Category Archives: Fun with Food

Frozen Treats: Vanilla and Strawberry Ice Creams

strawberry-ice-cream1 After friends  let me test drive their Cuisinart Ice Cream maker, I bought my own, so I thought it would be a good time to revisit 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-halfP12738915
  • 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.

As promised: For an egg custard ice cream, go to JeffreyW’s post here.

JeffreyW makes strawberry ice cream, too

JeffreyW makes strawberry ice cream, too

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Originally posted May 2013

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Tacos, Stuffed Peppers, and Corn Salsa

DSC_8736 (1600x1060)This came together at the last minute.  I wanted to stuff more of my Anaheim peppers because there are quite a few of them and the last time I used them the result was good.  I had a pork roast that was pulled from the oven late yesterday so I pulled some of that apart and cooked it in bacon fat left over from the lunch BLTs, adding garlic and various chili powders and beef stock left from another project.  I cut the kernels off a couple of cobs of sweet corn off thinking it a nice  colorful filler for the peppers.  It did go in there eventually but as a part of a black bean salsa.  While the pork cooked down I drained the beans and chopped some green onions and red and green jalapenos.  That was all tossed with chopped tomatoes in rice vinegar with cumin, salt, and pepper.

So…  I could have gone with the pork and cheeses as a filler for the peppers and have the salsa as a side, or used the pork and cheeses with the salsa as filler in the peppers, but that wouldn’t have looked like much alone on a plate.  I knew I had corn tortillas so I opted for the menu as you see it.  The filling is the salsa with cream and cotija cheeses, with Monterey jack on top.  The tacos have the pork, cotija, lettuce, onions, chopped peppers, and tomatoes with a drizzle of taco sauce from a jar.

I bet TaMara is pulling her hair out reading this “recipe”.  LOL!

Tidbits

DSC_4734 (1600x1060)Our cherry tomatoes are doing great.  I’ll have to start freezing or drying some soon.  I didn’t make a dent in them with this pasta dish:DSC_8721 (1600x1060)This is an easy dish and it tastes great but we can’t eat it every day.  Unlike the BLTs:DSC_8717 (1600x1060)Mrs J has named these her all time favorite sammiches.  This one is a BELT, it’s topped with an egg.

Our Vitex nearly didn’t survive the winter, it did die back to the root but it is coming back.  They are late bloomers and are just now producing something to catch the eye of a hummingbird.DSC_4752 (1600x1060)This is a Ruby Throated Hummingbird – the gorget really catches the light when the angle is right.DSC_4753 (1600x1060)The little peppers are coming along, plenty of red ones, a few orange, not seeing any yellow one so far.  Of course they all start out green.  DSC_4737 (1600x1060)The dill in the background is pretty with the yellow flowers looking like bursting fireworks.  This is the first time we have had luck growing dill.  Aphids and caterpillars usually make short work of it.  I’ll try to collect the seeds for baking rye bread.

Caprese Bruschetta

DSC_8715 (1600x1060)Thin sliced bread, brushed with olive oil and toasted, topped with my homemade mozzarella, a slice of my patio grown San Marzano tomato, and fresh basil.  That’s kosher salt on that basil leaf, not some kind of scaly bug!  LOL DSC_8713 (1600x1060)These are a few caprese bites I tried with balsamic glaze.  Pretty good stuff.

Steak Au Poivre

DSC_8711 (1600x1060)It’s been a while since I’ve had a peppercorn steak so this recipe looked pretty good.  We were watching Chuck’s Eat The Street while doing lunch today and saw an episode where a chef cooked the little potatoes in butter and heavy cream to go with his signature dish of elk tenderloin and I hoped the web site would have a recipe for them but no luck finding it.  The potato cookery went by in a flash and I couldn’t quite tell if the potatoes had been parboiled before going into the butter and cream for the finish.  I quartered some little golden potatoes and sauteed them for a while in butter and garlic and then added the heavy cream and let them simmer, covered, while I made the steak sauce – skipping the parboiling idea.  They worked out OK but I think boiling them for a few minutes is the way to go.DSC_8710 (1600x1060)I went ahead and mashed them lightly and stirred them about to get the creamy sauce coating everything before plating.  I used the golden potatoes just to finish out an open bag but little red skinned spuds will get the call next time.

