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Pan Roasted Petite Rainbow Carrots

Roasting is my favorite way to cook carrots.  Doing them on the stove in a pan cuts the time in half and creates more caramelization. Keep reading for my Pan Roasted Petite Rainbow Carrots.

If you’re anything like me, you have the best intentions to plan out holiday dinners, but you always feel like the menu is not good enough.  You find yourself changing a few side dishes last minute.  Sweet S does last minute grocery runs for me more than I’d like to admit.  Last week it was for an avocado.

If you’re still deciding between what side dish to serve with that baked ham, look no further.  These Pan Roasted Petite Rainbow Carrots take 25min and will be the easiest thing you cook all day.

All it takes is a quick seasoning of turmeric, black pepper, salt, honey and apple cider vinegar then pan roasted in coconut oil.

When cooking with turmeric, you always want to make sure it’s consumed with black pepper and a healthy fat.  This helps all the goodness from the turmeric (the curcumin) get absorbed into your bloodstream.

You can find these cute petite carrots at Trader Joes, if you don’t have a TJ’s near you and cannot find petite rainbow carrots, regular carrots will do just fine.  I would just cut them into carrot sticks.

TBH it took all my will not to eat all of these carrots right out of the pan as they were cooking.  Okay, so I actually had to stop eating them out of the pan, because I burned the roof of my mouth.  The caramelization of the carrots create this beautiful char that’s slightly smokey and sweet and utterly irresistible. To create that  char it’s important to not move the carrots around while they are in the pan, that’s the only way they’ll get that gorgeous caramelization.  Don’t worry, it’ll look like the carrots are burning, but it’s just the sugars crystalizing. To get the char on both sides, flip the carrots over halfway through cooking.

Tell me, what is your favorite way to cook carrots?  If you make this recipe remember to tag #MLRecipes.

Until next time,

Love, Lephan

 

Pan Roasted Petite Rainbow Carrots
Print Recipe
A quick side dish that adds nutrition and ease to your dinners.
Servings Prep Time
4 people 5 minutes
Cook Time
20 minutes
Servings Prep Time
4 people 5 minutes
Cook Time
20 minutes
Pan Roasted Petite Rainbow Carrots
Print Recipe
A quick side dish that adds nutrition and ease to your dinners.
Servings Prep Time
4 people 5 minutes
Cook Time
20 minutes
Servings Prep Time
4 people 5 minutes
Cook Time
20 minutes
Ingredients
Servings: people
Instructions
  1. In a large bowl, whisk together vinegar, turmeric, black pepper, honey and salt.
  2. Toss carrots into marinade making sure carrots are evenly coated with marinade.
  3. Heat a large skillet and coconut oil on medium high. Add carrots and liquid to pan, make sure carrots are arranged in a single layer.
  4. Cover carrots and cook for 8-10 minutes. Then flip carrots over and cook for another 8-10 minutes on the other side. If carrots look like they need a few more minutes to char, allow them to cook longer.
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    No Knead French Baguette Recipe


    Last week I shared some pictures from the last day of my Paris trip.  I wanted to follow that post up with a recipe for something iconic and French.  To me, there is no food more iconic than the French baguette, maybe the croissant, but that’s for another blog post.  Each time I find myself in Paris, I make it a point to buy a baguette from a boulangerie and share it with S as we wander around the city.  There is something so iconic, comforting and romantic about strolling in-between the Haussmannian style buildings with a baguette in hand.

    Since the baguette holds so much nostalgia, I wanted to try making it.  I spent sometime consulting google and youtube until I found this Food Wishes video and lost all of my chill!

    I was convinced I would end up having a Lucille Ball comedic experience while making this baguette.  Surprisingly, I only screwed up once.  I used a food scale and measured the flour wrong. Luckily, that was an easy fix!

    This bread takes about 15 minutes in the oven with a a tray of water on the bottom shelf.  Using a clean spray bottle, the bread needs to get a good spritz every 5 minutes.  The moister is what gives the baguette its crunchy crust.

    The baguettes turned out perfect!  They were crispy and crunchy on the outside and utterly soft and springy on the inside!

    Check out the recipe below. It’s slightly modified from Chef John’s recipe. I added some honey to the yeast to help it bloom.

    Okay, so I overcooked two baguettes…

    Have you ever tried making your own bread?  How did it turn out?

