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    Maple Ice Cream with Wet Walnuts and Maple Caramel Sauce

    While we all believe that finding friends, keeping friends, nurturing those friendships is hard – well, it is, actually. Trust can be hard. Still liking those people once you get beyond the ‘isn’t it great we both like Chinese food’ phase doesn’t always happen. It can happen, though.

    There are THOSE friends – knowing you can be out of touch for months, years, and one look, one smile, one hug, one phone call, and time melts away as though the last time you saw or spoke to each other was yesterday. Those long time friendships – like The Dear One and I, knowing each other since the 6th grade – those are the people who know you the best. They knew you before you built those walls, before life tainted you, before you became jaded. Was life perfect, no? Were we perfect, no? But we truly were more innocent and perhaps that’s why those friendships are so easy and lasting.

    I am lucky enough as an adult (well, really not, much like Peter Pan I won’t grow up) to have a few friends I would throw myself on the gauntlet for … you know who you are so I’m not naming names. You know, those people you would move heaven and earth for if they asked … and move it twice as much when they don’t ask, that is usually the time they need you the most.

    The Dear One, who admittedly is reclusive, has a few of these friends. Long time – 30 year friendships. Friends who I am very grateful for, as they have taken me into their hearts as though we have known each other for that long as well. I am grateful for each and every one of them (there could be a few more gals in the mix, but hey, they’re all great!) Sadly, this week, we lost one of those dear, special men. Charlie and The Dear One bonded instantly – much time on islands, playing with birds, counting stars, drinking, talking about life, women, family, heartache, future. The Dear One would and has many times, dropped whatever he was doing for Charlie – and Charlie the same in return. It didn’t matter when the last time they saw each other was – when they were in each other’s presence, no time had gone by. Charlie’s new bride, Mona, and I became friends instantly. Charlie and Mona were married a month before The Dear One and I – little did we know, he was ill even then – we celebrated at each other’s weddings.

    Charlie’s passing has made us realize how tender life is, how precarious, how precious. How petty bullshit and slights that no one can even remember need to be put aside, and why friendship and love needs to stand in the foreground, shining like a beacon. A beacon that guides you to those who will always love you, always welcome you, always be there to catch you when you fall, always look past your perceived inadequacies. A beacon that rings out, ‘I am your safe harbor, always’. We all really need that, don’t we?

    We have celebrated Charlie’s life with friends – more than once and will continue to do so … A LOT (a lot of whiskey is usually involved).

    One of these celebrations involved dinner with two dear friends that we have spent far too little time with of late. Why? Who knows. Should it be? No. Sometimes being the first person to blink is really hard. Then no one blinks and you sit around missing that person(s) and cannot figure out how to get it back. Sometimes time just goes by and that just becomes a norm – not one anyone likes or wants but just is.

    Charlie’s passing put us in and on the same path again. It was wonderful. Giggling. Stories. Great food. Great friends. Hopefully we will not wait so long to do it again. I have missed them BIGLY. Thank you, Charlie.

    You are reading this wondering what does this have to do with Maple Ice Cream with Wet Walnuts and Caramel swirl? Well, I’ll tell ya … I needed to bring something to this wonderful dinner and I’ve been jonesing to make this ice cream. So I did and I did – and it was FAB-ulous!

    The Dear One had suggested maple ice cream, remembering trips for ice cream on Block Island, going so late in the day or evening that the only thing left was maple ice cream. I would always walk away instead of having maple ice cream. It always looked so … TAN!

    But this would be made with OUR own maple syrup, and what if I make some wet walnuts with maple syrup, and – WAIT! – What if I add a caramel swirl – OOOOHHH! A maple caramel swirl!

    The ice cream is delicious. The wet walnuts are gooey (but not too gooey) and salty. The maple caramel swirl? Well, it’s good, but I need to come up with a different way. I substituted the maple syrup for the water and it is not soft and ribbon-y, but tough and tooth breaking. Still ‘can’t eat enough’ delicious!

