Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Five Things...and a Recipe for Flan

First things first...

  1. I am SO happy that my friend was successful in court today.  For 13 years he has been in court, defending himself against criminal charges in one of the weirdest cases I have ever seen (the prosecutor "lost" the evidence and a few months later it miraculously appeared, the prosecutor added parts to the evidence to make it more illegal!?  The case was dismissed over and over only to have the prosecutor refile the charges again and again hoping for a different outcome...).  Scary stuff but he prevailed so I am happy!
  2. Something I should have read before I wrote my book (it wouldn't have changed the outcome but this was an informative article). p.s.  I have found that I am horrible at self promotion!
  3. This was a nice article.  I think I shall do a spending fast in the near future (I need a vacation so I need to save money for our next vacation).
  4. The party went great yesterday.  I estimate that we spent about $75 on the food and everyone had lots of leftovers to take home (hubby cooks enough for an army every time he cooks).  Sorry I didn't get any pictures but everyone started eating so fast it looked kind of icky to take photos of half eaten dishes.
  5. I have kind of decided that I will probably never be a full time writer but I am working on polishing up one more manuscript to enter it into this contest.

And here is the super simple recipe for flan that I told you about yesterday.

  • Caramelize one cup of sugar in the bottom of a pan (this pan should be able to go into a double boiler).  You can see in the photo above that I don't really have a double boiler, I just use two pans that fit together which allows me to put water into the bigger pan then put the smaller pan inside of that.  The point is that when cooking a milk thing--this recipe uses a lot of milk products--cooking it directly on the burner would scorch the milk so cooking it over water is how not to end up with a scorched dessert.  To caramelize the sugar just put it in the smaller pan directly on the burner then stir and stir until the sugar melts and turns brown.  Be careful not to get any of this on you because it can cause severe burns (this is just like making candy apparently).  After the sugar has caramelized, put it in the bigger pan which you have part-way filled with water (this stops the sugar from continuing to cook and harden a bit).  Be sure to not put too much water in the bigger pan or it will overflow when you set the smaller pan into it.
  • In a blender mix 4 eggs, one can of sweetened condensed milk, one can of evaporated milk, and one teaspoon of vanilla together.
  • Pour this mixture over the caramelized sugar and cover.
  • Bring the double boiler to a slow boil and cook for about an hour and fifteen minutes.  Remember to keep adding water to the big pan so it doesn't all boil away.  The finished flan should be set and not runny.  Allow to cool.
  • When the flan is cool, run a knife around the edges then put a pie plate upside down over the pan.  Flip it over so the flan lands nicely in the pie plate (this was my problem didn't land nicely).  Refrigerate for a couple of hours before serving.
  • It will be difficult to clean the pan because the caramelized sugar will stick to the pan like glue.  What I do is add some water to the pan and bring it to a boil, scrape a bit, then dump it down the drain.  This heats up the sugar enough to release from the pan with the least amount of effort.