Tuesday, January 10, 2012

New Year's Resolution

Mix more lemonades.

Like Kiwi Lemonade!

Friday, January 6, 2012

Banana Ginger Ice Cream

Of all the ice creams I've made so far, this one is by far Kirsten's favorite, so it's probably one that I will be making again and again. Also, as far as ice cream goes, it's a really simple recipe.

Banana Ginger Ice Cream

1 Can evaporated milk
1 pint cream
1/2 C sugar
2 very ripe bananas
1.5 Tbs vanilla (this is a lot of vanilla, but I love vanilla)
2 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp ground cinnamon
dash of clove
dash of sea salt

1. Mix the milk, cream, and sugar until the sugar dissolves.
2. Mix in the bananas. Use a hand blender or mixer to incorporate the bananas into the mixture.
3. Mix in all other ingredients.
4. Transfer to ice cream maker and follow instructions.

And then you have some most excellent banana spice ice cream! You can also use pumpkin, about one cup, to replace the banana, but the banana flavor is stronger. If you use the pumpkin, add a bit more sugar, less ginger and more cinnamon.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Sauteed Apples and Onions with Shrimp

One crazy night, I thought of the idea of sauteing apples. Then I googled it and realized that lots of people do it all the time, and that it is not, really that crazy of an idea. Which is good for me because it means I am not crazy.

Any how, here is my take on sauteed apples (which are delicious) and onions together, making apple more of a savory dish than a sweet one.

Sauteed Apples and Onions with Shrimp
Slice apples, cut them horizontally against the core rather than with the core to get the pretty star pattern (though regular sliced apples would be fine.)  Use a crisp and sweet variety, like Honeycrisp or Gala, or maybe even granny smith. Mushy apples or mild/bland ones won't do you much good here.

Chopped onions, generously sliced for larger pieces.

Salt and Pepper to taste.

Fresh parsley, for some nice, mild flavor.

Add a dash of vinegar.

There are any combinations of spices and herbs you could use here for delicious flavor, just remember that the apples and onions together will be pretty sweet, even if the dish is savory.

Saute in olive oil until the apples and onions are both soft, but not soggy.

Remove the mixture from the pan, leaving just a few onions and apples in the pan, then cook whatever meat or sauce you want to go with the apples and onions. I mixed in some shrimp, cooking them in the pan to let them get the flavor of the apples and onions, then tossed them all together once it was done.


Monday, January 2, 2012

Sweet Potato (or Acorn Squash) and Pear Soup

My friend Monique gave us some recipe books when she was cleaning out her closets last year, and one of the books that she gave us was Veggie Food, edited by Kay Scarlett. Because I love soups, I was excited to find that there is a whole section of veggie soups, lots of which are rich and creamy. There are several chilled soups, which I want to explore, but so far the favorite in our house has been the Sweet Potato and Pear soup, which I've adapted here, to use with sweet potatoes or acorn squash.

Sweet Potato (or Acorn Squash) and Pear Soup
1 Tbs butter
1 sweet white onion, medium-small to medium (larger if you like lots of onion flavor)
6-7 medium sweet potatoes, peeled and cubed,
       or 2 medium acorn squashes, roasted and peeled. Might also use a large butter nut.
3-4 firm pears
4 C vegetable or chicken stock
1 C cream
Black Pepper to taste
A pinch of cinnamon and/or nutmeg if you're feeling adventurous

-Saute the onions in butter
-Add the cubed potato or squash, cook for 2-3 minutes
-Add the cubed pears
-Add the stock, bring to a boil then cook an additional 20 minutes, or until potato/squash are soft.
-Using a hand blender, or by transferring the soup by batches to a stand blender, puree the soup.
-Just before serving, add the cream.  (I actually only add about 3/4 C cream, but I think I prefer less cream in soup than the average person.)
-Salt and pepper to taste. (maybe a pinch of salt, but I like a generous amount of black pepper.)

Kirsten tells me that she prefers the soup with the squash, but I liked the potato iteration better. They were both really good. You could make this basic soup with lots of firm, winter vegetables: almost all of the winter squashes will work, potato, yams, etc. It is a rich, creamy soup that is great for cold days. We served it with a side of sauteed veggies and some hearty whole wheat bread to round it all out.