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Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Ice cream by accident

A couple of weeks ago I was making a fancy dinner for a friend of mine who had just had a baby. For dessert, I decided to make my summer fruit tart. However, in my multi-tasking, when I went to make the dessert's cream cheese and whipping cream filling, I forgot to whip the cream before adding it to the melted and cooled cream cheese. I thought, oh if I whip it enough, it will turn into the consistency I needed. But alas, after being whipped on high in my trusty lime green kitchenaid mixer for a good 7 minutes, I still had soup. Frustrated, I dumped the stuff into a Tupperware container and stuck it in the freezer since Z and I were leaving town the next day; I sent Z to the store for more whipping cream and completed the tart as usual.

Last week I was going through the freezer in search of a cold snack and I came across my little container of failed cream cheese filling. I opened it up and was surprised to find that it looked a lot like ice cream. I dipped my spoon in and yes indeed it TASTED like ice cream and its texture was creamy exactly like ice cream. Best of all, it was almost Jeni's consistency! Ok not exactly like Jeni's but better than your average high-end ice cream plus mine was not nearly as sweet. Here is my "Accidental Ice Cream" recipe:

Melt or warm to room temperature 3 oz of cream cheese.
Combine the cream cheese with 1 cup heavy whipping cream and then whip on high in your mixer (I suppose a hand mixer or blender would work as well). Add 1/2 c to 1 cup (depending on your tastes) of sugar. You can also add whatever extract suits you. I added almond extract but I think vanilla or peppermint would have been better choices. I also suspect at this point you could add either cocoa powder or melted and cooled chocolate to suit your tastes. If you want to add fruit I suggest cooking the fruit down into syrup so that most of the water is cooked out of the fruit to avoid ice crystals in the ice cream. If you want nuts or chocolate chunks, I would wait until you are finished whipping the mixture. Whip the cream cheese, whipping cream, sugar, extracts and or chocolate for a good 7-10 minutes. Pour into a well-sealed container and freeze for about a day. Eat up!

Monday, August 28, 2006

Squash Casserole = Crazy Delicious

This is some serious comfort food:

5-6 Medium squash (summer & zucchini), or about 5 C, sliced thin
1 Medium Onion, sliced thin
1 Green bell pepper, diced
1/2 C Milk
1/4 C Sour cream
2 Eggs, beaten
1 C Sharp cheddar, shredded
1 Sleeve Ritz-type crackers (35), crushed
2 T butter
Salt & pepper, 1/4 t each
Dash cayenne

Add onions, squash, bell pepper, seasonings and butter to pan, and saute 10-15 minutes, or until soft (but not mushy). Meanwhile, mix eggs, milk and sour cream in a large bowl. Set aside. Mix shredded cheese and crushed crackers in small bowl and set aside.

Remove vegetable mixture from heat and allow to cool for a few minutes. Add this to the egg mixture and combine. Add half of the cracker/cheese mixture and stir again. Pour mixture into a 8 X 8 baking dish and top with remaining cracker/cheese mixture.

Bake at 350° for 20-25 minutes, or until golden brown and bubbly.

Be nice. Try to share.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

i heart tomato

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Foodie Programming Note

This humble blog's patron saint, Alton Brown, has a beautifully poetic mini-series airing on Food Network. It's called Feasting on Asphalt, and it's more or less a Kerouac-ian travelogue where Alton and his crew take motorcycles across the country, stopping in to sample the goods in out-of-the-way diners, cafes, taverns, tea-rooms, and the like. Extremely nostalgia inducing. A marathon of the 4-part series will air this Saturday (and probably several times thereafter). Do check it out.

Thursday, August 10, 2006

of what i will miss the most...giovanni galli

On Saturday my time in Italy will come to an end. I am eating lots of "lasts" these days. Last nutella gelato, last loaf of fresh bread, last limone gelato, last ball of fresh mozzarella, last dark chocolate with pistachio and hot pepper gelato, last €3 bottle of amazing wine, last cocco/coconut gelato, last fresh pasta with fresh pesto from my local market, etc. Before I get too sentimental, let's just say that over the next few months I will periodically post about a certain food I tried, restaurant I patronized, cocktail you should mix, etc. as my own way of remembering the foodiest moments and sharing the photos I have taken for you, my foodie friends. For now I want to dedicate this post, the last post from Italy for me for this visit, to my local bakery, mere steps from my door. It is leaving this place that is high on my list of lamentations. I am sure you can see why.