Orange Anise Ice Cream

With ice cream being one of my go-to desserts, I’m coming to appreciate what my favorites truly are and they all seem to have one thing in common: they’re spice flavored. There’s something fun and eye-opening for me when it comes to enjoying spices in this form. Today’s star of the show: anise.

Orange Anise Ice Cream

This ice cream was very tasty. I love anise (and anise flavored things), but toasted anise is something very different from normal anise that is hard to describe. Its still licoricey sweet, but less forward and with a light, spicy smoky character to it. I found it to be a wonderful flavor and it plays very well with citrus and in ice cream form, well, I was just smitten.

This recipe was derived from David Lebovitz’s The Perfect Scoop.

  • 2 tsp anise seeds
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • ~3/4 cup sugar
  • 1.5

click to read more…

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Belgian Waffles

Even though I’m not the biggest breakfast person, there’s two classes of breakfast food that are essential building blocks in the breakfast food pyramid in my mind: pancakes (and its cousin the crepe) and waffles. Guess what the focus is today? Up until now though, waffles weren’t really an option for me since I didn’t have a waffle maker. It never seemed that pressing since a waffle maker is kind of a one-task item, so I always just convinced myself pancakes would do just fine. Well once my birthday rolled around, I caved and asked for a waffle maker. So now I can scratch that itch when I crave belgian waffles.

Belgian Waffles

First, one thing worth mentioning in case you’re also in need of a waffle maker–this is the one I got: VillaWare V2002 UNO Belgian Waffler. I… click to read more…

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Honey-Nut Brownies

At the time of my birthday (and since you ask, it was a few weeks ago 😮 ), I was kind of caked out. I just happened to have made lots of cakes leading up to it, so we instead decided to celebrate with something different for dessert: brownies. And while its not my birthday any more, in case you’re in the mood to celebrate anything with someone special (setting the mood for Valentine’s day perhaps?), these will score you…wait for it…brownie points (rimshot!).

Brownie Birthday Pile

Now all that being said, there’s something to be said about these brownies. Calling anything a “brownie” commands certain expectations that vary person to person. In all likelihood, these won’t meet them. Does that mean you’ll be disappointed? Absolutely not–these are incredible and you’ll devour the whole batch as quickly as you would any other brownie. They’re just different–more like… click to read more…

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Chicken Pot Pie

Winter is the time for comfort food. Adding to the collection of some warm-you-from-the-inside American comfort food, today I thought I’d share a dish that we’ve all had in some form at one point or another (and if you haven’t, you need to): chicken pot pie.

There are many ways you could approach a pot pie, but the core of it is the same: a rich, broth full of chicken and vegetables packaged in a flaky pie crust. Some would make individual serving sized pot pies (e.g. in ramekins), others would fill a casserole dish with the broth and lay pastry on top, while I have done pie crust on the top and bottom (like any other pie). What can I say, I like pastry!

While my resulting pot pie was not a looker (in retrospect, individual servings in something like ramekins would have looked better), the flavor was just awesome, if not the best chicken pot pie i’ve… click to read more…

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Vanilla Extract — easy to make and cheap

I hate buying vanilla extract. You get a teeny tiny bottle, it tastes so-so, and it costs way too much. That’s my stump speech for when I run for president. Needs work, right? Anyways, what to do about this dilemma? I mean if you do any amount of baking, you’ve come to appreciate how essential a bit of vanilla extract is–it seems to be in just about everything. Well here’s one small improvement to your grocery budget: make your own vanilla extract!

Vanilla Extract

Of course, if you’ve ever bought vanilla beans from your grocery store, you might be questioning how on earth this could possibly save you any money (e.g. I often find ~2 shrivelly looking vanilla beans in a jar for about $10…yeah, wtf?!). This seems in line with vanilla being one of the top three most expensive spices in the world. A while back though, I had ordered a click to read more…

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Orange Party Cake

Like I’ve said before, my wife and I are cake people. I thought I’d try to get us out of our chocolate cake rut and go for something completely different. Since its citrus season here in Florida, I thought I’d try to highlight the variety of lemons and oranges in a cake.

Slice of Orange Party Cake

So before I go into how it tastes, I should let you know what’s actually in the cake. The cake itself is flavored with both lemon and orange, and wedged between all four layers is a sheet of orange marmalade, orange flavored buttercream, and bits of candied citrus (I candied a variety of fruit–more on this later). The cake was then frosted with more buttercream and decorated with more candied citrus.

Flavor-wise, the cake was truly spectacular and texturally, light as air. The flavor was light, citrusy, and fresh in that way you only get… click to read more…

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