Vegetarian Applesauce & Blueberry Crepes - For a delicious, sweet yet healthy treat, or a decadent breakfast

Applesauce and Blueberry Crêpes

Vegetarian Applesauce & Blueberry Crêpes - For a delicious, sweet yet healthy treat, or a decadent breakfast

Applesauce Crepes with Blueberries

These Applesauce & Blueberry Crêpes 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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French Lentils with Dijon Vinaigrette

French Lentils with Dijon Vinaigrette

French Lentils with Dijon Vinaigrette- Vegan, Easy to prepare, & Perfect for a side dish or main course

French Lentils with Dijon Vinaigrette

Every time I try a new kind of lentil, I fall in love all over again.  These delicious little legumes come in a rainbow of colors and flavors, and are used in dishes all over the world.  Your local grocery store should carry a few kinds of lentils– at the very least they’ll probably have green or brown lentils.  If, however, you want to branch out into the vast and exciting world of lentil-ness, (yes, that’s a technical term… okay no, no it’s not), try buying a bag of red lentils, beluga lentils, or the fancy-schmancy French green lentils.  And yes, before you ask, the reason French green lentils are different from regular green lentils, is that they come with alluring accents and little tiny berets.  Really.  (No, not really.  Of course not).  This recipe for French Lentils with Dijon Vinaigrette is vegan, simple to prepare, and bursting with flavor.

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Perfectly Poached Eggs with Dijon Sauce- No egg poacher needed, no vinegar needed, no swirling the water around the eggs. Easy. Fast. Delicious.

Perfectly Poached Eggs with Dijon Sauce

Perfectly Poached Eggs with Dijon Sauce- No egg poacher needed, no vinegar needed, no swirling the water around the eggs. Easy. Fast. Delicious.

Perfectly Poached Eggs with Dijon Sauce

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.

I watch a lot of cooking competition shows with the husband, and whenever he hears someone tell a judge that their dish is prepared “perfectly,” he cringes.  “Don’t do it!” he cries, “don’t say it!” Inevitably, the judge takes a bite and says, “Well yes, it’s good, but you promised ‘perfection,’ and I’m just not sure it’s there.”  Therefore, it is with quite some risk, but nevertheless great confidence, that I present to you: Perfectly Poached Eggs with Dijon Sauce.

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Braised White Asparagus

Braised White Asparagus

Easy, Vegan White Asparagus Braised in White Wine, Coconut Oil, and Herbs

I’ve been asparagus obsessed lately, guys.  Ever since I talked about purple and white asparagus (here), I’ve been on a mission to try them both.  So far I’ve only found white asparagus, but you can be sure that if (WHEN) I find purple, it will be amazing.  I’m sure of it.  I found white asparagus in the ‘Scratch n Dent’ food section at Jungle Jim’s  (Did you even know that was a thing???  I believe it’s similar to the “Manager Specials” marked-down food at Kroger, but it’s all gathered conveniently in one insanely awesome, if easy to completely miss, section.)  Yes, Jungle Jim’s, I will take your marked-down and perfect-looking produce and cook it right away!  This Braised White Asparagus is cooked with white wine and fresh herbs, and makes a deliciously fresh spring-time side dish.

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Basil Pesto Salmon

Basil Pesto Salmon

Easy Basil Pesto Salmon- all you need is salmon, pesto, and seasoning.

I’ve been eating ridiculous amounts of salmon recently.  I just can’t stop myself– it’s delicious.  It’s flavorful, flaky, and filling.  Salmon is an easy and quick main dish on a busy night.  However, as amazingly tantalizing as perfectly cooked salmon is, it is also incredibly easy to overcook and dry out.  Few things in life are sadder, my friend, than hard, dry salmon.  (Okay sure, that’s not true.  A ruined dinner, however, is always a minor tragedy).  One way to make sure your salmon stays tender is to smother it in pesto.  That’s right- whether you make your own or buy it pre-made, this herb-filled sauce will lock in the salmon’s natural moisture and help make your fish perfect.  This recipe for Basil Pesto Salmon has 5 ingredients (6 if you include the lemons) and is incredibly flavorful.  My favorite part, the best part, is that it’s ready in 15 minutes.

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Coconut Crusted French Toast

Coconut Crusted French Toast

Coconut Crusted French Toast. Easy + Tasty breakfast in 15 Minutes

I have a confession to make.  I’m obsessed with French Toast.  I like pancakes, I get excited for waffles… but my favorite carb-heavy, lazy-day breakfast, is most definitely French Toast.  I don’t want just any French Toast though, I want it to be made with thick, dense bread, crusted with coconut, smothered in fruit, and drizzled with honey.  Just thinking about it makes me ravenous.  This Coconut Crusted French Toast is flavorful, delicious, and will make you smile.

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This Breakfast Crème Brûlée is a decadent, custardy solution to all your breakfast needs and wants.

Breakfast Crème Brûlée

Breakfast Crème Brûlée: Decadent, Delicious, Easy

This Breakfast Crème Brûlée is a decadent, custardy solution to all your breakfast needs and wants.

I know what you’re thinking.  You’re saying to yourself, “Crème brûlée … is not a breakfast food..” Well that may technically be true, but should it be?! It’s made from eggs (breakfast food) and milk (breakfast food). Crème brûlée just screams breakfast. Or maybe it screams “le petit dejeuner” because, you know.. it’s French.  At any rate, it’s delicious, and should be eaten at every possible opportunity.  Plus, there are few things in life as nice as cracking a spoon through the hard, hot shell of burnt sugar and scooping up cool, creamy custard.

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Flounder with Lemon Herb Sauce- Simple, Easy, Delicious, Ready in 10 minutes

Seared Flounder with Lemon Herb Sauce

Flounder with Lemon Herb Sauce- Simple, Easy, Delicious, Ready in 10 minutes

Flounder with Lemon Herb Sauce

This Seared Flounder with Lemon Herb Sauce is the easy to prepare, ready in 10 minutes, and is perfect for both weeknight dinners or dinner parties!

Do you want to hear a story?  Of course you do!  Sometimes I come home from work, sit down on the couch, and wonder if dinner will magically appear.  I close my eyes, and then my cat makes dinner.  I’m just kidding– the cat just EATS dinner, he never cooks.  Although maybe I could train him like Remy in Ratatouille— that would really solve my dinner dilemma on busy nights.   On these busy nights, or when I’m just tired from a long day, I go back to my tried-and-true recipes.  These recipes never let me down, are easy to put together, and are so simple I barely even look at the recipe anymore.  Do you want to know why?  Well yes, for one thing they’re easier to fix, but also because the husband has some of these awesome little recipes memorized too and can make them for me!  Ta-da!  That’s a great reason to love them, right?  This recipe for Flounder with Lemon Herb Sauce is easy to prepare, is ready start-to-finish in less than 10 minutes, and is incredibly flavorful.

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Vegan Ratatouille Tian- The perfect way to use summer veggies

Ratatouille Tian

Vegan Ratatouille Tian- The perfect way to use summer veggies

Ratatouille Tian

As spring turns into summer, vegetables begin to overflow at farmer’s markets.  You’ll find  baskets and baskets of brightly colored tomatoes, at the peak of their tasty lives, as well as yellow squash, zucchini, and eggplant.  If you, like me, tend to get excited and buy more veggies than you can use, or if you’ve ambitiously planted a garden and will soon be overrun with vegetable deliciousness– listen up!  This recipe for Ratatouille Tian is a perfect way to include lots of different vegetables into a single dish.  It’s filling, adaptable, and delicious.

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