Chocolate Chip Vanilla Ice Cream & Frozen Yogurt with Cream

I got an ice cream machine for my birthday two weeks ago, and I’ve used it twice with success. It’s so addicting, and not just the ice cream itself, but the process.

The first recipe is for Chocolate Chip Vanilla Ice Cream. I stole the recipe from the famous Jenni Britton Bauer off of Food & Wine. You can get it HERE. I simply followed the directions and during the last ten minutes of churning, added some chopped chocolate from a Godiva dark chocolate bar. I’ve always been a fan of chocolate slivers in vanilla ice cream, as opposed to chunks. It was DIVINE, although now I am more aware of why ice cream is so calorie-dense. You literally use 4 cups of a mix of whole milk and heavy cream. The consistency of this ice cream was very creamy, although fast-to-melt.

Yesterday I realized I had a carton of 0% fat Greek Yogurt in the fridge and I probably wasn’t going to eat it, so I decided to use some of the left-over heavy cream, whole milk and yogurt, to make a tart yogurt cream. It turned out delicious.

Recipe:

-1 carton of 0% Greek Yogurt (or 1%)
-1 cup whole milk
-1/2 c. heavy cream
-1/2 c. fine sugar, sifted
-3 tbsp light corn syrup
-1 tsp. vanilla

1. Whisk all ingredients in a large bowl. This recipe is faster than a normal  ice cream, which normally requires boiling, and an ice bath.

2. Pour ingredients into your ice cream machine, according to the directions for your specific machine. I was given the Cuisinart, and so far, I love it!

3. Press on, and wait.

4. It will thicken. Let it churn to your liking. This recipe is thicker than a normal ice cream, because of the yogurt and the fact that the ingredients are all cold when poured in. I loved the instant gratification of this particular recipe.

This didn’t need any extra freezing time, and was ready in about 30 minutes.

I had some sad-looking strawberries that needed to be used ASAP, so this was perfect. This recipe has a tanginess that I love from frozen yogurt, but is still rich and creamy. Enjoy!

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Yummy, crumby, blueberry muffins

These muffins are from July when Dhiren got that big package of blueberries from his madre in Connecticut.

Which brings me to: I am SO behind on posts. I literally have 20-30 blank posts with titles and concepts, but no time to assemble it all.  Part of the reason, at least for this last week, is that I’ve recently gotten into scrap-booking (I know what you must be thinking: “Oh… she’s one of THOSE people…” Trust me, I’m just as disturbed as you are).  I’m going to post quite a bit in the next couple of days though to catch up. I have an article about our OC Fair Foodventure, Dhiren’s birthday weekend, Weight Watchers, and lots of gifted food and recipes to share.

These muffins were my first ever, and they turned out delicious with very minimal effort. Here I was all these years, imagining muffins to be a challenge.

I’m going to be kind of lame though and not post a recipe. Why? Because I can’t remember which one I used two months ago and Dhiren is snoring, which reminds me that it’s past my bedtime.  But if you feel like making muffins from scratch, I’d check out this.

And why not, since we’re on the topic, take a trip down memory lane for a bit. Do you all remember this video from back in the day?

Healing Cherry Chocolate Chip Cookies (& Milk)

So the story goes like this: Dhiren was sick yesterday with the “flu.” (I personally think he had mild alcohol poisoning [read: hangover] from last night’s lemon drop, wheat beer and glass of wine he ordered while out at tapas, but he insisted he had the flu…)

After pampering Dhiren with some Thai soup, liquids, a salad, coconut water and a couple thermometer readings, I decided to try something else: cherry chocolate chip cookies. I know what you’re thinking: “Cookies and illness shouldn’t have anything to do with each other. Sugar and flour are inflammatory, etc.” But when I asked him if some freshly-baked cookies would make him feel better, he lit up like a four year-old and it was too late to turn back.

I made my normal chocolate chip cookie recipe, and just added a cup of reconstituted dried cherries. Cookies and milk  have always been an all-time favorite dessert of mine. While I love tiramisu, crème brûlée and elaborate pastries and cakes, nothing is quite as nostalgic as a freshly baked cookie dunked in a neon plastic Ikea cup full of milk and a twisty straw. Plus, I LOVE summer produce. Plums, cherries and nectarines are some of my favorite fruits and we live right around the corner from two of the best farmer’s markets in Orange County. I eat them all summer long and have them constantly in the fridge and counter. I’m always looking for new ways and uses for seasonal produce (even if it is dried, seasonal produce), particularly if they involve butter.

Well, these were amazing.

Needless to say, Dhiren felt better.

I’m willing to admit that I think his miraculous recovery had more to do with the liters of liquids, coconut water and rest he got, but I think the cookies mended his spirit.

