Category: no-bake

Pseudo-Dutch potato salad.

Pseudo-Dutch potato salad recipe.

It just so happens, I am part Dutch. Not Pennsylvania Dutch, just Dutch. From the Netherlands. Land of the wooden shoes. I’m many things actually- but yes, Dutch is one of them. However I’m not a big fan of potato salad (Dutch or otherwise). I come from a family who LOVES all kinds of mayonnaise-dressed carbohydrate salads; macaroni, potato, etc. And coleslaw too. I did not inherit the love.

But ’tis the season to have barbecues, picnics and eat outside in general. And those usually include a type of salad; be it made with lettuces & greens or potatoes, macaroni or eggs.

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Recipe redux: three cheese stovetop mac!

Easy three cheese stovetop mac!

It’s warm, it’s sticky, and you don’t want to cook. It’s that time of year when you just don’t feel like it. You’re not in the mood to turn on the stove- nor are you prepared to grill anything & it’s far too hot to have the oven on. We’ve  spent all freakin’ winter cooking! ENOUGH! Or maybe it’s late; no time to defrost anything or go to the store. But you’ve still got mouths to feed (or you’re starving yourself!) & they won’t take no for an answer.

Well I have the solution: three cheese stovetop macaroni.

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This chocolate pudding will make you feel like a kid again.

I never really understood people who didn’t make their own pudding, and relied on the store-bought instant variety. It takes the same amount of time to make it from scratch. Seriously. And it’s EASY. Not only all that- but you get to know exactly what you’re eating.

In this chocolate pudding, there are 10 ingredients, most of which you probably have already. And you can pronounce them all.

Double chocolate pudding! Just like the kind you had as a kid, but homemade.

You love chocolate pudding, don’t you? Who doesn’t? What kid DOESN’T like chocolate pudding? It’s the great equalizer, like pizza. Everyone loves it. I know as a kid I was obsessed with homemade butterscotch pudding & chocolate pudding, equally. I was so excited when my mom made pudding, I hated waiting for it to chill. But NO SKIN- if there was skin on it, it was peeled off & thrown away promptly.

I still don’t like to have skin on my pudding.

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DIY magic: mason jar snow globes.

Oh, December. How I love you. Make no mistake- Halloween is my absolute favorite holiday. Hands down. However, it’s only acceptable for me to play White Christmas over & over again in December. I don’t mind watching it in February or July, but I find other people take issue. Or perhaps they just take issue with me singing all of the songs (particularly this one & this one) out loud at the top of my lungs? Anyway. I wait until at least after turkey day to break out the Bing! Also, December is the Mount Everest of baking/creating: the best crafts, recipes, and decorations are happening  right around now!

Like these…

DIY mason jar snowglobes. Easiest winter project ever!

This tutorial is something you’ve probably seen all over the internet.

No, not probably. Definitely.  I’ve seen this concept more times in the past two weeks than I’ve seen my fiancee, it seems. I’m just repeating it here to show you how stupidly easy it is. And how fun it is. And chances are, you’ve already got the materials- or most of them- laying around the house. It’s a knockoff of a product that Anthropologie made (they made salt shaker ones too), hence the lack of water.

DIY mason jar snowglobes.

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Haulin’ oats.

Use steel-cut oats to make an easy 'overnight oats' recipe flavored with maple pumpkin butter.

Bad pun. Sorry. For those of you born after the early 90’s, I was making a pun referring to Hall & Oates, a 1970’s/1980’s duo who’s songs “Maneater”, “Kiss On My List” & “Private Eyes” are insanely well-known. But yeah. It was a bad pun.

On the plus side? This is a great idea.

