Easy Strawberry Coconut Ice Cream.

What, no Daring Cooks this month? Nope, I put it off too long and with the heat I'm just not wanting to put effort into cooking. It happens... far too often. I'm lazy, indecisive, and procrastinate all the time.

I bought an ice cream maker at the beginning of summer and only just used it the first time last night. I couldn't decide what flavor to make... all the yummy-sounding ones involved too much effort. Or I was missing ingredients and too lazy/broke to go to the store for them.

Yesterday I decided I wanted ice cream. But I was almost out of milk - had to save it for my son's morning sippy. And I had no cream. And only two eggs. Which pretty much meant nothing I could make ice cream with. So I improvised. Tastily.

One thing to note: I don't recommend trying this in a 1 1/2 quart ice cream maker. It worked but was just a little bit too much. Also, it froze much much faster than I expected, about 5-7 minutes, but I had chilled it in a bowl in the freezer and it was already semi frozen around the edges.

Strawberry Coconut Ice Cream

2 cans coconut milk (not light. and not coconut cream. I've heard the stuff in the carton works but I don't have that on hand.)
1 lb strawberries*
1/2c sugar (or more to taste. Remember that as the ice cream freezes it'll taste less sweet so you might want a little more than usual.)

Combine coconut milk, sugar and half the strawberries in a blender and puree until smooth. Adjust sweetness. Pour into bowl and chill until cold, or freeze for an hour or so. Then pour into ice cream maker following manufacturer's directions.

Chop the remaining strawberries into small chunks and add just before the ice cream maker is done.

Makes about 2 quarts.

* I used slightly less strawberries, only because my son loves them and kept begging for them.

Daring Cooks July!

Well, it's that time again. Someday I'll manage to post here more than just for the Daring Cooks!

The July 2010 Daring Cooks’ Challenge was hosted by Margie of More Please and Natashya of Living in the Kitchen with Puppies. They chose to challenge Daring Cooks to make their own nut butter from scratch, and use the nut butter in a recipe. Their sources include Better with Nut Butter by Cooking Light Magazine, Asian Noodles by Nina Simonds, and Food Network online.

I was originally planning to make a beef curry with homemade peanut butter, but with the recent heat wave I decided on something cold instead: Cold Peanut Soba.

I'm not even sure this counts as a recipe, it's so easy. I should make it more often. I also used some of the nut butter to make a peanut sauce for dipping gyoza. I loved it so much more than store-bought peanut sauces or even the ones I've made with regular peanut butter. I think nut butter will be a staple from now on.

Peanut Soba

4 bundles soba noodles
1/4 c ground peanuts
1/4 c soy sauce
1 Tb sesame oil
1 tsp sugar (or more depending)
1 tsp sriracha (or more if you like it spicy)

Boil the noodles for about 3 minutes or according to package directions. drain and rinse with cold water, and put into a bowl

In a small bowl, mix together the peanuts and soy sauce and sesame oil to form the sauce. Add sugar and sriracha, adjust to taste. Pour over cold noodles and mix in so each noodle is coated. Serves 4-6.


I could have sworn I posted earlier but it looks like either Blogger ate my post or I did something silly (probably the latter!)

I did my Daring Cooks challenge on time for once even, and here I am posting almost half a month late! Better late than never I guess!

Our hostesses this month, Evelyne of Cheap Ethnic Eatz, and Valerie of a The Chocolate Bunny, chose delicious pate with freshly baked bread as their June Daring Cook’s challenge! They’ve provided us with 4 different pate recipes to choose from and are allowing us to go wild with our homemade bread choice.

I chose to make the vegetable pate because I couldn't get a local source of pork liver in time for the challenge. I had most of what I needed on hand and it turned out delicious. I chose to make my standard basic loaf of bread from Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day because I'm still severely lacking in kitchen space and it doesn't need room for kneading.

The basic vegetable pate recipe:

Tricolor Vegetable Pâté
Yields one 25 by 12,5 cm (10 by 5 inch) terrine or loaf pan

Line your pan with plastic wrap, overlapping sides.

