9/22/15 Vanilla Ice Cream Cups

Happy Birthday Boho Dad! ❤ ❤

Today I made Ice Cream cups. The other day I was thinking of making them and now that most of the berry curd-meringue treats are eaten, I decided to make another dessert for the family. That and its my husbands birthday tomorrow, so I wanted to have something special to snack on anyways.

I had the idea from a recipe from the Pioneer Woman’s show, she made cookies and cream cups in the freezer easy to eat for her boys before she took her girls on a college trip. It was such a great idea; to have already made, ready to eat ice cream cups. I decided to make my own version with what I had.

I did not have Oreo cookies, or anything like them. But I did have leftover pulsed animal crackers from the other day when I made curd bars. So I used that with some melted butter and a bit of shortening and I crumbled in the fat with a pastry cutter. It was a good consistency then I put it into cupcake liners into a cupcake pan. It filled up about 2/3 of each cup. Then here was the fun part.

I took a round ice cream scooper, an old fashioned one, as a presser to mold my cups. I pressed the crumble into the foil liners and made walls with the round edges of the scooper in each one. I thought I did pretty well, and I had some really smooth looking cups here. I wish I would have taken pictures of this step.

Then I froze the cups until they were set. Then I took the giant vanilla ice cream bucket we got from schwans out and I used the nice round ice cream scooper to put a scoop into each cup. Then I smoothed the ice cream down with a bit of finesse and pressure from the scooper and made each top smooth. I made sure to try and make the ice cream touch all sides of the cups in this step.

I also had defrosted and slightly heated up some raspberry and blackberries from my schwans frozen bag of them and then I scooped 2 berries unto each cup and some leftover berry juice. Then I froze them until they set again.

Here are some pictures of how they turned out.

ice cream cups in molds
ice cream cups in molds
topped with berrys
topped with berrys

Aviary Photo_130874464224515040

Advertisements

6/25/15 Handmade Oat Flour Baking Fun

Today my cooking and baking adventures were extensive. Although I may be the only one in the house who truly appreciates my work, I am going to share it anyways.

I started today by taking inventory of the pantry. I wanted to make yeast bread and at least one batch of cookies and I only had a ¾ cup of white flour, and about a ½ a cup of bread flour. That’s not ENOUGH!

But, I found I had a ¾ full jar of oatmeal and I found a jar of steel cut oats.

So that is how I will make up for running out of flour.

I decided to blend-process in my high speed blender all the oats. I started with the regular oatmeal and sifted it into a bowl as I went. I pureed all but a handful. I then did the steel cut oats. I blended them all up. I made 3-4 bowls of oat flour to start my projects.

The first bowl was about 2 ½ cups of oat flour. I sprinkled some salt, and a few tablespoons of corn starch. I then cut in about 2/3 of cold butter straight from the fridge, until my hands were killing me. Then added a little bit of water and rolled into a ball, shaped into a disk, wrapped in plastic wrap and saved it in the fridge for a future gluten free pie crust.

The second bowl I added the last of my bread flour and some sugar and salt and about 2 ½ teaspoons of yeast, I then added about a cup and 1 ½ cup of warm half and half and worked into a dough. I let it rise while melting some butter, like 1/3 of a cup of butter. Once the loaf doubled in size, I folded in the butter, put it into a oiled pan and stuck it into the hot oven.

I had a very flat, oat-like buttery loaf that resulted and I love the flavor. I have been yeast experimenting in the last month and out of about 10 breads I have tried to make, only 2 have come out the consistency that I want in a bread; pillow soft and moist and crunchy on the outside. Pillow soft bread comes from the correct proof and I know my flour-yeast ratio was a little off today and it could have proofed more. So I have frequently come up with very dense breads, that taste fine, but are not pillow soft. I guess I will have to try try again.

oat flour loaf
oat flour loaf

I also made some gluten free oatmeal thumbprint jam cookies with the oat flour. I used some of the oat flour with the last handful of oats, and added some baking powder and salt to it. I then creamed some shortening and sugar together, I added about a ½ cup of sour cream,an egg and a dash of vanilla and creamed that with the sugar mix, I then added it to the dry, mixed well and drop style scooped them unto a baking sheet. I thumb printed each one and added some strawberry preserve to the thumb print and baked in the oven on 350 until golden brown.

gluten free jam cookies
gluten free jam cookies

They turned out ok, but I think they could have used more sugar, or maybe some apple sauce to sweeten the dough. The sour cream made them moist and chewy, but took away from the sweetness. I just got 5 lbs of sour cream delivered to me for free, so I am trying to think of creative ways to use it. And that’s not the only way I creatively used some of my Tub o’ cream tonight. Next way in a few.

OK, now here’s where I decided to use the real flour. I wanted another batch of snicker doodles. I really like snicker doodle cookies. That was the cookie my mom made most frequently when I was growing up and her recipe is the BEST!! They are huge. When my mother makes cookies, apparently she uses a 1/3 cup scoop each time or bigger she says,.. now that’s a huge cookie.

