Friday, April 20, 2012

Chocolate Cherry Frozen Yogurt

I. Love. Ice. Cream.  I could eat it every single day and not tire of it.  It is pure indulgence, but oh goodness, so, so delicious!!  For Christmas my in-laws got me an ice cream maker, and let me tell you how much fun we are having with it!!  I tend to not be drawn to ice creams (or any dessert for the matter) that have a fruity flavor in them.  I am usually a "If it isn't chocolate, peanut butter or caramel, or something else of the sort I'm not interested" kind of girl.  But this frozen yogurt was actually an exception.  I was a little worried when I was putting it all together that it would become a bit overly sweet with the addition of the cherry juice.  But it wasn't at all!  The richness of the chocolate softened the sickening sweetness of the maraschino cherry.  Together they were a match made in a heaven.

I brought this over to my in-laws for dinner and usually Scott and my father in law will have a small taste of dessert and that is all.  Well tonight they both had seconds.  This never happens!  I'll take it as a win.

Like with (most all) ice cream or frozen yogurts you need to have an ice cream maker to do this recipe and a little planning ahead.  I have the Cuisinart 2Qt one and love it.  It is a great investment, especially with the sumer months coming up.  A few things: Don't forget to put your ice cream makers freezer bowl in the freezer over night to get nice and solid and allow yourself a little over 4 hours to complete this entire recipe from start to finish.  Don't worry!  You won't be actually making the frozen yogurt for 4 hours, but the base will need 2 hours to set up and then the frozen yogurt needs an additional 2 hours to get to ice cream cone consistency. It can be eaten right away out of the ice cream maker, but it will be very soft and will melt fast.  (Think soft serve on a warm day.)

After having a (few!) bowls of this, I think that the addition of chocolate chips in the last 5 minutes would also be great to give a little more texture and crunch to the final product.  But then again, could you ever have too much chocolate?

Enjoy and please have fun!

Chocolate Cherry Frozen Yogurt
Makes about fourteen 1/2 cup servings

9 ounces bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 1/2 cups whole milk, heated to a simmer
4 cups lowfat vanilla yogurt
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup maraschino cherry juice
1 cup drained maraschino cherries, roughly chopped

Place the chocolate in a food processor fitted with the metal "S" blade.  Pulse to chop.  With the machine running, add the warmed milk in a slow, steady stream and process until the chocolate is melted.  Add the yogurt, sugar, and cherry juice; process until smooth.  Refrigerate until well chilled, at least two hours.

Turn the machine on; pour the mixture into freezer bowl, and let mix until thickened, about 20-25 minutes. During the last 5 minutes of freezing, add the chopped cherries.  The frozen yogurt will have a soft, creamy texture.  If a firmer consistency is desired, transfer the frozen yogurt to an airtight container and place in freezer for about 2 hours.  Remove from freezer about 10-15 minutes before serving.

Nutritional Information per serving:
calories 203. carbohydrates 30g . protein 6g . fat 9g . sat. fat 5g . cholesterol 7mg . sodium 56 mg . fiber 1g 

recipe courtesy Recipe Booklet: Ice Creams, Sorbets, Sherbet & More! by Cuisinart

I linked up my recipe at Sweets for a Saturday!

Thursday, April 19, 2012

OBA April Cleveland Blogger Beer Tasting with The Brewer's Daughter

On Tuesday was our Ohio Blogging Association's April Meet-up. We were gathering this time at Lizardville Beer Store and Whiskey Bar for a beer tasting lead by Renée from The Brewer’s Daughter. She is indeed a real brewer's daughter; her father Jack McAuliffe is known as the father of craft beer in America! How cool is that?!  I have been wanting Scott to come along to a meeting for a while now, all of the people I talk about so frequently would then have faces to them.  I thought this beer tasting would be a perfect opportunity for it- he loves a good beer!

A lot of the other bloggers had the same idea, there were a lot of spouses in attendance!  The more the merrier, especially when there is good beer and good food around!

