Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Pink Peppermint Ice Cream

Tis the Season for Candy Canes, Mint Truffles, peppermint cocoa, and all things Red, White and Minty! I decided some peppermint ice cream needed to join the party. So, without further adieu, I give you Peppermint Ice Cream.

The Deets
2 Cups Half & Half (or milk)
2 Cups Heavy Cream (hey! it's Christmas no skimping on the good stuff)
6 Egg Yokes
1 1/2 Cups of Sugar
1 1/2 tsp Pure Vanilla Extract
1 tsp Pure Peppermint Extract
1/2 Cup crushed Candy Cane or Starmints
Pink or Red food coloring - optional

The How To
In a medium sauce pan heat half & half and cream over medium low
In a separate bowl or in the mixer whisk egg yokes and sugar until they are a fluffy, smooth creamy yellow
Once smooth, slowly add cream mixture 1/4 cup at a time (this tempers the eggs and keeps them from scrambling)
Continue mixing/whisking on low/slow as you add the cream mixture
Once the egg and cream mixtures have been combined, Return to heat
Add Vanilla and Peppermint Extracts
Add food coloring and mix well
Bring mixture to 170 degrees.
Once you've hit the magic safe 170 degrees, remove from heat and refrigerate for 4-6 hours (I usually leave mine over night)

Prepare in Ice Cream machine according to your machine's "cooking" time - mine takes about 20 minutes.
When the ice cream is almost finished add your crushed candy canes
Place in an air tight container for 2-3 hours to firm up.
Scoop & Enjoy!

Saturday, October 06, 2012

Cake Boss I am Not...Cake Decorating Part 2: Woodland Chocolate Cake

Adventures in Cake Decorating Take 2! My second attempt at a fondant cake, just so happened to be for my friend Jen, who was the recipient of my Rainbow Brite 30th Birthday Cake. I didn't even realize it until I was elbow deep in fondant again. This Cake's occasion was a woodland themed baby shower to celebrate the upcoming arrival of Jen's much anticipated little guy. The shower, which a few of us put together was adorable, my creative friend behind A Cherry on Top, is a decorating genius, so the cake really had to step it up! So without further adieu, I give you Cake, well cake you can have in a few hours after you follow the instructions below. 

  • The Cake Deets
  • 1 1/2 Cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 Cup unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder
  • 1 1/2 Cups granulated sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp Salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • 3/4 Cup warm water
  • 3/4 Cup low-fat buttermilk
  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp pure almond extract
  • *Note* to make the cake shown double the recipe.

  • The Cake How To
  • Preheat Oven to 350 degrees. Sift flour, cocoa, and sugar into a bowl, add other ingredients and mix on medium high for 2 or 3 minutes. Divide into cake pans and bake 8" pans for 20
  • minutes, 6" for 25 minutes, and 4" for 20 minutes. 

  • The Frosting
  • 1 1/2 Cup Butter (3 sticks)
    2 tsp Pure Vanilla Extract
    1 tsp Pure Almond Extract
    6 Cups Sifted Confectioner's Sugar (Must be Sifted!)
    1/2 Cup Heavy Cream

    The Frosting How To
    Whip it all together on medium high for 3ish minutes. I cream the butter and 1/2 the sugar, then add the other ingredients and remaining sugar - but I don't think the order matters in this one.

  • The Fondant Deets
  • 1 Bag Powdered Sugar (2lbs or about 7 cups)
  • 1 Cup plain Shortening (don't use butter flavored or the fondant will be yellowish)
  • 1 Cup Light Corn Syrup
  • 1 tsp Pure Vanilla Extract
    1 tsp Pure Almond Extract
    1 tsp Salt

  • The Fondant How To
  • Mix until smooth and stiff. If the Fondant is sticky add more powdered sugar. To color separate into balls (depending on how many colors you want to make) Be sure to leave extra white - you will always need more white. To color use gel colors (liquid will not work) Coloring takes a long time, since this is only my second attempt at fondant (see the first attempt here), I don't have any tools or many colors - so I did it the old fashioned middle school art class way, mix, mix, mix, but with fondant you have to kneed, kneed, kneed. Once you get the desired colors roll it out on a powder sugar coated surface and decorate as desired. Remember Fondant will crack if it gets dry, so be sure to keep anything you aren't using within 15 minutes covered.

