2 Great Desserts for the 4th of July

Ice Cream, Pound Cake, and the 4th of July

America is the land of the free and the brave. We are a proud nation filled with tradition. One such tradition is celebrating The Fourth of July with family, friends, fun, and of course, food. These two dessert recipes are absolutely delicious, and you would be proud to serve them at any celebration.

Butter Pecan Ice Cream

Ice Cream Assortment In White Bowls

Total Time: 5 hours

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Serves about 15

Ingredients:

 Ice Cream:

2 cup(s) whole milk

1 1/2 cup(s) brown sugar

4 egg yolks

Pinch of salt

2 tablespoon(s) unsalted butter

2 cup(s) half-and-half

2 cup(s) whipping cream

2 teaspoon(s) vanilla extract

 

  Butter Roasted Pecans:

1 cup pecans, chopped

salt to taste

3 tablespoon(s) salted butter

 

Directions:

   Prepare Ice Cream: In a medium saucepan, whisk together milk, brown sugar, egg yolks, and salt. Place pan over medium-high heat until mixture reaches a simmer. Lower heat to medium and whisk mixture for 5 minutes or until it begins to thicken. Strain mixture into a large bowl and whisk in butter until combined; then incorporate half-and-half, cream, and vanilla. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until chilled, about 2 hours.

   Butter and Salted Pecans: Take three teaspoons of salted butter and melt it in the microwave, mix it with pecan pieces. Place pecan pieces on a cookie sheet. In an oven preheated to 350 degrees, bake the pecan pieces for 5 minutes. Watch them carefully!!! Allow them to cool. (Can be made a day ahead.)

Pour ice cream mixture into ice-cream maker; process according to manufacturer instructions. Once ice cream’s made, stir in reserved pecans.

 

close up on pound cake

Too Easy Sour Cream Pound Cake

Ingredients:

1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature (that’s

important)

1 1/2 cups sugar

1/2 cup sour cream

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1 1/2 cups All Purpose Flour

3 large eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Cream together the butter and sugar.

Add the sour cream and mix until completely blended.

No clumps of butter.

Sift the baking soda and flour together.

Add to the creamed mixture alternating with eggs, beating in each egg one at a time. Mix in vanilla.

Grease and flour a loaf pan.

Bake for 1 hour or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.

Remove the cake from the pan and cool on a rack.

 

The 4th of July is one of my favorite holidays. These butter pecan ice cream and pound cake will be a hit at any July 4th celebration. May we never forget that freedom is an honor and privilege to never take for granted. God Bless America!

Images from BIGSTOCK

Farmers Market Time, Baby!!!

 

Image

One of the greatest joys in the universe is going out early in the morning and picking fresh vegetables out of the garden. There is just such a sense of pride that goes along with growing your own food. Country people have been doing this since, well, the beginning of time. Heck, if Eve would have behaved herself, we all could be enjoying garden living. But alas, she didn’t.   Nowadays people go to local farmers markets and even their local supermarkets to purchase their vegetables. During the summer months these places explode with visitors and customers who are in search of that perfect vegetable. So, what’s available this time of year around the South?

 

  • Sweet Corn– Local farmers in my small town have a yearly wager on who can produce the sweetest corn. People actually discuss it at the corner gas station and post office. Honestly, I think that sweet corn is why butter and salt were invented.

maize cob on old wooden background

  • Tomatoes–   My grandmother used to eat tomatoes with all her summer meals. She would put them with grits in the morning, bacon and lettuce at noon, and with rice, butter beans, squash, and whatever else was on the menu for supper.

 Tomato plant

  • Squash-  I love yellow squash. As a kid, I would only eat them fried. (which I must admit is still my favorite) However, as I grew older, so did my taste buds. Squash is great in a stir-fry with Vidalia onions and bacon.

Yellow Courgette Plant

  • Cucumbers- Cucumbers are great by themselves, or they can be eaten in a little cucumber, tomato, and onion salad. People around my house love them with just salt and pepper or vinaigrette.

Tasty green cucumbers on sackcloth background

  • String beans- I swear that string beans make me smile, fresh ones that is. My grandma taught me to take the string out with a peeler. It makes a difference, I am not joking. If you want floss, get a piece of floss out of the bathroom. It is not supposed to come with beans on your plate.

 the fresh green beans in bowl

  • Green PEANUTS- yeah, I know I am pecan girl, but I can ‘t help it. I love boiled peanuts. In fact, they are my supper at least one of two nights a week during their season. My kids think I am nuts! Unfortunately, I am a salt freak, and I am sure that has something to do with it. Anyway, eat up on the red skins now because larger white skins will be here very soon.
South Carolina Peanuts

South Carolina Peanuts

 

Okay, don’t waste a minute of your summer. It is not only the most laid back time of the year, it is also the best time to eat fresh vegetables. Get thou to the Farmers Market!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Pecans + You = Healthy Eating

Let’s face it.  People once thought that pecans and healthy eating had about as much in common as Queen Elizabeth of England and Honey Boo Boo.  However, that is a huge misconception.  Pecans are not only delicious, but they are also good for you.  If you want to look at all the “science stuff” that breaks it down for you, go to http://www.goldenkernel.com or http://www.ilovepecans.com You will find all the facts you need to persuade you that pecans are actually a great part of any diet.

So, you want a recipe?  Of course, you do.  After you try it, let me know what you think.

Spinach, Strawberry, and Pecan Salad

1 lb of fresh washed and dried spinach
1 pint of washed and halved strawberries
1/2 cup of hot toasted pecan halves ( Lightly toast on greased baking pan in 350 degree oven for about 5 minutes.)

Dressing:
1/3 cup raspberry vinegar
1 teaspoon of dry mustard
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup sugar
1 cup olive oil or vegetable oil
1 1/2 teaspoons of poppy seeds

Combine the dressing ingredients Except the poppy seeds in a blender.
Add the poppy seeds by hand. Toss dressing with spinach, strawberries, and hot
toasted pecans. The hot nuts will slightly wilt the greens.