Tag Archives: cream

Homemade butter

You know what guys, I married a saint. A saint, I tell you. And yes, I hear the audible groans, I mean you’re all well aware that I love my husband. But, I realized this weekend, that in additional to all the other crazy this poor guy puts up with on a regular basis, he also doesn’t bat an eye at my terrible singing. A little background info first…Himself is a wonderful singer, he’s performed in musicals and choirs, and even got a college scholarship for that voice of his. I mean we are talking perfect pitch. I am the complete and total opposite. It’s probably an accident if I hit the note, and the world will tumble in its tracks if I ever do learn to hold one. That said, I love singing. Love, love, love it. I adore belting tunes out, after all I can’t tell how bad I am, I’ve got headphones, yo! I will readily admit, that were our roles reversed, I would be much less accepting of my tendency to bust out in song.

Having the most understanding husband isn’t the only reason this gal is flying high today. You may notice that this post is coming to you a little later in the day. Wanna know why? Don’t be silly, of course you do! It’s because I spent the day at my amazingly awesome new job! Sure it’s only day two, but I am loving this! I get to write and and plan and check off lists (as I so adore to do) AND I’m doing it for a worthwhile organization. So winning!

Wait! There’s more! I might be sitting here with the proudest of grins on my face. You know what I did? I. Made. BUTTER! Yup, you read that right, I turned a pint of cream into butter. Ok, I know there’s not a whole lotta call for this, except that it’s super easy and fun, not to mention a good workout. One takeaway, butter making is far better with a partner. And homemade compound butter is the very best thing you ever put on pasta or a steak or even just the most amazing piece of toast you ever did eat (especially if you use that Dijon cheddar bread!).

Enjoy!

Homemade butter

Homemade butter

1 pint heavy cream
1 large plastic jar (an old peanut jar works really well)
¼ – ½ teaspoon salt (smoked or flavored salt if you’ve got it!)
1 ½ Tablespoons fresh herbs, chopped finely

1 hour before beginning, remove cream from the fridge and allow to warm to near temperature (recommending this goes against everything in my nature, but you’re going to need to do it anyway).

Pour cream into jar and shake vigorously for at least 15 minutes. You’re going to want to quit about ⅔ of the way through, when your cream starts to sound solid. Don’t. Stop.You’re not there yet. Keep shaking until you hear liquid again. This has taken me as long as 18 minutes.

Open the jar and pour off the liquid (buttermilk). Shake the butter out into a large bowl and cover with ice water. Mix around with hands to form small balls, squeezing out any liquid. Place the butter balls into a second bowl. Rinse a second time, squeezing out any additional liquid. Transfer the butter back to the original bowl (that has been rinsed clean)

Add the salt and herbs to the butter. Get in there and mix it up with your hands. Form the butter into a log and wrap with plastic wrap. Store in refrigerator and use within the week. You can also wrap the plastic wrapped butter in foil and store in the freezer for up to a month.

Magic custard cake from White on Rice Couple

I’ve been feeling rather uninspired by meals these days. Perhaps it’s the cold setting in, or my desire to do crafts rather than cook, but lately, it’s been unphotogenic comfort food at Red Meadow Farm. Tasty as all get out, but not really recipes that inspire, you know?

Now when it comes to desserts, it’s a whole other story. You may have noticed that plethora of dessert posts on here lately, with more to come. There’s a couple of reasons for this. I can putter around in the kitchen, make a mess and a tasty dessert, sample a few delicious bites, and then send that off to someone else to enjoy. Also, I’ve got a lot of eggs. A. Lot. And desserts are about the easiest way to use those up.

Not that I’m complaining about chickens, oh, no siree. It’s great. And having this many eggs on hand has definitely made me more adventurous in the kitchen. Last week, Himself and I were both off on Wednesday and, of course, Thursday for Thanksgiving. Since I was saving all the real cooking for Thursday, I decided to mess around in the kitchen. I mean, why not make crème brûlée just for funsies? So I did. And I was immensely proud of myself. This was the final step in reaching custard confidence. It was easy and it was so, so good. So, when I saw this magic custard cake from White on Rice Couple, it was on! I mean it has magic in the title, how can you not make it?!

Don’t let the custard portion intimidate you, like it did me for way too long. This is surprisingly easy and a lot of fun. These few little ingredients really do turn into something magic. I had a lonely orange and some ginger left over from Thanksgiving, and so decided to infuse the milk before adding it to the batter. Infusing couldn’t be easier. Just add 1 ½ Tablespoons orange zest and ½ Tablespoon grated ginger to the milk. Heat until simmering and allow to cool to lukewarm. Strain before adding to the batter.

