Romanian Style Crepes

I am so excited to share this recipe with you all.

I was visiting my aunt a couple weeks ago and happened to stop by while she was preparing to make Romanian crepes – or as we call them, Clatite. So I asked her to explain her process as to how she makes them, and surprisingly, it’s pretty easy. The thing is, it’s not a set recipe, so I’m going to try to translate it into one as best as I can.

Her style of making crepes is delicious and I personally view it as one of her specialties, so I was geeked to try it out on my own. Below, I have a recipe that should yield roughly 16 crepes. Enjoy!

Ingredients

2 cups flour
2-3 eggs
a good pinch of salt
1 tbsp sugar
milk
mineral water
rum extract/essence of rum
a small bowl with oil and a silicon brush
filling of choice (we like prune or rosehip jam)

Directions

  1. In a bowl, combine flour, eggs, salt, sugar, rum extract, and milk until blended together well. Add the milk slowly so you can build a batter.
  2. Once you’ve got a mixture that’s a little on the thicker side, slowly add mineral water to the mixture until the consistency becomes almost soupy. You don’t want it too thin, but you don’t want it so thick that you can’t swivel the mixture around in the pan to coat it.
  3. Add rum extract to taste. My aunt dumped like a good 2 or 3 TABLESPOONS in there, but probably a solid 1 to 1.5 teaspoons should be good.
  4. Heat up a large skillet on high heat. Before putting in your batter, brush the skillet using a silicon brush with some oil to ensure your crepe doesn’t stick.
  5. Pour a large ladle-full of batter in the center of your skillet and take the skillet off the stove while you swivel it to ensure the batter coats the whole bottom of the skillet.
  6. Using a long knife, (you can use a spatula, but a knife works better – and if you have a particularly flexible knife, use that) flip your crepe after roughly 30 seconds or  until the batter is no longer wet and cook for another ~30 seconds or so.

Tips:

  • If you’re having trouble swiveling the batter, your batter may be too thick. Add more mineral water or milk.
  • If you’re having trouble with your crepes breaking after the first couple (flipping them with a knife does take some practice) your batter may be too runny and you should add a little more flour to thicken it up.
  • In our family, and even traditionally in Romania, we like to roll up our crepes with prune jam or rosehip jam, but you can eat them however you please.

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Carrot Cake Snowballs

Like just about all of my great recipes, I found this one on Foodgawker and it looked so delicious and so easy, I said LET’S DO IT!

I’m not a huge fan of carrot cake – but to be honest, I’m not a huge fan of the vast majority of American desserts. I find that most of them taste like sugar on steroids rather than actual flavor. However, this one has that middle eastern twist and I can deal with that.

They involve pitted dates, but given that I live within 5 minutes of a middle eastern grocery store, I have something better – DATE PASTE. No need to get your blender sticky with dates.

This recipe also contains cashews – my new favorite nut, by the way. I only had salted cashews, so I rinsed them before I pulverized them in my Ninja blender. I also gave the oats a spin in there. If you’re using a package of date paste, I suggest doubling up on the other ingredients.

My altered recipe is below:

Ingredients

  • 4 carrots, grated
  • 13 oz date paste (1 package)
  • 1 1/2 cups unsalted cashews
  • 1 1/2 cups rolled oats
  • 1 tsp cardamom
  • 1 tbsp cinnamon
  • pinch of salt
  • zest from 1/2 orange and freshly squeeze juice from said orange
  • desiccated coconut for rolling

Directions

  1. Peel and wash your carrots. Grate your carrots.
  2. Rinse your cashews if they’re salted. Pop them in a blender 1/4 cup at a time and burst blend them until they’re between coarse and fine.
  3. Blend your oatmeal as well. You don’t want a fine powder, but you do want everything to be about the same size.
  4. In a large bowl, combine carrots, date paste, oats, spices, salt, zest of an orange, and the juice if your orange together. You can of course opt to do this in a blender, but why clean more than you need to? Use your hands to mix together well.
  5. In a separate bowl, add coconut. Form your snowballs into balls and roll around in coconut.
  6. Pop the fridge for at least 1 hour before serving, to firm up.

Vegetarian Fettucine Alfredo

It’s still Lent season, but this was not a Lent-friendly dish. However, it was a dish I made twice and one that had absolutely no leftovers, twice.