     

    • 1 1/2 C whole milk
    • 2 T sugar
    • 1 1/2 C heavy cream
    • 5 large egg yolks
    • 3/4 C dark maple syrup
    • 1/4 t coarse salt
    • 1/4 t vanilla extract
    • Wet Walnuts (recipe follows)
    • Maple Caramel Swirl (recipe follows)

    Warm milk and sugar in medium saucepan.

    Pour cream into a large bowl and set a mesh strainer on top.

    In a separate medium bowl, whisk together the egg yolks. Slowly pour the warm mixture into the egg yolks, whisking constantly, then pour the warmed egg yolk mixture back into the saucepan.

    Stir the mixture constantly over medium-low heat with a heatproof spatula, scraping the bottom as you stir. Stir until the mixture thickens and coats the spatula.

    Pour the custard through the strainer and into the cream to cool.

    Add the maple syrup, salt, and vanilla, and stir over ice bath until cool. Chill the mixture thoroughly in the refrigerator – at least 3 hours.

    Freeze according to your ice cream maker’s instructions. During the last few minutes of churning, add the Wet Walnuts.

    Wet Walnuts

    • 1/2 C, plus 1 tablespoon dark maple syrup
    • 1 1/2 C walnuts, toasted and very coarsely chopped
    • 1/4 t coarse salt

    Heat the maple syrup in a small skillet or saucepan until it just begins to come to a full boil.

    Stir in the walnuts and salt, and cook until the liquid comes to a full boil once more. Stir the nuts for 10 seconds, then remove them from the heat and let cool completely before using. The nuts will still be wet and sticky when cooled.

    NOTE: This will look like WAAAAY too many to put in the ice cream, but after you have nibbled a few here and there – wait, no, actually it’s the perfect amount!

    Maple Caramel Swirl

    • 6 T Sugar
    • 1/2 C heavy cream
    • 2 T Maple Syrup

    In a clean, dry, nonstick skillet, sprinkle 2 tablespoons sugar over medium heat. When the sugar begins to melt and lightly color, sprinkle in 2 more tablespoons and start swirling pan to help evenly distribute sugar. Add the final 2 tablespoons and cook, swirling pan until all the sugar has melted. Let cook, swirling occasionally, until the sugar syrup caramelizes and turns dark brown. Pour in the heavy cream and 2 tablespoons maple syrup (stand back; it may splatter).

    Simmer, stirring with a heatproof rubber spatula until smooth. Cool completely.

    NOTE: When I made this caramel swirl in my Rhubarb Ice Cream with Caramel Swirl, the 2 tablespoons of maple syrup was 2 tablespoons of water. The water kept this swirl from becoming too hard – you know, too much sugar (as if!). The maple doesn’t lend much here flavor-wise, so next time it’s back to the 2 tablespoons of water and keeping my fillings.

    Now, to put it together –

    Spoon about 1/3 of the caramel mixture into whatever container you are using to freeze the ice cream in in the freezer. Then 1/3 of the ice cream mixture and repeat, ending with the ice cream. Cover and put in freezer until solid. Mine took overnight.

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    Ravioli di Ricotta

    Insane. I am telling you I am insane. Perhaps certifiably insane.

    Those of you who know me well are reading this and nodding your heads in agreement. I know. I have come to terms (mostly) with my insanity and am beginning to embrace it – as a southern woman would, gardening in big ugly hats, drinking see tea and having many cats. Being in Maine ones insanity eccentricity comes in a slightly different form – Bean boots, Allen’s Coffee Brandy (honestly, I have never had it and never will) and making maple syrup.

    When I gear up for the winter, I fill our house with wonderful ingredients, the Dear One fills it with firewood, I hang the window quilts I made, and I scour recipes for projects. Recipes I might not have as much time on my hands to try when the sun is shining and we’re puttering in the garden or working way too hard.

    This particular project started with a birthday gift from my dear husband – a pasta maker. We made fettuccine and spinach fettuccine – a dessert pasta may be on my list.

