Blueberry Yogurt Pops

Update: These just posted on the LC website! Recipe and reviews are here.
Last week I tested out my new popsicle molds by making blueberry yogurt pops from the Paletas cookbook (another library find!) I halved the recipe since I can only make four popsicles at a time but I still had enough yogurt left over to make three additional pops after we polished off the first ones. Instead of layering the yogurt with the berries in the second batch, I smashed the blueberries into the yogurt mixture and then poured them into the molds. I definitely preferred the berry flavored yogurt more than the plain yogurt with ice cube-like berries in the middle. YUM!
  • Peel from 1 lemon
  • ½ cup water
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 1½ cups plain unsweetened Greek yogurt
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 2 cups fresh blackberries, or the berry of your choice

Rinse the lemon, then peel it. Combine the water and sugar in a small saucepan and cook over medium-high heat, stirring, until the mixture comes to a boil and the sugar has dissolved. Add the lemon peel, lower the heat, and simmer for 5 minutes. Let cool to room temperature. Strain the syrup through a fine-mesh sieve, then refrigerate until chilled.Put the yogurt and honey in a bowl, add the chilled syrup and stir well. Pour a bit of the yogurt mixture into each of the molds, to a height of about ¾ inch.  Freeze until the mixture begins to set, about 40 minutes. Next divide the blackberries among the popsicle molds, then pour in the remaining yogurt mixture, dividing it evenly among the molds. OR, just smash the berries into the mixture and pour directly into molds. Freeze for 3-4 hours. Makes 8-10 popsicles.

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Peach Ice Cream

Every time I drive through the Central Valley, I make sure to visit at least one produce stand along the way. On my drive to Truckee yesterday, I stopped in Dixon to grab a couple pounds of peaches for eating and ice cream making. The stand did not disappoint. I had what was probably the most juicy and flavorful canteloupe I’ve ever eaten, and I’m already looking forward to stopping again tomorrow on my way back home.

I’ve borrowed David Lebovitz’s Perfect Scoop book at the library numerous times but have never tried his peach ice cream until tonight. It was every bit as delicious as everyone says it is. Ripe peaches are key (and I love the addition of sour cream) but I’m guessing it gets even better the longer it sits in the freezer. We could only hold out for 25 minutes of churning so our “ice cream” was more like soft serve – which was totally satisfying. The rest of the batch is sitting in the freezer and will be hardened up for breakfast tomorrow morning. Yum!

Peach Ice Cream (from David Lebovitz’s Perfect Scoop)

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 pounds ripe peaches [about 4 large peaches]
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • A  few drops freshly squeezed lemon juice

Peel the peaches, slice them in half, and remove the pits. Cut the peaches into chunks and cook them with water in a nonreactive saucepan over medium heat, covered, stirring once or twice, until soft and cooked through, about 10 minutes. Remove from heat, stir in the sugar, then cool to room temperature. Purée the cooked peaches and any liquid in a blender or food processor with the sour cream, heavy cream, vanilla, and lemon juice until almost smooth but slightly chunky. Chill the mixture thoroughly in the refrigerator (overnight is best but we didn’t have the patience) and freeze in your ice cream maker according to manufacturer’s instructions.

Flageolet Bean Salad

Tonight was an experimental “clean up the fridge and pantry” kind of dinner. Much to my surprise, it actually worked! I have a ton of Zursun beans in the pantry and my CSA box arrived with six gorgeous heirloom tomatoes last week. Throw in a few other standby ingredients and voila, dinner is served!

Serves 2 (or 1 really hungry girl)

  • 1/2 cup dried flageolets
  • 1.5 TB chopped shallots
  • 1 TB capers
  • 2 TB fruity olive oil
  • 1 TB white wine vinegar
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 2 leaves fresh basil, torn
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • heirloom tomato slices for garnish

Soak the beans all day or overnight in a bowl using 3x as much water as beans. Drain and rinse with cool water. Put beans in medium pan and cover with two inches of water. Bring to boil, reduce heat to simmer and cook uncovered until beans are tender (45-60 minutes depending on how fresh your beans are). Drain beans and let cool slightly.

