Tag Archive | Food

National Ice Cream Day

So today is not only National Junk Food Day but also National Ice Cream Day. Personally I find Ice Cream day more appealing so we’re going to focus on that. Now, I lost track of my days and didn’t realize today was an Ice Cream holiday until about 30 minutes ago. So this is going to be a two part post. This part is just going to talk about making ice cream and some recipes we’ve done before. On Friday I’ll post pictures of the ice cream I’m making today as it needs about 10 hours to let all the flavors come together before churning and we’re celebrating Pioneer Day on Friday so it’s the perfect time to share. I know, I can hear you going, 10 hours?!? I don’t want for any food 10 hours. Well, make this an exception because Ice Cream which is allowed time to sit and bring out flavors before churning is phenomenally awesome.

However, for those who want something a little faster I’ll direct your attention to a previous post on this subject using Ultra Gel and a cold ice cream starter to get a beautiful blackberry ice cream.

And here I’ll share another recipe for what is called a no churn ice cream. In this case you don’t need an ice cream machine of any sort, just a good stand mixer, or a whisk if you don’t mind stirring for a while!

ice cream

No Machine Vanilla Ice Cream

1 pint whipping cream

1 Tablespoon Ultra Gel

1 (14oz) can sweetened condensed milk

Scrapings of one vanilla bean or 2 tsp vanilla extract (You can use other flavors as desired)

Whip cream and Ultra Gel until stiff peaks are formed. Fold in condensed milk and vanilla. Don’t be too vigorous with this or you’ll deflate the cream. move to a freezer save container and freeze hard. Serve! It’s amazing how much flavor you get with this version and the Ultra Gel helps to keep the crystal formation very fine so you get a better mouth feel.

Blueberry Upside Down Cake

Today’s recipe is brought to you by trying to get all the goodness I can out of the wonderful blueberries which I know will, too soon, be disappearing from store shelves until spring again. I’ve actually seen versions of this blueberry upside down cake in recipe books and floating around online for sometime and I’ve always wanted to try it. The idea is very similar to a pineapple upside down cake where the fruit and a sugary glaze are put in the bottom of a pan and then covered with batter. The biggest difference is, beside the type of fruit, that the batter here is a thicker more biscuit like batter versus a fluffy cake.

Now I went through about six different recipes for blueberry upside down cake before I settled on what I wanted to make. I ended up taking aspects of each recipe and putting them together and I really love the end result.The cake layer is rich with a golden brown crust and the blueberry layer sweet and tart. I used Ultra Gel in both the filling and the cake and, of course, topped it with Ultra Gel Whipping Cream.

Next time I want to try adding some blackberries with the blueberries as I think the contrast with a tarter fruit would be even better! I also think I can do this with raspberries for a fantastic raspberry lemon cake.

upsidedowncake

Blueberry Upside Down Cake

1/4 cup butter

1 cup dark brown sugar

1/4 cup lemon juice (Or lemonade if you want a lighter lemon flavor)

16 ounces blueberries (fresh or frozen)

1 Tablespoon Ultra Gel

2 1/4 cups flour

3/4 cup sugar

3 teaspoons baking powder

1 teaspoon salt

2 Tablespoons Ultra Gel

1 teaspoon Pumpkin pie spice (Optional but tasty)

2 Tablespoons Water

2 egg

3/4 cups milk

3/4 cup butter, melted

1 tsp vanilla

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. In a 12 inch cast iron skillet melt the butter until completely melted. Remove from heat and stir in brown sugar. Once sugar is well incorporated whisk in juice, spice and 1 Tablespoon Ultra Gel. Smooth sugar layer across the bottom of the pan then cover with berries in a single layer. In a separate bowl combine flour, sugar, baking powder, salt and Ultra Gel. In another bowl wisk together water, egg, milk, melted butter and vanilla. Combine dry and liquid ingredients and stir until just combined.

Pour batter layer over blueberries and bake for 25-35 minutes until cake tests done. Remove and allow to cool for at least 10 minutes. At this point you can invert the whole thing onto a plate for presentation, or scoop it out cobbler style. Be very cautious as cast iron holds heat and will continue to be warm for a while. Serve with whipping cream or ice cream for extra smoothness.

Tender Buttermilk Biscuits

May 14 was National buttermilk biscuit day. Not that I need a particular holiday to celebrate buttermilk biscuits, but it does amuse me that there is a national buttermilk biscuit day. Actually there are a lot of national food holidays, but that’s beside the point. This one reminded me that it’d been a couple months since we’d last had biscuits and I had a nice 15 bean soup bubbling on the stove which would go nicely with said biscuits, so I whipped up a batch.

I love these buttermilk biscuits. They come together easily and the Ultra Gel helps to keep them tender and moist. My boys decided they were perfect for sopping up the dregs of the soup and I really have to agree. As well if you double the sugar these make a great base for a biscuit strawberry shortcake, but we’ll talk about that later.

