Honey Cinnamon Peach Ice Cream

Today’s post will be short and sweet.  It might have something to with the fact that I only have two useable photos for this ice cream.  I know, what kind of food blogger am I?  Will you accept a gratuitous picture of a grooming bunny as recompense?

This is one flexible bunny

In my defense, shooting ice cream on the non-air conditioned porch has its limitations.  I had about 10 seconds to take as many photos as possible before everything turned into a puddle of liquid.

And only two came out.  But I think you get the idea of this ice cream.  You take a honey cinnamon custard base and stir in pieces of chopped up peaches.  We actually had to go out and buy alcohol for this recipe since you need to macerate the peaches in vodka before adding them to the ice cream so they don’t freeze solid in the freezer.

The end result is an amazingly refreshing summer treat that perfectly blends the flavors of peach, honey and cinnamon.  I loved the contrast of the smooth ice cream custard and the bright, sweet peach pieces.  This has definitely been my favorite ice cream this summer.

Honey Cinnamon Peach Ice Cream

Adapted from The Merry Gourmet

Makes about 1 quart

1 ½ cups 2% or whole milk
¾ cup granulated sugar, divided
pinch of salt
1 cup heavy cream
1 cinnamon stick
5 large egg yolks
2 large peaches, peeled, pitted, and chopped into 1/2 pieces
2 Tbsp honey
1 ½ tsp vodka

In a medium saucepan over medium heat, heat the milk, ¼ cup sugar, salt and cinnamon stick, stirring occasionally to dissolve sugar. Heat for approximately 5 minutes, or until the temperature is 175 degrees.  Meanwhile, put cream in a large bowl and set a mesh strainer over it.

In a separate bowl, whisk together ¼ cup sugar with the egg yolks. When the milk mixture is hot, slowly add about 1 cup of the hot milk mixture into the yolks, whisking constantly.  Then, slowly whisk the warmed egg yolks back into the remaining milk mixture in the saucepan. Continue to stir until the mixture thickens and coats the back of the spoon and reaches 180 to 185 degrees.

Strain the custard into the bowl of cream, stir to combine, and return the cinnamon stick to the custard.  Let the custard come to room temperature, then cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate 8 hours, or overnight.

Next, prepare the peaches.  Combine the chopped peaches with the honey and the remaining ¼ cup sugar in a small saucepan set over medium heat. Cook, stirring occasionally, about 5 minutes, until the peaches have released their juices. Pour into a bowl, cover, and refrigerate until ready to use.

When the custard has chilled sufficiently, freeze it in an ice cream maker according to the manufacturer’s instructions. In the meantime, pour the peaches through a strainer set over a bowl to catch the juices. Reserve the juice for another time or discard it. In a small bowl, toss the peach solids with the vodka. About 5 minutes before the ice cream churning is complete, add the peaches to the ice cream maker.

Transfer the ice cream to another container and freeze until the ice cream is firm, about 3 hours, and enjoy!



Thyme Honey Flatbreads

With an intense line-up of summer produce baked goods on the way, I thought I’d keep things fresh by mixing it up as we go along.  You can only look at so many berry recipes before they become less and less attractive, the novelty of summer’s bounty slowly fading, giving way to ambivalence .

So, in order to make sure we all stay really excited about berries, cherries, and stone fruit, I’m gonna throw in an occasional monkey wrench.  Something simple, nothing too fancy; recipes that might come in handy if you’re planning on having one more party before the kiddies go back to school and summer turns into glorious fall.

Oh man.  I cannot wait until fall.  But let’s shove those feelings aside and try to enjoy the present.  However muggy and oppressive that present might be.

Flatbreads.  I love flatbreads.  I like tearing them apart and smearing them through a big bowl of hummus, or making them into little pizzas.  Or just noshing on them late at night because they’re so darn tasty on their own.

This particular version features thyme, which I grow in a tiny pot on my porch.  If you are without access to fresh thyme, you can easily sub in dried, or feel free to use different fresh herbs; may I suggest rosemary, dill, basil or oregano?  Fabulous.  You could even top them with some of this salsa.

Thyme Honey Flatbreads

Adapted from The Baker Chick

Makes 3 large flatbreads

1 ¾ cups all-purpose flour
3 Tbsp thyme leaves, removed from stem, divided use
1 tsp baking powder
¾ tsp salt
½ cup water

2 Tbsp honey
1/3 cup olive oil plus more for brushing
sea salt for sprinkling

Preheat oven to 450°F and put a heavy baking sheet or pizza stone on rack in the middle.

