Monday, June 16, 2014

I Scream...for Low Carb Ice Cream!!!!

I've been away for longer than I thought!  Let's just say, "I've been busy..." and leave it at that!

I'm still busy, but I'm busy and I miss blogging...so, here's the latest obsession of mine....low carb ice cream!

I had my first of this when my BFF, Melinda, made some for me up at the cabin one weekend.....it was SO delicious!!!  We did notice that her recipe was less sweet the more frozen it was, so I thought about it and here's my adaptation of her recipe....

For the base I use 8 eggs, 3 cups of half and half, 2/3 cups of Splenda, 1 tablespoon of vanilla.
I started by separating the yolks from the whites....I've seen this done a lot of different ways, but I just put the whole egg in my hand and allow the whites to just fall off!

Do what you want with your egg whites....I pitch them.

The next thing I do is add 1.5 cups of the half and half to the eggs....
...and mix!
Then add the vanilla....

Then the Splenda (or whatever sweetener you prefer).

Meanwhile, I heat the remaining half and half just until you see the smoke start to rise off of it....not too much or it will curdle!  Then add a few tablespoons, one at a time, in order to temper the eggs and not cause them to cook or separate. 


 Then I add the rest, mix well and put it back on the stove on medium low and stir and stir......
...and stir until it begins to thicken enough to coat the back of a spoon....like this...
 
For this batch, I melted a stick of butter and let about a cup (more or less, if you like) of pecans...
....then added them to the egg/half and half mixture and set the pan into an ice bath...

 
Once it's cooled to room temperature, I put it into my Cuisinart ice cream machine....

 
 
...and let the magic begin....
 
After it started to get really thick....you can tell when it's ready because it STOPS getting thicker...then I put it into a tightly sealed container and put it in the freezer.
And then I stalked the freezer until it was frozen enough to eat.....
 

...and then I did......eat it....
 
And then I made chocolate...

 
 
And now my life will never be the same again.....





Friday, March 8, 2013

To Tahini or Not to Tahini

I love hummus....but some of them out there just seem a little d r y.  So I decided to try something I saw somewhere...yea, I have NO idea where I saw this, but it stuck in my head.  Typically only weird stuff sticks...not important things such as where my keys are, what day of the week is it...umm...what month?

Anyway....I saw this recipe for an eggplant dip that reminded me of hummus.  So, I started off with these ingredients....
Yep...no Tahini, hence the post title!  I didn't have any and it was raining outside....really raining.  I didn't miss it, but try it if you have some and let me know how it tastes!!

So...I cut up the eggplant into cubes and roasted them in the oven....with the garlic!

Yea, I agree....roasted the garlic was the a great idea.  If I'm roasting anything that's going to have garlic in it/on it, it goes into the oven WITH it.  It's a no brainer, right?

 

I drained the beans, then put them in my mini food processor and "whizzed" them.

Then I put the roasted eggplant and garlic into the processor with the lemon juice and parsley and "whizzed" them..
Add the two together..........and VOILA!!!
I'm telling you, the eggplant made all the difference in the world!  It made it so much more silky....moist and full of flavor.  As much as I enjoy hummus, I'd take a tablespoon of this over a gallon of hummus.  Of course, then I'd go into the kitchen and make some more!


I hope you try it!
 

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Carrabas Chicken Bryan

I tend to eat a bit on the "low carb" side of things.  I LOVE bread....but it doesn't love me back.  I've tried to ignore that, but sometimes I give in.

When life is busy and I don't have time to cook something up and I'm in the mood for something delicious while sticking to my low carb intentions, I go to Carrabas.....yes, their bread is a m a z i n g, but I can give up the bread knowing everything else in my meal will be awesome!  What do I get???  The chicken trio!  And MY favorite of the three is.........drum roll, please........Chicken Bryan!!! 
I love it for many reasons...but mostly because it has GOAT CHEESE on it!  I've searched far and wide for a good recipe and I found one that is close......but not quite right, so I altered it a bit.
 
I started by dicing up half of a pretty large shallot and three garlic cloves.
Then I melted two tablespoons of butter and sauteed the shallots and garlic. 
 
 
Then I added 2 tablespoons of lemon juice and 1/2 cup of white wine (I used a chardonnay).  I let that simmer until it was reduced by about 80%.   Then I added about  tablespoons of butter and turned off the heat.  The butter adds a silkiness to the sauce...if you continue to cook it, the milk solids will dissapate and it won't be as silky.  It will still taste delish though!  ;o)
Meanwhile I drizzled olive oil........screeeeeeeeeeeeeech...........wait....I didn't really use olive oil.  This recipe calls for some sundried tomatoes...mine are soaked in olive oil....and yes, I used that oil.  Why not?  It's packed with flavor!  Oh, and I've saved it for future tomato-ey recipes!


Now where were we?  Oh....I drizzed some of the oil onto the chicken breasts, along with salt and pepper....
I got my grill pan (thanks, Shelby) nice and hot, then I seared both sides to get those nice grill marks!
 
Then I turned down the heat, added a little white wine, covered the pan with a lid and let it finish cooking.  This added a little extra flavor, while keeping the meat moist.
 
Meanwhile, I was working on the toppings..........chopped basil, chopped sundried tomatoes and......GOAT CHEESE SLICES!!!!!
Once the chicken breasts were done, I put them on the plate and put the goat cheese slices on the top so they could begin to soften....topped that with the sundried tomatoes and the chopped basil, then poured over the sauce.........voila!
It really was delicious.........so delicious that I wish I had waited and made it for my Valentine's Day dinner!!!  Because Valentine's Day is such a special day to me for many reasons, I eat only my favorite things on that day!   I guess I'd better go now....I need to find something else to have tomorrow. 
Happy Valentine's Day!
 
CYa!


Sunday, November 18, 2012

I've Been Again.....

.......to Bennigans!!  This recipe is an old throwback to my younger days when I worked at Bennigans!  I have to say that it was one of my most favorite jobs!  I was a waitress and it was the first of the Bennigan's/Chili's/Applebee's type of restaurant....and every day at 5 pm the line of people wanting to get in was wrapped around the restaurant!  The wait staff had to wear hats...and I had such a great time making and finding fun hats to wear.  Oh....sorry.....back to the recipe!

They had two versions....Smothered Steak and Smothered Chicken.  Both meats were grilled, topped with sauteed mushrooms and onions, then covered in cheese and baked to bubbling perfection.  It was one of my favorite things on our menu!  I've seen a few recipes on the internet...most call for bacon...and I can assure you there was no bacon in these smothered dishes.  This is the closest I've come to what I used to order almost every time I went in....that is, if I didn't order the nachos!!!

I had several chicken breasts that I'd bought at Harris Teeter (TIP:  They are ALWAYS $1.99 a pound in the butcher's case...always).  I sliced them into cutlets...
....sprinkled them with salt and pepper, then I put them into a hot grill pan with about a tablespoon of olive oil.  I cooked them long enough to get nice grill marks.
Then I set them aside in separate baking dishes and melted some butter in the pan and added diced shallots and mushrooms...
I sauteed them long enough to soften them, then added some Madeira wine...
...and let the alcohol cook off until it thick and bubbly...
...then I spooned them over the chicken......
....and topped it with Muenster cheese, which is mild, smooth and melts beautifully!
Then I put them in the oven at 350 degrees for about 10-12 minutes....just long enough to melt the cheese and get the buttery sauce bubbling around the edges.

It was delicious, served with roasted asparagus.....and a Vidal Blanc.  Thanks for the memories, Bennigan's.....we miss you around these parts!