No-Churn Blueberry Cheesecake Ice Cream

Barely a week since summer has officially started and Calgary has already started it’s roast. For people who don’t know, a typical summer day here hardly top 30C and over the past weekend, it was 35C. My house is literally a bake oven. Pat and I went to bed with the house reading at 28C AT NIGHT. Even with 3 fans going full blast, doors and all windows open, we could not cool the house. Also, you may wonder why not turn on the AC on?…. cause my house doesn’t come with one. HAHA! perks of landing a place with cheap rent I guess.

Anyway, I decided I had to be one step ahead of the heat and made this ice cream so that it will be ready right when we needed something to cool off. I had a pork loin cooking in the oven for 3 hours so I figured making this while I babysit the oven as an awesome efficiency. The irony of being in the swelling hot kitchen making the coldest treat possible.

The thing about no-churn ice cream is that it uses heavy cream and condense milk as base regardless of what flavour you make. I personally think that the condense milk makes the ice cream really sweet so the best way of eating this is, small portions per serving .Pat and I discovered this the hard way and our tums paid a lesson. This is the second no-churn ice cream I made. The first one i made was a malt chocolate flavour and it was way too sweet for my liking. I like this one so much better cause it’s fruity and refreshing. Frankly, I will even do away the cheesecake and just use the blueberry the next time.

No-Churn Blueberry Cheesecake Ice Cream

Cooking Time: 20min

Wait Time: 7 hours

Yield: 1 bread loaf pan

Ingredients

Ice cream base
  • 2 cups heavy whipping/heavy cream
  • 1 can (14oz) sweetened condensed milk
  • 7 oz cream cheese, room temperature
  • 2 tsp vanilla
Blueberry swirl
  • 2 cups fresh blueberries
  • 3 tbsp sugar
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice

Steps

  1. Combine blueberries, sugar, and lemon juice in a pot over medium-high heat. Cook until berries burst and release juices.
  2. Use a mixing spoon to smash some of the berries to get a stronger berry flavour.
  3. Allow berry mixture to simmer for a few minutes, until mixture thickens. Remove pot from heat and stick the pot in the fridge. ( One less bowl to wash!)
  4. With the whisk attachment of your electric mixer, beat the cream cheese till smooth.
  5. Slowly add condensed milk and vanilla, and whisk mixture until smooth.
  6. Add heavy cream and keep whisking until medium peaks form. (This will take longer than usual b/c of all the other ingredients. Be patient and keep whisking! Your peaks should form when you remove the beater but drip back to the bowl soon after.)
  7. Spoon about half of your whipped cream mixture into a standard sized loaf pan.
  8. Remove your chilled berry sauce from the fridge and spoon slightly more than half of it over your whipped cream mixture in the loaf pan.
  9. Cover with your remaining whipped cream mixture, and top with your remaining berry mixture.
  10. Use a butter knife to drag/swirl your blueberry mixture into your cream mixture.
  11. Cover pan tightly with aluminum foil, and stick it in the freezer for about 7 hours, or until ice cream is firm enough to scoop.
  12. Alternatively, you can portion into small mason jars and layer like the steps above and freeze for individual serving.

Recipe from Justputzing

Alton Brown’s Baked Meatballs

I got Alton Brown’s Good Eats cookbook series for Christmas last year and they have been having a good workout since then.  Alton Brown is my celebrity crush chef. His logic behind certain cook steps are backed up with science and many times, his recipes doesn’t fail. This meatball recipe is so versatile, you can use them in pasta sauces, soup or my personal favourite, on a sub. They also freeze very well so you can make a big batch and freeze them to use on lazy cooking days. Pat loves this recipe a lot and the best part is that you can sneak spinach in it without the taste. A big plus if you have kids who alienate greens.

Alton Brown’s Baked Meatballs

Total: 40 Mins

Prep: 20 Mins

Cook: 20 Mins

Yield: 18 Balls

Ingredients

8oz ground pork
8oz pound ground lamb
8oz pound ground beef, extra lean
5 ounces frozen chopped spinach, thawed and drained thoroughly *(see notes)
1/2 cup finely grated Parmesan
1 whole egg
1 1/2 teaspoons dried basil
1 1/2 teaspoons dried parsley
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1/2 cup bread crumbs, divided *(see notes)
Steps
  1.  Preheat your oven to 400F/200C.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, combine pork, lamb,beef,spinach,cheese, egg, parsley,basil,garlic powder,salt, red pepper flakes and 1/4cup breadcrumbs.
  3. Using your hands ( I usually wear gloves cause I don’t like the meat under my nails), mix all the ingredients until well incorporated. Use immediately or cover and refrigerate up to 24 hrs.
  4. Place 1/4 cup of breadcrumbs into a small deep bowl or mug. Shrink wrap  the platform of your digital scale.Prepare a baking sheet lined with parchment paper
  5. Working like a good factory worker, weight out 1.5oz portion of meat mixture onto the baking pan.Repeat until all the meat mixture is used up.
  6. Once all the meat is weighed out, return to the first portion and roll them between your hands.Repeat for the rest of the meatballs.
  7. When that is complete, return to the first ball and place the ball in the bowl of breadcrumbs. Swirl the meatball so the breadcrumbs coat the ball. This would help further the ball shaping too. Repeat this step for the rest of the meatballs
  8. Place the meatballs back on the baking pan OR on a mini muffin tin. The muffin tin helps to keep the meatballs in place so I prefer to use or buy a mini muffin tin than to have all the balls rolling around.
  9. Bake for 20 mins or until a touch golden brown, turning them over halfway through.
  10. Let the meatballs cool for 5 mins before serving. Or directly into sauce, soup or a sub.
  11. Allow the meatballs to cool thoroughly before placing them in a zip-lock bag for freezing, They will keep up to 3 months. Just place them into your sauce/soup or microwave them when you take them out for your next meal.

