Sunday, August 29, 2010

Buttermilk Peach Ice Cream Float

I have a problem. Every summer Saturday I head over to the Farmer's Market and buy whatever fruits and vegetables strike my fancy. Recently, I have been buying peaches and nectarines every trip to the market. The thing is, I can't possibly eat all this fruit and Joey only likes them when cooked. So I end up with loads of peaches and nectarines at the end of every week.

Last week I made a crisp. This week, I stumbled upon a recipe for ice cream--buttermilk peach ice cream. As luck would have it, I had some buttermilk in the fridge!

This recipe actually takes 2 days--but if you are a regular ice cream maker, you know that most ice cream takes time due to cooling the custard. But get this, this recipe doesn't even use a custard base! So all you have to do is let the peaches set for awhile to soak in the delicious sugary flavors, puree, and mix. The Homesick Texan lets the peaches sit overnight. I was going to just do all day but then decided I didn't want to make it until the next day.

This ice cream is good but not sweet as you would expect. It reminds me more of yogurt--not the frozen kind. However, it is pretty tasty the more and more I try it. The mixture was a little big for our ice cream maker and nearly overflowed since there is so much liquid involved in the original recipe, however, it froze more solid in the freezer after.

I have been trying to devise a way to make this ice cream be better-- a sweet topping perhaps? However, I found a way by turning it into an ice cream float. I highly recommend this use of the ice cream--or you could eat on it's own...or with cake...or pie or something of that sort.

3-4 scoops Buttermilk Peach Ice Cream
1/2 can lemon-lime soda
tall glass
straw (I didn't have a straw and really missed it)
long spoon

1. Fill tall glass with scoops of ice cream, push down on the ice cream to make sure you leave no holes.
2. Pour lemon-lime soda into the spaces left by the ice cream scoops until it fizzes all the way to the top.
3. Top with thin curls of ice cream (if your ice cream is really hard, you can do this by scooping a very thin layer of ice cream and setting it carefully atop the bubbles.
4. Add spoon and straw and enjoy on the veranda for a cool & refreshing snack

Friday, August 27, 2010

Beer-Braised Sausage & Warm Potato Salad

Tonight for dinner I made this recipe which can be found on Martha's site and also in one of the recent Everyday Food magazines. The recipe didn't take long to make and was distinctly autumn. However, it didn't have that much flavor. The sausages tasted like Italian sausage without sauce and the potatoes--even when drowned in the sauce and a little oil & vinegar were bland. I probably won't make this again, but if I do, I'd add some seasoning, use bratwurst or apple sausage, add some apples to the pot and cook as directed.

Slightly disappointing, but it made the house smell great!

Berry Cobbler

The Pioneer Woman has been dangling this beauty in front of my face for weeks now. It seems that every time I go to her website and click the cooking tab, this delicious morsel pops up on the screen screaming for me to make it.

But here's the kicker, I go to the Farmer's market every Saturday only to find a ridiculously disappointing selection of berries that appear to be purchased from Ralph's on the way to the market.

Have you ever had a raspberry or blackberry right off the vine? A blueberry fresh picked from Maine or Michigan? Once you do, you'll never settle for berries from the grocery store again--you will spend your summer searching for fresh picked berries with flavor that shoots into your mouth and gets all over your hands and stains your t-shirt with purply goodness.

However, two weeks ago my friend and I decided to check out the Santa Monica Farmer's Market at lunch. This market is catered toward our rich city neighbors with higher prices and fancier products--but it is so convenient and open during lunch! As we walked the lanes searching for the perfect tomatoes, I spotted a stall selling fresh berries--real berries. I rushed over and had a taste. The golden raspberries were divine! They tasted like honey. I immediately bought 2 pints of golden raspberries and one of blackberries. I remembered the cobbler and decided to make it that night. Unfortunately, that didn't work out, because I was so berry deprived I ate 2/3 pints before I even got home that night (really before I got to the office but nobody's counting).

So Wednesday rolled around again and I was determined to go back to the market and get more berries--and have some left when I got home. And I did it! These golden raspberries weren't as good as the red raspberries this time--which is probably why there are only 3-4 red raspberries remaining for the cobbler. I added some blueberries I had around to the cobbler as well. Golden deliciousness ensued. I would make this again if I could get the berries to make it home guaranteed.

