EASY RECIPES FOR YOU TO TRY WHILE YOU ARE HOME SAFE!
What’s a person to do these days? COOK? – YES
We can’t go to the movies, can’t go to the beach, can’t get together with friends, can’t play bunco, or go out to eat etc., etc., etc. I don’t like being told what I can’t do BUT it is helping us all to stay healthy and safe and will hopefully we’ll get through this sooner than later.
When I have spare time, and that’s all I have these days, I cook. I’d rather be in the kitchen cooking that just about anything else I do.
Most of my recipes aren’t easy; not hard either. Or, at least I don’t think they’re hard. I’ve never met a recipe that I didn’t want to try. Well, maybe, I’ve never made a real petit four with the marzipan and the cute toppings. Maybe I will put that on my list of things to make while held up in my house. But, then whose going to eat those cute little things; I sure don’t want to be the one tempted. Those may have to wait until we are all back doing our normal things.
What the heck is Affogato you say?
The Italians have given us so many good pasta dishes, sauces, risottos, lasagna and of course their tiramisu; BUT have you tried their Affogato. Affogato literally means drowned and what is being drowned in? Well an Affogato is ice cream, either vanilla, coffee, or chocolate, and it’s drowned in hot espresso or a very strong coffee. (All recipes call for hot espresso but I think next time I will use room temperature espresso so it doesn’t melt the ice cream so quickly.)
We spent New Year’s eve with friends and she made an Affogato for dessert. It was delicious and reminded me of one I had at a restaurant in Austin years ago. This particular recipe I’m using chocolate shavings and chopped hazelnuts and a splash of kahlula. I put the ice cream in a brandy type glass and I have some little egg cups I will put the hot espresso in and then some tiny pitchers with handle that I will put the kahlula — a little interactive dessert that’s easy, fun and of course delicious.
Chocolate and peppermint for Christmas!
If there are two things just made for each other it has to be chocolate and peppermint; just think of peppermint bark, peppermint hot chocolate, York peppermint patties, and even those thin mint Girl Scout cookies and you will be wanting to make this dessert.
A friend, Miggie, recently told me her favorite ice cream was HEB’s Creamy Creations Mexican Hot Chocolate and it got me to thinking about my Santa Kisses cookies which are meringue cookies with thin layer of chocolate on bottoms and dipped in crushed peppermint. So, I’m immediately thinking about pavlovas (dying them pink) and making them into shells dipped in chocolate and crushed peppermint candies and topping with a big scoop of the Mexican Hot Chocolate ice cream and garnishing with some more crushed peppermint. So that is exactly what I made for a recent dinner party and everyone loved them. Thanks Miggie for the recommendation.
How do I describe how good popcorn ice cream is?
Well, it taste like popcorn (my favorite food group), it’s smooth and full of vanilla flavor. Pair it with a sprinkling of salt, maybe some salted popcorn or caramel corn or my favorite with movie popcorn add-ins — Milk Duds (don’t do that any longer) and you will have a surprisingly good dessert. Crunchy, sweet, salty, what more could you want?
One beautiful night in Santa Fe back in September, with the sun going down and the temperature starting to drop my twin sister, two friends from high school (Pauletta and Judy) and me went to dinner at Eloisa restaurant. We had been to this restaurant as one of the stops on our walking food tour and during that tour they took us to the rooftop bar (Bar Alto) to show us the 360° view. A magnificent view to have cocktails before going to dinner downstairs and we knew we just had to go back there for drinks and dinner.
The Eloisa is in the Drury Hotel which is a historic renovation filled with artwork throughout the hotel (we didn’t stay there). My dinner for the night was a Beef Tenderloin with wood-grilled shrimp and a potato-corn gratin, asparagus and a spicy chipotle béarnaise. (Menu) None of us finished our steaks and we took leftovers back to the house for steak and eggs the next morning; we HAD to save room for dessert.
