29 February 2008

girls' weekend out and in.

See, I told you in the beginning: I'm lazy. I just haven't gotten around to posting about my fabulous girls' weekend until now. I blame the laziness. It has taken over me... as has the daunting task of fixing up my house to be put on the market. So that is my only (small) excuse for not posting until now.

But, anyways. Let's get onto girls' weekend, because, let me tell you, it was fabulous. It all started with working out, where my good friend Megan and fellow foodie tried her hardest to show me how to lift. Then, after a quick shower, we headed to lunch at the amazing French Meadow Cafe and Bakery. I hadn't been there in a while and I was very excited about the new beet salad that they had added to the menu (it was delicious!) and the chocolate croissant that Meg and I shared for dessert. Perfection. Being fully recharged, we headed out for a day of shopping and manicures.

A quick sidenote: In the midst of shopping at Kitchen Window, I was excited to find that Rogue Chocolatier has come out with three new chocolate bars. I picked up two of them and they are so very good. If you haven't tried Rogue's chocolate, I would head out to buy some right away.

Rogue is a Minneapolis based chocolatier and the chocolate is made from beginning to end by one man. It is a great story and it is worth a click on the link above.

Now, off the topic of other people's food creations and onto mine. This post will detail the most disappointing of the day's edibles and then we'll move on from there in future posts. And when I say disappointing, I am not exaggerating.

So, to say salted caramel is one of my favorite things is an understatement. I love, love, love salted caramel. In everything. For my birthday, Megan made me a fabulous salted caramel and chocolate cake. If that isn't friendship, I don't know what is. So when I read the recipes for salted caramel ice cream by Orangette and David Lebowitz, I knew that it was the perfect thing to make to christen in my ice cream maker. I went all out for this recipe. The best eggs, milk and cream that I could get my hands on went into this recipe... but I, myself, went in unprepared. Lesson: when you have 10 eggs to break and separate, don't do it with caramel on the stove.

You know what is coming. I put the sugar on, thinking it was going to take a lot longer than it did to caramelize, cracked the eggs, messed up the eggs, fixed the eggs and, ultimately, burnt the caramel. The problem was that I didn't really know that I had brunt the caramel. Orangette's recipe said that it should be darker than you think it should... and I, having never made caramel before, didn't really know when to stop it. So I forged on.

Made the custard, spent 30 minutes putting it through the chinois put it in the fridge to cool and waited eagerly for the time to come when I could churn the stuff into glorious-ness.

It was not glorious. It was burnt. Burnt to the point that it tasted like unsweetened chocolate. And so burnt that even my loving husband only took one bite before he made me rush the bowl away.

Megan at least ate a couple bites with the rest of our dessert (the details of which are coming). The texture, at least, was amazing. Super creamy and smooth. I am anxious to try my hand at it again. This time I will know what is coming and there will be no burnt caramel!

If you want to try your hand at some salted caramel ice cream, check out these recipes:


This weekend will bring more posts on girls' weekend dinner. I promise.

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