As a season is about to turn, I often find myself daydreaming of what’s to come. This winter I daydreamed of long spring walks, sans coat, where I could feel the heat of the suns rays and see the buds of the plants that are about to bloom. In spring, I daydreamed of the warmth of summer, where I could walk barefoot into the backyard, feeling the grass below my feet, as I water our garden. And now, as we are heading into fall, I’ve found myself daydreaming
Two months into one of the best goals I’ve ever made, and I’m already slacking! June was a whirlwind, so sadly, homemade ice cream never made it onto my agenda. After a month of opening my freezer to a delightful creamy treat though, the lack of it in June was definitely noticeable. Yet again, I am reminded that goals are made for keeping! So, while July was equally as busy (that’s summer for ya!), I made sure to carve out a little time for a date with my ice cream maker.
For July I made an ice cream combo that has been on my mind for a year now, ever since I fatefully tasted it at a work tradeshow (of all places!). Maple with bacon crumbles. We all know the combo, which has been recreated in more forms that I’m able to recount, as well as enjoyed during those naturally occurring pancake and bacon breakfasts. As you’ll probably agree, some of those recreations were truly enjoyable, while others were a ‘glad I at least tried it’ moment. This ice cream is in a league of it’s own though. The contrast of flavor, sweet and salty, and texture, smooth a crunchy; create a balance that completely invigorates the taste buds. In fact, I am pretty sure that I could feel them dancing. That’s possible, right? Enjoy!
Maple Ice Cream by David Lebovitz:
1 ½ c. whole milk
2 tbl. sugar
1 ½ c. heavy cream
5 egg yokes (I only had four, and it was just fine)
3/4 c. dark amber maple syrup
1/8 tsp. course salt
1/4 tsp. vanilla extract
Warm the milk and sugar in a saucepan. Pour the cream into a large bowl and set a mesh strainer on top. Set the bowl of cream in a larger bowl that is partially filled with ice.
In a separate bowl, whisk together the egg yolks. Once the milk and sugar are warmed, and the sugar is dissolved, slowly pour the mixture into the egg yolks while whisking constantly. Once combined, pour the mixture back into the saucepan, and stir constantly over medium heat. Make sure to scrape the bottom, as well as the sides. Stir until the mixture thickens and coats your stirring utensil.
Pour the warm mixture through the strainer, and stir into the cream. Add the maple syrup, salt and vanilla, and stir until cool.
Chill the mixture thoroughly in the refrigerator (ideally 5 or more hours), and then churn according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
While the ice cream is chilling, cook 2 pieces of bacon to a crisp (without burning). Once crisp, remove them from the pan, and set them over paper towels to soak up the grease. Make sure to flip the bacon over to remove the grease from both sides. Once bacon is cooled, chop finely, and save in the refrigerator.
When I came across this recipe for bran muffins, I’m pretty sure that my heart fluttered as I thought, ‘could this be my ticket to bran muffin love?’ Much to my dismay, I’ve always loved the idea of bran muffins, but not the food itself. I may be trying in all the wrong places, but thus far, every version I’ve tried has either been too dense, dry, or tasteless…or some combination of the three.
The winning aspect of this recipe is the combination of pureed raisins and molasses. When combined, the duo creates a deliciously deep and complex flavor, which compliments the nuttiness of the bran perfectly, as well as imparts a remarkable level of moistness. If you’re interested in a truly elevating experience (in the world of bran muffin eating, of course), eat one straight from the oven, when it’s toasty, chewy, and nearly dream inducing. A word from experience, don’t resist a second one. You just won’t win.
*I would highly recommend adding one cup of frozen berries, as their lightness is a nice compliment to the otherwise rich muffin.
When squash ravioli is offered on a menu, I’m left with no choice but to order it. It may seem as though I am entertaining other dishes, as I continue to peruse the entire menu, but really, its a facade. That is unless there is another option that has a combination of either bacon, avocado or goat cheese…in which case I get unnecessarily overwhelmed by my indecisiveness, and hastily blurt one out when the waiter is taking orders. At least I can take comfort in knowing that either one will likely be delicious.
