Monday 21 November 2016

Tiger Ice-Cream

I love ice-cream.  LOVE it.  I received an ice-cream maker for my birthday this past summer, and it has gotten a lot of use since then.  Looking back, I also should have purchased shares in a dairy company.  The consumption of cream has risen in this house exponentially since receiving this gift.   As I noted in my post for Gingersnap Maple Pecan Ice Cream, I have to continue to implement my rule whereby I only consume ice-cream in the presence of other adults.  Otherwise I would sit in my basement watching daytime tv and eating ice-cream while my kids fend for themselves upstairs. 

I've been brainstorming since the summer about this ice-cream.  Tiger-ice cream has been a favorite of mine since I was a kid.  It's becoming more popular again, as I see it occasionally in the grocery store now.  I feel there was a period of time where it was extinct.   It was hard to find, and it made it even more of a treat.   In case this first-world problem rears its ugly head again, and there is a shortage of Tiger ice-cream throughout the land, I have discovered a solid solution....this recipe!

On a side-note, in case you don't know what Tiger ice-cream is, I'm sorry that you haven't experienced this.  Take a read here, and check out this little blurb about it.  It's basically orange ice cream with black licorice swirls throughout.  And it's mind-blowing.

I hesitated to try this for quite some time because I wasn't sure you could really duplicate the delicious syrupy licorice goodness at home.  I searched through different syrup and caramel recipes to see if I could adapt them to be licorice.  Then one day, while I was vacuuming (yup, some of my best ideas come when I'm sweating it up with housework), it came to me.  Why was I reinventing the wheel?  Why couldn't I just start with a white corn syrup base and add to it?  Why was I trying to be a hero and make my own syrup?

Throw this in your ice-cream maker and prepare to be amazed!  Also clear your schedule for additional gym time.  Sorry.

You will need:

2 cups whipping cream
2 cups half and half cream
1 cup sugar
1.5 tsp pure orange extract
wilton orange food paste

3 tbsp white corn syrup
1/4 tsp pure anise extract
wilton black food paste

Whisk together the creams, sugar, orange extract and food coloring (you will only use a very small amount on the end of a toothpick).  Use enough to achieve your desired color shade.  Pour into a 2 quart ice-cream maker and process according to manufacturer's directions.  

While your ice-cream is spinning away, stir together the corn syrup, anise extract and black food paste in a small bowl.  Place in the refrigerator until ready to use.  This will really thicken up your corn syrup and make it easier to handle when swirling. 

Once your ice-cream is finished (mine takes about 30 minutes), turn off your ice cream maker and get ready to swirl.  I think hand swirling is optimal because then you can really control how much and where it will be.  I thought about just dumping it in my machine in the last minute of processing, but I was worried it would "mix in" too much.

Start by putting one third of your finished ice-cream in an airtight container (you will need about a 1.5 quart container).  Drizzle 1/3 of the syrup over-top of this ice-cream layer.  Add the next third of the orange ice-cream to the container.  Repeat syrup drizzling.  Add the last layer of ice-cream and finish drizzling with the last of the syrup.  Now, take a butter knife and "cut" through the ice-cream in random swirling motions to swirl the syrup more through each layer.  Place the ice-cream in your freezer for four to six hours to fully firm up.  Scoop and enjoy!

Tiger Ice-Cream

Tuesday 8 November 2016

Morning Maple Muffins

My love of maple continues...

As I mentioned in a previous post, my fall flavor isn't pumpkin.  It's maple! So, if you have been following along, this is the third post in recent weeks that involves maple.  If you love maple as much as I do, you might want to check out Maple Pepper Glazed Wings, or Gingersnap Maple Pecan Ice Cream.   If you aren't a fan of all things maple, I'm sorry.  I promise I will be moving on soon.   I just hope everyone likes peppermint and eggnog, because I envision those types of goodies soon!

The things is though, this isn't MY recipe.  I wish I could take credit for it, but I can't.  This is another recipe from Taste of Home.  Red Cottage Chronicles has rounded up another week of Taste of Home recipes reviews for Taste of Home Tuesday.  Take a few minutes to check out the links at the bottom of this post to see what everyone else whipped up this week.

So, these muffins.  They are bursting with flavors that are hard to describe.  There's definitely maple. Check.  Cinnamon..check.  Nutty pecan goodness?  Check.  The thing is, all of these individual flavors combine to create a flavor that's hard to describe.  The recipe creator describes it as a pancake breakfast.  Yup....I can definitely taste that.  A reviewer on the website describes it as a doughnut. Yes, I can definitely taste that too.  I thought of it as almost a maple cinnamon coffee cake.   Whatever your tastebuds sense when you make these, there is one common word you can use to describe these muffins:  scrumptious.  Or, as my idol, Mrs. Poppins, would say, supercalifragilisticexpialidocious! 

My take on Taste of Home's Morning Maple Muffins

Here is a link to the original recipe, Morning Maple Muffins.  I have copied it below, and added my own comments, in italics.

2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup milk
1/2 cup butter, melted
1/2 cup maple syrup
1/4 cup sour cream
1 egg
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
3 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons chopped nuts (I used pecans)
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 tablespoons cold butter


1. Preheat oven to 400°. In a large bowl, combine flour, brown sugar, baking powder and salt. In another bowl, combine milk, butter, syrup, sour cream, egg and vanilla. Stir into dry ingredients just until moistened.

2. Fill greased or paper-lined muffin cups two-thirds full. For topping, combine flour, sugar, nuts and cinnamon; cut in butter until crumbly. Sprinkle over batter. (This is a great job for your kids if you have little ones helping. My little guy thought this was super fun!  Of course he did, because this is an opportunity to make a mess with tiny crumbs.)  

