Your Quiche is on my List-Artichoke-Parmesan Quiche

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Artichoke-Parmesan Quiche, Adapted from Cook This not That

Alright, I’ve got two confessions to make: 1. This dish is supposed to be made with feta, not parmesan, but my I feta had was left over from a recipe from a week ago, and it was smelling a little funky and was squishier than it should have been, but as I was already halfway through prepping the recipe, I subbed in parmesan. Turns out, it’s still delicious, and I might even like it better. 2. I am completely terrified of pie crust, it always ends up tearing, or sticking to your rolling pin, or your work surface, and coming out too thick or thin in places… That said, the recipe I used called for a frozen pie crust, but I’m a total scratch-snob, so as painful as it is for me, I make my own pie crust.

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Crust in progress.

Also, instead of just water, I put a little bit of vodka in my pie crust. The vodka bakes out, and makes your crust super flaky… And it also keeps me from eating too much raw pie crust. (Butter and flour… Nom nom nom.)

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Not beautiful, but delicious.

So, I had a bit of trouble finding canned artichoke here in Germany. I usually prefer it in brine, because the stuff packed in oil has to be rinsed SUPER thoroughly. But it can be done. This is an awesome breakfast recipe, that I frequently make for dinner.

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Quiche Innards

Pie crust:
-1 1/4 cup all-purpose (or if you’re in Germany 405 is excellent for pastries because it has a little less gluten.) plus extra for rolling
-One stick of unsalted butter, cut into half-inch cubes
-1/2 tsp salt
-2 TBS water
-2 TBS vodka

Directions:
-Flour your work surface, and the top of your dough
-Roll it out to fit your pie pan
-Oil your pie pan, and line it with your crust
-Cut away the extra dough

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YUM.

Quiche Ingredients:
-3 large eggs
-1 cup 2% milk (I used 1.5%, worked fine.)
-About a half cup of artichoke hearts, chopped roughly, DRAINED (like, push them down in the strainer, you want them as dry as possible. If you’re using them packed in oil instead of brine, rinse them like craaaaaazy.)
-1/4 cup feta, or parmesan, or you know, whatever. It’s hard to go too far wrong with cheese.
-2 tbs chopped sundried tomatoes (if they are packed in oil RINSE, if not packed in oil, soak them in hot water for 10 minutes to soften before use, and DRAIN. And these should be chopped up pretty fine, or the texture will throw off your quiche.)
-2 links of cooked turkey or chicken sausage
-Salt and pepper to taste
-1 frozen pie crust if not using the above or your own recipe for crust.

Directions:
-Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F
-Spread the sausage, cheese, artichoke, and tomato evenly inside the pie crust
-Beat eggs and milk until frothy
-Pour into the pie crust
-Bake for 45 minutes, or until the eggs are completely set. (Use a toothpick, or I just use the wiggle the pan test…)
-Cool for 5 minutes before slicing and serving
Serves 4-6

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Guten Appetit!

The Apfel of my eye-Apfel Pfannkuche

When I moved out of my parents’ house, my mom gave me all her cookbooks. ALL of them. My mom never really cooks. And when my dad cooks, 99% of the time it’s some kind of stir-fry he concocted from whatever happens to be in the house. Recipes come out for an occasional loaf of bread, or dessert for a special occasion, but otherwise, cookbooks are clutter.

Epic Veg

Epic Veg

One of my favorite cookbooks I acquired by this means, is a beauty straight out of the 70′s, the Vegetarian Epicure. (Sometimes I have to edit the recipes a bit though, because the 70′s were all about the heavy cream and butter.)

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Ingredients

When I discovered that we were destined for Deutchland, I scanned through my mountain of cookbooks trying to decide if I could get rid of any of them to lighten our packing load… I concluded that I couldn’t bear to part with any of them, because I’m a bit of a hoarder on that count… But I did find a recipe for a German Apple Pancake in my beloved Vegetarian Epicure. So because we were headed to Germany, I got excited and made it immediately, after a quick trip to the grocery store for some apples.

