Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Question of the day...

Will there? Or will there not be? An NSync reunion at Jacob's wedding? That is the REAL question!

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Happy birthday to me!

Today I am 29. I am very okay with turning 29, unlike turning 25, 26, 27, or 28. Do you know why? Its because I am completely surrounded by people under the age of 25. I work on a college campus. I'm glad I'm not under 25 anymore. I know so much more about life and the world now. And I'm not naive/cocky enough to admit that I have LOTS more to learn.

Looking forward to a year of being 29. Its not that bad!

Friday, June 19, 2009

I Scream. U Scream. We ALL Scream. For ICE CREAM!

My family absolutely adores ice cream! All of us do! Its one of our favorite treats in the entire world, no matter how hot or cold it might be out side. The running joke is that my mom, when pregnant with my sister, told my dad "the baby needs ice cream." So most every night of her pregnancy they would go to Baskin Robbins to get something for the baby. This continued more as a tradition with the second and third pregnancy, and eventually became a long standing family tradition.

Because of our love for the cold stuff, my mom bought my dad an uber cool homemade ice cream maker for Father's day one year. And since acquiring the fine kitchen appliance, my mom has become an expert at making gourmet ice cream. (Side note - I made an amazing batch of Dulce De Leche ice cream one time too!) Mom really has ice cream making down to a science.

So, last Sunday I was at home for a little weekend get-a-away, and was craving some homemade ice cream. Mom and I got on the Rachael Ray magazine site because she just published an issue with lots of great ice cream recipes. We found one that would be easy to make with the ingredients we had at home. It is Rachael's Triple Chocolate Crunch Ice Cream. Mom made a few minor adjustments based on available ingredients, and in the end, it was the ABSOLUTE BEST chocolate ice cream I have ever eaten.

If you love making ice cream, I definitely recommend this one!

Rachael's Triple Chocolate Crunch Ice Cream

4 large egg yolks
½ cup sugar
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1-2/3 cups milk
1-1/3 cups heavy cream
Ice Water
1/3 cup milk chocolate chips
1/3 cup white chocolate chips
1 cup broken dark chocolate-covered pretzels

In a large bowl, whisk together the egg yolks, 1/4 cup sugar and the salt. Whisk in the cocoa powder until smooth. In a medium saucepan, combine the milk, cream and remaining 1/4 cup sugar over medium heat and cook, stirring, until steaming hot but not simmering, about 6 minutes. Add to the egg mixture in a slow stream, whisking constantly, then pour into the saucepan. Cook over medium low heat, stirring constantly, until the custard thickens and registers 175° on an instant-read thermometer, about 8 minutes.

Strain the custard into a medium bowl set in an ice water bath. Let cool, then cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours.

Using an ice cream machine, process the custard according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Fold in the chocolate chips and pretzels, then transfer to an airtight container and freeze until firm, about 4 hours.

**My mom didn't have white chocolate chips or pretzels when we made this, so we just used a bunch of mini chocolate chips. It was AMAZING!!!!!

Football, here we come!

I heart these dudes!

Getting pumped for Wimbledon this weekend!

Gimelstob - Nadal from Matt Guerra on Vimeo.

Gimelstob - Federer from Matt Guerra on Vimeo.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Mexican Chicken-rific!

One of my favorite chefs that inspires my cooking is Rachael Ray. I love her magazine, and have a collection of recipes that I have gathered in my own cookbook from her. I set out to make her Chicken Salsa Verde Bake tonight, and decided to do a little different take on her recipe. Not that her version didn't sound FANTASTIC...its just that I know I will have leftovers to eat all week, and I don't like soggy chips in my food. (You'll understand when you check out her recipe.) So, I made a few minor adjustments and came up with Mexican Chicken-rific!

Extra virgin olive oil (EVOO)
2 large chicken breasts
1 small onion
1 green bell pepper
lemon & lime juice
some kind of Mexican seasoning (I use Bolner's fajita seasoning.)
1 can black beans
1 cup fat free sour cream
1-16 oz. jar of salsa verde
shredded cheese
Tortilla chips

Directions: Preheat oven to 375. Chop chicken into small pieces and place in large skillet with olive oil. Cook for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Season with Mexican seasoning. Chop onion and bell pepper and add to chicken in skillet. Add lemon and lime juice to taste. Cook until done. Drain black beans in colander. Add chicken and vegetables to drain. Pour into large mixing bowl and add sour cream and salsa verde. Mix well and pour in 9X13 greased baking dish. Cover (generously) with shredded cheese. Bake at 375 degrees for 30 minutes.

To serve, crush toritlla chips in a bowl and top with mixture. (Will be kinda soupy, unless you cut back on liquid ingredients.) Would also go great with a fruity white wine (Fetzer Gew├╝rztraminer) or beer with a squeeze of lime.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

My first attempt at a homemade video

This is for my nephew, Will.

All that is missing is "OH TOODLES!"