Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Thursday, December 25, 2008

#55 - Santa Baby



Or should I say Baby Santa? Baby O flew for the first time today and so far he's been a charm. On the plane everyones been calling him "Santa Baby".

Don't you love his outfit? His Uncle Joseph got it for him (thanks).

Merry Christmas!

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

#54 - Merry Christmas Eve


Growing up, my favorite day of the year was Christmas Eve. It was the anticipation that I loved. What would Santa bring? Would it snow Christmas morning? No school, Christmas parties, Christmas cards, being with family, lots of good food (and you know how I love good food).


Anyway, thought I'd share our fireplace mantel with all our Christmas cards (thanks everyone for sending), our snow globe nativity, and candle/people spinning thingy.


MERRY CHRISTMAS EVE EVERYONE! (yes, I'm shouting like George Bailey in "It's a Wonderful Life" )

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

#53 - Made my tastebuds dance



Wowza! This is the best, and I mean best tortellini dish I've ever tried. Usually, tortellini is too pasta"y" for me, but this was perfect. My SIL Cathy (thanks) made it for me and it was oh so good! I highly recommend.

Butternut Squash Tortellini with Brown Butter Sauce
Recipe courtesy Giada De Laurentiis

4 to 6 servings

1 hr 10 min

Ingredients
Squash Tortellini:
1 butternut squash, approximately 2 pounds, cubed (about 3 cups)
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus 2 tablespoons
1 1/2 teaspoon herbs de Provence
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more to taste
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus more to taste
2 large shallots, chopped (about 1/2 cup)
2 garlic cloves, chopped
1 cup whole milk ricotta cheese
4 small amaretti cookies, crushed (about 1/3 cup)
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 package small wonton wrappers


Brown Butter Sauce:
3/4 cup butter (1 1/2 sticks)
2 tablespoons torn fresh sage leaves
1/2 cup toasted walnuts, chopped
1/2 cup dried cranberries, or chopped dried cherries, or mixture of both
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more to taste
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus more to taste
1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
Directions
To make the tortellini, preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. On a foil-lined baking sheet toss together the butternut squash, 2 tablespoons of olive oil, herbs de Provence, salt, and pepper. Bake in the oven until soft and golden, about 25 minutes. Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a small saute pan over medium heat. Cook the shallots and garlic until lightly golden, about 3 minutes.
In a food processor, combine the butternut squash mixture, the shallot mixture, and the ricotta cheese and pulse a few times to blend. Add the crushed amaretti cookies, the nutmeg, and sprinkle with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Pulse until smooth. The tortellini filling can be made one day ahead.
To make the tortellini, lay out 6 wonton skins, keeping the remaining skins inside the package or under a very lightly dampened paper towel. Place 1 tablespoon of squash mixture in the middle of each skin. Dip a pastry brush in a little water and wet the edges of the skin. Gently fold the square wrapper into a triangle, making sure the edges are securely closed and there are no air pockets inside. Dampen the two bottom corners of the longest side of the triangle and gently bring them together, pressing lightly to secure. Place the formed tortellini on a baking sheet and cover with plastic wrap. Before laying out another 6 wonton sheets, be careful to dry the work surface. This will help keep tortellini from sticking to the baking sheet. Continue until all the butternut squash mixture is used. There should be approximately 36 tortellini. (The tortellini can be formed, frozen on the baking sheet, transferred to a tightly sealed plastic bag or container and stored for up to six months. To cook, simply toss the frozen ravioli into the salted boiling water and cook for 4 minutes.)
To make the sauce and serve, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Meanwhile, melt the butter in a large, heavy skillet over medium heat.
Add the sage, walnuts and cranberries and let cook until the butter starts to brown, about 3 minutes. Turn the heat off and season with salt, and pepper.
Stir to combine. Then, gently place the tortellini in the boiling water and gently stir. When they begin to float they are done, about 3 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, gently spoon the tortellini onto a serving platter, Top with the brown butter sauce, sprinkle with Parmesan cheese and serve.

