Ace in the Hole

I have a number of “Aces” I keep up my culinary sleeve for emergency situations. Emergency situations can range anywhere from needing a light meal after a night on the town to feeding a small army of volunteers breakfast over a campfire. They gotta be quick, they gotta be filling, and (ideally) they need to be memorable. Moreover, they need to be adaptable for groups from 2 to 200, without needing to check a cookbook. One that’s become a perennial favorite is a very basic crepe.

In our house, we refer to them as “Skinny Pancakes”, but the recipe originates from the Swedish pancakes my family has been serving for generations. A crepe itself is basically a small, thin pancake made from milk, egg, and flour, that can then be filled with just about anything your heart desires. Set them up sweet for breakfast, or load them with braised London Broil and potatoes for dinner, you’re sure to surprise and delight no matter the size of the crowd.

For today, we’re going to start with the basic crepe and then go through the additives to bring them up to Swedish pancakes. But, here’s the thing. This is a perfect opportunity to play with your food. Just because you’ve never had or heard of a roasted chicken and asparagus crepe before is no reason why you shouldn’t allow yourself a roasted chicken and asparagus crepe! Maybe with a bit of hollandaise sauce. And fresh cracked pepper. Hey, I might be onto something, here…

Family lore says, when my German Grandmother married my Swedish Grandfather, the most important piece of marriage advice she received from her new mother in law was how to make this recipe. My Grandmother taught my Mother, who then passed it on down to my generation, and I’m passing it on to the next.



Swedish Pancakes

Course Breakfast, Dessert, Main Course
Servings 4 people


  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg
  • pinch of salt


  • Follow the cooking instructions of basic crepe, and add the ingredients.
  • Top with butter and syrup, or butter, lingonberries, and powdered sugar. Or, maybe butter and a blueberries.

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