Blintzes, the new Crêpe.

One of DH’s all-time favorite things I make for breakfast is the blintz.  Blintzes, which are basically crêpes that have been sautéed, are a second cousin to the crêpe and very French.  Have I mentioned that I love all most things French?  Therefore, they are also a favorite of mine.  DH usually eats his slathered in Nutella.  While I love Nutella, it’s a little too sweet for my breakfast liking.  So, I set out today to create something filling (get it?) that would satisfy us both.  Thus, my Lemon Blueberry Blintzes were born.  Here is what you’ll need:

Lemon Blueberry Blintz ingredients

I also discovered a new use for DH’s old money clip, which he hates because he says it ruins the magnetic strip on his credit cards.  Slip a recipe into a plastic sleeve (splatter protection) and slap it up on the fridge.  Better than a cookbook stand!

New use for an old money clip.

I made the blintz batter first so that it can rest in the fridge for a while.  I find that this makes for the best texture.

Blintz Batter recipe:

* 3 eggs

* 1/2 teaspoon salt

* 3/4 cup all purpose flour

* 1 and 1/3 cups milk (lowfat ok)

* 2 tablespoons melted butter, plus additional for cooking

Homemade Ricotta Cheese Recipe:

* 1 quart of milk (whole is better, but I used 1%)

* 1 small container (1 1/2 cups) of greek yogurt (I used Oikos)

* 2 tsp. of lemon juice

* 1 tsp. of salt

* cheese cloth

* strainer

Filling Recipe:

* 1 cup of homemade ricotta cheese

* 2 oz. of cream cheese

* 4 Tbs. of powdered sugar

* 1 lemon (all of the juice and zest)

* 1 egg

Preparation:

Again, I make the batter first so that it can sit in the fridge for a bit.  Combine (in this order!) the eggs, salt, flour, milk, and 2 tablespoons melted butter.  Make sure that when you add the melted butter you do so a little bit at a time, so as not to cook any of the egg.  Mix well.  If I had a good food processor, I’d mix in that.  Then, refrigerate the batter while you work on the filling.

Normally, I would have just used Ricotta from the store.  But, I didn’t have any and was really too lazy to leave my PJ’s and quickly run to the grocery store.  Don’t judge.  You know how comfy PJ pants are.  So, I decided to make my own.  Of course, if you use store-bought ricotta the recipe goes very quickly.  In a large pot while gently stirring, I heated the quart of milk, the Greek yogurt, the lemon juice and the salt to a boil.  I let it boil for three minutes.

Making the ricotta

While it was cooling, I placed cheesecloth inside of a strainer over a large bowl.

Cheesecloth inside of strainer, over a large bowl

Then, I poured the cooled milk mixture into the cheesecloth in increments.

Pouring the ricotta mixture through cheesecloth.

I have decided you must have the patience of a saint to make cheese.  It takes FOREVER to let the whey drip from the cheesecloth into the bowl.  I’m not going to lie, I gave up and eventually gathered my cheesecloth into a small packet and squeezed. I was hungry!

1/2 of my ricotta cheese

Now that I had my cheese, I could make the rest of the filling.  In my mixing bowl, I combined the ricotta cheese, the cream cheese, the egg, and the powdered sugar and beat it until it was nice and creamy.  While it was mixing, I juiced the lemon and zested it.  Then, added the juice and zest to the mixer and incorporated it.  Then, I put the filling in the refrigerator and pulled the batter out.

Making the filling

Yummy, tangy lemon zest!

Finished filling

Place a skillet or omelet pan over medium heat.  If it’s not a nonstick pan, brush it lightly with butter.  (Or, do this anyway.  Butter makes everything better!)  Pour in a small amount of batter – just enough to cover the bottom of the pan well—and tilt the pan in all directions to coat evenly.  For the size of my pan, that equates to a scant 1/4 cup.  Cook over medium heat until the edges of the crêpe begin to pull away from the side of the pan (This will happen quickly.)  Then, channel your inner-Julia Child and flip it over!  The higher it gets, the more points!  Let it brown briefly on the other side and then turn the crêpe out onto a clean, dry towel.  Repeat until you’ve run out of batter.

