Saturday, July 31, 2010

Classic Pound Cake in one bowl

A month or so ago in Southern Living there was a recipe for pound cake.  My Mother has been wanting some pound cake for quite some time.  This cake recipe uses the big guns, the Kitchen Aid Mixer.  It's a pretty interesting way to make a cake.  You layer all the ingredients in the KA and then start the mixer.  Pour into a bundt and bake.  That's it.  No fuss, no muss... mess.  Its a great cake but be rpepared to have a lot of cake.  You could easily divide this among two smaller bundts and freeze one for another time.  I brought it with us on our vacation.  It gave us dessert for two nights for ten people or so, with some left over.  A little cake, a little fruit, a dollop of cream and you are good to go. 

Is it me or is everyone running around trying to soak up every bit of sun and summer?  Do you do that too?  Or do you try to take it easy in the summer? Maybe its different where it is warmer most of the year.

Classic Pound Cake
You'll need a heavy-duty stand mixer with a 4-qt. bowl and paddle attachment for this recipe. This recipe is from Southern Living.

4 cups all-purpose flour
3 cups sugar
2 cups butter, softened
3/4 cup milk
6 large eggs
2 tsp. vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Place flour, sugar, butter, milk, eggs and vanilla in a mixing bowl. Beat at a low speed for one minute, stop to scrape down the sides and beat again for an additional two minutes. Pour into a greased and floured 10-inch tube pan and smooth. Bake for 1 hour and 30 minutes or until a long pick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool in pan on a wire rack for 10 minutes. Remove from pan to wire rack and cool completely (1 hour).

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Lentil Turkey Pitas with mint and cucumber

It's been a litle while since my last post because we were enjoying a little bit of a getaway. Just a weekend away. See if you can guess where by some of the pics below. Being the foodie I am I had to check out some local grocery stores and of course visit Trader Joes which I very much love and miss here in NY. I wish I could open a Trader Joe's here myself but I think Danny Wegman would overpower. We did not do a lot sightseeing on our vacation it was more about spending time with family. It was 108 degrees F on Sunday by my cousins thermometer. Ayyyy!

Before I left I made this amazing dish I saw on PJ's site, Ginger and Garlic. It looked so appealing- I had to make it. I changed it up a bit due to what I had on hand. I used the French Pouy Lentil because I like how it holds its shape for something like this. Since I had groud turkey, I threw in some turkey bacon as well to add flavor. I loved this dish. Adding the labneh and all the fresh cucumbers and mint just made it even better! Lovely dish. I highly recommend this one.

Lentil and Turkey Pitas
adapted from this recipe

3/4  cup French lentils
2  cups water
1 medium onion - chopped
3 cloves of garlic - smashed
1 teaspoon thyme
1 bay leaf
1 tsp cumin powder
1 Tbsp olive oil
2 cups diced tomatoes
large handful mint
1 to 2 cucumbers

Slice turkey in small pieces and fry in a skillet. Drain on paper towels once it is cooked through and crisp.

Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion, garlic, salt, pepper, and turkey; cook 5 minutes or until turkey is browned and vegetables are tender, stirring occasionally to crumble the turkey. Add lentils, 1/2 cup water, tomatoes, bay leaf, bacon and spices. Cover and cook 15 minutes or until lentils are tender and mixture is thick (add additional water as needed). Spoon into pita and serve with mint, cucumber and labneh or Greek yogurt.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Zucchini Boats and a Collection

One of my favorite vegetables of the summer is zucchini.  It is very economical and versatile.  I have used it many recipes on my blog.  A lot of times I am looking for zucchini recipes and wanted to have a collection of recipes here to reference for you and me.  If you have made a good one or know of a good one, leave a comment and I will include it on the list. 

Zucchini Boats with Bulgur
adapted from this recipe at Cooking Light

3/4 cup uncooked bulgur
3/4 cup boiling water

2 mediuml zucchini (about 1 1/2 pounds)
2 teaspoons olive oil
1 cup chopped onion
1 teaspoon ground cumin
2 garlic cloves, minced
3/4 cup (3 ounces) finely crumbled feta cheese
1/4 cup dried currants
1/4 cup minced fresh mint
2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper

Combine bulgur and boiling water in a bowl; stir well. Cover and let stand 30 minutes.

