Sunday, August 30, 2009

Kiwi Lime Sorbet

Bake at 350

After participating in last month challenge, I was excited when it came time for Bridget at Bake at 350 to unveil August's theme. Lemon or Lime. I was at work so sent an email to Mike telling him what the theme was for this month and all he wrote back was Kiwi Lime Sorbet. So I was like okay, is that a hint. He said that when he was younger there was this ice cream shop in town that use to make the best Kiwi Lime Sorbet. So picking this months recipe was easy!

Kiwi Lime Sorbet

1/2 cup water
3/4 cup sugar
1 tablespoon lime zest
10-12 ripe kiwis
juice of 2 limes
1/4 cup limoncello (optional)

Wash and dry the limes. Using a microplane grater, remove the zest from the limes until you have about 1 tablespoon of zest. Place water, zest and sugar into a small saucepan and boil gently for 10 minutes to reduce mixture and extract lime.

Peel the kiwis and remove the hard ends and even the whitish core, if desired.

Place kiwis in blender. Juice 1-2 limes and add to blender. There's plenty of lime flavor from the zest, so avoid the temptation to add a lot of juice. Pour in the reduced lime syrup and puree the mixture just until smooth. Pour into a sieve and gently filter out the lime zest and kiwi seeds. Pour this into ice bath and stir in 1/4 cup of limoncello Until blended.

Chill mixture in ice bath until less than 45F. Pour into ice cream maker and freezer according to your maker's instructions. Once chilled, remove from ice cream maker and place in a container to set in freezer.


My Review: The only problem I had was with the first step of boiling the water, sugar, and zest. Do not boil it for 10 minutes. What happens is that it because a hard syrup that sticks to the side of the pot and doesn't come out. So when I made it the second time, I just brought it up to a boil and then shut off the heat. At one point I though this recipe was cursed because when making it the second time we were have a bad thunderstorm and the power went out. I'm glad it only went out for a few seconds, because I think I would have started throwing kiwis around the kitchen in protest. But I was able to finish it with no other problems. If you like lime flavored things, you'll like this recipe. It was a little tart for me, but Mike loves lime flavored stuff so he really enjoyed it!

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

What a Great Idea...Hot Pepper Jelly!

I think it was last week some time or the week before when I saw on another blog a post about Hot Pepper Jelly. I told this to Heidi and she sent me a recipe she found on I have a lot of Jalapeno peppers growing in my garden which seem to be the only thing doing well. The recipe seemed simple enough and I had most of the ingredients on hand already.

Hot Pepper Jelly

2 1/2 cups finely chopped red bell peppers
1 1/4 cups finely chopped green bell peppers
1/4 cup finely chopped jalapeno peppers
1 cup apple cider vinegar
1 (1.75 ounce) package powdered pectin
5 cups white sugar

1) Sterilize 6 (8 ounce) canning jars and lids according to manufacturer's instructions. Heat water in a hot water canner.
2) Place red bell peppers, green bell peppers, and jalapeno peppers in a large saucepan over high heat. Mix in vinegar and fruit pectin. Stirring constantly, bring mixture to a full rolling boil. Quickly stir in sugar. Return to full rolling boil, and boil exactly 1 minute, stirring constantly. Remove from heat, and skim off any foam.
3) Quickly ladle jelly into sterile jars, filling to within 1/4 inch of the tops. Cover with flat lids, and screw on bands tightly.
4) Place jars in rack, and slowly lower jars into canner. The water should cover the jars completely, and should be hot but not boiling. Bring water to a boil, and process for 5 minutes.

Review: This makes a lot of jelly but let me tell you it is addicting and will go fast. I think this would make a great holiday gift. One thing about the recipe that I am not sure about is the amount of pectin to use. I followed the advise of someone's review and used 2 boxes because they said one box didn't set. When I opened the box of pectin it has a recipe for hot pepper relish in it...that is the same as the recipe above. I am thinking that if you use one box to make the relish it wouldn't set like jelly would set. That recipe also called to use a lot more peppers then the one above. I don't think I would add much more pepper to the recipe because it has the jalapeno taste but without the spice of it...however if you know someone that likes it hot then I think you could even more hot pepper and it will still taste good. This recipe is a keeper!

