Creamy Orange-Lemon Gelatto

I'm trying to cut back on calories for the new year, in addition to starting the couch to 5k program at cool runnings.  This recipe isn't the greatest, but it's a start.  Next times I'll try to make it with splenda sugar instead and see how it goes.  Maybe egg beaters...I wouldn't do it with any less than whole milk as it could effect the creaminess.

First, whisk together 5 egg yolks and 3/4 cup of sugar and set aside.

Then  heat 2 cups of milk, 6 coffee beans, and 4 thin strips of orange peel in saucepan until steamy.  Do not boil!

Add half of the milk to the egg mix and whisk.  Add the egg mix back into the remaining milk and cook on low until slightly thickened.  Mine didn't thicken that well.  I don't know what happened.

Pour into large bowl and put in the fridge.  Forget about it for 8 hours.

When it's time, take it out and stir in  4 tsp of lemon juice.

Process according to your ice cream makers' instructions, then scoop out and place in your freezer to let flavors melt for a couple of hours.  Serving tonight with cocoa meringues.  The ice cream is only 145 calories per half cup...I rarely eat that much.

Orange-Lemon Gelatto
2 cups whole milk
5 large egg yolks
strips of lemon and orange peel
6 coffee beans
3/4 cup sugar
4 tsp lemon juice

Scald the milk with the orange and lemon zest in a medium saucepan. Whisk the egg yolks and sugar to blend. Gradually whisk half of the hot milk into the yolks. Return the yolks to the saucepan with remaining milk. Stir over low heat until custard thickens and leave a path on the back of the spoon when you draw your finger across it. Do not let the mixture boil. Transfer the mixture to a large bowl and chill.
Once the mixture is cool stir in the lemon juice. Transfer to ice cream maker and process according to manufacturers instructions.

Cocoa Meringues

After I made the Orange-lemon gelato, I was left with 5 egg whites.  I didn't want to just toss them, and I don't like egg white omelets, so I went looking for a recipe and decided on a recipe for regular french meringues with a twist: cocoa.  And hey, chocolate goes well with orange, right?

First, combine powdered sugar with  cocoa powder then set aside.

In your mixer, beat the egg whites until soft peaks form, then gradually add the sugar mix.  Continue beating until stiff peaks form.

Now you pipe the batter onto cookie sheets.  You can use a fancy pastry bag with tips, or if you're like me and constantly losing tips and couplers, you can just put the batter in a freezer bag, snip off the tip and start piping.  I piped little swirly peak shapes.

I'd like at this point to warn any fellow will taste the batter to make sure that it's not too sweet or bitter from cocoa.  It will taste like the most creamy, fluffy chocolate ice cream that you have ever tried.  You may consider grabbing a spoon.  Don't or you won't have cookies.  Take it from one who knows.

Bake in a 185 degree oven for 3 hours or until cookies dry.

Cocoa Meringues

5 egg whites
2 1/4 cups powdered sugar
1/2 cup cocoa powder

Mix sugar and cocoa.  Set aside.

Beat egg whites in mixer with wire whisk attachment until soft peaks form.  Gradually add sugar mixture and continue to beat until stiff peaks form.  Pipe onto cookie sheets and bake at 185 degrees for 3 hours or until dry.

Makes 44 cookies.  Each cookie is .3 g fat (yes point 3) and 31 calories.

Merry Christmas

It's been a while and for those who may be still reading, I'm sorry.  I've started school and between Human Anatomy and Physiology and Organic Chemistry, I've been swamped.  Add to that 4 kids, looking for a job, and a husband getting out of the navy soon and I'm one busy mama!

I've of course still been cooking, especially today, Christmas.  The day started off with monkey bread, then scrambled egg toast, bacon and mimosas.  Dinner was this fantastic prime rib, served with baked potatoes and broccoli.  A light dinner (well, for me) due to my husband's head cold.  He still managed to make sounds that I previously had only heard in the bedroom when eating the rib roast.  Here's how I did it.

