Sunday, May 26, 2013

Savory Sunday: Kale On The Grill



I'm not really one for trendy clothes or shoes (ok, maybe sometimes shoes) but I am a real sucker for trendy food.  I want to try it all.  Kale came onto my radar a year or two ago and I was determined to like it, you know, kale being a super food and all.  Well, turns out kale is pretty bitter.  But I do like it roasted in olive oil  with salt and pepper.  What is the summer equivalent of roasting?  Grilling.  My husband put some kale on the grill for me the other day and it was delicious.

Grilled Kale

1/2 bag kale, washed and de-ribbed
1/2 tablespoon olive oil
salt and pepper to taste

In a large bowl, toss kale with olive oil.  Put in a grill basket and place on the grill for about 15 minutes or until kale is pretty wilted and starting to get crispy.  Add salt and pepper to taste.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Oh, Cookie Puss

Do you love the coconut unibrow?


Sitting around, eating ice cream in Utah, chatting about my friend Kim's upcoming birthday, I mentioned to her husband Jim that I would like to make Kim an ice cream cake.

"You should make Cookie Puss, she would love it!"

What the what is Cookie Puss?  It sounded like maybe the most creeptastic name for a cake I had ever heard.  Then when I saw its picture I was certain it was the most creeptastic cake in the world.  But, I was not an East coast child of the '80s where apparently Cookie Puss was the thing to have.

And so, I set out on a journey to learn about Cookie Puss (aka:Wikipedia search) and replicate him from scratch.

Doing my research, I learned a lot about good ole' Cookie Puss and any dessert worth mentioning on not one, but two different episodes of Archer is certainly worthy of my attention.  I decided to go classic, a combination of chocolate and vanilla ice cream with a cookie crumble layer in the middle.

By the time I was done, I was worried I had created another monstrosity but Kim loved it so I was happy (and the dang thing actually tastes pretty good).

This is not a one day, rock it out and have some ice cream cake.  This, my friends, is a marathon.  My ice cream maker requires the bowl to be fully frozen to work properly so I had to make each layer of ice cream on a different day and then put it all together on the third day. 

Homemade Cookie Puss

1 quart chocolate ice cream
1 quart vanilla ice cream (I used two vanilla beans 'cause I'm wild like that)
1 recipe cookie crumbles
1 recipe buttercream
handful of sweetened, shredded coconut dyed whatever color you desire
2 chocolate chip cookies (ok, I bought these, I was running shy on time :)
1 small waffle cone
1/2 cup chocolate frosting

Cookie Crumbles
30 chocolate sandwich cookies
1-7 ounce container Magic Shell

Put chocolate sandwich cookies in the food processor and pulse until finely crumbled.  While the food processor is running, pour in the bottle of Magic Shell until combined.

Dyed Coconut
handful of sweetened, shredded coconut
squirt of food coloring

In a plastic baggie put coconut and food coloring.  Close baggie and massage coconut to redistribute color as desired.

To Make Cookie Puss

  • Line a 6 inch round cake pan and a 9X9 inch square cake pan with plastic.  This step is crucial and should not be skipped.  I am all about changing recipes, don't skip this step!
  • Make chocolate ice cream.  Divide and spread evenly into the bottom of the round cake pan and the square cake pan, reserving about 1/2 cup for his nose.  Freeze this in a separate container.  Cover with plastic and freeze overnight.
  • Make the cookie crumbles.  Divide and spread evenly onto the chocolate ice cream in both pans. (Don't forget to take the plastic wrap off first :)  Cover and freeze again overnight
  • Make the vanilla ice cream.  Divide and spread on top of the cookie layer.  Cover and freeze overnight.
  • Make the buttercream.  While you are making the buttercream, pull the pans of ice cream out of the freezer to warm up for 15 minutes.
  • On a cake board (or whatever you want to serve it on) turn out the 6 inch cake.  It should slide right out if you lined your pan with plastic :)  Put the vanilla side up. 
  • Take the square cake and using large round cookie cutters (or a drinking glass) cut two large circles for the eyes.  I ended up having to mark the circles with my cookie cutter and the cut the circles with a knife because the cookie crumble layer freezes too hard.  You will have some leftover.  You should refreeze it and eat later.
  • Place the smaller circles above the large circle (for eyes).  Put back in the freezer for 15 minutes to harden back up.
  • Working quickly, frost all over with buttercream.  I had to keep re-freezing the cake about every 5 minutes for 10 minutes because the vanilla ice cream started melting. 
  • Using a squirt of buttercream, "glue" down the chocolate chip cookies for eyes and ice cream cone for a nose.  Use scoop of reserved chocolate ice cream to finish nose.
  • Decorate eyes and mouth as desired using remaining buttercream and chocolate frosting.  I used a Wilton #32 tip for the eyes, mouth and arms.  I dyed a small amount of buttercream (less than 1/4 cup) red for the mittens.  Sprinkle dyed coconut as desired for hair.  Refreeze and enjoy!

