Category Archives: Dessert

Triple Orange Granita

This granita will blast your taste buds with  seriously orange, seriously cold, seriously triple frickin’ naranja deliciousness. This Italian version of a shaved ice is probably the most refreshing thing you can put to your tongue on a hot summer day. If you have never witnessed the glory of granita, then you are in for a good time. If you are a fan of granita then this is going to set your granita standard way high…

Get yourself:

  • 2 Oranges, ~1C fresh juice
  • .5C Sugar
  • .5C Water
  • 1T Triple Sec
  • .25t Pure orange extract
  • Shallow glass Pyrex
  • Citrus juicer thingie

Printable Recipe

Juice them oranges

Not from concentrate…

mmmmm sugar…

Combine the sugar and water in a small sauce pot and heat over medium-high until sugar dissolves

Let cool

Add the triple sec and extract to the orange juice

Combine juice and sugar-water

Mix it up good

Add the mixture to a shallow Pyrex dish

Cover and toss this orange nectar of goodness into the freezer

After about an hour or so…

…the granita will begin to freeze around the perimeter…

…scrape the perimeter with a fork towards the center…

…let liquid settle, re-freeze…

…check again after ~30-40mins…

Repeat scrape method until entire mixture is frozen and has been scraped into a pile

~3hrs

Should be rough and jagged frozen scrapings of orange delight

Pile that ish high and enjoy every last cold refreshing bite

Re-freeze the remainder and just re-scrape before serving

Enjoy!

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French Vanilla Bean Ice Cream

So, there’s store-bought vanilla ice cream and there’s this rich, decadent, creamy, custard-y, fresh vanilla bean studded stuff that’s like creamed crack. You definitely won’t find this in a little cardboard container with a quirky name and a cartoon drawing. Sorry to have to do this to you, but this homemade French vanilla bean ice cream will set your ice cream “bar” wayyyyy high. Oh, and it’s French because it’s made with a custard base…which means it’s made with egg yolk…which means it’s better than just milk…which means you need to make this now.

3 Key components before starting:

  1. Ice Cream Maker (I use a Kitchen Aid Ice Cream Maker attachment for the Stand Mixer)
  2. Vanilla Beans
  3. Time and patience
Makes 1QT
Time: Mostly passive time while cream infuses, chills, then freezes. All in all about 20 mins is actually spent getting your hands dirty.

Get yourself:

  • 2 Vanilla beans
  • 1C Whole milk
  • 2C Heavy cream
  • 3/4C sugar
  • 6 Egg yolks (Large)

Printable Recipe

Grab a couple of vanilla beans and split down the length of the pod using a pairing knife

Scrape out the vanilla bean “caviar” using the dull side of the knife

Set caviar aside

Combine milk, sugar, vanilla caviar, and vanilla pods in a heavy bottomed pot

Heat over medium-low flame until wisps of steam begin to rise off of milk

DO NOT BOIL, gracias

Once milk warms, kill flame, cover, and set aside to steep for an hour

After one hour is up, build an ice water bath

Big bowl with ice and water – 2qt glass bowl inside big bowl – sieve on top

Grab your heavy cream

Pour heavy cream into glass bowl so it stays super cold

Go reheat your infused milk mixture in the pot

Same deal, just warm it over medium-low flame

While milk warms, combine egg yolks in bowl

Don’t forget about your milk…

…Temper Time…

Grab a ladle-full of the warmed milk…

Carefully add the warmed milk little by little to the egg yolks while constantly stirring

This is tempering, the goal is the incorporate the milk into the egg yolks without cooking the yolks

…Custard Time…

Add the tempered mixture back to pot and heat over medium flame while…

…CONSTANTLY STIRRING with a rubber spatula

The spatula is good at preventing the custard from sticking to the bottom of the pot

Stir for 10 mins

Stop whining, man up…it’s worth the effort

Once custard is thick enough to coat the spatula without running…

Pour the custard through the sieve

Press the custard through the sieve using spatula

Stir the mixture to combine

This is your ice cream in liquid form

Taste…

Pop the bean pods into the cream, cover, and chill overnight

Once your cream is thoroughly chilled, set up your ice cream maker

Pluck pods out of cream and pour into base of ice cream maker

Begin to process

After about 10-12 minutes it begins to freeze and grow

After ~25mins you’ll have soft serve ice cream…

Taste (eyes roll into back of head)

…one more step before you indulge…

Pour ice cream into a glass bowl and lay Saran wrap on top of the ice cream

Press down lightly to adhere the Saran wrap to the ice cream

Freeze for a few hours

Look at that scoop action!

Make yourself a big bowl and indulge, you deserve it

In mine and wifey’s honest opinion…

…it tastes a bit like creme brulee…

…just throwin’ that out there

Don’t toss those vanilla bean pods!

Rinse, dry, and stick into your sugar for amazing vanilla infused sugar

Bravo

(Post) Valentine’s Day

Valentine’s Day Objectives: RELAX and EAT.

…and so we did…all day.

