Friday, July 31, 2015

More Ice Cream for You!

It's the last day of National Ice Cream Month. But that doesn't mean the ice cream parties should end! At the beginning of the month, I shared my Oat and Dulce de Leche ice cream that I made for our Ice Cream themed Foodie Extravaganza event. There are lots of great ice creams on the list in that post so do check those out if you haven't yet.

Here are some others that caught my eye this month.

Coconut Marshmallow Fluff Ice Cream from Blahnik Baker - Cannot stop drooling over this one. A coconut ice cream would have been delicious. But she added marshmallow fluff AND toasted marshmallows. Amazing stuff. I'll take mine with some chocolate chips added in.

Roasted Apricot Chocolate Chunk Ice Cream from Joanne Eats Well - It has chocolate chunks. Need I say more? How about the fact that she roasted the apricot?

Ice Cream Pie with Peanut Butter Krispie Crust from Foodie Crush - For the peanut butter lovers!

Salted Oreo Ice Cream Pie from Climbing Grier Mountain  - Oreos. Oreos. Oreos.

No Churn Coconut Pistachio Ice Cream from The Spiffy Cookie - My mother would go crazy over this one!

Blueberry Lemongrass Ice Cream from Pastry Chef Online - Very different!

Which flavours have caught your eye recently?

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Monday, July 20, 2015

Coconut Cilantro Pesto Dip with Baked Plantains - CIC

I put my hand upon your hip.
When I dip, you dip, we dip.

Ahem. Sorry. I just couldn't help it, So after procrastinating last month and having to rush to melt a back up dish for Crazy Ingredient Challenge, I vowed to not let that happen this month. As soon as the final votes were on, I started planning a dish using this month's winners - coconut and pesto. I had a pretty good idea of what I wanted to make. That was until a friend challenged me to avoid making bread. It wasn't exactly bread that I had planned but fiiiine, I'd step away from my flour crutch.

Stepping away wasn't easy. Coconut can be hard to highlight since it's flavour is so subtle. I eventually decided a chickpea salad/dip. Still clutching to my bread love, I thought I'd make a sandwich using this whimsical bread that I made. My owl is a little drunk/sad but he still makes a good sandwich.

Somehow, even after all that planning and a vow to not procrastinate, I found myself running to the supermarket at 11pm on the 18th to grab basil and coconut milk. Oops! And guess what? The supermarket was out of basil! Since it was too late to go elsewhere, I had to switch gears. I grabbed cilantro for a cilantro pesto then made a last minute decision to ditch the chickpeas. Instead I went with baked plantains. Really delicious and later this week, I'll still cook a batch of chickpeas to mix with the dip.

The plantains are twice baked in the style of the fried tostones. Growing up, my mother would often make these on weekends. She' fry them though. I don't think we have a particular name for them in Jamaica. I just knew them as the best plantains ever. But I know Latin American and African countries have a variety of names for them.

Be sure to scroll down to see how others used coconut and pesto!


Coconut Cilantro Pesto Dip with Baked Plantains

Coconut Sour Cream
1 can coconut milk 
2 teaspoons lemon juice
1 teaspoon vinegar
1 teaspoon oil
salt, to taste

Coconut Cilantro Pesto Dip
2 packed cups cilantro, chopped
1/4 cup nuts of choice
1 jalapeno pepper
2 cloves garlic
2 tablespoons shredded coconut
1 tablespoon lime juice
2 - 4 tablespoons oil (coconut or olive oil)
 salt to taste
 coconut sour cream

Baked Plantains
 2 green plantains 
oil for brushing


Place the coconut milk in the fridge for at least two hours. If short on time, you can place it in the freezer. After the can has chilled, carefully open the can. Do not shake the can at all. 
Scoop out the cream that has solidified at the top. Reserve the remaining liquid for smoothies or Jamaican rice and peas. 

Mix together the lemon juice and vinegar and stir in a little at a time into the the coconut cream. Taste and add enough to reach your desired taste. Stir in oil and salt. Place in the fridge to chill and solidify a a little. 

