Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Lemon Gelato

Lemon Gelato
Hope this week is going well for you. I’m having lots of fun with my new ice cream attachment. So much so that I’ve made yet another batch. Though this time I made gelato. And since it’s citrus season here in the desert  I thought a lemon gelato would be in order. So glad I did; the flavor is amazing. It’s sweet and tart and the perfect palate cleanser.

Lemon Tree
A gelato is kind of like a creamy sorbet. A sorbet is usually made with fruit/juice, sugar and water. Gelato starts out with a custard base that is similar to ice cream, but the base has a much higher proportion of milk and a lower proportion of cream and eggs. However; I have seen some recipes that omit eggs completely. For this recipe I used milk, whipping cream and eggs.

KitchenAid bowl and part of attachment
Once again I used the ice cream attachment for my KitchenAid stand and had great results. I served this lemon gelato with thin triple ginger cookies.

This recipe has been adapted from Taste of

print recipe

Lemon Gelato

Lemon gelato is creamy, tangy and sweet. Perfect for a light after dinner treat.


  • 1 cup milk (full fat)
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 5 egg yolks, beaten
  • ¾ cup lemon juice (about 3 to 4 lemons)
  • 3 tablespoons lemon zest (zest lemons before juicing)
  • 2 cups heavy whipping cream


  1. In a medium-sized saucepan, heat milk to 175°, whisk in sugar until completely dissolved. Add a small amount of the hot mixture into the egg yolks. Whisking constantly; add the rest of the yolks. Add lemon zest. Keep whisking and cook over a low heat until thermometer reads 160° and mixture is just thick enough to coat a metal spoon. Do not boil.
  2. Remove saucepan from heat; stir in lemon juice and cream. Place in a bowl. Cover tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate until cold; for best results chill overnight.
  3. In assembled KitchenAid stand turn to stir speed one. Pour mixture into freeze bowl. Continue on Speed 1 for 15 to 20 minutes or until desired consistency is reached. Immediately transfer ice cream into serving dishes, or freeze in an airtight container.
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Sunday, January 15, 2017

Romaine and Radicchio Salad with White Beans, Celery and Watermelon Radish

Romaine with Radicchio, White Beans, Celery and Watermelon Radish Salad
Computer problems can be challenging and at this time I am quite perplexed. For some reason on some blogs that are on WordPress my comments are not posting. Also I just discovered that I may or may not have 2 accounts on the management page, how did I do this? Last night I decided to delete all my cookies and reset my password, then I turned off my computer and went to bed. First thing this morning I fired up my computer and to my horror and humiliation the problem still exists. Ugh!!; back to the drawing board.

Now the one positive constant in my life is my daily salad. Romaine; my favorite; has dominated our salads for the last few weeks. The firm and crunchy texture of this lovely leaf guarantees a good salad at least a day or two in the fridge. (Just don’t add the dressing until you are ready to enjoy). Romaine can be served chopped, torn, whirred into smoothies, added to soups and even grilled. The flavor is mild and goes with just about any combination of toppings. For today’s salad I added watermelon radish, radicchio, cucumber, celery and white beans. I served this salad with a red wine vinaigrette along with spinach and ricotta cheese tortellini’s topped with a light marinara sauce.

yield: 3 to 4print recipe

Romaine with Radicchio, White Beans, Celery and Watermelon Radish Salad

prep time: 25 MINScook time: total time: 25 mins
Enjoy this fresh and crunchy romaine and radicchio salad with white Beans, celery and watermelon radish. Guaranteed to brighten up the darkest of winter days.


  • 1 small head romaine lettuce, cleaned and chopped into ½ inch pieces
  • 1 small head radicchio, coarsely chopped
  • 1 hot house cucumber, cut lengthwise, seeds scooped out, cut into ¼ to 1/3 inch slices
  • 2 to 3 stalks celery, slice ¼ to 1/3 inch thick
  • 1 14-ounce can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 small watermelon radish, peeled, sliced and then cut in half
  • ¼ cup red wine vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon fresh parsley, finely chopped
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  1. Combine and whisk the red wine vinegar, Dijon mustard, olive oil and parsley, salt and pepper to taste.
  2. In a large salad bowl mix the romaine, radicchio, cucumber and celery; place the beans and radishes in the corners (for presentation) or just mix them in when adding vinaigrette.
  1. Normally I add half of the vinaigrette and serve the rest on the side. Enjoy!
  2. This is the first time I've used a watermelon radish. They seem to vary quite a bit in size, I bought one of the smaller ones that was about the size of a golf ball. The flavor is crisp and sweet and the color is a beautiful bright pink. I have seen them at potlucks carved into flowers and assorted shapes.
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Wednesday, January 11, 2017

32 Yolks: From My Mother’s Table to Working the Line

32 Yolks, A Cookbook
People choose their careers in various ways. Regardless of the reason this decision affects the rest of one’s life. 32 Yolks is a memoir on Eric Ripert’s childhood and early adult life. It is written by Eric Ripert with Veronica Chambers. 32 Yolks is both painful and inspiring. Childhood can make or break the best of us. It’s how we choose to go on that matters. Like all of us, Eric Ripert is the product of his decisions. Throughout his turbulent childhood, it was his love of food that got him through, though at times it was painful to read about what went on within his family. As a reader I felt his heartache and loneliness. Most of the book takes place in France.