Stir together flour, 2 Tbsp thyme leaves, baking powder, and salt in a medium bowl. Make a well in center, then add water, oil and honey, and gradually stir into flour with a wooden spoon until a dough forms. Knead dough gently on a work surface 4 or 5 times.

Divide dough into 3 pieces and roll out 1 piece (while keeping remaining pieces covered with a kitchen towel so they don’t dry out) on a sheet of parchment paper into a 10-inch round.  Don’t worry about making a perfect circle, just make sure the dough is thin.
Lightly brush top with additional oil and scatter small clusters of remaining thyme on top, pressing in slightly. Sprinkle with sea salt. Slide round (still on parchment) onto preheated baking sheet or pizza stone and bake until pale golden and browned in spots, 8-10 minutes. Transfer flatbread to a rack to cool and discard the parchment paper, then repeat the process with each of the remaining dough balls.

Store the flatbread in an air-tight container for up to 5 days.


Honey & Peanut Butter Ice Cream

The other day I was doing some dishes went I felt something hard poking against my foot.  I looked down hoping some sort of large insect wasn’t investigating my toes (I saw a HUGE beetle in the basement, like with pincers and everything, so I’m not crazy) but thankfully my surprise was pleasant, not horrifying.  It was my furry little friend Izzy keeping me company in the cutest way possible.

She has taken to sitting or lying by me nearly every time I do dishes and I think it’s because of the mirco fiber mat we got.  It’s quite soft, so she likes it a lot compared to the hard kitchen floor.

But oh my goodness.  How is it that August is almost upon us and I haven’t posted about ice cream in….quite a bit.  *cough cough* beginning of June.  My apologies.

So let me remedy the situation.  I originally made this ice cream so I could stir in chunks of chopped up peanut butter cups, but then it looked so pristine churning in the ice cream maker that I decided to enjoy it as it was.  Don’t worry, those peanut butter cups came in handy later.

This ice cream is amazing just the way it is.  We already know that I’m a big fan of the peanut butter and jelly combination, but I’d gladly substitute in honey any day.  The idea of a grape-flavored ice cream sounded weird to me.

So let’s stick to honey when dealing with ice cream.  It results in such a pleasingly mellow flavor, and the peanut butter swirl running throughout provides great contrast.  I used a natural chunky peanut butter for even more of a contrast, but you can use creamy if you’d like.  Either way, this is one great bowl of ice cream.

Honey & Peanut Butter Ice Cream

Adapted from Love & Olive Oil

Makes about 1 quart

2 cups heavy cream, divided
1 cup whole milk
1/3 cup sugar
3 Tbsp-1/4 cup honey
pinch of salt
4 egg yolks
1 tsp vanilla extract
2/3 cup creamy or chunky peanut butter

Pour 1 cup of the heavy cream into a heat-proof bowl and place a fine mesh sieve over the top of the bowl.

In a medium saucepan, combine remaining cream, milk, sugar, honey, and salt. The amount of honey you use will depend on its color.  Use closer to 3 Tbsp if you have a darker honey, or closer to ¼ cup for a lighter honey.  Cook gently over medium heat, stirring regularly, until sugar is dissolved and mixture just starts to steam. Remove from heat.

In a small bowl, whisk egg yolks. Slowly whisk in some of the warm cream mixture, about 1/3 cup at a time, until about half of the cream mixture has been incorporated.

Pour the yolk mixture back into the saucepan and return to medium heat, stirring constantly, until the mixture thickens slightly and coats the back of a spatula, about 5 to 7 minutes, or until it reaches approximately 165 to 170ºF. Do not allow it to boil. Pour mixture through sieve into cold cream, discarding any solids. Add vanilla extract and stir.  Let the mixture come to room temperature, then cover with plastic wrap, carefully pressing wrap down onto the surface of the cream mixture. This will prevent a skin from forming on top of the custard. Refrigerate until completely cool, at least 6 hours or overnight if possible.

Just prior to churning the ice cream, spoon peanut butter into a piping bag fitted with a medium size round tip or you can drizzle it in with a spoon.