    And while this kept us occupied for a while, we wanted more. I have been making ravioli with my Mama for most of my life. She will undoubtedly say you only started helping in your 20s, but at this point in time, and at my age, that IS most of my life.

    I have ravioli forms that my mother gave me and they’re great, but I thought … we have this machine there must be an attachment to make ravioli. And there was! When my in-laws asked what we’d like for Christmas, without hesitation, we both said – a ravioli attachment for our pasta machine!

    It’s obviously taken some time for us to get to this point. I would look at it. It frightened me. I walked away. It sat staring at me, taunting me, daring me to try making ravioli with this machine.

    It snowed. I was bored. HEY! Let’s make ravioli!

    First the filling:

    • 1 pound fresh ricotta, drained if wet
    • Pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
    • 1 t freshly grated lemon zest (from about 1/2 a lemon)
    • 1 C freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano, plus more for serving
    • 1 large egg
    • Salt and freshly ground black pepper

    In a large bowl combine the ricotta, nutmeg, lemon zest, Parmigiano-Reggiano, and 1 egg. Season to taste with salt and pepper, stir well, and set aside.

    Now the difficult part, the ravioli dough:

    • 3 2/3 C all-purpose flour
    • 2 large eggs
    • 2 egg yolks
    • 1 T olive oil (optional)

    Mound the flour on a clean work surface and create a well in the center. Place the eggs, egg yolks, and oil (if using) in the center. Using a fork, whisk the eggs and oil together and slowly start dragging the flour into the egg mixture. Knead by hand until all the ingredients are well combined and the dough is smooth and elastic, about 10 minutes.

    (Alternatively, place all the ingredients in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook. With the mixer on medium speed, knead the dough until smooth and elastic, about 5 minutes.)

    NOTE: I was seriously lazy. I used the stand mixer. THIS SUCKED. No, really. It was terrible. I finally got it to the right consistency, but it took forever. More flour, more water, more oil. No more lazy.

    Wrap the dough in plastic wrap or place it in a covered bowl and let it rest at room temperature for at least 30 minutes.

    Set up a pasta machine and turn it to the largest opening. Cut off pieces of dough about the size of an egg. Working with one piece of dough at a time, roll the dough into sheets about 1/8-inch thick.

    NOTE: You start at zero, and with each pass through you raise the number. We went to #6

    Lay 1 pasta sheet flat on a lightly floured work surface and determine approximately where the halfway point is lengthwise.

    Lay the pasta dough in the machine, folded edge on the roller, with the dough lying on either side of the machine. Turn crank 1/4 turn to start dough feeding.

    Put the filling shoot into the machine and crank slowly. Keep adding filling as you crank the dough through the machine. Repeat and repeat.

    Let dry for 10-15 minutes and pull the ravioli apart and boil right away or let dry completely and freeze.

    The easiest way to do this is roll a sheet and fill – roll a sheet and fill – roll a sheet and fill.

    NOTE: Okay. These are the prettiest photos. The beginning part of this process was hell. Rolling the pasta sheets was difficult. Filling? Can’t even talk about it yet. But I keep finding filling in my hair. I used a ravioli/pasta/pastry cutter to help separate the ravioli.

    I’ve gone through all the trouble to make this ravioli, I need the perfect sauce. I scoured the internet and came across this sauce from Giada De Laurentiis. Her dish and ravioli was different, but I found the sauce intriguing.

    • 6 T unsalted butter
    • 2 T balsamic vinegar
    • 1/2 t salt
    • 1/4 t freshly ground black pepper
    • 1/3 C toasted, chopped walnuts
    • 1/4 C grated Parmesan

    Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the ravioli and cook, uncovered, at a gentle boil, 2 to 3 minutes, until tender but still firm to the bite, stirring occasionally. Drain ravioli.

    While the ravioli is cooking, in a medium sauté pan melt the butter over medium heat, stirring occasionally. When the foam subsides, and the butter begins to turn a golden brown, about 3 minutes, turn off the heat. Let cool for about 1 minute. Stir in the balsamic vinegar, salt, and pepper.

