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Welcome to my kitchen…

I have always loved to cook and bake and you can often find me in the kitchen creating something. There is something calming and fun about preparing and creating food! (At least that is my opinion) This site is dedicated to everyone who enjoys accessing/channeling their culinary creative side. Do you have a recipe you’d like to submit or that I should try?

Please, do drop me a line. Click Here to Send Mail Now.

Thank you for stopping by.

Happy Reading and Cooking!

Tara

BBQ’s and Grilling go hand in hand with summer. What are you grilling up this month?

 


Check back for Foodie Related Deals for this month.

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Scoops of ice cream in an elegant white cup on wooden rustic background with vintage hazy editing

I love my holidays and days that celebrate fun things like… Ice Cream.

That’s right All, it’s at hand again, National Ice cream Day!

In 1984, Ronald Reagan designated July as National Ice Cream Month.  He also named the third Sunday in July as National Ice Cream Day.  So that means today, Sunday, July 19 deserves a special celebration!

To celebrate, I pulled out my multi-tasking ice cream maker to whip up some frozen treats. I wanted a variety of flavors and types of ice-cold treats which included a sorbet and frozen yogurt.

I am not sure why I haven’t used my maker more often in the summer for frozen fruit goodness but seeing how easy it was I will be motivated to try it more.

This past weekend’s recipes:

The winner of the frozen treat recipes? The Earl Grey Sorbet! I have found yet another reason to love my tea. MmMmm You should give it a try, really you should.

Whatever way you plan on celebrating your ice cream day, check out the links below for interesting information on Ice Cream and some great ideas.

Also, Check out the Ice Cream store for kewl gadgets to make ice cream at home!

The History of Ice Cream

From the Cow to the Cone

What’s in the Ice Cream Aisle?

Ice Cream Labeling

Ice Cream Sales & Trends

Tips on Storing & Handling Ice Cream

Tara’s Kitchen Online Fav Ice Cream Recipes.

Recipes from around the web.

Ice Cream Recipes via http://www.ice-cream-recipes.com

Martha Stewart’s Ice Cream Treats.

Check out my compiled lists of MORE Ice Cream links including traditional recipes, adventurous ice cream recipes (Avocado ice cream, spicy beet what?), Ice Cream drinks (Iced Coffee Mocha Float), fixings (syrups and sauces) and more.

GO there NOW

Earl Grey Sorbet

So I think I have found a new favorite frozen treat.

This dish of yumminess is the third recipe in my Ice cream, frozen yogurt, sorbet adventure. So far it is my favorite out of the three which is surprising. It has a strong tea flavor but it is so refreshing and I might even be able to substitute my tea craving for this…almost.  I love my daily cup(s) of tea and this only adds to my tea options, especially in the summer. It’s perfect for a hot summer day like today when it is in the 90’s.

I would suggest giving this recipe a try if you like Earl Grey tea.

Next, I think I am going to try a peach mango black tea sorbet. My mouth just literally started salivating at the mention so it’s a done deal!

Enjoy,

Tara

Ingredients:

  • 41⁄4 cups water
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 12 Earl Grey tea bags
  • 1⁄3 cup fresh lemon juice

Directions:

  1. Combine water and sugar in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to simmer and let cook until sugar is dissolved – do not stir.
  2. Add tea bags and let steep for 15 minutes. Remove, squeeze and discard tea bags. Allow liquid to come to room temperature; stir in lemon juice.
  3. Chill for 6 hours or overnight.
  4. Follow the instructions for your frozen treat maker.

For my machine it was the following: Turn on the machine and pour the mixture into freezer bowl and let mix until thicken, about 25 minutes. The sorbet will have a soft texture. If a firmer consistency is desired, transfer the sorbet to an airtight container and place in freezer for about two hours. Remove from freezer about 10 minutes before serving.

This is the machine I used: Ice Cream Maker.

Earl Grey Sorbet

Tara’s Notes:

The sugar portions seem a bit much for me so I am going to try cutting it down or using a substitute to see how that goes.

Strawberry Peach Frozen Yogurt

Now with the ice cream recipe complete, it is time for the next step in my ice cream, frozen yogurt and sorbet maker project. Frozen yogurt…MMMMmmmm.

I frequent Red Mango and TCBY often enough to know what I like in a frozen yogurt. At Red Mango, my favorite flavors are Nutella, Coconut and Mango. TCBY changes their flavors a lot more and I haven’t yet determined which one is my favorite there.

For my home version, this recipe uses 4 ingredients and is super easy.

For this project, I went with whatever was in my fridge at the time which was fresh strawberries and a mix of peach and vanilla yogurt. I have to say that the results were absolutely delicious. The flavors so great together and I am already dreaming up other combos of fruits for the next attempt at frozen yogurt.

Ingredients:

  • 3 cups of fresh strawberries (stems removed)
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1⁄3 cup fresh lime juice
  • 3 cups of yogurt (I used equal parts of peach and vanilla)

Directions:

  1. Place strawberries, sugar and lime juice in a medium bowl. Stir to blend.  Cover and allow to macerate for 3 hours in the refrigerator.
  2. Place the strawberry mixture in a food processor and blend for 15–20 seconds to purée.
  3. Combine the strawberry purée with the yogurt. Stir in until smooth.
  4. Follow the instructions for your frozen treat maker.

For my Cuisinart machine it was the following: Freeze the bowl for 24 hours before using. Turn the machine on and pour the mixture into freezer bowl and let mix until thicken, about 25 minutes. The yogurt will have a soft, creamy texture. If a firmer consistency is desired, transfer the yogurt to an airtight container and place in freezer for about two hours.  Remove from freezer about 10 minutes before serving.

This is the machine I used: Ice Cream Maker.