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Caramelizing the apples and cinnamon sugar

The major problem is, making this recipe in Germany, my oven is much to small for my 13-inch skillet, so I had to bake the pancakes in my half-sheet jelly-roll -type pans. It was much more complicated and way more difficult. I totally recommend the oven-safe skillet approach. That said, the apples with caramelized sugar and cinnamon are lovely, and I add a couple fried eggs to the mix just for some protein.

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Pfannkuche!

Pancake:
-3 large eggs
-3/4 cup milk
-3/4 cup white flour
-1/2 tsp salt
-1 1/2 TBS unsalted butter (for buttering the pan)

Filling:
-1 lb. tart, fresh apples, peeled and chopped into smallish pieces
-1/4 cup butter (I use half that…)
-1/4 cup sugar (once again, half)
-2 tsp powdered cinamon

Directions:
-Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F.
-Beat together milk, flour, eggs, and salt until very smooth.
-In a heavy 12 inch(ish) skillet, melt the 1 1/2 TBS butter. As soon as it is “quite hot” pour in the batter, and put the skillet in the oven.
-Watch for bubbles, and pop them with a fork.
-After 15 minutes, lower the oven temperature to 350 degrees F, and bake for another 10 minutes.
-While the pancake is baking, prepare the apple filling. Sautee apples lightly in butter and sugar. Add cinnamon. Apples should be just tender, 8-10 minutes over medium heat.

Serves two. Excellent for breakfast, or a light dinner or dessert.

Care Package Cookie Marathon-8 hours, 5 recipes, 14 dozen cookies.

The cookie foothills.

So, I’m a little crazy. This is not a secret. I am especially a little crazy when it comes to going on monumental one-day baking sprees. What is not so widely known is that, I am the queen of care packages. Only a select group of lucky soldiers are aware of this fact. For my care packages, because it takes a while for them to be delivered, and I want everything to be as fresh as humanly possibly. I go balls out and bake everything in one day, then package it and mail it. And then I take a nap.

From here on out, this blog entry is going to be just recipes and photos, because I have five recipes to share!

Peanut Butter Stuffed Chocolate Cookies

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Peanut butter stuffed chocolate cookies, adapted from group recipes

-1 1/2 c. flour
-1/2 c. Dutch cocoa powder (I’ve made them before with non-dutch cocoa powder, and I think I actually prefer them that way.)
-1/2 tsp. baking soda
-1/2 c. butter, softened
-1/2 c. granulated sugar
-1/2 C. packed brown sugar
-1/4 c. peanut butter
-1 egg
-1 Tbls. milk
-1 tsp. vanilla (I used a vanilla bean.. Apparently there is no such thing as vanilla extract in Germany!)
peanut butter Filling
-3/4 c. sifted confectioners’ sugar
-1/2 c. peanut butter

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Always super popular.

(I would like to note, these usually end up prettier. I think my dough was kind of dry because I used a healthy peanut butter without lots of added oil, and these were the last cookies I made on this particular day, so I was completely exhausted.)

-Preheat oven to 350
-Sift together the flour, cocoa powder and baking soda in a medium bowl.
-In a large bowl, beat together butter, 1/2 c. granulated sugar, brown sugar and 1/4 c. peanut butter until well combined. Add egg, milk and vanilla. Beat well. Gently mix in the flour mixture 1/3 at a time until incorporated. Form the dough into rounded 1TBS balls.
For the filling:
-Combine confectioners’ sugar and 1/2 c. peanut butter in a mixing bowl and beat until smooth. –Form into slightly less than 1 tsp balls.
-Gently flatten the chocolate balls. Place peanut butter ball in center of chocolate dough and carefully fold chocolate dough around the peanut butter filling. Roll back into a ball. (These WILL crack and they WILL frustrate the hell out of you. Take a deep breath, and let it go, they will still be delicious.)
-Place balls on a parchment lined baking sheet about 2 inches a part.
-Using a flat – bottomed glass, lightly flatten the chocolate dough balls.
-Bake cookies for 8 minutes, until the surface begins to slightly crack. Let cool for 1 minute on the sheet. Transfer to wire racks and cool completely. Share and enjoy instant popularity.

