Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Spumoni

Have you ever had spumoni ice cream? It is three ice creams to make one great dessert. My friend told me how to make this dessert. It is like Neapolitan ice cream but with cherry, pistachio, and chocolate ice cream. The ice cream has candied cherries with nuts throughout it. It is easier to make this dessert with ice cream slightly softened or freshly homemade. This is the perfect dessert to serve on a hot day.
Spumoni 
1 pint of chocolate ice cream
1/2 cup hazelnuts, roasted
1 pint of cherry ice cream
1/2 cup candied cherries
1 pint of pistachio ice cream
1/2 cup pistachio, roasted

Directions:
  1. In a large bowl, combine the chocolate ice cream with the hazelnuts.
  2. Evenly spread the ice cream into a 13x10 baking dish.
  3. In a large bowl, mix the pistachio ice cream with the roasted pistachio.
  4. Evenly spread on top of the chocolate ice cream layer.
  5. In a large bowl, combine the cherry ice cream with the candied cherries.
  6. Evenly spread the cherry ice cram over the pistachio ice cream layer.
  7. Place plastic wrap on top of the ice cream and wrap well.
  8. Wrap a second time with aluminum foil.
  9. Place in the freezer.
  10. Serve once the ice cream has refrozen overnight.
  11. Serve in slices. 
One year ago...................................................Sunflower frosting.
Two years ago................................................Peach and Pluot Cobbler.
Did you already know....................................
-Spumoni originates from Italy.
-Vanilla ice cream can be substituted for the chocolate layer.
-Sometimes whip cream is folded into the ice cream.

Monday, August 18, 2014

Travel: Fort Knox

All summer, we had plans to visit Fort Knox but something would happen. A child would be in trouble. Another child was sick. The weather was a contributor to not heading up. Sometimes the beach was the trump card. Two of my Uncles from Mississippi even made it to Fort Knox before we did. Well, we finally did it. We made it to Fort Knox. The kids thought it was great with the labyrinth of tunnels. There were many places inside the fort that were dark so we had flashlights. We have plenty of pictures of the kids behind bars-it is a fort after all. 
The kids on a cannon. Blast off!
The kids climbed on everything. My sister and I were more tame. Maybe it was because we were worn out from all the stairs the kids insisted we climb. If a stairway lead to a dark place, we were there. Of course, we scared each other many times.
The kids acting sick at the old ambulance.
Also, all the kids had a partner. My sister so kindly volunteered to be my partner. At the end of our visit, my sister left me alone with the kids for a short time. Of course, I had more stairs to climb to head down to the water. I told my sister that I know she went to the car for a nap. 
The kids getting ready to conquer the fort!
We were lucky since it was a beautiful day. The sun was warm and the tunnels were cool. Most of the tunnels were dry. There were a few places water dripped down through the tunnels due to raining earlier in the day.
Let me help you up, partner!
Throughout the fort, there are cannons which the kids pretended to fire. Also, there are educational signs to learn more of the history of the fort but the kids were busy running through the tunnels. Inside the fort, the tunnels lead in one big circle.
Fort Knox has an entrance fee unless you have the State of Maine park pass or are a disabled Veteran. There is a gift shop but no dining facilities. We brought a lunch and had a picnic on the grounds. The fort does have an observatory but we skipped it since there was more than plenty for us to see.
Did you already know..........................
-In 1844, Fort Knox was established on the Penobscot River in Maine.
-Due to the British successfully invading the area twice, the Fort was built to protect the coastline. The Fort has never been attacked. 
-Fort Knox is named for the First Secretary of War: Major General Henry Knox.