White Bean Layer
2 x 15-ounce / 900 ml cans cannellini (white kidney beans), rinsed, drained thoroughly
1 tbsp / 15 ml fresh lemon juice
1 tbsp / 15 ml olive oil
1 tbsp / 15 ml minced fresh oregano or 1 teaspoon dried
2 garlic cloves, pressed

Mash beans in large bowl. Add lemon juice, olive oil, oregano and garlic and blend until smooth. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Spread bean mixture evenly on bottom of prepared pan.

Red Pepper Layer
7-ounce / 210 ml jar roasted red bell peppers, drained, chopped
3/4 cup / 180 ml crumbled feta cheese (about 4 ounces)

Combine peppers and feta in processor and blend until smooth. Spread pepper mixture evenly over bean layer in prepared dish.

Pesto Layer
2 garlic cloves
1 cup / 240 ml fresh basil leaves
1 cup / 240 ml fresh Italian parsley leaves
1/4 cup / 60 ml toasted pine nuts
3 tbsp / 45 ml olive oil
1/2 cup / 120 ml low-fat ricotta cheese

Mince garlic in processor. Add basil, parsley and pine nuts and mince. With machine running, gradually add oil through feed tube and process until smooth. Mix in ricotta. Spread pesto evenly over red pepper layer.

Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.

To unmold, invert pâté onto serving platter. Peel off plastic wrap from pâté. Garnish with herb sprigs and serve with sourdough bread slices.

My notes: I halved the white bean layer - and forgot to halve the garlic (oh darn) and it turned out good, with lots of garlic bite. My red pepper layer was soupy in the food processor so I added half a can of black beans to give it some substance. Also turned out good.

The best though was the pesto layer. I used about half a cup of garlic scape "pesto" (garlic scapes run through the food processor with olive oil) and only a bit of basil, and a handful of plain pine nuts(not toasted, straight out of the bag). I didn't measure the ricotta but was probably closer to 3/4c. I loved this layer and sneaked a few spoonfuls right from the processor. Even my one-year-old loved it. But he loves most everything.

Anyhow, here's the pics:


And the pate:

Quickie - Daring Cooks May Challenge

Just a quick post, I'll put up photos later when I unearth the camera. Moving still sucks and we're hoping to get most of the last bits this weekend - somehow we managed to forget my grill when the movers came, as well as our very heavy air conditioner.

Anyhow, I did get our Cinco de Mayo Daring Cook's challenge done - a couple days late for cinco de mayo but who's counting? Hubby loved it, and so did I! Definitely going to be made again - though not until I have my grill here so I can roast the peppers on it - the oil kept splattering onto the element and smoking, I thought I was going to start a fire!

Our hosts this month, Barbara of Barbara Bakes and Bunnee of Anna+Food have chosen a delicious Stacked Green Chile & Grilled Chicken Enchilada recipe in celebration of Cinco de Mayo! The recipe, featuring a homemade enchilada sauce was found on www.finecooking.com and written by Robb Walsh.


1½ pounds Fresh Anaheim chiles (about eight 6 to 8 inch chiles) 24 ounces 678 grams - roast, peel, remove seeds, chop coarsely. Other green chiles (NOT bell peppers) could probably be substituted but be conscious of heat and size!)
7-8 ounces Tomatillos (about 4-5 medium)212 grams - peel, remove stems
4 cups Chicken broth (32 ounces/920 grams)
1 clove Garlic, minced
2 teaspoons yellow onion, minced
1 teaspoon dried oregano
½ tsp Kosher salt (add more to taste)
¼ tsp Black Pepper (add more to taste)
2 tablespoons Cornstarch (dissolve in 2 tablespoons water, for thickening)
Hot sauce, your favorite, optional
2 Boneless chicken breasts (you can also use bone-in chicken breasts or thighs)
3 tablespoons Olive oil or other neutral vegetable oil (use more as needed)
Kosher salt and pepper
12 Small Corn tortillas (5-6 inch/13-15 cm). (you can also use wheat tortillas or other wraps)
6 ounces grated Monterey Jack, 170 grams (other cheeses (cheddar, pepper jack, Mexican cheeses) can be used. Just be sure they melt well and complement the filling)
Cilantro for garnish, chopped and sprinkled optional