The Caramelized Brioche French Toast with popcorn ice cream and apricot sorbet sounded so interesting we couldn’t resist. I think I could do a better job on the Brioche French Toast (too thick and didn’t soak up enough of the cream mixture it sat in overnight), but the popcorn ice cream was so delicious and they told me (kind of) how to make it.
Gotta try at least one new ice cream recipe this summer.
Have you ever seen fields of lavender? When we were in France several years ago I was disappointed that we didn’t get to see fields of purple; but we were there too early in the year. I have seen fields of lavender in Texas at Becker Vineyards and also at Matanza Creek in Santa Rosa, California which were both breathtaking. Since purple is one of my favorite colors I wanted to try some using some culinary lavender I had bought in Austin awhile back.
I was taught years ago in school that you don’t use artificial coloring in food (I think the exception has to be decorated cookies and cakes). Green should never be used in Key Lime Pie. You know that PURPLE is my favorite color (have I said this before???). So how am I making my purple ice cream then if I can’t use that little bottle of purple food coloring I have that I use for cookie frosting — blueberries, of course.
Summer may be over but never wrong season for some homemade ice cream.
They said that the first day of Fall was September 22. Not here in Texas. It’s still pretty hot outside and when it’s hot, I want to make some ice cream.
I ran across some good peaches at Trader Joe’s a few weeks ago and just had to make a couple of jars of peach preserves and with the peaches that didn’t get go into the preserves I made this peachy pistachio ice cream and it did its job and cooled us down on a hot summer night when we had some friends over for some rotisserie chicken. With this chicken I made my Salad Luke and some sautéed green beans.
Don’t you just love fresh peaches when they are in season and meet your expectations when you bite into one. Nothing is worst than to pick a peach and have it feel good, smell good only to be kind of tasteless when you eat the thing. My grandmother use to make fried peach pies but used dried peaches that she would cook and put into a homemade crust then lightly fry them in a skillet. Boy, were they ever good.
My peach friends are blackberries and blueberries.
Do we ever get tired of ice cream? When it is hot as blazes here in Texas, ice cream is the only thing that will cool you down short of jumping in the swimming pool.
While Blue Bell was taking their break in the ice cream making business, I wouldn’t buy any other brand. If it is not Blue Bell, then I’m going to make my own. And, even when it started showing up on the shelves again, I only wanted to buy their “light” because to me that is their best.
While visiting for a few days in New Orleans recently we were at the World War II museum (great museum) and decided that we could walk to Willa Jean’s for lunch (I thought it was rather a long walk 🙂 ). Wonderful lunch and I will be making a sandwich (sort of) that I had but for dessert we shared their cornbread bread pudding with bourbon and buttermilk ice cream. I didn’t want to attempt the cornbread pudding because it seems a little heavy to be making in the summer. So, I decided to make a buttermilk ice cream with bourbon fruit on the side. Yum, yum. Maybe I’ll do the cornbread bread pudding in the fall when it starts to cool down a bit.
Put those marigolds in your yard to good use.
Don’t you just love beautiful desserts. Sometimes they look better than they taste. There is nothing worse than seeing, wanting, buying and eating a beautiful dessert only to find that it was all looks and nothing in the taste department.
You should know by now that I love copying or trying to recreate something I’ve eaten at a restaurant. It’s not like going to someone’s house and you love something and ask the hostess for the recipe and she’ll give it to you. You have to do a little detective work sometimes.
A few weeks ago, I met my daughter, Alexis for lunch in Austin at Olemaie. I always want what the person next to me ordered. This girl had a bowl that looked like salad, had some interesting greens, sprouts, fennel etc on top but it was a bowl of dumplings and not salad at all. The most delicious drop dumplings I’ve ever had and I didn’t think I even liked “dropped” dumplings and the bowl had pieces of fermented carrot floating in the broth along with the dumplings. Of course we ordered their BISCUITS which are not on the menu at all; they are a secret and only people knowing about then, know to order them. I’d read about them before going there. $10 for three biscuits with honey butter and it was the best $10 I’ve spent in a long time. Big square biscuits, brown and crunchy on all sides and soft in the middle. (Of course, I’m trying to find out how they made them and I did read some of their secrets which I will be trying.)
