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Archive for the ‘desserts’ Category

A group of my friends get together and make a dinner around a theme. We’ve done tasting menus, a Spanish night, and a Mastering the Art of French Cooking night. My sisters just went to New Orleans and wanted to a Cajun/Creole night.

I remembered hearing about Cooking Up a Storm on NPR. After Katrina, people began writing into the Times-Picayune of New Orleans asking for recipes they had lost. They decided to do a cookbook of the popular requests.

I ended up making McCain brownies (not particularly Cajun or Creole but absolutely delicious). They were served at McCain Girls High School in the 40’s.

The brownies went fast and I was glad I chose to bring them.

It was a fun night overall. There was fried chicken, jambalaya, gumbo, and cornbread with friends from college, grad school, and work.

pre baked brownies

pre baked brownies

1 cup white whole wheat flour
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
pinch of salt
1 cup butter at room temperature
2 cups sugar
4 large eggs, slightly beatened
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup pecan pieces

Preheat oven to 275F.

Grease 9 by 13 inch baking pan.

Mix flour, cocoa, and salt in a medium mixing bowl.

In a large mixing bowl, beat butter until fluffy. Add sugar, beaten eggs, and vanilla. Mix in dry ingredients. Fold in pecans by hand.

Spoon batter into pan. Bake for about one hour.

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3 of the best things in the world: icy cold dessert, ripe peaches from the farmer’s market, and a recipe from the Perfect Scoop.

I bought peaches at the Northcenter Farmer’s Market and decided to turn them into peach frozen yogurt using a recipe from the Perfect Scoop-the best ice cream/frozen dessert book.

a fresh, ripe peach

a fresh, ripe peach

I peeled about 5 peaches (which was awful), cut them into pieces, and cooked them in boiling water. After they softened, I added sugar, and let the mixture cool before blending it with yogurt. The mixture went into the fridge to cool. Then, I threw it in the KitchenAid Ice Cream Maker Attachment.

peach frozen yogurt

peach frozen yogurt

I only make peach ice cream or frozen yogurt in the summer when peaches are really good so it always seems like a special treat!

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My sister Elizabeth loves the cheesecake ice cream from Perfect Scoop. When my mother called me to ask me to make home-made ice cream for the 4th, Elizabeth jumped in and asked specifically for it. Most of  David Lebovitz’s ice cream recipes make around or less than a quart so I decided to double it.

cream cheese chunks

cream cheese chunks

I cut 16 oz of cream cheese into chunks and put in the blender with 1 1/3 cup sugar, 2 cups of sour cream, 1 cup of half’n’half, zest of one lemon, and a pinch of salt.

reusing measuring cup to save on dishes

reusing measuring cup to save on dishes

My blender was almost overflowing.

nearly overflowing blender

nearly overflowing blender

The ice cream batter went into the fridge to chill for a while, then into the KitchenAid Ice Cream Maker .

ice cream maker

ice cream maker

Then the ice cream goes into little containers into the freezer.

cheesecake ice cream

cheesecake ice cream

I like to reuse soft plastic containers like the ones for sour cream or yogurt.

reusing AND being delicious

reusing AND being delicious

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I love my Kitchen Aid Mixer and I especially love my Kitchen Aid Ice Cream Maker Attachment. I also love Perfect Scoop. My love is well known, so my mother passed along an invitation to my aunt’s for the 4th and asked me to make some home-made ice cream.

Being a rebel, I decided to make chocolate sherbet. David Lebovitz writes about sherbet vs ice cream and how to figure whether a something is one or the other but he’s my cold dessert guru so I would agree no matter what. Just so long as he keeps the recipes coming.

I mixed together half of the milk, cocoa, sugar, and pinch of salt and heated them.

mmmm....smells like chocolate

mmmm....smells like chocolate

I removed the mixture from the heat while I chopped the chocolate.

chopepd chocolate

chopepd chocolate

I added the chocolate and the rest of the milk with a little vanilla. I let the mix sit in the fridge to cool and then made it in the ice maker.

ice cream base into ice cream maker

ice cream base into ice cream maker

I told Pat he needed to try the sherbet so I could quote him on the blog. He laughed, tried it, and said he liked it. The next day he e-mailed me and told me this was his quote:

It was suprisingly rich for being a sherbert.  The flavor was amazingly good and it was way better for you then chocolate ice cream!”

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Serious Eats posted a positive review of No Pudge Fat Free Fudge Brownie Mix and I decided to give it a try.

I generally make brownies from scratch but this didn’t sound too bad. All you do is add vanilla yogurt, mix, pour  into pan and bake. It was really easy.

brownies

brownies

I would say they were better than most brownie mixes while actually being pretty good for you (120 cal).  Not as good as home-made with real butter…

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Mojito Pie

For Memorial Day, Pat and I were pretty low key. My parents and both sisters came up for breakfast and we went out to a diner. For lunch my sister Laura stayed so it was just 3 of us.

I made burgers on the stove top with corn on the cob and Laura brought kettle chips and fruit. I also made a frozen dessert, mojito pie. I actually adapted it from Weight Watchers magazine.

I crushed pretzels in the food processor with some limeade concentrate and butter. The recipe called for sugar but I forgot it. I patted the crust into my new pie pan. (Pat feels I only made this because I wanted to use the pie pan.)

pretzel crust

pretzel crust

I baked the crust and let it cool.

I mixed together vanilla frozen yogurt, limeade concentrate, some chopped mint leaves, lime zest, and vodka that had steeped with mint leaves (I couldn’t find the creme de menthe called for so I heated the vodka with mint leaves and let it steep).

mojito filling

mojito filling

I poured the filling into the crust and decorated it with lime slices and mint leaves. I let the pie cool in the freezer for a few hrs.

mojito pie

mojito pie

This was a pretty delicious end to the day although it might have been better with sugar in the crust.

Mojito Pie

pie crust
2 cups pretzels
2 tbsp of limeade concentrate thawed
(2 tbsp of sugar which I forgot)
2 tbsp butter

filling
1 quart vanilla frozen yogurt soft(I used Eddy’s Slow Churn which tasted more like ice cream than frozen yogurt I think)
remainder of 1 can of limeade concentrate
2 tbsp of mint infused vodka
1 tbsp finely minced mint
zest of 1 lime

For crust, preheat oven to 350F. Whirl pie crust ingredients in food processor. Pat them into the pie pan. Bake for 10 min. Let cool.

Mix filling ingredients together and spoon into crust. Freeze for 4 hrs.

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Bridal Shower

My sisters/bridesmaids threw my bridal shower last Saturday (the wedding is closing in-part of the reason I need convenience food-who knew picking  flowers and DJ’s took so much time).  There were great presents-Kitchen Aid accessories and towels.

But even better, my sisters and my mom had spent the last few months experimenting with cupcakes.  They have been baking different recipes and finally settled on chocolate, lemon-my favorite cake flavor, coconut, and carrot with cream cheese.

mini carrot cupcakes with cream frosting

mini carrot cupcakes with cream frosting

They pretty closely followed the Martha Stewart recipe for carrot cupcakes excpet for making them mini. The cupcakes were delicious and looked beautiful-it’s hard to wrong with Martha Stewart.

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