Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Pineapple Rosemary Ice Cream

This recipe makes me crave a buttery cookie crunch of some kind to compliment the ice cream...

1 C milk
2 C heavy cream 
¾ C sugar
3 egg yolks
1 - 1½ Tbls fresh rosemary, roughly chopped (adjust to taste, if desired)
1  15.5-ounce can crushed pineapple with juice, pur
½ C dried pineapple, chopped (optional)

Directions: Put 1 C heavy cream in large bowl with fine mesh sieve over top; set aside. In saucepan over medium high heat, warm milk, 1 C cream, and sugar. Stir frequently until the sugar dissolves; bring mixture almost to boiling point.

In medium bowl, whisk egg yolks. Temper eggs by slowly whisking part of hot cream mixture with yolks, then pouring yolk mixture back into saucepan, again whisking constantly. Add chopped rosemary. Over medium high heat, bring mixture to a simmer; cook until thickened enough to coat spatula. Pour the egg mixture through sieve into remaining cream. (It's okay if small pieces of the chopped rosemary passes through.) Stir in pineapple purée. Cool to room temperature; cover and chill for 2-3 hours (or overnight).

Pour chilled mixture into ice cream maker; process according to manufacturer's instructions. Optional: Stir in the dried pineapple during final minutes in ice cream maker; this distributes it evenly by preventing the chopped pineapple from sinking to the bottom.

Friday, July 26, 2013

Parmesan Crusted Baked Zucchini

2 medium zucchini* (about 1 lb)
1 Tbls olive oil
¼ C finely grated Parmesan
¼ C plain dry bread crumbs
1/8 tsp salt
1/8 tsp pepper

* Clearly this varies widely with the size of the zucchini. I used zucchini from my own garden, and they're huge. A single zucchini weighs about 8 lbs. Obviously...use your judgment. Other squash and some root vegetables would also cook nicely this way. The tasted great on their own, but I served this with an Asian plum sauce, but a marinara would compliment the Parmesan crust well too.

Preheat oven to 450°. Coat a baking sheet with cooking spray.

Slice the zucchini into ¼" thick rounds. Toss zucchini with the oil to lightly coat. Combine Parmesan,
bread crumbs, salt, and pepper in a shallow bowl. Dip zucchini slices in Parmesan mixture, coating evenly on both sides, pressing coating on to stick. Place in a single layer on baking sheet. Bake until browned and crisp, 25 to 30 minutes. Remove with spatula. Serve immediately.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Yellow Cake

This was decent as a basic yellow cake mix. A little denser/dryer than I would have liked, but still good (especially with fresh berries!). Simply baking it slightly less may help some; and I may play with the recipe a little for a lighter, moister texture. But for now, so I at least have the recipe saved, here it is...as is:


2 C flour
1 Tbls baking powder
½ tsp salt
½ C unsalted butter
1½ C sugar
3 eggs, room temperature
1 C whole milk
1 tsp vanilla

Preheat oven to 350°.

Line two 8" cake pans with parchment; butter and flour pans (or coat with non-stick cooking spray). Whisk together flour, baking powder and salt. Cream butter and sugar until smooth and light. Add eggs; beat well. Slowly add flour mixture, stirring until well combined. Add milk and vanilla; beat until just combined. Divide batter between pans.

Bake 30-35 minutes until cakes are golden and toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool cake in pans 15 minutes before turning onto wire racks to cool completely.

Frost as desired. Delicious with cream cheese icing, chocolate frosting...

Beer Brine

I only have a photo of pork chops marinating. The finished product doesn't look all that much different than a typical roasted (grilled, baked, fried...) chop. Of course, plate presentation with a side dish and a little garnish can dress anything up! :)

1 12 oz bottle amber ale
1 Tbls kosher salt
1/8 C brown sugar
½ Tbls black peppercorns
½ Tbls mustard seeds
½ Tbls fennel seeds
1 clove garlic, peeled & crushed

Directions: Combine all ingredients in saucepan over medium heat, stirring until sugar and salt are fully dissolved. Let cool completely. Place pork or beef in zip lock bag with brine. Chill at least 4-6 hours. Remove meat from brine (discard brine); rinse gently. Cook.

Friday, July 19, 2013

Ginger-Lime Cookies

11/3 C granulated sugar
2 Tbls lime zest
1 Tbls fresh minced ginger 
¾ C + 2 Tbls butter, slightly softened
1 egg yolk
1½ Tbls fresh lime juice
1½ Tbls light corn syrup
3 tsp ground ginger
½ tsp vanilla
½ tsp baking soda
pinch salt
2½ C flour

Preheat oven to 350°.

Combine sugar, lime zest and fresh ginger. Process in food processor 2-3 minutes until ginger is pulverized and mixture is blended and smooth. Set aside 1/3 cup.

Combine remaining sugar-lime-ginger mixture, butter, egg yolk, lime juice, corn syrup, ground ginger, vanilla, soda and salt; beat until well blended and lightened in color. Add flour, half at a time until well incorporated. a little extra flour may be added if dough is still too wet -- you should be able to handle it and roll it into balls; refrigerating the dough for an hour may also help.