Glazed Lemon Sables

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Glazed Lemon Sable Cookies, adapted from realsimple.com

-3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
-3/4 cup granulated sugar
-2 large egg yolks
-3 tablespoons(ish) lemon zest
-1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
-2 cups all-purpose flour (If you happen to be in Germany, the 405 weizen mehl is specifically pastry flour, it has less gluten, and works fabulously for cookies and pie crusts.)

-1 cup confectioners’ sugar
-2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice, plus more if necessary
-1 teaspoon grated lemon zest

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Rolled out.

-With an electric mixer, beat the butter and granulated sugar until fluffy. Add the egg yolks, vanilla, and salt and beat to combine. Gradually add the flour, mixing until just incorporated.
-Divide the dough in quarters and shape into 1 1/4-inch-diameter logs. Wrap in wax paper and refrigerate until firm, about 30 minutes.
-Heat oven to 350° F. Slice the logs into 3/8-inch-thick pieces and space them 1 1/2 inches apart on parchment-lined baking sheets. Bake until lightly golden, 16 to 20 minutes. Let cool on the baking sheets for 5 minutes, then transfer to cooling racks to cool completely.
-In a small bowl, whisk together the confectioners’ sugar, lemon juice, and zest until it forms a thick but pourable glaze (add more lemon juice if necessary). Dip the top of each cookie into the glaze and let set, about 15 minutes.

Pecan Sandies

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Pecan Sandies- Adapted from allrecipes.com

-1/2 cup butter, softened
-1/2 cup canola oil
-1/2 cup white sugar
-1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar, sifted
-1 egg
-1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract(1/2 vanilla bean for the extract-ly challanged)
-2 cups all-purpose flour
-1/2 teaspoon baking soda
-1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
-1/2 teaspoon salt
-1 cup chopped pecans

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Sandy ingredients

-Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C).
-In a large bowl, cream together the margarine, canola oil, 1 cup white sugar and confectioners’ sugar until smooth. Beat in the eggs one at a time, then stir in the vanilla.
-Combine the flour, baking soda, cream of tartar and salt; stir into the creamed mixture.
-Fold in the pecans.
-Roll dough into 1TBS balls. Place the cookies 2 inches apart onto ungreased cookie sheets.
-Bake for 10 to 12 minutes in the preheated oven, or until the edges are golden. Remove from cookie sheets to cool on wire racks.

Snickerdoodles

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Snickerdoodles, adapted from realsimple.com

-3 cups all-purpose flour, spooned and leveled
-1 teaspoon baking soda
-2 teaspoons cream of tartar
-1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
-1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
-1/2 cup light brown sugar
-1 1/4 cups granulated sugar (Seperated 1c and 1/4c)
-2 large eggs
-2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
-2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

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Snickerdoodle ingredients

-Heat oven to 375° F. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, cream of tartar, and salt.
-With an electric mixer, beat the butter, brown sugar, and 1 cup of the granulated sugar on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, 2 to 3 minutes. Beat in the eggs and vanilla. Reduce speed to low and gradually add the flour mixture, mixing just until incorporated.
-In a shallow bowl, combine the cinnamon and the remaining ¼ cup of granulated sugar. Form the dough into balls (each equal to 1 level tablespoon). Roll the balls in the cinnamon sugar mixture and place on parchment-lined baking sheets, spacing them 2 inches apart.
-Bake until the edges are golden, 12 to 14 minutes. Cool slightly on the baking sheets, then transfer to wire racks to cool completely.