  • The Assembly   
  • Once the cakes are cooled, slice them in half and fill with a layer of mousse, then put them back together. 
  • Next crumb coat each section, for example, here I stacked the two 8" cakes then crumb coated them,  then coated the 6" and 4" cakes.

  • Note - do not stack until you cover with fondant!

  • Next, (I am not good at this step, so please seek better advice!) roll your fondant in a circle large enough to cover each layer.  Drape the fondant over each layer and smooth it out. Once each section is coated, stack them. - to support the cake I used 4 small wooden skewers (after cutting off the pointed end), and inserted them through the top straight down for support.
  • Finally, the fun begins with decorating! Cut your shapes and place them on the cake - I dip my finger in water and run it over the back of the piece to help it stick. I tried a variety of cookie cutters to make the shapes, but for the most part I free handed the designs with my trusty cutco paring knife (I really should get some decorating tools!) 

  • Yes, I really did make this big of a mess in my kitchen!
    Cute little Owl
    Mr. Fox 

    The Front of the Cake
    The Back of the Cake
    Since I am far from skilled at this, the decorating took me about 5 hours from crumb-coating to finished product (not including baking time). It was a lot of work, and is far from Cake Boss Quality, but I don't think it's quite a Cake Wreck.

    P.S. Sorry about the weird formatting - not sure what happened here.

    Tuesday, September 25, 2012

    Crab Catcher

    Crab Catcher La Jolla CA
    One word: Delicious
    Scallops with Lobster Risotto 

    Halibut with Potato Plantain Mash
    Amazing Food, Fantastic View, It's a Must Eat in La Jolla California

    Sunday, August 26, 2012

    Chocolate Chip Cookies!

    Cookie, Cookie, Cookie Please. Of all the Sweets in the World the humble Cookie is my favorite.  And King of the Cookie? The Classic Chocolate Chip of Course!
    The Chocolate Chip Cookie comes in many varieties and I personally have about 3 Classic CCC recipes that I love. Here is today's CCC Recipe based on the recipe in the Old 1960's Orange Betty Crocker Cookbook.

    The Deets
    1/2 Cup Margarine or Shortening
    3/4 Cup Butter (1 1/2 Sticks or 1 stick + 4 TBS)
    1 Cup Sugar
    1 Cup Brown Sugar
    2 Eggs
    2 tsp Pure Vanilla Extract
    1/2 tsp Almond Extract
    1 tsp baking Soda
    1 tsp baking Powder
    1 tsp Salt
    2 Cups Flour
    1 1/4 Cup Whole Wheat Flour
    1 Bag Chocolate Chips

    The How To
    Cream Butter, Margarine and Sugar
    Add Eggs and Mix until smooth
    Add Vanilla, Baking Soda, Baking Powder, Salt and 1 Cup of Flour, Mix until dry ingredients are incorporated, add remaining Cup of Flour, Mix until smooth.
    Add Whole Wheat Flour and mix until smooth
    Add Chocolate Chips and mix one last time
    Bake at 350 for 10-12 Minutes
    Pure Cookie Perfection!

    Saturday, August 11, 2012

    Blackberry Banana Smoothie

    It's a Very Berry Summer around here. Strawberries, Blueberries, Raspberries and Blackberries galore. Today's Smoothie recipe is brought to you by the Berry Black - Blackberry that is. A nice sweet, slightly tart tribute to this lovely berry - simple and sweet. Enough buttering up the berries - here are the deets on the Blackberry smoothie.

    The Deets
    2 Cups Blackberries1 Banana
    1 Cup Spinach
    1 Cup Plain Lowfat Yogurt
    1/4 Cup Milk
    1 TBS Creamed Honey

    The How To
    Add Milk and Yogurt to Blender
    Next Add Spinach
    Then Pile in the Berries, Banana & Honey
    Blend & Enjoy!