Preheat oven to 375°.

Cut each zucchini in half lengthwise; scoop out pulp, leaving a 1/4-inch-thick shell, and set shells aside. Chop pulp to measure 1 1/2 cups.

Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add 1 1/2 cups zucchini pulp, onion, cumin, and garlic; sauté 1 minute. Add bulgur, cheese, and next 6 ingredients; stir well.

Divide bulgur mixture into each zucchini shell, and place in a 13 x 9-inch baking dish. Cover and bake at 375° for 25 minutes. Any extra mixture can be put in a ramekin and baked with the boats.

Zucchini Recipes from my blog:

Mock Crab Cakes
Zucchini Pesto Toss
Zucchini Macaroni and Cheese
Harvest Zucchini, Tomato and Eggplant Pie
Zucchini and Tomato on Potato Tart Crust
Chocolate Zucchini Cake
Cheesy Dilled Zucchini Fritters
Spinach Cous Cous with Fava Beans and Zucchini
Roasted Vegetable and Rice Timbale
Flatbread with Cheesy Filling
Zucchini Muffins
Zucchini Chocolate Cake II
Vegetable Chili
Zucchini Blossoms
Apricot Zucchini Muffins
Dilled Zucchini Soup
Zucchini Collections from other people

Kalyn's Kitchen 10 Zucchini Dishes
Make and Takes Zucchini Collection
Veggie Venture: many, many, many squash recipes
Simply Recipes Zucchini Collection

The Kitchn
Tinned Tomatoes- No Croutons Required- Zucchini Roundup

Ideas and Recipes

Zucchini Freeze
Zucchini Potato Hash Browns
Pasta with Zucchini and Yogurt
Zucchini Tart with Feta and Mint

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

White Sangria with Raspberries and Strawberries

I love a nice glass of pinot noir or reisling from time to time.  I like a glass of red wine too once in a while.  Nothing dry though.  I certainly would not call myself a wine snob and I am by no means well versed in the wine department.  Or really in the liquor department at all. Except maybe a REAL margarita occasionally or a strawberry daiquiri.  So what I am about to say about sangria, keep in mind, I am hardly an expert.  What I am an expert of is what taste good to me. This here sangria that I made last May and one other time since has got to be the best sangria I have ever tasted.  I have made it a few times since then.  I have been wanting to try a white sangria for quite a while now.  Something about it just didn't catch me like a good merlot mixed with some pleasing tastes though.  I did it anyway.  It was pretty good.  It wasn't slammin' but it was pleasant and went down pretty easily. Would I make it again?  Eh, I think I probably would- the right bottle of wine- the right fruits laying around... it could happen.  But really if you want a slammin' sangria, click here for the winner.

White Sangria

8 cups chardonnay*, if I had it I would have went with zinfandel
2 cups sliced strawberries
2 cups simple syrup
1/2 cup raspberry puree

Combine all and chill overnight so it has time for the flavors to develop.

*The chardonnay I used was not particularly oak-ey.  I would defintely go with a zinfandel or some light, fruity wine.

I would have liked to put some brandy in this... next time.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Mint Ice Cream

My top three flavors of ice cream are: Mint Chocolate Chip, Pumpkin and Coffee. If I am at Baskin and Robbins it would be Jamocha Almond Fudge. But I haven't been there in, oh 15 years or so. One of these days I am going to make some Jamocha Almond Fudge myself.

This Mint Ice Cream is based on the King of Ice Cream, David Lebovitz. His Ice Cream book is definitely on my wish list. I did change up his recipe just a bit.

Mint Ice Cream
inspired and largely based on David Lebovitz recipe found here.

2 cups Half and Half
1 cup heavy cream
5 egg yolks
3/4 sugar
pinch of salt
1 cup mint leaves*
2 tablespoons Creme de Menthe

Heat half and half, mint and salt in a heavy saucepan until it is just boiling.  Remove from heat and cover.  Let the mixture sit for at least an hour.  Pour the mixture through a sieve to remove mint leaves.  Squeeze them out to make sure you extract as much of the flavor as you can.

