Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Buttermilk Ice Cream



I love the taste of Buttermilk. It's probably because of my Grand-dad. He drinks a glass every morning and by my estimation that has kept him going (He's 92)! I like buttermilk so much that sometimes I find myself conjuring up ways that I can use it more often. It's super rich in protein and low in fat, plus it's light, bright sour flavor is refreshing!


My friend Amy who is a trained chef and knows just about everything about the chemistry of food, sent me a recipe for Buttermilk Ice Cream from Smitten Kitchen after I told her about my Buttermilk fantasies. The recipe is great but after working so hard losing 135 pounds I'd like to maintain that so I asked Amy if there was a way I could cut down on calories (She's a real smart ass and told me to get a smaller scoop) she suggested that I use low fat milk and I came up with making a custard base with less eggs. I used 6 eggs instead of 12 that the original recipe called for and I substituted 1 cup of cream for 1 cup of 1% milk instead thereby cutting half the calories! The results were still super creamy and rich and the flavor intense and exciting! I served it with roasted strawberries and sugared Basil flowers. Check this out!





Buttermilk Ice Cream (Adapted from Smitten Kitchen)



Ingredients
  • 1 Cup Cream
  • 1 Cup Milk (any kind - I used 1%)
  • 2 Cups Buttermilk
  • 1 1/4 Cups sugar
  • 6 large egg yolks (reserve the whites for a super healthy frittata)
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • pinch salt
Instructions
  1. In a large sauce pan combine the cream, milk and 1 cup sugar sugar, stirring over medium heat until it simmers.
  2. Meanwhile whisk together the remaining sugar and egg yolks.
  3. Once the cream/milk simmers remove from heat and drizzle a small amount into the eggs while whisking the eggs. The aim here is to bring the eggs up to an adequate temperature so you don't get scrambled eggs.
  4. Once the eggs have warmed, pour them back into the cream mixture and whisk constantly while turning the heat back on.
  5. Cook on low until the mixture thickens. A good guide for this is if it sticks to the utensil you are using to mix it with, then it's ready...
  6. Add vanilla, buttermilk and salt and continue to whisk.
  7. Remove from heat and cool completely about 1-2 hours in the fridge.
  8. Get out the ice cream maker, add your mixture and in about 35 minutes you will be having a delicious treat!


Monday, July 15, 2013

Cow Girl Creamery at the Ferry Building

Charlene and I went to san Francisco recently. Because of the BART strike we thought it would be better to park in Vallejo and take the ferry over. It turned out to be a great idea!!! It was $50 bucks for both of us round trip and it was painless, hassle free comfortable travel and it dropped us off exactly where we wanted to be!!!

Our first stop was Cowgirl Creamery...Cheese is a macro nutrient right? It is when you spend $25 on it!

The first cheese we tasted was Casatica Di Bufala - soft and ripe but citrusy. Totally oozy and gooey and completely palatable all on its own or on a toasty piece of crusty bread and a sliced fig. Easy eating and delicious rind too! Its Buffalo cheese from Lombardia, Italy made from water buffalo milk - a super richly creamed milk which contains twice the cream of cows milk...needless to say this cheese is velvety rich and little goes  along way.

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The next and perhaps my favorite is the easy eating goat milk Detroit St. Brick from Michigan.. It's spicy but not chili pepper spicy. It's black pepper spicy and it imparts a truly unforgettable flavor. My mother cooks with pepper. She has always been a supremely sensational chef and her dishes are never lacking in flavor. She hails the black pepper and touts it often as her "secret ingredient." Though it's no secret for me, I can't seem to get enough of the stuff! I bought a sliver of this cheese and savored it every day. I ate it on flat bread I made here myself and coupled it with a hardy (and local) Crispin cider. The black pepper paired with the spiky cider was unmatched! I reccommend trying it. This pair is more my speed. It reminds me of a summer evening bike ride to fireworks or a crispy spring morning when you can smell the dew drops or a breeze coming through your window on a hot night bellowing the curtains in the breeze...you get the picture. I have romanticized this Michigan cheese with this California cider. It's a superb match!

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This whirlwind of cheeses brought us to a yummy smear of Harbison. A creamy, ripe cheese that tastes of the country side and mustard flowers. It's wrapped in bark and Hails from Vermont. And when I say mustard flowers I mean it! I saved this creamy cheese and made a pork roast. I served the pork roast on home made sweet rolls that I smeared with the Harbison and grilled onions. Talk about a hit! There were people at the party who asked why I would waste a fine cheese on a sandwich...let me assure you, this was not any sandwich and certainly not just any cheese and they paired delightfully well and don't try to tell me that your mouth is not watering right now!!!

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Challerhocker was the only hard cheese we tasted. It was delish! A swiss cheese that is creamy and dense with some tooth to it. A bright, intense flavor, great all on its own or paired with a buttery chardonnay. It's a washed rind cheese. By the way...this was a lovely cheese but not my favorite on this list.

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Friday, July 12, 2013

Details at Disneyland

I have never understood people who say weird things like "I hate Disneyland." I feel like that statement is kin to saying, "Being rich would stink," or "sugar is lame," or "I wish I was ugly." See these are non-statements and all complete lies. Everyone wants to have abundance, everyone loves sugar and no one wants to be ugly! So how can someone not love Disneyland?

When you walk through the gates you are immediately a kid again - no responsibilities or bills, completely innocent, happy about not being at school or work and usually, you are attending with people that you at least like if not love. Again, what about Disneyland could possibly be repellent? 

Walt himself thought of everyone and everything. I don't really care if he was anti-semitic, nor do I care if he treated his staff badly or had major scandals or any other ugly things people throw at me about the history of Walt Disney. Because at the end of the day, some of my fondest memories of childhood were Sunday nights which started with Mutual of Omaha's Wild Kingdom followed by Walt Disney Presents  while we ate Grinders in the family room and everyone loved each other and forgot the woes of the world for a whole two hours a week.

Again, Walt thought of everything. And in the typical Disney style and consistency for high standards, the legacy has continued. Visit the Family Museum, you'll see!

My mom and sister and I recently went for a girls trip to the DLand and CA Adventure. We were lucky enough to stay at the Grand California Hotel and took full advantage of all the amenities! But the thing that struck me most on this trip was the fact that truly no detail goes left undone. These folks think of everything and every detail is pin perfect - right down to artisan made umbrellas - which you can see here.