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    Entries in summer (10)

    Tuesday
    Jul192011

    Ice Ice Baby

    But it's not vanilla flavoured.

    So, I don't have an ice cream maker of my own. Recipe Guy's was a ton of fun to play with, but it lives at his house, so when I want to have home made frozen treats, I have to improvise.

    It's not really improvisation though. It's just old school. Before ice cream makers, you just had to keep stirring. Just keep stirring.

    But, since I'm really kinda lazy, I only stirred every half hour or so. This is the perfect recipe for hot lazy summers. Little work, lots of payoff. And believe it or not, it's actually almost healthy.

    Melon Sorbet

    What you need:

    • 1/2 a cantaloupe
    • 2 plums
    • a few berries
    • 1 tbsp lemon juice
    • 1 tbsp orange juice
    • 1 tbsp your favourite booze
    • 1/4 c water
    • 1/4 c sugar
    • a chunk of ginger
    • 1 vanilla bean

    What you gotta do:

    Peel and slice your chunk of ginger. Put the sugar, ginger, vanilla bean and water in a pot and bring to a boil over medium heat. Let it boil for a few minutes, then remove it from the heat and let it cool. Fish out the ginger and the bean.

    I did this ahead of time and had some already handy, but Taneasha did it too when she made limeade, if you need the visual.

    To your simple syrup (that's what you just made), add your lemon juice, orange juice, and booze. I had rose liqueur on hand, but melon, lemon, lime, vanilla, or even mint would work too.

    Now, the fruit. Really, any combination would work, but there's something about cantaloupes that lends it perfectly to sorbet. The plums add contrast with their nice dark skins, and the berries fill it out with tartness. You may be tempted to add more berries. I was. It was way too tart and tangy. Go easy on them, and let them be a decoration and a source of colour rather than a main ingredient.

    Dump all the chopped fruit into the food processor.

    Give it a whirl.

    Still a little chunky. Just right. Put the lid back on and start drizzling in your syrup/juice/booze combo.

    Once it's nice and smooth, pour it into a pan.

    Any shallow pan will work. You want shallow to take advantage of surface area. It'll cool and freeze faster and you'll have a sweet summer treat faster. Alternatively you could add more booze and pour it into a tall glass with an umbrella.

    If you are determined to wait for something a little more frozen, pop it into the freezer.

    After about half an hour or so, it'll be starting to harden around the edges.

    Your goal for the next hour and a half or so is to not let it. Bust up all the frozen chunks and stir. What you're doing here is the same thing the ice cream maker does. So, yes, you could do this in the ice cream maker too. You're preventing large ice crystals from forming, and encouraging small ice crystals to form. Much more fun and tastier to eat.

    So, after turning it back into a slurry, pop it back into the freezer for another 20 minutes.

    It'll be harder and harder each time. Now, doesn't that sound fun. ;)

    Eventually, you won't want to stir it any more.

    You'll want to scrape it out of the pan (letting it warm on the counter for a few minutes first helps) and put it into bowls. You may even want to top it with whipped cream.

    Or, you may eat it so fast you forget to take pics of it.

    What's your favourite fast and easy summer treat??

     

    Friday
    Jul082011

    When life gives you limes...

    Ok, so that’s not how the saying goes, but we’re going to make limeade.  Mint limeade to be exact.  Mint and lime might sound like a strange combination, but it’s sweet yet tart, refreshing, and fabulous.  For me, it’s like summer in a glass.  It’s quick and easy, and you’ll have a whole pitcher in the fridge to get you through these miserably hot days. 

    It reqires only four ingredients:

    5 or 6 limes
    1 cup sugar
    2 sprigs of mint
    8 cups water

    The first thing we’re going to start on is the syrup.  Pour your sugar and 2 cups of the water into a saucepan.  Turn the heat to medium-high and stir frequently until the sugar has dissolved.  Continue to heat until it comes just comes to a boil. 

     

    In the meantime, make sure you wash your mint well.  Leafy herbs like this tend to get little critters down in the leaves, and personally, I prefer my limeade to be bug free. 

    When the syrup has just reached a boil, turn off the heat and throw in the mint.  Just throw it in, stems and all, and stir it into the syrup.  Allow it to steep for 5 minutes. 

    While that’s steeping, time to juice the limes.  I have to show off the nifty press juicer Hubby just bought for me.  Isn’t it purdy? 

    If you don’t have one of those, you can use any sort of citrus reamer, or even just your brute strungth.  You need 1 cup of freshly squeezed lime juice.  I was able to get that out of 5 limes, but just use however many it takes to get a cup and pour that into a glass pitcher. 

    Next, measure two cups of ice and pour in just enough water to fill the crevices.  (that’s how we know it’s really 2 cups of water)

    Pour that into the pitcher, remove the mint sprig, and pour in the hot syrup. 

    Stir until the ice has melted completely.  Add the remaining 4 cups of cold water and voila!  You have mint limeade.   

    Pour over ice, drink half of it, and refill your glass before putting the pitcher in the fridge.  If you have guests or want to feel like you’re treating yourself, garnish the pitcher and your glass with lime slices and sprigs of mint.  Relax, and enjoy!   

     

     

    Update:

    For those of you following my cross country journey, I have an exciting update.  We found a house!!  Only a handful of days left before we get to move in, and finally have a place to call home!  Here's where I'll soon be making a proper home cooked meal, something I haven't done in almost two months.

     

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