Sunday, July 25, 2010

Sausage & Peppers, plain & simple

Every once in a while you need good, home made take you back home kinda food. There are a few things that do this for me... Sausage & Peppers is one of these. I have a crockpot recipe on here.. but here's a recipe for when you want it now. When I'm just making it for myself & the kid it takes roughly 45 minutes but will take longer if you're making more than a pound of sausage. I use shortcuts, I'm not gonna lie to y'all. a bag of frozen mixed pepper strips and onions is cheaper than buying them fresh and are just as good, the only thing is you have to increase the cooking time a bit.

Here's what you need:

1 Tbs olive oil
1 pound Italian Sausage
1 bag frozen peppers & onions (or 2-3 fresh bell peppers cut into strips and 1 large yellow onion)
fresh basil
a little salt to taste

I will sometimes add a little diced red potato to the mix while the peppers & onions are cooking for a little extra texture and substance

Add the oil to the pan and heat until the oil is hot, but not smoking hot.

Add the peppers & onions and let them cook 3-4 minutes stirring occasionally.

Push the pepper mix to the side of the pan and add the sausage, turning every few minutes until browned.

Once the sausage is evenly browned slice them up and add them back to the pan with the pepper mix and cook until the peppers & onions are browned and the sausage is cooked through.

Add chopped fresh basil and a little salt to taste and you can eat it as is or on fresh Italian bread.

two really awesome cakes for one great girl

Today was my cousin April's baby shower.. I made one cake.. I bought the other cake from Rosie's, a local Italian bakery that opened a few months ago... my cake was totally inedible. NOT because I messed it up, but because it was a diaper cake (and lets not discuss the fact that I'm still living in this apartment with no A/C) and baking or even turning the oven on for any reason whatsoever is totally out of the question until it's not 85°f in here as the median temperature for at least 2 days.

This is by far the biggest diaper cake I've ever made, and I've made quite a few over the past few years. I used 2/3's of a case of Huggies and every single diaper is usable because they're folded and not rolled. Diaper cakes made with rolled diapers are basically unusable when you're done with it because the integrity of the diaper is compromised. Granted, doing it the folded way takes time and patience but it's so worth it. Along with the burp cloths that are wrapped around the 2nd tier there are goodies inside the diaper cake also, some baby wash, a bottle brush and baby shampoo, not only give some structure to the cake, but as a little extra surprise too.

Now.. for the Real cake:

I ordered the cake from Rosie's, which I've blogged about here and here bragging about their amazing cappuccino and raving about the cupcakes and I'll be honest, I hadn't tried the cake before.. but I was a firm believer that it was going to be amazing.. and it was! The cake was moist and fresh and I was really pleased when everyone kept commenting on how good it was.

To be honest, everything I've ever gotten from Rosie's was amazing and everything is always fresh... and their staff.. amazing, absofreakinglutely the nicest people and I'm so glad that they moved their bakery into my neighborhood. I can count on going to Rosie's any day of the week and not being disappointed, whether the kid wants a mango smoothie, I need my morning coffee, a loaf of fresh baked bread, I'm craving a cupcake or any of the other pastries they have fresh daily they are always sure to deliver.

Will I order another cake from Rosie's? Absolutely! Maybe next time I'll order a dozen cupcakes too.

Friday, July 23, 2010

My garden...well, in a city not having your own yard kinda way

Greek Oregano
Chocolate Mint
there will hopefully be strawberries here soon
teeny tomatoes
Lavender buds

Monday, July 12, 2010

My Review of Automatic Frozen Yogurt-Ice Cream & Sorbet Maker in White

Originally submitted at CSN Stores

Whatever your style, the Cuisinart Automatic Frozen Yogurt-Ice Cream & Sorbet Maker will help make a delicious frozen dessert to match it! Make fat-free sorbets, low-fat frozen yogurts and rich ice creams up to 1-1/2 quarts, quick and easy!


Excellent ice cream maker

By ChefAsh from NY on 7/12/2010


5out of 5

Pros: Compact Size, Easy to Use, Quick

Best Uses: Custom Flavors, Frozen Lattes, Sorbets

Describe Yourself: Avid Cook

This is a very versatile ice cream maker, it's very easy to make your mixture and go with it. the internal freezer is easy to clean and does a good job freezing the ice cream during the cycle. You will, however end up with a mixture that is very close to soft serve when the 30 minute cycle is done, so if you're looking for a more solid ice cream factor in at least an additional 2-3 hours to let the ice cream harden up.

All in all, it's a great product. I love having the ability to make ice cream on a whim and try different flavors with fresh ingredients.


Ice cream making tips

Whole milk makes the creamiest ice cream.

If you want to use low fat (not fat free) milk add 1 package unflavored gelatin to 1 cup of the milk that has been heated, let it dissolve for at least one minute and add that to the remaining milk mixture before adding to the ice cream maker.

Make sure that your ice cream maker is chilled (if you have one with an insert like mine)

If you're using pure vanilla extract in your ice cream be careful how much you add, too much will inhibit the ice cream from freezing properly (Trust me on this one, I learned the hard way with a batch that nearly refused to freeze)

Always store your ice cream in an airtight container.

I haven't moved onto custard ice creams yet (cooked base made with eggs) when I so I'm sure I will have more to add to this list.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Rocky Road Ice Cream

This was really easy to make and OMG is is delicious! I wanted to make this sooner, but with this crazy NY heatwave and no Air conditioning in my apartment ice cream wasn't going to come together too easily, especially when it's warmer inside sometimes than it is outside. Yesterday it was overcast and cooler than it's been in a while so I decided it was as good a time as any to get moving on this ice cream idea that's been in my head for over a week.

Rocky Road Ice Cream

3 Cups Milk
1 Cup heavy cream
1 1/2 Cup sugar
1 1/2 tsp. Vanilla
1/4 cup cocoa powder
1/2 cup mini marshmallows
1/4 cup chocolate covered peanuts

warm 1 1/2 cups milk in a medium bowl on high heat in the microwave for 45 seconds.
Add remaining milk and cream to bowl and stir well.
Stir in vanilla
Pour mixture into ice cream maker.

Watch your time carefully and add the marshmallows and peanuts in the last 5 minutes of the ice cream cycle, slowly so they don't clump together and become evenly incorporated into the ice cream.

Pour ice cream into covered, air tight container and freeze for 3-4 hours until set.

This was the ice cream straight out of the ice cream maker.. it barely made it into the freezer, lol.