Anyways, I wanted to make some. So I did. My cookie tale here is not about the recipe, its about storage. I made a refrigerator snicker doodle cookie dough, with the last of my white flour. Even added a dash of cinnamon into the dough, and I do not normally do that. Anyways, I divided the dough in half and wrapped it in plastic wrap to put into the fridge.

Now you shape refrigerator cookies into cylinders before you store them, right?! Well, how is it supposed to keep that shape without a mold? Its sometimes hard, I have gotten cookies that have an indent in them from the freezer rack from storing them in the freezer just on the rack. So here is a great cookie hack and a household recycling tip. Use an empty tolit paper roll to keep them in, it keeps them round! I used this hack and I am storing those cookies in the freezer until I want to make them.

Now on to dinner, I checked in the fridge and I had a bag of leftover homemade baked stuffing that I had to resurrect to eat, before it entered the land of no return,the back of the fridge..lol j/k the garbage. And a new found tub of sour cream. It was a match made in heaven.

Super over baked and crunchy dried cubes of bread that needed a liquid but not too liquid pick me up.. so I herbed some sour cream and whipped it up with the electric mixer, I then folded it into my stuffing mix, and poured it into a cast iron. I topped the whole mix with cheese and I baked it until I almost forgot about it. It was amazing and almost a bread pudding but savory, it cut like a scone.. lol I am really odd when it comes to making up leftover inventions, so bare with me, it was edible in my book.

stuffing casserole
stuffing casserole

I made meatballs with diced onions and paprika and marjoram for the boys, and Elijah found the onions in his third meatball and decided he wasn’t eating anymore. He doesn’t like onions at all. He will scream at me cooking “ Those onions are not going into MY FOOD, RIGHT MOM?!” Its crazy, I love cooking with onions. Anyways, I also made my lil family some baked potatos, yes cause I have unlimited sour cream.. duh.

Funny thing is, my husband said my meatballs were too dry, my bread looked too dense and only ate baked potato for dinner. My son only ate some cleverly disguised meatballs, and some veggies, which, thank god, I decided to make on the side, just in case no one liked my food. I finely diced a sweet potato with some carrots and roasted it with some cinnamon sugar sprinkled on top, who wouldn’t love that.. gosh darn it.

Earlier in the day, I tried my oatmeal jam cookies and told my husband that my oat flour consistency has to get better, that its like eating really good sand with jam on top, and he has not tried one since.. I think I should keep my critic reviews to myself, Elijah has eaten like 6 of them since this morning.

Hey, you win some days, you lose some days. At least now I am completely out of all my flour and my oats..

NOT.. =(

I do not get food stamps until the 10th of every month and I will get paid sometime before that, but I have lots of bills and laundry to do, so I am unsure if I can afford flour. Well until tomorrow, have a good day and I hope you had a better baking day then I did.

6/25/15 -Carnitas in the Crock pot

Today is one of my favorite days of the month. I made Carnitas tacos today homemade for dinner. I think that my favorite meals are in the Mexican spice profile.

I bought two chuck roasts to make this month and I have been looking forward to making this all month. I used the larger of the two chuck roasts, about 2 lb package. I took it out of the freezer before we went to bed last night, so it would be defrosted to cook by this morning. I woke up this morning, excited to start the crock pot. I had the chuck roast in the crock pot before I had coffee served today.

Here’s how to make the best Carnitas in the crock pot.

Carnitas tacos (aka pulled beef)

2-5 lb Chuck Roast

Chili seasonings

Place chuck roast into crock pot, on high covered in chili seasonings. Cook for about 4-5 hrs covered until the chuck roast pulls apart. Pull apart completely and cook on low shredded with more seasonings. When you are able to pull apart, its done.

carnitas tacos
carnitas tacos

We use corn tortillas, heated them up and put a spoonful of Carnitas into each one. I also made a radish-cabbage slaw steamed on the side, it tasted great on top of the Carnitas. We had some limes to garnish and it was incredible. I am sure that I will have a helping of thirds, I already had some seconds.

slaw with radish
slaw with radish

We took a walk while the Carnitas were cooking today and I when we got home it was already done. Its so nice to come home to a house that smells like chili seasonings and good meat cooking.

I also got a drop off of homemade butter and some half and half delivered to me, from my old landlord. She gets a whole lot of dairy and makes butter every once in a while. I am excited to bake tomorrow with it, as I now have a whole lot of butter to cream into yummy things like cookies and cakes.. cant wait!

6/21/15 Ice cream with meringue

“Blog a Day” Foodie Challenge Day one

June 21 2015

Today is Fathers Day. I tried to start the day right today, but had a little bit of a bumpy morning. I tried to get coffee served on time and I ended up making a later breakfast of Krusteaz belgian waffles in the waffle maker.

Its the 2nd week of having food this month, I say. In our house we do not get our food stamps until the 10th of the month, so I see the month as a little askew. I know that the 10-17th we will have our best week of cooking all month, and the 17-24 the 2nd best week and so forth. I realize things are bad when I resort to waffles for breakfast. We must have had a great first week this month because I am down to the frozen cooking packages of bacon and we are out of the small frozen packages I make of breakfast sausage. So I made waffles. And not in a good mood either, but feeding everyone makes me feel better, even if I cannot eat that waffle mix.

