Ginger Spiced Peach & Praline Ice Cream

Having lived in Florida, I developed an appreciation for Georgia peaches–golden, delicate, deliciously perfumed, sweet, supple peaches. I always buy way too many at a time (a habit of mine with many a fruit) and tend to just wolf them down and make a mess of myself. I was tempted to make a peach pie, but opted for ice cream instead. Despite having posted other ice creams recently, this is actually one of the first things I made after I moved to North Carolina–having an empty freezer just didn’t sit well with me, so I addressed that issue very promptly with some peach ice cream, accented with a handful of other flavors that I thought would complement peach nicely.

Ginger Spiced Peach & Praline Ice Cream

I didn’t want to overwhelm the peach flavor, but rather, wanted to enhance it. I chose to do so with two major side kicks: praline (which is caramel + almond +… click to read more…

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Bean and Quinoa Chili

After having finally tried my hands at making beans the real way rather than from a can, I’ve been meaning to do it again because man oh man were those good. I wanted to do something more than just feature beans as a side dish though, so I decided to try to make them the star of one of my favorite meals: chili. Since this wasn’t going to be loaded up with beef like I’m used to though, I thought I needed to ensure there was still a good amount of protein, so in addition to the beans, I also added some quinoa after seeing the two together.

Bean and Quinoa Chili

Now I realize this meal could have gone all vegetarian, but I couldn’t help myself–I live in click to read more…

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Honey Mango Pie

Mangoes hold a special place in my house. The only tricky thing is the weekly gamble where you think you have a good looking mango and hold your breath as you cut into it to discover whether or not you actually have a well disguised dud. Much to my delight, I chanced upon some incredible mangoes recently and thought I had to do something with them right away. I’ve done some mango desserts before, and I didn’t want to do more of the everyday kind of mango dishes, so I thought back to something I’d only had once before: mango pie.

Honey Mango Pie

I loved the taste when I’d first had it, but there was one thing I didn’t care for (and if you look into mango pie, you’ll find so many of them do the same): they’re gelatinous. Not just a little bit, but to the point where… click to read more…

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Watermelon & Coconut Ice Cream

My wife and I absolutely love watermelon. Its too bad really–you can only get your hands on it for such a short window at a reasonable price. They’ll be overpriced, small, and so-so flavor leading up to July, then, just before July 4th, they’re huge, incredible, and dirt cheap. In roughly a week, its all downhill from there again. So this year, I stocked up. As I stared at the 3 gigantic melons on my countertop, I wondered what I could possibly do with them before they go bad. Being as predictable as I am, my ice cream instinct kicked in. I was happy with the sorbet I made last year, but wanted to try something different since that particular sorbet freezes a little harder than I prefer.

Watermelon & Coconut Ice Cream

I was hesitant about this one. Watermelon, while distinct, has a very delicate flavor, and so I was concerned that heavy things (like cream)… click to read more…

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Avocado, Mango, and Beef Risotto

Despite me pushing them on her many times before, my wife has recently (finally!) discovered the wonder that is an avocado. Served with simply a dash of salt, its a fantastic thing. Given how many more avocados I’ve suddenly found consumed in our house, it only seemed appropriate that I center a dinner around it. Many ideas came to mind, but it had been awhile since I’d made a risotto, and given how creamy and rich those tend to be, this seemed like a match made in heaven.

Avocado, Mango, and Beef Risotto

The tricky thing with avocados is I think they disappear into a dish very easily, becoming an indistinguishable source of creaminess and I really wanted their unique flavor to be at the forefront. They can also be a bit tricky in that you can’t really cook them. My solution? I began with a lemongrass… click to read more…

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Pomegranate Braised Lamb Shank with Apricots

My starting point for this dish was simple: I wanted something kind of middle eastern in flavor, and I wanted lamb. Armed with pomegranate, apricot, and a bunch of spices, I figured I would be off to a great start for something that would be different from the usual dinner. I was thrilled with the results as this was a really tasty, full-bodied, seductively spiced stew, but not at all like how I originally envisioned it.

Pomegranate Braised Lamb Shank with Apricots

I was disappointed that, despite using 3 cups of pomegranate juice, the pomegranate flavor was nowhere to be found in the final dish. On the other end of the spectrum, I was also a bit dissatisfied with the apricots–they tasted great, but were too sharp and loud flavor-wise relative to the rest of the stew and seemed out of place. On my next attempt, I would try to incorporate a few other changes: add pomegranate molasses to the stew roughly 20 minutes before… click to read more…

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