Happy Valentines Day!

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Just sending warm wishes to all my readers and passerbys.

My husband and I personally don’t celebrate Valentines. Aside from my oldest doing a Valentines exchange at school, there is no celebration.

I will be on my second day of dipping Strawberries at work for the masses to buy their sweethearts or eat with a glass of champagne on their own.

I would honestly recommend purchasing your own fondue pot and melting chocolate yourself. Or you can use a bowl and microwave your chocolate (but you would need to eat/use it pretty quickly)

If you are single this could be something fun to do with friends. If you want to impress a sweetheart, it can be a fun and a sexy activity rolled into one. And you can dip more than Strawberries. Small cake bites, other fruits like bananas, oranges, grapes, melon, kiwi, marshmallows, pretzels, chips. You name it it can usually be dipped and taste pretty decent. Forget all the fancy dinner reservations and stay home for dessert.

Rather than spend a whole lot of money for half a dozen to 1 dozen strawberries already dipped try DIY.

Again, Happy Valentines Day!

 

If you’d like some light reading about the holiday check out these interesting facts and their source websites:

According to History.com: Valentines Day may have originally been called Lupercalia a pagan celebration History of Valentines Day

Further information about Lupercalia: Lupercalia’s name derives from the Roman God Lupercus the God of Fertility. Lupercalia, the Real St Valentine’s Day

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Tapioca Flour Crespelles (Italian Crepes)

Crespelle

An Italian version of a crepe used for sweet and savory dishes.

In this recipe, I chose to use Tapioca Flour as I would All-Purpose.

I have made these a few times with much success.

You can make them any size you prefer, I prefer them rather like the smallest tortillas you might buy in the store.

You also fill them as you would a manicotti. I like mine with ricotta, Italian shredded cheese, and some spinach.

Here is the quick recipe: Makes 8-10 Crepes (dependent on size and thickness)

1 1/4 Cup Tapioca Flour

2 Eggs

Salt as needed

3/4 Cup Milk

1 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil

And olive oil for coating your frying pan

A Bowl, Fork, Egg Pan

Mix your wet ingredients and add them gradually to the tapioca flour, it will clump up. I use a fork and continue until there are no small lumps. Ensure to scrape the bottom of the bowl as the Tapioca tends to settle. Then you refrigerate the mixture for about 1 hour. Stirring again before getting ready to cook.

Take a small egg pan like the one pictured here:

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Rub a bit of olive oil with a paper towel inside the pan. Heat to medium heat.

Using the refrigerated mixture (remember to stir it up), Pour a small coating into the bottom of the pan. The more you pour in the thicker the Crespelle will end up being. The key is a balance of batter that is not too thin but is thick enough to hold the filling and roll up. Cook on each side about 2 minutes using a fork to turn. Some people prefer it a bit brown, I prefer it more of the right before it begins to brown.

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Stack them on top of each other they won’t stick together. Fill with your favourite filling whether it be ricotta or a meat mixture.

8 oz ricotta cheese

1/3 Cup Shredded Italian Cheese

2 tsp. Italian Seasoning

Handful of Spinach Wilted in Boiling Water

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Bake at 375, Filling the Crespelles and rolling them up. Place your choice of pasta sauce in the bottom of baking dish. Add filled crespelle, top with a little more sauce and Shredded Cheese. Bake for 20 minutes.

You can also prep and roll Crespelles, put them in Ziploc bags to be frozen. They make really great make-ahead meals.

Enjoy the opportunity to eat something yummy without the added gluten.

 

With using Tapioca Flour there is a lot more stretch in the bite. Imagine melted cheese stringing away, thats what the taste/texture feels like.

 

 

Gluten-Free Option: The Tapioca Starch Flour

Tapioca is derived from the Cassava root. A root vegetable.

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If you are unfamiliar with this special starch or flour you better get on the information train.

One of the biggest benefits for my readers is that it is a Gluten-Free option that many are looking for to substitute for it’s glutenous counterparts. Whether you are looking for a substitute due to medical reasons or are looking for an option that promotes anti-inflammatory and digestive properties you can try this flour out for yourself (Siete).

Used for baking, and a thickener in recipes it is a great option. Unless you are familiar with the gluten free lifestyle you might not realize what a true gem this is.

According to Nyerhovwo John Tonukari  the Editor of African Journal of Biotechnology  Tapioca is an option that is used just like corn, rice, or wheat, that it can also provide a large portion of daily calories (2004).

There are a few items that are already on the mass market that are made with Tapioca Flour: Tapioca Pudding and Bubble Tea among other things.

I actually have a woman who comes in regularly and buys me out of my Yucca Root (Cassava). She makes a Yucca Cake, uses them in place of potatoes in stews and soups. I’ve also been told about Empenadas using the Yucca as a filling. So Besides the actual flour incorporating Yucca as a vegetable may be something to consider.

Now to my point…

I noticed how often my recipe for Tapioca Brownies was viewed and by far my most looked at recipe.  In the coming weeks I will be showcasing a few recipes that use Tapioca Flour.

I will be trying several recipes out

  • The Brazilian Cheese Roll called  Pao de Queijo (these I have actually tried, which were made by a native of Brazilian who had a gluten-free baking business) I will attempt to make them myself.
  • Crespelles (Italian Crepes) with a ricotta and spinach filling
  • Chocolate Brownie Cookies

I am looking to amp up this blog with a myriad of options.

Here is the link to my most popular recipe which has inspired me to post some more recipes using Tapioca Flour: Those Tapioca Flour Brownies (Very Simple)

Another more informative Post of mine about why gluten is important in the structure of certain things like breads: Tapioca Flour: Gluten-free (Breaking the great Food Code)

If you are looking to purchase Tapioca Flour/Starch I would recommend any Asian Grocery in order not to spend your whole budget on items that you may really need to eat the lifestyle you prefer or require.

 

Resources:

Electron. J. Biotechnol. v.7 n.1 Valparaíso abr. 2004
http://dx.doi.org/10.4067/S0717-34582004000100003

“Cassava & Tapioca.” Siete Family Foods, sietefoods.com/pages/cassava.

Making A Comeback

Dear Visitors,

Okay, So it’s been awhile. Life happened. Which I don’t apologize for. From the last posts I have made, I have moved from overseas back to the states, had a

arrow-31177_1280 second child, finished my Bachelors Degree from home in Culinary Managment, and again preparing for another move this time to America’s Last Frontier/Wild North West(Alaska).

I’d like to thank the many people who visit the site and check out my recipes. I am also rebooting my blog which may or may not be a daily or weekly thing. But I want to ask YOU what kind of content do you want to see on my blog. How to’s, more recipes, maybe even videos, Recipe requests?

I collect cookbooks, I also use a fair amount of Yummly to search out new ideas/old ideas. I work a lot with Venison so I have a lot of recipe ideas for that.

I also work in a produce department which has afforded me more knowledge on produce in general, and I also get to prepare salads and platters.

So again what do you want from me? 

Please leave detailed information if you have any comments, suggestions and otherwise. I will respond back to you as soon as I can.