In a large bowl combine yolks, heavy cream and sugar.  Heat milk again to boiling.  Remove from heat and ladle the cream into the yolks, whisking briskly to prevent the yolks from cooking.  Once the mixture has been added to the yolks, return it to the pan and heat untilt he mixture thickens.  Remove from heat and put in an ice bath and chill in the fridge overnight.

Pour Creme de Menthe in during the churning process.  Freeze according to manufacturers instructions.

*Note: Last year I made mint ice cream from mint that just tasted terrible. All mint is not created equal. Taste it first and make sure it is the kind of mint you want in your ice cream.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Roasted Tomatillo Soup with Polenta Croutons

Last week I was knee dip in thawing out my freezer.  I actually had a better handle on my frozen stuff then I thought.  I have it all organized and was glad to know that all the vegetables I put up last year are nearly gone- just in time for the new, fresh batch. That's good news.

I did find some things that I did not realize were in my freezer- one being this tomatillo salsa that I made last summer. I used it to make this soup.  If you do not have tomatillo salsa you could make this recipe with some fresh tomatillos.  It was delicious but WAY too hot.  I must have put a ton of jalapenos in there 'cause -  ooooooeeey- it was hot.

Polenta Croutons
Make the polenta the day before.
I used the vegetable bouillon that I had already made as my broth for the polenta.

6 cups vegetable broth or whatever broth you like
1 3/4 cups polenta (I used Bob's Red Mill Polenta) you can also use coarsely ground corn meal
pinch of salt

Spray a 13 x 9 pan with cooking spray. Set aside. You will have enough to have a few cups of polenta for dinner.

In a stock pot bring the broth to a boil, slowly whisk in the polenta and then keep stirring. If you dont want lumps add it slowly and keep stirring. Pour into the prepared pan.

When firm cut into crouton bits and toast in the oven for crispiness. You can make polenta fries with it as well.

Roasted Tomatillo Soup with Polenta Croutons

3 cups tomatillo salsa (recipe follows)
4 cups chicken broth
2 cups corn
1 cup cooked, diced chicken
sour cream (stirred in when serving)

Combine salsa and broth, bring to a boil.  Add chicken and corn. Serve with a dollop of sour cream.

Tomatillo Salsa

6 tomatillos, papery shell removed
1 Spanish onion
1 jalapeno (or more)
1 clove garlic
1/4 cup cilantro

Boil or roast tomatillos until tender. If you boil them drain the liquid. In a food processor or blender whirl all the ingredients together starting with cilantro and garlic, then add onion, jalapeno, and tomatillos.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Daring Cooks: Nut Butters and Cashew Carrot Soup

The July 2010 Daring Cooks’ Challenge was hosted by Margie of More Please and Natashya of Living in the Kitchen with Puppies. They chose to challenge Daring Cooks to make their own nut butter from scratch, and use the nut butter in a recipe. Their sources include Better with Nut Butter by Cooking Light Magazine, Asian Noodles by Nina Simonds, and Food Network online.
There was much ado about this months challenge. A few people were in an uproar about the simplicity of this months challenge. While I understand waht they are saying, I was happy about the simplicity and used it as a challenge to try something completely different. I made cashew carrot soup.

How did it taste? Eh, it was okay. My husband went crazy over it. I will play with this recipe a little because I think it has potential. In all fairness I had omitted the onion.  What was I thinking?

What I did like was mixing the cashew butter I made with soy sauce, etc, the recipe follows. Its really a typical dish around here - mixed with soba noodles. The cashews ground down fresh were amazing and totally beat out the peanut butter that I usually use. No pictures though.

