July 16th, 2012 — 7:46am
Homemade ice cream without a machine? I was gob smacked when I realised how easy this is. Learning to bake and cook over the last few years has included a series of fun surprises: I never would have guessed that any old person could make ice cream at home so dang easily.
I started my ice cream adventure with one of my all-time favourite flavours, coffee. Everything about this is reminiscent of Vietnamese coffee for me – the intense sweetness from both the heavy cream and sweetened condensed milk immediately transported me back to backpacking in South-East Asia, enjoying iced coffee on hot, steamy mornings. Not a bad thing to reminisce about on these humid, 100F Minnesota days with a cold cup of ice cream in hand.
No-Churn Coffee Ice Cream
adapted from Vanilla Bean
- 1 14 oz can sweetened condensed milk
- 1 tbsp vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup/4 oz strong coffee, chilled
- 2 cups/16 oz cold heavy cream
- In a medium bowl, stir together the condensed milk, vanilla, and coffee.
- In a separate bowl, whip cream until soft peaks form. If you’re doing this by hand, as I was, prepare for a major arm ache. Tips for hand-whipping cream here.
- With a rubber spatula, gently fold whipped cream into condensed milk mixture until incorporated. Pour into a 9×5-inch loaf pan, cover with plastic wrap and freeze until firm, about 6 hours or overnight.
7 comments » | homemade, recipe
July 10th, 2012 — 12:51pm
Are you always busy? Everyone I know seems to be. We’re all over committed and leading lives that just go, go, go. I don’t know if you saw this New York Times piece, “The Busy Trap” but it’s well worth a read. It makes the point that almost all of our busyness is self imposed and avoidable, and that slowing down (not just for five minutes a day, but in terms of the life choices we make) is incredibly important.
My favourite paragraph begins thus: “Idleness is not just a vacation, an indulgence or a vice; it is as indispensable to the brain as vitamin D is to the body, and deprived of it we suffer a mental affliction as disfiguring as rickets.”
This recipe is for busy types in a very obvious way (it takes less than 30 minutes start to finish!) but it’s also for those who perhaps are trying to slow it down and to find some idle time. I’m in that group. I’m trying not to over-commit this summer because while I like to feel useful, needed, and to find creative outlets, I also value quiet time that is mine to fill however I choose.
Small food projects like this jam allow me a little creative outlet while not taking over my days the way some cooking projects do, thus freeing my time up for reading great books (this, this, and this, if you’re interested), tubing down rivers, swimming, and bike riding, which to me are the life blood of summer.
Dan claimed this jam is some of the best he’s ever had. It’s amazingly sweet but there’s hardly any sugar in it compared to normal jams. The strawberries really do all the work for you as they release their juices and break down.
We’ve been enjoying it on fresh or toasted baguette in the morning and it’s provided a fresh, sweet and easy item to grab on these stupefyingly warm mornings. Hope you enjoy.
Quick Strawberry Jam
adapted from Martha Stewart
- 1 quart (2 lbs) hulled strawberries
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- In a food processor, process strawberries until coarsely chopped – or chop coarsely by hand.
- Transfer chopped berries to a large skillet and stir in sugar and lemon juice.
- Cook over medium-high heat, stirring frequently, until jam is thickened and bubbles completely cover the surface, about 10-20 minutes. If it doesn’t seem thick and jammy enough after that time, let it keep bubbling until it does. Transfer jam to a jar and let cool to room temperature.
- To store, seal jar and refrigerate, 10-14 days.
6 comments » | recipe
July 3rd, 2012 — 4:30pm
We came home with a giant bucket of strawberries from our trip and almost immediately I became anxious about them going to waste. I am a bit of a crazy woman about food waste. I absolutely hate it when we buy food with good intentions and then end up not using it or seeing it go bad before we have a chance. I’ll often eat the most bizarre combinations of things that most people wouldn’t touch with a ten-foot pole, just to use stuff up.
Anyway, so I was a little anxious that we were overly ambitious in buying so many strawberries and immediately started dreaming up all the ways we could use them. We made simple strawberry milkshakes (I posted them on my facebook page), a quick jam which I’ll post here soon and then I decided I wanted something baked.
You might argue about the “breakfast” designation of this and I’ll give you that – it’s hardly something you should be tucking away every morning – but let’s just focus on the fruit and oats and and never mind the drizzle of cream I highly recommend pouring over it.
What matters is that it’s really good. Strawberries fresh from a Wisconsin farm made into something deliciously simple that you will love. The strawberry base get all jammy and has a good tart edge from the lemon juice and that lovely layer of golden-brown oats and nuts is the perfect topping.
Strawberry Breakfast Crisp
adapted from Whole Living
- 1 1/2 cups strawberries, sliced
- 1 lemon, squeezed
- 1 cup oats
- 3 tbsp whole wheat flour, divided
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/3 cup chopped nuts (walnuts or pecans are especially good)
- 2 tbsp brown sugar
- 2 tbsp honey
- 2 tbsp pure maple syrup
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- Heavy (double) cream or Greek yoghurt, to serve (optional)
- Preheat oven to 350F. Mix sliced strawberries with lemon juice and 1 tbsp whole wheat flour; set aside.
- Combine oats, nuts, cinnamon, salt, and remaining flour. In separate bowl mix brown sugar, honey, and maple syrup. Add this to the oat mixture until combined.
- Line an 8×8 inch baking dish with the strawberries, top with oats, and bake for 25 minutes. Serve with a scoop of Greek yoghurt – or, I like it with a drizzle of cream.
5 comments » | recipe