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-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.
As promised: For an egg custard ice cream, go to JeffreyW’s post here.
JeffreyW makes strawberry ice cream, too
Originally posted May 2013
Since the 4th of July is barreling toward us, I thought I should get some ideas together. This is absolutely my favorite holiday. Food, fireworks and friends, what could be better? So let’s jump right into the food portion of our festivities.
These are quick and easy ribs if you don’t want to do the smoke for the whole day style, the citrus glaze is the star of this recipe: Baby Back Ribs with Citrus Glaze (recipe here).
Buttermilk Pie (click here) will get all the ooo’s and aaahhh’s, until the fireworks anyway. As pretty as it is tasty.
JeffreyW makes a Classic Orange/Lemon Shakeup (pictured above and recipe here)
And for a different take on cucumber salad, how about Minted Cucumbers, (recipe here).
Hopefully that will give you some ideas for your own July 4th celebration. What’s on your menu for this weekend and for the holiday? What are your favorite recipes for the celebration? We always have to leave room for the funnel cake at the fireworks. Hit the comments to share your recipes and what you like to do on the 4th.
Tonight’s featured recipe is one I made a few years ago on a whim, inspired by a recipe I didn’t follow for various reasons, and I get requests for it every July 4th now. Because it’s a kabob style, it’s a bit labor intensive, but you can prepare all of it the day before. If you want your chicken even drunker, you can soak it in the extra bourbon overnight.
Grilled Bourbon Chicken Appetizers
- 1- 1/2 lbs boneless skinless chicken breasts
- 3/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar
- 1/4 cup chopped Chipotle peppers in adobo sauce
- 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
- Bourbon whisky (how much you use and what you do with the leftover is between you and your bottle)
- 8 oz pineapple chunks
- 12 strips of sliced bacon (should be a pound)
- 12 short wooden skewers, soaked in water for 30 minutes before assembling and grilling*
Cut chicken breasts into 1-inch x 2-inch cubes, you should have 36 pieces (you can soak in bourbon if you like)
Mix together Chipotle peppers, brown sugar, cayenne pepper and add enough whisky and pineapple juice to make a thick sauce. Cover chicken cubes on all side with sauce and let marinate for at least 1 hour.
To assemble: Start with a pineapple chunk, add one end of full bacon strip, add chicken cube, then wrap bacon around the top of the cube and skewer, add another cube of chicken, wrap bacon around the bottom of that piece of chicken, then skewer, add a third and repeat with the bacon strip, you’re creating a ribbon with the bacon. Finish with a pineapple chunk.
(And I wish I had a photo of that step for you, but we got so busy doing them, I forgot to get the camera out. When I make them this year, I’ll remember, promise. I barely got a finished picture, had to grab someone’s plate before they started munching).
Grill over medium high heat (if using coals, start over hot coals, then move away from direct heat for the remainder of cooking time), turning frequently. Cook until chicken is 160-165 degrees. Shouldn’t take more than 10-15 minutes, don’t overcook or you’ll have dry, rubbery appetizers. Serve hot.
*please don’t forget this step or all you’ll have for appetizers is flaming skewers.
That’s it for this week. There won’t be a recipe exchange next week. And if you missed it, this week’s complete dinner menu and shop list is Pork Stir-fry and Tangy Lemon Pie (click here). Have a safe and happy 4th! – TaMara
JeffreyW makes an easy pasta salad. Just toss garden veggies and pasta with a little olive oi, vinegar and herbs. Dinner’s done.
In my email this morning there was a nice recipe for pasta salad and suddenly I had a craving for a veggie filled summer pasta salad. Pasta salads can be served cold, warm or hot, depending on what you’re looking for and what style of ingredients are added. The featured recipe tonight is a warm pasta salad using garden fresh vegetables and melted cheese.
