Thursday, June 30, 2022

SOURDOUGH BREAD!

I've made a lot of bread over the years, but have never made Sourdough. My friend, Brenna Reilly recently gifted me with some ancient Sourdough Starter dating back to her Mom. I had to "feed" the starter for 4 days 1/2 cup strong (or bread) flour and 1/4 cup water and then let it rest a day. I was very excited to embark on the Sourdough project!

Here's the bread right out of the oven. I found the recipe online from Odlums Flour, which is a very popular brand here in Ireland. I converted measurements from grams to cups so forgive me if I'm a little off, but bread, unlike most baking, is not an exact science. Depending on your altitude and other weather conditions more flour or a little more or less water may be needed. I used my stand mixer to pull the dough together and it seemed quite thick so added a few more drops of water while kneading. You don't need to use a stand mixer, but it sure did make it easier.

Ingredients:
800 grams strong (bread) flour (6 1/2 cups)
10 grams salt (1 fat Tbsp.)
460 ml. water (2 cups)
320 grams sourdough starter (1 1/3 cups)

Preparation:
Add all the ingredients to a large bowl. If using your stand mixer, using the dough hook, start by mixing slowly so the flour doesn't fly everywhere. Increase to medium speed and mix for 5-8 minutes. Using the machine also greatly reduces the need for a lot of kneading as the machine very effectively starts releasing gluten, which is the purpose of kneading so the bread rises. If doing this by hand mix with a fork until all ingredients are completely incorporated. 
Spill the dough out on a floured surface and knead for about 6-8 minutes if you've used the mixer and 10-12 minutes if doing by hand. 
Once kneaded place the dough in a bowl and let proof covered in a dry warm place for 4 hours.
There's something very satisfying about bread dough rising. It's almost magical and because this bread uses no yeast even more so. The leavening happens through the fermented sourdough causing the bread to rise. 

4 hours later, using your fist punch down the dough and knock the bread out of the bowl. Knead for 3-5 minutes. Shape the dough. I decided to make one giant loaf using the proofing basket that I use for making artisan bread. 
I bought this boule proofing basket from a very cool
Vietnamese company, MADE TERRA.
Check them out. They do business differently. 

The big round loaf is a boule, in France simply means ball. Flour the basket generously and shape the dough into a nice round ball and drop it into the basket. Press lightly so the bread will absorb the lines of the basket. You could also just free-form the dough or form it into two traditionally shaped loaves. 
Once your dough is shaped, cover with a dampened tea towel and let rest another 3 hours. 7 hours seemed like a lot of resting time, but the dough was dense so I figured it needed time to expand. Before you put it in the oven, slice the dough using a very sharp knife (or preferably a razor blade). This allows the moisture to escape as it bakes. I used a razor to make some leaf shapes on mine. 
Preheat oven to 230C or 445 Fahrenheit. You don't need a pizza stone to cook the bread, but that is what I used. Heat the stone accordingly and place a tray in the bottom of the oven as you will pour about a cup of boiling water into the tray as you put the bread in to bake. The steam helps form a beautiful crust on the bread. 
Bake for 35 to 40 minutes until crust is nicely browned and has a hollow sound when tapped. 
Here is what my crumb (interior) looked like. Very happy with my first excursion into the world of Sourdough. I'm already feeding my next batch of Starter!
And here's the really fun part...In addition to excellent toast every morning for breakfast, I made many different things from this one, big loaf of Sourdough.

MONTE CRISTO

Soak the bread in beaten egg.  Fill sandwiches with ham, cheese and often either turkey or chicken. I had only ham and cheese so made these Monte Cristo's with ham and Emanthal swiss cheese. 

MY FAVORITE...PANZANELLA--TUSCAN BREAD SALAD
Traditionally this Italian Bread Salad contains: bread, tomatoes, oil, vinegar, salt and lots of fresh basil, but as with so many different "traditional" recipes there are huge variations. This is what I used:

Ingredients:
3 thick slices Sourdough bread, cut into cubes
6 small very ripe tomatoes cut into quarters
1/2 cup thinly sliced leeks
1 cup sliced cucumbers
1 clove garlic, minced
2 Tbsp. marinated olives
1/2 cup freshly chopped basil

For the dressing:
1/2 cup good Olive Oil
1/4 cup aged Balsamic Vinegar
1 Tsp. Dijon mustard
Salt/Pepper

Whisk all together in a small bowl. It will begin to emulsify. Check for seasoning. 

