Tag - homemade

Espresso & Chocolate Ice Cream

We had the pleasure of hosting Jason’s uncle and his girlfriend this past week. It was their first time in California and it was such a blast. The weather was absolutely perfect and we took advantage of it by BBQ’ing and spending a lot of time relaxing outside in the backyard. Since it was going to be so warm, I decided the perfect dessert to share with them would be homemade ice cream! This recipe has a super strong coffee flavor, so tread lightly if you’re not a huge fan. You can always omit the espresso — if you use a bourbon soaked vanilla bean it will give the ice cream an impressive flavor and you won’t need the coffee.

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Espresso & Chocolate Ice Cream
3 cups heavy cream
1 1/2 cup whole milk
Dash of kosher salt
1/2 cup sugar
1 vanilla bean
7 egg yolks
2 teaspoons instant espresso powder
4 ounces bittersweet chocolate, melted

1. In a large saucepan on medium-low heat, combine cream, milk, salt and half of the sugar. Cut the vanilla bean in half and scrape seeds into the liquid and place bean in as well. Bring to a simmer until sugar dissolves. Remove from heat and cover, letting it sit for about 25 minutes. While you’re waiting, melt the chocolate over a double boiler.

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2. In a separate bowl, whisk egg yolks and leftover sugar until the yolks begin to become pale. It may take upwards of two minutes. Slowly incorporate warm milk and cream mixture into the yolks, being careful not to cook them. Pour all of the contents back into the saucepan and cook over medium heat until it begins to thicken. The final consistency will be thick enough to coat the back of a wooden spoon.
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3. Strain the mixture through a small sieve into a large bowl and stir in espresso powder. Cool entire bowl over an ice bath for about 10 minutes, slowly mixing it so that the entire custard cools.

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4. Once cool, put into a flat tray, I used a small brownie pan. Carefully drizzle about a quarter of the chocolate on top and place into freezer to chill.

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5. Remove the ice cream every 30 minutes, carefully mixing it up and chopping the chocolate up so it’s evenly distributed. Flatten the mixture again and pour another quarter of the chocolate on top. Repeat until you have enough chocolate throughout and the ice cream begins to stiffen. Once it’s almost completely frozen, put into an airtight container and allow to freeze overnight if possible.

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6. Try not to eat it all before you can serve it to friends and family!

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Food Processor Experiments

When I started making breakfast the other day and paused to break out the food processor, I decided I wanted to see what else it could do. Turns out, it’s a lot! Here are two very different recipes, which were super easy when using the food processor.

Peach Frozen Yogurt
1 10-oz bag frozen peaches
3 Tablespoons honey (or agave nectar)
1/2 cup plain greek yogurt
1 Tablespoon fresh lemon juice

1. Add ingredients to the food processor. Spin until creamy, about 5 minutes.

DSC_0751 (This is what it will look like after only two minutes. It’s not done yet!)

DSC_0757(The right consistency for serving or freezing.)

2. Serve immediately or place in airtight freezer. 

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Homemade Herb Butter
2 cups heavy whipping cream
Ice water
Pinch of kosher salt
Herbs, finely chopped (I’m using fresh chives and parsley)

1. Pour heavy cream into food processor and put on high for two to four minutes.
2. The cream will start to separate into buttermilk and curds. Pour off the liquid that has separated.
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3. Add 1/8 cup of ice water, pulse four times. Pour off remaining liquid. Repeat this step again once more. The butter will start to form into a large ball.

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4. Place butter into strainer, gently pressing down to remove any excess liquid.

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5. Place any desired herbs or seasonings into the food processor and finely chop. Add your strained butter to combine.

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6. Serve the butter with anything and everything. Gluten free bread is shown here.

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Beef, Beer, and Root Vegetables

I’m going to be busy this week with interviews and informational meetings. I made a stew for Jason to eat over the next few nights and it should make for scrumptious leftovers.

Beef and Root Vegetable Stew
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon butter
2 lbs beef stew meat
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 medium onion, diced
1 bottle dark beer
4 cups beef broth
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
3 tablespoons tomato paste
1 1/2 teaspoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
4 carrots, sliced
4 parsnips, sliced
4 turnips, diced
1 celery root, diced
2 tablespoons flour
Minced fresh parsley

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1. Heat oil and butter in pan and brown the beef. Remove the beef and liquid from pan.
DSC_0129 2. Put garlic and onions in pan until softened. Pour in the beer, beef broth, Worcestershire sauce, tomato paste, sugar, paprika, salt, and pepper.
3. Return the beef to the pan and simmer on low heat until very tender, 1 1/2 to 2 hours.
DSC_0142 4. Add the carrots, parsnips, turnips, and celery root and simmer until the vegetables are tender and the liquid is reduced, about 30 minutes.DSC_0083

DSC_00965. If the stew is too liquidy, remove a cup of liquid and stir in the flour. Add the flour mixture back into the pan and stir. Simmer for 10 more minutes.
6. To finish, add parsley and stir through stew.
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Super Bowl Appetizers

We went to Jason’s coworker’s house yesterday to watch the game. I brought Caramelized Onion Dip and Cayenne Stuffed Mushrooms. These appetizers are a huge hit with all of my friends and family and both are very easy to make (especially if you have a food processor to chop up the mushroom stems and garlic)!

