Archive | July, 2011

Vanilla Bean and Butterfinger Ice Cream, Philadelphia Style

21 Jul

Last weekend my husband and I went out for dinner and as a treat, we headed to our local DQ for dessert.  There are far to many choices there to choose from!  After spending a long time thinking about what I wanted to get, I decided to get a Chocolate Oreo Blizzard with Butterfinger!  Oh was it a good decision!  It was delicious.  Ever since then, I’ve been craving butterfingers!  So I knew when I made my first batch of Homemade Ice Cream this week, it would contain them.  I decided to go with a classic vanilla bean ice cream this time.  This is just as good as it was at DQ with chocolate ice cream. 

2 cups of heavy cream
1 cup of whole milk
3/4 cup of sugar
Pinch of salt
1 vanilla bean, split in half lengthwise
3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
5 oz. pack of butterfinger snack size, crushed (I bought a snack size pack, but you could also buy a few of the regular size candy bars)

Pour 1 cup of heavy cream into a medium saucepan and add the sugar and salt.  Scrape the seeds from the vanilla bean into the saucepan.  Warm over medium heat, stirring, until the sugar is dissolved.

Remove from the heat and add the remaining cup of cream, milk, and vanilla extract.  Mix well.  Add the crushed butterfinger and mix.

Chill the mixture thoroughly in the refrigerator; I kept it in there for 4 hours.  When ready to churn, add the mixture to your ice cream maker.  The ice cream was in the ice cream maker for about 30-40 minutes.  Let mix until thickened to your liking.  I took it out when the ice cream was in more of a solid state.  Transfer to an airtight container and freeze for about 2 hours.

Recipe adapted from David Lebovitz Book:  “The Perfect Scoop – Vanilla Ice Cream, Philadelphia-Style”


Monkey Bread

11 Jul

Monkey Bread… I have seen pictures of it, heard people talk about it, but never tried it before!  So after seeing many blog posts about it, I knew I needed to at least try it!  So this past weekend I made it.  My overall thought was it was delicious, but a bit too sweet!  Not sure if I should have used a different kind of biscuit (recipe called for the Grands Biscuits, but I didn’t have any of these on hand.  So I just used the regular biscuits), or perhaps of pouring the brown sugar butter mixture over the bite sized biscuit pieces, I should have dipped each piece into the mixture.  DH loved it though!  I will definitely try to make this again, but I would possibly try a different recipe!





1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
2 cans (16.3 oz each) Pillsbury® Grands!® Homestyle refrigerated buttermilk biscuits (again I used regular biscuits rather than the Grands)
1/2 cup chopped walnuts, if desired
1/2 cup raisins, if desired
1 cup firmly packed brown sugar
3/4 cup butter or margarine, melted

1.  Heat oven to 350°F. Lightly grease 12-cup fluted tube pan with shortening or cooking spray. In a large storage plastic food bag, mix granulated sugar and cinnamon.

2.  Separate dough into 16 biscuits; cut each into quarters. Shake in bag to coat. Arrange in pan, adding walnuts and raisins among the biscuit pieces.

 3.  In small bowl, mix brown sugar and butter; pour over biscuit pieces. 4 Bake 28 to 32 minutes or until golden brown and no longer doughy in center. Cool in pan 10 minutes. Turn upside down onto serving plate; pull apart to serve. Serve warm.

Jambalaya Time

4 Jul



Jambalaya may be a New Orleans favorite, but it’s also a favorite of my husband’s! The spiciness of the sausage paired with the onion, pepper, and tomatoes combine to create such a flavorful meal.


2 tablespoons olive oil
6 sausage links; I used Italian Hot Sausages, but you could use andouille or chorizo
1 large chicken breast cutlet cut into small pieces
20 shrimp, peeled and tails removed
1/2 chopped yellow onion
1 chopped red bell pepper
1 cup long grain white rice
2 cups chicken broth
8 plum tomatoes seeded and chopped
Hot Sauce
Seasonings- I used paprika, garlic powder, jerk seasoning, salt and pepper


1. Heat olive oil in a large pot over medium high heat. Add sausage and cook until browned on all sides. (As a side note, I cut sausages into pieces after the sausages were cooked, rather than before cooking. Then I placed them back into pot.) Add onion, red pepper, chicken, and sprinkle of each seasoning. Cook stirring occasionally until chicken is fully cooked and onions are soft.

2. Add tomatoes, rice, and chicken broth. Cover pot, reduce heat to medium, and simmer until rice is cooked and most of chicken broth has absorbed. Add a dash of hot sauce; more if you prefer.

3. Add shrimp and cook, covered until shrimp is cooked, about 3-4 minutes.

4. Remove from heat and add any additional seasonings as desired. Serve hot and enjoy!

Recipe adapted from Martha Stewart’s Shrimp Jambalaya.

John’s Pizza- Bleecker Street

1 Jul


My husband was in the city today and we decided to take advantage of us both there to have dinner and drinks. We are rarely in the city together yet we live pretty close. So it is a treat to have some fun rather than just going in for work and then going home. We went for a few drinks at Johnny Utah’s right by office. Fun spot for drinks after work, but too loud for me! Although it would have been fun to ride the bull! Lol

We knew we wanted pizza, but as anyone who has been to NY knows; there are a lot of pizza places! Ray’s, Famous Ray’s, Lombardi’s; the list goes on and on! We are used to Pepes Pizza from CT! Thin, Crispy Crust, Burnt edges, perfect amount of cheese to dough ratio. So we wanted to find some place to compare this too.

Enter John’s Pizza of Bleecker Street in the Village. Definitely not a huge tourist trap like some of the other well known places in the city. Yes tourists eat here, but so do the locals. There website says they only take cash, so make sure you have some on hand. A medium pizza has 6 slices and costs 12.00, 2.00 for each additional topping. DH and I could have split a medium, but we wanted some leftovers and we wanted to sample different kinds.

Less than 10 minutes after we ordered, our pizzas had arrived! Definitely the fastest pizza we had ever ordered. I ordered cheese and fresh garlic while DH got a pepperoni.



The verdict– the pizza was delicious!! Crispy as we like it with just the right amount of oils, sauce, and seasonings. Pepes is still my favorite, but John’s is a close second. We will definitely venture back next time we are in the city!