    Tag me in your bread making endeavors, you just may get featured on my instagram! @MacaronsandLavender #MLRecipes

    Until next time,

    Love Lephan

    French Baguette
    Print Recipe
    Easy, rustic, baguette recipe that gives you a soft pillowy center and a crispy outside.
    Servings Prep Time
    4 loafs 30 minutes
    Cook Time Passive Time
    15 minutes 14 hours
    Servings Prep Time
    4 loafs 30 minutes
    Cook Time Passive Time
    15 minutes 14 hours
    French Baguette
    Print Recipe
    Easy, rustic, baguette recipe that gives you a soft pillowy center and a crispy outside.
    Servings Prep Time
    4 loafs 30 minutes
    Cook Time Passive Time
    15 minutes 14 hours
    Servings Prep Time
    4 loafs 30 minutes
    Cook Time Passive Time
    15 minutes 14 hours
    Ingredients
    Servings: loafs
    Instructions
    1. Add yeast, honey and water together. Wait about 2 minutes
    2. Incorporate salt and with a wooden spoon, slowly mix in the flour until dough forms. You'll want the dough to start pulling away from the sides of the bowl, but remain sticky. It's important that the dough stays slightly sticky.
    3. Cover dough with plastic wrap and a tea towel, place in a draft-free area. I like using the inside of a turned off oven. Let rise for 12-14 hours
    4. Once dough has risen, remove towel and plastic wrap and punch down. Shape dough into a rectangle shape and separate into 4 equal sizes.
    5. Start shaping dough by flattening dough on a lightly floured surface. It's important that you do not use too much flour, the dough needs to stay slightly tacky. Start rolling the dough out like a cigar, starting at the end closest to you. Tuck in ends.
    6. Place shaped loaves on a floured baking sheet and flour top of each loaf. Cover with floured plastic wrap and allow to rise for 1 to 2 hours or until almost doubled in size.
    7. Cut slits across the top of each loaf.
    8. Place a deep lasagna pan with water on the bottom shelf of oven.
    9. Bake in a 550 degree fahrenheit preheated oven for 15 minutes or until well browned. Using a spray bottle, spritz bread with water every 5 minutes, turning the baking sheet halfway through.
    10. Cool and serve with spreads of your choice!
    Recipe Notes

    Freeze any left over bread and warm from frozen state in a 350 degree oven for 5-10min.  This will keep the break from getting soft.

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    2 Comments

  • Reply Ashley

    I’m so glad you posted this – I’m going to need to make this bread ASAP!

    May 1, 2017 at 6:37 pm
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    Paris with Love

    Bonjour mon ami!

    If you follow me on Instagram you already know my love for Paris, France. S and I try to fly there as often as possible. This February, we stayed at the ultra charming hotel in Le Marais called L’Hôtel Paris Marais Caron de Beaumarchais. When looking for a place to stay, we flirted with the idea of renting an Airbnb, but ultimately settled on this place because of the charming décor. The nerd in me is obsessed with 17th and 18th century France, so the opportunity to stay in a property that is decorated in the baroque style made my heart instantly flutter. This charming 19-room boutique hotel offers rooms with a gorgeous balcony or if you would prefer to save a few euros, a courtyard facing room.

    The hotel was named after Pierre Augustin Caron de Beaumarchais. Monsieur Beaumarchais was a renaissance man most notable for writing the comedy Le Mariage de Figaro, this inspired Mozart’s The Marriage of Figaro. Beaumarchais was also a watchmaker, who invented the first timepiece that was accurate to the second and the size of a ring.

    He also, had a huge hand in persuading the French government to support the revolt of the American colonies against the British.   Beaumarchais supplied a shipment of ammunition and guns for 25,000 men in the Continental Army during the Revolutionary War. I wish I had thought to snap actual pictures of the hotel, but here are some from the website and one of my own.

    Photo Credit Hotel Caron de Beaumarchais

    Photo Credit Hotel Caron de Beaumarchais

    Photo Credit Hotel Caron de Beaumarchais

    Photo Credit Hotel Caron de Beaumarchais

    Photo Credit Hotel Caron de Beaumarchais

    Photo Credit Hotel Caron de Beaumarchais

    Photo Credit Hotel Caron de Beaumarchais

    Photo Credit Hotel Caron de Beaumarchais

    How dreamy was that?  Someone take me back, please!

    I want to share our last full day in Paris with you all. Typical of Parisian winters, this day was rainy and overcast, with pockets of sunlight.  We were feeling a bit down, as it was our last day, so we decided that it would be a good idea to be tourists.

