It was my birthday this week. And it was a good birthday. My bff gave me a gorgeous white bowl for food photography (and for food serving, of course=)). My (favorite) sil brought me a chocolate cake with chocolate frosting piled high with chocolate shavings. She knows my love language-chocolate.
The kids were good-on my birthday. Which is always a bonus. The older I get and the older my kids get, the more I empathize with my mom's annually stated wish. All she wanted for her birthday was good kids.
I got to go shopping this week. Because birthdays bring awesome coupons! World Market. Ulta. Panera bread. Kohls. Goodwill. Ironically enough, I spent the same amount at both Kohls and Goodwill. Except at Kohls I left with 4 shirts. At Goodwill I scored a pair of shoes, 7 pairs of jeans, 1 pair of dress slack, 2 dresses, and 4 shirts. That's some savvy shopping right there.
I also finally figured out what I am wearing to my blogging conference next week. And on vacation the following week. If the forecast remains the same. I am pretty proud of how light I am envisioning my suitcase. I guess we will see if it actually ends up that light.
I made 17 quarts of applesauce this week, and I am supposed to be making another 9 quarts today. I wanted to get the apples done that I bought earlier this month. And get them done before my vacation. But, 26 quarts is hardly enough for this family, so I will be buying and processing another 2-3 bushels when we get home.
I also made a lot of new recipes this week. Because it is dual homework for She Plans Dinner. I need to make sure these recipes I am sending out are actually good. And, I need to take pictures of all this food so everyone knows what the end product is supposed to look like.
One of the new recipes was this Panna Cotta. I had Panna Cotta at the retreat I spoke at last month and I was pretty impressed. Which is actually surprising because I am not the biggest fan of pudding type desserts. I like substance.
But, this rule has been bent for flan and now for Panna Cotta.
Panna Cotta is an Italian custard that is not baked because it has no eggs. It is fairly fail-proof, using only 6 ingredients. A main one being unflavored gelatin, which is going to make the stuff set, come hell or high water.
So, you have heavy cream, sugar, milk, unflavored gelatin and vanilla. Pretty simple flavors. Top it with a ganache garnished with mint leaves and raspberries, and you have a stunning dessert that was no sweat!
1/3 cup skim milk
1 (.25 oz) package of unflavored gelatin
2-1/2 cups heavy cream
1/2 cup white sugar
1-1/2 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup chocolate chips
1/4 cup heavy cream
-In a small bowl, mix the milk and gelatin. Set aside.
-In a saucepan, brin the heavy cream and sugar to a boil, watching carefully and stirring occasionally so it doesn't boil over. Add the gelatin mix, and cook an additional minute. Remove from heat.
-Stir in the vanilla.
-Place the saucepan in a bowl of ice to lower the temperature quickly. Stir every 3-5 minutes, until at room temperature. (about 10-15 minutes)
-Pour into 4 or 8 ounce ramekins. You should get 4-6 panna cottas depending on how much you put into each container. (you can make them as big or small as you want) Cover with plastic wrap and chill in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours or overnight.
-To make a ganache, heat the heavy cream and chocolate chips until the chocolate is melted and the ganache is smooth. Spoon carefully onto the panna cotta and return to the refrigerator.
-If desired, garnish with raspberries or strawberries and mint leaves.