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Friday, October 29, 2010

Finally! Friday

Well, parent-teacher conferences have come to an end.  I know you are all sighing in relief that I will be able to blog more frequently!

After a 16 hour day yesterday, my husband graciously offered to make dinner.   He used the leftover shredded chicken from Sunday, added some fajita seasoning and BAM! Insta-taco!  The chicken was still pretty moist, and the tacos were delicious.

But you know me, the kitchen projects never stop at easy.  I was looking for a fun, Friday night, husband and wife, kitchen project.  Earlier today, I came upon the perfect thing.  I could practically hear my husband's shouts of delight when I looked at the pictures.

I give you the Chocolate Malt Cupcake.

1 oz semi sweet chocolate, chopped
1/2 cup hot brewed coffee
1 cup sugar
3/4 cup plus 1 tbsp flour
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder (it says NOT dutch process, which is fine, because I don't know what that is)
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 egg
1/4 cup canola oil
1/2 cup buttermilk
1/4 tsp pure vanilla extract

Nothing could be closer to perfection for Matthew, who orders a "hot fudge malt with extra malt powder", at the drive-thru, every time, while the teenaged Dairy Queen employee begrudgingly rolls her eyes.  We ventured out to get some malt powder, and got to work.

Matthew melted the chocolate in the coffee, while I mixed up the dry ingredients.  I beat the egg, oil, buttermilk, and vanilla together, and added in the coffee mixture.  I then added the dry ingredients.  The batter went into our lovely new muffin pan.  They baked at 300 for about 20 minutes, I was worried because the batter was runny, but they look like gooey fluffs of heaven right now!

I then made the frosting by processing 2 cups of powdered sugar, 1 tbsp cocoa powder, 1/3 cup of malt powder and 9 tbsp of softened butter in the food processer.  With the motor running, I added in 1/4 cup of hot water.  We taste-tested this, and it got Matthew's "extra-malty" stamp of approval!

Logan is coming over (big surprise), and Geneva too, so we haven't tasted these yet.  But, I was so proud of their Martha Stewart-like look that I took several pictures.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Whew! Wednesday (also windy)

After narrowly avoiding being blown off the road on my commute today, I decided that the Flemings needed something comfy, cozy, and fall-y for dinner.

I decided on squash.  Now, I've never much cared for squash, but thought that with all that blogging and cooking, I must be much more sophisticated now.  Stay tuned for the results

Roasted Acorn Squash

1 acorn squash, halved, and guts removed
1 tbsp butter
2 tbsp brown sugar
cinnamon to taste

I rubbed the other ingredients on the squash, and put them "face" up in a baking dish with a little water in the bottom.  I cooked it with a cover at 350 degrees for 50 minutes,  I removed the cover and cooked for 10 more minutes.

The verdict: I am apparently not sophisticated enough.  I didn't like it.  At all.  Matthew kindly said "it was not his favorite".  Unfortunately for him, still no ice cream for dinner.  I had luckily whipped up some easy healthy fried rice.

Backup Fried Rice

1 cup brown rice, cooked
1 tbsp sesame oil
1 clove garlic(!), pressed
1 green pepper, chopped
1 egg
2 tbsp soy sauce

I scrambled the egg in the oil, and added in the garlic and pepper and sautéed it for about 3 minutes.  I added in the cooked rice and the soy sauce, and VOILA! Fried rice to the rescue.

But the fun didn't stop here folks.  I decided to be the world's greatest teacher and make muffins for my show choir tomorrow morning.  Yeah, you heard me.  Middle. School. Show. Choir.  Nothing could be further from Glee.  I stole an Applesauce Muffin Recipe from Martha, I followed it exactly, so no need to type it out.  Mostly, I'm lazy from all that cooking.

Don't they just scream,  "I'm so goooood!  I promise to behave all day long, Mrs. Fleming!"

In case you wondering, yes, the garlic is GONE!

