My mom was nice enough to buy me an ice cream maker a few weeks ago. I had bought her the same one back at Christmas and she loved it so much that she thought I should have one too. I can’t even tell you how excited I was to get it. I’ve been pulling ice cream recipes out of magazines for months hoping that I would get one eventually.

I came home that night, washed everything out, cranked the freezer up as high as it would go, and hoped that inner piece would freeze quickly. I ended up staying awake most of the night waiting for my first batch of sorbet but it was so worth it. I just wish I would’ve remembered to turn the freezer back down. The container my sorbet went into eventually cracked. Poo.

The Lemonade Iced Tea Sorbet was lovely though. Being from Alabama, I’m a sweet tea kind of girl. No lemon, please. But I really enjoyed this sorbet. It was tart but still sweet. It’s definitely a keeper, even if the husband refused to even try it.

Lemonade Iced Tea Sorbet.
Ingredients
  • 2 cups boiling water
  • 4 regular-sized English Breakfast tea bags
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 3/4 cup fresh lemon juice (about 4 lemons)
  • 1 cup ice water
Instructions
  1. Combine 2 cups boiling water and tea bags in a large bowl; steep 5 minutes. Discard tea bags. Add sugar to tea mixture, stirring until sugar dissolves. Cool completely. Stir in juice and 1 cup ice water; chill 1 hour.
  2. Pour tea mixture into the freezer can of an ice-cream freezer; freeze according to manufacturer’s instructions. Spoon sorbet into a freezer-safe container. Cover and freeze 1 hour or until firm.


from: Cooking Light

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Gah. I’m so behind. I made these over a month ago and I’m just now getting around to posting them. Someone tell me to get my butt in gear please. Thanks.

Waaaay back when I made these I had a bunch of apples on hand that weren’t getting eaten. I tend to buy apples because I know I should eat them but I just don’t like them so they usually go bad. My mom does the same thing with bananas so I guess I learned from her. So I went searching for apple recipes and found these little things.

They were so much better than I expected. Like I said, I’m not an apple fan but I did enjoy them. I will say that I don’t think the cream cheese frosting is really needed. It was good but it made them really sweet. So sweet that I actually ended up throwing the majority of them away. If I ever find myself with too many apples again, I’ll probably make the blondies but forget about the frosting.

Apple Blondies with Brown Sugar Frosting.

Ingredients

For the Blondies:
2/3 cup butter, softened
2 cups brown sugar, packed
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 cups all purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
Pinch salt
1 cup peeled chopped apples
3/4 cup chopped walnuts
For the Brown Sugar Frosting:
½ cup butter
1 cup brown sugar, packed
¼ cup milk
2 cups icing (confectioner’s) sugar, sifted

Instructions

    For the blondies:
  1. Line a 13 x 9 inch baking tin with baking parchment. Set oven to 350.
  2. In a large bowl, using an electric mixer on medium speed, beat butter, brown sugar, eggs and vanilla until thick and smooth, about 3 minutes. Combine flour, baking powder and salt. Add to butter mixture on low speed, mixing until blended. Stir in apples and nuts, mixing well. Spread evenly in the prepared tin and bake until set and golden, 25-30 minutes. Let cool completely in pan on rack.
  3. For the Brown Sugar Frosting:
  4. In a small saucepan over low heat, melt butter. Stir in brown sugar and milk. Bring mixture just to a boil then remove from heat and let cool to lukewarm. Sift in the confectioner’s sugar, mixing until smooth. Spread evenly over bar. Let stand until frosting is firm enough to cut. Cut into bars or squares.
http://fakeginger.com/apple-blondies-with-brown-sugar-frosting/

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A few weeks ago I was talking to my friend Pam about Martha Stewart’s cookie book. Pam has it and loves it but I’m not a huge Martha fan so I was skeptical. I decided to try out a recipe from Martha’s website before buying the book.

(Please excuse the picture. I took it in my bed because that’s where I ate every single one of these cookies. I have no shame.)

I went with Martha’s black and white cookies because when I was pregnant and working at Starbucks I ate one of these everyday. My co-workers joked that they always knew when I was there because they would find the remains (the dark chocolate part. bleh) on the desk in the back. I just loved how soft they were with the hard white chocolate on top. Mmm.

These cookies were exactly like my beloved Starbucks cookies. Well I used milk chocolate instead of dark, but that only made them better. They were soft and lemony and perfect.

