February 16, 2017

the ice cream gods

The Improv Cooking Challenge ingredients for this month were chocolate & chili. I decided to make Chipotlé Chocolate Fried Ice Cream. As I was beginning the task, I prayed to the chocolate gods that the process would be smooth.
The chocolate gods were smiling on me and I had a beautiful chocolate ice cream mix in the can!

I put the dasher in the can and the can in the bucket of the churn. (Sometimes I have a problem with remembering the dasher... :O )
It was when I went to start the motor that the ice cream gods began to frown upon me. There was noise in the electrical parts, but I've found that noise can't churn ice cream!

My ancestors were a resourceful lot, and I'll bet they made ice cream in a jar rolled in snow. If home-school mamas can make ice cream in a zip-lock bag kneaded with ice cubes; I could adapt & overcome!

So I did!

Thank the ice cream gods that I still own an orange Tupperware bowl. (it's great for dough-rising!)

It got quite cold

but never achieved true churned ice cream consistency, but after sitting in the freezer overnight, was usable for my recipe.

...and that was how I thwarted a curse from the ice cream gods!

Chipotlé Chocolate Fried Ice Cream

Those of you who follow my recipes get a chocolate "two-fer" this week (this month...) Monday I posted a Brown Butter Cheesecake Truffles recipe for #FoodBloggerLove and this post is a Chocolate & Chili recipe for the #ImprovCookingChallenge today.

I was kind of glad Nichole (the wonderful blogger who organizes the Improv Cooking Challenge) chose this particular combination. For a year now I've been ordered tasked with asked to replicate this:

I've made two versions so far, but neither was satisfactory. But I think I'm getting closer...

I scream, you scream, we all scream when we have chipotlé ice cream!

I had been reading about making ice cream thickened with cornstarch instead of eggs. I'd heard that it was so silky & smooth -- so that's the direction we went today:
In a sauce pan whisk together 1 cup sugar, 1/3 cup baking cocoa, 2 Tablespoons espresso powder, 1-1/2 teaspoons chipotlé chile powder, and 1 Tablespoon ground cinnamon. Whisk in 2 cups whole milk and heat on stove.
While that's going, mix another 1/2 cup milk with 3 Tablespoons cornstarch until there are no more lumps. Just as the concoction in the pan comes to a boil, stir in the cornstarch mixture. Continue to stir and boil until the texture is like pudding. Remove from heat. Boil 1/2 cup heavy cream (I utilized the microwave) and pour over 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips. After a minute, stir until the chips are melted.
Add this to the spicy cocoa in the pan and stir well. Chill complete mixture until ready to prepare according your ice cream maker manufacturer's directions. (You can read how I churned mine here.)

Ice cream recipe adapted from Joy the Baker.

While your ice cream maker is doing the hard work; go ahead and prepare the coating for your ice cream balls.
(please, if you are gluten-intolerant, ensure you are using a certified gluten-free corn flake product!)

I crushed until I had 2 cups corn flake crumbs. Then I stirred in 1 cup unsweetened shredded coconut. (you can also use crushed nuts, if desired...) Set aside.

Form ice cream into balls (I made 6; you could make more or less depending on the size of your dessert appetite!) Freeze for an hour. Roll in crumbs and return to freezer for two hours.
(first coating -- you could fry it this way, but I wouldn't recommend it!) 

Beat two eggs in a small bowl. Dip coated balls in the egg, then again dredge in crumb mixture. Freeze for two hours.
(after 2nd coat)

I actually prepared another two eggs and repeated the process to make sure I had a good coating. Stuck them in the freezer for another 2 hours.
(last dip in crumbs -- now fit to be fried!)

Just before frying the ice cream balls, make your bed of whipped cream. (I whipped 8 oz. heavy whipping cream with 1 Tablespoon powdered sugar. You can make more, because the whip does help lower the heat from the chipotlé...)

Heat oil to 400°. Gently lower one ball at a time and fry for almost a minute.

Remove from oil (let it drip excess oil a few seconds) and serve immediately!

Did you enjoy my Chocolate & Chili choice? Check out my friends' recipes at these links:

February 15, 2017

Another monogrammed hankie...

This weekend I had to use a hankie I stitched for the hubs years ago...

It was not for a sad occasion, but for a joyful one!