The bloggers for the evening were:

Alicia from Poise in Parma – with PIP Aunt Kathy
Amie from My Retro Kitchen with husband Scott (that's us!)
Crystal from Eat Drink Cleveland
Dave from Health Insurance Issues with Dave and Again? Really?
Jeff from My Future Past with wife Alice
Jen from Why CLE? with fiancé Matt
Jill from Cleveland Rocks Cleveland Eats
Jody from The Days Go On
Kimberly from SMITTEN…in cleveland with husband Chris
Nidhi from NIDHIZZLE and Cleveland Socialite
Renée from The Brewer’s Daughter
Sara from Sara Finding The Time
Sarah from Cooker Girl
Stuart from sosAssociates
Tammy from Miss WineOH

Smitten in Cleveland with husband, The Brewer's Daughter and WhyCLE with fiance' 

The Beers from left to right: 
Lager: Lagunitas Pils
*Amber Ale: Bells Amber
Belgian: Victory Golden Monkey
*Porter: Founders Porter
Stout: Anderson Valley Oatmeal Stout
IPA: Bells Two Hearted

Our hostess for the evening Renee and the knowledgeable Burl taught us so much about each and every one of the beers!  It made it so much more then just ordering a beer and having a taste.  I learned about the the different hoppiness in the beers or mega addition of malts in another.  I also learned that due to the wonderful tastes of chocolate and coffee in the Founder's Porter, it is fantastic added to cake batter or brownie mix.  I am soooo doing that! 

My most favorite of the beers we tasted were definitely the Bells Amber and the Founders Porter.  I am not normally a beer drinker, except for a wheat beer from time to time or my most favorite type of beer the pumpkin ale.  So it was really fun trying something new and found some new favorites along the way.  

For our food we had a Cheese and Sausage Tray.  The reddish looking sausages were super spicy! It sure made that round of beer go down that much faster! Phew!

There was also a delicious Beer Cheese Bread which was a huge favorite amongst the table plus two flat bread pizzas, a Margarita Flatbread and a Buffalo Chicken Flatbread.  

Scott and I are already planning on making the Buffalo Chicken one here at home in my retro kitchen... Yum! It appeared to be topped with chicken that was tossed in a buffalo wing sauce, mozzarella and crumbled blue cheese and sauteed chopped celery.  It packed a lot of flavor and paired really well with the beer.  

Poise in Parma, sosAssociates, Eat Drink Cleveland, NIDHIZZLE and Cleveland SocialiteCleveland Rocks Cleveland Eats, Cooker Girl 

I am truly loving my new blogging friends.  Joining OBA has been one of the best things I have done since becoming a blogger.  To have the support, encouragement and friendship from so many people and blogs that I myself admire is amazing.  I always thought it would be difficult to make new friends now that I am an adult, but this group welcomed me with open arms.  If you are a blogger and would like more information about The Ohio Blogging Association, check out their website and pop into one of our events.  They're FUN! 

Coming up we have the OBA May 2012 STATE WIDE Ohio Blog Swap.  I participated the last time we did it and had a wonderful time!  This is a fantastic way to get to know more bloggers in the area and share our support to one another.  For more information on joining or following along virtually, visit the facebook event page.

It was an incredible night and I am thrilled Alicia from PIP put it all together.  Thank you Renee for welcoming us and along with Burl, being such wonderful teachers!  This was such a fun and memorable evening!  

Sunday, April 15, 2012


Hummus is a wonderful Mediterannean dip made from blending garbanzo beans (also known as chickpeas), tahini and spices until smooth and creamy.  It is so delicious, super kid friendly and a big hit at parties.  The best part- it comes together in seconds!!  You are done with the entire recipe in a matter of 5 minutes.  This one is a nice traditional recipe, but you could easily vary the flavor by adding in a handful of kalamata olives, roasted garlic in place of the raw, chives or roasted red peppers to the food processor.  Roasted red peppers give it a lovely reddish color.  There is so much you could do to make it fun and different each and every time.