We decided to kick things off with leftover cinnamon rolls from the Pioneer Woman (wifey froze half of the disturbingly delicious cinnamon roll dough from last time). Perfect.

And so the deliberate yet destructive eating began…

Our next venture was Oreo cookies…homemade, super chocolate-y, creamy, straight up milk dunkin’ OREO’s!…yea that’s right I made ’em and even colored the center…pause. Thanks to a little inspiration from Smitten Kitchen, I whipped up a big batch of V-day O’s, all pun intended…

The day turned to night…

We started dinner off with a lite, weight watchers friendly appetizer…

Swiss fondue with homemade bread

Take bread, dip repeatedly in warm, melty, gooey cheese. groan.

Repeat.

Note: Use a fondue pot if you have one. I battled it out with the cheese in this sauce pot for a good 20mins. You see, stainless steel pots heat too quickly and if the cheese gets too hot too fast it seizes up. I had to beat the seize outta my cheese. Here’s the recipe (click the pic to enlarge)…

Needless to say, dinner did not come immediately after. As a matter of fact, we both fell into a deep food coma and woke up an hour later. Of course I get blamed…

“Why’d you let me sleep that long?!”

“I didn’t let you, I was sleeping myself.”

“But, I thought you were cooking dinner?!”

“Are you seriously hungry after we just inhaled a pound of melted cheese and a loaf of bread?!”

“Well, I’m not starving…but we have to eat dinner.”

“We’ll eat later, in the meantime let’s drink.”

Drink of the night….

Chocolate Covered Cherry Martini

This seriously tastes like a chocolate covered cherry…got wasted

Get yourself: 2oz Chocolate vodka, 20z Black Cherry vodka, 2oz half and half, 2oz simple syrup, 6t Maraschino cherry juice + 4 cherries, 1T Ghiradelli Double Chocolate-Hot Cocoa mix, Chocolate syrup.

To make: Combine all your liquids into a shaker over ice and shake. Line rim of glass with chocolate syrup. Place cherries at bottom of glass. Pour drink in. Dust top of drink by putting cocoa powder in a sieve and tapping it. Sit down. If standing, grab hold of something stable such as a counter top or banister or such as…drink, enjoy, thank me later.

Okay, now that we’re feelin’ loose…let’s, uh, cook dinner?

Dinner

Sherry Baby Bella’s

Roasted Garlic and Parmesan (s)mashed Potatoes

Porterhouse for Two — Ruth’s Chris style

I wanted some classic sides to go with the 2.5lb hunk of beast I was serving so I thought sautéed mushrooms and mashed potatoes would be perfect. Then I thought, that’s boring.  So I tweaked them a little and now, lucky me, I can never go back to the classic way because it just pales in comparison.

Sherry Baby Bella’s

These mushrooms are bangin’!

Get yourself: 1 shallot, 5T butter, 2T extra virgin, 6 cloves roasted garlic mash, 2 packages of sliced baby bella’s, 1/4 cup dry sherry cooking wine, salt and cracked black pepper, 1T fresh chopped parsley

To make: In a skillet over medium flame heat up your 3T butter and 1T of oil. When butter foam subsides toss in your roasted garlic mash and stir to break up. Then add your shallots and cook for 5 mins until soft and starting to brown. Now toss in 1T of butter, let it melt, and then add the mushrooms. Toss to coat. Let mushrooms cook down a bit and get nice and soft. Now, raise the flame to high, add in your sherry wine and cook for a few mins scraping bottom of pan to deglaze. Reduce flame to medium and stir all together.Continue to cook mushrooms, they should be shrunken and slightly browned at this point. Add your last T of butter and olive oil. This will create a buttery, and velvety sauce for the mushrooms. Kill the flame. Toss in your parsley. Put the fork down.

Roasted Garlic and Parmesan (s)mashed Potatoes

This recipe yields a batch of (s)mashed potatoes like no other. There’s a hint of roasted garlic and Parmesan and the texture is silky smooth. Roughly mashing the potatoes leaves some chunks of potato and skin which gives the dish  contrasting textures.

Get yourself: 3lbs new baby red potatoes, 1 cup heavy cream, 2T butter, 6-8 cloves roasted garlic mash, 1T extra virgin, 3 handfuls of grated Parmesan, salt&cracked pepper.

First things first, cook your potatoes until fork tender. I like to throw mine in a huge Pyrex bowl, add 1/4 cup of water to the bowl, cover, and heat in microwave for 6-8 mins/lb. They will pierce easily with a fork. Dump any remaining water from the bowl and smash the potatoes.

Leave it chunky (it’ll break down when you stir later). In a large pot heat your butter and roasted garlic mash. When foam subsides on butter add the heavy cream, black pepper and Parmesan. Stir to make saucy. Toss in your potato mash and stir until the potatoes are somewhat creamy and take on a sheen.

I’m warning you may be tempted to eat half before it even gets to the plate!

