Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Chocolate Ice Cream

This is the first recipe from the cooking challenge my friend at Create Cakes and I are doing instead of joining the Daring Bakers right now. We haven't come up with a cool thing to call it yet but we have several yummy recipes to try!

Anyway, I haven't made ice cream in a long time, but this recipe was worthy. I had it last week for the first time and it was delicious. I was excited to try it out and see how it worked at my house. Plus I had extra heavy cream from my quiche last week.

The recipe is a variation from Desert Candy and her 21 day Ice Cream challenge. It is rich and sweet, very creamy and yummy.

Best Ever Chocolate Ice Cream

1 Cup Whole Milk
2 Cup Heavy Cream
3/4 Cup Sugar
3/4 Cup Cocoa
3 oz. Chocolate (I like DARK)
4 Egg yolks
Pinch of Salt

1. In a sauce pan, whisk together the Milk and Cream with the sugar, cocoa powder, and salt until smooth. Whisk together the egg yolks in a small bowl. Place the saucepan over medium heat and bring the mixture to a boil, stirring constantly. Drizzle a little bit of the milk mixture into the egg yolks, stirring to combine, then add the egg yolks in a slow stream back into the milk in the saucepan. Return the pan to the heat and cook over low heat, stirring constantly, until the mixture is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon. Do not let boil or it will curdle. Remove the mixture from the heat and immediately stir in the chopped chocolate, stirring until the chocolate is melted and combined.

2. Place the mixture in the refrigerator to chill thoroughly, at least 4 hours. Process the mixture in your ice cream maker according to the manufacturer's directions.

Yeah I didn't wait 4 hours before putting it in my little ice cream maker and letting L go to town on stirring. Oh well. It still came out wonderful. He loves to help in the kitchen and turning the crank on the ice cream mixer for 10 minutes is right up his alley. I did take a few turns stirring as well.

It is hard frozen today, but the photos aren't nearly as much fun. Flavor is still wonderful, with a sweetness at first and then a intense chocolate bite afterward. I used Lindt 70% cocoa dark chocolate bar in it. Yum!!

Monday, August 27, 2007

Fruit Dip

Before last week, I did not like fruit dip. Then I tried this recipe from my friend at Create Cakes.

The name really lacks creativity, and does not describe the taste. With cream cheese & toffee bits, this dip is tangy & sweet, and reminds me of candy and cheese cake all at once.

The recipe:

8 oz. cream cheese
1/2 c. brown sugar
1/4 c. powdered sugar
2/3 c. toffee bits
1 tsp. vanilla

Mix well and refrigerate.

Curiously, the texture changes as it sits in the fridge. On the first day, the flavors haven't blended much, and while it is good, it isn't as good as it will be on day 2 or 3, as the toffee and brown sugar work their magic.

I like it best with tart apples, but I'm sure it is good with many other types of fruit.

Penne with Spinach and Feta

Tonight's dinner:

From my Allrecipes Cookbook. The recipe can be found at this link. I originally made this so I could add ham that I had left over, but then I forgot. It is a really simple, and delicious dish. I served it with breadsticks, applesauce and limeade. It was a delicious dinner!

All the work is in prepping the ingredients. Crumbling the feta, chopping up the tomatoes and cooking the penne (or mostaccioli) beforehand. Then it takes about 5 minutes to make this delicious dish.

This was also a hit with my kids, which is always good to note. My kids eat salad easily, but avoided the spinach in the dish. They ate the pasta and cheese though, so I figure some of the nutrition rubbed off the spinach into the sauce.

Which is one thing a picture can't really show - how saucy this dish really is. The tomatoes break down and mix with the feta and make a really great simple sauce. It is a thin sauce, but it surprised me how much sauce there was.

This dinner qualifies as a quick meal, a la Rachel Ray. With the previously made homemade applesauce, I had my son make limeade and the breadsticks took the most time, maybe an hour total. Quick and easy!

Banana cookies

Sunday Dessert Treat

From my MBASA cookbook:
Banana Cookies
3/4 c. shortening (used butter)
1 c. sugar
1 egg
1 1/2 c. flour
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt
3/4 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
1 c. smashed bananas
1 3/4 c. quick oats
(optional) chocolate chips

Cream butter/sugar, add egg, mix. In a separate bowl, mix dry ingredients. Add to wet mixture, add bananas & quick oats, add chocolate cips. Bake at 400 F for 12-15 minutes.

So I got to watch these get made by my cousin & my kids. It was fun. Normally it's me with the 2 kids helping stir and add ingredients.

They taste like banana bread, but are so much easier to carry around! Plus you can call them "banookies". I think we have a new favorite way to eat bananas. :)

Using butter instead of shortening can have some ramifications - the cookies spread a bit more and may be crispier. But it worked fine with these cookies. For more info on it, The Prepared Pantry has a blurb about it at the bottom of the page in the link.

My MBASA cookbook comes from an organization I was lucky to be a member of for 2 years, while my husband got his MBA. It is one of those great group cookbooks that can't be bought anywhere. You have to know someone related to the group.

Sunday, August 26, 2007

New food blog

This is my new blog for posting about the food in my life. I love to bake and cook. I love to try new things. I love food. I'm not sure what qualifies someone as a foodie, but I think that's me. I am a flexitarian, if my eating and cooking style needs a label.

My dear friend at Create Cakes and I are going to do a monthly baking challenge to expand our horizons together on the things we want to try making. We have a long list already, which is part of why we didn't just join up with the Daring Bakers. I might still join them soon, we'll see. I also like to look at the The Weekend Cookbook Challenge and 24 Boxes. Beyond that, food blogging is exciting new terrain for me to explore.

I will post anything new I try each month, including the planned posts with my friend at Create Cakes. I have said I usually try something new atleast once a month, but I don't know. There are lots of fun things I could back post about too, and maybe I will, as time goes by.

For now, here are some of my thanksgiving photos. I like to take pictures of Thanksgiving Dinner when I cook it, which is unfortunately not every year. Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday because of all the fun cooking. My family and friends think I'm a bit nutty to want photos of my past feasts, but oh well!





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