Originally, these awesome peppers would’ve been for Wednesday gaming nights, but that got called off this week, so well just push it to next week!  Plus, now it has another week to marinate, which means they’ll be even more awesomely flavorful.  Definite summer favorite, even if it requires using a high heat oven to make it.  (See, you eat these chilled, which makes it a pretty low maintenance recipe past the cooking and peeling.)  Served with mozzarella and just a bit of olive oil, this is a perfect meal to eat on your porch.

Roasted Peppers with Mozzarella 
Lasts at least five meals on average

Ingredients

  • 6 to 12 bell peppers (I typically get red, yellow and orange, and have also used green and purple – yes, you can find the latter at a farmer’s market)
  • ¼ to ½ c red wine vinegar
  • 2 to 3 large cloves garlic, minced
  • pinch of salt
  • olive oil and mozzarella (use the fresh logs for this, presliced if you wanna save time) to serve, optional – parsley and capers

Heat your oven to 400, line a baking tray with foil, and add your peppers, roasting 45 minutes to a half hour.  Skew towards the higher time, as the skins need to come off easily.  Attempt to turn ¼ way every fifteen minutes, but it’s okay if you don’t.

Once cooked, remove from the oven and put part of the foil over the peppers to help cool.  Once cool, peel the skin off, and then split the pepper along a seam, tearing a circle around the top to remove the stem and seeds.  Tear the pepper into thin strips and put in a glass bowl, layering with minced garlic and salt as you go.

Once you’ve gone through all your peppers, pour the red wine vinegar over the peppers, toss, and cover to marinate in the fridge, at minimum one hour (though, the longer you go, the more flavor you get).

When you’re ready to serve them, take your mozzarella (slice it or presliced), have olive oil on hand to drizzle, and enjoy!

So, this is a bit of an odd recipe.  Odd in that it’s a combination of two separate recipes (the base is from Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams cookbook, which is sent from the gods above, slightly altered to take account for the brown sugar in the ice cream’s name, and the original combination is from Tokyo Terrace), and that brown sugar miso probably isn’t a flavor that you would typically think of.   But, the ice cream is currently freezing, and I can tell you that it was a great idea.  😀  To quote Rachel of Tokyo Terrace, “Imagine salty caramel, but on steroids.”  This is gonna be awesome.

Brown Sugar Miso Ice Cream 
Makes about 2 pints

Ingredients

  • 2 c whole milk
  • 1 T plus 1 t corn starch
  • 1 ½ oz (3 T) soft cream cheese
  • ¼ t sea salt
  • 1 ¼ c heavy whipping cream
  • 2/3 c packed dark brown sugar
  • 2 T white miso
  • 2 T light corn syrup

Mix 2 T of the milk with the corn starch to create a slurry in a separate container.  Combine the cream cheese and sea salt in another separate container.

Meanwhile, combine all remaining ingredients in a pot and bring to a rolling boil over medium high heat.  Once boiling, boil for four minutes, then remove from heat and whisk in the cornstarch slurry.  Once combined, return to heat and bring back to a boil, and stir with a heatproof spatula until slightly thickened, appx 1 min.  Remove from heat, and whisk together with the cream cheese mixture.  Once combined, pour into a gallon ziploc bag (or, in this case, two smaller bags), and chill in an ice/cold water bath for a half hour.

Set up your ice cream machine, add the base, and spin for appx a half hour.  The last two pics are what your ice cream should look like before, and after.  Once you attain that second picture, stop the machine, and scoop into your container, and throw that into the freezer over night.  (I happen to have spare pint containers, so I used those.)

By the next afternoon, you will have excellent, nommy ice cream!

And now that the last of my groceries are here, I can finish off with strawberry lemonade!  Strawberries were super cheap (and not quite in season at the farmer’s market, sadly), and lemons are pretty cheap as well, so boom, strawberry lemonade, because it’s starting to get into pretty consistently summer temps out here, and I need a cool drink, lacking AC and all.

Strawberry Lemonade
Makes at least 6 cups

Ingredients

  • 1 qt strawberries (appx 4 cups, 1.5 pounds), halved
  • 2 lemons, peeled and quartered
  • appx ¾ c sugar (more or less to taste)
  • 6 c water

Puree the lemons, strawberries, and 2 c water in a blender.  Strain the mixture into 4 c water in your pitcher/container.  Add your sugar, and taste.  And then try not to drink it all right away.

So, it’s payday, which means I just did grocery shopping!  However, the vast majority of those groceries won’t be arriving until juuust after I make this post, so I need a little something something to tide me over until that happens.  Thus, Pasta Puttanesca (yes, it can translate to whore pasta :P).  

This is another one of those super effin’ cheap recipes, especially around the right time of year (farmer’s market has just moved to the Square by us, which means lots of vendors and cheap fresh basil, or basil plants) and with the right pantry.  Also, another really quick recipe.  All you should need to buy is basil, a hugeass can of diced tomatoes, anchovies (trust me!), and the pitted (trust me, it’ll save you a lot of work) kalamata olives.

