June 29, 2015

Reese's Pieces Cookie Dough Chocolate Ice Cream

I am so excited for the 4th of July this weekend.  My family will be having a BBQ, making homemade ice cream and of course lighting fireworks.  What are your plans?

I will be making chocolate ice cream.  This recipe is the perfect base for so many toppings.  Today, I went with Reese's Pieces cookie dough instead of regular chocolate chip cookie dough and it was an awesome decision.  The mini Reese's Pieces are easy to eat and they don't get hard when frozen.  They can usually be found down the baking aisle.  This ice cream is sinfully delicious.  
I only added half of the cookie dough to the ice cream and saved the rest for the serious cookie dough lovers to top their ice cream with. 

Homemade Ice Cream really is so easy to make.  If you have never tried it, now is your time!   

You might just find yourself sneaking to the freezer at one in the morning for a few bites of this ice cream.  We finished off the whole batch in one day.  So YUMMY!     
Reese's Pieces Cookie Dough Chocolate Ice Cream
From: Jenn@eatcakefordinner
(Printable Recipe) or (Printable with Picture) 
Chocolate Ice Cream
2 egg yolks
3/4 c. sugar
2 c. heavy cream
1 c. 2% milk
1 tsp. vanilla
1/3 c. unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 c. milk chocolate chips (I used Guittard)

Reese's Pieces Cookie Dough
4 Tbl. unsalted butter, melted
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. vanilla
6 Tbl. sugar
6 Tbl. light brown sugar
1 c. + 2 Tbl. all-purpose flour
1/4 c. water
1/2 c. Mini Reese's Pieces 

For the Ice Cream: Whisk together egg yolks and 1/4 cup of sugar until eggs are light yellow in color and fluffy.  Whisk in the rest of the sugar.  Combine the cream, milk and vanilla and whisk into egg mixture until completely combined.  Heat over medium heat, whisking constantly.  Add the cocoa powder and chocolate chips and whisk together until chocolate is smooth and no lumps appear.  

Heat until temperature reaches 160 degrees, stirring constantly, about 8-10 minutes.  Remove from heat and cool completely in the refrigerator.  Place your chilled creamy mixture into your ice cream maker and freeze according to manufacturer directions.  Stir in 1/2 of the cookie dough chunks at the end.  Use the remaining cookie dough chunks for garnish.  Yield: one quart.

For the Cookie Dough: Stir together the melted butter, salt, vanilla, sugar and brown sugar.  Add the flour and water and stir to combine.  Add the Reese's Pieces and stir to combine.  Dough will be sticky.  Scoop out dough onto a large piece of parchment or wax paper and form into a flat rectangle.  Refrigerate dough until ready to use.  When ready, cut dough into small squares and add to ice cream.  If you want round cookie dough bits, just roll the small squares into balls. 

base ice cream recipe adapted from: 101 Gourmet Ice Cream Creations

June 24, 2015

Easy Spanish Rice

This Spanish Rice is soooooo easy.  Only a few ingredients are needed and you can have homemade rice in no time at all.  

All you do is add some rice and enchilada seasoning mix to boiling water, cover and let sit for 5 minutes.  Then, you stir in some salsa and it's done.  Quicker than a package of store-bought Spanish rice.

It's a little sticky, so it's really easy to eat with a fork, which is awesome. 

I served this rice alongside my Slow Cooker Pineapple Salsa Chicken Tacos.  Man, that shredded chicken is so good.  You have got to try these two recipes.    
Easy Spanish Rice
adapted from: Taste of Home
(Printable Recipe) or (Printable with Picture)

2 c. water
2 c. Minute Rice
1 (1.5 oz.) envelope enchilada sauce mix
1 c. salsa (store-bought or homemade)

In a large saucepan, bring water to a boil; stir in rice and enchilada sauce mix.  Cover with a lid, remove from heat and allow to sit for 5 minutes.  Remove the lid and stir in the salsa.  Makes: 4-5 servings.  

