ONLINE COOKING CLASSES

CLASSES HAVE STARTED AGAIN!

2020 brought the all too familiar pandemic that we just can’t seem to OFFICIALLY get out of. We were on lockdowns, masked, kept away from family and friends, and the list goes on. That pandemic leaked into 2021 and although summertime seems to have brought us a little bit more freedom, we still have restrictions on eating out in the ways we used to. So, let’s get back on some cooking classes as that cold weather starts to hit and we are all staying home a little bit more!

Oh, and why am I talking about cold weather? Because our family was not exempt from all the changes that occurred last year. I am back in Ontario, moved in with my elderly mom and taking care of her and my dad who is currently on a waiting list for Long Term Care housing. We have a little place in Mexico still that we will try and get back to when we can. But I’ll be here most of the winter. I’m going to need you all to survive!!!

If you didn’t know, I started offering cooking classes at the start of 2021. My most popular class by far was pierogies! And why not? Have you seen this article in the Globe & Mail that talks about how all of us expats just HAD to get our pierogi fill in no matter where we lived? Take a quick read. The article is right here. I know you can get pierogies up here more easily, but let’s face it, anything that comes from your kitchen is going to be better!

But there’s much more for you to try! I now have pie making, fresh pasta making, and my newest offering, PAD THAI! Aren’t you tired of eating the same old meals every week? Why not join a class or make your own group? Or take the pie making class and then spend a snow day making pies and freezing so you never need to run out to the store for one when you need it.

You will enjoy my live interactive cooking classes in the comfort of your kitchen. You will get step-by-step coaching, cooking tips, and be able to ask all the questions you want. I can even advise you what local ingredients to use as substitutes in case certain ingredients aren’t available to you.

Classes are kept small so that I can guide each student step by step the same way you would be in an actual class environment. This also gives everyone time to ask questions, and for me to provide suggestions and encouragement along the way.

Here are the details:

  • Join by Zoom. Each Zoom connection is $16 USD via PayPal. Or $20 CAD via Interac E-transfer.
  • Price is per screen: feel free to have your family members and ‘social bubbles’ join in!
  • I am doing more private classes than open ones. If you don’t see a date scheduled for something, please send me an email and let me know you’re interested.
  • Private classes are the best! Organize your own group of friends, choose the class, day, and time that works for your group (5 zoom connection minimum)
  • You will be cooking yourself while being able to interact with me, the teacher, and the other students.
  • You will receive an email with a list of the necessary ingredients prior to the class.
  • Classes are generally approximately 1 1/2 to 2 hours in length.
  • Cooking with Kids! Classes specifically for kids ages 6-13 with adult supervision, older teens welcome! Recipes kids will love! Shorter classes (max 1 hour) for shorter attention spans only $10 USD/$13 CAD per connection.
  • Don’t see what you like? Send me any recipe requests that you have and we will see what we can do!
  • I like recipes that are flexible. Many can be made vegetarian or gluten-free. Email me for more information.
  • Email me at orangelollskitchen@gmail.com for more details and scheduling

CURRENT MENU SELECTION

COMING SOON:

  • ENCHILADAS.
  • Looking for something in particular? Scroll through my recipes and we can create a class for you and a few friends on the recipe of your choice!

Email me at orangelollskitchen@gmail.com for questions and more details!

MEXICAN CORN CHOWDER

You won’t find a lot of soup recipes on here. I don’t love soup enough to eat it when it’s hot outside and as you know, I live where it’s always hot outside. Whenever I go back to Canada in winter though, I am reminded of the comfort of the warmth of a good soup and I feel sad that I can’t appreciate that where I am. I know nobody feels sorry for me living in sunny skies and palm trees all the time. But you have to admit, no matter where you live, there’s always something you miss from somewhere else. And that’s okay. It helps us appreciate other places.