Strawberry Peach Frozen Yogurt

hazelnut coffee ice cream

Coffee Ice cream is my favorite flavor of ice cream. It has always been the number one flavor for as long as I can remember. Prior to that it was chocolate, which is my second favorite. Nutella/ Chocolate Hazelnut would complete the top three favorite flavors of ice cream, if they made it. I haven’t really seen it anywhere.

I checked my ice cream maker’s recipe book to try out the coffee flavor but then I got side tracked with a video of one of my favorite foodie celebrity, Nigella Lawson. She was making coffee ice cream that seemed so dang easy using no ice cream machine and with 4 ingredients, so I had to try it.

At first, I almost by passed it because of conversion measurements and it called for double cream which it something not easy to get in the states. Then I decided to find the best substitution and see what happens because, cooooofffffeeeeee ice cream y’all!

The results were an uber and I do mean UBER rich and creamy and coffee-eee (can this be a word for now?) flavor. It was almost like a gelato but I will admit I eye-balled the ingredients and did not measure exactly. For my tastes one lil tablespoon scoop was enough when usually its like a couple of scoops. I had some taste testers over, (Thank You Chris & Alex) and they both seemed to really enjoy it. I guess it really is all about your preference.

I would absolutely make it again as it was a very easy recipe. In fact, I need to try it again so I can make sure I really liked it. :)

If you give it a try let me know what you think.

Here is a link to Nigella’s website for the original recipe: Nigella’s One Step No Churn Coffee Ice Cream

Tara

Ingredients:

  • 1 ¼ cups heavy whipping cream
  • cup sweetened condensed milk
  • 2 tablespoons instant espresso powder (not espresso coffee) 
  • 2 tablespoons hazelnut liqueur

Directions:

  1. Combine all ingredients together in the bowl of your mixer.
  2. Beat all the ingredients together until soft peaks form.
  3. Fill ice cream containers or airtight containers and freeze for 6 hours minimum. I let mine freeze overnight.
  4. Scoop and enjoy!

hazelnut coffee ice cream

Chai Pancakes

I had some leftover chai tea in my teapot that I was finished drinking but did not throw out. I was trying to think of recipes I could use it in and thought pancakes! I am not sure why I hadn’t thought of making this before since I love my chai and have it at least once a week and definitely every weekend. The end product did not disappoint one bit. It’s lightly flavored with Chai and exactly how I like them soft and not so cake-like the mixes usually are.

This weekend I had it both Saturday and Sunday, I loved it so much. And…. I made some extra’s to freeze so I can take it to work and have it for breakfast this week. What to have, breakfast dilemma solved!

This recipe is for a smaller batch so if you need a normal size recipe you might want to double it.

If you try the recipe, let me know what you think.

Enjoy,

Tara

Ingredients:

  • 1 egg
  • 3/4 vanilla yogurt
  • 1/4 cup strong brewed black chai tea (you could also use that liquid chai tea mix from Starbucks or mix up a home blend of chai tea spices and use that in the recipe for a stronger chai tea flavor)
  • 2 tablespoons butter, melted and cooled down a bit
  • 1/4  teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 cups flour
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Directions:

  1. In a medium-sized bowl beat egg. Next add yogurt, chai tea, butter and vanilla and mix well.
  2. Add dry ingredients, flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt.  Mix until all dry ingredients are incorporated. It may be lumpy still but that’s okay.
  3. Turn on griddle on medium and add a lil butter or cooking spray (whatever your preference is).
  4. Using a tablespoon scoop out batter forming lil rounds (or large ones if you prefer). Cook until you see bubbles on the edges of your cake. You still want to check to make sure your cakes are not browning too much, if so turn down your heat a tad. Once you see a bit of bubbles flip with a spatula. Continue until batter is depleted or make a few and refrigerate the rest of the batter for the next day.
  5. You can keep them warm on an oven friendly dish on 200 until you are ready to serve.

Optional: Serve with jam, powdered sugar, syrup or butter. Although I found it did not need any toppings and was delicious by itself.

Wheat Chia Banana Bread

In honor of Banana Bread day I thought I would bake up a couple of loaves. I love the traditional banana bread but I wanted to try something different.

I generally try to replace some of the all-purpose flour with wheat flour when I can. In most recipes I have not been able to taste a difference and I am adding a better for you element. This time I also added some chia seeds. I have been trying to find ways to use the chia seeds and flax seeds stash that I have. I usually use them in smoothies and have added them in cookies.

Makes 2 Loaves

Ingredients:

  • 6 bananas, very ripe
  • 1 tsp. lemon juice or 1/4 lemon zest
  • 1  1 /4 cups wheat pastry flour
  • 2 cups of all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1  1/4 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 2 tbsp. chia seeds
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Prepare two loaf pans by spraying lightly with cooking spray or you can butter.
  3. Place the bananas, lemon, sugar, eggs, and oil into the food processor (or mix by hand)
  4. Pulse for 30 seconds or until smooth.
  5. Sift together flours, baking powder, baking soda, salt and chia seeds in a medium mixing bowl.
  6. Set aside. Pour wet mixture into dry mixture and fold until just combined.
  7. Divide batter evenly between the loaf pans.
  8. Bake until tester inserted near the center comes out clean, about 55 minutes.
  9. Cool the loaves in the pans for a few minutes, then remove the bread from the pans, transfer to cooling racks.

I would suggest mashing the bananas and mixing things up by hand. I chose the food processor because my arm/wrist was hurting this weekend. Depending on your preference you can also add a dash of cinnamon or nutmeg. I would also suggest cooling completely before slicing otherwise it will crack (like in the photo). I just couldn’t wait to let it cool, I wanted to have a hot piece.

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