The Gift That’s Really Giving | Roasted Strawberry Balsamic Ice Cream

An ice cream machine. So wonderful.

Some terrific friends birthday gifted me one and it’s been too much fun making ice cream at a slightly crazed rate. There are just too many recipes to try! And many eager ice cream tasters. Be warned that you may be seeing many more ice cream related blog posts in the future.

Roasted Strawberry Balsamic Ice Cream Roasted Strawberry Balsamic Ice Cream

The ice cream pictured here was actually my second baby (yeah. All of them are my babies). The first was this magnificent honey thyme blackberry goat cheese ice cream, recipe courtesy of the genius that is Reclaiming Provincial. It was so, so good and flavorful, save my rookie mistake of not straining out the blackberry seeds.

This strawberry balsamic beauty really took the prize for its texture: superbly creamy, perfect for balancing out the acidity of the strawberries and balsamic. Roasting the strawberries made these summer treasures only sweeter and richer, and I was tempted to shake in some pepper in true Italian fashion but decided against it in the end.

Roasted Strawberry and Balsamic Ice Cream 
I combined the custard base from Reclaiming Provincial with a hybrid of multiple roasted strawberry balsamic vinegar recipes from a motley of sources.  

2 cups strawberries
2 tablespoons good balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons sugar

2 cups heavy cream
1 cup milk
1/2 cup sugar
4 egg yolks

Toss strawberries, balsamic vinegar, and sugar together in a bowl and let them happily macerate for 20 minutes. Pour onto baking sheet covered in parchment paper and roast at 425F until they start carmelizing, 10-15 minutes. Make sure to stir in between so they roast evenly. Using an immersion blender, puree strawberry balsamic mixture.

Combine milk and heavy cream in a saucepan and bring to boil. Remove from heat.

Whisk egg yolks together. Temper by whisking in the milk + cream mixture a spoonful at a time until you’ve added about a cup of the cream. Pour in egg mixture back into the pan slowly and cook over low heat, stirring constantly until the mixture coats the back of a spoon. Stir in strawberry puree and refrigerate mixture until chilled.

Then, do as your ice cream machine says and you should be good to go! To avoid that icicle-y texture unfortunately typical to homemade ice cream, I freeze my ice cream mixture once churned in the frozen thingie that the machine comes with. A faster freeze = less ice particles. Also, sealing everything air tight is very important!

 

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More, peas!

Irenekly - Peas on Toast

Peas! So delicious. My New Roots told me that peas are chock full of vitamins and minerals, which is really great because I secretly always liked them but avoided buying them cause I believed otherwise. Add that to the fact that I’m a big fan of open-face anything, and this simple dinner was born. Let’s call it… Peas on Toast with Other Good Stuff.

General how-to:

Semi-mash peas with a squeeze of lemon juice, pinch of salt, and pepper. Start soft-boiling an egg (6 minutes tops at a low boil). Take the ricotta and add good olive oil, salt, pepper, and caramelized shallots. Spread ricotta on nice toasty bread, top with some peas, prosciutto, greens, and egg.

I foresee this dish happening in many different variations for dinners to come! Let’s never stop, peas.

Satsuma Rosemary Salt

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Basically everything that Local Milk posts, I am drooling and having those heart eye emojis over. But as much as I would like to try out Beth’s recipes, I don’t have the luxury of time/ingredients too often…except for when I’m on holiday vacay at home where my parents gloriously stock up on a slew of food! And have a crazy overrun herb garden to boot!

The recipe on Local Milk has many more herbs in the salt, but I only used rosemary, as distinguishing weeds/herbs in the garden got a little tricky. Satsumas are also my favorite, and I can eat way too many in one sitting, so basically this salt is the best and super easy to make. Find the recipe here ! I’ve already added this salt to everything and anything (i.e. mostly just veggies and chicken), but methinks sprinkling some on top of shortbread cookies would be delicious. Happy salting!

