Monday, April 30, 2012

Easy Avocado Ice Cream

Now that the weather has started to heat up, it's the perfect time to bring out your dusty ice cream maker and make some avocado ice cream! Wait, avocado? Yes, avocado ice cream. The creaminess of the avocado makes this recipe rich and smooth with a luscious texture, something that is perfect for the up coming days of summer.
I originally saw the recipe at Art of Dessert and was completely taken by the colour of the final product. It was such a beautiful green that I simply had to make it. Unfortunately, when I made this ice cream the colour was paler than I was expecting, but the flavours were delicious.

Avocado Ice Cream [source]
-2 rice avocados (1+1/2 cup)
-1 tsp lemon juice
-14 oz. can of sweetened condensed milk (1+1/2 300ml cans)
-1/2 cup milk
-1 cup cream
-2 tbs sugar

Puree the avocado, lemon juice, and milk in a blender or food processor. Then stir in the sweetened condensed milk. Whip the cream and sugar until it reaches the soft peak stage. Then combine the avocado mixture and whipped cream. Pour into your ice cream maker and let it run for 30 minutes (be sure to chill your ice cream container over night), and then transfer the ice cream into a container. Pop into the freezer for about three hours and then serve.
After the ice cream has been in the machine for thirty minutes, it will have the texture of soft serve ice cream. You can serve it as is, but if you'd like your ice cream to be more firm, freeze it in your freezer for a few hours.
I absolutely loved making this ice cream because the process was so simple and fun. The sweetened condensed milk gives the ice cream it's sweet taste, while the avocado gives it its colour and unique flavour.
The ice cream machine is not mandatory and this recipe can definitely be made without one. Simply put the ice cream mixture into the freezer once you have completed making it, and then stir it every thirty minutes or so.
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Saturday, April 28, 2012

An Avocado Roll With Rice on the Outside

Last summer I tried my hand at making my own home made vegetable sushi and in the end the results were great. Since then I haven't made any efforts to challenge myself in my sushi making techniques. That is, until today.
I love avocado rolls and normally when I see them in restaurants they are made with the rice on the outside, a style that allows for more filling but unfortunately is harder to master. But after watching some youtube videos, I decided that it was time to try making my own sushi roll with the rice on the outside.
In the end I discovered that indeed, it is so much harder to make rolls that way, especially after I've gotten so used to making them with the rice on the inside! But none the less, I'm glad I've tried making sushi this way, even if it's just so I can share how to do it with all of my invisible internet friends. : )
To make avocado rolls, you simply need some glutinous white rice, some nori sheets (often called seaweed), and a ripe avocado.
To make your rolls with the rice on the outside, you will also need a rolling mat and some plastic wrap.
First boil your rice following the package's instructions.
Then peel your avocado and slice it into thin strips.
Cover your rolling mat with plastic wrap. Cover the shiny side of your nori sheet with a layer of rice and leave a half inch of space at the top. Flip the nori sheet upside down so that the rice is up against the plastic wrap and the half inch of space is now facing you.
Put your avocado near the bottom of the nori sheet. Then use your rolling mat to fold the sushi into a long roll. Be sure to wet the top of the nori so that it will stick to the rice and your roll won't fall apart.
Then use your sharpest knife to cut the roll into six equal pieces, wetting the knife in between each cut. Then serve with some soy sauce and whatever other toppings you like, such as pickled ginger and wasabi.
Well, this certainly wasn't the prettiest sushi I've ever made, but it tasted really great and I'm sure that with practice, making sushi with the rice on the outside will become easier. If you have any tips on how this process could be made easier, please let me know! : )
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Thursday, April 26, 2012

The Bridge Drive-In is Now Open!

You know that summer has started when you drive down Jubilee Ave. and see that the BDI (Bridge Drive-In) is open. Over the weekend my mother and I drove past it and thought we saw a person standing at the window, so on Tuesday when I was out with my Uncle, we decided to head over there to confirm that it was really open. We went there at around 5:30pm and were so excited to see that indeed there were people already there, enjoying their ice cream and walking across the bridge. I just know that if we had come later, maybe at around 7:00pm or 8:00pm, there would have been a much bigger crowd.
The BDI is one of Winnipeg's landmarks and was even voted as one of Winnipeg's seven wonders back in 2007. It's known for it's delicious ice cream that comes in a variety of flavours, and it's famous "Goog", something I have yet to try. When I was playing Ultimate with my team last summer, often we would go to the BDI to celebrate our win or to console ourselves after our loss, and then we would walk across the bridge and throw our discs around in the playground nearby.
The bridge itself. You may notice below that there is an image of the bridge on the cups' designs.
My uncle ordered a small butter pecan sundae. I tried it and it was reallllllly good.
And then I ordered what I always ordered. A small (yes, this is the small) chocolate, chocolate upside down. So good and so chocolatey. Since the first time I ever went to the BDI, this has been the ice cream treat that I have ordered and I will continue to order it because it is just so good.
So now you know that the BDI is once again open for business. I can't wait for the heat to really hit us here in Winnipeg, because then I know that the ice cream at the BDI will taste even better. Bridge Drive-In (BDI) on Urbanspoon
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Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Date, Parmesan, and Walnut Appetizer

Here's a simple and really delicious appetizer idea I discovered last week here. It involves only three ingredients and literally takes only a few minutes to put together. Admittedly, the parmesan is a little difficult to work with and can break easily while you place it inside of the date, but that's the only downside to this dish.
At first I didn't believe that this combination would really work thinking that the parmesan would taste odd when paired with the dates, but it actually works very well, adding a bit of salty sharpness to the sweet and almost candy like dates.