Good riddance.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Truth Time Tuesday

In middle school we used to cut out the "Dare" part and call it "Truth".  In college two good friends called it "honesty time".  Here, I call it...well I don't call it anything, it's my blog and you have to listen.

Truth:  I LOVE macaroni and cheese, not just any macaroni and cheese, but the shameless blue boxed kind, preferably where the "macaroni" is shaped like cartoon characters whose names end with "Squarepants".

Truth: Macaroni and cheese has a tendency to be not so good for you, and since venturing out into the world of healthy, responsible eating, I have not been able to eat macaroni and cheese with the carefree abandon of my youth.

Truth: The highly processed sort of-dairy products found in macaroni and cheese occasionally upset my tummy.

The above truths presented me with a wide variety of problems.  But, my love for macaroni and cheese knows no bounds, and I decided to improvise and set out on a quest to create a healthier, cartoon-free, and tummy-friendly macaroni and cheese.

Ladies and Gentlemen, I present to you:

Baked "Macaroni" (Penne) and Cheese

12 oz Penne pasta
2 tbsp butter
1/4 cup flour
1/2 cup reduced sodium chicken stock
2 cups skim milk
1 cup your choice of reduced-fat, shredded cheese (I used some colby jack and mozzarella)
Leftover Oven Roasted Carrots and Sweet Potatoes
1/8 cup grated parmesan
1/4 cup seasoned breadcrumbs

I preheated the oven to 375 degrees, and got the pasta going in some salted, boiling water.  I cooked the pasta, drained it and set it aside.  In the same large pot, I then melted the butter and added in the flour.  I whisked it, until I was entirely sure I had done it wrong.  I then added in the chicken stock, milk, and some salt and pepper.  I stirred it over low heat, until it thickened a little.  Sorry, I was not exact in my timings today.

I then added in the cheese.  Again, not so exact with the measurements, a little excess cheese never killed anyone.  I stirred this until it melted.  I poured the pasta and vegetables into the pot, and poured the whole mixture into a greased baking dish.

It was at this point that I became so dubious of my creation that I told Matthew we could have ice cream for dinner.  He then got very excited.  Nevertheless I baked the pasta for 11 minutes, and then stuck it in the broiler-drawer thingy (it fit!), and pulled it out.  Matthew was sorely disappointed, for it was edible, and pretty good tasting at that!

I consider myself a connoisseur (big word), of macaroni and cheeses.  This wasn't the best I've tasted, but it certainly isn't the worst.  The Spiderman variety tends to be soupy.  I would definitely make it again, and I was successful in getting rid of 3 things from our little kitchen:

1) chicken stock
2) an excess of penne
3) roasted vegetables

I was unsuccessful in getting rid of 1 thing:



Sunday, October 24, 2010


As in, yes, I SERIOUSLY made this!

Upon receiving a new platter from my mother, and in my abundance of creativity and energy (or stupidity), I decided to roast a WHOLE chicken today.

Yes, seriously.

Martha Stewart and I may have more in common than just a love for pale turquoise.   While those of you experienced cooks out there are saying, "but roasting a chicken is soooo easy", let me just say that the thought of having a whole bird in my kitchen seemed soooo not easy.

Roast Chicken with Lemon and Herbs

1 (3lb-4lb) whole chicken, washed and dried
2 garlic cloves, smashed
1/2 lemon
Dried rosemary

The whole process began with the chicken in my sink, while I sat having an inner-dialogue that went something like this:

"Am I really going to do this?"
"This can only end badly"
"Grosssssssss raw chicken!"

Nevertheless, there it sat, beckoning me.  So, I decided to get down to business.   I seasoned the whole thing (inside and out) with salt, pepper and dried rosemary, until I got sick of looking at the inside of the chicken.  I then squirted the juice of the lemon over the outside of the chicken, and smashed the garlic.  See below for the ceremonial garlic-smashing picture:

I then stuffed the remains of the lemon and garlic into the chicken.  When I was done it looked very similar as when I began.  The whole thing flew into a 425 degree oven.   While the chicken was busy making our tiny apartment smell like Thanksgiving, I decided to make a side dish.