    We settled on taking a tour bus for our “touristy activity”, as this was the best way for us to see all our favorite spots one last time before we leave (I know, I know, we are dramatic people. But, I effing adore this city. I’m obsessed with food, culture, people and language).

    We chatted with the ever-so-charming and knowledgeable British French front desk agent, Phil, who recommended the Le Open Tour to us. Unlike the other double decker bus tours in the city, this one offers four different lines, which take you through most of the Arrondissements.

    So, that was that… we settled on this tour. You can pick up the bus at a number of stops across the city and tickets can be purchased right on board. We walked over to the Notre Dame Cathedral stop and hopped on the bus there.

    I find that having a strategy helps when you’re taking advantage of these touristy things. We planned out the areas we wanted to see and we knew that we wouldn’t be getting off the bus to explore, as we’ve already done that before and were limited on time. Here’s the breakdown of the lines, followed by our strategy.

    • The Green Line is the main attraction line, it hits notable areas like the Louvre, Tour Eiffel, Notre Dame Cathedral, Place de la Concorde.
    • The Orange Line takes you to the left bank, hitting the areas of made famous by the Lost Generation, Saint-Germain-des-Prés, and Montparnasse (think café culture!). This also stops at Le Jardin du Luxembourg.
    • The Blue Line takes you through Le Marais to places like Maison de Victor Hugo.
    • The Yellow Line takes you to Montmartre and Pigalle. You’ll need to actually get off the bus and head up the hill if you want to see Sacre-Coeur, but it’s totally worth it.

    Our strategy:

    As I mentioned, we wanted to use the open tour as a way to get a final glimpse of the city before having to say au revoir to Paris.

    • We blocked off approximately 3-4 hours for the ride, we knew that we could easily walk to the Notre Dame Cathedral stop and pick up the Green line there.
    • Because we were staying in Le Marais, we skipped the Blue Line.
    • We then looked at the map, identifying the areas where we could easily transfer lines. We noticed that it made the most sense to transfer to the Orange line at stop 17, Hotel des Invalides.
    • We would ride the Orange Line all the way around the left bank back to stop 17.
    • We would then get back on the Green Line and continue to stop 19, Place de la Madeleine and transfer to the Yellow Line.
    • We would then take the Yellow Line all the way around back to stop 19 and transfer back to the Green Line to take it back to Notre Dame Cathedral, Stop 6.

     

     

    Once we hopped off the bus we walked across the street to The Shakespeare and Company where I purchased a couple of books and pretended to be a member of the Lost Generation (nerd alert times 2). Pictures are not allowed in the bookstore, although people were still taking photos. I chose not to participate in taking pictures, because I love rules and S and I felt that it would be disrespectful to the property and to the owners (nerd alert times 3). No judgment if you have more of a rebel heart than I do.

    To stay on topic, in my next post, I’m sharing how I made Baguettes at home to cure my Paris blues.

     

    Au Revoir!

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    Crabmeat and Ricotta Wontons

    Greetings from Paris!  I can’t wait to share this trip with you all.  My heart hasn’t been this happy in a while.  Heart Emojis. (Editors Note: This post was supposed to go live last week, however due to laptop charging/user error, this post was delayed).

    Do you guys remember when I made this Crabmeat Rangoon Dip, a few weeks ago?  Well I had about a cup of crabmeat left over and an ambitious idea to make raviolis.  I sent S out to the grocery store to pick up parsley, scallions and ricotta cheese, when he returned I promptly mixed the filling together, stuck it in the fridge and then sat down on the couch.  (C’mon you can’t tell me that’s never happened to you before…).  The idea of attempting to make my own pasta pasta dough put me into an instant state of procrastination.

    Here are the thoughts that ran through my head:

    • “You’ve never made pasta before, what if you royal screw this up? Is this really the time to do something that is challenging AF?”
    • “Do I have enough eggs?”
    • “Oh Sh*t! Scrappy got into the only bag of flour I had a couple of weeks ago!”

    That last thought is real, we have these utility shelves in our kitchen, since we don’t have a real pantry (it’s actually a real pain the the ass).  Scrappy has never paid much attention to the items on the shelves, but for some reason that day he thought a brand new bag of all-purpose flour would be the ideal midday snack.  Needless to say, we came home to one fun mess.  So, now we have a dog that’s up for adoption… JUST KIDDING.  Scrappy is our ride or die, we love that little monster more than anything in the world.

    Okay, what was I saying, about an hour later I recalled having random packages of wonton wrappers in the fridge.  That is how the idea of merging Italian and Chinese together to make Crabmeat and Ricotta Wontons was born.  The “Italian” part is the filling and the “Chinese” part is the addition of the wonton wrappers.

