Tuesday, October 12, 2010

and I'm back...

Wow.  Wild couple of weeks I've had.  After all that rain we had recently we woke up to find two feet of water in the basement.  We have our gas water heater in the basement, so that meant no hot water.  For eight days.  EIGHT days y'all.  Good thing I go to the Y pretty much every day anyway.  I got hot showers.  Not so the bf.  He had cold showers.  For eight days. It took eight days because, as so often happens in this old house, the water heater had to be replaced (couldn't be fixed - no, that would be too simple), and it is a special size.  We first tried to replace it with a tankless water heater, but - surprise! - our vents are a special size as well, and it would have ended up costing several hundred dollars more to replace those, on top of the cost for the water heater.  So we ended up ordering a new special-sized water heater. It took some time to get here, but only about 30 minutes to install it, thanks to the never-ending skills of the bf.  Yes, I am lucky.

So we got the new water heater installed just in time for the big party.  The party was a lot of fun.  Really.  It was the first time I'd met most of the family members, and the first time many of them had met each other, but everyone was so gracious, and so happy about the wedding that it was one big love fest.  The bride was radiant and relaxed and the groom couldn't stop smiling.  The bride wanted Mexican food and simple, so the menu  was ceviche, guacamole, and salsa with chips.  First time I'd ever made ceviche.  Surprisingly easy and it was a big hit!  Cheese enchiladas, chicken enchiladas, black beans, pinto beans and a fruit salad for the entree, and home-made mini flans for dessert.  Again, it was the first time I'd ever attempted flan, but it was so easy and SO good, I'll definitely be making it again.  Top that off with Margaritas and it was definitely an easy and fun evening!

oops - sorry for blurry pic!

Really Easy Flan
2/3 C white sugar
1 (14 oz) can Sweetened Condensed Milk
2 C heavy cream
1 C milk (I used 2%, not that it would make a difference with all the other calories!)
5 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla (use the real stuff, preferably Mexican)

1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2.  In a small non-stick saucepan, heat sugar over medium heat.  Shake and swirl occasionally until sugar is    dissolved and begins to turn brown.  I found out it's important NOT to stir the sugar - that will cause it to harden, and you don't want that! Lower the heat and continue until sugar turns a light golden brown, but is still liquid-y.  Pour caramelized sugar into a 1 1/2 quart casserole (or, to make mini flans like I did, use a muffin pan made for extra large muffins - I got about 18 mini flans from this recipe), and swirl in pan to cover bottom of pan.
3.  In a blender, combine all other ingredients and blend on high for one minute.  Pour into pan over the caramelized sugar.
4.  Put 1 inch of HOT water into a pan large enough for the flan pan to fit inside of.  Add flan pan and bake in preheated oven for 50 to 60 minutes for the casserole sized pan, and about 35 minutes for the muffin pan, or until set.

And on another note, the newest addition to the backyard - just before the party started:

There will be a beautiful new gate here one day...it was supposed to be here in time for the party, but the water heater fiasco kinda took priority.  Sad.

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