Nostalgic Connecticut Blueberry Crisp

Dhiren and I got a knock at the door at 11am a couple days ago to find a huge package from his mom in Connecticut waiting for us. We quickly opened it, and inside we found pounds and pounds of organic blueberries from his grandmother’s farm in Kent, CT, freshly picked by his mother less than 24 hours ago.

These berries are extremely nostalgic for Dhiren.  Since I’ve known him he often talks  about how he used to work on his grandmother’s farm, setting up tents (I don’t know the actual term) and picking them (most likely eating more than he picked). The farm also produces equally-as-delicious peaches and maple syrup.  When we visit, it’s always fun to wander through the orchards and see how things used to be done, before mass agricultural industrialization and pesticides came to town. (Produce just doesn’t taste as good when it’s plumped with water, genetically modified and then sprayed down with gallons of chemicals.)

Berry bushes from 2009 on his grandmother's farm

Farm boy at heart

So Dhiren glowed when he opened the package. What a crazy, but amazing birthday present! I quickly got to work researching some recipes for the berries. Martha Stewart has some great slide shows of berry recipes, and after a good amount of drooling, I finally decided to go with a simple crumble, which highlights the fresh berries better than something with lots of flour and ingredients.

I used good ol’ Martha’s recipe, along with a tasty, homemade whipped cream and it was fantastic. I even cooled the crumble by the window to make the neighbors jealous…

If you want the recipe, go HERE. I’m too lazy to type it out, especially since I didn’t modify it (actually I only used 5 cups of blueberries, not 6 of them)

Simple recipe, but SUPER delicious.

Thank you Wendy!!! From Dhi & Dee

A Bakery Story & Ciao Cupcake

I like to share good recipes with friends and family, which is kind of the main point of this blog. I figure, if I can cook something well,  some of my family and friends can too. Well, this isn’t one of those “sharing a good recipe” posts. Don’t be deceived by the photo above- these cupcakes were HORRIBLE. Dhiren was too nice to say otherwise, but they came out dry and crumbly and there were 30 of these sitting on my kitchen counter for 3 days before I finally dumped them all in the bin.

I am a huge fan of from-scratch cooking (when time and money allows), and so I took the Joy of Cooking Devil’s Cake recipe (or something like that) and devised it for cupcakes. Maybe I over-beat it. Maybe I should of used oil or a pudding mix. Maybe I need to buy new tins. Maybe I shouldn’t have used a cake recipe for cupcakes. Who knows!?

But anyhow, they were crappy, and I was only able to salvage them by chopping them in half, putting heaps of creamy ice cream and butter frosting on them and decorating the plate with caramel sauce (to distract the eater…) Oh, and milk. These needed milk.

Such a shame- they looked so pretty!

I got inspiration to make these on the 4th from one of my recent obsessions:

Bakery Story.

Please don’t judge me… too much. This is honestly part of the reason I haven’t posted much this past month. I’ve simply been too swamped at my virtual bakery to worry about REAL food. Gosh, give me a break.

In the words of my mother, “Oh, isn’t Bakery Story just the same as Cafe World? That came out two years ago… SO 2009.”

But I’m addicted, and I’ve sadly gotten Dhiren to join the family with the seemingly more masculine and less pink game, Restaurant Story. (He’s on it right now, needing to stay up because his “scallops will be done cooking in 40 minutes…”)

We’ve reached a whole new level of crazy & antisocial this month.

Speaking of cupcakes though, you gotta check out Ciao Cupcake based in San Diego! Run by Dhiren’s sister Chrissy (and the fam!), the green, eco-friendly mobile bakery serves up the most AMAZING cupcakes ever. Puts the over-hyped Sprinkles to shame.  I’ve had Chrissy’s cupcakes on numerous occasions, and numerous cupcakes on each occasion. They are amazing, original and scrumptious. Check them out if you are a foodie in So. California looking for the “next big thing.”

(just do it)

—->Ciao Cupcake on Facebook

Revision: How to sabotage your diet with a delicious coconut cream pie

Based on a true story. I’ve completed seven days of SBD Phase 1, not counting two days of cheating caused by this recipe (and some other delicious food… more on that later).

This is one of those, oh-my-god-I-never-knew-I-liked-pie kind of pies.

Wish I had taken a better photo of this, but the family was hungry and waiting.

