It’s supposed to be 80 degrees today, so it seems like a good time for the first ice cream post of the season! I discovered home-made ice cream when I first got my KitchenAid mixer, and every time I make it I struggle to remember why I don’t do it more often (other than the fact that it’s a 24-hour gratification process, which might really be enough of a reason).
I actually made this cinnamon ice cream for Thanksgiving last fall, to go with mom’s apple pie, and it was amazing. My favorite part of making my own ice cream is that the flavor is entirely up to me – if I want more or less of something, I don’t have to whine about Breyer’s choices – I just have to change the recipe! I have big plans for the ice cream season this year – chocolate, black raspberry, ginger… I also want to experiment with some sorbets and frozen yogert. We’ll see what I actually get around to.
Like the cardamom rose ice cream, this was a custard base, which I’m pretty sure just means you cook it. It’s a little time consuming because you have to watch and stir it constantly, but not terribly so, and the results are much creamier than an uncooked base.
Once the custard base is cooked, it has to be strained to make sure you didn’t get any clotted milk clumps (because that’s what milk and cream do when you cook them). This part involves too many hands, but it’s actually sort of fun. And ice baths look neat.
Once it’s strained and cooled a little, it has to be refrigerated overnight to completely chill it. Before you do that, you usually add most of the spices and flavorings (if they weren’t already in the custard). I use the same air-tight plastic containers for chilling that I do for freezing the completed ice cream, because I have tons of them.
I didn’t end up taking any pictures of the churning this time, for some reason, but it worked a lot like the cardamom rose or the peach ice cream I made ages ago – pour the chilled custard in the frozen mixer bowl (They have a separate bowl for this that also has to be frozen, so don’t let that throw you off if you’re making ice cream yourself. It needs at least 18 hours frozen, so I just keep mine in our chest freezer at the ready for “spontaneous” ice cream making.) and churn until it’s done, following the instructions in the ice cream maker manual. And every now and then sneak a taste of what’s splashed up the sides. (They always leave that part out of the directions, for some reason…)
Cinnamon ice cream was perfect with apple pie. I don’t know why I didn’t think of this years ago – I’m pretty sure it’s going to become an annual occurrence. (Ha. I like to predict things, but I’m not so big on going back to see if I ever follow through. Don’t hold me to that.) But it’s also a really easy mix, since it’s just flavorings and no extra ingredients. Highly recommended!
Mmm, now I may need to sneak out for ice cream after my lunch.
Cinnamon Ice Cream
Sweat Pea’s Kitchen
Makes 1 quart
- 1 1/2 cups whole milk
- 1 1/2 cups heavy cream
- 3/4 cup granulated sugar
- 4 inch piece vanilla bean, slit lengthwise and seeds removed, pod reserved OR 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 4 large egg yolks
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- Set a fine mesh strainer over a medium sized bowl and set the bowl over a large container of ice water.
- In a medium saucepan over medium heat, heat the milk, cream, 1/2 cup sugar and the vanilla seeds and pod, stirring occasionally to break up the vanilla seeds, until steam appears and the liquid is hot (175 degrees) about 5 minutes.
- When the milk mixture is cooking, in a separate bowl, whisk the yolks and 1/4 cup of sugar together until smooth.
- Slowly whisk about 1 cup of the hot milk mixture into the yolks to temper them.
- Then slowly whisk the tempered yolk mixture back into the remaining hot milk mixture.
- Continue to cook the custard mixture over medium heat until it is very hot but not simmering (180-185 degrees).
- Pour the custard mixture into the strainer bowl set in the ice bath and let cool, stirring occasionally, for about 10 minutes.
- Remove the custard mixture from the ice bath and add cinnamon.
- Cover tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate until very cold (40 degrees), about 3 hours.
- Remove and discard the vanilla pod from the custard (or add the vanilla extract, if using) and stir well.
- Pour the custard into the ice cream machine canister and churn, following the manufacturer’s instructions, until the mixture resembles soft-serve ice cream, about 20 minutes.
- Transfer the ice cream to an airtight container, press plastic wrap flush against the surface, cover the container, and freeze the ice cream until firm, at least 2 hours.
Recipe Note: Two teaspoons of vanilla extract may be substituted for the vanilla bean. Stir it into the chilled custard just before churning. (I don’t like vanilla specks in my vanilla, so I went with extract. Also, beans are much more difficult than just pouring things out of a bottle.)