Churn ice cream according to manufacturer’s instructions. When ice cream is the consistency of soft serve, squeeze or drop in the peanut butter, swirling it evenly throughout the ice cream, then transfer to a freezer safe container and freeze for a few hours or overnight until firm.



Pasta with Creamy Smoked Paprika Sauce

All the houseguests are gone, and our home seems so quiet.  We had a lovely weekend; full of memorable firsts.  First visits, first subway ride to Chinatown, first golf lesson in the backyard, first attempt at true housebunny-hood, first time we lost the bunny…

You know, all those things you go through as new homeowners.  What, you telling me you never lost track of your bunny after opening the ENTIRE first floor to her? Well, somehow she found a way to get upstairs and I found her sniffing around the laundry basket in our bedroom.

Silly rabbit, upstairs is for people.  For the most part though, she’s taken to her new life quite well.  My mom commented on how social she is.  While she won’t always let you pet her or pick her up, she won’t run away from new people, and lounged about in the living room with us while we watched golf.

And then I attempted to teach Luke how to play golf.  But that’s a story for a different day.  Let me tell you about this pasta.  As you may know, I love pasta, noodles and all things long, thin and starchy.  I also happen to love smoked paprika and roasted garlic.  I think you know where this is going.

This pasta is pretty easy to throw together and happens to taste amazing.  I used angel hair pasta, but you can use any kind of long pasta, just keep in mind that the thinner the pasta, the more you need to use to soak up the sauce.  I ended up using almost an entire pound of pasta.  Leftovers are always welcome.

Pasta with Creamy Smoked Paprika Sauce

Adapted from Bev Cooks

Makes about 4 servings (or more with thinner pasta)

1 head garlic with the end chopped off
1 tsp extra-virgin olive oil
2 Tbsp unsalted butter
2 Tbsp flour
¼ cup dry white wine
1 tsp honey
1 cup milk
1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
1 tsp smoked paprika
½ pound long pasta (more for a thinner pasta like angel hair)
¼ cup chopped parsley

 fresh parmesan cheese for garnish

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.  Place the garlic head in a small sheet of aluminum foil. Drizzle with oil and a tiny pinch of salt. Wrap up and roast 30 to 40 minutes. Remove from oven and set aside to cool.

Melt the butter in a small saucepan over medium heat. Once the bubbling slows, whisk in the flour. Once fully combined, pour in the wine and whisk for about 30 seconds.  Add the honey and whisk another 10 seconds. Pour in the milk and slowly whisk until it thickens into a nice cream sauce, about 2 minutes. Add the cayenne, smoked paprika, a small pinch of salt and pepper; stir to combine.

Transfer sauce to a small food processor. Squeeze the roasted garlic cloves into the sauce. They should just slide out of their skins. Blitz the sauce until well combined. Transfer back to saucepan to keep warm and season to taste.

In the meantime, bring a pot of salted water to a boil. Cook the pasta until al dente. Drain all but about 1/3 cup pasta water and return to pot. Pour the cream sauce over the pasta and toss to coat. If it’s too thick, add some pasta water to thin the sauce to your desired consistency.

Serve pasta garnished with chopped parsley and fresh parmesan.

Spiced Hummus with Honey

Something terrible happened to me yesterday, and I still haven’t figured out how I’m going to cope.

Chickpea skins!

One of my contact lenses ripped in half…while still resting upon my eyeball.  I got one half out immediately, but the other took some extreme wrangling, leaving me with a very angry looking right eye.

Of course I have glasses.  They’re actually a stronger (so better?) prescription than my contacts, but boy do I hate wearing them.  I didn’t notice changes in my vision until 7th grade, and only got glasses to see the board from the back of class.  By my freshman year of college, I needed to wear them all the time, but adjusting to a life with glasses was hard for me, so I opted for contacts.

And they’re great.  Until they fall apart while still attached to your cornea.  Oh, and remember your next shipment isn’t coming in until the end of the month…when you thought you’d be needed more.  So yeah, I guess it’s my glasses and me for 2 weeks.  I don’t know if I can survive.

Some primo snack food will make me feel better.  I’ve been scouring the Internet for new hummus recipes, and after trying this one from the same website, I knew this one was worth a shot.  Honey in hummus?  Weird, but good.  Good weird if you will.

Definitely a nice break from the normal garlic-lemon flavored hummus.  Try it for yourself and see!