Now, Ladies and Gentlemen, the moment you’ve all been waiting for…our headliner this evening….

weighing in @ 2.5lb and measuring 2″ thick…

Porterhouse (for 2)

Get yourself: a big slab of Porterhouse beef (I put in a special request at the local butcher), 2T butter, 1T fresh parsley, oven-safe serving platter, s&cracked pepper.

Can’t picture a 2.5lb porterhouse, see for yourself…

To make: All it takes to cook this is a quick sear ea. side over high heat and then it gets finished in the oven. First you will take the meat out at least 15mins before cooking so it gets to room temp. Preheat oven to 450F. Next, liberally salt and pepper the beef.  Heat a cast iron skillet grill pan until smoking hot. Sear the steak on one side for ~3mins then flip. Place 1T of butter on top of beef. Place skillet in middle of oven and check for doneness after 8-10mins. Once beef is done, put 1T butter on oven-safe platter and put under broiler for a few mins (watch that butter doesn’t burn). Take out and sprinkle with parsley.  Then place meat on platter and carve.

Make sure you have your stove exhaust on high bc this steak will hiss and smoke like crazy!

And there you have it…

be VERY careful, the plate is hot!

Caffelatte

Coffee, like food, is sensory. We first drink by seeing then by tasting. The Italians have done so for ages.  That’s why we have them to thank for the caffelatte or latte for short. Fresh whole milk, instead of being poured haphazardly into a mug of coffee, is heated, frothed, and dolloped atop a fresh cup of coffee or, for a macchiato, freshly brewed espresso is added to already heated and frothed milk.

I like to first add sugar and a sprinkle of cinnamon to the milk so the crystals are suspended in the froth. This way you get a taste of the sugar and/or cinnamon with every sip.

Either way,  drinking coffee at home will never be the same again.

You will need:

Fresh brewed coffee or espresso

Frothing tool such as: AeroLatte

Whole milk. I like organic, it’s a ripoff richer

Sugar and/or cinnamon

Add a little bit of milk to your mug

Heat in microwave for ~20secs

Milk should be warm NOT hot

Grab your frother

Add sugar and/or cinnamon to milk and froth until foam is halfway up mug

You can also directly brew espresso into the foam for a macchiato

In a separate mug, pour yourself a cup of coffee and leave room at the top

Gently dollop on top of coffee to fill to brim

Top off with a sprinkle of cinnamon and sugar

or while no one is watching a drizzle of caramel…

Enjoy!

You can also dollop on top of espresso…

Now that’s how coffee is drunk!

Caramel Nutella Banana Crunch

For all those suffering from the guilt of another new years resolution diet gone out the window…here’s a nice guiltless snack…so long as you don’t eat 3…ahhh screw it who’s watching?!

The crunch comes from none-other than the infamous Quaker caramel rice cake.

Take that caramel cake and slather some Nutella on top.

Now, layer that bad boy with thin slices of ripe banana goodness!

Crunch, “oh damn this is good, why didn’t I think of this!” crunch.

Seriously, it’s off the hook.

Jose Andres aint got nothin’ on me!

Sesame Cookies

Most people crave chocolate chip cookies at night, me, I got a hankering for friggin’ sesame cookies! The best part, I was fully prepared to make them–I mean, what person has at least 1 cup of sesame seeds on hand at any given time?!? If you never had these, they’re bangin’, eat ’em alone, after dinner with espresso, for breakfast, or, my fave–dunk ’em in coffee! Only three weeks into the new year and already my resolutions are out the window. Oh well, rules are made to be broken and food, well, it’s made to be eaten…and when it’s as good as this, it’s a sin not to indulge.

The cookies turned out great.  Firm,  sweet, buttery, nutty, and a little soft in the center. Also, these are great if you add a little citrus zest. I attempted to zest some clementines, but it didn’t work out to well. If you have an orange on hand zest about 1T and toss it into the cookie dough.

–Recipe Pictorial–

Not the right measuring cup, but I thought this pic came out dope.

Toss your sugars and butter into a mixer fitted with a whisk

Cream

Combine flour, salt, and baking powder-NOT SODA

I’ve made this mistake before…not cool

Mix eggs and vanilla together

Combine…

…until thick and stiff

You would addthe zest @ this pt.

Start to add flour a little at a time

Mixture will form a dough

Plop it out onto a floured surface and fold over onto itself a few times to shape into a ball

You can refrigerate @ this point to firm up

Or, if you’re impatient like me start shaping cookies now

Put sesame seeds into a shallow bowl

Fill a wide mouth mug up with milk

You’re going to break off 1T size balls and shape into little loaves

Dip in milk then roll in sesame seeds

Line on wax paper spaced about 1″

Bake @ 375F for 20-25mins. Bake longer for crispier cookies

Prepare to indulge.

–Ingredients–

3C AP flour

2 sticks of butter softened

3/4C Vanilla or plain sugar

1/4 C Brown sugar

1 1/4t Vanilla extract

3 Eggs beaten

1/4t Kosher salt

2 1/2t Baking powder

1C Milk

1C Sesame seeds

Wax paper to line cookie trays

1T Orange zest (optional)

Makes about 2 Dz