Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Strawberry Vanilla Blueberry Ice Cream #foodieextravaganza


Sweet summer strawberries, juicy blueberries and vanilla bean ice cream bring a little red, white and blue to this week’s Fourth of July celebrations.

Let’s talk about obsessions. At our house, we are a little football crazy. Some of us, more than others. My husband came home from work last night a little early, just so he could have a short nap and stay up till midnight (Dubai time) for the START of the USA-Belgium World Cup game. I have no idea what time he came to bed. I checked the news first thing this morning though and read through the play-by-play of the game and some of the social commentary - Best quote: Tim Howard is the American Jesus! He saves! - and I couldn’t help laughing at all the Tim Howard jokes. It almost made me wish I had stayed up to watch. Almost. Darn this time difference!

There’s an English idiom that people who live in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones. So I should even the score by admitting that I am throwing football rocks in my own ice cream glass house. I’ve got an obsession for making ice cream. But you probably knew that already after this post, and this post and, just yesterday, this post with an ice cream cookbook giveaway. (And those are just the ones I’ve shared!) With the churn, without the churn, it’s all good.

Truth is, I was hoping that this red, white and blue ice cream would be a celebration of a football victory so our two obsessions would dovetail so nicely.  After all, isn’t that what marriage is all about? The best advice books say to find something in common that you can enjoy together, right? Right?!

Today, I’m joining another great group of bloggers in an event we are calling Foodie Extravaganza and the ingredient for this month is blueberries. So how about let’s just celebrate blueberries and call it a day well spent! Make sure to scroll on down to see the whole list of blueberrilicious recipes. Many thanks to Alexis from We Like to Learn as We Go, our organizer for July’s extravaganza.

Ingredients
3 1/2 oz or 100g blueberries
3 1/2 oz or 100g strawberries
1 2/3 cups or 400ml whipping cream
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
2/3 cup or 200g sweetened condensed milk
1 whole vanilla bean
2 tablespoons homemade vanilla extract (split vanilla bean infused vodka) or 1 teaspoon normal vanilla extract and two tablespoons vodka or alcohol of your choice (The alcohol helps keep the ice cream from freezing solid, which makes scooping easier.)

Method
Hull and chop your strawberries into pieces about the same size as your blueberries. Spread the strawberries and blueberries out in a single layer on a baking pan lined with cling film. Put the pan in the freezer until the fruit is frozen. This doesn’t take long so set a timer for about 25-30 minutes.


Once your fruit is frozen, split the vanilla bean with a sharp knife and scrape out the tiny little seeds. (Pop the empty bean pod in a couple of cups of sugar in an airtight container to create fabulous vanilla flavored sugar or add it to your vanilla extract.)


In your stand mixer or with electric beaters, whisk the cream, cream of tartar and the vanilla bean seeds until the cream thickens. Add the condensed milk and the vanilla extract. Whisk until stiff peaks form.



Reserve some blueberries and strawberries to decorate the top of the ice cream.  Ever so gently, fold the rest of fruit into the cream mixture.



Pour in an airtight container, top with the reserved fruit and freeze for several hours for soft serve or overnight for firmer ice cream.



Warm your ice cream scoop in a mug of hot water and serve.


Enjoy!







Welcome to the Foodie Extravaganza!  
We are a group of bloggers who love to blog about food! And each month we all incorporate one main ingredient into a recipe. This month the ingredient is blueberries. We hope you all enjoy our delicious blueberry foods this month and come see what next month's new ingredient is. If you would like to join our group and blog along with us, come join our Facebook page Foodie Extravaganza. We would love to have you!

Make sure to check out these great recipes from our group! 



Blueberry Lemon Breakfast Cake @ We Like to Learn as We Go
Blueberry Orange Muffins @ Forty Eighteen
Homemade Blueberry Poptarts @ Our Thrifty Ideas
Blueberry Cheese Cake Pastries @ Summer Scraps
Lemon Blueberry Sandwich Cookies @ From Gate to Plate
Panna Cotta w/a Blueberry Compote @ The Freshman Cook
Strawberry Vanilla Blueberry Ice Cream @ Food Lust People Love
Blueberry Pie Ice Cream @ Love in the Kitchen
Lemon Blueberry Pound Cake @ Keep it Simple, Sweetie



Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Thai Coconut Ice Cream

Make your own Thai coconut ice cream with coconut cream, coconut milk, sweetened with palm sugar and enriched with powdered coconut cream. So creamy and delicious!