Caramelized Onion Dip
(Recipe credit to Food & Wine)
2 Tablespoons unsalted butter
3 medium onions, halved and thinly sliced
1 1/2 cups sour cream, room temperature
1 8oz block of cream cheese, softened
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
Kosher salt and ground pepper

1. In a large skillet, melt the butter. Add the onions and cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until golden. It may take about 30 minutes.
2. Add 2 tablespoons of water and cook, stirring, until the water evaporates, about 5 minutes. Let the onions cool slightly, about 15 minutes.
3. Transfer the onions to a cutting board and coarsely chop.
4. In a large bowl, mix onions with salt and pepper, as desired.
5. Mix in the sour cream, cream cheese, onion powder, and Worcestershire sauce until smooth. Season more as needed and serve at room temperature.

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Cayenne Stuffed Mushrooms
24 whole fresh mushrooms
2 tablespoons canola oil
2 tablespoons minced garlic
2 8oz blocks of cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/2 cup seasoned bread crumbs (gluten free, if desired)

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray a casserole dish with cooking spray. Clean mushrooms with a damp paper towel and carefully break off stems. Chop stems extremely fine with food processor, if available.
2. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add garlic and chopped mushroom stems to the skillet. Fry until any moisture has disappeared, taking care not to burn garlic.
3. Pour stem and garlic mixture into a bowl lined with paper towel. This will help get rid of excess moisture and oil. After a minute or so, remove stems from the towel and place inside bowl to cool.
4. In a large bowl stir stems and garlic into cream cheese, Parmesan cheese, black pepper, onion powder and cayenne pepper. Mixture should be very thick.
5. Using a little spoon, fill each mushroom cap with a generous amount of stuffing. Dip each cap into the breadcrumbs and arrange in prepared casserole dish.
6. Bake for 20 minutes in the preheated oven, or until the mushrooms are piping hot and liquid starts to form under caps.

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Celebratory BBQ Dinner

Jason had a great day at work today. He received some excellent news that is a reward for all of the hard work he puts in year round. I decided to make a nice dinner for him to come home to. It consisted of Slow Cooker BBQ Brisket, Sautéed Kale, Cole Slaw, and Baked Beans.

Slow Cooker BBQ Brisket
(Recipe inspiration from chow.com)
Brisket Sauce:
1 ½ cups ketchup
½ cup dark brown sugar
½ cup water
½  medium yellow onion, finely chopped
½ cup bbq sauce
3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon chipotle powder
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon black pepper
 
Brisket Rub:
1 tablespoon thyme
1 tablespoon paprika
2 teaspoons ground black pepper
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon onion powder
½ teaspoon garlic powder
½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
½ teaspoon ground cumin
3 lb beef brisket, trimmed of fat

  1. Pour all sauce ingredients into slow cooker.
  2. Combine brisket rub ingredients in a bowl. Rub mixture all over brisket.
  3. Place beef on top of sauce in slow cooker. Cook on LOW for 7 hours, or until tender.

DSC_0025(Brisket in slow cooker after approximately five hours)

Sautéed Kale
(Recipe inspiration from Bobby Flay)
1 ½ lbs kale, stems removed, leaves coarsely chopped
3 tablespoons olive oil
3 cloves garlic, sliced thinly
red pepper flakes
½ cup (choice) stock
salt and pepper

  1. Heat oil in large wok over medium heat. Add garlic and red pepper flakes and cook until soft but not browned.
  2. Add kale and stock, raise head to high heat. Toss the kale to spread oil and stock throughout. Cover and cook for approximately 5 minutes.
  3. Remove cover and cook until all liquid is gone.
  4. Season with salt and pepper.

DSC_0015 (Kale in wok right after cover was removed.)

Cole Slaw
(Recipe credit to food.com)
1 (16 oz) bag of coleslaw mix
⅔ cup mayonnaise
¼ cup sugar
3 tablespoons milk
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon pepper

  1. Combine all ingredients except coleslaw mix in a bowl.
  2. Add the mix and toss. Cover and refrigerate for several hours before serving cold.

DSC_0968(Slaw ready to marinate in the fridge.)

Baked Beans
(Recipe inspiration from Paula Deen)
2 16-oz cans, navy beans, drained
1 large onion, finely diced
3 tablespoons yellow mustard
½ cup ketchup
¼ cup maple syrup
¼ cup light brown sugar
2 tablespoons molasses
2 teaspoons salt
¼ teaspoon black pepper
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1 tablespoon lemon juice
*OPTIONAL: ½ lb. bacon strips, cut into ½ inch strips* 

  1. In an oven safe casserole dish, mix beans, mustard, ketchup, maple syrup, brown sugar, molasses, salt, pepper, Worcestershire sauce, and lemon juice.
  2. *OPTIONAL: Cover with bacon strips.*
  3. Cover and cook in 350 degree oven for 45 minutes.
  4. Uncover, stir, and cook for another 15 minutes.

*For our dishes, I split the recipe in two and put ¼ lb. of bacon on Jason’s dish. Use the full ½ lb. if everyone eats it!*

DSC_0943(Ingredients lined up for beans.)

DSC_0009(After the beans were uncovered, about to go back into the oven)