Vanilla Ice Cream | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

Vanilla Ice Cream

Vanilla Ice Cream | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

My husband is the best gift giver. I should maybe stop telling people this because apparently he’s started to feel some performance anxiety around my birthday and Christmas, which unfortunately for him, are only a week a part. But I have to say, he’s done wonderfully again this year. He’s given me a gift which in a way is a gift for everyone I know.

For my birthday this year, I got a an ice cream maker attachment for my Kitchen Aid mixer. I was so so so excited. I’ve been wanting one of these for years. Even though you can make perfectly delightful ice cream without a machine, it’s not quite the same. But now, with a little pre-planning, I can make any kind of ice cream or sorbet that I want in my very own kitchen. The possibilities are dizzying. Please send your recommendations for your favorite ice cream recipe books, then come over for a cone.

Vanilla Ice Cream | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

We started off with a classic, Vanilla Ice Cream. If you think vanilla is plain and boring, just get out now. If you’re using good vanilla extract, of if you’re feeling fancy, real vanilla beans, your ice cream is going to be awesome. Vanilla is actually one of my favorite scents and flavors.

Making your own ice cream is easy as long as you have the proper equipment. In addition to an ice cream maker, you’ll need a candy thermometer and a fine mesh sieve. Everything else you should definitely have in your kitchen already. And use the thickest, most luxurious cream you can find, along with whole milk. Higher fat content keeps your ice cream super smooth instead of icy. 

Technically, this recipe might be frozen custard since it’s made with eggs, but I’m not particular about those sorts of definitions. Call it what you want, it’s awesome.

Vanilla Ice Cream | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

Everyone in the family agreed that this was some of the best ice cream we’d ever had. Make your own Vanilla Ice Cream at home, and you won’t be disappointed.

Vanilla Ice Cream
Serves 4
Homemade Vanilla Ice Cream might just be the best you've ever had.
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Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
20 min
Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
20 min
Ingredients
  1. 2 cups double cream or heavy cream
  2. 1 cup whole milk
  3. 2 eggs
  4. 3/4 cup sugar
  5. 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Instructions
  1. Add your cream and milk to a medium sauce pan over low heat and heat this up until you just start to see hints of bubbles around the edge, stirring occasionally.
  2. While your dairy is heating up, whisk your eggs in a mixing bowl for a few minutes until light and fluffy. Slowly whisk in the sugar until it's thick and creamy.
  3. Once your cream is hot, remove it from the heat. Temper your egg mixture by slowly drizzling in some of your hot milk into the eggs while whisking the whole time. Drizzle in about a quarter cup at a time until you've mixed in at least half of your dairy. This will raise the heat on your eggs slowly so they don't start to scramble.
  4. Now you can safely add your egg mixture back into the pan, then place the whole thing over medium low heat. Attach your candy thermometer to the side of your pan, and heat this mixture, stirring frequently, until it reaches 170F (75C). Remove from heat.
  5. To make sure we don't have any coagulated egg or weird chunks of fat from the cream ruining our perfectly smooth ice cream, pour your ice cream mixture through a fine mesh sieve into a mixing bowl. Allow this to cool on the counter for about 30 minutes, then stir in your vanilla extract.
  6. Cover this mixture with plastic wrap. Press it right down onto the surface of the mixture to prevent a skin from forming. Put this in the fridge for at least an hour to chill. Over night is fine.
  7. Add this mixture to your ice cream maker and follow your manufacturer's instructions. Store your ice cream in an air tight container while it freezes for at least four hours.
Adapted from Bakingdom
Adapted from Bakingdom
http://awesomeon20.com/
Enchilada Queso | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day
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Enchilada Queso | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

Enchilada Queso

Enchilada Queso | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

I’m trying this thing where I come home from work and just do whatever I want. Today, that involved finishing off the bottle of Bailey’s, microwaving a tortilla with some cheese and stuffing it in my face, then plopping on the couch to watch old episodes of Big Bang Theory and completely space out. I let my husband order takeaway, and I’m thinking that I might not move.

I guess I’m not 100% successful since I didn’t really want to d any work and yet here I am typing away. I guess I just can’t keep away from my to do list. But I’ve just decided that after I finish writing, I’m going to go put on my pajamas, which will elevate this evening to near perfection.

Enchilada Queso | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

The other day when I was feeling more productive, I made you Enchilada Queso. This is a simple twist on a classic cheese dip involving nothing more complex than adding some store bought stuff t a simple cheese sauce, then scooping it out with tortilla chips until your body can’t take anymore. The enchilada sauce adds a sweet smokiness to the queso that I just love.

We’re sticking to our theme of laziness by combining pre-shredded cheese to a can of evaporated milk along with some corn starch to thicken it. A close of garlic and a green onion add flavor. I buy a jar of enchilada sauce from my grocery store that comes with a packet of seasoning attached to the top, but if you can’t get a sauce/seasoning mash up, you can use a packet of your favorite taco seasoning instead. So so easy.

Enchilada Queso | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

My chips cheese and gravy should be here any minute. Enjoy your Enchilada Queso and laziness, my friends. I plan to enjoy mine.

