The year for what, you ask?
Well, I've decided this is the year I'm no longer the Christmas grinch. I have always liked Christmas in general but the stress of buying gifts the past few years has turned me into a mega-grinch about the whole holiday. I hate shopping, avoid malls, despise crowds of slow moving dolts, and put way too much pressure on myself to find the perfect gifts for the people I love. It has resulted in some cranky Decembers.
This year, I was proactive and had my (mostly online) shopping done before Thanksgiving. What a gigantic weight off my shoulders! It frees up all kinds of time to host holiday dinner parties! Now THAT'S the kind of thing to get a girl like me in the Christmas spirit!
I had five fabulous women in my house last night for the best kickoff to the holiday season I could ever hope to have. By the way, the secret to perfect parties is always in the guest list. Have good people there, and it doesn't matter what you serve or do, it will be a success! Uh, but booze helps a lot, too.
As soon as I saw the photo of this Roasted Vegetable Crepe Cake linked on The Kitchn, I knew I'd make it someday for a party. Because it's so fussy, it's not the kind of thing you'd ever make just for a regular meal. It had to be for some kind of special occasion like a Saturday night in December.
You start by making a double batch of crepes. I used Alton Brown's recipe (he's never steered me wrong, and his streak continues). Crepes are simple, but take lots of time to cook one at a time. Then you layer the crepes with some roasted vegetables and cheese. I used bell peppers, onion, zucchini, mushrooms, tomatoes, spinach, and even attempted some eggplant (I'm trying to like it but I just don't so I ended up not using it).
I'll let the photos tell the story of building this cake from the ground up.
Once it's all assembled in your pan, bake until hot all the way through and the cheese is melty. Next time I make this, I will use more vegetables. I like crepes but this was very crepey. I wanted thin layers but they were a tad too thin. That was a very minor complaint. Overall, I really liked this cake!
I was very pleased with this crepe cake. The flavor of the roasted vegetables was outstanding, and the finished cake was gorgeous. So all you Whos down in Whoville, make this instead of Roast Beast and you'll realize maybe Christmas doesn't come from the store....maybe Christmas means a little bit more!
Roasted Vegetable Crepe Cake, from The Three Cheeses
2 batches crepes (I made them and stacked them between wax paper until I was ready to assemble my cake. You won't need them all, but I needed more than 1 batch. Leftovers are OK!)
3 bell peppers of assorted colors, sliced thin
2 zucchinis, sliced thin
1 package crimini mushrooms, sliced thin
1 pint cherry or grape tomatoes, sliced in half
1 medium onion, diced fine
1 bag fresh spinach, wilted (or frozen spinach thawed and water squeezed out)
1 log goat cheese
1/2 cup shredded gouda (or mozzarella, fontina, or other cheese)
1/2 cup shredded parmesan
Roast all your vegetables with olive oil, salt, and pepper on baking sheets for 30 minutes at 425 degrees, or until soft and beginning to char slightly on the edges. I made sure to roast some onions with each vegetable so the onion flavor would permeate the entire cake in all layers.
Begin layering your crepes in a baking dish or round cake pan, putting vegetables or cheese in each layer. Cover and bake at 350 degrees for 45-55 minutes or until hot all the way through.
ONE YEAR AGO: Roasted Vegetable Mac-n-Cheese
TWO YEARS AGO: More Vegetable than Egg Frittata