Category Archives: Food & Recipes

Pinsanity! Uber Lemon Ice Cream

Sarah and I are not only insane for Pinterest, we also are insane for lemons. Since I have a lemon tree that produces the tart treats all year round I thought it appropriate to try a lemon recipe for this installment of our Pinsanity! series. While browsing Pinterest we both fell for this recipe called Uber Lemon Ice Cream and had to try it. Sarah made the original recipe from Evelyne at cheapethniceatz.com and I did the modified version that was posted by Katrina at bakingandboys.com. Here is the modified recipe I followed from Katrina:

  • Zest of 1 lemon
  • Juice of 3 lemons
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 cups cold heavy cream
  • 2 cups cold 2% milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 10 drops of yellow food coloring (optional)
Zest one lemon and juice three lemons.  Combine the juice with the sugar and salt in a medium sized heatproof bowl.  Set it over a pan with about one inch of simmering water and whisk until the sugar is dissolved (about 3-5 minutes). In a large bowl, add the warm juice mixture to the cream and milk and whisk to combine.  Pour the contents into the bowl of an ice cream maker and churn according to manufacturer’s instructions, 20-25 minutes.  Store the ice cream in an airtight container in the freezer for at least a few hours.  Let sit on counter for 10 minutes before serving.

I sure do like simple recipes (and my electric ice cream maker). Ready? Here we go!

My lemons were a little small so I did four instead of three, plus I like a good lemony kick. I don’t have a nifty citrus reamer so I do it the Jamie Oliver way – with my hands. Messy, yes, but very easy and quick and one less thing to wash up.

Uber Lemon Ice Cream Lemons

The recipe does not give a specific measurement for lemon juice so I hope the 3/4 cup yield I got will be alright.

Uber Lemon Ice Cream Juice

I then combined and warmed up the lemon juice and sugar and whisked until it was dissolved.

Uber Lemon Ice Cream Sugar

The best part – heavy cream. I wish I could drink this stuff by the gallon. Instead of 2% milk, I used 1 cup of whole and 1 cup nonfat. I figured it would give me a richer ice cream and not affect the original recipe too much. More fat in ice cream is a good thing, right?

Uber Lemon Ice Cream Dairy

I added the the warm mixture very slowly to the cold dairy and let it whirl when both were the same temperature. I was going to add a couple drops of food coloring but I didn’t have any. Added that to my grocery list this week.

Uber Lemon Ice Cream Blend

When combined I simply put it in my pre-chilled ice cream container and it was time to churn, baby churn! About 20ish minutes later my ice cream was ready to put into the freezer. I licked the beater to get a preview of things to come. Heaven. Pure lemony heaven. What’s the final result?

Uber Lemon ice Cream Cup

This ice cream is wonderful. It has a fresh, bright taste of lemon as you would find in a sorbet yet it’s creamy. I love it! The true test came when my husband took a taste. His exact words were, “Mmmmm. Good. Really good!” This is certainly something we’ll be making again and again.

As I mentioned earlier, Sarah made the original version of this recipe. Her opinion?   “The first version of the ice cream (recipe here) uses less cream and milk, upping the lemon quotient.  If you really, really love lemon, pucker up and go for it, I don’t think you’ll be disappointed.  The ice cream had a strong, tart  lemon flavor and was, in our opinion, delicious.”

Pinsanity! Potato Chip Cookies

 

 

 

Both Sarah and I are insane for Pinterest. It’s an addiction we’re proud to admit to. Browsing through all those pretty pictures for hours on end is fascinating. We pin crafts, recipes, decorating ideas, cleaning tips…whatever catches our eye, but somehow we never ended up actually trying any of them. So, join us as we start our Pinsanity series, where we test the items we’ve pinned.

Today I’ll be trying Potato Chip cookies. I love chocolate chip cookies and when I saw this unique twist on my favorite I had to give it a chance. Let’s see how they turn out! He’re’s the recipe:

  • 1 cup butter
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 2 cups crushed potato chips
  • 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. In a large bowl, cream the butter and sugars until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs. Combine the flour and baking soda and slowly add to the creamed sugars. Mix well. Stir in the potato chips and chocolate chips. Drop by small spoonfuls onto an ungreased baking sheet. Bake for 10-12 minutes or until golden brown. Cool for 1 minute before removing to a wire rack.

Simple, right?

First I creamed the butter and sugars together.

After adding two eggs, I then whisked together the dry ingredients in a separate bowl.

I combined wet and dry ingredients, mixed thoroughly, and then it was time for the magic! I put the potato chips in a baggie and used my rolling pin to crush, crush, crush!

I combined the crushed potato chips and chocolate chips in the bowl and gave it one last, good whirl.

I spooned out the gooey goodness onto my favorite cookie sheet and then slid them into a preheated 350 degree oven.

I had to bake mine a little longer than the recipe called for, about 13-14 minutes. This batch yielded about 36 cookies and they’re a good size, not little chippers.

So, what was the result? Well, they were good and tasty, light and crisp. Did they pack a salty punch? No. I certainly could taste the texture of the crunchy crushed potato chips but the actual salty goodness did not come through for this batch. This is a good cookie recipe but for me there was certainly no “wow’ factor. I decided to have my husband try them just to see if my palate is dull. I chose not to tell him about the potato chips. His exact words were: “You added some sort of whole grain, didn’t you?” Hm. Not sure how to take that. After I explained what the mystery ingredient was, he added: “I do like the crunchy texture. They’re good.” So, there you go.