Monday, December 22, 2008

#52 - Why You Should Welcome Trouble

I got this quote from my boss (Marly) a few years ago. She always told me to be glad that there were problems with our shows because it kept us busy. Here's the quote:

Why You Should Welcome Trouble

"You ought to be glad for the troubles on your job because they provide about half your income. If it were not for the things that go wrong, the difficult people with whom you deal, and the problems of your working day, someone could be found to handle your job for half of what you are being paid. So start looking for more troubles. Learn to handle them cheerfully and with good judgment, as opportunities rather than irritations, and you will find yourself getting ahead at a surprising rate. For there are plenty of big jobs waiting for people who are not afraid of troubles."

-Robert Updegraff

Saturday, December 20, 2008

#51 - Camo for O


Just got this rockin (Did I just say "rockin"? I don't really say "rockin" in real life, but I didn't want to say "cute" cause he's a boy) camo top for Baby O from my friend Anna. I love it. Every baby boy needs one. And love the toy blocks from the LOUD Family.

Is that too much "love" in one post? Or too many "quotation marks"?

Friday, December 19, 2008

#50 - I made these 2 years ago

Growing up my mom had these cute reindeer ornaments on our Christmas tree that she made. I made some a couple of years ago and I love them. They are really easy.
2 clothes pins
cotton ball
red cotton ball
brown paint
tree hanger
Paint the clothes pins brown.
Glue the clothes pins opposite each other.
Glue white cotton on the bottom and the red cotton on the nose.
Draw two eyes with a sharpie (or you could glue in those little beady eyes.)
Drill a hole through the ears of the reindeer and put the tree hanger through it.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

#49 - Apple Raspberry Slab Pie

$10 . . . from Costco . . . just the right amount of tartness . . . both Pepe and I devoured this in less than a week.

#48 - yes, i really do love this

image via here

#47 - I know where Obama got his slogan from


I love reading these books to Baby O.  

And I'm not saying anything bad about Obama either, I'm all about reusing a good idea/slogan . . . just wait for my Christmas card (with probably won't be done till the New Year, but whateves.)

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

#46 - My Favorite Office Moment Last Week


image via here
Dwight, "Fa la la la la, la la, cha ching".

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

#45 - This is exactly how I feel about Baby O


When I was about 10 years old, whenever someone would ask me how many kids I wanted, I would say, "100". I know, I know, that's what Michael Scott (from The Office) said, but I really did feel that. Then as I got older, baby-sat more, went to college and then had a career. I started thinking, having kids wasn't all that it was cracked up to be. You have to be responsible for another person, and I didn't want that.

Well, my thinking has changed, to see how I feel about having kids, go
here.

Like my friend
Sara said,
"Motherhood is the best kept secret."
I couldn't agree more. You don't know how good it is until you actually do it. It's intoxicating!

Now, how long do you think it will take me to have 100 kids? (wink, wink)

#44 - I eat at least one of these a day

I'm not a big meat fan, so this is one of the ways I get my protein. I eat at least 1, if not more a day because they are so good. You can get a huge box from Costco with like 30 in there . . . that would probably last me maybe 2 weeks. My favorite is the Honey Almond Flax.

Monday, December 15, 2008

#43 - Top 10 Christmas Movies . . . in my humble opinion

#10 - The Family Stone and/or Family Man (two different movies)

#9 - Home Alone

#8 - A Christmas Story

#7 - Miracle on 34th Street

#6 - The Chronicles of Narnia

#5 - Santa Clause 1, 2 and 3

#4 - National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation - my favorite part is when they cut down the tree.


#3 - A Nativity Story - I saw this last year and really liked it.

#2 - It's a Wonderful Life - it's a classic

Drum roll please . . . and number 1 is . . .


#1 - Elf - I like so many parts of this movie, but I think my favorite is when he first gets to New York and is so innocent. And then when he makes breakfast consisting of spagetti and syrup.

*These two movies below would be in my top ten Christmas movies, but not sure if they count, so I'm giving them an honorable mention.

Edward Scissorhands - I know this is more of a Halloween movie, but remember when he creates snow for the girl?

Borne Identity - hey, there's snow in it

And for the movies I'd like to watch this year:


Joyeux Noel
Polar Express
Scrooged
- with Bill Murray


Have you seen any of these? What are you top picks for the Holidays?

