Monday, August 19, 2013

Everything Pretzels

Jess and I were sitting around and started quoting some of our favourite lines from Seinfeld and one of us gruffly said "These pretzels are making me thirsty!" As soon as I heard it I started obsessing about munching on some soft, chewy pretzels.
One of the benefits of moving back to Canada has been reuniting with our kitchen stuff and collection of cookbooks. I actually ended up finding this recipe in a 2011 Food Network magazine featuring a handful of Guy Fieri's pretzels. I ended up doing a version of his "Everything Pretzel". I have replaced some of his ingredients and forgot others but the pretzels ended up being amazing. Jess and I both ate them for breakfast and lunch for almost a week. She preferred to toast hers while I chucked mine in the microwave. They were great cold but some things are better heated up.

Vanilla Bean Ice Cream

I am a huge fan of the Kitchen Aide brand of mixers and have collected a number of attachments for it. My latest purchase was the Ice Cream maker. It was good timing because we've been having a bit of a heat wave. Being a novice ice cream maker I was nervous about how this would end up. I did a little research and found that there are two types of ice cream. The first is the "French" style which is custard based and the second is "Philadelphia" style which is pretty much cream and sugar. I decided I would start simple and go for "Philadelphia" style. We found Vanilla Beans in our local grocery store so I was set to make Vanilla Bean ice cream. I adapted the recipe from David Lebovitz's "The Perfect Scoop". The book is great and has a huge selection of sweet treats to make. 
I didn't read all the directions for the Ice Cream maker before I started so the situation was a little out of control for a minute or two. From my small sample size I realized that making ice cream is about preparation and execution. It takes a long time to get up and running but I think the finished product was worth it. It was easily the best ice cream I've ever eaten. One of the first taste testers even validated the name of my blog by promptly dribbling ice cream down the front of his shirt. Vanilla went from the bottom of my desired list of ice cream flavors straight to the top in the time it took to get a spoon from the bowl to my mouth. I made about a litre of ice cream and it lasted about 48hrs. We ate it as straight ice cream, ice cream with Bailey's and used the last bit in a fruit smoothie. I am going to try to make a different ice cream on a weekly basis.

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Two Bite Asian Meatball Tacos

We had a few people over and I wanted a tasty finger food that was a little different than the norm. I make different kinds of meatballs on a regular basis and decided that a sweet and sour meatball would be great but I hate trying to skewer them on tooth picks. The last time I used tooth picks I accidentally used the mint flavoured ones and everything they touch tasted like toothpaste.
I settled on mini tacos because I love tacos and thought that a little tortilla would be a great way to get it into your gob.

This is one of the easiest "recipes" because it involves almost no cooking. I made tortillas using my standard "Home Made Flour Tortilla Recipe" and instead of dividing the dough into individual tortillas I rolled the dough out in a sheet and used a 3.5 inch round cookie cutter to cut them out. I ran the roller over them a couple more times and ended up with the perfect sized mini taco shells.

For the meatballs I used our slow cooker. This was perfect because I didn't have to get anything ready when people were here. I did everything in advance and could enjoy eating instead of trying to cook and visit.