{Recipe Redux} Sponsored Post #CADairyHealthy Cardamom Stracciatella Frozen Yogurt

8 Mar

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(Photo source: http://www.realcaliforniamilk.com/advertising/happy-cows-spots/)

March is National Nutrition Month! (Though we all know that every day should be nutritious, right?)

We’ve all seen those adorable “California cows are happy cows!” commercial, right? This recipe contest invited Recipe Redux bloggers to showcase a “lightened up” recipe using a California Dairy product. Dairy is rich in protein and calcium, and often is fortified with vitamin D. Lucky for most of us, California dairy products can be found easily at many supermarkets.  Look for the seal! For information on how California Dairy products can play a role in a healthy diet (including coupons and recipes!), visit RealCaliforniaMilk.com and  HealthyEating.org.

Our challenge was this:

March is National Nutrition Month and The California Milk Advisory Board, which represents more than 1,500 dairy families, is celebrating “dairy good” nutrition by challenging Recipe ReDux members to “lighten up” some of their favorite recipes with California cow’s milk dairy products as an ingredient in recipes for breakfast, lunch, dinner, side dishes, snacks, appetizers or dessert.

Disclosure: I received a gift card to offset the expense of my ingredients. By posting this recipe I am entering a recipe contest sponsored by the California Milk Advisory Board and am eligible to win prizes associated with the contest. I was not compensated for my time.

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I love rice pudding. I also love ice cream. Why not merge the two? I realize that spring is coming (so says the calendar), but these cold winter nights still beg for something like this. The warmth of the cardamom elevates this simple dish into an frozen version of rice pudding.

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Cardamom Frozen Yogurt (makes about 1 quart or 8 1/2 cup servings)

3 cups whole California cow’s milk yogurt (I used Brown Cow)
1/2 cup heavy cream
2 Tablespoons green cardamom pods, cracked
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
2/3 cup sugar
4oz dark or semi-sweet chocolate (chopped and melted)

Warm the cream, sugar, cardamom pods, cinnamon, and vanilla in a saucepan over medium heat. Bring to a boil, then remove from heat and let it cool completely. Place in refrigerator for 1 hour. Once chilled, place mesh strainer over a large bowl, and pour cream/cardamom mixture over strainer. Discard cardamom pods. Whisk in yogurt. Freeze according to your ice cream maker’s directions. During the last few seconds of churning, pour in melted chocolate. As the chocolate hits the ice cream, it will harden into streaks. As you know, I use the Kitchen Aid attachment. Transfer into container and freeze for at least 2 hours before eating. (Storing in a shallow, wide container is best for frozen desserts to achieve uniform freezing.)

{Recipe Redux} Italian Affogato

21 Feb

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Affogato - Italian – \noun\: drowned

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You know when you want that sweet pick me up, that won’t put you over the edge. This is it. It’s a simple, few ingredient show stopper, that you can whip up to treat yourself.  Literally the Italian word for drowned, an affogato is a scoop of gelato drowned in espresso or coffee. The trick is to use really good ice cream or gelato, which melts beautifully, but quickly, into the coffee. The result is an indulgent frothy latte-like treat. I used homemade vanilla ice cream here.

Affogato (serves 1)

1/2 cup good-quality ice cream or gelato (vanilla or chocolate)
1 shot espresso or 3 Tablespoons strong brewed coffee
Frothed milk (optional)
Shaved dark chocolate (optional)
Hazelnuts (optional)

Place ice cream in a glass mug or cup, then pour in espresso or coffee. Top with frothed milk, shaved dark chocolate and chopped hazelnuts if desired. Drink immediately.

