7/31/09

13 Salted Caramel Ice Cream & an Award!

Salted Butter Caramel Ice CreamMust.

Make.

This.

TODAY!!!




Carol, from Songberries just passed this Lemonade Stand Gratitude award to me and several other bloggers. Thanks, Carol!

I would like to pass this award to:

Debby~ A Feast for the Eyes
Anna~ Anna Can Cook
The Crew ~ Eat Your Veggies Peas
Kitty ~ Fahrenheit 350

Heather ~ Flour Girl
Heather ~ Girlichef
Lyndsey ~ Kitchen Dough Dough
Rachael ~ La Fuji Mama
Lynette ~ Netts Nook
Rachelle ~ Pantry Eats

I am grateful for a loving and supportive family! My husband works hard, willingly and selflessly. My boys are my "guinea pigs" in tasting all the things that I cook/bake. I am grateful to get to know, learn from, and appreciate all the new friends that I have connected with during this blogging/cooking/baking journey. Thanks go to everyone for making my life a little better, a little easier, and definitely more enjoyable!

The rules of accepting and sharing this award are:
1. Put the logo on your blog or post
2. Nominate at least 10 blogs that show an attitude of gratitude.
3. Link to your nominees within your post
4. Comment on their blogs to let them know they've received this award.
5. Share the love and link to this post and the person who nominate you.
Tell us how you've come to have an attitude of gratitude.





A bonus award goes to Megan of My Baking Adventures. She posts an ice cream recipe weekly and has got me back on the homemade ice cream train.

Last Christmas, a neighbor of mine made some soft, chewy caramels. But these were different. They had what looked like sea salt sprinkled on them. Huh? I was a little confused. But, I tried it anyway.

After one bite, I was hopelessly addicted. Sweet, salty, chewy, melt in my mouth goodness. Sweet and Salty are a great pair...I think I ate the entire box. Sorry, boys!

I Googled salted caramel ice cream and David Lebovitz, the author behind The Perfect Scoop, came up first on the search. He said that this Salted Butter Caramel ice cream "is better than anything you can get anywhere, including...gasp...the glace Caramel at the venerable Berthillon."

David is right. So right. I have never been to the Berthillon, or to Paris, but this recipe got the double thumbs up, eyes rolled back in the head, and moans of deliciousness from everyone who sampled it. I have made a couple of other ice cream flavors, but this one by far, is the favorite!

This recipe makes one "generous quart." A quart? Only a quart? If I am going to labor over a supposedly fabulous ice cream, I'm going to double it.

So I did.

Little did I know what I was getting myself into.


I made caramel from scratch.

For the first time. Ever.

Made a cooked egg custard ice cream base.

For the first time. Ever.




This ice cream is so smooth,

So amazing,


So good!




I wish I had a step by step post, but making this took both hands, a heavy skillet, whisk, a strainer, and an ice bath. And my brain.

I read, re-read, and re-read David's step by step instructions.

I must have read the same sentence 15 times.






Oh, see those little dark spots on the ice cream?

Those are caramel pralines.

They add a sweet, ooey gooey carmely surprise to this ice cream!





See the waffle cones?

Made 'em myself. Want the recipe?

I'll post it next time...

Salted Butter Caramel Ice Cream
(4x6 printable recipe)     (full page recipe)

7/29/09

18 BBA: English Muffins

This is the 12th bread of the Bread Bakers Apprentice challenge. I made a different version of these many years ago, and was excited to make Peter Reinhart's version.

Do you know the muffin man? He was briefly mentioned in Jane Austen's 19th century book, "Persuasion."

He's also in a nursery rhyme...



This recipe made only 6 muffins.

I was tempted to double it.

I'm glad I didn't!


You cook these on one side for 5-8 minutes....




Flip them over and cook them for 5-8 more minutes...







Man, these are thick!!


They are approximately 4" in diameter and 1 1/2" thick!


They are put into a 350 degree oven to finish baking for another 5-8 minutes.



Even though I have never 'baked' English muffins, this recipe requires it because the muffins are so thick.


This is called 'fork splitting.'






You pierce your muffin in the sides, with a fork...


all the way around.






Using a 'fork split' instead of a knife is supposed to preserve all the nooks and crannies of your muffin...



Here they are....I think...aren't the nooks and crannies supposed to be larger?



Oh well.



They toasted up nicely.





When my boys heard that I was making sausage/egg muffin sandwiches, they were so happy!

I will definitely make these again, even it it means that I will be smooshing my breakfast sandwich down to make it shorter....

7/27/09

6 Orange Popsicle Ice Cream

Orange Popsicle Ice CreamJust the name, "Orange Popsicle" invokes childhood memories of eating orange creamsicles....you know, the kind with the vanilla ice cream coated with a tangy orange sherbet?

I have been reading MybakingAdventures's blog in where she posts a weekly ice cream recipe.

I'm inspired. In fact, I've made ice cream twice this week!


I haven't found the courage to make a custard base ice cream in which the eggs are cooked. I am trying some easy recipes that you can throw together, chill, and freeze.


I am also discovering that heavy cream=heavy whipping cream.



Who knew that the name alone would throw me in for a loop?


This recipe uses the rind of 3 oranges, blended in with sugar.

I used my microplane zester, which I love.


Note to self: find another way to create a very, very fine orange rind. These bits of orange rind stuck to the ice cream paddle in lumps and were not easily distributed throughout the ice cream.

This recipe uses sour cream, which intrigued me.

