Monday, July 5, 2010

Strawberry Ice Cream

My mom's homemade ice cream is a favorite.  I like that she doesn't use eggs.  She uses all cream and no semi-skimmed milk, which makes the ice cream doubly rich.  But I like the milk and have to make a much smaller batch.  Someday we'll get a big fancy ice cream maker like hers, but for now our little counter top one is fine.


2 cups sugar
1 cup double cream (or whipping cream)
1 cup milk (I used semi skimmed)
1 small can (170 grams) evaporated milk
Juice of 1 lemon
2 cups strawberries, washed and stems removed
View full recipeMix ingredient together in a blender.   Place frozen ice cream machine bowl into machine and start. Slowly pour the mixture into the machine and keep machine stirring until the ice cream resembles fresh whipped cream (½ hour or more). Scrape mixture into a freezer proof container and freeze.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Peanut Butter Cookies

We got some Skippy peanut butter and I was reminded how much I like it.  I've been fine with whatever peanut butter I can find in the store, but having a big jar of Skippy is like being a kid again.  To celebrate I made these cookies.  I should have halved the recipe because it made so many!  (I forgot to count, but more than 40.)  But, it's an old standby that has worked pretty well over the years, another one from the Ivory Family Cookbook.

1 cup butter, softened
1 cup peanut butter
1 cup granulated sugar + additional to roll the cookies in before baking
1 cup brown sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
½ teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons baking soda
2 3/4 c flour
View full recipeCream butter, peanut butter and the sugars. Add in the eggs and vanilla and mix well. Add salt, soda and flour and mix just until combined. Pour sugar in a bowl.  Roll the dough into balls and then roll in the sugar.  Place on ungreased cookie sheets and press with a fork in a crisscross pattern before baking.

Bake for 10 -12 minutes at 350 degrees.

Pasta, Spinach and Cheese Torte

 We had a big bag of spinach.  And a lot of eggs.  So after looking through loads of recipes, it was a unanimous decision to make a pasta recipe based on the one from Jennifer's Cooking.  It turned out pretty good, but next time we'll use flat pasta and goat cheese instead of spaghetti noodles and mozzarella.


3 Tablespoons olive oil + extra to grease foil
1 lb fresh spinach, washed
1 large onion, diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 lb spaghetti
4 large eggs
1 1/2 cup milk (we used semi-skimmed)
3 ounces cream cheese
3 Tbsp Parmesan cheese
1 cup mozzarella cheese

Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Line pan with foil and grease with oil.

Cook spinach in a 5- to 6-quart pot of boiling salted water, uncovered, until just tender, about 3 minutes. Transfer with a slotted spoon to a sieve set over a bowl. Press hard on the spinach to extract as much water as possible, then transfer to a cutting board and chop.

Reserve cooking water in pot.  Return cooking water to boil and cook the spaghetti until al dente.  Drain the pasta in a colander.

While pasta is cooking, heat 3 Tablespoons of oil in a skillet.  Add the onion, stirring occasionally for about 10 minutes.  Add garlic and cook, stirring, 1 minute. Stir in spinach, salt and pepper and remove from heat.

In a separate bowl (or blender) blend together eggs, milk, cream cheese and salt and pepper until smooth.

In the pot used to cook the pasta, stir the spinach, mozzarella and pasta together.

Pour into greased springform pan set on a baking tray (to catch any drips).  Pour in the egg mixture and top with Parmesan cheese. 

Bake until just set and top is golden brown, 50 minutes to 1 hour. Cool in springform pan on a rack 10 minutes, then loosen the pan.  Serve torte hot or warm.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Pasta Salad with Halloumi

When summer rolls around I still want to bake but on warm days loathe using the oven.  Most recipes focus more on the stove and less on the oven.  Enter pasta salad.  Here's a recent one we made that turned out pretty good.  My favorite is to get all the ingredients in one forkful.  


300 grams penne pasta
1 cup cherry tomatoes, diced
1 bunch green onions, diced
225 grams Halloumi
1 cup green olives, pitted and cut and half

1/2 cup Ranch salad dressing
1/2 cup Salsa Verde

Cook the pasta according to the package.  Heat a skillet and cut the Halloumi into 1/4 inch slices.  Fry the Halloumi until it is browned on both sides.  Remove from the skillet, allow to cool and cut into small pieces.

Mix the dressing.  Drain the pasta.  In a large bowl, combine the salad ingredients and toss.  Then stir in the dressing.  The salad can be served immediately or placed in the fridge before serving.

Friday, July 2, 2010

Gabriel's Banana Sorbet

Our friend Gabriel is visiting and he whipped us up this tasty treat today, just in time to watch The World Cup.


3-4 large ripe banans
1 teaspoon (or more) lemon juice
granulated sugar (about 1/4 cup)
12 ice cubes

In a blender, grate the ice until it is fine like snow.  Add in the bananas and blend.  Add the lemon juice and sugar to taste, then serve. 

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Pasta with Cilantro Pesto

I couldn't bear the thought of turning on the oven or going to the store.  So I used the ingredients we had in the house to make a pasta based on Erin's Food Files.  I liked it as it was, Niall said next time I should only use one green chili instead of two.


1/2 bunch fresh cilantro
1 small yellow onion
2-3 Tablespoons fresh lemon juice
3 garlic cloves, pressed
2 Thai green chilies (or one, if you want to keep the spice down), stems and seeds removed
1/4 cup olive oil
salt to taste
~1 pound spaghetti
1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
Red salsa
Shrimp (optional)

Cook spaghetti in a large pot of boiling water.  While pasta is cooking make the pesto.  Blend cilantro, onion, garlic, lemon juice, olive oil and chilies in a blender.  Season with salt.

When pasta is done, drain and place in a bowl.  Stir in the pesto.  Garnish with finely grated cheese, salsa and cooked shrimp (if desired).