Favorite Things & a Soufflé

Saturday, January 12, 2013

I just finished watching Oprah's Favorite Things {Late, I know...It was on our DVR!} and let me tell you, although I was never into Oprah before, it just makes me so happy to see what she is still doing on her Network, each day. This special is where she shows the process of picking and choosing all of the wonderful items she dubs her "favorite things" which now, only show in the magazine {There was a special before on her show, when it was airing}. She picked everything! Shoes, bedding, food, clothing, mattresses, pet toys, spa treatments, nail polish, makeup, sunglasses, cameras, tv's...Literally everything!

There were so many cool items on the special, but the best part was this: A big chunk of it was where Oprah picked 30-odd number of military spouses from all over to give back in her own way. She picked women {and one husband} who.... were featured on Military Spouse magazine, who ran their own business, who wrote books about military life, who took care of their own wounded warrior at home, who did amazing, wonderful things for their communities. They were flown to 8th & I at the Marine Barracks to a facility they had set up for the occassion, being told that they were being interviewed, or something like that. They all sit down and the decorations are hidden, then in walks Oprah and the Christmas decor {since it was a Christmas special -- That's the time she picks her favorite things and airs the show} appears and everyone is seriously without words and full of shock {And there's a lot of screaming!}. She explains it all and then starts showing and giving them handpicked favorite things of hers that she knows they need.

Because that's basically what the segment of the show was, and I am
truly grateful for military spouses before me {my mom included} and now who
have endured so much at the homefront. It was amazing to watch!

For instance, one couple never had a honeymoon because her servicemember has been deployed for over half of their marriage thus far, so Oprah gave them an all-inclusive vacation to Fiji. Another couple was given a Tempur Pedic mattress that was sorely needed for medical reasons for the servicemember, but they could never afford it. They were all given shoes, nail polish, handbags, and little gadgets of course. It was just too touching --- Somehow, Oprah's team went behind the scenes to the personal stuff, and did whatever she could to give back to those families who put it all on the line when duty calls. It really makes me proud to be a part of that community, knowing that at this moment, my husband is studying all that he can to be able to help defend and protect our country when we reach his duty station soon. This part of the show was truly wonderful to watch, and yes, I am VERY proud to be a military spouse {and daughter, too!}.

Anyway, today I've been really craving something light, fluffy, and full of chocolate... And got an idea that I absolutely needed a soufflé! And boy it is amazing. I've been watching a lot of baking shows on Food Network like Cupcake Wars and Sweet Genuis, so it's no wonder this got in my head.

Obviously, by all of the baking/cooking I've done lately, I am trying my best to be more involved in the kitchen than ever before. And it is surely working... This food lately is just wonderful! I keep looking for more recipes just to try something else... I'm on a roll!


The recipe is as follows:

7 oz. finely chopped chocolate {semi sweet or bitter}
4 T. unsalted butter
1/2 tsp. vanilla
3 large egg yolks
3 T. warm water
1/2 c. & 2 T. sugar
8 large egg whites, room temperature
1/2 tsp. fresh lemon juice
powdered sugar for dusting garnish

~Brush container with butter & powdered sugar and put aside in freezer {I used a smaller circular glass bowl to bake it in..Just a couple bucks from Walmart}

~Preheat oven to 400* F

~Stir chocolate chunks and butter over boiling water until smooth & add vanilla

~In large bowl, beat egg yolks and warm water until frothy {peaks form}. Gradually add 2 T. sugar until ribbons form.

~Fold yolk mixture into chocolate mixture

~Take container from freezer

~Mix egg whites with lemon juice and beat until frothy. Then gradually add 1/2 c. of sugar

~Fold 1/3 of the egg white mixture into chocolate mixture to lighten, then gradually add the rest to blend it

~Spoon soufflé mixture into containers and level surface

~Bake about 18-20 minutes or until top "crust" is golden and brown. The soufflé generally rises and inch and a half from the bowl by the time it is ready. Be sure to check with a knife or skewer in the center as well --- if it comes out clean, it is done!

~Dust with powdered sugar and serve immediately!!

This recipe calls for 6 - 6oz. ramekin containers, but obviously you can make a larger soufflé if you want, which is what I did {I made two of the above size, shown - Perfect for us!}

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