    Sunday, July 29, 2012

    Golden Beet Watermelon Carrot Juice

    Summer is a great time to experiment with juice recipes. Produce is abundant and inexpensive. This time of year, I am far more adventurous with my juice creations. Today's juice creation celebrates one of my favorite summer fruits - the watermelon! As we all know the watermelon is one sweet fruit, so to tone it down I added a grapefruit. The result was as delicious as it was healthy. Here are the deets to create this yummy juice blend.

    2 Cups Watermelon
    1 Cup Carrots
    1 Golden Beet
    1 Grapefruit

    Clean, Cut, Juice & Enjoy!

    Sunday, July 22, 2012

    Asparagus Couscous and MahiMahi

    Summer is in full swing, it's hot, too hot. I don't know about you, but when it's too hot, food is the last thing on my mind. But we've all got to eat, so I tend to chose lighter meals in the summer. There is plenty of fresh produce to go around, all you need now is a light protein and a quick and easy side. I'm a big fan of couscous, it's quick, easy and doesn't over heat the house during the summer thanks to its quick cooking time. Today's recipe is a simple Israeli Couscous with grilled MahiMahi.

    The Deets
    1 Box Israeli Couscous
    8-10 Stalks of Asparagus
    8-10 Mushrooms (I used baby portabellas)
    1 Shallot
    2 TBS Butter
    2 Cups Chicken Broth
    1/4 Cup Almonds finely chopped

    The How To
    Bring Chicken Broth to a Boil
    Add Couscous and lower heat to medium-low
    Cook approximately 15 minutes {until liquid is evaporated and texture is right}
    Cut Asparagus and Mushrooms into bite size pieces
    Finely Chop Shallot
    In a small pan melt Butter over Medium
    Add Shallot and cook until transparent
    Add Asparagus and Mushrooms cook until glossy
    Once Couscous is fully cooked pour it into pan with Asparagus, Mushrooms & Shallots
    Mix Well and add Almonds
    Add a lean protein - I made it with grilled MahiMahi
    Plate, Pray & Enjoy

    Saturday, April 21, 2012

    Noosa. Best Yogurt Ever.

    Awhile back my friend had posted a status update about being in love with Noosa. Since I knew she hadn't been to Australia in recent times (or ever for that matter), I inquired as to whether she was planning a trip or discussing something else entirely. She then told me about Noosa Australian Yoghurt, her latest obsession. Being the food-loving, attempt to be healthy girl, I am I had to try it. Let me say this: My name is Tiffany and I am a Noosa Addict.
    Seriously. The stuff is amazing! If you haven't tried Australian style yogurt - you should - but stick with Noosa. I had tried other "Aussie yogurt" and lets just say it didn't go well. Noosa however totally hits the spot for perfection in yogurt! The consistency is between traditional American style yogurt and Greek yogurt. It is sweetened with honey and is all natural. My personal favorites are raspberry, blueberry and strawberry-rhubarb. They are amazing!

    FYI this post is not in any way shape or form a sponsered post - it is purely an "I love this product & you should too" post!

    Saturday, April 07, 2012

    Acai Berry, Berry, Spinach Smoothie

    I Love a good Smoothie! I recently discovered these great pure Acai berry packets in the freezer section & they make smoothies even more healthy & delicious. Here are the deets on the Acai Berry Berry Smoothie:
    The Deets
    1 Acai Berry Packet
    1 Banana
    1 Cup Blueberries
    1 Cup Spinach
    1 Cup Plain Lowfat Yogurt
    1/4 Cup Milk
    1 TBS Creamed Honey
    The How To
    Add Milk and Yogurt to Blender
    Next Add Spinach
    Then Pile in the Berries, Banana & Honey
    Add Acai Berry Packet
    Blend & Enjoy!

    Sunday, March 25, 2012

    Zucchini Fritters

    Spring is in the air, fresh veggies are becoming more abundant (and will be even more abundant once my freshly planted garden takes off!) And in general I'm craving fresher meals packed full of as many veggies as I can get. This week I bought a bunch of beautiful baby zucchini. After stir-frying, sauteing, and grilling, I decided to try something different. For some reason I was craving my dad's delicious and utterly unhealthy I thought to myself, "self, you can do something healthier to hit the spot, right?" and I set off to make zucchini/potato fritters. 
    I added the potato because I wasn't sure how the zucchini would hold up both in the flavor and texture department. They turned out fantastic and I really enjoyed the little nuttiness the potato added, but they would be good straight zuch as well.  Here are the deets for a new spin on zucchini. 

