[This post was moved from the Chicagoo board by the panna cotta loving moderators]
I was asked to post the recipe for the Panna Cotta, here goes.
(adapted from Mark Bittman's "How to Cook Everything" - which I highly recommend having gotten a signed copy as a present this Chrismas)
(six servings - for the Cafe I did 3x with just vanilla and 1 serving with cinamon and vanilla)
1 cup milk (I used Whole)
2 cups Cream (I used heavy whipping cream)
1/2 cup sugar
1 packet gelatin
vanilla - the original recipe calls for a vanilla bean, not having one I used Vanilla powder from the Spice House on Wells (also in Evanston) which is a powdered pure vanilla)
First, take half of the milk and the gelatin and let it sit in a pan for a few minutes, then heat over low heat until the gelatin disolves completely.
Second, add the other half of the milk, the cream, and vanilla powder (and any other flavorings) and heat on medium until steaming (so before it boils).
At that point turn the heat off and cover, let sit for 15-30 minutes. Then pour into container(s) and chill.
For the cafe I made the mistake of using too large of a container initially (resulting in some spillage on the way to the cafe) - I would recommend using small ramikins to chill more quickly. For the cafe we ended up having to use a convienent freezer to get it to set in time.
I would like to thank Cathy for her ride and everyone for their help with the meal - lots of fun, my girlfriend and I both enjoyed ourselves and were very happy to see how many people came out to help (and thanks specifically to Julia and "mike" for helping figure out how to get the panna cotta to set in time).
Happy New Year to all!