Smelling those particular waffles cooking always reminds me of cupcakes though, I am not sure why. Maybe its the fluffy way the krusteaz waffles come out of the iron. They just remind me of cupcakes, and they smell so good while cooking. I took the time while everyone was eating them and doing other things to throw together some “ Fathers Day cupcakes”. Taking inspiration from the waffles and some of the waffle flour, and using the last of the meringue I had leftover from making pies yesterday.

Here’s the ingredients I used but I dare to say this is the only time I have made these thus posting the recipe could be bad, for it worked for me and it may not work for you,.. lots of variables go into cooking and especially baking so bare with me as I make up crazy recipes as I learn how to cook.

“Fathers Day Cupcakes”

Dry

1 ½ cup flour

1 cup Krusteaz Belgian waffle flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon salt

2 tablespoons cocoa

Wet

2 eggs

1 tbs vanilla extract

1/3 cup shortening

2/3 cup sugar (you can cut this down to ½ cup or less, depending on your taste)

Fold into batter:

3-4 whipped egg whites (meringue)

mix dry. Mix wet. Mix wet with dry well. Fold in egg whites. Pour into cups 2/3 high and bake until toothpick inserted comes out clean. About 15 min on 350 degrees.

fathers day cupcakes
fathers day cupcakes
moist and fluffy inside
moist and fluffy inside

And this was just my morning. Before making those I took out the last pie crust dough out of my ridiculously cold fridge to defrost a bit, cause it was hard as a rock. I am waiting for that to roll into some kind of rhubarb-strawberry treat and may not do a pie, cause I am staring at most of yesterdays pies not eaten in front of me.. we have mostly blueberry left. And cupcakes, so even though I baked on a whim, I still need to use the ingredients I defrosted to bake some more.

I am also planning a Fathers Day BBQ dinner for my man, I am steaming some peeled red potatoes now for my best whipped mashed potatoes in the world and gunna chop some carrots for some maple glaze-carrot roast, and also defrosting-boiling some bone in pork chops to bbq in a few. Its getting late so I will finish this after dinner.

Its now after dinner and boy did I cook a lot. I made BBQ slow cooked pork out of schwans butcher cut -bone in packages of pork chops, by slow cooking them in BBQ sauce in my casserole dish in the oven, they stay moist and everyone loves the slow cooked affect. I also baked some carrots in a cast iron with a little bit of water and some maple syrup. After steaming the red potatoes in my rice cooker, I added some butter and half and half, salt and pepper and whipped it to perfection. Whipped steamed potatoes are better then boiled and mashed any day. And my family loves them so much!

daddys dinner plate
daddys dinner plate
serving dinner
serving dinner

I also made a strawberry- Rhubarb streusel topped pie. I cooked the rest of my frozen schwans strawberries with the stalk of rhubarb that I got from the food bank on Friday. I cooked them down until they were mushy with some sugar. Added some corn starch and stirred the lumps out. I rolled out my pie crust that took forever to defrost, and put it into my new tart pan. My neighbor just gave it to me. I added the cooked strawberry mix into the pie crust and folded over the sides. I added some streusel that I had saved from another recipe, and baked until the pie crust sides started to crack and look golden. Thankfully I was able to make this pie at the same time and temperature as the pork and carrots. While that all cooked I made some buttercream frosting for the fathers day cupcakes.

assembling pie
assembling pie
pie all done
pie all done
cut pie
cut pie
perfect filling
perfect filling

Easy Butter-cream frosting:

Cream melted butter and powdered sugar ( amounts depend on how much you need), if too dry add some half and half, if too wet add some corn starch.

frosting with buttercream
frosting with buttercream

And now to get to the ice cream. Yesterday I made a batch of sweetened condensed milk, with about a ½ a quart of half and half, some sugar, a dash of vanilla extract, and a lot of butter. I reduced the mix in a sauce pan until It was half the size I started with. I saved some and used the rest to make creamy vanilla ice cream.

I also had some ripe plums from the food bank and a few tangerines, I poached the plums chopped in some boiling simple syrup and then blended it up with some oranges in the blender. I saved some of this mix for a unique summer flavor for the ice cream.

Combined with some leftover meringue from making strawberry and blueberry meringue pie yesterday, I managed to make an incredible ice cream.

Without an ice cream maker!

No Churn Plum-Orange Ice Cream

4 cups sweetened condensed milk

2 cups soft peak meringue (egg whites)

Fruit flavor about 1 cup frozen

Combine fruit flavor and condensed milk, whip until foamy with bubbles. Add soft peak meringue and whip until bubbles are through out. Put into a freezer container and cover and freeze overnight. Makes about a quart of ice cream.

vanilla-plum ice cream
vanilla-plum ice cream
vanilla plum ice cream
vanilla plum ice cream