Category Archives: dessert

Technique: No Churn Ice Cream (Cranberry Sauce)

I’ve posted this recipe/technique of making ice cream, without an ice cream maker, before. However, I thought I’d give it another look before the holidays, when an easy make-ahead dessert might be just what you want. Especially if you have some leftover cranberry sauce. You may even want to make some cranberry sauce just so you can make this.

All you need is whipping cream, sweetened condensed milk (though you CAN use sweetened cream of coconut as well), alcohol (about 1 tbsp per batch) and flavourings. And at least six hours in the freezer.

Small Batch No Churn Ice Cream – recipe makes ~ 3-4 cups of ice cream, more depending on the bulk of add-ins

3/4 cup whipping cream
1/2 cup sweetened condensed milk
1 tbsp alcohol**
1 tbsp flavouring**

** If using an extract with an alcohol base, like vanilla extract or limoncello, as I have in the past, one tablespoon of the extract is all you need.

Variations:

Fruit – fruit purees or preserve, shredded coconut, curd (lemon, lime, orange, raspberry etc), fruit liquer ie Kirsch, Cointreau/Grand Marnier
Chocolate – cocoa powder, chocolate or fudge sauce, Nutella, chocolate liquer ie Bailey’s, Bols, De Kuyper, chocolate bars
Coffee – espresso powder, coffee liqueur ie Tia Maria, Kahlua, Patron for a tequila base
Nuts and seeds – coarsely or finely chopped, peanut butter, Nutella, sesame seeds (tahini), chocolate bars
Cheesecake – softened cream cheese or mascarpone may be combined with the sweetened condensed milk for a denser ice cream

Special Category:

Seasonal favourites – pumpkin pie, egg nog, cranberry sauce

Cranberry Sauce No Churn Ice Cream Ingredients – 3/4 cups whipping cream, 1/2 cup sweetened condensed milk, 1 tbsp brandy, 1/2 cup home made cranberry sauce, plus another 1/4 cup cranberry sauce to swirl through the ice cream.

Reader Challenge:

Replicate your favourite chocolate bar (ie Thin Mints, Cadbury creme egg), cookie (ie Samoas, Oreos) or other dessert (ie tiramisu, apple pie) in ice cream form, like the Ferrero Rocher chocolates I made a while ago. Share a link to a picture on your own site.

Advertisements

Easy Bacon Fat Salted Caramel Sauce

Fat is fat …. usually. It helps if what you’re substituting is tasty. Bacon fat in place of butter is pretty good. The ‘easy’ part of the recipe title refers to the alternate method of making caramel which doesn’t require melting/caramelizing sugar by itself first. It also refers to the use of brown instead of white sugar which makes it similar to a butterscotch sauce.

Easy Bacon Fat Caramel Sauce – makes ~1 cup

1 packed cup brown sugar
1/2 cup whipping cream
2 tbsp bacon fat, or unsalted butter **
Pinch of sea salt
1 tbsp vanilla extract

** This amount of bacon fat has the same calories as twice the amount of butter.

Mix the brown sugar, whipping cream, bacon fat and salt in a medium saucepan. Put the lid on and cook over medium heat until the sugar melts and the mixture comes to a rolling boil, checking periodically. The lid helps contain the steam, lets it condense and roll down the edges of the saucepan, washing sugar crystals down into the sauce reducing/preventing crystal formation.

Remove the lid, turn the heat down to medium-low and cook, stirring gently, for an additional 5 to 7 minutes, until the mixture gets thicker.

Add the vanilla extract and cook another minute so that the mixture thicken further.

Take the saucepan off the heat, cool slightly and pour the sauce into a jar.

Refrigerate until needed.

Early October Wrap Up

I haven’t had a lot of inspiration for cooking in the last couple of weeks, and I’m just getting over a bad cold. A woman’s got to eat, however. Luckily, I threw a few things together before it got too bad.

I used the same basic dough recipe that I made those pumpkin and kaiser-shaped rolls with, but I left out the ground oats and threw in an egg and 1/4 cup of sugar. About 1/3 of the dough (300 gm) was rolled out and cut into six strips to wrap around Jumbo hot dogs … for pigs in blankets.

NOTE: Shaping and baking instructions found at link above.

I was going to make caramel rolls with some of the remaining dough but it turned out I didn’t have any caramel sauce in the fridge (just fudge sauce). So I got creative with the leftover cranberry sauce in my fridge and some quince jam from the pantry.