Mr. Flynn’s Signature Squirrel Cookies

5 Feb

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Delectable homemade dog treats with carrots, parmesan, & peanut butter

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Many of you know that our dear Flynn is a rescue westie, who came to us neglected and with a terrible skin condition, called malassezia dermatitis (MD). While common in westies, MD is an opportunistic fungal skin condition, most frequently associated with allergies.  Like many chronic diseases, it can be managed with an appropriate diet*. When we first adopted Flynn, his skin was leathery, thick and black; he was nearly hairless. It’s taken much rehabilitation through trial and error to get him on a good track. Deviations from his diet are particularly detrimental when combating this ongoing condition. Measuring successful treatment is based on the ability to control the conditions and allergies. We try to avoid topical and oral antibiotics via routine medicated baths and apple cider vinegar rinses, we avoid wheat, corn, barley, rye, which have yielded good results.

You could add up to 1/4 cup of fresh, chopped parsley to this recipe for a breath-freshening effect.

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Mr. Flynn’s Squirrel Dog Cookies (makes 36 2×3 inch cookies)

1 cup buckwheat flour (+ more for flouring surface when rolling out)
1 cup brown rice flour
1/2 cup gluten-free old-fashioned oats
1 Tablespoon baking powder
1 cup low-sodium chicken broth
1 cup creamy peanut butter, at room temperature
1 cup grated carrots
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Line baking sheets with non-stick silicon mats (like Silpat), parchment paper, or with non-stick spray. Set aside. In a large bowl, combine flours, oats, carrots, Parmesan and baking powder. Stir in broth and peanut butter and mix well. Note: I used my KitchenAid mixer for this.

Form dough, and knead for a few minutes on a floured surface until a ball forms. Flour a rolling pin, and roll dough out into 1/2 thickness. Use floured cookie cutter and place treats onto baking sheet. Bake for 20 minutes, or until light golden brown. Transfer to wire rack and cool completely. Store in air-tight container for up to one week, or freeze for up to 3 months. I like to freeze about 2/3 of the batch and take out as needed.

David Lebovitz’s Guinness Milk Chocolate Ice Cream & Vanilla Ice Cream

28 Jan

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I really owe it to my co-worker, Shannon, for building my confidence about making ice cream. A conversation a few weeks ago about how she makes homemade ice cream for a family gathering in Maine, opened my eyes to how easy it could be. Easy, only thanks to a KitchenAid attachment, which spoke to my feng shui attitude towards kitchen gadgets: the fewer, the better. I had no interest in procuring an ice cream maker, per se, but this attachment just gave my mixer more versatility.  It’s kind of ridiculous to post an ice cream recipe in the dead of winter, I realize. I’m just using the excuse that I’m perfecting the technique, so come summertime, I’ll be a pro. Click here to view a great YouTube video about how to use the KitchenAid attachment that I used.

IMG_8194Guinness in ice cream? Yes! The velvety, silky mouthfeel of the Guinness matches perfectly with the creaminess of the ice cream. It goes so well together, without being overly heavy. And, including the beer cuts down on the heavy cream – if you’re looking for a virtuous reason to make this.

Guinness-Milk Chocolate Ice Cream
makes about one quart

7 ounces milk chocolate, finely chopped (I used Guittard)
1 cup whole milk
1/2 cup sugar
pinch of salt
4 large egg yolks
1 cup heavy cream
3/4 cup Guinness Stout
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Put the chocolate pieces in a large bowl and set aside.

Warm the milk, sugar, and salt in a medium saucepan. In a separate medium bowl, whisk together the egg yolks. Slowly pour the warm mixture into the egg yolks, whisking constantly, then scrape the warmed egg yolks back into the saucepan.

Stir the mixture constantly over medium heat with a heatproof spatula, scraping the bottom as you stir, until the mixture thickens and coats the spatula. Slowly pour the custard over the milk chocolate and stir until the chocolate is melted. Once the mixture is smooth, whisk in the cream, then the Guinness and vanilla. Stir until cool over an ice bath. Chill the mixture thoroughly in the refrigerator, then freeze it in your ice cream maker according to the manufacturer’s instructions.

