Vanilla Ice Cream. Pure and Simple. So Good.

I ate it with my favorite ice cream topping - colored sprinkles. I was going to make some of Leslie’s hot fudge, but I may or may not have been too lazy to make it.

As I was taking this picture I started to wish that I had dumped some sprinkles into the ice cream as a mix in, which reminded me of all the TCBY Shivers I used to eat in high school. YUM! I am so doing that next time I make some ice cream.

This is a great custard based ice cream recipe, and only requires a few steps to deliciousness. I steeped one vanilla bean in a mixture of whole milk and heavy cream, then tempered the hot milk mixture into the egg yolks and sugar, and finally let it cook for another minute or so until thickened and registered between 170-180F. I let my mixture chill in the fridge for a good 6 hours before churning it.

The verdict - The vanilla flavor mellowed nicely after a day in the freezer, and the ice cream had a perfect consistency balance of hardness and softness.

Now, what’s a girl to do with a quart of this stuff. Kind of hard to give away at the office, and I hate exercising too much to keep such delicious confections around the house.

This perfect for summertime recipe was chosen for Tuesdays with Dorie by Lynne of Cafe Lynnylu You can find the recipe at Lynne’s blog or on page 428-429 of
Baking: From My Home to Yours by Dorie Greenspan.

Perfection. Some people would be surprised to find out that within a 100 mile radius (or less) of most major cities one can find the absolute highest quality produce and meats, for the best prices around, directly from the farm. The above picture is a testament to the craftsmanship of what a small, local producer is capable of providing: perfection.

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Well, these oven baked onion rings are a favorite in our house. I have been making them for a while. long before I joined Craving Ellie in My Belly.

They are rings of sweet Vidalia onions, coated in flour, then buttermilk, then crushed baked potato chips. Ellie’s version calls for cayenne pepper, but I like to add other dried herbs as well to spice up the flavor a bit. Though I think the key to making these great is to ensure that you cut your rings nice and thick, this way you get a crunchy outside with a sweet soft onion inside. If you cut them too thin, they will just be brittle overcooked onions.

I have posted about them before, so I am not going to elaborate too much on them here. I will provide the recipe with my flavoring adjustments.

This was a great pick by Mary Ann of Meet Me in the Kitchen. I hope everyone else enjoyed these as much as we do.

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:)) Happy Birthday To Me! ;D

I took the day off from work today because I just could not fathom sitting at my desk for 8 hours on my day of birth. Yuck! And my company was nice enough this year to give everyone a free vacation day in the month of their birthday.

So today I will be getting some stuff done around the house, baking myself a blueberry pie, getting a massage, and maybe fit in a little shopping if there is time. Last night Nick and I went out to dinner at our favorite, most fanciest restaurant in DC, CityZen in the Mandarin Oriental. If you live in or around DC this is a must go to for special occasions. We had the 6 course chef’s tasting menu and it did not disappoint (except for my undercooked lobster, which they made up for). Plus Nick smoothly mentioned that it was my birthday and they gave us a couple nice extras throughout the night including a superb mini red velvet cupcake.

I also hope to be able to write some posts for this blog on my day off, since I seem to be running out of those. Although Nick is currently messing around with our main computer so who knows if any of the pictures that we have saved will make it through to the other side of this latest reformat.

We should be back tomorrow to regular posting with this week’s Craving Ellie in My Belly recipe Oven Baked Onion Rings.

I’ll leave you with this video that I found on You Tube when I typed in Happy Birthday. Watch it to the end. Tehe.

Making your own peanut butter is embarrassingly easy, everyone should be doing it. I saw this one a while back on Joy the Baker, and I bought some honey roasted peanuts shortly thereafter. However, I just never got around to making it.

Then this past weekend I began to make the Craving Ellie in My Belly recipe Noodles with a Lime-Peanut sauce and realized that I had no peanut butter. What I did have was a bag of peanuts - perfect opportunity to make my own.

All I did was put 1 1/2 cups of honey roasted peanuts with an 1/8 teaspoon of salt in a food processor and processed it until smooth. This took a good minute or so, until it formed into a ball.

Not only is this easy, but it is more delicious than any peanut butter I have ever bought in a store. The honey roasted peanuts are amazing, but you could also use some plain roasted peanuts, salted or unsalted and adjust the salt accordingly. I imagine you could also make your own almond or cashew butter by following the same process, I am going try that when I run out of this peanut butter.

So next time you find yourself with a bag of peanuts and a few spare minutes you should make this.

Due to the many and varied ways in which all you bread bakers out there name/size you images, I decided to leave them all in native resolution, except those too big to fit in my content area w/o being distorted. I couldn’t believe how many submissions there were for this week. So many, in fact, that I decided to put them after the jump. Thank you so much to all of this week’s participants and to Susan of Wild Yeast Blog for allowing me the pleasure to host this weeks edition! I made a list, and checked it twice, but if I missed anyone, please let me know ASAP so I can get your submissions up.

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