I love corn. One thing I have a hard time with is watching all the food bloggers at the end of summer say how much corn on the cob they have and what are they to do with it???? I can make it through the rhubarb posts (not a big fan), the strawberry posts (a little harder) but once corn arrives in Canada and the USA, so does my jealous rage that I can’t have it. They do sell corn on the cob here but it isn’t even close to what I grew up with and I’ve never grown to like it. I really miss that peaches and cream corn on the cob soaked in butter and salt that got all stuck in my teeth that we would eat for a month straight every year. Ah the memories that flooded back just writing that sentence.

I always have a bag of frozen corn in the freezer. My husband isn’t a big fan but if I had my way, I would add it to so many more things. Besides the taste, I love that it gives food that bright burst of colour. Most veggies are red or green which already brightens up a picture or you plate but that burst of yellow just makes it all the more better.

This soup can be made in less than 30 minutes but it won’t hurt if you leave it to simmer for awhile or even overnight in the fridge. You know things always taste better the next day. The small amount of chipotle gives it a little burst of smokiness and spice to the soft corn taste. You can even half the amount of chipotle. I put too much in the first time and it was too overpowering so you can adjust that to your liking.

If you are using corn on the cob, after you cut off the kernels, add the cobs themselves right to the pot and simmer mixture with those cobs. It will add a depth of flavour to the soup. Don’t forget to remove them before you puree.

And if you try it in summer with all that fresh corn on the cob you have, I know it’ll be even better. Maybe just don’t show me all the gorgeous corn, please and thanks.

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 TAB butter
  • 1 cup chopped onions
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 1/2 cups frozen corn kernels
  • 3 cups vegetable or chicken stock
  • 1 tsp finely chopped chipotle in adobo
  • pinch of smoked paprika
  • 2 TAB cilantro leaves
  • 1 lime, zested
  • bacon bits to garnish (optional)
  • chopped cilantro or parsley to garnish (optional)

DIRECTIONS:

In a medium size pot, melt butter. Add onion and garlic and cook on medium heat until onion is softened, about 5 minutes. Add corn kernels and sauté until golden brown, about 5 minutes for frozen, less for fresh or canned. Add stock, chipotle, and paprika. Simmer, stirring mixture occasionally until corn is tender, about 10 minutes. Turn off heat. Remove about half a cup of mixture to separate dish and reserve. With emulsion blender or regular blender, puree mixture until smooth. Add 2 TAB coriander leaves and lime zest and puree a little more. (If mixture is too spicy for you, add the juice from the lime). Add the reserved mixture back into the soup.

Serve hot, and topped with bacon and cilantro if you desire.

Serves 2.

**Note: If you have corn on the cob, cut the kernels off but add the cobs into the soup when it’s simmering. It’ll give it a beautiful depth of flavour!

BRIE SPINACH PORTO FARROTTO

I was introduced to farro a few years ago on a trip to Italy. We were staying with our friends who live just outside of Florence (who doesn’t want friend like that!) for a few days and one day for lunch on their gorgeous deck overlooking those Tuscan hills we were served a beautiful array of fresh vegetables from their garden, grilled meat, and a side of farro which we had never had before. I don’t know how we had not come across it in our travels throughout Italy. I guess we were too busy eating pasta and pizza. Anyway, our hostess, who just happens to also be an old family friend, simply tossed some farro with pesto and sun-dried tomatoes. All four members of my family had helping after helping. We loved the nutty taste of it and vowed to find it back at home in Mexico and make it all the time.

Sadly, when we got back to Mexico, I realized I had confused farro with another grain and couldn’t find it. I was so disappointed and mad at myself for not tossing a few bags in my suitcase. There may have been a few moaning sessions where we spoke with great dramatic regret. When I went back to Canada I always tossed a few bags into my suitcase to bring back home to Mexico. However, as most things go down here, I never stopped looking for it and eventually it showed up in a few of our local Italian stores and now can grab it almost all the time.