Gingersnaps

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Gingersnaps, adapted from a postcard someone sent me

-1 cup butter, softened
-1 egg
-1 egg white
-1/4 cup molasses
-1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
-3 cups flour
-1 TBS baking soda
-1/2 tsp salt
-1 TBS ground ginger
-1/2 TBS ground cinnamon

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Gingersnap ingredients

-In a large bowl cream butter and sugar, beat in eggs and molasses and set aside.
-In another bowl, sift together flour, baking soda, salt, ginger and cinnamon.
-Gradually add flour mixture to the butter mixture until it is well blended.
-Divide dough into 2 pieces and shape each piece into an 8 to 10 inch roll.
-Wrap well in plastic wrap and place in refrigerator until firm. (30 min)
-Preheat oven to 350 F
-Slice rolls into 1/4 inch slices.
-Place slices on parchement lined baking sheets and bake for 8 to 10 minutes.

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14 dozen morale boosters. Boom.

Czech Yourself before you Wreck Yourself- The Prague Blog

The Old Town Center Clock

Before I say anything else, let me start with this: AVOID DRIVING IN THE CITY AT ALL COSTS!

a) The roads are a thousand years old and were never designed for cars.
b) The traffic is INSANE.
c) Signs marking street names are placed in such a way as to make them invisible from the road and/or are not actually there at all…
d) Parking is redonkulously expensive. If your hotel’s website says they have parking, what that means is they have a place you can park you car for a nominal fee of €40 a day.
e) There are police everywhere, and your international driver’s license doesn’t magically make you familiar with the local street signs. (Same goes for stepping off a plane and renting a car. They will rent any asshole a car.) If you’re lucky, you will only make a wrong turn and get yourself a ticket.

If you’re smart, you will hitchhike, bus, or yellow cab it. Ok, so the cabs aren’t yellow for the most part, but they do have a fleet of beige Mercedes cabs which are quite nice. Either park outside the city and take a cab in, or just take some kind of public transportation from home.

St. Charles Bridge

St. Charles Bridge

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St. Charles Bridge other side.

I’m a super Nerdy McNerdpants… Shocking. So the very first thing we did upon arriving in the city was the MindMaze. (http://www.mindmaze.cz/en/home-en) I do not have any pictures because I didn’t think they would want me giving their secrets away, but it was SO COOL. It’s a live action puzzle solving game. You get locked in a room, which is supposed to be the lab of an alchemist, and you have to solve a series of puzzles to find keys, combinations, random other things in order to get to the philosopher’s stone, which will allow you to get out of the room. You have an hour to get it, you work as a team, and it’s incredibly hard. 30% of teams make it out, no one ever without a hint… And teams of 2 almost never make it out. We didn’t make it out and it totally bruised my ego a bit, but there you have it. You must make a reservation, and the building is hard to find and NOT clearly marked. If you are taking a cab, make sure you have the WHOLE address to show the cab driver. Most of the cab drivers, in our experience, do not speak English or German, but do speak some Russian, HOWEVER, it is somewhat offensive to speak Russian with them for historical reasons.

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Your humble narrator, hamming it up for a photo op near the bridge

By the time our hour at MindMaze was up, after a whole day or driving and a frustrating 2 hours (seriously) of unsuccessfully navigating the city, we were starving. We asked for a restaurant recommendation, and the MindMaze girl asked if we like Indian food. Hah. I’m pretty sure if I visited India (which I would love to do) I would gorge myself until my stomach exploded. Likewise for my husband. So we ate here http://www.tikka.cz/, waitstaff was friendly, food was delicious.

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A beautiful-Ugly puppet outside a marionette shop

On our way back to our hotel, we discovered the Sex Machines Museum (http://www.sexmachinesmuseum.com/). Luckily for me, my husband had a liter of strong, Czech beer in him, so I was able to coerce him into visiting it with me. No photos, again, for obvious reasons. It was very entertaining. They have a small theater where they play a couple of Spanish porn flicks from the 1920′s, and a vast variety of toys, garments, and devices. We left equally amused and terrified, then found our way to our hotel and succumbed to exhaustion.

