Posts categorized “Cooking”

Wednesday, 4 December 2013

Ice Cream Bread Recipe

Ice Cream Bread: Ingredients

Ice Cream Bread: Simple as can be!

I don’t know where I first saw it, but for the last month or so I’ve continually been stumbling upon recipes for “Ice Cream Bread” all over the internets.

What is Ice Cream Bread, you ask? Well, it’s bread made out of ice cream. Sounds good, doesn’t it? Well, even better is this: the only ingredients are ice cream and self-rising flour. That’s it! Two frikkin’ ingredients. I just had to give it a try eventually.

So I went out and got some nice Moose Tracks ice cream and some self-rising flour and got to work.

General consensus on the internets puts the ingredient ratio like this:

  • 2 Cups Softened Ice Cream
  • 1.5 Cups Self-Rising Flour

That’s it! Mix those two ingredients together in a bowl until they seem like they’re mixed enough.

Ice Cream Bread: Mix the Ingredients

Mix the Ingredients

Either grease a loaf pan or line it with parchment paper and transfer the mixture into it. It’ll be pretty sticky and viscous. Just do your best.

Ice Cream Bread: Put the mixture in a loaf pan

Put the Mixture in a Loaf Pan

Then put it in a 350-degree oven and bake it until it’s done (until a toothpick stuck into it comes out mostly clean). It really took me only about 25 minutes to bake this loaf.

Ice Cream Bread: Finished Product!

Ice Cream Bread: Finished Product!

Pop it out of the loaf pan and let it cool a bit. It ends up with kind of a soft-but crumbly consistency, somewhere between cake and sliced bread.

It has a surprisingly subtle flavor, like bread that has been just tinted with ice cream, and just slightly sweet. Spread some butter on it while it’s still warm (or use the Japanese Better Butter Grater) and it is quite good.

Ice Cream Bread: Yum + Easy!

Ice Cream Bread = Yum + Easy!

Next time I make it I might make a double batch. The self-rising flour didn’t make it rise quite as much as I expected it to. It’s not Earth-shattering, but for something that takes two ingredients and about a half an hour, it’s pretty durned good.

Categories: Cooking.

Wednesday, 5 September 2012

A Babysitting Pickle: Kitten & Nukazuke

Over the weekend we babysat for a couple of friends who were out of town (on a sailing adventure). For one friend we babysat a kitten.

For the other friend, Marvel’s X-men’s “X-23” (the female clone of Wolverine), we babysat a crock full of pickling stuff.

To be more precise, we babysat a ceramic container full of what the Japanese call a “nukadoko.” Well, technically that’s not quite right, because “nuka” is rice bran, and this was made with wheat bran (X-23 couldn’t easily find any rice bran). I don’t know the Japanese word for wheat bran. @Tangentbot? @KowaiHitsuji? Is it “fusuma (麩)?”

Anyway, It’s this fun mix of salt and water, bran, and seaweed, and you can put garlic or ginger or beer in it. And you stir it every day. And then it starts to ferment. And then you put vegetables in it! You leave them in for however long you want, and you end up with these fascinating, salty vegetable pickles called “nukazuke.” I put in some sliced-up carrot overnight. It was really tasty!

Here are some nukazuke resources:

I am a great big stupid-head, though: I forgot to take any photos of either the nukazuke. I did take a photo or two of the kitten (who, by the way, had no interest in the nukazuke), though, so this’ll have to do:

Kittons is Cyoot

Kittons is Cyoot

I also took a video of it being cute:

Yup, kittons is cyoot. And nukazuke is goot.

Categories: Cooking, Japan, Life, Pictures, Videos.

Thursday, 24 November 2011

Happy Thoinksgiving 2011!

image

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Carrie & I made Thoinksgiving din-dins this year!

Categories: Cooking, Holiday, Pictures.

Thursday, 9 June 2011

My Drunk Kitchen

I can’t remember the last time I laughed so hard. Of course, I’d had quite a bit of wine myself when I watched it:

(thanks, Unintentional Housewife)

Categories: Cooking, Videos.

Thursday, 14 April 2011

Bullet Pesto

Carrie made something to eat recently, and I thought it was my duty to share. You know how it goes. She made a pesto chicken salad. Intrigued? You should be. It was what we call DELICIOUS.

