Monthly Archives: August 2013

Mango ice cream – How do you take pictures of this?


Well now I understand why you see all these beautiful pics of ice cream on the cone. No one ever takes pics of the custard base or hot cream mixed with sugar that decides to separate and look like watery froth. There’s no time for pics when you have to whisk patiently and anxiously await the magical 170 degrees pre-custard straining (geez that sounds gross).  But it’s all okay because it turned out great!!!!

So here’s two pics and my secrets to success. This was my third time making ice cream this summer, and here are my (not that qualified) tips for success. THIS epicurious ice cream base is phenomenal. I used it to make peach ice cream earlier this summer and it came in handy for my dad and grandma’s favorite, mangoooo. If you haven’t noticed, mangoes are on sale lately, so take advantage!

Ok, don’t forget to freeze your ice cream canister in the freezer for “awhile” before making it so that it will totally freeze in a short period of time. Make sure to let the cream base cool completely before putting in the fridge. DO NOT put chunks of fruit in the ice cream machine, they’ll turn to ice. Instead, use puree! Here I pureed mangoes with a bit of sugar and the juice of two limes (from some recipe I cannot find…)

Lastly, taste develops more the second day after you’ve made it!



So this is what my kitchen looks like after making this…basically a warning that yes this is messy!


Mango puree

DSCF4092Mango ice cream


Sweet Potato Oatmeal


Really trying to switch up the ole cereal mix here. The goal here was to have sweet potato pie for breakfast, but you know, the oats in a bowl got the best of me. I also didnt really want to wait a solid 1.5 hours before eating breakfast 🙂

JK, but seriously, I neeeeed some more protein for breakfast. I know there’s all those yummy breakfast bars ‘n’ stuff out there in the market, but I need like more than 3 bites of food when I wake up.  I salute you rush-out-the-door breakfast bar eaters, but I’m a slow-poke over here at 7 am. 

Good thing about sweet potatoes is that quick 6-ish minute time in the microwave steaming is the perfect amount of time to get out some oats, ponder over what to wear, start the coffee, choose heels or flats, pick out a section of the paper to read, and whew is it already 7:14? Ok so clearly I’m no recipe genius over here, there are some amazing oatmeal creations out there, but the biggest thing for me is QUICKLY GET THIS FOOD READY IMMMAHUNGRYNOW. I’m not prepared enough to do overnight oats and I’m not about to saute apples in butter to top off some delicious apple pie oatmeal. Maybe on Saturday….

So! My favorite thing is with an almost rotten banana bc it removes the need for so much sugar, but basically I like to add nuts, fruit, vanilla extract and some cinnamon to flavor the milk as it boils before adding oats. Here, I cooked a sweet potato in the microwave, added half of it to some milk that I brought to a simmer with pecans, cinnamon, vanilla, and a pinch of nutmeg and cloves. Then after adding oats I added peanut butter (2ish tablespoons) and had to add some maple syrup at the end bc I like my bfast sweet!





On that Midnight Train to Berry Cornmeal Breakfast Cake



What do you do with leftover corn? I already had some black bean corn salsa, and really wasn’t in the mood to make tacos or another corn salad, hence, the midnight train to corn cake. I was thinking about how much I love brown sugar in cornbread and thought it would be the most delicious breakfast to have a moist sweet corn muffin with my coffee. Only wish I would have thought of this before 10:45 on Sunday night. I’m still not 100% sure how I feel about this cake, but I think it’s because I didn’t cook it quite long enough.

I know corn might not be everyone’s cup of tea in a sweet cake, but you know, I seriously miss the corn cookie I had at Milk Bar in New York and am SOOOO eager to make Jill Donenfeld’s corn ice cream with blueberries and cinnamon. This sufficed for now!

Thank you NaturallyElla for this Blueberry Maple Corn Cake recipe, slightly adapted with frozen mixed berries instead of blueberries and one ear of corn added. In this case, I actually did have walnut oil. I must say I was very surprised at the delicious mix of flavors (omg I almost wrote infusion of flavors, who am I?) of cornmeal, walnut oil, and maple syrup. The cake already has two eggs that add moisture, but the walnut oil left no room for drying out.

I think I also thought I could get away with late-night baking on a weeknight because I’m now a toaster-oven-baker. It’s so small I feel like I’m using an Easy-bake!… A broken oven is no reason to stop baking.





(Flour on the berries helps them disperse in the mix)



hey there, close up

Sticky Eggplant & Coconut Cashew Rice



Finally a successful recipe. So I haven’t posted in a little over a week because honestly, I’ve had some major recipe fails. But, the only way to get better is to get back up on that horse? Ok but if I fall off a horse, are you going to be the one to say, hey Katie, yea, please get back on? This is entirely out of context, moving on.

Well, I’ll just be honest and say these are the fails so you know what NOT to do!