    This recipe makes a boatload of wontons.  I ended up freezing about 45 of the 97 that I made.  97 sounds intimidating, but let me tell you the wrapping process is pretty therapeutic.  I cranked on some tunes and just zoned out while wrapping.

    I boiled the wontons for about 3 minutes, then transferred them to a frying pan with olive oil, freshly squeezed lemon juice, lemon zest, butter, garlic, salt and pepper.  Cooked the wontons for another 5 minutes, gently stirring until each one was coated in the garlic, lemon butter sauce.

    Transferred to a bowl, garnished the top with some scallions and called it a success!

    Let me know if you give this guy a try.  Take some #foodporn on the ‘gram and tag me!  @macaronsandlavender and #MacaronsandLavender.

     

    Ricotta and Crabmeat Wontons
    Print Recipe
    Servings Prep Time
    98 Wantons 60 minutes
    Cook Time
    4 minutes
    Servings Prep Time
    98 Wantons 60 minutes
    Cook Time
    4 minutes
    Ricotta and Crabmeat Wontons
    Print Recipe
    Servings Prep Time
    98 Wantons 60 minutes
    Cook Time
    4 minutes
    Servings Prep Time
    98 Wantons 60 minutes
    Cook Time
    4 minutes
    Ingredients
    Servings: Wantons
    Instructions
    1. Combine the first 11 ingredients in a large bowl. Mixing well. Preheat a small frying pan to cook a teaspoon of the filing in. Taste test the filling and adjust salt and pepper to taste.
    2. Using a small teaspoon fill each wonton wrapper with filling and brush corners with water. Fold wonton into triangle shapes pressing down on edges to seal. Pressing out any air bubbles as you're sealing.
    3. Bring a pot of water to a gentle boil. Salt water, and cook Wontons until they float. Approximately 3-4min.
    4. Melt butter and Olive Oil in a small frying pan, transfer Wontons into a frying pan and cook until butter sauce coats the Wontons. Season to taste as you go. Serve immediately.
    5. Freeze uncooked wontons for up to 4weeks.
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    The Jolly Hostess’ Spinach & Artichoke Petite Skins

    Whoa! Who am I, two recipe posts in one week?! Well, let me be real with y’all, this recipe for Spinach & Artichoke Petite Skins, was a bit easy, as it’s not my recipe.  This recipe is from Alana, The Jolly Hostess, her blog, www.thejollyhostess.com, is filled with easy and delicious recipes that are perfect for when you’re hosting a cocktail party or when you simply feel like just making a meal out of small bites.

    Here are some of my other faves, that I’m dying to try, from this darling hostess:

    I made these stuffed petite potato skins for Super Bowl Sunday and it was an instant hit.  The petite potatoes are simply the most adorable thing, they are the perfect bite size, you can just pop the whole thing in your mouth! Alana’s recipe calls for the addition of paprika and shredded pepper jack cheese.

    I tossed the potatoes in some olive oil, salt, pepper and garlic powder and roasted them in a 375 degree oven for 15min.  Once the potatoes cooled I used a teaspoon to carefully scoop out the center of the potato.  I filled each half of the potato with the spinach dip and returned to the oven for 6-8 minutes until golden brown.

    Check out the recipe below!  Let me know if you make this by tagging me on the ‘grams @MacaronsandLavender and #MacaronsandLavender.

    Love, Lephan.

    The Jolly Hostess' Spinach & Artichoke Petite Skins
    Print Recipe
    Servings Prep Time
    8 people 30 minutes
    Cook Time
    45 minutes
    Servings Prep Time
    8 people 30 minutes
    Cook Time
    45 minutes
    The Jolly Hostess' Spinach & Artichoke Petite Skins
    Print Recipe
    Servings Prep Time
    8 people 30 minutes
    Cook Time
    45 minutes
    Servings Prep Time
    8 people 30 minutes
    Cook Time
    45 minutes
    Ingredients
    Servings: people
    Instructions
    1. Set oven to 375 degrees. Toss potatoes in olive oil, garlic, salt and pepper. Transfer onto a baking sheet and bake on the center rack for 15 minutes or until tender
    2. Using a mixer combine artichokes, spinach, cream cheese, sour cream, shredded cheese, pepper, salt and paprika in medium-sized bowl until fully blended. Set aside.
    3. Cut potatoes in half length wise and carefully scoop out center with a melon scoop or a small teaspoon.
    4. Spray baking sheet and place potatoes skin side down. Using a spoon, fill each potato with the spinach and artichoke mixture. Continue until all potatoes are filled.
    5. Place into oven and bake for 6-8 mins, until the cheese is bubblying. Turn oven off and turn broil on high. Broil on high for about 6-8 mins until browned.
    6. Sprinkle each piece with paprika. Serve immediately.
    7. Transfer leftover spinach and artichoke dip into a baking dish and bake for 10min and serve with chips.
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    Painting to Gogh


