Sunday, June 28, 2015

Bourbon Ice Cream

Hmmm, bourbon ice cream?
Yep, I like the sound of that.
What about you?

Adding alcohol to ice cream can be tricky, if you over do it, it won't set up.
Maybe 3 Tbsp is the magic number, this worked out just right, and even after freezing over night it was easier to scoop than the vanilla bean ice cream I also made (which froze rock solid).
As much as you want to add more bourbon to the recipe, please restrain  yourself.
You can always add to the end result as a little "sauce", right?
It's been so hot, so a little cold, rich and yummy dessert doesn't suck, now does it?

You will need an ice cream maker.  I used a Cuisninart twin freezer for doing two small batches side by side.  This is just enough to fill and make one container.
(Shown is dark chocolate, but I didn't add this at the end as I had planned.)

Makes more than you should probably eat... LOL, but should be enough for 4 people

1 3/4 cups heavy whipping cream
1/2 cup sweetened condensed milk
1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
6 egg yolks
1/4 tsp sea salt
3 Tbsp bourbon (I used Maker’s Mark)

Before you start, make sure the canister of your ice cream maker is frozen. 
That's always the challenge for me, to freeze completely, the canister should be in the freezer for at least 6 hours before you attempt to churn your ice cream.
Make the ice cream base. In a heavy bottom saucepan over medium-high heat, combine the heavy cream, sweetened condensed milk and brown sugar. Bring the mixture to a low boil, stirring. 

Meanwhile, in a separate bowl, whisk together the egg yolks with the salt until they become pale yellow and slightly thickened.
Temper the egg yolks by whisking about a 1/2 cup of the warm cream/brown sugar mixture into the egg yolks. Then whisk the tempered egg yolks back into the saucepan with the remaining cream/brown sugar mixture. 

You can see that I am ready to go in the photo below.  I used the 1/2 cup scoop to add 1/2 cup of hot cream to the egg mixture while whisking.  Takes some skill (or some help from an another set of hands....) to do it, but keep mixing or you will have chunks of scrambled egg in your ice cream.  When you've added a cup or so to the eggs, you can then add it back to the saucepan of cream to mix the whole mess together.

Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until the ice cream base thickens and coats the back of a spoon, about 2-3 minutes. 

Remove from the heat. Stir in the bourbon. Cover with plastic wrap, pushing it all the way down so it touches the surface of the ice cream base to prevent a skin from forming. Refrigerate until chilled, at least 4 hours or up to 24 hours.

Once completely chilled, pour the ice cream base into the canister of your ice cream maker. Churn until the mixture is nearly frozen and the consistency of soft serve, about 20 minutes. Add any additions (like chocolate nibs, or nuts) and churn for another 2-3 minutes to evenly distribute.

Transfer the ice cream to a freezer-safe container and place in your freezer. The ice cream should become firm in about 4 hours. Enjoy!

Saturday, June 27, 2015

Hemingway Daiquiri

Happy, happy Summer!

Here in the Northwest we've had an amazingly beautiful June, which is rare as usually it rains until the 5th of July.  We already feel like we've had a great summer and it just started last week "officially".

Here's a fun, fast and refreshing cocktail for your 5pm kick off to the weekend.

Note: One thing, if someone you know can't have grapefruit because of how it reacts to their blood pressure medicine, then guava juice makes a perfect substitute!

Makes 1

1 1/2 oz light rum
1/2 oz maraschino liqueur, like Cherry Herring or Cristiani
1 oz lime juice
1 oz grapefruit juice

Shake with ice and strain into a chilled cocktail glass.

Sorry about those wimpy garnishes.... seems like a wheel of lime would have been better.

Here's my inspiration drink, from Daphne's Bar in Edmonds, who said about this cocktail  

"Welcome the sunshine with a Hemingway Daiquiri!"

Oh yeah baby, it's welcoming for sure!  Enjoy.

Why is it called a Hemingway Daiquiri?  

Per the internet the story goes like this:

The novelist had stopped into Havana’s El Floridita bar, not far from the hotel where he lived during much of the 1930s. On his way out, he noticed the bartender setting up Daiquiris. Never one to walk past a drink, Hemingway took a sip. Not bad, he said, but he preferred them with no sugar and double the rum. The bartender made one as specified, and then named the drink after him.

Lazy Girl Crockpot Lemon Artichoke Chicken

Really too hot to cook.
It is super easy to be lazy when it's like this, don't you think?
Why not prep this one the night before and put it to cook before you head to work?

I love my crock pot, no matter the season.
It makes just as much sense in the summer as it does the fall and winter.

This mixture is bold & lemony, very tender and pretty low calorie and carb too.
If you don't really love, love lemon, then I'd only use 1-2 lemons instead of 3. 

One more thing, I was so hot and lazy the day I got this ready to go, I didn't even brown the chicken as so many recipes say you should.  I just didn't feel like it, and frankly, I'm not sure it made that much difference.

Serves 4-6

1 onions,diced
2-3 lemons, each cut into three thick slices (hard ends removed)
1 can whole artichokes, mostly drained of the brine
2-3 garlic, crushed and chopped
2-3 Tbsp capers
1/2 cup white wine (something like pinot grigio, or sauv blanc)
3 chicken boneless skinless breasts, cut into three chunks each
4 thighs, boneless &skinless, cut in half
Fresh Pepper (don't add salt, add at the end if needed)
Fresh parsley, for serving

Add onions and garlic to the bottom of a crock pot that has been sprayed with oil.  

Add cut up pieces of chicken, then slices of lemon, artichoke hearts (with about 1/4 cup of brine), white wine and fresh pepper.  