Date, Parmesan, and Walnut Appetizer [source]
-6 large dates (I used Medjool like the original recipe suggested)
-6 walnut halves
-1 small block of parmesan cheese

Slice each date down the centre and remove their seeds. Make small slivers of the parmesan cheese using a vegetable peeler. Then place one walnut half into a date's opening and delicately insert a sliver of parmesan cheese next to it. Serve and enjoy.
That's it. Give this appetizer a try then next time you have guests over because making it is as easy as slice, stuff, and serve.
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Sunday, April 22, 2012

2 Cheese Crustless Quiche

Winter is over and that means it's time to start eating lighter meals that include fresh produce. While looking for some easy vegetarian meals, I discovered this post that gave instructions on how to make a simple crustless quiche. Well, I tried it for tonight's dinner and I'm excited to tell you that the entire process of making the quiche was so easy and the result so delicious, this may become a weekly meal for me.
The original recipe used frozen spinach but I used fresh, and the recipe also used mushrooms, but because my mother is allergic I couldn't add them. Nevertheless, the quiche still came out just as it was supposed to.

2 Cheese Crustless Quiche [source]
-5 large eggs
-1 cup milk
-2 cups fresh spinach
-1/2 cup parmesan cheese
-1/2 cup feta cheese
-Salt and pepper

Wash and tear your spinach, discarding the stems. Blanch the spinach in boiling water for 30 seconds, and then cool it down and squeeze out all the water using a paper towel. Beat the eggs in a bowl, then add the milk, half the parmesan cheese, and salt and pepper and mix together well. Place the spinach and crumbled feta cheese into the baking dish, then pour the egg mixture on top. Top with the remaining parmesan cheese and bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes to an hour. Check the centre with a toothpick to make sure it's not runny and then bring the quiche out of the oven and let it cool for 5 minutes before serving.
You'll know the quiche is ready when the top and side is brown. After 45 minutes check the centre of the quiche with a toothpick and then take the dish out of the oven. It took 50 minutes for my quiche to finish cooking.
The parmesan cheese is probably the most important part of this recipe because it adds so much flavour to the dish and gives the quiche and amazing crunchy topping. The original recipe mentioned spraying the glass bowl before putting the ingredients in, but I decided not to and the quiche ended up being perfectly fine to take out.
I think it's really cute that the spinach floated to the top and left the egg and feta cheese at the bottom. : )
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Friday, April 20, 2012

Photos From the Manitoba Food Bloggers Second Gathering

This past Wednesday evening the Manitoba Food Bloggers held their second event at Bistro 7 1/4.
It. Was. Awesome! The food, the people, the prizes, everything about the evening was a blast. There was a 70 person maximum allowed for the event and apparently there was quite the waiting list. Knowing this I feel extremely lucky that I was able to attend.
When I arrived it was so nice to see some familiar faces from the last food blogger gathering, like Colin from cenquist.com, Courtney from The Fig Tree, and Elaina from Flavour Food and Wine. I also had a chance to meet some new folks like Destiny from The Healthy Wife. I think that allowing fellow food bloggers to meet is probably the biggest thing that makes these parties great.
As you can see, the place was packed. At the back of the room there were wine samples and beer samples like last time, and in the top right corner you can see the prizes of the evening being given out. I didn't win anything. : (
The food they had there was also lovely. There were servers walking around with additional appetizers, but I didn't get a chance to photograph any of them.
Overall, I am so glad I went despite the fact that I had an exam the next morning. Not only did I get to meet new people and talk about the joys of food blogging (hearing the groans of your family members as you bring out the camera when the food arrives), I also had a chance to eat delicious food and learn about an amazing site called foodgawker.com. I think the name says it all. : )
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Tuesday, April 17, 2012

My First Guacamole Ever

I know what you must be thinking. It can't be true that I've never had guacamole until now, and if it is true, that is just plain sad.
Sadly, it's true. Why? Well, my mom really dislikes avocados and thus we've never had anything like guacamole enter our house. It was a struggle to bring in avocados so that I could make home made vegetable sushi, and near impossible to make a dish based entirely around the green fruit, but today I did it, I finally did it.
Guacamole is one of those wonderful dishes that is perfect for everyone. Lactose intolerant? No problem. Can't eat gluten? No worries. Vegan? Be my guest. Raw foodie? Hop right in! The chips you eat your guacamole with are another matter, but the spread itself is available to anyone.
And did I mention that the recipe itself is incredibly simple and easy?

Guacamole
-1 avocado
-2 tbsp red onion
-2 tbsp tomato (no seeds)
-1 garlic clove
-1 tbsp cucumber (no seeds)
-1/2 tbsp lime juice (about 1/4 of the lime)
-salt to taste

Cut the avocado in half and remove the seed. Slice the avocado flesh into a checkerboard design while it's still in the skin, then remove it and put it into a bowl. Add the lime juice (to prevent browning and add flavour) and then mash the avocado with a fork. Dice the red onion, cucumber, and tomato, and add it to the bowl. finely chop the garlic or press it with a garlic press, and add it to the bowl. Stir together and add salt to taste. Serve with chips or crackers of your choice.
Simple and delicious. For the first time today it didn't seem like such a bad thing to be the only one in the house that eats avocados, because it meant I got to eat this whole bowl by myself.
I think this would be the perfect snack to serve the next time I have guests, I'll just have to double the recipe or else there won't be enough to go around! : )
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