Monday, August 26, 2013

So Long, Summer: Almond Butter Ice Cream Bread


Do you have leftover ice cream in your freezer that you don’t know what to do with now that summer is ending? Do you have five gallons of custom-made almond butter ice cream that your significant other gifted you?  Well, have I got the recipe for you. 


You can make bread out of ice cream!

I first learned about this from Rasa Malaysia’s Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough bread.  The recipe calls for two ingredients: ice cream and self-raising flour, so I was a little skeptical at first.  Wouldn’t it just out to just become a puddle of warm melted ice cream? How would this work?  But since I had tons of almond butter ice cream left, I didn’t have much to lose.  I didn’t have self-rising flour, so I followed the tips from the recipe and used a mixture of all-purpose flour, baking powder, and salt. 

Turns out ice cream makes great bread!  This bread was so moist and rich, you could never tell that it was made out of ice cream. I sliced up the bread and brought it to book club, where it was a hit.  (Here’s a tip, when bringing a loaf of bread or cake, or other dessert that involves slicing, to a party, slice it up at home and arrange it aesthetically on a plate, preferably a disposable one, cover it in foil, and bring it to the party.  This way, no one will notice that the slice you ate to “test” it, is gone!) Next time, I’m going to make these into muffins – who says you can’t have ice cream for breakfast?

Almond Butter Ice Cream Bread

Adapted from Rasa Malaysia


  • 2 to 3 cups almond butter ice cream (or any flavor), softened* See note
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 1/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup chocolate chips
  • Cooking spray


Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Combine flour, baking powder, and salt. Mix softened ice cream and flour mixture until combined. Stir in chocolate chips.  Pour batter into an 8” x 4” loaf pan.  Bake for about 60 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean.


I did not wait long enough to soften the ice cream.  (What can I say, I’m impatient.)  So when I mixed the 2 cups of ice cream  the recipe called for, I found the batter was dry and crumbly.  So I kept adding more and more ice cream.  Then the ice cream melted a little, and the batter was probably too wet, which might be why it took so long to bake.  So I recommend starting with two cups of softened ice cream, and adding more bit by bit until you get the sticky bread batter consistency. 

Monday, August 19, 2013

So Long, Summer: Roasted Summer Vegetables “Ratatouille” style



I’ve mentioned how much adored Ratatouille (the movie, not the dish) – I mean, it’s a movie that appeals to my love of adorable cartoon animals and cooking.  I had been meaning to re-create the beautiful layered ratatouille dish (spoiler alert!) that won over the die hard food critic’s heart since the movie came out in 2007, and since I found this interpretation of it on smitten kitchen. But life, laziness, and lack of all the ingredients kept me from doing so. 

Until tonight. Tonight, I came home and found the eggplant, zucchini, and yellow squash that J. brought home from the farmer’s market.  Tonight, no lack of ingredient, overripe tomatoes, or shortage of time was going to stop me. I didn’t bother to consult Deb’s recipe, for fear that I would find I was missing something and would be discouraged.  Instead, I turned up the oven, sliced the vegetables, and got to work.

It turns out that my version is actually not too far off from Deb’s recipe. I roasted the vegetables at a higher temperature in the hope that they would cook faster, which they did. I completely forgot about the tomato puree, which made this dish more simply roasted vegetables rather than ratatouille.  It came out a bit dry, but I didn’t mind.  The tomatoes provided the extra juice that it needed for me.  I also used fresh oregano and basil, which are decidedly more Italian than French.  But I still enjoyed the chance to cook with summer vegetables while they were still in their peak season.

Roasted Vegetables “Ratatouille-style”

Adapted from Smitten Kitchen

Serves 4 as a side


  • 1 large eggplant, cut in half lengthwise, and then sliced in 1/4 inch slices
  • 1 zucchini, sliced
  • 1 yellow squash, sliced
  • 1 Italian pepper, sliced (can substitute with bell pepper)
  • 1 small onion, sliced
  • 1 tomato, diced
  • 3-4 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
  • 3 Tbs olive oil, divided in half
  • 2 Tbs finely chopped oregano, divided
  • 1 Tbs fresh basil, torn
  • dash of red pepper flakes
  • salt and pepper to taste


Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Slice vegetables into slices about 1/4 inch thick. Drizzle half the olive on the bottom of a roasting pan.  Layer vegetables in the pan.  Drizzle with the rest of the olive oil, and sprinkle 1 Tbs oregano, red pepper flakes, and salt and pepper to taste.  Roast in the oven for about 30 minutes.  Remove from oven.  Sprinkle tomato and remaining herbs.  Drizzle a little extra olive oil and adjust seasonings, if desired. 

Monday, August 12, 2013

So Long Summer: Watermelon and Feta Salad




From now until the end of the summer, I have started a “So Long Summer” series, in which I will be highlighting my favorite summer fruits and vegetables, so we can all enjoy them one last time (or three or four more times, as the case may be), before they’re gone for the season.  First up, Watermelon and Feta salad!

I first learned this salad from reading Peanut Butter Fingers, one of my favorite healthy living blogs.  At first, I will admit it seemed kind of weird, but intriguing to me.  At the time I read about it, I happen to have half a watermelon and feta cheese in the fridge,  so I decided to give it a whirl.  Turns out, watermelon and feta are a winning combination! Something about the tangy salty creaminess of the feta makes it the perfect contrast to the cold and sweet of the watermelon.  J. and I have made it several times since then, and even brought to a party where it was a big hit. 

Watermelon and Feta Salad

Adapted from Peanut Butter Fingers


Note: The measurements are very fluid and you can use as much or as little as you want – I just eyeballed these measurements

  • 2 cups seedless watermelon, cubed
  • 2 cups arugula or any mixed salad greens you have (the peppery arugula goes great with the watermelon, but really any mix of greens will do)
  • Pinch of kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
  • A drizzle of olive (probably about 2-3 tsp)


Place a layer of salad greens into a bowl.  Layer the watermelon and feta on top.  Sprinkle salt and pepper.  Just before serving, drizzle olive oil on top.  Serves 2.

Monday, August 5, 2013

Fuji Apple and Gorgonzola Salad



A few weeks ago, I had a lovely lunch with the even lovelier book club ladies, at the Iron Monkey, a cool bar/restaurant in Jersey City.  Since I wanted to keep the meal nice and light, I ordered the Fuji Apple and Endive Salad.  This salad is so simple, yet oh so tasty – the crisp sweetness of the apple was complemented nicely by the sweet and salty candied pecans and the creamy tang of the gorgonzola.  I enjoyed this salad so much I knew I had to try to recreate at home.  I made a few variations with what I had on hand at home – I may be biased, I actually think my version is better.

Fuji  Apple and Gorgonzola Salad


For the salad:

  • 2-3 cups Mixed salad greens
  • 1 Fuji apple, sliced
  • 1/2 cup crumbled gorgonzola cheese
  • 1/4 mixed nuts chopped

For for the apple cider vinaigrette:

  • 1/3 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1/8 cup olive oil
  • 1 tsp honey
  • pinch of salt and pepper

Layer salad ingredients into a bowl.  In a separate bowl whisk together dressing ingredients.  Drizzle dressing lightly over salad. Serves 2.