Archives

Vodka Ice Cream is a Thing Now. And It Will Get You Smashed

Be still my heart! Someone has mastered the art of vodka ice cream 😁 I know many folks that would love to get their hands on this stuff. We need to help them branch out from only selling in Maryland. For now, road trip anyone? 😉

The Oily Guru

The liquor industry has long sought new ways to package their distilled spirits. While the demand for traditional alcohol remains strong, upstarts in the industry have a hard time competing. Perhaps that’s why there is now a new trend: alcoholic ice cream. Looking for a cool way to end summer? Try some vodka ice-cream.

v1

Or, as the company says: “chill out, eat vodka.” ArcticBuzz has launched a line of ice cream that combines flavors like cookies and cream and key lime pie with the kick of vodka. The Baltimore company has figured out how to keep the mixture from separating, which is a challenge because of the low freezing point of vodka.

v2

“If you have ever put a bottle of vodka in the freezer,” ArcticBuzz writes, “you know the vodka wins every time. After working with several different recipes and numerous tastings, ArcticBuzz has cracked the code and delivers homemade…

View original post 176 more words

Blue Apron Meals – Update

We have been ordering Blue Apron meals for a little over a month now. I can’t say enough about the meals and the cooking techniques we’ve learned how to to pull off. Admittedly, there are also plenty of food items I will never touch again… Kale pretty much being at the top of the list. I’ve made kale at least 5 different ways and none of them has produced a palatable taste for me. We now just buy some spinach for me when we see it in an upcoming meal. The next being sesame oil. OMG, it kills my insides and stays with me for days. ICK! Lastly, what is with all the radishes? I get it BA is trying to be eco-friendly and use what is in season, however a radish salad is not my cup-o-tea.

We often try to pick the fish meal when offered. All of them have been fabulous! I can’t believe how much I love catfish. My Father used to cook it all the time and the smell caused me to leave the house. The salmon, white fish and cod have all been fantastic also.

So far, our favorite meal has been the pork roast rubbed in spices. It was so juicy and tender! Super yum.

We’re going to continue to enjoy these. We also think these would be a great thing to bring along camping! All the ingredients are in the box, I don’t need to worry about forgetting something. The only things that would need to be aboard the ‘Daug Haus’ would be olive oil and the proper kitchen tools; pots, shredders, pans, etc.

Admittedly, I don’t remember the fancy names for the following meals… I’m going to call it as I see it. If anyone’s curiosity is burning that bad to know the recipe or true name, ask about it in the comments and I’ll get back to you.  =-)

Salmon with fried rosemary and apple farro

Pan fried chicken with bok choy, rice and marinated carrot slaw

Pan fried chicken with mushrooms, rice and kale.

Cheese cannolis with tomato sauce and creamy garlic salad

Here’s that pork meal!

Cumin crusted pork roast with fig / orange sauce on a bed of onion and barley.

Pork chop with jasmine rice, tomato/cilantro salsa and kale.

Fried chicken on a bed of kale and mashed potatoes.

Lamb and beef stew topped with fried potato disks and parmesan cheese

Moroccan Chicken on spiced tomatoes and carrots with rice. This one rocked!!

Shrimp with cabbage with curry. We did not like this one at all.

Meatloaf with ketchup pepper chutney and hash browns. Meh.

© Ilex ~ Midwestern Plant Girl

Blueberry Cheese Streusel Coffeecake

Blueberry Cheese Streusel Coffeecake

2 1/3 c. all-purpose flour
1 to 1 1/3 c. sugar
1 tsp. salt
3/4 c. butter
To make batter, combine flour, sugar, and salt in large bowl; cut in butter as for pie crust. Reserve 1 cup of mixture. Add the following to the balance of the batter.

2 tsp. baking powder
3/4 c. milk
2 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla
1 c. fresh or frozen blueberries
Beat on medium speed for 2 minutes, scraping bowl constantly. Pour evenly in greased 13x9x2 inch baking pan. Clearly, I used two loaf pans. I always like making two, so I can make my friends fat also.. Sprinkle blueberries evenly over batter.

Next make the cheese:
1 c. ricotta or cream cheese
1 egg
2 tbsp. sugar
1 tbsp. grated lemon peel
Blend cheese, egg, sugar and lemon peel until smooth, then spoon evenly over blueberries.