My Nanna's colander, circa 1940. I love it!
Preparation:
Heat oven to 250 degrees. Spread bread cubes on a baking sheet and toast in warm oven for 20 minutes. Cool completely. If you don't toast the bread the bread salad will totally consume the dressing and become a goopy mess. 
Salt the tomatoes. This is an important step as the salt enhances the tomato flavor and brings out the liquid. Use 2 tsp. of Kosher salt, sprinkle over the tomatoes and have a plate underneath to collect the drippings. Let rest for 15 minutes.
Assemble all the ingredients, including any liquid from the tomatoes and stir together with the dressing. 
When the bread has been thoroughly coated with the dressing, serve. Garnish with a big sprig of basil. 

STUFFED FRENCH TOAST

This is a decadent, but delicious breakfast. Cut 3 thin slices of Sourdough per serving. Soak in egg batter that has been enhanced with a tsp. of brown sugar and a big sprinkling of cinnamon. Let it sit for about 20 minutes so the bread gets absorbed. In the meantime, heat a heavy bottomed skillet over medium high heat with 1 Tbsp. butter and 1 Tbsp. olive oil. Add slices of nectarines and carefully brown/caramelize on each side of the fruit slice. Because of the high sugar content the nectarine burns quickly so watch them carefully. Set aside.
Mix 1 cup of cream cheese with 1/2 cup maple syrup and 1 tsp. cinnamon. Stir until well combined. Set aside. 
Once the bread has absorbed the egg, cook quickly in a heavy bottomed skillet with lots of butter. 

TO ASSEMBLE:
Layer each slice of bread with the cream cheese mixture, nectarines and repeat. I served with some lovely local Irish breakfast sausage. I should have layered the slices so you could see the cream cheese and nectarines inside instead of stacking them all together...next time!

QUINTESSENTIAL BREAKFAST SANDWICH

No recipe necessary. I used Irish breakfast sausage sliced in half, cream cheese, aged cheddar cheese and a soft egg. Put all the ingredients inside the bread and fry gently. Yes, we are having potato chips for breakfast! Why not?!? Ham, bacon, any other cheeses would also work well. I think the key to this sandwich is the soft cooked egg inside!

I KNOW I PROMISED POTATOES FOR THIS BLOG, 
BUT GOT SO EXCITED ABOUT SOURDOUGH THAT I COULDN'T RESIST. 

KEEP ON COOKING, EATING, ENJOYING AND 
EXPLORING IN YOUR OWN KITCHEN!
I LOVE LIFE! I LOVE FOOD! I LOVE COOKING!


www.cookwithcindy.com
















Saturday, June 11, 2022

EASIEST APPLESAUCE YOU'LL EVER MAKE!

I'm sure many of you have your own Apple Sauce recipe, but this is so easy I just had to share. The most time consuming part of this recipe is peeling and chopping the apples. Once that is done it takes under a half hour to make. If you have not made your own apple sauce, once having tried this, I guarantee you'll never buy it again.


I used 4 Gala apples and 2 Granny Smiths. The Granny Smiths are crisp and somewhat tart, which adds a nice balance to the sweeter Gala, but use any combination of apples you like. 

Ingredients:
4 Gala apples, peeled and chopped
2 Granny Smith apples, peeled and chopped
2 tsp. ground cinnamon
3 Tbsp. Demerara sugar (brown or white sugar will work, as well)
Pinch salt
1/3 cup water

Preparation:
Place all ingredients in a pot and slowly bring to a roiling boil; about 3-5 minutes. Stir, reduce heat, cover and cook over low heat for another 10 minutes or until apples are very tender and you have a sauce-like consistency.

Give a vigorous stir to start breaking down the apples. Using the back of a large spoon, mash the apples until they are mostly crushed. 