Cover and cook on low for 6-8 hours. Remove the lemon slices and add the fresh parsley.  Stir carefully as the chicken is very, very tender and will shred a little. Serve over noodles, rice or quinoa.

Here's what I was making on this date over the years:

Other Lazy Girl Crockpot Posts:
Chicken with Coconut, Lime & Peanut Sauce
Chicken Cacciatore
French Onion Pot Roast with Cheesy Toasts
Greek Pork and Garbanzo Stew
Hot Links, Red Beans and Rice
Salsa Chicken
Sesame Chicken
40 Clove Garlic Chicken
Black Bean Chili
Mamacita's Mexican Chicken and Dumplings
Tuscan Pot Roast
Lazy Girl Beef Barley Soup

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Salsa Salad

So,  you like salsa?
I mean really like salsa?

I do, I really do.
I mean, the kind of DO that makes me want to pull the salsa at a Mexican restaurant over to my plate and eat it with a spoon. Usually, I am able to contain myself...

I always joke about "my top 5" favorite foods (ask my hubby), but consistently tomatoes, cilantro, lime and jalapenos are on that list.  I will admit, my top five does shift with the day/time/season/mood, but these ingredients are the consistent winner.s

So, here's a salad of the best that salsa has to offer; tomatoes, jalapenos, cilantro, lime, add a little shredded lettuce, some oil and seasoning, and viola you have a salad and you're ready to go.It will satisfy your fresh, tangy, spicy and summer taste bud vibe.  Enjoy!
We served it with a little grilled fish and had a happy, healthy and satisfying dinner.

There is only a picture of the finished salad today, I didn't even know I was going to blog it until the very end, when I took my bite of my creation. I never heard of a salsa salad before, so therefore, that is what I called it.

Makes 2 big servings, or 4 side salad sizes

1 cup grape tomatoes, cut in half
2 jalapenos, seeds and stem removed, diced small
1/3 cup cilantro, chopped
2 limes juiced
1-2 Tbsp olive, or vegetable, oil
1/2 tsp cumin
Salt and Pepper
1-2 cups romaine, shredded into 1" bits

*You could also add some diced white onion, or green onions, if you liked. 

Cut up tomatoes, add minced jalapenos, cilantro, oil and lime juice.  Add a little salt, pepper and cumin and let marinate for 5-10 minutes.  It should taste quite lively and flavorful.  If not, add a bit more salt and seasoning and taste again.

Chop/shred your lettuce (I used baby romaine), toss with the tomatoes and serve at once.

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Grilled Watermelon Salad

Sounds kinda funny, huh?

My BFF came over with wine and a watermelon and said "have you ever heard of grilled watermelon salad?". 

Well, no actually.  So we did it.
We all decided we just might like watermelon grilled better than fresh!
Still refreshing and yummy but with more depth and complexity.  So great with a bit of salty cheese and some sweet tangy vinegar.

This posting is more a technique and not a recipe.

Start with a simple tossed green salad- I used olive oil, seasoning salt and a small squeeze of lime.  I also added in some green onions and some italian parsley for good measure. Grill and cube the watermelon, add to salad, top with crumbled feta and a drizzle of balsamic vinegar.

We grilled the watermelon, cut into a big 1 inch slab for 2-3 minutes, just long enough to get some grill marks, but not long enough to make it all hot and mushy.  

Need a real recipe?  I loosely used this one from the Food Network. I didn't reduce my balsamic vinegar, just feeling too lazy, too hot and too ready to eat, but I bet that's good too.

 A little crumbled feta, or goat cheese would be good too.

 Here's the salad, ready to go once the watermelon comes off the grill.

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Creamy Mac & Cheese

New York Times recipe with 5 stars and over 781 reviews... well, that got my attention.

But, I had to read the recipe a couple of times...
Wait a sec- - you throw uncooked noodles into the mix and bake it?
Well, that's crazy!
Crazy smart and talks straight to the lazy woman within me.

This... my friends... brings cooking dinner to a whole 'nother easy level.
We loved this and I will definately use this technique again to make a super easy Mac & Cheese.

Here's a link to the original recipe.

Serves 4-6

2 Tbsp butter
1 cup cottage cheese 
2 cups half & half or whole milk 
1 tsp dry mustard
Pinch cayenne
Pinch freshly grated nutmeg
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1 pound sharp or extra-sharp cheddar cheese, grated
1/2 pound elbow pasta (or other tubular small pasta), uncooked.

Heat oven to 375 degrees and position an oven rack in upper third of oven. 
Use 1 tablespoon butter to butter a 9-inch round or square baking pan.
In a blender, purée cottage cheese, milk, mustard, cayenne, nutmeg and salt and pepper together. Reserve ¼ cup grated cheese for topping. In a large bowl, combine remaining grated cheese, milk mixture and uncooked pasta. 
Pour into prepared pan, cover tightly with foil and bake 30 minutes.
Uncover pan, stir gently, sprinkle with reserved cheese and dot with remaining tablespoon butter. Bake, uncovered, 30 minutes more, until browned.  Let cool at least 15 minutes before serving.

Here it is before I covered with foil and threw it in the oven.  See that I have retained about 1/4 -1/2 cup of cheese to add on in 30 minutes when I uncover it.

After the second 30 minutes in the oven uncovered, I wasn't sure the noodles were really cooked.  So I turned off the oven and let it sit for 15 minutes in the hot oven....  interestingly enough, it was that additional 15 minutes that made some of the top noodles kind of hard from over baking. 

Here's what I've been making:

One year ago: Arizona Botanical Gardens
Two years ago: Strawberry Spinach Avocado Salad