Say Hello to happiness!

And probably a new workout plan. You can also count on kissing skinny jeans goodbye because...dun-dun-da-dun.... It's time to meet my new Christmas present!!

Yes. My brother decided it was a good idea to let me play with fire!!!!
This recipe makes 4, 6oz Crème Brulèe:

6 egg yolks
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 1/2cup heavy whipping cream
3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract

6 teaspoons granulated sugar

preheat oven to 300 degrees
in a bowl whisk together egg yolks and 1/4 sugar until the sugar is dissolved and mixture is thick. Add cream and vanilla, and whisk until blended.
The recipe I used said to strain the mixture and skim off any bubbles, but I didn't have very many, so I skipped that step.
Divide the mixture evenly into 4 6oz Ramekins, and place the ramekins in a pan. Pour water into the pan so that it covers the lower half of the ramekins.
Bake for 50-55 minutes, until the custard has set on the edges, but is still loose in the center.
Remove the pan from the oven and allow to cool. Move the Ramekins to the refrigerator and chill for at least 2 hours.
place the ramekins back in the pan, and sprinkle 1 1/2 teaspoons of sugar on each.
Then you EITHER broil no more than 5inches from the top of the oven, until the sugar melts, OR use your super fabulous, I can't believe I am allowed to play with fire, and I now feel like a real chef, torch. I am still working on the art of how one melts sugar evenly, without burning little spots on the top of your masterpieces, but I am sure my family won't mind me practicing!

AND voila!

I found that even after 2 1/2 hours in the fridge, they were not totally set, so next time I will let them set longer, especially since they are an easy make ahead dessert, and naturally Gluten Free =)
This recipe is also Twice as Nice, because with the leftover egg whites you can make one of my other favorite desserts! Come back soon for the recipe for meringue cookies, light, easy and also Gluten Free!

What do you do with your left over egg whites?


Pages Of Imperfection

Wrote this a while ago for a class, it kind of explains my writing process. 

         Her head jerks up, a shimmer of a bubbling thought is growing inside her mind. Hurriedly she rushes through the remainder of the task at hand and races up the stairs to her room. By now the thought is growing steadily, gaining momentum. she flops down on her bed, adjusts the pillows just so. 
          She brushes back the hair from her face, tying it back out of her eyes, digs through the nightstand cubby looking for the polka dotted case containing her reading glasses.They somehow make her feel like she knows what she is doing, they give her a sense of clarity, and not just because the page is in sharper focus. Perhaps it is because they make her seem older, and as though she is wiser, wiser than she truly is. There is, along with this sense of maturity a sense of urgency in her actions, as if there were a deadline looming though none exists. It is the frantic scramble of someone who has something on the inside that needs to get out. The shimmering idea, now fully grown bounces around in her head, fighting for all of her attention. It cries out to her, begging to be set free; to be given life and air and ink.
         Her thoughts sometimes flow into rhymes or poems, or narratives on the lives of others(real or imagined), and perhaps on occasion words to a tune she’s been humming all week. She may express pain over the loss of a loved one, or the excitement felt about the birth of a niece, happiness, and regrets can be found in these pages, as well as feeble attempts to describe the incomprehensible joy of forgiveness of sins. “Yes,” she thinks “there is nothing, good nor bad, that doesn’t seem to be better when laid out in black and white.” So, she settles down between her blue cased pillows, and gives her thoughts wing.
          Quickly she grabs a thin yellow notebook from the top of a stack of identical notebooks that has slowly grown on her shelf over the years. She couldn’t say why yellow exactly, just something about them drew her in, and made her want to write, to fill the empty lined pages with her thoughts. She flips through the filled pages, pages crinkled with the tears of sorrow and loss, past fears of failure, and pages filled with the ecstasy of hope born again. She glances over a sheet that she’s read a thousand times, the story so familiar it could have been real. The thought continues it’s nagging, urging her on till she finds a clean sheet. Gripping her black ball point pen she slowly forms her first careful word. The rush begins, and she scarcely knows what she is doing.
          She writes on, perhaps a dozen lines, or a dozen pages the words slow, and eventually stop. The thought no longer vies for her whole attention, its goading has stopped, and it simply lays there out in the open, vulnerable and unsullied by the reality of the technical aspects of writing. She lies back on the pillows and sighs. This is a sigh of relief and trepidation, for the words now safely out of her mind, are still restrained to the confines of the yellow notebook.
          From within the sticker clad covers each page still calls to her. Leaving her wishing to take them up once more, prune, refine, and, dare she hope perfect them. When she stops and thinks she wonders why she lets them sit in this unfinished state, freed from her cluttered mind, yet disorganized all the same. When she does find the time she views, with the harshest critics eye her fledgling ventures into the literary realm. Months, even years old works are re-worded, re-written, re-written again. Fingers hurting, and daylight long gone she glances at her clock and closes the notebook. She flicks off her light, and settles in with dreams of a day when she can truly feel that it is completed.



Most people have felt the sharp sting of loss. In many cases it's sudden, abrupt, and the pain cuts through you, numbing you to all other feelings. I have felt it time and time again. It is the worst thing in the world to lose someone you love. At age 14 I would have sworn I needed time to prepare, to say goodbye, and then it would be OK. To know it was my last time seeing that person. To get a chance to hold their hand. To say I'd see them again. To be fully aware when it was time to let them go.

Today? I can honestly say it makes no difference. The knife still stabs through your heart. But instead of a happy memory of the last time you saw them, you have the days of wondering if this would be it. The years of not knowing if they'd make it to the next holiday. The dull ache of watching their memory fade and shatter. Sometimes you feel your heart is being slowly dulled to caring, but a slight glimmer of recognition, or a smile at the face of a great-grandchild is enough to remind you that you still care.

For my whole childhood my grandparents lived less than a block from my house, and 6 years ago we moved so that my aging grandmother could live with us. I got a first hand look at the slow and steady progression of aging and dementia. And this summer, she peacefully passed away. It was not sudden. No shocking news, simply the end of a life well lived. 85 years, yet it still seems too short.
I never thought that I would miss the hard things, having to help her with simple tasks, but I would gladly do it all over to have my grandmother back. She was a wonderful woman, the most generous lady I have ever met. Her gentle spirit comforted and nurtured us. Her love of flowers, books, sweets, and stuffed animals made a trip to Mamma's house any child's dream.

Not sure why I felt like writing this today. Some days it just hits you I guess. The reality that they are gone. That you have to wait for heaven to see them again. That they won't be at your college graduation, or your wedding. Never hold your children. All of my grandparents were amazing people. And I miss them all at different times. Its the memories that get me most often.

And then I realize that I have so many wonderful memories. To miss someone you have to know them. To lose something, it had to be yours to start. And they were mine. Wonderful, fun, loving, and memorable. But only mine on loan. Placed in life as grace, not something I deserved, not something I "ought" to get back, but a gift, a blessing. And I am so so blessed to have had them in my life. But I must say, I am looking forward to Heaven, where I won't have to miss them anymore.