My old family friend and hostess is right. It’s so versatile which is one of my favorite things about it. I usually make a big pot of it and make it a few different ways. Sometimes I just toss in some olive oil, butter, and parmesan. Sometimes I make it the exact same way it was first served to me. And sometimes I go all out and try something new like I did last week and ended up with this delectable recipe.

Farro is an ancient wheat that is very popular because of it’s nutty flavour and unique chewy texture. It’s an excellent source of protein, fiber, and nutrients. It’s a much healthier than white rice or pasta. It’s so filling and doesn’t hurt my stomach like store-brand pasta does. It’s definitely still a favorite for me. Somehow I feel like I’m eating pasta even when I’m not.

This little dish may not look like much. But trust me, this is a gorgeous dish. You can’t see the brie that’s melted in there. The spinach wilts ever so softly into the warm farro and I just had to add some mushrooms that I browned every so slightly in some butter, but you can leave them out if you’re not a mushroom fan. I don’t understand why anybody wouldn’t be but that’s another discussion entirely.

Thank you Italy and my Italian friends. You make my world better.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 3 1/4 – 3 1/2 cups vegetable or chicken broth
  • 4 TAB butter, divided
  • 1/4 cup diced red onion
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 cup farro
  • 1/3 cup dry white wine
  • 4 ounces brie or camembert, rind removed and chopped
  • 1 cup loosely packed spinach leaves, chopped
  • 1 portobello mushroom, sliced and cut in bite size pieces (optional)
  • grated parmesan (optional)
  • salt and pepper to taste

DIRECTIONS:

Warm broth on a stove or microwave. In a large saucepan, melt 2 TAB butter and add onion and garlic. Cook and stir for a few minutes until onion softens. Add farro and white wine. Cook, stirring, until wine is absorbed. Add about 1/2 cup of warm broth at a time and stir regularly until liquid is absorbed each time and add more. This process will take about 30 minutes. You want the farro to be al dente, with a little bit of a bite so use less or more broth

As farro is cooking, in a smaller saucepan on medium heat, melt remining 2 TAB butter. Add mushrooms without crowding, letting each one brown nicely in the butter. Flip only when you see the bottom is nicely browned, about 3 to 4 minutes. Flip mushrooms over and do the same on the other side, adding more butter if necessary. Turn off heat and set aside.

When farro is ready, add spinach, brie, and mushrooms and stir until cheese melts and spinach wilts. Season with salt and pepper and serve.

Serves 4 as a side.

CRUNCHY MESH POTATOES

These are perfection. And I’m not even a potato girl.

Perfection.

I’ve used the ‘chopstick’ method on potatoes before when I’ve made Hasselback potatoes. (When you see that name am I the only one who thinks of Elizabeth Hasselbeck who was on ‘Survivor’ all those years ago? No? Just me? Okay fine). This is just a flattened version of that in which butter, garlic, parmesan and all the good things in life are poured into the crevices. The difference between these and Hasselback is they take less time to cut and because there is less potato, when they bake they make the outside crispy and crunchy and the inside soft. You can eat just a few as an appetizer or about a hundred of them like I did.

You don’t have to boil these first like a lot of other crispy smashed potato recipes. By the time your oven is heated up, you can have these cut and brushed and ready to bake.

You think it’s going to take awhile to cut them this way, but trust me, it really doesn’t. Laying the chopsticks down or even something like folded paper towel on each side stops the resistance of the knife without you having to think too much. It looks something like this.

The chopsticks stop the knife from going all the way through
When done, spread apart slightly like this

I mean common, how cute are those?? You probably even have all these ingredients in the fridge so try these TODAY. You can thank me later.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 4 large white, yellow, or russet potatoes
  • 1/2 cup butter, melted
  • 5 cloves garlic, minced
  • handful of parsley, minced
  • 1/3 cup freshly grated parmesan and 1/4 cup parmesan
  • generous pinch kosher salt

DIRECTIONS:

Peel potatoes. Cut a little bit off one end of potato to flatten edge. Cut into slices about 1/2 inch thick. Repeat with remaining potatoes.