Cook another 10 minutes covered. Add a bit more water if the sauce becomes too thick. Remove from the heat. Cool. The sauce will continue to thicken as it cools, similar to cranberry sauce. I like a chunky Apple Sauce so it's now ready to serve warm or chilled. If you prefer your apple sauce smooth, put the mixture through a food mill. This is excellent on pork, spread over warm toast, topper with plain yogurt, baked ham, and on and on!

LOT'S MORE COOKING AHEAD!

NEXT UP, POTAOTES! 

YOU MIGHT THINK POTATOES ARE THE MOST POULAR VEG IN IRELAND, BUT A STUDY DONE A FEW YEARS AGO SHOW 75% OF PEOPLE CHOSE CARROTS TO BE THE WINNER.

POTOATOES ARE A CLOSE SECOND WITH 73% OF THE VOTE.
Our rugged back yard overlooking Galway Bay.

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Tuesday, May 31, 2022

THE HUMBLE CABBAGE

We ate a lot of cabbage growing up. My Mom's parent's were born in Hungary and cabbage was a staple in our house. One of her favorite dishes (and mine, too!) is Kaposzta Kocka Galuska, which she always just called Kaposzta, which means cabbage. Kocka translates to square, the traditional shape of the pasta used in this dish and Galuska means noodle. Mom always used her homemade pappardelle for this dish, an excellent choice as it's meaty and holds up well. 

There are many varieties of cabbage, but the most common is Green Cabbage. Growing up in a small, rural farming community in New Hampshire there were not a lot of cabbage choices so Green Cabbage it was. Here's her recipe for Hungarian Noodles and Cabbage

KAPOSZTA KOCKA GALUSKA-CABBAGE AND NOODLES
Ingredients:
16 oz. dried pasta
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter
1 head cabbage, outer coarse leaves removed, cored and chopped
Salt (lots) and Pepper

Preparation:
Fill a large pot with salted water and bring to boil. Stir in pasta. Return to boil, cook uncovered until pasta is just barely tender, about 5 minutes, depending on thickness of pasta. Drain. This dish works best with dried pasta and Mom usually made big batches of pasta and then kept dried. 
Melt the butter in a large heavy bottomed skillet, like cast iron. Add the chopped cabbage, salt, pepper and stir occasionally until the cabbage has wilted, about 5-8 minutes. 
Gently stir in cooked noodles. Check for seasoning. This dish needs a lot of salt. Cover and continue cooking on medium heat for another 20 minutes. 

I did recently do a twist on this comfort dish as I was making pork schnitzel and wanted to add a German style pasta so made the same dish with half the butter. I used 1/2 of a Sweetheart cabbage. Cook the cabbage down adding salt, pepper and 2 Tbsp. brown sugar. The sugar helps to caramelize the cabbage. Add 3 Tbsp. Cider Vinegar and 1 Tbsp. caraway seeds. Season with salt and pepper. Add the noodles and you have a sweet and sour cabbage noodle dish. So easy!

MARY BERRY'S COLCANNON
Colcannon is to Ireland what Kaposzta is to Hungary. Simply delicious comfort food. I have talked about Ireland's famous comfort dish of Cabbage and Potatoes, but recently found this recipe from Mary Berry that sparks up the dish. Mary uses spring onions and cream, which made all the difference. Such a subtle, but noticeable difference. 

Ingredients:
8 potatoes, peeled and cubed
1 head Sweetheart cabbage, outer leaves removed, then sliced and chopped*
3 spring onions, white part only chopped
Equal amounts milk and cream; start with 1/4 cup each, add more if too stiff
4 Tbsp. butter, more for dotting top
Salt/Pepper
Potatoes mashed. Cabbage cooking.


*Also known as Conehead Cabbage.

Preparation:
Cook potatoes thoroughly in salted water. Drain. Add milk, cream and 2 tbsp. butter. Mash and season with salt and pepper. Add more milk/cream until you have the right consistency, not too thick, but also not runny. You can always add more liquid, but can't take away so be cautious as you as you go.  In a large, heavy bottomed skillet melt 2 Tbsp. butter. Add cabbage and cook until wilted, about 5-8 minutes. Add spring onions and cook another 2 minutes. Mix cabbage and potatoes. Adjust seasoning and add more milk/cream if necessary. Scoop into a buttered casserole, dot with butter and bake at 350 degrees F for about 1/2 hour until top is slightly browned. 