  

I transferred some of the cranberry sauce onto the quince jam portion, cause there was just too much sauce to roll up without it all oozing out. Originally, I was going to make two distinct fillings.

Icing sugar, softened butter and milk glaze

Close-up of crumb inside the rolls

Pantry chili with veggies from the crisper drawer and canned small red kidney beans and diced tomatoes (with herbs and spices). Served over or with those piggy buns.

   

Pasta is always a quick meal like this Shrimp aglio e olio over leftover linguine.  Sometimes finely minced garlic sauteed in olive oil is all you need to dress your pasta. And a sprinkle of pepperoncini (dry hot red pepper flakes). Cooking the pasta takes longer than cooking the shrimp and making the sauce.

Brunch – I love fried eggs over easy and bacon. For breakfast, lunch OR dinner. And some sort of dairy … like cottage cheese, or cream cheese if I can’t get that. Sometimes I pile it on top of toasted home made bread.

  

Red pepper hummus with home made sourdough tortillas for a quick snack or part of brunch

There’s still the weekend left for more cooking, but I think I’ll wrap things up here.

Cranberry Sauce

A bit of history first …

For Canadian immigrants in the 60’s, assimilation was the goal.

The ‘melting pot’ was a thing, and my brother and I adopted the Canadian life style with enthusiasm. So, a traditional Thanksgiving meal was one of the must have’s at our house.

Pumpkin pie and cranberry sauce weren’t a priority but the big turkey, mashed potatoes and gravy were front and center on our table. Stuffing … well my mom combined cooked rice, toasted and seasoned bread, sauteed onion and celery, turkey broth and turkey giblets into a dish that was the first thing I put on my plate. I even make it occasionally now that I’m doing all the cooking.

I think my mom must have bought canned cranberry sauce at some point. But I don’t remember. What I DO remember is that my nephew, a picky eater, HAD to have traditional jelly cranberry sauce. My SIL, may have even brought the can to our house to make sure that there were no tantrums in those early days. Watching that solid mass SLIDE out was a vivid memory. When they took leftovers home, the cranberry sauce was always included because no one at OUR house was a big fan.

Fast forward to the present and at the age of 61, I made my first batch of cranberry sauce, with whole berries.

Cranberry sauce

Cranberry Sauce – makes ~ 3 cups

12 oz/ 340 gm cranberries
1 cup white sugar
1 cup orange juice (or 1/2 cup water, 1/2 cup orange juice)
1 tbsp of orange zest

In a medium sized saucepan over medium heat, dissolve the sugar in the orange juice. Stir in the cranberries and cook until the cranberries start to pop (about 10 minutes). Remove from heat, stir in the orange zest and place sauce in a bowl.

Cranberry sauce will thicken as it cools.

And you know what?

It’s pretty tasty.

Uses for leftover cranberry sauce

Yogurt and cranberry sauce – if you like fruit flavoured yogurt for breakfast, stir as much of the cranberry sauce as you like into some drained yogurt and dig in

A moist and tender batch of Yogurt & Cranberry muffins, from “Cook the Story”. Instead of the large size that the recipe suggested, I made a dozen medium sized muffins and used the rest of the batter to make a tray that can be cut into bars. For serving, I stirred some cranberry sauce into sweetened whipped cream.

Maybe I should try making a pumpkin pie next year.

A leftover meal that’s even better than the original … turkey drumstick, blue cheese polenta, giblet gravy, sauteed kale

One-Banana Muffins

I have texture issues so when it comes to buying fruit to eat out of hand, bananas are NOT my first, or even fifth, choice. But for reasons that don’t warrant going into, I ended up with a single banana ripening on my counter.

I decided to make banana muffins so I googled for an appropriate one banana recipe.

Serenity Now‘s blog had what looked like the perfect recipe for me, but I made some changes.

Banana Muffins with One Banana – makes 1 dozen large muffins or 1 loaf of muffin bread

1 large, very ripe banana
1 cup regular white sugar
1 egg with enough milk to make 1 cup*
1 stick (1/2 cup) of butter, softened, or 1/4 cup plus 2 tbsp vegetable oil, or 1/4 cup vegetable oil plus 2 tbsp maple syrup
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda

* Add the egg and 2 tbsp sour cream to a measuring cup, and then enough milk to make 1 cup. Baking soda likes some acid to help it act in baking but since I didn’t have any yogurt, I used the sour cream.
** I was short of butter so I decided to replace it with vegetable oil. Since my banana wasn’t over ripe (I didn’t want to wait until the next day to make these), I replaced the additional 2 tbsp vegetable oil with maple syrup to sweeten the batter.

