Grapefruit Sorbet with Choice Herbs

February 28, 2012 § Leave a comment

So Nick lovingly bought me a complete surprise Christmas gift: an ice cream maker! It hasn’t been great for the diet that I have(n’t) been on. But it’s great for the taste buds. After reading what ice cream does to you though, I think I may need to go into rehab….seriously folks it is messing with my brain (ice cream is the new crack).

While this doesn’t quite do to my brain what ice cream does, it is an awesome treat and really refreshing. It’s really the result of my mom sending a case of grapefruit to us from Florida and trying to figure out what to do with all of them.

We’ve found that mint and basil both work well, but I like to add some chopped mint when I do a mint version. I think the basil infusion works well enough on it’s on to not require additional fresh basil, but do to your liking. And see instructions on what to do if you aren’t lucky enough to have an ice cream maker. It’s really not a requirement for this one.

2 cups freshly squeezed ruby red grapefruit juice
2 cups simple syrup (~1 1/2 cups sugar and 1 1/2 cups water heated until sugar dissolves)
2 teaspoons grapefruit zest
1/3 cup packed basil or mint leaves (torn, stems can be torn and used too–almost one of the small packages at the grocery store with a few leaves reserved for later addition if desired)
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice

1. In a small saucepan, combine the grapefruit juice, simple syrup and the grapefruit zest and bring to a boil.

2. Remove from the heat and add the basil leaves. Set aside to steep in for 5 minutes.

3. Add the lemon juice to the sorbet base, strain through a fine mesh sieve and set aside to cool.

4. Refrigerate until thoroughly chilled, then process in an ice cream machine according to manufacturer’s instructions.***

5. Transfer to a freezer-proof container with a lid and freeze until firm, 6 to 8 hours.

***Pour into a chilled dish. Check back in an hour and stir the frozen edges back in, and to do this hourly for 3-6 hours at which point it will be frozen and ready. Apparently you can also use an immersion blender or pop it in a blender before pouring into the dish to get some air into it. Even with the ice cream maker I think it’s nice to scrape a good bit of the top layer with a fork before serving or a few hours after it’s frozen. It’s really not as hard as it sounds and well worth it!


P.S.–it’s also an appropriate dish for a pescetarian! I think it’s my first one!



June 24, 2010 § 1 Comment

Lemony PRIDE cake

Recipe for two-layer rainbow sheet cake with lemon buttercream

The stuff:

2 boxes cake mix (and other ingredients per mix instructions)

3 lemons

4 egg whites

2 pinches salt

1 cup sugar

3 sticks butter (softened and cut into tbs pads)

1 tsp vanilla

The plan for the cake:

1. Make batter according to directions on box, adding juice and zest of 2 lemons

2.  Divide batter evenly across 6 bowls (or however many colors you choose to do). For me, it was 1.5 cups of batter per bowl plus a little extra to distribute.

3.  Create a different color in each bowl (liquid food coloring worked for me, but I read that “gel” food coloring works better. If I knew what that was or where to find it, I would’ve used it too.)

4.  Spray 11 x 14 or 9 x 13 or round pan with cooking spray and line with parchment paper (for easier removal). Preheat oven to 350 or temp indicated on mix instructions.

5. Pour 1 cup of first batter choice in center of pan (I went with ROYGBV for rainbow effect–and I know the B is technically an I. Your first color should use a little more than half of the batter from its bowl). Allow batter to settle in pan, but do not shake pan or spread batter out.

6. Pour about 3/4 cup of next color in center of pool of batter in the pan.

7. Repeat for each of the remaining colors (use a little less batter of the last color).

8. The pan should now look like picture 2 below.

9. Bake until it’s cook (per instructions on box).

10. Cool.

10. Make the second cake layer, but this time use the opposite order of colors (so for me it was VBGYOR).

11.  Bake and Cool.

12. Frost with delicious lemon buttercream.

The plan for the lemon buttercream (doubled adapted recipe from ATK May 2010):

1. Put 4 egg whites, 2 pinches salt and 1 cup sugar in mixing bowl over pot of simmering water (make-shift double boiler). Whisk gently until slightly thickened and foamy (reaches 150 degrees, takes several minutes).

2. Using mixer with whisk attachment, whisk the foamy mixture at medium speed for several minutes until it cools slightly and becomes consistency of shaving cream.

3. Add 3 sticks softened butter one tbs piece at a time until all is incorporated.

4. Add 1 tsp vanilla and juice and zest of 1 lemon. Increase speed to med-high/high. Whisk until frosting becomes light and fluffy and delicious (it always miraculously turns when you think it never will).

5. Can make frosting 24 hours ahead of time and keep in airtight container in fridge. If you have a microwave, microwave for 5-10 seconds and then stir before using to frost cake. Otherwise, let it sit out and get closer to room temp or if you’re impatient heat up in double boiler then whisk again for a few minutes to get it back to desired consistency.

The batter:


Layer 1 (pre-oven):


Layer 2 (pre-oven)

The final product:

The final product. Two layers and lemon buttercream

Delicious rainbow

fennel and celery salad

January 27, 2010 § Leave a comment

some fennel

3 celery ribs, trimmed

1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice, more to taste

Salt to taste

1/4 teaspoon black pepper, more to taste

Freshly shaved Parmesan cheese.

1. Cut fennel bulbs in quarters lengthwise, discarding outer layer if it is exceedingly tough. Use a mandoline to slice quarters thinly; slice celery equally thin.

2. Put sliced fennel and celery into a large bowl and drizzle with olive oil and lemon juice. Season with salt and pepper and toss gently to combine. Top with lots of freshly shaved Parmesan and chopped fennel fronds if you like.

Yield: 4 to 6 servings.

ice cream in a bag

January 27, 2010 § Leave a comment

3 to 4 pounds ice (10 cups or more)

1/2 cup table salt or 1 cup kosher salt, plus a pinch

1 cup milk

1 cup heavy cream

1/2 cup sugar

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract.

1. Pour all the ice into a large glass or plastic bowl, cover it with salt, and stir.

2. In a bowl, mix milk, heavy cream, sugar, vanilla extract and a pinch of salt together until sugar dissolves. Pour into a sealable 1-gallon freezer bag, push out as much air as possible, and seal.

3. Place a wide plastic bowl with a lid, like a salad spinner bowl, on a kitchen towel. Fill bowl with about half the ice. Lay freezer bag on ice and flatten it with your hand. Dump rest of the ice, along with any melted water, on top of bag, leaving zipper edge exposed. Place lid on the bowl. Let rest for 15 minutes, shaking it once or twice to redistribute ice and brine.

4. Pour about half the ice and brine into another bowl. Lift bag out by the zipper edge and lay it on a towel. (Avoid touching ice or brine, which are cold enough to cause frostbite.) Cover your hands with another towel and gently knead frozen areas for about a minute to mix them with liquid.

5. Return freezer bag to bowl, laying it flat on ice. Cover it with reserved ice and brine. Put lid on bowl and freeze as above for another 15 minutes.

6. Remove bag and carefully towel off the brine. Serve ice cream, or keep bag in freezer until ready to serve.

Yield: One pint.

Note: You can use this method to freeze any ice cream or sorbet mix. If you make ice cream regularly, you can eliminate ice cubes and reuse salt. Make a brine with 3 quarts water and 1 pound salt, divide it between two 1-gallon freezer bags, and store bags flat in freezer. To make ice cream, sandwich the bag of mix between brine bags, enclosing stack in towels.

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