Saturday, July 09, 2011

Saturday Afternoon Quickie - Vanilla Ice Cream

Summertime quickies are the best! ;)
It's summer....it's HOT....let's cool off ~
This recipe needs no introduction - spend the time to pull this together, and I promise you'll be grinning ear-to-ear :)  Remember, this ice cream recipe is only a launching pad - you can morph the hell out of it by adding jam, nuts, broken cookies, peanut butter, chopped up chocolate - and instantly amaze everyone! Enjoy!

Sandy's Vanilla Ice Cream makes approx. 2 qts.
5 egg yolks
1/4 cup sugar
2 cups heavy cream
1 1/2 cups milk, 2%
1 whole vanilla bean, split and scraped
1 cup white sugar
1 TBL. pure vanilla extract
1 pinch Kosher salt

In your KitchenAid mixer or a large bowl, whisk the egg yolks and 1/4 cup of sugar until the mixture reaches the ribbon stage (glossy and smooth).
In a 2 qt. sauce pan, gently heat the milk, cream, 1 cup of sugar, vanilla bean and its contents, and salt.  Whisk constantly until mixture reaches 185° degrees.  Take off heat and discard the vanilla bean.



 VERY SLOWLY, temper the egg mixture with the hot cream - don't be tempted to complete this step too rapidly, or you'll end up with scrambled eggs.

Now, pour all of the ice cream base back into the sauce pan.  Under low-medium heat, bring the base to 175° degrees, whisking constantly.


Place sauce pan in an ice bath and bring base to room temperature.  Seal in a plastic food container, and refrigerate for at least 12 hours - however, overnight is best.
Now, it's time for your ice cream maker to do it's magic!  Follow the instructions to your maker.  The end result will be a very soft ice cream that then needs to be frozen as soon as possible!
After a couple of hours, there you have it...yummy homemade vanilla ice cream!! ;-)

Thanks for the QUICKIE (wink!), I'll see ya next week!

Saturday, July 02, 2011

Saturday Afternoon Quickie - Dreamy Lemon Pound Cake

Summertime quickies are the best! ;)
It's summer....it's HOT....let's make dessert ~
My Oma adored pound cake.  In her fridge, come hell or high water, you'd find a bakery fresh, chilled pound cake ready for the daily Kaffee und Kuchen.
To this day, I can't make it through a month without sinking my teeth into a piece of pound cake - whether I purchase it or make it (WAY BETTER), it just has to happen.
The recipe I'm sharing with you today is fool-proof...delicious...and addictive. :)  Enjoy!
Dreamy Lemon Pound Cake *inspired by Allrecipes* serves 10-15
2 sticks (1 cup) salted butter, softened
3 cups sugar
6 eggs
5 TBL. FRESH lemon juice
1 TBL. grated lemon peel
1 tsp. pure lemon extract
3 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. Kosher salt
1 1/4 cups sour cream

In your KitchenAid mixer or a large bowl, cream the sugar and butter until light and fluffy.
Then, add your eggs one at a time.
Next, add the lemon juice, grated lemon peel, and lemon extract.  Combine well.
In a separate bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, and salt.  Now add it to the creamed mixture alternately with the sour cream.  Mix until just combined - don"t over do it!
Pour into a greased and floured (hello, I used Baker's Joy and it worked perfectly!) fluted tube pan.
Bake at 350° degrees F for 55-60 minutes or until a toothpick or cake tester comes out clean.
Let cool for about 10-15 minutes, then remove to a plate lined with wax paper.
Let cake cool completely before serving - and personally, I think pound cake tastes better the next day. ;-)

Thanks for the QUICKIE (wink!), I'll see ya next week!

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Saturday Afternoon QUICKIE - Easy Pizza Dough

It's never too late for an Afternoon QUICKIE -


Well, well, well...I'm finally back from the dead!  My precious kiddos will FINALLY be out of school within weeks, which equals more blog time for me.
So, I've been thinking....with gas prices so high and the general cost of EVERYTHING having gone up - it might be time for me to sharpen my skills.  It feels like the perfect time to begin producing some homemade family favorites.
First up? - something foodie :)
My husband is Sicilian, my kids beg for Italian food regularly - time to dial in a pizza dough recipe!
An easy recipe that requires a little extra time than calling the local pizza parlor ~
Let's get started:

Easy Pizza Dough makes 4 personal pizzas
1 package active dry yeast
1 ¼ (up to 1 ½) cups warm water, divided: 110 – 115 degrees
1 tsp. honey
4 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp. Kosher salt
1 TBL extra-virgin olive oil, plus additional for brushing

In glass measure cup, dissolve the honey then yeast in ½ cup warm water. Proof this mixture for 10 minutes, until yeast appears foamy.

In a mixer fitted with a dough hook, combine the flour and the salt. Add oil, the yeast mixture and remaining warm water.

Mix on low speed until the dough comes cleanly away from the sides of the bowl and clusters around the dough hook, about 5 mins. The dough should be smooth and firm.

Place dough in a lightly oiled bowl. Cover with plastic wrap to seal. Place a clean kitchen towel over the bowl and let rise in a warm spot for 1 hour.

