Google+  with milk and sugar blog: September 2012

Friday, September 28, 2012

Bacon Cheddar Pancakes {w/ recipes}

I'm not sure if I've ever mentioned it, but breakfast is my favorite meal. It's one of those things I could, for lack of a better phrase, eat for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. In fact breakfast for dinner is my go to when I don't feel like cooking. I can scramble some eggs, toast some bread, or heck, just pour a bowl of cereal. But the creme de la creme, in my opinion, is pancakes.

I love waking up early on Saturday mornings and heating up the griddle.  Fluffy, light and buttery, flap jacks. You can top them with fresh fruit, or dot them with chocolate chips.  The possibilities are nearly endless. Be prepared to add another flavor combination to your repertoire: bacon and cheddar cheese. I saw this on the menu of a cafe once and was intrigued. Salty bacon, sharp chedder, with sweet maple syrup drizzling down the sides...helloo breakfast!

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

What I'm Loving Wednesday {w/faves}

What am I loving this Wednesday? I think the better question is "what am I not loving"? Today I feel so renewed and joyful, in no small part to the kind words in comments from yesterdays post. I tend to be a private person, and have a very hard time opening up. So it was incredibly encouraging to read all the lovely notes.

Thank you.

Here's what I'm loving this week...

...The Shins radio on Pandora
This station is perfect for work. It is mellow, but with the right mix of upbeat songs that will lift your spirits if you happen to find yourself in a work funk. Tons of Shins songs, Modest Mouse (every time I hear them it takes me back to high school), Amos Lee, Iron & Wine, Mike Snow, Fleetwood Mac, to name a few.

... the idea of FALL
I say idea, because that's all we have here in San Diego. It's been hotter than you know what the last few weeks, and while it's nice to have extra beach days, the cool, crisp days of autumn are calling my name. My heart is yearning for a gust of wind to blow red and yellow leaves across my front balcony.



... Food Network's The Great Food Truck Race
How embarassing is it that this makes my list? But seriously, I love this show. I am crossing my fingers that Seoul Sausage will win and already planning my daytrip to LA to try their Kimchi Fried Rice Balls.

... blogging!
It feels great to be re-energized and full of ideas for things to post on in the coming months. I am considering doing a Daily December series (a post every day in December, eek!).

... my sweet husband
He's been particularly awesome this week.

Exhibit A

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Reflection {w/ prayers}

hello dear friends. how are you?


The last few weeks have been heavy.

Some very close friends are going through some very difficult times.

And I can't help but to feel the weight of their pain.   
 “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace.
In this world you will have trouble.
But take heart! I have overcome the world.”
John 16:33 

Monday, September 3, 2012

Salted Caramel Ice Cream {w/ recipes}

hello friends. hope you had a fabulous long weekend. it sure was hot in San Diego. perfect to enjoy a sweet and salty treat - salted caramel ice cream.


If you've been following along with me these last few months, you may remember my post on Salted Caramel Butterscotch Pudding. I must admit, salted caramel is one of my favorite flavors as of late. But up until a few months ago, I had never taken my try at homemade caramel. {On a side note, I had made caramel corn (with brown sugar and butter, a recipe I will share once the weather changes), but not real caramel.}

Having been around the baking/cooking world in the blogosphere and the kitchen for a few years, I had heard many woes about the trouble with caramel. Everything from making sure your pan is completely clean and dry to checking the temperature every 30 seconds. And these woes are with good cause - as of today I have made 2 successful batches, and 2 complete flops. 

So now, despite a few botched attempts, I think I have got the hang of it. So hopefully you will have great luck on the first try, and not end up dumping a lumpy caramel-like mess in the trash. In hopes of your instant success, here are some of my tips.

Salted Caramel Ice Cream

Salted Caramel Sauce
1 c sugar
1 1/4 c heavy cream
1 t vanilla
1/2 t fleur de sel (flaky sea salt) {or to taste, up to 1 t}

1. In a 10 inch pan, heat sugar over medium heat. It will be helpful to use a light colored pan so you can better gauge the color, but not necessary. Using a fork, mix sugar so that it heats evenly. STOP mixing once the sugar begins to melt. Do not mix even just a little, as it will start to clump and not melt evenly. DO swirl the pan around so that the sugar continues to melt evenly. Continue until sugar is completely melted and begins to turn a rich caramel color.

2. Once the sugar reaches the desired color, reduce heat and add heavy cream, stirring until combined.

This step threw me for a loop the first time (my second attempt, since the first attempt resulted in clumpy melted sugar that I scrapped before this step). I assumed the hot, melted sugar and the cream would easily mix together. All recipes said to just mix the cream and sugar until it blends together. And they are completely right. What they don't tell you is that it looks like a complete wreck - the sugar will turn into a sticky, tacky mess and want nothing to do with the chilled cream. And can you blame it? The sugar had a good thing going on. And the heavy cream came and messed it all up. But, keep stirring. They'll work through their issues and turn into a beautiful, sweet caramel.

3. Remove from heat and add vanilla and salt.

Ice Cream Base
You are of course welcome to use your favorite vanilla ice cream base (just omit the vanilla and most, if not all of the sugar), as the caramel will compensate. I prefer an egg based custard for my ice cream, but this is one of the few flavors where, in my opinion you can get away with just milk and cream. The caramel is just that good. 

1 1/2 c half-and-half
1/2 c heavy cream
4 large egg yolks
1/3 c sugar

1. In a medium saucepan, mix half-and-half and heavy cream, over medium heat. Bring mixture to a simmer, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat. 

2. In a medium mixing bowl. whisk the eggs until they lighten in color. Gradually add the sugar. 

3. Carefully temper the cream mixture into the eggs and sugar, adding small amounts at a time until a third of the mixture has been added. Pour in the remainder and return to the saucepan over low heat. Continue to cook, stirring frequently until mixture thickens enough to coat the back of a spoon and reaches 170 degrees F. Remove from heat and allow to cool 30 minutes.  

4. Mix cream mixture with salted caramel and refrigerate at least 4 hours, preferably overnight. 

5. Pour into ice cream maker and freeze according to manufacturer's directions, typically 25-35 minutes. Freeze for another 3-4 hours. The ice cream will be softer than normal recipes due to the caramel. It will melt in your mouth, in more ways than one. 


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