Optional add-ins: 1/2 cup coarsely chopped walnuts, 1/2 cup chocolate chips, a dash of cinnamon

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

Line a 12 large muffin tin with muffin/cupcake papers. (If making a loaf, butter the tin generously so it won’t stick.)

In a large mixing bowl, break up the peeled banana and cream with the sugar, using a hand blender, until the banana is pureed.

Add in the flour, baking soda, egg/milk mixture, oil (oil and maple syrup) and the vanilla extract and beat just until everything is just combined. (If including the cinnamon, add at this point as well.)

Fold in the nuts or chocolate chips and, using an ice cream scoop, fill the muffin tins.

Bake for 25-30 minutes or until a wooden toothpick inserted into the muffins comes out cleanly. This is a very liquid batter so the baking time is a bit longer than you might be used to. (I found that my chocolate chips all fell to the bottom, probably due to the density of the batter. Mini chocolate chips might be a better choice.)

NOTE: If baking in a loaf pan, you’ll need to bake this for 50-55 minutes depending on your oven.

Old and New Meals, Again

Nothing too exciting happening in the kitchen. I made an attempt at a type of hand shaped pasta, called strascinati rigati, using a sushi rolling mat, but the results were a bit disappointing. Next time, I’d roll the pasta much thinner and cut smaller pieces for shaping. I’d also cook them fresh rather than drying them. Taste wise … well, it’s pasta with a home made marinara sauce. Tasty but nothing to write home about.

The pasta on the left was made only with all purpose flour while the pasta on the right used half fine ground semolina flour as well.

Once again, the freezer is providing the start of some great meals … leftover pork ribs (remember that blueberry bbq sauce) with purchased hash brown patties.

And pulled pork sandwiches with roasted potato wedges.

I had a sirloin steak in the freezer so I thawed it out, seared it in a cast iron frying pan and served it rare. Simple but delicious with mashed potatoes, carrots and salad. There was enough steak leftover for a steak sandwich too.

I had a bit of a chocolate craving so I whipped up some blender chocolate mousse/pot de creme, flavoured with orange liqueur (Cointreau), to pour into a couple of prebaked pastry shells from the freezer. I had visions of something like a chocolate cream pie but since the shells had shrunk so much, not much of the mousse fit into the shells. So, I poured most of the mousse into a couple of ramekins and topped them with a dollop of whipped cream.

I should have let the pies set a bit longer before cutting into them but I couldn’t wait. (Sorry for the poor lighting in the first picture.)

Barbie’s Super Simple Oatmeal Cookies (with Coconut)

I enjoyed the taste of the last batch of oatmeal cookies that I made … but the ‘look’ didn’t thrill me.

These, on the other hand, are very photogenic. And they taste good as well. Not overly sweet … next time, I’d use half the amount of salt though cause the margarine, which I used instead of butter, was salty enough.

This recipe also came out of Edna Staebler’s “Cookies and Squares with Schmecks Appeal”. The kitchen was a bit warm for September (77 deg F) so, by the time I had mixed up the dough and started shaping it into 1 inch sized balls, my dough was pretty sticky. I persevered and then refrigerated the resulting cookie balls.

After 30 minutes, I used the back of a fork to press down gently on the cookie balls in order to flatten them and baked the cookies for 14 minutes, instead of the 12 minutes recommended, in a preheated 350 deg F oven. I left the baked cookies on the baking sheet to cool for about 10 minutes, before using a thin metal spatula to transfer them onto the cooling rack, to finish cooling.

Blue Monday … Blueberry BBQ Sauce and Blueberry Hand Pies

Happy Labour Day US/Canada!

Two ‘blue’ themed dishes for the last day of the summer holidays.

And a link to a song that just says it all.

Blueberries have been on sale for the last couple of months so I tossed a couple of clamshells in the freezer … for later.

Well, later has come, and I started with a marinade/bbq sauce for the strip of pork ribs I found in the basement freezer. I took the lazy route and didn’t saute an onion and garlic, as I should have. Instead, I added a tablespoon of dry minced onion and a few shakes of garlic powder to a bbq recipe I found on the Blueberry Council website. It was a lot looser than I wanted even after I simmered it uncovered (and unattended) for a while. You might want to hang around the kitchen and stir it every few minutes so that it doesn’t catch on the bottom and scorch.

Pork ribs before and after marinating and baking

Dessert also featured that juicy blue fruit. Hand pies using a recipe posted on one of the FB groups I belong to.