Combine butter, garlic, parsley, 1/3 cup parmesan, and salt in a small bowl and mix well.

Preheat oven to 425.

To make the cutting of the ‘mesh’ a little easier, lay down two chopsticks and put a slice of potato down in between (see picture above). Make cuts horizontally and vertically until the knife hits the chopstick and no further. You will end up with a mesh design. Slightly pull apart in each direction so that it’s not sticking together.

Place potatoes on a baking sheet that has been lined with foil and slightly greased. Generously brush potatoes with about 3/4 of the butter mixture trying to make sure you get that butter mixture into every nook and cranny of the potato. Bake for 20 minutes and then brush again with remaining butter and sprinkle a little more cheese on. Bake for another 20 minutes or until potatoes are crispy on the outside but still soft on the inside.

Remove from oven. Sprinkle with a little more parmesan and salt if you like. Serve.

Makes 4 servings.

BREAKFAST tortilla cup

We typically eat different foods at different times of the day. But why should that be so? Who made eggs best to eat at breakfast? I really don’t know but I’m not really arguing either. Don’t get me wrong, we eat eggs all throughout the day. My latest fav is the runny fried egg that my husband tops our chicken fried rice with. Yet, I appreciate eggs the most at breakfast.

Breakfast is often people’s most favorite meal of the day. Personally, I think it’s because normally it’s not a meal we put much effort into so when we do, it seems so much more decadent without too much effort.

Kind of like this little gem. This is barely a recipe. It was so easy to put together, I used whatever I found in my fridge, and then it sat in the oven while I tided up and drank my glorious iced cappuccino. And yet, when my husband came downstairs last week to see this little guy resting on the counter, his eyes lit up and he asked what was this little bowl of happiness and what made today so special that it got made?

This is more of an idea than a recipe. After the tortilla and the eggs, you can put in anything you want. I love onions so I add them anywhere I can but of course if you don’t want onion breath so early in the day, leave them out. Next time I’m going to try mushrooms and poblano pepper which is easy to find here and a staple in our fridge. Great thing is, because they’re so versatile you can make each one individualized for every person at your breakfast table.

Try this “idea” your way and add any ingredients that will put a smile on your face for the rest of the day!

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 small flour or corn tortilla
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 slice bacon, cooked and diced
  • 1 TAB diced parsley
  • 1 TAB chopped onion or green onion
  • 1 TAB diced tomatoes
  • 1 TAB cheddar or parmesan cheese
  • olive oil
  • salt and pepper

DIRECTIONS:

Preheat oven to 350. Grease a small oven-safe bowl. Fit tortilla in it. Crack two eggs and pour into tortilla. Add all other ingredients. Pour a little olive oil over the top of the eggs. Put in oven for about 15-20 minutes or until egg whites are set. Remove and enjoy.

Serves 1.

FENNEL FRONDS PESTO ORECHIETTE

Who doesn’t love pesto. The colour. The versatility. The fact that it gives me an excuse to have more pasta for dinner. Mostly, I love that it makes fantastic use of things that might otherwise get tossed out. For example, the other day I went to get some fennel for one of my other recipes. Have you all used fennel before? It’s such an interesting veggie. Actually, did you know that it’s a spice, a plant, and a vegetable? Neither did I until I did a little digging. Fennel has a very complex favour. It is highly aromatic and has a distinct taste.

There’s only one place in my town that I can get fennel on a good day so I did some hoping, walked in and asked for some “hinojo” (e-no-ho) and waited. A few minutes later I was happily surprised with not only my fennel, but the longest strands of fronds attached to the bulb.

I mean just look at it. That’s the biggest cutting board in my house and it couldn’t even fit on it. It sure is pretty though, isn’t it?

