Wednesday, June 17, 2009

For the Love of Ice Cream

Summer is here! My all-time favorite treat is ice cream, you know the good kind with all the creaminess and fat.Add some homemade caramel on top and I've died and gone to heaven. Move over treadmill here I come....

Custard Ice Cream Base Recipe

This custard base is used for nearly all custard ice cream recipes.

1 cups heavy whipping cream
1 cups of milk
1/3 cup + 1 tablespoon sugar (the 1 tblsp. sugar may be excluded if a lighter ice cream is desired.)
2 egg yolks (recipes often call for 3 egg yolks, some people enjoy a heavier/ eggier taste, while others don't. It's really just preference)

1) Heat the milk, cream, and 1/3 cup sugar in a saucepan. Stir until mixture is hot and
all the sugar has dissolved

2) Whisk the egg yolks and 1 tablespoon sugar in a seperate bowl. Add one cup
of the hot liquid to the egg yolks (making sure to poor slowly and stir / whisk) Then, pour the mixture back into the sauce pan while continually stirring the mixture (all the stirring is so that the eggs don't cook, you don't want little pieces of scrambled eggs in your ice cream!)

3)Cook the mixture over medium heat until it thickens slightly and coats the back of a wooden spoon (stir constantly and do not allow to boil, or mixture will curdle). Mixture should take around
5 minutes to thicken. (warning!! 5 minutes is a very rough approximation, it may just take one minute. One tip for knowing when it has thickened is by leaning the pan to the side a little, so you can see the bottom; drag your spoon against the bottom / side, and you should be able to see if the mixture has thickened if a clean streak remains. Don't worry if you notice quite a bit of curdled mixture on the bottom, it will be able to be strained out. This is the hardest part of making a cream based ice cream, and it just takes a little practice.) Now strain the custard ice cream base into a clean bowl and use as directed in recipes.

-This ice cream base can also be made into a simple ice cream with no additional flavorings.
-the milk to cream ratio can be adjusted depending on if you want your ice cream to be more
or less rich.

Vanilla Ice Cream Recipe

1 recipe custard base
1 vanilla bean(split), or 1 tablespoon vanilla extract.

Add the vanilla bean to the milk, cream, and sugar when making the custard base. After
straining the whole mixture scrape in the vanilla seeds.If using extract just add to the end of the cooking procedure.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Asparagus the "New Green"

I came across asparagus for the first time two years ago at a wedding. I had never tried it before but figured it was about time. That's when my love affair started.

Here are some facts about this yum,yum,yummy veggie:

Asparagus is a nutrient-dense food which is high in folic acid and is a good source of potassium, fiber, vitamin B6, vitamins A and C, and thiamin.

Asparagus has no fat, contains no cholesterol and is low in sodium.

It takes two years before you can harvest any crop from an asparagus plant.

Asparagus is a member of the Lily family.

The larger the diameter; the better the quality.

Read on for a delicious recipe....

Asparagus Avacado Medley
*courtesy of

1 pound fresh asparagus, trimmed and cut into 1 1/2 inch pieces
8 fresh mushrooms, sliced
1 large ripe avocado, peeled and cubed
1 medium zucchini, diced
1 large tomato, seeded and chopped
1 medium red onion, sliced
2 tablespoons lemon juice
2 tablespoons olive or canola oil
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 garlic clove, minced
1/2 teaspoon dried basil
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper

Place asparagus and 2 tablespoons water in a microwave-safe dish. Cover and microwave on high for 3-6 minutes or until crisp-tender, stirring once; drain and cool.
In a large bowl, combine the asparagus, mushrooms, avocado, zucchini, tomato and onion; toss gently. In a jar with a tight-fitting lid, combine the remaining ingredients; shake well. Pour over salad and toss gently to coat. Cover and refrigerate until serving.
This recipe was tested with an 850-watt microwave.

Friday, June 5, 2009

Just Added

for your tummy's pleasure

Simply Lime Cookies

Double Chip Cookies
Sweet Treats by Maryann