THAT'S IT FOR TODAY FROM SUNNY GALWAY BAY!

GREAT TO BE BACK IN IRELAND!

LOOKING FORWARD TO A FULL SUMMER SEASON OF ADVENTURES IN AND OUT OF THE KITCHEN!

I'M GOING TO CLOSE WITH A COUPLE PHOTOS FROM OUR RECENT TRIP TO THE CLIFFS OF MOHER IN CO. CLARE WITH OUR SON AND HIS WIFE. 

SO BEAUTIFUL!


Justin and Alison!
The Cliffs of Moher are more than 320 million years old. Truly majestic and awe inspiring. One of Ireland's most important bird breeding sites; home to more than 20 species of nesting birds with up to 30,000 breeding pairs found each year. We even saw puffins this time!

I wish this was my photo, but we couldn't get that close.




UNTIL NEXT TIME...

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Wednesday, May 4, 2022

MY FAVORITE LASAGNA AND A QUICK, SIMPLE HORS DOEUVRE!

 We're off to Ireland in a couple days so I wanted to share some food with you before we go. First, this easy, but very tasty hors d'oeuvre...

ROSEMARY PECANS

I found this recipe on the Real Simple website and they really are simple to make. I added a bit more rosemary than the recipe called for as I love the flavor of rosemary.

Ingredients:

2 Tbsp. unsalted butter (I almost always use Kerry Gold.)

1 tsp. sugar

1/8 tsp. cayenne pepper, or more if you want a spicier nut.

1/2 tsp. Kosher salt

2 cups pecan halves

2 tsp. chopped fresh rosemary (I used 3.)

Preparation:

Heat oven to 375. Melt the butter in a medium skillet over medium heat. Stir in the sugar, cayenne, and 1/2 tsp. salt. Add the pecans and toss to evenly coat.

Transfer the pecans to a rimmed baking sheet lined with foil and arrange in a single layer. Bake, stirring occasionally, until toasted, 10 to 12 minutes. Remove from the oven and add the rosemary and toss to combine. Serve warm or at room temp. 

I don't know how long they keep as they were gone as soon as I served them!

BEST EVER LASAGNA

This recipe came from the back of a Barilla lasagna noodle box. I was having a lasagna craving and the only lasagna noodles (No, I didn't make them this time!) were the oven-ready pasta. I have never used the no-cook pasta and had my doubts, but the lasagna came out perfectly. I did use my own tomato sauce, which I cooked the day before. I like Barilla sauce so if you don't have time, no problem, just use theirs. They call their recipe 5 Layer Oven-Ready Lasagna, but I only managed 3 layers in my 9x13 baking pan, which meant a few sheets of pasta left over. Because I used more cheese than their recipe called for, it filled the pan sooner. There really is no science to this. After all, it is a casserole! I served the lasagna with a Frico or cheese crisp inserted into the lasagna, and a simple salad with herby vinaigrette dressing.

Ingredients:

1 box Barilla Oven-Ready Lasagna

2 jars Barilla marinara sauce (or about 6 cups of your own)

2 Tbsp. olive oil

1 lb. lean ground beef, browned (I used 3 Italian sausages browned out of their casings.)

Salt/Pepper to taste

15 oz. container ricotta cheese

4 cups mozzarella cheese, shredded

1/2 cup Parmigiano Reggiano cheese (I used 2 cups parm.)

I added 2 cloves of finely minced garlic as I browned the sausage.

I also added about 2 tsp. of dried oregano to the cheese mixture. 

Preparation:

Pre-heat oven to 375. In a large skillet, heat olive oil and brown the meat and garlic, if using, until cooked through. Season with salt and pepper.

In a bowl, combine ricotta, 2 cups mozzarella and 1 cup parmesan. Add oregano, if using. Stir well. 

Spray a 9x13 inch baking pan with cooking spray. Pour 1 cup of the sauce into the pan and spread to coat evenly. Place 3 sheets of lasagna side by side. Sheets will expand to ends of the dish while baking. I didn't believe this, but they did!