Streusel topping:
1 c. reserved mix
1/2 c. chopped nuts (I used walnuts – Can be omitted also)
1/3 c. brown sugar
1 tsp. cinnamon
Make topping by mixing the reserved mix, nuts, brown sugar and cinnamon. Sprinkle over cheese layer. Bake at 350 degrees for 50-60 minutes or until tooth pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool slightly before cutting.

© Ilex ~ Midwestern Plant Girl

Boxed Dinners ~ Activities for Foodie Couples

imageIf you haven’t heard about these blessings in a box, they are called Meal Delivery Services, and they are being shipped to most locations worldwide. I think they are an awesome idea for folks wanting to learn how to cook, learn new meals, save money and time, stuck in a ‘food rut’ (us), along with dieting or even just eating better!  We’ve batted this idea around for a bit… Having fresh ingredients arrive at our door to make meals for a few nights a week. I wasn’t sure if it was going to be a savings or an expense. My husband really took a hold of this idea and ran with it. He compared many of the Dinner Box companies that deliver in our area. He decide Blue Apron was the best fit for us. They source the food as local as possible to me. I love supporting my community.

When he told me about the future box coming, he had sparkles in his eyes. He was genuinely excited to cook these meals! He then tells me the most mushy, lovey-dovey thing… “I can’t wait to spend time with you in the kitchen cooking these meals.” Awe! What a Sweety-Pie!!! I love you, honey.

Our first three meals arrived on a Friday. We picked Friday, so we would have more time to cook the meals over the weekend. The part I really like is that the amounts are per-determined, and there is no waste or leftovers. I feel like we waste too much food here. Another huge pro for going with this arrangement.

There are also beautifully done recipe cards with photos for most of the steps in the recipe. If there is something missing on the card, you can always go to their website to learn how to reproduce the technique they are asking you to do. There are many how-to videos, other recipes and comments from other Blue Apron clients.

image    image

Lemon Caper Catfish, Chicken Paillard and Bucatini Pasta Bolognese, were our weeks choices. In plain English: Lemon catfish w/kale, Chicken & potatoes & Spaghetti w/meat sauce. There are generally 3 meat meals and 3 vegetarian meals, for a total of 6 meals to choose from for a week. Blue Apron only offers 3 meals a week, whereas other companies do offer 2 -7 meals a week. As I am a carnivore, the veggie meals are somewhat wasted on me. Yes, roasted cauliflower sounds yummy, but that is a side dish, not the centerpiece of the meal.

image

The Chicken Paillard was to die for! I have never roasted a fennel before and I have been missing out! If you’ve never done it, buy one in the next grocery run. They are amazing roasted. We figured even if we didn’t like some part of the meal, it would introduce us to other types of food and how to cook it. A con was the size of the potato. It was smaller than my fist, and we had to split it. I get it. It’s called PORTION CONTROL 😉 Fatty-Fat-Fat!

image   image   image

Sometimes we had to read the directions 10X to wrap our minds around something. The directions for the Bucatini Pasta Bolognese had us cooking veggies and sauce before we cooked the meat in the veggies. Huh? I’ve generally always cooked the meat first, then added other ingredients. This recipe also had us adding chopped brussels sprouts near the end of the process. In the end, it was a super yummy meal. I still like my spaghetti sauce better (I use pork shoulder), however I will now add carrot, celery and chopped brussels sprouts to mine!

image   image   image

Here is the Lemon Caper Catfish. The catfish was great. It was on a bed of lentils and kale. I like many veggies, but you lost me at both lentils and kale. Blech! I can say that the lentils were not the same kind my Mom used for soup. These were called the ‘caviar of lentils’ and even resembled it. They were actually pretty good. Not the texture of dirt, like my Ma’s. The kale was kale. There was no helping it. In the end, I would just do this recipe with spinach and call it a day.

My hubby and I are very pleased with our choices, the turnout and the amount of fun we’ve been having in the kitchen. I’d really have to wait for more data, however the total amount of groceries and the Blue Apron box were even last week, thus it is a wash, budget wise. YEAH!! I would highly suggest trying one of these services out! Even if it’s just for a week here and there. I love that we don’t have to argue about ‘what’s for dinner?’ or spend time making a list or being pissed that we forgot something at the store!! I feel like this may take a lot of stress away from us, which makes it worth its weight in gold.
image

image

I can’t wait for our next box and our next foodie adventure!!