This appealed to me because one of my clients has given me a big hunk of the most amazing cheese. I have no idea what it is, except it’s clearly a very sharp white cheddar in a black rind. It’s a creamy and salty, best I’ve ever had and goes great with apples and strawberries. It melts beautifully and crumbles like feta on salads. I’ll be sad when it’s gone. But…
I live within walking distance of a great cheese shop, it has an entire room that is basically a walk-in refrigerator. They even lend you jackets to wear while shopping. It’s fun to stop by there on a hot summer day and spend a half hour in the fridge and sample cheese from around the world and from local farms. I think I’ll see if they can help me identify or duplicate the cheese. Side note: I’ll miss everything that is within walking distance when I move. Right now I live near downtown and can walk to bank, post office and any number of great restaurants. But it’s the trade off for more space and a functional bike path.
On to the recipes.
First up, Chipotle Macaroni Salad (recipe here), which takes cold pasta salad up a notch and has become my go-to cookout salad.
One of the keys when making a good cold pasta salad is to cook the pasta al dente, drain, rinse with cold water to stop the cooking process and then drain again, but let the pasta stay wet. This allows the pasta to absorb whatever flavors are added, but not absorb all the moisture from the dressing. Don’t toss with dressing until just before serving. Taking these steps will keep the salad moist and flavorful, avoiding the mushy pasta, dry salad problem that makes many pasta salads unappetizing.
What’s on your menu for the first day of summer? Have any favorite salad recipes (pasta or otherwise)? I am crazy about salads, so would love to have a few new varitions to add to my recipe box.
Tonight’s featured recipe is adapted from an American Test Kitchen recipe. I’d link to the original, but it’s behind a firewall. Sorry for that.
Summer Vegetable Pasta
The beauty of this recipe is you can substitute whatever vegetables are fresh and available.
- 12 oz of favorite pasta (penne, large shells, rotelle, etc)
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1/2 small yellow onion, diced
- 1 to 3 tsp crushed garlic (depending on your preference)
- 2 small zucchini, halved lengthwise and sliced 1/4 inch thick
- 1 small summer squash, halved lengthwise and sliced 1/4 inch thick
- 5 ounce package Garlic & Herb Boursin cheese – or any creamy cheese, flavored or you can add your own fresh herbs to it instead – I actually used the cheddar mentioned above because it melts so well, and is really creamy, not like typical cheddar.
- 2 cups cherry tomatoes, halved (more as desired)
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Fresh basil, chopped
- Parmesan cheese as garnish
Dutch oven or large saucepan
Bring 4 quarts water to boil in Dutch oven. Add pasta to the boiling water and cook until al dente (this is a still chewy texture). Reserve 3/4 cup pasta cooking water and drain pasta (the easiest way to do this is to ladle pasta water into a measuring cup and then drain the remaining water).
Wipe out the pan, add oil and heat over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add onion and cook until softened, about 3 minutes. Add garlic and cook about 30 seconds. Add zucchini, summer squash, and ¼ cup reserved pasta water and cook, covered, until vegetables are tender, about 6 minutes. Stir in cooked pasta, and cheese, remaining 1/2 cup pasta water, tomatoes and basil until pasta is heated through.
Season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve with grated Parmesan. Serves 4.
Have a great weekend – TaMara
I live within walking distance of one of the best family owned Mexican restaurants around, they have some of my favorite green chile sauce ever, so I rarely go to all the trouble of making a Mexican style meal.
But JeffreyW is always making some yummy south of the border treat. He was burning up the blog with some great recipes this week, so I’m going to highlight those tonight. Then the featured recipe is a simple and tasty wrap I often make for a casual meal when I have company.
First up, JeffreyW makes some excellent Chimichurri that I can’t wait to try.
Chimichurri is a green sauce used for grilled meat, originally from Argentina. It is based on finely-chopped parsley, minced garlic, olive oil, oregano, and white or red wine vinegar.
Pictured above are JeffreyW’s Chicken Enchiladas, recipe and more photos here.
For a quick kid-friendly dinner, I make a fun and popular with the kids Burrito Pie, recipe here.
What’s cookin’ this weekend? Anything fresh from the garden making it to your table yet? Hit the comments and don’t forget to share some of your favorite recipes, you guys have been great at giving me new recipes to try.
The featured recipe tonight is one of my quick and easy meals that works great when I have a house full and I want a casual build-your-own main course.
Santa Fe Wraps
(There is a full dinner menu at this link).