Sunday, December 14, 2008

#42 - A must for a stuffed up baby



I just discovered the wonders of saline solution for Baby O this week. I spent $4.50 for 1 oz of the stuff, but you can make your own at home.

Mix 8 ounces of tap water (1 measuring cup) with 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon of salt.

Keep the saline in a bottle or glass for a maximum of 24 hours. Then throw the solution away, wash the container, and make a new solution.

http://www.med.umich.edu/1libr/pa/pa_nasalirr_hhg.htm

Saturday, December 13, 2008

#41- 12 Days till Christmas & 12 Christmas Questions


I think it's 12 days before Christmas, right? Or do you count the 25th as a day? Then it would be 13 days till Christmas. Whatever it is, here are my answers to 12 Christmas Questions.

1. Favorite Christmas movie? Elf, It's a Wonderful Life is a close second
2. Favorite Christmas song? O Holy Night
3. White Christmas or gettin tan on the beach? White Christmas, but I don't mind getting tan any day before or after
4. Christmas tree - real or fake? This year, real
5. Favorite Christmas cookie? My SIL, Cathy's, butter cookies, then my mom's molasses cookies (here's a link to a recipe that is almost exact as my mom's, only my mom doesn't use cardamom.)

6. Favorite/most memorable Christmas present? Kleenex Box
7. What Holiday traditions do you have? Open 1 Christmas present on Christmas Eve and always get a box of cereal from Santa
8. Favorite Christmas food? Cheeseballs, ham, peppermint icecream...I know, healthy :)
9. What did you do for Christmas last year? I was in Mexico with my family
10. What are you doing for Christmas this year? Home with family and then traveling to see family
11. What's the best Christmas present you've given? Last year I was going to surpise my family and tell them I was prego with Baby O, but I chickened out and didn't tell them until the 30th.
12. What do you want for Christmas? Back massage, be with family (I know it should be the other way around, but hey)If you feel like answering these questions, feel free to copy and post to your blog, I'd love to read them.

Merry Christmas!

Friday, December 12, 2008

#40 - Turkey Pepperoni


I wish Costco sold this. Only 70 calories for 17 slices...so worth it.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

#39 - Roasted Veggies


Recently I decided I needed to eat more vegetables (yes, this is something I should have decided long ago, but now I am trying really hard.) So, I went to Costco and bought a massive bag of broccoli, 6 large red peppers and a huge bag of carrots. I have a bag of onions, a 1/2 bag of potatoes and 3 sweet potatoes left over from Thanksgiving. I just found this nifty roasting guide here and below. I'm definately going to try some of these combinations out soon.

Sure-Fire Roasted Vegetables

4 to 5 cups of "soft" veggies
Chopped broccoli (1 cup)
Onions (1 cup)
Chopped garlic or whole cloves (1 to 3 cloves)
Bell peppers (1 cup)
Zucchini or yellow summer squash (1 cup)
Eggplant (1 cup)

OR

4 to 5 cups of "hard" veggies
Chopped carrots (1 cup)
Sweet potatoes or new potatoes (1 cup)
Butternut squash (or other squash), cubed (1 cup)
Parsnips or rutabaga (1 cup)
Onions (1 cup)
Chopped garlic or whole cloves (1 to 3 cloves)

Seasoning Mix:
For Italian:
2 teaspoons dried basil
1 teaspoon dried oregano
2 teaspoons dried rosemary
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley

For Mexican:
2 teaspoons cumin
1 teaspoon basil
1 teaspoon rosemary
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/4 cup chopped cilantro

For Indian:
1 teaspoon curry powder
1 teaspoon graham masala
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/4 cup chopped cilantro

Preheat oven to 400°F. Spray jelly roll pan with cooking spray.
Combine vegetable mixture (either hard or soft vegetables) in bowl. Add your choice of seasoning mix. Toss vegetables to coat with seasoning. Place vegetables in pan in a single layer.

For soft vegetables: Roast 10 minutes. Take pan out of oven and spray the tops of the vegetables with cooking spray. Turn veggies and cook for another 5 to 10 minutes or until vegetables are tender.

