Do you ever feel like sometimes you need to get away? And not just when a hooded figure is chasing you down a dark, dank back alley and there’s no escape but to launch yourself through an unmarked wooden door into a building you cannot name and then bust through their industrial kitchen all Bruce Willis style, flinging frying pans and saucers and knocking over a shelving unit or two….?
I know, I know. We’ve all just had a whack of time off for the holidays but I always feel that once the holidays are over, I need a holiday. From the holidays. Especially this year.
Like, just a few days, or moments, when we can breathe in the sanity that comes with a reprieve from sugar and booze and ugly Christmas sweaters.
Of course I love my sugar and booze and ugly Christmas sweaters. What kind of Hipster would I be if I didn’t? But there’s really something to be said for a bit of alone time. When we take a few seconds to remember why we’re here. Who we are. What our purpose is. To laugh.
I’ll be the first to admit it; No shame here! I just had 2 weeks off the computer and away from work and I still feel like I need to get away. To find breath. To find space. To find quiet. Which is why I’ve scheduled 30 minutes at the start of every day for exactly that. It’s in the calendar. Now I just need to actually acknowledge and obey the iCal alert when it goes off and not just click “dismiss”.
I can do it! At least that’s what I keep telling my booze loving, cold-and-flu recovering, cookie eating ass. And if I can do it, so can you.
While we’re on the topics of feelings and all that mushy stuff (speaking of mushy) I also feel like I’ve eaten far too many cookies this last month. Or 3. And not moved enough. And drank too much wine.
Okay that’s an outright lie. I never feel like I’ve drank too much wine. But I DO feel like I need more vegetables in my life right now. And movement. Don’t we all? You know, to balance out the booze to fresh produce ratio. 80/20, that’s the rule, right? I’m pretty sure that the last couple of months have been more 20/80 with a big fat helping of the Jurrasic Park trilogy. Twice.
Here it is: Clarity. Purpose. Intention.
It means I choose to be present. To be clear on what I want, appreciate, love and need. To move more than I watch TV. With purpose. To be in the moment. To make the most of it. To be intentional with everything that I do. Shit has an equal and opposite reaction to every action right? Is that how the physics goes? Well then I want that reaction to be the most nurturing, delicious and mother efing hardcore positive that it can be.
Wow. This isn’t at all what I pictured writing for this post. I thought it was going to be all laughs and butt jokes but evidently I’m feeling the need to blab on about aspirations and goals and all that New Years BS. Again. Hm.
Okay, time to move forward.
Let’s be clear: The purpose of this post is to intentionally eat more vegetables.
And if I can mush fresh, seasonal veggies between 2 slices of bread, all the better. I’m pretty sure everyone loves a good sandwich. I know I do. Joey certainly did. And if it’s good enough for Joey, it’s good enough for us. Right?
Let’s talk cold weather sammies. Brassicas are available on the West coast in bushels right now. Turnips, kale, Asian greens, Brussel sprouts, kohlrabi, cabbage. Broccolini is my favourite. It’s related to broccoli but not as strong or woody. Truthfully, I don’t love broccoli. In fact, it’s right up there with rutabagas and sweet potatoes for me. But I do love broccolini. It’s tender, nourishing and totally cute wrapped up in savory crepes.
Why crêpes? Why the heck not? December is brimming with glitter and gifts and all kinds of swanky. Don’t our healthy, less shiny, more gym-friendly January sandwiches deserve a good dose of fancy? You can pretty much put whatever you want in a crêpe. But as I said – I have a thing for local broccolini right now. And ricotta. And mushrooms. And lemon. Always with the lemon. So that’s what went into mine.
I also make the crêpes tiny – like, no wider than the size of my hand. That way they’re finger food. And I can build bites as I go! More broccolini in this one, more ricotta in that one. You get the idea. And then mush them into your mouth because they. are. delicious.
And then go find some you time. Some breathing time. Some wine time! You deserve it.
- 1 C All-Purpose Flour.
- Pinch of Salt.
- Pinch of Black Pepper.
- Pinch of Sugar.
- 3 Pastured Eggs.
- 3/4 C Buttermilk.
- 3 Tbsp of Butter, melted + un-melted butter for cooking.
- 1 Lb Fresh Mushrooms, any variety you prefer, cleaned with a dry cloth and roughly chopped. (I used a mixture of button, portobella, enoki and shiitakes).
- 1 Shallot, sliced.
- 1 Large Clove Garlic, finely chopped.
- Handful of Broccolini, woody ends chopped off & stemmy leaves removed and discarded.
- Few Sprigs of Thyme, stemmed and roughly chopped.
- Zest of 1 Lemon.
- Fresh Ricotta (I live for Buffalo Ricotta but if you can't find it, Cow will work fine), drained through a fine sieve to remove excess moisture.
- Dab of Butter.
- Extra Virgin Olive Oil.
- Coarse Sea Salt & Fresh Cracked Black Pepper.
- To serve, lemon wedges and optional - bacon.
- Prepare the batter: Mix the dry ingredients in one bowl and the wet in another, except for the butter. Then pour the wet into the dry, whisking vigorously until combined and lightly bubbly. Cover and refrigerate until ready to cook - up to 12 hours. Just before cooking, add the melted butter to the batter. Whisk to combine.
- To cook the savory crepes: Place a small to medium-sized non-stick pan over medium heat. Grease it with a bit of butter. Allow it to become hot but not burning. Use a ladle to pour about 1/3 Cup of batter into the center of the pan and twist the pan to move the batter into a thin circle. Cook about a minute or until lightly golden. Flip. Cook a further 45 seconds or so until slightly lighter golden on the second side. Place in an oven-proof pie dish or pan and set in a 200 degree oven to keep warm. Repeat until out of batter.
- When you're about half way through the crepe batter, start cooking the filling. Pre-heat a large frying pan over medium heat. Drizzle with olive oil. When shimmering hot but not smoking, toss in the shallot and garlic. After about a minute or two when they're fragrant but not yet fully cooked through, add the mushrooms and thyme. Season well with salt and pepper and cover to cook for 3-5 minutes or until the water starts to cook out of them. Remove the lid and allow the moisture to cook away and the mushrooms to start to brown.
- As they cook away, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. When boiling, toss in the broccolini. Bring it back to a boil and cook about a minute or until the broccolini is just fork tender. Drain and dump into a big bowl of ice water to stop the cooking process and maintain their brilliant green colour.
- Once the mushrooms start getting a fair bit of colour on them, throw in the dab of butter, mix well, and push the mushrooms to one side. Dump the broccolini in the empty side of the pan for 30 seconds just to take the chill off.
- Just before serving, place everything in their own bowls, grate the zest over the ricotta and let people build bites!
- The mushrooms and batter - even the crepes! - can be made the night before to save time for the morning if serving for brunch. Just re-heat accordingly.
What goes into your savory crepes? Or sweet ones? What sandwiches are you enjoying right now? Are you obsessing about New Years goals or just getting on with it? What do you hope for this year? How do you find space? Breath? Quiet? Or are you living loudly? Tell me below – spill it!