Also, a note about the egg whites. I added four drops of vinegar as suggested. This helped keep the egg whites stable. That said, when you fold them into the batter, you want to make sure that no big lumps remain. The batter should have wee lumps in it, as if slightly curdled. It’s not a pretty batter, but oooh boy is it tasty. And magic. The batter separates while baking and leaves you with custard sandwiched between two layers of cake. Shazam!

Serve the cake as suggested, with a dusting of confectioner’s sugar. Or get real wild and top it with some berries. A wonderful little birdie brought me a delicious hostess gift of cranberry chutney, which was an amazing topping to the cake.

Enjoy!

Magic custard cake

Magic custard cake from White on Rice Couple

1/2 cup (113g) unsalted Butter
2 cups (480ml) Milk
4 Eggs, separated
1 1/4 cups (150g) Confectioner’s Sugar
1 Tablespoon (15ml) Water
1 cup (115g) Flour
1 teaspoon (5ml) Vanilla Extract
extra confectioner’s sugar for dusting

1. Preheat the oven to 325°F. Lightly butter or grease a 8″x8″ baking dish.
2. Melt the butter and set aside to slightly cool. Warm the milk to lukewarm and set aside.
3. Whip the egg whites to stiff peaks [adding 4 drops of vinegar to the egg whites will help them remain stable]. Set aside.
4. Beat the egg yolks and sugar until light. Mix in the melted butter and the tablespoon of water for about 2 minutes or until evenly incorporated.
5. Mix in the flour until evenly incorporated. Slowly beat in the milk and vanilla extract until everything is well mixed.
6. Fold in the egg whites, 1/3 at a time. Repeat until all of the egg whites are folded in.
7. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for 45-60 minutes or until the top is golden. Allow cake to completely cool before cutting and then dust with confectioner’s sugar *see Note 1.

Note 1: For faster cooling you can place the cake in the fridge. Even after fully cooled, it will still be slightly jiggly.

RECIPE SOURCE: WHITEONRICECOUPLE.COM.

Wild rice soup with bacon and corn

I know, I know, it hardly seems like a post for soup is appropriate when we’ve had a string of 70 degree days, right? Really, though, I would eat this soup in the dead heat of summer. It’s that good. And you just need something to put in those pretzel bread bowls we made earlier this week, anyway.

In an effort to enjoy the last of these gorgeous fall days, Himself and I blew off our chores for the afternoon, packed a picnic lunch, and headed out exploring. And then I promptly came home and made you this photo collage. Always thinking of you, invisible internet friends, always thinking of you.

PicFrame

The lake pictured there is Lake Winnibigoshish. I’m a sucker for the wayside rests and historical markers, so I can proudly tell you that Lake Winnie is Minnesota’s fifth largest lake and the name comes from an Ojibwe phrase meaning “filthy water.” Probably the coolest thing about this lake is that Mississippi flows through the lake. Yeah, that wee little river that I could dance across, that there is the Mighty Mississippi. I’m always so fascinated by the transformation of this river as it traverses the state.

Ok, enough nature nerd for now. Let’s talk bacon instead. I know for many of you, a road trip to Meatopia is probably out of the question, so any good thick cut bacon will do. If you get a chance, buy yourself some uncut slab bacon. That’s my go-to purchase at Meatopia, that and their amazing porketta sausages. On a day, where I’m feeling the most productive, I’ll slice and dice that bacon myself, cook the whole thing down, and portion it up for the freezer. Then, I’ll have bacon for soup, pasta, and pizza, in other words, Jessica will be the happiest. My chest freezer is a magical place where summer sweet corn, Meatopia bacon, and garden fresh basil hang out just waiting to be called to center stage. You can use whatever bacon you have on hand, but the thicker the cut, the happier you’ll be too.

Enjoy!

Wild rice soup with bacon and corn

Wild rice soup with bacon and corn

Adapted from Lund’s and Byerly’s Wild Rice Soup

6 Tablespoons butter
¼ cup minced onion
½ cup chopped carrots
½ cup flour
3 ½ cups chicken broth
3 cups cooked wild rice
¾ cup (about 10 slices) cooked bacon
1 cup sweet corn, frozen works fine if thawed
2 Tablespoons basil, chopped
½ teaspoon garlic powder
½ teaspoon salt
Black pepper to taste
1 ½ cups half and half

In a large pan, melt butter over medium-low heat. Add onions and carrots and cook about 5 minutes, until onions are soft. Add flour, cook until lightly golden brown. Add broth ½ cup at a time, stirring well between additions. Once all the broth has been added, bring to a boil stirring constantly. Cook two minutes until thickened. Add wild rice, bacon, basil, and remaining seasonings. Simmer five minutes. Add half and half, and heat until warmed through. Add additional salt and pepper if necessary.

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