Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Candy Corn Punch

 

It's that time of year again..Halloween! This past weekend we had our annual Halloween party. We enjoyed some traditional spooky treats that I make every year and each year I try something new. This year it was this Candy Corn Punch. It looked great and tasted yummy too. I think it tasted much like an orange creamsicle (I'm sure it's because of the orange soda and whipped cream mixed together). This Candy Corn Punch recipe is from Better Homes and Garden. I followed the recipe exact except for one exception,   used canned whipped cream in place of making my own. This punch is super easy to make and everyone will enjoy it!


Ingredients:
  • 1 4-serving-size package lemon-flavor gelatin 
  • 1 cup boiling water 
  • 2 cups mango nectar (I used Goya Mango Nectar, found in the Asian section at the grocery) 
  • 3 1/2 cups orange carbonated beverage, chilled 
  • 1 cup whipping cream * 
  •  2 tablespoons honey 
  • Candy corn (optional)  
 *Note: You can use canned whipped cream, such as Reddi-Wip, in place of making your own whipped cream

Directions: 
1.  In a large bowl combine gelatin and the boiling water, stirring until gelatin is dissolved. Stir in the mango nectar. Pour mixture into a tall, clear 2-quart pitcher. Cover and chill about 2 hours or until thickened but not set. Gently pour* orange carbonated beverage over gelatin layer in pitcher.
2. In a large bowl combine whipping cream and honey. Beat with an electric mixer or large whisk just until stiff peaks form (tips stand straight). Spoon over mixtures in pitcher. If desired, add candy. Before serving, stir to muddle.
 
Here is the Candy Corn Punch served in a glass .. it tastes and looks like a creamsicle after you mix it all up and pour into the glass. Yummy!
Happy Halloween!!

Monday, October 1, 2012

Ginger Ice Cream

As you know from some other posts, I belong to a cooking club. We call ourselves Taste Tempters. We've been gathering every month for over 12 years. It's a great group of ladies and we always seem to come up with great cooking themes and recipes.

This month's theme was "Thai One On" where we all prepared a food with a Thai theme.

I made Thai Green Curry Chicken, Thai Tea Ice Cream, and this Ginger Ice Cream with Condensed Milk Cookies. I don't know if you would call ginger ice cream a true Thai dish but I have found on menus at some local Thai restuarants and it seemed to me that it to be a good palette cleanser after dinner. I served with condensed milk cookies which could be eaten on the side with the ice cream or made into a delicious ice cream sandwich.

This recipe is from Anne Burrell and found it on Foodnetwork.com. Anne suggests to make ice cream sandwiches with molasses cookies. This is a definite Thanksgiving and/or Christmas dessert I will be making. As you can see this ice cream been served any time of year for any occasion. 

Ingredients:
  • 3 cups heavy cream
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • One 4-inch piece gingerroot, peeled and coarsely chopped
  • 6 eggs
  • Molasses Cookies, if serving as ice cream sandwiches, optional recipe follows

Directions:

  1. In a medium saucepan combine the cream, 1/2 cup of the granulated sugar, vanilla extract and ginger. Bring to a boil, turn off the heat and let sit for 1 hour.
  2. In a small bowl, combine the eggs and the remaining 1/2 cup sugar and beat to a homogeneous consistency.
  3. ring the cream-ginger mixture back to a boil and turn the heat off. Immediately strain and whisk a third of the cream mixture into the egg-sugar mixture and then immediately whisk the egg mixture back into the remaining cream mixture.
  4. Chill the mixture over an ice water bath.
  5. Churn the chilled mixture in an ice cream machine according to the manufacturer's directions. 
  6. Serve as is, or to make ice cream sandwiches (using Condsensed Milk Cookies or Anne's Molasses Cookies).
 

~Enjoy!


Condensed Milk Cookies


These roll out / cut out cookies have a soft texture and are mildly sweet with a buttery taste that I find familiar at Christmas time. They are great just plain, dipped in tea or coffee, or serve with ice cream. This recipe is from Local Milk and she made Thai Ice Cream Sandwiches using these cookies.This is what gave me the idea to make and serve them with a Ginger Ice Cream that I made last week for my cooking club's "Thai One On" dinner.

We all enjoyed the cookies with our ice cream and hot tea (they are delicious with a hot cup of tea!) 



This is a great dough to work with and the cookies freeze beautifully. They can be cut into any shape and would be great for any holiday or festivity. Decorate for any holiday with colored sugars (such as red & green sugar for Christmas, orange sugar for Halloween, pastel sugars for Easter, or whatever colors you'd like for your special holiday or festivity.)


Ingredients:

  • 3 1/2 cups all purpose flour, plus up to an additional 1/2 cup
  • 2 sticks (1 cup) butter, at room temperature
  • 3/4 cup sugar, plus extra for sprinkling (optional)
  • 1 (14 oz) can condensed milk
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 Tbsp vanilla extract

Directions:

Mix flour, baking powder, and salt in a medium bowl. Set aside.