I did it! I finally used my ice cream machine for the very first time. It was a special occasion in more ways than one. First off, despite it being close to 20 years old, it worked. I guess in motor-years - like dog years, only different - it is still brand new.

Secondly, I was sent a fabulous new cookbook full of great ice cream recipes to review.  It’s called Scoop Adventures: The Best Ice Cream of the 50 States: Make the Real Recipes from the Greatest Ice Cream Parlors in the Country (< affiliate link*) and was written by the Scoop Queen herself, Lindsay Clendaniel, creator of the very popular ice cream blog also called Scoop Adventures.

She brings us 50 imaginative recipes from all over the United States. I was gratified to find that Texas’ entry is from none other than Amy’s in Austin. How does Peach Honey Habanero grab you? As a person who recently made apricot habanero jam, the sweet and spicy combination sounds like my kind of ice cream!

The final chapter in the book is full of Lindsay’s own creative ice creams. I am particularly taken with two: Mint Julep and Rosemary Honey Walnut. Now that I’m home again in Dubai, I REALLY need to buy a 220V ice cream maker. Seriously. I was so sad to have to leave my new “old” friend in Houston.

For today’s special edition of Ice Cream Tuesday, I am joining a lovely group of friends, organized by Jenni of Pastry Chef Online, all making ice cream either from Lindsay’s book or from her blog.  Make sure to follow all the links in the list to see their gorgeous ice creams.



I chose to recreate Lindsay’s Thai coconut ice cream because of a special request from my younger daughter who asked for “coconut, please, but without bits.” Lindsay’s recipe calls for powdered milk but I decided to up the coconut ante by using powdered coconut cream and actual coconut cream in place of some of the coconut milk. I upped the Thai ante by using palm sugar for sweetener and agar-agar for the thickener, since they are both commonly used in Thai desserts. These substitutions ended up making the base thicker than it should be so I thinned it with more regular milk. Which is reflected in my ingredient list. I’d have used coconut milk for that too but was all out. All in all, very creamy, very coconut-ty and the family loved it!

Thai Coconut Ice Cream


Homemade ice cream, whether made in an ice cream machine or using the whipping cream/sweetened condensed milk method, is easy to make and the possible flavor combinations are infinitely delicious.

Ingredients

1 14-ounce or 414ml can regular unsweetened coconut milk
1 14-ounce 414ml can regular unsweetened coconut cream
2 teaspoons unflavored, powdered agar-agar
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1 cup or 120g powdered coconut cream
3/4 cup or 380g palm sugar
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 2/3 cups or 190ml milk

Optional for topping: sweetened coconut flakes

Method
Half fill a large bowl with ice and water and set aside. Put all of the ingredients into a deep pot.  Whisk to begin combining and set the pan on the stove over a medium-high heat.



Bring to a gentle boil and continue whisking occasionally until the sugar, powdered cream and agar-agar are dissolved.


Remove from the heat and nestle the saucepan in the ice water bath.

Keep whisking occasionally until it’s cool. Once cooled completely, transfer the mixture to an airtight container and put in the refrigerator until completely chilled and softly set.

Pour the base into an ice cream maker and freeze according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Mine’s the old-fashioned kind that requires ice and rock salt and churns with a big paddle.



Complete churning and transfer to a freezer-safe container.

The big paddle! 

Top with some coconut flakes if your intended eaters don’t mind bits in their ice cream. (Or even if some do. They don’t need to eat the top scoops!) Freeze until firm, at least four hours. I tell you, we could have eaten it right then, like soft serve. Divine!

Enjoy!



In closing, I’d like to share with the final words from Lindsay’s introduction in Scoop Adventures, with which I wholeheartedly concur:

Love people. Make them ice cream.



Check out all the other delicious ice cream recipes you are going to LOVE:


*Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links to the book, Scoop Adventures. If you buy after clicking on my link, I make some small change from the sale and you are still charged the normal price. Win-win! I received a free copy of this book for review purposes, with no other personal compensation. All opinions are entirely my own.



Crusty Caprese Loaf for #TwelveLoaves

All the gorgeousness of my favorite summer salad, baked into a lovely crusty loaf, with basil proofed in the dough, mozzarella tucked inside and, finally, a smattering of colorful little tomatoes roasting on top. 

It’s summertime and that means plentiful, flavorful tomatoes and long and leggy overgrown basil. Which makes this the perfect season for making Caprese salad. And crusty Caprese bread. This month Twelve Loaves is celebrating summer fun! We’ve got nine great recipes for you and hope you will be inspired to turn that stove or oven on, despite the heat.

