07 July


No-Churn Vanilla Ice Cream

no churn vanilla ice cream

July 23: National Vanilla Ice Cream Day

A lack of an ice cream maker and Lactaid pills won’t prevent Islander from making and eating the quintessential summertime treat. Now that she has discovered how to make no-churn ice cream, she has begun to experiment with different flavors (recipes will be added to our blog). Vanilla ice cream was the first no-churn ice cream flavor that she tried. It is basic but the experiment turned out terrific! Her homemade version is just as sweet and creamy as the store-bought ice cream. No-church vanilla ice cream may be plain and simple but it is perfect for National Vanilla Ice Cream Day!

Recipe

(Adapted from Martha Stewart)

Ingredients

  • 2 cups heavy whipping cream (cold)
  • 1 can (14 ounces) sweetened condensed milk
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract (or 1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste)
  • 1 teaspoon bourbon (optional)

Directions

Beat the cream until stiff peaks form. In a large bowl, mix the condensed milk with vanilla and bourbon (if using). Fold the whipped cream into this mixture until smooth, being careful not to whip more air into it.

no churn vanilla ice cream

Place in a loaf pan. Cover with plastic wrap and freeze for at least six hours or overnight. Remove from the freezer. Let stand for a few minutes and scoop into cones or dessert dishes.

no churn vanilla ice cream

Notes

  • Add 1-2 teaspoons bourbon to help prevent ice crystals from forming in the ice cream and to lessen some of the cloying sweetness.
  • We will keep adding other no-churn ice cream recipes to our blog as we experiment with other flavors.

No-Churn Peach Ice Cream

Peach Ice Cream 

July 17: National Peach Ice Cream Day

When Islander’s parents came to visit us from Hawaii a few years ago, we took a road trip to Fredericksburg, Texas, so we could tour the National Museum of the Pacific War. Fredericksburg is the hometown of the “admirable admiral” of the U.S. Navy, Chester W. Nimitz (1885-1966), after whom the nuclear-powered aircraft carrier was named. Islander’s Daddy served aboard this ship during the 1970s. 

Fredericksburg is also famous for its peaches. After our visit to the museums and Main Street, we stopped into Das Peach Haus for a snack before heading back to San Antonio. We enjoyed sampling the peach products at the cute country cottage store.

We were inspired to try a no-churn peach ice cream recipe using peaches from Fredericksburg and the Texas Hill Country. The fresh fruit puree turned out “peachy keen” over the jarred baby food ingredient.

No-churn peach ice cream is a cool treat to eat during the hot summer days in Texas as well as on National Peach Ice Cream Day.

Recipe

(Adapted from WRLA.com)

Ingredients

  • 2 cups heavy whipping cream (cold)
  • 1 cup pureed peaches, peeled and chopped
  • 1 can (14 ounces) sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 teaspoon peach schnapps (optional)
  • a few drops of orange food coloring
  • peach slices to garnish (optional)

Directions

Beat the cream until stiff peaks form. Puree the peaches with peach schnapps (if using).

Peach Ice Cream

In a large bowl, mix the condensed milk with the pureed peaches. Fold the whipped cream into this mixture until smooth, being careful not to whip more air into it. Add a few drops of orange food coloring and stir well until the desired color of peach is achieved.

Peach Ice Cream

Place the mixture into a loaf pan. Cover and freeze for at least six hours or overnight. Remove from the freezer. Let stand for a few minutes and scoop into cones or dessert dishes. Garnish with peach slices (optional).

Peach Ice Cream

Notes

  • July is National Ice Cream Month! Search our blog for other ice cream recipes.

Minion Cupcakes

Minion Cupcakes

July 10, 2015: World Premiere of the “Minions” Movie

In the mood for a “despicable dessert”? Then make some Minion cupcakes! Inspired by the animated film, “Minions,” a prequel to the movies “Despicable Me” and “Despicable Me 2,” we made Minion cupcakes for the college kids (and kids-at-heart) for Islander’s brother’s campus ministry. The cute cupcakes were an instant hit!

Minions are the little, loyal creatures who work for Gru, an ex-super villain and main character of the two “Despicable Me” movies. But it was the Minions who practically stole the scenes!

Their popularity not only has garnered them a spin-off film, but the Minions are currently the mascot of Illumination Entertainment (the company that produced the movies). There are a Minion blimp, hot air balloon, video and online games, toys, clothing, theme party supplies and even a simulator ride at Universal Studios in Florida! Add crafts and cooking projects to the list, as Minions are a muse to many, including us!

So transform a Twinkie today into a Minion cupcake for the movie’s worldwide premiere!

Recipe

(Based on Internet images)

For the Black Russian cupcakes

For the Minions

  • Twinkies (Cloud Cakes, etc.)
  • Black string licorice
  • Candy eyeballs (we used Wilton brand)
  • Black tube frosting
  • Yellow tube frosting (optional for the eyelids)
  • Blue frosting (we used Betty Crocker Cupcake Icing sky blue color)

Directions

Bake the Black Russian cupcakes and set aside to cool.

