Now that it’s summer, the warm weather and additional free time make it more appealing for me to get up early on Saturday mornings and walk to the farmers’ market. Every time I go, I have a blast buying fresh produce, nibbling on some treats for breakfast, and “window-shopping” through all the stands. Of the various items I bought last week were a carton of fresh strawberries. They were tiny, round little berries unlike the ones in grocery stores – just like they should be.
Feeling in a creative mood, I made Nutella pizza. Nutella, pizza, and fruit…how could that combination possibly go wrong? It ended up tasting more like a flat bread, probably because I had baked the dough first without the toppings. My friend Sydney had made the pizza dough for a little pizza party we had. Making homemade pizza with friends is always fun. Roll some dough, buy some toppings, and everyone can make their own personalized pizza, or one giant one to share!
This weekend, I’ll be moving to Georgetown for the summer since I’ll be working just outside of DC. I love the Georgetown area because of all the shops and restaurants and the neighborhood is beautiful. Hopefully there will be a farmers’ market close to me while I’m there!
NUTELLA STRAWBERRY PIZZA
1/4 cup Nutella
Handful of strawberries
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Take out leftover pizza dough or store-bought pizza dough. If you don’t have any, here is a simple recipe.
Roll dough on a lightly floured surface into the shape of a circle, about 1/4-1/2 inch thick.
Bake in oven for about 10-15 minutes.
Spread as much Nutella as desired in the center and arrange sliced strawberries on top.
I love celebrating my friends’ birthdays not only because I get to be part of their special day of turning one year older, but also because it gives me an excuse to bake a new recipe. I’m always looking forward to experimenting with new types of cookies, cupcakes, brownies and have almost never repeated.
Except once. My good friend Claire and I had made these delicious muffins for my friend’s birthday. I got the idea from the Nutella Swirled Banana Walnut Bread I made last summer and turned it into muffin form since they’re easier to share. We both tried a piece when the muffins were fresh out of the oven and almost couldn’t help ourselves from eating the rest. All of our friends who had sampled some of the muffin had that coveted “dying of happiness” face, which instantly tells you that you did a good job.
The following week was another friend’s birthday. She immediately requested the same Nutella-swirled banana muffins from me and Claire. So, we made an even bigger batch this time and again, saw even more happy faces. Now I know what to do whenever I have a bunch of brown, overripe bananas
NUTELLA-SWIRLED BANANA BREAD MUFFINS
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 cup whole wheat flour
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
3 medium over-ripe bananas, mashed
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup dark brown sugar
1 large egg
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line muffin pan with liners.
2. In a medium bowl, whisk flours, baking soda, and baking powder until well combined. Set aside.
3. In large bowl, whisk together banana, sugar, brown sugar. (Use a blender if you have one.) Beat in egg, vegetable oil and vanilla extract. Slowly whisk in the flour mixture, until mixture is smooth.
4. Fill muffin tins 3/4 full. Top each muffin with about 1 teaspoon of Nutella and use a toothpick to swirl it into the batter.
5. Bake muffins for 15-17 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
adapted from The Novice Chef
Crepes have always seemed like a daunting recipe to me. When I was in France, the street vendors making crepes made them in just seconds! The other day, I made crepes for the first time and trust me, they are not as difficult as they appear.
I made about 6 crepes that day and each crepe was better than the previous one. The hardest part is timing the pouring of the batter into the pan but here are some tips for a perfect crepe:
1. Use a pan that does not weigh a lot. Pans that are too heavy take more effort to pick up and move around.
2. Lightly spray your pan evenly with oil. Too much oil can get in the way of spreading around the batter.
3. Heat the pan a little bit before pouring the batter in. If the pan is too hot, the batter will stick immediately and not spread out.
4. If there are gaps in the crepe, quickly fill them in with some extra batter. You won’t be able to notice the patches after you fold the crepe.
These crepes are filled with Nutella and strawberries, 2 of my favorite ingredients! You can also fill them with bananas and other fruits. For a savory crepe, try shrimp or chicken!
NUTELLA AND STRAWBERRY CREPES
3/4 cup 2% milk
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 tablespoon sugar
1/8 teaspoon salt
2 cups strawberries, sliced
In a blender, mix milk, eggs, vanilla, sugar, and salt.
Chill batter in fridge for 15 minutes.
Heat a greased, nonstick pan over medium heat. Pour 1/4 cup of batter into the pan and immediately move it around to coat the bottom. Cook until slightly brown, about 2 minutes. Flip very gently and allow the other side to brown. Remove from the pan and repeat.
Spread a spoonful of Nutella on half of crepe and put in strawberries. Fold in half and then into thirds.
Optional: Drizzle Nutella and sprinkle with powdered sugar.