Put the cilantro, nuts, jalapeno, coconut and garlic into a food processor. Process until well-blended. Add the lemon juice then drizzle in the olive oil until you have reached your desired consistency. Err on the side of a thick peasto as you will be stirring in the coconut sour cream that will thin it considerably. Additionally, aim for a really spicy pesto since the coconut sour cream will mute the heat quite a lot. Stir in salt to taste. 

Mix the cilantro pesto and the coconut sour cream. Taste and adjust with salt or acid, if necessary. Chill until ready to use. It will thicken the longer it sits in the fridge. 

Preheat the oven to 400F. 

Slice the plantains into 1 inch pieces. Brush the pieces with oil then place on a greased baking pan. Bake for 10 minutes. 

Remove from oven and flatten the plantain pieces. My mother usually used two saucers so that's what I did.  Brush with additional oil and sprinkle with salt. Bake for another 15 minutes or until the plantain has reached the desired crispness. You can place it under the broiler for just under a minute if it's not reaching your preferred colour. 

Serve warm with coconut cilantro pesto dip!


Everything above is totally customizable. Taste at each step and adjust where you see fit. You may want more or less coconut. You may want less heat or more acid. There's no messing it up. 

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Crazy Ingredient Challenge

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Generra Bundt Cake - #BundtBakers

I have had the words for this blog post planned for weeks and then yesterday happened. It started with not getting any sleep on Tuesday night, then there was a really bad fall (I'm OK enough, I think), storms all day which meant a darker than usual house for pics (but water for the drought-stricken county!), a hard drive that did not want to cooperate, missed meals, and three stores that did not have the specific ice cream that I needed to soothe my weary soul. I was going to ditch the previously planned words and be really whiny as I sat typing up this post on my phone. But though the day really really sucked, there was cake and eventually, 5 minutes before one supermarket closed, I found the ice cream that I wanted. Whining can wait. Let's talk about this cake - generra cake.

I learned about generra a couple weeks ago - it is a coffee beverage that has orange rind and chocolate. From my research, it seems that this is a Singaporean thing. I found a coffee shop or two in Australia mentioning it and then another couple in Seattle. But most of the mentions were in Singapore. The cake  could be called "Orange Mocha Bundt" but one generra description made it seem that it was more about the coffee than the chocolate so I kept the name.

I could have also called this "Headache in a Bundt" because 3 of the 4 main ingredients have at some point triggered migraines or headaches for me. Living dangerously, folks. But I call it research. I have known for the last couple years that peanuts may be off the migraine-trigger list. I've been sneaking handfuls here and there and there's peanut butter in the cupboard. I have been too scared to touch or be in the same room as oranges since the 1990's so it was definitely time to do some testing.

As for coffee... sigh... I'll tell you more about my lack of a relationship with hot beverages and milk in October. (Yes, I said October.) The short story with coffee is this. I LOVE coffee flavoured desserts - especially ice cream. Hello, Starbucks Java Chip Ice Cream! I still remember the first day I tasted you. There were embarrassing sounds as I tried to lick the carton clean. The coffee ice cream at Devon House in Jamaica is pretty amazing too. However, I just cannot fall in love (or even like) with a cup of coffee. The first sip usually gives me an instant headache but I keep trying - hoping that one day it will taste like ice cream. Oh and then there's the fact that coffee makes me sleepy. Yeah, I'm wired a little differently. Conversely, sleeping pills and antihistamines do not make me sleepy. Google said I'm not abnormal. Well, what Google said was that there are "others". It's possible that that does not translate to "Kelly, you are normal."

So the verdict? I ate a whole lot of cake and there were no headaches. I did feel a twinge here and there but it wasn't anything serious and there were several confounding factors. I'm still not ready to jump back on the orange train though. It's been so many years (decades!) that I don't miss it enough to risk it just yet. Maybe in another couple years, the researcher in me will do some more orange-tests.