    Transfer the ravioli to the pan sauté pan with the balsamic brown butter. Gently toss. Sprinkle walnuts and cheese over the top. Serve immediately.

    Spinach Lasagna Rolls

    done

    So, there’s this girl I know. Well, not a girl, a young lady really. But when I was her age … and yes, I was her age once, I wasn’t born THIS OLD, ya know … being called a young lady made be visibly blanch. She’s becoming very dear to me. In my family, cooking for and feeding people is a way to show (some) love.

    There’s a little glitch in showing this Italian, kitchen-esque type of love to this otherwise lovely girl. She’s a vegetarian. Nothing with a face. Nothing with a soul. Hmmm … tricky. Never gave much thought to strictly vegetarian dishes, and fortunately, she’s not vegan, but tricky going for me just the same.

    Oh! We need to add another level of cooking angst here … her sister is NOT a vegetarian (but that’s a whole ‘nuther magilla which we will get to in recipes and days to come) and, of course, there’s the carnivore. How do you feed all these different needs with one dish and keeping your hair on your head and not clenched between your fingers having just been torn from your head?

    Must be yummy. Must have no faces or soul. Must be hearty. I can do this. I know I can.

    I came across this Giada de Laurentiis recipe from Everyday Italian for Spinach Lasagna Rolls. The original recipe calls for prosciutto (oh, you don’t know what you’re missing) and a bechamel sauce. I opted to leave out the prosciutto and swap the bechamel for tomato sauce. Salad. Garlic bread. Dinner is ready.

    And while it has no faces, this dish certainly has soul!

    • 1 (15-ounce) container whole milk ricotta cheese
    • 1 (10-ounce) package frozen chopped spinach, thawed, squeezed dry
    • 1 C plus 2 T grated Parmesan
    • 1 C shredded mozzarella (about 4 ounces)
    • 1 large egg, beaten to blend
    • 3/4 t salt, plus more for salting water
    • 1/2 t freshly ground black pepper
    • 1 to 2 T olive oil
    • 12 uncooked lasagna noodles
    • 2 C marinara sauce

    Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F.

    Whisk the ricotta, spinach, 1 cup Parmesan, mozzarella, egg, salt, and pepper in a medium bowl to blend.

    Bring a large pot of water to a boil, add salt and add a tablespoon of oil.

    NOTE: I normally don’t add oil when I’m cooking pasta, but with the lasagna noodles it seems to help keep them from sticking together and becoming a massive clump.

    Cook the pasta until just tender but still firm to bite. Drain. Arrange the pasta in a single layer on a baking sheet to prevent them from sticking.

    Butter or spray with cook spray a 13-by-9-by-2-inch glass baking dish. Pour about 1 cup of the marinara sauce over the bottom of the prepared dish and spread to cover. Lay out 4 lasagna noodles on a work surface, then spread a large spoonful (about 3 tablespoons worth) of ricotta mixture evenly over each noodle.

    Starting at 1 end, roll each noodle like a jelly roll.

    Lay the lasagna rolls seam side down, on top of the marinara sauce in the dish. Repeat with the remaining noodles and ricotta mixture. Spoon the remaining 1 cup of marinara sauce over the lasagna rolls.

    Sprinkle the remaining 2 tablespoons of Parmesan over the lasagna rolls. Cover with foil. Bake until heated through and the sauce bubbles, about 20 minutes.

    NOTE: You can gild the lily a bit here and add a cup of shredded mozzarella on top of the marinara. If you choose to do this, after 20 minutes, uncover and bake until the cheese on top becomes golden, about 15 minutes longer. Let stand for 10 minutes.

     

     

    Blueberry Ice Cream with Dark Chocolate and Chocolate Sauce #SundaySupper

    Done

    It’s been far, far too long since I have felt technologically suited for a Sunday Supper posting. Now that my computer is back, I am thrilled to be able to participate again!

