Monday, July 16, 2012

Citrus Sherbert


So I've been wanting to share with you all some very special news...

Mr. & Mrs. Vittles have a proverbial bun in the oven!


I'm about to be 23 weeks, and we just found out this past week that it's a baby GIRL!

She was a little shy at my 20-week ultrasound, so we had to go back two weeks later.

(Being difficult already!)

But we are super excited to be having a baby, and are so lucky that everything has been normal and right on track thus far.

Aside from some tiredness (and insane hunger) in my first trimester, I've honestly felt really good this whole time.

And even though I'd of course be thrilled either way, as my pregnancy has gone on I found myself hoping it was a girl.

Mr. Vittles' nickname for me is "Smalls" (like, "You're killin' me, Smalls!" from The Sandlot?)  So early on, he nicknamed our munchkin Mini Smalls.

Now it seems especially appropriate :)

On a more serious note though, I know what kind of special bond I had with my own mom (who passed away almost 3 years ago) and I feel so blessed that I'll have my own daughter to share that with.

My due date is November 14 - which just happens to be two days before her birthday.  Somehow I feel like she has been with me every step of the way!

Like me, my grandmother was also an only child, and I know she had a very special connection to her mother (who passed away just a few weeks after my mom was born, in 1954).

my grandmother, as a little girl, with her parents

I told you last year how I was so honored when Grammy gave me her mother's recipe box, and I found some really neat recipes- like the Easy Chocolate Pudding.

And as I mentioned in that post, I also discovered that my great-grandmother loved the flavor orange... a very high proportion of the total recipes involved oranges in some way!

But the one that intrigued me most was for Orange Sherbert.  

I've made a lot of ice cream, but never sherbert!  However, I thought this recipe perhaps needed a little more... er, instructions.


And since I love grapefruit, I also decided to do a mixture of juices.


What can I say?  I guess I just can't leave well-enough alone!

(A trait Mr. V has no doubt been enjoying for the past 5 years.  Can't wait to bug our child with it too.  Hehe!)

Citrus Sherbert

•  2/3 C. sugar
•  1/2 C. water
•  1/2 C. orange juice, at room temperature
•  1/2 C. grapefruit juice, at room temperature
•  1 T. lemon juice
•  1/2 C. heavy cream
•  3/4 C. lowfat milk 
•  1 t. vanilla
•  2 T. good quality vodka (optional, but it helps a lot with the consistency if you are planning on freezing the mixture)

In medium saucepan, bring sugar and water to a boil over medium-high heat.  Stir to dissolve sugar, then continue to boil 7-8 minutes longer until mixture thickens.

Add room-temperature orange, grapefruit, and lemon juices and stir well to combine.  (It’s important that the juice is room temperature and not cold, otherwise the sugar syrup will instantly harden.)  

Cool to room temperature, and pour into a large coverable container or bowl.  Add cream, milk, and vanilla, and stir to combine.  Cover and chill at least 30 minutes in refrigerator, then transfer to bowl of an ice cream maker.

Freeze according to manufacturer’s instructions.*  If using vodka, add it a few minutes before the mixture is done churning.   Serve from container for soft consistency, or transfer sherbert to a coverable, freezer safe container and freeze.  Makes a little less than a quart. 

*Note: There is also a method if you don’t have an ice cream maker (or you're like me and forgot to freeze the canister) – complete all steps prior to freezing mixture in ice-cream maker.  Instead pour into an 8” square glass pan and freeze about 25 minutes.  Remove from freezer and stir well, scraping up the ice that’s forming and incorporating it into the still-liquid parts.  Continue stirring every 20-30 minutes for the next couple of hours.  Then transfer to coverable, freezer-safe container and freeze until ready to serve.

Recipe Adapted from Family Recipe (Origin Unknown)

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Slow-Cooker Pulled Chicken


So... originally this post was supposed to be Homemade Ginger Ale.

And then when that tasted like crap, it was supposed to be something else (which I won't tell you, because there's hope for that yet).

However, I will tell you it involved an ice cream maker - which originally I couldn't use because I forgot to put the canister in the freezer.  So I put it in overnight... and then our power went out early this morning.

But then it came back on, and I (mistakenly) thought the canister was ready so I got the ice cream maker going - and it ended up just doing a really thorough job of mixing everything, because the canister wasn't actually frozen.

ARGH.

So... Slow-Cooker Pulled Chicken it is!

This is a great recipe for when it's really hot out and you don't want to turn on your oven.  (Like yesterday here in NJ... it's never good when you look at the weather forecast and see "High 103").

I believe you could also set it on low in the morning and it will be ready for dinner when you get home from work.

Slow-Cooker Pulled Chicken 

  • 1 1/2 lbs. boneless, skinless chicken breasts 
  • 1 1/4 C. ketchup
  • 1/4 C. brown sugar 
  • 1 T. + 1 t. Worcestershire sauce 
  • 1 T. + 1 t. soy sauce
  • 2 T. cider vinegar 
  • 2 T. chipotle sauce* (see notes below) 
  • 1 t. molasses 
  • 1 T. Dijon mustard
  • 3/4 t. garlic powder

Place all sauce ingredients in slow cooker - stir to combine.  Add chicken breasts, nestling into sauce to coat.  Cook on high about 3 hours, or until chicken is cooked all the way through and beginning to fall apart.  Remove from chicken pieces from crockpot and shred with forks.  Replace in sauce, stir to coat, and cook an additional ten minutes.  Serve on potato hamburger buns, or other roll of your choosing.  Makes 6-8 sandwiches.

*Note: "Chipotle Crushed Sauce" is available in the Spanish foods section of many grocery stores, in a small squeezable bottle - the brand I have is Goya.  You also can substitute pureed canned chipotles in adobo sauce instead.  You may also adjust the amount of any of the above to your taste for spiciness; 2 T. of chipotle sauce gives this a little kick and adds smokiness. (If you can't find chipotle at all, you can also use red pepper flakes to taste).

Recipe Adapted from About.com
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