Living in a time where I no longer run to the store when I run out of one thing or another, I really try hard not to waste. My husband is a huge soup maker and I often save the ends and tips of veggies in a bag in the freezer so that he can add to his stock. But this time, I wanted all those beauties for me. I cut the fennel off since I needed it for my Baked Pork Spring Rolls recipe. Then I took these leafy ends, or fronds as they’re often called, gave them a good wash, pulled off all the tough pieces, and got ready for pesto.

The pesto was done in less than 5 minutes, even before the water for my pasta was boiling. Pesto is such a versatile thing. I don’t often have pine nuts as they’re sooooooo expensive here, so this time I used walnuts. This pesto is much stronger than pesto made with basil or parsley, which I kind of like because you need a lot less of it to pack a punch.

You can use it on chicken, pasta, or slather it on a piece of crusty bread. The options are endless! So, the next time you see this pretty veggie in the store, grab it and try it!

INGREDIENTS:

  • 4 cups loosely packed fennel fronds
  • 1/3 cup walnuts, toasted
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1/2 cup grated parmesan or Reggiano cheese
  • 1/4 cup good olive oil
  • 250 grams orecchiette or any pasta noodle
  • salt and pepper

DIRECTIONS:

In a food processor, add fronds, walnuts, garlic and cheese. Process for about 30 seconds or until combined. With machine running, slowly pour in oil, adding more if you would like it a little more liquidy. Season with salt and pepper.

Put a pot of water on to boil. Cook pasta to al dente and drain, saving a little pasta water. Toss noodles, desired amount of pesto, and a little cooking water and/or more oil to thin it out if you so desire. Serve immediately with more parmesan.

Serves 2 with leftover pesto which can be kept 2 weeks in air-tight container in fridge, or frozen in a Ziploc bag.

DOUBLE CHOCOLATE ALMOND ICE-CREAM

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again.

This is my new favorite ice-cream flavour. I renounce all previous claims stating otherwise.

I’m not much of a sweets gal, but this hits all the right spots. Helping me get through those bad days. Those days when we wonder if the pandemic is over. Those days when we realize we really do love our family, but could they all maybe just leave the house for a few hours? Those days when we become scared at the thought that we won’t be able to live in these stretchy pants forever. And the worst days are the ones when we wonder if we can actually hug our peeps again.

Well that was depressing. Now lets talk about ice-cream.

I’ve been pretty busy lately, working a lot on my online classes and updating some old recipes. I haven’t really developed anything new. This flavour came about by accident last week, as most of my ice-cream flavours do. I had made my normal vanilla base of which I was going to add something to at some point. But this time, I needed chocolate. So I threw in some cocoa, added some chocolate and almonds and boom, perfection was churned.

Well, actually it wasn’t. After about 20 minutes, I noticed that it was not freezing. Remember everyone, I live in Mexico. When a non-necessary appliance like an ice-cream maker dies, you can’t just call the manufacturer or go to Walmart to get another one. My machine is almost 10 years old, came in a suitcase from Ontario, and I have treasured it every moment since it arrived in my kitchen. When my husband brought it home I actually asked why. (I’m one of those people who gets so excited about a new appliance, only to use it once or twice, and then it collects dust and I feel bad. I know I’m not alone. I was worried this would turn into that).

I was wrong. We have been churning ice-cream in this beauty non-stop. We sold it at our store when we had it, and now we just make it for ourselves and our friends. So you can imagine my dismay when I peered in and saw nothing happening.

I called my husband. I started to fret. He asked me all the usual questions: was the bowl in the freezer long enough? Yes. Was the mixture chilled? Yes. Has it been churning long enough? Yes. He was convinced that it was human error (meaning my fault) and that the bowl had not seen its last days. I wanted him to be wrong, but I also wanted him to be right. Ugg.

He was right. I must have done something wrong because the next time I tried to churn this, it worked beautifully again. Whew! My favorite appliance lives! And now I will share my latest happiness with you.