It is most commonly used as a dip, but it is awesome for a sandwich spread.  I love it on my veggie burgers even!  Our dinner this evening was a big spread of raw carrots, cucumber spears, grape tomatoes, pita bread wedges, pita chips, feta cheese, a garlic and herb cheese and rotisserie chicken.  It was so colorful, light yet satisfying and everyone loved it.  When I serve vegetables this way my son will always take tons and eat them before anything else!  Offer color and variety and let them choose.  You will be surprised at how well they actually eat!!

I tried a new technique today when making a batch of my homemade Hummus. Peeling the soft skins off of the chickpeas (yes, every single one!) before blending. I heard from an Arabic friend that this is how their family has always done it. Supposed to make it creamier. I was curious after never doing it this way so I figured why not! Good thing I have a 5 yr old to help out :) It did seem a bit creamier but in the end I don't think I would go to the trouble- there are a lot of chickpeas in 2 (15 ounce) cans!! My 5 minute recipe turned into a 25 minute recipe this way. lol. It was a fun experiment, and Jackson loved helping- at least for the first can until he got bored! In the end, do it if you have extra time on your hands. Otherwise, I just wouldn't bother.

2 (15 ounce) cans of garbanzo beans (chickpeas), juices from one can reserved
1/3 cup tahini
1/3 cup lemon juice (roughly the juice of two and half lemons)
3-4 cloves garlic
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp crushed red chili flakes
pinch cumin

for garnish
olive oil for drizzling
a sprinkling of paprkia
fresh chives or parsley, chopped

for dipping (any assortment of the following)
various raw vegetables, sliced (carrots, bell peppers, cucumbers, whole cherry/grape tomatoes, etc.)
pita bread or naan
pita chips
bagel chips
olives and porcini peppers are nice on the side as well

Combine in food processor or blender the garbanzo beans, tahini, 1/4 cup lemon juice, garlic, salt, red chili flakes and cumin.  Bend until smooth.  Taste and add more lemon juice to suit your taste.  We prefer  it more on the lemony side.  It will be quite thick at this point.  Slowly add in some of the reserved garbanzo bean juice to thin it out.  Blend again.  Add more of the juice, blend and taste.  Repeat until you reach the right consistency.  You won't need all the juice just enough to get it creamy!!  The texture should be smooth and creamy and not too thick.

Transfer to a serving dish and drizzle with olive oil.  Sprinkle with paprika and fresh herbs.  Serve alongside various dippers and enjoy!

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Ready, Set, Action!

Oh my goodness, if I thought my last visit at New Day Cleveland was a blast, today was even better. What a wonderful group of people to spend my morning with!!   It is always nice to have an idea of what to expect the second time around (although I must admit I was still nervous!!)  David Moss is so great to cook with.  He makes me laugh big time and keeps me on my toes for sure!  But he is incredibly friendly and made my cooking segment fun and effortless.  (Although I think I said "tomatoes" instead of "potatoes".  I am such a dork.  haha.  Nerves I tell ya!  But aside from my slip of the tongue I am really happy with my appearance.

Here is me live in action if you were unable to watch this morning live or live outside the viewing area.

Also the recipe for the Fresh Corn Chowder I made on todays show can be found here

Today is my BIG DAY on New Day Cleveland!

I couldn't be more excited about having another opportunity to work alongside David and Kristi again on New Day Cleveland today, this time sharing one of my most favorite soups Fresh Corn Chowder!!  They are so much FUN!!!!

Fresh Corn Chowder is a recipe I have shared with you here before, but well worth revisiting!!!  I love it at this time of the year when you are really longing for the sweetness of summer, corn on the cob and sun kissed cheeks.  But many of our days are still flecked with a chill in the air, a need for a coat and maybe even a flurry or two (especially if you live here in the Midwest!  What was with the snow these past few days?!!)

This recipe gives you the best of both worlds.  I love it made with fresh cut-off-the-cob corn.  But frozen corn also works so well since it is frozen pretty much immediately after being cut off the corn cob.  Almost as good as the seasonal kind, making it very soup friendly.  Use whatever is available to you, it will turn out amazing either way!

