Tag Archives: A Sweet Pea Chef Blog

A Recipe Review: A Sweet Pea Chef’s Easy Crème Brulée

Food bloggers amaze me. Their dedication to cooking, staging and documenting recipes knocks me out. How do they do it day after day after day? My fellow blogger Lacey at A Sweet Pea Chef is one of those amazing people. Browsing her recipes and photos is like browsing through food porn. It is a glorious, guilty pleasure. But my favorite thing about Lacey’s blog is that her recipes are not just pretty. They are easy to understand, easy to prepare, and unbelievably tasty. She’s the real deal. She loves to cook and she happily shares that love with her readers. It’s just one of the many reasons I love her beautiful blog.

Every once in a while, Lacey will post a food poll, letting her readers choose recipes or topics that will be covered at a future date. One such poll featured possible dessert recipes. Choices included crème brulée, carrot cake cheesecake, lemon bars, oatmeal raisin cookies and cranberry sorbet. I was intrigued by the carrot cake cheesecake, but I voted for crème brulée. Several times {wink}. Why? Because I love simple foods with tremendous flavor, and crème brulée is one of those foods. Four ingredients. Full of flavor. Out of this world texture. I’m in.

The recipe says “easy” and by golly, she wasn’t kidding. You combine 4 ingredients, pour them into ramekins and bake them in a water bath. The cast of characters include 5 egg yolks, 2 cups of heavy cream, 1/2 cup of sugar, and 1 1/2 teaspoons of vanilla extract. For this recipe, I broke out the good stuff – the pure vanilla bean paste. If you’ve never tried this stuff, you have to. This recipe is perfect for it. If I were making a chocolate cake, I would most definitely use the regular vanilla extract. But for this dish, the good stuff really shines.

Once your little pots of creme are baked and cooled, it’s decision time. You can stop here and just enjoy this as an incredible custard, or you can pour some sugar on it and brulée those puppies. I’m going whole hog. Conveniently, TCP just happens to have one of those baby blow torches. “Break out the blow torch, honey! I’m gonna’ burn some sugar, Sugar!” Fingers crossed that I don’t burn the house down. Oven mitt? Check. Fire extinguisher? Check. Let’s roll!

The verdict: this stuff is almost too good to be true. It’s so easy and inexpensive to make, it makes me a little angry at all those hoity-toity restaurants that charge $12.50 a serving for it. Shame on them. Deep, money-grubbing shame. Thanks to Lacey, I can now make fabulous crème brulée at home. That’s a good thing and a bad thing. Good because this recipe is really fantastic. Bad because I really shouldn’t have the power to make this all the time. I’m having a vision of “Good Nana” and “Bad Nana” sitting on each shoulder screaming at each other. (Secretly, I’m rooting for Bad Nana. Go, Bad Nana! You go with your bad self!)

To see this recipe with all of the glorious step-by-step photos, visit Lacey’s blog at: http://www.asweetpeachef.com/sweets/easy-creme-brulee/

PS – A very special thank you to Katie at Lucky Girl Sweets ‘n Stuff. She selected my name for her first giveaway last week, which happened to be those super cute red ramekins. They look just like miniature Le Crueset Dutch ovens. They are too stinkin’ cute, and perfect for crème brulée. Thanks, Katie! I love them. You should click on the link above and drop in on her. She’s a feisty Texan like me. And tell her I said “howdy!”

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Filed under Food & Recipes

I’d like to thank the members of the Academy and the big man upstairs…

That’s not a religious reference. I’m talking about The Complete Package. He’s working from home and he’s upstairs as I type this. Thanks for your support, honey. Couldn’t have done it without you. If you’re scratching your head and wondering what the H-E-doublehockeysticks I’m talking about, it’s this:

That’s right…it’s a “passed along by a fellow blogger who in turn chose me to spotlight” award from my hilarious friend Amy over at Fix it or Deal. I have a confession to make. This is not my first. I’m not bragging, I promise. I got one of these a few weeks ago from one of my BBFFs (best blogging friends forever) Kirsten, way up north at Comfortably Domestic. I didn’t mention it back then because I totally thought it was a typo. I felt like she probably meant to mention someone else, but her fingers slipped and she accidentally typed “inside nanabread’s head.” But now that I’ve been gifted with a second one, I feel like maybe it wasn’t an error. Maybe someone actually IS reading my blog! Maybe, like Stuart Smalley, I’m good enough, I’m smart enough, and doggone it…people like me! Or maybe I just have really thoughtful blogging friends. Thanks, ladies. I appreciate the fact that you could have chosen any number of other bloggers, but you chose me. That means a lot. You didn’t have to love me, but you did, but you did, but you did…and I thank you.

