King Kahlua

My most favorite liqueur is Kahlua.  Did you know they claim it takes seven years to make a bottle of this Mexican liqueur?  Aged to perfection I’d say. I love using Kahlua when I make some of my sweet confections. It’s rum base, coffee flavor, and slight hint of vanilla makes it the King in my book.  I have a recipe for an awesome Kahlua cake, a Kahlua mousse recipe that will knock your socks off, and over the weekend I had my first taste of Kahlua fudge – oh, my dear Lord!  But just when I thought it could get any better; I crafted one more Kahlua recipe to add to my trusty recipe box.

Here are two key ingredients you will need.

Any guesses?

Here’s another hint. It goes best on vanilla ice cream. 

Kahlua Hot Fudge Sauce

¼ c. heavy cream (preferably Upstate Farms)
1 tbsp. sugar, plus 1 tsp.
1 c. semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 dash of salt
1 tbsp. butter
2 tbsp. Kahlua

Place all  ingredients (except Kahlua) in double boiler.  Melt on low heat until sugar is dissolved and texture is smooth and creamy.  Add Kahlua; mix thoroughly. Serve while warm, or keep in refrigerator until needed.  Re-warm in microwave when ready to use.  Makes one pint.

This hot fudge is so simple to make.  And it is for certain, the most delicious hot fudge I’ve ever had, especially on homemade vanilla ice cream (pictured below).

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Summer Berry Cheesecake Tart

Yesterday we celebrated Memorial Day by feasting on hubbies famous pulled pork, and what I call his 10 pound potato salad.  He really does make the best pulled pork and potato salad.  His salad has everything but the kitchen sink in it – seriously.    My contribution to the meal was dessert.  I wanted something fresh and summery.   I found a recipe for a berry cheesecake tart from Kraft Foods Food & Family. I tweaked the recipe and tried to lighten it up a bit by using light cream cheese. It’s best to make this a few hours before serving.  I didn’t take a really good picture because the weather was too hot, and people were waiting.  Maybe next time.

new pic 009

Graham Cracker Crust

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

1 1/4 c. crushed graham crackers

3 TBSP. margarine, melted

3 TBSP. granulated sugar

Add all the ingredients into a large bowl; mix well. Press into a 7” tart pan. Bake for about 7 – 8 minutes until crust is golden brown. Remove from oven and allow to cool.

Tart Filling

1 package of light cream cheese, softened

1/4 c. granulated sugar

1 c. light cool whip

1/2 c. apricot jam, or jelly

Fresh blueberries

Fresh strawberries, sliced

Place cream cheese and granulated sugar into a large bowl; mix until smooth and creamy. Fold in cool whip. Spread into prepared pie crust. Top generously with fresh blueberries and sliced strawberries. Evenly cover berries with apricot jam, or jelly. Refrigerate for several hours before serving.

Other tidbits…

Last week the article I wrote for the local publication called Tastes of Wine Country hit the news stands. It’s a great feeling to see your work in hard print. I’m just waiting for a call from Food and Wine magazine now – just kidding…

We found a great deli called the Brooklyn Pickle in Syracuse, NY. This place serves up the best deli sandwiches I’ve found in the area. Big and fresh should be their motto. Do you have a favorite deli in your area?

This weekend I watched the movie Hereafter .  I thought it was a good movie.  It kept me interested.  Lately, I’ve had a hard time giving my complete attention to movies.  This wasn’t one of those.  Of course, Clint Eastwood directed it –  why wouldn’t it be good? Have you watched any recent movies you would suggest?

I’ve just got around to  reading The Lincoln Lawyer written by Michael Connelly.  I’m about a quarter of the way through the book and look forward to the next time I can open it to read some more.   This is a fictional story but it accurately depicts what some of the criminal justice system is like.  There is now a movie out based on the book.  I haven’t seen it yet. Did you read the book, or see the movie?  Which did you like better?

And finally, I got an ice cream maker.  I made my first batch tonight.  I followed a recipe that came with the maker.  Bearing the fact that it’s over ninety degrees out today, the ice cream seemed a bit soupy.  I’ve put it in the freezer to harden up.  I stuck with a simple vanilla flavor and it tasted out of this world.  I used 1 cup of skim milk instead of the whole milk it called for.  I suppose that could have made a difference.  Do any of you ice cream making fools out there have any helpful tips?  I’d love to hear them.  More to come on this adventure…..

Here’s to hoping everyone has a great week! 

Cool and sweet

 

It was over 90 degrees out yesterday, especially in the direct sun.  My husband and I had finally found the time to work on our chicken’s ( soon to be) new home.   We got the floor, and two walls framed.

After a day of lifting, carrying, and screwing down lumber  I figured we were ready for a cool treat.  One of my favorite things to do with fresh fruit is to make homemade sauces for ice cream.  With some black cherries still left in the fridge that I had neglected to freeze, I knew how to use them up.

Ice cream sauce is one of the easiest things you can make, and it’s impressive.  The sauces look and taste so expensive, and if you buy them they typically are.

Here’s my recipe. 

3/4 c. fresh fruit (if the fruit can be mashed, I usually mash it – cherries aren’t very cooperative in that department)

3/4 c. water

3/4 c. granulated sugar

2 heaping tsp (the teaspoon you use at a place setting) of cornstarch

1/2  tsp. vanilla extract, or lemon if you prefer

In a sauce pan add your fruit and water.  Bring to a boil.  I generally boil until the fruit becomes tender, the color is rich, and the smell will send you out of this world (about 5 minutes).

In a separate bowl  mix the sugar and cornstarch. 

Once the fruit is ready, add a bit of the hot fruit liquid to the dry ingredients and stir.  Adding the hot liquid to the dry (sugar & cornstarch)  prevents the cornstarch from getting lumpy in your sauce.  Last, pour the colorful sugar and cornstarch mixture back into the fruit liquid that’s left in your saucepan.  Boil until it thickens.  Once you take the sauce off the heat stir in your vanilla or lemon extract.

And here are the cool, sweet results from less than 15 minutes of work.  The only thing that would have made this better is homemade ice cream so I’m saving my pennies to buy an ice cream maker!  By the way, you can preserve this sauce and give it away as gifts, or put it in your pantry for a nice winter treat.