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Who knew fettucine alfredo was so easy to make? I mostly followed a video from Tasty on 4 ways to make fettucine and went with the second version in. But of course, I altered it.

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Here’s my version, a Vegetarian Fettucine Alfredo

Ingredients

  • 1 package fettucine pasta
  • 2 packages of baby bella mushrooms; or 1 pack of 4 portobellos, sliced
  • 2 medium onions, chopped
  • garlic cloves, minced (no number because I like a lot but some ppl only like a little)
  • half a bunch of spinach
  • 1 cup grape tomatoes
  • 1/4 cup chopped parsley
  • 2 cups heavy whipping cream
  • freshly grated parmesan cheese to taste
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • Olive or grapeseed oil

Directions

  1. Fill a large pot about 3/4 of the way up, add about 1 tbsp salt and bring to a boil. Add pasta and cook until you’re satisfied with how cooked it is. A lot of people like their pasta “al dente” aka firm to the bite. I don’t because I think that’s stupid and undercooked, so I like mine to cook a little longer but not so long that it starts disintegrating.
  2. Drain your pasta and set aside.
  3. With medium-high heat on, in the pot you used to boil your pasta, add about 2-3 tbsp of oil, chopped onions and garlic. Cook until they JUST start to get translucent, then add your tomatoes and sliced mushrooms. Add salt and pepper.
  4. Once the mushrooms start to shrink, about 3-4 minutes, add in your spinach. After your spinach is no longer crisp, add in your heavy whipping cream, simmer for about 2-3 minutes then add in parsley and stir.
  5. Turn off the heat and add in your pasta, mix together well. Season with salt and pepper as needed. Serve!

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Tasty video for those who like cooking visuals like me:

Breakfast Clafoutis with Cherries

Hello hello!

I’m back with a delicious recipe I tried out this morning/afternoon. Afternoon, cause I got out of bed at 11:15 and didn’t finish this until after 12, BUT ANYWAY.

I wanted to eat something different from just cereal or eggs or toast, so I got my ass on Foodgawker as usual and found this easy Lemon Dutch Baby with Berry Compote and put myself to work. It’s not too sugary-sweet or too weird and foreign. I thought it was going to turn out like the Finnish “pancakes” I made like 6 years ago, but I realized when I started eating that it’s a whole lot like the Clafoutis recipe I make, except loads simpler to prepare.

Here’s the breakdown of ingredients and directions. I did not make the whipped cream, but I did make the berry (CHERRY!) compote.

Ingredients

for the Dutch Baby:
zest of 1 lemon
1 cup all purpose flour
4 eggs
1 cup milk
3 tablespoons sugar
3 tablespoons + 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon salt
for the Berry Compote:
2 cups frozen berries (‘triple berry’)
juice of 1 lemon
1 tablespoon sugar
for the whipped cream:
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
OR
your whipped topping of choice
Instructions

  1. Remove frozen berries from freezer, in a bowl combine berries, lemon juice, and tablespoon of sugar. Toss to mix. Set aside to thaw, toss occasionally while dutch baby is cooking.
  2.  Place 12 inch cast iron (or oven safe skillet) in oven, preheat to 425º F.
  3. In a blender add lemon zest, flour, eggs, milk, sugar, 3 tablespoons butter, vanilla extract, and salt. Blend until combined.
  4. Once oven is preheated and skillet is hot, use oven mitts to remove the skillet. Add the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter to the skillet, swirl the skillet until the butter melts and the sides and bottom of the skillet is covered in butter.
  5. Pour the batter from the blender into the skillet. Return skillet to oven.
  6. Bake 22-24 minutes until edges are golden brown.
  7. If you are making your own whipped cream add vanilla and heavy whipping cream to the stand of an electric mixer. Beat on high 1-2 minutes until whipped cream is to preferred consistency.
  8. Give Berry Compote a final stir and pour over the Dutch Baby, top with Whipped Cream. Serve immediately.

Breakfast Bites

This morning I woke up bright and early (9:30 is early for me, don’t judge) and decided to make something different for breakfast than my usual Sunday pancakes.

I was searching for breakfast ideas yesterday when I ran across a list that featured various muffins and I knew I wanted to make something like that, but I didn’t have time or patience yesterday, so I vowed to do it today.

Lo and behold, I made…breakfast bites? They’re bready eggy oniony turkey bacon wrapped deliciousness. Check out the recipe below, I promise they’re super easy and tasty.