Cashew Dressing:
½ inch (1 cm) slice of fresh ginger, chopped
8 cloves garlic, more or less to taste, chopped
½ cup (120 ml) cashew butter
¼ cup (60 ml) soy sauce
3 Tablespoons (45 ml) sugar
3 Tablespoons (45 ml) vinegar
3 Tablespoons (45 ml) toasted sesame oil
¼ cup plus 1 Tablespoon (75 ml) water
Hot sauce to taste (optional)


    * The process for making various types of nut butters is essentially the same. Pour nuts into bowl of food processor. Grind the nuts in the processor until they form a paste or butter. The nuts first turn into powdery or grainy bits, then start to clump and pull away from the side of the bowl, and finally form a paste or butter. The total time required depends on the fat and moisture content of the nuts; grinding time will vary from roughly 1 to 4 minutes (assuming a starting volume of 1 to 2 cups [240 to 480 ml] nuts). Processing times for a variety of nuts are described below.
    * You may add oil as desired during grinding to make the nut butter smoother and creamier or to facilitate grinding. Add oil in small increments, by the teaspoon for oily nuts like cashews or by the tablespoon for dryer/harder nuts like almonds. You may use the corresponding nut oil or a neutral vegetable oil like canola.
    * The inclusion of salt in the nut butters is optional and to taste. If you make nut butters from salted nuts, peanuts or cashews for example, you will not need additional salt. We recommend making unsalted nut butters for use in the challenge recipes (and other savory recipes) since the recipes call for salt or salty ingredients. You can then adjust the salt to taste. If you are making nut butter for use as a spread, you should add salt according to your preference.
    * Roasting the nuts before making nut butters is optional according to your preference. To roast nuts in the oven, preheat oven to 350 degrees F (180 degrees C/Gas Mark 4). Spread nuts in a single layer on a baking sheet or roasting pan. Bake for approximately 10 minutes or until nuts are fragrant and a shade darker in color. Allow nuts to cool before grinding. Roasted nuts will make butter with darker color than raw nuts.
    * It’s helpful to keep in mind that the yield of nut butter is about half the original volume of nuts. If you start with 1 cup nuts, you’ll get about ½ cup nut butter.
    * The consistency of nut butters varies from thin & soft (almost pourable) to very thick and hard depending on the fat content of the nut. (See links below for nutrition info on variety of nuts.) Homemade nut butters will probably not be as smooth as commercial products.
    * Homemade nut butters are more perishable than commercial products and should be stored in the refrigerator. The nut butters harden & thicken somewhat upon chilling.
    * See links at bottom of post for additional information about making nut butters at home.

Additional Information:

    * Here are three links for additional information about making fresh nut butters at home: the Nut Butter Primer from Cooking Light online, India Curry website, and the Cook’s Thesaurus online.

    * Click here for a summary of nut nutrition from the University of Nebraska extension. Scroll down the page for a helpful chart comparing nutrition facts for both peanuts and tree nuts.
    * Click here for a detailed table of nutrition facts for a variety of tree nuts from the International Tree Nut Council. Click here for a detailed table of nutrition facts for dry roasted peanuts from The Peanut Institute.

    * Here’s a helpful video on making peanut butter at home in a food processor.
    * Here’s a helpful video on making macadamia nut butter at home in a food processor.

    * We tested this recipe for homemade toasted sesame seed butter (or Tahini) from this website featuring Middle Eastern cuisine. It was definitely not as smooth as commercial Tahini, but tasted fresh and intensely nutty. If you’re looking for a good recipe in which to use your homemade Tahini, we recommend Mollie Katzen’s recipe for Tahini Lemon Sauce.
    * Click here for a recipe for sunflower seed butter from Gourmet Sleuth online. Please note, we did not test this recipe.
    * If you are interested in fruit butters, check out the Pear Butter and Apple Butter recipes at the Simply Recipes food blog.
    * For inspiration on cooking with nut and seed butters, check out these recipes from Futters Nut Butters, a company that sells a variety of jarred nut and seed butters.

Carrot Cashew Soup
adapted from this recipe

12 ounces carrots -- sliced or diced
2 cups vegetable broth
1 cup water -- as needed
1 ounce cashews -- dry-roasted, unsalted
salt and pepper -- to taste

Place carrots in a saucepan with broth. Cover with a lid, bring to a boil, and simmer until completely tender; adding up to 1 cup of water as needed. Set aside.