This is a red letter blog post. It’s the first time I’ve turned a Cupcake Friday cupcake into a LivingWithPurple Edition! Huzzah! I’ll confess that the photos on Jamie’s blog are prettier, but I’d challenge her to prove that her cupcakes were tastier! These turned out amazingly well – we ate most of them at the Super Bowl party, and the rest were demolished the next day at work.
[Note: I did discover that while pumpkin coffee makes these amazing cupcakes, it does not make amazing coffee. So I'm hoarding the rest of the beans for when I have another pumpkin coffee recipe I'm enthralled with.] (more…)
My relationship with Joy of Cooking got off to a rocky start, but things are definitely looking up. I don’t think I ever got around to telling my Joy of Cooking story, so now’s as good a time as any. And then I’ll get around to the Brussels Sprouts.
I’m slowly easing my way back into this here blogging thing… And by “slowly” I mean “sometimes I get around to it”. Anyway, back in February there was this thing called the Super Bowl, or at least that’s what they told me. I have no interest in football at any point, and not a whole lot more when there’s a trophy at stake (although the Idaho Potato Bowl, which has a bowl of potatoes as a trophy, is pretty awesome), but I do like excuses to make tasty food. And what better excuse to invite people over to eat said tasty food than this once-a-year commercial party that apparently people like to watch?
This year we ended up with more people than usual, because that’s the way these things seem to be going in my life (check back for the Easter post in about two months, there’ll be more of that). I’m going to assume that’s because people like it when I cook things for them, and that it makes me a good party host, because that’s nicer than assuming that people just don’t say no. But regardless, we had lots of mouths to feed this time around, and we decided to go a bit overboard. The menu included Stuffed Baby Potatoes, Slow Cooker BBQ Cranberry Meatballs, Artichoke Spinach Dip, and Pumpkin Mocha Cupcakes (which I’ve been promising for a while). I’m actually going to give the cupcakes their own post, since they were featured on Cupcake Friday with the original recipe, and they deserve the honors of their own Cupcake Friday now that I actually made them. But the others I’ll write about here.
In honor of the first day of Spring, I’m posting a recipe for a classic fall dish. Figures…
This was meant to be a collaborative post with Alimonkee, but sadly I wasn’t able to get the pictures put together in time. So I think we’re both going to be posting our own versions of the same cooking event. (And by “going to” I mean that Alice posted hers *months* ago, and I never finished my draft until now.) Also, due to some mishaps with lighting and trying to use a camera-phone, less of the documentation turned out well than I’d hoped, so the pictures are a little different.
Dear loyal LivingWithPurple followers,
First off, let me apologize for the past two and a half weeks of absenteeism. I started off the new year with a 1-post bang, and promptly got totally distracted and left you all to your own devices for almost three whole weeks. I’ve missed TWO Cupcake Fridays! I’ve failed you. But don’t give up on me yet. Let me make it up to you!
Today’s long-awaited cupcake is brought to you from Framed Cooks, a blog I’ve been following for quite a while because of the incredible recipes and amazing leaping girl in the header image.
Gingerbread is one of my favorite things, but gingerbread cookies are typically harder than I want them to be – I’m a big fan of the soft and chewy cookie, not as much the snap (although don’t get me started on Trader Joe’s Triple Ginger Snaps” – best snack ever). So gingerbread cupcakes seem like the perfect solution – guaranteed to be soft and fluffy, and conveniently served with frosting!
I’m half-consciously starting to plan our Super Bowl party, and I think these would be perfect. (But then again, so would the Pumpkin Mocha cupcakes, which I still haven’t made even though now I have the pumpkin coffee.) (Maybe we’ll just have lots of cupcakes.)
What are your favorite gingerbread things?
One of my (many) New Year’s Resolutions (they’re more like… guidelines, really) is to get this blog off the ground and running strong, which of course primarily means that I have to keep posting. So what better way to start off the new year and the new pace than with a New Year’s Post?
2012 was a pretty great year. I won’t go into the details – you’ve seen most of the exciting bits here – but it surpassed my expectations. I have big plans for 2013, most of which involve reading, cooking, or gardening, but I’m not going to go into details there either because I don’t want you to hold me to anything. :) But the past week has held promise, and I’m looking forward to infinite projects, goals, book lists, recipes, friends, family, trips, stay-at-homes, food, kitties, and much, much more for 2013.
Here are a few snippets of my holiday season for you, since I’ve been a bit off the ball. A look back at year’s end, if you will:
Then, a light and brief snow flurry, with some of the biggest snowflakes I’ve ever seen. (We didn’t have a white Christmas, but we did have snow the day before, snow and ice the day after, and more snow two days later. All of which disappeared from the ground within an hour after the actual precipitation stopped.)
