Saturday, November 5, 2011

Creme Brulee

Creme Brulee....something so simple as egg yolk, cream, sugar, and vanilla is turned into an impressive dessert.  It's all in the technique.  Once you master that, you will be hooked and the possibilities are endless...chocolate, banana, strawberry....:)

  • 1 quart heavy cream
  • 1 vanilla bean, split and scraped (you can substitute real vanilla extract.  I often do, way cheaper than whole beans)
  • 1 cup vanilla sugar, divided
  • 6 large egg yolks
  • 2 quarts hot water


Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.
Place the cream, vanilla bean and its pulp into a medium saucepan set over medium-high heat and bring to a boil. Remove from the heat, cover and allow to sit for 15 minutes. Remove the vanilla bean and reserve for another use.
In a medium bowl, whisk together 1/2 cup sugar and the egg yolks until well blended and it just starts to lighten in color. 
Add the cream a little at a time, stirring continually. 
Pour the liquid into 6 (7 to 8-ounce) ramekins. Place the ramekins into a large cake pan or roasting pan. 
Pour enough hot water into the pan to come halfway up the sides of the ramekins. 
Bake just until the creme brulee is set, but still trembling in the center, approximately 40 to 45 minutes. 
Remove the ramekins from the roasting pan and refrigerate for at least 2 hours and up to 3 days.
Remove the creme brulee from the refrigerator about 15 or 20 minutes prior to browning the sugar on top. 
Divide the remaining 1/2 cup vanilla sugar equally among the 6 dishes and spread evenly on top.
Using a torch (or in oven on broil), melt the sugar and form a crispy top. 
Garnish with a few berries if you have them.
Allow the creme brulee to sit for a few minutes before serving.

It's not just for special occasions at fancy restaurants anymore :)

Strawberry Lemonade Martini with Mint


Fill martini glass with water and ice.  Let Chill

In a cocktail shaker, add two dices strawberries and a few sprigs of mint.  Muddle.

Add juice of half lemon, 1 shot vodka, 1 shot simple syrum, and ice.

Shake until ice is almost gone.

Empty martini glass and strain cocktail.

Top with splash of club soda and garnish with mint and a berry.

Cheers :)

White Chocolate Coconut Lemon Cookies

These were taken from a great blog, The Baker Chick.  
They are one of my standby's now and I have substituted lemon for lime with just as much success.

1 3/4 cup flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 stick of unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup white sugar
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
zest from one lemon
2 Tablespoons lemon juice
1 1/2 cups sweetened coconut flakes (toasted)
4 ounces white chocolate (chips or bar, chopped)

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. On a baking sheet spread out the coconut flakes in a thin layer. Toast for 5-8 minutes stirring frequently. Watch carefully so they don't burn. Once they are golden remove from the oven and set aside.

2. Zest the lemon and set aside.

3. Chop the chocolate coarsely and set aside.

4. In a medium bowl sift together flour, baking soda and salt. 

5. In another bowl, cream together butter and sugars. Add egg, vanilla, lemon zest and lemon juice. Mix until incorporated.

6. Add flour mixture and blend. Stir in toasted coconut flakes and white chocolate pieces.

7. Line baking sheet with parchment paper. Drop cookie dough onto baking sheet. (I used a medium sized scoop.)

8. Bake for 10-12 minutes. Do not over bake. You want them to be soft in the middle and just firm enough to hold their shape when transferring to a cooling rack. (Please note that to make my cookies look the way they do I removed them half-way through and pressed them with the bottom of a glass.

9. Allow to cool on a cooling rack for 10 minutes.


We are coming up on the holiday season and Coquito is a must!  

Coquito is Puerto Rican Egg Nog (I do it sans egg). Soooo easy!

 One can each coconut cream, coconut milk, evaporated milk

15 oz (Im Irish, so I eyeball it...I have a heavy hand) white rum

1/2 tsp cinnamon

dash of vanilla

 handful shredded coconut

 Zap it in the blender and chill.

 Serve over ice. ENJOY!!!!! ♥

Friday, November 4, 2011

Ain't That The Truth!!!



Raspberry White Chocolate Bread Pudding with Bailey's Whipped Cream

9x11 pan or ramekins
Butter/Spray to grease

1.5 loaves of cinnamon raisin bread, left out day old or toast in oven
5 eggs
3 1/2 cups milk
1 3/4 cup sugar
1 bag white chocolate chips.
Pint of organic raspberries, washed and mashed with fork

Preheat oven 350 F
Tear bread into pieces.
Mix milk, eggs and sugar.
Pour over bread, mix, and let sit to absorb.
Add bag of chips
Grease pan and pour in mixture.  Stud with mashed berries.   Pressing down to compact.
Bake 35 - 40 minutes until golden and sides pull away.  Let sit

Serve with Cream

Pint + 1/2 cup Heavy Cream
3/4 cup sugar
1 1/2 cups baileys

Whip that shit and enjoy :)


How To Make The Perfect Risotto

You will need the following ingredients, about 25 minutes of dedicated cooking, and a hungry belly :)

1 qt. stock (veggie or chicken)
1 cup arborrio rice
1 small onion
1 clove garlic (chopped is fine...adjust to taste)
olive or grapeseed oil 

*In a medium pot, bring stock up to a boil.  Add salt and pepper.  Reduce to simmer.
*In a saute pan with deep sides, heat oil and sweat minced onion.
*Add in rice and stir to coat with oil, toasting the rice a bit.  This opens the rice and helps build that creaminess plus adds a light, nutty flavor.
* Turn heat to medium.  Slowly add a ladle of stock, constantly stirring until it's almost absorbed completely.  Continue this process until the stock is gone.  DO NOT STOP STIRRING!!  Remove from heat.

At this point, you can add parmesan cheese and any sauteed veggies, chicken, salmon, whatever you like.  The combinations are endless.

Very frugal, impressive meal.  Serves 2 with big portions.   This is naturally gluten free.  If you hold off on the cheese, it is GFCF :)