Monday, July 29, 2013

Watermelon Sorbet

I love this cool, refreshing treat! Easy to make, and delicious!

6 c. Seedless watermelon
1-1/2 tbsp of lime zest
1/2 c. Fresh lime juice
Pinch of salt
1c. Sugar
2c. Water

Purée the watermelon in a blender or food processor. Strain and set aside.
In a saucepan, combine sugar and  2c. Of water. Cook over low- medium until sugar is dissolved. This is your simple syrup.
   In a large bowl, combine the strained watermelon, lime zest, lime juice, salt, and simple syrup. Refrigerate for about two hours.

Pour half of the mixture into an ice-cream maker, and freeze according to the manufacturer's instructions( this literally took less than ten minutes). Spoon into freezer containers and freeze until ready to use...if you can resist eating it immediately!

Blackberry Ice Cream

This is a Ree Drummond recipe. A very, very berry flavored recipe. Sweet ,creamy and delicious. It does call for eggs, which I made sure to heat to at least 160 degrees to avoid any potential raw egg related problems. She also makes hers with semi sweet chocolate...I made half with and half without.


2 pints of fresh blackberries
1-1/4 c.Sugar
1-1/2c Half and half
Juice of half a lemon
1-1/2 c. Cream
5 egg yolks
4 oz.Semi sweet chocolate( I used good old Nestlé chocolate chips)

In a saucepan, combine the berries, 1/4 c of sugar and the lemon juice. Cook over medium heat for about 20 minutes, until the berries break down and become syrupy.strain into a bowl, pressing down on the berries with a spoon to extract all of the juice.Set aside to cool.

In another saucepan, combine the half and half and remaining cup of sugar. Over low-medium heat, mix together until sugar dissolves.
  In a small bowl, whisk the egg yolks until pale yellow and thick. Take a small amount of the half and half mixture and add it to the yolks, while whisking. This will temper the eggs so they do not curdle. Then add the entire yolk mixture back into the half and half mixture, and cook, whil stirring, until it becomes thickened, about 5 minutes(this is the custard mixture)....I also used a thermometer here to make sure my mixture reached 160 degrees in order to avoid any egg issues.
Strain the mixture into a bowl. Add the heavy cream to the berry juice, then add the custard mixture. Mix well. (At this point, I strained it again, so that the texture would be smooth). Place the mixture into two plastic containers and refrigerate for at least one hour.

 Using half of the mixture at a time, pour into an ice cream maker and freeze according to the manufacturer's directions( usually about 20 minutes). Remove and spoon into a container and freeze until firm( at least one hour). If adding chocolate, do so at this point ,then freeze.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Pasta with Corn Thyme and Parmesan

This recipe comes from a new magazine ,Celebrity Cooking, and it is from Curtis Stone. I gave it a try last night,and it was really delicious! Easy to prepare and screams summertime with all of the corn. Give it a try, you will be happy you did.

1 lb. of bowtie pasta
2 Tbsp. olive oil
1/2 c. thinly sliced shallots(use onions if you do not have shallots)
6 garlic cloves,finely chopped
1 c. dry white wine
4 large sprigs of thyme
2 c. fresh corn kernels(about 4 ears)
1/4 c. heavy cream
1/2 c. freshly grated parmesan
1/4 c. fresh chives
salt & pepper to taste

  Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add the pasta, and cook for about 7 minutes.  Reserve 1/2 c. of the pasta water before draining. Set pasta aside.
   In a large skillet, heat olive oil. Add garlic and shallots(or onions), and cook,stirrring for about 3 minutes.Add the wine and the thyme. Raise the heat to med-high, and cook for about 5 minutes, or until at least 3/4 of the liquid evaporates.
Add the corn and cream, and reduce heat to med-low. Cook for about two minutes until the corn is hot.Keep warm over low heat. Season with salt and pepper.Add the pasta, and if too thick, add a bit of the reserved pasta water. Sprinkle with parmesan and chives. Enjoy!

Monday, July 22, 2013

Avocado Basil Dressing

I came across this recipe a very long time ago in Southern Lady magazine. It is creamy and cool, perfect for your summer salads. Throw all of the ingredients ino your blender or food processor, and you are ready to dress your favorite greens!