    This week’s challenge hosted by Stacy of Food Lust People Love and Tara of Noshing With the Nolands? Share recipes with ingredients that are hunted or foraged.

    Now, I know, many of you won’t think of blueberries as being foraged. But, follow along …

    Beautiful summer day. The Dear One and I are tired of being in the garden every day (and, trust me, the garden nightmare dream hadn’t yet begun).

    Let’s do something fun, says I.

    Hey, great idea, says the Dear One. I have just the thing. Blueberry picking!

    Now, I’m not quite sure what sort of romantic notion I had in my head about blueberry picking, but, trust me, after this that notion was dispelled!

    We get in the car and we drive. And drive. And drive. Long, winding rural (what is more rural than rural?) Maine roads. We’re either headed for something that will be a lot of fun … or he’s taking me out into the woods to kill me!

    We turn off a main(ish) road and onto a dirt road. Now we’re going deeper and deeper into the woods. I realize I am a simple city girl, but even I know blueberries don’t grow in the woods! The theme from Deliverance is dancing through my head.

    We pass a ramshackle house with at least a dozen kids outside and dogs and cats and cars in all array of decay. Thinking to myself, this isn’t going to end well for me! I had lines from Eddie Izzard and his wonderful bit about the Druids and Stonehenge running through my head, “I don’t even know where I live now!” The children asked if we needed blueberry rakes or boxes (ah, we’re in the right place) and to just keep going … and going … and the road is becoming more and more narrow … and going. And SUDDENLY this tiny narrow “road” opened up into acres upon acres of blueberry fields.

    Blueberries

    WOW!

    Shirtless, shoeless, (dirty) bearded man ambles over to the car explaining where to pick and points further down the road.

    Pull over, hop out of the truck (yes, I said truck), grab some buckets, the blueberry rake (of which we have just one) and take off.

    Blueberry rake

    For those of you that don’t know … and, really, unless you live in rural Maine or New Jersey, why would you know? .. this photo is of a blueberry rake. It looks like a dustpan with a comb attached to it. You bend over, scrape it through the low blueberry bushes and pull up. You pick dozens of blueberries at a time. It’s fantastic.

    Drawback. We have one. Apparently, it’s one of those tools that fall under the ‘MAN’ category. Much too much for you to handle, little lady … HARRUMPH! I’ve decided to go with the Dear One being chivalrous. Yes, that must be it. I walked around taking pictures. Picking blueberries by hand. And just looking around.

    I think it’s better to pick them by hand. A lot of them get smushed with the rake and a many more leaves and twigs end up in your buckets.

    Now, a little blueberry trivia (bet you didn’t know there was such a thing) … those big fat blueberries you find in the supermarkets, mostly from New Jersey, are high bush blueberries. The tiny ones, often the ones you find frozen, referred to as wild blueberries, and mostly from Maine, are low bush blueberries. These were low bush blueberries.

    Blueberry fieldThat’s the Dear One out in the middle of the field raking away. I believe I was sent back to the car to fetch water.

    Completely exhausting, back breaking. Messy. You’re turning violet, Violet, colored fingers. Even with the down side, we now have 10 1-gallon freezer bags filled with wild blueberries in our freezer downstairs. There were more, but Smoothy Girl breaks into it, I’ve made this ice cream, muffins, drinks, etc.

    Would I do this again? Oh, hells yeah!

    This ice cream is great to make … NO EGGS. It’s very easy to put together. A little cooking of the blueberries, a bit of blitzing in the blender, mix, cool, voila! The color is fantastic. The taste amazing. Next time, at the suggestion of my pal Lisa, I may add some sort of crumble to the top before serving. I suppose making it a deconstructed blueberry pie! Even the picky people have been digging into it!

    I do think the chocolate sauce is unnecessary, but it don’t hurt!

    Try this with a scoop of blueberry ice cream, a scoop of chocolate ice cream, some of the chocolate sauce and frozen blueberries!

