Wednesday, March 28, 2012

O.M.G List

Hey all,

I wanted to drop a quick line to let y'all know that I haven't disappeared.  Quite the opposite, actually.  I went to the FoodBloogForum Conference at Disney World in Orlando over St. Patrick's Day Weekend and I was so inspired. I have so many great ideas for this blog and my other blog, The Culinary Vampire.

Fuzzy picture of almost all of the desserts for the opening reception.

There has been some behind the scenes work going on for both of the blogs and I have several posts in the works, including a recap of FoodBlogForum Orlando (which will probably be on The Culinary Vampire).

In the meantime, I wanted to share a link love post with a round up of all the different recipes or interesting things I've found recently. I usually share them as I find them on my personal Facebook page, but I wanted to have them all in one place.  I plan on making these posts a somewhat regular feature.  What do you think?

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Lemon sorbet

Lemon sorbet...Oh, how I love you so...  So delicious, refreshing, and...totally not appropriate for late winter, even if I live in South Florida and it is unseasonably warm.

Ha! As if I were ever concerned with the appropriateness of a frozen treat!  And, frankly, neither should you.

I've mentioned before how much I love lemon sorbet.  With as much as I adore it, I'm not exactly sure why I've never made it.  I  managed to score a huge bag of lemons for a sweet price and I knew I wanted to use them for some lemon sorbet.  But, who wants to squeeze a huge bag of lemons when all you need is one cup of juice? 

[Also, obsessive-compulsive much with the zesting, Sunshine?  No, not at all.  Of course, I'd be lying if I said I wasn't annoyed that I missed some spots... If you, too, want to be OCD with your zesting, get thee to a microplane zester (affiliate link) immediately!]

However, when a friend mentioned a fierce (like, "Babe, I know it's 2 AM, but can you go to the store and get me some?" - fierce) craving, it was just the push I needed and I jumped on the chance to make some for the both of us.   

I followed the recipe from David Lebovitz's book, The Perfect Scoop (affiliate link), and found it perfect as, so I'll just direct you to the book for the recipe (although, if you search for it online, you'll find it).  The method is very simple, though. Essentially, you're making a simple syrup with sugar, water, and lemon zest.  Once it is thoroughly chilled, you combine the simple syrup with some lemon juice and then churn it.

The sorbet was almost perfect - just as cool and refreshing, but with a strong kick of lemon, as you'd expect.  I say almost because I found the lemon zest to be somewhat of a nuisance, so keep that in mind if you like your sorbet to be super smooth. 

Also, how cute are those lemon cups?  Awesome thrift store find!

I just love the lighting in the photo above.  I took the picture to show y'all that the sorbet freezes kind of wonky.  The lighting was bad and I wasn't expecting anything, but instead, I got a wonderful shot.

Monday, March 5, 2012

Berry buttermilk ice cream

I've never understood the hoopla around buttermilk.  I've always thought my standard pancakes were quite delicious as is, thankyouverymuch. Anytime I needed to add tang to a recipe, I always used yogurt.  However, I made some cranberry buttermilk pancakes sometime last year during the Thankgsgiving Christmas food-fest.  They were absolutely delicious; really, everything that the linked post describes them as.  Even though I also made some buttermilk biscuits that were somewhat of a fail, I decided that there might be something to this buttermilk thing after all.

 The only problem with buttermilk is that it is only sold in quart containers and, yet, most recipes only call for a cup or less.  The few times that I have attempted buttermilk anything, almost half the container will go to waste because I can't think of anything else to make.  (Although, I have learned that buttermilk can be frozen.)

I didn't want my buttermilk to go to waste, so I coordinated another cranberry buttermilk pancake make (I know, that makes no sense, but just go with it.) with an ice cream recipe that called for buttermilk. 

Doesn't this look like some sort of dinosaur head?

I did a search on buttermilk ice cream recipes but they either required an entire quart of buttermilk or they only needed 1/4 cup or so.  This was not only annoying, but also sooo not helpful because I about 2 cups to work with.

I finally found a recipe that used equal parts buttermilk and cream (which is good because I didn't have any milk). It also called for strawberries, which I had and wanted to use up.  After I realized that I needed to double the recipe to make the amount I needed and to use up all of my buttermilk, I decided to add some blueberries that were languishing in the fridge.  And that is how berry buttermilk ice cream was born!

Berry Buttermilk Ice Cream
Adapted from StressCake, who adapted it from a David Lebovitz's, The Perfect Scoop

Use any type of berries by themselves or a combination of berries. I imagine that peaches would be wonderful as well.

Makes about 1 quart


3/4 - 1 pound strawberries (hulled, halved if large), and/or other berries
3/4 cup sugar, divided
1 Tablespoon kirsch, chambord, or vodka (optional)
1 cup heavy cream
6 egg yolks
1 cup buttermilk


Combine the berries, 1/4 cup sugar, and alcohol (if using) in a bowl.  Let sit until sugar is dissolved, about 1/2 an hour and up to 24 hours.

While the strawberries are macerating, heat the cream and 1/2 cup sugar in a saucepan over medium heat, until the sugar is dissolved.  While that is heating, whisk the egg yolks in another bowl.  Using a small ladle, pour a little bit of the hot cream into the yolks, whisking constantly, until you can't ladle anymore. Add the remaining hot cream, whisking constantly.  Pour the warmed egg-cream mixture back into the saucepan. Continue heating the mixture over medium heat while stirring constantly with a wooden spoon (or other heatproof utensil), scraping the bottom as you go, until the mixture thickens and coats the spoon (170°F on an instant-read thermometer). Pour the custard through a strainer into a medium bowl.

In a blender, puree the macerated strawberry mixture until smooth. Strain, if desired (I did, because I find blueberry skins unappetizing). Combine the custard mixture and the pureed berries.  Chill the mixture thoroughly in the refrigerator, but preferably overnight.  Just before churning, add the cup of cold buttermilk and stir to combine.  Freeze it in your ice cream maker according to the manufacturer’s instructions.