Saturday, March 15, 2014

A Quick Catch Up in 5 Points and a Recipe

Point 1.  We have had guests for more than a week and one group is still here (thus the lack of posts recently).

Point 2.  I am still loving my new Note 2 so as soon as things calm down around here I will put my old smart phone, tablet, and digital camera up for sale (it replaces all of these with ease).

Point 3.  I became totally sold on the Note 2 when I was able to go on our library's website and check out free ebooks then download them to my Kindle app.  Both my old smart phone and my tablet didn't do this very well (I think because the processor in the Note 2 is blazing fast).

Point 4.  All of our guests have decided they need to move to Las Vegas ASAP.  My SIL, who is a dentist, even called to see how she would change her licensing so she could practice in Nevada (that group is from Connecticut and none of them wanted to go home to more snow...I don't blame them).  Hopefully we will have lots of friends and family living here within the next year or so!

Point 5.  I have been cooking and cleaning like a dervish.  Fortunately hubby cooks most meals (Filipino food) but I have been doing a ton of baking.  Cooking at home--everything from breakfast and dinner to snacks--is an excellent way for our guests to save money on food while they are here.  Every couple of days hubby takes everyone out (like to the Hoover Dam or Red Rock Canyon) so I can do a quick house cleaning and laundry.  This also works out well.

And a super simple recipe for Leche Flan.

A friend of mine made this flan at our house last year when she was here and it was great.  She cooked it by steaming it on the stove but since the stove was occupied a few days ago, I tried cooking it in the oven (much simpler) and it came out great!

First, set up a 13 x 9 baking dish with smaller pans in it for the flan (I use small loaf pans and can fit three, side by side, in the large baking dish).  Add hot water to the big pan so it surrounds the smaller baking pans.  Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees.

Caramelize 1 cup of white sugar in a heavy bottom sauce pan on the stove.  Be sure to keep stirring the sugar until it melts.  When it gets to be a light caramel color, remove it from the heat and pour into the small loaf pans (it will barely cover the bottom of these pans; if it doesn't cover them all the way, don't worry about it as it will spread out once it gets in the oven).  BE CAREFUL doing this.  This is the scariest part about candy making because if you get any of this melted sugar on you it will cause a SEVERE burn.

Let the pans sit for a minute while you mix up the flan.  In a blender, put one can of evaporated milk, one can of sweetened condensed milk, four eggs, and a teaspoon of vanilla.  Blend well.

Divide this mixture among the small loaf pans then add a bit more water to the water bath part of the big baking dish.  You don't want it so deep it spills over but you want it to reach up the sides of the smaller pans.  Use a sheet of foil to cover the three pans collectively (not the entire baking dish) then put this in the oven for about an hour and a half or until the tops look a bit dry.

Remove the smaller pans from the water bath and let them cool for a few minutes on top of the stove.  Leave the big pan with water in the oven until it cools off then you can dump it.  After about ten minutes, run a knife along the sides of the flan then put a pie plate or other plate with a lip over the small pan and quickly flip the flan out.  You can eat it right away but I think it is better if allowed to set up in the refrigerator for about an hour.

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