You should be thankful I had my eyes dilated at the optometrist today.
Why you ask? It's barely rained in the last two or three weeks. And I just feel guilty for being inside when it's so nice outside. That's what Seattle has done to me.
But today, I went to the optometrist to get a new contact prescription, because my last one expired two weeks before I tired to reorder contacts online so I couldn't...anyway. I'm at the eye doctor and before I know what's happening the doctor gives me those dilating eye drops. Makes me wait fifteen minutes, then finishes the exam and tells me I'm good to go.
Here's the problem, its still sunny and my eyes are totally dilated. I felt sort of blind and going outside still hurts my eyes. This is why I'm inside on a nice day sharing this amazing recipe with you.
This is fairly labor intensive and has a few steps but it is SO worth it. This ice cream is sweet, tart with cookie crumbles mixed in. And it really highlights rhubarb, which is just starting to get stellar. If you know someone who grows it go steal it from their garden, if not go pick it up at the grocery store.
The pictures above show the steps for making the rhubard compote. Really simple and just involves chopping the rhubarb and letting it cook and break down with sugar.
Now we get to make the custard. Vanilla bean, eggs, sugar, whole milk and whipping cream combined to make a delicious, thick, rich custard base.
After you make the custard base you let it cool in the refrigerator overnight (I did two days) or set it in an ice bath to cool more quickly if you're making it for that day.
The final thing to make before combining the three parts is the ginger & honey cookies.
To make the cake flour for the cookies I used Joy's instructions found here. It gets a little messy but is easier than putting real pants on, going to the store and buying some.
Another not-so-pro tip, I also just used my coffee grinder to make oat flour out of regular oats.
It all comes together to make a slightly sticky dough that will be refrigerated for 30 minutes, rolled out, cut into cookies and baked. Yum. They're good enough to make on their own.
Finally, it all comes together. After you use your ice cream machine to make the custard, that is. Layers of the vanilla custard, rhubarb compote and crumbled cookies.
Frozen for a few hours and then served to anxious guests. Or yourself for a mid-afternoon snack.
Rhubarb Custard Ice Cream with Honey & Ginger Cookies
1/4 cup cane sugar (regular sugar would be okay too)
squeeze of lemon juice
1) Combine rhubarb and sugar in a small or medium sauce pan and turn heat on to medium. Let it cook until rhubarb looses its shape and mixture becomes textured and lovely. This took me about 10-15 minutes. Stir occasionally.
2) When its done, squeeze lemon juice and stir to combine. Refrigerate until ready to use. About half and hour before finally combining ice cream put in the freezer.
To Make Custard:
2 cups whole milk
1 vanilla bean, cut lenthwise and scraped
6 egg yolks
1/2 cup cane (or regular) sugar
1 cup whipping cream
1) Bring whole milk, vanilla bean (and insides) to a gentle boil. Once it boils, remove from stove and let sit for 10 minutes
2) While that is cooling, whisk yolks and sugar together until light yellow and combine. Gently stir in 1/2 cup of milk, just to combine and prevent eggs from cooking when they're put on heat.
3) Add egg mixture back to saucepan, bring back to a gentle boil over medium heat, stirring constantly. It should begin to thicken after about 5 minutes. Once it's done, remove from heat and put through a fine strainer. Stir in whipping cream and refrigerate.
4) Let it cool completely before you'r making into a custard. Can stay in refrigerator overnight.
To Make Cookies:
1/3 cup butter, room tempreature
1/3 cup sugar
1 large egg
1 tbsp honey
1/2 tsp ginger juice, from grated ginger
2/3 cup oat flour
1 cup cake flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
pinch of salt
1) Sift together oats, cake flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside
2) Mix together butter and sugar and creamy. Add in egg, honey and ginger. Next, using a spatula, add in dry ingredients all at once and fold in until ingredients are all combine. Batter will be sticky.
3) Form into ball and refrigerate for about 30 minutes. When it's ready, preheat oven to 320. Roll out dough into sheet 1/3 inch thick and cut into 2 inch squares.
4) Make on cookie sheet covered with parchment paper for 15-20 minutes or until golden brown. Let cool for 2 minutes on cookie sheet, then on rack until room temperature. Store in air tight container until ready to make ice cream.
To Make Ice Cream:
1) Prepare the ice cream according to instructions for your ice cream maker. Crumbled cookies, saving a few for serving. Take rhubarb out of freezer.
2) In container for freezing, add layer of ice cream, dollop with rhubarb and sprinkle cookies; repeat for 1-2 more layers depending on the size of your container.
3) Freeze for 2-3 more hours (or overnight) and serve with extra cookie on the side. Enjoy!
This might be my favorite granola ever. I'm obviously obsessed with granola anyways, but this stuff was good! Homemade, crunchy, slightly sweet and pretty healthy. I eat it for breakfast, afternoon snack and before bedtime. Not on the same day, because that might be excessive, but it's still awesome.
