Archives

Thanksgiving Smorgasbord

Thanksgiving is just that. . . A time for thanks, and a time for giving. As you share your home with others this Thanksgiving, share your faith, traditions, and your recipes! Here are some of my favorite recipes fitting for the Thanksgiving holiday. Click on the photo to go to the recipe.

Yams

Yams

Mac n Cheese

Mac n Cheese

Sweet Potato Pie

Sweet Potato Pie

Butternut Squash

Butternut Squash

Lemon Pound Cake

Lemon Pound Cake

Collard Greens

Collard Greens

Advertisements

Ice Cream – Heaven in a quart

“I’m sure they’ll be ice cream in heaven, and it’ll taste 100% times better, but while I’m still here on earth, I won’t deny thyself!”

Ice cream has always been one of my favorite deserts. I guess I would go as far as calling it a pastime because there are so many memories connected to this incredibly creamy, frozen delight. I definitely inherited this trait from my dad.  I actually remember acquiring a taste for it. We were living in Weston, Connecticut at the time. There was a little ice cream stand along the side of the road in Wilton, CT called Heibeck’s. It was only open during the summer back then, which made it even more desirable. It’s still there today. It is here that I acquired a taste for ice cream.

heibeck-s-stand

A little Ice Cream History
Ice cream has long been called the Great American Dessert. Although no specific date of origin or inventor has been credited with the discovery of ice cream, it’s origin reaches back to 200 BC. The discovery of iced drinks, and fruit flavored snow during the Roman Empire, was just the beginning. The traditional ice cream recipe evolved during the 16th century in Europe, and included a blend of milk, cream, butter and eggs.

Ice cream came to America in the 1700’s, and was considered an exotic dessert enjoyed by the elite. It didn’t become popular to the masses until the discovery of the insulated ice house in the late 1800’s. Ice cream production increased because of technological innovations, including steam power, mechanical refrigeration, the homogenizer, electric power and motors, packing machines, new freezing processes and equipment, and vehicles for delivery. (International Dairy Foods Assoc.)

Today total frozen dairy annual production in the United States is more than 1.6 billion gallons, and I’m a true supporter!

Making Ice Cream
So I continue to be a supporter of the ice cream industry, but today, because my husband purchased me an ice cream maker for Christmas, I make my own. I held off buying an ice cream maker for the obvious reasons. . . I already have enough junk in my trunk, but maybe I would be encouraged to make some healthy ice cream, gelato, and sorbet, right? Well, that hasn’t happened yet, but it’s not over until the “fat” lady sings (I’m not singing yet).

Breville

I use a Breville Ice Cream Maker. This fully automatic ice cream maker blends frozen desserts, from sorbet to ice cream to gelato, in your choice of consistency, from soft-serve style to hard pack, in less than an hour. It takes about 45 minutes for me to make ice cream from start to finish! The machine also keeps the ice cream cool if you’re not ready to eat it yet, and your guests are still polishing off your homemade BBQ dinner.

Since I got the ice cream maker, I have tried a few recipes using different ingredients. I have settled on a fairly simple recipe for the base of the ice cream. Although many ice cream recipes call for egg yolk, I didn’t like using eggs. Eggs bind the ice cream, and make it a chewy consistency. You also have to cook the base, and let it cool (too much time). Many recipes call for milk. Milk has too much water in it, making the ice cream icy as it sits in the freezer. So here is my recipe; not rocket science, but it makes a creamy, wonderfully consistent base.  This recipe base can be used for any ice cream maker.

Ice Cream Base Recipe
1 can Sweetened Condensed Milk 14oz
2 cups Half and Half (or whipping cream)
1/4 tsp. salt
1 tsp vanilla extract (or real vanilla bean)
Directions: Electric Mix extract with sweetened condensed milk. Add in Half and Half. Mix well with hand mixer. Add into Ice cream machine. Chill in air tight container for a few hours. Makes 1 Quart.

Using this base, I’m able to make flavored ice creams by adding the flavor of a specific ice cream to the sweetened condensed milk. Following are several other ice cream recipes showing how this is done.

Chocolate Ice Cream
1 can Sweetened Condensed Milk 14oz
2 cups Half and Half (or whipping cream)
1/4 tsp. salt
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1/2 Cup Hershey’s Coco Powder Special Dark
Directions: Electric Mix Coco well with condensed milk. Add in extract, and Half and Half. Mix well. Add into Ice cream machine. Chill in air tight container for a few hours. Makes 1 Quart.

Coffee Ice Cream
1 can Sweetened Condensed Milk 14oz
2 cups Half and Half (or whipping cream)
1/4 tsp. salt
1 tsp coffee extract
6 Tbsp. Instant Coffee (I use decaf)
Directions: Electric Mix Instant Coffee well with condensed milk. Add in extract, and Half and Half. Mix well. Add into Ice cream machine. Chill in air tight container for a few hours. Makes 1 Quart.

So there you have it. I’ll end with a few tips. Happy makin’. More ice cream recipe ideas on my Pinterest.

  • Store ice cream in an air tight safe container. Ice cream lasts 1-2 weeks
  • Lay plastic wrap over newly made ice cream before sealing
  • Store in the back of the freezer to avoid melting when door opens and closes
  • Avoid using ingredients with alot of water, ice cream will get icy

Super Bowl 2015 Menu

Superbowl2015

Super Bowl fun happening on Sunday. Food is at the top of the list. Here are a few top recipe ideas for your Superbowl Menu!