Pour 1 cup of sauce and 3/4 cup of the cheese mixture over the first layer. Just drop the cheese mixture by the teaspoon and spread evenly. Top with 1/2 cup mozzarella, 1/2 cup parmesan and 1/3 cup of the cooked meat. Repeat for 3 more layers or as many layers as you can fit into the baking dish. 

For the final layer, top with 3 lasagna sheets, add the remaining sauce and top with remaining cheese mixture and mozzarella.

Cover with foil. Bake for 25 minutes. Uncover and bake 5 minutes more until cheese is bubbling. Let rest 15 minutes before serving. 

TO MAKE THE FRICO:

Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees. Grate 1 cup of good quality parmesan (or any cheese you like). Don't use the pre-grated or pre-shredded cheese. It takes only a few minutes to grate the cheese yourself and the end result is much better. On a baking sheet drop about 2 Tbsp. of cheese and press with the bake of the spoon to flatten to roughly 3 inches. Space at least 1 inch apart as they will spread. Bake for 5 to 6 minutes until cheese melts and they are golden. Check on them to make sure they are not getting too brown. Remove from oven and let the Frico cool completely before removing from the pan. I served the Frico pressed into the lasagna to fancy it up a bit!

THAT'S IT FOR TODAY!
OFF TO IRELAND FOR THE SUMMER!
ROUNDSTONE-
One of my favorite villages west of us!

www.cookwithcindy.com




Sunday, April 10, 2022

SENSATIONAL SEAFOOD ALFREDO!

I have been planning to make this dish for a couple months. Each time I would prepare shrimp I saved the shells in the freezer. This made for an excellent stock for the Seafood Alfredo. You can make the stock ahead of time and freeze it so when you put the dish together it literally takes under a half hour. I also had been saving little scraps of fish: cod, salmon, pacific rock fish, etc. I like to cook the fattest parts of the filet so cubed up the thinner pieces and froze with the Alfredo in mind. Finally, I cooked the fresh fettuccine in shrimp broth, which really enhanced the flavors. You can use any combination of fish/shellfish you like.

TO MAKE THE SHRIMP BROTH:

Ingredients:
About 2 lbs. shrimp shells
3 quarts water
2 stalks celery, cut into 1 inch pieces
2 carrots, cut into 1 inch pieces
1 garlic clove, smashed
1 medium sized onion, cut into quarters
1 Tbsp. salt
1/4 tsp. dried tarragon
Freshly ground black pepper

Preparation:
Bring all to a rolling boil and then reduce heat to low and simmer for about 2 hours. Strain through a fine mesh sieve and either proceed with the recipe or place in the freezer. 

BEFORE MAKING THE ALFREDO SAUCE, COOK THE FISH.

I used:
1/3 lb. shrimp, peeled and cleaned
1 lb. mussels
I used these frozen mussels from my local Safeway grocery store. Being from New England and land of fresh mussels I had my doubts, but they were really fabulous!

About 1 1/2 cups of various pieces of cubed fish. Thawed, if using frozen left-overs.

In a heavy bottomed (My preference always is cast iron.) skillet heat 1 Tbsp. olive oil until hot; nearly smoking. Reduce heat to medium. Quickly saute the cubed fish and shrimp, stirring with a rubber scraper so the fish does not stick. This will take 3-4 minutes. Remove the fish from the pan and set aside. Do not clean the pan.

TO MAKE THE ALFREDO SAUCE:
Ingredients:
1 Tbsp. olive oil
2 Tbsp. butter
5 Tbsp. flour
1/2 small shallot, very finely diced; about 2 Tbsp.
1 small garlic clove, very finely diced; about 1/2 Tbsp.
1/4 tsp. dried tarragon
1/4 cup grated parmesan
1 cup heavy cream or I used 1/2 cup half and half and 1/2 cup heavy
1/2 cup dry white wine; whatever you have opened.
1 cup (or more) fish broth
Salt/Pepper to taste

Preparation:
In the same pan you sauted the fish and shrimp, melt the olive oil and butter over medium heat. Add the flour and stir until completely blended. Reduce heat and cook, stirring frequently for about 5 minutes to form a roux. Stirring often reduces the chance of any lumps in your sauce. Add shallot, garlic, tarragon and parmesan, and stir for another 3 minutes. Add wine, cream and fish broth and stir until you have the desired consistency. The sauce needs to be thick enough to hold up to and coat pasta and fish nicely, but not so thick that it is goopy. The longer you cook it, the thicker it gets. Add more fish broth if the sauce becomes too thick. Taste for salt and pepper. Set aside. 

