This year was so much more than COVID-19.

It was the year I was hospitalized for unexplained facial paralysis, and reminded how lucky I am to be surrounded by such incredibly supportive and caring friends and family;

It was the year all celebrations happened virtually and we embraced family and holiday traditions as best we could from afar;

It was the year that I realized that I'm far more of an introvert than I thought, missing friends, the office and socializing, but also being perfectly content at home;

It was the year my 95 year old grandmother learned what zoom was, and in time embraced virtual family hangs;

It was the year we enjoyed a well cooked meal at home almost as much as if we were at a fancy restaurant;

It was the year we escaped to the lake almost monthly during the summer months, reminding me how privileged we are to have access to such a place;

It was the year my big sister got engaged, and married a month later, reinforcing how beautiful an intimate family wedding in a special place can be;

It was the year we stopped going to concerts, events and activities, and realized that pre-Covid, we were likely over-programming our lives;

It was the year we bought a house, collapsed excessive amounts of cardboard and embraced the tranquility of quiet neighbours;

It was the year that our fertility journey took a hopefully promising turn;

And finally, a year in which I was reminded how lucky I am to have a partner who I adore spending time with, and who makes being home fun. 

So with that, we bid adieu to 2020, with steak, fries and crème brûlée. 

CRÈME BRÛLÉE // serves 4


2 cups heavy cream (I use 35% LF whipping cream)
1-2 tsp vanilla bean powder
4 tbsp white sugar
4 egg yolks

topping //
~8 tsp white sugar

What to do:

Note: the custard needs min. 6 hours to chill in the fridge before eating, so plan ahead. 

Preheat oven to 325, and place 4 heat-safe ramekins in a baking dish (snuggly so they don't move around).

In a saucepan, combine the cream, sugar and vanilla. Heat the mixture over a medium flame, stirring often, until small bubbles appear around the sides and the mixture is hot and steamy. Remove from the heat, cover and let steep for 10-60 minutes. 

Whisk the egg yolks in a medium bowl. Once the cream has steeped, gradually whisk it into the yolks. Strain the mixture through a fine mesh sieve, then transfer into a pouring vessel with a spout (like a large measuring cup). Divide the custard between the 4 ramekins. 

Bring a kettle of water to boil. 

Cover the baking dish/ramekins with aluminum foil, and poke a few holes throughout. Peel back one corner. 

Once the oven is hot, and water has boiled, carefully transfer the dish into the oven. Pour in enough water through the peeled back corner to come halfway up the sides of the ramekins. Recover with foil.

Bake for 30-40 minutes, until the custard jiggles like jello. Do not over-bake. Once cooked, remove from oven and carefully transfer each ramekin to a wire rack and let cool, at least 1 hour. 

Cover and chill for at least 6 hours, or up to 3 days. 

To serve, torch 1 tsp of sugar on each ramekin. Repeat, creating 2 layers. Cool/harden in the fridge for 10-20 minutes before serving.