Saturday, December 27, 2008

Peppermint Stick Ice Cream Pie

Here's a yummy treat I made for our holiday dessert.

Peppermint Stick Ice Cream Pie
If you can't find the Jo Joe's, use Newman's O's or other oreo-type cookie.

Cookie Crust:
18 Candy Cane Jo-Joe's Sandwich Cookies (from Trader Joe's), crushed
3 tablespoons melted butter or nonhydrogenated margarine, or vegetable oil
1 quart Peppermint Stick Ice Cream, slightly softened
1 candy cane, crushed

Mix the crushed cookies and oil. Press into a 9-inch pie pan. Place in freezer 15 minutes. Carefully spread the ice cream into the crust. Sprinkle with crushed candy cane pieces. Cover and freeze at least 3 hours, or until firm.
Makes 8 servings

- The crust is easy to make in the food processor. First crush the cookies. Then add the butter or oil and pulse until it starts to hold together.
- The candy cane can be crushed in the food processor -- or - just leave it in the wrapper and whack with a rolling pin until crushed (I enjoyed that method!)
- This can be made way ahead of time which is great. If the pie is frozen solid, leave out about 15 minutes before serving or in refrigerator 30 to 60 minutes.

Here's my vegan Peppermint Ice Cream recipe which will be in my new cookbook coming out this spring. To make a dairy version, just take any vanilla ice cream recipe and when almost done, mix in 1/2 cup crushed peppermint candies.

Dairy-Free Peppermint Stick Ice Cream

1 (14-ounce) can full-fat coconut milk

1 1/4 cups soymilk or other nondairy milk

1/2 cup natural granulated sugar or agave syrup

1 tablespoon vanilla extract

 Place all of the ingredients in a medium bowl and whisk together until well combined. Cover the bowl and chill the ice cream base in the refrigerator at least 2 hours. Freeze in an ice cream maker according to the manufacturer’s directions. About 5 minutes before the end of freezing time when ice cream is just about to the firmness you desire, add 1/2 cup crushed peppermint candies. Process for 5 more minutes, or until the ice cream reaches the desired consistency.

Makes 1 quart


Wednesday, December 17, 2008

The World According to Monsanto

I finally got to see the film The World According to Monsanto and WOW! It was very, very scary. The film shows how Monsanto, one of the world's biggest agrochemical/biotech company, has a history of lies and coverups and has caused many tragedies with its development of dangerous chemicals like Agent Orange, PCBs, and bovine growth hormones (rBGH). Now they are into genetically modified seeds and the coverups and pressure on the government to turn the other way continues. As Monsanto produces more and more GE seeds, the corporation is buying up seed companies so farmers have no choice but to buy Monsanto's GE seeds. Contrary to what Monsanto would have us believe, the seeds are not reducing chemical use nor increasing yields. Farmers are suffering and if they dare try to save seeds, they are slapped with law suits. Then there's the whole labeling of GE foods issue. Monsanto claims that their genetically modified foods are no different than the conventional versions so they don't need to go through a testing and approval process--but at the same time, they are patenting their product. How can you get a patent on something identical to nature.

There's so much more to this movie, but my mind is reeling. One thing that stands out strongly in my mind, however, is that in Mexico they can't find any native species of corn that haven't been contaminated by the GE varieties. In fact, mutant corn plants are showing up in fields that have been contaminated with GE. The GE gene is not getting into the cells, but into the plants and strange growths like multiple ears from one leaf are being found. I buy organic food but how can I be sure it hasn't been contaminated?

I highly recommend you watch this movie.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Egg Nog Ice Cream

I thought I'd share a couple of my ice cream recipes that are perfect for the holidays.

Egg Nog Ice Cream
This is very rich and creamy and totally delicious. We put up our tree tonight and then treated ourselves to this ice cream as we admired it.

1 1/2 cups egg nog (I used Trader Joe's organic egg nog)
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
1/3 cup granulated sugar (preferably unbleached and organic)
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
2 tablespoons rum or brandy (optional)

Whisk all ingredients together and freeze in an ice cream maker according to the manufacturers directions.

For those avoiding dairy, here's a recipe that will be in my new cookbook "Better Than Ice Cream" which will be coming out this spring.

Makes 1 quart

Banana Nog Ice Cream

1 3/4 cups soymilk (or other nondairy milk)
1/2 cup maple syrup or agave nectar
1 (12 ounce) package firm silken tofu
1 ripe banana, peeled
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
3 tablespoons rum or brandy (optional)

Place all ingredients in a blender. Puree until smooth. Chill at least 2 hours. Freeze mixture in ice cream maker according to manufacturer’s directions. If you are using the alcohol, this ice cream will be on the soft side. Put in the freezer for 2 hours before serving to allow it to harden – this also helps the flavor to ripen.

 Makes 1 quart


Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Monday, December 01, 2008

Vegetarian Day After Thanksgiving Sandwich

We usually don't try to emulate the traditional Thanksgiving meal but we decided to try a Tofurkey this year-and it was surprisingly pretty darn good. it's a round roast of "meat" made from wheat gluten and organic soy filled with stuffing. I served it with mashed potatoes, gravy, roasted green beans and cranberry sauce. Everybody liked it--and I must say the leftovers made excellent sandwiches.  

Vegetarian Day after Thanksgiving Sandwich  

Spread mayo on two slices of whole grain bread. Place a slice of tofurkey on one side being sure to get tofurkey "meat" and stuffing. Spread cranberry sauce over the tofurkey. Add a slice of lettuce and the other slice of bread. DELICIOUS!