TO COOK THE PASTA:
Cut about 1/2 lb. asparagus into 2 inch pieces. Bring 2 1/2 quarts of fish stock to a boil. Add 1 Tbsp. salt. Add the fresh fettuccine. I did not make it this time, but this store-bought version was pretty good.
Cook the pasta for about 3 minutes. Add the mussels and asparagus. Cook for another 7 minutes until mussels open and pasta and asparagus are al dente.  
Drain the pasta reserving some of the cooking liquid in case you need it to thin the sauce. Mix all ingredients including the Alfredo Sauce together back into the pasta cooking pot and cook just enough to reheat the fish and shrimp; about 2-3 minutes more, stirring to ensure that all is well coated. Serve with warmed French bread and a fresh green salad.
I did not get a photo of the final results as we were too darned anxious to EAT! So easy. So good.

THAT'S IT FOR TODAY!

IT IS PALM SUNDAY...I AM ALREADY MISSING THE BIG EASTER EXTRAVAGANZA I HAVE DONE FOR MANY YEARS, BUT DO PLAN ON MAKING A NICE MEAL FOR ME AND MY HUSBAND, JERRY.

AND MAYBE NEXT YEAR WE WILL CONTINUE 
THAT WONDERFUL EASTER TRADITION!

I LOVE THIS TIME OF YEAR AND 
ALWAYS FEEL HOPEFUL ABOUT GOOD 
THINGS TO COME! NEW BEGINNINGS...

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Tuesday, March 29, 2022

THE TALE OF TWO STRAWBERRIES!

 

Strawberries are more versatile than you may think. Let's start today with an unexpected savory...

STRAWBERRY SOUP WITH ROQUEFORT PANNA COTTA

This made for a rich, but satisfying first course for a fun dinner party I put together for our friends Steve and Deb Vis, who we thought were moving to Florida. Fortunately they have changed their minds and are staying in sunny Arizona! I have made the savory panna cotta in the past and thought it would be a perfect contrast for the Strawberry Soup. Last time I made it with a Chilled Plum Soup, which was also very special. I looked online at many different recipes and came up with this.

Ingredients:
2 cups strawberries*, roughly chopped
1/4 cup Marsala or other sweet wine
Pinch of salt
1 Tbsp. sugar
1/2 cup Greek style Plain yogurt
2 Tbsp. balsamic vinegar. I used Pear Infused vinegar.
1/2 cup water

*Use the freshest and most ripe strawberries you can find. This would be over-the-top if you used hand-picked wild strawberries. 

Preparation:

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. 

Macerate berries in sugar and pinch of salt for about 15 minutes. To macerate, simply mix berries with the sugar and salt and stir together slightly mashing the berries to release their natural juice. 

Spread on a foil-lined, very lightly oiled cookie sheet and roast in the hot oven for about 15 minutes, stirring once to make sure berries roast evenly. 

Remove and cool. Add the berries and all other ingredients to the blender and blend until completely smooth. Taste for seasoning.

Yes! That is my Mom's circa 1960 Osterizer Blender.
Still works perfectly!
I served by gently placing the panna cottas in a bowl and then pouring the chilled soup around. I garnished with small pieces of Roquefort and a sliced strawberry on top. 

To make the Roquefort Panna Cotta, go to:

 http://cookwithcindy.blogspot.com/search?q=panna+cotta

Scroll down through most of last years Easter dinner to get the Panna Cotta recipe. Next time, I would add a whisker less sugar, although the contrast of just barely sweet with the salty bite of the cheese was pretty good!

Next, a more traditional use of strawberries!

BEST STRAWBERRY ICE CREAM...EVER!

