May 25 2012

roasted strawberry stracciatella ice cream {and a giveaway!}

Strawberry Stracciatella Ice Cream

I’m so excited, I don’t even know where to begin. After a couple of months – and in particular the last couple of weeks – of craziness at work, I’m finally done with the project I’ve been working on for the last few months. Furthermore, it’s Memorial Day weekend and I’m taking a couple of days off to visit family in DC. Goodbye migraines, hello summer sunshine, family, and friends!

On top of all of that, I also have a wonderful new ice cream recipe to share with you AND just in case you need an ice cream maker so that you can make said recipe, we have a giveaway for a brand new Cuisinart ICE-21 ice cream machine courtesy of BigKitchen! BigKitchen is a kitchenware retailer located in Tampa, FL with tons of great stuff for the kitchen and they’re currently constructing a state-of-the-art test kitchen where they’ll film demonstration videos. Pretty cool, huh?

Strawberries

Ok, on to the recipe, because seriously, you need to try this. I had the hardest time deciding on a recipe because frankly, armed with David Lebovitz’ Perfect Scoop and Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams at Home, it is so hard to choose! I would have to make ice cream at least once a week just to get to my top picks before the end of the summer. But because strawberries are looking so perfect at the store these days that I just had to try strawberry ice cream.

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May 21 2012

lime pecan bars

Lime Pecan Bars

Spring is in the air! And with Memorial Day just a week away, summer is just around the corner. We had a truly perfect weekend here in Boston, with crystal blue skies and temperatures in the mid-seventies. If I had to pick the weather for all the weekends for the rest of my life, this would be it. It was the perfect weekend for a barbecue, so I couldn’t have been more excited to go to a friend’s house to see their new Big Green Egg in action.

Lime Pecan Bars

I had never heard of the Big Green Egg, but it’s apparently quite the craze in the BBQ world. It’s a big, green, egg-shaped ceramic charcoal grill and from what I’ve seen so far, everything that goes into it comes out impeccably. We had chicken, ribs, sausages, salmon, veggies, and pineapple all cooked to perfection. It was an afternoon of feasting and the food was as spectacular as the weather.

Have I mentioned how much I love barbecue? Because I truly do. It all begins with my love of barbecue sauce and ribs that fall right off the bone. And you know what goes perfectly with a nice summer barbecue? A cool refreshing lime pecan bar. The crunch of the pecan crust, the gooey topping bursting with fresh lime – this is the stuff of summer refreshment. My mouth waters just thinking about them.

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May 13 2012

quinoa shrimp salad

Quinoa Shrimp Salad

Remember when I said I was going to be cooking a lot more quinoa? I wasn’t kidding. I’m obsessed. After making the quinoa salad with spinach, feta, and dill several times over the last few weeks, I figured maybe it was time for a new recipe. There are several recipes for quinoa that are more of a side dish and as great as that is, well, I love a dish that comes together as one harmonious and nutritious meal, all in one bowl.

Lemon, Zucchini, Tomatoes, Parsley

Shrimp and Scallions

This quinoa shrimp salad from Chef Laura at Home fits that bill perfectly. Succulent shrimp, juicy tomatoes, salty ricotta salata, and nutty quinoa decked out with zucchini, beans, tomatoes, and lemon easily make a wonderful and complete meal. It’s healthy, it’s relatively easy to throw together, and it’s perfect for lunch, dinner, or even a summer party on the patio. 

Quinoa Shrimp Salad

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May 5 2012

mint julep

Mint Julep

I don’t think I had ever paid any attention to the Kentucky Derby until maybe five years ago when Joseph and I just happened to be in Brooklyn the same weekend as the Derby. We were staying with Mark and Jordan, my brother-in-law and his wife, and they didn’t yet have their two beautiful little girls. Some of Jordan’s family comes from Kentucky and the Derby is a pretty big deal for her – I would guess sort of akin to St. Patrick’s day for my family. They were throwing a small party in its honor and I’m sure they had some really great food, but to be honest, I don’t remember it. What I do remember are the mint juleps.

Just as I had never watched the Kentucky Derby, I had never had a mint julep. The idea of mint and bourbon seemed just a little strange to me (who knows what I was thinking because I do like mojitos), but one sip and I was completely sold. And one minute of watching all the hats and hoopla of the Kentucky Derby and I was sold on that too. And so a tradition was born. Now every year I sit with my mint julep and watch the hats, um, I meant the horses.

Mint Julep

I actually took these pictures last year, before Joseph got me my great Boston double old fashioned glasses. I was excited to share my love of mint juleps, but then I realized that there was really no point in sharing a recipe for mint juleps after the Kentucky Derby. This year I’m just barely getting it in in time, but hopefully you can still grab some mint and bourbon and enjoy!

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