Roll dough into 1½" balls; roll balls in reserved sugar-lime-ginger mixture. Place balls, generously spaced, on lightly greased cookie sheets and press to flatten (about ¼" thickness) with the bottom of a glass. Bake 6-8 minutes or until edges just begin to brown. Let cool 5 minutes on tray so cookies firm slightly before removing to wire rack. Dust with powdered sugar, extra lime zest, and/or course green sugar.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

H2O+ (Flavored Water)

Oh so simple. With the hot summer weather (which I am LOVING) I know I'll drink more water to stay hydrated (over juice, soda pop, tea, etc.) if it is refrigerated (or on ice) has a little flavor to it. Use just about anything that sounds good to you; I tend to favor berries and citrus, but mango, cucumber, melons, and  pineapple work well too. Just slice or dice and refrigerate the pitcher for an hour or two so the flavors dissipate. Pictured here...orange-mint, raspberry-lemon; lemon-basil, and a blackberry-mint. I also enjoyed (but did not photograph) orange-blueberry and an all citrus lemon-lime-grapefruit. I happen to have fresh mint (and basil) growing on hand. If you don't a drop of mint extract works too. A tiny bit of vanilla in with the blackberries is also good. Or try vanilla with orange slices for a cream-sicle like flavor.

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Parmesan-Yogurt Crusted Chicken

4 chicken breasts, skinless
1 C plain Greek yogurt
1 tsp garlic powder
1½ tsp seasoning salt 
½ tsp pepper
½ C parmesan cheese

Preheat oven to 375°.
Mix yogurt, garlic, salt and pepper. Pat breasts dry and dredge through yogurt mixture, then shredded cheese; place in baking dish. Bake 40 minutes.

You could easily play around with the flavor -- something other than garlic, salt & pepper in the yogurt. The yogurt and cheese do help keep the skinless chicken moist while cooking.

Saturday, July 6, 2013

Cherry Pie

2  9" pie crusts
4 C fresh (or frozen) cherries
1 Tbls lemon juice
½ to 1 C sugar
3 Tbls cornstarch
½ tsp almond extract (optional)
1½ Tbls butter
1 Tbls sugar

Trim, pit and halve cherries. Place cherries and lemon juice in saucepan over medium heat, covered. In small bowl, mix ½ cup sugar and cornstarch. Once cherries lose considerable juice (about 6-8 minutes), remove from heat. Pour sugar mixture into cherries, mix well. Add additional sugar as needed to taste; if you're using tart cherries instead of sweet, you'll need more. Stir in almond extract, if desired. Return to low heat until thickened, stirring frequently. Remove from heat, let cool. (If mix is too thick, add a little water; if too thin, add a little more cornstarch; it will thicken when baking.)

Preheat the oven to 375°.

Line 9" pie pan with bottom crust. Pour cooled cherry mixture into crust; dot with butter. Moisten edge of bottom crust; top with second crust, pressing gently to seal.* Flute edges if desired. Pierce top crust several times with a fork so steam can vent during baking (or use a knife to cut steam vents). Sprinkle with sugar.

Bake for about 50 minutes. Remove from the oven and place on a rack to cool.

* You could also use 1" strips of pie crust to create a lattice over top of cherry filling, or get creative with cut out shapes...

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Crock Pot Sesame Chicken

Pretty good for very little effort...

1½ lb boneless/skinless chicken
½ C honey
¼ C soy sauce
2 Tbls dried onion
2 Tbls ketchup
1 Tbls oil
½ tsp garlic powder
2 tsp cornstarch
sesame seeds

Place chicken into crock pot. Combine honey, soy sauce, onion, ketchup, oil, and garlic. Pour over chicken. Cook on low for 3-4 hours or on high 1½-2½ hours until chicken is just cooked through.
Remove chicken from crock pot, leave sauce. Dissolve 2 teaspoons of cornstarch in 3 tablespoons of water and pour into crock pot. Stir to combine with sauce. Replace lid; cook sauce on high ten more minutes or until slightly thickened.

Cut chicken into bite size pieces and return to crock pot; bring chicken and sauce to simmer. Chicken can be hot-held on low. Sprinkle with sesame seeds and serve over rice.

Monday, July 1, 2013

Blueberry Pie

5 C blueberries
1 Tbls lemon juice 
¾ C sugar
½ C flour
½ tsp cinnamon
2 Tbls butter
2 9" pie crusts*

* Or do like I did in the photo, use a bottom crust and a crumble topping.

Preheat oven to 425°.

Line a 9" pie pan with a bottom crust. Dock with a fork. Gently toss blueberries with lemon juice. Whisk together sugar, flour and cinnamon; pour over blueberries and gently toss until berries are well coated. Pour berries into pie crust, sprinkling with any sugar-flour mixture left in bowl. Dot with butter. Moisten the exposed rim of bottom crust. Lay top crust over pie, gently pressing edges to seal. Pierce top crust several times with a fork so steam can vent during baking (or use a knife to cut steam vents).

Bake 35-45 minutes, until edges of crust are golden brown and juices are thick and bubbly.