For hard vegetables: Roast 15 minutes. Take pan out of oven and spray the tops of the vegetables with cooking spray. Turn veggies and cook for another 15 minutes or until vegetables are tender.

Make it a meal by adding a can of drained and rinsed beans (such as garbanzo or black beans). Serve vegetables as a side dish, over couscous or brown rice, or wrapped up in a burrito with salsa.
Recipe from PCRM Weight Loss Study Cooking Demonstration contributed by Brie Turner-McGrievy, R.D.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

#38 - Marathon Love

Usually, I don't try to promote the shows I work on here on my blog, but this is good. Click here to see the teaser. It airs this Sunday and is so worth watching if you can. Let me know if you see it.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

#37 - Inside-Out German Chocolate Cake

what it looks like on the inside.



finshed cake, i didn't let it firm up, so it's melting.

after it's been cut into.


before it was frosted.

This was so good, I had to post 4 photos. My cousin Michelle first told me about this recipe. And since Pepe's favorite cake is German Chocolate, I decide to make this for his birthday last year. It took a long time and I didn't let it cool, so it was sort of a gooey mess, but the filling, was oh so good!

Here's the recipe from my friend Martha:

Inside-Out German Chocolate Cake

Makes one 9-inch torte.
10 tablespoons (1 1/4 sticks) unsalted butter, plus more for pans
7 ounces bittersweet chocolate
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon table salt
1 cup sugar
2 large eggs
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
Coconut-Pecan Filling (see below)
Chocolate Ganache (see below)

DIRECTIONS
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter two 9-inch springform pans. Line the bottoms with parchment paper, and butter the paper; set aside. Place chocolate and butter in a heatproof bowl, and set over a pan of barely simmering water. Stir occasionally until melted; set aside.
2. Sift together flour and salt; set aside. Place sugar and eggs in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, and beat until fluffy and well combined, 3 to 5 minutes. Add vanilla and chocolate mixture, and stir to combine. Add dry ingredients, and stir to combine. Divide batter between the two pans using an offset spatula to distribute batter evenly, and smooth the layers. Bake until the center is set, about 20 minutes. Transfer pans to a wire rack to cool completely before unmolding.
3. Place one layer on a 9-inch cardboard cake round. Spread filling over the layer, and invert the second layer onto the top, leaving the smooth side up. Press down gently on top layer to evenly distribute filling to edges. Using a metal spatula, smooth filling flush with sides of cake. Refrigerate until ready to glaze.
4. Carefully transfer torte off cardboard round onto a wire rack set over a baking pan. Pour enough ganache glaze over cake to fully coat, shaking pan gently to help spread ganache if necessary. Let sit for 15 to 20 minutes. The ganache in the pan may be melted and strained through a fine sieve and added back to glaze. Pour remaining glaze over torte, allowing excess to drip off sides. If top is not smooth, gently shake pan or run an offset spatula quickly over surface. Allow to set at least 30 minutes before serving. Carefully slide the cake off of the wire rack and onto serving platter.

Coconut-Pecan Filling

Makes about 2 cups, enough for one 9-inch Torte.
1 fourteen-ounce sweetened condensed milk
10 tablespoons (1 1/4 stick) unsalted butter
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
4 large egg yolks
2 cups shredded sweetened coconut
1 1/2 cups finely chopped pecans

Directions
1. Place milk, butter, and vanilla in a medium saucepan, and cook over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, until melted and combined.
2. Whisk egg yolks in a medium bowl, and, whisking constantly, add some of the hot milk mixture to the egg yolks until combined. Whisk the mixture back into the saucepan, and cook, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon, until the mixture thickens slightly, about 5 minutes.
3. Remove from heat, and stir in coconut and pecans. Cool completely, and refrigerate in an airtight container until ready to use, up to 2 days. This is so good, I could just eat this.

