Welcome Fellow Food Enthusiasts

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Salted Caramel Ice Cream

My husband and I had our first taste of Salted Caramel in Las Vegas a few months ago at a fantastic restaurant called Max Brenner.  We were hooked!  There is something so delicious about the sweetness of the rich caramel flavor, and then you get this fine hint of saltiness.  Sweet and Salty perfectly paired together, who doesn't like that?  A couple of weeks ago I saw an episode of The Barefoot Contessa on the Food Network, Ina and her friend made this beautiful ice cream and I knew that I had to try it.  Oh my goodness, it was worth every minute and dish that it took to make it! 

Before I go any further you should remember a few things:

1. Do yourself a favor and buy the half gallon of Heavy cream from Costco, you will be able to make two batches of the ice cream and have a bit left for some other treat.  It's really the best cream around.

2.  You must pronounce the word "caramel" as such,  Care-a-mel.  I demand it and so does Ina Garten, we're friends you know.  (Not really, but I like to pretend we are.  Ina rocks!)

3.  This is not a hard recipe, but it is time consuming.  All the ingredients must be well chilled, involving 24 hour refrigeration and ice baths.  Do not be deterred!  Read the recipe several times before you start, prep really well and give yourself time to think.  It helps to have another set of hands around to add ingredients at certain points. 

Ok, Ready? 

Salted Caramel Ice Cream 

Recipe From Ina Garten's friend, Rory Trovato

First you need to start by making the Ice Cream Base, and you must chill this for 24 hours before you plan on making the ice cream.  I tried to make it the day of and chilled for 3 hours, the ice cream never froze.  Make it 24 hours in advance please!

Ice Cream Base:

  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 4 large egg yolks
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 2 cups heavy cream
Heat the milk in a sauce pan over medium-low heat.
Prepare an ice bath by setting a 2-quart bowl over a larger bowl partially filled with ice water.
Set a strainer over the smaller bowl and set aside.
In a separate bowl, whisk together the egg yolks and sugar until pale yellow in color and the sugar has dissolved.  Gradually pour the warmed milk into the yolk mixture, whisking constantly. Pour the mixture back into the same saucepan you used to warm the milk. Cook for 3 to 5 minutes, stirring constantly, until the custard thickens and coats the back of a wooden spoon.
Strain the custard into the top bowl of the ice bath to stop the cooking process. Add the heavy cream and stir over the ice bath until cool. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and chill thoroughly, preferably  (NO DEFINITELY!) overnight. Yield: about 3 cups.



Ingredients for the Salty Caramel Ice Cream

  • 1 1/4 cups sugar
  • 3/4 cup heavy cream
  • 2 teaspoons flaky sea salt, such as Maldon (Used sea salt from Costco, don't use regular salt!!!)
  • Ice Cream Base
  • 1 tablespoon pure Tahitian vanilla extract (I used Real Vanilla, but just the kind from Costco)


Heat the sugar in a dry heavy-bottomed sauce pan over medium heat, stirring with a fork to heat the sugar evenly, until it starts to melt, then stop stirring and swirl the pan so the sugar melts evenly, and continue cooking until it is a dark amber color.
Carefully add the heavy cream (the mixture will splatter) and cook, stirring until all the caramel has dissolved. Transfer to a heat-proof bowl and stir in the sea salt. Set the caramel mixture over a bowl filled with ice water and stir until chilled to room temperature. (This is very important, it must be completely cooled or it won't freeze!) Combine the caramel mixture with the Ice Cream Base and add the vanilla.
Freeze in an ice cream machine according to manufacturer's directions.


Chicken Pillows

2 small pkgs. Cream Cheese - 6 0z. total
2 cans crescent rolls
2/3 Cup dry stuffing crumbs (or if you are out of stuffing like I was, Italian bread crumbs work good)
1 1/4 Cups butter; divided
2 Cups cooked, chopped chicken
1/8 tsp. pepper
1 can Cream of Chicken soup

Cook chicken if not already cooked. Season to your specific taste... I used a little olive oil, pepper and no salt seasoning (from costco)

Mix cream cheese, 1/4 Cup butter, and pepper. 