Roasting Fresh Chiles

1. Coat each chile with a little vegetable oil. If you are doing only a couple chiles, using the gas stove works. For larger batches (as in this recipe), grilling or broiling is faster.
2. Lay the oiled chiles on the grill or baking sheet (line pan with foil for simpler clean-up). Place the grill or broil close to the element, turning the chiles so they char evenly. They should be black and blistered.
3. As they are completely charred (they will probably not all be done at once), remove them to a bowl and cover with plastic, or close up in a paper bag. Let them rest until they are cool.
4. Pull on the stem and the seed core MAY pop out (it rarely does for me). Open the chile and remove the seeds. Turn the chile skin side up and with a paring knife, scrape away the skin. Sometimes it just pulls right off, sometimes you really have to scrape it.

Green Chile Sauce

1. Put a medium saucepan of water on to boil and remove the papery outer skin from the tomatillos. Boil the tomatillos until soft, 5 to 10 minutes. You can also grill the tomatillos until soft.
2. Drain and puree in a blender or food processor.
3. Return the tomatillos to the saucepan along with the chicken broth, chopped green chiles, minced onion, oregano, garlic, salt and pepper.
4. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat and then reduce the heat and simmer for 10 minutes.
5. Add the cornstarch/water mixture and stir well. Simmer, stirring occasionally, until the sauce is thickened and reduced to 4-5 cups, another 10-15 minutes.
6. Adjust seasonings and add hot sauce if you want a little more heat.

Stacked Green Chile and Grilled Chicken Enchiladas

1. Heat a gas grill to medium high or build a medium-hot charcoal Coat the chicken with olive oil and season well with salt and pepper. Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
2. Grill the chicken until just cooked through, 4-5 minutes a side for boneless chicken breasts.
3. Cool and then slice into thin strips or shred.
4. In a small skillet, heat 3 tablespoons oil over medium-high heat until very hot. Dip the edge of a tortilla into the oil to check – it should sizzle immediately.
5. Using tongs, put a tortilla into the pan and cook until soft and lightly brown on each side, about 15-20 seconds per side (at the most).
6. Drain on paper towels.
7. Add oil as needed and continue until all 12 tortillas are done.
8. In a baking dish large enough to hold four separate stacks of tortillas, ladle a thin layer of sauce.
9. Lay four tortillas in the dish and ladle another ½ cup (4 ounces/112 grams) of sauce over the tortillas.
10. Divide half the chicken among the first layer of tortillas, top with another ½ cup of sauce and 1/3 of the grated cheese.
11. Stack another four tortillas, top with the rest of the chicken, more sauce and another third of the cheese.
12. Finish with the third tortilla, topped with the remaining sauce and cheese.
13. Bake until the sauce has thickened and the cheese melted, about 20 minutes. Let rest for 5-10 minutes.
14. To serve, transfer each stack to a plate. Spoon any leftover sauce over the stacks and sprinkle with cilantro, if you wish. The stacks may also be cooked in individual gratin dishes.

Brunswick Stew

I joined the Daring Bakers and Daring kitchen recently, however I severely underestimated the amount of time I'd have and haven't ended up participating the last couple months, despite the best of intentions.

So I realized about 2 weeks ago that the Daring Kitchen challenge was coming up and I still hadn't even looked at the recipe.

Of course, life likes to throw curveballs. In our case, it was the sudden appearance of a foreclosure notice on our front door. Our landlord apparently didn't pay her mortgage. So a week or so spent hunting for a new place to live ensued, and we're now moving to a house... an honest to god real house, with a backyard. I'm giving up my nice gas stove and spacious kitchen for a cramped nearly-claustrophobic kitchen that nonetheless has plenty of counter space. But we'll have a backyard for the little one to play in once it dries out enough (does the ground ever dry out in Seattle? I'm beginning to wonder...)

I realized today was reveal day, so I quickly gathered stuff for the recipe and threw it together for supper tonight. It turned out pretty good despite the liberties I had to take with it.

