Wednesday, July 19, 2017

#FantasticalFoodFight: Ice Cream Edition (Red Vines Ice Cream from Sweet ReciPEAs)

Welcome to my very first entry in the Fantastical Food Fight!  The Fantastical Food Fight is where a group of food bloggers get together and are given a theme or ingredient, a new one every month, and we make a recipe that fits into that theme.  It can be either a traditional or non-traditional variation, and the recipes can come out of cookbooks, from blogs, or they can be the blogger's original recipe.

This blog hop is hosted by Sarah of The Fantastical Sharing of Recipes, and you can find out more about the hop here.

July's theme is Ice Cream, and I'm super excited about this one, because it gave me the opportunity to make a recipe I've been dying to try from a blogger whose blog I'm basically obsessed with: Peabody of Sweet ReciPEAS.

If you follow me on Instagram, you saw one of Peabody's recipes that I made a few weeks ago:  Banana Brownie Loaf Cake.  Holy crap, was that good.

Last year, I saved her recipe for Red Licorice Ice Cream, and it seemed like the perfect addition to this month's Fantastical Food Fight.  I used Red Vines, which seem to be a bigger deal on the West Coast than they were on the East Coast, and which are a favorite of both Dennis and my step-kid, Kelly.

You guys?  This ice cream is perfection.  Not only is it really tasty, but it's the first time I've successfully made ice cream in my ice cream maker.  I was starting to think the thing was defective, but it's not.  It makes delicious ice cream!  If you're a fan of Red Vines (or Twizzlers or whatever), give this a shot.  I promise you won't be disappointed!

Red Vines Ice Cream
Makes...I don't know.  Several servings of ice cream


2 cups heavy cream
1 cup whole milk
1/4 cup granulated sugar
15 Red Vines (or whichever red licorice you prefer)

Combine 1 cup of the cream, the sugar, and the Red Vines in a saucepan.

Cook over medium heat, stirring, until the licorice begins to dissolve. 

Turn off the heat and allow the mixture to come to room temperature.

Stir in the remaining cream and milk.  Pour the mixture into an airtight container and refrigerate 12 hours/overnight.  During this time, give the container an occasional shake to break up the licorice.

Remove the mixture from the refrigerator and strain through a strainer to get rid of the licorice that didn't disintegrate.

Pour mixture into your ice cream maker and freeze according to the manufacturer's directions.


Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Cooking with All Things Trader Joe's Cookbook: California Fish Tacos

I may have mentioned before that I'm mildly obsessed with Trader Joe's.  (This post is not sponsored by Trader Joe's, by the way, I just really love shopping there.  If Trader Joe's would like to send me free stuff to try, though I'd be all about it.)

I got this Cooking with All Things Trader Joe's Cookbook at the 2016 Los Angeles Times Festival of Books.  The vendors had a pretty good variety of books, but I went with the original.  It's a super basic cookbook, and a lot of the recipes involve pre-made stuff and very few ingredients, and I'm basically in love with it.

I'd never had a fish taco until I moved to California, but they are officially my favorite type of taco.  (Except the time I had a fish taco and the fish still had bones in it.  Blech.  That put me off of them for a while.)

All that to say, if you're a fan of fish tacos, you owe it to yourself to make them at home, and you further owe it to yourself to try these specific ones, because they're super easy and super delicious.

(Not to brag or anything, but Dennis said these were the best fish tacos he'd ever had, and we live in Southern California, so that's saying something.)

As a note, I made a couple of swaps, because I couldn't find the specific thing the recipe called for.  I'll note both the original and what I used in the recipe below.

California Fish Tacos
Makes 6 tacos


6 medium Corn & Wheat Tortillas (recipe calls for flour tortillas)
1 box frozen Oven Ready Breaded Cod Fillets (or other breaded fillets)
3 cups Cruciferous Crunch Collection Kale, Brussels Sprouts, Broccoli, Green Cabbage, & Red Cabbage (recipe calls for Napa cabbage Stir Fry Vegetables or shredded white cabbage)
2 1/2 Tbsp. Cilantro Dressing
Juice from 1 lime
Cilantro for garnish
Mayonnaise (optional, see below)
Soy sauce (optional, see below)

(I'm trying a new thing with bolding the names of the ingredients.  What do y'all think?)

Preheat oven to 400°F.

Place fish fillets on a cookie sheet and bake for 20-22 minutes until golden brown.

While the fish is baking, toss the vegetables with the dressing.  Here's where I got a little creative.  The dressing on its own is delicious, but I wanted to add a little something to it.  I added the tiniest bit of mayo, a splash of lime juice, and an itty bitty bit of soy sauce to the dressing, and mixed it together, and it was amazing.

When I say the tiniest bit, I really mean it.  I didn't measure it, but I bet I used maybe 1/8 tsp. of soy sauce and maybe 1 1/2 tsp. of mayo.  Very, very little.  If you decide to add these items to your sauce, do so with caution so you don't end up with a salty mess.

(And yes, the soy sauce I had in the cabinet was from Trader Joe's!)

 (The mayo was not.)

Anyway, mix your dressing with whatever you want to add to it and toss the veggies in it.  Put 1/2 cup of the veggies or so on each tortilla, and place a fish fillet on top of each tortilla as well.

Add a squeeze of lime to each taco, garnish with cilantro, and serve immediately.

(If you wondered, that's a side of cilantro lime cauliflower "rice" on the side, and yes, the cauliflower came from Trader Joe's!)