And finally, a home-made peppermint “mocha” in Hubby’s new, incredibly beautiful pottery coffee mug made by Cousin Bootsy.
Plus, I hinted at this earlier, but I was given a pasta maker attachment for my KitchenAid for Christmas, which I tried out in an undocumented lasagna attempt (mostly successful) this weekend, and which I promise I will be trying again in an actual, documented adventure that I’ll share with you. (I’m planning to make spinach linguine and butternut squash ravioli! But not at the same time.)
A very smart person once told me that the best way to stick to your resolutions was to tell everyone, so you’re held accountable. (Clearly I’m not following through on this, but it was very good advice.) What fun-filled or thrill-seeking plans have you made for your new year? Any exciting (or necessary) resolutions?
Happy New Year, everyone.
This is a bit of a last minute post – I’ve been off work since the Friday before Christmas, and the 11 day vacation is starting to go to my head. Or maybe it’s just the amount of “family time” involved in the first half of that vacation. Don’t get me wrong – I love my family, but my sense of timing and days of the week is a bit off right now… Sleeping until 8:30 and making coffee for sisters and husbands at 10:00 really throws me off. (Okay, really only one sister and one husband.)
Anyway, it’s apparently Friday, and I nearly missed it. Just like I missed wishing everyone a merry Christmas and happy Solstice and all the other holidays we cram into this time of the year. (Here, I’ll make it up to you via a quote from some of my favorite holiday cards this year: Merry Everything, Happy Always!) But no, I can’t miss Cupcake Friday! So here I am, in my pjs, getting ready to settle down in my scrumptious, pre-warmed bed with The Hobbit and my Elinor Sheep, and instead I’m writing you your Cupcake Friday post. Don’t you feel loved?
I’ve been saving this one for you. Some people think that Eggnog is a Christmas treat, but for me it’s honestly more associated with New Years. I’m actually not sure why – maybe because until recently I didn’t drink eggnog at all, so my Christmas doesn’t have that affiliation? But recently I’ve been introduced to some phenomenal eggnogs, homemade by clever, delicious-drink-concocting individuals, that makes me wonder why I avoided eggnog for all those years. (Could it have had anything to do with all of those five-syllable words on the carton ingredients list?)
This lovely cupcake post talks about people who love eggnog and people who don’t, and how these cupcakes just might change your mind. As a recent eggnog convert, I would guess that I’d have made my conversion earlier if these had showed up along the way. And I’m 100% certain that if you used a homemade eggnog instead of store-bought (the recipe doesn’t specify), you’d be hooked on these as a holiday treat for life. (Unless you’re just one of those people who don’t like eggnog, I guess…)
Happy Weekend, everybody. And in case I miss it, Happy New Year! I’ll be back sometime next week to tell you about my favorite kitchen-related presents and my personal New Year’s goals.
This year for Thanksgiving (yes, I’m finally getting around to the Thanksgiving posts), we initially decided we would be making “green bean casserole that doesn’t suck”. Two years in a row we have made green bean casserole that does suck, and for some strange reason for the third year we decided maybe we should do something different. Who knows – maybe we’re just tired of not wanting to eat our greens?
I looked around for alternative recipes and actually found a few that looked promising, but then I found this recipe in my new Joy of Cooking cookbook (there’s a story behind that – I promise I’ll tell you later) and thought maybe the solution to green bean casserole that doesn’t suck was to skip the green beans! We all love broccoli (and anyone who doesn’t should learn – it’s the vegetable of champions), and we definitely all love cheese, so really how could we go wrong?
It was 25°F when I woke up this morning. Since we’re only a little more than a week away from Christmas, I feel like 25°F means there should be snow. Of course, an hour later it was up to 35°F, and the high for today is supposed to be 55°F, so it sure doesn’t look like snow is on the horizon.
In honor of this unfortunate and confused weather, today’s Cupcake Friday is Melting Snowman Gingerbread Cupcakes from Erica’s Sweet Tooth, yet another foodie blog that I follow. Coincidentally, Erica adapted this recipe from a cookbook I happen to have at home as well – Hello, Cupcake – which I highly recommend for inspirational cupcake ideas that take far too much time but are totally worth it in the shock and awe department when you present your masterpieces.
These little fellers look just how our weather feels – they start off frozen and happy, snowy and cold the way they should be on December 14th on a 25°F morning, and then over the course of the morning they begin to soften, slouch, slip back into a watery puddle that goes sploosh when you tromp in it. Except that these particular snowmen are made of frosting, so when they melt, they taste delicious.
Go ahead and check them out – I know I’m going to! Thanks, Erica! And happy Friday, everyone.
