Come along with me as I journal about my latest cooking and gardening adventures. Discover what grows in my zone five garden, and see what new recipes I try from my cookbook collection each week.

As I share recipes and information from my kitchen, I invite readers to comment and share ideas along with me in this blog. I am looking to increase followers to my blog, so that I may learn more about cooking and gardening.

Since moving to Midland, Michigan, I have been reading and researching many cooking journals, cookbooks and collected recipes from the past thirty years. Organizing pictures of gardens I enjoy has also been a joy for me, as I continue to learn about garden design and horticulture.

angel food cakes

angel food cakes
this kitchen is seasoned with love

Monday, April 4, 2011

almond chocolate chip ice cream

another one of my favorite ice cream flavors made in the Cuisinart ice cream maker is almond chocolate chip.  i use the basic recipe for ice cream in the maker, which is:  2 cups of whipping cream, 1 cup of half and half, 3/4 cup of sugar, a pinch of salt, and 1 tablespoon of extract.  in this case, i used almond.  i then place in the chilled maker and process for 25 minutes.  when the mixture has thickened, i add the chocolate chips and incorporate.  to finish, i place in a stainless steel dish and freeze for 6 or more hours before serving.  this ice cream is very tasty and is wonderful served with cookies, cake, or just alone.

broccoli swiss quiche

here is a basic recipe for a Swiss quiche that can be altered with a variety of vegetables.  for this broccoli quiche, either frozen broccoli or fresh heads can be used.  today, i used fresh and trimmed all the stems completely off and just used several heads for the top of the quiche.

to begin, select a frozen pie crust to shorten the preparation time.  chop 1/2 white onion, 1/4 green pepper, several green onions, and broccoli as prepared above.

bacon or cooked and crumbled sausage can be added first to the pie shell.  next, add 6 ounces of Swiss cheese.  then add the vegetables, and about 3 more ounces of cheese, which can be a mix of Monterrey jack and cheddar.  add 2 eggs mixed with 1/2 cup of egg beaters and about 1/2 cup of half and half.  gently pepper the wet ingredients.  pour over the vegetables in the quiche dish.  allow to distribute throughout the quiche.

bake at 400 degrees for 35 minutes, check and rotate the dish.  bake for another 15 minutes until completely set in the middle of the dish.  i baked the dish for 55 minutes, but oven temperatures do vary and the amount of vegetables and liquid can adjust the cooking time.

serve this quiche with a side salad or soup, roll or popover, and cup of tea.  this makes a wonderful brunch or lunch dish.

baked macaroni and cheese

baked macaroni and cheese is a classic comfort food dish that warms everyone up on a chilly wet day.  for this traditional recipe, i use 2 cups of elbow macaroni noodles.  boil these for 8 minutes, even though the box may recommend longer.  8 minutes will soften the noodles that will continue to bake in the oven with the rest of the ingredients.

for the white cheese sauce, start with 2 tbsp of margarine melted in a saucepan.  add 2 tbsp of flour and stir to mix and heat. add 1 teaspoon of salt.  gradually whisk in 2 1/2 cups of milk, while stirring to incorporate the flour mixture.  this is an important step that must be done carefully to incorporate the ingredients into a perfect white sauce.  by gradually adding the milk, and whisking with a wire whisk, and going slowly, this step can be done successfully.

after these ingredients have been incorporated and heated to coat the back of a wooden spoon, add 2 1/2 cups of shredded cheddar cheese.  then, drain the macaroni noodles, then add to this mixture. 

pour into a greased casserole dish. add another 1/2 cup of shredded cheddar cheese to the top before baking.  bake at 375 degrees for 25 minutes, and then allow to rest for about 5 minutes before serving.  baked macaroni and cheese is a wonderful classic dish to have in any recipe box for a go-to comfort food meal.  serve this dish with a green vegetable, herb roll or salad.