Friday, October 25, 2013

Livin da Vida Loca -- Pumpkin Creme Brulee

To say that life has gotten crazy is the understatement of the century. Moving across the country is hard!

I'm trying desperately to see everyone and do everything AND pack up the last year of my life into the smallest amount of boxes possible that will fit into my little Yaris. I have seen a lot of people, done a handful of things, but my amount of boxes stays stubbornly at 4.

ON TOP OF THE WORLD... or just Poet's Seat Tower

For the past four years, ever since graduating college, I've wanted to get out of Western Mass. I knew if I ended up "settling" here, I'd never leave, and I'd feel tragically unfulfilled. Now my Grand Escape is on the horizon and I'm getting nostalgic and sentimental and sad. And terrified. Still unsure of my employment status once I reach Texas, and I am so worried about money... but I guess I'm ALWAYS worried about money, so that's nothing new. Being in a new place AND worrying about money is the added bonus, I suppose. I keep telling myself it'll all be fine--Cory has a job, I have friends who can get me part-time work if the job I'm holding out for doesn't work out, and there are tons of jobs in Austin and I'll find something to pay the bills. I know once I get there and feel the sun on my face and really embark on my adventure I'll be excited, maybe even when we get on our road trip and we pass through the first state South of Massachusetts...right now the nerves are just making that a little harder to see.

It's the biggest risk I've ever taken. When I stop worrying it's actually quite an incredible feeling. Something that makes me feel like I've finally become an adult, that I'm taking a huge step in the relationship with the man I love, that I'm finally, FINALLY living my dream of moving to a new state! When I stop worrying...

My handsome guy... missing him a ton right now

It's exactly a week until Cory is home, and then it's two more days and we're on the road. It's difficult, not having him here with me when it's getting closer and closer to the move date and the stress is building one block at a time. My cat is getting super snuggly, which helps (it's getting freaking COLD at night here in New England) but it makes me sad that I'll have to say goodbye to him, too, even though only temporarily--Cory's mom is taking Finn for us until we find an apartment in Austin, then flying down with him once we're settled.

How could you NOT miss this face?

I am, however, getting pretty good at getting rid of stuff. Not nearly enough, not yet, but I've probably gotten 1/3 of my wardrobe out of my closet and most unnecessary or less-sentimental knick knacks. Friends are buying any sort of clothing, shoes, furniture, and jewelry I have up for sale (THANK YOU!!) and it is REALLY helping--I've now covered the entire cost of gas for the trip, and possibly a night or two in a hotel.

It's going to be okay. I've just never been a fan of letting go.

I've been sitting on this recipe for a while, because I hated the way the pictures came out and decided I'd re-do the recipes and re-take the pictures eventually. But since October is flying by, it's now or never.

Halloween is my favorite time of year, I really wanted to make more spooky recipes. Oh well. Enjoy this more gourmet-ish one ;)

Pumpkin Custard
(Custard recipe adapted from We Are Not Martha)

  • 1 1/2 cup whole milk
  • 3 egg yolks
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 2 T cornstarch
  • 1/2 t pumpkin pie spice (or more, to taste)
  • 1/2 cup pumpkin puree (use fresh if at all possible, I used canned and there was a slight metallic taste)
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 t vanilla
  • Plus...
  • 4 tbs brown sugar
  • 2 tbs white sugar
  • 1/4 tsp pumpkin pie spice

In a medium saucepan, combine the milk and vanilla and heat until steaming

While the milk is heating, whisk together egg yolks and sugar in a separate bowl.

Mix together the dry ingredients and spice, and whisk the dry ingredients into the sugar/egg mixture, being sure to avoid lumps. When smooth, whisk in the pumpkin puree.

Slowly pour the hot milk into the egg mixture, whisking vigorously to avoid curdling. Once the egg mixture is as hot as the milk in the pan, quickly whisk the egg mixture back into the saucepan with the remaining milk.

Heat until custard is thick and bubbling. Let cool to room temperature.

Set oven to broil and let heat up. Mix together remaining brown sugar, white sugar, and pumpkin pie spice.

Pour custard mixture into four ramekins, and cover with sugar mixture. Place on a cookie sheet and put into the oven. Watch CAREFULLY and as soon as the sugar on top has melted, remove from the heat.



  1. Congrats to you!!! Yayyyyy! You are finding your own way to make it happen! I am sure you are going to LOVE it in Texas! I wanna go on vacation sometime!

  2. CONGRATS and GOOD LUCK! I hear Austin is amazing. Hang in there with the move can always recover with about 6 of these yummy pumpkin brulees!

  3. I know a big move like this is so hard but it's also so exciting! I know you're going to be so happy!

    um oh yeah and this creme brulee looks like crazy amazing. Even though it's pumpkin :P

  4. Take a deep breath, and remember that one day soon you'll look back and thing "what was I worried about?". I've done the cross country move without anything lined up on the other end, and it resulted in lots of great things. And Austin! Who wouldn't love living there! Good luck!!

  5. OMG the whiskers on your cat! So crazy long and adorable. I can't imagine being away from my fur babies, so I hope you get settled quick and get back to kitty cuddles. I've never moved out of state, but let me tell you I'm jealous that you're taking the leap and doing what you want :)

  6. The move sounds exciting and you're going to do great with all the upheaval! You're right; it's a huge adult sort of decision.

    As for the Pumpkin Creme Brulee, you need to come make some for me before you leave :-D

  7. What a great adventure you are embarking on! I hope all goes well for you. This creme brulee looks fantastic and perfectly crunchy on top!

  8. I am SO proud of you for doing this even though it's scary and crazy. I really think you are going to be so happy about it in the end!!

    On a totally unrelated note. Why is this not in my belly right now?!

  9. oh what a great fall treat! Can't wait to hear about your new adventure- good luck with the move!

  10. I've never had pumpkin creme brulee but it sounds SOOOOO good. I will be dreaming about this until I make it. Good luck with the move! I moved to a different country alone when I was 20. Now when I look back, I don't know how I did it... but here I am, and it was a best decision in my life! You will have new friends, new life.. so exciting! xo

  11. Many times fear and nervousness are part of a great adventure, which I hope yours is! And agree with Joanne, why isn't that in my belly right now?

  12. I love this post, Ashley, especially reading it now that you're established closer to your goal! I hope you're happy & having fun & living well, and I'm sad I didn't get to see you this time back, but I know it will happen again. Much love, Jerri

  13. Two Years Later... I'm crazy jealous that you did it!! You established yourself closer to your goal - and maybe it is your goal now... Winter is coming. Isn't it terrible that I have a hard time enjoying fall because, as you said, it's the gateway to WINTER. Ugh. If I can ever convince Andy to move, then we can be footloose and fancy free. That would be excellent!! xo Jerri