Tag Archives: weekend

Sunday afternoon

Sunday afternoon is just about the perfect time for ice cream. (Although I might also argue that ten-thirty Tuesday night or five on a Friday evening are  also the perfect times for ice cream.) This particular Sunday is no exception, in fact it might be the kind of Sunday that begs for an ice cream interlude.

Enter the ice cream of choice this sunny afternoon: Cherry-Almond.

This ice cream took me three days to make. And I don’t regret a moment of it. I took it slowly, working on a piece here (Tuesday morning), another piece there (Wednesday evening) and a finally getting around to finishing it (Thursday) so that I could enjoy it this weekend. It’s a recipe from a new ice cream book I bought, Sweet Cream and Sugar Cones, from the Bi-Rite Creamery in San Fransisco.

I was drawn to this recipe – mostly because cherries were on sale and this recipe doesn’t require me to pit them. But also because in the course of making it, it creates a cherry simple syrup that is simply delicious with sparkling water. Did I mention it’s also my friend, Laura’s, favorite flavor combinations? And Laura undoubtedly deserves something special. I’ve chewed her ear off over lunch or cocktails or splitting the CSA for the past several weeks while I was working on my manuscript. So I made up a batch of ice cream just for her – although I managed to squirrel some away for myself. I ate some this afternoon with such enthusiasm that I managed to drip all over myself.

But that’s okay. It’s Sunday and I still haven’t dressed for the day.

Cherry Almond Ice Cream
adapted ever-so-slightly from Sweet Cream and Sugar Cones
makes ~1 quart
2 1/4 cups granulated sugar
1 1/2 cups water
2 cups cherries
3/4 cup raw slivered almonds
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
2 cups milk
1/4 teaspoon salt
5 egg yolks

Poach the cherries:

In a small saucepan bring the 2 1/4 cups sugar and water to a boil over medium-high heat. Once it reaches a boil, reduce heat to a gentle simmer and add the cherries. Cook until the cherries are soft and cooked through, about 5 minutes. remove from heat and let the cherries cool completely in the syrup. Drain the cherries (Save that syrup … consider it a cherry simple syrup and is an excellent component of cream soda or cocktails) and squeeze the pits out of the fruit. Chop in 1/4-inch pieces.

Prepare the almonds:

Preheat oven to 350º. Spread almonds onto a baking sheet. Bake for 15 minutes or until the nuts are fragrant. Cool completely. Combine with 3/4 cup sugar in food processor and pulse until finely ground.
Infuse the cream:

Transfer the almond mixture to a large saucepan. Add the cream, milk and salt. Warm over low heat until small bubbles begin to form around the edges. Remove from heat, cover and let steep for ~45 minutes.

In a large bowl, whisk the yolks to break them up. Set aside. Return the almond-dairy mixture over heat and bring to a simmer over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to medium. Slowly pour warm dairy into eggs, while whisking constantly. Pour back into the saucepan and cook until thick, stirring slowly with a heat-proof spatula. Strain through a very fine mesh strainer into a clean batter bowl. Chill thoroughly.

Freeze in an ice cream maker. Fold in chopped cherries.

Spiced Pumpkin Pancakes

It’s the weekend!

Which means it’s time for breakfast awesomeness. Cereal and toast on a Saturday morning may just be the saddest thing ever. Perhaps I am being melodramatic, but I take weekend breakfast (or more often, brunch) very seriously.

We are in the stretch between Thanksgiving and Christmas and these Spiced Pumpkin Pancakes fit in just about perfectly. The pumpkin flavor is subtle, but keeps the pancakes uber-moist. Add some pecans and maple syrup and you have something special. A perfect start to a day filled with tree decorating or shopping for the perfect gift.

Spiced Pumpkin Pancakes

makes 6 large pancakes

modified slightly from Bon Appetit

3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1 1/2 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
1/2 teaspoon salt
2/3 cup whole milk
1/2 cup pumpkin puree
2 large eggs, separated
2 tablespoons butter, melted
1/2 teaspoon vanilla

Whisk both flours, sugar, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, allspice and salt together in a large bowl. In a separate bowl, whisk milk, pumpkin puree, egg yolks, melted butter and vanilla. Add pumpkin mixture to the dry ingredients and whisk until smooth. Beat egg whites until stiff (but not dry); fold into pancake batter in two batches.