Tidbits

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Stuffed Anaheim Peppers

DSC_4723 (1600x1060)The Anaheim peppers are doing great out on the patio and I needed to do something with them.  They seemed big enough for stuffing and a search for a recipe turned up this one.  She used mozzarella but I thought Monterey jack would work.  The six minute parboil worked fine.  Grill chicken breasts and shred them for the stuffing mix, the cream cheese acts as a binder.  I didn’t have any green onions, should have chopped some chives but didn’t.DSC_8674 (1600x1060)I wish I had shredded the chicken a little better but it worked out OK.  I had enough to stuff six peppers.  These went into a 375 oven and I looked at them after 15 minutes – there was just a hint of brown on an edge or two so I cranked the oven to 500 and kept a close watch, removing them after about 5 additional minutes.DSC_8683 (1600x1060)Her mole recipe would have been fine, I guess, but I know my ancho sauce recipe so I used it.  Simmer some dried ancho or similar chilies in a cup or two of water or broth and let them steep, then puree them with the liquid in a blender when they are cool.  I pushed mine through a sieve to remove any skin bits or seeds and poured it back into a saucepan.  In a skillet sweat half an onion with garlic, oregano, ground cumin, black pepper and salt then add to the chilies along with a splash of fresh lime juice and a tablespoon of tomato paste and simmer until thick.DSC_8675 (1600x1060)I plated them atop a bed of Spanish rice along with refried beans, guacamole, and sour cream.  DSC_8680 (1600x1060)These were very good!

 

Tidbits

DSC00222 (1600x1200)St Francis broke ground on a new building the other day.  The dog in the floppy hat is named Zeus and has a nice story.  He had a slight limp on the day he was rescued from a kill shelter but that limp soon turned into a severe problem where he couldn’t even walk.  About all he could do is wag his tail but that was enough for the staff at St Francis.  He was fostered by a physiotherapist and got the whole rehab treatment including sessions in a pool.  He made steady progress and a year later he gets around pretty well.  They aren’t sure what the malady was but they assume it was distemper.DSC00226 (1600x1200)We keep parsley in a couple of containers on the patio – one for garnishing and one for the swallowtail caterpillars that just love the stuff.  I saw a caterpillar acting strange the other day but didn’t think much of it until I noticed that he had changed into a chrysalis.DSC_4705 (1600x1060)The little silk band is all that holds him to the stalk.  I knew very little about the life cycle other than caterpillar>[magic happens]>butterfly!  Here is a very short time lapse Youtube video of the process.  If I’m lucky I’ll get some photos when the butterfly emerges.DSC00184 (1600x1200)Moar kittehs!  DSC_8669 (1600x1060)The batch of sauerkraut I mentioned starting last month is finished.  It worked great with beef sausages and fried potatoes for  dinner yesterday.  The mason lid fermentation airlock gizmo worked well:DSC_4627 (1600x1060)We’ve been streaming Scandal through Netflix and we like the show so far.  Here Mrs J shares a little ice cream with Bitsy:DSC_4721 (Copy)This post needs more sammiches!DSC_8667 (1600x1060)Pulled pork with slaw and a nice bbq sauce.  On the side is what the Kroger deli calls baked potato salad.  Good stuff!DSC_8654 (1600x1060)Filet of fish with slaw and tartar sauce.  The sauce is doubly dill, it has dill pickle relish and dill weed in with the mayo, and lemon juice, horseradish, onions, and chopped parsley.  Hushpuppies and baked beans round out the meal.  Beenie Weenies!

Sammich Pr0n – Leftover Spaghetti

DSC_8648 (1600x1060)I’ve had a spaghetti sandwich before so this isn’t breaking any new ground, but the caprese style toppings puts this one right over the top.  I have a sad that my homemade mozzarella didn’t melt well but maybe the next batch will do better.  When I went to the patio to pluck a few basil leaves for the chiffonade I found and destroyed three Japanese beetles.  Those damn things infested one of Mrs J’s potted rose bushes and it’s just now coming out of that insult.  Anyway, I filled the roll and drizzled on some good olive oil and then popped it into the toaster oven, adding the basil at table with fresh ground pepper and salt.

Fried Pies – Gadget Post

DSC_8646 (1600x1060)We saw one of these pocket pie crimping gadgets on one of those cooking shows and had to have one.  This one makes a pie about 5″ or 51/2″DSC_8642 (1600x1060)The crimper is good for all kinds of pies, empanadas and pierogis and suchlike.  They are made in several sizes so the smaller ones should be great for Asian style dumplings.  Of course our first go had to be Mrs J’s Famous Fried Pies.  These are mixed berry filled – blackberries, blueberries, raspberries, and strawberries.

I went for the powdered sugar to make the glaze and found none in the cupboard.  I guess we used it all on cake frostings.  No problem!  I put some regular sugar into our spice mill and spun it for a minute to make a small batch – plenty for what we needed.

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