Monday, October 31, 2005


Monday, October 24, 2005

Ice Cream! 

It has been a long, long time since I have posted anything here. But I made something so good this weekend that I have to share it.

My Mom's Chocolate Mint Ice Cream:

Step 1: If you do not already have one, buy an ice cream maker. I bought one on a whim on a clearance rack at Target last weekend. It's this one, and it was like $13:

It is either 4 quart or 5 quart, which is handily the same as size as the old one my mom has, so that's how much this recipe is for. It's quite a lot. You may want to half it. Or not.

Step 2: In a large mixer bowl (I used my Kitchenaid, but you can do it with a wisk or a hand mixer), beat four eggs until they are foamy.

Step 3: Add 2.5 cups of white sugar and beat until thick.

Step 4: Add 4 cups of heavy cream, 2 tablespoons of vanilla extract, and a pinch of salt. Beat until combined.

Step 5: Pour the mixture into the canister of your ice cream maker.

Step 6: Pour milk into the canister to the fill line (for my size, about 5 cups).

Step 7: Put the paddle in the canister, put the lid on, and put it in the bucket (or however the instructions on your's say to do it).

Step 8: Plug that sucker in and get it spinning.

Step 9: Pour alternating layers of crushed ice and rock salt in the bucket around the canister (again, see the directions for your specific machine).

Step 10: While it's spinning away, chop up a large-sized Ghiradelli chocolate bar into the little bits, then crush a bag of Starlite mints.

Step 11: When the ice cream maker stops spinning (about 30 minutes for mine), take out the canister and open it up. If you used this recipe and have my-size machine, it will be very full. Remove the paddle and scrape the ice cream on it into the container with a spatula. If you have more ice cream than container, put some of it in a Tupperware or something. Stir the mints and chocolate in.

Step 12: Put it in the freezer and let it set for several hours.

Step 13: Eat it until you are sick.

Note: This recipe worked well for me, but I found the vanilla to be pretty strong. I think it would be great for vanilla ice cream, but with the chocolate and mint, it was a bit much. Next time I make non-vanilla ice cream, I think I'll cut it down to 1 tablespoon. YMMV.

Saturday, October 01, 2005

Happy Food! 

I made what I thought was a lazy meal tonight. I had leftover soup and a head of Romaine lettuce, so I thought: Yes. Soup and salad. The end. As an afterthought, I made some popovers, and as we sat down at the table, I looked at the spread and was filled with an inexplicable happiness. For whatever reason, this meal jelled so perfectly together, that I thought, damn, I totally pulled this off. Best of all, the light custard popovers only took 10 minutes to prepare and 30 to bake.

I highly recommend this meal to anyone who's in the mood to make themselves feel like hot shit.

Here's what you do: make the soup the day before. I made Gypsy Soup, or Stone Soup, or whatever kind of soup you make that combines the vegetables in your garden with what's aging gracefully in your crisper with the frozen veggies in your freezer.

Gypsy Soup.

2 tomatoes
2 T olive oil
2 C chopped onions
3 cloves garlic, crushed
1 stalk celery, minced
2 C peeled, diced sweet potato
1 t salt
2 t paprika
1 t turmeric
1 t basil
pinch of cinnamon
pinch of cayenne
1 bay leaf
3 C water
1 bell pepper, diced
1 1/2 C cooked chick peas

1.) Heat a medium-sized saucepanful of water to boiling. Core the tomatoes, and plunge them into the boiling water for a slow count of ten. Remove the tomatoes, and peel them over a sink. Cut them open; squeeze out and discard the seeds. Chop the remaining pulp and set aside.

2.) Heat the olive oil in a kettle or Dutch oven. Add onion, garlic, celery,a nd sweet potato, and saute over medium heat for about 5 minutes. Add salt, and saute 5 minutes more. Add seasonings and water, cover, and simmer about 15 minutes.

3.) Add tomato pulp, bell pepper, and chick peas. cover and simmer for about 10 more minutes, or until all the vegetables are as tender as you like them. Taste to adjust seasonings and serve.

Okay, so, if you make this the day before, or two days before, all you have to do is reheat it for this meal. Next, make the popovers.


2-3 T melted butter
3 large eggs
1 1/4 C milk (lowfat okay)
1 1/4 C flour
1/2 t salt

1.) Heat oven to 375 degrees. Brush the insides of 12 muffin cups with melted butter or margarine.

2.) Beat together the eggs and milk in a medium-sized bowl. Add the flour and salt, and beat with a whisk until reasonably well blended. It's okay if the batter is lumpy.

3.) Fill each muffin cup about 1/2 full. Bake 30 minutes. Try not to open the oven door while baking.

4.) Remove the popovers from the pan immediately, and prick each with a fork to let the steam escape. These are great with butter, and so good with grape jelly it brings a tear to your eye.

While the popovers are baking, make the Caesar salad. Set two eggs to boil for 2 minutes.

Melt 2 T butter in microwave. Add 2 T olive oil, and 2 cloves of garlic, peeled and cut in half. Heat in microwave 20 minutes more, then set aside for 10 minutes. Discard the garlic. Toss the butter mixture with 3 slices of bread that has been cut into cubes. Spread bread cubes on baking sheet and bake for 12 minutes. Mash together in a small bowl until a paste is formed: 4 cloves of crushed garlic and 1/2 t salt. Whisk in 2 t lemon juice, 1 t Worcestershire sauce, and salt and pepper to taste. (Here's where two mashed anchovies go, if you can stand it.) Add 1/2 C olive oil in a slow, steady stream.

In a salad bowl, toss croutons and lettuce together with dressing. Toss in cooked eggs. Sprinkle with 1/2 C Parmesean cheese.

By this time, your soup should be hot and your popovers should be done.

Pat yourself on the back and pour yourself some iced tea.

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