Archive for the 'freezable' Category

Lemon Thyme & Honey Ice Cream

Lemon thyme ice cream 1

I had a root canal this morning (or rather the bulk of one, before the endodontist discovered a crack – a sign that ultimately I’ll lose this particular tooth that has worked so hard on my behalf for so many years) – at any rate, my face is now thawing out and aching, and I’m using my oral misery as an excuse to make ice cream. (I foresaw this yesterday and tossed the bowl of my ice cream machine in the freezer.) Going out for some would necessitate driving and talking, and while I’m sure Mike would be happy to make a run for me, for the past month I’ve been stopping at my sister’s doorstep and plucking a sprig of lemon thyme from alongside her massive cherry tomato plant, taking a sniff and thinking that it would make some mighty fine ice cream.

lemon thyme ice cream 3

The base of this ice cream is 1 cup heavy cream, 1 cup half & half and a big spoonful of honey. It makes just a small batch, but you could use the same technique to flavour any basic ice cream recipe. To extract the essence of lemon thyme I steeped the cream by bringing it to a bare simmer in a saucepan, then tossing in a small handful of fresh lemon thyme, pulling most of the leaves off the stems to release more flavour. If you take it off the heat and let it cool in the pan, then strain it, you’ll wind up with lemon thyme-infused cream.

lemon thyme ice cream 4

You could do the same with mint (or chocolate mint!) or sprigs of rosemary or lavender, or slices of ginger; in any case swirl in a big spoonful of honey – about two tablespoons’ worth – let this part be dictated by your sweet tooth. (Or your sore one.)

lemon thyme ice cream 2

Make sure it’s cold before you pour it into your ice cream machine, and you’ll be rewarded with a citrusy herbal ice cream that just might be unique enough to be left alone by everyone you live with – for you to eat all by yourself.

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July 18 2013 | dessert and freezable | 4 Comments »

Cream of Mushroom Soup with Buttered Crackers

cream of mushroom soup 2

I have an odd confession to make: I’ve never eaten buttered crackers before. Peanut buttered, yes – my mom used to sandwich saltines with peanut butter, and some of my clearest childhood memories are of squeezing them together so that it oozed out the holes on top, and that the all-natural just-peanuts butter my parents bought never squirted out as smoothly as the Skippy of my dreams.

Buttered crackers

So why did I start, after hearing sad tales of friends downing entire sleeves of crackers with cold butter on the couch in front of the PVR? Do I need another buttery carb in my life? No… but I do like to know what I’m missing out on. So I utilized some of my stash of unsalted butter – which I like for eating, not necessarily for baking – and a sleeve of salted crackers, and got to nibbling.

Cream of mushroom soup 3

And so I tweeted about my snacky new find, and someone tweeted back: don’t stack them in the bottom of a bowl and pour mushroom soup over top! Don’t do it!

cream of mushroom soup 1

And so I did. As good an excuse as any to make a pot of mushroom soup, don’t you think?

Cream of Mushroom Soup

Ham is divine in mushroom soup – if you have a chunk left over, chop it and stir it in along with the mushrooms. Or if you have a ham bone, simmer it in the soup.

a drizzle of olive oil
1/4 cup butter
1 small onion, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, crushed
2-3 cups sliced mushrooms – any kind
a few sprigs of fresh thyme
2 Tbsp. all-purpose flour
a splash of sherry or white wine (optional)
3-4 cups (or a 1L container) chicken stock
salt and pepper
1/2-1 cup cream (heavy or half & half)

Heat a drizzle of oil and about half the butter in a pot set over medium-high heat.

Add the onion and cook it for a few minutes, until it’s soft. Add the garlic and cook for another minute, then the mushrooms, the rest of the butter, and pull the leaves off thyme off their stems and add them. If you like, add some chopped ham, too.

Cook until the mushrooms get soft, then the moisture cooks off and they start to turn golden. Shake the flour overtop and stir to coat the mushrooms with flour. If you like, add a splash of sherry or white wine, and let it cook off.

Add the stock and bring to a simmer. Cook for a few minutes, until smooth and thickened, then season with salt and pepper and stir in the cream. Serve over buttered crackers. Serves 4.

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February 20 2013 | freezable and one dish and soup | 51 Comments »

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