You can use other nuts besides almonds, if you want, but in my opinion, almonds are the perfect choice. Plus you can save some of this beauty and sprinkle on top!

INGREDIENTS:

  • 2 1/2 cups whipping cream
  • 1 1/2 cups whole milk
  • 1/2 cup cocoa
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 3 egg yolks
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 1/2 cups chocolate chips or chopped chocolate bars
  • 3/4 cup chopped almonds

DIRECTIONS:

In a medium size saucepan over medium heat, whisk and warm whipping cream, milk, sugar and cocoa until sugar and cocoa are dissolved and mixture is warm. In a separate bowl, mix egg yolks together. When mixture on stove is warm to the touch, whisk a little of the cream mixture slowly into the egg yolks until combined. Pour this mixture back into the saucepan. Stir with a flat bottomed wooden spoon until the mixture coats the back of the spoon so that when you run your finger over it, it leaves a line. Take off heat. Pour through a sieve into a bowl. Add vanilla. Stir and let cool. Cover. Refrigerate overnight.

Put chocolate in a microwave safe bowl. Start with 30 seconds. Take out and stir. Repeat in 15 second increments until chocolate is melted and smooth. Spray a baking sheet with non-stick spray. Spread chocolate evenly over pan. Chop almonds. Sprinkle almonds over melted chocolate. Put in the freezer until frozen.

Churn ice-cream in your machine. During the last five minutes of churning, add chocolate in chunks of any size you desire. Transfer to freezable container. Freeze.

roasted strawberry buttermilk ice-cream

When my good friend in Edmonton suggested this flavour, I was anxious to try it. I had never roasted strawberries before, only vegetables. I just couldn’t seem to process how they would turn out. But I knew I had to try.

It was super simple, just tossed the beautiful berries in a little sugar and roasted them in the oven for about 30 minutes. They came out with a heightened sweetness and a softer texture and a deep, rich flavour. I could drink that juice.

Combined with the buttermilk which makes everything creamier, this is a new flavour that will be on rotation in our house.

We can’t buy buttermilk here in the Mayan Riviera, so I have put an option of how to make your own. It’s quite simple. It may not be as thick and creamy as the buttermilk you can buy back in USA and Canada, but it does the trick and I make it all the time for recipes.

Happy churning!

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 pint strawberries
  • 1 cup sugar, separated
  • 2 1/2 cups whipping cream
  • 1 1/2 cups buttermilk , OR 1 1/2 cups whole milk with 1 TAB vinegar. Leave on counter 5 minutes before using
  • 3 egg yolks, room temperature

DIRECTIONS:

Cut strawberries in half and toss with 1/4 cup sugar. Place on a oven safe pan and roast in a 350° oven for about 25-30 minutes, stirring once. Remove from oven and let cool.

Place strawberries in a blender and crush until liquified, about 10-20 seconds. Remove and strain through a fine mesh sieve.

Combine whipping cream, milk, and remaining 3/4 cup sugar in a saucepan on medium heat. Warm mixture until sugar is melted, about 5 minutes. In a separate bowl, lightly whisk egg yolks. When mixture in saucepan is warm, slowly pour some into the egg yolks, whisking until combined. Pour this mixture back into saucepan and with a flat bottomed wooden spoon, stir constantly until mixture thickens and coats the back of the spoon, about 5-7 minutes. Remove from heat. Let cool slightly.

Pour ice cream mixture into berry juice and stir or whisk well to combine. Let cool completely. Cover and refrigerate at least 4 hours or overnight.

Churn in your ice cream maker. Transfer to freezer and freeze.

Makes 1 1/2 – 2 litres.

Bananas foster ice-cream

Making a new ice-cream flavour every week is fun. It’s probably the only area I really enjoy inventing. And the options are endless! Plus, it’s forcing me to work on my ice-cream photography. Not fun, but hopefully eventually helpful in producing mouth-watering pictures.

