Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Strawberry Sauce, SL1987

When I told The Mister that I was planning to make a cheesecake ice cream for our dinner party, he immediately hinted that strawberries taste great on cheesecake. The next day, after work, the Mister returned home with a container of fresh strawberries and repeated that strawberries are tasty with cheesecake. I took that as my cue to come up with a way to incorporate strawberries into the cheesecake ice cream.

I must admit that the Mister's instincts were spot on (don't tell him I said that though!) as the strawberry sauce added a wonderful flavor and sweetness to the cheesecake ice cream. Our guests agreed.

Strawberry Sauce

Adapted from the Southern Living 1987 Annual Recipes, Page 198
  • water
  • 10 Ounces strawberries (I used fresh. The recipe calls for frozen.)
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp cornstarch
  • 1 Tbsp lemon juice
  • sugar* see note, the recipe omits this item
I put the strawberries in a bowl with measuring demarcations and filled the bowl with water to the 2 cup line.

In a saucepan, I mixed the cornstarch and lemon juice. I added a little of the strawberry water and continued mixing until the cornstarch dissolved. Next, I added the remaining strawberries and water to the cornstarch mix and cooked over medium-low heat, stirring every five minutes for the first 30 minutes. After cooking for 30 minutes, I then began stirring more frequently watching the strawberries start to thicken. When the sauce thickened, I added one tablespoon of sugar to sweeten it a little. I allowed the sauce to cool and then refrigerated it for three hours before serving.

*Note: I followed the recipe as written in the cookbook at first, but when I tasted the strawberry sauce, it wasn't quite sweet enough so I added one tablespoon of sugar while cooking.

Thursday, June 12, 2014

St. Simons Island, GA

The Mister had to travel to coastal Georgia for work so I tagged along. While he was at work, I ventured through the town peering into antique shops. On his day off, we drove to St. Simons Island which at one time served as a very important location for navigational trade of sea cotton and oak.

Clockwise from top left: Lightkeeper's Dwelling with Lighthouse in the background; The Maritime Center; A.W. Jones Heritage Center home of the Coastal Georgia Historical Society; and Moss draping from the oak trees
We visited the St. Simons Lighthouse built in 1872 and using its original Fresnel lens, it continues to shine a beacon of light out to sea to this day. After walking through the Lightkeeper's House attached to the lighthouse, The Mister and I climber the lighthouse's 129 stairs to take in the view from the top. Unfortunately, it was raining so what we could see was limited. I can only imagine the view from the top on a clear day!

We also visited The Maritime Center which documents life as a Coast Guardsman of the 1940s. The exhibits at The Maritime Center were very hands-on and informative, not only of the Coast Guard Station, but also of the wildlife and plant life of the area and the impact of World War II on St. Simons Island.

Two aspects of St. Simons that I was absolutely delighted to observe were the moss draped oaks that lined the streets and the wide southern porches so typical in this area.

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Chocolate Ice Cream (DL style)

This ice cream recipe was adapted from the recipe posted by David Lebovitz. I served it at a dinner we hosted and much of it was consumed before I was able to take a photo, hence the extremely melted photo provided here was the only one I managed to snap. The ice cream received rave reviews from our dinner guests and from The Mister. I was told by one guest that it was the best chocolate ice cream he had eaten. (Thanks for the recipe David Lebovitz!) I mixed the ice cream with homemade brownie bites using the Basic Brownies recipe and homemade marshmallows to create Brownie and Marshmallow Chocolate Ice Cream.


Chocolate Ice Cream

Recipe adapted from David Lebovitz's Chocolate Ice Cream Recipe
  • 3 cups half and half
  • 4 teaspoons corn starch
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 2 Tbsp light corn syrup
  • 5 Tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder (I used Hershey's Cocoa Natural Unsweetened.)
  • 4.5 ounces milk chocolate morsels
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
In a small bowl, I mixed about 1/3 cup of half and half and the corn starch and set aside.
On the stove, I heated the remaining half and half, sugar, and corn syrup stirring constantly until the liquid started to boil. Then I added the cocoa powder and allowed it to boil for four minutes, according to the instructions. When four minutes passed, I poured the corn starch mix from the small bowl into the heated liquid, continuing to stir for another minute before turning off the heat and adding the chocolate morsels, salt, and vanilla. I stirred until the chocolate was melted, but had some chunks from the cornstarch. I strained the mix into a bowl which went immediately into the refrigerator to cool. After an hour in the refrigerator, I moved the bowl into the freezer for a few hours to get completely cold before placing the liquid into the ice cream maker.

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Multipurpose Space Reveal

The space we use as an office, craft room, and mudroom seems to be in a constant state of flux. Almost as soon as I am able to clear the space, it becomes the storage space for new projects and materials so trying to get final pictures has been challenging. While I would call this space 100% complete, I would like to add some comfortable seating in the future, it is complete for now.

After coming up with a plan to get the office into shape, we have spent the last few months implementing the plan by re-purposing a buffet, building a bookshelf in an otherwise unusable space, hanging a 67" wide by 48" tall pegboard, and building a shoe cubby to tame our shoe problem.

Here's what the office looked like before:
A photo of the room right after we bought the house
The Office in Jan 2013
The Office in Jan 2013
And here's what it looks like now.
Shoe Cubby on the left. The buffet and pegboard store my craft supplies. 
File storage and more fabric storage in the bookcase
I would like to add some artwork to the space. Also, I am still on the hunt for a seating arrangement to be placed where the small wood table is now. In my mock ups for the room, I indicated that we would like to use this space as a guest room and that continues to be the case. 

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Pina Colada Ice Cream

When one of my mom's coworker's returned from a cruise, she gifted everyone with a bottle of rum. Since we are not rum drinkers, we have been trying to find creative ways to use up the bottle. Mom has successfully made pound cake using the rum as part of the liquid. Since summer has descended on the south, I decided to look up several ice cream recipes using rum. I compiled several from the Allrecipes website and modified the recipes to fit the ingredients we had in our pantry.

The pina colada ice cream was well received at a dinner we attended. The Mister said that this recipe is a keeper and great for hot summer days.


Pina Colada Ice Cream

Adapted from several recipes from the Allrecipes website
  • 2 bananas
  • 20 oz pineapple chunks
  • 3/4 cup cream of coconut
  • 1 cup rum (I used Bicardi Limon Citrus Rum.)
  • 12 oz evaporated milk
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 2 cups whipping cream
This recipe makes two batches in my ice cream maker, so I set aside two bowls.

In a blender, blend the bananas, pineapple chunks, cream of coconut, and rum leaving the pineapple coarsely chopped. Pour half the mix in one bowl and half in the second bowl. Mix the evaporated milk, whole milk, and whipping cream. I just poured the milks in the blender and gave it a quick whirl. Pour half the milk in the first bowl and half in the second. Stir to mix the fruit and milk. I then put the bowls in the freezer according to my ice cream maker's directions to get the liquid very cold. Approximately two hours later, I attached the ice cream maker to the mixer and poured one bowl of cold liquid into the ice cream maker, creating the first batch of ice cream. After refreezing the ice cream maker, I attached the ice cream maker to the mixer and poured the second bowl of cold liquid into the ice cream maker, creating the second batch of ice cream.