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Cinnamon Sugar Rhubarb Muffins



I am trying to decide what to put in my garden this year.  Last year was my first year putting in a fairly substantial garden and I loved having it.  I was like a kid at Christmas, running out after work with my big white bucket to see what was ripe.  The only problem was that, when planting the garden, I was very afraid of failure.  Consequently, I put in a lot of the same kind of plants assuming some would die.  And some did.  Like all of my green beans.  But none of my tomatoes.  Meaning I had 26 plants worth of tomatoes to can last year.  So this year I would like a little more variety.

I keep making lists, I pretty much want to grow everything.  However, time and space are always at a premium.  One thing I always tell myself to plant it rhubarb.  That sour tang in the middle of my baked goods is always relished.  Right now I have to search high and low at the store and then I end up hoarding it.  But do I ever get it planted?  No.  But this year, this is going to be the year.

Rhubarb Muffins

Makes about 20 muffins, give or take

2 cups rhubarb, chopped quite small
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 cup all purpose flour
1 1/2 cups brown sugar
1/2 cup butter, at room temperature
1 cup milk
1 egg
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon vanilla

Cream together brown sugar and butter until light and fluffy.  Add in egg and vanilla and beat to combine.  Slowly add in the milk and beat to combine.  Add in the whole wheat flour, all purpose flour, and baking soda.  Beat to combine.  Fold in rhubarb pieces.

Drop tablespoonfuls of batter into greased muffin pan (I used cupcake wrappers for ease of removal).  Sprinkle topping over muffins.

Bake at 350 degress for 18-22 minutes.

Topping

1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon

Stir together.  Sprinkle liberally on the top of muffin batter.

Monday, May 13, 2013

Interesting Things



Here are some things I have been loving this week:

I love this 100 Rules of Dinner!

Grandma always said it was important to mix sweet and salty.

I used to think that bunt cakes were super lame, but this one looks killer.

Giant ice cream sandwich

I have never make roasted strawberries but these Roasted Strawberry Muffins make me want to give it a try!

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Crustless French Silk Pie for Mother's Day


I made this crustless French silk pie for my mom's Mother's Day dessert.  She doesn't like pie crust but loves French silk pie, so I just made the filling and put it in a pretty cup.  I use my friend Katie's family recipe, but the Pioneer Woman has a very similar recipe.

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Strawberry Rhubarb Crumble Top Pie



Now is the time people.  Now is the time to make strawberry rhubarb pie.  We are at the tail end of the rhubarb and the strawberries are just getting good.  Sure, you can make it with frozen rhubarb, but nothing beats fresh.  So go, go now.  Make this pie for your mother, she will love it.

From scratch pie crust, not necessary but totally awesome.  If you have some extra time, do it.  If not, use the store bought stuff.


Strawberry Rhubarb Pie

makes 1 10 inch pie or tart

Filling

3 cups strawberries, cleaned, tops cut off, and cut in half
3 cups rhubarb, cleaned and cut up
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup corn starch

In a large bowl combine strawberries, rhubarb, sugar, and corn starch.  Allow to sit for at least 15 minutes.

Crumble Top

3/4 cup flour
1/3 cup butter at room temperature
1/2 cup granulated sugar

Combine flour and sugar in a bowl.  With a pastry blender (or fork) mash the butter into the sugar and flour mixture until the butter is uniformly spread through the mixture and about the size of peas.

Whole Wheat Pie Crust adapted from the Dahlia Bakery Cookbook


1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
1 teaspoon Kosher salt
1 stick very cold butter
1/2 cup non-fat Greet yogurt
3/4 ice cold water

In the food processor, mix together the flours, salt, and sugar.  Cut the butter into tablespoon sized pieces and while the food processor is running, toss in the butter one piece at a time.  Once all the butter is in the food processor, spin it around until the butter is in pea sized chunks.  Next, throw in the Greek yogurt and process.  Finally, add in the ice water.  Spin until just combined.  The crust won't look like dough, it will still be quite crumbly.  When you squeeze the dough between your fingers it should stick together.  Wrap the dough in plastic and put in the fridge for about 15 minutes.  Roll out the dough out to the size of your pan.  This recipe makes a little more dough than you need for a 10 inch pie, but I like to have some overlap because I hate stretching the dough.

To assemble the pie:  pour the strawberry rhubarb mixture into the pie crust.  Pour the crumble topping on top of the strawberry rhubarb filling and spread evenly over the pie.  I think that it is a good idea to place the pie on a baking sheet before putting it in the oven.  The pie bubbles up and frequently over.

Bake pie at 425 degrees for 25 minutes, rotate the pie, and bake for another 30 minutes at 350 degrees.  Allow to cool and enjoy...with ice cream.

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