Produce Power: Sweet Corn Ice Cream

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Many people are surprised to find out that in my toddler years I had a brief stint in the Philippines. It was through this stay that I developed a love for: canned meat, dried fish, and corn (also called mais) ice cream.

This farm fresh treat makes use of the sweet flavor of summertime corn and turns it into a refreshingly, cold, rich, and not-too-sugary desert. Whenever I want to get a fix, I usually head down to my local Filipino mart and grab a gallon of Magnolia brand ice cream but like many commercially bought items it is full of preservatives and artificial coloring.

My sister Kat had recently gifted me with a Cuisinart Ice Cream maker so I decided in addition to becoming an artisan bread maker, I would also try my hand at artisan ice cream making!

And not to toot my own horn or anything but the result was delectable! I think the key to this recipe was using fresh, organic ingredients as much as possible. You can really taste the difference when using high quality dairy, freshly picked corn, and the sweet molasses taste of turbinado cane sugar. Warning! This recipe uses a French style custard base so it is extremely rich! Next time I will try a Philadelphia style base which has no eggs in it.

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Recipe
2 cups of whole milk
1 cup of sugar
1/4 cup of powdered milk (this helps stabilize the base)
8 egg yolks
1 cup of heavy whipping cream
1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
2 cups of fresh corn kernels

Directions
1. Add sugar and powdered milk into a food processor and pulse until fine
2. In a saucepan, heat whole milk, sugar, powdered milk, and corn kernels and simmer until the sugar has dissolved.
3. Beat egg yolks in separate bowl until thickened
4. Slowly add one cup of hot milk into egg yolks and whisk until blended.
5. Slowly pour egg yolk and milk mixture into saucepan. Increase heat to medium and stir constantly until the base has the consistency of gravy.
6. Add cream, vanilla and let cool to room temperature.7. Refrigerate overnight.
8. The next day add the mixture into ice cream maker as directed.
9. Once churned, put in a pyrex bowl with saran wrap beneath the cover (this helps prevent freezer burn) and freeze for an additional three hours.

Enjoy!

 

Making Love Out Of Nothing At All: Hot Crusty Bread

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I’m not going to lie folks, after making this loaf of bread this afternoon, I have decided to moonlight as an artisan bread baker on the side. This bread is perfect: crusty on the outside and light on the inside with tons of air pockets and cragulations. Rob was the ultimate taste tester because he tries to avoid carbs as much as possible. As he buttered his fifth slice of bread, dreams of my new side hustle filled my head. It’s seriously that good y’all. The best part? It’s so easy that even a Suburbanette can make this bread!

If you have ever purchased a loaf of bread from the supermarket and looked at the ingredient list you will be shocked to see all of the unpronounceable additives that are used to make the item shelf-stable. Not so farm fresh at all! This bread is super simple: add yeast, flour, water, and salt and bam! It’s so rustic, I could picture Jesus breaking bread with something like this back in the day.

I jacked this recipe from Simply So Good, a Grandma from Utah with four kids owns this blog so you KNOW it’s got to be good. Check out her site for more tips…she and her blog following have been perfecting this for years!

Also in between mixing together my ingredients and letting my bread rise I got my very first DSLR camera. So halfway through this post you will have a few lovely photos to accompany this blog post.

1. In a mixing bowl, whisk together 3 cups of all-purpose flour (I use organic, unbleached because I’m high falootin’ like that), 1/2 teaspoon rapid rise yeast, 1 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt.

2. Add 1.5 cup of cold water and mix with a wooden spoon until everything is incorporated.

3. Set aside and put plastic saran wrap over the bowl. Leave out for 12 – 18 hours.

4. Come back to your bowl and gawk at how high the dough has risen! Mine doubled in size. Woop!!!

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8. Put bread on a floured surface and gently form it into a round mound. Add saran wrap and let sit for another thirty minutes.

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9. Heat oven to 450 degrees and add cast iron pot or other oven safe covered dish to oven to pre-heat.

10. When thirty minutes is up, put bread mound on a piece of parchment paper (to prevent sticking) and into the pot it goes.

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11. Cover with lid and bake in oven for 30 minutes. This was my first time using my sunshiney cast iron pot that my aunt got me for the wedding. Look how happy it looks!

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12. It’s time for the big unveiling! Open the pot lid and check out all of your handiwork. The bread should have puffed up as well. Bake uncovered for another 15 minutes to brown the crust.

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13. Ta-da! Your bread is done! Remove from oven and let cool. Or if you are like me burn your fingers while you are cutting into it because you just can’t wait! What’s the point of eating homemade bread if it’s not poppin’ fresh and hot out of the oven?

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14. Share the fruits of your labor with a loved one and pat yourself on the back. Congratulations, you are officially an artisan bread maker!

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Pantry Aloo Tikki

 

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Who could forget the summer of 1996? Madeline Albright was appointed the first secretary of state, Clinton and Gore won the national election, and Tupac Shakur was shot in Vegas and later succumbed to his injuries. It also marks the year that I first tried Indian food.