And it was ridiculously easy as well. A few years ago we got one of those Magic Bullets for a gift, and since then we have not bought any salad dressing at all. We’ve made it all ourselves, on the spot, on demand, as needed for each individual salad. You want to know how? Yes, you do. So, here:

INSTANT PESTO CHICKEN SALAD

What you’ll need:

    FOR THE PESTO:

  • 2 Garlic cloves
  • A handful of basil leaves
  • A palmful of grated parmesan cheese
  • A palmful of pine nuts
  • Olive oil
  • Salt & pepper to taste
    FOR THE SALAD:

  • 1 big chicken breast, raw
  • Some sort of mixed greens, whatever you have on hand (please don’t do iceberg lettuce, though I suppose romaine would be okay)
  • Spinach or baby spinach
  • Gorgonzola or Bleu Cheese in crumble form
  • Grape or smaller cherry tomatoes
  • Pecans, cashews, slivered almonds, or any other nut you happen to have on hand
  • Broccoli stalks (not the tops, just the stems)
  • White or Crimini mushrooms
  • 1 carrot
  • Salt & pepper & garlic powder (or garlic salt) to taste

What you’ll do to make it:

    THE SAUCE:

  • Add the garlic to the magic blender. Pulse it until it’s nicely chopped up. Doesn’t have to be too fine or anything; just get rid o’ the chunks.
  • Toss in the basil, cheese, and nuts. Pour in some olive oil. No, I can’t tell you how much because we never actually measure it. Pulse to combine it all until it starts to smooth out a bit.
  • Add salt and pepper to taste, then pulse some more until it gets relatively smooth.
    THE SALAD:

  • Put a li’l bit of olive oil in a pan on medium heat. Season both sides of the chicken breast liberally with salt, pepper, and garlic powder. Pan fry that chicken breast until both sides are golden brown and it’s cooked all the way through. Put it aside to cool.
  • Thinly slice up the mushrooms. Turn the pan down to medium or medium/low. Add a tiny bit more oil or butter to the pan and add your mushrooms. Cook them until they’re nice and soft and cooked. You’ll know when they’re done.
  • While the mushrooms are cooking you prep your salad ingredients. Thinly shred your broccoli stems lengthwise so that they form really thin pieces, like coleslaw. Do the same with your carrot. Slice the tomatoes in half.
  • Once the mushrooms are done, take them off the heat and put them aside to cool. Add the mixed greens in a large bowl. Tear your spinach into it (or just use baby spinach), and add the tomatoes, nuts, Gorgonzola, carrot slaw and broccoli slaw.
  • Dice your cooled chicken breast into 3/4″ cubes. Add it to the bowl. As soon as the mushrooms have cooled down a bit add them as well.
  • Pulse the pesto sauce a couple of more times just to make sure it’s all mixed up, and dump it all over the salad in the bowl. Toss to combine.
  • EAT IT

IT’S DELICIOUS! Here’s a tip to save time: At Trader Joe’s you can buy little bags of pre-shredded broccoli/carrot slaw that is quite good. You can add any other ingredients to the salad if you like. The cooked mushrooms add a really unexpected flavor and texture to the salad, but I suppose you could put them in raw if you like. All the nuts in the recipe can get pretty pricey if you don’t already have them on hand. But you can substitute pretty much any other nut (I don’t recommend peanuts) for the pine nuts in the pesto.

Anyway, not only is it delicious but it’s low-carb if you care about that sort of thing. It’s actually pretty danged healthy, unless you have something against olive oil. There’s quite a bit of olive oil in the pesto, and the chicken and mushrooms are cooked in olive oil. But ask someone from Greece if olive oil is bad for you, and then duck when they try to punch you in the mouth for speaking blasphemy. Dare ya!

Categories: Cooking.

Monday, 14 March 2011

The Alcohol-Fueled Goodness of Hard Sauce

So let’s be hypothetical for a moment, okay? Let’s say you’re making some sorta baked good. Y’know, the kinda thing that you’d normally slather a bunch of frosting on top of. Let’s say you’re kinda bored with regular ol’ frosting. You want something that’ll really wow your guests. Really knock there socks off, see?

I recommend hard sauce. How do you make hard sauce?

There are a bunch of different recipes out there on teh intarwebs, but general consensus is a cup or so of butter, a slightly larger amount of confectioner’s sugar, and at least a couple of tablespoons of hard liquor.

