Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Summer Cool Down, Target style

Oh Target, My Target. How I love you so. Especially during summer clearance time. I mean it. Seriously. How can you top a Slip and Slide for $2.49?!? Obviously my girls don't think you can.

(We learned pretty quickly that we had to move said Slip and Slide from a level area to an area with a downward slope. Phew! That saved a lot of energy previously spent dragging them down to the end. My arm muscles were still sore the next day.) 

Then to add applause to admiration (my own saying that's the reverse of 'adding insult to injury'), I also scored a Sunbeam 1 qt. canister ice cream maker for $12.50!

The girls were ready to bring it home and start making ice cream right away. Of course I had to explain to them that the canister had to set up in the freezer for 24 hours.

That gave me time to gather all the ingredients for this recipe:
Chocolate Chip Mint Ice Cream
(yes, I know it's 'backwards', but that's what my daughters call it)

2 cups 2% milk
2 cups heavy cream
1 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon peppermint extract
3 drops green food coloring (optional)
1 cup miniature semisweet chocolate chips

1. In a large bowl, stir together the milk, cream, sugar, salt, vanilla extract and peppermint extract until the sugar has dissolved. Color to your liking with the green food coloring.

2. Pour the mixture into an ice cream maker, and freeze according to the manufacturer's instructions. After about 10 minutes into the freezing, add the chocolate chips. After the ice cream has thickened, about 30 minutes later, spoon into a container, and freeze for 2 hours.

It really helps to prechill the ice cream mixture (actually pre-freeze for 20or 30 minutes) before pouring into the canister. Room temperature ingredients are tough to solidify!

And did I mention that the Target ice cream cones were .92 cents?!

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Homemade Htipiti

What is Htipiti? It is an outrageously yummy dip made with 4 ingredients...and a processor. If you're like me and enjoy Greek food (evidenced in a previous post) you must try this!

My recipe is inspired from a local restaurant my family frequents called Athens Kouzzina. I am never disappointed by any dish that I have tried there, from traditional salads and gyros, to pastas and seafood. My kids like it because they are allowed to draw on the paper tablecloths.

You will need
  • a 12 oz jar of roasted red peppers
  • 4 oz feta cheese
  • a splash of olive oil
  • a pinch of pepper flakes (optional but strongly encouraged for a good KICK)

First step, drain the roasted red peppers in a colander and then blot over a couple of paper towels. This keeps the final product from becoming runny. You also want to wipe off as much of charred skin as possible. (Caution: this will turn your fingernails red/orange for a day.)

Then you need to drain the liquid from the feta and slice it up.

Next, dump the peppers and feta into a processor. Toss in a pinch of pepper flakes, as much as you can handle, and about a tablespoon of olive oil. The olive oil is just to keep the mixture moving, not as a substanial element. The traditional method of making this dip calls for a pepperoncini pepper instead of the pepper flakes, so if you have any on hand, try one of those instead.

Pulse the processor until your chunks of are broken down, but you want a textured final product, not a smooth paste.

We are wild about this dip on warm pita trianlges, but today I was bringing the dip to serve at a potluck reception, so to avoid each person at the buffet table having to spread the dip individually, I decided to spread the dip inside of tortillas and cut them into self serve portions.

Slicing tip: Make sure to wipe the blade of your knife after each complete cut. That way you won't be spreading the schmear of the dip onto the top of the next slice. Hope you like it!