    Ice Cream

    • 1 1/2 C heavy cream
    • 2 1/2 C Maine wild blueberries (like Driscoll’s)
    • 1 C sugar
    • 1/8 t salt
    • 1 C whole milk
    • 1 T fresh lemon juice
    • 3 ounces bar dark chocolate, chopped into small chunks (or 1/2 cup of mini semi-sweet morsels)

    Dark Chocolate Sauce

    • 2 C heavy cream
    • 2/3 pounds (11 ounces) dark chocolate chips or bar chopped into small pieces
    • 2 1/2 T light corn syrup

    Ice Cream

    Mix blueberries, sugar, and salt in a heavy saucepan over medium-high heat. Stir occasionally until sugar dissolves. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer 10 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool 20 minutes. Puree in a blender. Stir puree together with heavy cream, milk and lemon juice. Chill in refrigerator overnight. Pour into an ice cream maker and freeze according to manufacturer’s directions. Swirl in dark chocolate by pouring small chunks into machine during last 5 minutes of freezing.

    Dark Chocolate Sauce

    Bring cream to a boil. Remove from heat and add chocolate and corn syrup. Let sit until chocolate melts, about 2 to 3 minutes. Stir until smooth. For warm ice cream topping, allow sauce to cool 10 minutes before serving. Otherwise, allow sauce to cool to room temperature.

     

    Check out these recipes from this week’s Sunday Supper Movement … On the Hunt!

    Spread it on Thick

    Nibbles and Sides

    The Main Event

    Sweet Treats

    Sunday Supper MovementJoin the #SundaySupper conversation on Twitter on Sunday! We tweet throughout the day and share recipes from all over the world. Our weekly chat starts at 7 p.m. ET.  Follow the #SundaySupper hashtag and remember to include it in your tweets to join in the chat. To get more great Sunday Supper Recipes, visit our website or check out our Pinterest board.

    Would you like to join the Sunday Supper Movement? It’s easy. You can sign up by clicking here: Sunday Supper Movement.

    Dark Chocolate Strawberry Ice Cream

    Done

    And so there are strawberries. And the strawberries have strawberries. There are many gallon bags filled with strawberries in our freezer.

    How many smoothies can you make?

    I cam across this fabulous ice cream recipe on Love & Olive Oil and knew this had to be added to my ice cream insanity.

    Really creamy ice cream, chunks of strawberries and CHOCOLATE!

    • C (8 ounces) fresh strawberries, hulled
    • 3/4 C granulated sugar, divided
    • 3 ounces semi-sweet chocolate, finely chopped
    • 1 1/2 C heavy cream, divided
    • 1 C whole milk
    • 1/4 C cocoa powder
    • 1/4 t salt
    • 3 egg yolks

    Chop strawberries with 1/4 cup of sugar in a blender or food processor until coarsely chopped. You still want some strawberry chunks in the final ice cream, so don’t liquefy it. Just a few pulses should do it. Set aside.

    Ingredients

    Place finely chopped chocolate in a heat-proof bowl. Heat 1 cup of heavy cream in a saucepan until it just starts to bubble. Pour over chopped chocolate and let sit for 1 minute, then stir until smooth. Pour back into saucepan along with milk, remaining 1/2 cup sugar, cocoa powder, and salt. Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until sugar is dissolved and mixture just starts to steam.

    In a small bowl, whisk egg yolks. Slowly ladle in some of the warm chocolate mixture, about 1/4 cup at a time, until about half of the chocolate mixture has been incorporated and yolks are warm to the touch. You want to do this gradually; doing so will temper the egg yolks rather than cook them.

    Pour entire yolk mixture back into the saucepan and return to medium heat, stirring constantly and scraping the bottom of the pan as you do, until the mixture thickens slightly and coats the back of a spoon, about 5 to 7 minutes (it will measure approximately 170ºF on a thermometer). Do not let it to boil. Remove from heat and stir in remaining 1/2 cup cream and chopped strawberry mixture.