© Ilex – Midwestern Plant Girl

Vegans… Look Away! It’s a Meat Party!

Not that kind of sausage fest…. a Meat Party!!

My husband and I don’t hunt, although almost everyone we know does. We’re the farmers =-) Saturday was a friend of ours 40th birthday. Every year he has a “Meat Party”. Everyone rings a non-traditional meat to be shared. There was a huge variety of cuts and different species. Lamb, pork, beef, venison, pheasant, quail, duck, turkey, chicken, sausages, alligator….

Then, just when I thought I was going to fall into a protein coma, my neighbor has a lamb roast the next day! I have never liked lamb, but the crunchy outside was to die for. We all gathered around the meat on the table and ate it like a pack of wild hyenas. No plates, forks or napkins. Just a lot of grunting, sleeve wiping and lip smacking.

image

image   image

Nom, nom, nom…

wp-1461543799065.jpg   wp-1461545464747.jpg

Grunt, slurp, grrrr, stay away from my meat!!

© Ilex – Midwestern Plant Girl

Potatoes AuGratin

Since being labelled with hot-headed, blood pressure issues, I’ve had to scale back on my salt. Poor innocent salt. I feel I should quit my job and my pressure would be fine.

Aaaanyway. I used to enjoy the boxed variety of Potatoes Au Gratin, however have you seen the sodium in those things?!? Yikes!!

image    image

I had to find a homemade alternative with less salt. I looked through a large amount of recipes, but none of them seemed to fit, so I had to mash them up to get what I wanted.

As with most of my recipes, I’m going to give approximate measurements for the ingredients.

I used a pie dish – Set oven for 350F

  • 6 peeled potatoes – sliced thin
  • 1 sweet onion – sliced thin
  • 2 cups Shredded cheddar
  • 1/2 cup Shredded Parmesan cheese
  • 1 cup of whole milk or better
  • 1 Stick melted butter
  • 1 Teaspoon of potato starch (thickener)
  • Dash of pepper
  • Dash of garlic powder

Mix the butter, milk, potato starch, pepper, garlic and any other spices you might like.

Start layering the potatoes, then onion, then cheeses, then splash some of the milk mix in. Put less in at the bottom and more towards the top as it will soak down, so to speak.

I ended with all the junk on top with some onion, hoping they would get caramelized, which they did!

© Ilex – Midwestern Plant Girl

Corn Beef n Baked Cabbage n Squishy Water*?

image

Once a girl from the Midwest
Thought wine with food was the best
Her blood pressure went high
Script pills she now buys
Sad she can’t drink like the rest

Yup. Seems the prescription I’m on makes me the lightest of light-weights in the drinking department. One glass of wine makes me feel like I’ve drank a bottle quite rapidly. Whoosy, seeing double, nauseous… No favs of mine!! So, I can’t enjoy my meals with wine for a short time, but I can still share an awesome recipe.

Before you note I’m eating Corned Beef. SHUT UP! It’s St. Patrick’s day and I’ll eat corn beef if I want to. =-P

However, the cabbage is salt free and super awesome. I will give you that recipe. I’m assuming by now you’ve learned how to cook the corned beef….

imageBaked Cabbage

Fire up the oven to 350F

Leave the core in the cabbage and cut it into 16 wedges. The core helps it stay together while cooking. If you screw-up on the cutting, just cook them a bit longer.

Melt about 3 tbsns butter and add 3 tbsns olive oil. Baste cabbage.

Add as much garlic as you like. I like a lot. Garlic is the new salt!

Toss in oven about the same time you’re putting the beef on. It will take about an hour.

Half way through baking, flip and baste again. Add more garlic if you’d like. I do.

I like to finish these off with a quick broil. The outer burnt pieces taste like potato chips to me. I will be trying to make a pan of these ‘cabbage chips’ in the future. I’ll let you know!!

Hope you enjoy!

 

*Squishy water

© Ilex – Midwestern Plant Girl