These savory, vegetarian Tomato and Herbed Cheese Crepes are quick, delicious, and easy to prepare

Tomato and Herb Cheese Crêpes

These savory, vegetarian Tomato and Herbed Cheese Crepes are quick, delicious, and easy to prepare

Tomato and Herbed Cheese Crepes

These Tomato and Herb Cheese Crêpes use delicate French Crêpes filled with freshly sliced tomatoes, shredded cheese, and fresh garden herbs.

I’m not sure if you noticed, but here at Champagne Tastes, we’ve embarked on a Crêpe Journey.  The poor husband has been stuffed full of breakfast, lunch, dinner, and dessert crêpes, and has started to mumble in French while he sleeps.  If you too want to be crêpe-crazed, and join us on our expedition into all things crêpe, the easiest thing to do is start by learning how to make French Crêpes.  Practice your crêpe technique, and keep a stack of these über thin French pancakes on hand.  Once you’ve got crêpes in your fridge or freezer– everything else will be très simple.

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Vegetarian Applesauce Crepes with Blueberries - For a delicious, sweet yet healthy treat, or a decadent breakfast

Applesauce Crêpes with Blueberries

Vegetarian Applesauce Crepes with Blueberries - For a delicious, sweet yet healthy treat, or a decadent breakfast

Applesauce Crepes with Blueberries

These Applesauce Crêpes with Blueberries are stuffed with homemade applesauce spiced with cardamom, and topped with warm, delicious blueberries that have been heated until they burst.

Can I tell you something shocking?  Here it is– Up until recently, I’d forgotten about crêpes.  I hadn’t forgotten they existed, of course, but it had been a couple years since I gleefully devoured a French crêpe.  And, let me just tell you, I love, love, love crêpes.  I love them so much, that I briefly considered making a mille-crêpe cake for my wedding.  Even so, I’d forgotten about my love for these über-thin French pancakes.  Recently, however, while on our epic, cross-country expedition, the husband and I stopped at Michael’s Corner, a French creperie in Durango, Colorado.  While I dug into the creperie’s ridiculously fabulous food, I cried, “We have to move here so I can eat these every day!”  Next, I decided that even if we did move to Durango for the crêpes, I probably couldn’t afford to eat out EVERY day.  When I got home, I dusted off my crêpe pan, and started cooking.
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This easy how-to is a step-by-step tutorial on making French Crêpes

Cooking 101: French Crêpes

This easy how-to is a step-by-step tutorial on making French Crêpes

How to Make French Crepes

Do you wish you could take a basic cooking class?  Do you find yourself buying lots of pre-made ingredients, but suspect your food would taste even better from scratch?  Periodically, Champagne Tastes will be featuring ‘Cooking 101’ recipes.  These cooking staples will take your food to the next level, and will help you make more ingredients from scratch.

If you find yourself impersonating the fabulous Julia Child while declaring, “Bon Appétit!” before a meal, you aren’t alone.  (Or maybe no one else does this?  I’m sure I can’t be the only one.  I also like to take selfies with cardboard Julia at the Smithsonian,* so maybe it really is just me.)   Whether or not you’re a Julia-fan, you should at least be aware that, if you’re looking for a basic, go-to, will-not-fail French recipe– she’s your gal.  Her recipes have never failed me, and are always delicious.  Her recipe for basic French Crêpes is easy to follow, and is sure to leave you with a stack of delicious, ultra-thin French pancakes.

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Vegan Strawberry Lavender Lemonade- All you need is strawberries, lavender petals, sugar, and lemons. Add gin or vodka for a Hard Strawberry Lavender Lemonade!

Strawberry Lavender Lemonade

Vegan Strawberry Lavender Lemonade- All you need is strawberries, lavender petals, sugar, and lemons. Add gin or vodka for a Hard Strawberry Lavender Lemonade!

Strawberry Lavender Lemonade

This Strawberry Lavender Lemonade uses strawberries, lavender simple syrup, and lemons to make the perfect summer drink.  For a delicious summer cocktail, add gin or vodka.