    Ice bath

    Pour into a zip-top freezer bag and seal. Place in a bowl filled with ice water, and let sit for 15 to 20 minutes or until cooled to room temperature. Alternatively you can use a traditional ice water bath, with a smaller bowl nested inside a larger bowl filled with ice water. When cool, transfer to refrigerator (cover with plastic wrap if using a bowl) and chill for at least 3 hours or preferably overnight.

    When custard base is completely chilled, churn ice cream according to manufacturer’s instructions until the ice cream is the consistency of soft serve. If desired, you can stir in a few more coarsely chopped strawberries at this point if you want larger, more visible chunks. Spoon a into a freezer safe container and freeze overnight until firm.

    Dutch Treat Ice Cream

    Scoop

    We’re going to start this post a bit bass ackwards.

    A young blonde girl walks into the kitchen … no, this is NOT a blonde joke … opens the freezer, grabs a spoon and tries the newest ice cream concoction … there was no sound. Another spoonful. And through an ice cream filled mouth mumbled, this is the best thing I’ve ever put in my mouth.

    I don’t think complements come better than that!

    So, back to the beginning. This is another of those times I come late to the party. Cookie butter, or Speculoos Paste, is an amazing thing. On toast, on a spoon, on a finger. Why not in ice cream? But a ripple, the ice cream base flavor? There must be something different to try.

    Cookie Butter is not one of those ingredients readily available in my neck of the woods. When friends ask what I miss and would like sent … this is one of the ingredients at the top of the list. So now you understand why it had to be the perfect recipe. No way do I want to waste a single drop of this beloved spread on a clunk of a recipe.

    I agonized.

    I lamented.

    I HAD AN EPIPHANY!

    • Chocolate Ice Cream Base
    • 1/2 C slivered almonds, toasted
    • 30 – 35 Chocolate covered cookie butter balls (instructions below)
    • Chocolate Ripple (recipe below)

    Start off by getting all the goodies that go into the ice cream ready. It’s really the easiest way.

    For the chocolate covered cookie butter balls

    Using a 1/4 t measure, scoop the cookie butter and place on a cookie sheet lined with parchment. Freeze.

    Specaloos balls

    Once completely frozen, dip the frozen cookie butter balls in chocolate. Place the cookie sheet into the freezer again.

    NOTE: We cheated a wee bit here. We used a Baker’s Dipping Chocolate tub.

    The almonds? Simple. Slivered almonds in a pan and just toast. We went a little more than lightly toasted and the flavor was for this recipe.

    For the Fudge Ripple:

    • 1/2 cup sugar
    • 1/3 cup light corn syrup
    • 1/2 cup water
    • 6 tablespoons unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder
    • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

    Whisk together the sugar, corn syrup, water, and cocoa powder in a medium saucepan. Heat over medium heat, whisking constantly, until the mixture begins to bubble at the edges.

    Continue to whisk until it just comes to a low boil. Cook for 1 minute, whisking frequently. Remove from the heat, stir in the vanilla, and let cool. Chill in the refrigerator before using.

    So now we’re ready to go …

    Make the chocolate ice cream base. In the last few minutes of churning, add the cookie butter balls, add the toasted almonds. Finish churning.

     

     

    Done drizzle

     

    Spread a bit of the ripple in the bottom of the container you’re freezing the ice cream in. Add some ice cream, add some ripple, add some ice cream, some ripple … don’t mix the ripple into the ice cream or move it around too much or you’ll have a muddy mess.