Cream butter & sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer until fluffy. Mix in eggs, vanilla, and condensed milk.


When combined add dry ingredients about one cup at a time and mix until just combined. If mixture appears too wet add up to another 1/2 cup of flour until desired consistency.  Note: this dough will seem wet but it will chill and harden in the refrigerator before rolling out. (I did use all 4 cups of flour and the dough came out great for rolling).


Divide dough into two discs and wrap with plastic and refrigerate for at least half an hour and, if making ahead, up to three days. Dough can also be frozen at this point up to three months.


Heat oven to 350° F


Place dough on a floured work surface and roll out to 1/4-1/8 of an inch thick. Cut into desired shapes. Using a wooden skewer or other object (like the tip of a thermometer, as suggested by Local Milk) poke the cookies with holes. Sprinkle with sugar if desired.


Bake at 350° for 8-10 minutes. Cool for at least 10 minutes on racks. If using for ice cream sandwiches, place in a large ziplock bag and freeze. Otherwise they can be stored in an air tight container or frozen (and brought to room before serving).


I found these cookies to taste best after the sit for a few hours or the next day.


Enjoy!

Thai Green Curry Chicken

 
Last week our cooking club, the Taste Tempters, met for a "Thai One On" dinner theme. I prepared three dishes to bring to dinner, Thai Green Curry Chicken, Ginger Ice Cream and Condensed Milk Cookies. All of the food was great. I have to say we have some awesome cooks in this group. This Green Curry Chicken recipe is from About.com. It looks really complicated but if you make the green curry paste ahead of time (even the day before), it's real easy to prepare.

If you like Thai food this recipe is a must try!
Ingredients:
  • GREEN CURRY PASTE:
  • 4 small green Thai chilies, OR substitute 1 to 2 jalapeno peppers
  • 1/4 cup shallot OR purple onion, diced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 thumb-size piece galangal OR ginger, grated
  • 1 stalk fresh minced lemongrass OR 3 Tbsp. frozen or bottled prepared lemongrass
  • 1/2 tsp. ground coriander
  • 1/2 tsp. ground cumin
  • 3/4 to 1 tsp. shrimp paste
  • 1 (loose) cup fresh coriander/cilantro leaves and stems, chopped
  • 1/2 tsp. ground white pepper (can be purchased at some supermarkets, OR at Asian food stores)
  • 3 Tbsp. fish sauce
  • 1 tsp. brown sugar
  • 2 Tbsp. lime juice
  • CURRY INGREDIENTS:
  • 1 to 1.5 lbs. (about 0.7 kg) boneless chicken thigh or breast, cut into chunks
  • 1 can coconut milk
  • 4 kaffir lime leaves (can be purchased frozen at most Asian food stores), OR substitute 1 tsp. grated lime zest
  • 1 red bell pepper, seeded and cut into chunks
  • 1 zucchini, sliced lengthwise several times, then cut into chunks
  • Generous handful fresh basil
  • 2 Tbsp. coconut oil or other vegetable oil
Preparation:
  1. Place all the "green curry paste" ingredients together in a food processor, and process to a paste. If necessary, add a few Tbsp. of the coconut milk to help blend ingredients. Set aside.
  2. Prepare the lime leaves by tearing the leaf away from either side of the stem. Discard the central stem. Then, using scissors, cut leaves into thin strips. Set aside.
  3. Warm a wok or large frying pan over medium-high heat. Add the oil and swirl around, then add the green curry paste.
  4. Stir-fry briefly to release the fragrance (30 seconds to 1 minute), then add 3/4 of the coconut milk, reserving 2-3 Tbsp. per serving portion for later.
  5. Add the chicken, stirring to incorporate. When the curry sauce comes to a boil, reduce heat to medium or medium-low, until you get a nice simmer.
  6. Cover and allow to simmer 3-5 more minutes, or until chicken is cooked through. Stir occasionally.
  7. Add the red bell pepper and zucchini, plus the strips of lime leaf (or lime zest), stirring well to incorporate. Simmer another 2-3 minutes, or until vegetables are softened but still firm and colorful.
  8. Do a taste-test for salt, adding 1-2 Tbsp. fish sauce if not salty enough. If you'd prefer a sweeter curry, add a little more sugar. If too salty, add a squeeze of lime or lemon juice. If too spicy, add more coconut milk. Note that this curry should be a balance of salty, spicy, sweet and sour, plus bitter (the bitter is found in the fresh basil garnish).
  9. Serve this curry in bowls with Thai jasmine rice on the side, allowing guests to add their own. Top each portion with fresh basil, then drizzle over 2-3 Tbsp. coconut milk.
 Enjoy!