I've embroidered 3 handkerchiefs for my friend -- the first one was for the day her beautiful d.i.l. became part of her family:

The second one I made for the day of her husband's memorial service:

...but for this day, I needed to use "something old" & "something blue" so I figured this delicious old crocheted-edge linen would do!

Her new monogram:

posted from Bloggeroid

February 14, 2017

OLD work...

This weekend we were blessed to attend an Open-House for my uncle's 80th birthday. Cousin Laurel did a marvelous job of making Cornhole available for entertainment, cooking up & ordering in some delicious comfort food faves, and arranging her house to accommodate a bunch of people!
As I was sitting in her dining room I spied a relic I'd embroidered for her maybe 15 years ago(?) when my machine was still young!

The FRUIT OF THE SPIRIT wall hanging just reminds me, on this Valentines Day, what characteristics can be sorely lacking in my relationships,

and which I should be endeavoring to develop to be able to bless the ones I love.

Unfortunately, some of these traits are under exercised in my life...

posted from Bloggeroid

February 13, 2017

Browned Butter Cheesecake Truffles for #foodbloggerlove

The imaginative minds behind The Pintertest Kitchen have created an occasion called #foodbloggerlove as a virtual coffee klatche to meet & greet bloggers and exchange recipes. The blogger drawn out of the hat for me is Colleen from
Faith, Hope, Love, & Luck Survive Despite a Whiskered Accomplice
(the "whiskered accomplice" being none other than her beautiful Bengal cat!) If you want to check out more of Colleen's creative genius, you can follow her facebookpinterestinstagram or twitter accounts.

Well, as luck (or otherwise...) would have it, while we were snooping stalking browsing Colleen's social media, Duncan became intrigued with the esteemed Lady Brenna of Fairfax's picture.
He's taking quite a personal interest in this blog post. (Usually he's content to sleep by the keyboard & occasionally rest his head on the "esc" key...) Dunc joined me for recipe testing today.

We thought we'd make chocolate truffles to celebrate Valentine's Day with Colleen.

I was experimenting with browned butter and cream cheese the other day and was struck by the thought that their flavors would make a mighty fine cheesecake! But it's (supposedly) naughty to eat an entire cheesecake by yourself -- however, if crafted into mini "cakes" like truffles (with added benefit of being slathered in chocolate!) one can get by with selfishly eating them all... And then we decided our little cheesecake ball needed a red heart inside, so we tucked in a dried tart cherry.
So here's how you make them:

Brown 1/4 cup of butter. Let it cool until it's almost solid again, then blend it with 8 oz. softened cream cheese. When that is all smooth, add 1 T. pure maple syrup. Chill mixture.

For the crust you'll need to use 1 cup roasted almonds (they should be unsalted, so if you need to, you can toast your own in a 350° oven for about 10 minutes.) Process the cooled nuts with 1/4 t. sea salt and 2 T. butter until it makes a nice almond butter. Continue processing with 1 c, almond flour, 2 T. pure maple syrup, and 1 T. water. Don't over blend it, just let it come nicely together. Do not chill.

Using about a teaspoon of the cheesecake mixture, form a ball around a dried cherry. (You'll need to work fast, it softens quickly. I had to re-chill it a couple times before I was through.) Freeze balls for at least two hours.

Flatten about a tablespoon of the crust mixture in your hand, then cover the cheesecake ball, rounding as best as possible. Return the crusted balls to the freezer for a couple hours.

Melt your favorite chocolate (I used dark chips today) using your favorite method (I prefer double-boiler.) Since the 53% was sweeter than I wanted, I added a couple ounces of Trader Joe's 72% cacao dark chocolate...

I slathered ensconced dipped those baby cheesecakes and let them harden. Duncan suggested a little decoration, so we melted vanilla chips and thus adorned the truffles.

So, happy Valentine's Day, Colleen & Lady Brenna. We hope we added a little sweetness to your celebration!
We had fun making & tasting (well, Duncan didn't get a taste...) your truffles.

(Dunc wanted to leave you with his photo test: >"< )

*maple syrup from here*

February 12, 2017


On one of my walks through our neighborhood, I spied a pile of construction debris and in that pile I discovered this stack of sweet tiles!

I cajoled the dear hubs to please fetch them for my, a-hem, craft stash.
A little time with my Silhouette cutter, a long time getting the stencils positioned, then a little time with etching cream produced these lovelies:

They needed felt "feet" so's not to mar delicate surfaces.

I love how the light plays off the etched & un-etched areas of glaze.

posted from Bloggeroid