Friday, July 29, 2011

Homemade Honey Ice Cream

I knew that would get your attention! Who doesn't love ice cream?  Especially homemade ice cream made with only half and half, heavy cream, farm fresh eggs and delicious raw honey!  No one that I know :)

For Mother's Day this past year, my son Mike and his lovely wife Katie (author of the fab cooking blog gave me three very different jars of wonderful honey they bought on a trip to Savannah, Georgia.  I love locally made honey and they know that.  That's what made this gift so special.
I've been using the honey in the usual ways:  in my oatmeal for breakfast, in salad dressings, in yogurt with berries.  But I've been trying to think of a way to showcase the honey for the delicious flavor it has on its own.

Recently, I was reading the latest Taste San Antonio magazine and there was an article on locally made honey, showcasing a recipe for Lavender Honey Ice CreamSuddenly a light bulb went off...I would use the honey Mike and Katie gave me to make ice cream!  I decided to use the Sourwood honey in this recipe.  Yummy!

You need an ice cream maker for this one, but in my humble opinion, every well stocked kitchen should have one :)

Sourwood Honey Ice Cream
1 cup half and half
2 cups heavy cream
7 egg yolks
3/4 cup sourwood honey (or any locally produced honey that you like)

Combine the half and half and cream in a heavy saucepan; heat to just below boiling and remove from the stovetop and let cool slightly.

Meanwhile, beat the egg yolks in a bowl until frothy.

Whisking continuously, slowly pour half of the cream mixture into the egg yolks.  Pour that mixture back into the saucepan and heat on low, whisking constantly, for about 5 minutes.  (This was impossible to photograph as I needed to work quickly and needed both hands!) When the mixture coats the back of a spoon, it's done.

 Pour the mixture through a fine meshed sieve into a bowl and whisk in the honey.

Chill thoroughly, ideally overnight.  I place a piece of plastic wrap directly on the custard.  This prevents a film from forming.

After chilling, freeze in an ice cream maker according to manufacturer's direction.

Pour into nonreactive container and freeze until firm

I served it over a Chocolate Amaretti Cake...delicous!

But it's also fabulous on its own!

 Should make 4-5 servings...maybe :-)

Buon Appetito!

Monday, July 25, 2011

Puppies in the River

Just a quick update on the puppies.  They are growing strong and are just beautiful!  And I'm having so much fun with them!

 Lovely Laci

Beautiful Gretchen

Throughout the course of this summer, I've discovered that they *love* the water and love to swim.  We've taken them to our ranch house many times this summer and on each trip, we have a ball.  Just thought I'd post some pics of our river romps this summer.  Old boy Tyson hangs right in there with them...chasing balls and having fun!


Just call me the Pied Piper!

3 balls + 3 dogs = 1 happy day!

Friday, July 22, 2011

Grilled Chicken and Stone Fruit Salsa with Herbed Couscous

Oh my goodness...this dish is soooo yummy!  And easy easy easy!  It doesn't use much from my garden, a couple of peppers and some of my herbs, but it is too good not to share.  It uses summer fruit and lends itself to many variations depending on what you have and what you like.  And as you know by now, that's my kind of recipe!  Please try this one :)

 Red Ruffled Pimento Peppers from my garden

Grilled Chicken and Nectarine Salsa
with Herbed Couscous
1 tablespoon brown sugar
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice (about 1/2 lime)
2 teaspoons chili powder
2 small cloves garlic, minced or pressed through garlic press
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 1/2 lbs of boneless, skinless chicken thighs or breasts (I used thighs.  To me, they have much more flavor)

In large shallow dish, combine first 8 ingredients; mix well.  You can make this up to 1 day ahead and store in the fridge.

Add chicken and thoroughly coat with marinade.  Let stand at least 15 minutes and up to 1 hour.

Stone Fruit Salsa
2 cups diced stone fruit (peaches, plums, nectarines or a combination of all three.  I used Texas peaches and nectarines)
1/2 cup diced red bell pepper
1/4 cup thinly sliced red onion (I left this out b/c I don't like raw onions :)
1/4 cup finely chopped fresh cilantro
1 1/2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
1 small jalapeno, seeded and diced (you could use a Serrano pepper for more heat)
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1-2 tablespoons good, extra virgin olive oil
1/2 cup peeled, diced avocado (optional)

Combine the stone fruit and next 7 ingredients in a bowl.  Let stand 15 minutes to blend flavors.  Just before serving, fold in avocado if using.

Herbed Couscous
Combine 3/4 cup fat free, low sodium chicken broth and 1/2 cup water in saucepan.  Bring to boil.  Stir in 1 cup uncooked couscous.  Remove from heat; cover and let stand 5 minutes.  Fluff with fork.  Stir in 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley, 2 tablespoons chopped fresh chives and 1/4 teaspoon salt.  Again, you could use any combination of herbs here that you like.  Set aside until chicken is cooked. 

Grill chicken over medium high heat until done...12-18 minutes depending on what you are cooking, thighs or breasts.  Remove from grill.

Place chicken pieces, some couscous and salsa on a plate and serve.  Y.U.M.M.Y!

Buon Appetito! :)