I first saw it on This Homemade Life & I thought it was genius. Problem is, I don’t like oatmeal. I like oatmeal cookies… but not oatmeal. But I still wanted to try it anyway. Jay loves oatmeal, my parents love oatmeal, the whole world loves oatmeal. I was starting to feel like a leper. Truth be told, I’m not a breakfast person. If I’m away on vacation, I can maybe get in the mood for a breakfast or two. Especially on the road at an awesome Mom & Pop style diner. Otherwise, nope. I mean, I love breakfast foods. I’ve been known to have a bowl of cereal or two, & I do enjoy a good breakfast-for-dinner now & then. But I don’t want oatmeal when I’m having it- I want a big ol’ stack of buttermilk pancakes or waffles with butter & maple syrup. And don’t forget: lots of crispy bacon.

So to avoid the stigma of being the only person alive who doesn’t like oatmeal, I thought I’d do my own, more seasonal spin on the “overnight oats” in a jar: maple pumpkin oats.

An easy way to make maple pumpkin overnight oats using maple pumpkin butter.

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Cherry ice cream.

1950's beach bunnies- my grandma, mom & great aunt.My grandma, mom & great-aunt at Point Lookout beach in the mid-1950’s

It’s summer! It’s hot, sticky & everyone is heading to the beach. Because ice cream is as much a fixture in the summer as sun & sand, I find myself making more & more ice creams once the mercury goes up. It’s really easy, it’s fun to come up with recipes & ideas, & because I keep the freezer bowl for my KitchenAid ice cream maker attachment in the freezer at all times, I can make it pretty much any time the mood strikes.

As you (probably) know, it’s also cherry season. Cherries are everywhere. Or rather, they were in June, when I couldn’t walk past a farmer’s market or fruit stand without seeing bags & bags of gorgeous cherries. But I figure it being only July 1st, it’s still early enough to say that cherries are still “in season.” And what do you do when you pass those bags of cherries? Do you buy them or walk on by? Because I buy them.

Tons of them.

They’re too pretty not to.

Fresh cherries (ice cream recipe).

But then I’m faced with the rapid decline of such beautiful little red orbs, and I have to then pit every single one (or most of them) and in turn freeze them, bake with them, preserve them, booze-ify them or booze-ify them and then bake with them. Which isn’t a bad problem to have, really, considering. I mean… there are far worse complaints.

I didn’t know this, but cherries are actually a pretty old fruit. Prehistoric in fact:

The native range of the sweet cherry extends through most of Europe, western Asia and parts of northern Africa, and the fruit has been consumed throughout its range since prehistoric times. A cultivated cherry is recorded as having been brought to Rome by Lucius Licinius Lucullus from northeastern Anatolia, modern day Turkey, also known as the Pontus region, in 72 BC.[2]

A form of cherry was introduced into England at Teynham, near Sittingbourne in Kent by order of Henry VIII, who had tasted them in Flanders.[3][4][5]

The English word cherry, French cerise and Spanish cereza all come from the classical Greek (κέρασος) through the Latin cerasum, thus the ancient Roman place name Cerasus, today a city in northern Turkey Giresun from which the cherry was first exported to Europe.[6]

- Wikipedia

Which means that people have been having this cherry problem for centuries! And by problem I clearly mean having far too many cherries & not knowing what to do with them all. But they probably didn’t end up making an ice cream as good as this one.

Vanilla cherry swirl ice cream made with fresh cherries.

Ice cream is a great vehicle for cherries, because they go perfectly with both vanilla & chocolate. This particular ice cream is actually a French vanilla with a cherry swirl, including some chunks of fresh cherry. It reminds me of an old fashioned ice cream parlor or a 1950’s soda shop. Or a day at the shore. It’s the kind of ice cream that you serve with a fancy spoon, in a parfait glass, or a sundae glass, instead of just a regular ol’ bowl.

Very summery.

Very yummy.

And also, very perfect for the 4th of July!

Delicious vanilla cherry swirl ice cream.

Super creamy & summery cherry swirl ice cream.