I started with a 6 lb rib roast.  Removed meat part from the ribs myself...not terribly hard to do, just cut along the  tissue away from the ribs.  Then tied the roast to the ribs with twine.  I did this because I didn't relish the thought of trying to cut it away when hot, and the bones give it out of this world flavor. Rubbed the roast down with sea salt, ground black pepper and garlic.  I roasted the first 15 minutes at 450 degrees, then promptly reduced the temp to 300 degrees.  This high temp start sears the outside, then the lower temp cooks it slowly to buttery tenderness.  I removed it when the temp read 120 degrees.  I want medium rare, and it will continue to cook on the counter at least another 5-10 degrees. 

Then I let it rest.  20 minutes at least to keep all the juices inside.   Sliced:

Served with a Malbec red from Argentina...a wonderful dinner:

Hope your Christmas was a Merry one!

Roast Pork Shoulder and Scalloped Potatoes

See this?  That is a juicy roast pork shoulder.  It's buttery, melt in your mouth smooth.  I gave slices to the twins and they kept crying for more.  You need to run, not walk, to buy a pork shoulder picnic roast to make this. 

Served with scalloped potatoes (recipe follows pork recipe) and cucumber salad (you're on your own...)

Roast Pork Shoulder

1 boneless pork shoulder picnic roast (4-8 lbs, you may want to double the rub if using the larger size)
5 cloves of garlic
1 btsp dried oregano
1 tbsp dried cumin
4 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp honey
juice of 1 lime

Prepare the roast by lifting the fat cap and scoring the meat on all sides.  Place in roasting pan.
 In a food processor combine the garlic, oregano, cumin, lime and olive oil to make a paste.  Rub all over pork, making sure to get under the cap and in the scored lines.  Let marinate for an hour or even up to overnight.  Make sure to bring to room temp in chilling overnight.

Pour a small bit of water to cover bottom of pan about 1/4 inch. Roast covered in foil in 275 degree oven for 6 hours or 50 minutes per pound.  When done, I paint the pork all over with a little olive oil mixed into the honey the increase the temp to 350.  Let the outside crisp and brown then remove from oven and place roast on platter to sit for 20 minutes before cutting.  At this point you can make gravy.  I just loosen the bits on the bottom with some red wine, then add about 2 tbsp of flour to make a roux.  I then finish with about 2 cups of beef stock, cooking to desired thickness.

Scalloped potatoes
recipe courtesy of Savory Sweet Life


1 1/2 cups heavy cream
1 sprig fresh thyme (optional)
2 garlic cloves, chopped
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
Non-stick spray
2 pounds russet potatoes, peeled/unpeeled and cut into 1/8-inch thick slices – about 5-6 sm-med. sized potatoes
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/3 cup grated Cheddar
1/3 cup grated Parmesan
1/3 cup grated Parmesan for topping off and broiling
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.  In a medium sauce pan – heat cream, chopped garlic, nutmeg, and sprig of thyme on medium heat.  While the cream mixture is heating up, spray a casserole dish with non-stick spray.  Place a layer of potato slices at the base of the casserole dish in an overlapping pattern seasoning with salt and pepper.  Remove the cream from heat, discard thyme, and pour a little over the potatoes adding some of the Cheddar and Parmesan cheese on top.  Repeat the layers two more times.  Pour any remaining cream sauce on top of the last layer and sprinkle with remaining Parmesan cheese.  Bake, uncovered, for 45 minutes.

Bacon, Cheddar and Carmelized onion Casatiello

I made this wonderful bread this weekend to take to an SCA event and received many compliments.  It's a variation on Peter Reinhart's Casatiello recipe, except instead of using provolone and salami, I used bacon, shredded sharp cheddar and carmelized onions.  These were kneaded in the last 6 minutes, each seperately, at the end of the kneading cycle.  I baked this on parchment paper in the ring of a 9 in springform pan with the bottom removed.  Fabulous! I was glad to have something nice to share...


By: Peter Reinhart in The Bread Baker's Apprentice
1/2 cup (2.3 oz) bread flour
1 tbsp instant yeast
1 cup buttermilk 
3 1/2 cups (16 oz) bread flour 
1 tsp salt
1 tsp black pepper
2 eggs
3/4 cup (6 oz) unsalted butter, softened and divided in 4 pieces
6 oz shredded cheddar
6 oz bacon, cooked until crisp and crumbled
1 large onion, diced and carmelized in butter. 

