Tuesday, January 25, 2011

My (creative) to-do list

It's a little late for New Year's resolutions (maybe I should be working on procrastination...), but better late than never I guess. I woke up to bright sunny skies a couple of weeks ago and was inspired to make a list of creative goals for year. I'm not much of a list maker, so this in itself was a little bit of an accomplishment! I also figured sharing my goals would keep me more motivated to complete them.

So here are my creative resolutions for 2011:

Attempt the ruffle cake
Finish my 2 year+ arm chair upholstery project
Host a fancy tea party (scheduled for March)
Revamp my blog (must brainstorm & contact Lindsay)
Blog a least once a week (I'm on a roll!)
Host a cooking class for my mom's club (scheduled for February)
Spend more time making my garden beautiful(sweet peas, rannunculus & poppies planted)
Refinish a larger china cabinet to house my ever expanding cake stand collection (not allowed to start until the chair is complete!)
Have a dinner party and use the good silver & china
Perfect my vanilla cake & frosting recipes
Bake for a good cause (need to contact the Family House @ Children's Hospital)
Remake Martha's bubble wedding cake for my 10 year anniversary (hope I can remember how to make those sugar bubbles!)

What are your goals for the year?

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Nutella Love

Nutella is my kryponite. I don't dare have it in my house as I know I could devour a jar in a single bound. When I came across some at work though, I had an excuse - an obligation really - make some delicious with it. I decided on ice cream because it's been unseasonable warm & lovely here and really, who doesn't love ice cream?

I used this Nigella recipe with a slight adaptation - I added an additional cup of cream stirred in with the Nutella. I like to add some unheated cream to all of my ice cream bases because I think it adds a bit of freshness. The result was amazing -rich, super creamy, and Nutellalicious!

•2 cups whole milk
•2 cup heavy cream
•1/2 cup sugar, plus 1/4 cup
•4 egg yolks
•1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
•1/2 cup chocolate-hazelnut spread (recommended: Nutella)

In a saucepan combine the milk, 1 cup cream, and 1/2 cup sugar over medium heat. Cook until the sugar dissolves, about 5 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a medium bowl whip the egg yolks with the remaining sugar using an electric mixer until the eggs have become thick and pale yellow, about 4 minutes. Pour 1/2 cup of the warm milk and cream mixture into the egg mixture and stir. Add this mixture back into the saucepan. Cook over very low heat, stirring constantly, until the mixture becomes thick enough to coat the back of a wooden spoon, about 7 to 10 minutes.

Place a strainer over a medium bowl and pour the warm custard mixture through the strainer. Stir in the remaining cream, vanilla and hazelnut spread until it dissolves. Chill mixture completely before pouring into an ice cream maker and follow manufacturer's instructions to freeze.
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