Mine didn't turn out as golden as hers and I'm sure it's the pan I used. I was going to use a tart pan but was worried it would get all over the place. I think I needed something bigger and thinner--that pan she has would be great--but I didn't have anything like it. Wish I did! Go check out the recipe on the Pioneer Woman's site (linked above) for picture tutorial!


* 1 stick Butter
* 1-¼ cup Sugar
* 1 cup Self-Rising Flour (instead of 1 cup self rising flour, I used 1 cup all purpose flour + 1 1/4t baking powder + 1/8t salt)
* 1 cup Milk
* 2 cups Blackberries (frozen Or Fresh)


Melt butter in a microwavable dish. Pour 1 cup of sugar and flour into a mixing bowl, whisking in milk. Mix well. Then, pour in melted butter and whisk it all well together. Butter a baking dish.

Now rinse and pat dry the blackberries. Pour the batter into the buttered baking dish. Sprinkle blackberries over the top of the batter; distributing evenly. Sprinkle ¼ cup sugar over the top.

Bake in the oven at 350 degrees for 1 hour, or until golden and bubbly. If you desire, sprinkle an additional teaspoon of sugar over the cobbler 10 minutes before it’s done.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Nectarine Crisp

Remember this? Remember how I said I for some reason had a bunch of leftover shortbread dough? Well, I pulled it out of the freezer this morning and decided to put it to use! I really wanted some kind of peach or nectarine crisp. I have been seeing them all over tastespotting and wanted that juicy deliciousness with a hint of sweetness to be mine!

I totally made up this recipe and I didn't really measure either. I found that when you don't really measure you are a very messy cook--I don't know how I got flour on my foot...but the final product sometimes turns out to be amazing. That was the case here. If you don't happen to have any leftover shortbread dough you could just make a regular crisp...but since I know you probably DO have leftover shortbread dough then you should know this recipe takes no time at all.

Leftover Shortbread dough - about 1/2 Cup crumbled
2 ripe nectarines or peaches or you could throw in whatever fruit you want, diced (I left the peel on)
1 T butter, cut into pieces
1 1/2 T brown sugar
Baking spice to taste
1 t Tapioca
1 T flour

1. Preheat the oven to 325
2. Put butter bits on the bottom of an individual size casserole dish or oven-proof bowl
3. Toss fruit, brown sugar, tapioca, baking spice and flour in a small bowl
4. Pour fruit mixture over butter, top with crumbled shortbread
5. Bake at 325 for about 20-25 minutes until bubbly and shortbread starts to turn golden
6. Cool briefly before eating. Serve with whipped cream or ice cream for a real treat!

Monday, August 16, 2010

Baked spaghetti & mozzerella

I love the days when all my magazines come in the mail. I curl up on the couch and dog-ear recipes I want to try. As soon as I saw the photo in this month's Everyday Food for baked spaghetti my mouth started to water. I knew that this recipe would be one I was going to make--and soon.

Hungry for gooey cheese and bubbly red sauce, I turned this recipe around in just 2 days from receiving the magazine! And let me tell you, it was well worth it. This dish was satisfying and delicious and both Joey and I loved it! Plus, it only uses a few ingredients, mostly staples!

The recipe says it serves 4 but I made enough for at least 6--maybe even 8. Serve this with garlic bread and if you want to round it out a nice salad.

salt & pepper
2 28 oz cans crushed tomatoes
2 T olive oil
1 1/2 T oregano
2 cloves garlic, smashed and peeled (I am bad at smashing, so I peeled them and then used a meat tenderizer to smash)
3/4 pound spaghetti (I eyeballed it and clearly made more pasta than they called for)
2 C packed basil leaves
3/4 lb fresh mozzarella, cut into 1/2 inch pieces

1. Preheat Oven to 400 degrees. Set a large pot of salted water over high heat to boil
2. Prepare basil, garlic, and mozzarella & open tomatoes
3. In a large frying pan, heat oil over medium heat. Add garlic and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute
4. Add tomatoes, oregano & salt & pepper to taste, bring to a rolling boil. Simmer on a high simmer 12 minutes until sauce thickens slightly.
5. Cook pasta 5 minutes (it will still be hard), drain, return to pot
6. Stir sauce, pasta, basil & half the cheese with the noodles. Pour into a 3-qt oven-safe dish
7. Top with the remaining cheese. Bake 20-25 minutes until sauce is bubbly and cheese is slightly golden