Blend the cashews in a food processor with a little broth until smooth as a puree as possible. Add the carrots and blend to make a smooth and velvety soup. Pass through a fine sieve if you want the soup to be smoother. Taste and season with a little salt. Serve pepper at the table.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Banana Pudding Dessert

This is one of those classics you just can't live without!  But if you have the time, go the made from sratch route and you will get the most amazing banana pudding dessert EVER.

That's what I set out to do.  In a moment of total forgetfulness, I did not cream the butter with the sugar.  I dont know exactly what was on my mind but I totally disregarded everything I know.  I was in a fog, perhaps thinking about the end result and not what I was doing.  This is what happens with graham crackers when you forget to cream the butter with the sugar and added it in later.

Not pretty- tasty, but not pretty.

I got my wits about me and I figured out what to do with my failure.  I mashed those grahams into parfait glasses and added some of this amazingly good vanilla custard and bananas of course.  Then the final touch- whipped cream and toffee bits- voila, some good, creamy pudding that no one had any trouble eating.

Failure turned to success.  As one of the spammers on this blog said, "failure is the mother of success." I know, wisdom comes from the weirdest places sometimes.

Vanilla Pastry Cream
adapted from, The Sono Baking Company Cookbook
by John Barricelli
4 large egg yolks
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup cornstarch
2 cups milk
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 vanilla bean pod and seeds (pods scraped and put aside)
3 tablespoons cold unsalted butter

In a medium bowl, whisk together the egg yolks, half of the sugar, the cornstarch and 1/2 cup of the milk.  Set aside.

In a saucepan, combine the remaining sugar, the remaining milk, vanilla bean pod and the salt.  Bring to a boil.  Ladle the hot mixture very slowly into the egg mixture, whisking constantly so you don't cook the egg. Once you have mixed about two ladles full, you can pour the remaining mixture into the bowl, whisk to combine.  Pour back into sauce pan and return to the heat.  Bring to a boil, making sure the pastry filling thickens.  It may look clumpy.  If large clumps begin to form take off the heat and whisk briskly.  The mixture will smooth out.

Add the three tablespoons of butter to the pastry cream, whisking until fully incorporated.  Stir in the vanilla seeds.

Pour into a glass bowl and lay plastic wrap over top to prevent a skin from forming.

Graham Crackers
This recipe is adapted from the Daring Bakers Nanaimo Challenge

2 ½ cups plus 2 tbsp of all-purpose wheat flour (I used whole wheat pastry flour)
1 cup brown sugar, lightly packed
1 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
7 tablespoons unsalted butter (Cut into 1-inch cubes and frozen)
1/3 cup honey, mild-flavoured such as clover.
5 tablespoons whole milk
2 tablespoons vanilla extract

1. In the bowl of a food processor fitted with a steel blade, combine the flour, brown sugar, baking soda, and salt. Pulse on low to incorporate. Add the butter and pulse on and off, until the mixture is the consistency of a coarse meal. If making by hand, combine aforementioned dry ingredients with a whisk, then cut in butter until you have a coarse meal. No chunks of butter should be visible.
2. In a small bowl or liquid measuring cup, whisk together the honey, milk and vanilla. Add to the flour mixture until the dough barely comes together. It will be very soft and sticky.
3. Turn the dough onto a surface well-floured with sweet rice flour and pat the dough into a rectangle about 1 inch thick. Wrap in plastic and chill until firm, about 2 hours, or overnight.
4. Divide the dough in half and return one half to the refrigerator. Sift an even layer of flour onto the work surface and roll the dough into a long rectangle, about 1/8 inch thick. The dough will be quite sticky, so flour as necessary. Cut into 4 by 4 inch squares. Gather the scraps together and set aside. Place wafers on one or two parchment-lined baking sheets. Chill until firm, about 30 to 45 minutes. Repeat with the second batch of dough.
5. Adjust the rack to the upper and lower positions and preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit (180 degrees Celsius).
6. Gather the scraps together into a ball, chill until firm, and reroll. Dust the surface with more sweet rice flour and roll out the dough to get a couple more wafers.
7. Prick the wafers with toothpick or fork, not all the way through, in two or more rows.
8. Bake for 15 - 25 minutes, until browned and slightly firm to the touch, rotating sheets halfway through to ensure even baking. Might take less, and the starting location of each sheet may determine its required time. The ones that started on the bottom browned faster.
9. When cooled completely, place enough wafers in food processor to make 1 ¼ cups of crumbs. Another way to do this is to place in a large ziplock bag, force all air out and smash with a rolling pin until wafers are crumbs.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Gluten Free Brownies

I was the lucky winner of some GF Flour from King Arthur Flour from Artisan Bread in Five Minutes A Day!  Wahoo.  I love winning.  I know, who doesn't, right? Thank you!