Minion Cupcakes

Make the Minions by cutting the Twinkies in half. Slice the licorice string into half-inch pieces. Position randomly on top of a Twinkie for the Minion hair. Using a small round tip (such as Wilton #4), pipe a black strip of frosting across the Twinkie half to make the Minion goggles.

Minion Cupcakes

Pipe black circles and press candy eyeballs in place (vary with one or two eyeballs). If thicker goggles are desired, pipe around the rim of the candy eyeballs. Pipe mouths of different expressions.

Minion Cupcakes

Frost the tops of the cooled cupcakes with blue cupcake icing (we used the ruffle tip). Put a toothpick (or short lollipop stick) in the middle (optional to hold the Minion in place). Position a Minion on top of the toothpick/lollipop stick. Cover until ready to serve to avoid drying out the Twinkie.

Minion Cupcakes

Notes

  • We baked Black Russian-flavored cupcakes because the character Gru, the Minions’ master, is supposedly Russian. Also, the dark chocolate flavor and color contrast well with the yellow sponge cake snacks.
  • For the Minion eyelids, swipe a strip of yellow frosting thinly above the candy eyeballs before positioning on the goggles.
  • Please warn guests before eating that there is a toothpick/lollipop stick in the middle of the Minion cupcake.
  • For the final food photo background above, we bought Minion paper plates from Party City.

Butter Tart Squares

Butter Tart Squares

July 1: Canada Day

Visiting some of Highlander’s relatives in Canada is always a treat—literally—especially when they serve treats from his country of birth. They want to remind him of his roots and share cultural cuisine with us since we are foodies. One distinctive dessert from Canada is butter tarts, a pastry invented in the pioneer era. We transformed the traditional tarts into squares for a sweet stacked snack to celebrate Canada Day.

Recipe

(Adapted from Robin Hood)

For the base crust

  • ½ cup (1 stick) butter, softened
  • ¼ cup brown sugar
  • 1 cup flour

Directions

Line an 8×8-inch square baking pan with parchment or waxed paper, leaving a little overhang as the “handles” to lift the dessert out of the pan later. In a large mixing bowl, cream the butter with the brown sugar. Mix in the flour until it sticks together.

Butter Tarts Squares

Press into prepared pan. Bake in a preheated oven at 350 degrees F for 15-20 minutes. Remove from the oven and cool completely. Make the topping.

Butter Tart Squares

For the topping

  • ¼ cup (½ stick) butter, softened
  • ¾ cup brown sugar
  • ½ cup corn syrup
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ cup raisins
  • ½ cup walnuts, chopped

Directions

In a large mixing bowl, cream the butter with the brown sugar. Mix in the corn syrup, eggs and vanilla.

Butter Tart Squares

Blend in the flour and baking powder. Sprinkle the raisins and chopped walnuts over the base crust. 

Butter Tart Squares

Pour the filling over the raisins and nuts. Bake in a preheated oven at 350 degrees F for 25 minutes or until the filling is set. Remove from the oven and cool completely. Lift the dessert out of the pan using the parchment or waxed paper “handles”. Cut into 16 squares.

Butter Tart Squares

Notes

  • The raisins and walnuts are optional but we added them to the recipe. The raisins add a nice chewy texture and the walnuts counter the sweetness of this dessert.

No-Churn Butter Pecan Ice Cream

Butter Pecan Ice Cream

July: National Ice Cream Month

Have you ever taken one of those personality quizzes based on your favorite flavor of ice cream? One such test, an “ice cream flavorology study”, was developed by Dr. Alan R. Hirsch, the neurological director of the Smell and Taste Treatment and Research Foundation, Ltd., in Chicago, Illinois. National manufacturer Edy’s Grand Ice Cream commissioned him to determine how ice cream flavor preferences relate to people’s personalities.

Islander’s favorite flavor is butter pecan and Highlander likes chocolate (see our blog post recipe for no-churn chocolate ice cream). We read Dr. Hirsch’s amusing analysis of our personalities based on the ice cream flavors we chose and, while they do fit us, we do not feel bound to those descriptions, as we enjoy eating other flavors of ice cream, depending on our moods.

During National Ice Cream Month, have some fun and take the personality test. And while you’re at it, enjoy eating some homemade no-churn butter pecan (or other favorite flavor) ice cream from the recipe provided below. Stay cool!

Recipe

(Adapted from Noreen’s Kitchen)

Ingredients

  • 1 cups pecans (chips, pieces or half nuts), toasted
  • 2 cups heavy cream, whipped
  • 1 can (14 ounces) sweetened condensed milk
  • 4 tablespoon butter, melted
  • 2 tablespoons pure maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon maple extract
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon butter extract
  • ½ teaspoon salt

Directions

In a small pan, toast the pecans, being careful not to burn them. Let cool and set aside. Whip the cream until stiff peaks form. In a large bowl, pour the condensed milk.

Butter Pecan Ice Cream

Stir in the melted butter, maple syrup and extracts.