By the way, peanuts are not a part of the generra. Our theme for Bundt Bakers this month is fruits and nuts. I had the fruit covered and needed a nut. I could have easily used so many other non-migraine inducing nuts to complement the generra. I'm just ridiculously stubborn sometimes. If you love coffee flavoured desserts, give this one a try. You may even want to add more espresso to give the coffee flavour an extra boost. I was actually surprised at how well the orange worked and the coffee did not overpower it at all. If you use instant coffee instead of espresso powder, you're going to want to use a few more tablespoons.

Scroll down to see how the other Bundt Bakers used fruits and nuts this month! Thanks for hosting, Shilpi!


Generra Bundt Cake
Recipe by: Kelly  
Yield: 1 large Bundt or 12 one cup sized minis
1/2 cup chopped nuts (I used peanuts)

4 tablespoons espresso powder
1 teaspoon hot water
1 cup milk
2 3/4 cup flour
1/4 cup cocoa
 2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup butter
2 cups sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
4 eggs
zest of one orange

Orange Whipped Cream
1/2 cup heavy cream, chilled
2 tablespoons orange juice
1 tablespoon confectioner's sugar
1 tablespoon orange zest, finely minced


Cake: Preheat oven to 350 F. Thoroughly grease and flour Bundt pan(s). Sprinkle the nuts at the bottom of the pan(s).

Dissolve the espresso powder in the hot water and then add to the milk. In a separate container, whisk together flour, cocoa, baking powder and salt. In a third container, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in vanilla then add each egg one at a time. 

Add the flour mixture in three additions alternating with the coffee mixture in two additions. Start and end with the flour mixture. Beat until smooth.

Scrape the batter into prepared pan(s). Bake the large Bundt 45-55 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. The mini Bundts should be finished within 15-18 minutes. 
Cool for ten minutes then invert onto a cooling rack to cool completely. 

Orange Whipped Cream - Beat the whipped cream to soft peaks then slowly beat in orange juice, sugar and zest. Beat to stiff peaks. 

If substituting instant coffee for espresso powder, you may want to double the amount.Taste your batter! Make sure it's really strong.


Fruits and Nuts
#BundtBakers is a group of Bundt loving bakers who get together once a month to bake Bundts with a common ingredient or theme. You can see all our of lovely Bundts by following our Pinterest board. We take turns hosting each month and choosing the theme/ingredient.
Updated links for all of our past events and more information about BundtBakers, can be found on our home page.

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Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Oat Breadsticks - #BreadBakers

Oats - an ingredient that I use almost every day. An ingredient that I like to toss into most loaves of bread. An ingredient that made its way into my beloved ice cream. Oats - the theme for this month's Bread Bakers. Sounds perfect for me, right? Yeah, I thought so too. But the days ticked by and I couldn't think of anything to make. Had I reached my oats saturation point? I first made one of my most favorite sourdough loaves. It's a simple but delicious sandwich bread that holds a special place in my heart because it's the first sourdough bread that I got "right".

It was still as delicious as I remembered. I took some pictures. But I wasn't satisfied. It just didn't feel like the bread I wanted to share this month. I whined to a friend and he reminded me about the sourdough porridge bread he had sent me months before. I reminded him about my serious porridge aversion. Back to the thinking board.

Later that week I was craving bread sticks and I did what I often do - threw some oats in. They were really soft and really really good. I love how easy it is to customise them. You can brush them with whatever you like - garlic + butter, herbs + butter or even cheese + butter. Just don't forget the butter. For this batch, I used some thyme. But on a subsequent batch, it was cinnamon and sugar.

 If you're looking for some oat inspiration, I know I am, the Bread Bakers have quite the list for you - approximately 30 ways to use oats in your dough. Thanks, Rocio for hosting! Enjoy!

Oat Breadsticks
Recipe by: Kelly  
Yield: ~ 9 breadsticks

35 grams old fashioned rolled oats
12 grams sugar
6 grams salt
170 grams really hot water
240 grams flour
1 t instant yeast
14 grams oil

2 tablespoons melted butter, warm
1- 2 teaspoons, chopped herbs

Combine oats, sugar, salt and hot water in a large bowl. Cover and let sit for at least an hour. To the bowl, add flour, yeast and oil. Knead until you have a smooth, soft dough. This will take about 6 or 7 minutes. It should be tacky but not sticky. 

