A lot of people are going to question my sanity here, but for a long time I didn't see what the big deal was with crepes. I mean, they're just like skinny pancakes, right? Ohhh, so they're Freeeench...they're still just pancakes, albeit skinny French ones. I mean, it's not like just because a food is French that means it has to be good. Lest anyone forget, the French eat snails, people!

    It wasn't until I got to Paris and saw the crepe stands on every corner that I understood the true genius of crepes. Because they weren't just pancakes. They were vehicles; portable, buttery vehicles for nutella, bananas, berries, jam, sugar, cheese, ham, mushrooms, and onions. You could make a crepe your breakfast, your lunch, or your dessert depending on what you put in it. And then you could carry it around with you and chow down while seeing the sights.

    In a way, crepes are much more like tortillas than they are like pancakes. It is their pliability and versatility that makes them such a brilliant snack food. Pancakes are eaten on plates and drizzled with syrup or jam. Crepes are eaten anywhere and with anything you like. And unlike some intimidating French recipes (souffle, anyone?), crepes are quick and relatively easy to make. The technique takes a little practice, but it is well worth learning because once you do, the possibilites are endless:

Are you convinced? Good.

*this recipe makes 4 sweet crepes. If you plan to make savory crepes-with cheese or ham in them-leave out the sugar and add a pinch of salt.

1 large egg
1/3 cup skim milk
1 tbsp brandy
1 tbsp butter, melted, plus more for cooking
1/4 cup flour
2 tsp sugar

optional: more sugar, 1 tbsp nutella, 1 banana, sliced

    Beat together the egg, milk, brandy, and butter in a medium mixing bowl. Sift the flour into the bowl gradually, mixing it in a little at a time. This is to prevent the batter from being lumpy. Stir in the sugar.

    In a large nonstick skillet over medium heat, melt 1 teaspoon of butter, then swirl the pan to spread the butter evenly. Let the butter brown slightly, then add a ladleful (about 1/4 cup) of batter to the pan. Lift pan from the burner and swirl it so that the batter covers the bottom of the pan in a thin, even layer. Cook over medium heat until the bottom of the crepe has a light brown pattern on it. Ease a large thin spatula around the edges of the crepe, then slide it under the crepe and flip the crepe over.

    Cook on the second side until it also has a light brown pattern. Turn heat to low, flip the crepe once more, and sprinkle a little sugar (or cheese, if you are making a savory crepe) over it. Fold it gently in half with the spatula, then fold in half again and lift it from the pan onto a plate. Repeat with remaining crepe batter. You may need to add a little more butter to the pan to keep crepes from sticking. Warm 1 tbsp of nutella in a small bowl the microwave for 30 seconds. Use a fork to drizzle the nutella over the crepes on a plate, then add sliced banana. Enjoy immediately.