You can find the recipe {here} and I will be coming back to share all about my fantastic time on New Day Cleveland later today!!

Thank you for all of your support!  xoxox

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

How flattering, they wanted me back!

All of you local Cleveland area readers, please be sure to all tune in live or set your DVR's tomorrow morning at 10:00 am to Fox 8 for New Day Cleveland.  That's right, I have been invited back for a second cooking segment on their show!  How amazing is that?!  I am just so excited!  I have been a busy bee getting everything prepared for my cooking segment, getting a sassy new haircut and trying my darnedest to figure what in the world to wear- why is that the hardest part?!!  Oh yeah, that's right.  I write a cooking blog, not a fashion one. lol.

But I am feeling good.  My food is tasting yummy, and I am on cloud nine I was given this opportunity.  Again! Tomorrow will be a blast and I hope you all tune in to watch and cheer me on.  It is live TV you know.....

Friday, April 6, 2012

New Winner Drawn for Edible Cleveland

An original winner was drawn and unfortunately I have never heard from her. Boo.  I hate having to be the one to take a prize away form a person, but rules are rules.  So Today I headed back to my friend and found a runner up for this awesome new magazine, edible Cleveland.

Our NEW WINNER is lucky number 4!  Congratulations Tracey!

True Random Number Generator  Powered by RANDOM.ORG

I have to go with my first thought--Michael Symon. I just want to hear him laugh!

I am so excited for you Tracey! Please send me your address ASAP so I can get this magazine subscription sent your way!  Happy Reading! 

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

The Winner of "edible Cleveland"!

Congratulations to our incredibly lucky winner for the 1 Year Subscription to the new quarterly publication edible Cleveland!!  I am so happy for you, this is going to be a fantastic magazine.  I am hearing such wonderful things about it already. So cool.

And our winner is......

True Random Number Generator  Powered by RANDOM.ORG

AmyMar 27, 2012 09:07 AM
I think it is easy for me. I have always loved Michael Symon. He is just the most jolly and happy guy, and such a talented chef. I LOVE that he wholeheartedly supports his Cleveland roots and heritage. I love to watch him on Iron Chef, The Next Food Network Star, and The Chew. He is just a fun and wonderful person. I also love that he loves his wife and family so much.

Yay!  Congrats Amy! Great name by the way :)  You didn't leave me your email so please get back to me within 24 hours or I will have to choose another winner.  Trust me, you wouldn't want this to pass you by!

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Fruit Pulp Muffins

My sister has become completely into juicing.  About a month or so ago she bought a Juicer and has been having a blast making up all these amazing fruit and vegetable juices for her whole family to enjoy.  A little spinach here, carrots, cantalope, mango, watermelon, kale, apples there.... whatever you happen to pick up at the market, give it a whirl!  The skies the limit really.

I myself do not own a juicer.  I do like making up smoothies and whatnot in my blender, but that is a bit different.  With juicing, it separates the fibrous pulp from the juice, giving you just what is needed for a healthy, balanced, highly nutritious drink.  The only thing is that then you are left with all of that beautiful, full of fiber fruit pulp. You don't want to throw it out; it is also incredibly good for you.  So what to do?  There are lots of recipes out there: salsas, dips, sorbets, even your own fruit leathers.  Today Bonnie wanted to share with you all a recipe for Fruit Pulp Muffins.  So if you happen to have a juicer or know someone who does- try these out! They taste amazing!!!

Create Your Own Juice Pulp Muffins
recipe courtesy All About Juicing!

Use any combination of fruit pulp you have on hand to make your own muffins. You really can't go wrong!

4 cups of any fruit pulp
1 cup of sesame or olive oil
3 eggs
1 cup of honey
3 cups of whole grain flour
1 tbsp baking soda
1 tsp of nutmeg, cinnamon or spice of choice(optional)
1 tsp of vanilla

Mix the fruit pulp with the honey, eggs, vanilla, oil and mix. Add the dry ingredients. Pour into muffin cups or greased muffin tins. Bake for 45 minutes at 350 degrees.


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