Friday, December 25, 2015

Ghiradelli Peppermint Bark Ice Cream

Merry Christmas from Annapolis, Maryland, where the weather is 60 degrees and rainy! It really is strange having spring (almost summer) like weather during the holidays. A couple months ago I heard that the Maryland area was going to have a very snowy winter, but I am not so sure if I can believe it. If the cold does hit, it will be quite a shock to the system. Enough about the weather...let me tell you about this ice cream! I have been obsessed with Peppermint Bark the past few weeks. Amazon had a 21 ounce bag of both milk chocolate and dark chocolate Ghiradelli peppermint bark squares for 14 dollars, which is a great deal that I could not pass up. I have been snacking on the candies, giving some out in baggies with Christmas gifts, and using it for this peppermint bark ice cream. I love it. You can grind up the peppermint bark as finely as you want, or you can make it more chunky, all depending on how much crunchy texture you like in your ice cream. If you don't like chunky, I suggest you chop it up very finely and omit the mini chocolate chips from the recipe. I had been thinking of making pie for dessert after our Christmas dinner, but because the weather is so warm, I decided to go with this festive ice cream instead. Hope you and yours are having a wonderful Christmas and best wishes for 2016! Enjoy.

Recipe for Ghiradelli Peppermint Bark Ice Cream

1 cup of heavy whipping cream
1/4 cup of whole milk
1/3 cup of granulated sugar
1 tsp. of pure vanilla extract
1 - 2 drops of pure peppermint extract (peppermint is VERY overpowering, so seriously just do a drop or two unless you want a strong peppermint flavor)
2 ounces - about 5 candies - of Ghirardelli peppermint bark squares (or your favorite brand)
1 - 2 Tbsp. of semisweet mini chocolate chips (optional - don't use if you don't like chunky texture in ice cream)

In a metal bowl, mix together the heavy whipping cream, whole milk, sugar, pure vanilla extract, and peppermint extract until smooth. Cover with a lid and set aside for 10 minutes to allow the flavors to meld together, stirring occasionally. Put the bowl in the refrigerator and chill for 3 - 9 hours (I let it sit overnight and then made the ice cream the next morning).

Right before making the ice cream, place the peppermint bark candies into the bowl of a food processor. Pulse until the candies are chopped to desired consistency.

Make the ice cream. Give the mixture a stir and then pour into the bowl of an automatic ice cream maker. When it resembles the consistency of a thick whipped cream, pour in the peppermint candies and chocolate chips. Continue to mix until ice cream is finished. Put into a freezer-safe container. Freeze for several hours. Serve each bowl with an extra peppermint bark candy.

Recipe Inspired by: Williams Sonoma Ice Cream - Crushed Peppermint Ice Cream
Recipe makes approximately 3 - 4 servings. 

Friday, December 18, 2015

Chicken Enchilada Soup

A few weeks ago, I came across the recipe for this soup on Facebook. One of my friend's family members had posted the recipe to her page, and it intrigued me. I looked over the ingredients and at first did not think that the soup was something that I would want to try. I had remembered my friend saying that she had tried the recipe and that her family loved it, so I went back and looked at the recipe again because I usually like the meals that she suggests. After reading the second time, I realized that the vegetable ingredients are pureed, and that the chicken and beans are then added in to the pureed mixture. I tried to imagine how it might taste and decided I wanted to give it a go, especially because it sounded like a healthy recipe. I'm so glad I tried it! I made the recipe last Saturday. I was shocked by how easy it was to make. The soup was thoroughly enjoyed by me, Greg, Wendy, and my parents. Even my father liked the soup, which was surprising, because it has onion and red pepper (he usually refuses anything with those two ingredients). The recipe makes a TON of soup, so we ate leftovers all week and nobody complained. Wendy really likes the soup too, which is great, because it is full of vegetables and protein. I served the soup with corn pudding (tomalito), avocado, Greek yogurt, Goya-brand pico de gallo, queso fresco cheese, and crispy tortillas. I know I will definitely be making this soup again very soon. I am super appreciative to my friend's sister for posting this amazing recipe on Facebook! I hope you enjoy this meal as much as we did.

Recipe for Chicken Enchilada Soup

8 ounces of chicken or vegetable broth
1 1/2 pounds of boneless skinless chicken breasts
4 medium Russet potatoes, peeled and chopped
1 medium sweet potato, peeled and chopped
1 medium yellow onion, quartered
3 cloves of garlic, chopped in half
1 small red bell pepper, with seeds and removed, chopped
4 cups of butternut squash, cubed (time saving tip - buy it from the store already chopped for you)
1 can of diced green chiles
3 cans of great northern beans
8 ounces of tomato sauce
1 cup of full-fat Greek yogurt or sour cream
1/4 cup of your favorite taco seasoning
Sliced avocado
Queso fresco cheese
Salsa/Pico de Gallo
Drizzle of olive oil
Full-fat Greek yogurt/Sour Cream
Baked tortillas (brush each side of a small flour tortilla with olive oil, sprinkle on salt on each side, bake at 375 in oven for about 4 minutes per side or until done to desired crispiness)
Corn pudding - can be served on the side or served as a topping

Put the broth, chicken breasts, russet potato, sweet potato, yellow onion, garlic, red bell pepper, butternut squash, diced green chiles in a large pot and bring to a boil over high heat. Once it comes to a full boil, reduce heat to medium and simmer, covered, for about 20 minutes, or until the chicken is cooked through. Use a slotted spoon to remove the chicken from the broth and set on a plate to cool. Turn the heat to the stove top off. Ladle soup about 2/3 full into a blender and puree each batch until smooth. Pour the pureed mixture into a large bowl. Once all of the soup from the pot is pureed, pour back into the pot. Stir in the Greek yogurt (or sour cream), tomato sauce, beans, and taco seasoning. Then use a fork to shred the chicken into smallish pieces. Add the chicken into the pot and stir. Put pot over stove top again and set on medium-low heat to warm through. Ladle soup into bowls and serve with desired toppings.

Recipe makes approximately 14 servings.

Recipe Adapted from: Mel's Kitchen Cafe

Friday, December 4, 2015

Outrageous Brownie Truffles

Please visit my new blog, Make It and Bake It with Beth, for the brownie truffles recipe.