    *This is a sponsored post by Painting to Gogh.  However, all content and opinions expressed are mine.  So are the dad jokes… 

    When was the last time you went on a non-dinner or movie night date? With Valentine’s Day/Galentine’s Day right around the corner, it had me thinking, (dangerous, I know), about dates; dates with your besties, new loves, and LTR (long term relationship) partners.  I appreciate having a day where we express our love for each other, but wouldn’t it be nice if we carved out days during each month to spend time with those we love?
    S and I have been together for over 10 years.  We met in the summer of 2006, engaged in the spring of 2013 and married in the fall of 2014.  During the first few years of our lives together we would go on these adorable dates.  However, these days finding the time for a new and unique date night can be a challenge (sadly we don’t have the bankroll of the Bachelor/Bachelorette franchise.  I would love to be helicoptered to a faraway land with the Mister).  Our go-to dates usually revolve around dinner out or spending time at the Art Institute of Chicago.  Don’t get me wrong, I love eating out and I love going to the museum or to the theatre, but all of that can become predictable.

    When Painting to Gogh reached out to me to see if I would be interested in trying one of their paintings, I instantly knew that this would be a great date night idea for S and me, and something my followers would enjoy.  It’s also a wonderful activity for a ladies night, invite some of your nearest and dearest friends over, stock the fridge with some champs (duh), wine and appetizers (check out below for my adorable Maple Bacon Wrapped Asparagus.  They look like little paint brushes).

    Painting to Gogh, a Chicago based company that ships a painting party  straight to the comfort of your own home (alcohol not included…).  All the art materials get delivered directly to you and a link to a digital step-by-step video tutorial gets sent to your inbox.  There’s a catalog full of unique and interesting paintings for one to try.  Some of my favorites include Lovebirds at Dusk, Acoustic Sunrise, and Pride.  This is a company you’ll feel good about supporting as they donate a portion of each sale made to an art based charity.  A new charity is selected quarterly.

    Sticking with the date night theme, I thought it would be fitting to try and paint Lovebirds at Dusk.  The instructional video was delivered into my inbox shortly after I ordered my starter kit; the rest of the kit was sent to my home.  The starter kit came with a selection of paints, a palette, a canvas, a number of paintbrushes, a disposable apron and an easel.  I was tempted to watch the full video before I got started painting to get an idea of what to expect, but I quickly changed my mind.  I unpacked all the materials and set everything up, accessed the  the instructional video and started painting.

    The step-by-step tutorial was easy to follow.  I was a big fan of having the ability to pause, rewind and restart the video as often as I liked.  I stopped and rewinded the video quite a few times, as my artistic ability is somewhat lacking.  The virtual instructor made the process easy and enjoyable. The one thing that would have benefited me was if she had given suggestions on what to do if you were to mess-up.  I accidentally mixed the wrong colors together for my leaves and didn’t realize it until the paint hit the canvas.  I decided not to fret about it, as it gave me an opportunity to make it my own.

    This was a very enjoyable experience and something that I will do again.

    So, the next time you want have date night, a ladies night or simply looking for ways to relax, order a painting kit from Painting to Gogh.  If you already own a canvas and paint brushes you can order the Essential Kit; if you’re doing this with your BFF or a SO you can order the Starter Kit for Two.

    Now let’s talk food, because you can’t have a date without food.  This adorable appetizer is the perfect accompaniment for a painting party.  The asparagus is a fun play on a paintbrush and the bacon is a sweet and smokey addition.

    You have two options here, you can either purchase maple cured bacon or you can buy regular bacon and paint real maple syrup on each slice.

    I cut the bacon slices in half, used some high quality real Vermont maple syrup and painted each half with some syrup, topped it with some coarsely ground Pink Himalayan Sea Salt and freshly ground pepper.  I carefully wrapped a halved slice of bacon around a trimmed asparagus stalk and then arranged the stalks on a lined backing sheet and baked for 25-30min in a 350 degree oven until bacon was crispy.  Serve immediately!

