Tag Archives: Ice Cream

Rhubarb and Red Wine Compote

The weather lately (really exciting topic, huh?) has been kind of gray, rainy, and chilly, and it’s reminding me very much of why I love fall.  I get to wear sweaters and scarves and not feel weird when I make food that uses copious amounts of cinnamon and ground cloves.  I also get to play melancholy music on my Ipod and think nostalgic thoughts.  Fall–I can’t wait ’till you get here.

But until then, I decided to combine a little summer and autumn together in this rhubarb (which, by the way, I keep accidentally typing as “rhubard”) and red wine compote.  Let the red wine, cinnamon, and cloves remind us of fall, while the ice cream and rhubarb keep us from missing out completely on summer.

And the melancholy music?  Well, that’s up to you.

Rhubarb and Red Wine Compote (original recipe here)

  • 1 lb rhubarb (I used a little over a lb with delightful results)
  • 2 C red wine (our choice: South African pinotage)
  • 1/2 C brown sugar
  • 1 t honey
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1/4 t ground cloves

Chop the rhubarb in one-inch pieces, and combine with the other ingredients.

Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to medium, simmering until it reduces to your desired thickness.  You might want to err on the side of too runny, ’cause it’ll continue to thicken as it cools.

Absolutely serve it over ice cream–I brought it to a girls’ night, and we had it over vanilla bean ice cream and (the popular favorite) coconut almond fudge.  Perfect combination, especially with some fresh sliced strawberries on top.

This brew will make your kitchen (and house) smell like rich red wine and the gorgeous warm spices of fall.  Perfect timing now that our heat wave has abated and it’s actually quite chilly at night.

This compote served a table full of ladies with lots to spare.  Other uses–swirled into some oatmeal (you guys know how I feel about oats by now, right?), in yogurt, on toast…if you can dream it up, you can make it happen.

Tomorrow we get to pick up our next CSA box, and it’s perfect timing, since we have just about managed to finish off the bounty from last week (last recipe should be happening tomorrow morning!).  Have a beautiful night!

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Mom’s “Special” (Amaretto) Ice Cream

Mom was worried that she may come across as having a bit of an alcohol problem on this post.  I reassured her that she needn’t be worried, because she clearly doesn’t have one…she just enjoys an occasional sip of wine, you know?  And perhaps a rare enjoyment of amaretto poured over her ice cream.  And Bailey’s in her coffee.

Okay, okay, I kid.  She uses Bailey’s flavored creamer–she’s a working woman, you know.  And there’s not much ice cream to be found in these parts anymore.

Or there wasn’t, until I came home for break.  When we were kids, my mom would sometimes serve herself a bowl of ice cream and settle in for a movie.  When we clamored for a taste, she’d inform us that it was “Mommy’s special ice cream” and we couldn’t have any. 

Only when we were adults did we discover that “special” meant “21 and over” or “doused in amaretto”.

So in honor of a special lady, I thought I’d recreate the ice cream treat, only this time around with the “special” mixed right in.

 

Amaretto Ice Cream (original recipe here)

  • 1 1/2 C heavy cream
  • 1 1/2 C whole milk
  • 6 egg yolks (save those whites for a healthy omelet!)
  • 3/4 C sugar
  • 1 T light corn syrup
  • 3 T amaretto
  • 1/3 C chopped toasted almonds

 

Oh, yes.  Did I mention that this is a treat?  If you want a healthy frozen dessert, try this banana frozen yogurt.  However, if you’re ready to give yourself the gift of rich, custardy, creamy ice cream, then stick with me.

Now, if you are using an ice cream maker, don’t be like me.  Read the instructions and realize that you need to freeze the bowl for 6-12 hours before using.  Do that the day before.  Save your sanity.  If you aren’t using an ice cream maker, than you can put it in the freezer and just take it out and stir every once in a while to prevent big ice crystals from forming.

Bring the milk and cream to a simmer in a medium-sized heavy saucepan.  Not a rolling boil, just a nice chill simmer.

In a large bowl, whisk together the egg yolks, sugar, and corn syrup.

Slowly add the hot cream mixture–go slowly, because you don’t want scrambled egg yolks as part of your ice cream!

Give it a nice whisk, then pour back into the saucepan.  Place over medium-low heat and continue whisking until the custard thickens–it should coat the back of a spoon without running.  Once again, go slow and steady to avoid the eggy thing–it should take about ten minutes.

If you think you have egg bits, then strain back into the bowl; otherwise, just dump it back in.  Add the amaretto and chill in the fridge until completely cool. 

Now, either place it in the freezer and stir, or use your ice cream maker as directed.  Right before freezing, add the toasted almonds and do it up.

Yum.

This is so rich and creamy that you really won’t need a big bowl to feel satisfied–and the crunch of the almonds goes perfectly with the smooth amaretto.  It does melt quickly because of the alcohol content, so be prepared for drips–and don’t be tempted to add extra alcohol, because the taste is strong enough as is, and you don’t want to mess up the freezing process.

