How did I do? It's a bit subjective but I would give myself a B.
What did I discover? Here are a few highlights.
- Pasta is an easy go to dinner for me. Unfortunately, I don't think I have the easiest set up to make it myself. I have a manual pasta roller that I couldn't get attached to my counter firmly enough. Rolling out one dinner's worth of fettuccine was frustrating to say the least. I did break down and buy pasta at the store. I also discovered that apparently the pasta producers of America think that because I want organic pasta, I also like whole wheat pasta (which I hate). Grrr.
- I dawdle. I never realized how much I waste little moments in my day until I would look up at notice it was 5:30pm and I hadn't started cooking for dinner. All of my fantastic plans for roasted chicken with homemade mashed potatoes are not going to happen if the chicken is frozen and I still hadn't gone to the store for potatoes. In 2011, that would mean a quick trip to buy a frozen pizza and that was my toughest battle to overcome. I can proudly say that I only gave in once.
- On the positive side, because I dawdle, I discovered that using my pressure cooker is the most wonderful invention. Beans have started playing a huge role in our meals and I can make most types in under 30 minutes (no soaking) using my trusty pressure cooker. Plus I feel like I'm hanging out at Hogwarts in potions class.
- Chocolate? Back away from my chocolate or suffer the consequences. There are times when a girl NEEDS good chocolate. I did go through a few bars but I bought fair trade, organic chocolate with minimal ingredients. Happily, I also discovered a quick and easy recipe for chocolate ice cream in an old Cooking Light magazine. I made a few substitutions to modernize it and I now have an emergency stash of the good stuff in the freezer. I give you ...
Salted Dark Chocolate Ice Cream!I couldn't get a picture to do the dish justice... who am I kidding...I ate it all before I could take a picture... It's really, really dark brown and looks like paradise. Use your imagination :)
- 1 1/3 cup sugar
- 1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa (I used raw in the spirit of my challenge)
- 2 1/2 cup 2% milk divided (or whatever milk you have on hand)
- 3 large egg yolks
- 1/3 cup heavy whipping cream
- 2 1/2 oz bittersweet chocolate (get the good stuff)
- 1 tsp course sea salt or Himalayan salt (plus more to sprinkle on top)
- In a medium sized pot, mix the cocoa and sugar. Stir in 1/2 cup milk and the egg yolks. Stir in rest of milk and heat to 160.
- In a separate pot, heat chocolate and cream over low heat.
- Stir melted chocolate and cream mixture into the ice cream base.
- Follow your manufacturers ice cream maker directions to freeze. If you don't have an ice cream maker, try Dave Lebovitz's directions. This is such a rich and dense ice cream that it will probably come out just as good either way.
- When serving, sprinkle a bit more chocolate on top if desired. I LOVE LOVE LOVE salty/sweet flavors right now so I pile it on.