Sunday, January 29, 2012

Oatmeal Cookie Ice Cream

Remember the Ben & Jerry's flavor Oatmeal Cookie Chunk? Me too... it's the pint I would routinely, and by routinely I mean at least twice a week, polish off in one glorious sitting. The cinnamon ice cream was chock full of huge and chewy oatmeal cookie chunks and studded with just the right amount of dark chocolate pieces. 
Sadly Ben and Jerry discontinued the flavor, for whatever reason, and I miss it, dearly. I'd have thought I could single handedly sustain that flavor's sales numbers, at least in Ohio.
So though B&J's version is dead and gone, my need for it is alive and well. So, I finally decided to recreate the goodness once and for all. All I can say is, watch out Vermont.

{Oatmeal Cookie Ice Cream}

Chop a fourth of the batch into sixths. Feel free to eat the leftovers.

Ice Cream Ingredients:
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar
2 cups whole milk
3 eggs (eggbeaters)
1/2 cup oats
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
1/8 cup chocolate chips, chopped

In a mixing bowl, beat sugar and eggs. In a medium saucepan, bring milk to a slow boil and add in oats, salt and cinnamon. Reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes, stirring. Beat oatmeal into eggs/sugar mixture. Let cool slightly, then stir in cream and refrigerate until cool or overnight. Freeze according to ice cream maker instructions, adding in the chocolate chips, then pack in an airtight container, layering in the cookie pieces. Cover with wax or parchment paper to avoid freezer burn.

 This ice cream is perfect: Creamy, with lots and lots of oatmeal taste and texture. It's like the best oatmeal you've ever eaten... in ice cream form. I think that means it's okay to have it for breakfast.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

General Tso's Chicken

Yesterday was one of those perfect Saturdays- sleeping in, waking with the sun on your face, reading for hours, actual breakfast, more reading, paint samples, coffee, a long walk with the dog, etc. And, it being one of those Saturdays, I tried something new, and completely out of my repertoire, for dinner- Chinese.
Hello, General Tso, you are delicious.
My substitutes: low-sodium soy, Siracha hot sauce for the Chinese chile-garlic sauce and white meat instead of chicken thighs. Double the amount of sauce and add steamed snow peas and voila. Better-than-take-out General Tso's.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Spinach Salad

Sometimes, salad isn't just salad. This is one of those times.

{Spinach Salad}
Honey Dressing
1/3 cup sugar
2 1/2 tablespoons vinegar
2 1/2 tablespoons honey
1/2 teaspoon paprike
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon dry mustard
1/2 teaspoon celery seed
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon grated
1/2 cup olive oil

Heat all the dressing ingredients until sugar melts and is stirrable. Add oil. Shake and chill.

Fresh spinach
1 pound bacon, cooked and crumbled
red onion slices
sliced almonds
1 can mandarin oranges or fresh tangerine

Toss together fresh spinach, onion and oranges. Brown almonds in bacon drippings (watch carefully so almonds don't burn). Add crumbed bacon and almonds to salad. Pour on dressing just before serving. 

This salad isn't "light" and it probably won't help with any slimming new year's resolutions. But hey, this salad is worth it. To a new year filled with bacon and goodness!

Cranberry Salad

Christmas might be over, but that doesn't mean we can't still eat the food of the holidays. And in my family, Christmas wouldn't be complete without the cranberry salad. This Christmas staple gets a bad rap because most people were scarred by their first tastes of imitation "cranberry salad." You know the stuff: The pinkish stuff glops out of the can oh so slowly and each person has to take a token spoonful on their plates. 

That is NOT this cranberry salad. My mimi's recipe gives you a lovely mix of fresh citrusy fruits and nuts with amazing texture and taste. It holds a place of honor on every holiday plate. And it's just so pretty.

{Cranberry Salad}
1 pound cranberries
1 orange with peel
1 cup chopped nuts
1 cup chopped celery
1 cup diced apples
1 large strawberry jello
1 1/2 cups sugar and 3 cups hot water

Grind cranberries, orange and apples in a hand-cranked grinder (You can use a food processor, too). Then stir in chopped nuts and celery. Prepare jello according to directions. Mix all ingredients together and freeze.