It took me a looooooong time to like sour cream.

Just the name alone scarred me for life.

Freshly squeezed orange juice and half & half are part of the ingredients as well.


The final product was a smooth, mild tasting orange ice cream that could easily be one of my favorites.

The recipe calls for orange liqueur, and I do not drink alcohol. Instead, I used pure orange extract. It had a full orange flavor, but didn't have the 'tang' of the sherbet that is reminiscent of orange creamsicles.

Would I make it again? Definitely.

If I can just figure out how to make the zest finer.....

Orange Popsicle Ice Cream
(4x6 printable recipe)     (full page recipe)

7/24/09

12 BBA: Cranberry Walnut Celebration Bread

This is the 11th bread in the Bread Baker's Apprentice Challenge. If you want to join, go to Pinch My Salt for more information. There are more than 200 of us in the challenge and more joining every day!

This bread is an enriched, mildly sweet dough that is supposed to have walnuts in it. I am sure it would be wonderful with walnuts, but I made them without, as per my 16 year old's request.

The recipe gave me the choice of using orange or lemon extract and I chose orange. I couldn't quite taste it in this bread~I prefer using orange juice and orange zest, like in my orange roll recipe.


This bread had a great taste and texture, but was not one of my favorites.

However, rolling and shaping it was so much fun!

A loose craisin escaped...gotta tuck that back in!

This is the technique of braided challah from one piece of dough.





It was so simple, so easy!











Left side goes underneath the right...









Take the bottom loop and twist it to the right...








(it's starting to sound like a dance move, huh?)



See that free end on the right?




Just tuck it in the loop.

Ta Da!

Brush the surface with a beaten egg. Trust me on this!

It will make your bread golden and shiny....





The cranberries, orange and walnuts remind Peter Reinhart of Thanksgiving dinner.

This would make an awesome turkey sandwich, don't you think?




Next week, is English muffins. Now that's a bread I can get excited about!


7/21/09

8 Verry Berry Frozen Yogurt

I am new to ice cream making. I hope you can learn from my mistakes and give me any tips that you may have!

This recipe came from my Cuisinart ice cream maker. I made it because I happened to have all the ingredients on hand.

As the title suggests, it is VERY berry. Almost like a sorbet.


Warning: Frozen yogurt does NOT taste like the kind you eat at a frozen yogurt shop. You will get the 'tang' of the yogurt in this recipe.


I found this bag of berries in the bottom of my freezer.


You can use any mix of berries that you want.






The recipe calls for 12 oz. of frozen berries.


It looks like a lot.






After putting the frozen berries in my food processor, it was very thick. There is NO way I'm going to be able to strain this...

Mistake #1 Thaw out berries next time.

It needed some liquid.

Mistake #2. Use water next time.






Berry/milk mixture looks pretty thick...










I got myself a good workout, pushing the puree through a fine strainer...








2 c. of low fat vanilla yogurt.

Dannon Light and Fit is the best one that I've found so far.







I decided to use Splenda granular to lighten the yogurt.








I put the strained puree into the processor.


It looks very full.

Whew.





Now comes the fun part.


Turn on the ice cream machine.


Wait 25-30 min.






At 25 minutes, the mixture increased in volume and thickened.






I put the frozen yogurt into a freezer safe container.

Mistake #3. Eat this right away.

Low fat yogurts and ice cream become ROCK hard.

I had to thaw this out for 20-30 minutes on the counter.


Is it my favorite? No. Would I make this again? Yes. My husband likes it and it is a good alternative to the heavy, rich, and calorie laden ice creams.

Very Berry Frozen Yogurt
(4x6 printable recipe)       (full page recipe)

7/20/09

3 Oatmeal Munchies

Chocolate Peanut Butter Oatmeal No Bake CookiesBaby, it's HOT outside!

These are a timeless classic no-bake cookie that has been around since....forever, I think.

When I was growing up, it was called, "Easy Candy." My oldest son brought this recipe home from his cooking class and it was called, "Oatmeal Munchies."


I'm so glad cooking classes are popular with boys nowadays!

A month ago, I decided to 'clean' my oven.

It is self-cleaning....all I have to do it push a button, it locks, goes up to a thousand degrees and bakes everything to ashes.

(I don't leave my racks in there, it changes the color...)


I only uses this feature once a year or so and I do it at night.

The next morning, I couldn't open my oven door and there was no power going to it.

The Kitchen Aid repairman came and replaced not one, but two fuses.




While my oven was 'out' for 2 days, I decided to make this no-bake cookie.

It is a very easy recipe that you can do on your stove top.


All it takes is some sugar,






Milk (all I have is skim...I'm sure that 2% would be better!)







Some cocoa...

Here's a tip: When opening a new box of cocoa, tear off only a portion of the sealed paper. You can use a ruler or a straight edge to help you tear off a straight line. This helps 'level' the cocoa when you are measuring it.

Cool, huh?


Back to the cookies...



Butter or margarine can be used.






Cook all the ingredients until you get a rolling boil.


Remove it from the heat immediately.








Add creamy peanut butter.


There's just something about the combination of chocolate and peanut butter that gets me every time....






Pure vanilla extract,











and good ole' fashioned rolled oats.










I use my trusty 2T. cookie scoop as a measure and drop 'em on parchment paper.








They spread slightly, so I hurry and put them in the fridge to set up...







If you haven't had these in awhile, NOW is the time to make them.

Enjoy!

Oatmeal Munchies
(4x6 printable recipe)    (full page recipe)

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