Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Baseball Nut Ice Cream (a copycat Baskin-Robbins recipe)

Copycat Baseball Nut Ice Cream
You know how certain foods, just like certain songs, can transport you back to a certain moment in time? For me, Baseball Nut ice cream is one of those foods. I didn't plan such a perfectly round number, but it was exactly 20 years ago this summer that I didn't go home from college for the summer for the first time. It was the summer after my sophomore year, and really, the next step in exercising my independence.

I rented the tiniest room known to man in a house rented by some of my friends who were already living out of the dorms. Seriously, it should have been a closet. My twin bed was just able to squeeze in between 3 of the walls, my other stuff in boxes stacked high against the fourth wall. I didn't have any room to walk, only enough room to open and close the door. After about a week or two, there was no hot water in the house and it was filthy (my housemates were all guys)—but I was on my own.

I didn't have a car, but it was the mid-90's, which meant that I rollerbladed everywhere. I lived in East Lansing, but worked in Okemos, which was about a 3 mile treck. I had pretty much the same meal every day: a sleeve of saltines, a tin of tuna fish, and an orange. Once a week I'd walk to Subway and order a Subway Club with light mayo and salt and pepper. And every once in a while I'd treat myself by popping in to Baskin-Robbins and ordering a double-scoop of Baseball Nut Ice Cream. Only that, never anything else.


Monday, June 29, 2015

Slow Cooker Baked Beans #SheMadeEllaHace

Slow Cooker Baked Beans
Lately I've talked a fair deal about grilling, cold cocktails, and frozen treats as ways that I like to beat the heat during the hot summer months, but I also like to take advantage of my slow cooker(s). It's great to have that comforting scent of food cooking without melting every time you walk into the kitchen. So, when my friend Leslie suggested that we plug in our slow cookers for this month's edition of she made, ella hace, I thought that was a brilliant idea.

Last week I shared Apple Barbecue Grilled Ribs and Old Fashioned Creamy Potato Salad recipes that were both part of the same meal. Well, guess what else went along with that meal? You guessed it—baked beans. While the ribs were parbaking in the oven and the potatoes were cooling, I poured a few different kinds of canned beans into my slow cooker, along with some smoky bacon, some veggies, and some classic baked bean flavorings like ketchup, molasses, vinegar, mustard and more.


Friday, June 26, 2015

Blueberry Peach Pie w/ Cornmeal Streusel and Crust #FridayPieDay

Blueberry Peach Pie w/ Cornmeal Streusel and Crust
'Tis the season to snatch up all the ripe, juicy fruits and berries I can get my hands on! Seriously, I go a little nuts when I hit the farmers market and see stacks and cartons piled high with beautiful jewel-toned orbs, big and small. My thinking switch turns off, and my impulse switch gets stuck in the on position. That's all fine and dandy until I get home and realize what I've done.

We do our best to eat that bounty before it gets too ripe, but oftentimes, I still find myself wondering how to use it all. Kidding! I'm making pie every time. Fruit pies put smiles on people's faces and sunshine in their souls. Duh.

And, since today is the last Friday of the month, that means it's time to celebrate Friday PieDay here at girlichef. I'm not sure if you noticed or not, but I neglected to share a pie with you last month; don't even get me going on May again (aka hell month). I think this blueberry-peach pie will make up for that.


Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Old Fashioned Creamy Potato Salad

Old Fashioned Creamy Potato Salad
Every time I post a potato salad recipe, I note that I tend to choose a vinegar-based one over a mayo based one. But every once in a while, I get a craving for some good old fashioned creamy potato salad, the kind my grandma used to make. Well, that feeling hit me hard about a month ago, and I knew it wouldn't go away until I made a batch. It actually took two batches to quiet the craving.

If you're looking for a good all-American style meal to serve on the Fourth of July this year, it doesn't get much closer than some tender grilled barbecue ribs, baked beans, corn on the cob, and some potato salad. Although, adding some classic macaroni salad would also be a nice touch. That's my next craving...I can feel it stirring just under the surface. Oh, and don't forget to top it off with a bomb pop.

All you'll want to do after eating this meal is watch some awesome fireworks and listen to some patriotic tunes. Sounds like summer in the U.S.A. to me.


Tilapia and Sardines in Creamy Asparagus Sauce over Confetti Couscous #FFFMysteryBox

Tilapia and Sardines in Creamy Asparagus Sauce over Confetti Couscous
FYI, this basket would have gotten me chopped.

Today I'm sharing a recipe with you a bit reluctantly. It's actually the result of a mystery box challenge that I'm doing with a few other bloggers, "Chopped" style. The way it works is, we drew names out of a hat (well, one of us did - we arranged it virtually), then mailed our assigned blogger a box of three (or four) random ingredients. We then had to take our ingredients and turn them into one cohesive dish.

I'm not gonna lie, I was pretty pumped to tackle my basket—until I actually received it, that is. I was stumped. It's a good thing I didn't have only 20 or 30 minutes to create something, or I would have turned in an empty plate. I kid you not, I went round and round and back and forth with this. My three ingredients just did NOT want to play nicely together. Curling up in a ball and rocking back forth sounded better than anything I could come up with.


Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Apple Barbecue Grilled Ribs + #GrillPorkSweeps Giveaway!

This post is sponsored by the National Pork Board in conjunction with One2One Network. All opinions are my own.
Apple Barbecue Grilled Ribs
A couple of months ago, I teamed up with the National Pork Board to kick-off grilling season with these Sweet and Sour Pork Burgers with Pineapple Slaw, and today we're back with a little Fourth of July inspiration! I'm making one of my family's favorites, pork back ribs (also known as baby back ribs).  As a nod to our great country, I decided to flavor my ribs with the flavors of apple pie—because it doesn't get any more American than apple pie.

I initially toyed with the idea of using apple pie filling as a glaze for the ribs once they hit the grill, but instead decided to make a unique rub by combining apple pie spice with some savory flavors, and then mopping them with an apple barbecue sauce. From the oven to the grill, the smells that permeated the air were intoxicating. Is it apple pie? Is it pork? No, it's apple pie-spiced pork!

Aside from being delicious, this recipe is super quick and easy to put together. Aside from the pork ribs and pepper, there are only FIVE ingredients—all of which are readily available at any Walmart, the ultimate source for barbecue essentials and great pork deals, including ribs!


Thursday, June 18, 2015

No-Churn Butter Pecan Ice Cream inspired by Butter for #FoodnFlix

No-Churn Butter Pecan Ice Cream
I will state the obvious before I go any further. I made ice cream as my Food 'n Flix inspiration two months in a row. I don't know why that makes me feel a wee bit guilty; both are rooted in the particular movie and both were too delicious to let that guilt weigh too heavy on my mind. So, on to this month's inspiration...

This month's Food 'n Flix pick is Butter, as chosen by our hostess Evelyne of Cheap Ethnic Eatz. Here's the thing—I picked up a copy of the dvd when it was first released...and didn't really like it. There were funny bits, and the opening scene of movie said it was "...the cut-throat story of greed, blackmail, sex, and butter." I had high hopes, but it just didn't connect.

I think it was just that I could not stand the racist, elitist snob that was Laura Pickler (played by Jennifer Garner). When I think about it, it's funny that a single character could overshadow (in my mind) the great characters played by Ty Burrell, Olivia Wilde, Alicia Silverstone, Rob Corddry, and Yara Shahidi. But, I gave it a second chance. Wiped the slate clean and decided to watch it as if it were the first time.


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