Thursday, June 28, 2012

Strawberry Crepes with Grand Marnier Sour Cream Filling

Over the past few weeks, it has been extremely difficult to coax Matthew into his crib at night.  At the mention of "bedtime" he will immediately start running in the opposite direction, screaming his displeasure along with a nonsensical listing of his favorite playthings:  "No bed! Hungry! Monkey! Choo-Choo!  Pooh Bear!  Tigger!  Rabbit!  Mixer! No bed!"  We eventually have to just tackle him, scoop him up, plop him in his crib, say prayers while he convulses as if in pain, and then close the door and cross our fingers that all will be silent within five minutes.

Matthew pretending to sleep in an attempt to get out of going to bed.  Explain to me how that one works.  In case you were wondering, those sexy, hairy legs belong to my hottie of a husband. I am one lucky lady...yes indeedy!

After weeks of this routine, I was getting pretty sick of it.  Paul and I decided that perhaps we will try introducing Matthew to his "big boy bed," located in another bedroom down the hall.  Perhaps that would do the trick and make him more apt to go to bed.

The next night, we took Matthew upstairs and began reading him some books.  We then asked him if he would like to go to sleep in a different bed.  He was so excited!  We tucked him in under the covers, said prayers as he snuggled in with his monkey, and then turned off the lights and shut the door.  Five minutes later, as we sat on the couches in the living room downstairs, we heard a scurrying above our heads accompanied by the faint sound of Matthew whimpering.  I got up to head upstairs and heard the door of his room being flung open.  When I came upstairs, I found him in the baby's room attempting to climb into his crib while crying:  "Sleep! Sleep!"  I picked him up, placed him in his crib, and tucked him in.  He was asleep within two minutes.  Apparently he was NOT a big fan of his "big boy bed."

The next night, Matthew began to put up his usual fuss about bedtime.  However, as soon as I "suggested" that he sleep in his "big boy bed," his eyes immediately widened and he ran to his crib and allowed himself to be tucked in without another complaint.  So far, this little trick has worked for about 10 days in a row.  Bedtime has never been so easy.  Perhaps it is wrong to exploit our child's fear of sleeping anywhere else besides his crib, but if it affords us a few weeks of headache-free bedtimes, then so be it.  We'll deal with how to transition him to his new room another time.

Plus, if Matthew goes to bed on time, he wakes up happy.  And when he wakes up happy, I am more likely to feel like making him something special for breakfast, such as these Strawberry Crepes.  They are delicious and easy to make.  The batter can (and should!) be mixed up the night before.  I usually just combine everything with a blender and then stick the carafe in the refrigerator overnight.  The crepes are then cooked individually and stacked between pieces of wax paper or paper towels.  Each person can fill their crepes with the macerated strawberries and a delicious Grand Marnier sour cream as they desire.  These crepes are also delicious with a dollop of whipped cream or a drizzle of chocolate syrup.  One of my all-time favorite breakfasts, hands down!

Strawberry Crepes with Grand Marnier Sour Cream
adapted from Mark Bittman and Cook's Illustrated

For the Crepes:
2 eggs
2 tablespoons of butter, melted and cooled
1 cup flour
1 1/2 cups milk
1 tablespoon white sugar

For the Filling:
1 cup sour cream
1-2 tablespoons Grand Marnier, or other orange liqueur
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
1 1/2 tablespoons white sugar (or more to taste)
2 cups hulled, sliced strawberries
Powdered sugar, whipped cream, chocolate syrup (optional)

The night before you plan to make the crepes, combine all the ingredients in a blender and let it do its thing until everything is well combined and smooth (there should be NO lumps).  Cover and refrigerate overnight.

The next morning, combine the sour cream, grand marnier, vanilla extract, and 1 1/2 tablespoons white sugar in a small bowl.  Stir very well to combine and place in the refrigerator until ready to use.

Slice your strawberries and combine them with a few teaspoons of white sugar in a bowl.  Allow to macerate at room temperature, tossing occasionally, while you make the crepes.

Heat a 8 or 10-inch skillet over medium heat.  Melt a little cold butter in the pan and swirl to coat.  Add about 1/2 cup (give or take, depending on the size of your pan) of the crepe batter and swirl the pan to coat evenly.  Allow to cook, without touching or fiddling with it, for about 1 minute, or until the bottom of the crepe is very lightly browned.  Using a wide spatula, flip quickly, and allow the crepe to cook for about 30 seconds more.  Transfer to a plate and repeat with remaining crepe batter, stacking the cooked crepes on top of each other between sheets of wax paper.

Fill each crepe with some strawberries, sour cream, and roll up.  Sprinkle with powdered sugar and some additional strawberries and serve!

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