    The Deets
    2 Zucchini Shredded
    1 Potato Shredded
    2 Eggs Beaten
    1/2 Cup Panko Breadcrumbs
    1 Shallot finely chopped
    Salt and Pepper to taste
    1 TBS Olive Oil

    The How To
    Add Beaten Eggs into Shredded Zucchini, Potato and Shallot
    Mix until coated well with egg
    Add Panko Breadcrumbs and Salt and Pepper
    Once fully incorporated form into small patties
    Add Olive Oil to a pan over medium heat
    Cook patties until brown {about 7 minutes}
    Flip-over and cook on other side for another 7 minutes or so
    Plate, Pray & Enjoy

    Wednesday, March 14, 2012

    White Chicken Lasagna

    Lasagna. When you hear the word Lasagna I bet you imagine red sauce, ground beef and lots of tomatoes. Am I right? Well time for a switch up in your normal {delicious but normal} Lasagna. This recipe is actually lighter than it sounds, you can forgo the heavy cream and use all milk to make it even lighter. Either way, it's delicious! 

    The Deets
    1/4 Cup Butter
    1 Shallot {or 1/2 small onion [I'm a shallot fan]} finely chopped
    1 Clove Garlic minced
    1/4 cup all-purpose flour
    1 teaspoon salt
    2 Cups Chicken Broth
    1 Cup Milk
    1/2 Cup Heavy Cream
    2 1/2 Cups Shredded Mozzarella Cheese
    1/2 Cup Grated Parmesan Cheese
         1 TBS Chopped Fresh Basil
    1 tsp Oregano
    1 Cup Ricotta Cheese
    2-3 Chicken Breasts, Cooked and Chopped/Cubed
    1 Package Frozen Chopped Spinach {Thawed, Rinsed and Drained}
    1 Jar Artichoke Hearts – Roughly Chopped
    1 Box Lasagna Noodles
         1/4 Cup Grated Parmesan Cheese for Topping

    The How To
    Melt the Butter in a saucepan over medium heat
    Cook the Shallot and Garlic in the butter until tender
    Stir in Flour and Salt, and simmer until bubbly
    Add Chicken Broth and Milk, 
    Gently bring to a boil, stirring constantly
    Once boiling add 1 1/2 Cups Mozzarella and 1/4 Cup Parmesan
    Reduce heat and stir until smooth
    Add Basil and Oregano mix until smooth and remove from heat.
    Divide Sauce in half
    Add Chicken, Spinach and Artichoke Hearts to 1/2 of Sauce Mixture
    Cook Lasagna Noodles according to package directions
    Time for Assembly! 
    In 9x13 baking dish add 1/2 of the plain sauce mixture 
    Add a layer of Lasagna Noodles 
    Top with  1/2 Ricotta, and 1/2  Chicken/Spinach/Artichoke Sauce 
    Add another layer of Lasagna Noodles 
    Top with remaining  Ricotta and Chicken/Spinach/Artichoke Sauce  
    Add 1/2 Cup of Mozzarella and 1/4 Cup Parmesan
    Add another layer of Lasagna Noodles
    Top with remaining plain sauce mixture and remaining Cheese

    Bake at 350 for 35 to 40 minutes
    Plate Pray & Enjoy!

    Sunday, March 11, 2012

    Veggi Up!

    Here's a Quick and Delicious way to add an extra serving of vegetables to your plate. Flash Seared Veggies!

    The Deets
    1 Cup Baby Carrots (I cut mine in quarters)
    1 Cup Snap Peas
    1 Zucchini (Cut in Half & quartered)
    1 Cup Mushrooms (Quartered)
    1 TBS Olive Oil (I used Pesto Infused Olive Oil)

    The How To
    Cut and Clean Veggies
    Heat Pan over Medium Heat
    Add Olive Oil
    Cook Mushrooms for about 4 minutes
    Add Zucchini cook for another 4-5 minutes
    I like to get a good sear on my Zucchini & Mushrooms
    Add Carrots & Snap Peas
    Cook for about 4 minutes

    Plate, Pray & Enjoy!