I still haven’t bought Martha’s book. It’s on my list right after about 30 other things. I definitely want to pick it up eventually. I’m officially sold on Martha.

Black and White Cookies.

from Martha Stewart

Ingredients

1 cup all-purpose flour
2/3 cup cake flour, not self-rising
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 large eggs
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup milk
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon pure lemon extract
2 cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted
2 tablespoons light corn syrup, plus more if needed
1 1/2 ounces bittersweet chocolate, melted

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Sift together flours, baking powder, and salt; set aside. In a medium bowl, whisk eggs and sugar until smooth. Add milk, and whisk to combine. Whisk in melted butter and extracts. Add flour mixture, and stir to form a smooth dough. Cover, and chill for 1 hour.
  2. Line baking pans with Silpat nonstick baking mats. Using a 2-ounce scoop, drop five cookies per pan, 3 inches apart. Bake until edges are light brown, 12 to 15 minutes. Transfer cookies to a wire rack set over parchment paper to cool.
  3. In a small bowl, combine confectioners’ sugar, 3 tablespoons hot water, and corn syrup. Whisk until smooth. Using a small offset spatula, ice half of each cookie. Return cookies to rack to drip, if necessary.
  4. Add chocolate to remaining icing. Stir until smooth. Add additional corn syrup to thin to desired consistency, if necessary. Spread chocolate icing over second half of each cookie. Allow cookies to set, about 10 minutes.
http://fakeginger.com/black-and-white-cookies/

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Well haven’t I been a bad Daring Baker? I’ve sat out the last two challenges but I’m back. June’s challenge was chosen by Kelly of Sass & Veracity and Ben of What’s Cookin’?. The recipe they chose was a danish braid which sounded pretty intimidating at first. After reading through the recipe I realized that it’s a pretty basic pastry dough but then you fold in a butter block, which is just butter and flour. It ended up being really easy and really fun, although all the turning and folding left me a little confused.

Braid
We were given the option of using an apple filling recipe that was provided to us but I decided to go with something a little more exciting. So I bought rhubarb for the first time and decided to get over my fear of the funny looking stuff. I ended up making an amazing strawberry and rhubarb filling but I can’t for the life of me remember exactly how I did it.

Braid
I also softened a block of cream cheese, mixed in some powdered sugar, and spread that out over the dough before I added the filling. It turned out great!

To see the full recipe, head over to Kelly’s blog. And check out the blogroll to see all the different variations the DBs came up with.

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It’s gotten far too easy for me to fall into a lunch rut. The kid eats pretty much the same thing everyday: a slice of ham or turkey, green beans, peas, carrots, or a combination of the 3, and a piece of fruit. Me? I usually skip lunch because I never know what to eat. So my new goal is to make a couple lunches each week. Actual meals, not PB&J.

Thai salad

My first attempt was this oh-so-pretty Crunchy Thai Noodle Salad. It was colorful and fun and I’m sure most people would really like it. One of the main ingredients of the dressing is sesame oil and I always seem to forget that I hate sesame oil. I love the smell of it, but I hate the taste. Weird, right? I think I’m going to play around with it and see if I can find a good substitution that’s not so over-powering.

That being said, the husband shocked me by eating 2 huge bowls of it. Normally he turns his nose up at anything that doesn’t have a large piece of meat sticking out of it. Even the kid ate a bowl of it.

Crunchy Thai Noodle Salad

from Vegetarian Classics

Ingredients

For the dressing:
3 tablespoons sesame oil
3 tablespoons canola oil
1/4 cup tamari soy sauce
3 tablespoons lime juice
2 tablespoons tomato paste
2 tablespoons honey
1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger
3 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1/2 teaspoon salt
For the salad:
1 pound spaghetti or linguine
2 cups mung bean sprouts
1 cucumber, peeled, seeded, and cut into matchsticks
1 carrot, peeled and grated
3 scallions, very thinly sliced
2 tablespoons shredded fresh basil
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh mint
2 tablespoons finely chopped cilantro
1/4 cup chopped dry roasted peanuts

Instructions

  1. Cook noodles until al dente. Drain thoroughly and rinse the noodles under cold running water. Place noodles in a very large serving bowl.
  2. In a medium sized bowl whisk together all the ingredients for the dressing. Pour the dressing on the noodles and toss well. Mix in all remaining ingredients except peanuts. Let the noodles sit for at least 30 minutes before serving. Serve with the chopped peanuts sprinkled on top.
http://fakeginger.com/crunchy-thai-noodle-salad/

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