Combine beans, shallots, and capers in a bowl. Drizzle olive oil and vinegar over salad and stir. Add minced garlic, salt, pepper, and basil. Toss and garnish with tomatoes.

Grilled Chicken with Basil Dressing

Tonight I made an old standby recipe, Giada’s Grilled Chicken with Basil Dressing. I had a bunch of basil leftover in the freezer and was happy to use it all up with a summery dish (especially on a night that does NOT feel like summer). I’ve made this chicken so many times that I don’t follow the recipe anymore but just add everything to taste.

Adapted from Giada’s Grilled Chicken with Basil Dressing (my version below serves 2)

  • 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • Juice from 2 lemons
  • 1 teaspoons fennel or anise seeds, coarsely crushed
  • Salt
  • 1/2 tsp rainbow peppercorns
  • 2 boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • 1 cup lightly packed fresh basil leaves
  • 1 large clove garlic
  • Grated lemon zest from 1 lemon (Reminder to zest before you juice!)

Dump 1/2 of the oil, 1/2 of the lemon juice, fennel seeds, some salt and ground pepper in a heavy-duty Ziploc bag. Add the chicken and seal the bag. Massage the marinade into the chicken. Refrigerate at least 30 minutes and up to 1 day, turning the chicken occasionally.

Meanwhile, blend the basil, garlic, lemon zest, remaining lemon juice, salt, and peppercorns in a blender until smooth. Gradually blend in the remaining 1/3 cup oil. Season the basil sauce, to taste, with more salt and pepper. You will want a lot of sauce so don’t be afraid to keep adding basil, lemon juice, and oil.

Prepare the barbecue for medium-high heat or preheat a grill pan over medium-high heat. Grill the chicken until just cooked through, about 5 minutes per side. Transfer the chicken to plates. Drizzle the basil sauce over and serve.

Dessert? Honey lavender ice cream 🙂

Honey Lavender Ice Cream

A friend of mine gave me a tin of cooking lavender this week so I decided to take another stab at making honey lavender ice cream. I made it years ago but always remembered it being too sweet, unlike my all time favorite at Bi-Rite. I looked online for a few different recipes and compared them to my last attempt before deciding on the recipe below.

What resulted was definitely my best ice cream effort to date! Alex commented how the air bubbles were really small- ha! We were literally licking the bowl and mixing paddle so as not to waste any during the transfer from the ice cream maker to the freezer. YUM!

Adapted from Gourmet, 2003

  • 1.5 cups heavy cream
  • 1.5 cups half-and-half
  • 1/3 cup honey
  • 1.5 tablespoons dried edible lavender flowers
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt

Bring cream, half-and-half, honey, and lavender just to a boil in a 2-quart heavy saucepan over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, then remove pan from heat. Let steep for 15-20 minutes (start tasting it around 10 minutes).

Pour cream mixture through a fine-mesh sieve into a bowl and discard lavender. Return mixture to cleaned saucepan and heat over moderate heat for a few minutes until hot.

Whisk together eggs and salt in a large bowl, then add 1 cup hot cream mixture in a slow stream, whisking. Pour into remaining hot cream mixture in saucepan and cook over moderately low heat, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon, until thick enough to coat back of spoon and registers 170 to 175°F on thermometer, about 5 minutes (do not let boil).

Pour custard through sieve into cleaned bowl and cool completely, stirring occasionally. Chill, covered, for several hours or overnight.

Churn custard in an ice cream maker according to directions (mine churned for about 25 minutes). Transfer ice cream to an airtight container and put in freezer to harden for at least two hours before serving. Eat within a week though that shouldn’t be a problem.

Next up… lemon almond ice cream!