- 1 cup uncooked rice
- 14 oz can black beans
- 14 oz can red beans
- 14 oz can diced tomatoes
- 1 lb sirloin, London broil, or flank steak thinly sliced
- 2 tbsp oil
- 1 red pepper*
- ½ yellow onion
- 1 pkg. taco seasoning
- 12 oz shredded Jack Cheese
- 4-8 burrito size flour tortillas (maybe try a flavored style)
2 saucepans, skillet and 4 serving bowls
In saucepan, add rice, 2 cups water and bring to a boil, cover, reduce heat and simmer for 20 minutes until all the water is absorbed. In other saucepan, add beans & heat on med-low until heated through. In 300° oven, place tortilla shells between two pieces of foil and warm. In skillet, heat oil, sauté onion & pepper add steak, cook 5 minutes, reduce heat & add tomatoes, taco seasoning and simmer an additional 5 minutes on medium. Put rice, beans, cheese and meat mixture in separate serving bowls, let everyone assemble their own wrap at the table.
*Go wild, use a couple of different colors for added flavor and a pretty presentation.
Also, please note my friend who lived in Santa Fe says it needs chopped green chiles to be authentic. So add as desired.
That’s it for this week….happy Friday the 13th. – TaMara
Baked Beans photo by JeffreyW
I was thinking of backyard cookouts when trying to pick a topic for tonight’s recipe exchange. Running through favorite side dishes, baked beans jumped to the top of the list. It is one of those dishes I equate with summer. I usually only put a pot of baked beans together for large cookouts or picnics and I love them. I like that you can mix up a variety of beans and sauces to get entirely different flavors: sweet or savory, spicy or full of smoky goodness. Difficult to choose a favorite.
Here’s a quick recipe that spices up a simple can of baked beans and adds a touch of sweet, too. Nita’s Baked Beans, recipe here.
If baked beans aren’t your thing, how about Butter Beans and Greens (recipe here), since in many backyard gardens, the collards, mustard greens and spinach could be flourishing.
What’s on your plate this weekend? Do you have any secret family recipes for baked beans? Go ahead, share in the comments, your secrets safe with us.
The featured recipe tonight is savory, sweet. smoky and oven baked. Who knew molasses could be so good?
Boston Baked Beans
This serves 8, but you can easily double it for large gatherings. The slow cooking, white beans and molasses are what give these baked beans their signature flavor.
- 1 pound (2 cups) dried white beans (Great Northern or navy beans)
- 2 medium onions, coarsely chopped
- 1/4 cup dark brown sugar
- 1/4 cup molasses
- 1/2 cup ketchup (or 2 tbsp tomato paste)
- 1 tbsp dry mustard
- 1/4 pound thick sliced bacon, cut into pieces
- 4 cups water, or more if necessary
- 1/4 tsp salt (more may be needed, but start here)
- 1/4 tsp pepper
large dutch oven, bean pot or heavy duty oven proof pot
Soak the beans overnight, drain, and rinse them. (Here at high altitude, soaking doesn’t do much, so I pressure cook them for 20 minutes instead, then let them soak for an hour)
Preheat oven to 300 degrees.
Drain and rinse the beans.
Put the beans in a large, ovenproof pot.. Add the onions, brown sugar, molasses, tomato paste, mustard, and bacon. Add water, salt, and pepper. Return the beans to a boil. Cover the pan and transfer to the oven.
Cook the beans for 4 hours, checking them every hour to see if the pan seems dry. Add more water as needed, ½ cup at a time.
Add more salt and pepper, if you like, and let the beans sit for 15 minutes before serving.
Note: To reheat leftovers, add more water and cook over low heat, stirring often, for 10 minutes or until hot.
That’s it for this week. If you missed it, this week’s menu was Grilled Rosemary Steak with Grilled Sweet Peppers and Potatoes. Have a great weekend! – TaMara
JefferyW makes Creme Fraiche
This week cooking was centered on desserts, most by request, so I thought it would make a good theme for tonight’s recipe exchange.
JeffreyW made one of my favorite toppings, Creme Fraiche, pictured above and recipe here.
I have a Blueberry Updside Down Cake in the oven as I write this, and if it turns out tasty and photogenic, I’ll post photos and recipe tomorrow.