What’s your favorite taste of summer? Aside from the cherries and homegrown tomatoes, mine has got to be fresh purple hull peas, which are really a type of bean. They are hard to come by most of the year but my farmers’ market in Houston has them during the summer and they are divine. A fresh bean is NOTHING like its dried cousin. If you’ve never tried them, start looking for them now. Well, right after you bake some bread, okay?

Ingredients
1/4 oz or 7g active dry yeast
1 1/2 cups or 355ml tepid water
1 teaspoon sugar
12 oz or 2 3/4 cups or 345g flour plus extra for kneading
3 oz or 3/4 cup or 85g wholemeal flour
1 teaspoon salt
11 cherry/grape tomatoes, approximate weight  4 1/4 oz or 120g
7 oz or 200g mozzarella
2g or about 10 medium-sized leaves fresh basil plus more for garnish, if desired
Olive oil

Method
Put 1/4 cup or about 30g of flour into your large mixing bowl with the sugar and yeast. Add the tepid water and stir well. Allow to proof for 10 minutes. If the yeast gets foamy, it’s all good.

Meanwhile roll your basil leaves up really tightly and slice thinly. Fancy chefs call this chiffonade and you can too.

When the yeast mixture is ready, add in the basil and stir.



Add in the rest of the flours and the salt.  Mix until well combined and you have a soft dough.

If you are using a stand mixer, change to the bread hook and knead. You may have to add a little more flour. Otherwise, remove from the mixer and knead by hand until smooth and stretchy.

Form into a nice round ball. Drizzle a little olive oil in your bowl and roll the ball around until coated with oil.



Cover the bowl and put in a warm place for a couple of hours. You can continue the process at this point or you can let it rest overnight in the refrigerator for added flavor.



If you put the dough in the refrigerator overnight (like I did) remove it and allow it to come to room temperature before proceeding.

Meanwhile you can cut your mozzarella into thick slices.



Punch down the dough and form it into a nice circle again. Put it in a greased pan.

Use a sharp knife to cut deep slits in the dough and tuck a slice of mozzarella into each.



Pierce a hole with that same sharp knife in each small tomato and push them into the dough.



Cover with a mixing bowl and put in a warm place to rise for about an hour. Set your timer for 45 minutes and preheat your oven to 375°F or 190°C when it rings.

Bake the loaf, uncovered, in your preheated oven for about 25-30 minutes or when the internal temperature of the loaf reaches 180°F or 82°C.

If you want a crusty loaf, turn the oven off and leave the bread in it for 10 more minutes. Otherwise, remove from the oven and allow to cool.


Remove from the loaf from the pan and cool completely on a rack. If you can wait that long to slice it.


Enjoy!



Check out all the beautiful summer breads we’ve been making for you!


  • Blueberry and Japanese Yuzu Citrus Muffins from Kim at NinjaBaking.com
  • Citrus Pecan Quick Bread from Renee at Magnolia Days
  • Courgette, Feta, Honey and Sesame Seeds Pull-apart Bread from Luisa at Rise of the Sourdough Preacher
  • Crusty Caprese Loaf from Stacy at Food Lust People Love
  • Fruit and Veggie Quick Bread from Felice at All That’s Left Are the Crumbs
  • Gluten Free Berry Bread from Sherron at Simply Gourmet
  • Grilled Naan Bread from ReneĆ© at Kudos Kitchen by ReneĆ©
  • Iron Skillet Pizza by Karen from Karen’s Kitchen Stories
  • Upside Down Banana Bread from Holly at A Baker's House 


  • Would you like to join us this month? Choose a recipe featuring the flavors of summer! Whatever you bake (yeasted, quick bread, crackers, muffins, grissini, braids, flatbreads, etc.) have fun and let's have a delicious month of seasonal bread. Let's get baking!

    If you’d like to add your recipe to the collection with the Linky Tool this month, here’s what you need to do!

    1. When you post your Twelve Loaves bread on your blog, make sure that you mention the Twelve Loaves challenge in your blog post; this helps us to get more members as well as share everyone's posts. Please make sure that your bread is inspired by the theme!

    2. Please link your post to the linky tool at the bottom of my blog. It must be a bread baked to this month’s Twelve Loaves theme – Summer Fun.

    3. Have your Twelve Loaves bread that you baked this July 2014, posted on your blog by July 31, 2014.

    #TwelveLoaves is a monthly bread baking party created by Lora from Cake Duchess.