Buttermilk Biscuit

Tender Buttermilk Biscuits

1 1/3 cups flour

1/3 cup cake flour

2 Tablespoons Ultra Gel

2 teaspoons baking powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 Tablespoon sugar

1/4 cup shortening

1/4 cup butter, cut into small pieces

2/3 cups buttermilk

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Combine dry ingredients in a medium bowl. Cut in shortening and butter until mixture resembles coarse meal. Add the buttermilk all at once and let stand for 1 minute. Stir just until the dough forms a ball. Turn onto a lightly floured board and knead about 12 times to form a very soft dough. Pat or roll 1/2 – 3/4 inch thick. Cur into rounds. Place on ungreased baking sheet and bake for 12-15 minutes until golden brown.

Soft Chocolate Chip Cookies with Thick Gel

Today (May 15th) is National Chocolate Chip Day. This whole food holiday thing always amuses me, but the very most when the food in question is something I really love, and chocolate chips are something I really love.

So in pondering a recipe to share for such a wonderful food holiday I went back to the classic chocolate chip cookie. What I want in a chocolate chip cookie is a delicate balance of a crisp edge that gives with a satisfying chew and a soft chocolatey center. Then, just to make things hard, I want a cookie that I can keep over night or freeze while maintaining the same qualities because as much as I love my chocolate chip cookies I know better than to eat the whole batch at once. With all of this in mind I went to work with a few adjustments to the recipe, again. Often I put Ultra Gel in my cookies and I do love what it does, but this time I worked with Thick Gel. I get the cookie I want and a cookie that will keep, all good things in my book. And I’m never unhappy to find another recipe to use Thick Gel in. :)

Chocolate Chip Cookies

Soft Chocolate Chip Cookies with Thick Gel

2 1/4 cups flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

2 teaspoons Thick Gel

1/2 teaspoon salt

3/4 cup brown sugar, packed

3/4 cup sugar

2/3 cup unsalted butter, soft

1 large egg + 1 egg yolk

1 tsp vanilla

1 bag chocolate chips (I prefer semi-sweet, but if milk chocolate is your thing I’m not judging)

In a medium bowl combine flour, baking soda, Thick Gel and salt and set aside. Cream together the butter and both sugars until light and fluffy. Seriously, give it 3-4 minutes, even as many as 10, light and fluffy! Add egg, additional yolk and vanilla and mix well. Add dry ingredients in three batches, mixing to combine. Fold in chocolate chips. Now the hard part: put the whole thing into the fridge for at least 30 minutes. Some folks will say as long as overnight. I personally don’t like that and find the resulting dough to be very stiff to work with without getting much benefit from that much chilling. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. I like these cookies big so I use a two ounce disher and can put about 8 per batch. Bake cookies for 12-14 minutes until just barely golden brown around the edges. Allow to cool on the pan for 2 minutes and then remove to cooling racks. Serve warm, or cold, or freeze any option is a good one!

Decadent Devil’s Foodcake

This month two of the wonderful men in my life (our oldest boy and my husband both have birthdays), additionally two of our good friends have April birthdays. So this weekend we did an Easter and birthday celebration! For this celebration it was decided that we needed the cake of all cakes (according to my husband) a dark, decadent, devilish Devil’s Foodcake. We love this cake. It’s rich and moist and can easily be frozen so you can enjoy it over an entire week. It’s a devil’s foodcake that goes hand in hand with chocolate icing, or cream cheese icing or butter cream or can just be eaten plain. Just make sure you get all the crumbs!

The original recipe started with our hero Alton Brown, but it’s undergone a few changes including the addition of Ultra Gel for that freezing and staying power I mentioned before.

And yes…one of these cakes is a bunny! It’s Easter, there has to be a bunny!

Decadent Devil’s Foodcake

1 cup boiling water

4 ounces dutch-process cocoa

8 ounces brown sugar

2 ounces molasses

4 ounces cake flour

6 ounces flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

3 Tablespoons Ultra Gel

1/2 cup oil

1/2 cup applesauce

4 1/2 ounces sour cream

2 large eggs

2 egg yolks

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Grease and lightly flour a 9×13 inch baking pan.

Whisk together boiling water and cocoa powder until well combined. Let sit for at least 5 minutes.

Combine sugar, molasses, flours, baking soda, salt and Ultra Gel in the bowl of a stand mixer. Mix well. In a separate container combine oil, apple sauce, sour cream, eggs and egg yolk. Add oil mixture to cocoa mixture. With the mixer on low add chocolate mixture to dry ingredients. Beat for 30-45 seconds. Scrape down the sides and beat for an additional 30 seconds.

Pour batter into prepared pan and bake until the cake springs back when lightly pressed 30-35 minutes.

Let cool in pan for at least 10 minutes before depanning (if desired). Top with icing or serve with ice cream, or both, we won’t judge!

Oatmeal Bread

Okay, so today I was totally going to share Poppy Seed Muffins with you. I have a note here in my schedule, make and blog about poppy seed muffins. So why aren’t we doing that? Well…it’s because I was hijacked by something so yummy and happy tummy making that I must push poppy seed muffins off a little and talk about this anyway.