Cooking the crêpes

Crêpes waiting for filling

Take the filling out of the fridge.  Then, place filling onto each crêpe and roll.

Fill those crêpes up!

Now, in order to transform your crêpes into blintzes, you must sauté them.  Add a little bit of butter back to your pan and then place into it the folded crêpes.

Cooking the blintzes

Using medium heat, sauté until golden brown on each side.  Then, plate them and cover them with some yummy blueberry syrup.  I used some that I had canned last summer.  If you don’t have this, I think that raspberry jam would also go really nicely with the subtle lemon flavor of the filling.

Lemon Blueberry Blintzes

Lemon Blueberry Blintzes

The true test came when DH tried them.  He gave them two thumbs up and said that he would happily forego the Nutella for a less-sugary, more substantial and delicious option.  What are your favorite breakfast foods/recipes?

4 Day Weekends – Hooray!

Yummy radishes!

Well, it’s been a busy week and weekend around the farmlette.  It’s been nice to have an extra day….but, that day was solely spent doing more work.  What’s the phrase?  Oh yes….”Sleep when you’re dead.”  Lots of work to the yard, garden and chicken coop.  Unfortunately, there is still much work to be done.

On the garden front:  The last raised bed is finished!  I planted sweet potatoes, lima beans, a pumpkin, and some more tomatoes, beets, and peppers.  I finally got all of the new raspberries and blackberries in the ground as well.  They seem to be over the transplant shock and are already growing.  I finished laying down newspaper, straw and concrete aisles in the aisles of the garden and it’s starting to actually look like a garden that’s behaving itself instead of a garden-gone-wild exhibition.

The garden - new raised beds!

And our lovely new compost bin - thanks DH!

I got the potatoes squared away.  They had gotten so big and so heavy that they’d all toppled over and were laying in the walkway to the compost.  So, I put up some fencing along the edge of the bed and tied them up to it.  Since doing that, I think they’ve grown another 6 inches.  I picked the first bushel of beans (contender) and can’t wait to fry them up with some basil, garlic and butter!  I think an early row of beans followed a month later by two more rows is the perfect way to space out their bounty.  I’ll get a bunch more just when I’m ready to begin the canning season.  (Oh, I got a new pressure canner this week, too!)

Headed for the canner....

I sprayed all of the fruit trees and plants in the garden with liquid seaweed.  I staked a few more peppers and tomatoes that had gotten so big that they’d succumbed to gravity.  I’ll need to buy some bean trellises tomorrow…as they’re already up and growing.  Not sure if I’m going to end up putting the squash, etc. on trellises or just let them ramble on into the grass?? And, as soon as school is out, I’m going to work on getting some clover and grass growing down in the orchard instead of all those pokeweeds.

On the coop front:  Not going to lie, the coop has become a little frustrating.  While I really like the idea of repurposing an existing structure, it’s really difficult to know what you’re going to use and need when you tackle something like this.  I believe that WW and I have been to Lowe’s every day for the last month.  Just when we think we’re going to make some real progress we realize that we need a specific tool, piece of hardware, or other and have to truck up 29 North.  I think building a coop would have been a much quicker task if we’d purchased plans and then tried to find free wood based on the plans.  That being said, we’re stuck with what we’ve begun and progress is slow but it is happening.  We finished the foundation and put the first and second stories together.  Then, we added the side and back walls to the first floor.   Once we did this, it seemed like all the animals wanted a piece of the action….

Georgia supervising the action.

The rest of the weekend was spent painting the interior of the second story and exterior, caulking the exterior, cutting the vinyl for the second story, planning where to put the ramp and nestbox, and building the windows.  My neck is very sore from standing on a ladder and reaching through the side windows to paint the second story.  And, it still needs one more coat of paint tomorrow.  Ugh.  I hope these chickens know the pain we’re putting our bodies through for them.  Tomorrow, we’ll put up the windows and the window trim.  Then, we’ll probably only need one more month to finish the whole thing.  I wish I was being sarcastic there.