    If you make this make sure to tag me on the ‘grams @MacaronsandLavender and #MacaronsandLavender

    Love, Lephan.

    Maple Bacon Wrapped Asparagus
    Print Recipe
    This recipe is a play on the prosciutto wrapped asparagus spears. The maple compliments the saltiness of the the bacon well.
    Servings Prep Time
    6 people 15 minutes
    Cook Time
    30 minutes
    Servings Prep Time
    6 people 15 minutes
    Cook Time
    30 minutes
    Maple Bacon Wrapped Asparagus
    Print Recipe
    This recipe is a play on the prosciutto wrapped asparagus spears. The maple compliments the saltiness of the the bacon well.
    Servings Prep Time
    6 people 15 minutes
    Cook Time
    30 minutes
    Servings Prep Time
    6 people 15 minutes
    Cook Time
    30 minutes
    Ingredients
    Servings: people
    Instructions
    1. Preheat oven to 375*. Using a pastry brush, paint each strip of bacon with maple syrup and season with salt and pepper.
    2. Starting from the base of the asparagus, wrap one slice of bacon up the stalk. Repeat until all bacon or asparagus is gone.
    3. Place bacon wrapped asparagus on a lined baking sheet and bake on middle rack for 30min. Place onto a paper towel lined plate to drain access grease. Transfer onto serving dish and serve.
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    Crab Rangoon Dip

    February is finally here, that can only mean one thing… my husband’s favorite “holiday”, Super Bowl Sunday (shocking, it’s not Valentine’s Day haha) is here.  It goes without saying that we’re New England Patriot’s fans!  Julian Edelman is bae, Bill Belichick is a football genius and Tom Brady is a football god.  Enough said.

    The truth is, as much as I’m excited to cheer on the Pats, I’m more excited for the food!  Super Bowl eating is one of my all time favorites.  Don’t get me wrong, I love fancy food, but I have a super soft spot for nice comfort snacky junk food.  My parents never allowed much junk food in the house, so I would sneak it whenever I was at someone else’s house.  I remember when I started making my own money in high school, it was during Girl Scout Cookie season and I bought myself boxes of Thin Mints and hid them in my bedroom.  Not much has changed in that regards, except now I hide them in the freezer and no longer have the 16 year old metabolism.  To this day, my favorite comfort foods are nachos, chips and dip, and French fries.

    So, in honor of my love for dips and a nod to my heritage, I present to you my real crabmeat rangoon dip.  Traditional Crab Rangoon is made with imitation crabmeat, which I love only because of the nostalgia.  When I was putting this recipe together, I knew that I wanted to reinvent this and use real crabmeat.  It was the perfect decision and the final product ended up being this creamy and luxurious dip.

    I like serving this dip with whatever I have on hand, crackers, tortilla chips or oven baked wonton chips.  Cut up bell peppers, baby carrots and celery sticks work well too.  This is a perfect dip to serve or bring to a Super Bowl party!



    Check out the recipe below, let me know what you think.  Tag me on the ‘grams at @macaronsandlavender or #MLRecipes if you make this or any of my other recipes.

    GO PATS!

    Love, Lephan

    Crabmeat Rangoon Dip
    Print Recipe
    This creamy, cheesy rangoon dip is a nod to the favorite takeout appetizer. The addition of real crabmeat has reinvented this oldie but, goodie.
    Servings Prep Time
    8 People 20 minutes
    Cook Time Passive Time
    40 minutes `
    Servings Prep Time
    8 People 20 minutes
    Cook Time Passive Time
    40 minutes `
    Crabmeat Rangoon Dip
    Print Recipe
    This creamy, cheesy rangoon dip is a nod to the favorite takeout appetizer. The addition of real crabmeat has reinvented this oldie but, goodie.
    Servings Prep Time
    8 People 20 minutes
    Cook Time Passive Time
    40 minutes `
    Servings Prep Time
    8 People 20 minutes
    Cook Time Passive Time
    40 minutes `
    Ingredients
    Servings: People
    Instructions
    1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees
    2. Using a hand mixer or food processor, combine all ingredients except for scallion greens.
    3. Bake for 40 minutes or until bubbly and golden brown. Let cool for 10 min., garnish with scallion greens and serve.
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    Bourbon Chocolate Crepes

    Happy New Year all! 2017 is off to an optimistic start. My resolution this year is to be more diligent when it comes to putting out more consistent content! Stay tuned this year is going to be exciting!!