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Vanilla Ice Cream

makes about one quart

1 cup (250ml) whole milk
A pinch of salt
3/4 cup (150g) sugar
1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise
2 cups (500ml) heavy cream
5 large egg yolks
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Heat the milk, salt, and sugar in a saucepan. Scrape the seeds from the vanilla bean into the milk with a paring knife, then add the bean pod to the milk. Cover, remove from heat, and infuse for one hour. To make the ice cream, set up an ice bath by placing a 2-quart (2l) bowl in a larger bowl partially filled with ice and water. Set a strainer over the top of the smaller bowl and pour the cream into the bowl.

Meanwhile, in a separate bowl, stir together the egg yolks. Rewarm the milk then gradually pour some of the milk into the yolks, whisking constantly as you pour. Scrape the warmed yolks and milk back into the saucepan. Cook over low heat, stirring constantly and scraping the bottom with a heat-resistant spatula, until the custard thickens enough to coat the spatula. Strain the custard into the heavy cream. Stir over the ice bath until cool, add the vanilla extract, then refrigerate to chill thoroughly (overnight, helps).

Remove the vanilla bean and freeze the custard in your ice cream maker according to the manufacturer’s instructions.

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Vanilla Ice Cream served with French Chocolate Bark

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For more recipes like this, check out David Lebovitz’s blog and book, The Perfect Scoop.

{Recipe Redux} Arugula, Bacon, Onion and Ricotta Pizza

21 Jan

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I know that the title is long and cumbersome, but I felt like I had to get your attention! This month’s Recipe Redux‘s task was to blog a pizza recipe ~ everyone’s favorite! This comes at perfect timing during award-show season, and of course, football. This recipe was born from my love of pizza and salad, together. I absolutely love the bacon, ricotta, herb pizza from OTTO Pizzeria, so that was the inspiration for this! It’s a nice break from regular ‘ol margherita pizza.

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Arugula, Bacon, Onion and Ricotta Pizza

For the pizza dough:

3 cups all-purpose flour (Note: you can replace up to 1.5 cups whole wheat flour)
1 (.25 oz) package active dry yeast
2 Tablespoons vegetable oil
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 Tablespoon white sugar
1 cup warm water (100 degrees F/45 degrees C)

For the topping:
1 large white or yellow onion, sliced thinly
5-6 slices bacon, chopped
1 Tablespoon fresh thyme
1 cup fresh whole-milk ricotta cheese
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
salt to taste

For the arugula salad:
1 6-oz bag arugula
2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 Tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice (or balsamic vinegar)
salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

Crisp bacon in saute pan. Remove with slotted spoon and drain on paper-towel lined plate. In the same pan, saute onion in the bacon fat for 10-15 minutes, until soft and caramelized. Season with salt, to taste. Add fresh thyme. Remove from heat.

Meanwhile make the crust: Combine flour, salt, sugar, and yeast in a large bowl. Mix in oil and warm water until combined. Spread out on a large pizza stone or baking sheet. Pierce with a fork. Pre-bake crust for 5 minutes.

Assemble pizza by topping pre-baked crust with onions and bacon. Scatter shredded mozzarella cheese. Top with dollops of ricotta cheese. Bake for 10-12 minutes, or until desired crispness. Cut into slices.

While the pizza is baking, make the salad. Whisk olive oil, lemon juice (or vinegar), salt and pepper in a salad bowl. Add arugula and toss well.

To serve: top slices of pizza with handful of arugula.

Kale & Sausage Ribollita

14 Jan

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There is nothing better than a bone-warming soup or stew during the winter months. I had intended to make a sausage and kale WHITE BEAN ribollita. However, as I rifled through my pantry, only to find 2 cans of chickpeas. Side-note: I had about 30 cans of black beans. The beauty of stews is that you can kind of alter them to what you have, right? So I did just that.