I have been wanting to make some gluten free brownies for a while.  Since we were going to visit my Aunt who was diagnosed with Celiac Disease a long time ago, I thought I'd make them and give them to her.  Okay, I admit, not without having one or two myself.  The verdict:  delicious.  No graininess, no peculiar texture- just honest to goodness, tasty, fudgy, homespun brownies. I WILL make them again.

King Arthur's Gluten Free Brownies
Adapted from this original recipe is here.

1 1/2 cups sugar or superfine sugar, if you have it
1/2 cup butter
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3/4 cup (2 1/2 ounces) Dutch-process cocoa or natural cocoa
3 large eggs
3/4 cup King Arthur Gluten-Free Multi-Purpose Flour or brown rice flour blend*
1 teaspoon baking powder

1) Preheat the oven to 350°F. Grease an 8" square pan at least 2" deep.
2) Place the sugar, butter, and salt in a microwave-safe bowl or saucepan. Heat over medium heat, stirring with a heatproof spatula until the butter melts and the mixture lightens in color. 
3) If you've heated the sugar and butter in a saucepan, transfer the mixture to a bowl; otherwise, just leave the hot ingredients right in their microwave-safe bowl; or transfer them to your stand mixer bowl. Blend in the vanilla and cocoa, then add the eggs and mix until shiny.
4) Blend in the flour or flour blend and the baking powder. 
5) Pour the batter into the prepared pan, spreading it to the edges.
6) Bake the brownies for 33 to 38 minutes, until the top is set; and a cake tester or toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean or nearly so, with perhaps a few wet crumbs, or a tiny touch of chocolate at the tip of the tester.
7) Remove from the oven and cool for about 15 minutes before cutting. Cool completely if you want a clean cut.

Brown Rice Flour Blend
Make your own if you dont want to buy the specialized product.

"Whisk together 6 cups (32 ounces) King Arthur stabilized brown rice flour; 2 cups (10 3/4 ounces) potato starch; and 1 cup (4 ounces) tapioca flour or tapioca starch. Store airtight at room temperature. Note: You can substitute white rice flour for the brown rice flour if you like; it'll make your baked goods grittier (unless you manage to find a finely ground version)."  King Arthur Flour

I was not paid to say any of this by King Arthur. I just happen to think King Arthur makes a great product.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Tuscan Bean Toss

I say toss because literally you can toss this baby together in under fifteen minutes. I am always making salads like this in the summer but I am totally bored with the classic Mexican style bean salad with black beans, corn, cilantro... ah, you know.  Not that it is bad mind you, I just wanted to change it up a bit.

I am not being compensated for promoting Penzey's here but I had this as a sample when I ordered a bunch of spices.  I have to say that it is one of the best tasting Italian spice mixes I have ever had.  Certainly though you can substitute with your own spices or throw in a bunch of fresh herbs.  Either would be fantastic as well.

This is one of the better salads I have come up with and wanted to share it with you.  I have made others that I have not been supremely happy with, (I keep those to myself). This one, however, is worth trying!

When it is tomato season I will toss some fresh tomatoes in this salad as well. I can not wait!

Tuscan Bean Toss

1 can black beans, rinsed and drained
1 can pinto beans, rinsed and drained
1 can garbanzo beans, rinsed and drained
1 sweet vidalia onion, minced
8 basil leaves, chiffonade
2 tablespoons minced parsley
1 1/2 teaspoon Penzey's Tuscan Spice Mix (if you don't have Penzey's spice mix, use this combination)
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 teaspoon anchovy paste or two fillets mashed
1/2 teaspoon crushed chili flakes
salt and black pepper to taste

Mix all ingredients together in a large bowl.  How easy is that!

