Flour and Flowers | A Kitchen and Garden Blog

Latest

Cupcake Friday: Mini Cheesecakes – The Wicked Noodle

This is our first Cupcake Friday back in business, and it’s more wishful thinking than actual intention, since I don’t have time to make cereal these days, much less cupcakes. Today’s cupcake isn’t a traditional cupcake, but since it’s still baked in muffin tins I think it counts. These Mini Cheesecakes from The Wicked Noodle look so good that I want to rush out and eat them right this second. Yes, all of them. No “just one mini cheesecake” for this lady!

These cupcakes are thematically appropriate, because my (self-)assigned contribution to Thanksgiving this year will be Pumpkin Cheesecake – which, with luck, will be posted on here shortly thereafter. Lusting after mini cheesecakes will help get me in the mood.

Would you believe that there was a time when I didn’t like cheesecake? I’m not sure what was wrong with me. It’s possible that I’d only ever had store-bought cheesecakes, which everyone knows are inferior. But seriously – I love milk and cream and sugar and cream cheese. How on earth could I ever have thought I didn’t like cheesecake? Honestly, it might have been the graham cracker crusts. But I’ve gotten around that! I always use ginger snaps now.

Regardless, cheesecake is one of the best things ever, and these cupcakes look simply scrumptious. I can’t wait to get around to making them someday!

Advertisements

Welcome Back! I’ve Missed You!

Loyal followers,

I’m so sorry that I’ve neglected you for so long.  It’s been an unexpected(ly wonderful) year, and I just haven’t had the time or the energy to keep up with my blogging duties.  Honestly, I haven’t been doing much that you’d want to hear about, anyway – cooking and gardening took a back burner to my new life’s work: building a baby.  Here’s what I’ve been up to since you last heard from me:

It’s hard to do anything other than sit and stare at the little monkey; you can practically watch her grow.  But I’m going to try, just as I’m going to try to start cooking again, and wearing clothes other than pajamas, and using words instead of just cooing.  Motherhood is weird (awesome, unbelievable).

On with the flour and flowers!

xo

Mamma Purple

Cinnamon Ice Cream – Sweet Pea’s Kitchen

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

Ingredients:

  • 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

Directions:

  1. Set a fine mesh strainer over a medium sized bowl and set the bowl over a large container of ice water.
  2. 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.
  3. When the milk mixture is cooking, in a separate bowl, whisk the yolks and 1/4 cup of sugar together until smooth.
  4. Slowly whisk about 1 cup of the hot milk mixture into the yolks to temper them.
  5. Then slowly whisk the tempered yolk mixture back into the remaining hot milk mixture.
  6. Continue to cook the custard mixture over medium heat until it is very hot but not simmering (180-185 degrees).
  7. Pour the custard mixture into the strainer bowl set in the ice bath and let cool, stirring occasionally, for about 10 minutes.
  8. Remove the custard mixture from the ice bath and add cinnamon.
  9. Cover tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate until very cold (40 degrees), about 3 hours.
  10. Remove and discard the vanilla pod from the custard (or add the vanilla extract, if using) and stir well.
  11. 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.
  12. 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.)

Gooey Cinnamon Squares – Smitten Kitchen

It’s another Smitten Kitchen post!  Huzzah! It’s been a weird year, so I haven’t gotten to nearly as many of my planned recipes as I had intended, but I think I’m headed back into it.  Honestly, though, I made these months ago and just never got around to sharing them with you.

The name is really fitting on these – they are the gooeyest things I think I’ve ever baked.  And since I spent several years inventing my own recipe-less cooking projects, that’s saying something.  They don’t look that gooey in the pictures, but trust me – it’s alllll goo.

Read the rest of this page »

Cupcake Friday: Pumpkin Mocha Cupcakes – LivingWithPurple Edition

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.] Read the rest of this page »

Caramelized Brussels Sprouts – Joy of Cooking

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.

Read the rest of this page »

Super Bowl Cooking Extravaganza

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.

Read the rest of this page »