The secret ingredient that I use for my soups, chilis and stews is a Parmesan-cheese rind. Don’t ever throw out the rind when you are done with the block, because it imparts the most fantastic flavor into soups and stews. The rind literally disintegrates into the liquid, so there’s nothing to fish out. This is delicious and satisfying –  it’s a great make-ahead, freezer-worthy staple.

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Kale & Sausage Ribollita Stew (Makes 6 servings)

2 Tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 cups onions, chopped
1 cup carrots, peeled and chopped
1 cup celery, chopped
2 Tablespoons garlic, chopped
1/2 teaspoon fresh thyme, chopped
1/2 teaspoon oregano, chopped
2 15-oz cans diced tomatoes (preferably no-added salt)
4 cups low-sodium chicken broth
2 16-oz cans chickpeas (or other bean of choice)
2 cups water
1, 3″ Parmigiano-Reggiano rind
1lb mild Italian sausage, casings removed
1 lb kale (preferably lacinato), stems and center ribs discarded and leaves coarsely chopped

Garnish (optional):
1 Tablespoon fresh parsley, chopped
Lemon
Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese

Directions
Heat large dutch oven or soup pot over medium-high heat. Add olive oil, onions, carrots and celery. Cook for 5 minutes. Add garlic and herbs; sauté until aromatic. Next, make a well and add in sausage, crumble; allow to brown for 5 minutes Add tomatoes and chicken stock; cook for 10 minutes. Add beans and water. Bring to a simmer, and cook for 60 minutes covered. During the last 5 minutes of cooking, add kale and stir until combined (it will wilt). Season with salt and pepper as desired. Serve with fresh parsley, freshly shaved Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, and drizzle of fresh lemon juice.

Note: If using dried beans/legumes, replace canned beans with 1-lb dried. Rinse and soak them overnight. Increase water (in recipe) to 9 cups, adding the water and soaked beans with the tomatoes and chicken stock. Cook soup for at least 1 1/2 hours at on low heat.

Brunch-worthy Breakfast Scramble

2 Jan

Happy New Year! It always feels good to start the year out right by eating real, wholesome food. This all-star dish is easy enough for an unpretentious, leisurely weekend breakfast, but fancy enough to feel like you went the extra mile. It is full of color, and crosses off all the food groups that breakfast could ask for. And as you know, I love a dish that you don’t have to follow exactly – this one is no exception. Take the “recipe” as a guide, but feel free to add your own flair (aka whatever you happen to have in the fridge).

As I write this, the snow is cascading down, ushering in our first “blizzard” of 2014 – it’s going to be a lonnnnnng winter. I suspect it will be recipes like this one that help get us through these blustery days ahead.

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Breakfast Scramble (Serves 4)

5-6 slices bacon (8 oz), cut into 1/2-inch pieces
2 medium yukon gold or sweet potatoes (about 1 1/2 pounds), peeled and chopped into 1-inch cubes
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
3/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 Tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
1 red bell pepper, cored, seeded and cut into 1/2-inch pieces
4 cups fresh baby spinach leaves
5 ounces dry salami, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch cubes (optional)
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
Zest of 1/2 medium orange
4 large eggs, at room temperature

Directions

Cook the bacon over medium-high heat in a  nonstick skillet, stirring occasionally, until crisp, 10 to 12 minutes. Remove the bacon using a slotted spoon and drain on paper towels.

Add the potatoes, 1 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper to the pan juices. Cook, stirring frequently, until brown and crisp, about 25 minutes. Remove the potatoes using a slotted spoon and drain on paper towels.

Add the oil, onion, bell pepper, 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are soft, about 5 minutes. Add the spinach, salami (if using), nutmeg, orange zest, the remaining 1/4 teaspoon of salt and pepper. Cook until the spinach is wilted, about 4 minutes. Add the bacon and potatoes back in.

Make 4 wells in the hash and break an egg into each one. Cover the skillet with a lid and cook 5-6 minutes or until the eggs are cooked through. Serve immediately.

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