Monday, July 27, 2015

Whole Grain Strawberry Rhubarb Crisp

This summer, I've pretty much only posted ice cream related items and desserts. And desserts that would go well with ice cream. I'm trying to feel properly ashamed. But I don't. However, to make it up to you I'm not only posting a dessert that could go well with ice cream, but one that is also wholesome-ish enough to pass for breakfast. (So now I'm officially posting desserts that go with ice cream that I'm encouraging you to eat for the first meal of your day.) But wait...I know it is a bit on the decadent side for breakfast, but let's talk about muffins and pancakes before we go giving this poor little crisp a bad rap. After all, it is full of whole grain and fruit plus some nice healthy fats. And, yes, it has sugar, but not in crazy amounts. So have it for dessert if you consider yourself too righteous for this post, but if you'd like to get your epicurean on, then come on over. You can put a dollop of Greek yogurt on it instead of ice cream. Promise.

I made this because I had rhubarb coming out of my ears from my rhubarb plant, but one of the things I like about this is that it doesn't take much rhubarb, so if you have a young plant you can make this, or if it's a little more expensive to buy, you can still make this. Also, if you have a husband who insists he doesn't like rhubarb, he will still eat this. I also used strawberries I'd frozen and then dethawed, and that worked out just fine.

Also, this is just mixed up in the pan. Yes, you do have to chop your fruits. But once that's done, this is a dump into the pan and bake recipe--no bowl, no stirring with anything more complicated than your fingers (unless you want to be civilized and break out the spoon).

Whole Grain Strawberry Rhubarb Crisp
adapted from Smitten Kitchen
Makes 1 8x8 inch pan or 16 pieces
Prep time: 15-20 minutes
Cook time: 40 minutes
Cost: $2.10 or about $.15/serving
oats: .15, flour:. 10, sugar: .20, butter: .40, rhubarb (I have honestly no idea--I have NEVER bought it; let's say .50), strawberries: .75

Note: This was really really delicious as is, but if you wanted to add some coconut flakes or chopped almonds to your crumble, I think it'd be pretty darn incredible.

1 C rolled oats (I used a combination of quick and regular--about half and half)
3/4 C plus 2 Tbsp whole wheat flour (or you can do a combo whole wheat and all purpose; I'd recommend 1/2 C whole wheat and 6 Tbsp all-purpose)
1/2 C brown sugar
1/4 tsp salt
6 Tbsp butter, melted (or 3 Tbsp coconut oil and 3 Tbsp butter, which is what I did)
1 tsp cornstarch
1 Tbsp lemon juice
1 Tbsp granulated sugar
1 C diced rhubarb (I dice mine small)--about 1 1/2 stalks
1 C diced strawberries (also dice them small)

Heat oven to 375. You can line your pan with parchment paper if you want, but once cooled, I think this would come out of a plain greased pan just fine.

Put oats, flour, brown sugar, and salt in the bottom of the baking pan and mix. Pour melted butter over it and stir until clumps form.

Set aside 1/2 C of this mixture. Press the rest of the crumb mixture into the bottom of the pan.

Mix the fruit with the cornstarch and lemon juice. Spread this over the crumb bottom. Then sprinkle on the tablespoon of sugar.

Put remaining crumb mixture on the top.

Bake for 30-40 minutes. (Note: I doubled this and the cook time was quite a bit longer--at least an hour total, possible an hour and 10 minutes, so be aware of that if you double.) The top will be browned golden and the fruit may bubble (though mine didn't).

Let cool in pan. Cut into slices. I like this best cold, but at room temperature and even warm would be delicious too (especially if you just hang the whole breakfast thing and have ice cream thereby).


Monday, July 20, 2015

Vanilla No Cook Ice Cream

I really love homemade ice cream. Who doesn't? But it can be a hassle to make. My go-to vanilla is a custard--meaning you cook eggs milk, sugar, etc. And then let it cool and then churn it. Not a hmm-let's-have-ice-cream-quick kind of a thing. This effort has saved you and me from eating ice cream every night. We must thank it.

Except that this summer, like a proper addict, I've managed to circumvent it. I did this first with my coconut ice cream. And now, you can thank or hate me, I've found a fabulous, quick, no cook recipe for plain vanilla. It's super simple, super rich, not too airy (when you make it with just cream, milk, and sugar, I always feel like I'm eating frozen cool whip), and the flavor is just really great.

So go on out there and ruin your summer figure. You can now do it every night of the week. No, no, don't try to thank me.

Vanilla No Cook Ice Cream
from My Recipes
Prep time: 5 minutes
Churn time: 20 minutes
Makes 1 quart
Cost: $1.70
sweetened condensed milk: .80, evap milk: .75, milk: .15 (Aldi prices--yes I know they're unusually cheap)

1 can sweetened condensed milk
1 can (14 oz) evaporated milk
2 Tbsp sugar
1 C milk

Combine all ingredients. Churn. If you've got a cheap ice cream maker like me, you'll wind up with a fairly soft ice cream. It's pretty amazing just like that. But this hardens up nicely in the freezer without getting ice crystally if you'd like it firmer.


