How to Make Lemon Ice Cream

There’s nothing quite like simply liberating an idea and sharing the outcome with everyone…and one such idea is here!

How, on a wonderful summer’s day in balmy August, can one hope to create something magical and tantalizing that sets your taste buds alive? Easy! Think cool…tasteful…refreshingly classic…no, sillies – not the author of this piece ;O)

Recall alfresco style dining? Picnic blankets laid on a bed of cushioned green velvet-like grass crowned by plate upon plate of visual delights to feast one’s hungry eyes upon? From red, green, orange and yellow jewels of fresh and glistening peppers, statuesque cucumber, textured lettuce leaves dancing in the sunlight to crunchy coleslaw chiefs sat overseeing legions of row upon row of cooked meats of ham, pork and chicken…with tums full but craving something sweet and delicate to round-off such an abundance of summer day treats, one thing comes to mind and with it, an energy that pushes all other sweet indulgent thoughts away as it clambers to the forefront of one’s mind…

…ice cream!

lemon ice cream

Dawn: Slave! Bring me something smooth, rich and sophisticated!

Andrew: Like this?

Dawn: (exasperated) Andrew! That’s you in a George Clooney mask!

Andrew: Can’t you see any similarity?

Dawn: A comatose myopic pig could see through that disguise!

Andrew: That’s a bit short sighted of you!

(Dawn raises eyebrows)

Andrew: I’ll try again!

Dawn: You do that!

Andrew: Ah! I have it! The Cary Grant of puddings! Oozing easy charm, flavoursome and elegant!

Dawn: I will await your efforts to convince me!

Andrew: Give me about 5 hours to dress it up!

Dawn: I can wait! It had better be worth it!

Andrew: Oh it will!

Ingredients

3 lemons

200g caster sugar

450ml double cream

½ tsp salt

Dawn: Salt in my ice cream! Better be a great reason!

Andrew: Stops it from over-freezing! And it goes with lemon and tequila!

Dawn: Tequila Mockingbird!

(Andrew returns raised eyebrow gesture of earlier)

Dawn: I will leave you to it!

Andrew: You do that! Now this has to be the simplest ice cream recipe ever.

Method

  • Grate the peel of one of the lemons using the fine side of the grater.
  • Squeeze the juice from all three lemons, taking care to pick out the pips.
  • Combine the lemon juice with the sugar. Add the cream and salt slowly. Mix carefully. You will find that the mixture thickens very quickly.
  • Pour into a shallow container and lace in the freezer.
  • Check regularly. When the ice cream is solid around the outside but still mushy in the centre stir with a fork.
  • Freeze again until the ice cream is firm.
  • Serve with raspberries, other summer fruits or simply with a sprig of mint.

Dawn: (Claps hands) Come slave! I desire to consume said creamy comestibles!

Andrew: Here Mistress! Thank you for your patience!

Dawn: MMMMMMM!!!! You certainly pass the smooth, rich and sophisticated test!

Andrew: And pray… what did your last slave die of?

Dawn: Not boredom, that’s for certain!

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Sunshine Smiles Chicken Casserole

Now that Autumn has turned her come-hither look upon all she surveys, turning Summer’s once lush and green glories to tantalising burnt umbers, ravishing reds, vivid vermilions, opulent oranges and golden yellows, we start to think about warming evening meals to fill our hearts with joy. This chicken casserole dish is an excellent heartening meal that accompanied with seasonal vegetables makes for a wonderful comfort food experience that’s guaranteed to bring sunshine smiles to your home.

2014-10-06 19.04.21

Ingredients

Serves 4

4 chicken breasts

2 tsp cooking oil

25g flour (any kind)

400g can of tomatoes or fresh ones, washed and roughly chopped

1 onion, peeled and roughly chopped

1 garlic clove, peeled and crushed

300ml stock (chicken or vegetable will be fine)

200g mushrooms, washed and sliced

1 tbsp mixed herbs

Method

  • Pre-heat the oven to gas mark 5, 190°C electric.
  • Put half the cooking oil in a frying pan and warm, then add the chicken breasts, skin side down and gently brown. Turn the chicken breasts over once brown and brown the other side. Set aside in a casserole dish.
  • Add the remaining cooking oil and warm. Once warmed, add the onion and garlic, and gently cook until the onion becomes transparent and soft. Add the flour and cook for a minute. This helps create a thickened stock later on in the cooking.
  • Slowly add the stock and stir until the flour and stock are combined. Add the tomatoes, mushrooms and mixed herbs, and stir.