Place dough in an oiled container. Cover and let rise until doubled. 

Combine the topping ingredients and set aside.

Preheat oven to 425 F.  

When dough has risen, divide into 9 equal pieces. Roll each piece into a 7 - 9 inch log. Place each log on a greased baking sheet or a parchment lined baking sheet. I used an 18" x 13" half sheet pan with each placed about an inch apart. Cover and let rise until doubled. 

Bake for 5 minutes or just until set. Brush with half the melted butter + herbs and return to the oven. Bake for another 5 - 7 minutes or until lightly browned. Remove from the oven and brush with the remaining butter + herbs. 

Serve warm.
  • Letting the oats sit for a while in water allows them to soften. The oats will then be less likely to tear the gluten strand. You can start with cool water and let it sit longer - even overnight.
  • Do not use the oat mixture if the temperature if still above the liquid temperature recommended by the manufacturer of your yeast


Oatmeal Bread themed #BreadBakers:

Oatmeal Bread themed #BreadBakers:

#BreadBakers is a group of bread loving bakers who get together once a month to bake bread with a common ingredient or theme. Follow our Pinterest board right here. Links are also updated each month on this home page.

We take turns hosting each month and choosing the theme/ingredient.

If you are a food blogger and would like to join us, just send Stacy an email with your blog URL to
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Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Oat and Dulce de Leche Swirl Ice Cream - Foodie Extravaganza

It was 4 am. I crept down to the kitchen to get some water. Soon, I found myself standing at the counter eating spoonfuls of the ice cream that I had made 5 hours earlier. The water forgotten, I smiled. The ice cream was good - really good. I was also smiling as it brought back memories of times not too long ago when 4 am bowls of ice cream were a regular thing. In fact, it wasn't limited to 4 am. Breakfast, painful lunch meetings, pre-dinner, post-dinner - I was always eating ice cream.

I cut back when I had a health "issue". Reducing saturated fat was one of the many things suggested to ease trigeminal neuralgia pain.Honestly, I don't know if it made a difference. But I was in too much pain to not try it. After surgery, the hospitality director visited to see how I was doing. She asked if there was anything that I needed. I immediately said chocolate ice cream. My friends and family laughed. But I was serious. I had given up chocolate about two months before surgery in another effort to reduce pain. I NEEDED chocolate ice cream. How else were we going to know if the surgery was successful?

July is National Ice Cream month. This is the one food holiday that I've been celebrating for years. The Farm Store down the street always has a sign up every July - there's no forgetting what July is all about. So considering my obsession with ice cream, I was more than excited when Camilla chose ice cream as this month's Foodie Extravaganza theme.

I actually had a brownie chunk ice cream planned until one night I was eating toasted oats and I wondered how that would work in ice cream. I was a bit hesitant at first. I love toasted oats and I love baking with oats. But once my oats get wet, I shudder and walk away. I just cannot do wet oats. I'm looking at you, porridge! If the oats got soggy in the ice cream, I'd be heartbroken. I remembered sprinkling sugar over my toasted oats once and when it melted, I had a great crunch. I found an oat praline recipe from David Lebovitz' Perfect Scoop which was exactly what I wanted.

It's pretty hot in South Florida right now - mid nineties - so this no churn ice cream melted quite quickly! But what better way to spend a 95 F day? Ice cream is still pretty awesome on 5 F days too, though.