I was very curious why this book was titled 32 yolks until I came to the one page where it is referenced. The title refers to the gap between culinary school knowledge and real restaurant work. My wish is that there will be a part two. I would like to read more about his restaurant Le Bernardin, his food rescue organization and his TV career; basically his life in New York.

“32 Yolks”, gives the reader an interesting perspective of a successful culinary giant that is alive and well today. If you are interested in cooking and food, you will enjoy this book.

"I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review."

Sunday, January 8, 2017

Homemade Vanilla Bean Ice Cream

Homemade Vanilla Bean Ice Cream
A few hours ago I stopped at the local whole foods to purchase some pacific dover sole that was advertised. The guy behind counter says to me; “crazy story” and went on to tell me since the storms have been so bad in the PNW (pacific north west) the fishing boats were not going out as planned and because of this they are not receiving their desired shipment. He then added that customers have been getting angry at him because he could not deliver. Since we spend our summers on the coast in Oregon I have seen first-hand that fishing and bad weather is not a good combo. Felt sorry for the guy.

Now one thing that I do love to do when it’s crazy cold outside is to eat ice cream and that might seem strange to some. And maybe even stranger to some for me to make and then post about it. But in full disclosure I did buy myself an ice cream maker for Christmas. So it’s all perfect timing:) Maybe there are others out there that do the same when purchasing holiday gifts, two for him and then one for me, you know those kind of gifts. The kind that get us through the holidays. Anyway now that I have finished my very first batch I am so glad I did. Homemade ice cream is the best!!

Since I have an Kitchen Aid stand I decided to purchase the ice cream attachment. Not ready to make judgment on this gadget yet, want to try a few more variations. Next on my list will be a grapefruit or lemon sorbet as both of our citrus trees are having a banner year.

Onward 2017

Homemade Vanilla Bean Ice Cream

yield: 8print recipe

Homemade Vanilla Bean Ice Cream


  • 2 1/2 cups half-and-half
  • 8 egg yolks
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 1/2 cups whipping cream
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 large vanilla bean, cut open lengthwise and scraped with a sharp knife
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt


  1. In medium saucepan over medium heat, heat half-and-half until very hot but not boiling, stirring often. Remove from heat; set aside.
  2. Place egg yolks and sugar into the Stand Mixer bowl. Attach bowl and wire whip to mixer. Turn to Speed 2 and mix about 30 seconds, or until well blended and slightly thickened.
  3. Still on Speed 2, gradually add half-and-half; mix until blended. Return liquid mixture to medium-sized saucepan; cook over medium heat until mixture is steamy and almost boiling, stirring constantly.
  4. Transfer half-and-half mixture into large bowl; stir in whipping cream, vanilla extract, seeds and salt. Cover and chill thoroughly, overnight if possible.
  5. In assembled Kitchen aide stand turn to stir speed one. Pour mixture into freeze bowl. Continue on Speed 1 for 15 to 20 minutes or until desired consistency is reached. Immediately transfer ice cream into serving dishes, or freeze in an airtight container.
Created using The Recipes Generator

Thursday, January 5, 2017

Chicken Wild Rice Soup in a Slow Cooker

Chicken Wild Rice Soup in a Slow Cooker
Three times a week we walk up a steep paved road that winds around North Mountain. This is in addition to our normal morning walks. After a few short weeks; the climb has become much easier and I now recognize a few of the“regulars”. I’ve also noticed a few of those individuals are making the walk up and down 2 to 3 times in the same amount of time it takes me to make one full trip. BTW many are older than me;)

Coming home to a crock-pot full of hot steamy soup is the perfect antidote for hours spent out in the cold. We all know that chicken, vegetables and rice is a delicious combination, but when you sub-in wild rice the flavor instantly changes. Wild rice is toothy, earthy and nut-like and holds up wonderfully in soups and salads. The only bad thing about this ingredient is the price that I paid, a whopping 5.99 a pound.

This recipe highlights some of the reasons we all love our slow cookers. The big one for me is having a meal that tastes like I have been standing over a hot stove all day long and an added bonus of a kitchen that smells wonderful…..

yield: 6 to 7print recipe

Chicken Wild Rice Soup in a Slow Cooker

prep time: 20 MINScook time: 6 hourtotal time: 6 hours and 20 mins
Nothing warms you up faster than a steaming bowl of chicken soup filled with vegetables and wild rice.