Chocolate Ganache

Ingredients
1 pound bittersweet or semisweet chocolate (I think semi-sweet is better, even milk would be good)
2 1/2 cups heavy cream

Directions
Chop chocolate finely using a serrated knife; place in a large heat-proof bowl.
Bring cream to a boil over medium-high heat; pour directly over chopped chocolate. Allow to sit 10 minutes. Use a rubber spatula to gently stir chocolate and cream until well combined and smooth. Let sit at room temperature until cooled and just thickened, stirring occasionally, about 30 minutes, but up to an hour depending on the temperature of the room.

Monday, December 8, 2008

#36 - Cuttin Down a Christmas Tree


On Saturday, we went with our friends, Grant, Anna and Jeff, to cut down a Christmas tree.  It's the first time I had ever done this (growing up, I'd always be the one to put our fake tree up the day after Halloween) and I thought it would be a little like the Griswald's adventure in National Lampoons Christmas Vacation.  Instead, we had a pretty fun adventure.

Here's some highlights from the day:
-Eating 3 meals with our friends
        Breakfast was bacon, eggs and potatoes.
     Lunch was chicken sandwiches.
      Dinner was taco salad.
-Pepe and Grant got to use the chainsaw.
-First snowfall of the year, we were sliding all over the road on our way home.
-Baby O wore his Chirstmas outfit from Grandma and Grandpa.
-The girls and Baby O rode in one car, the boys rode in the truck.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

#35 - Candles in the Windows - dual purpose

Grant, Candle, Pepe (who doesn't like photos, so I croped him), Banana Cream Pie
I'm such a fan of candles in the windows of homes during the cold winter months. My mom did this at home when I was younger and it made me feel cozy in our cold freezing house. My dad likes to keep the temp at a nice 55 degrees (that's inside the house, not outside) during the winter months, which are quite long where they live.

Since we just moved, I just unpacked our candles. Only one has a functioning blub, although I must say the other 5 did last for the past 3 years. For Pepe's birthday I couldn't find any candles (they are packed in a box somewhere), so we used our only working candle to put atop his birthday cake. (He didn't have a cake, nor did we put it on top of anything, that would have been messy, but you get the idea.) We sang him Happy Birthday and then he blew out his candle (which consisted of our friend Grant turning clicking off the light).

You might want to keep this in mind for your next Birthday Party. One click of the switch, the candle always blows out and no spit on the cake. Oh, and they also look good in the windows afterwards.

*Talked with my dad tonight (12/7/08) and he claims he keeps the house at 65 degrees.  I still think he kept it at 55 growing up :)

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

#34 - Baby Eyelashes


Baby O has the longest eyelashes. Even though they are blond and hard to see, they are oh so cute.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

#33 - Go Bananas B-AN-AN-AS


Yesterday we celebrated Pepe's birthday and all he wanted was a banana cream pie so, our good friends, Anna and Grant, bought Pepe a Marie Callender's Banana Cream Pie . . . so yummy. Anyway, the pie bought back two good memories for me (warning lots of reminiscing and a delicious recipe to follow).


1. When I was a kid, our family was friends with this older Hispanic couple. They were pie makers at the local Marie Callender's restaurant. I remember they would give us left over pies and I would think that we were so lucky.


2. When I was working (on a shoot where women give birth live on tv, this is an insignificant detail, but thought you'd like to know) in Orlando, Florida, I went out to eat with my co-workers to Emeril's Orlando. I'm not a huge fan of New Orleans' flavors (ie: fish, fried food and southern food), but . . . OH MY GOODNESS . . . they had the BEST Banana Cream Pie. So good, that I had to make it for Pepe. I found the recipe here. I've only made it once, about 3 years ago, but it was delicious. If you want the best Banana Cream Pie ever, try this:


Banana Cream Pie with Caramel Drizzles and Chocolate Sauce
Recipe courtesy Emeril Lagasse, 2003


Ingredients
4 cups heavy cream
1 1/2 cups whole milk
1 1/2 cups plus 2 teaspoons granulated sugar
1 vanilla bean, split in half lengthwise and seeds scraped
3 large egg yolks
2 large eggs
1/2 cup cornstarch
1 recipe Graham Cracker Crust, recipe follows
3 pounds (about 9) firm but ripe bananas, peeled and cut crosswise into 1/2-inch-thick slices
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Caramel Sauce, recipe follows (Adds a good combination of flavor, but you don't really need this, only if you are really adventurous)
Chocolate Sauce, recipe follows (you don't need this, see above)
Shaved chocolate, for garnish
Confectioner's sugar, for garnish