My two best friends were Katie Snow and Shruti Bargoti and we did absolutely everything together. To celebrate Shruti’s 12th birthday, we listened to “Gangsta’s Paradise” on repeat, stayed up late to watch “Now and Then” on video fast-forwarding the part where they showed Devon Sawa’s naked butt which was way too scandalous for our group, and ordered a large Papa John’s pizza with extra garlic sauce on the side. Life was good.

However, life was about to get better because after being friends for three years, Shruti’s mom had finally decided it was about time that our ragtag group of friends try Indian food for the first time. I’m not going to lie, I was skeptical (even the ethnic food my dad made at home was too ethnic for me!) but one bite of her spicy fried potato patties and I was hooked! A life long addiction to Indian lunch buffets has followed me ever since.

Only recently did I learn the name of the dish Shruti’s mom served me: aloo tikki. Apparently it is a popular street food dish from Northern India.

I had a big bag of potatoes that were about to sprout so I decided that today would be the day that I would make this beloved dish my bish. This recipe is in NO WAY authentic but my adaption can easily be made with ingredients that can be found in a well-stocked pantry.

Rob was hesitant to try it so I only fried him one patty at first. He ate three more immediately afterwards!

Suburbanette’s Pantry Aloo Tikki

1. Boil seven small or medium well scrubbed organic potatoes with skin on until soft on the inside
2. Remove from water and add handful of frozen peas to water and quickly cook
3. Add peas and potatoes to large bowl and sprinkle liberally with garam masala, curry powder, tumeric, garlic powder, salt, paprika, ginger powder, dried onion…and basically whatever you think will taste good together. Mash until all ingredients are incorporated.
4. Add some panko bread crumbs to bind mixture.
5. Form mixture into patties with hands and roll the outside in bread crumbs.6. Lightly oil a hot skillet
7. Brown patties in skillet until crispy on the outside
8. Eat and enjoy! This would be amazing with a yogurt or mango chutney on top.

 

Tea Time with Suburbanette: Black Cherry Chocolate Scones

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Ahh, spring time. It’s that time of year when I crawl out of my down bed with the down comforters and down pillows and start a new. I literally can feel the sunlight rejuvenate my body and thoughts of becoming an artisan food purveyor start running through my head.

If you follow me on Instagram, you know that my latest addiction has been checking out all of the amazing tea shops in DC (more on that later!). There is nothing more comforting than cupping a warm mug of tea and catching up with an old friend. However, my tea time habit was starting to eat away at my wallet and as a true child of my mother I started to think …. I can make it at home at better and for much cheaper!

And not to toot my own horn or anything…but I did! These scones are wonderfully dreamy, light, and soft (even a few days later!) and filled with tons of dark chocolate and black cherry chunks. And with my Vitamix, I was able to make them between two commercial breaks of Arrow.

And to quote the ever eloquent Seaweed J. Stubbs: Run and tell that!

Suburbanette’s Vitamix Black Cherry Chocolate Cream Scones

2 cups  unbleached all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
3 tablespoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
5 tablespoons chilled, unsalted butter, cut into 1/4-inch cubes
1/2 cup dried black cherries
1/2 cup dark chocolate chunks
1 cup heavy cream

1. Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 425°F.

2. Place flour, baking powder, sugar and salt in Vitamix and pulse six times.

3. Slowly incorporate cold butter chunks into flour mixture (cold butter is key as it gives you air pockets for a lighter dough) and pulse 12 times.  Transfer dough to large bowl.

4. Stir in heavy cream with a rubber spatula or fork until dough begins to form, about 30 seconds.

5. Transfer dough and all dry, floury bits to countertop and knead dough by hand just until it comes together into a rough, sticky ball, 5 to 10 seconds. F

6. Form scones by patting the dough into a lightly floured work surface and cut cut pieces with a biscuit cutter (or the edge of a wine glass because who has biscuit cutters these days?).

7. Place rounds on ungreased baking sheet and bake until scone tops are light brown, 12 to 15 minutes. Cool on wire rack for at least 10 minutes. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Recipe adapted from Smitten Kitchen

Curried Vegetables Over Quinoa

If you are craving Indian food without the heavy cream and clarified butter — this should do the trick!  It is spicy, easy to make, and quite filling.  But I’m not going to lie — it would have tasted MUCH better in a creamy tomato sauce with lots of garlic naan to soak it up.  There are some classic recipes you shouldn’t mess with.

Ingredients
1 Tablespoon olive oil
1 medium red onion diced
1 cup of cut broccoli florets
1 medium zucchini sliced
2 Tablespooons of curry
1 teaspoon of tumeric
1 teaspoon of red pepper flakes
1 cup of cooked quinoa
Himalayan sea salt to taste


Directions
-Saute diced onions in olive oil for a few minutes until translucent, add salt, curry, tumeric, and red pepper
– Add other vegetables and cook untik softened
– Add cooked quinoa and stir everything together. Adjust seasoning as needed.