Fold in chicken.

Unroll crescent rolls, spoon heaping spoonful of mixture onto each roll and fold edges over. Seal edges. Melt the remaining butter and dip each chicken bundle in the butter. Roll in stuffing. Bake at 350 degrees for 20 - 30 minutes. 
Then serve with warm soup as gravy.

Holy Yumm-o...
You have to try it!

Chicken Cordon Bleu


  • 6 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
  • 6 slices Provolone cheese
  • 6 slices ham
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 6 tablespoons butter
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 1 teaspoon chicken bouillon granules
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream


  1. Pound chicken breasts if they are too thick. Place a cheese and ham slice on each breast. Fold chicken over the filling, and secure with toothpicks. Mix the flour and paprika in a small bowl, and coat the chicken pieces.
  2. Heat the butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat, and cook the chicken until browned on all sides. Add the wine and bouillon. Reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer for 30 minutes, until chicken is no longer pink and juices run clear.
  3. Remove the toothpicks, and transfer the breasts to a warm platter. Blend the cornstarch with the cream in a small bowl, and whisk slowly into the skillet. Cook, stirring until thickened, and pour over the chicken. Serve warm.

This is a favorite in our house. For my husbands birthday- this is all he wanted. 

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

{freezer} breakfast burritos.

{yet another less than spectacular picture, but you get the idea.}

what i love about this is... it's easy. you can freeze it and have it for breakfast. or lunch or dinner. you can top it with your favorite mexican toppings. and it's gooood. i had one for dinner last night and for lunch today... yum!

12 eggs, scrambled
1 package sausage {i used a roll of jimmy dean pork sausage}
1/2 onion, diced
1 30-oz bag frozen hash browns
1-2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
1 4-oz can diced green chiles {optional}
salt & pepper

brown sausage with onions. set aside in a large bowl. in same pan, cook eggs. salt & pepper to taste. put into bowl with sausage. add hash browns, cheese, and green chiles. mix until all combined. soften tortillas in microwave. fill tortillas with desired amount of deliciousness, roll burrito style, and wrap in plastic wrap or eat immediately. heat frozen burritos 2 minutes in the microwave. top with all your favorites!

makes 14+ depending on how fat you make them.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

chicken & wild rice.


this dish is nothing amazing to look at, but it was a really fast and easy {and yummy} dinner. my whole family enjoyed it.

2 6-oz. pkgs. quick-cooking long-grain & wild rice with seasoning packets {rice-a-roni, uncle ben's, etc}
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1" cubes
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1 1/3 cup frozen mixed vegetables, thawed
3 cups water

gently stir together all ingredients. spread into an ungreased 9x13 pan. bake, uncovered, at 350 degrees until juices run clear when chicken is pierced with a fork, about 45 minutes, stirring occasionally. serves 6-8.

bacon wrapped chicken.


this was a big hit with my husband, naturally. men and their bacon, right???

2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, flattened to 1/2 inch thickness
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp salt
2 tbsp chive and onion flavored cream cheese, softened and divided
2 tbsp chilled butter, divided
1/2 tsp dried tarragon {i substituted thyme since i didn't have any}
2 slices bacon

sprinkle chicken with salt and pepper. spread one tbsp cream cheese over each chicken breast; top with one tbsp butter and 1/4 tsp tarragon. roll up and wrap with one slice bacon; secure with a toothpick. place chicken seam side down on an ungreased baking sheet; bake at 400 degrees for 30 minutes or until juices run clear when chicken is pierced with a fork. increase temperature to broil; broil 8-10 minutes or until bacon is crisp. serves 2.

ummmmm just as i was typing this i realized i forgot that last broiling step! i was about to add that next time i would broil it for a few minutes :)