Foodies

A Dangerous and Decadent Fixation

Friday, July 9th, 2010

It all started with this strange whirring sound in the middle of the Fourth of July party.  I was catching up with my girlfriends when the sound of a small appliance began to compete with the iPod playlist. 

Turns out, my hub had decided in the middle of the party to make homemade vanilla ice cream.  Huh ?  It was one of those moments where you look at your spouse that you’ve been married to for over a decade and realize perhaps you really don’t know that person at all. 

vanilla ice cream Apparently, he had pulled the never-been-used Krups ice cream maker (so ancient, it’s now discontinued) out of its dusty box the day before and frozen the bowl in anticipation of making ice cream in the middle of the party.  That’s just how he rolls. 

I confess, I mocked him.  “What’s going on here?”   Reply:  “Obviously, I’m making ice cream.  What’s a Fourth of July party without homemade vanilla ice cream?”   Perplexed and befuddled was I.   But my bewildered smirk gave way to a satisfied grin when I tasted his concoction.  He said, “Don’t you remember, we said we would make homemade ice cream this summer?”   That’s right, I did say that

Unfortunately, he’s now created a dangerous monster because I’ve been obsessed all week with my ice cream maker.   Oh, it all started so innocently, with plain vanilla. 

My vanilla soon morphed into pralines and cream with some caramel sauce and chopped pecans. 

caramel pecan swirl ice cream

Read the rest of this entry »

Google BookmarksBookmark/FavoritesStumbleUponShare

Preserving Summer’s Very Best

Wednesday, June 23rd, 2010

Hey everyone, it’s summer berry season, so I’m off to the farmer’s market this week to make my annual batch of preserves.  This is a repost from last summer, but I just had to share it again ! 

___________________________

Every summer, I go to the farmer’s market to buy enough summer berries to make my mixed berry preserves.  I was given a recipe by Mr. CG’s grandmother years ago for refrigerator preserves.  I tweaked her recipe by adding my own special ingredient, and then learned how to can it four years ago.  Now we enjoy mixed berry summer preserves even on the coldest wintery day.   

I start with the freshest fruit.  I use strawberries, blueberries, raspberries and blackberries.  After they’re rinsed, they look just like this.   

mixed fruit rinsed

fruit crop

 This recipe does involve the canning process, but don’t be intimidated if you’ve never canned anything before!    All you really need is a very large pot and you can make these preserves quite easily.   

Read the rest of this entry »

Google BookmarksBookmark/FavoritesStumbleUponShare

Lavender Lemon Cake

Tuesday, June 15th, 2010

I love lemon.  I love lavender.  What better way to indulge my affections than to combine the flavors and bake a cake.  So I did.  And it’s absolutely scrumptious if I do say so myself.   This family of five devoured it in less than 24 hours – we couldn’t help ourselves.   

 cg lavender lemon cake

 .

Since I harvested some of my French lavender last weekend, one of my first inclinations was to use it in the kitchen.   Lavender has been used in cooking for centuries – you’ll often find it in the ‘Herbes de Provence’ seasoning blend or lately in lavender sugar blends available at specialty stores.  You have to be careful with lavender.  Just like truffles, all you need is a tiny bit, you definitely don’t want to overdo it.  But what a fantastic culinary flavor it brings to the table !

The addition of lemon pudding in this recipe was my mom’s idea.  She’s been adding it to her lemon cake for years, so I stole that idea from her. 

Read the rest of this entry »

Google BookmarksBookmark/FavoritesStumbleUponShare