  • 1 1/2 pounds boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • 6 cups organic chicken stock
  • 3/4 cup wild rice
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 3 carrots, peeled and diced
  • 3 stalks celery, diced
  • 8 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 2 small sprigs fresh rosemary
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 8 ounces cremini mushrooms, thinly sliced
  • 1 cup half and half
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley


  1. Season both sides of chicken with salt and pepper, place into a slow cooker.
  2. Add in chicken stock, wild rice, garlic, onion, carrots, celery and all the herbs except the parsley. Cover and cook on low heat for 5-6 hours.
  3. In a medium-sized skillet add olive oil and then mushrooms, sauté until liquid is released. Continue cooking the mushrooms over medium heat, stirring occasionally until liquid has evaporated add wine and sauté until moisture has evaporated. Add to crock pot last hour of cooking time.
  4. When soup is ready, remove chicken and shred with 2 forks.
  5. Stir chicken and half and half into the pot. Add parsley. Taste, if needed add more salt and pepper.
  6. To serve: scoop into bowls and enjoy with a slice of hot crusty bread.
Created using The Recipes Generator

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Hot Smoked Salmon Bagels

Hot Smoked Salmon Bagels
I love new beginnings and this time of year is no exception. Taking a moment to reflect and mentally start the clock over is good for the soul. It rained most of the day yesterday which is unusual for this part of the southwest. According to the local news channel the last time it rained on New Year’s day was 35 years ago. Today the air is crisp and clean and we could see for miles and miles when we were hiking North Mountain.

The View From North Mountain
It is no surprise to anyone that knows me that breakfast is my favorite meal of the day. In fact I could eat nothing but breakfast, soups and salads and be totally happy. This morning my husband picked up a few bagels from Chompies; a local restaurant and I served them with hot smoked salmon. The classic way of serving this dish is to use “Lox” which is traditionally salt-cured or brined salmon that has never been cooked or smoked. This method makes the texture rich and silky. Hot smoked salmon is smoked with heat much the same way other meats are. When using this method the fish ends up with a flaky and drier texture, and has a slight smoky flavor.

I served the salmon on toasted whole wheat bagels with cream cheese, tomatoes, cucumbers, red onions and capers.

yield: 2print recipe

Hot Smoked Salmon Bagels

prep time: 10 MINScook time: total time: 10 mins
These Hot Smoked Salmon Bagels are perfect for breakfast or brunch.


  • 2 whole wheat bagels
  • 4 ounces cream cheese
  • 1 small Roma tomato, sliced thin
  • 1/3 cucumber, sliced thin
  • 2 thin slices of red onion
  • 1/4 pound hot smoked salmon
  • 1 tablespoon capers, drained


  1. Slice the bagels through the center, sandwich fashion. Toast both sides until golden brown.
  2. Smear each bagel half with a tablespoon of the cream cheese. Place sliced tomato on top of cream cheese, then add the cucumber, red onion, salmon and capers.
Created using The Recipes Generator

Sunday, January 1, 2017

New Beginnings and a Light and Healthy Banana Date Smoothie

Light and Healthy Banana Date Smoothie
I hope everyone is looking forward to a new year and fresh beginnings. I’m not one for making resolutions. Many years ago I realized that making specific statements did not work for me. So what I do now is think of actions or behaviors that I would like to work on. For example; this year…..I will think positive thoughts and try and be present each and every moment, especially around friends and family members. Building meaningful relationships is important to me and will set a good example for the younger ones.

Ingredients for a Light and Healthy Banana Date Smoothie

It’s day one of the new year and a great time to encourage healthy eating habits. Another area for me to work on as we have had more than our share of sugar laden sweets and heavy foods this holiday season. I decided to begin this morning with a light breakfast beverage. One that was full of flavor, not too fussy and quick to make. For this smoothie all you need is a frozen banana, a couple of dates, rolled oats, organic peanut butter, almond milk and a few ice cubes. This is a delicious and filling way to start your day.

Wishing everyone a happy and healthy New Year!

Tip: Keep frozen bananas or some kind of fruit in your freezer at all times. Great way to bulk up your smoothies.

yield: 1print recipe

Healthy Banana Date Smoothie

prep time: 10 MINScook time: total time: 10 mins
It's a new year, take care of yourself and enjoy this nutritious banana and date smoothie.


  • 1 frozen banana, cut into one inch slices
  • 2 Medjool dates, pits removed
  • ¼ cup rolled oats
  • 1 1/4 cups almond milk
  • 1 tablespoon peanut butter, or nut butter of your choice
  • 3 ice cubes


  1. Blend all ingredients until combined. Pour into a glass, enjoy!
Created using The Recipes Generator