This scoop may not look any different than most regular ice-creams, but the flavour in this is fantastic. Why shouldn’t it be? Butter, rum, bananas – win-win. The rum makes it ever so scoop-able too. Not sure if you know, but if you have ever made your own home-made ice-cream you’ll know it can come out of the freezer hard as a rock. That is because it doesn’t have all those preservatives in it that store bought ice-cream has. But adding even a little alcohol to the mixture before you churn it helps with that problem. If your ice-cream doesn’t already have alcohol in it, then add a little vodka to it, which has not flavour and will help keep it a little softer.

Last autumn, we rented a big house for a weekend and threw our daughter a graduation party. For our Sunday morning brunch, I wanted to set up a waffle bar. I had pre-made and froze the waffles so that on Sunday morning, we simply had to re-warm meaning more time visiting with our friends. We had whipped cream, strawberries, syrup, and last but not least: bananas foster was the luxury item to top the waffles. I skipped the syrup and just covered mine with those lovely rummed up bananas. So when the suggestion came to make it an ice-cream flavour, I was all over it.

The ice -cream itself is just my regular vanilla flavour. The bananas foster is made separately, cooled, and layered in after the ice-cream is churned. Make sure your bananas aren’t too mushy before you cook them, as the rum and butter will soften them.

Enjoy!

INGREDIENTS:

  • 2 1/2 cups whipping cream
  • 1 1/2 cups whole milk
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 3 egg yolks
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 4 bananas, sliced
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 4 TAB butter
  • 3 TAB rum

DIRECTIONS:

Combine whipping cream, milk, and sugar in a medium pot over medium heat. Stir every so often to warm liquids and ensure sugar melts. In a separate bowl, place 3 egg yolks. When liquid mixture is warm, pour over the egg yolks whisking together. Pour that small mixture back into the pot and with a flat bottomed wooden spoon, stir until liquid thickens and coats the back of the spoon, about 5 minutes. Take off heat. Add vanilla. Pour through fine sieve into a bowl and let cool. Cover and refrigerate over-night.

In a large saucepan on medium heat, melt butter and sugar together, stirring until sugar dissolves and mixture is bubbly. Add rum, stir to combine, then bring to a simmer on medium heat. Cook for about 1 minute, stirring constantly. Add bananas and cook for about 2 minutes, coating bananas with sauce and flipping them about halfway. Remove from heat and allow to cool.

Churn ice-cream. When complete, transfer half of soft ice-cream into a wide (not tall) ice-cream safe container. Layer bananas foster on top. Cover with remaining ice-cream. Transfer to freezer.

Makes about 2 litres.

mixed berry cheesecake ice cream

So…. funny story.

I made Rocky Road ice-cream the other day. I found about a cup of Canadian mini-marshmallows in my fridge and knew I had to make one of my favorite flavours of ice-cream to put them to good use. Marshmallows here in Mexico aren’t of the greatest quality. I haven’t seen a bag of plain white marshmallows for over a year, and even if you pick the white ones out of the bag of pink and yellow, they still taste funny. So simple as it may sound for you, good marshmallows are a treat for us.

I made the ice-cream Friday morning. I wanted it to freeze as much as possible before I scooped and took a picture. You see, I already have nature against me with an average temperature of 30 degrees and humidity so high I can’t count.

I went to take a picture. I didn’t love it. I put everything back and thought I will do tomorrow. I didn’t think I had to warn anybody not to eat it as it was only 3 PM.

I was wrong.

By 5 PM the majority of it was gone. I was not impressed. There were barely 3 scoops left, certainly not enough to get a decent scoop to take a picture of before it melts into a puddle of cream and marshmallows.

In my irritated state, I thought I will make a flavour that nobody will bother to steal or bug me about. Now don’t get me wrong, every flavour of ice-cream is consumed and enjoyed in our house; however there are definitely preferences. And usually the ones with fruit don’t win out.

