an army wife's guide to life

food and homemaking goodness

Strawberry Lemonade Sorbet

This might not be a totally original idea, I’m sure there are many recipes out there on how to make something like this, but I did not go find them. This is just something I put together to solve my ice cream craving. It’s not the same as ice cream, but still, it’s cold and delicious and that is what I’m looking for while the weather is hot (feels like 107° today!). It’s also something I made with things that I already had. OK, not entirely, I bought the strawberries with this in mind, but I didn’t really know what, exactly, I was going to do with it. And then it hit me. Use the giant jug of lemonade I’ve been drinking this week. It’s sweet and tart and perfect and delicious. So here it goes: homemade strawberry lemonade sorbet:

First, I washed, hulled and halved a pound of strawberries, and put them immediately into a blender, like so:

 Add to that 1 cup of lemonade:

And blend those suckers until everything is smooth.

Now, this is where I tasted it to see if it was sweet enough. And it definitely wasn’t. It still had that mouth-puckering lemonade taste (which I love by the way, and wouldn’t have changed, but hubby doesn’t like that nearly as much as I do), so I needed to add sweetener to it. You can make a simple syrup, if you only have sugar, which is just one cup water one  cup sugar, boil until dissolved (and you can make more or less than that, just keep things in equal parts), or honey, but I have agave nectar around, so I used that.

Now, I don’t know about most people, but I’m notoriously bad about measuring. I did it with the lemonade, but not the agave nectar, but I would estimate about a tablespoon went in. What I would recommend is that you just add it a little at a time until you get the right sweetness. If it’s too sweet, just add more lemonade, or a little bit of water to dilute it.

Next, it went into the ice cream machine, where I just followed the direction on how to work the dang thing and let it go.

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Making Butter

My Kitchenaid mixer is probably my most prized possession. It was a Christmas present from my mother-in-law, and since moving to Kansas, it has gotten pretty constant use. Now, this isn’t a normal post, because this was inspired by something I saw on Pinterest, but I didn’t save the link. I had leftover cream from my Salted Caramel Sauce that I made, and no idea what to do with it. And then I remembered that I’d read something about making butter with the same heavy cream that I had on hand. And I ended up looking at several different sites (none of which I remember at this point) to get enough tips to do it myself.

And this was basically the most simple thing I’ve ever done. It’s as easy as putting the cream in my mixer and turning it on. The first time, it took me almost half an hour to get the cream churned into butter, because I didn’t listen to the hint I’d gotten to let the cream get to room temperature. The second time, I did listen to that, and thought it would still take a while, so I ended up turning it on and vacuuming while I waited. By the time I got to the kitchen (because there’s carpet there, too) it was done.

The hardest part is getting the remaining milk out of the butter. I’m very taken with using cheesecloth on the outside, because handling butter with your bare hands (even under freezing water) gives you slippery, greasy hands. And that parts takes time and patience as well. What I haven’t figured out is if it’s worth making my own butter, financially. With a quart of cream, I can make about a pound of butter, which is what I usually buy. Right now, I haven’t found a quart of cream for cheaper than a pound of butter, but I’m still trying to find the best places to shop here anyway. I’m keeping my fingers crossed for cheap cream.

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Salted Caramel Sauce

There are times to twist things, and times to leave well enough alone. This was one of those times. I knew that this was one of those recipes that I had no idea what to do with in the first place, so I left well enough alone. Now that I made it, I think I’ll add less salt next time. It was good, but a little too salty for me (and almost nothing is too salty for me).

 

There are so few ingredients that there’s really nothing to tweak. Butter, sugar, cream and salt. I love simple recipes with easy ingredients. This kind of thing makes me really happy. When you get too many ingredients, you really start to lose me, because I want things done as simply as possible. Super-complicated recipes just make me want to modify them really badly. This one, as simple as it was, needed no tweaks.

 

Because this is one of those recipes where you have to constantly stir, I didn’t get to take as many pictures as I wanted to, but this is just the melted sugar as it cooks to the right color. It smelled wonderful, let me tell you that. When you add the sugar and the butter, the recipe told me that it would “bubble up.” What it didn’t mention was that when it bubbles, it’s also steaming, and steam is dangerous when you don’t expect it. So if you decide to try this, expect the steam and keep your hands as out of the way as possible.

This is the loveliest part. Letitng it cool to transfer it to its container. All I wanted to do was try it, but, obviously, it was too hot for that. Knowing that I needed to let it cool was pretty much torture, because caramel is pretty much my favorite thing ever.

The finished product. And it is as good as it smelled. I’ve been using it on ice cream lately, because it it definitely ice cream season around here. I’m definitely thinking I won’t be buying caramel sauce again!

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