Monday, June 11, 2012

Healthy Homemade Ice Cream

Mint Chocolate Ice Cream

3 frozen bananas, ripe
1 1/2 cups ice
15 fresh mint leaves
1/4 cup dark chocolate morsels

This is the most simple ice cream recipe, ever. So simple, that I feel as if I'm being tricked that it is this magnificent. Throw your ice, banana chunks, and mint leaves into a blender. Blend on high until it is all mixed smoothly. When it is just so, mix in your chocolate until it is blended and smooth, and voila! 
You can serve immediately for a soft-serve style or you can freeze it and let thaw for a minute before serving so that it is more solidified. 

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Battered Brussels

Battered Brussels

This is a terrific side dish to bring to any gathering! 

What You'll Need: 
1 lb. brussels sprouts
1/3 cup chopped walnuts
1 Tbsp. Virgin Olive Oil
1/2 tsp. kosher salt

      This is a simple dish to make that tastes heavenly. First, take your sprouts and remove any darker leaves from the outer casing and trim the ends of each bulb. Then, place the bulbs in a large pot of boiling water; let them simmer for about 10-12 minutes (they will be bright green and tender). 
        Then, heat a sauce pan over medium-high heat, adding the walnuts to cook. Stir them frequently so that they cook both sides thoroughly (roughly 3-4 minutes). Then, set them aside. 
        Lastly, return the pan to stove top, warming the oil followed by salt, brussel sprouts, and walnuts. Saute them together until sprouts begin to turn a darker green and brown on edges. 
        Voila! Served best warm or hot.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Red Velvet Romance

One thing I love to do is spoil other people, so when the urge strikes I love to improvise. This time around it was with Red Velvet Cake and my weakness: Nutella. Oh yeah, and bake it in a mason jar and you have heavenly, adorable perfection.

 Homemade Red Velvet

2-1/2 cups cake flour
1 tsp. salt
1 cup unsalted butter, softened
1-1/2 cups granulated sugar
2 eggs
3 tbsp. unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder
1 oz. red food coloring
1-1/2 tsp. pure vanilla
1 cup buttermilk
1 tsp. cider or white vinegar
1 tsp. baking soda
 Use liquid red food coloring

Cream Cheese Icing: 

1/2 cup of butter (1 stick), room temperature
8 oz of Philly cream cheese (1 package), room temperature
2 - 3 cups of powdered sugar
1 teaspoon of pure vanilla extract

For Cake:
Preheat oven to 350°F,  in a mixing bowl, sift together flour and salt. Set aside.
In a separate mixing bowl, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy, on medium speed for 3 minutes. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.
In a small bowl, stir together cocoa powder, food coloring and vanilla extract. Beat this into the butter mixture. Stir 1/3 of the flour mixture into the butter mixture, alternating with 1/2 of the buttermilk, another 1/3 of flour, the remaining buttermilk, and the remaining flour mixture; stir just until blended.
       In a cup, combine vinegar and baking soda. Mixture will fizz. Stir this into the batter and combine well. Divide the batter evenly in mason jars.
Bake and watch closely until they set and a wire or knife comes out clean.
Allow to cool for 10 minutes.
For Icing:
(acquired from
     With an electric mixer, mix the butter and cream cheese together, about 3 minutes on medium speed until very smooth. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl to ensure even mixing.
    Add the vanilla extract and mix. Slowly add the powdered sugar. Keep adding until you get to desired sweetness and thickness. Either spread on with a blunt knife or spatula, or spoon into a piping bag to decorate your cake or cupcake.

 After, turn jars upside down, cut tops off of cake, and layer nutella and icing (cut as many layers as you like). Place cake pieces back on top of layers and top with cream cheese icing and chocolate sprinkles for a nice touch. 

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Loving Lemon

As a college student you would think that cooking and baking wouldn't be on my top priority list. Unfortunately for my bank account. . .it is. I have a newfound passion for all things culinary and have been dabbling since I returned from Italy. This is my new venture to save what I come up with. I can only hope to inspire people along the way. I have a soft spot for Alice Waters so my first post is dedicated to her:

Lemon Meringue Pie

2 cups all purpose flour
a generous pinch of sugar
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1 stick and 6 1/2 tbsp unsalted butter cut into chunks
3 tbsp ice cold water
2 tbsp raspberry extract (*special touch)

Combine the salt, sugar, flour in a food processor, slowly adding chunks of the butter into the mix. The butter should blend until the lumps are the size of small peas. Add the water slowly until the dough begins to combine and holds together when squeezed. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and chill for at least 4 hours.

Flour your counter surface generously, the roll dough into a 12" circle about 1/8" thick. Fit into a 9" pan, trimming the edges and pricking the bottom several times. Freeze the crust for 20-30 minutes. Preheat your oven to 375º, line the crust with pie weights and bake for 20 minutes. Remove the weights and then bake at 350º for another 12-15 minutes or until golden brown and firm. Place to the side.


Ideally, I would use Meyer lemons because they are far sweeter, but these are a rarity in the Midwest, so work with what you have locally!

2 lemons
2 large eggs
3 large egg yolks
6 tbsp sugar
6 tbsp unsalted butter, cut into chunks
a pinch of salt


3 large egg whites
1/4 tbsp cream of tartar
6 tbsp sugar
1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract

Finely grate lemon zest into a small bowl, and add fresh, strained juice. In a saucepan, beat the yolks, eggs, and sugar together. Add the juice and zest mixture to the pan. Cook over low to medium heat, constantly stirring until the butter is melted and the mixture thickens and coats the spoon. Remove from heat and whisk then set aside to cool for 5 minutes.
Run mixture through a mesh strainer into the pie shell and evenly smooth throughout.

Bake at 350º for 5-10 minutes or until filling sets then, remove and turn the temp up to 375º.

Beat the egg whites with an electric mixer until frothy, then add cream of tartar. Beat until soft peaks can be made and beat in sugar and vanilla. Spread the meringue over the pie to create a seal with the crust (corner to corner). Bake for roughly 10 minutes or until meringue lightly browns. Allow pie to cool completely (roughly 1-2 hours).