I’m sneaking this one in here by the skin of my teeth, not to disappoint my loyal Cupcake Friday followers. Once again, I have failed to make cupcakes this week (although I did make my favorite stand-by cookie, stay tuned for that one if I ever get around to writing blog posts again). It’s been a really busy week, folks, and I know we’re headed into the busiest time of the year, and I haven’t even told you about my Thanksgiving recipes yet! I’m so sorry. I’ll try, I promise!
For now, here’s your last minute dose of cupcake lust: Chambord Cupcakes from My Baking Addiction.
These cupcakes combine two of my favorite things (chocolate and Chambord – which in case you aren’t familiar, includes one of my other favorite things, raspberries) into one of my favoritest things – cupcakes. I have some stories for you about Chambord. Would you like to hear them?
I invented my own drink once, many years ago. It’s a very chick drink, but it’s delicious and I highly recommend it. I can’t give you measurements, because when it comes to booze I basically just pour by instinct, but it’s basically this: start with Mike’s Cranberry Hard Lemonade. Pour it into a red wine glass (the enormous kind that can hold an entire 12 oz bottle of Mike’s, preferably), then add a shot or two (or three) of Chambord, and then a splash of Bacardi Razz. If you’re feeling frisky, also add a splash of Absolut Mandarin. For a long time, this drink didn’t have a name. Then a friend advised me that you should always name drinks after your invisible childhood friends. So the original version is the Lisa, and if you add the Absolut Mandarin, it becomes a Crazy Lisa. Try it, and let me know what you think. It could probably benefit from a bit of actual cranberry juice to cut the sweetness. I drank many of these in my early 20s. They were delicious.
Shortly after inventing the Lisa, I tried to switch to the cheaper stuff. You know, name brand liquor is expensive, and there are so many knockoffs, surely dropping down just one level wouldn’t be too bad, right? I bought a bottle of Chateau Monet. It was about $10 cheaper, but certainly not bottom of the line. I thought I was safe. Fate advised me otherwise, at least for Chambord. One night, when I was about to mix myself a drink in my dad’s still-under-construction kitchen with poured concrete floors, I picked up that bottle of Chateau Monet. I had carried it half way from the cabinet to the counter (a journey of about 48 inches) when the unthinkable happened – my hand slipped, and the bottle went crashing to the floor. It shattered.
Did I mention that the poured concrete floors were also cut into large tiles, a continuous pattern of diamonds across the kitchen and eating nook, towards the laddered hole that should have been stairs?
When the Chateau Monet shattered, the thick, dark purple, sticky sweet raspberry liqueur instantly discovered the wonders of that floor. It found pathways through the tiles that I never knew existed. It learned to creep both across the floor and under the plywood temporary cabinets. It crawled, seeped, and poured across the kitchen, filling crevasses with sugar and booze and berry.
I cleaned up the glass, wiped the tiles, and toothbrushed out the seams, thanking whatever gods that I had not just shattered a bottle of true Chambord. I never bought the cheap stuff again.
One of my daydreams is to make Chambord Ice Cream. I did actually find a recipe, but I haven’t tried it yet. I’m expecting I’ll get around to these cupcakes first, but maybe I’ll make them both together. Chocolate Chambord cupcakes with Chambord Ice Cream. How could you go wrong?
It’s that time of year again – trees up and lit, cocoa restocked, wrapping paper piled high in the corner, and Claybabies!
I know you’ve all been anxious since Sculpability has been bereft of critters for many months, but your long wait is over! It’s Christmas, and the Claybabies have returned!
Check out the Etsy shop, or let me know if you have any ideas or requests. I’m a bit particular about what I’ll make (things that can be interpreted into round shapes work best), but I’ll give it a shot or counteroffer!
When I decided to institute Cupcake Fridays, Calin looked conflicted and said it wouldn’t be good for us. To compromise, I said that I would only do my own cupcakes about once a month, and the rest of the time I would feature other people’s cupcakes that I really want to make. This is both a safer proposition, because I theoretically won’t be making cupcakes every week, and a dangerous one, because I will actively be looking for cupcakes I want to make in the future. (Right. Like I haven’t been doing that all along…)
This week’s featured cupcake recipe is Pumpkin Mocha Cupcakes from My Baking Addiction. Doesn’t it look delicious?
Well, we made it. I feel a bit as if I’ve just emerged from a food-coma-induced cloud, only to discover that someone filled my fridge with delicious leftovers.
