This week I’m doing frozen treats. Vanilla and Strawberry Ice Cream began the series here. This is the next treat.
The sorbet was by request and I’m so glad they voted for it. It was terrific. Cool, light, tangy and slightly sweet. The lemon is the perfect addition to the blueberries, giving it a nice depth. Easy to make. Perfect for a warm summer day.
- 1 cup water (3/4 cups if you’re using frozen blueberries)
- 1/2 cup sugar (you can use half sugar, half honey if you prefer)
- 2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
- 5 cups blueberries, fresh or frozen
- a few blueberries and fresh mint for garnish
saucepan, blender, ice cream maker
In the saucepan, add water, sugar and lemon juice. Bring to a low boil and stir constantly until the sugar is dissolved. To blender add blueberries and slightly cooled sugar mixture and puree until smooth. I have a vitamix, so I got a very smooth puree, you may need to run the blueberry mixture through a cheesecloth or fine sieve to remove any remaining skins or stems.
Let mixture cool in the refrigerator for at least an hour and then process in your ice cream maker according to directions.
Remove to an airtight container and let freeze solid. I actually covered the top with wax paper to keep it from getting a dry crust on top. It worked well.
Stay tuned, tomorrow there will be another treat. Until then….
I went for a long ride on Sunday and a flock of White Pelicans were totally enjoying the beautiful afternoon. They flew around for a good 20 minutes. I watched and watched and kept thinking if I get my camera out they’ll be gone. I finally dug it out of my pack and got some nice shots. They were really high up and I wasn’t sure I’d be able to capture them. Did my best, though.
These are American White Pelicans, as far as I know. When they arrive, I know winter is truly over.
Friends are letting me test drive their Cuisinart Ice Cream maker and it inspired a whole week of frozen treats, which will conclude with the Friday Recipe Exchange.
I thought it would be good to start with the basics. The first recipe is for a cream only ice cream and I’ll link to a JeffreyW post that has an egg custard ice cream. Then I’ll add strawberries to it. These recipes all make 1 to 1-1/2 quarts.
Vanilla Ice Cream
- 2 cups half-and-half
- 1 cup whipping cream
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 vanilla bean, split and scraped (or 3 tsp high quality vanilla extract)
Combine all ingredients (including the bean and its pulp – if you’re using extract, DO NOT add yet) in a large saucepan and place over medium heat. Stirring occasionally, bring the mixture to barely simmering, about 170 degrees F. Remove from heat and allow to cool slightly – remove the hull of the vanilla bean or add extract at this point, stirring in completely. Pour mixture into lidded container and refrigerate mixture overnight to mellow flavors and texture.
Freeze mixture in ice cream freezer according to unit’s instructions. The mixture will not freeze hard in the machine. It will reach a soft serve consistency. Then spoon the mixture back into a lidded container and harden in the freezer at least 1 hour before serving.
Strawberry Ice Cream (or really Any Berry Ice Cream)
- Make the vanilla base (above), cooled overnight
- 2 cups of chopped frozen strawberries (or any quality frozen berry of your choice)
- 1 tbsp vodka
ice cream maker
Toss strawberries with vodka, stir into the cold vanilla cream mixture. Add to your ice cream maker and freeze according to unit’s instructions. Again it will be a soft serve consistency when done, remove to an airtight container and freeze for 1 hour before serving.
For an egg custard ice cream, go to JeffreyW’s post here.
JeffreyW makes strawberry ice cream, too
I know I didn’t get a recipe up this week. I’ll make up for it, I’ve got a week of ice cream, gelato and sorbet recipes ready to go, leading up to the Friday Recipe Exchange. I have some nice photos and videos from my rides and hikes this week, that I might get uploaded, too.
Until then, a little night music:
I’m a romantic. I love picnics – you know the fried chicken, potato salad, baked beans and tasty dessert kind of picnic. So I decided to put together some recipes for a nice picnic or your Memorial Day cookout. Picnic basket is optional.
The featured recipes tonight are an easy fried chicken and spiced up baked beans. What goes great with fried chicken and spicy baked beans? How about some salads?
Italian Potato Salad (recipe here)
JeffreyW makes a bunch of picnic sides, including Red Potato Salad and a Tomato, Black Olive and Mozzarella Salad (recipes and great photos here)
And then for dessert? A simple pie that looks amazing and tastes pretty good, too.
Buttermilk Pie (pictured above and recipe here)
Now it’s your turn. What are some of your favorite picnic/cookout foods? Do you have anything that’s different and unexpected? Don’t hold out, share in the comments.
Now about that fried chicken and my very favorite sweet and spicy baked beans that use unexpected ingredients:
Easy Fried Chicken
(adapted from Cook’s Country)
- 1-1/4 cups buttermilk (use 5 tbsp buttermilk powder and 1-1/4 cup water)
- 1/4 tsp hot sauce
- 3 tsp black pepper
- 1 tsp garlic powder (this works better than fresh)
- 1 tsp paprika
- 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
- 3 1/2 pounds bone-in, skin-on chicken parts (breasts, thighs, and drumsticks, or a mix – go with your favorites. With breasts cut them in half to make them equal size with the thighs, so they all cook evenly)
- 2 cups unbleached flour
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 1 3/4cups vegetable oil
Whisk 1 cup buttermilk, 1 tablespoon salt, hot sauce, 1 tsp black pepper, ¼ tsp garlic powder, ¼ tsp paprika, and pinch of cayenne together in large bowl. Add chicken and turn to coat. Refrigerate, covered, at least 1 hour.
Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 400 degrees. Whisk flour, baking powder, 1 teaspoon salt, and remaining 2 teaspoons black pepper, ¾ teaspoon garlic powder, ¾ teaspoon paprika, and remaining cayenne together in large bowl. Add remaining ¼ cup buttermilk to flour mixture and mix with fingers until combined and small clumps form. Working with 1 piece at a time, dredge chicken pieces in flour mixture, pressing mixture onto pieces to form thick, even coating. Place dredged chicken on large plate, skin side up.
Heat oil in 11-inch straight-sided sauté pan over medium-high heat to 375 degrees. Carefully place chicken pieces in pan, skin side down, and cook until golden brown, 3 to 5 minutes. Carefully flip and continue to cook until golden brown on second side, 2 to 4 minutes longer. Transfer chicken to wire rack set in rimmed baking sheet. Bake chicken until instant-read thermometer inserted into thickest part of chicken registers 160 degrees for breasts and 175 for legs and thighs, 15 to 20 minutes. (Smaller pieces may cook faster than larger pieces. Remove pieces from oven as they reach -correct temperature.) Let chicken rest 5 minutes before serving.
I’ve stolen this baked bean recipe from friends who wowed me with it years ago. Amazingly simple, it takes ordinary canned baked beans up a notch. Go for good quality beans and sausage and real maple syrup and it’s a can’t miss. Sit back and accept all the compliments that will come your way.
Nita’s Baked Beans
- ½ lb spicy Italian sausage
- 28 oz can favorite baked beans
- 3 tbsp maple syrup
In saucepan, brown Italian sausage, drain well and crumble. Add beans and syrup, let simmer for 15 minutes to heat through and let flavors blend together.
Probably should think about doubling this recipe, because the leftovers are even better.