Oven Roasted Carrots and Sweet Potatoes

1 lb carrots, chopped into chunks
1 lb sweet potatoes, peeled and chopped
1 tbsp margarine
3 tbsp reduced sodium chicken broth
1/2 tsp cinnamon

I chopped the veggies, and threw them into a greased baking dish with the rest of the ingredients.  I then got distracted by Facebook, neighborly chats out of our living room window, and discussions about Christmas music.

When I was finished with all these important tasks the chicken was ready to come out, and the veggies were ready to go in (450 degrees for 25 minutes).  The chicken roasted for about 65 minutes total, until the internal temperature was 165 degrees.  The temperature-taking of the chicken led to some interesting discussion about the anatomy of a chicken in the Fleming household.  I will spare you.

The chicken went onto a platter, and I actually garnished it, using the other 1/2 of the lemon and some (ok a lot) parsley, leftover from last Saturday.  This led to several minutes of oooohhhs and aaaahs from husband and wife.

For the record, when Matthew and I began dating, I did absolutely no cooking.  Well, that's a lie, I microwaved a mean can of Spaghettio's.   After this evening's presentation, I'm fairly sure my husband feels that he has hit the jackpot.  But, you'd have to ask him about that.

I had to choose from several lovely pictures of said chicken.

After 25 minutes in the oven, and 25 minutes of dramatic response to the chicken, the vegetables were ready.  The sweet potatoes really added to the whole Thanksgiving-y smell.

Naturally we invited our good friend Logan over, and he shamelessly complimented my cooking skills.  I bet you're beginning to see why we always invite him over!  The whole meal was tasty, and left us with some excellent shredded chicken left over, which I think will make great taco meat.  It was actually quite easy.  Only one problem: WE STILL HAVE GARLIC LEFT!  Will it never end?  Stay tuned.

*As Promised*  Special blog shout-out goes to my lovely grandparents Bob and Barb Griffin, who not only caravanned to Iowa with us, but also attended last evening's concert.  What a day!

Friday, October 22, 2010

Fair Trade, Field Trip Friday

We are headed, in a few hours, or whenever my parents get here, to Iowa.  We will be visiting my brother. After a long rehearsal last night, this morning came too early.  So, I leave you with two things.

A)  A love story.

Once upon a time,

We love our coffee maker, even though we have to put it on a shelf above the oven, and use a step stool to make the coffee.  We love putting home-ground fair trade coffee in it.  We love the smell it makes, and the way it wake us up on those 6 AM drives to North Branch.  In fact, it beckons me right now.  Thank you Grant and Petra.

And they all lived happily ever after,

The End.

B)  A shameless plug

Come see our concert tomorrow night.  I can't promise you much but a great concert, and perhaps a mention in this famous blog.  Ok, don't everyone jump at once.

Thrifty Thursday

I have a feeling that Thursday is going to be difficult in keeping with the alliteration theme.  But, luckily this Thursday was actually thrifty, and only required me to buy one additional ingredient, which cost $1.09.

The story behind today's meal actually began about 6 years ago.  I was a young, fresh-faced, college freshman, wandering the streets of Italy.  No, not alone.  Have you met my parents?  I was with approximately 50 other members of the Concordia Orchestra, and my bassoon of course!  It was here that I was introduced to today's meal.  Pizza Margherita.  I could go on and on about the joys of eating real pizza in real Italy, but that just seems so Julia Roberts in "Eat Pray Love".