I served this at the party we had on Saturday and someone put it on top of brie cheese and it was AWESOME!

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Homemade Ice-Cream!

For my birthday this year, my mom and dad bought me a Cuisinart Ice-Cream Maker. I have been wanting to get one for the last year. Of course, I didn't realize how many calories it takes to actually make your own ice-cream, so I am in search of lower cal ice-cream recipes. But in the meantime, I had asked my hubby to pick up some heavy cream and half-and-half on the last trip the supermarket.

I started by making the mixture for the ice-cream maker (ingredients and directions below). After it was made, I put it in the maker and expected to watch magic happen! After 25 minutes, it still looked like milk. Huh?! I pull out the directions (you know, the paper that comes with the box, that no one really reads, except for seeing what ice-cream recipes they suggested?!). Little did I I know, you actually need to freeze the bowl FIRST! haha

Ok, so put it in the freezer and after 4 hours, I thought let's try again. (Note, instructions said that it usually takes 6-22 hours to freeze the bowl, but I put it in the back of the freezer as suggested and somehow thought that a miracle would happen), umm, yeah, still milky. Hmm! Does this really work?

This time, I left the bowl to freeze overnight, got up this morning and said, ok, third time is a charm. Put the machine together, put in the mixture, turned it on and went upstairs for 40 minutes. Came downstairs and hmm, what is that coming out of the top?! OH MY GOD! It's ICE-CREAM!

Just because it looks like ice-cream, does that mean it actually tastes like it?! What are the chances that this actually works? Well, let's just say Breyers and Turkey Hill have nothing on me! Holy cow! I think this is some of the best ice-cream I have EVER tasted! Even the hubby was impressed! YUM-O! as Rachel Ray would say. Sooooooooo good! I think it cost more to make than to buy a 1/2 gallon at the supermarket, but hey, it may just be worth it!

Next I'll try to make a lower cal one (may half-and-half and skim milk or 1%) and see how that comes out. But let's just say, I am IMPRESSED! If you have an ice-cream maker, you need to try this out...

Vanilla Bean Ice Cream

Original recipe yield 1/2 gallon (16 servings)

2 cups half-and-half
1 ¾ cup heavy cream
¾ skim milk
3/4 cup white sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract or ½ vanilla bean (seeded) - or combo of both
1/2 pinch salt

Combine half-and-half, heavy cream, and sugar in saucepan to dissolve sugar. Add vanilla bean and salt at end and let cool. Freeze according to manufacturer's instructions.

For Cuisinart ice-cream maker, freeze bowl overnight. Ice cream mixture can be made 2-3 days in advance and stored in fridge until ice cream bowl is frozen.

Original recipe called for 4 cups of half and half and ½ cup of heavy cream. I used what I had available.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Blueberry Picking and Cheese Farm...a perfect day!

After checking the weather report last week I realized that Saturday seemed like the only nice day of the weekend. I wanted to make sure we did something fun outside while the nice weather lasted. Heidi and Kath mentioned that they were going upstate this weekend to go blueberry picking. I have heard from a bunch of people that because of the rain this year the blueberries were ready for picking later then normal. That got me excited that I might not have missed it this year. I happen to live near a place where you can go blueberry picking (they also have strawberry, and pumpkin picking).

We had a really fun time picking with Jacob who just had a great time. We were lucky but a lot had been picked and they were a lot that weren't ripe yet. We managed to pick a total of 4 lbs...and probably ate at least a pound between us all. This morning I made for breakfast blueberry pancakes and I put a bunch aside to make a pie or muffins.

This farm also happens to be on the way to my favorite place I have found since we moved here...the cheese farm. My in-laws came with us who have never been to the cheese farm before. I took a few picture of the farm because it just looks so nice in the summer when everthing is in full bloom. Where they usually have a ton of goats was where a bunch of calves where instead. We also saw some turkeys there who were out of the pen.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Zucchini Pizza Crust

Like Michelle, I too received a HUGE zucchini from Jenn's garden. While searching for zucchini recipes I came across a lot of zucchini bread recipes, a few cake recipes, but what really caught my eye was a recipe for Zucchini Pizza Crust. The one I made was not gluten free, but there are quite a few zucchini pizza crust recipes that are gluten free.

