Monday, March 22, 2010

March (the cruelest month?) Retail Therapy

I can't wait for these candlesticks to arrive (super find on etsy!!)!

Lately, I've been feeling a little bit blue. Work and pug care has got me a bit stressed and unhappy. I had to do a little bit of retail therapy to keep my spirits up. This is the worst time of year for me, right before spring. So, I thought a little nesting was in order. Kitchen stuff makes me happy.

To skim jiaozi out of boiling water with. Next version will be ginger chicken!
To make raviolis with! I think I will make shrimp and scallion filling, and serve it in a curry lemongrass soup/sauce.

Oh, homemade pasta how I love thee! I loved thee enough to purchase you the perfect colander, because trying to use tongs to remove you from boiling water was getting old.
Crepes, baby!
Heavy cast iron dutch oven. To bake breads in, to roast chickens in. To do so much in. I baked dutch babies in it this morning!
Granite mortar and pestle. To make pesto, guacamole, grind spices.....!!!!

And everything (except the colander and the skimmer) was a super deal on amazon, so I don't feel (that) guilty.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Amazing Baked Flan

My bestfriend came into town for a visit this week and I decided to host a little dinner party while she was here. We made chicken molé tostadas with guacamole and cabbage cilantro slaw, but the best part of the meal was probably these homemade flan. So good and so easy.

The Goods:

  • 2/3 cup white sugar
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 1 (14 ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 1 cup milk
  • 5 eggs
  • Seeds from one vanilla bean, or 1.5tsp vanilla extract

The Deal:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees

In a small nonstick saucepan, heat the sugar and water over medium heat. Stir occasionally until sugar is dissolved and begins to brown. You want a nice deep amber color. Spoon a small amount into eight 4 ounce ramekins. Swirl to coat bottom.
In a large bowl, hopefully one with a pouring spout and handle (like a batter bowl), combine sweetened condensed milk, cream, milk, eggs and vanilla. Pour custard mix into ramekins over the caramel.

Place the filled ramekins into a larger pan and add 1 inch of HOT water to the outer pan. Bake in preheated oven for 50 minutes, or until set. Half way through cooking you might want to cover with a cookie sheet if the tops of the custards are getting too brown. Cool in refrigerator until chilled. Use a butter knife to cut around edges of each ramekin to loosen custards and turn out onto plates.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Winston Pug

We have a new (and hopefully) temporary addition to the House of Bean right now. His name is Winston Pug (aka Crazypug....we now have Demonpug, Crazypug, and (thank goodness) Angelpug). He will be staying with us for an undetermined amount of time and we hope his craziness will wear off a little bit. It already seems to be getting better. Dieter is still as demonic as ever, but compared to the Crazypug he is a little angel. It is constant Puggery around here and I'm not sure how much I can take. But I am chugging along with the help of J, who is the Patron Saint of Pugs. Saint Peanut. (see below)

Pugs are good for naps:

Orange couches are good for pugs:

Pugs are good for sunshine:

Crazy flowers are good for the soul:

Friday, March 12, 2010

Dieter the Cat

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Hawaii Highlights, 2010

Peanut and Bean Escape to the Islands:

(I apologize for the massive amount of photos, I couldn't resist! There are more, but I will wait....)