Directions
Combine 2 cups of the cream, the milk, 1/2 cup of the sugar, the vanilla bean, and the vanilla seeds in a large heavy-bottomed saucepan over medium heat. Bring to a gentle boil, whisking to dissolve the sugar. Remove from the heat.
Combine the egg yolks, eggs, cornstarch, and 1 cup of the sugar in a medium bowl, and whisk pale yellow in color. Set aside.
Whisk 1 cup of the hot cream mixture into the egg yolks. Gradually add the egg mixture to the hot cream, whisking constantly. Bring to a simmer, stirring constantly with a large wooden spoon to cook out the cornstarch and the mixture thickens, about 5 minutes. (The mixture may separate slightly. If so, remove from the heat and beat with an electric mixer until thick and smooth.) Strain through a fine mesh strainer into a clean bowl. Cover with plastic wrap, pressing down against the surface to prevent a skin from forming. Chill in the refrigerator for about 4 hours.
To assemble, spread 1/2 cup of the custard over the bottom of the prepared crust, smoothing with the back of a large spoon or rubber spatula. Arrange enough banana slices (not quite one-third) in a tight, tiled pattern over the custard, pressing down with your hands to pack them firmly. Repeat to build a second layer, using 3/4 cup of the custard and enough bananas to cover, smoothing down the layer evenly. For the third layer, spread 3/4 cup of custard over the bananas and top with the remaining bananas, starting 1-inch from the outer edge and working toward the center. Spread 1 cup of custard evenly over the bananas to prevent discoloration. Cover with plastic wrap and chill for at least 4 hours or overnight.
In a medium bowl, whip the cream until soft peaks form. Add the remaining 2 teaspoons of sugar and the vanilla extract and whip until stiff peaks form.
Remove the pie from the refrigerator. With a sharp knife dipped in hot water, cut the pie into 10 equal slices. Transfer the slices to dessert plates. Fill a
pastry bag with the whipped cream and pipe onto each slice. (Alternately, spread the whipped cream evenly over the pie before cutting.)
Drizzle each slice with the caramel sauce and chocolate sauce, sprinkle with the chocolate shavings and confectioners' sugar, and serve.


Graham Cracker Crust:
1 1/4 cups graham cracker crumbs
1/4 cup sugar
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Combine the graham cracker crumbs and sugar in a medium bowl and mix well. Add the butter and mix well. Press the mixture into a 9-inch pie pan. Top with aluminum pie tin and with a circular motion, press the crust tightly into the pan. Bake until browned, about 25 minutes. Cool for 10 to 15 minutes.
Yield: 1 (9-inch) crust

Caramel Sauce:
3/4 cup sugar
2 tablespoons water
1/2 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
1/2 cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons to 1/4 cup whole milk
Combine the sugar, water, and lemon juice in a medium, heavy saucepan over medium-high heat. Cook, stirring, until the sugar dissolves. Let boil without stirring until the mixture becomes a deep amber color, 2 to 3 minutes, watching closely so it doesn't burn. Add the cream, whisk to combine, and remove from the heat. Add the milk, 2 tablespoons at a time, until the desired consistency is reached. Remove from the heat and cool to room temperature before serving with the pie. (The sauce will thicken as it cools.)
Yield: generous 3/4 cup


Chocolate Sauce:
3/4 cup half-and-half
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1/2 pound semisweet chocolate chips
1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Scald the half-and-half and butter in a small, heavy saucepan over medium heat. Remove from the heat.
Place the chocolate and vanilla in a medium, heat-proof bowl. Add the hot half-and-half and let sit for 2 minutes, then whisk until smooth. Serve slightly warm. (The sauce can be kept refrigerated in an airtight container for several days, but it must be returned to room temperature before serving.
Yield: generous 3/4 cup

WARNING - it takes approximately 10 hours start to finish to make.
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