thesoupfairy: (coffee 2)
Okay, I admit it: I don't always eat breakfast. Most days, I get up early to make my husband's espresso and get him out the door for school, and by the time he's gone and I've checked my email and made my to-do list for the day, I've already been up for several hours. About then my body starts begging for food, but I usually opt for leftovers from dinner the night before. I don't drink coffee every day - it can wreak havoc with my bipolar cycles - but I didn't get much sleep last night and I start a new session of classes today, so I needed it! Also, there were absolutely no leftovers from last night's dinner!

I've already covered espresso here, so I won't do that again. For something approximating latte (yeah, I know, it's not microfoam!), heat your milk or half & half in the microwave or in a saucepan. DON'T BOIL! Put in a jar, cap and shake well. Remove cap (carefully!) and pour the foamy milk into your coffee.

Sunny Morning Cereal

This is a great way to start your day. It has complex carbohydrates (if you use a whole-grain cereal) and protein for long-term energy, and will fill your belly and keep you feeling full for a good while.

This morning I made this cereal with Bob's Red Mill 10 Grain Hot Cereal, but you can use pretty much any hot cooked cereal - Cream of Wheat/Rice, Malt-O-Meal, any of the Bob's cereals. I don't recommend it with oatmeal, but that's just me.

This makes one large serving.

Cook: 4 minutes
Servings: 1

  • cereal

  • 1-2 eggs

  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

  • 1 tablespoon raisins, dried cranberries, or other dried fruit

  • sweetener and milk or half & half to taste


Cook cereal according to package directions, whisking in egg(s), vanilla, and fruit shortly after stirring cereal into boiling water. Sweeten to taste with your favorite sweetener (I like turbinado sugar or honey) and add a splash (or more) of milk or half & half.



Apr. 5th, 2010 03:21 pm
thesoupfairy: (desserts)
I attempted to make flan yesterday, and learned an important lesson:

Make Flan The Day Before!!!!

The cook time varies and this really is kind of an all-day project. Not having enough time to cook, cool, and chill the flan can mean your flan turns out to be a flop.


While flan is not really difficult to make, it requires you to read the recipe carefully, have everything ready when you get started, and planning ahead to give yourself plenty of time!

Prep: 30 minutes
Cook: 30-60 minutes
Chill: 4 hours or longer
Servings: 6-8

  • 1-1/2 cups sugar, divided

  • 2 tablespoons water

  • 1/2 lemon, juiced (or 1-1/2 tablespoons lemon juice)

  • 2 cups heavy (whipping) cream

  • Pinch of ground cinnamon

  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract

  • 3 large eggs

  • 2 large egg yolks

  • pinch of salt


Have ready a glass pan to use as your flan mold. You can use a round flan mold, but i use a glass loaf pan and it works great. You can also use individual ramekins. You'll also need a large roasting pan, large enough for your mold to fit into with enough space around it to pour the hot water in without splashing it into the flan, and deep enough that the hot water will come at least half-way up the side of the mold.

To make the caramel:

Combine 1 cup of the sugar and the water in a heavy-bottomed pot or pan. Place over medium-high heat and cook until the sugar begins to melt. Swirl the pan over the heat until the syrup darkens to a medium amber color, about 10 minutes; don't stir with a spoon unless you must! Remove from heat and immediately add the lemon juice, swirl the pan again to combine, and then pour into the flan mold. Tilt the dish so that the caramel evenly coats the bottom and a bit up the sides. Place in roasting pan and set aside.

Preheat the oven to 325°F. Bring a kettle of water to a boil for the water bath and keep it hot.

Combine the cream, cinnamon, and vanilla in a small saucepan over medium-low heat. Bring the cream to a brief simmer, stirring occasionally. Take care not to let the cream come to a full boil.

In a large bowl, use a whisk to combine the whole eggs and the yolks with the remaining 1/2 cup of sugar; add a pinch of salt. Whisk until the mixture is pale yellow and thick. Temper the egg mixture by gradually whisking in the hot cream mixture; don't add it too quickly or the eggs will cook. Pass the mixture through a strainer into a large measuring cup to ensure that the flan will be perfectly smooth. Pour the custard into the caramel-coated mold.

To create the water bath:

Pour the hot (not boiling) water into the roasting pan to come halfway up the side of the mold; be careful not to get water into the custard. Carefully transfer to the middle oven rack and bake for 30-60 minutes, until the custard is barely set and just jiggles slightly. Let the flan cool in the water bath, then refrigerate for at least 4 hours or overnight. (If you're doing individual ramekins, they can chill a much shorter time - perhaps an hour or so.

When you are ready to serve, run a knife around the inside of the mold to loosen the flan. Place a dessert plate on top of the flan and invert to pop it out.
thesoupfairy: (desserts)
Maka's Super-Simple Chocolate Mousse

This will seriously impress anybody to whom you serve it. Just be sure to make it up ahead of time so they'll never known it only took you 15 minutes!

Prep: 10-15 minutes
Servings: 4

  • One 4-oz good quality dark chocolate bar plus 1/8 of another, chopped/broken into smallish pieces

  • 14 oz heavy cream, divided

  • 1 large egg white

  • 1/4 cup superfine sugar*

  • 1/8 teaspoon vanilla extract

  • 1 tablespoon powdered sugar

  • Another 1/8 of a chocolate bar, grated, for garnish


Fill a large mixing bowl with enough ice water to float another mixing bowl in.

Heat 5 ounces of the cream in a small saucepan until almost simmering. Do not let it boil or it will curdle! Remove pan from heat and stir in the chocolate pieces until they melt and you have a smooth-looking chocolate sauce. Immediately scrape into mixing bowl and place in ice water to halt cooking. Add the remaining 5 ounces of cream and use your electric mixer to beat the chocolate until it is thick and creamy, forming soft peaks when you lift the beaters out of it.

Wash beaters and dry well. In another mixing bowl, beat the egg white until stiff peaks form. Add the superfine sugar slowly, about a tablespoon or so at a time. Around the time you add the last tablespoon, a glossy stiff meringue should be forming.

Fold the meringue very gently into the chocolate until well-mixed. Spoon into individual serving bowls or parfait dishes (or pipe in for even more elegance) and refrigerate.

Again clean and dry your beaters. Combine 1/2 cup heavy cream, 1/8 teaspoon vanilla extract, and 1 tablespoon powdered sugar into a bowl. Beat with your electric mixer on high until you get nice stiff peaks (about 4-5 minutes).

Top individual servings of mousse with whipped cream and sprinkle with grated chocolate.

* If you don't have superfine sugar, you can run 1/4 cup of regular granulated sugar through your food processor until it is very finely ground.
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