Pasta Puttanesca
Lasts appx 5 meals, at least

Ingredients

  • Pasta (whatever kind and however much you want)
  • 2 T olive oil
  • 3-4 anchovy filets (trust me on this, you can skip it if you want, but they cook away and add a great flavor base)
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • a pinch of red pepper flakes
  • 6 cloves garlic, chopped (you know what I’ve said about me and garlic by now, I hope)
  • 1 28 oz can diced tomatoes
  • 10-15 pitted kalamata olives, chopped
  • 1 small bunch basil, chopped
  • 2 T capers (optional, but if you have them on hand, go for it)
  • ½ T brown sugar (I usually add this, but didn’t this time)

Start boiling the water for the pasta while you chop the onion, garlic, olives, and basil.  Once all that’s done, combine the olive oil, anchovies, onion, and garlic, and cook on medium for appx five minutes, or until the onion’s softened.  Then, add the tomatoes, olives, basil, and capers (if using), and simmer on low until the pasta is complete.  Take a taste, add the brown sugar if the sauce has too much of a bite for you.

Once the water’s boiling, add the pasta and cook according to directions, and drain.  Once that happens, add the pasta to the skillet and mix to combine the sauce and pasta.  

And, there you go!  Dinner in fifteen, twenty minutes tops!  Go eat!  Do whatever!  😀

And to wrap up tonight, have some beignets!  Not too much more to say about that. ^^

Vanilla-Scented Beignets
Makes appx 12 large beignets

Ingredients

  • 1 stick and 1 T unsalted butter
  • 1 c water
  • dash of salt
  • 1.5 t sugar
  • 1 c flour
  • 1 t vanilla extract
  • 5 large eggs at room temp
  • vegetable oil (at least an inch or so in a large pot)
  • appx 1 c sugar for dusting

In a pot, combine the butter, water, salt, and 1.5 t sugar and bring to a boil.  Remove from heat, add the flour, and stir until combined. Turn heat to high and cook the dough until smooth, appx 1 min.  Transfer dough to bowl and mix in vanilla and eggs (one at a time) with an electric mixer.

Heat the oil over medium high and set up a station for the beignets to drain, be coated in sugar, and a final holding container. Drop a spoonful into the heated oil and fry until golden brown, appx 4 mins on each side, remove from oil, and poke with a fork to release steam.  Coat in sugar after resting. Repeat for each beignet. 

Ladies and gentlemen, to counter the ridiculously damp weather we’re having down by where I live, I give you Butt Touch Brigade Scones!

…An explanation.  I have tea.  Lots and lots of loose leaf tea.  And after a certain point, you get down to a few scant leaves of the blend in the bottom of the bag, and they’re not enough to make a cuppa, but you don’t want to waste them.  And then, I found a recipe for scones that used Cara McGee’s Reichenbach Recovery tea as part of the recipe, and a use presented itself for the scant bit of Butt Touch Brigade tea that I had leftover.  And again, cheap, as I have everything that I need for this in the pantry already, including the tea, and you can use pretty much any tea you have on hand for it.

Plus, now I get to use Butt Touch in a recipe name.  Heh. Butt touch.  

Butt Touch Brigade Scones
Makes 10 scones

Ingredients

  • 1.5 c milk
  • 2 T honey
  • 3 t Butt Touch Brigade Tea (or any other tea you may have on hand)
  • 2.5 c flour
  • .5 t salt
  • 1 T baking powder
  • 6 T (aka 4/5ths of one stick) butter
  • 1.5 T vanilla extract

Combine the milk, honey, and tea in a small pan and steep on low heat for 10 – 12 mins.  Once fully heated, pour through a strainer into a small airtight container and cool in the fridge. It says to let sit until cooled, though I let it sit overnight.  Once cooled, add the vanilla extract.

Mix the dry ingredients together, and then cut the butter in using either your fingers, a wooden spoon, or whatever works best for you, until the butter is in small crumbs.  Add the tea mixture slowly to the flour and butter until the dough just barely combines.

Preheat the oven to 375 (plus/minus according to your oven), and roll out the dough until it’s about a finger’s width thin.  Cut and shape the dough however you want, and then put them on the baking sheet and sprinkle the top with whatever you like (I chose sugar).  

Bake for 15 to 20 mins, or until the tops are golden brown, and then nom!

So, remember the biga I started yesterday? It’s about ready to go!  And now that it is, I can throw it into the freezer until I need it next week!  (See, that’s the awesome thing about this starter.  You can freeze it in the freezer for up to three/four months, and then thaw it for three to five hours when you need to use it again so it can reactivate.)  Yay for making your own bread!

Italian Biga
Makes appx 2 c of starter

Ingredients

  • ¼ t active dry yeast
  • ¼ c warm water
  • ¾ c plus 4 T water at room temperature
  • 2 1/3 c flour

Stir the yeast into the ¼ c water and let stand ten minutes, until it looks almost creamy. While this is happening, let the other 3/4ish c water stand so that it reaches room temp. Once the ten minutes has passed, add the remaining water, and then the flour, one cup at a time, mixing with a plastic or wooden spoon for 3 to 4 mins.  (If you’re lucky enough to have a food processor or stand mixer, those instructions are at the link.)  Cover the bowl with either a towel or plastic wrap, whatever you have handy, and let stand between six to forty-eight hours, depending on how sour you want your bread.  Starter should be approximately triple the size it was (compare yesterday’s photos with the final product).

Once you’re satisfied with your starter, you can either use it right away, refrigerate it for up to five days, or double wrap it in plastic wrap like I did and store in the freezer for up to four months.  If you choose to freeze it like I am, let the starter thaw either in the fridge for up to five hours, or at room temperature up to 3 hours, so that the yeast reactivates.