Zucchini Pizza Crust

1 large egg
1/2 ounce grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
1/2 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp marjoram
ground pepper to taste
1 Tbsp whole wheat flour
1 medium zucchini (grated)

Preheat the oven to 325 F

Place the egg, Parmesan, oregano, marjoram, and pepper in a mixing bowl. Whisk together well.

Add the zucchini and fold into egg mixture until well blended. Sprinkle the flour over the top and fold into the zucchini mixture.

Place mixture on a non-stick cookie sheet. Pat down into a thin round shape.

Place in the oven and bake for 15 minutes. Turn over and bake for another 5 minutes. Remove and let cool slightly before adding pizza toppings.

My Review: I think I might have followed the recipe incorrectly, but it still turned out good. I had doubled the ingredients because I had about 2 cups of shredded zucchini and it didn't look like the egg mixture would be enough. It wasn't crispy like real pizza crust, but the tomato sauce and cheese gave it a nice taste. After I topped the "pizza" I had put it back in the oven to melt the cheese a little. Next time I might squeeze the zucchini before mixing it all together. I think that will make the crust less moist. Oh I almost forgot. I didn't have marjoram, so I used dried basil instead.

Zucchini and A Lot of it...

When we were at Jenn's house on Saturday she gave us each a HUGE zucchini to take home with us. I was happy to take it because this year my garden isn't really producing right now...things are growing but not big enough to pick. Of course this happens the year I found a bunch of recipes I want to try out using zucchini and I have none from my own garden yet. I also refuse to buy in the store since I know I will have some eventually.

Since all the recipes I wanted to make calls for shredding I decided to make it easy on myself. I broke out my food processor. Well to my surprise I got a total of 10 cups of shredded zucchini.

I decided since I had so much I was going to try out the Zucchini brownies Jenn make and another recipe I found out there in the world of blogs: zucchini cakes on The Pinoeer Woman Cooks blog. Check out her blog for the recipe and pictures of the whole process. Below are my pictures of the finished product.

Review: I have to say right off the bat this one is a keeper! It was easy to make and the flavor was really good. The recipe calls for 1 large zucchini shredded. Honestly I don't know how big a large zucchini is because if you get one from a home garden...well lets just say it could be a baseball bat. The ones from the supermarket are usually much smaller and a large one there is really a small one from the garden. So I used about 3 cups but I think next time I might try to use a little bit more. I would have this time but the baby woke up and I had to put the mixture in the refrigerator until I had time to cook them. I also used Italian flavored bread crumbs because that was all I had and I used grated Parmesan cheese.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Cupcake Bakery

On Saturday the girls got together to go out for lunch before baby Babore comes to town. We all met at Jenn's and then headed out for lunch. We ate very yummy pizza but decided not to get an appetizers but save our room for dessert. We originally were going for ice cream (which we did get) but in the same shopping center was a cupcake bakery called Crumbs Bake Shop. Well I got excited because I read a ton of blogs about cupcakes and cupcake bakeries. I live in an area where it is hard to find one of them unless you make a trip into NYC (where you can find a lot of them).

We shared 3 of them:

The Baba Booey: Chocolate cake filled with peanut butter, topped with peanut butter and chocolate cream cheese frosting and rimmed with peanut butter chips.
Cookie Dough: Vanilla cake with chocolate fudge filling covered in our signature vanilla cream cheese frosting mixed with real cookie dough (not raw) and topped with a chocolate chip cookie.
Margarita: Vanilla cupcake with a lime flavored cream cheese frosting and rimmed with sugar.
Review: I was not sure how to write this review but here it goes. I have to say the overall presentation of the cupcakes made it very hard to pick just one or in my case two to buy. I would have liked to see a menu with the descriptions of all the cupcakes. The person that helped us knew her stuff but I didn't want to ask her what was in every one. I like to try things that are different and not something I can make at home. Like the Margarita one was just a vanilla cupcake with a flavored tasted good but I just felt this was something I could do at home and maybe better (probably not but I could try). The groups favorite one was the Baba Booey because I mean who doesn't love chocolate and peanut butter together. Would I go back if I had the chance probably not but I can't wait to visit my next cupcake bakery to try out another one...


Related Posts with Thumbnails