3. Bake 16-20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool 5 minutes before removing from pans to wire racks. Serve warm. (Or cold.  Trust me, these are fantastic at any temperature!) 

Freeze option: Freeze cooled muffins in resealable plastic freezer bags. To use, thaw at room temperature or, if desired, microwave each muffin on high for 20-30 seconds or until heated through.

Yield: 16 muffins. (12 for me, as I filled them slightly more than 2/3 full)

Nutritional Facts
1 each: 212 calories, 9g fat (5g saturated fat), 36mg cholesterol, 211mg sodium, 30g carbohydrate (16g sugars, 1g fiber), 3g protein.
© 2016 RDA Enthusiast Brands, LLC

My take on Taste of Home's Morning Maple Muffins

Taste of Home Tuesday Red Velvet Cheesecake

Herbed Tuna Sandwiches from Tammy Cook Blogs Book
Basil Garlic Bread from Jolene's Recipe Journal
Nutty Pumpkin Muffins from Family Around the Table
Banana Streusel Muffins from Red Cottage Chronicles

Wednesday 2 November 2016

Maple Pepper Glazed Chicken Wings

So, November is upon us.  Wow.  I don't get all jazzed up about pumpkin everything like the rest of the world, so I can't say I'm super pumped about this.  (Don't get me wrong, I actually love pumpkin, but I think the marketing of this product is getting beyond out-of-control).

The good news is that the onset of November means I can really start thinking about holiday entertaining.  After Remembrance Day, it's full-on holiday mode here.  This is where my love of all things maple, peppermint, or eggnog shine through.  That's right people.  Maple, peppermint and eggnog are my pumpkin.  Coconut too.  But coconut is more of a year-round love of mine.

One of our favorite things to do around the holidays is to have small groups of friends or family over and have appetizers and cocktails.  We have several of these type of evenings at the end of December. As much as I love my tried and true favorites, I try to create a few new things each year so it's not he same old same old every year.  The brainstorming usually starts right about now.....

This year, I came up with a new chicken wing.  It uses one of the ingredients that I wrote about earlier....MAPLE!  Oh maple, how I love you.  One of my most favorite and recent creations uses maple too.   Please check out my Gingersnap Maple Pecan Ice Cream if you haven't already!  You will not regret it.

Anyway, this chicken wing.... I tested it on two groups of unsuspecting testers this past week and both times they disappeared at a rapid pace.  One was at a Halloween potluck, and I whipped up a second batch for the Halloween appy night we had with some neighbours before going trick or treating.  The best feedback one can get on a new recipe is the number of servings eaten per person.  My heart explodes with happiness when I see an empty serving dish at an event!   Well maybe not explodes, but it feels so warm and happy :)

These wings are SO easy.  They use so few ingredients.  Ramp up the pepper if you really love it. Hold back if the kids complain.  Let me assure you though, with the amounts noted below, I witnessed both a 9 month old baby delightfully eat pieces of this wing, and grown-ups heap their plates with these little delights.  What's not to love here?!


For the wings:
5-ish lbs of split chicken wings (The big trays at Costco are roughly this size)
1/2 cup all purpose flour
2 tsp freshly ground pepper (I set my pepper grinder to be at a really coarse grind)
2 tsp coarse salt
1 tsp garlic powder

2/3 cup maple syrup.  Real maple syrup people.  Not Aunt Jemima's (even though I love her dearly)
1 clove of garlic, finely minced
2 tsp soy sauce
2 tsp coarsely ground pepper

-Preheat your oven to 425F and line two baking sheets with parchment paper.  Use parchment paper. It is so much easier for clean-up than simply greasing your pan.

-Mix together flour, ground pepper, salt and garlic powder in a small bowl.  Transfer to a large ziploc freezer bag.  Dump approximately half the wings into the flour mixture in the bag and toss to lightly coat.  Lay out in an even layer on the prepared baking sheet.  Repeat with the remaining wings.  Both times I made these I had exactly enough flour mixture to evenly coat the wings.  I find that if you do this step quickly and don't dilly-dally, then the first set of wings don't soak up all the mixture before you get the next batch in the bag.  I hate when I run out of a coating for meat, so trust me when I say these amounts are enough!  If you have an extra large ziploc bag, just coat the wings in one big batch.

-Place wings in the preheated oven.  Set timer for 40 minutes.  Rotate the top and bottom rack pans at each 10 minute mark, and flip all the wings at the 20 minute mark.

-While babysitting your wings, make the glaze.  In a small saucepan, combine all ingredients.  Over medium heat, bring to a boil, stirring occasionally.  Reduce to low and allow to simmer for 2 to 3 minutes, or until the mixture starts to thicken up just slightly.  Remove from heat and cover to keep warm.

-After your rotating and flipping adventure of the pans of wings is complete, you're ready to glaze.  Brush each wing with some glaze and return to the oven for 7 minutes.  Remove from the oven and flip each wing.  Re-glaze and return to the oven for an additional 7 minutes.  This time, watch carefully because that first layer of glaze is starting to get quite sticky.  At the 5 minute mark, check on them.  The glaze will start to scorch very quickly if you overcook them.  It's better to take them out a bit early and sacrifice a bit of caramelization than to wind up with burnt and crusty sugar!

Now eat them!  For additional maple goodness, drizzle a tiny bit of syrup over the finished wings before serving.

Here's a few tips for you:
- If you need to take these to an event (like the potluck I took them to), I recommend putting them in a lightly greased slow cooker right out of the oven.  I drizzled a tiny bit of plain maple syrup between the layers of wings just for that extra maple punch .  Place on the "warm" setting and enjoy!

-You can freeze these too!  Just cool slightly after removing them from the oven and place in an airtight container.  Fully thaw prior to reheating at 325F until warm.