Coffee Ice Cream

July 31, 2012 19:07 by Suzy

This is one of those occasions where the third time was indeed the charm.  I finally got around to buying myself an ice cream maker a month or two ago, and I've been searching for the perfect coffee ice cream recipe ever since.  First batch - icy texture and odd after-taste.  Second batch - better texture, but not great, and too many coffee grounds in the mix.  Third batch - pure bliss.  Perfectly creamy with an assertive coffee flavor.  Yum.  JD even compared it to Haagen Dazs.  This was my appetizer before dinner the other night and I was in heaven.

My next batch, I think I'm going to add chopped dark chocolate in the last 5 minutes of churning.  Or maybe chocolate-covered chopped espresso beans!

Coffee Ice Cream
adapted from The Perfect Scoop (thanks to SimplyRecipes for featuring it on their blog!)

1 1/2 cups whole milk
3/4 cup sugar
1 1/2 cups whole coffee beans
pinch of salt
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
5 large egg yolks, beaten
1/4 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 teaspoon finely ground coffee

In saucepan, heat milk, sugar, coffee beans, salt, and 1/2 cup of the cream over medium heat.  Cook until hot and steamy but not boiling.  Remove from heat, cover, and let steep for one hour.

Pur remaining 1 cup cream in bowl set in larger bowl filled with ice.  Set aside.

Return saucepan to medium heat and again cook until hot and steamy.  Slowly add the hot milk/coffee mixture to the beaten egg yolks, whisking constantly so the eggs don't scramble.  Pour everything back into the saucepan.

Cook, stirring constantly, over medium heat, until thickened and the custard coats the back of a wooden spoon (you should be able to run your finger through it and leave a clear path on the spoon).  This will take 5-10 minutes.

Pour custard through fine mesh strainer into bowl of cream.  Press on the coffee beans with a wooden spoon to get as much of the liquid as possible.  Add the vanilla and ground coffee and stir until cool.  Chill, tightly covered, in the fridge until nice and cold.

Churn in your ice cream maker according to the manufacturer's instructions.  Transfer ice cream to freezer-safe container, place a piece of parchment paper or plastic wrap on the surface of the ice cream, cover tightly, and freeze until firm.

Bread & Butter Pickles

July 30, 2012 21:52 by Suzy

More pickles!

I was very happy with how these pickles turned out.  Not too sweet and with just the right amount of spice.

Bread & Butter Pickles
adapted from Food in Jars

6 cups sliced pickling cucumbers
2 cups sliced onion
2 cups sliced red bell pepper
1/4 cup kosher or pickling salt
2 cups apple cider vinegar
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 tablespoons mustard seed
2 teaspoons celery seed
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves

Combine sliced cucumbers, onion, red bell pepper, and salt in a large bowl; mix well.  Cover and put in the fridge for at least 4 and up to 12 hours.  Rinse and drain veggies.

Set up canner with rack and place 4 pint jars on rack.  Fill canner with water and bring to a boil.  Put lids in small saucepan of water and bring to a low simmer.

Put vinegar and sugar in large saucepan and heat over medium heat, stirring until sugar dissolves.  Add spices, increase heat to high and bring to a boil.  Add the drained veggies and boil for 5 minutes.

Carefully remove the hot jars from the canner, drain, and set on towel-lined countertop.  Fill hot jars with the veggies, using tongs.  Ladle brine into jars, leaving 1/2" headspace.  Stir with plastic or wooden chopstick to remove any air bubbles.

Wipe jar rims with damp paper towel, place the lids on each jar and apply rings (not too tight).

Process in boiling water canner for 10 minutes.  Carefully remove jars and let cool on towel-lined countertop.  Let pickles cure for 48 hours before eating.


Iced Coffee

July 29, 2012 12:34 by Suzy

Iced Coffee

Apparently the earth has taken up residence a mere 100 yards from the sun, and has no plans to move.  In addition, the world's largest quilt has been soaked in sweat and draped over the Mid-Atlantic to keep us as swampy as possible until winter.  My survival has depended on quick transport from one air-conditioned area to another, and gallons of this iced coffee.

Iced Coffee

1 cup dark roast coffee grounds
2 quarts cold water

Combine coffee grounds and cold water in large container and stir to mix well.  Cover and leave out on the counter overnight.  Strain through a fine sieve into pitcher and chill.  Serve over ice (duh), with a bit of half and half and superfine sugar.  Repeat as needed until you are no longer melting in a pool of sweat.

Waffle Iron Hash Browns

July 21, 2012 12:10 by Suzy

Waffle Iron Hash Browns

This is one of those ideas that is so brilliantly simple you don't understand why you didn't think of it yourself.  Crispy diner-style hash browns that take very little time, very little fat, and almost no effort.  And they didn't come from the freezer!

Waffle Iron Hash Browns
adapted from Get Off Your Butt and Bake!

1 large potato, peeled and grated
1 tablespoon butter, melted
salt and pepper to taste

Preheat your waffle iron as hot as it will go.  Combine the grated potato, melted butter, and salt and pepper in medium bowl.

Spray hot waffle iron with cooking spray.  Spread potato mixture evenly on iron.  Close and cook until brown and crispy, about 5-6 minutes.  You may need to flip it halfway through to get it to brown evenly.  Enjoy!

Spicy Dill Pickles

July 16, 2012 19:03 by Suzy

Dill Pckles

Here's my latest adventure in preserving...pickles!  These turned out so good...crunchy and flavorful and spicy.  And so easy!

Dill Pickles
adapted from Food in Jars

2 cups apple cider vinegar
3 teaspoons pickling salt
8 garlic cloves, peeled
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes, divided
4 teaspoons dill seed, divided
2 teaspoons black peppercorns, divided
2-3 pounds pickling cucumbers

Prepare canner and jars:  wash 4 pint jars in hot soapy water.  Put rack in bottom of canner, place jars in canner, and fill canner with water.  Bring to a boil.  Place lids in small saucepan, fill with hot water, and keep at low simmer.

Prepare brine:  combine vinegar, 2 cups water and pickling salt in pot; bring to a boil.

Carefully remove jars from boiling water and place on dishtowel-lined countertop.  Place 2 garlic cloves, 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes, 1 teaspoon dill seed, and 1/2 teaspoon black peppercorns in each jar.  Trim off blossom end from each cucumber and cut into spears, or leave whole if they will fit in your jars.  Pack cucumbers into jars.

Carefully pour hot brine over the cucumbers in each jar.  Leave 1/2" headspace.  Use plastic or wooden chopstick to dislodge any air bubbles.  If necessary, add more brine.  Apply lids and screw on rings.  Process in boiling water canner for 5 minutes.  Remove from canner and cool; check seals.  Allow pickles to cure at least 1 week before eating.