Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Pareve Ice Cream with Cherries and Chocolate Chunks (UPDATE)



As I mentioned in yesterday's post, I recently went cherry picking and decided to use some of those cherries to make an ice cream recipe I'd been contemplating for a while. I also promised in that post that I would share my results today. :)
Let me begin by saying that I took a very basic recipe (basic vanilla ice cream + cherries + chocolate chunks) and did it my own way, as usual. The result is, I believe, an acquired taste.

Let me explain what I mean by that.

You see, my original plan was to take a container of Sweetened MimicCreme, add a little vanilla extract, put it in the ice cream maker and then add cherries and chocolate chunks. But then I was thinking about the last time I made ice cream that was JUST MimicCreme, and how it had frozen solid. It was delicious and creamy, but you had to let it soften for a while before you could get at it. So I thought, what can I add to keep it from getting so hard?

My brilliant idea? A tiny dash of white cooking wine that I had in the fridge. Here's the problem with that theory that struck me pretty quickly after I'd added it:
  1. wine actually freezes. I should have used something with a higher alcohol content, like vodka if I'd had any.
  2. white cooking wine is not high quality wine and therefore doesn't add the BEST taste in the world. Not a BAD taste, mind you, just not the best.


The resulting ice cream actually came out less creamy than I would have liked, still froze hard, and has a white wine undertone that, while actually a pretty good flavor combination in general, is not quite what you expect when you dig in. The initial effect can be a little off-putting.

My other mistake is the chocolate I used. I happen to be a big fan of Elite Chocolate, and love to eat it straight. When thinking of what to use for the chocolate chunks, I went straight for their bittersweet dark chocolate. However, I should have upgraded to something higher quality and more bitter, or at least to chocolate chips, because this doesn't seem to have held up well. the pieces aren't hard when you bite in to them, but have a texture closer to pecans in ice cream.

All in all, I think this ice cream is pretty tasty, but it's definitely not for everyone. (The Huz, for instance, found it too repugnant to finish the small teaspoonful he took.) I'd definitely do many things differently if I had it to do all over again (and I might!) but for now it's an intriguing flavor combination that would probably be wonderful for some and disgusting for others.

(UPDATE: Tasting it again, I've determined this is actually quite delicious if you think of it as a cream ice rather than an ice cream. The flavors work much better that way and the texture makes more sense. Also, I need to correct a statement earlier in this post. The Huz was not grossed out by the ice cream, he merely wasn't in the mood to eat it with his cheese sandwich. He actually seems to enjoy it.)

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Cherry Picking and Pasta with Meat Sauce



As some of my Facebook followers are aware, I recently went cherry picking. If you've never gone fruit picking before, let me tell you that it's incredibly fun, and it's a family friendly activity, too! But here's the thing: You end up with a lot of fruit! So what to do with all those cherries? Well, I know what I want to do!



I recently saw a fantastic sounding recipe for Chocolate Chunk Cherry Ice Cream. The recipe was pretty simple, and I knew that with one of my favorite secret ingredients, I could make it pareve to boot! So tonight, I went ahead and broke out my ice cream maker.



Now, I can't really give you results on it yet because it's still hardening in the freezer, but rest assured that tomorrow you'll be seeing an update with the outcome and the recipe.



But to tide you over....

Tonight I wanted something easy for dinner because I didn't get home from shopping with my mother until after 7. (I got SHOES!!!!) I had bought some "Spicy Italian Chicken and Turkey Sausage" and decided to use it to make a simple meat sauce. Here's how I did it:


Pasta with Meat Sauce

Ingredients:
  • Pasta, cooked according to package directions
  • Spicy Italian Chicken and Turky Sausage, or other sausage of your choice, cut into bitesized chunks
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 1 tbsp chopped/minced garlic
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 2 Tbsp white wine
  • 1/2 bottle Barilla Tomato Basil Marinara Sauce
Instructions
  1. coat the bottom of a small saucepan with olive oil
  2. Sauté the onion for ~1-2 minutes, until just translucent
  3. Add in sausage and continue sautéing, stirring occasionally, until starting to brown
  4. Add in minced garlic, stir around and cook about 1 min
  5. Add white wine, let simmer ~2-3 mins
  6. Add marinara sauce, cover and simmer until hot
  7. Pour over pasta and enjoy. :)

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Belated Cheesecakes

Ok, so I should have posted this last week, but I got distracted by cheesecake.


Really good cheesecake.


Really EASY cheesecake.


Really, deliciously rich and fattening cheesecake.

Yum.



I found this recipe on Gourmet Kosher Cooking. It's called "The Best Plain Cheesecake." The name says it all.

All I did to change this recipe was to bake it in little cupcake tins for 25-30 minutes, and I put some frozen berries in before pouring in the filling. But let me say, the plain ones were great too. All around, this is going to be my go-to cheesecake recipe. Next time I make it (which could be quite a while from now) I'll experiment with using it as a base for various flavors, like peanut butter or almond.

If you do any experimenting, let me know how it goes.

Friday, June 3, 2011

Unconsummated

I recently discovered a blog called "Unconsummated". It is written by an Orthodox Jewish girl who is struggling with a sexual disorder called vaginismus. I'm linking to it on here because I think it's important to spread awareness about these issues. Women who struggle with this issue often feel very alone because, even outside of religious circles, it's difficult and often shameful to speak about with others. (One article which she refers to in her blog states that Orthodox Jewish couples are more likely than other couples to seek treatment for the disorder because of the emphasis placed on sex in the marriage relationship).

She discussed in a recent post that many of the people who have linked to her blog have done so for the purpose of blaming Judaism for her condition. These people made false claims to the effect that these issues only exist in strict, religious circles. Forgetting the fact that sex is not a taboo topic in Judaism, as many of these people claim, and that although sex is forbidden before marriage it is seen as one of the holiest acts in the world after marriage, pretending that this is something that only effects the repressed or victims of sexual trauma undermines the pain of all the women who experienced neither and are still suffering.

Vaginismus is a real medical condition. It is caused by a physical reaction within the body to penetration. Many women, from all sorts of backgrounds, struggle with this condition. It does not necessarily have to begin with someone's first sexual encounters. Some women may be sexually active for years and suddenly find themselves, for whatever reason, experiencing vaginismus (this is called secondary vaginismus).

I'm not interested in starting a debate about religion and sexuality here. Any comments to that effect will be deleted. I'm merely interested in helping this girl spread awareness of an extremely difficult, complicated and painful condition which much of the world likes to ignore.