  • 1 can coconut milk/cream
  • 1 cup half-and-half
  • 2 eggs
  • 3/4 cup white sugar
  • 1/3 cup corn starch
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cups flaked coconut, toasted
  • 3/4 cups flaked coconut, not toasted
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 teaspoons coconut extract
  • 1 (9 inch) pie shell, baked (or make your own if you’re feeling Martha Stewarty)
  • 2-3 cups whipping cream (depending on how much topping you want)
  1. In a medium saucepan, combine coconut milk, half-and-half, eggs, sugar, corn starch and salt. Bring to a boil over low heat, stirring constantly (should take about 15-20 minutes). Mixture should thicken to a pudding. Remove from heat, and stir in 3/4 cup of the grated coconut and 1 tsp. of coconut and vanilla extracts. Pour into baked and cooled pie shell and chill 3 to 4 hours, or until firm (leave it in the fridge covered overnight if you really want a flavorful pie).
  2. When ready to serve, beat the whipping cream on medium-high speed with an electric or stand mixer in a large bowl. Beat for 10 minutes until it thickens and holds soft peaks on a spatula. Add 1 tsp. coconut extract and resume beating until stiff peaks form. Top the pie with the whipped cream and toasted coconut.
  3. To toast coconut, spread it in an ungreased pan and bake in the oven on 350 degree until golden brown, stirring occasionally.

This is probably one of my favorite desserts and I’m getting cravings just thinking about this recipe… I’ve been in a coconut mood lately and am thinking of baking some South Beach-friendly coconut macaroons tomorrow, especially since I have a fresh coconut sitting on my counter.

The dinner with the family last weekend was a great success. The ribs came out tender, my first stab at mashed potatoes got the approval of my Dad, and Nana’s macaroni & cheese was delicious, even though I forgot the salt.

I will update tomorrow about the South Beach Diet itself. I’ve had a couple people ask me what it’s all about, and I think it’ll be good to shed some light on what I think is one of the healthiest “diets” out there.

Enjoy!

Mañana is good enough for me

In my last post I mentioned that I would be taking a hiatus from sweets and decadence. Well, that didn’t happen for long. We had some friends over for dinner last night and decided on a Mexican feast, which of course means margaritas, carne asada, tostada bar and tres leches as the finale.

The boyfriend was ridiculously nice and went out to buy all the fixings and ingredients at El Metate Market, which was introduced to be by Iris last month. Their carne asada is uh-mazing and cheap! I got the approval from our friend Sabrina, whose family comes from Mexico City and her boyfriend Terry, who is half Mexican and… Dutch? Being half Mexican myself and raised in a family that almost opened up a taco chain called California Taco Company, I know a little about good carne as well.

Anyhow, my poor vegetarian boyfriend went to El Metate, and in broken Spanish ordered 2lbs of carne asada, which was delivered to him in a nice, juicy plastic bag. Many thanks to him for this sacrifice.

To make a delicious tostada bar, you can use: cheese, carne asada, tomatoes, homemade pico de gallo, refried beans, cilantro, onion, a spicy salsa (El Metate has a great one), guacamole, extra avocado and some rice. I made cilantro rice, with a little butter, cilantro and lime added in. Have all the fixings out so everyone can top their tostada with their choice of toppings, and that’s that.

This is a vegetarian tostada for lunch since I packed up the left-over meat for our guests. I personally think the vegetarian version is just as good. The boyfriend loves these.

Pair it with some Jarritos (and tequila) and some colorful flowers in a plastic water bottle, and you’ve got yourself one tasty and colorful lunch.

Now, onto the pastel:
I could not find my beloved Joy of Cooking (hint, hint: gift idea) which is sad since I love their version and have made it many times with success. Instead I used a recipe from Pati’s Mexican cooking blog, which seemed pretty legit, but it came out really dense. I normally like my tres leches to be super moist and soggy, but this was quite cake-like and spotty with dry spots even though I doubled the milk. A perfectly textured tres leches requires a really light sponge cake. If you’re tempted to try this dessert be careful when scouring the internet for a recipe: tres leches should NOT have oil or butter in it, and AllRecipes top pick is not doing justice to this dessert.

The cake is simple enough. Beat nine egg whites until soft peaks form. Then, add 1/2 cup sugar and beat until stiff peaks form (you should be able to turn the bowl upside down with the egg whites not moving). In a separate bowl, beat the egg yolks until they are creamy and light in color. Add 1/2 cup of sugar to that along with a teaspoon of vanilla and beat for 3-5 minutes. Slowly add the yolks to the bowl of whites with a spatula, folding them in. Add 2 cups of flour (I might add less next time) and fold in until incorporated. Bake for 20-25 minutes at 360.

Once it is finished, poke holes in the cake with a chopstick or skewer. Mix together 2 cans of evaporated milk, 2 cups of heavy whipping cream and 2 cans of condensed milk with a whisk. Pour over the cake slowly, trying to get the middle drenched first. If you double the milk you will probably have extra, which is always nice to serve on the side. Let the cake soak for at least an hour in the fridge, if not overnight.

You can top it with fresh heavy whipping cream and cherries. Someday I’m going to make a coconut version of this with coconut milk, maybe for my step-mom who loves coconut and tres leches.

I’ll leave you with this lovely, semi-racist song by my all-time fav, Peggy Lee. I’m definitely waiting until mañana to put desserts and refried things behind me.