Note: Alternatively, you can use fresh spinach and boil them then chop. I also usually use pre-grated Parmesan cheese like those you pour on pasta cause I am lazy that way. I know, don’t judge me. For breadcrumbs, you can sub in Panko instead cause not everyone has the time to make croutons and blend them. You can also change the meat ( op out lamb, add more beef and pork), just make sure you keep the ratio the same AND DON’T SKIP OUT THE SPINACH. It acts as a filler to hold everything in place.

 Recipe by Alton Brown

Seattle,Washington,USA

 Earlier this week, Pat and I along with his buddies made a trip down go Seattle to watch Major League Baseball. I’ve never been to one of these games live and since picking up slow pitch, baseball is something I am pretty interested in. We went for 3 games in total and boy, it was really fun. The atmosphere is just amazing and unlike other sports, you really get a good view of the diamond and field regardless of where you sit.

Seattle besides being a major sports city also has an extensive food scene. I didn’t get to go around being a foodie but here’s a couple things I tried:

  • Top Pot Doughnuts

This local doughnut chain serves  good handmade dougnuts along with pretty awesome coffee and tea. I didn’t take a picture but one doughnut looks exactly like the pink spirnkles doughnut Homer Simpson loves.

  • The Pharmacy Bar 

 We did quite a bit of bar hopping given that I was travelling with 3 guys but this one just stands out.  Underground and a mixture of vintage/modern furnishings, its a pretty cool bar. Oh, also they do one of the best cosmos I’ve had.  Not too sure if it’s a US thing but all the cocktails I had seems to be free pour. Sometimes I cringe when I watch some bartenders pour my drink 75% of a pint glass with liquor and 5% mixer but hey, I’m not complaing that I get my money’s  worth.

  • Marination Ma’Kai, West Seattle

When the boys told me they were going to watch the US Open live, I wanted nothing of it. Instead, I decided to try a Bike and Bite Tour of West Seattle from Taste Seattle The tour does 5 tasting stops and a little history of Alki which is the main beach in West Seattle. I really recommend this tour as not many tourist would venture off main Seattle. Anyways, Marination Ma’kai sits right at the dock when you take a ferry from Pier 50 of main Seattle. YOU HAVE TO EAT THE SPICY PORK TACOS! If only that silly 1hr frequency ferry wasn’t due to depart when the tour just ended, i would have shoved another few tacos into my tiny bulging belly.

  • Slice, Along Alkai Beach, West Seattle

I had the simplest pepperoni pizza but it was the BEST GODDAMN THIN CRUST PIZZA. Even better than the ones I bake at home.

Check out my bike the tour provided me with! Really good bike and bright 🙂
On that note, let me go sit in regret that I did not eat more doughnuts and spicy pork tacos.

Chocolate Chip Cookie for 2.

I’ve contemplated starting a food blog but I guess I’ve decided to take the plunge and try it out. So, hopefully I have the gas to keep this running.

This blog isn’t meant to be like the millions of flood blogs out there.If you know me, I am a fairly private person and I want to keep this blog pretty small, just for the people I know and myself. Plus, I have a shitty phone camera to shoot with and I test recipes, not create them. Many people do not know but my fridge is FULL of recipes stuck on everywhere. That’s where I keep recipes I know that works and for easy reference during cooking times 🙂 So, if one day my kitchen were to burn down and I can’t bring along all the papers with me, at least I will have this site to come back to. Unless, my Alton Brown cookbooks burn too. Then, I’ll weep for the $140 cost of replacement and thousands of post-its I have in the books.

Anyway, I will slowing catalog the recipes I’ve tried. Starting with this!

image1I usually try a new recipe once a week but lately with my kitchen prep table being varnished and my wisdom tooth extraction, there was a 3 week down time. I had this lonngggg craving for cookies and I had to bake something to take the edge off from working on the weekend. So, I came across this recipe from TheBakerChick and it is awesome. Small batch, short prep time and yay to portion control! Pat gobbled most of them before I had to stash them somewhere in the kitchen so I get to taste it.

Perfect Chocolate Chip Cookies (For Two)

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 15 minutes

Total Time: 25 minutes

Yield: 2-6 cookies

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 3 tablespoons melted butter
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/3 cup chocolate chips

Steps

  1. Preheat oven to 325F/160C and line baking tray with parchment paper.
  2. In a small bowl, whisk the butter and sugar together. Add the vanilla and yolk and whisk until smooth and creamy.
  3. Sieve flour into a separate bowl. Add salt and baking powder to the flour.
  4. Combine the dry goods to the wet goods and stir until just mixed. Fold in the chocolate chips.
  5. Scoop the dough into 2-6 portions depending on how many cookies you want. They will spread a lot- so leave at least 3-4 inches between each scoop of dough. Your best bet for each portion is to use a cookie scoop dispenser ( I use #20) or weigh them out.
  6. Bake for 12-15 minutes. Do NOT overbake. They may look doughy on the inside- but they will continue to bake while they cool.
  7. Cool on the cookie sheet for 5 minutes then transfer to a wire rack.

I made 6 cookies and baked them at 13 mins. Just a word of caution though, each oven is different and best is to bake them to 12 mins then check and add more time if needed. If you take them out and they already look cooked, please just throw it out or pellet someone with it.

Recipe from TheBakerChick