Sunday, July 12, 2015

Secret Recipe Club: Taco Roll

It's been a while since I've been with The Secret Recipe Club and it's nice to be back. This month I had 2 Cookin' Mamas--a mother/daughter team who cooks. Sweet and awesome. Once on their site, it took me, like, 12 seconds to find the recipe I wanted to make (which isn't to say that I didn't have plenty of fun wandering around their blog). I'd been wanting to to make something along this line for a while and there it was just staring at me, looking delicious. 2 Cookin' Mamas put guacamole in the center of theirs and I just loved that you could put that or salsa or cream cheese or whatever right in the middle of this. It looks beautiful and is functional too. I'd fully intended to do this, but when the time came, I was racing dinner onto the table and just happy to get a few pictures.

I called it a Taco Roll like they did, but I'd almost say it was a Taco Flower, wouldn't you?

This has a fairly simple ingredient list, but you'll need to plan time for a bit of assembly--not a ton, mind you, but know that you'll be rolling little taco balls and then stacking them up like monkey bread--taco-y monkey bread. It was seriously so so good.

Taco Roll
from 2 Cookin Mamas
serves 6
Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 45 minutes, plus 10 for the beef plus another 5 or so to cool--plan for an hour of cooking time, though only a portion of that will be hands-on
Cost: $8.00 or $1.30/serving
crescent dough: 2.00, beef: 3.00, beans: .50, cheese: 2.00, salsa: .50

2 packages of refrigerated crescent dough
1 lb ground beef, browned and drained
2/3 can refried beans
12 oz Mexican blend cheese, grated (or a nice, sharp cheddar, which is what I used)
8 oz salsa

Preheat oven at 375. Spray a bundt pan with cooking spray.

First off, cook your hamburger with some salt and pepper. Or maybe some taco seasoning if that's your thing. (I just went with S and P)

As it's cooking, roll out your crescent triangles and get your other ingredients ready. Pour your salsa into a wide-mouthed bowl. Put your grated cheese on a plate.

When the beef is cooked and cooled somewhat (you don't want it smoking hot, but it doesn't have to be completely cool either), put a small amount of refried beans on your crescent triangle, then add 1-2 tablespoons of beef on top of that. Fold/roll it up so that the filling is all neatly tucked into your ball. Perfection is not necessary--you don't have to get everything perfectly sealed, but you don't want a crazy mess either.

Now drop this little folded ball into your salsa to coat and then roll it in the cheese. It's messy, but fun. Continue until all your balls are rolled and layered. I ended up with two layers. They didn't look big enough for my bundt pan, but after cooked, it was perfect. Sprinkle your leftover cheese and salsa on top.

Bake for 45 minutes, checking partway through to be sure it's not getting too brown (mine was fine). Remove and let it sit for several minutes. Then loosen up those edges and turn it out. It will be a pretty little flower of amazingness. If you wish, put something delicious in the center and serve.


Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Almond Roca Ice Cream Sauce

A few weeks ago, I heard about's almonds project. I love almonds, so creating something delicious with them didn't seem too challenging.

And sure, there were lots of healthy things I could make with almonds. Because almonds are delicious and a super food and what not. But I still chose to make an ice cream topping with them.

I can't think of a good reason for this except for my low moral fiber (and awesomeness). But if you are a person of similarly poor character (and awesomeness), I can assure you that you'll really thank me for this recipe. Because it's pretty rocking.

I love Almond Roca. Yes, you could chop up Almond Roca and top your ice cream with that, but Almond Roca is more expensive than this. Furthermore, I was looking for something that could be drizzled--a sauce that embodied all the awesome that Almond Roca is. You're welcome.

Of course you don't have to eat it with ice cream. You could use it on pancakes or French toast. You could dip apples or fruit into this goodness. Or put it on plain yogurt. You're still welcome.

Almond Roca Ice Cream Sauce
makes 3-4 C
Prep/Cook time: 10 minutes
Cost: $4.75 (I know that sounds pricey, but this makes double or triple what you'd get if you went and paid for nutless, chocolateless store-bought ice cream topping. We halved it, which cost only about $2.40, which is about the same amount for about the same price as a store-bought sauce. And it had all those nuts and all that chocolate, which is reason for rejoicing and swooning)
corn syrup: .25, brown sugar: .30, butter: .20, milk: .10, almonds: 3.00, chocolate chips: .90

Note: I halved this and that was plenty for us.

1 C white corn syrup
1 C brown sugar
3 Tbsp butter
1/2 C milk
1 tsp vanilla
2 C almonds, chopped
1 C milk or semi-sweet chocolate chips

Bring corn syrup, brown sugar, butter, and milk to a boil. Do this gradually. If you boil foods with milk in them too quickly, the milk will curdle. I start it at low and let things melt, then up the heat to medium low and then medium. Don't go over medium.

Lightly boil for five minutes (that means that once it's boiling you might have to turn the heat down again). Stir constantly while it boils.

Add vanilla and nuts. Allow to mostly cool. Then add chocolate chips. You want them to remain mostly solid with maybe just a little tiny bit of chocolate melting in. (Note: If you don't have the patience of Job for goodness sake, and want to eat this RIGHT NOW, just put the chocolate chips on your ice cream, then pour the hot sauce on and the chips will soften and get just barely melty and everything will be right with the world. This is what I did and it was amazing.) (Another note: I suppose that you could just throw the chocolate chips into the hot sauce and swirl them in. This would probably create a pretty amazing chocolate caramel almond sauce, but I wanted the chocolate to have its own distinct place.)

Serve over ice cream. Die from happiness.



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