Winter Chili

chili

Deviled Eggs

20130331-073830

Several Wings Recipes

country sweet

The Best Darn Ham Sandwiches

15593_583902741636924_470208710_n

Banana Pudding Cake

20140704-055827-21507899.jpg

Winter Chili Recipe

Well, it’s finally getting a little chilly at night and in the morning here in Southern California. We’ve had some major rain storms, so I guess winter is officially here! Time to bring out the Chili recipes. Here is one of my favorite chili recipes. It’s really very simple, but every time I make it, the pot is empty.

 

chili

Ingredients

1 pound lean ground beef (85/20)

1 cup chopped onion (optional)

1 package McCormick® Original Chili Seasoning Mix Mild

2 cans (15 ounces) kidney beans, undrained

2 cans (14 1/2 ounces) crushed tomatoes

1/2 Tbsp. Chili seasoning

 

Directions

  1. Cook ground beef and onion in large skillet on medium-high heat 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Drain fat.
  2. Stir in Seasoning Mix and remaining ingredients. Bring to boil. Reduce heat to low; cover and simmer 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  3. Serve with shredded cheese, sour cream and chopped green onion

Sugar Cookie Cherry Cheese Cake

50796046e33c085f676786aeb7ca33a092dda5ff_large

 

INGREDIENTS
The Crust
1 to 1 lb of Pillsbury Sugar Cookie Dough
The Filling:
4 to 8 oz. blocks of Cream Cheese..softened
4 Eggs
2 tablespoon Vanilla Extract
1 cup Granulated Sugar
1 can cherry pie filling for the topping

INSTRUCTIONS

1. Press the cookie dough into an 8 inch spring-form pan, bottom only, and bake at 350 about 15 minutes until almost done.
2. Let cool.
3. For filling, beat cream cheese and sugar.
4. Add vanilla and one egg at a time, beating well.
5. Pour into crust.
6. Lower oven to 325 and bake 75-90 minutes until cooked through and browned.
7. Chill overnight in fridge and top with canned cherry pie filling (or your choice of fruit)

Original recipe: http://hugsandcookiesxoxo.com/2014/06/sugar-cookie-cherry-cheesecake.html#sthash.9BJvVm8N.dpuf

Labor Day Dessert – Strawberries and Whipped Cream

Ingredients

    • 3 pounds strawberries, rinsed, hulled, and sliced
    • 1/2 cup Grand Marnier or other orange-flavored liqueur
    • 1 1/2 teaspoons orange zest
    • 2 1/2 cups heavy cream
    • 5 tablespoons confectioners’ sugar
    • 1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
    • 1/4 cup lemon juice

Instructions

  • Strawberries

    1. Combine the strawberries, the remaining 2 cups sugar, Grand Marnier, and orange zest in a large bowl and toss to combine. Let stand at room temperature for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the sugar is dissolved. Refrigerate, covered, until ready to assemble the dessert.
  • Whipped cream

    1. Combine the heavy cream with the confectioners’ sugar in a large bowl and beat with an electric mixer or whisk until slightly thickened. Add the vanilla and continue to beat until the mixture nearly forms stiff peaks.

    Add to a slice of  Sour Cream Pound Cake

Chipotle Shrimp Salad

Chipotles, often a key ingredient in many dishes in Mexican cuisine. This Mexican chili pepper is used to make various salsas. Chipotle peppers have a mild but earthy spiciness and can be ground and combined with other spices to make a meat or seafood marinade. They can be very spicy, but add enhanced flavor to this great summer salad.

 

Photo Aug 26, 5 52 18 PM

INGREDIENTS
*1 pound frozen raw shrimp, thawed, peeled and deveined
*1 can Chipotle peppers, in their adobo sauce
* 1/2 cup brown jasmine rice
* 1/2 cup freshly cilantro, chopped
* 1 lime
* 1 tsp extra-virgin olive oil
* 1/2 (14.5 oz) black beans, drained and rinsed
* 1/2 cup frozen corn
* 1 tsp ground cumin
* 1 tsp chili powder
* 1 Head Butter Lettuce
* 1/2 cup cherry yellow tomatoes, halved
* 1 avocado, diced
* coarse salt and freshly ground pepper

INSTRUCTIONS
1. Puree the Chipotle peppers and their sauce, some cilantro, olive oil, and 1/2 lime juice in a small food processor until smooth. Pour into a small baggy. Dump the shrimp into the baggy and squish the sauce all around them, getting everything all coated. Stick in the fridge and marinate at least 1/2 hour.
2. In the meantime, cook the rice in a rice with the cilantro and the juice from 1/2 the lime.
3. In a small saucepan add and heat the corn and beans. Season with a pinch of salt and pepper, along with the cumin and chili powder. Keep heated on low until you’re ready to assemble.
4. Grill the shrimp, searing the shrimp one on side for 2 minutes. Flip and sear another minute.
5. Wash and arrange butter lettuce in large salad bowl. Top with rice, corn and beans, shrimp, avocado and tomatoes.
6. Add Chipotle Honey Vinaigrette Dressing. Squirt and Garnish with lime!