Monthly Archives: June 2018

Strawberry Ice Cream

When I bought my ice cream maker last year, I was afraid that I might not use it enough to justify the purchase.  But I’m happy say that I used it several times last summer and this summer as well.  I especially like it for making homemade strawberry ice cream.

I have the Cuisinart Ice21 model which makes up to 1 1/2 quarts of ice cream.  It is easy to operate and makes delicious ice cream.  It is a little noisy when it is making the ice cream but for me that is not a problem.  I think it sells for about $54 on Amazon.

The recipe is from the booklet that came with the ice cream maker.  The original recipe calls for part whole milk but I used all heavy cream.  This is a non custard type of ice cream which makes it even easier to prepare.  Even without an egg custard base, it is still rich and delicious tasting.

When the ice cream has finished processing, it will be like a soft serve consistency which is my favorite way to eat it.  A little (or a lot) of Hershey’s chocolate syrup drizzled on the strawberry ice cream is also delicious.

I used fresh locally grown strawberries for the ice cream.  The pureed strawberries turn the ice cream a light pink color; no need for food coloring here.  Every spoonful of this homemade strawberry ice cream is sure to remind you of happy summer days.

Strawberry Ice Cream

1 1/2 cups fresh strawberries, cleaned and hulled*
2 1/4 cups heavy cream
2/3 cup granulated sugar
pinch of salt
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Place the strawberries into the bowl of a food processor fitted with the chopping blade.  Pulse the strawberries until roughly/finely chopped (depending on preference).  Reserve in a bowl.

In a medium bowl, use a hand mixer on low speed or whisk to combine the heavy cream, sugar, salt and vanilla until the sugar is dissolved.  Stir in the reserved strawberries with all juices.

Cover and refrigerate 1 to 2 hours, or overnight.  Turn on the ice cream maker; pour the mixture into the frozen freezer bowl and let mix until thickened, about 15 to 20 minutes.  The ice cream will have a soft, creamy texture.  If a firmer consistency is desired, transfer the ice cream to an airtight container and place in freezer for about 2 hours.  Remove from freezer about 15 minutes before serving.

*Frozen strawberries may be substituted if fresh strawberries are not available.

Note:
I used freezing instructions for the Cuisinart Ice21 ice cream maker.  You will need to freeze in your ice cream maker according to the manufacturer’s instructions.

Beer-Brined Grilled Pork Chops

I know summer is not officially here till June 21st.  However, it has been feeling a lot like summertime with our warm weather.  This time of year, we start seeing beautiful wildflowers alongside the roadways and in forests.

I have been wrongly calling these flowers wild phlox.  They are actually an invasive plant called dame’s rocket.  Dame’s rocket has four petals while phlox have five petals.  They are still beautiful flowers and a welcome sight in late May and June.  I took these pictures at a nearby park where I see them every year.


In the summertime, it is so much easier to grill.  I’m talking about not having to deal with the cold and snowy weather we are blessed with here in Michigan.

I’m not much of a beer drinker, but I do like to cook with it.  One of my favorite ways of cooking with beer is by brining either pork or chicken.

Brining is a method of soaking a meat in a liquid solution.  This can be as simple as water, salt, and sugar.  Brining adds flavor to leaner cuts of meat such as pork chops.  Adding beer to the mixture will provide even more flavor and ups the moisture in the chops.  I like the flavor that the Guiness extra stout adds to the grilled pork chops.

Beer-Brined Grilled Pork Chops

  • Servings: 2
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

1 1/4 cups water
2 bottles (12 ounces each) Guinness extra stout beer
2 tablespoons mild flavored molasses
2 tablespoons kosher salt

2 bone-in pork chops, 1-inch thick

olive oil

Extra Seasonings

1/2 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon seasoned pepper
1/2 teaspoon seasoned garlic powder

In a large bowl, combine the water, beer, molasses. and salt.  Stir until the salt dissolves. Place the chops in a large, resealable plastic bag and pour in the brine mixture. Press the air out of the bag and seal it tightly. Place in a baking pan large enough to hold the bag.  Refrigerate for 4-6 hours, turning the bag several times to distribute the marinade.

Remove pork chops from brine. Discard remaining brine.  Pat the chops dry with paper towels.  Brush pork chops lightly with oil.  Sprinkle with the extra seasonings.

Preheat grill to medium-high. Place chops on grate, and close the lid. Turn heat down to medium to medium-low. Cook for 4 to 5 minutes. Turn over, and cook for 3 to 4 more minutes. Do not overcook, or meat will become tough. 

Notes:
1.  The National Pork Board recommends cooking pork chops to an internal temperature between 145°F and 160°F.
2.  The brine makes enough for 4 pork chops.

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