I love the combination of sweet pillow-y squash, encased in a toothsome pasta, and topped with savory sauce. The whole combination can feel downright elevating at times. The recipe I used this time is from Saveur, and it is one of the best I’ve had. The brown butter adds a deliciously nutty note, while the earthiness of the pesto nicely balances the sweetness of the squash. The total cook time is a bit long, but trust me, it will feel worth it in the end (especially if you’ve made extra to freeze for a later [lucky] date).
*A few tweaks to note (based on personal preference, as well as what was available in my pantry).
Pasta Dough: I followed this pasta dough recipe, instead of using won ton wrappers. I did alter the recipe slightly, by using one cup of all-purpose and one cup of semolina flour.
Squash Filling: I omitted the sage and oregano, and instead used three tsp. thyme. I omitted the nutmeg, and only used two cloves of garlic instead of four.
Pesto: I used one cup of oregano, and one cup of basil. Rather than hazelnuts, I used toasted walnuts (this was purely due to not having hazelnuts on hand. Hazelnuts sound awesome…so I will definitely make sure to have them next time).
I have cooked my way through countless pancake recipes, including ones calling for whole wheat, buttermilk, cornmeal, and so on. Then, one morning, I stumbled upon Smitten Kitchen’s Edna Mae’s Sour Cream Pancakes.
Contrary to the name of this recipe, these pancakes are not the slightest bit sour. Instead, the sour cream adds such a nice level of creaminess, that I find myself only partially drenching them in syrup (which is quite something coming from a condiment lover like myself). The texture takes the gold though. It is pillowy, in the most enjoyable way, with a slight chewiness that is reminiscent of a crepe.
So, for the time being, I am lowering the sails, and settling into my weekend mornings with the delicious company of these pancakes.
The beautiful thing about pumpkins is that they adorn the entrance to your home, and then once the season passes, they adorn your dinner table by way of delicious food. Could it get any better?
Being that the fall season has concluded, it is now time to roast this pretty bunch of pumpkins and repurpose them into some good eats. First on the list is this ginger pumpkin soup. Sweet and nutty, with a spicy punch of coriander and ginger, this soup will make your taste-buds dance.
1 large onion
1 1/2 tbl. chopped fresh ginger
2 tbl. olive oil
4 large garlic cloves, chopped
2 tsp. ground coriander
4 1/2 c. roasted pumpkin or squash
4 1/2 c. chicken broth
1/2 c. whole milk
3/4 tsp. kosher salt
1/2 tsp. pepper
1) Heat the oil over medium-high heat in a medium-to-large pot.
2) Sauté the onion and garlic until golden, 5 minutes.
3) Add the garlic and coriander and cook until softened, 1-2 minutes.
4) Add the pumpkin, broth, salt and pepper and simmer over medium-low heat for 10 minutes.
5) Allow the soup to cool slightly, and then purée in batches in a blender until smooth.
6) Pour puréed soup back into the pot along with the 1/2 cup of milk, and let simmer for 5 minutes.
(for a thinner consistency, add 1/4 cup increments of milk until the desired thickness is achieved.)
*Recipe very slightly adapted from Sunset Magazine
This combination of creamy potatoes, savory pesto, and sweet fresh peas is dreamy, and almost as dreamy as the taste, is the simplicity of the recipe.
4 Yukon gold or red potatoes
2-3 tablespoons of pesto + 1 tablespoon olive oil
2/3 cup peas (fresh or frozen)
1) Bring a pot of water to a boil. Place the potatoes in the water, cover, and cook at a simmer for
30-40 minutes (or until tender when pierced with a fork).
2)Meanwhile, mix the pesto with the olive oil until it comes to a thick dressing-like consistency.
3)When the potatoes seem nearly done, gently simmer your peas in a separate pot until they plump
4)Once the potatoes are cooked through, quickly cut them into cubes (at whatever size you most
prefer). Use a dry cloth, or additional utensil, to avoid burning your hands.
5)Place the cubed potatoes in a bowl with the drained peas, and mix with the pesto dressing until
*Recipe c/o: I unfortunately cannot remember the title of the cookbook where I got this recipe from. It was a camping cook book, and it looked fantastic. 🙂
Hi, I’m Caitlin!
I'm a creative type with a dreamers mind, an ever-growing project list, and so-so follow through (working on that!). I love that moment when inspiration and passion meet, and give way to the excitement of possibility. I hope that you find some sense of that here, and that I'll see you often!
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