The pastry was tender and delicious but, even baking it an additional 10 minutes, didn’t brown the whole egg glazed tops as much as I wanted. And, during that extra 10 minutes, all of the hand pies burst open and oozed their tasty filling over the baking sheet. Luckily I had lined it with parchment paper so I didn’t have a mess to clean up. I plan on upping the temperature to 400 deg F, and cut steam vents in the top. (NOTE: Just had a chance to touch base with the recipe poster and she mentions that she now does both those things.)

I had halved the filling recipe because I only had two cups of blueberries, but I had more filling than I needed for the hand pies I made, so I made a mini pie with the surplus. And the extra pastry was shaped into three mini pie shells and blind baked. Disappointingly they shrank quite a bit, even though I refrigerated them before baking. When I serve the mini blueberry pie and decide what to fill those shells with, I’ll share pics.

Labour Day Meal

August/Summer Wrap-Up … Butter Saffron Basmati Rice and Pepperoni Pizza Sourdough Bread Loaf

PICTURE HEAVY WARNING

Summer has been much too short. Of course, I didn’t get much accomplished. In fact, I can’t even remember the semi-ambitious plans I had made.

Next year, I’m going to have to make and post a list of To Do‘s to keep me on track.

I hope work calls are more frequent this fall than last year and that my insomnia doesn’t flare up again. Going to bed at 5am is a bad habit and I need to get my sleep patterns back on track if I keep getting 6am phone calls to work.

And now, for a quick clear out of dishes I’ve cooked and pictures that I haven’t shared in August. Posting should slow  down quite a bit as work starts again.

I made butter saffron basmati rice with which to serve some leftover green chicken curry.

Butter Saffron Basmati Rice – ~3 cups

1 cup basmati rice
1 1/3 cup water
1 tbsp butter, unsalted
1/2 tsp salt

Saffron garnish
pinch or two of saffron threads
2 tbsp boiling water

Combine the boiling water and the saffron threads in a small bowl/ramekin and set aside.

Cooking the rice:

Wash the rice in several changes of cold water and then pour into a colander and drain.

In a medium saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat and then add the drained rice. Saute for a minute or two. Add the water and salt to the saucepan and bring to the boil. Once the water is boiling, reduce the heat to the minimum setting on your stove and cover.

Cook for 20 minutes.

Remove the saucepan from the heat and let the rice continue to steam for another 5-10 minutes.

Fluff with a fork. Every rice grain should be separate from every other. Transfer to a serving bowl and drizzle the saffron over the top.

Serve.

I tested the suggestion that using bread flour instead of all-purpose flour in my sourdough baking would give me better oven spring. The result did not bear that out but as I made some other changes to my ‘go to’ no-knead sourdough recipe, they’re not conclusive. The add-ins (1 oz diced hot pepperette, 1 tbsp tomato paste, 1 tbsp sun-dried tomatoes, 2 oz shredded mozzarella cheese, and 1 tsp Italian herb seasonings), at least, gave me a very tasty, if flat, oval loaf of pepperoni pizza bread.

It was great as a dip for marinara sauce and toasted or plain, with butter, peanut butter or as a base for an open faced egg salad sandwich.

 

Mushroom and Tofu Egg Drop Miso Soup – It’s hard to take a nice picture of miso soup

A shrimp appetizer

Shrimp and Mushroom Scampi over home made Fettuccine pasta

Some breakfasts/lunches

 

Spicy pepperoni and mozzarella cheese stuffed omelette

Sourdough tortilla pizzas have been appearing often on my plate – from the classic pepperoni/mozzarella, with or without sweet peppers, Canadian bacon and fresh basil to pulled pork/bbq sauce to shrimp or mushroom on a base of shiso pesto. A bacon and mozzarella pizza made today isn’t pictured.

 

 

I was sure I had some fudgy chocolate cupcakes in the downstairs freezer for a quick dessert (even had a frosting idea that I was excited about) but then I had to scramble for a new plan when I discovered that I had eaten them all up, and all that was left were nine red velvet cupcakes. Making a cream cheese frosting was my immediate thought and, after weighing what was left of the last brick of Philly cream cheese (77 gm) in  my fridge, I searched my hard drive for one of the many ‘one day, I must try this’ frosting recipes that I could scale down. I was very pleased with the result … a thick, pipeable frosting with a touch of lemon juice to cut through the cloying sweetness of so many cream cheese frostings.

The last of the raspberry cupcakes with raspberry curd