Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Pot de Creme

Will you look at that! My house is clean! Well, not all of it. The basement is still full of laundry that needs to be put away and Gabe's room is full of boxes full of clothes that need to go into storage - but other than that it looks pretty good! Those Pot de Creme I made yesterday? The recipe was for 4 of them and since I only needed 3 I used the extra one as a taste test (I don't like serving anything to guests without tasting it first) It was amazing!! Much less eggy than I was worried it would be. Much better than I thought it would be. It was basically a really thick chocolate mousse, or a really thick and super good chocolate pudding. I'm actually going to post the recipe because it was so good. And the odd thing is, it came out of my Better Homes and Gardens cook book. The new one, not my 50 year old one. The recipes in the old one are fantastic. The recipes in the new one I find as being rather hit and miss. Typically I make a recipe from there once just by following the recipe and then I write in notes for what to change about the recipe the next time I make it. There are pencil marks all over that book. Well these were perfect. I honestly will not be changing a thing about them. I also ended up making a white cake from the same cook book which, to my surprise, was equally as good. The white cake, as opposed to a yellow cake, used shortening and strictly egg whites (I had some leftover from making the pot de creme) The other white cake recipes I have tried in the past are usually too dense and dry. This was perfect! I was eating the edges off the cake all yesterday (I mean come on, you can't serve edges to guests, right?) It was flavorful enough and sweet enough that it didn't need anything else but not so sweet that strawberries and whipped cream wrecked it. So I had success with two pieces of baking yesterday. The other thing I "baked" was some oven-barbqued chicken for dinner. Unfortunately I used a barbque sauce with brown sugar in it and Matt was home late from work, so leaving them to stay warm in the oven overcooked the sugar in the sauce. It wasn't awful, but it was much better at 5:00 than 6:00. Gabe's meals lately have been more fun and everyday I'm grateful for my magic bullet. If you think that the magic bullet is just a lousy, dinky food processor, I may have agreed with you before, but not now. Once you start making baby food at home it is the most valuable kitchen tool you can find. Gabe's dinners lately have been some type of poultry, steamed spinach and sometimes cucumber, all pureed up in my magic bullet. Because I only make him one serving of his green "milk shake" at a time, there's no way a full sized food processor would do the job. Plus, I only need one dish - I can steam the spinach in the microwave in the plastic cup and reheat the poultry in it too, then I keep the water from steaming in, add the cucumber and puree and then feed him from the same cup! It's perfect! Honestly, I'm amazed at the things Gabe will eat. I won't touch mnost of it myself. Sweet potatoes, cooked spinach, squash... All things that I'm not a huge fan of and only really like when it's mixed with other things. He loves them all and I'm totally happy about that. If he'll eat healthy things I'll make sure they're always in the house.
Matt and I had a conversation a few weeks ago about raising kids and how we plan to do it. We decided that we won't have a tonne of rules but instead will have a tonne of alternatives. For example, I don't want our kids watching TV or sitting in front of a computer all day. So instead of putting a cap on how much they watch we'll organize activities, go out and play sports with them or encourage them in a hobby. Also, we don't want our kids to eat alot of junk food so while we don't typically have chips and pop in the house anyway, I'll still make sure that I make my kids breakfast every morning so that they eat a good meal instead of 5 bowls of sugary cereal, I'll make healthy dinners of foods that they'll like, and I'll even pack their lunches until they graduate if that's what it takes to encourage my kids to eat well.
Well, the sun is shining, birds chirping and for some reason I'm still sitting inside. I'm posting that recipe and then I'm outtie :)

Pot de Creme:
1 c. whipping cream
3 ounces good quality semi-sweet chocolate, roughly chopped
1/6 c. sugar
2 egg yolks
1/2 tsp vanilla

Combine the first three ingredients in a medium sized heavy saucepan. Cook over medium heat, stirring occassionally, until it comes to a full boil. In the meantime beat egg yolks in a 4 cup measuring cup. When the cream mixture boils, stir constantly until it thickens. Pour the cream mixture gradually over the egg yolks, whisking constantly until it is fully mixed (this is very important - if you don't, the egg will start to cook) Beat in the vanilla. Pour the mixture into small cups, 3 ounce ramekins or sake cups. Cover and chill for at least 4 hours. Serve topped with a dab of whipped cream.

Mrs. Vander Leek ;)

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