I want to thank Karly at Buns in my Oven for posting this recipe and inspiring me to try something new and different!

Holiday Entertaining and Gift Giving Made Easier with Hickory Farms

Hickory Farms Home for the Holidays Gift Box

So many of us count the holidays as our favorite time of the year, yet the demands of the season can become a major source of stress.  When it comes to holiday entertaining, I like to keep things simple so the day is enjoyable for both my guests AND me.  Simple yet delicious foods that can be prepared in advance can make the difference between spending the event enjoying the company of friends and family or spending the day attending to food and dishes instead.  Hickory Farms can help alleviate a lot of stress during the holidays – both for entertaining and gift giving.

Hickory Farms offers a wide variety of gift boxes that make great gifts and are sure to be happily devoured at your holiday gatherings.  Prices start under $20 and include something to suit every taste – including `1meats and cheeses, fresh fruit, nuts and candies.

We received a Home For The Holidays Gift Box for review.   It was what I’ve come to expect from the the Hickory Farms foods I’ve been enjoying since my childhood – delicious!   We loved experimenting with the different combinations of cheeses, sausages, crackers and mustards.

The Home for the Holidays Gift Box retails at $55 and includes:

-2 Our Signature Beef Summer Sausage 10 oz.
-Italian Recipe Beef Summer Sausage 10 oz.
-Farmhouse Cheddar 8 oz.
-Cheddar Havarti Blend 7 oz.
-Parmesan Herb Blend 4 oz.
-Olive Oil & Rosemary Crackers 1.5oz.
-Sesame, Caraway & Sea Salt Crackers 1.5 oz.
-Sweet Hot Mustard 2.5 oz.
-Honey & Pineapple Mustard 2.5 oz.

One of my favorite things about Hickory Farms – reasonable shipping prices.  Sending gifts to faraway friends and loved ones is much more affordable with their $3 3 Day shipping feature: all Hickory Farms gifts are hand packed and guaranteed to arrive in 3 business days or less
at a flat rate of only $3 all season long.

Hickory Farms Infographic

Hickory Farms also ships select products free of charge to military addresses, making it easy to share a taste of the holidays with those serving overseas.

Is Hickory Farms a holiday tradition for your family?

Disclosure: I wrote this review while participating in a campaign by Mom Central Consulting on behalf of Hickory Farms and received a product sample to facilitate my review.

New Twists on Favorite Thanksgiving Recipes

Thanksgiving is a time for tradition – turkey, cranberries, stuffing, sweet potatoes and football. Sometimes traditions need a little twist to make them more exciting and inspired. These photos got my tastebuds tingling and maybe I’ll try something new this year for our feast.

Thanksgiving Salad

 

Mini “Pumpkin” Cheese Balls

 

Twice-Baked Sweet Potatoes

 

Veggie Turkey

 

Roasted Green Beans with Garlic & Lemon

 

Grilled Vegetable Corn Boats

 

Stuffin’ Muffins

Source: foodnetwork.com via Jane on Pinterest

 

Rolled Turkey Breast with Pine Nuts

 

Roasted Root Vegetable “Candy”

 

Apple Cream Cheese Bundt Cake

Source: myrecipes.com via Morgan on Pinterest

 

Honeyed Pears in Puff Pastry

 

Maybe this year in addition to a twist on my dishes, I’ll watch hockey instead of football!

Tips for a Tasty Thanksgiving Turkey

A few years ago I decided to do something daring – roast my own turkey for Thanksgiving. While I enjoy cooking and baking, this is one bird I never had the nerve to tackle. I found a simple and easy recipe on Allrecipes.com that gave me the confidence to try it. Looking back, I don’t know what I was afraid of. It really isn’t difficult to do as long as you follow a few simple tips.

  1. Brine your bird. Take a food-safe container (that fits in your fridge and fits the thawed turkey) and add 3/4 kosher salt to every gallon of water (you can use less salt if you prefer, it’s not an exact science.) Let your turkey soak in the brine overnight in the refrigerator. Taking the time for simple step will almost guarantee a moist bird on your Thanksgiving table.
  2. Butter. Take a stick or two of butter and slice it into pats. Gently separate some of the skin from the breast and place pats of butter between the skin and breast meat. You can use a compound herb butter if you want to get fancy, like this suggestion from epicurious.com.
  3. More butter. Hey, I didn’t say this was low-calorie! Melt a stick of butter and coat the bottom of the turkey. Place it breast side down in your roasting pan.
  4. Stuff it. Some people prefer bread stuffing, but I use veggies to help keep the turkey moist. Cut up onions, carrots, celery into chunks and place it in the cavity. You can add whatever veggies and herbs you like – have fun with it!
  5. Roast. Cooking times will vary according to the size of your turkey. A good investment is a digital cooking thermometer that will beep when the bird reaches 180 degrees. Butterball.com has some great calculators that will estimate cooking times and portions.
  6. Turn your Turkey! Yes, half-way through your cooking time take your turkey out an turn it over so the breast is up and place it back in the oven. Is it easy? Depends on the size of the turkey, but I’m here to tell you I have done it. If the top of the bird starts to brown too quickly, place a piece of aluminum foil loosely over the top to prevent burning.

That’s it! No roasting bags and no basting. Just a delicious, moist, homemade turkey for you and your loved ones on Thanksgiving day.