 

Roasted Strawberry Scones (& English Habits)

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Found myself subconsciously recreating an English cream tea for breakfast one morning, complete with clotted cream a friend procured for me. I miss the UK! Also, I wish I learned how to make proper tea. Anyway. Due to a surprising abundance of the sweetest smelling (and tasting) strawberries at the farmer’s market,  Sunday afternoon led to googling  “roasted strawberry scones.”  I settled on this recipe  because I strongly believe the British do scones best, especially when you want to enjoy some with a cup of Lady Grey (the enamel cup pictured here is actually from Cambridge!).

Mine turned out a little more moist than expected, maybe because I switched milk with buttermilk. I also definitely struggled with measurement conversions but hey, thanks again, Google! Either way, these are delicious and make any morning or afternoon much more enjoyable. I was almost transported to those leisurely afternoons in Grantchester, surrounded by apple trees and raucous conversation spurred on by the caffeine from tea and carbs from scones. Thanks for the recipe, The British Larder!

Bringing Kinfolk to My Table

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As I carried  a package containing a particular cookbook home, I was surprised  and delighted that it was so heavy. Kinfolk’s new cookbook, The Kinfolk Table, is what I expected in terms of beautiful photos, recipes, and design, but I didn’t expect its length and how much fun it would be reading the many stories of inspiring and creative individuals. Whilst I pored over the recipes, one in particular caught my eye because almost everything on the ingredients list was in my fridge at that very moment! I bookmarked it for lunch the next day and thus, the first of many dishes–the sweet potato hash from the Sussman brothers–born from this cookbook graced my table.

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It’s a straightforward recipe with many highly compatible ingredients like sweet potatoes, corn, heirloom tomatoes, and the always-perfect topping of an egg. I didn’t have any onions so substituted leeks, and added tons of cilantro instead of parsley. This is such a good dish for a filling, healthy lunch, but also one that I would be proud to bring to a brunch potluck. I’m itching to try the other recipes (tea poached salmon!) with friends! Thanks, Kinfolk, for this lovely book of delicious treasures.

Leeks (& Lykke Li)

The glorious bounty that comes with Fall makes me want to do a jig of joy. Yes, squashes and apples are wonderful, but the two that make my heart sing are leeks and persimmons. I haven’t done a cooking post in a while so thought I’d feature a most delightful dinner I had a couple nights ago. And, because I was thinking about the word “leek” a lot, some Lykke Li seemed fitting as the chosen culinary musical accompaniment. (This song, specifically.)

I’ve been touting this word, “bricoleur,” around to the bemusement of friends, but it truly defines the way I prefer to do my cooking. And many other creative endeavors, for that matter. I make things with whatever happens to be available around me and judiciously throw things together. And that is how this leek-y dish was born!

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Apologies for the terribly wrinkled linen. Hopefully that nice wooden spoon is successfully distracting!

In the fridge: leftover anchovy + dashi stock, already chopped leeks + shallots, and some springy dino kale. In the cupboard: somen noodles. Leeks are so sweet and good on their own that I just let them do their own thing in a pan with some shallots, then spruced up regular kale chips by adding an ever so thin drizzle of sesame oil. I added some memmi soup base to the stock, soft-boiled an egg, chopped up some kimchi and shazam, a new Fall-favorite dish was born! So easy and so good.

Let There Be Cake

I must tell you all something. There is a way baking and frosting cakes tickles my heart that no other baked good does. Or, maybe I have many ways my heart can be tickled by baked goods and I probably can say the same thing about just any sugary flour-y confection thing. But something about a cake, especially one that looks as good as it tastes, is particularly magnificent.

So here are some cakes of my creation from the past couple of months for various occasions (and can you tell which one I wasn’t able to get a proper picture of? And the one where I only just remembered to take it after two rounds of singing ‘Happy Birthday’ and downing three glasses of milk?)

Blog-Cakes

One: My sister insisted on having a rainbow cake for her birthday this year. Cue a chaos of crazy food dye getting everywhere and a tall cake that was doing like that tower in Pisa. But, it was very, very tasty and I frosted it with my signature mascarpone, cream cheese, butter, and honey frosting. I used this cake recipe.