3 ripe avocados,peeled and seeded
1 shallot ,chopped
2-1/2 c. buttermilk
3 Tbsp. fresh basil
1/4c sour cream
2 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
2 Tbsp. olive oil
2 Tbsp. sugar
2-1/2 tsp. garlic,minced
1-1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp garlic salt
1/2tsp. Freshly ground black pepper

Place all of the ingredients in a blender or food processor. Blend until combined. Refrigerate until ready to use. Store in an airtight container for up to one week.

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Lemon Pound Cake with Limoncello Cream

The cream on this cake is delicious! Although it is a pound cake with whipped cream, it is cool and light. Perfect compliment to any summer meal.The recipe comes from Southern Lady Magazine.

Cake Ingredients:
2 c. sugar
1/2 c. shortening
1/2 c. butter
4 tsp. lemon zest
5 eggs
2 c. flour
1/4 tsp. salt
1 tsp.vanilla extract
1/2 c. milk
Fresh Blueberries
Fresh Strawberries
Fresh Blackberries

   Preheat the oven to 300 degrees. Butter a 10 inch round pan and line with parchment.(alternately, use two 8 inch will have enough batter for this).
  In a large mixing bowl, combine sugar,shortening,butter,and lemon zest.Beat until creamy, then add the eggs, one at a time.
   In a small bowl, sift together the flour and salt. Gradually add the flour and milk to the butter mixture,until blended. Pour into the cake pan(or cake pans) and bake for 50-60 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool.

Limoncello Cream:
2 c. heavy whipping cream
1/2 c. confectioners sugar
1/4 c. Limoncello
   Whip the cream until stiff peaks form. Slowly add the sugar. Add the Limoncello until blended. Spread on top of the cake and garnish with fresh blueberries,starwberries, and blackberries. Add lemon zest if desired.

Friday, July 19, 2013

Chocolate Sorbet

This is a recipe from Ina Garten that I have been wanting to try. It turned out delicious, although I may have been a bit heavy handed on the cinnamon. Next time, I think I will only add a pinch of cinnamon to enhance the taste of the chocolate. This was very simple to make, and was a refreshing treat during this heat wave!!


2c sugar
1c of good cocoa powder( Pernigotti)
1/2tsp. Vanilla extract
1/4 tsp. cinnamon( I would only use a pinch here)
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2c  brewed espresso OR 2tsp espresso powder dissolved in 1/2 c boiling water
1Tbsp coffee liquor ( I used Tia Maria)
4c water

   In a saucepan, combine the sugar, cocoa, vanilla ,cinnamon and salt. Stir in 4 c water and espresso.cook over low heat until all I gradients are dissolved. Place in two plastic containers and refrigerate until very cold.Pour one of the containers  into an ice cream machine.
Freeze the sorbet mixture in two separate batches, according to the manufacturer's instructions. It will be soft when finished. Place in freezer containers and freeze until firm.

*** I found the ice-cream containers at

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Watermelon Lemonade

Quick, easy and refreshing.....all you need in a summer drink!

1/2-3/4 c. watermelon chunks(seedless)
1 c. lemon juice(approx. 5 lemons)
1 c. sugar
1 c. water
5 c. water

In a small saucepan, dissolve the 1 c. of sugar in 1 c. of water.Let cool. This is a simple syrup.

Puree the watermelon in a blender or food processor. Strain and pour into a pitcher. Add the lemon juice. Add the cooled syrup, the additional 5 cups of water and ice. Refrigerate or serve immediately.


Tuesday, July 16, 2013


This salad is the perfect summertime salad. It is easy to toss together( no pun intended) , and the flavor is amazing. It is a great way to use leftover bread, and only requires a few other ingredients. The dressing may be made ahead of time, but only add the bread cubes right before serving.Simple ingredients, great flavor...enough said.

2 large cucumbers,peeled and sliced into half moons
3 Tbsp. of red wine vinegar
4 Tbsp good olive oil
1 small red onion, sliced thin
1 pint of cherry, or grape tomatoes,sliced in half
4-6 slices of day old bread( preferably Italian or French bread)
2 garlic cloves,smashed
1/2c fresh basil leaves, torn or sliced into pieces

In a glass bowl, mix together the vinegar,oil, tomatoes some salt and pepper, and the onion. Let it marinate for about 30 minutes. Add the cucumber. Set aside.

On a cooktop grill, or an outdoor grill, grill the bread slices until crispy. Rub each slice with one garlic clove as they come off of the grill. Slice the bread into cubes and add to the bowl with the vinegar mixture. Add the basil and mix well. Season with additional salt and pepper as needed.

***Feel free to add peppers, or even fresh mozzarella.