Pizza Margherita

1 package dry active yeast
1 3/4 cups all purpose flour
3/4 cup warm water (divided)
1 tsp salt
1/2 tbsp oil

1 can whole peeled tomatoes
2 large garlic cloves, smashed (it still isn't gone)
2 tbsp olive oil
4 basil leaves (plus extra for garnish)
1/4 tsp sugar
1/2 cup reduced-fat, part-skim, shredded mozzarella cheese (alright you food-purists, don't freak out, see further explanation below)

I started with the dough, which I was hesitant about.  My last experience with homemade pizza dough was on a warm, June evening in Matthew's warm apartment.  It ended in a sticky, gooey, unhappy mess.

I stirred the yeast, 1 tbsp of flour, and 1/4 cup of warm water and let it sit for about 5 minutes.  I added in the remaining dough ingredients, kneaded it on a floured surface, and placed it in a covered bowl to rise.

It rose for about 75 minutes, so I had plenty of time to make the sauce.  Which involved the MAGIC BULLET!  The use of this kitchen device will never cease to entertain me.  I briefly blended the tomatoes in the Magic Bullet, until they were chunky.  Before they could go into a pan, I needed to put my garlic-smashing skills to good use.

The garlic went into a pan with the oil, tomatoes, sugar, salt, and basil.

This simmered for about 40 minutes.  It was then that I encountered my first "tiny kitchen problem" as I like to call them.  I was supposed to heat a pizza stone or pan in the oven at 500 degrees for 45 minutes.  I painfully discovered the round pizza pan we own won't fit into our oven (without tilting it).  Since I didn't want the pizza to be lopsided, or to slide to the bottom of the oven, I decided we would have rectangular pizza.  Feel free to gasp now.  I know, I know it's hardly authentic Italian, and Julia Roberts would have never eaten it.

After all these conundrums my dough had risen.

I shaped the pizza (rectangularly, remember?) on parchment paper and moved it to the hot rectangular pan to assemble the pizza.  I spread on the sauce, which had reduced down to this:

I then added my shredded, highly processed cheese.  Feel free to gasp again.  I am fully aware of how delicious our pizza might have tasted had I used fresh mozzarella.  But, I had three goals in mind A)  To not spend $6.00 on 1 ingredient for 1 meal  B) To not have tons of ridiculous ingredients left over see: Super Saturday: Part Two.  C) To make this pizza a tad more health conscious.  So, after much yearning in the dairy aisle over that fresh-looking buffalo mozzarella, I grabbed the processed kind, and hoped the clerk couldn't sense my embarrassment.  The assembled pizza (processed cheese and all) looked like this:

It baked for about 11 minutes.  It looked like heaven.  I wish the crust was a bit thinner, and it didn't taste like anything I had in Italy, and I'm sure Julia Roberts has had better too.  Nevertheless, it was pretty darn good.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Whoopie! Wednesday and Logan's Lasagna

If you have ever been a student in the state of Minnesota, MEA probably means something very important to you:  Yay! NO SCHOOL!  If you've ever been a teacher in the state of Minnesota MEA probably means something completely different to it probably doesn't.  Same: Yay! NO SCHOOL!  Hey, teachers need a break too.

Needless to say MEA break is here,  a blissful four day weekend lies ahead of me.  To celebrate, our friend Logan invited us over for lasagna.  Logan (a fellow seminarian)  has been forced (more than once), to eat my creations, and to like them.  He is a good actor.

To repay Logan, I needed to make something especially celebratory for dessert.  I searched and I searched, until I found the perfect answer.  What says celebratory like Whoopie Pie?  The answer to that question is: nothing. For those of you who aren't familiar with these delightful creations, a whoopie pie is like a giant, souped-up Oreo, but better.  Naturally I had to give my whoopie pie a bit of a fall-ish spin.  Ladies and gentlemen, I give you the Pumpkin Whoopie Pie with Maple Cream Cheese Frosting.

