strawberry sherbet

Frozen Strawberries and Cream (Sherbet)

I have the perfect “it’s-been-a-long-winter-and-it’s-finally-spring-and-I-want-to-completely-forget-the-frozen-horror-that-was-the-past-4-months” recipe for you. It has to do with strawberries and cream and sweet frozen creamy goodness. Interested?

Basically, we’re talking strawberry sherbet. But the best strawberry sherbet you’ve ever eaten. My family went nuts over it. NUTS. And since sherbet is mostly fruit it has very little added sweetener in it, which makes this something you can eat guilt-free!

This particular sherbet strongly reminds me of an Italian Water Ice “cream ice.” (My fellow Pennsylvanians will know what I mean by that. For the rest of you…sorry.) Fruity yet creamy at the same time. And just like water ice, when you freeze the leftovers it freezes HARD – not like ice cream that can be easily scooped back out again. So let leftovers sit in the fridge for a bit to soften up before eating!

Unlike ice cream, no advance prep of cooking and cooling a custard is necessary. You can start it and have it in the ice cream maker in 5-10 minutes. Twenty minutes later you have dessert!

Take about 2.5 pounds of cleaned strawberries and stick them in your blender. You might need to add a little apple juice or something to get them going, but you shouldn’t need much. (Even my cheapo Oster blender did it no problem). Blend on the highest speed until it’s completely smooth and pureed. You should end up with 5 1/2 cups of strawberry puree.

strawberry sherbet

Taste, and add sweetener as necessary. Use honey, maple syrup, or pure liquid stevia extract. The amount of sweetener you need completely depends on how sweet your berries are, and your particular tastes. I added 1/4 cup of maple syrup and 2 droppers full of liquid stevia. Just taste until it seems sweet enough to you!

Pour it into your ice cream canister along with 1 1/2 cups of heavy cream.

strawberry sherbet

And make it according to the ice cream maker’s instructions. Twenty minutes later you have this!

strawberry sherbet

And a very happy family.

Store left-overs in the freezer in an air-tight container. It’ll be frozen hard later, so you’ll want to let it soften a little before eating.

Frozen Strawberries and Cream (Sherbet)
Author: 
Recipe type: dessert
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 6
 
Ingredients
  • 5½ cups strawberry puree (about 2.5 pounds whole strawberries, pureed in the blender)
  • 1½ cup heavy cream
  • ¼-1/2 cup honey or maple syrup, or to taste (will depend on sweetness of berries)
  • optional +/- 30 drops pure liquid stevia, or to taste
Instructions
  1. Make the strawberry puree and taste it for sweetness. Add sweetener as necessary. You'll probably need at least ¼ cup of honey or maple syrup, but maybe more. The amount will totally depend on how sweet your berries are and your personal tastes!
  2. If you want to boost the sweetness a little without adding more honey or maple syrup, add some liquid stevia.
  3. Pour it into your ice cream canister and stir in the cream.
  4. Make according to the ice cream maker instructions.
  5. Leftovers will freeze hard in the freezer, so let it soften a bit before eating after it's been in the freezer!

 

 

 

slow roasted pork shoulder

Slow Roasted Pork Shoulder with Root Vegetables

I recently bought half a pastured pig from my nephew.

In case you didn’t know, half a pig is a whole lotta pig. Like, 60 pounds. So when I got home with a year’s worth of pork, I stuffed my chest freezer with it. There were three pork shoulders left from last year’s pig purchase, so I took them out to put them on top – so that I’d be sure to use those first.

Which would have been exactly the thing to do if I hadn’t forgotten to put them back in! Instead, they sat out on the floor of my basement the entire night. I didn’t remember them until the next morning. When I did remember them, I knew I’d have to cook them up since you can’t re-freeze meat. So that decided the issue of what to have for dinner that night! (and every other night for the next two weeks….)

Pork shoulder is great for pulled pork – like my Carolina Pork BBQ – but it’s also really good slow roasted. It comes out all melty and falling apart and delicious. And you can roast some root veggies right in the pan with the pork and have a whole meal out of it, so it’s an easy meal!

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Garlic Cheddar Drop Biscuits

Garlic Cheddar Drop Biscuits

So, I threw these together for dinner tonight. I had no idea if they’d turn out or not, but I had sour milk that I needed to use so I wanted to make some sort of buttermilk drop biscuit sort of thing. I kept adding stuff – cheese, garlic, butter –  and before I knew it I’d ended up with this:

Garlic Cheddar Drop Biscuits

And you know what that looks like, right? I mean, the first thing that comes to mind – at least my mind – is those Cheddar Bay Biscuit thingees that they serve at Red Lobster. It’s not just me, right? That’s totally what they look like!

So, that was exciting. But looks are one thing. Taste is another.

Well, it’s been a while since I’ve been to a Red Lobster, so I don’t have a side-by-side comparison for you. But I swear, if these don’t taste exactly like Cheddar Bay Biscuits, then they’re AWFULLY close! Even the texture is right on. They’re soft and tender, not at all crumbly or hard. This picture gives something of an idea of what the texture’s like.

