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Vanilla Ice Cream, Macaroons, and More

October 16, 2011

Though it seems impossible, each week seems to be busier than the last. There have been a number of exciting happenings in the garden and the kitchen this week, and I’ve built up an eclectic selection of pictures and recipes to share. If I had more time I’d probably make this into at least three different posts, but that’s not in the cards right now. So here it goes.

First up: more ice cream! I received a gift of vanilla beans from Uganda (thanks, Jonah!) which meant it was time for ice cream. I had never worked with vanilla beans, but I was lucky to have a friend with culinary experience visiting who helped me out (thanks, Laura!). I was amazed by how many tiny seeds were inside each pod. After having success with the mint chip, I returned to David Lebovitz’s website for a vanilla ice cream recipe. I used milk and cream from Ronnybrook Dairy. The ice cream was delicious! We’ve been enjoying it all week! (I just finished a hot fudge sundae; yum.)

Ice Cream Ingredients

Scraping the Seeds from the Vanilla Bean

Vanilla Seeds and Pods Steeping in the Milk

Laura’s Impressive Stack of Shells

Final Product!

After making two quarts of ice cream, I was left with ten egg whites. I wasn’t hungry enough for a giant omelet, so I took a look at this blog post and decided to try the chocolate coconut macaroons. I made a huge batch, and then froze half of the dough. The cookies were delicious. The only downside is that the chocolate melts easily. However, keeping them in the fridge prevented melting, and they still tasted fresh after almost a week.

Massive Mound of Sugar in Egg Whites

Even More Massive Pile of Coconut

The Dough

The Cookies

Cookies + Chocolate = Delicious

At the market last weekend, we were feeling adventurous and bought blowfish tails. Apparently they are only in season in this area for a few weeks, and we caught the tail end of it (pun intended). As per the recommendation of the fishmongers, we coated them in bread crumbs and fried them. You can pick them up by the tail just like you would a chicken leg. We’d definitely get them again. The meat was tender and mild-flavored.

Blowfish Tails in the Pan

Finished Blowfish Tails

A few other cooking notes from the week:

We got our first delicata squash from the market and roasted it with some butter and brown sugar. Not only did it keep for almost two weeks (one reason I love squash), but it didn’t have to be peeled, which gives it a step up on butternut. It was so delicious and easy, we bought another one today.

Delicata Squash Ready for the Oven

On Friday, we made these simple mini apple crisps to serve under the ice cream.

Mini Apple Crisps

This evening I made this roasted beet salad from the New York Times. It was delicious. Even though there are a lot of ingredients, most of them are things I already had around the house.

Beautiful Beets (Before Cooking)

Roasted Beet Salad

And finally, a couple of notes from the garden:

The first of the fall peas are coming in!

There are more beans!

The newly planted radishes have joined the kale seedlings and have been thoroughly destroyed by pests.

Some varieties of tomatoes are still rolling.

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