As of late, work’s been a little crazy. Lots of late nights cranking away on the computer, checking and responding to emails in my free moments, and weekend afternoons at my desk become the norm each winter as we endure the busiest time of year for our industry. My reduced schedule I’ve arranged with my company allows me to stay home on the weekends when my co-workers are otherwise headed to the office every Saturday.
Despite the weekends at home, I haven’t had as many free moments to spend with my boys as I’d like. Recently, T and I spent an afternoon together making some of his favorite treats. I combined a few of his favorite foods to make a little Parisian-inspired lunch, with dessert of course, that I knew he would love and would also satisfy the rest of the family.
On a side note, M and I traveled to Paris several years ago. We took an almost two-week trip through Paris, Strasbourg, Munich and Prague. After a trip to Hawaii a few months prior, we really lived it up that year. Just a couple of years later, we found ourselves exhausted on our couch, cross-eyed, with a new born baby. Twenty two months later, we stupidly crazily bravely decided to do it again and now look in the mirror to find two exhausted parents and two exhausting babies. Needless-to-say, our jet-setting travel schedule experienced a serious slowdown.
If you haven’t been to Paris, add it to your wishlist! It’s been hands-down our favorite travel destination. We loved the food, walking around the gorgeous city, and just the whole darn vibe. Contrary to stereotypes, the French treated us quite well. At one point, someone even asked me for directions (in French…) on the subway. I don’t speak a lick of French so I provided zero valuable assistance, but maybe they treated us well because they thought I was French? I’m not, but who knows.
In any case, it’s one of the few places I’m sure we’ll return when our babies are no longer babies and can either travel with us or stay home and fend for themselves. Until then, our only “French” meals will be kid-friendly, Parisian-inspired snacks (stocked with pepperoni today, obviously).
In all seriousness, T loves a few foods. Among his favorites, he’ll literally jump up and down for string cheese, pepperoni, cookies, and chocolate hazelnut spread. (If only there were a fruit or vegetable somewhere within striking distance of this list…)
As I planned out my little afternoon kitchen affair in honor of my two and half year old sous chef, I set out to make a few Parisian-inspired options using some of T’s favorite things. I landed on mini quiches (which T logically calls “egg muffins” because we use mini muffin trays to make them), savory crepes, and of course, sweet chocolate hazelnut spread with fruit crepes.
For the record, I’m not a fancy artisan chef. I’m a regular ol’ Millennial who spent far more time at sports practices and doing homework than in the kitchen. My mother’s cooking skills were lost in the transitions between school and endless extracurricular activities. I taught myself how to cook when I got hungry in college because I no longer relied on the cafeteria meal plan. I’ve burned everything I’ve ever tried to make at least once along the journey. All that’s to say, these are the easiest crepes you’ll ever make. If I can do it, you can do it!
With that, let’s get this “Pepperoni Parisian-inspired” lunch on the table!
Now for the (not so) tricky part, preparing the crepes. Heat a saute pan on high and spray with cooking spray. When the pan is hot, pour about 1/4 cup of batter into the pan and begin to slowly twist the pan in your hand while it’s tipped sideways so the crepe batter spreads along the entire bottom of the pan. Return the pan to the burner to finish cooking. When one side begins to brown, flip the crepe (I use a spatula to flip it) and let the other side cook. Each side will likely take just a couple of minutes.
- ¾ cups milk
- ½ cup water
- 3 tbsp butter
- 1 cup flour
- 2 large eggs
- Mix all ingredients in blender. Be sure to cool butter a bit before adding to the mixture so eggs don't scramble in the blender.
- Transfer the mixture to a bowl and cover. Let it sit for up to two hours or overnight in fridge to reduce air bubbles.
- Heat a saute pan on high and spray with cooking spray. When the pan is hot, pour about ¼ cup of batter into the pan and begin to slowly twist the pan in your hand while it's tipped sideways so the crepe batter spreads along the entire bottom of the pan.
- Return the pan to the burner to finish cooking.
- When one side begins to brown, flip the crepe and let the other side cook.
- Each side will likely take just a couple of minutes.
Pepperoni and Chicken Crepes
After you prepare the crepes, fill them with whatever ingredients you’d like. In honor of our Parisian Pepperoni theme, we filled our crepes with Hormel pepperoni, cooked chicken, sauteed spinach and red and yellow bell peppers. We added a touch of arrabiata sauce to spice up the crepes a bit which proved to be a perfect finishing touch.
Next we threw together our mini quiche adventure. T chopped up the pepperoni, scrambled the eggs, and stirred the spinach and pepperoni while they sauteed.
Mini Quiches (a.k.a. Egg Muffins)
- 10 eggs
- ½ cup Hormel pepperoni, chopped into ½ inch pieces
- ½ bag of spinach
- Preheat over to 350 degrees.
- Saute spinach and pepperoni for about 4-5 minutes or until spinach is cooked.
- Scramble eggs and add cooked spinach and pepperoni to the eggs.
- Pour egg mixture into muffins tins.
- Cook for 12-15 minutes or until quiches are cooked through.
The dessert crepes require slightly more focus and attention. Be sure all the ingredients are prepared before you start to make the crepes. Prepare the first crepe as described above. Right after you flip it, while the second side is cooking, add your chocolate hazelnut spread to the crepe while it’s still in the pan so it can melt while you spread it around the crepe.
After the second side has finished cooking, remove the crepe from the pan and add your strawberries and bananas (or whatever other fruits you’d like to adorn with chocolate and hazelnut goodness).
That’s the round up of our easy to prepare and even easier to eat weekend meal that my little sous chef helped me prepare (and eat, of course). We make the mini quiches quite often on the weekends to have for breakfast throughout the week. They warm up perfectly in the microwave for a quick and wholesome breakfast as we rush out the door to school and work.
I’d love to hear if you try any of these recipes! And if you’ve been to Paris, you probably fell in love too. I can’t wait to go back and have an authentic crepe from one of their street vendors. My mouth waters just thinking about them…