    Rhubarb Ice Cream with a Caramel Swirl

    Done 2
    When I was a little girl, living in New York City, my parents say my consistent question was … WHEN ARE WE MOVING? No, REALLY, when are we moving?
    We’re not. We live in New York City. The greatest city in the world. EVERYONE wants to live here.
    Well, not ME!
    Where do you think you’d rather be living?
    MAINE!
    How or why I had that answer is completely beyond me.
    So, some 45+ years later, here I am living in Maine, Downeast Maine … for a girl who grew up in Manhattan, land of Chinese food at 4:00 am, taxis, shopping, WALKING to the corner store at any hour for anything you can imagine, this is rural … REALLY rural.
    I live in a lovely house, with wonderful gardens … and, of course, there’s the Dear One (who makes it all worthwhile). I just need to overlook the SNAKES, and the black flies (who seem to find me rather tasty), and the ticks, (who also find me rather tasty), and the ginormous rabbits that just seem to come out of nowhere!
    Rhubarb
    In our garden there’s a HUGE patch of rhubarb. Once it grew enough to use, my mind started swirling with thoughts of what wonderful things I could make with this rhubarb.
    There’s a LOT of rhubarb, so be prepared for many rhubarb recipes to come. I did freeze a bunch so I have it handy for my new business venture The Maine Ingredients (on FB too, head over and like my page, please.)
    Sitting around with Lisa one morning and talking about recipes for rhubarb, her face lit up and she said, ‘There’s a great looking recipe for Rhubarb Ice Cream in the New York Times. It has a caramel swirl!’
    Done
    Truth of the matter is, I had never made anything with rhubarb, hadn’t really eaten rhubarb before, so I wasn’t so sure about rhubarb in ice cream. BUT IT HAS A CARAMEL SWIRL! How bad could it possibly be!?
    Oh, it’s not bad at all. In fact, it’s freakin’ fabulous! The rhubarb is sweet and little syrupy, the ice cream itself has a nice, surprising tang from the sour cream (which I wasn’t sure about as an ice cream ingredient), and the caramel … oh, my, my, the caramel. The caramel is just decadent. Next time, it just has to be a salted caramel!
    Rhubarb is now my friend. The snake, the rabbit, the tics and black flies … not so much!
    • 1 and 1/2 C whole milk
    • 1 and 3/4 C plus 6 tablespoons granulated sugar
    • Pinch fine sea salt
    • 1 vanilla bean, split and scraped
    • 4 large egg yolks, lightly beaten
    • 1 and 1/2 C sour cream
    • 3/4 pound rhubarb, cut into 1/2-inch dice
    • 1/2 C heavy cream

    In a heavy-bottomed pot over medium heat, whisk together the milk, 3/4 cup sugar, the salt, the vanilla bean seeds and its pod. Simmer gently until sugar dissolves, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat, cover, and steep 30 minutes. Discard the vanilla pod and return mixture to a bare simmer.

    Vanilla Bean

    Place the yolks in a large bowl. Slowly whisk in hot milk mixture. Scrape the custard back into the pot and cook over medium-low heat, stirring constantly, until mixture is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon, about 5 minutes. Strain through a fine-mesh sieve into a bowl. Whisk in sour cream. Chill at least 3 hours or overnight.

    Rhubarb and sugar

    In a saucepan, combine the rhubarb with 1 cup sugar. Simmer until rhubarb is just tender and has begun releasing its juices, but has not started to fall apart, 4 to 5 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer rhubarb to a bowl. Continue to simmer the juices until syrupy, 5 to 10 minutes more. Pour the syrup over the rhubarb. Cool completely.

    In a clean, dry and preferably nonstick skillet, sprinkle 2 tablespoons sugar over medium heat. When it begins to melt and lightly color, sprinkle in 2 more tablespoons and start swirling pan to help evenly distribute sugar. Add the final 2 tablespoons and cook, swirling pan until all the sugar has melted. Let cook, swirling occasionally, until the sugar syrup caramelizes and turns dark brown. Pour in the heavy cream and 2 tablespoons water (stand back; it may splatter). Simmer, stirring with a heatproof rubber spatula until smooth. Cool completely.

    Pour the custard base into an ice cream machine and churn. Add rhubarb compote for the last minute of churning.

    Scrape a quarter of the caramel into the bottom of a freezer-proof quart container. Top with a quarter of the ice cream. Repeat layering until all of the caramel and ice cream has been used, ending with the ice cream. Freeze until firm for at least 2 hours and up to 1 week.

    NOTE: ONE WEEK!? HAHAHAHA!