This particular inspiration came, as many do, from the combination of my husband and his food hero Alton Brown. The husband part is that he and I have been working on adding good things into our diet and pulling back on some of the not so good. One of the things that comes up all the time in this discussion is oatmeal. Oats are good for you, they are high in fiber and types of fiber that help to carry a lot of unwanted stuff out of the body. I love oatmeal. My husband…not so much. He likes the FLAVOR of oats and oat products, but something about that texture just kills him.

So we were watching old episodes of ‘Good Eats’ and saw Oat Cuisine II, in which Alton makes one of our favorite things: Oat Waffles. But then he also makes a loaf of oat bread. And we pondered this option. Oats in bread. With some adjustments and some Ultra Gel, could we come up with a bread that had all the lovely benefits of oats without the texture problems?

I am very happy to say that the answer is a resounding yes. We can create a bread that is the best of both worlds. This recipe for oatmeal bread makes one large loaf, which is perfect for sandwiches, French toast, or just slathering with jam in a jiffy freezer jam and cheese and having as a late night snack. And with all the fiber it’s pretty close to guilt free, and did we mention it’s yummy? So with credit to Mr Brown for getting us started, here you go.

Oatmeal Bread

1 Tablespoon yeast

11 ounces bread flour, give or take (This will change based on your altitude and the weather, but start with 11 ounces)

1/3 cup oat flour

1 teaspoon salt

12 ounces cooked oatmeal at room temp (In my kitchen at a little under 5000 feet this is one batch of 1 cup oats to 2 cups water)

1/4 cup warm water

2 Tablespoons honey

1 Tablespoon olive oil

1 Tablespoons Ultra Gel

2 tsp good quality vanilla

1 egg

1 Tablespoon water

Combine yeast, bread flour, oat flour and salt and set aside.

Combine the cooked oatmeal, water, honey and olive oil in a large mixing bowl. Add the dry mixture to the cooked oatmeal mixture and combine thoroughly. (I did this in my stand mixer, though it can be done fairly easily by hand). Knead by hand or machine for 10 minutes, adding flour as needed. Dough will be slightly sticky but should not amoeba around the counter.

Remove dough to a lightly oiled bowl and cover with a slightly damp tea towel. Set in a warm place to rise until doubled in size, about one hour.

Punch dough down and shape into a 9×5 inch loaf. Cover and let rise 10 minutes. (If desired you can cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight for an early morning bake).

Heat oven to 350 degrees.

Combine egg and water in a small bowl and brush the top of the loaf. Additional dry oatmeal can be sprinkled on top of the loaf if desired. Bake 50-60 minutes until bread is done through. We test with a thermometer and in Utah, 200-205 is perfectly done. Closer to sea level that temp should be higher and higher up that will drop to 195-200.

Remove pan from oven and allow to cool for 10 minutes. Remove loaf from pan and cool an additional 15-30 minutes before slicing.

Classic German Pancakes

One of my favorite food is breakfast foods. We’re known to have breakfast for dinner around here fairly frequently. Sometimes we even have breakfast for lunch. However, we do tend towards a lot of the same wonderful breakfast foods and these German Pancakes are a great break up in the routine. Now, we’ve talked Dutch Babies before and, yes, these recipes are related. They’re both a baked pancake made from a thin, eggy batter that poofs in the oven. The difference is that the Dutch Babies tends to be a thinner batter with a little more poof and the German Pancakes a thicker batter with a more solid bottom level and a little less poof. Both are fantastic, but I think the thicker nature of the German Pancake makes it better to serve with syrups and fruit and the Dutch babies are better with jams and powdered sugar with a little lemon! Your mileage may vary so try them both! Maybe you’ll find a new favorite in your kitchen!

Now, before the recipe just a note on baking vessels. German Pancakes can be baked in a 9×13 glass dripper pan and you’ll get a nice result from that. However, if you have a cast iron skillet with sides in the 10-12 inch range I would really suggest cooking in that instead. The skillet holds the heat more evenly and you’ll get a better crust on the top and bottom of the pancakes. If you don’t have this though don’t let it stop you from making the recipe as the dripper pan (cake pan) will work too.

German Pancakes

German Pancakes – Adjusted from Cherries, Chocolates and Children The Taylor Family Cookbook

4 Tablespoons butter

6 eggs, beaten

1 cup milk

1 cup flour

1/4 tsp salt

3 Tablespoons Ultra Gel

Preheat oven to 425 degrees and place 9×13 inch baking dish or 10-12 inch skillet into oven to warm. Add butter to skillet and melt completely. In a medium bowl beat together the eggs and milk. In a separate bowl combine the flour, salt and Ultra Gel and mix well. Beat dry ingredients into wet ingredients until fully incorporated. Pour into hot baking dish/skillet and return to oven. Bake for 25 minutes or until puffy and lightly browned all over. Remove from oven. Cool slightly and serve with fruit or syrup. Cornaby’s fruit syrups are particularly good!