Punch down to express some of the air in the dough, then divide into 4 equal pieces. Work each piece into a ball by pulling down the sides and tucking under the bottom of the dough.
Then on a smooth surface (no flour), roll the ball under the palm of your hand until the top of the dough is smooth and firm.

Now there are a couple of ways to do this next step:
You can line a baking sheet with parchment, and place all four balls on top. Then, lightly cover with plastic wrap and a dish towel. OR, place each ball in it's own bowl, cover with wrap and a dish towel. Whatever makes you happy...either way, the dough needs to sit and rise for 1 hour.

At this point, the balls can be used immediately or wrapped in plastic and refrigerated for up to 2 days.

Do what you like, but my pizza comes out like the picture at the top when I do the following:
Preheat oven to 485 degrees. **any higher and I end up with pizza bricks!**
To prepare each pizza, dip a dough ball into flour and shake off the excess. Place dough on a clean lightly floured surface, and start to stretch the dough. Don’t roll dough with rolling pin, use only your hands to assure fluffy crust.
When desired pizza shape is achieved, lightly brush olive oil in the inner circle of the dough.
Add toppings in this order:
-Sauce
-Mozzarella cheese
-Pepperoni
-any additional toppings. Finish with a light sprinkle of dried oregano and Feta/parmesan or goat cheese. YUM!
Lightly sprinkle baking sheet/pizza stone with cornmeal. Place prepared pizza in the center of baking sheet, and bake for approx. 13 minutes or until cheese is melted.
Serve immediately.

Thanks for the QUICKIE (wink!), I'll see ya next week!

Saturday, March 05, 2011

Soooo Sorry!

Hi friends!
I wanted to drop a quick line...letting you know how terribly sorry I am for being a very bad blogger lately ~
The stuff in my life has been CRAZY these past couple of months. Hubby is home on injury from the fire dept., kids are getting ready for state testing (we homeschool), we might be moving, the list goes on....
Hang tight my friends, things will get rolling around here again very soon - I promise :)

Saturday, January 22, 2011

New Orleans Coleslaw

It's time for another Saturday Afternoon QUICKIE -

Here in Southern California the weather this week has been CRAZY ~ unseasonably warm for winter! 40-°F degree nights, 70+°F degree days.
The result? My taste buds are completely confused and craving spring and summer dishes.
So, I was sitting at the table this past week, trying to decide what to serve next to my favorite brisket. I wanted something delicious that also would sneak in some healthy veggies for the kiddies...and then BOOM!, it hit me: Nigella's New Orleans Coleslaw.
I discovered this "slaw" last summer and it's definitely one of my absolute favorite sides....it's light yet packed with flavor! YUM!
The recipe also makes use of one of my "top shelf" most favorite ingredients, Pure Maple Syrup. Sound interesting? Trust me, it totally works in this dish.
Now, it's been my experience for best flavor, to only make enough of this side for your meal. For my family, that equals to about half of the original recipe. Fresh is best with this slaw, so serve it as soon as the flavors have sufficiently married (1-3 hours).
Here we go ~

New Orleans Coleslaw serves 4-5
inspired by Nigella Lawson

2 scallions, sliced thin
1 carrot, peeled and grated
1 celery rib, peeled and diced
1/2 of a medium-large head of green cabbage, cored and sliced thin
1/3 - 1/2 cup sliced almonds
1/2 cup (4 oz.) of your favorite mayo (or make it yourself!)
2 TBL. buttermilk
2 TBL. Real Maple Syrup (don't skimp on this friends)
1+ tsp. cider vinegar
1/4 - 1/2 tsp. Kosher salt (you might need more...just be careful)
1/2 tsp. ground black pepper

Let's start slicing up the cabbage.

Everyone has their favorite way to slice or chop cabbage. Do whatever works for you, but I'm going to demonstrate the way my German Oma taught me.
First, wash and pat dry your cabbage. Now for this recipe, make a clean cut down the center - to divide the cabbage in half.

Now, quarter and core the cabbage...

Separate the top leaves from the inner leaves of the cabbage quarter before slicing. It makes it easier to accurately slice the leaf sections one after the other...the top leaves spread out flat for simple slicing and the inner leaves are a snap to chop up quickly!

Time to grate and chop up the rest of the veggies!


Combine all vegetables in a large bowl, give a quick toss.

In a separate medium bowl, whisk the dressing ingredients. Pour over the veggies and add the almonds. Toss to combine. Place slaw in a container with a tight fitting lid and refrigerate until ready to eat! Don't forget to "tweak" as needed...some may prefer more vinegar or less syrup. The important thing to remember is as with most salads, you HAVE to give the salad time to rest before you taste. Flavors develop over time especially when the salad contains any type of vinegar. Try not to judge whether you like it or not too soon...you might be pleasantly surprised after an hour or so!
Super simple, very delicious...I hope you love this coleslaw too!

Thanks for the QUICKIE (wink!), I'll see ya next week!

What a year!!

I'm still alive!  I realize I've been MIA...this is what happens when real life forces to be reckoned with. ;)  Hang tight friends, ...