Two: This was a cake made for the most darling, terrific party hosted by my dearest friend Isabelle. I later ended up putting a bunting cake topper on it, instead of the figs, but either way I think it looked pretty dang good. This was a brown butter cake with that same magic frosting. For this one, I used this recipe.

Three: I caved and got a Wilton pan of 12 mini bundt cakes because Amazon makes it way too easy to order random things. But! No regrets here because bundts are so fun and look like little UFOs. I cheated a little on these and used Trader Joe’s yellow cake mix (highly, highly recommend. So moist.) and folded in some Morello cherries in syrup (also found at TJ’s). Dusted with powdered sugar and we are good to go to space.

Four: Yes. This is the cake that I didn’t get to style prettily or use nice natural lighting for its picture. But it was still crazy good. I made this for Garrett’s birthday a while back. His favorite is anything peanut butter and chocolate, so I made a sour cream chocolate fudge cake with cream cheese peanut butter frosting + a peanut butter chocolate ganache to top it all off. Yes, I really went all out on that peanut butter + choco combo. Thank you, Smitten Kitchen, for making the best birthday cake for my boyfriend possible.

On the Table

Something lovely and intimate about snapshots of meals, either shared or eaten alone, no? I think these kind of shots are one of my favorite to take. Looking at these photos brings back memories about not just the food, but the conversation, the prep, and the lingering after dinner’s been eaten.

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For a quick and easy lunch: a ribboned zucchini salad with pickled red onions and dried currants. & of course you can’t forget that generous sprinkling of parm! For me it’s like generous fistfuls.

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To celebrate Chinese New Years, I made DIY spring roll wrap dinner (inspired by this post). I can elaborate more on the recipe if anyone would like, but I basically made sauteed enoki mushrooms, broccoli with sesame seeds, fried up some kimchi, marinated tofu in bulgogi sauce, and whipped up a fish sauce, sriracha, soy sauce, and agave dipping sauce. Okay that doesn’t sound too basic. But it is just a lot of random easy steps thrown together for a fun dinner time!

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And Garrett’s turn in the kitchen: a Valentine’s breakfast featuring blueberry pancakes, mimosas, and Babel on the Crosley.

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I was home in SoCal last weekend and I loved the way the remnants of breakfast looked, especially the melange of egg yolk with homemade strawberry jam. We also had a huge bag of Cara Cara oranges that we juiced into pulpy goodness–so, so sweet!

IMG_7082And lastly, dinner at home. My mom’s a culinary genius and made a huge spread of Japanese food. Not pictured: yamaimo salad w/ tobiko and nori & miso glazed black cod.

Crazy Bread

I saw this on my google reader the other day, was mildly interested, but then dismissed it as having too many obscure sounding ingredients…until I found myself at the Berkeley Bowl, the great treasure trove of bulk bin goods. With psyillium husk at the reach of my fingertips, I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to try and make this bread, something claimed to be  life-changing.

“Life-Changing Bread” can be a little wordy, although “LCB” sounds like a decent option. I’ve decided that this bread is to be called, now and forever from mine lips, “Crazy Bread.” Because it really is crazy. I felt like a crazy person stirring nuts and oats and many types of seeds in a cake pan (I don’t have a silicon loaf pan as the recipe calls for). How was it to turn into bread?? It looked like bird food + horse food AKA not human food. I didn’t even have coconut oil or ghee on hand so I used grapeseed oil–which is probably blasphemous. Crazy! So much crazy! Okay more crazy happened when I actually baked it, watched it come easily out of the pan as a big huge granola bar-y thing, ate it spread with grapefruit marmalade and almond butter, AND LIKED IT. Let’s not even talk about the crazy that happens because of all the high intensity fiber.

If you’re looking for some crazy in your life, especially around the bread spheres, I would say to try this! If also, you suffer from occasional to daily constipation, try this bread. Oops, TMI?
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