February 13, 2012
We had a packed weekend of cooking. On Friday night, I prepped the dough for Pull-Apart Challah Rolls and made Roasted Potato Salad with Garden Vegetables (the tarragon dressing is so unique). I also baked a couple of layers of brownies for my half of a two-person birthday cake project.
On Saturday, we assembled the birthday cake. J. made a batch of mocha chip ice cream with a new KitchenAid attachment the boys got me for my birthday, and we layered it with the brownies. Once it was frozen, we slathered the whole thing with whipped cream. Whoa, I know. The recipe came from Ben & Jerry’s Homemade Ice Cream & Dessert Book, and although it tasted out of this world, our construction didn’t quite work. The brownies froze too hard; the ice cream didn’t freeze quite enough; and the whipped cream slid off the cake and onto the tablecloth while we wrestled with trying to slice the whole thing. None of our family cared, though, because it was still delicious. In fact, people started putting in orders for what flavors of cake and ice cream they’d like us to make for their upcoming birthdays!
On Saturday night, J. got antsy about the milk and cream we had leftover in the fridge, and decided to make up a batch of David Lebovitz’s Salted Butter Caramel Ice Cream Recipe so it could chill overnight and we could churn it the next day. I acted as sous chef. The recipe involves making caramel not once, but twice, and yes we did start the recipe about around 10:45 PM. At least we are crazy together. The ice cream is divine, but so incredibly rich that you can really only eat a spoonful at a time. We gave away a small sample to our dear neighbors, and I do have more to share if anyone wants it! Without any stabilizers, though, it melts quickly, so you have to live close.
After that batch of ice cream I informed J. that we could no longer keep the ice cream maker in the freezer — it was just too easy to whip something up. So now the ice cream maker is washed and put away, and it will come out in a month or so. Did I mentioned I got a pasta-making attachment for my KitchenAid, too? J. made pasta with the boys while I was in Hawaii, and he made another batch of fettucine on Sunday. I only had a tiny bit, but it was amazing. Are you seeing a theme here? Homemade food, made well, pretty much always tastes better than what you can buy in a store. Still, even homemade ice cream is ice cream, and needs to be a once in a while treat.
With all that cooking done this weekend and in the recent past, our freezer is close to packed with frozen overages, so I’m using up a bunch of dinners I’ve already cooked this week. After this weekend’s excess, I could use the break from doing dishes, anyway.
Monday: Leftover grilled chicken & salad, roasted cauliflower, homemade French bread
Tuesday: Grilled cheese sandwiches, homemade vegetable soup (from the freezer)
Wednesday: General Tso’s Slow-Cooker Chicken (from the freezer), whole wheat tortilla chips, garden salad
Thursday: Spaghetti with Eggplant Pasta Sauce (from the freezer), roasted Brussels sprouts
Saturday: Onion soup (from the freezer), garden salad, rolls
Sunday: Out to dinner
For more menu planning ideas, check out Laura at Organizing Junkie.