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Havel’s Market

The next morning, our first stop was Havel’s Market, which had excellent reviews on Trip Advisor, and I LOVE markets. It was an enormous disappointment. Every stall has pretty much exactly the same stuff, all of it touristy souvenirs. But they did have these creepy little bastards:

In my state of mild melancholy at the market failure, we wandered over to the Jewish section of town to see the Synagogue and Old Jewish cemetery. But it was Saturday, so DUH, it was all closed. I should have realized that. Le sigh. But the Synagogue was beautiful from the outside.

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The Synagogue

So we wandered some more, and discovered the Medieval Torture Museum near the St. Charles bridge. Very educational, and disturbing. Worth a visit. My husband is still chuckling to himself because there was a very spiky chair on display… And somebody left a note in the guest book saying , “The chair was comfortable.” So my husband wrote nearby, “Worst. Ikea. Ever.”

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Worst. Ikea. Ever.

Crossed the bridge and found our way to Středověká krčma (which no English-speaker will ever be able to pronounce without a few hours of lessons) for lunch. It was AWESOME. Very kitschy, and the interior is clearly artificially aged, but the place has actually been open as a tavern since 1375. They do a medieval show in the evenings, but lunch was quiet, and nice. The beer was fantastic. Maybe the best beer we’ve ever had. True story. http://www.krcmabrabant.cz/index_en.php

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Středověká krčma

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Středověká krčma

Full of beer and fresh river trout, we got in a cab looking for a store for my husband to shop for his collection… Which ended up being closed… And we completely by accident found our way into a festival dedicated to the celebration of meat. Welcome to Eastern Europe. Loads of fun. There was a band playing American songs, lots of food carts, archery, and even a mobile butcher. We got some fresh pasta from these guys http://www.cerstvapasta.cz/ and it was AMAZEBALLS.

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MEAT.

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Mobile butcher.

After a nap back at the hotel, we got dinner at a very forgettable Czech restaurant. I don’t even remember the name. The service was lousy, the non-smoking section was still terribly polluted, and they charged us for the bread they brought out to the table, which they did not ask us if we wanted, and we did not touch. The food was actually quite good, but not worth it.

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Prague Underground

Whatever else you decide to do, you must take an underground tour of Prague. Because of the flooding there, the older buildings are actually underneath the street level buildings. It was excellent, and we learned a lot of history.

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Subway

We caught the metro the next morning, to an enormous flea market on the outskirts of town. The metro was surprisingly easy to figure out for non-Czech speakers. Clean, friendly, and SO CHEAP. The flea market was fun. Lots of random, crazy stuff. Kind of in an industrial wasteland. A way more authentic Eastern European experience than Havel’s market. Also of note: the had an entire adult toy stall, because you can’t beat flea market prices on sex toys… ::Shudders::

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Flea Market

Then we visited the Alchemy Museum, which was small, but pretty. Interesting, but VERY heavy on reading and no real exhibits. Ghosts and Legends Museum was next, and much the same but with less too look at. http://www.muzeumpovesti.cz/en/muzeum-alchymystu-a-kouzelniku-stare-prahy/about-museum/  http://www.muzeumpovesti.cz/en/muzeum-strasidel-a-legend/about-museum/

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Venice of Prague boat tour

At this point, our feet were pretty much ready to stage a revolt, so we hopped on a boat tour to sit for a while. It was neat to see the city from a different angle, and they give you a different segment of the Prague history.

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St. Charles bridge from the water

On our way out to find dinner, we ended up in a wax museum. They had a little section on ancient Prague, which was very cool. The dude really enjoyed the museum because it wasn’t all pop culture icons, there were a lot of historical figures too.

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Einstein experimenting with Swing Theory

For our last evening in Prague, we had dinner at restaurant that serves you in their underground bit, which is 805 years old and used to be a Templar Monastery. They don’t actually play that up very much though. The food and service were both excellent. I got a traditional Czech dish, and the dude got Italian. http://www.utemplaru.cz/

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U Templaru

Overall, our experience was phenomenal. We left for home the next morning with our wallets a bit lighter, and our feet aching, but with a whole new understanding of Prague. The city is spectacularly beautiful, with a rich and extensive history. Just, park your car somewhere else.

