Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Do a what?

Okay... I'm home a lot. I mean- a LOT these days. And with my tonsils out, riding the crazy train to oxycodoneville most afternoons- there's not much that's safe to do without supervision except watch tv. A lot of tv. And I'm finally starting to wonder what the F is up with Daisy sour cream. Their whole campaign suggests you, "Do a dollop [of Daisy]" - implying sour cream can go with virtually everything and a generous "dollop" is the right size helping.

I'm sorry- do the folks at Daisy know what sour cream is? I think they may be in cahoots with those crazy high fructose corn syrup people (or maybe they've just been drinking it straight) because one of their main suggestions is dipping vegetables and potato chips into a plain bowl of sour cream. Have we heard of cholesterol?

Just checking.

Oh, and Semi-Homemade Cooking with Sandra Lee. Is this how America cooks? I mean- I guess I should be glad that people are getting into the kitchen, period- but what is up with her ingredient distribution? 70% store bought and 30% fresh? I think this just makes me sad. Most of the pleasure I derive from cooking comes from the magic of transforming basic, raw, ingredients into totally different, interesting, and complete meals. It's not even that starting with premade food feels a little like cheating because ultimately- it's not about how quickly you make it to the finish line- it's how you get there and if you enjoy yourself along the way. Don't people want to know what's in their food?

Argh. Enough ranting for the moment. It's hardly fair to welcome readers back with a big old complaint-fest. More random musings to follow. Oh, and I've abandoned the final chapter of my San Francisco trip for an unspecified amount of time. Travel notes don't seem to generate much conversation so I'm going to quit giving myself a hard time for not wrapping that up with a bow.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Dancing Queen

Why is it that I've never been recruited to take part in this type of AWESOMENESS?

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Bastardized Panaforte Ice Cream

...Otherwise known as, "My Culinary Last Hurrah" in anticipation of a tonsillectomy.

(Adapted from David Lebovitz' The Perfect Scoop.)

1 cup half and half
3/4 cup sugar
1 cinnamon stick, broken in half
1/4 tsp ground cloves
1/4 tsp grated nutmeg (fresh if you're fancy)
1 cup 2% milk*
1 cup half and half*
4 large egg yolks
3 tbsp full-flavored honey
1 1/2 tbsp lemon zest*
1/4 cup minced tart, dried montmorency cherries*
1/2 cup pecans, toasted and coarsely chopped*

Warm the 1 cup half and half, sugar, and spices in a medium saucepan. Cover, remove from heat, and let steep for a half hour.

Rewarm the spice-infused mixture. Pour the cream into a large bowl and set a mesh strainer on top. In a separate medium bowl whisk together the egg yolks. Slowly pour the warm mixture into the egg yolks, whisking constantly to avoid cooking the eggs, then scrape the new mixture back into the original saucepan.

Stir the mixture constantly over medium heat using a heatproof spatula, scraping the bottom as you stir, until the mixture thickens to a light "custard" and it coats the back of the spatula. Pour the custard through the strainer and mix it into the cream. Discard the cinnamon stick. Stir the custard until cool over an ice bath. While it cools, warm the honey, then stir it into the custard.

Chill the mixture thoroughly in the refrigerator (overnight, preferably), then freeze it in your ice cream maker. During the last few minutes of churning, add the zest, chopped cherries, and pecan pieces.

*These ingredients have been adjusted from the original recipe. Let's hope all is well in the land of ice cream when I freeze it tomorrow afternoon. :)

Friday, January 2, 2009

Musical stylings from across the pond

...And they say the British have no sense of humor.

Courtesy of Mary the awesome.