Sunday, June 15, 2014

Chocolate Banana Oatmeal Smoothie

1 Cup Almond Milk
1 Banana, peeled and frozen
1 TBSP Dark Chocolate Cocoa Powder (or regular if that's what you have)
1 to 2 TBSP Oats
1 packet sweetener or sugar (optional)

Break up banana and place in blender with other ingredients. Blend until smooth.
Makes 1 Smoothie.

184 Calories, 4 grams Fat, 3 grams protein

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Dark Chocolate Mint Ice Cream




I've deemed this the summer of ice cream. I've had my small Panasonic ice cream maker for years after getting it on sale at Amazon for $15. This is the first year I've really used it though, and definitely the first time I've made ice cream in it.

As I said before, Dave's favorite is mint chocolate chip, so when I wanted to make another batch of ice cream, I decided to flip the combination and make a dark chocolate ice cream with mint flavoring. This was the best batch yet!

I usually prefer a non-custard base ice cream, but for some reason this combination worked. It only includes three egg yolks and it was just enough to make it nice and creamy without adding any elasticity that you see at Cold Stone or such.

INGREDIENTS

1 cups half-and-half
2/3 cup sugar
1/3 cup unsweetened dark chocolate cocoa
3 large egg yolks
1 cups heavy cream
1/4 teaspoon peppermint extract

DIRECTIONS

  1. Heat half-and-half and sugar over low heat just until sugar dissolves. Add dark chocolate cocoa and stir until incorporated.

  2. In a separate bowl, beat egg yolks and heavy cream until yolks are pale yellow and slightly thick.

  3. Temper the egg yolks by slowly drizzling in 1/4 cups of hot half-and-half mixture, whisking constantly. Pour the egg yolks into hot half-and-half and cook over low to medium-low heat until it thickens. Add 1/4 teaspoon peppermint extract.
    Chill mixture completely, then freeze in an ice cream maker following the manufacturer’s directions. For best results, transfer to a lidded container and freeze overnight.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Andes Mint Chocolate Chip Ice Cream



Apparently we've been on an ice cream kick lately. Dave's favorite ice cream ever is Mint Chocolate Chip and his favorite candy is Andes mints, so the combination was obvious. One of my favorite boards posted this recipe and I just subbed Andes mints for Junior Mints.

Homemade Chocolate Mint Ice Cream

1 1/2 cup whole milk
1/2 cup sugar
pinch of salt
1/3 cup heavy cream
2/3 cup half and half
1/4 teaspoon peppermint extract
1 small box Junior mints, diced or halved 1/2 box Andes mints, diced
4 drops green food coloring, optional

Mix milk, salt and sugar with a wire whip until sugar dissolves. Add remaining ingredients and stir. Freeze in 1 1/2 quart ice cream freezer according to manufacturer's instructions.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Vanilla Bean Ice Cream



Since I now have an abundance of vanilla beans from a great Amazon deal, the first thing I wanted to do after making Vanilla Extract was make ice cream. Vanilla Bean is and always will be my favorite flavor. Nothing beats feeling those seeds between your teeth and the crunch they make when you bite them just right.

For this recipe I went to my hero, Alton Brown.

This makes the perfect amount of ice cream for my small Panasonic ice cream maker at 3 cups of liquid.

INGREDIENTS

2 cups half-and-half
1 cup whipping cream
1 cup minus 2 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons peach preserves (not jelly) I didn't use this
1 vanilla bean, split and scraped

DIRECTIONS

Combine all ingredients (including the bean and its pulp) in a large saucepan and place over medium heat. Attach a frying or candy thermometer to inside of pan. (see note below) Stirring occasionally, bring the mixture to 170 degrees F. Remove from heat and allow to cool slightly. Remove the hull of the vanilla bean, 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. Once the volume has increased by 1/2 to 3/4 times, and reached a soft serve consistency, spoon the mixture back into a lidded container and harden in the freezer at least 1 hour before serving.

NOTE: If you do not have a thermometer, bring the mixture just barely to a simmer. As soon as you see a bubble hit the surface, remove it from the heat. Do not let it boil.

Monday, June 29, 2009

Squash Souffle


If you've been to Panera for breakfast lately, you know they're now serving delicious souffles. It's not a textbook souffle, but it was all I needed for inspiration.

I decided to use some fresh squash that Cilla gave me and this was the result.


I started by sauteing thinly sliced squash and small-diced onion.


Cook it low and slow for about 10 or 15 minutes until soft.

Next, I made the egg mixture.

Three eggs, salt, pepper, dijon mustard, and cheese. Lots of cheese. I put at least two big handfuls.

Panera uses cute paper cups for their souffles, but I happen to have some neat aluminum ramekins from my granny. I love this one lonely yellow one.



For the crust, I used refrigerated croissant rolls. When you unroll them they are attached as triangles that make a rectangle, so just pinch the seams together and roll out into a square.