Roasted Tomato and Feta Tart with a Wild Rice Crust (Sorry, I can’t think of a clever pun title for that.)

My biggest gripe so far about living in Germany is that they don’t believe in closets. None. No coat closet, no bedroom closets, no medicine cabinets. I had been warned when we left the US that there would not be closets, and I thought I had mentally prepared myself. Hah. As soon as our household goods arrived and I started to unpack, I broke down in tears of frustration because there is NO WHERE to put stuff. My second biggest gripe is that my oven is minuscule. It’s maybe a foot cubed. (I’m sure that’s huge in centimeters.)

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Outside of a ba-thousand trips to Ikea for storage furniture… And wood glue to repair the stuff we got second hand… I can’t complain too much. That’s a lie, the price of gas is a little shocking too.

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Cruelty to farm animals is significantly less in Germany, but to get the stuff that is guaranteed cruelty-free is expensive. While I clearly have vegetarian tendencies anyway, you may see me become even more meatlessly-inclined. 

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I found a lovely bunch of roma tomatoes on the vine at the grocery store, and I had purchased a huge container of wild rice a while back that I need to use up; so I decided to make this:

Roasted Tomato and Feta Tart with a Wild Rice Crust

 

Rice crust (Ingredients)
-1 Cup UNCOOKED  (I made that mistake.) Wild rice (200g)
-1/2 Cup grated cheddar cheese (60g)
-1 egg, beaten

 

Roasted tomato and feta filling (ingredients)
-6 Roma tomatoes, halved 
-6 cloves of garlic, peeled
-2 TBS olive oil
-2 oz goat cheese, crumbled (56g)
-3 eggs, beaten
-1/4 cup milk (60ml)

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Rice crust (directions)
-Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 C)
-Boil rice in water until tender, set aside to cool
-In a medium mixing bowl, combine rice, egg, and cheddar cheese
-Spread over the base and sides of a greased pie pan
-Bake for 15 minutes

Tomato filling (directions)
-Place tomatoes, cut side up, on a baking sheet
-Lightly coat garlic cloves in olive oil and place on baking sheet, or in an ovenproof dish
-Brush tops of tomatoes with remaining olive oil
-Bake 30 minutes, remove from oven and allow to cool slightly
-Reduce oven temperature to 350 degrees F (180 degrees C)
-Arrange garlic, tomato halves, and feta evenly inside the rice crust
-In a medium bowl, beat eggs and milk together
-Pour eggs and milk over the tomatoes
-Bake for 1 hour or until set (check that crap like halfway through, my oven cooked it in like 35.)

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Serves 4-6. Guten appetit. Image

 

Back to the Blogosphere

Ze telltale butterfly rash… Also, ze eyebrows in need of plucking.

Hello again, boys and girls. I apologize for my extended hiatus from… A lot of things. The past year has been a little bit crazy. I have been struggling with a diagnosis of “Undifferentiated Connective Tissue Disorder.” Which is the medically professional way of saying, “There’s something wrong with you, in the family of lupus… We’re not really sure what.” ::Shrug:: Basically; CHRONIC FATIGUE, joint pain, canker sores in my mouth, nose, and throat, 6 months of  hives, inexplicable hearing loss, purple toes, and a lot of random other seemingly completely unconnected symptoms. Luckily my kidneys, liver, and other similarly vital organs have elected to not get involved thus far (knock wood). I’ve had a lot of trouble keeping up the snark when I mostly just want to sleep, but I’m feeling a lot better again, if not fabulous, and I am bursting at the seams with pent up sarcasm. I will try to commit to an entry once a week, but  I will probably be switching to writing about food and travel BECAUSE:

This guy was chilling outside our apartment. I totally wanted to pet him, but the dude yelled at me.