Butter Pecan Ice Cream

Add the salt. Fold in the whipped cream and toasted pecans and blend well. Pour mixture into a large loaf pan, cover with plastic wrap and freeze overnight. Remove from the freezer, scoop and enjoy!

Butter Pecan Ice Cream

Notes

  • National Ice Cream Day is also celebrated on the third Sunday of July.
  • Search our blog for other no-churn ice cream recipes.

Lilikoi (Passion Fruit) Crème Brulee

Lilikoi Creme Brûlée

July 27: National Crème Brulee Day

Our favorite dessert at Kona Grill is its passion fruit crème brulee. The mainland-based chain restaurant tries to add a tropical taste to its menu. Islander loves lilikoi (Hawaiian word for passion fruit) and indulges once in awhile in the custard with a crust of crackly burnt sugar on top.

Now that she has learned how to make lilikoi crème brulee in her own kitchen, she makes these for fellow Hawaii expatriates. The passion fruit flavor reminds them of home. For a tropical twist to traditional crème brulee, infuse some passion fruit flavor and see why locals love the lilikoi in this delicious dessert.

Make lilikoi crème brulee for a summer social or luau and especially for National Crème Brulee Day!

Recipe

(Adapted from NBC Connecticut)

Ingredients

  • 1 ¾ cups heavy whipping cream
  • 1-2 teaspoons vanilla paste
  • 6 egg yolks
  • ½ cup sugar, divided use
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ – 1/3 cup passion fruit puree/pulp/juice

Directions

In a microwavable cup or small bowl, stir the cream with the vanilla paste. Heat until hot (about 1-2 minutes). Let cool for about 10 minutes to infuse the flavoring. Boil a quart of water and set aside. In a bowl, whisk the egg yolks with ¼ cup sugar and salt. Gradually add the cream mixture and continue whisking.

Lilikoi Creme Brûlée

Add the passion fruit liquid. Strain this mixture, if necessary. Put the mixture into custard cups or ramekins. Pour the boiled water halfway up the sides of the custard cups or ramekins to make a water bath. Bake in a preheated oven at 325 degrees F for 30-45 minutes, testing for doneness with a toothpick (it should wiggle gently).

Lilikoi Creme Brûlée

Remove from the oven and carefully transfer the ramekins to a wire rack. Cool for about 30 minutes then cover and refrigerate overnight. Before serving, sprinkle a thin layer of the remaining sugar on top. Carefully use a crème brulee torch in a back and forth or circular motion to caramelize the sugar to a crisp. Serve immediately while the custard is still cold and the sugar top hardens.

Lilikoi Creme Brûlée

Notes

  • Mahalo nui loa (thank you very much) to Phyllis S. for ribbon lei for the final food photo above. Mahalo also to Olga W. for gifting Islander with the crème brulee blow torch.
  • Search our blog for other recipes containing lilikoi (passion fruit) as an ingredient.

Caramel Pecan Delight Pie

Caramel Pecan Delight Pie

July 12: National Pecan Pie Day 

Our neighbors across the street, Glenn and Ana Maria B., happen to be an intercultural couple like us. He is a Native American and she is Mexican-Japanese. We try to go on double dates to pow-wows, cultural festivals or restaurants around South Texas whenever we can.

Ana Maria gave a recipe for Caramel Pecan Delight Pie to Islander, knowing that she likes to make desserts. This recipe yields two pies—so we can keep one and share the other with our friendly neighbors. Islander used low-fat or fat-free ingredients for a guilt-free indulgence!

For a twist on the traditional pecan pie, make Caramel Pecan Delight Pie. This dessert is doubly delightful and delicious on National Pecan Pie Day.

Recipe

Ingredients 

  • ½ cup (1 stick) butter, unsalted
  • 2 cups pecans, chopped
  • 2 cups coconut flakes, unsweetened
  • 1 block (8 ounces) cream cheese, softened (we used fat-free)
  • 1 can (14 ounces) sweetened condensed milk (we used fat-free)
  • 1 container (16 ounces) Cool Whip, thawed
  • 2 graham cracker pie crusts (we used reduced fat)
  • 1 jar caramel ice cream topping or dulce de leche sauce

Directions

In a skillet, melt the butter over medium-low heat. Chop the pecans and add them to the skillet, along with the coconut, and brown them in the butter. Set aside to cool completely.

Caramel Pecan Delight Pie

In a large bowl, cream the cheese with the condensed milk. Fold in the Cool Whip until well blended. Divide between the two pie crusts and spread the tops until smooth.

Caramel Pecan Delight Pie

Top both pies with the cooled pecan-coconut mixture. Drizzle the tops with caramel sauce. Cover and freeze until firm (about 3-4 hours). Slice the frozen pies and plate them. Top with extra Cool Whip, if desired, and serve immediately.

Caramel Pecan Delight Pie

Notes

  • While this pie seems really sweet, the pecans balance out the caramel.
  • Try the traditional pecan pie recipe from our previous post.
  • Search our blog for more pie and pecan recipes.

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