Special ice cream, indeed.

 

We had breakfast this morning with some family friends at Denny’s.  It’s always so nice to catch up (and Cora made another appearance, of course).

By the way, I shot the pictures for this post using our new Canon T3i!  Exciting, huh?  I also was using the manual setting for the first time ever in my life–what do you think?  Any tips?

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the Snookie Monster

Hi my friends!

I’m sorry that I’ve been MIA for a while, but I was with my friends and family at home and sometimes, just sometimes, other things matter more than blogging.

Not to mention that it was also my birthday!

We planned on going to Dinosaur BBQ to celebrate, but there was an hour and a half wait, so Dad did his SuperDad thing and made an on-the-spot reservation at Lemongrass, which turned out to be the best  Thai restaurant ever.

At least I think it was.  It was my very first time ever having Thai food, so my experience with Thai restaurants is somewhat limited.  But if I had to guess, I would say that this is the best one ever.  I had sea bass with chili tamarind sauce, but I also tried everyone else’s dish, and I wanted to eat all of them.

Anyway, in honor of the special Jersey Shore episode that aired yesterday, featuring Snookie getting arrested with all the grace that such a small guidette could muster up, I decided it was time to finally post the:

I’m not going to post any recipes because the cookies I made weren’t anything special–just your average chocolate chip cookies, with some homemade caramel chips mixed in.

Just make whatever cookies strike your fancy, and make ’em extra big.  Make an ice cream sandwich with ice cream (we used vanilla and mint chocolate chip) and top with homemade whipped cream.  Not healthy for your body, but definitely good for your spirit.

Maybe not so much that either, since you are eating them while watching Jersey Shore.  But hey, everyone needs a break sometimes, ya know?

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Beets (the right way); Frozen Yogurt

In case you were wondering (admit it–you were), I recently got a new babysitting job watching a child who is most likely the cutest nine month old of all time.  He has the sweetest disposition and humongous eyes,  but more importantly he makes this growly Chewbacca sound when he’s playing contentedly and it kills me.  Yes, that’s cute, but what does this mean to you, you ask?

It means that I don’t have a long Friday afternoon anymore to make a complex and blog-worthy dinner, so instead you get to see the side dishes I made the day before to go with the chicken drumsticks I asked Fritz to grill for me.  But don’t worry, because I plan on making a work-intensive loaf of pumpernickel bread tomorrow, and I promise at least 10 steps and many photos.

My parents grew beets in their garden this year, and a few posts ago I showed a picture of how beautiful they were when I boiled them.  Even though they were pretty, boiling beets takes out some of their intense flavor and color, and when you try roasting them you’ll understand the difference.

Roasted Beets

  • as many large beets as desired, scrubbed but not peeled
  • foil squares for wrapping
  • 1 C water
  • metal or glass baking dish that is at least 1″ deep

This is easy: pre-heat the oven to 400 degrees, wrap the beets in foil (trim those ugly ends first), and place in a baking dish.  Add the water to the bottom of the dish to prevent burning.

 

Place dish into a middle rack in the oven and roast until a wooden skewer can easily pierce through the center of the beet, about an hour.  Be careful opening up that foil, it’s steamy!  Use a paper towel to rub off the tough outer layer.  It should come off easily and stain the towel instead of your hands.

Slice beets and serve either warm (delicious with just a sprinkle of salt), or cold with balsamic vinaigrette.  Yum!

Now is also a good time to roast some sweet potatoes!  I poke some holes in them with a fork and then microwave them for six minutes.  Place in a baking dish and bake until soft.  Sprinkle some freshly grated nutmeg over the top and savor that natural sweetness.

Since we’ve been trying to eat healthily, ice cream has been completely cut out of our diet, and it definitely needed to be replaced with a better alternative for our movie-watching nights.  My friend Cait told me about a blog she likes called Oh She Glows (it’s pretty and vegan), and while browsing it I found a vegan ice cream idea that I liked and quickly adapted to our non-veganness.  If you are vegan and want to try it, process some frozen bananas and peanut butter together.  Done!
 
However, I changed it up a little bit.  This was seriously so good that we declared it better than real ice cream.  Yes.  Silky smooth and full of goodness.
 
Good For Ya Frozen Yogurt (serves two…or one if you eat like we do!)
  •  1 C plain Greek yogurt
  • 1 banana
  • 1 t honey
  • 1 T peanut butter (opt)

Blend all ingredients (don’t bother freezing the banana beforehand unless you plan on eating it immediately), pour into a bowl, and stick in the freezer for an hour or two until hardened.  We couldn’t wait more than an hour to eat it, but you could freeze it like regular ice cream–it gets very frozen, though!

 

Tomorrow is take 29488420086 of our search for a car.  Now that I have a babysitting job and Fritz wants to start shadowing an orthodontist, we really really need a second car.  It’s been fun (not) sharing a car for over a year, but I think we are ready for a new phase of our lives to begin: Independence.

Wish us luck!

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