Recipe adapted from Kimberly Snyder

Get On the Boat, the Zucchini Boat!

In my household of two, I am the main cook while Rob takes care of the dishes.  Some people may think that I have it easy since cooking is the fun part, but it is EXHAUSTING trying to come up with new and delicious recipes all the time.  Thanks to Pinterest, this task has been alleviated for a little bit, but now I am stuck with the wonderful job of making sure that my pantry is stocked with the right ingredients at all times.  I have been drooling over this recipe for stuffed zucchini for quite some time now, but unfortunately I was missing more than half of the ingredients it called for.  I decided to try stuffing my zucchini (that sounds dirty doesn’t it?) with whatever vegetables I could find at the fridge at the moment.  Guess what — my gamble was worth it!  This dish ended up being tasty, filling, and easy to prepare!  I am already thinking of other ways I can stuff it next time — orzo salad? garlic, cheese and bread crumbs?, curried cauliflower and chickpeas? I don’t mind if I do!

Ingredients:
– chopped tomatoes
– chopped parsley
– chopped onions
– chopped mushrooms
– minced garlic
– two zucchinis
– salt and peper

Directions:
Cut two zucchinis length wise
– Scoop out the guts with a fork and then chop into cubes
– Combine zucchini, tomatoes, mushrooms, onions, and garlic in a skillet and saute until cooked
– Stuff vegetable mixture into hollowed out zucchinis, top with shredded cheese and fresh parsley
– Cook in 400 degree oven for twenty minutes
– Salt and pepper to taste
– Serve immediately

I served my zucchini boats with some tzakiki sauce on it just because I had some laying around.

 

 

Raw Zucchini Hummus

Now that I am working in Falls Church again, my favorite lunch time spot is Meat in a Box (funny name, awesome food!).  The owner is so friendly and every time I come in he gives me free hummus.  I’m addicted!  I wanted to try making my own version at home but after doing some research I learned that commercially canned chick peas are heavy in sodium and absent of their natural enzymes because they are already pre-cooked.  Also — they are hard to digest!  No thank you!

This hummus made out of zucchini is much healthier and JUST as delicious!  In fact, I made this for a party of carnivores and the whole thing was gobbled up in an instant!

Raw Zucchini Hummus

Ingredients:
1 large zucchini
1/2 cup raw tahini (I made this in my mini blender by blending un-toasted sesame seeds and olive oil together)
2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
2 Tablespoons Lemon Juice
1 Teaspoon Salt
1 Teaspoon Cumin
1 Large Garlic Clove
Sprinkle of Paprika

Directions:
Combine all ingredients in blender until smooth. This will have a slightly thinner texture than chickpea hummus.

Portobello Mushroom Fajitas

These mushroom fajitas were JAWSOME.  And I’m the type of girl who appreciates an extra juicy steak fajita. Even though I had cheese as a topping option, I didn’t use it because the dish was so flavorful as is.  The best part?  It was super easy to make.  Rob helped me make the pico de gallo and guacomole while I made the mushroom filling which consisted of  giant Portobello mushroom caps, orange bell peppers, and red onions drizzled ever-so-slightly with olive oil and seasoned with Goya’s Adobo seasoning.

Unfortunately, I am starting to run out of vegetarian ideas so if anybody has any recipes they would be willing to share please send them over!

Greek Style Chicken Wings

Rob and I love chicken wings but since he gave up fried food for Lent and I am trying to eat healthier in general, I had to come up with new alternative.

I really love Mediterranean style flavors so I seasoned some organic, free-range chicken wings I found at Trader Joe’s in olive oil, oregano, parsley, garlic, and onion powder and threw it on top  Cuisinart Griddler for about twenty minutes.  For an inside grill, the Griddler makes some amazing looking grill marks!  I topped my chicken with fresh squeezed lemon juice and some parsley that I snipped off my new herb plant.

We ate the meal with a side of kale, cucumbers and tzatziki sauce for dipping.

….and rice!  I can’t give up my rice.

Spinach-Basil Pesto and Bowtie Noodles

Ever since I saw a Facebook photo of my sister Kristina’s pesto noodles made with homegrown basil, I have been JONESING for the dish.  My time finally came last Thursday night.  I didn’t get home from work till about 8:30 and I wanted something carb-filled and creamy in my belly.

I followed Ina Garten’s basic pesto recipe but since I had so much spinach in the fridge (I’m already up to my second bag this week) I decided to add some spinach in it as well.  I made a boo-boo and added 100x more garlic than I should have (I confused the difference between bulb and clove but stopped myself before things got crazy) but I actually really enjoyed the dish (I think it is because I am sick and have no taste buds or sense of smell).  Rob on the other hand politely had one plate and then promptly brushed his teeth and popped ten altoids.  You live, you learn!

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