Since this is my third annual Biggest Little Thanksgiving, I thought I had this down. I thought that making a ton of food was making a ton of food; because it is, isn’t it? I failed to take into account two important factors: 1) the size/quantity of the bird(s), and 2) people, and therefore time.
Thanksgiving was yesterday, but Calin and I celebrated with his family, which this year meant that I didn’t cook anything. I showed up in my apron and looked busy staying out of the kitchen while everyone else did the hard work. We did bring cream cheese and some of my pepper jelly as appetizers for the chefs and onlookers, which I suppose counts for something…
Don’t worry – we are doing my family’s Thanksgiving on Sunday, so I’ll have loads of things for you next week. But since I didn’t do any of my own chefing, I don’t have a real Thanksgiving post for you today. But I don’t want to leave you with nothing to read on this beautiful no-work Friday, with your full tummies and relaxing souls, so here’s another episode of Pumpkin Love.
Continuing my fall obsession with pumpkin, I found this fantastic recipe for pumpkin chili. This is perfect because 1) chili is the easiest, tastiest soup I know, and I make lots of it in cold weather, and 2) it has pumpkin in it, which makes it feel even more seasonal. I wasn’t 100% sure how the flavors would work out, since I don’t usually combine pumpkin with savory things (other than ravioli, which I haven’t made but I really want to), but love of pumpkin and love of chili combined to make this something I just had to try.
Unfortunately, the weekend didn’t quite go as planned, and I didn’t have an evening where we would actually be home to eat chili! So I decided to make it as an all-day crockpot extravaganza and have a week night dinner instead. This, of course, meant that I had to modify the original recipe, because it was designed for real cooking rather than slow cooking. (more…)
It’s been a busy week, and I haven’t had time to get a real post together for you today, so I’ll just share the pretty new books I got at our Friends of the Library book sale this past week.
I promise I’ll put something good together for Friday, when we’re all sitting around like fat (happy, totally satisfied) slugs, digesting copious amounts of delicious food.
This is another case of a recipe I found by accident that I had to make immediately. I love sweet potatoes, and Calin generally doesn’t, so anything I can do with them that I think he might actually eat is always welcome. Also, fritters are some of my favorite things – probably just because of the word – so they’re high on my list of things to learn how to make. If I’d known before I became an addict just how fried these little buggers are, I might have tried to stay away…
Happy Cupcake Friday!
I made these cupcakes ages ago, and somehow managed to save them until I had started a Cupcake Friday feature on my blog. How appropriate! Don’t they look delicious? Now I want to make more this weekend… (more…)
For my first Smitten Kitchen recipe, I decided to go with savory. We needed dinner. I actually meant to make the Roasted Fingerling and Carrot Coins, but then I decided we needed a main course, and by the time I figured that out, it was too much food to have both. So instead we had the Tomato-Glazed Meatloaves.
They were supposed to be made with brown butter mashed potatoes, but I lost a little momentum by then, so I just made regular mashed potatoes, with the yukon gold potatoes I had been planning to use for the roasted fingerlings. I’ll make the brown butter ones for another post.
Technically this cookbook was my birthday present. But since the publication date was later, and I actually received said cookbook much closer to my blogiversary, from my co-blogging fiend Alimonkee, I’ve decided it was actually meant as a blogiversary present.
Smitten Kitchen has been a favorite blog stand-by since I started reading foodie blogs. I can’t remember whether Alice got me started or I got her started, but either way, we’re both hooked. So giving me the Smitten Kitchen Cookbook as a birthday/blogiversary present could not be more perfect. In fact, when she told me she’d gotten me a present, she said “Guess what it is!” and only had to give me one hint. (As an aside, if you don’t already follow the Smitten Kitchen blog and you like cooking/food/blogs, start now. Seriously. Click that link, or do a google search, and sign up. Or bookmark it. Or whatever. You will not regret it, I promise.)
I’m not going to pull a Julie & Julia here, mostly because I don’t have time. (Although, heavens, certainly not because I don’t want to. There isn’t a recipe in this book that I don’t want to make now now now.) But I do have big plans to make many of these recipes in short order.
Chalkboard paper comes in 18″ by 6′ rolls, like all contact paper, and you can cut it down to any size you want. At first, I used it to label things. Lots of things. I labeled my clear counter-top containers that you can already see through, and can probably already tell what’s in them (maybe overkill?). I labeled my canning with the contents and can date (definitely not overkill – who the heck can remember when you canned something?). I labeled the coffee in the freezer so we could tell the difference between hazelnut and regular, because I know a few people who are militantly opposed to flavored coffee (with good reason) and I would hate to incur their wrath inadvertently by failing to properly distinguish.