Pumpkin Whoopie Pies

3 cups flour
1 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
2 tbsp
1 tsp ground ginger
3 tbsp cinnamon
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup brown suga
1 cup canola oil
3 cups chilled pumpkin
2 large eggs
1tsp vanilla

Maple Cream Cheese Frosting

3 cups powdered sugar
1/2 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
8 oz fat free cream cheese, at room temperature
3 Tbsp sugar-free syrup (I promise you it tastes the same in the frosting)
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp cinnamon

The pie part of the Whoopie! pies (it will never get old typing that with an exclamation point), was fairly simple.  I mixed all the dry ingredients, and then added the wet ingredients.

 I spooned the batter in tablespoons onto a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper.  I had to bake them at 350 degrees for 11 minutes in several batches.  See: tiny oven.  They come out cracked on top, puffy, and cake-y looking.

About 7 batches later, I proceeded hesitantly to the frosting.  My two experiences with making frosting involved Christmas cookies and my birthday cake.  Neither ended well.  I beat the room temperature cream cheese and butter until they were smooth.  I added the powdered sugar, syrup, vanilla, and cinnamon, and beat until it was frosting like!  Whoopie! It turned out fantastic.

So fantastic in fact that I arrived home yesterday to a sad looking husband who informed me that he had several spoonfuls of the leftover frosting, and "didn't feel so good".

When I finally assembled the whoopie pies, they were quite cute, in fact, I became quite protective of them in the drive over to Logan's.  But, they did get eaten, and the boys gave them rave reviews.

Logan's lasagna, which fit nicely in my alliteration theme (I promise I didn't plan it), was delicious.  Logan, for the record, has a much larger kitchen than us.  But, who doesn't?

Happy MEA everyone!

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Tall-tale Tuesday

First, I must apologize for my heart-wrenching absence in your lives yesterday.  Parent-teacher conferences beckoned me.

Second, a tall-tale (or is it?).

Once Upon a Time,

Broccoli was interesting.

The End

Tall-tales usually operate on the assumption that they are false.  But, this one ISN'T.  Yes, blog-reading faithful, broccoli can be interesting.  Now I will admit that I have mostly had broccoli that was A) rubbery and steamed or B) doused in enough soy sauce to cause me to bloat up and float away like a balloon.

Today was a different story.  It all started in the kitchen.  I was on my own for dinner, so I went rummaging through the kitchen and found two things.  A) My husband had bought approximately 1 lbs of broccoli for his Thai Thursday meal, and forgot to use it.  If you've met my husband, this won't surprise you.  B) We STILL have garlic.  It's like the annoying friend who will never leave!  So, after some google searching, and a little help from Skinny Taste, I came up with a recipe.

Here are my two leading ladies.

Roasted Broccoli

1 lb broccoli florets
2 tbsp olive oil
4 garlic cloves, smashed
Parmesan Cheese

I preheated the oven to 450 degrees, and then came to grips with the real challenge of this recipe.  Smashing garlic.  This consequently lead to about 15 minutes of searching youtube how-tos of smashing garlic.  People have too much time on their hands.  If you are posting videos of smashing garlic, and not getting paid for it,  GET A LIFE!  But, come to think of it that seems a tad hypocritical.

Finally these garlic cloves were ready to meet their maker.

After a successful smashing experience.  I threw all the ingredients in a baking dish and popped them in the oven for about 20 minutes.  Lo and behold,  broccoli IS interesting!

It doesn't look like much, but it actually had that "nutty" flavor so many of the recipes boasted.  I ate the whole thing.  My mother would be proud.

But, never fear, I didn't just have broccoli for dinner.
CAUTION: frozen food ahead.
After rummaging through the freezer I found a few of my favorite vegetarian burger substitutes.  The Spicy Black Bean Burger by Morningstar Farms.   For frozen food, they really are quite delicious, and the perfect match for my broccoli.