Oat & Dulce de Leche Swirl Ice cream
Recipe by: Kelly   Adapted : Oat Praline from Perfect Scoop.
Yield:  ~4 cups (or what I call one serving)

Oat Praline
1/2 cup old fashioned oats
1/3 cup sugar
pinch of salt

Ice Cream Base
1/2 cup condensed milk 
1/4 cup yogurt
1 tablespoon rum
pinch of salt 
1 1/4 cup heavy cream, chilled

1/2 cup dulce de leche

Praline: Preheat oven to 350 F. Line a rimmed baking pan with foil and spread oats on the pan in a tin layer. 
Bake until toasted and fragrant. It will take about 7 - 10 minutes. Be sure to pay attention to it! Burnt oats are not as tasty.  
Place sugar in a small saucepan over medium heat. Cook until the sugar has melted and is amber coloured. Do not walk away from it! You can gently swirl the pan but do not stir. 
As soon as the sugar is amber coloured, add the toasted oats to the pan. Stir quickly to coat the oats completely. Return the mixture to the foil-covered baking pan. Spread out as thinly as you can and sprinkle with salt. Allow to cool completely. 
Break into chunks and try not to eat all of it. The size depends on your ice cream chunk-size preference. 

Ice Cream: In a large bowl, mix together condensed milk, yogurt. rum and salt. In a separate bowl, beat the heavy cream to stiff peaks. Gently fold small portions at a time into the condensed milk mixture. Next, fold in the oat praline pieces. Then gently swirl in the dulce de leche. 

Place in a covered-freezer safe container and freeze for at least 6 hours.

  • After attempting to melt sugar (because let's be honest, I'm rarely ever successful), I usually immediately fill the pan with water and return it to the fire. The hot water will quickly dissolve any remaining sugar and make it so much easier to clean. I wish I knew this when I was ten and got hardened sugar stuck in my mother's pot and melted a spatula. Story for another time.
  • If you don't use condensed milk in your tea and coffee, the rest of the condensed milk can be used to make the dulce de leche. Bake in a foil-covered baking dish at 425 F. The dish should be placed in a water bath. It will take about an hour or so for it to caramelize. You could also do it in a water bath on the stove top or in a slow cooker. Be sure to check the water bath often. You don't want it to dry out. 

Foodie Extravaganza is where we celebrate obscure food holidays or cook and bake together with the same ingredient or theme each month. This month - Camilla of Culinary Adventures with Camilla is hosting - she invited bloggers to come up with creative ice cream creations.

So during this first full month of summer, it's all about ice cream. But that can include gelato, semi-freddo, and even popsicles. Go wild!

We hope you all enjoy our delicious frozen creations this month and come back to see what we bring for you next month.

Posting day is always the first Wednesday of each month. If you are a blogger and would like to join our group and blog along with us, come join our Facebook page Foodie Extravaganza. We would love to have you! If you're a spectator looking for delicious tid-bits check out our Foodie Extravaganza Pinterest Board! Looking for our previous parties? Check them out HERE.

Here's the Scoop!

Chocolate Decadence Ice Cream by A Day in the Life on the Farm
Chocolate Malted Whopper Ice Cream by My Daylights
Crushed Pineapple Ice Cream by Food Lust People Love
Custard Cream & Strawberry Swirl No Churn Ice Cream by Baking in Pyjamas
Éma’a (Syrian Ice Cream) by Tara's Multicultural Table
Fruity Fruit Popsicles by The Freshman Cook
Lemon Basil Ice Cream by Our Good Life
Lemongrass Ginger Coconut Ice Cream by The Joyful Foodie
Maple Bacon Ice Cream by Cooking With Carlee
No-Churn Chopped Macaron Vanilla Bean Ice Cream by Rhubarb and Honey
No Churn Mint Chocolate Chip Ice Cream by Fearlessly Creative Mammas
No Churn Reese's Chocolate Peanut Butter Ice Cream by
Oat and Dulce de Leche Swirl Ice Cream by Passion Kneaded
Peach Cobbler Ice Cream by Cherishing a Sweet Life
Rhubarb Ice Cream by From Gate to Plate
Root Beer Barrel Ice Cream by Cindy's Recipes and Writings
Tahini and Lemon Curd Ice Cream by Sew You Think You Can Cook
The Bees' Knees Semifreddo by Culinary Adventures with Camilla

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