    If y’all couldn’t tell from the name of my blog, I’m obsessed with all things French. I adore the French language, the effortless beauty of French women and men, the fashion, the art, the architecture, and the food is easily my favorite type of cuisine (hello, escargot and steak tartar #yesplease).

    I was watching Jacques Pepin make crepes on Fast Food My Way before bed one night; he made the process look pretty simple so, I thought I could probably do that!

    To be honest, I’ve always been super intimidated by the idea of making crepes. They always looked like it would require a lot of finesse, and the slightest movement in the wrong direction would tear them.

    It turns out that it’s really not as intimidating as I thought, but it does require a lot of patience. As Chef Jacques Pepin says “The first one is always for the dog” and let me tell you, no truer words have been spoken. It took me a couple of tries to get the right amount of batter into the pan, some were so thick they almost resembled pancakes and some where too thin that they broke the second I tried to flip them.

    I found that a thinner batter makes a better crepe, the batter almost should be the consistency of melted ice cream, creamy and thin. Per Jacques, one needs to first incorporate a small amount of the milk, whisk to combine, and then add the remainder until the batter is thin.

    Always use a nonstick skillet (or a special crepe pan, Sur La Table has them for like 20 bucks). I used a large nonstick skillet and it worked just lovely. The trick when pouring the batter is to pour it on the outside area of the pan, not in the middle and using your wrists roll the pan in a circular motion so the batter spreads evenly around; fill in any gaps or holes immediately with a little batter. Once it’s ready to flip, you’ll see the edges kind of turn brown and little bubbles form. Carefully using the assistant of a thin spatula  lift the corner of the crepe that is the furthest from you, grab it with your hands and gently flip the crap over. This took a couple of tries, but after maybe 4 duds, I started to get the hang of it.  Once you get the hang of it, you’ll wonder why you ever thought this was so difficult!

    The recipe below differs slightly from the traditional crepe recipe. My secret ingredient is good quality bourbon added to the batter and to the filling. So, with that I present to you all my versatile Bourbon Chocolate Crapes.

    I stuffed some crapes with apricot jam, as that’s what Jacques does.  Sorry to my Whole30 peeps, you’ll have to just pin this recipe for when both gluten and dairy’s back in your diet.

    Love, Lephan

    Bourbon Chocolate Crepes
    Print Recipe
    A new spin on the traditional crepe. Adding bourbon warms and spices things up in these crepes.
    Servings Prep Time
    4 people 10 minutes
    Cook Time
    30 minutes
    Servings Prep Time
    4 people 10 minutes
    Cook Time
    30 minutes
    Bourbon Chocolate Crepes
    Print Recipe
    A new spin on the traditional crepe. Adding bourbon warms and spices things up in these crepes.
    Servings Prep Time
    4 people 10 minutes
    Cook Time
    30 minutes
    Servings Prep Time
    4 people 10 minutes
    Cook Time
    30 minutes
    Ingredients
    Bourbon Crepes
    Chocolate Bourbon Spread
    Servings: people
    Instructions
    Bourbon Crepes
    1. Heat a pan on medium high heat with butter.
    2. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, salt, sugar, eggs, bourbon and 1/4 of the milk. Whisk until the batter is thick and there are no lumps. Slowly incorporate the remainder of the milk, beat until smooth. Add the melted butter from pan and continue to mix.
    3. With a ladle, scoop the batter into one side of the heated pan, tilt and shake the pan in a circular motion to cover the surface evenly. Fill in any gaps with a little batter.
    4. Cook crepe for about 2 minutes or until the edges start to turn brown and little bubbles form. Using a spatula, loosen the crepe, then using your hands grab the edge of the crepe and flip. Cook the other side for 30 seconds to 1 minute.
    5. Slide crepe onto a plate and repeat.
    Chocolate Bourbon Spread
    1. In a double broiler melt semi sweet chocolate chips, salt and condensed milk. Whisk together until smooth.
    2. Turn off heat and pour in bourbon, continue whisking to combine.
    3. Smear spread on crepe, fold in half, then in half again. Serve with garnish of your choice.
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    Funfetti Cookies

    Happy Holidays y’all!  Can you believe the holidays are already upon us?  Christmas is this weekend, so I know this week will be a super hectic week for us all.  There’s last minute shopping for gifts, for groceries and attending the last of the Christmas parties.

    For me, I still need to buy stamps and drop my Christmas cards in the mail and grocery shop for Christmas Dinner.  This will be the third year S and I are staying local for Christmas, the past two years we celebrated Christmas Eve with dinner at the Drake.  Dinner is served at Drake Bros where guests are accompanied with a visit from carolers in Dickensian costume; it is absolutely charming.