VANILLA CHERRY SWIRL ICE CREAM

Ingredients:

  • 2 1/2 cups half-and-half
  • 8 egg yolks
  • 1 cup granulated sugar plus 1/2 cup (divided)
  • 2 1/2 cups heavy whipping cream
  • 4 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 lb. fresh cherries, pitted & halved

Directions:

  1. In a medium saucepan over medium heat, heat the cherries & 1/2 cup of sugar. Cook, stirring, until the cherries have started to break down & release juice, & the mixture thickens. You want a thick, jam-like consistency. Once it reaches that point, place the mixture in a bowl. Once it comes to room temperature, refrigerate.
  2. In another medium saucepan, heat the half-and-half until very hot but not boiling, stirring often. Remove from heat, set aside.
  3. Place egg yolks and sugar in a mixer bowl. Attach bowl and wire whip to mixer. Turn to speed 2 and mix about 30 seconds, or until well blended and slightly thickened. Continuing on speed 2, very gradually add half-and-half and mix until blended. Return half-and-half mixture to the medium saucepan; cook over medium heat until small bubbles form around edge and mixture is steamy, stirring constantly. Do not boil.
  4. Transfer half-and-half mixture into large bowl; stir in whipping cream, vanilla and salt. Cover and chill thoroughly, at least 8 hours.
  5. Assemble and engage freeze bowl, dasher and drive assembly as directed*. Turn to STIR (speed 1). Using a container with a spout, pour mixture into freeze bowl. Continue on STIR for 15-20 minutes or until desired consistency is achieved. Slowly spoon in the cherry mixture until the vanilla is swirled with it. Turn off mixer & freeze in an airtight container until firm (8-10 hours).

*Directions given are for a KitchenAid ice cream maker attachment, follow directions on your ice cream maker.

Decadent & delicious vanilla cherry swirl ice cream.

Talk about delicious! And creamy.

It went pretty fast.

By that I don’t mean that it melted fast… but that it was eaten fast.

This vanilla cherry swirl ice cream is beyond delicious.

And it may seem as though there’s a lot of sugar, or that this ice cream would be too sweet. But you have to remember that the cold dulls the sweetness. Something that would be way too sweet when baked, wouldn’t be when frozen. If you’re using sour cherries, add 1/4 cup more sugar to the cherry mixture as you cook it.

You can also make the French vanilla ice cream alone, and omit the cherries. Or serve them on the side.

Or make some cherry bourbon chocolate sauce to serve with it.

Alternately, you can also make a vanilla frozen yogurt & use the same cherry technique to make it vanilla cherry frozen yogurt. Oh, the possibilities!

A recipe for an amazing vanilla cherry swirl ice cream. Perfect for summer.

New beginnings.

“It is spring again. The earth is like a child that knows poems by heart.” ― Rainer Maria Rilke

Spring is (obviously) when the earth begins it’s life cycle again. Plants start growing & flowering, grass starts to green up, trees start to bud, & canning season starts to get into high gear when berries start to become readily available. Windows are open, fresh air sweeps out all the musty winter stuffiness. Which is good because around here we’ve been sick on and off all winter. I need some crisp, spring air to push out all the contaminated recycled crap we’re breathing in over & over & over again, thanks to the forced air dry heating systems of the modern world. I’m desperately looking forward to everything about spring this year; all the signs of fresh flowers & vegetables coming, not to mention longer, warmer days & like I said… new beginnings.

The egg has long symbolized newness & new life, and because eggs are in fact not only the vehicle many species take to their new lives but also a food source that sustains life, it only makes sense. Spring brings new life, as do eggs. But they’re also a symbol of fertility, which, long before Christianity, was what spring was also about. Fertile soil, fertile animals, fertile women, etc. All of which brings NEW LIFE. New earth. And so at this time of year it seems only right to celebrate the egg!

Side note: I love how pretty brown eggs are.