Dawn: As a wee optional flavour enhancer you may decide to add at this point a splash of brandy and then simply cook the alcohol off for a few minutes. 

  • Add this mixture to the chicken breasts in the casserole dish making sure they are covered.
  • Cover the casserole dish and place in the oven.

Dawn: I like to season with salt and pepper a wee way into the actual cooking so that the real, true flavours of the food are realised first.

  • Cook for about 1.5-2 hours. Test at about 1.5 hours to determine if the chicken is tender. If not, return to the oven and cook until mouthwateringly tender and to your preference.
  • You may decide that the sauce the chicken is cooking in is too thick in which case simply add a drop or two of hot water and mix well.
  • Serve with boiled potatoes, carrots and green vegetables.

For more economical and tasty food recipes, follow this blog – www.forfoodlovers.wordpress.com and scoot over to Twitter @Love_Food_UK for regular food chat as well as finding the Cooking Sensation over on Facebook (come ‘Like’, please). Oh, not forgetting the fab MumsNet Bloggers Network, too! 

Potato Cakes with Fish and Spinach

DSCI2102This is a great way of using up leftover boiled potatoes or simply starting from scratch, to make a tasty alternative use of our very versatile and humble root vegetable.

Ingredients

Makes 8 portions

700g potatoes

250g white fish (any kind will be fine and we used a basic range, frozen as the fish will absorb the added herbs and their flavours)

100-150g spinach (washed)

4 tbsp creme fraiche (we used reduced fat)

1 egg yolk, beaten

1/4tsp of nutmeg (ground or grated from a whole nutmeg)

1 tsp of dried marjoram (or fresh, chopped)

1 tsp of dried chives (or fresh, chopped)

Dash of milk (any kind: we used skimmed)

Salt and pepper to season

Method

  • Peel and boil the potatoes in a large enough saucepan, covered with boiling water with tiny pinch of salt added until they are cooked.

Dawn: This takes approximately 15-20 minutes and you can test if they’re cooked by sticking the fork into the potatoes while they are in the saucepan: if the fork goes in without any pressure applied and they are soft, the potatoes are cooked.

Andrew: You may prefer to steam as an alternative form of cooking well as well as thinking about the possibility of cooking the potatoes in their skins: all scrubbed clean and washed beforehand. 

Dawn: That’s right, Andrew. There’s a lot of goodness in the skins of lots of our fruit and vegetables – but always, always make sure you wash everything thoroughly before eating it raw or prepping it for cooking.

Andrew: Sound advice, Dawn. Shall we crack on? This dish won’t cook itself!

  • Drain the potatoes and set aside to cool.
  • In a frying pan, pour the milk and bring to the boil. Turn down the heat and add the fish. Cook for 3-5 minutes both sides on a gentle heat. Lift the fish from the milk and set aside on a plate to cool. Discard the used milk.
  • Preheat the oven to gas mark 7, 220°C electric.
  • Place a saucepan of boiling water on the hob and add the spinach. Cook for approximately 3 minutes until it is wilted. Drain and physically squeeze out the excess water with your hands. Roughly chop.

Andrew: Spinach does retain water and it is very important to remove as much of it as possible because too much water will interfere with the potato cakes consistency making them sloppy rather than firm in texture. 

  • Take the cooled potatoes, egg yolk, creme fraiche and mash them with a potato masher, adding the herbs, nutmeg and wilted spinach. Season with a little salt and pepper to personal preference.
  • Place on a non-stick baking tray and cook in the centre of the oven until lightly golden brown.

Dawn: A wee experiment was conducted here – four were oven baked and four were very shallow, almost dry fried. The results are here:DSCI2086DSCI2087

Andrew: The baked potato cakes (above pic) rose like small bread baps whereas the almost dry fried version (below photo) were what you’d expect from cooking this method.DSCI2113

Dawn: And this dish is so easily a vegetarian meal by simply omitting the fish. 

Andrew: One further tip – these don’t freeze so prep and cook straight away, serve with a mixed green leaf salad for a healthy and filling meal.

For more recipes, food tips and cooking advice, follow the Cooking Duo’s blog here – www.forfoodlovers.wordpress.com – hop across to Twitter @Love_Food_UK, as well as finding us on Facebook and Mumsnet Bloggers Network.