It’s strawberry season!  The strawberries are juicy, flavorful, and incredibly inexpensive right now, so it’s time to eat them.  Normally, when I buy strawberries, I end up devouring them all long before I remember to put them in a pie, ice cream, smoothie, or lemonade.  A few weeks ago, however, I saw strawberries on sale for about $1 a quart, and I bought… well, I bought a LOT.  When I got them home, I started cleaning, hulling, and freezing those lovely little bright red berries.  After freezing batches and batches of strawberries, I noticed a few jugs of a pre-made strawberry lemonade in our pantry, and thought, “Game on! I make better lemonade than that!”  This Strawberry Lavender Lemonade is better than pre-made lemonade, is refreshing, delicious, and best of all– it’s easy!

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Glamping: Vegan Red Lentils with Spinach | Palak Dal

Glamping: Palak Dal (Red Lentils with Spinach)

Glamping: Vegan Red Lentils with Spinach | Palak Dal

Glamping: Red Lentils with Spinach | Palak Dal

“Glamping”– or, Glamour Camping– is the perfect way to enjoy time ‘with nature,’ while still feeling happy and full at the end of the day.  This series of “Glamping” recipes will focus on cooking outdoors, with recipes as exciting and fulfilling as your camping trip.  

If you’ve spent your day scrambling over rocks, looking for trail markers, and guzzling bottle after bottle of Gatorade-infused water, by dinnertime you’re probably ravenous!  Chances are, those snack bags of trail mix haven’t left you full and satisfied, and what you really want (and need) is a delicious, flavorful meal to end the day.  For those of you camping, however, getting that meal might be a little trickier.  When you find yourself at a campsite without electricity, refrigeration, or an oven– have no fear!  With a little preparation, you can easily end your day by devouring a bowl (or two) of Indian-style Red Lentils with Spinach (or Palak Dal).

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Vegan Black Beluga Lentil Salad- Easy to prepare, 10 Ingredients

Beluga Lentil Salad

Vegan Black Beluga Lentil Salad- Easy to prepare, 10 Ingredients

Beluga Lentil Salad

Have you noticed my lentil obsession?  I’ve been on a lentil-cooking crusade lately, scouring the area to find as many kinds of lentils as possible.  I’ve eagerly devoured red lentils, French green lentils, regular green lentils, and now– black Beluga lentils.  This Beluga Lentil Salad is vegan, easy to prepare, and only uses 10 ingredients.

These special, tiny little lentils get their name because, at a glance, they look like Beluga caviar.  Unlike the pricey fish eggs, black Beluga lentils are extremely affordable, fairly easy to find, and are perfect for both busy weeknight dinners and fancier gourmet-style meals.  You could, of course, attempt to pass these lentils off as caviar to unsuspecting guests at a dinner party.  It would be hilarious, and your faux-roe ruse will either last less than a second, or make everyone think you’re able to afford a heaping bowl of caviar.  The jig might be up when they remember they’re sitting in your teensy apartment and not a rambling mansion.  In any case, your guests will be thrilled with the lentils, because they are fantastic.

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Easy Power Muesli- Vegan and Ready in Minutes!

Glamping: Easy Power Muesli

Easy Power Muesli- Vegan and Ready in Minutes!

Easy Power Muesli

“Glamping”– or, Glamour Camping– is the perfect way to enjoy time ‘with nature,’ while still feeling happy and full at the end of the day.  This series of “Glamping” recipes will focus on cooking outdoors, with recipes as exciting and fulfilling as your camping trip.  

What’s the fastest breakfast ever?  Cereal!!! It is a rare day, however, when I start my morning with a bowl of my beloved Cheerios.  Why?  You probably already know why– it’s the classic breakfast cereal conundrum.  Either I eat a bowl packed full of what is surely three, maybe four, ‘suggested servings’ of cereal, or I’m hungry again 30 minutes after I eat.  Some days, I could even eat four servings of cereal and STILL be hungry 30 minutes later.  It’s a problem.  However, when I was packing food for our cross-country, hiking and driving extravaganza, cereal just seemed like such a ridiculously easy meal that I couldn’t skip it.  The husband suggested muesli as a healthier, more filling cereal option, I put it on my grocery list… and then I couldn’t find it.  Anywhere.  I searched high and low, store after store, and guess what?  Still no muesli.  (On a side note, as soon as we came home, I found muesli everywhere).  Since I couldn’t find any pre-made, we made our own.  Once I realized how easy it is to mix together, I was happy we made our own and chose all our own ingredients.  This Easy Power Muesli is vegan, protein packed,* and a fabulous pre-hike breakfast.

