Saturday, July 28, 2012

Cherry Chip Ice Cream

We all like ice cream, right? I mean, I like ice cream.  I don't eat it often because, well, it's not the best choice when you're trying to watch your diet.  But homemade ice cream far outstrips every store-bought ice cream brand out there.  At least, it does in my experience.  

A little over three years ago, I received the ice cream maker attachment for my KitchenAid mixer, but I never got around to using it until this week.  Like, it literally got stuck in the back of a cupboard, relegated to collecting dust.  But I really wanted ice cream, and I really wanted it to be homemade.  So I dug out the attachment and whipped up a batch.

I decided to modify Emeril Lagasse's recipe for "old time vanilla ice cream" because it didn't involve using eggs, which is a plus on a 90 degree day.

As far as the ice cream maker goes, whatever type you have will work.  Just make sure you follow the manufacturer's instructions for the machine you have.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Lemon Meringue Cupcakes (Cupcake of the Month Series #7)

A couple weeks ago, I hosted a rather large-ish dinner party to celebrate a family birthday, and aside from the tomato sandwiches, butter roasted pecans, lowcountry boil, cream rolls, watermelon salad, and chicken kebabs, I served the July cupcake.

This lemon meringue cupcake really topped off our meal and provided a degree of entertainment for some members of my family.  You will notice that, despite the picture on the Martha Stewart website, I decided not to pipe the seven-minute frosting, which is just meringue with a deceptive name.

I have already learned my lesson when it comes to meringue and pastry bags.

This was not a quick cupcake, and the various elements were made over the course of two days.  The lemon curd was made the night before (literally, at about 10:30, which is why there are no pictures of the process), the cupcakes the morning of and the meringue/frosting about ten minutes before serving.

I apologize in advance for the quality of most of these photos.  My SLR camera was missing in action through most of the baking process, so I used my Canon Powershot instead.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Southern Sweet Tea

You're going to find this completely ludicrous, but up until this past Saturday, I had never attempted to make Southern sweet tea.

I don't know why. I love it.  Every time I've traveled to the South, I pretty much drink nothing else. I always make some comment along the lines of, "I really should figure out how to make this."  I probably have sweet tea running through my veins.

Duh.  It's so easy.  I feel like a complete idiot for not doing this sooner.  For some untold reason, I thought it was hard to make sweet tea.  For years I've been buying iced tea mixes and believing sweet tea to be some mythical nectar I could only procure on my travels south.

No more, I tell you!  For it is beyond easy to make sweet tea, and here is how you do it!

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Lemon Sponge

Ah, lemon sponge!  I never know if I should classify this as a dessert or a side dish.  It's a type of gelatin salad, the likes of which are usually served alongside a main course item.  But it's sweet enough for a light dessert.  It's a family picnic favorite. Whenever we're planning to fire up the grill for some serious summer festivities (okay, or turn on the stove for some serious winter festivities), the question always comes up - who is making lemon sponge!

I meant to post this earlier, so people would have time to acquire the ingredients and whip up this delightful dish for tomorrow's Independence Day festivities.  Because it's so easy and delicious, and screams summer. In fact, if you're willing to get up early and run to the store, you can get this made in plenty of time for your afternoon barbecues. As long as you have four hours between the time you finish assembling and the time you plan to eat, you're golden.

We always considered this a family recipe, but a few months back we were rifling through my nana's old recipe box and discovered a recipe for ORANGE sponge clipped from a newspaper.  Granted, said newspaper was likely from the thirties or forties.  Maybe the fifties if we're feeling generous.  But I think it's safe to say that this has now become a family secret.

And I'm sharing it with all the interwebz.

So the original recipe called for orange flavored gelatin, and we use lemon.  You could use any citrus flavor you like, really, but the lemon is particularly refreshing.  Your barbecue guests will rave and ask for the recipe, just like everybody at our choir picnic last week.