Back on the Bandwagon…

Good Morning Friends!   During my travels to CA last week, I missed you….I missed my kitchen…I missed my everyday home cooked meals.  Napa, Sonoma, Dry Creek Valley, and San Fran had SO much to offer and the food was INCREDIBLE.  But as with every trip, whether it be for business or pleasure, it is so good to be home…for a few days anyway.  In the upcoming weeks, I will share with you all of the great eats and drinks of my trip to California.  Stay tuned!

In the meantime…

I walked into the gym yesterday afternoon and I was greeted with, “Wow, Robin!  I haven’t seen you in a while.”  Let’s be honest….part of me wanted to jump over the counter and show this friendly greeter my mean 1-2 Punch….and part of me…knew he was right.  Sure…I have been traveling a ton but I know dang well, I fell off the bandwagon.   With that, I swallowed my pride and said, “Yea yea yea…good news is…I’M BACK!”  He laughed and welcomed my return. I, on the other hand, promised myself not to fall again.  We all know the trouble with falling off the bandwagon…our energy levels plummet, our mood plateaus, and our jeans slowly become tighter and tighter.  (Especially when our indulging doesn’t slow as much as our physical activity!)  Many times, our friends and family never notice the 2 or 3 or 4 lbs that we slowly pack on (or at least we’d like to think so) but there is no denying that uncomfortable feeling around your waistline as you sit at your desk…or in my experience, drive across the state and fly across the country.  With a solid 9 days in Iowa before I jet-set again, I am re-committed to daily exercise and frequent visits to the gym.  It’s all about getting into the routine and prioritizing during a busy day…week…month.  Wish me luck!  I challenge you to do the same.  🙂

And…speaking of “indulging”…I have a good one for you today. Yes…Creme Brulee!  When my Mom came to visit in early October, her only request was to make Creme Brulee.  While I had never attempted this classic dessert, I decided it couldn’t be THAT hard.  I was pleasantly surprised…it was so easy!  Enjoy….

CREME BRULEE

Adapted from a recipe by Paula Deen

  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 1 tsp Vanilla Extract
  • 1 tsp Gran Gaga
  • 4 large egg yolks
  • 1/3 cup Sugar
  • 1/3 white granulated sugar

Preheat oven to 300 degrees F.

Heat cream and vanilla over medium-low heat for 15 minutes, stirring to ensure it does not burn or boil.  Remove from heat and let steep for 15 minutes.  Strain cream (fine strainer).

In a mixing bowl, beat egg yolks on high for 5 minutes, or until light and fluffy.  Gradually beat in 1/3 cup sugar.  Add Gran Gaga.  Add about half the cream mixture, a little at a time, to the egg mixture, whisking until well blended. Then pour the egg mixture into the remaining cream mixture. Stir until completely blended.

Pour the mixture into 6 (8-ounce) ramekins. Place the ramekins in large baking pan. Pour enough hot water into the pan to come halfway up the sides of the ramekins. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes or until the mixture is set in the center (it should still wiggle when shaken). Carefully remove the dishes from the baking pan.

 

Let cool to room temperature and then refrigerate for at least 2 hours, or up to 24 hours. Let creme brulee stand at room temperature 20 minutes before serving.

To serve, spread 1 tablespoon of sugar evenly on the top of each ramekin and heat with a kitchen blowtorch until the sugar carmelizes evenly. If you don’t have one, caramelize the topping under the broiler, watching carefully so as not to burn it.

Allow to sit at room temperature for a minute until the caramelized sugar hardens.

Indulge!  Sometimes…jello will do the trick (both satisfy an after-dinner sweet tooth & help maintain a waistline)…but other times…you need no other than that beautiful, exquisite Creme Brulee.  🙂 

Can you name the movie script below?  It’s one of my favs….

Julianne: Well, he’s sort of wondering why you haven’t told your parents that the wedding’s off.
Kimmy: Well, I’m still hoping for a miracle, I suppose. I mean, how could he think that my father and I would do such a thing?
Julianne: Only a minor insight, you understand. Maybe Michael couldn’t commit to this marriage so he created a delusion, produced an unconscious, psychosomatic manifestation of… Wait…I’m better with food. Okay,
you’re Michael, you’re in a fancy french restaurant, you order…creme brulee for dessert, it’s beautiful, it’s sweet, it’s irritatingly perfect. Suddenly, Michael realises he doesn’t want creme brulee, he wants something else.
Kimmy: What does he want?
Julianne: Jello.
Kimmy: Jello?! Why does he want jello?
Julianne: Because he’s comfortable with jello, jello makes him… comfortable. I realise, compared to creme brulee it’s… jello, but maybe that’s what he needs.
Kimmy: I could be jello.
Julianne: No! Creme brulee can never be jello, you could never be jello.
Kimmy: I have to be jello.
Julianne: You’re never gonna be jello. Now you have to come clean with your parents, because if you’re waiting for that “Do you take this man” part, it’s considered poor form.

 

Indulge.  In Life.  In Love.  In Food.

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