*While I very much promote using dried beans because they are way more economical and healthier than canned, sometimes I go the canned way.  Most especially when there is a heat wave.  The last thing I want to do is turn the flames on to cook beans. 

Monday, July 5, 2010

No Ice Cream Maker Needed

Maybe you have a food processor but no ice cream maker?  Have I got the ice cream for you.

Want ice cream but you are lactose intolerant?  Have I got the 'ice cream' for you.

Want ice cream but can't eat that many calories?  Have I got the ice cream for you.

I saw it first on Kat and Matt's blog, A Good Appetite.  Then I found the recipe at The Kitchn, Apartment Therapy.  If you like bananas- this stuff will twirl your toes.  Seriously- it's that good and that easy.

Step one:  Buy bananas.
Step two:  Slice bananas.
Step three:  Freeze bananas (two hour minimum).
Step four:  Process bananas in processor.
Step five:  If they have been whirling in the processor and are still dry, add some water or milk (if you like).  Or even a couple tablespoons chocolate syrup (ah, c'mon, live on the edge).
Step six:  Once the bananas have moved from a crumbly dryish stage, they will move into a soft serve ice cream kind of stage, like the picture.
Step seven: Remove from processor.  Sit down, kick your feet up and enjoy.

Sunday, July 4, 2010


Some words of wisdom.

A man's feet must be planted in his country, but his eyes should survey the world. ~ George Santayana

A patriot must always be ready to defend his country against his government. ~ Edward Abbey

A real patriot is the fellow who gets a parking ticket and rejoices that the system works. ~ Bill Vaughan

Always vote for principle, though you may vote alone, and you may cherish the sweetest reflection that your vote is never lost. ~ John Quincy Adams
But in a larger sense, we cannot dedicate, we cannot consecrate, we cannot hallow this ground. The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or to detract. The world will little note, nor long remember what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here. ~ Abraham Lincoln

Conformity is the jailer of freedom and the enemy of growth. ~ John F Kennedy

1 large packet cherry jello
2 large packets blueberry jello
2 cans sweetened condensed milk

Dissolve the contents of the blueberry jello package into 1 cup boiling water. Then add 1 cup cold water. Pour into 9x13 pan & put in fridge until firm.

While the first layer is setting in the fridge, make the milky layer. Mix 1 can sweetened condensed milk with 1 cup boiling water. In a small bowl, sprinkle 2 tablespoons or 2 pkg unflavored gelatin over 1/2 cup cold water. Let stand a few minutes and then add 1/2 c boiling water to dissolve gelatin; add to milk mixture and stir to combine. Cool to room temp. Once the first layer is set, spoon the milk mixture over first layer of jello. Refrig for 15 - 30 minutes.

Repeat first step with cherry jello.

Repeat second step with milk layer.

Repeat with blueberry layer as final layer.

*Photo from the Graphics Fairy

Friday, July 2, 2010

Refreshing lemon potato salad

I have never been a potato salad fan.  This year, however, I have been really into potato salads.  This one is from Fine Cooking and it is really flavorful.  I added the capers and have to say I would add them again.  

Lemon and Caper Potato Salad

Fine Cooking's recipe is here

4 pounds unpeeled smallish red potatoes, peeled
Kosher salt
2 inner ribs celery and their tender leaves, finely chopped (about 1/2 cup)
1 cup thinly sliced radishes
3 scallions (white and tender green parts), chopped
1/4 cup chopped fresh dill
2 heaping tablespoons capers
1/4 cup heavy cream, well chilled
3/4 cup mayonnaise
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
2 Tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 teaspoons grated lemon zest
Freshly ground pepper

Put the potatoes in a medium saucepan, cover with water by an inch or two, add a large pinch of salt, and bring to a boil. Drain potatoes when tender.  (Fine Cooking has a technique for this in their recipe that I just didnt have the time to mess around with but it is definitely worth trying.) Mix seasonings, capers, mayo, mustard and lemon juice and zest and cream together. Stir mixture into the potatoes.  Let cool.  Place in refrigerator.  Before serving stir in radishes and scallions.