Heat a skillet over medium heat and melt a tablespoon of butter. Pour batter by 1/3 cupfuls into the skillet. Cook until bubbles form on the surface of the pancakes and the bottoms are brown. Flip and cook for a minute or two longer.

Serve with toasted pecans and maples syrup.

Sweet Orange Cardamom Rolls

I love my dad. He’s my scuba diving buddy and fellow nerd. He’s good-natured and almost never gets angry. He is an adventurous eater. He is simultaneously serious and silly and will always be there to help you out of a jam. I really couldn’t ask for a better dad. So thank you Dad, for being mine.

In my family, we are pretty low-key about holidays. No extravagant gifts or giant fuss. Instead, there might be a nice meal or some family outing, like a walk through the park or an afternoon movie. One of our favorite breakfasts were these sweet orange rolls that come out of can from the refrigerator section. Hey, I wasn’t always a food snob. I think they must have put crack in that icing or something equally as addicting. I always volunteered to make them so that I could have first go at the remains of the icing container. Sweet, dough-y, orange-y weekend morning amazingness.

I can’t be with my Dad today for Father’s Day, but I have been thinking a lot about those weekend mornings – the simplicity and the joy of popping open one of those weird roll canisters and racing to be the first one to the icing container. So here’s my version … Sweet orange rolls with cardamom.

The dough is essentially the same as these Cinnamon Rolls, I’ve just modified the filling and the glaze.

Sweet Orange-Cardamom Rolls

makes 9 rolls

1/2 cup milk
1 1/2 tablespoons butter
1 3/4 cups flour
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 large egg, beaten
juice from 1/2 orange
1 1/2 teaspoons active dry yeast
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup dark brown sugar
2 teaspoons ground cardamom
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
zest from 2 oranges
2 tablespoons butter, room temperature
4 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
1 cup powdered sugar
juice from 1/2 orange

Combine milk and butter in small pot. Heat over medium-low heat until butter melts and mixture is warmed to 120 – 130 degrees. Pour into stand mixer bowl, fitted with paddle attachment. Add yeast and pinch of sugar. Let stand until foamy, about 15 minutes.

Add 1/2 cup flour, rest of sugar, egg, orange juice and salt. Beat on low speed for about 3 minutes until well combined. Continue to add in remaining flour slowly, until flour is absorbed and dough is sticky.

Change out paddle attachment for dough hook and knead for about 10 minutes, until dough is smooth and elastic. Form into a ball, oil lightly, cover and let rise until doubled in volume, about 2 hours.

Mix brown sugar, cardamom and orange zest in a small bowl.

Punch down dough. Roll out to a 9 x 13 inch rectangle. Spread butter over dough. Sprinkle filling evenly over butter. Starting with the long edge, roll dough into log. With seam side down, cut dough crosswise into 9 equal slices, ~3/4 inch wide.

Butter a 9 inch square glass baking dish. Arrange rolls, cut side up in dish.. Cover with plastic wrap (can be place in the refrigerator at this point and left overnight and when ready continue with the second rise). Let dough rise, until doubled in volume, about 45 minutes.

Bakes rolls in a preheated oven at 375 degrees, until tops are golden, about 20 minutes.

Combine cream cheese, powdered sugar and orange juice and beat until smooth. Spread glaze over rolls.

This one’s for you Dad.

Weekend French Toast

I am continuing to reunite with my kitchen.  This morning was one of my go-to weekend breakfasts.  French toast.  I think I’ve perfected my recipe.  I am big fan of using day-old baguette bread, cut thick.  The ratio of crispy crust to the light and fluffy interior is amazing and using slightly stale bread soaks up the milk and egg mixture nicely. I add a pinch of ground cardamom and I think it adds lovely flavor.

Weekend French Toast

In a shallow baking dish whisk together:

~1/2 cup milk

1 egg

1/2 teaspoon vanilla (I also like to use vanilla bean)

1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/8 teaspoon ground cardamom

Add:  1 to 1 1/2 inch thick slices of baguette bread.  Let soak for 5-10 minutes.

Heat a pat of butter in a frying pan over medium heat.

Transfer soaked bread to the hot pan.  I love the sizzling sound it makes.

Cook one side 5-6 minutes, until browned.  Flip pieces over and continue to cook another 1-2 minutes.

Enjoy!  I topped mine with spiced blueberry preserves.  Delicious.

Now that I am well-fed, it’s time to finish (I mean start) some Christmas gift projects…