When you research recipes online, they often say "the best", "most delicious", etc., but this time it really is so! Again, I looked at many recipes before deciding on this one, which came from a site called "Like Mother, Like Daughter". The only difference is that I added 2 Tbsp. of vodka (yes, vodka!) towards the end of the churning. In researching recipes I learned that Strawberry Ice Cream is one of the most difficult to make as the berries can crystalize when churned and frozen. The alcohol helps eliminate that problem. It certainly was creamy and delicious, both as a Strawberry Ice Cream Sandwich Cookie and just served in a bowl.

Ingredients:

2 cups chopped strawberries

1 cup sugar, divided 1/2 and 1/2

2 cups heavy cream

1 cup whole milk

1/2 tsp. vanilla

1 dash salt

2 Tbsp. vodka

Preparation:

The day before making the ice cream, make sure your ice cream bowl is frozen. I've made that mistake before and your ice cream will never get frozen enough if the bowl is not completely frozen.

Mix chopped strawberries with 1/2 cup sugar. Set aside for about 15 minutes to allow the strawberries to release their juices. 

Blend strawberries in a blender or food processor until just blended. A couple remaining chunks of berry are fine. 

In a large bowl combine strawberry mixture with heavy cream, whole milk, vanilla, salt and remaining sugar. Set aside.

Pour strawberry cream mixture into prepared ice cream maker. Allow to run according to manufacturers instructions. Mine took about 30 minutes. When you are 20 minutes into the churning process, drizzle the 2 Tbsp. of vodka into the ice cream. The mixture will be quite soft. You can eat immediately or place in a bowl in the freezer for a few hours or overnight to harden up.

I like this recipe as there are no eggs, therefore no custard to make, which makes the entire ice cream as easy as it is delicious!

Jerry Rabbitt: 2022 Official Ice Cream Licker...
For our special dinner party, I decided to make Strawberry Ice Cream Sandwich Cookies for dessert with a great recipe for super thin, Crispy Chocolate Wafer Cookies. This one I found online at the Cooking Channel.

CRISPY CHOCOLATE WAFER COOKIES
This recipe makes 6 1/2 dozen thin wafer cookies!
They also freeze very well.
Ingredients:
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup dark brown sugar, well packed
1 tsp. vanilla
1 cup flour
3/4 cup Dutch cocoa powder. I used Hershey's Special Dark 100% cocoa powder.
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 cup milk. I used a couple Tbsp. more to get a better consistency.

Preparation:
Cream together the butter, sugar, brown sugar and vanilla until light; about 2 minutes. 
In a medium bowl sift the cocoa to remove any lumps and whisk together with flour, baking soda, and salt.
 
Add the dry ingredients to the butter mixture and mix just to combine. Add the milk and mix just to combine. If it is very crumbly, add 1 Tbsp. of milk at a time until the mixture comes together when gently squeezed.
On a sheet of plastic wrap, drop the dough into 2 roughly shaped logs, each about 1 1/2 inches thick. Using the plastic wrap and your fingers, coax the dough into a firm log shape and then roll the plastic tightly around the dough.
Refrigerate at least an hour or up to overnight. 

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Using your sharpest knife, cut the cookie dough into 1/8 inch coins and place them on the cookie sheets about 1 1/2 inches apart to bake. If the dough is less than perfectly round, use your fingers or the back of the knife to get into shape.
Bake for 5 minutes, then rotate pan and bake another 5 minutes until they are dry looking. Let cool a minute or 2 before removing to a rack as the cookies are quite delicate. 

To make the STRAWBERRY ICE CREAM SANDWICH COOKIES soften the ice cream, and simply add about 2 Tbsp. of Strawberry Ice Cream to the cooled cookies, smooth out the edges and top with another cookie. 
My husband, Jerry, is not only a good
licker of ice cream bowls, but also helpful
in filling Ice Cream Sandwich Cookies!

I HOPE YOU ENJOYED THIS STRAWBERRY EXTRAVAGANZA!

UNTIL NEXT TIME...

FILL YOUR KITCHEN WITH BEAUTIFUL AROMAS,

WHICH WILL FILL YOUR HEART WITH LOVE!

Steve, Deb, and my husband, Jerry
So glad you are going to stick around!

WWW.COOKWITHCINDY.COM