Or...sometimes not so square.

I just folded it over and rolled it out again.

I then laid the squares (or squiggles as they may be) into my ramekin and let the edges hang over.


Then I ladled the egg mixture into the ramekins and folded the edges up like a present.




I didn't take a picture, but I did brush on some of the left over egg mixture from my mixing bowl onto the croissant before baking for 20 to 25 minutes.

Ta da!

Squash Souffle!


Recipe:
1 1/2 cups yellow squash, seeded and sliced thin
1/2 cup chopped onion
3 eggs -- beaten
2 teaspoons flour
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper
1 tablespoon dijon
1/4 cup milk
2 tablespoons margarine
1 1/2 cups cheese -- grated
1 roll refrigerated croissants

Cook squash and onion together until tender in butter and set aside to cool. Beat eggs and add flour, cheese, salt, pepper, mustard and milk. Roll out Croissant rectangles into rough squares. Line round ramekins with croissant squares leaving the ends hanging over edges. Add squash and onion into egg mixture and pour into ramekins. Bake in a 350 degree oven for 25 minutes. Makes 4 servings.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Challah

This year at Thanksgiving, I took over the bread making. First of all, I'm not a bread maker. I usually only like recipes that take less than 30 minutes, and I usually don't like to have to measure things perfectly; however, it's Dave's family's tradition to have Challah bread at Thanksgiving, and I love a challenge. As you can see by the picture (or at least I hope you think so too!), the bread came out SO impressive with minimal work. That's my kind of recipe.

INGREDIENTS
2 1/2 cups warm water (110 degrees F/45 degrees C)
1 tablespoon active dry yeast
1/2 cup honey
4 tablespoons vegetable oil
3 eggs
1 tablespoon salt
8 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon poppy seeds (optional)

DIRECTIONS
  1. In a large bowl, sprinkle yeast over barely warm water. Beat in honey, oil, 2 eggs, and salt. Add the flour one cup at a time, beating after each addition, graduating to kneading with hands as dough thickens. Knead until smooth and elastic and no longer sticky, adding flour as needed. Cover with a damp clean cloth and let rise for 1 1/2 hours or until dough has doubled in bulk.

  2. Punch down the risen dough and turn out onto floured board. Divide in half and knead each half for five minutes or so, adding flour as needed to keep from getting sticky. Divide each half into thirds and roll into long snake about 1 1/2 inches in diameter. Pinch the ends of the three snakes together firmly and braid from middle. Either leave as braid or form into a round braided loaf by bringing ends together, curving braid into a circle, pinch ends together. Grease two baking trays and place finished braid or round on each. Cover with towel and let rise about one hour.

  3. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C).

  4. Beat the remaining egg and brush a generous amount over each braid. Sprinkle with poppy seeds if desired.

  5. Bake at 375 degrees F (190 degrees C) for about 40 minutes. Bread should have a nice hollow sound when thumped on the bottom. Cool on a rack for at least one hour before slicing.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Homemade Apple Pie

Dave has been asking for months for me to make him an apple pie, and for various reasons I just never did it. Today, I decided I'd make him that pie since we're having company. I mean, come on. What's more impressive to company than a homemade pie?

INGREDIENTS
1 recipe pastry for a 9 inch double crust pie (Recipe included below)
1/2 cup unsalted butter
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/4 cup water
1/2 cup white sugar
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
Dash of cinnamon
8 Granny Smith apples - peeled, cored and sliced (I used 5 large apples)

DIRECTIONS
  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F (220 degrees C). Melt the butter in a saucepan. Stir in flour to form a paste. Add water, white sugar and brown sugar, and bring to a boil. Reduce temperature and let simmer for 5 minutes.

  2. Place the bottom crust in your pie plate. Toss apples with sugar and butter liquid and place in pie plate, mounded slightly. Cover with a lattice work of crust or one full crust. Brush crust with egg wash or melted butter.

  3. Bake 15 minutes in the preheated oven. Reduce the temperature to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Continue baking for 35 to 45 minutes, until apples are soft.

Pie Crust

INGREDIENTS
1/4 cup shortening
1/4 cup butter
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup cold water

DIRECTIONS
  1. Mix shortening, flour, and salt together with a fork or a pastry blender until very crumbly. Add as much water as needed to hold together, and mix lightly with a fork. To double this recipe, use 1 cup shortening, 2 1/2 cups flour, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1 cup cold water.

  2. Kneed only to combine, one crust at a time, on a floured pastry cloth, to about an inch larger than pie plate. Fold carefully in half. Lift to pie plate, and unfold. Fit into pan. For a single-crust pie, trim with a small knife to about 1/2 inch beyond rim. Fold up, and pinch so edge of pie is raised from rim. For a two-crust pie, trim bottom crust to edge of rim, fill, and top with crust about 1/2 inch larger than rim. Tuck top crust under bottom along rim. Seal with floured fork.