  1. Combine the sponge ingredients in a non-reactive mixing bowl, blending thoroughly. Cover and allow to rest 1 hour.
  2. In the bowl of a standing mixer, whisk together the 16 oz bread flour, salt and pepper.
  3. Pour in the sponge mixture and the eggs and mix well on low-medium speed until the dough forms a coarse, shaggy ball.
  4. Continue mixing for 1-2 minutes longer, then turn off the mixer and allow the dough to relax for 15 minutes.
  5. On low speed, begin working the butter into the dough one piece at a time. The dough will be very soft.
  6. Continue beating dough until smooth and velvety, about 12-13 minutes, and the dough comes away from the sides of the bowl. Use the dough hook if you have one and add the cheese, bacon and onions one at a time staggered at 2 minute intervals over the last 6 minutes.
  7. Place in an oiled bowl, turning to grease the top. Cover and allow to rise 90 minutes. The dough will easily triple.
  8. Deflate the dough and shape into a boule. Place in a 9" springform tin that has been lightly greased.
  9. Cover and allow to rise again 45-60 minutes, until it rises over the top of the pan.
  10. Preheat oven to 450F and move the oven rack to the lowest position.
  11. Bake 20 minutes, then rotate pan 180 degrees and bake 25 minutes longer.
  12. Remove from the pan immediately and cool completely on a wire rack.

Teaser Tuesday March 30

Here's another book meme hosted by Should Be Reading, Teaser Tuesdays and it's a fun one.  The rules are thus:

  • Grab your current read.
  • Open to a random page.
  • Share two teaser sentences for somewhere on the page.
  • Do not include spoilers!!!
  • Share title and author.

 My teaser this week:

"Her mother came upstairs because she heard the sobbing. It had seeped through the grout of the tile and the soffitts and the plaster that made up the ceiling downstairs.  it would, in fact, become as much of this household as the bricks and the mortar, although neither of the women realized it yet."

It's from Nineteen Minutes by Jodi Picoult which is a fantastic book.

March What's On My Nightstand

It's difficult to get a whole lot of reading done when you're chasing after 4 kids (that's not including husband-child), a new puppy and trying to sew an entire wardrobe for your family for the SCA...something new that needs to be made always comes up.  I look back longingly at the days when I could go through a book a day and now wonder if I'll ever even come close reading the 100 books in the 100 book challenge that I"m participating in.  It's March and I'm only at 12.

Nonetheless, I was able to read some, which is a good thing.  My stack this month looks like this (digital stack, since the read ones have been responsibly returned to the library.)  Join us for more stacks at 5 minutes for books

Book Review: Jane Austen Ruined My Life

I had really hoped to like this book, but I didn't.  I never really clicked with the heroine, whom I frequently wanted to slap some sense into or any of the other characters and the story just didn't engage me.  I have to force myself to finish.  The facts about Jane's life were interesting, but not enough to redeem the rest.  In my opinion, in a market current glutted by these Jane Austen-centric novels, this is one you can skip.

Menu Plan Monday: Easy week

Not much going on this week...Scott is gone Tuesday and most of wednesday doing St. Patrick's day activities with the band.  I've got lots of sewing to do in preparation for Spring Coronation for the SCA in 2 weeks.

Sunday:  Crock Pot Turkey breast with stuffing, cranberry sauce and roasted sweet potatoes.

Monday: Brats on Buns with grilled onions and saurkraut.  Fries. Strawberry shortcakes

Tuesday: BBQ Meatballs and macaroni and cheese. Tiramisu.

Wednesday:  Corned Beef, potatoes, carrots and Irish soda bread...Happy Valentines day!

Thursday:  London Broil Salad.

Friday:  Aunt to eat with Scott's aunt who is visiting from Maine on her way back from Scotland.

Saturday:  Happy Ostara!  Herb roasted lamb, roast potatoes and carrots, peep ambrosia and easter celebration bread.

Have a good week and check out more menus or join the fun at

Book Review: The Briar King

This evening I finished another book for the 4 month challenge, completing the "read a fantasy" category.  I knew that this wouldn't be a difficult  category for me because I'm no stranger to this genre.

This book was a standard entry in the genre.  There were the stereotypical fantasy characters with all of their stereotypical motivations.  Not a whole lot new going on, but still an enjoyable read.  If you liked George R. R. Martin's A Song of Fire and Ice series, this series will surround you like a familiar friend.  I look forward to reading the rest of the series.