Spiced Hummus with Honey

Adapted from Cara’s Cravings

Makes about 2 ½ cups

Two 15oz cans chickpeas, drained, rinsed (and peeled)
1/3 cup honey
1/3 cup tahini
1/4 cup lemon juice
2 cloves garlic, peeled
1 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp crumbled saffron threads
1/2 tsp salt

¼ cup olive oil
fresh chopped cilantro or parsley, for garnish

Combine first three ingredient in a food processor and whip until combined.  Add all other ingredients except for cilantro or parsley and process until smooth.  Store in the refrigerator, and serve cold or at room temperature.

Soba with Soy Honey Drizzle and Chicken

Some days all I want to do is stuff my face with noodles.  There are many reasons that provoke such a reaction in me.  Like yesterday, when I had a splitting headache and cramps ALL DAY LONG.

Thanks for nothing Advil.  While noodles may not be scientifically proven to lessen bodily aches and pains, they’re still a mighty wonderful distraction.

Noodles are a great food.  Slurpable, slightly chewy and soft, and they come in so many varieties.  I do love soba and udon.  I also adore rice noodles and egg noodles.  Have you ever had sweet potato starch noodles?  Delicious.

My favorite chopsticks.

Broth, no broth; sauce, no sauce (well let’s be honest, I’ll always put a little soy sauce and sesame oil on my noodles.)

This is a great weeknight dinner that comes together super fast, and with the addition of pre-cooked shredded chicken, is a very filling meal, especially for the noodles lovers out there.

Soba with Soy Honey Drizzle and Chicken

Adapted from T and T Cake

Makes 2-3 servings

8 oz soba noodles, cooked

3 Tbsps water

5 Tbsps soy sauce

1 tsp sesame oil

1 Tbsp rice wine vinegar or mirin

1 Tbsp brown sugar

2 Tbsps honey

1 cup chicken, cooked and shredded

sesame seeds for garnish

Cook the noodles according to their packaging’s instructions.  While the noodles are cooking, mix together water through honey in a small bowl and stir until honey and sugar have dissolved.

When the noodles are done, strain them and apportion them.  Drizzle the soy sauce mixture evenly over the noodles.  Toss noodles and add chicken if using.  Sprinkle with sesame seeds, chopped scallion or chives, and enjoy!


Soy Honey Roasted Sweet Potatoes

Yesterday afternoon we returned home from our ski trip.  I like to think Izzy was extremely happy to see us, but who knows.  Her behavior can be a little tricky to decipher.  The automatic feeder we bought for her worked perfectly.  That gizmo really saved us from dumping poor Izzy on an unsuspecting friend or family member.  Not that she’s high maintenance.  Come on…she’s a rabbit.

Our second day of skiing was just as lovely as the first.  We got up to one of the tallest peaks at Sunday River, and the views were spectacular.  In the end. Luke only fell once!!  And he was quite a trooper to keep going even though he was sore.

These are the items we picked up at the little pottery shop.  Cute, right?

Sometimes I have this tiny problem where I buy things on sale at the supermarket, even if I don’t really need it.  Whenever sweet potatoes go on sale, I always buy a few, even though I have no plans to bake with them.  Obviously, I’ve already made a lot of sweet potato baked goods.

So I’ve been trying to find other ways to dress up the spuds.  When I came across this recipe in Tastespotting, (because I check it everyday…..healthy obsession, of course) I knew I had to make it someday.  Soy sauce, honey, sweet potatoes…mmmmm..three flavors I absolutely adore.  And, unsurprisingly, when combined together, they taste even better!  I made these, ate half, then added the rest to a batch of chili I had made.  It would definitely make a great side dish too.

Soy Honey Roasted Sweet Potatoes

Adapted from Week of Menus

1 lb sweet potatoes, peeled
3 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
pinch of salt

2 tablespoons honey
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 teaspoon grated ginger
1 tablespoon toasted sesame seeds

Preheat oven to 350. Cut sweet potatoes into ice cube sized pieces. Toss potatoes with vegetable and sesame oil and a pinch of salt.  Place on a cookie sheet in a single layer and roast for 30 to 40 minutes or until edges are crisp.

While potatoes are baking, mix honey, soy sauce and grated ginger for the glaze. Drizzle over the potatoes and place 4 to 6 inches from broiler. Broil 5-7 minutes shaking baking sheet occasionally until nicely browned on the outside. Sprinkle with sesame seeds and serve.