I used to make this recipe and sell it in our little cafe. I’m sure I lost money on it. It was considered one of the premium flavours: full of cream cheese, berries (which don’t come cheap here), and graham cracker crust. I had not made it in a few years so thought I would go for it.

Earlier in the day my husband asked where his soup mix was. I claimed I had no idea what he was talking about. After about an hour, he shows me a jar of what I thought was graham cracker crumbs. He says “it seems you put your graham crumbs on top of my soup mix”. Oops. I thought it was just darker graham crumbs. Is there even such a thing?

I don’t like to waste food so thought I would try to use those crumbs for the crust part of the ice-cream. I mixed in the butter and sugar, baked, and let cool. Came back an hour later. Awful. They had totally absorbed the flavour of the soup mix. I actually spit it out it was so bad. So, it got trashed and had to be done again. Thankfully, I had some whole graham crackers in the pantry and the second time was successful.

It is only the middle of May here and the heat has already been quite unbearable. I’m not sure if it’s because we are quarantined and can’t get to the beach or the mall or what. But it reminded me the other day that I need to have ice-cream around more often now.

I did a poll on Instagram on Saturday and got great ideas from a lot of you for flavours of ice-cream that I am going to try. I am aiming for one new flavour a week. Any more than that and the photography of said flavours will make me go mad.

This one is bright and creamy and crunchy all at the same time. It’s worth the time that goes into it, I promise. It’s best if you don’t throw the additions into the machine, instead layer them. After the ice cream base is churned, pour half the base into a freezer safe pan. Then layer on the berry slurry.

Then add the crumbled graham crust.

Then add the remaining ice cream and freeze until firm, 4-6 hours.

Worth the work, trust me. And I only got asked twice if the ice-cream was ready to eat before I tried to photograph. A new family record.

INGREDIENTS:

BERRY SWIRL:

  • 2 cups fresh or frozen berries (I used blueberries and blackberries)
  • 3 TABS sugar
  • 1 TAB cornstarch
  • 1 TAB water
  • 1/2 lemon, squeezed for juice

GRAHAM CRUST:

  • 1 cup graham cracker crumbs
  • 3 TABS sugar
  • 1/4 cup butter, melted

ICE CREAM:

  • 2 1/2 cups whipping cream
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 3 egg yolks
  • 1 – 8 oz package cream cheese, softened
  • 1/2 lemon, squeezed for juice

DIRECTIONS:

SWIRL: In a small saucepan, crush the berries. Add sugar. Turn on to medium heat and bring to a boil. While waiting, combine water and cornstarch. When berries are bubbling, add cornstarch mixture and stir for one minute as it thickens up. Remove from heat and stir in lemon juice. Transfer to bowl and chill.

GRAHAM CRUST: Preheat oven to 375. Combine graham cracker crumbs, sugar, and melted butter. Press mixture into a thin, even layer on the bottom of a greased baking sheet. Cook for 6-8 minutes or until golden brown. Cool on wire rack. Break crust into pieces and chill.

ICE CREAM: Put softened cream cheese and lemon juice in a medium size bowl. Put egg yolks in another bowl.

In a medium sized pot, combine whipping cream, milk, and sugar. On medium heat, stir and warm through but do not let simmer. When cream mixture is warm, pour about a cup into egg yolks. Pour egg yolk mixture back into the saucepan and stir constantly with a flat bottomed wooden spoon until mixture can coat the back of the spoon, about 5 minutes. Turn off heat. Pour this mixture through a fine strainer over cream cheese mixture. Whisk until cream cheese is incorporated. Let cool. Cover and refrigerate at least 4 hours, preferably overnight.

Churn liquid mixture according to your machine. When finished, transfer half of mixture into a freezer safe dish. Layer berry slurry and crumbled graham crust and then pour the remaining ice cream on top. Freeze until firm.

Makes about 2 litres.