The enchilada sauce mix is usually found by the marinade packets at the grocery store.   

June 21, 2015

Strawberry Lemonade

I do not know how I am going to survive the heat this year.  That last two days have been sooooooo HOT.  It felt as hot today at 6 p.m. as it did at noon.  Isn't it supposed to cool down in the evening?  I was outside cleaning my Dad's truck and I was already sweating just from plugging in the vacuum, ha ha.  BUT . . . serious, it's hot.

That is why I drank A LOT of this ice cold Strawberry Lemonade today.  It's the perfect combination of tart and sweet and a total thirst quencher.  I love the flavor on day two.   

Since everyone prefers their lemonade a little differently, I included a few tips at the bottom of the recipe to help you create your perfect lemonade. 
You might also like:
Strawberry Lemonade
From: Jenn@eatcakefordinner
(Printable Recipe) or (Printable with Picture)

1 c. hot water
3/4 c. sugar
1 c. freshly squeezed lemon juice
4 c. cold water
16 oz. strawberries, pureed

Combine hot water and sugar in a pitcher and stir until sugar is dissolved.  Add the lemon juice, cold water and pureed strawberries and stir well.  Taste and adjust any ingredients, if needed.  Refrigerate until very cold and serve.  Makes just under 2 quarts of lemonade.

-If it's too tart, add a little more sugar and stir until dissolved.
-If it's too strong, add a little more cold water.
-If you want more strawberry flavor, try stirring in 1/4 cup of good strawberry jam.  I personally think this adds some really good strawberry flavor.  Just keep stirring and it will dissolve.   
-If you don't like seeds, pour the prepared lemonade through a fine mesh strainer.

Jenn's Notes: I bought a bag of lemons and they were really small lemons.  I had to use 11 of those small lemons to equal 1 cup of fresh juice.  The amount of lemons you will need will depend on their size.  

June 16, 2015

Orange Dreamsicle Chewy Cookie Bars

How was everyone's weekend?  I'm sure it flew bye just like mine did.  I went shopping on Saturday and of course I had to make a stop at Bath and Body Works Semi-Annual Sale.  Every 6 months I stock up on lotion, body spray and shower gel.  A girls gotta smell good, right???  They have sooooooo many different scents, it's impossible to keep them straight.  When I was a teenager, they had the same scents all the time and I could name every single one and probably owned every single one.  Now, I couldn't even tell you what half of them are and they even have scents for men.  I picked up a bunch of new flavors to try out.  What is your favorite scent? 
I not only love the smell of oranges, but I love the flavor.   If you like Orange Dreamsicle Cookies, then you will LOVE these easy cookie bars.  You throw all the cookie dough in one pan and in 20 minutes, you have an amazing dessert.  They are rich and thick and chewy and full of orange flavor.  There is no mistaking that these are an orange dreamsicle cookie bar and that was the point.  I added the zest of two whole oranges and I think it is just right!

You might also like:
Carrot Cookies with Orange Cream Cheese Frosting
Shortcut Orange Butterflake Rolls
Orange Poppyseed Zucchini Bread with Orange Glaze
Orange Almond Biscotti
Orange Dreamsicle Chewy Cookie Bars
From: Jenn@eatcakefordinner
(Printable Recipe) or (Printable with Picture)

3/4 c. unsalted butter, room temperature
2 c. packed light brown sugar
3 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla
2 Tbl. orange zest (zest of two oranges)
3 1/2 c. all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp. salt
1 Tbl. baking powder 
1 (12 oz.) bag white chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Cream together butter and brown sugar until very light and fluffy.  Add the eggs, one at at time, beating until combined.  Mix in the vanilla and orange zest.  Add the flour, salt and baking powder and mix until just combined.  Stir in the white chocolate chips.  Press dough evenly into a lightly greased 9x13-inch baking pan.  Bake for 20 minutes.  Cool completely.  Cut into bars and serve.