    We wanted to do something a bit different this year.  S requested that we try to make a Christmas Goose for dinner (where I’m going to get a goose, I have no idea, if you know please share).  We’ll spend Christmas Eve eating goose (maybe) and watching A Christmas Story on repeat, listen to Christmas music, and welcoming Christmas day with some Spiced Egg Nog.  Also, one of my best friends is expecting her first child any day now, so I’m hoping I get to cuddle with a new born on Christmas!

    Now, let’s talk cookies. I enjoy baking cookies as Christmas gifts for my colleagues.  It’s my way to spread some holiday cheer!  Since we were traveling last weekend baking totally slipped my mind until this Saturday.  Since it was last minute, I wanted to make something easy that didn’t require me to have restock my kitchen.  I recalled that one could make cookies with boxed cake mix, so I thought why not?  Pillsbury’s Funfetti cake mix is always my go to, so I figured it would be fun to make cookies out of it.  After some googling I noticed that they Pillsbury has recipe posted on their site.  I changed the recipe a bit by adding extra sprinkles to the batter and a bit more oil.

    The only thing I would do differently is make my own frosting and abandon the pre-made frosting.  Because I never eat pre-made frosting, I always forget how much I dislike the chemically taste of it.  We live and learn right?  So, I definetly recommend making your own!  The cookies are also delicious as is, if there’s not frosting on it you can eat double the amount… right?

    Check out the recipe below, let me know what you think!

    Until next time,

    Love, Lephan

    Boxed Cake Funfetti Cookies
    Print Recipe
    These cookies are perfect when you don't have a lot of time to spare.
    Servings Prep Time
    5 Dozen 10 minutes
    Cook Time
    60 minutes
    Servings Prep Time
    5 Dozen 10 minutes
    Cook Time
    60 minutes
    Boxed Cake Funfetti Cookies
    Print Recipe
    These cookies are perfect when you don't have a lot of time to spare.
    Servings Prep Time
    5 Dozen 10 minutes
    Cook Time
    60 minutes
    Servings Prep Time
    5 Dozen 10 minutes
    Cook Time
    60 minutes
    Ingredients
    Servings: Dozen
    Instructions
    1. Step 1 Preheat oven to 375 degrees fahrenheit. In a large bowl, sift the cake mix with wire whisk to remove any lumps, mix in colored sprinkles. In a separate bowl whisk together eggs and oil. Combine wet and dry ingredients together with a wooden spoon. Shape dough into 1 inch balls, place two inches apart on a parchment lined cookie sheet. Using the palm of your hand, flatten each ball into 1/4-inch thickness.
    2. Step 2 Bake at 375 degrees Fahrenheit for 6 to 8 minutes or until edges are light golden brown. Cool for 1 minute on cookie sheet. Transfer to cooling rack
    3. Optional Step Frost cookie while still warm. Immediately sprinkle each cookie with colored sprinkles. Let cookies cool on a cooling rack before storing. Store in an airtight container.
    Recipe Notes

    Note: if the dough is too tacky and soft, refrigerate for a couple of hours before using.

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    Small Business Saturday: Shopping Small for the Holidays


    You guys, how is it that Thanksgiving is tomorrow? As excited as I am for the holiday season, I can’t help but feel a bit perplexed that this year has passed so quickly. S and I usually wait until after Thanksgiving to kick off our Holiday shopping since he’s one of those who feel that we need to wrap-up one holiday before we enter into another. I on the other hand, listen to Christmas music year round and start talking about putting up my tree before all the autumn leaves have fully turned.

    Did you know that this Saturday, November 26th is Small Business Saturday? That’s right, you don’t need to line up outside of those large department stores at 3am on Black Friday, get some sleep, spend time with your family and wait until Saturday. This holiday season I am making the pledge, with Fendera, to support the small businesses in my community.  I ask you all, as you make your lists (and check them twice), to make this pledge with me.

    This Saturday, take the opportunity to head out with your sweetheart, besties, bros (or bruhs) and make a day of it. Grab some brunch, and then wander into some of your local boutiques!

    Let’s all work together to keep Main Street alive. Read more about why shopping small is so important here.

    Some of my favorite stores/places to shop local in Chicago are:

    macarons-and-lavender-small-business-saturday-gift-guide

    Photo credits: Inkling; Brimfield; Foursided

    What are you doing to support Small Business Saturday?

    Love, Lephan

     

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