If I’m reading the fine print correctly, I’m now contractually obligated (kidding! There’s no contract, is there?) to list five of my favorite things and five of my favorite blogs. I hope you’ll visit each of them. Here we go:

5 Favorite Things:
1. time with my family (a true no-brainer; I love my family)
2. traveling – wherever, whenever; I just want to GO!
3. movies that make me laugh or think (ex. Zombieland, Fargo, Fractured)
4. anything smeared with dark chocolate – pretzels, peanut butter, grandkids
5. baby animals; I can’t resist them. Who’s a little cutie patootie…you are!

5 Blogs I’m Obsessed With:
1. Kandiland Blog – by my friend Kandi. She’s smart, she’s funny, she’s sometimes goofy and I love that. Her story about a camel ride made me laugh until I cried. The Complete Package refers to her as my “commenter of discriminating taste” because she seems to agree with him a lot. But I don’t hold against them. Most of the time {wink}. Her deeply personal stories about her life with two beautiful girls, her hard-working husband, and her spastic black lab Charlie keep me laughing. She’s a force of nature, and I like that. A lot.

2. Laundry & Vodka – by my friend Alex in the great state of Georgia. I found Alex through the Pioneer Woman website. She posted a comment and the name of her blog instantly grabbed me. I clicked the link to see what she was up to, and have read her every day since. Alex is pregnant with her first baby (it’s a girl!) and writes about her life with a military husband and her three canine children – Nigel, Nash and Natalie. She hooked me with a short little ditty about a creepy Sponge Bob balloon, and now I feel like we’ve been friends forever.

3. A Sweet Pea Chef – by Lacey in Austin, Texas. I can’t claim to love Lacey just because she’s a Texan. She’s actually a San Diegan who recently moved to Texas. But as we say in the Republic… “we don’t care how you got here, we’re just glad you did!” If I dreamed of being a food blogger, I’d want to be like Lacey. Her recipes are top-notch and her food photography makes me want to lick my computer screen. It’s like food porn. Sometimes I open her blog and gasp. The best part is that I’ve never tried a recipe from her blog that I didn’t like. I mean really, really like. Her panko crusted tilapia still haunts me. Deliciously.

4. Gingerbread Bagels – by Lindsey the baker. I love a good cookie, but damn! I don’t know anyone who loves cake or baking like this girl. She is one of those rare people who have a true calling or talent, and she knows how to use it. She wields a spatula the way Van Gogh worked a paint brush. She is an artist. I’m blown away every week by the desserts she masters and the easy-going, humorous way she shares them with her readers. I’m a “salty” not a “sweet” but she may just convert me. I wish I loved ANY food the way she loves Nutella.

5. The rules probably state that you can’t nominate those who nominated you, but that’s just tough noogies, because this wouldn’t be my favorites list without Fix It or Deal and Comfortably Domestic. I found Amy at FIOD through another blog, and laughed out loud at her stories about slutty Halloween costumes and a magic washcloth. When I read her article “Zombie, Zombie Burning Bright” I knew I was sunk. I can only dream of being that funny. Her monthly posting of undead creatures from her 2011 zombie calendar keep me on the edge of my seat. I found Kirsten from CD through the Pioneer Woman website. We got to know each other through recipes and comments, and I now believe we are actually twins separated at birth…except that I’m eight years older and live halfway across the country. Sure, there’s some weird science involved, but I’m still a believer. She’s the mother of 4 boys, which I sort of relate to since I’m one of five daughters. Living with that much testosterone is a foreign concept to me, but I enjoy her take on it immensely. I love these ladies more than chocolate.

Someone asked me last week what I love about blogging, and this is it – the friends I’ve made and the stories we’ve shared. My blogging buddies are like members of my big, extended family without the arguing or name-calling, and I appreciate them more than I can adequately articulate. I feel the same way about the readers who visit my blog and choose to return over and over again. I started this blog eight months ago, and I’m still amazed that people read it. And as long as we’re all having fun, I plan to continue. Thank you for your support and encouragement. It’s been a great ride so far, and I’ve enjoyed every minute.

A note to the bloggers mentioned above: you are under no obligation to pass this award along. You may exercise your free will at any time and simply smile and pat yourselves on the back, if you so choose. Or you can join the fun and pass it along to those you admire. Your choice. That’s the deal. Free shipping & handling. Limited time offer. Thank you for calling Time Life Books.

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Filed under Miscellaneous Thoughts