04 February 2012

Fire and Ice

I don't know if you've heard but we've been in a blizzard here in Colorado. I just measured the snow outside and we got 18 inches! As I'm writing this, it has just stopped snowing and the sun is coming out. I've been shoveling the driveway and the porch all morning so I'm already exhausted! It was nice to get outside though, I didn't get out yesterday but ended up cleaning the house and cooking like crazy. 

I took a snow day yesterday and didn't go in to work, thank goodness because I would probably be writing this from my cubicle now- the roads are still in pretty bad shape. Today probably won't be much different- lot's of cooking and hanging out! 

Here's a few photos so you can see what it's like here:

Max- he's like a polar bear!

Layla loves the snow :)

Look at this!!!! That's 18 inches of heavy snow!

Stella loves the snow too! She has to wear a little sweater so she can stay out a little longer with the big dogs.

This was the fire! I just found a little Crème Brûlée kit that I was psyched out of my mind about. Crème Brûlée is my FAVORITE dessert and I asked for a blow torch for Christmas but did not receive one. This was so much fun to make, here's the recipe:

Crème Brûlée Recipe (adapted from the back of the box):
(Makes 4 tiny four ounce ramekins)

-1 cup heavy cream
- 2 Tbs. plus an additional 1/3 cup sugar
- 2 extra large or jumbo egg yolks (the orange-er the yolk, the better)
- 1/2 tsp. pure vanilla extract
- Seeds of 1 vanilla bean
- Love

1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees Fahrenheit. Prepare a kettle of boiling water

2. In a small saucepan over medium heat, combine cream and 2 Tbs of sugar; cook, stirring occasionally until small bubbles appear around the edges of the pan, 5-6 minutes. Set aside.

3. In a bowl, beat egg yolks and vanilla (extract and seeds) until smooth and light. Pour small amounts of hot cream mixture into egg yolks, beating continuously until well blended. If you pour in too much at once, it will scramble your eggs. I start with a teaspoon at a time at first. Divide mixture among four 4 oz. ramekins. 

4. Arrange ramekins in a baking pan (about 3 inches deep) and place on the middle shelf of your pre-heated oven. Fill the pan with the boiling water to halfway up the sides of the ramekins. Cover the pan loosely with aluminum foil. Bake until custard is just set, about 30 minutes. Shake the pan very gently to determine if the custard is set- let it go for a little longer if you need to. Mine took about 40 minutes. Use caution when removing the ramekins from the oven as they will be very hot! Chill for 2-3 hours.

5. Sprinkle the remaining sugar evenly over the top of cooled custards. With your torch, move the flame continuously over the sugar until the sugar melts and becomes golden brown and bubbly (I burnt mine a little bit!). You can serve these immediately or put them back in the fridge and eat later.

Enjoy! (Don't you love cracking the top? It reminds me of Amélie)

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