Friday, August 15, 2014

Tarragon Chicken

I am always trying new chicken recipes. My husband likes chicken a lot plus it is normally an easy meal to make. Now, I do not cook with tarragon a lot but I figured I would try this recipe. I think its funny that I do not like licorice but I like tarragon. This chicken was so good. My husband loved it. I mean loved it. Sometimes it seems hard to impress my husband with my cooking but this meal did it. Of course, he didn't eat any of the green beans I served with the meal but he ate everything else. This recipe really is a keeper.
Tarragon Chicken
4 chicken breast
1/4 cup lemon juice
2 cloves of garlic
2 tsp tarragon
1 Tbsp vegetable oil
1 Tbsp butter
8 oz. mushrooms, sliced
3/4 cup heavy cream
salt and pepper to taste

Directions:
In a storage bag, combine the chicken breast, lemon juice, garlic, and tarragon.
Seal the bag and marinate in the refrigerator for 30 minutes. 
In a large skillet, heat the oil and the butter over medium heat.
Add the mushrooms and cook for 5 minutes.
Add the chicken and marinate to the skillet. Cook for 5 minutes. 
Turn the chicken over and cook for 1 minute.
Add the heavy cream  with salt and pepper.
Simmer the chicken and cook until fully cooked.
 
Adapted from 200 Meals for Two cookbook.

One year ago.......................I made Taco Quesadillas.
Two years ago.....................I made Chicken Sandwiches.
Did you already know..........
-Tarragon has a reminiscent of anise or licorice flavor.
-Only the leaves of tarragon are edible.
-Typically, the French tarragon is used in cooking.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Pineapple Syrup

My children's Nana told us how she loves pineapple pancakes. Since I've never had them before I decided to make them for us. I just made some pancakes and added pineapple pieces to the batter. We even topped the pancakes with additional pineapple. I do love fresh pineapple but I figured it was easier for my husband just to pick up a can of pineapple in pineapple juice. I asked my daughter if I should try making a syrup with the leftover pineapple juice. She said yes. My husband was skeptical. Well, the syrup was a hit. I think it would be a great topping over ice cream too.
Pineapple Syrup
1 cup pineapple juice
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup buttermilk
1 tsp arrowroot flour
6 Tbsp butter

Directions:
  1. In a small saucepan,  whisk together the pineapple juice, sugar, buttermilk, and arrowroot.
  2. Add the butter.
  3. Over medium heat, allow the mixture to simmer for 20 minutes. 
  4. Stir occasionally.
  5. Allow to cool for 5 minutes before serving.
Recipe by Jen of Sweet Morris. 

One year ago.....................................I made King Ranch Casserole.
Two years ago..................................I made Pineapple Kolaches.
Did you already...............
-Pineapples do not ripen anymore once they are picked.
-Depending on climate, a pineapple tends to take over 18 months to produce fruit.
-Pineapples may be native to South America but more pineapples are grown in the Philippines and Thailand.

Monday, August 11, 2014

Peanut Butter Pie

My son wasn't feeling the best this weekend so we stayed home. I knew the moment he was feeling better because then he was so hungry. He decided he should have two breakfasts. I asked him if he was a hobbit and he was eating his second breakfast. He told me sure. Well, I wanted to make my husband something nice so I made some peanut butter pie. Of course he liked it but he was surprised it wasn't heavy. My daughter told me it reminded her of a peanut butter cheesecake. It does have cream cheese in it. This pie taste so good.
Peanut Butter Pie
2 cups Nilla wafer cookies, crushed
1/8 cup sugar
1/2 cup butter, melted
6 oz. light cream cheese, softened

1 cup powder sugar
1 cup peanut butter
1 cup heavy cream
garnish: additional peanut butter and whip cream

Directions:
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. In a medium bowl, mix the crushed Nilla wafers, sugar, and the melted butter.
  3. Press the mixture into a pie crust.
  4. Bake for 10 minutes. 
  5. Remove from oven and allow to cool completely.
  6. In a large bowl, cream the cream cheese, powder sugar, and peanut butter until fluffy. 
  7. In a medium bowl, whisk the heavy cream until stiff peaks form.
  8. Fold the whip cream into the peanut butter mixture. 
  9. Pour the mixture into the cooled pie crust.
  10. Refrigerate the mixture for four hours.
  11. Garnish if desired, heat 1/2 cup peanut butter until liquid. Drizzle the melted peanut butter over top of the peanut butter pie.
Recipe adapted by The Neelys.

One year ago.......................I made Blueberry Pie Filling.
Did you already know..............
-In 1892, J.R.R. Tolkien was born in South Africa.
-J. R.R. Tolkien wrote The Hobbit when he was teaching at Oxford University.
-J.R.R. Tolkien was friends with fellow author C.S. Lewis.

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