Home Cookin’!

Some things I’ve made lately.

Chocolate chip cookies from Joy of Cooking, which is by far the best recipe out there, way better than Toll House. Also instead of using regular chocolate chips I used these yummy little dark chocolate disks by Felchlin that I chopped up a little. Super tasty.

Chocolate chip cookies, yum.

Chocolate chip cookies, yum.

Grandma's vintage cookie jar

Grandma's vintage cookie jar

Have you ever done this? Made yogurt cheese? You just put a carton of plain yogurt into a strainer lined with a coffee filter or paper towel and let all the whey drain out of it. I’ve done this a bunch of times, just draining it a little to take out some of the sour taste in nonfat yogurt but still using it like normal yogurt. But this time I let it sit way too long for my usual use and it really did turn into cheese. I went out of town shortly after I made this so I didn’t wind up using it. I’m sure I can google it, but if you’ve ever made yogurt cheese, what do you do with it?

Yogurt cheese
Yogurt cheese

Look at all that whey! I’ve read that you should save it to use in muffins and baked goods.

Yogurt cheese whey

Yogurt cheese whey

Pineapple agua fresca

Pineapple agua fresca

I love this confetti corn recipe from Barefoot Contessa Back to Basics. I change it up a little based on what I have in the house. This time I used corn, bell pepper, green onion, and basil. Anyway, you should try it, cuz it’s really really good.

Confetti corn from The Barefoot Contessa

Confetti corn from The Barefoot Contessa

You basically saute the veggies  in some olive oil till they’re how you like them, then melt some butter in the pan and add the corn. Cook the corn for a few minutes till it tastes like you like it. Add the chopped up basil, salt and pepper and yum!

Confetti corn from The Barefoot Contessa

Confetti corn from The Barefoot Contessa

I made some vanilla ice cream the other day. I found so many recipes online and most of them were pretty similar so I pretty much just made mine up. I wanted it to be more gelato-ish than ice cream-ish so I used half and half instead of heavy cream. I also don’t really like to use that many eggs in ice cream because I have a weird phobia that it will taste like raw eggs which is just gross.
So anyhow, here’s how I did it:
2 1/2 cups half and half
3/4 cup sugar
3 eggs
In a saucepan combine the half and half and vanilla and bring it to a boil.
Meanwhile mix with a mixer on medium speed the eggs and the sugar.
Once that’s mixed up good and the milk is warmed up, slowly add about a cup of the milk to the egg mixture and stir it.
Then add that whole thing back to the saucepan and cook over medium heat, stirring constantly till the mixture coats the back of the spoon and it’s a little thick.  Don’t let it boil!
Strain the mixture into a bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Let it cook in the fridge. It will take at least two hours to cool enough to make into ice cream.
Then make the ice cream in your favorite ice cream maker.
I’ve had ice cream makers in the past but this one works the best. It’s a little bit of a pain because you have to keep the bowl in the freezer all the time if you want to be able to make ice cream on the spur of the moment. It doesn’t really take THAT long for it to get frozen, tho so if you have more patience than I do, you could keep it in the cupboard and put in the freezer the night before you wanted to make the ice cream.
Once the ice cream is thick and mostly frozen, you can eat it right away for a soft serve type gelato. Or you can put it into a container and into the freezer for awhile till it’s hard.  The picture below was after I had frozen it and it was harder. I just wasn’t ready to have ice cream when it was at the gelato stage!  Next time I will plan the timing better because I like it at the gelato stage better.
Homemade vanilla ice cream

Homemade vanilla ice cream

It was also yummy in a sundae.
Homemade chocolate sauce is so easy you won’t believe you never made it before. Plus, it is soooooooooooo much tastier than store bought. You just get some chocolate chips (I used the Felchlin ones) and some cream or half and half. Melt the chips and the cream or half and half in a small saucepan. Start out with a small amount of the cream or half and half and keep adding it till it’s the thickness you like. Don’t worry about making too much. If you store it in the fridge it gets sort of truffle-like and you can eat it with a spoon as a snack.
Homemade vanilla ice cream with homemade chocolate sauce, bananas, strawberries, and peanuts

Homemade vanilla ice cream with homemade chocolate sauce, bananas, strawberries, and peanuts

This recipe makes enough for several sundaes!

This recipe makes enough for several sundaes!

Last week we had my friend Janel and her new sorta boyfriend over for dinner on the deck. I’ve been wanting to make pizzas on the grill for awhile so that’s what we did.
Janel and Ben

Janel and Ben

Appetizers out on the deck
Appetizers out on the deck
Grilled pizza

Grilled pizza

Grilled pizza

Grilled pizza

Grilled pizza

Grilled pizza

It’s actually really easy to do and they come out really good. Next time I do it, I’ll take more pictures and make a post with more descriptions, and maybe some topping ideas, too. Please post your tips and toppings, too!

The next day we had a bunch of leftover toppings so I just put them on some scrambled eggs. Mike said it was the best scrambled eggs he’d ever had!

Scrambled eggs with peppers, artichoke hearts, and chevre

Scrambled eggs with peppers, artichoke hearts, and chevre

Then back to eating healthy.

Plain yogurt with strawberries, walnuts, and maple syrup

Plain yogurt with strawberries, walnuts, and maple syrup