Welcome to my new website! This project has been many months in the works, to create a website with a new look, feel and navigation that matches my goals for this year and the years to come. If you’re new here, you might start here to learn a little more about me. Or here, to understand a little more about the heart behind the stories I share. I have lots of plans for this site, including more regular posts, starting now.
Among my intentions for this year was to establish an editorial calendar and stick to it, with regularly themed posts. I got such a great response from the meal planning stories I shared on Instagram last year, that I’m going to make this a regular feature. On Fridays, I will be sharing a meal plan for the following weeks, with links to recipe ideas and tips (hopefully) on how to do some of the prep ahead, over the weekend, and use the ingredients throughout the week. We’ll see how it goes. On Monday, I’ll share a recipe for the meal plan. And on Wednesday, I’ll share a lifestyle post, perhaps one on motherhood or travel tips or ideas for organizing your pantry. I’m excited about this site being a more dynamic place for ideas, inspiration and interaction.
And as always, I’d love to hear your feedback! What you like, what you connect with, or what is helpful. Kind constructive criticism is always welcomed, too.
Right now, I’m sitting poolside, at our casita in Todos Santos on the Baja peninsula. But at home, a few weeks ago, I achieved another of my intentions for this year. I partnered with my good friends at Ciao Thyme to host one of their Incognito Dinners, which is simply a dinner in which the menu is a surprise until you arrive.
I’ve taught cooking classes at Ciao Thyme before, and I always walk away at the end of the night smiling. The classes at Ciao Thyme draw a special group of people, passionate about good food and the stories that go with it. Always kind and gracious, Ciao Thyme customers come to eat and learn, but also to sit next to friends and strangers, to bask in the community and comradery nurtured by owners, Jessica and Mataio.
An Incognito Dinner is special, and I was honored and thrilled when Mataio asked me to cook. And just a little nervous to meet the high expectations of 72 guests. I loved every part of collaborating with the chefs to create a ‘Healthy Start’ menu, one inspired by the diets of the longest lived communities in the world, and working side-by-side in the kitchen to create a beautiful, healthy, six-course dinner. You can see photos of the evening here.
Mataio and I have already started talking about more collaborations this year, including more cooking classes and a kids cooking camp this summer. Keep an eye on the events page for updates.
But for today, here is the recipe for these beautiful whole grain buckwheat crepes we served as the final course of the Incognito Dinner. Each time Elie and I have landed in Paris, we head straight to Breizh Cafe for one of their lacy, crispy-edged crepes, and this recipe is inspired by the ones we eat there. Spread with a thin layer of tart, citrusy preserves and topped with tangy yogurt whipped cream, this could be breakfast or dessert. The yogurt whipped cream is thick and reminiscent of cheesecake. It holds well in the refrigerator, so is a great one to make ahead.
If you’ve never cooked with buckwheat, give it a try. You’ll recognize the dark color and distinct flavor, if you’ve ever eaten buckwheat pancakes or kashi. Nutritionally, buckwheat is a powerhouse, high in fiber, rich in flavenoids and a good source of magnesium. Buckwheat is gluten-free, because it’s not actually a grain. It’s the seed of a plant related to rhubarb and sorrel. You can make these crepes gluten-free by using all buckwheat flour and no wheat flour. They will still be delicious, just a little less crispy.
- 1 1/3 cup whole milk
- 3 large eggs
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ⅔ cup buckwheat flour
- 1/3 cup whole wheat pastry flour
- butter, for cooking
- 1/2 cup full-fat Greek yogurt
- 1/2 cup whipping cream
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- pinch of salt
- sugar, to taste
- orange marmelade, or other citrus preserves
- kumquat slices, for serving
- Place the milk, eggs and salt in a blender. Blend on low speed until combined. Add the flours and blend for one minute. Transfer to a bowl, cover and refrigerate for at least one hour. You can do this one day ahead.
- Place a seasoned 7- or 8-inch crêpe pan or heavy-bottomed skillet over medium heat. Melt a small amount of butter to cover the pan in a thin layer. Remove from the heat and then ladle in about 3 - 4 tablespoons of batter. Tilt or swirl the pan to distribute the batter evenly, and return to the heat. Cook for about one minute, until the edges start to turn brown and lacy. Turn and cook on the other side for 30 seconds. Lift out or turn onto a plate. Continue until all of the batter is used.
- To make the whipped cream, add the whipping cream to a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment. Beat on medium speed just until the cream starts to thicken. Add the Greek yogurt, sugar (to taste), vanilla, and a pinch of salt. (I add only a few teaspoons of sugar. Adjust according to your taste buds). Mix at low speed to start, then increase to high and whip until the mixture is thick and stiff. Use immediately or cover and refrigerate until ready to use. This whipped cream will keep in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
- To serve the crepes, spread each with a thin layer of preserves and a thin layer of the whipped cream. Fold each in half and then in quarters, to make a triangle shape. Top with more whipped cream and preserves, if desired. Top with thin slices of kumquats or other citrus.
- Alternatively, you can just serve stacks of crepes with bowls of the toppings and let everyone make their own crepe.
- These freeze well! Stack them between pieces of parchment paper and then place in a ziplock bag before freezing. You can make and refrigerate them up to a day ahead of serving.