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Vegan Ratatouille Tian- The perfect way to use summer veggies

Favorite Farmer’s Market Meals

Favorite Vegan + Vegetarian Farmer's Market Meals to help you make the most of seasonal produce

Favorite Farmer’s Market Meals

From zucchini to garlic scape, this blogger round-up of Favorite Farmer’s Market Meals feature fresh produce in ways that make the flavors shine.

One of the best things about spring and summer is the bonus food– markets that sat empty or partially empty all winter, suddenly begin magically overflowing with fragrant, delicious, local produce.  We’re well into summer now, and if you haven’t been taking advantage of these markets, hurry up and do it!!!  If you have been shopping at these seasonal produce sources, you may have found yourself staring at vegetables that you want to try, but have no idea what to do with them.  If you’ve been gazing curiously at chard, looking suspiciously at radishes, and staring in befuddlement at fiddleheads, you aren’t alone.  Even if you’re familiar with everything you see, you might, by this point in the year, be on the lookout for new ways to prepare the extra delicious veggies.  This blogger round-up of Favorite Farmer’s Market Meals features fresh produce in ways that make the flavors shine.  With terrific ingredients, from the familiar zucchini to the less familiar garlic scape, these meals will help you make the most of your local market’s brief window of produce glory.

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Campfire Vegetarian Spinach Lasagna: 30 minutes in a cast iron dutch oven, cooked over a campfire. Simple, easy, delicious, and incredibly filling.

Glamping: Campfire Spinach Lasagna

Campfire Vegetarian Spinach Lasagna: 30 minutes in a cast iron dutch oven, cooked over a campfire. Simple, easy, delicious, and incredibly filling.

Campfire Spinach Lasagna

“Glamping”– or, Glamour Camping– is the perfect way to enjoy time ‘with nature,’ while still feeling happy and full at the end of the day.  This series of “Glamping” recipes will focus on cooking outdoors, with recipes as exciting and fulfilling as your camping trip.  

Camping trips can leave you full of dilemmas– You’re starving, you’ve been hiking all day, and yet just as you want one of the biggest, most filling meals ever, you find yourself without electricity, refrigeration, or even an oven.  What’s a hungry hiker to do?!?!  I’ll tell you what you’re going to do– you’re going to eat!!!  With a little planning and preparation– you can find yourself chowing down on lasagna.  This recipe for Campfire Spinach Lasagna is vegetarian, simple to prepare, and delicious.  It’s also a fantastic way to eat a few more carbs than normal, especially before or after a big hike.  We devoured this tasty pasta dish the night before our hike into the Grand Canyon, and managed to eat the entire batch all by ourselves.

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Wild Berry Lavender Granita with Whipped Ricotta

14 No-Churn Frozen Desserts

14 No Churn Frozen Desserts

14 No Churn Frozen Desserts

Is it hot where you live?  In my special little corner of the Appalachian foothills, it’s not just hot, it’s sticky.  You know the type of day– the kind of weather that somehow allows it to be 100% humidity without raining?  The kind of weather that makes it feels like the rain is hanging in the air, but never falls?  I have a dirty little secret about this weather.  Normally, I love it.  Something about it seems like a great balancing act to the frigid winter cold.  I do my best to vacation only in hot areas, ensuring that I’m completely thawed before winter hits again.  This year, however, my epicly fantastic hiking trip took me to the excessively dry climate of the Western United States, and ever since I came home I’ve been… well, I’ve been melting.  While I reacclimatize, all I want to do is eat cold– cold ice cream, cold sorbet… you name it.  Despite my ice cream cravings, I most definitely don’t have the space for an ice cream maker in my teensy kitchen.  To solve my ice cream dilemma, and avoid buying tubs and tubs of pre-made ice cream, I’ve been searching the blogosphere for the best icy-cold, sweet, no-churn dessert recipes.  If you, too, are dreaming of all things cold, these 14 No-Churn Frozen Desserts will help you survive the muggy heat of summer.

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