    Sunday, March 04, 2012

    Pineapple Grapefruit Juice

    This week we got a new grocery store - this makes me happy - very happy - almost as happy as if a new Nordstrom opened... This grocery store has a great concept it's a combo of your traditional supermarket mixed with your whole foods style natural market grocer. Each isle has your traditional grocery staple brands right next to a section of your more natural or specialized items. It's really a great concept. And since it was the grand opening they had some fantastic produce bargains! They had pineapples on sale for $2.00 so I have to grab one. Here is a great pineapple trick - when you cut up your pineapple resist the urge to toss the core - it's great for juicing! I used the core & only the core for juicing this time, usually I'll toss in a few pieces of the good stuff, but my experiment was successful!

    The Deets
    1 Pineapple Core
    2 Ruby Red Grapefruits
    The How To
    Cut Core into Quarters
    Peal and halve Grapefruit
    Juice Away!

    Saturday, February 25, 2012

    Cherry Chocolate Chip Cookies

    Today's treat is cherry chocolate chip cookies, which happen to be my dad's specialty. Of course this is my spin on his fantastic recipe, they are slightly different, dad's are all white flour, a little flatter and have far more cherries. Both versions are deliciously different from your average CCC. Here's my take on Dad's famous CCCCs.

    The Deets
    1/2 Cup Margarine or Shortening
    3/4 Cup Butter (1 1/2 Sticks)
    3/4 Cup Sugar
    1 Cup Brown Sugar
    2 Eggs
    2 tsp Pure Vanilla Extract
    2 tsp Maraschino Cherry Juice
    1 tsp baking Soda
    1 tsp baking Powder
    1 tsp Salt
    2 Cups Flour
    1 1/2 Cup Whole Wheat Flour
    1 Bag Chocolate Chips
    10-12 Maraschino Cherries Roughly Chopped
    The How To
    Cream Butter, Margarine, Sugar and Eggs
    Add Vanilla, Cherry Juice, Baking Soda, Baking Powder, Salt and 2 Cups of Flour, Mix until smooth
    Add Whole Wheat Flour and mix until smooth
    Add Chocolate Chips and Chopped Maraschino Cherries and Mix until well incorporated
    Roll into Balls for Baking
    Bake @ 365 for 8-10 Minutes

    Saturday, February 11, 2012

    Chocolate Covered Pretzels

    Looking for a sweet treat for your sweetheart? Chocolate Covered Pretzels coming up! I remember one year for my birthday my Aunt sent me a beautiful box of decorated chocolate covered pretzel rods. I felt so grown up and fancy. I still love them and love making different toppings for them, but now they make me feel like a kid! Funny how things change.

    Chocolate covered pretzels are simple to make, fun to decorate and great to gift! Here are the simple deets on chocolate covered bliss!
    The Deets
    1 bag of pretzel rods (for this I like classic rold gold) {Makes about 2 dozen pretzels}
    1 1/2 Cup Chocolate (Semi-Sweet)
    1TBS shortening or butter
    1 Cup White Chocolate or Almond Bark (if you use almond bark you don't need to add butter or shortening - if you use chocolate add a TBS)
    Toasted Coconut
    Any topping your heart desires
    Parchment paper for drying

    The How To
    First Regular Chocolate!
    In a BPA free plastic container mix Chocolate Chips and Shortening and melt in the microwave stirring every 30 - 45 seconds (should take about 2 1/2 - 3 minutes) {do not use glass - it gets too hot and can over cook the chocolate)
    Lay out parchment paper
    I've discovered that drizzling the chocolate over the pretzel works better than trying to dip.
    Put Pretzel rod standing up in melted chocolate with spoon or spatula pour chocolate over pretzel rod
    gently shake rod (like ringing a bell) back and forth to remove excess chocolate
    For topping you can do it one of two ways:
    1. Hold pretzel up and sprinkle toppings all around or
    2. make a line of topping on parchment paper, lay pretzel on it and then sprinkle on more toppings.

    Repeat with white chocolate.

    Let Pretzels dry and then enjoy!

    Happy Valentines Day!