I just happened to have pumpkin seeds, almonds and coconut laying around. And I've had sesame seeds for awhile. In other words I bought a huge jar for one recipe that needed 1 tablespoon for and haven't made anything with them since. To give a little more credibility to this granola I have to tell you my friend who doesn't like almonds, pumpkin seeds or sesame seeds, or coconut, said she liked this granola. (Thanks, KP!)
Some tips: mix dry ingredients first. Then the wet ones. If you have time heating the brown sugar with the oil will help the sugar dissolve but it's not totally necessary. Second, don't add the coconut until about halfway through the baking time, since it browns pretty quickly. Finally, add the dried fruit after it comes out of the oven. Make it and ENJOY.
1) Preheat oven to 350*. Mix oats, seeds and almonds into a large bowl. Sitr in salt and cinnamon.
2) In separate bowl, mix oils and sweeteners until well combined. Stir in vanilla too. Add this to the oat mixture until everything is coated. Spread on a rimmed baking sheet covered with parchment paper.
3) Bake for 40 minutes, stirring twice. About half way through baking time stir in dried coconut. When it's golden brown, take out of oven. Add in the cranberries. Leave on baking sheet until cool. Store in an airtight container. Enjoy!
Today I would officially like to declare that I am terrible at making things even sizes, particularly baked goods. Those are the honey & ginger cookies I made for some amazing ice cream (that is coming soon to the blog!). In the original blog I looked at these cookies are adorable, 2 inch squares; perfectly measured, even sides, evenly baked. I am obviously not that talented. There was even a ruler involved.
Maybe next time I'll try harder.
Seth and I are going to Turkey and Greece this summer. One week in each place and I need suggestions. So if you've been there and have advice, let me know.
One link for you: Bill Murray Stories. People share their heart-warming, hilarious encounters with Bill Murray. This makes me appreciate him even more.
I have simply the best mother in the world. Easily. I also had two awesome grandmothers. Over the course of my life my sister has become a mom, I've gained an awesome mother-in-law and two wonderful grandma's from my husband's side. There are also wonderful aunts, friends' moms and leaders in my life that have taught me excellent motherly lessons. Here are a few I'd like to share.
Every Christmas/birthday/celebration my mom at some point, usually early on like right after opening her stocking first thing, or eating breakfast, my mom declares "Oh, we could just stop right now and this would be enough." My typical reaction is to think, all you've gotten is a chapstick, lotion, good'n'plentys and a toothbrush, of course that's not enough! But clearly I'm in the wrong. My mom has this awesome attitude of the small things being enough to be thankful for and to be grateful everything.
My best friend through junior high has an awesome mom. Their family, because of their mom, had awesome celebrations for things that weren't necessarily big holidays. They got a December 1st present to start the Christmas season, waffles on Sunday mornings, and a Christmas tree dance. This is something I definitely want to embrace with my own kids, in years, when we have them.
One of the grandma's I was lucky enough to get with my marriage is one of my favorite people. She's a Southern Nana through and through; whether she's making fresh corn bread, ice cream, banana cream pie, giving presents for no reason or just watching the family spend time together you know she's doing it with love. She has this amazing attitude that whatever her grandkids want to do it's fine, eat all of the mac and cheese in one sitting? Of course. Go drive karts around and shoot at pop cans? Have fun! She's awesome and I hope I have this kind of attitude with those I love.
So here's to you mothers, especially mine, I hope you have a wonderful day and are celebrated appropriately. Love you!
Serena Frome is a young adult starting her professional life in M15, England's legendary secret service agency. She is assigned to a case, called Sweet Tooth, in which the government offers funding to authors whose policital views align with theirs. She must work with Tom Haley and obviously ends up involved with him but under the pretense she works for a freestanding literary agency. What will happen? This is by the same author as Atonement so I had some high hopes. Bottom line? I was disappointed. I never really liked Serena or the relationship she held with Tom. She is to blame for her own problems, for which I have little sympathy. I give it 2/5 stars.
The School of Essential Ingredients by Erica Bauermeister
Lillian is a woman who grew up formed by food. Mondays at her restaurant she holds a cook class that begin to influence the participants in the class. Each chapter reads about a different person in the class and how their lives are changing. Bauermeister is a lovely and simple writer. This book read beautifully, full of inspiration and charm. Lillian sounds like the kind of woman I would love to have as an aunt, poised and warm. And as an amateur cook/baker it inspires one to really stop and take time in the kitchen, to not be distracted by the things you could do while cooking and eating. I give 4/5 stars.
Living and Dying in Brick City by Sampson Davis
Davis is an emergency room doctor who spent years working at a hospital in New Jersey, down the street from where he grew up. He got himself out of a troubled childhood and into med school and went back to help the community he left. Each chapter highlights a different story from his time here and he uses that story to bring up an important issue and teach the readers something. I think since I am already in the medical profession the book was too simplistic for me. It think it would be great for people who don't know much about health but I was a little bored. On the plus side, it only took me a few hours to read. 2.5/5 stars.