I Scream, You Scream, We all SCREAM for Blue Bell!
Ok, Blue Bell, you’ve had months to get back on the shelves and we are all growing impatient. I wanted some ice cream last weekend to go with a dessert I was making for company and I was at a loss to know what brand to buy. I’ve bought Blue Bell since moving to Texas and as far as I’m concerned there is no others that compare. Maybe Hagen Daz but who wants to pay twice as much for a cup of ice cream.
So, I have decided if I can’t have Blue Bell I will just make my own. I have many ice cream recipes on the blog that I love; and I like to come up with one or two more to try in the summer months when nothing else sounds better for dessert than a bowl, cup or cone of ice cream.
A great little summer dessert.
Looks like summer is here; can you believe that? Do you have your summer all planned out yet? We don’t. We are in the process of having an outdoor kitchen built and not sure how long that is going to take. We will be doing some babysitting for the grandsons this summer which should be a lot of fun and hoping to squeeze a trip or two sometime before the Fall.
This dessert is so easy to make for any of your outdoor parties where you already have your grill heated. In fact, you could cook the pineapple in advance and just serve it room temperature, then you don’t have your ice cream melting which is one of my complaints about warm desserts that are served with ice cream.
Remember when there were regular pineapples and then there were the new ones coming to the markets called “gold” pineapples. Now, that is all you see in the market. There are all sorts of test for checking the ripeness of fruits (scent, sight and feel). Pulling the center leaves from a pineapple does not tell you whether it is ripe or not. I just found this out and I have been using that technique for years. Probably a lot of my other methods of picking the most perfect piece of fruit or produce isn’t accurate either.
Sometimes you feel like a nut! Sometimes you don’t!
That’s one candy bar commercial that always rang true with me. Sometimes I did feel like a nut (literally) and other times I just wanted the creamy coconuty piece of candy without the almonds.
Almond Joy and Mounds candy bars are sister bars but with a few differences; the mounds is covered in dark chocolate and the almond joy has milk chocolate with two almonds on each piece. (“Sometimes you feel like a nut, sometimes you don’t / Almond Joy’s got nuts ‘ Mounds don’t”. I’m merging the two candy bars into a delicious cool treat for the summer months that are ahead. I don’t think they even have commercials for candy bars any more do they? I just love being able to have a quick and easy ice cream to throw together at the last minute.
I always loved both candy bars when I was younger. My only problem with the Almond Joy was there were only two almonds per piece and I would carefully eat around each almond saving the almonds for the last bite. Now with this recipe I can have the best of both. I can all add all the toasted almonds I want and I can have a dark chocolate shell instead of milk chocolate.
Peanut Butter and Chocolate, what a combination!
Look over your shoulder. What do you see? I see summer gone in a flash. Where did it go? My knee rehab took most of my summer hours. I really missed getting in the pool for about 8 weeks and by the time I could get in the pool I was doing knee exercises. Now, I have to say that is not the way I want to enjoy the summer and the pool.
My idea of pool time is floating on a noodle or chair with a glass of wine in hand. Except what I was actually drinking when I did finally get in the pool was glass after glass of Pau d’arco tea that was suppose to be cleansing glands etc. and reducing swelling in the knee. I don’t know how anything made from the inner bark of a tree from South America could be the least bit refreshing. Well, I can just dream of next summer, a float, some wine or margaritas and maybe on a beach instead of a pool.
I seem to post most of my ice cream recipes in the summer and since I did make this a few weeks ago I want to post it even though fall is here and everyone is probably thinking of apple and pumpkin pie. It’s never the wrong time of the year to make ice cream.