I have been writing consistently for a year now with a few "dry" spells here and there. Yet on the eve of H&W's one year anniversary I find myself at a loss. Whilst enjoying the afterglow of Christmas and then the excitement of bringing in the New Year, I have been thinking of what I would write for this "final" blog post. Not that this is it for H&W! I plan to continue my journey...this has been too much fun to stop now and I have too much unfinished business to cook and blog about. So here I am "winging" my final blog post of my first year as Ms. H&W.
When I started this food affair I had no clue what I was getting into. The cooking has always been the easy part but there is a lot more to food blogging than whipping up a killer meal and taking a picture. There's the web design and the writing, the planning and the executing, the props and the lighting, add to that my type A/OCD personality to the mix and at times blogging can feel like a monster is attacking you with every knife in the kitchen drawer. Yet I persevered; I said I would try this out for a year and I meant it. Turns out the reward greatly outweighs all the work.
I love the way my daughter looks up to her mama; she calls me a chef! She is so proud of my accomplishments, this alone is reward enough. Of course my daughter is not the only one who is proud of me, my whole family is and that's worth gold. I didn't think I would have much of a following but my friends have stood by me and their friends and people who have no connection to my inner circle follow me ...mind blown! There are people in Russia who follow me! I may not be as BIG as the other food bloggers but my modest 5 thousand page views, 3 thousand visits, an audience size of 1,300 and 100+ FB followers are greatly appreciated and I strive to entice every one of them with each yummy post. At the end of the day, I am doing this for me. I am proud of myself and my accomplishments and it has taken me a lifetime to say those words out loud.
When I first started blogging I wasn't sure what direction I was headed in. I figured I would simply blog about the things I loved to cook. However, there was one very cherished recipe I have been debating all year whether to post or not; my mother's leche flan. It is the one recipe I keep in the hand mixer box and the one thing that I would maybe have to risk life and limb for if the house was burning down (of course AFTER I've made sure the kids, the hubby and the dog were safe and sound). I don't think my mother ever shared the recipe with anyone and I know I've only ever shared it once with a dear friend who was there for me when I really needed someone. I have decided that my final blog post for this first year of Hotdogs and Wine will be my mama's leche flan; type-written by my abuelito and cherished for two generations. BONUS: I will no longer have to risk life and limb in case of a fire... lol.
- 2 cups of sugar (divided)
- 6 eggs
- 1 tsps. of vanilla
- 3 cups of milk
- Heat 1 cup of sugar in a sauce pan over low heat, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon until the sugar is melted and golden brown. Pour the caramel into a 12in x 8in oval oven ready dish coating the bottom and the sides of the dish. CAUTION: be very careful not to splash
- Beat the rest of the ingredients in a bowl until well combined.
- Pour the mixture through a strainer into the caramel-lined dish.
- Place the dish in a large shallow pan filled with enough water to reach halfway up the flan dish (bain marie).
- Bake in a 350° F oven for 40 to 50 minutes or until the center is almost set but still soft.
- Remove from the bain marie and cool in the fridge for several hours or preferably overnight. To unmold, run a knife along the edge of the flan, cover the dish with a serving plate, turn upside down and gently lift off the dish.
Here's to another year of culinary adventures!