beautiful Buff Orpington chickens I have roaming around my yard. If you don’t have farm fresh eggs, my favorite store bought eggs are from Great Day Farms and are available at Walmart. I also think real butter and whole milk give these crepes a luxurious taste.

Easy Crepes

Easy Crepes

    2 Eggs
    2 Tbs. Melted butter (slightly cooled)
    1 Tbs. Sugar
    1 cup flour
    1 1/3 cups Whole Milk

Combine all of the ingredients in a blender and blend over low to medium speed until you have no lumps. The batter should be very thin and pourable. If it is too thick you can add additional milk one tablespoon at a time until it reaches the desired consistancy.

Heat a small skillet over medium heat (no fancy crepe pan necessary). Add a bit of butter to coat the pan. Gently pour a small amount of batter into the pan and swirl the pan to spread out the batter. You want it to be very thin. Cook for about 30 to 60 seconds and then carefully flip the crepe with a spatula. Cook about 30 seconds more on the second side and then stack on a plate. continue cooking until you have finished all of the crepes. This recipe make about 12-14 crepes. Enough for the dinner above and a few leftover for dessert!

Nutella Crepes with Strawberries

Nutella Crepes with Strawberries

    2 Crepes per person
    1 pint of Strawberries
    2 Tbs. Sugar
    1 Tbs. Orange Flavored Liquor such as Triple Sec
    Nutella
    Powdered Sugar

Slice one pint of strawberries and toss with sugar and Triple Sec. Allow to set at room temperature for at least 30 minutes. Smear 2 crepes with Nutella. Warm slightly in a skillet and place on a plate. Sprinkle with powdered sugar and top with a large spoonful of sliced strawberries.

Julie and Julia:My Adventures with French Food

Today I am guest posting over at Arkansas Women Bloggers about one of my favorite topics: French Food. I have yet to make a recipe from Mastering the Art of French Cooking or any French cookbook that I have not loved.

Check out my post about Boeuf Bourguignon, pictured below, on Arkansas Women Bloggers.

french food boeuf bourguignon

And here are a few related posts you might also want to check out!

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