Ingredients

12 slices turkey bacon (or pig bacon)
7-8 eggs, beaten
1/8 tsp Vegeta seasoning (or salt&pepper)
1 onion (2 if they’re small)
1 carrot, grated (or more)
3 slices sourdough bread
feta cheese to taste

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 375F. Grab a cupcake/muffin pan, spray with oil, line each holder with 1 slice of the turkey bacon, and fill with pieces of the sourdough bread.
  2. Beat your eggs with Vegeta seasoning (or salt and pepper). Add in chopped up onions and whisk together. You may also add in your grated carrot and feta cheese in this part, which I should’ve done (I sprinkled mine on top).
  3. Pour or scoop your egg mixture over each muffin until they’re all evenly coated. If you did not mix your carrot and feta cheese into your eggs, sprinkle them on top now.
  4. Pop in the oven for 25 minutes at 375F. Enjoy!

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Behind the Scenes: DIY Backdrops & Self Portraits

Last week, my bff Maria and I were discussing various photography aids like lighting kits and backdrops and she was all “but ‘x’ is so cheap!” and I was like “yeah, but still $$$”. Mind you, this was a day after I had gotten my hair done so it was fresh which clearly begs for new FB profile pics to be taken and as you all probably know by now, I prefer working with natural light.

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Anyway, I didn’t feel like dropping $100+ on a backdrop/lighting kit, so I decided to run across the street to Target and got myself a home rolling rack. I also stopped by Lowe’s and picked up metal clamps to hold stuff I drape over the rolling rack sturdily in place.

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My mom became a test subject + used the Foldio’s lighting to help with low lighting post-sunset.

 

I’d gone to Haberman Fabrics the previous week, so I had some nice cream fabric with a shiny finish sitting around in my room and I went and grabbed my clear Christmas lights from storage and created a simple and fun backdrop by draping the xmas lights around the rolling rack and then covering it with the fabric.

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Follow me on Instagram for more pics like this! @lovelikeangels

I opened my blinds and drapes to allow the maximum available light I could get through my North-facing bedroom window to come in as the sun was beginning to set and ultimately had to tweak my manual settings to high ISO and low f-stops. I was surprised at how little grain came through given that the settings were so stretched, but that full on window light really helped, even if it was dimming quickly.

Anyway, I got some pretty awesome end products, so check it out.

P.S. I made those earrings you can kinda see poking out. Please don’t hesitate to contact me if you’re interested in your own pair!

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How am I single?

Photography Wish List: Portrait and Mini Studios

What have I been doing the past 3 days!? Apparently completely forgetting that I have Blogvember blogging responsibilities, that’s what.

Unfortunately, I don’t really have any new content to share with you all – at least not that I feel is worthy of sharing at the present moment. However, I thought I’d take this opportunity to talk about some of my wants/needs in terms of my photography.

As most of you know, if you’ve been following this blog long enough, about 90% of my photography is taken using natural light. The main reason is because I do not have a studio set up to substitute with, but also because I really enjoy the way natural light comes across in photos. You can tell it’s natural and it just has this engrossing aura about it that makes the kind of photography I do work so well.

However, just because I mostly shoot in natural light doesn’t mean I want to always do so. On my long list of “things I need, but avoid buying because they’re not necessarily urgent” are a plethora of photography studio equipment pieces – from lighting to backdrop holders. I do also have a DIY list for these things, but I haven’t gotten around to organizing everything to I can set my plans in motion.

There’s really a couple different setups that I need to get together. I’d absolutely love to have a portrait studio setup – and really all I need for that are some basic photography umbrella lights and a backdrop. Amazon sells kits for reasonable prices, and I’ve had a few in my wish list for quite some time. But also I also need a mini studio for all the small scale stuff I like to shoot, and that’s where the DIY setup comes in. I get pretty geeked thinking about making the mini studio, so it’s really only a matter of time before I finally gather up everything I need for that and make it. Or I could just order a premade one from Amazon. WE’LL SEE.

While I was browsing Amazon for research for this post, I also came across light rings, something that I forgot I wanted, but conveniently was shown and is now in my wishlist. I am genuinely surprised at the low prices of some of this stuff, and I thinking I may get myself some of this stuff for Christmas this year. Because presents to yourself are always the best Christmas presents.