My great-grandmother had seven children. She was the New York-born daughter of an Irish immigrant mother who worked as a cleaning lady. They lived in Harlem, and then when my great-grandmother was older they moved to the Bronx, lived in tenements, and she (as her mother before her) did the best she could to make ends meet. One thing she used to make for her children a lot were “googy-eggs”; her term for soft-boiled eggs. I’m not sure where that name for them came from, as Google tells me that googy-egg is an Australian slang-term for “egg.” Which made no sense to me, because I don’t have any Australian ancestry, and I never knew them to know anyone from Australia. But I have noticed other people on the internet calling soft-boiled eggs googy-eggs or googie-eggs, so I Googled a bit further and the best I can figure out is the following:

GOGGIE, n. Also gaggie and curtailed forms gog, gug. A child’s name for an egg (Arg., Lnk. 1954); an unfledged bird, a nestling (Ags. (gug), Kcb., Dmf. (gog) 1954). Cf. obs. n.Eng. dial. goggy, id.
Hence ppl.adj. goggit, gugget, of an egg: fertile, having a chick inside (Ags. 1952 People’s Jnl. (2 Aug.)), esp. in the later stages of incubation. [ˈgɔgi, ˈgʌgi]
*Arg.1 1935:
Come oot wi’ me tae the hen-hoose an’ we’ll gether the goggies.
[Gael. gogaidh, a nursery word for an egg, gog, v., to cackle. Cf. also Guga.]

And this quote from a thread at Straight Dope message boards:

The best I could do is that it’s from the English/Scottish slang term goggie, which is derived from the Gaelic gogaidh. Which isn’t in any Gaelic dictionary I could find, so I’m slightly doubtful.

I’ve never heard of “goggie” (which is far from saying it doesn’t exist) but according to one online Gaelic/English dictionary,

http://www.sst.ph.ic.ac.uk/angus/Faclair/G.html

there is a word, “gog”, which (it says, anyway) means “cackle”.

As hens could be said to cackle, maybe there is a connection here. It sounds a bit odd though.

Anyway, my grandma called them “googy-eggs” her whole life as a result, so I’ve come to know soft-boiled eggs as googy-eggs myself. However I’m also certain of one thing: there are lots of terms & phrases (& songs!) used in my family that the rest of the world isn’t familiar with, so therefore I don’t use the description often when talking to people outside “the fold.”

The soldiers part comes from the traditional pairing of these soft eggs with strips of toasted bread, known as soldiers, used to dip into them. They’re also called ‘dippy soldiers.’

I thought I’d give soft-boiled eggs another shot… seeing as how while I really love a good hard-boiled egg, the soft-boiled just never did it for me.

Other side note: organic, pastured eggs have the best orange colored yolks!

Nope, still not a fan.

But maybe you are a fan! So if you’ve never had them, you should try them. Or, if you’ve had them before but not in a long time- now is the time to make them again. From what I hear, it’s the most basic of comfort food. People have said that their grandma’s made this for them, or that it brings them back to being children. What is a better feeling than that, I ask you? This is adapted from a recipe by Cook’s Illustrated; and supposedly it’s the best recipe. Regardless of how many eggs you make, this recipe promises to cook them all the same, so you don’t wind up with one egg hard-boiled, a few soft-boiled and one raw.

We prefer a bit of a firmer yolk, so I let it cook for around 7- 7 1/2 minutes. Do as you wish in that department.

I also love how the coffee is almost the same color as the eggs in these pictures.


GOOGY-EGGS & SOLDIERS

Ingredients:

  • eggs (as many as you want, it’s usually one per person)
  • toast, cut into strips (again, basically one piece of toast per person)

Directions:

  1. Place eggs in a saucepan that has 1/2″ to 1″ of boiling water in it (depending on your saucepan, just enough to cover maybe half the egg). Cover, then cook over low heat, 6 minutes.
  2. Once the 6 minutes is up, run the entire pan and eggs under cold water. Drain. Dry off eggs- be careful, they might still be hot.
  3. Slice off the tops and season with salt and pepper. Serve with toast strips, dipping the strips into the “googy-egg” to eat.



Alright, so, yeah I’m still not a fan. Not sold on the soft-egg thing. But I’m told I’m crazy, and that they’re great… so you can make that decision for yourself.

I hope you all enjoy your week. Googy-eggs or not.