Until then, what’s on your plate this weekend? Is it time for grilling yet? Hit the comments and don’t forget to share your favorite fruit desserts. BTW, if you haven’t seen the latest visitor to the shelter Mrs. J volunteers at, he has stolen my heart, check out Hank.
Tonight’s featured recipe is my annual birthday cake for a friend. Simple to make and very tasty:
Pineapple Upside-Down Cake
Sometimes I substitute crushed pineapple. It needs to be drained well, using a mesh strainer and I usually omit the addition of 1 tbsp pineapple juice because even after draining, there’s usually about that much left in the crushed fruit. You can also substitute blueberries or other fruits to a make a different kind of upside down cake.
- 1/3 cup shortening
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 2 eggs
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 1 1/2 cups unbleached flour
- 3 tsp baking powder
- 1/4 tsp salt
- stemmed maraschino cherries, stems removed (opt)
8×8 glass baking dish and mixing bowl
Drain pineapple, reserve juice. Melt 3 tbsp of butter and add to baking dish with brown sugar and 1 tbsp of reserved pineapple juice. Mix well. Arrange pineapple slices over sugar and butter mixture. In bowl, cream shortening and sugar until fluffy. Add egg and vanilla, beat until fluffy. Sift together flour, baking powder and salt, add to creamed mixture. Add enough water to remaining pineapple juice to make 1/2 cup and add to batter, mixing well (it will be lumpy) and then pour over pineapple slices. Bake in a 350 degree oven for 40-45 minutes, until a toothpick test in the cake center comes out clean. Cool 5 minutes and then invert on a plate.
Note: in the pretty pictures it always has a maraschino cherry in the center of each pineapple ring. None of us like those, so I never add them. But add to the pineapples before baking if desired.
That’s it for this week. If you missed it, the dinner menu this week was Herbed Fettuccine and Apple Salad. See you next week – TaMara
A friend called me early last week and said, let’s go away to the hot springs. Well, heck, why not, I needed a break, so we threw some swim suits in the car and drove down to New Mexico. After a day of soaking we headed to the onsite restaurant where a simple side dish inspired tonight’s featured recipe. A light, easy, flavorful and completely unexpected salad.
But before we get to that I have an assortment of salads for you to choose from:
Frequent contributor, Josh D. shares his recipe for Corn and Black Bean Salad here.
A trip to the international market inspired several Unusual Fruit Salads (recipes here)
And just in time for Mother’s Day, a fresh, light Spring Potato Salad (click here)
What are your plans for the weekend? We’re expecting a wet and wild Mother’s Day, so barbecuing and gardening are out. What’s on your menu? Any unusual and unexpected salads in your recipe box?
Tonight’s featured recipe takes what is usually an afterthought in a green salad and makes it the star to delicious results. Jicama becomes a slaw that is crunchy, sweet, tangy and really fresh tasting. I was completely surprised when I saw it on the menu and even more surprised at how good it was. I knew I’d be trying to recreate it the moment I returned home. This is what I came up with:
I used my mandoline slicer to julienne the jicama and the cucumber. You can use the large blade on a box shredder if you don’t have a mandoline.
- 1 cup plain Greek yogurt
- 3 tbsp lime juice
- 2 tbsp cider vinegar
- 2 tbsp sugar
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
- 3 cups shredded or julienned jicama (peeled before shredding)
- 1 English cucumber*, washed and julienned
- 1 sweet bell pepper, thinly sliced (red, orange or yellow)
- 1/2 cup raisins
- 1/2 cup chopped walnuts
- 1 tbsp chopped Italian parsley
Combine the yogurt, lime juice, cider vinegar, sugar, salt and pepper and whisk to combine. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes to allow flavors to develop.
Combine the jicama, cucumber, sweet pepper and raisins in a large bowl and add the dressing. Toss gently but thoroughly to combine. Season with additional salt and pepper, if necessary. Refrigerate until ready to serve. Just before serving toss with walnuts and parsley.
*I like the flavor of English cucumbers and they are unwaxed so I don’t peel them and they don’t need to be seeded. Peel and seed waxed cucumbers if substituted.
That’s it for this week. If you missed it, the weekly menu of Bacon Squash Campanelle and Panna Cotta Parfait is here. Have a great weekend – TaMara