Coffee Madness Ice Cream


Now that the fear of making ice cream and my first chocolate ice cream is under my belt … and so fabUlous … I have this desire need to try more flavors, add in different flavors and textures. Who knew making ice cream could be so easy? Well, easy thanks to my Kitchen Aide Ice Cream attachment.

After a kitchen powwow with a fellow ice cream with lots-o-stuff lover, coffee ice cream was the next flavor. But it needs chocolate! And something crunchy! Okay … brownies? Heath Bar pieces?


The Dear One went to the store for me, list in hand, clearly saying MILK. I didn’t think I needed to be more specific … like, whole milk versus 2% milk. So into the house came 2% milk. Yucky to begin with, I wasn’t sure it would fly in the ice cream, but the thought of driving ALL the way to the store again made my head want to implode, so I went with it.

The 2% milk made this slightly less creamy. I also think my helper let the custardy part cook a *tiny* bit too long.

All that said, it was GONE without a problem in a couple of days. Freezer door opening, lid popping open, spoons digging in for just a spoonful.

But, really, how can you go wrong with coffee ice cream, brownies and toffee bits? You can’t!

  • 1 1/2 C heavy cream
  • 1 1/2 C milk
  • 3 egg yolks
  • 2 whole eggs
  • 3/4 C sugar
  • 1/2 C very strong coffee
  • 1 1/2 C bite sized brownie pieces
  • 1/4 C Heath bar bits

Combine eggs, yolks and sugar in a bowl and blend thoroughly with a whisk or electric beater for about 5 minutes. Heat milk and cream in a medium saucepan; do not let boil, just “scorch” it, bringing to a near-boiling hot. Turn off heat. Very slowly pour in 1 cup of the hot milk mixture into the egg mixture, beating rapidly with a whisk.

NOTE: Just as an aside, the reason for pouring a bit of the hot liquid into the eggs while whisking is so you temper the eggs. If you just poured the eggs into the hot milk, you’d have scrambled eggs!

Once it is all beaten in, pour the egg mixture into the saucepan with the milk mixture while beating. Heat mixture under medium low, stirring constantly, for a few more minutes or until the consistency is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon when dipped in. Turn off heat.

Pour mixture into a bowl and cover with plastic wrap placed directly on the surface of the liquid (this keeps the mixture from forming a skin). Chill overnight or until completely cool.

Pour mixture into ice cream maker and follow machine’s directions for how long it should churn. Add the 1/2 cup of CHILLED coffee halfway through churning. Toss in the brownie bites and Heath bits during the last minute of churning. You may need to finish mixing by hand before placing the ice cream in the freezer for a couple of hours. Store in an airtight container in the freezer.


Uncle Nicky’s Irish Cream

Irish Cream

They say that music hath charms to soothe the savage breast … and yes, it’s breast, not beast. I received 20 bonus points on an American History final for knowing just that!

But, I digress …

’round our house, my Irish cream recipe has charms to soothe the savage Dad, or any other grumpy person that comes our way when there’s a pitcher of this around. We traditionally have this Christmas morning, but every once in a while, the boy can cajole me into making it just ‘because’. This recipe came from my Uncle Nicky, I tweaked it a tiny bit, changing whiskey to Amraretto – a mellower flavor in my opinion. But make no mistake, whether whiskey or Amaretto, this goes down VERY quickly and will soothe any bah humbug person and go to your head rather quickly!

  • 1 can sweetened condensed milk (12oz)
  • 12oz. heavy cream
  • 2 T Honey
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 6-8oz of Amaretto
  • squirt or two of chocolate syrup

NOTE: I pour the heavy cream into the condensed milk can to make life easier. I usually go with 6 oz. We do, after all, usually drink this Christmas MORNING! You can sub in Whiskey or Bourbon if you prefer. I’ve never measured the squirt. It all depends on how chocolatey you like things. Add a squirt, blend taste, add more if that’s to your taste.


Throw everything in a blender, blend well. Chill and serve.

NOTE: Best ice cold.

I always use Amaretto instead of whiskey as it gives it a much more mellow flavour, but the same KICK!!!

Torta Senza Riso

I am so pleased to be participating in the Holiday Recipe Club (if you want to join click on the link and send in an email)! I love these blog hops. So much fun to see what everyone else is doing and cooking and baking. I particularly love that this one is no pressure. I don’t work well with deadlines. This one is simple ~ a few weeks before the holiday you’re sent a list of ingredients. You have to use 1, 2 or all 3 in your recipe. How much fun is that?

Back to the cooking!

Growing up, one of my favorite things to have at any holiday was my Great Grandmother’s Torta. Plain and simple – a flaky pie-like crust, spinach, rice, parmigiano, eggs, baked and fabulousness. Then my Mother throws a wrench into the works with a recipe by her friend Celeste for something very similar, that she has now tweaked, but without the rice and using ricotta.