Enchilada Queso
Serves 6
Enchilada Queso is your favorite cheese dip with a smoky twist.
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Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
10 min
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
10 min
Ingredients
  1. 225 grams shredded cheese such as cheddar, Monterrey Jack or colby
  2. 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  3. 1/2 tablespoon butter
  4. 1 clove garlic, minced
  5. 1 green onion, chopped
  6. 1 can evaporated milk
  7. 1 package enchilada or taco seasoning
  8. 1/2 cup enchilada sauce
  9. Chips for dipping
Instructions
  1. In a mixing bowl, toss together your cheese and cornstarch. Set aside.
  2. In a medium sauce pan over low heat, melt your butter then add the minced garlic and chopped green onion. Stir and cook for about a minute until fragrant.
  3. Add your evaporated milk to the pan, then stir in the cheese mixture. Add your seasoning, and stir the mixture occasionally until the cheese melts and the sauce thickens.
  4. Stir in the enchilada sauce, adding a little more or less until it reaches the consistency of your dreams.
  5. Serve warm. This dip is best eaten the first time around, but if you want to reheat it, stir it frequently and add in some extra enchilada sauce or milk if you need to thin it out.
Adapted from Recipe Tin Eats
Adapted from Recipe Tin Eats
http://awesomeon20.com/
Herbed Biscuits & Creamy Sausage Gravy | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

Herbed Biscuits & Creamy Sausage Gravy

Herbed Biscuits & Creamy Sausage Gravy | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

I went back to work this week, and thankfully it was only for two days because any longer might have killed me. Two and a bit weeks of being totally chill was absolute bliss, so any level of responsibility after that is a bit of a shock to the system. It reminded me how grateful I am to work indoors in a clean, heated office, even if not everyone I work with smells extremely awesome. That’s what they make air freshener for, right?

Eating at work is definitely not as fun, though I do consume a lot fewer calories when I’m at the office. To be honest, I’ve spent the past few days randomly stuffing popcorn and peanut M&Ms in my face that were left over from last time we went to the movies. Maybe I should make 2018 the year I eat well at work. Does anybody know how to do that? Send tips.

Herbed Biscuits & Creamy Sausage Gravy | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

We’re still doing it up right at the weekends, though. I made you some Herbed Biscuits & Creamy Sausage Gravy. Don’t panic, British friends. Please trust me when I tell you that this recipe is completely awesome. 

The biscuits are so tender and flavorful with the perfect thin crispy crust on the outside. They’re flecked with green onion and fresh parsley for added flavor, and they smell completely perfect coming out of the oven. I don’t even bother to use a biscuit cutter. I just pat out the dough and divide it into four with a pizza cutter. 

The gravy is not strictly traditional, but pork is so lean these days, making a roux ensures that you have plenty of gravy to go around. We actually had a little leftover that still tastes awesome on some buttered toast. My favorite sausage for gravy in the US has got to be Jimmy Dean Hot, but in the UK the sausage is, shall we say, a bit more subtly flavored. Cumberland sausage is the way to go, and just make sure you check your gravy for seasoning. You may need to add a bit more salt, pepper, and cayenne. 

Herbed Biscuits & Creamy Sausage Gravy | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

I’m falling more and more in love with food as time goes on. Let’s spend all our time in the kitchen and make everything. Starting with Herbed Biscuits & Creamy Gravy. It’s gonna be so awesome.

Herbed Biscuits & Creamy Sausage Gravy
Serves 4
Herbed Biscuits & Creamy Sausage Gravy is an awesome version of an American classic that deserves some love on all sides of the pond.
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Prep Time
30 min
Cook Time
30 min
Prep Time
30 min
Cook Time
30 min
For the biscuits
  1. 1 cup all-purpose flour
  2. 1/8 teaspoon baking soda
  3. 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  4. 1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
  5. 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, cold
  6. 1/2 cup buttermilk
  7. 1 green onion, green top only
  8. 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
For the gravy
  1. 1 green onion, white part leftover from the biscuits
  2. 1 pound pork sausage
  3. 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  4. 4 tablespoons flour
  5. 1 cup single cream
  6. 1 cup milk
  7. Cayenne, salt, and pepper to taste
For the biscuits
  1. Preheat your oven to 450F.
  2. In a mixing bowl, combine flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Cut in your butter in your favorite way. I find it easiest just to use my fingers to squish the butter and flour together until I have a coarse mixture.
  3. Add in the buttermilk and use your scissors to cut in the green onion and parsley. Mix it all until it just starts to come together. Overmixing will make your biscuits tougher. I had to add another small drizzle of buttermilk to make it work.
  4. Turn your biscuits dough out onto a lightly floured surface and fold it together just a few times until it comes together and then pat it out until it's about an inch thick. Use your pizza roller to cut your dough into four sections then transfer your biscuits to a parchment lined baking sheet.
  5. Bake for 10-12 minutes or until very lightly golden. Set your biscuits aside until they're ready for gravy action.
For the gravy
  1. Scissor the white part of your green onion into a large skillet and add your sausage. If you have links, remove the casing, obviously. Cook these together over medium high heat, crumbling the sausage as it cooks. Once your sausage is cooked through, remove the sausage and onion to a plate or bowl using tongs or a slotted spoon.
  2. Add your butter to your skillet and melt it. Once it stops foaming, sprinkle in the flour and whisk it together with the butter. Depending on how much grease your sausage left behind, you may need to another sprinkle of flour. You want the mixture to be pasty. Cook this mixture until it starts to smell nutty.
  3. Slowly whisk in your cream and milk in small installments whisking out any lumps before you add more. Eventually you'll have a creamy, dreamy mixture.
  4. Add your seasonings and fold your sausage and onions back into your gravy. Taste for seasoning and adjust as needed.
  5. Split open your biscuits, scoop on a bunch of gravy, and go to town.
Adapted from Bev Cooks
Adapted from Bev Cooks
http://awesomeon20.com/
Cran-Orange-Apple Juice | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day
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