Yes that’s right. LIQUOR. That’s why it’s called hard sauce. Though I’m still not quite sure why it’s called sauce instead of frosting or icing.

Most recipes will recommend brandy, but I personally really enjoy whiskey/bourbon hard sauce. You can get one of them tiny bottles of hooch for just a couple of bucks. Go ahead and spring for a tiny Maker’s Mark and you can’t go wrong.

Maker's Mark + Frosting = <3

Cupcake photo by sciascia

Anyhoo, you cream the butter and sugar, then add the hooch. Spread it on something um-nummy like zucchini muffins or bread pudding. HOO-BOY let me tells you — that’s some good, good, good stuffs. The flavor of the whiskey/bourbon sweetened with all that sugar is fan-frikkin’-tastic on any sorta baked good you’d normally put regular ol’ frosting all up ons.

Categories: Cooking.

Tuesday, 8 March 2011

Hail to the King (Cake), Baby

It’s Mardi Gras! This year was the first year of my life wherein I participated in a particular Mardi Gras tradition: a series of King Cake parties. Point of fact: I’d never actually heard of a King Cake party before this year, when a new friend (who just moved here from Austin, TX) decided to start up the tradition.

In a nutshell: You throw a party in the middle of January (it generally coincides with Twelfth Night/Epiphany, though in this case it was later — January 22nd or so). Whoever hosts that party bakes a cake — a King Cake: traditionally a ring-shaped cake similar to brioche, with green-and-purple frosting/sprinkles. Hidden somewhere in the cake is a small figurine, often a Baby Jesus. Whichever guest at the party gets the piece of cake containing the figurine is the “King” for that week and has to throw the next King Cake Party the following weekend. This continues every weekend until Mardi Gras!

I actually probably would not have become a part of this tradition (indeed, I missed the first party entirely) had it not been for the fact that Marvel’s X-Men’s female clone of Wolverine X-23 won the first King Cake Party and got to throw the second one at her place, just up the road from me.

It was a fascinating several weeks. Carrie & I got to meet a tonne of new people, as whoever hosted the party invited not only the people who had been at previous parties, but their own friends as well. We also got to go to some places we’d never been before, and experience fascinating things like wood-fired saunas and hot tubs, and all manner of cooking. Not even the King Cake itself was consistent; many of the participants put their own spin on the tradition by serving the figurine in other types of baked goods — even an Apple pie once.

Carrie & I had to miss the next-to-last King Cake Party, but we delegated our participation, and — guess what? — we won by proxy!

For our King Cake, Carrie decided to go old-school: a northern French Galette des Rois (French for “Cake of Kings”). She used a slightly-modified version of the recipe from Zen Can Cook:

For this recipe you will need:

  • 1 puff pastry sheet
  • 8 tablespoons soft butter
  • 1 cup slivered almonds
  • 2 eggs
  • 3 tablespoons flour
  • 1/2 cup sugar + 2 tablespoons
  • 1 pinch of salt
  • 1 teaspoon almond extract (optional)
  • 1 egg yolk + 1 tablespoon milk for eggwash
  • Powdered sugar for glazing

* Preheat oven to 425′F. Cut out two 9-inches circles of puff pastry. Prick one of them with a fork. Place on a tray lined with a silpat. Refrigerate.

For the frangipane (almond filling):

  • In the bowl of a food processor combine the butter, 1 cup almonds, 2 eggs, 1/2 cup sugar, pinch of salt and almond extract if using. Process to obtain a smooth paste, add the flour and pulse to incorporate (Carrie & I don’t have a food processor, so we just used a Magic Bullet and made the frangipane in batches).

For the galette des rois:

  1. Spread the almond frangipane in the center of the pricked puff pastry circle leaving a 1-inch border. Brush the border with eggwash and top with the second circle of puff pastry. Seal the edge with your fingers or the back of a spoon. Brush with the eggwash. Refrigerate for 15 minutes.
  2. Bake at 425′F for 15 minutes then lower the temperature to 350′F and bake for an additional 30 minutes.
  3. Dust with some powdered sugar. Cool. Serve at room temperature.

Photo by yuichi.sakabura: http://www.flickr.com/photos/skrb/

By all accounts of everyone who was at our party, it was quite delicious. Please, partake… and enjoy.

Categories: Cooking, Holiday, Life.