  • 1 pie crust ~ deep dish
  • 1 – 6 oz. bag baby spinach, roughly chopped
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 16 oz ricotta
  • heaping 1/4 C parmigiano
  • 1/4 t fresh ground pepper

NOTE: For you do-it-yourselfers out there, by all means make the pie crust. I used a Pillsbury pie crust.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Roughly chop the spinach and saute until cooked down. Let cool and squeeze dry. If you don’t squeeze it dry, the whole thing will be too soggy and watery.

Mix spinach, eggs, ricotta, parmigiano and pepper in a bowl.

Pour into pie crust, smooth out top and bake for about 45 until lightly brown on top.

This makes a wonderful lunch, light supper with a salad, or side dish.

Top Hats

I am very late to the Pioneer Woman bandwagon. Not sure why. I love her recipes and style of cooking. Might have to do with my general aversion to blogs for such a long time. I still find it amazing when I look at my stats each day that people actually stop by here and read my blog!

Anywho … I was gently lulled into my affection for the Pioneer Woman.  Watching her one morning on the Food Network she made Egg in a Hole. This recipe opened the flood gates of memories for me. My Aunt used to make this for me when I was little. She called them Top Hats. It has always been one of my absolute favorite breakfasts. So comforting.

Thank you Ree for reminding me of this childhood favorite.  This was included in The Pioneer Woman Cooks – don’t have it? Get it! There are some great recipes in here!

Breakfast doesn’t get easier than this. Whether you call this Egg in a Hole or Top Hats or Bird’s Nests, make them! They will quickly become a favorite of your family!

  • 1 slice of your favorite kind of bread
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 egg
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • dash of tabasco (optional)

With a biscuit cutter or the rim of a glass, cut a hole in the center of the slice of bread. This disk forms the “hat” part.


Heat a skillet over medium heat and melt in the butter. When the butter is melted, place the piece of bread and the hat in the skillet. As the bread and hat begin to turn golden brown, crack the egg into the center of the hole. Salt, pepper, a dash of tabasco, if using.


Cook until the egg sets a bit on the bottom, about a minute.  After the minute, flip it over with a spatula and salt and pepper the other side.

Move the whole piece of toast and the hat around the skillet, soaking up all of the butter. Let cook until the yolk still feels soft.

YUM! And don’t let anyone steal your hat! That’s the best part!

“BLE” Breakfast Sandwich

I am not a breakfast person.

Don’t get me wrong …

I love bacon and eggs, and waffles, and pancakes. Oh, and hash and eggs! Wait, Eggs Benedict!

I just can’t eat them first thing in the morning. I love breakfast for dinner or breakfast for lunch.

And when it’s really hot out, I am happy to not have to cook much at all. Breakfast is the perfect solution.

The BLE Sandwich satisfies that. A poached egg, crispy pancetta, arugula, aioli, on a ciabatta. Yummy. Filling. All your food groups covered. Quick. Very little slaving over a hot stove.

I must admit before we go much further, this was my very first attempt at poached eggs. Why, yes, I had been living under a rock. Thank you.

So here we go ~

For the Sandwich:

  • 4 small ciabatta rolls or one loaf cut into 4
  • 4 eggs
  • 4 slices of pancetta
  • 2 C arugula
  • aioli (recipe below)

For the Aioli:

  • 2 or 3 garlic cloves
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 egg yolk at room temperature
  • juice from 1/2 a lemon
  • 2/3 C olive oil
  • 1/3 C extra virgin olive oil

NOTE: I used Eggland’s Eggs – especially for the aioli. The ciabatta rolls shouldn’t be much larger than the poached egg. I hate when all you have left is bread and no stuff inside. Though with this, a little bit left to mop up the egg yolk that may have escaped wouldn’t be a bad thing!

Split and lightly toast the ciabatta.

Preheat oven to 400.

Please pancetta slices on foil or a baking sheet and bake until crisp, about 10 minutes, depending on the thickness of the pancetta.

NOTE: You can also crisp the pancetta in a saute pan the same way you cook bacon.

Add 3″ of water to a shallow pot. Bring water to a boil and then reduce the heat so the water is just simmering. Crack an egg into a small, shallow bowl or cup. Gently slide the egg into the water. It will look like this is going to be a disaster, but the egg starts to tighten up.

Now, the timing – 2 minutes for runny yolks, 3 minutes for soft yolks, 4 minutes for firm yolks.

Using a slotted spoon, remove the egg from the water and place on paper towels. Pat the top of the egg to dry the egg off.

For the Aioli:

Add the garlic and salt to the bowl of a food processor or blender. Pulse for 2 seconds. Add the yolk and lemon juice, and pulse on and off until blended. Turn on and begin slowly streaming the olive oil, and the extra virgin olive oil.

NOTE: If the aioli gets too thick, you can thin it out with room-temperature water and then continue adding oil until you’ve used it all. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Now to assemble ~ place the bottom of the ciabatta roll on a plate, add some arugula, a slice of crispy pancetta, a poached egg, a dollop of aioli and the top half of the ciabatta.