Garlic Cheddar Drop Biscuits

Every copycat recipe I’ve seen for Cheddar Bay Biscuits calls for Bisquick as the main ingredient. Now, not only is Bisquick made with white flour, but it also has partially hydrogenated oils (i.e. transfats) and dextrose (i.e. sugar). So using Bisquick is out of the question.

Luckily for YOU, I came up with this instead!

All it is is a basic drop biscuit, with cheddar cheese added in and topped with garlic basil butter. Easy peasy.

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creole bouillabaise

Creole Bouillabaisse

This is one of those recipes that brings me straight back to my childhood. My mother got the recipe from one of my father’s cousins while we lived in Arkansas, and nothing tastes or smells like it. As soon as I smell it I think, “Ah! Arkansas!” (And, yes, that’s a good thing!)

For some reason I always forget about this recipe, though. It’s not something I make often…though I don’t know why. Both of my kids love it, and even my fish-hating husband likes it! I think I need to get it into the rotation more often!

It’s also one of the simplest meals I make. It’s ready in half an hour, but tastes sophisticated enough to serve to company. So it’s a definite keeper of a recipe!

Bouillabaisse is the French name for fish stew – and that’s basically what this is. But if you don’t like fish, fear not. If even my husband – who detests fish in all forms – likes it, then anyone will. The buttery, winey, garlicky base to the broth is what really shines through in this!

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crushed pineapple cake

Crushed Pineapple Upside Down Cake

(Note: I’ve been considering for a while including “real food dessert” recipes on here. These are things I’ve been making for my family or for company that are very heavy in sweeteners, but have no refined sugar or flours in them – just whole food sweeteners. I hadn’t been sharing them because they really aren’t anti-inflammation friendly, but for some of you they’ll still be safe if consumed carefully, in moderation. If you’re symptomatic you’ll want to be extra careful with these recipes!! But if you’re looking for something that’s at least better for you, and that company will eat, these will do the trick.)

Suddenly the other day, I had an intense craving for pineapple upside down cake. It hit out of nowhere. It’s not even something I’ve eaten a lot in my life, and I hadn’t had it in years and years. I have no cozy associations with my mother baking this cake or anything. I’m pretty sure the first time I ever had it was in the cafeteria of my university!!

So I have no idea why this craving hit, but it hit hard! All I could think of was sweet pineapple goodness surrounded by buttery cake. Mmmm. So I set out to figure out how to make it. After a few trials and errors, I hit upon a winner!

This is a little different than pineapple upside down cake because it doesn’t use rings of pineapple, and it’s not as pretty. I tried it that way at first…but I found myself wishing that there was more pineapple! So I tried it again with crushed pineapple instead, and that did the trick! So…this isn’t a super pretty company cake. But it IS a super delicious pineapple cake!!

I did this in my cast iron skillet because I loved the idea of taking it from stove to oven. I think it made me feel all rustic or something. But if you don’t have one, you can always just do this in an 8×8 square pan. Continue reading

Moroccan Braised Chicken

Moroccan Braised Chicken

I don’t quite know what’s gotten into me, but I seem to be on a rather exotic food kick lately. I blame the never-ending winter. I live in Pennsylvania, and it’s been one storm after another, and it’s February, and there are fifteen inches of snow in my back yard that my kids can actually walk on. (My daughter is now almost as tall as the clothesline).

snow

See? Yeah, at first that’s all exciting to have that much snow, but by now I’m all, “Meh. Where’s spring?”

So, maybe I’m suffering from some sort of cabin fever that manifests itself in culinary adventursomeness (yes, that’s totally a word. Because I say so). Maybe my taste buds are just bored. I don’t know, but I’ve been all in my spice cabinet lately, using things that have been hanging around for years unused. I’ve already made that Chicken Tikka Masala three times (THREE TIMES!). And now I moved on to this Moroccan Chicken. Who knows what it’s going to be next?

The really great thing about this new spice kick I’m on though is that I’m using all those spices that you always hear about being so good for you. There’s so many great health benefits to these Eastern spices, and they’re anti-inflammatory to boot. (Knowing that helps me feel all virtuous about cooking lately, too.)

So, this chicken. It reminds me a lot of the Braised Lamb Shanks that I posted before – just without all the fuss of having to get rid of the icky sheep fat. And with slightly different spices. But the process is the same.

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Chicken Tikki Masala

Chicken Tikka Masala with Cilantro Chutney

I made this for dinner four days ago and have not been able to stop thinking about it since. I’ve been fantasizing about it, remembering the flavors and wondering how soon is too soon to make it again. (Tomorrow? Do I have to wait a few weeks or can I get away with tomorrow?) Just now I discovered about 10 bites worth of leftovers in the fridge and I almost wet myself with joy. It’s 8:00pm but I didn’t care: I heated it up and scarfed it down. I just might have a Masala problem.

But it’s for a good reason! I cannot even begin to describe to you all how insanely delicious this is. The creamy-spicy sauce, the tumeric-flavored rice, the tender broiled chicken…. Oh, my goodness. Beyond delicious.

What really takes it over the top, though? The cilantro chutney that goes along with it. Oh, people. It’s cool and fresh and absolute perfection when combined with the spiciness of the masala sauce.

There is no way words can do any justice to this meal. You simply just have to take my word for it. AND GO MAKE IT. It is seriously that good. I know I say that a lot, but, folks, this time I really, really mean it.

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