The 2010 April Daring Cooks challenge was hosted by Wolf of Wolf’s Den. She chose to challenge Daring Cooks to make Brunswick Stew. Wolf chose recipes for her challenge from The Lee Bros. Southern Cookbook by Matt Lee and Ted Lee, and from the Callaway, Virginia Ruritan Club.

Brunswick Stew

2 ½ lb TOTAL diced stewed chicken, turkey, and ham, with broth - yes, all three meats
3 medium diced potatoes
2 medium ripe crushed tomatoes
2 medium diced onions
3 cups/ 689.76 grams / 24.228oz frozen corn
1 ½ cups / 344.88 grams / 12.114oz frozen lima beans
4-5 strips crumbled bacon
½ stick / 4 tablespoons / ¼ cup / 56.94 grams / 2oz of butter
1 Tablespoon / 14.235 grams / .5 oz sugar
1 Tablespoon / 14.235 grams / .5 oz ‘Poultry Seasoning’
Dash of red pepper
2 diced carrots (optional)
Tomato juice

In large stock pot or Dutch Oven, mix all ingredients, heat until bubbly and hot. Add salt and pepper to taste. Add tomato juice as desired. Cook until all vegetables are tender. Serve hot.

I didn't have turkey so I didn't use it. I had leftover ham and stewed up a chicken breast, and used some chicken and vegetable stock I made and had in the freezer. Couldn't find canned or frozen lima beans so I didn't use them, and used strained tomatoes instead of tomato juice. Oh, and I forgot the bacon (how the world could I forget BACON!!!)

Here's my crappy photo that I remembered to take after we'd eaten already:

May not look like much, but with some buttered bread it was delicious. The combination of ham and chicken was different and really good. Hubby liked it too.

This week and upcoming changes

For some reason painkillers seem to make me more energetic, and I've been on Vicodin for several days after having three teeth pulled. I ordered two shelving units and an over-the-door hanging rack. With those, I've re-organized and cleaned out my pantry and cupboards, re-arranged the cupboards and all my appliances, pulling a few down from over-the-cabinet storage where I never get to use them because of the hassle.

I've also decided to change my blog's theme - I'm still figuring out Blogger and would like to eventually make my own theme, but for now this one works.I'm planning on posting more often, more recipes, and if I can get my act together, photos! I've signed up to join the Daring Cooks and Daring Bakers, and would like to do even more events!

And finally, here is this week's box and plans:

2 bunches Green OnionsLettuce Wraps
3 each Red Bell PeppersJuice? Freeze.
6 each Braeburn ApplesJuice
6 each Braeburn ApplesJuice
1.5 pounds ParsnipsStew
6 each Fuji ApplesJuice
1 each Bunched Orange CarrotsStew
6 each Navel OrangesJuice
2 each Red OnionsStew. Pasta. Lettuce Wraps. Store.
3 each Rio Star GrapefruitJuice
1 each Red Leaf LettuceLettuce Wraps
0.66 pound Cremini MushroomsPasta, eggs

Getting better...

Well, I used about 2/3 of the box I last posted. And last week's box is already almost gone - despite having 3 teeth pulled the day after I got it! Pears have been a problem - I never seem to use them as they don't juice very well. So I decided to start substituting for them. Of course, today I discovered a very yummy use for them! Too late for my upcoming box, but that's fine!

Pear Crisp Smoothie

1 ripe pear ( I used D'Anjou but I suspect any would work)
1 banana
1/2 c plain yogurt
1/4 c brown sugar
1/8 c old-fashioned oats (any are fine, I just happened to have some of these on hand)

Process in blender until smooth.

Oh man, best smoothie I've made in ages. Next time I want to try it with a frozen banana - I think the creamy texture that frozen bananas add would help a lot since I don't like to add ice in my smoothies. Time to start keeping them on hand!

In other news, I'm getting some shelving units tomorrow, and can start reducing my kitchen clutter! I'm very excited about this, as my biggest kitchen complaint (aside from the never-ending dishes) is no room! Of course, the piles of dishes add to that, and shelves won't fix that problem.

I'm also getting a few baking supplies and can't wait to start using them! A cake decorating set, a pastry mat for rolling out doughs - I never have enough counterspace for pie crusts or kneading bread.