Where O’ Where…

Has my motivation gone? I am sure it is around here somewhere…or at least I hope it is. In the grand tradition, I once again got sick for Christmas. Luckily for me it wasn’t knock out, drag down for Christmas, I was saving that part for now.
The good news is that Snowpocalypse is over now but boy did I screw a lot of things up. I have many a friend who’s Christmas’ were altered big time because of it. Most people didn’t get to go to family dinners or have family over. Some were without power for awhile on Christmas. For us, we were just missing a few gifts. See UPS/FedEx/USPS had some issues with delivering things and so some of our Christmas was spend describing our gifts. ;) All well and good. We’re adults, so Christmas isn’t really about the presents anymore (though Hannah sent me some beautiful brownies that didn’t make it here until the 27th…thanks post office…grr).
The other thing, the thing that is driving me the most insane…we haven’t had trash pick up now going over 3 weeks. That’s right, I have had my garbage and recycling in my garage piling up. They claim they are coming this week. I will believe it when I see it. We got a ton of rain today and have little snow left so if they don’t come I just might have to be that crazy woman on the phone to them.
So here I am, no motivation and be drowned in garbage. I am not sure if my lack of motivation is because I am sick or because I only got one cookbook for Christmas. Only one, I know. I can’t remember the last time I only got one. So I have no new inspiration to fuel me on. What on earth did I get for Christmas then? Lights. Yes, photography lights. I haven’t experimented with them yet but soon will. The other? A Blender. But not just any blender. A blender with a peak of 1 horsepower. Before owning that blender, I owned the Walmart special that my mom got me. The thing never really even chopped up ice all that well. So imagine my happiness when I opened that up from my in-laws on Christmas day. I made soup in it the other night. I think I over blended (not that you can really do that with a pureed soup) because I could not bring myself to believe that it would take 20 seconds to puree my entire soup. I love it.
Hope you all had a wonderful holiday and got what you want. I am hoping to find my motivation real soon. If you find it before I do, could you do me a favor and send it my way please!

Oh and as you can see Santa did stop by for all the critters in the house….those marshmallows worked nicely.
These crème brulee’s were originally pots de crème, so if you don’t have a blowtorch at home, you don’t really need to do the final step. These only have a little over a tablespoon of Grand Marnier but they most definitely have the flavor! I added some Clementine pieces to the bottom of each ramekin to give it a little some thing special hidden inside.

Grand Marnier Crème Brulee

1 cup heavy whipping cream
¼ cup crème fraiche
pinch of salt
4 large egg yolks
3 TBSP sugar
1 TBSP plus 1 tsp Grand Marnier
2 Clementines, peeled and sections and skin removed
sugar for top of crème brulee (about 1/8 cup)

Position rack in the middle of the oven and preheat the oven to 300F. Have ready four-6 ounce ramekins or custard cups and a 10-inch square baking pan. Place three slices of Clementines at the bottom of each ramekin. Put on a kettle of water to boil for the water bath.
Combine the cream, crème fraiche, and salt in a medium heavy saucepan and cook over medium heat, whisking occasionally, just until hot. Remove from the heat.
Whisk together the egg yolks, sugar and Grand Marnier in a medium bowl. Slowly pour in the cream mixture, whisking constantly. Pour the mixture through a fine strainer set over a large glass measure or bowl.
Divide the custard evenly among the ramekins. Skim any foam from the top of the custards. Place the ramekins in the baking pan, place the pan in the oven, and carefully add enough boiling water to the baking pan to come halfway up the sides of the ramekins. Bake for 25-30 minutes, until custards are set around the edges but still slightly jiggly in the center, do not over bake-the custards will set further as they cool. Remove the pan form the oven and let the custards stand in the water bath for 10 minutes.
With tongs or a wide metal spatula, carefully transfer the ramekins to a wire rack and let cool to room temperature. Refrigerate, tightly covered, for at least 3 hours,until thoroughly chilled and set, or for up to 2 days.
Sift sugar evenly over the custard. Using a kitchen torch on low flame, and rotating the dish, melt sugar until it has turned a dark amber color.

Soucre: Adapted from Luscious, Creamy Desserts by Lori Longbotham


  1. Hang in there with the motivation-lack, Peabody!! You’ll find it :-)

    Love the furry ones, as always!!

  2. Beautiful brulee, beautiful bunny!

  3. phenomenal pictures, peabody!

  4. What terrible weather you guys have had. Sorry about the motivation, but am gleeful to say that I’ve got loads of inspiration from that first pic. It’s beautiful Peabody. Love the flavouring of the brulee, & the hidden surprise too. I think the melting eyes of the bunny & pup will motivate you….once the garbage has gone!! Have a wonderful new year, filled with warmth, joy & happiness!

  5. Maybe your motivation is out partying with my motivation, because I can’t seem to find mine either.

    I’m bookmarking this post for the next time I start whining about how I hate living in Florida and wish we had snow here. ;)

  6. I am on a real creme brulee kick lately and order it in all the restaurants too as long as they have a “flight” of 3.

  7. Two of my favorite things reunited: Grand Marnier and creme brulee. Thanks for sharing the recipe.

  8. You’d think people would know by now to get people like us cookbooks for Christmas. I only got one as well. Seriously, what are people thinking?