1. Claire Thomas’ Veggie Burgers – um, I didn’t have the beets and I don’t think I had the right amount of each ingredient, so mine came out super mushy. Still delicious, but more like a veggie mash :/

2. I burned a purple potato kalamata pizza, so I’ve now dubbed that one “pizza bread” or “olive bread” bc we had to scrape off the completely inedible purple potatoes. Note to self, don’t slice the potatoes so thin or maybe just cook thinner slices for a shorter amount of time.

3. Scallops – oh, scallops. It’s not so much that I didn’t try really hard, but I think I was so concerned with timing that I just barely overcooked them. I tried to follow Chrissy Teigen’s advice to fully dry scallops so they get a nice crisp, and to cook exactly 2-3 minutes per side. Well, I guess go closer to the 2 minute side.

CHEERS *Cue clinking Coronas* I have reached rice accuracy. And that’s a big deal for me, considering I have mastered custard but until now, have burned EVERY attempt at rice. I was talking to someone the other day who said you really have to let that thin layer of liquid stay on top of the rice bc it is helpful for the cooking, so don’t mix it up. Well that actually worked.

My teryaki sauce didn’t really come out how I think the recipe intended, considering I was covered in sticky sauce every time I tried to stir it up. But it was still delish! Didn’t have any ginger, so I added some chili garlic sauce to give the sauce some POP. The First Mess’s recipe was a great healthy dinner, and since we weren’t using the grill, I basically just pan fried the eggplant.

Also didn’t have brown jasmine rice, so I used basmati. Rinsed it off to get off all much of the starch (helps with cooking time) and followed Jill’s instructions to add 1/2 tsp of salt, a can of coconut milk, and two cups water with two cups of rice.

Thanks for the recipe, Laura! Do you think we can bond over Canadian peaches and Georgia peaches?

Also has anyone been to Serenbe in GA? I am now obsessed.




Used one regular eggplant and one of these Japanese ones I got at the Serenbe farmers market (OK NEW FAVORITE PLACE EVER)


Sauce pre-simmering^^


Sauce getting really sticky after about 10 mins of simmering

DSCF4018Marinating the eggplant in sticky teriyaki sauce

DSCF4015Coconut milk = Richness to plain ole rice

DSCF4023Eggplant before pan-searing (ok but we all know searing is code for frying at least in this case)

DSCF4021Fresh basil and a teeny amount of mint from our garden! Added some sesame oil to the rice along with chili garlic sauce to give it extra flavor. Didn’t have shallots but I like the flavor of red onion so used a quarter of a red onion, thinly sliced, and green onion



Hello, Thai goodness.

BeetsMe goes Bananas for Pie


photo (42)

Perfect Saturday afternoon bake-out. Sometimes I think cloudy skies are a call to bakers everywhere, saying, “YES! It is okay for you to stay inside and spend the time getting that pie crust right!” Well, in our case it was a vanilla wafer crust, so I mean, didn’t totally take that much to get it right. Which of course means we spent less time trying to perfect and messed up a few of the steps :). Head over to JoytheBaker’s cookbook for this Banana Coconut Cream Pie recipe.

At 5 pm this made a good pre-dinner dessert and was the perfect welcome home present for my Grandma who recently returned from a trip to see my cousins. After a fun dinner catching up on our family and her travels, I felt comfortable taking her home knowing she had a cup of decaf and a slice of pie to decompress. Tomorrow morning, I can’t wait to have another slice for breakfast!!

Watching Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants and baking pie with Cessie? What more could I ask for. THANKFUL ❤ CAS.


Mixing the ingredients for the crust. We made the mistake of adding ALL the coconut to the nilla wafers and sugar, wooops. So to fix it, we sifted the coconut to get out the sugar and nilla wafers. Then we crushed up some more wafers to add. Everything turned out ok wheww. See above for the crust pressed into the pan…saw this tip on a blog I think…take the bottom of a glass and use to smooth out a crumb-based pie crust!

photo (41)

photo (43)This is the weird egg-yolk sugar, cornstarch, salt mix that goes into the custard. Another tip I can’t believe I never tried was separating egg yolks and whites using your hands instead of the shell. WORKS LIKE MAGIC I don’t know why I’ve been using the shell for so long, but it’s seriously foolproof.

photo (44)Mixing the custard is by far the hardest part. Tempering eggs always makes me nervous (when you add some of the hot cream in the eggs to make sure they don’t curdle when you add into the pan) but it really went okay. This is why it is definitely better to have two people, at least, when you’re working on time-constrained recipes. The only thing that really stinks about this part is the smell of warm milk, no thank you.

photo (45)Ta-da! Custard cooled in the fridge for a few hours. Folded in bananas and some more of the salvaged toasted coconut.

photo (46)Home-made cool HHHWHIP

photo (47)Some more sprinkled coconut on top. PS I used a mix of unsweetened and sweetened coconut and it turned out well.

photo (48)Pie!