Oh, and for the record, we still have garlic.  More creative recipes to follow.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Soupy Sunday

After last night's laborious, albeit delicious, journey into Martha-land, we here in the World's Smallest Kitchen were ready for a cozy, simple meal.   After church and then a glorious meal at my grandparent's house, we decided on soup and grilled cheese.

I could go on and on about how cozy and fall-y soup and grilled cheese, and how wonderful it makes me feel.  But I won't.  That's what facebook is for.

So, as it turns out my "cozy and simple" meal was not so "cozy and simple".  Making soup from scratch in a tiny kitchen is hard stuff folks.  But, here it is.

Roasted Red Pepper Soup

4 large red bell peppers
2 cloves garlic, pressed through a garlic press
1 carrot, peeled and chopped
1 potato, peeled and chopped
1/4 cup parsley, chopped
1 tsp rosemary
1 tsp olive oil
3 cups chicken stock
1/4 cup dry white wine
2 tbsp sour cream
1/4 cup parmesan cheese, grated

First came the roasting of the peppers, which I did over the open flame on our stovetop.  But, why Hannah, would you not just put them in the broiler???  Lest you forget, we have The World's Smallest Kitchen, and the broiler pan is neither easily accessible, or large enough to fit 4 peppers.

So, the stovetop it was.  But, I sure looked cute doing it.

But this got boring, and my hand hurt, so Matthew finished up the job (again with the theme).

I placed the peppers in a bowl and covered them for about 10 minutes.  In the meantime I threw the chopped carrots, parsley, rosemary, and garlic in a pot with the olive oil and sautéed them for about 5 minutes.  I then removed the skin from the peppers and chopped them up, until my hands were a nice orange-y color.

The peppers went into the pot along with everything else and I added chicken stock and some white wine.  I brought this to a simmer and then covered it and cooked it on low heat for about 30 minutes, stirring it while watching the movie (film as my husband would say) De-Lovely.

Then arose a major dilemma.  All the roasted red pepper soup recipes I consulted now insisted I get out my hand blender and blend the soup with the sour cream in the pot.  Oh sure, I'll just get my hand blender and...wait...I don't have/have room for a hand blender.

Enter...duh duh DUH...the MAGIC BULLET.  Yes, we own one.  Yes, you may laugh.  No, you may not judge.

I had to split up the sour cream, and then blend the soup in 4 batches.  It was a little annoying yes, but also entertaining.  I poured the finished soup back in the pot, added the parmesan cheese, seasoned it a bit, and 2 hours later I was done!  I think Martha Stewart should make more soups, it's hard.  Either that or live in my kitchen.  That would be hard too.  I won't bore/insult you with a "recipe" for grilled cheese since they teach you to make that in college, but here's a picture of the soup.  Naturally, we ate it with a honey crisp apple.  If you haven't had one yet, go.  Now.

I leave you with a small letter.

Dear Garlic,

I know we've always had a hate/hate relationship.  While I hate to touch you, and the raw smell of you makes me gag, I am beginning to appreciate the sophistication you bring to my food.  But, things are still a little iffy.  I did say beginning to appreciate.


Your lukewarm friend,


Saturday, October 16, 2010

Super (and spendy) Saturday: Part Two

She's baaaaaaack!  Part Two's menu is brought to you by none other than Martha Stewart.  To get an idea of what I was grappling with let me lay it all out:  Goat Cheese Ravioli with Lemony Swiss Chard, and Pistachio Ice Cream for dessert.

Martha went the parsley sauce route, but I decided to go the pesto route.  Pesto is easy to make in bulk and then freeze.  Plus! Matthew has the BEST youth group kids, who threw us and AWESOME shower and gave us AMAZING recipes.  The pesto recipe is brought to you by a University Lutheran Church of Hope family.