  9. Our bunny and dog got stockings too (well actually they had them last year too) and my family now thinks I’m nuts. Glad to see I’m not alone :-)

  10. Hopefully as the frustration of Snowpocalypse and piling garbage goes away, your inspiration will find its way back. December was a month of being in a major funk for me too. I am really hoping things start going better for both of us!

  11. A gorgeous dessert! What a cute bunny and dog!

    I also lack motivation… Some say too much food kills the food ;-P!

    Best wishes for the New Year!



  12. Shake hands… two in our house with flu (and me but it seems since I’m the mom i should be on my feet) Pah, can’t even see my feet without getting dizzy what do they know?
    Love the little furry ones!

  13. Aww – your bunny is so cute! I had a pet bunny as a kid, and you bet as soon as we are out of this apartment and into a space with an actual yard, we will have one again. Husband has no say on that one. :) Hope the weather gets better along with you yourself!!

  14. I was thinking about you when all this snow happened over there. No trash pickup for 3 weeks is going to drive me crazy too. Your bunny is adorable!
    You are going to get your motivation back because I know you are going to have a Prosperous New Year, Peabody!

  15. The addition of Grand Marnier sounds amazing! Sorry you aren’t feeling well and hope you feel better soon… and those garbage men come by to give you some fresh air! Congrats on the sweet new toys… is your blender a Vitamix? If so, isn’t it great?! I have one and love it, although I don’t use it as much as I should…

  16. Great looking brulee! I think we are all searching for the motivation we had the week before Christmas!!!

  17. I love the idea of adding the clementine at the bottom. What a wonderful surprise.

  18. I really need to get myself a little blowtourch.

  19. I think my culinary mojo is on vacation until after the first! And I received a creme brulee set years ago that I’ve never use so I need to get it out and make this.

  20. It’s definitely a sleepy, uninspiring time of year, so don’t force yourself to blog if it doesn’t come naturally… You’ll be much happier with the result if you allow this “blogging block” to run its course, I’m sure!

  21. I hope you are feeling better! The brulee looks fantastic! Happy New Year!

  22. hope you’ve got much better in time for the new year! wishing you lots of joy and happiness in 2009!
    we had the same disaster with christmas deliveries this year, especially from germany… i hate the guts of all those “courier” services now, it’s alright when you’re giving to adults, but when you have kids, it’s just unbearable. never mind, things arrived in time for max’s birthday tomorrow, so he’ll be at one with the world again for sure ;-)

  23. People have stopped buying me cookbooks because they think I already have every cookbook. Not true! I’m a bit low on the motivation scale this week, with the beginnings of a cold, and snow on the ground. Hang in there — your motivation will come back. Happy new year from the snowy East Coast!

  24. HeartofGlass says:

    They did a segment on the ‘Great Seattle Garbage Crisis’ on NPR–and I live on the East Coast! It must be really horrible, if a failure of sanitation disposal becomes national news. Perhaps that is your lack of inspiration–once you can be sure of getting rid of the garbage you produce in a new recipe, maybe you’ll feel more like baking!

  25. Rain can float away the garbage, right? That would be a good threat…do you know what the fines are for water pollution with garbage…huge! Hope they pick up this week so that you can not have to get crazy, hope you feel better, too. Maybe pull out summer cookbooks and pretend to have a picnic?
    The creme brulee’s look gorgeous. Like the idea of the hidden treat at the bottom.

  26. The new year will bring new inspiration, I’m sure! In the meantime, yummy creme brulee!

  27. Wow…that’s beautiful! Um, so I didn’t even realize that there was a snowstorm until today…I’m a bit behind. Glad you’re enjoying your gifts.

  28. I loooove creme brulee. So decadent and delicious. Yours is gorgeous!

  29. You got snow, we got rain, and we both ended up sick. What a traditional holiday this has been.
    If I find the motivation, I’ll share it with you as I could use some (surrounded by boxes, I need some too.)

  30. Surprise at the bottom . . . must have been some motivation, I know you, it’ll be back in force with a big pow!
    Happy New Year to you & the man and all the furries (cool photo) ;))

  31. i have to try this. i love creme brulee and i love grand marnier so why not this? :)

  32. Crème Brullé a classic yet one of my favourite deserts, this will always be a lovely one. Looks and taste. thx for sharing

  33. Oh my!!! VERY MOUTH WATERING…. I wish i could taste it! i bet its sooo delicious! Looks sooooo yummmmy! *sigh,, i really wish i could taste it… (^_^)

  34. This one looks sooo good it makes me cry coz i can’t have it!

  35. OMG!!! You bunny looks JUST like mine!!! Rosemary is just as sneaky, and quite demanding when it comes to dinner time (and breakfast, lunch, snack, supper and dessert time :P).

    Oh, found you through PW and read your post comparing yourself to PW… Laughed out loud at the computer programmer part – that’s what my partner does. Exciting isn’t it? :P

    Added your blog to my reader – looking forward to trying some of these recipes!

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