Cooking Friday, now on Sunday

My oldest came back from her semester in China and threw herself a welcome home party last night. She invited camp friends, high school friends and college buddies. Amid the chatter and the laughter, my job was making ice cream and washing dishes.

I won't bore you with the dish washing, but I did make three batches of ice cream. We had some pomegranate ice cream left over from our Christmas Eve fondue dinner with friends. So Saturday night, I made pumpkin ice cream, chocolate ice cream and espresso ice cream. I made the pumpkin and the espresso with a mix of half and half and milk. It was teeming last night and I hadn't the energy to run out and buy more half and half for my daughter's charming friend, who begged me to make him espresso ice cream, so I made it with the 2% milk we had on hand.

The espresso expanded at an alarming rate, so now we have three containers of espresso ice cream waiting to be eaten.

We own an electric ice cream maker, so making ice cream is not all that difficult. I throw stuff in the hopper and about 30 minutes later it comes out as ice cream. The important thing to remember is that cold tends to inhibit flavor, so you need to make your mixture have an intense flavor at room temperature, or else you will end up with bland ice cream.

I like to make flavors that you can't usually get in the store. My middle son has a great sense of taste. I usually consult with him about how to make the ice cream mind-blowing , rather than simply good. He is great at suggesting contrasting flavors that build the central taste of the ice cream. The two of us are mad scientist cooks together. We both cook well on our own, but are awesome together.

My brother in law, and his wife and son are showing up at some point this evening. So I have chicken roasting in the oven awaiting their arrival. I already made a potato, acorn squash and mushroom bake. The vegetable bake, as you can see is in the looks ugly but taste's good category of food. The chicken looks adorable. All that's left to make when they walk in the door later this evening is a salad.


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