The past year has also been super crazy because we have moved. Twice. The first move was from Kentucky to Arizona. Arizona is practically the moon compared to Kentucky, only warmer, with weirder wildlife, and lots of leathery-skinned locals walking around. My kitchen got downsized by about two-thirds, but I did get to see the Grand Canyon (they’re not kidding, it really is Grand) and have a look at Mexico through the border fence.

Canyon action.

 

Apparently, I’m afraid of heights.

 

We bring our dog everywhere.

Then our second move, was to Germany, which is a lot like Kentucky, compared to Arizona… Only a lot more centrally located to- all of Europe. My kitchen here is huge again, only the oven is practically microscopic, and I have minimal counter space, and not much of a sink to speak of either. I’m relearning how to buy groceries in German, and convert everything from metric, and use all the curious foreign settings on my oven, and I still totally plan to share.

Castle Neuschwanstein, with my wonderful, anonymous husband.

 

My wonderful anonymous husband who enjoys taking flattering photos of me.

Heidelberg Castle, with the creature, in a back pack. Yes, we are those people… In all fairness, I wanted an Irish Wolfhound, but we’re both allergic to dogs, so we were stuck with poodles. We looked at standard breeders, but we found this little turd at a shelter. Now I’m mad as pants about her.

Heidelberg Castle.

Anyway, please check back for my new adventures in grams and liters… And photos and stories about our travels and probably gratuitous pictures of our dog.

 

 

Easy Being Green Tea Ice Cream

Well, I sincerely apologize… I have been on a break from blogging as our internet decided to take a hiatus. But I am back! With a spectacular recipe, partially of my own invention, for green tea ice cream.

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The word “love” cannot even begin to describe my feelings about ice cream. If I were less interested in my overall health, and had a fair variety of flavors… I could eat nothing but ice cream, all day, ever day. Ok, perhaps that’s a slight exaggeration, but you catch my drift.

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Boiling milk cream and sugar

My first experience with ice cream was when I was only a few months old, in a papoose on my mother’s chest. My parents had gone to an ice cream parlor for dessert, and my dad said, “Let her have a lick.” My mother says, my eyes lit up and I bounced up and down until they gave me more. Oops. My first experience with green tea ice cream  was quite a few years later at a Japanese restaurant in California, and it was somewhat less dramatic; but I enjoyed it, and I have been unable to find a similarly delicious green tea ice cream locally. So I made some.

Matcha, cinnamon, cardamom, and ground pepper

For this ice cream I used the base recipe for Jeni’s Splendid ice creams… Because Jeni has it so right. I don’t say this lightly; if you are in within a few hundred miles of a Jeni’s ice cream shop, you need to go there, sample everything, you will not regret it… Unless you form a debilitating habit, in which case I apologize in advance. But the flavor combination was inspired by the flavors I’ve picked out of a spiced chai latte, and a bit of matcha powder. It’s a nice warm flavor, almost like pumpkin pie spices, with an undertone of green tea.

Green tea ice cream. YUM.

INGREDIENTS

2 cups milk (Jeni calls for whole milk… I used 1% because there’s decadent, and then there is obscene…)
4 tsp. cornstarch
1 1/4 cups heavy cream
2/3 cup sugar
2 tbsp. light corn syrup
1/4 tsp. kosher salt
3 tbsp. cream cheese, softened
2 TBS matcha green tea powder
1 tsp cardamom
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp freshly ground pepper

Directions

1) In a bowl, stir together 1/4 cup milk and the cornstarch; set slurry aside.

2) In a 4-qt. saucepan, whisk together remaining milk and the cream, sugar, syrup, and salt; bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Cook for 4 minutes; stir in slurry.

3) Return to a boil and cook, stirring, until thickened, about 2 minutes.

4) Place cream cheese, matcha, and spices in a bowl and pour in 1/4 cup hot milk mixture; whisk until smooth. Then whisk in remaining milk mixture. Pour mixture into a plastic bag; seal, and submerge in a bowl of ice water until chilled.

5) Pour mixture into an ice cream maker; process according to manufacturer’s instructions. Transfer ice cream to a storage container and freeze until set. (About 4 hours.)

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