Friday, October 28, 2011

Pumpkin Gingersnap Ice Cream

J and I went to a party last week to reunite him with his buddies that all moved together to LA from TCU 5 years ago! It was great to see them again, it had been over a year since we had seen some of them. It is intimidating going to parties now because everyone knows I can cook. Good thing I stepped it up and made this ice cream for the party. When I arrived the hostess said, "I was wondering all week what you were going to bring." The ice cream was gone by the end of the night.

Pumpkin Gingersnap Ice Cream
2 cups milk
4 tsp cornstarch
1 1/4 cup heavy cream
2/3 cup sugar
2 Tbsp light corn syrup
1/4 tsp salt
3 Tbsp cream cheese
1 cup pumpkin puree
2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup coarsely crushed ginger snaps
2 Tbsp bourbon (I used whiskey b/c that is what we had)
Stir together 1/4 cup of milk with 4 tsp cornstarch and set aside.
Whisk together remaining milk, heavy cream, sugar, syrup and salt. Heat over medium. 
Broil to boil and cook for 4 minutes.
Stir in slurry and bring back to a boil. Cook for 2 more mins, until thickened.
Stir 1/2 cup of the hot milk mixture into a bowl with the cream cheese.
Whisk until smooth.
Pour back into hot milk mixture. Remove from heat.
Add pumpkin and spices to milk mixture.

Whisk until smooth.
Pour into a gallon bag. If you want to cool quickly, place gallon bag into a bowl of ice.
Allow custard to cool completely. Put into your ice cream maker and freeze to the manufacturers instructions.

After ice cream freezes, stir in whiskey or bourbon.
Place in an airtight container and allow to freeze for 2 hours.
Crush gingersnaps into coarse crumbles.
Stir cookies into ice cream and freeze for 2-3 more hours before serving.
SOOOO delicious!!
I need more!! Too bad it was all eaten at the party....

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Broiled Tomato and Goat Cheese Dip

We had Jeffrey's good friend Kip and his girlfriend, Sam over for dinner last week. I am so glad J's friends have girlfriends now, it makes having them over much more fun for me! I made Chicken Marsala with Mustard and Mascarpone for dinner, Blueberry Cobbler for Dessert and this new dip for an appetizer. It is great to try new dishes, but never make a new dish for your main course when having company for dinner! This will almost always result in disaster, see this post. I thought it would be fine to try a new recipe for appetizer. It was easy, pretty and delicious.

Broiled Tomato and Goat Cheese Dip

1 28 oz can of San Marzano Whole Tomatoes
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1 Tbsp dried basil
2 cloves garlic
1 Tbsp olive oil
1/4 tsp red pepper flakes (optional)
4 oz goat cheese
In a food processor, blend tomatoes and juice until smooth. I had to do two different batches because I have a mini food processor. 
Stir into tomato puree, minced garlic, basil, salt and olive oil.
Also add red pepper flakes if you like a little kick!

Heat oven to 375. Place tomatoes in oven safe dish and cook for 5 minutes.
Slice goat cheese.
Remove tomato sauce from oven and raise the temp to 425. Top tomato sauce with goat cheese and add back to oven for 25 mins.
You can serve this sauce with crackers, pita chips or crostinis. I bought plain crostinis from the store and drizzled olive oil, garlic salt and Italian seasoning on them, then baked them for 5 minutes.
Your dip is ready when it is bubbly and browning on top. I ended up putting mine under the broiler for a few minutes to get a little color on the cheese. 

Serve with your crostini! Enjoy!

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Brussels Sprouts and Pecans with Brown Butter

I just LOVE Brussels Sprouts. I think it is a taste I have acquired with age. They are a little bitter and need special attention, but the texture of the crunchy outside with the creamy tender inside is terrific. I have seen several recipes lately that include brown butter. It was a lot easier to make than I thought and you can't beat the rich flavor it gives to the Brussels. These would be great for your Thanksgiving table!

Brussels Sprouts and Pecans with Brown Butter
1 pound Brussels Sprouts
1/2 cup chopped pecans
1-2 shallots
2 garlic cloves
1 Tbsp olive oil
2 Tbsp butter
salt and pepper

Trader Joes was selling them on the stock! So fun!
Cut nubby bottoms off Brussels and cut in half.
Mince shallots and garlic. The recipe called for 2 shallots, but I only felt like chopping up 1...I get lazy when it comes to mincing...
Toast pecans in a skillet, tossing occasionally.
Remove pecans from skillet and set aside. Pour in 1 Tbsp of olive oil and then at shallots and garlic. Cook until they begin to turn golden.
Add Brussels Sprouts to pan with the onions. Cook for 12-15 minutes, tossing occasionally. 
Season with salt and pepper.

Melt butter on medium heat, stirring slowly. 

Brown flakes will begin to appear in butter, stir until it is golden and bubbly, then remove from heat.
Once Brussels Sprouts are cooked, add pecans back to pan. Toss and remove from heat.
Serve Brussels Sprouts on plate and drizzle with brown butter.
Yummmmm. We will be eating these again tomorrow night! I am thinking of adding some dried cranberries this time.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Baked Italian Meatballs

The 3Bs took on the Ellen Show Wednesday. It was a fun experience, despite the lack of exciting guest stars. I won't go into that, you can just look up the episode that aired Thursday the 20th and see for yourself. We did walk away with a $100 gift card to Groupon, which we promptly used towards a 3Bs spa certificate that will include a 1 hour message and 1 hour facial! This defiantly made up for the weird guests.
I think we had more fun before the show is our photo shoot:
Em is indifferent
 Meg is soooo happy!
 I can't wait!
The 3Bs!

I got this recipe from Julia's Healthy Italian Cooking Blog. I have found many winners from this site. Who doesn't LOVE Italian food!
Baked Italian Meatballs
1/2 pound 93% ground turkey
2 Tbsp grated parmesan
1 garlic clove
3 Tbsp parsley
2 Tbsp Italian breadcrumbs
1/2 egg 
1 1/2 Tbsp olive oil, plus more to moisten your hands with
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
Preheat oven to 450
Using your hands, mix together all above ingredients.

Roll meatballs into balls about 1 inch in diameter.

Drizzle a bit of olive oil in your hands and roll each ball around in oil to get a fine coating of oil that will make them crisp on the outside.
Place in a greased baking dish.
Bake for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown. Mine were not browning and I didn't want to over cook them so I stuck them under the broiler for a few minutes. I think it is because they were to close together in the pan.
I served my meatballs with the tomato, lemon and feta pasta that I made in this blog, it was delicious together!