4 cups basil leaves, stems removed
2 small cloves garlic
1/2 cup pine nuts (expensive)
3/4 cup parsley, chopped, and stems removed
3/4 cup grated Parmesan or Romano cheese
1/2 cup olive oil
1/2 cup melted butter

I combined all the ingredients except for the cheese and butter in our NEW food processor!  I blended it until it was coarse.  I added the cheese and butter, and then fancily pulsed it in my new food processor for 15(ish) seconds.  I added some salt and pepper and...VOILA!  Pesto!

I actually began by making dessert, but I will go in "meal order", because it makes my brain happy.  The Goat Cheese ravioli.

3 oz goat cheese (expensive)
1/4 cup part skim ricotta cheese (expensive)
1 small garlic clove
Pinch of nutmeg (I substituted with ginger)
Coarse salt and ground pepper
12 wonton wrappers (mildy expensive)

Are you sensing a theme?

I first put the garlic through a garlic press, and thus conquered my fear of garlic.  I then mixed the cheeses, garlic, ginger, salt and pepper.  It was cheesy goodness.

I then laid out 6 wonton wrappers on a baking sheet as Martha (Stewart, not Griffin) commanded.

I filled each one with a tablespoon of cheesy deliciousness, and wet the edges to seal them.  This was tedious, so I made Matthew do it.

These bad boys took a bath in water that had been boiled and then brought down to a simmer for 5-7 minutes.  You will see them later.

Ahhhh, Swiss Chard.  It all began in Byerly's.  The conversation went like this.
Husband: What is swiss chard?
Wife: Martha says it has red stalks.
Husband:  Is it this?
Wife: No.
Husband: This?
Wife: Sure.  I think so.

Turns out it was indeed swiss chard.  It was a bit intimidating.

Lemony Swiss Chard

One bunch Swiss Chard
1 tbsp olive oil
2-3 tsp lemon juice

Basically I tore off all the leaves, and cut the red stalks into chunks and threw them in the pan with oil.  I cooked the stalks for about 5 minutes, and then added in the leaves, a little bit at a time.  When all the leaves had cooked down I added the lemon juice and seasoned the greens.

And finally...DESSERT!  The Pistachio Ice Cream recipe actually comes from Bon Appétit.

1 cup unshelled salted (this is a change from the recipe) pistachios
3/4 cup sugar
2 cups milk
1/2 tsp almond extract

4 large egg yolks

1 cup whipping cream
3/4 cup unshelled salted pistachios (roughly chopped)

First I finely ground 1 cup pistachios and 1/4 cup of the sugar in our NEW food processor!  I then added this to the milk and brought it to a boil.  I added in the (heavenly smelling) almond extract.

Then Matthew beat the egg yolks and 1/2 cup of sugar in a bowl, we added in the milk mixture, stirred it, and returned it to the pan.  I cooked it on low heat until "my finger left a trail on the back of the spoon" seriously, who comes up with these things?!?!?  The whole mixture went into the fridge to cool for about an hour. We waiiiiiiiiiitttteeeed.

When it came out I added the chopped pistachios and whipping cream.

Then it was time to whip out my Kitchenaid mixer and ice cream attachment.  Why yes, my mixer is "Martha Stewart Blue".

I mixed it on low speed for about 15 minutes.  Matthew loves having the honors of transferring the ice cream into its freezing container.

We sent it into the freezer to set.  Then, dinner and dessert were done.  Not in that order.  But, how did it taste?  Well, I leave you in suspense a while longer. Here is our table in our teeny tiny kitchen, all set, with the "nice silverware".

It almost looks like a normal person's kitchen.

Ok, ok, here it is.

The verdict?  Well the ravioli and the pesto were wonderful.  I mean, it's goat cheese, what's not to love?   Swiss chard?  Matthew you said very kindly that it was "rooty", but then said it tasted like dirt.  I think we both concluded that we would have been better off not knowing what swiss chard was.

Our "accidental/on purpose" purchase of salted pistachios was perfect.  The ice cream was the perfect salty-sweet creation.  Plus, it went with my green-themed meal.

And I'm done.  Whew.  It's hard to be Martha!