Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Poptart Ice Cream Sandwich

That's right friends. This is a Poptart ice cream sandwich. Genius idea! Thank you to the wonderful author of for inspiring this version. Click here for her original recipe.

This week has been jam packed with entertaining. We are hosting dinner three times this week at our house. So that means three dinners and three desserts. In addition to the festivities here at home, my husband has kindly requested that I make goodies for his team at work. That's a lot of baking. 

In order to stay sane and not completely ignore my son, I have resorted to recipes that require little to no baking. And this brilliant Poptart ice cream sandwich is one of the many non baked treats I've made this week. I made this yesterday for tonight's dinner guests. Another plus, this is a make ahead sweet.

I used Safeway's Denali Caramel Caribou ice cream. Just FYI, it's toffee flavored ice cream with caramel cups and Denali caramel. I also used Brown Sugar Cinnamon Poptarts. Together, it was a successful union of flavors.
  • Leave the ice cream out on the counter so it melts a little. It will be easier to smooth on the Poptarts.
  • Spread the softened ice cream on the bottom of a Poptart and then sandwich another tart on top.
  • Wrap the sandwich in foil and freeze for a few hours.
  • Serve and enjoy!!!
One of the guests tonight suggested Strawberry Iced Poptarts with strawberry ice cream. Her husband suggested S'mores Poptarts with chocolate ice cream. Sounds good to me! Invite me over when you make them. :)

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Turducken on a Tur-Budget

I had volunteered to make a turducken for an intimate get together. My husband and I have been wanting to try one for years so we thought this would be a good opportunity. After researching where to buy one and what one would cost, I started to feel a little bit overwhelmed by the price. I even considered changing the menu. They start at $100. That's a little much this close to Christmas.

That was the start of an entirely new google search. Turducken roulade? In my head I envisioned buying a turkey breast, duck breasts, and chicken breasts, layering them, and rolling them up with kitchen twine. I bought the turkey breast several days ago. Did you know that you get two breasts attached to a bunch of bones? Yeah, awesome.... Then I went by 99 Ranch Market to get the duck. They didn't have breasts, only whole ducks, organs, feet, and leg quarters. So, I bought the leg quarters. And now that I had the leg quarters, I wasn't going to buy chicken breasts when I had perfectly good chicken thighs in my freezer.

All the birds were put in my biggest pot and covered with a sugar and salt brine. After thawing out after a day and a half, I butchered the heck out of everything. I was successful at getting all the bones out, but it was totally gross. Next was the part I envisioned in my head so perfectly. I thought I would lay out all the meat on top of itself and then just roll it up and secure it. Who was I kidding? There was no way I could get it to roll up. Basically I folded everything up and secured it with long skewers. I wish I had photographed that part, not my prettiest culinary moment.

This experience was a good example of how things may not go as I envisioned but still having a successful outcome. As Tim Gunn would say, "make it work." I always do.

Please note that this meal took three days to make, from purchase to table.  If you plan on making this you must, PLAN.

  • one turkey breast 
  • two duck legs quarters
  • two chicken thighs
  • salt and pepper
  • 3/4 cup sugar and 3/4 cup salt for brine
  • 1/4 cup butter cut into pats 
  • Let everything thaw out in the fridge for a day in a brine of water, sugar and salt.
  • Remove the bones from all of your meat. The turkey was the easiest. The duck on the other hand was a little trickier. The tendons and bones are tougher than a chicken's. Click here for a video demo. 
  • Remove the skin from the duck and chicken.
  • Salt and pepper all of your meat.
  • Layer the meat. Turkey on the bottom, next layer is duck and the last is the chicken. 
  • If your turkey is thin enough, you might be able to roll it. If not, do what I did. Fold it over like a taco.
  • Skewer through the turkey to keep it together. 
  • Separate the skin from the meat on the turkey and shove pats of butter under the skin.
  • Leave it overnight in the fridge. 
  • When you are ready to cook your birds, remove the skewers and put your turducken in a turkey bag (follow the directions on the bag.) Cook for 2 hours on 350 degrees. 
  • Check the temperature with a meat thermometer. Poultry thigh meat needs to hit a temp of 175. 
  • Let it rest for an hour before removing from the bag and carving.
  • Enjoy!!!

Roasted red potatoes made a nice side dish to my first turducken.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Snooze A.M. Eatery San Diego

This fab breakfast/brunch joint just opened up in San Diego last month. It's located on 5th Avenue in the old Corvette Diner spot. And, you have to go there.

I loved the 60's feel of the place and the high ceilings with exposed beams. I also loved the full bar. Hello. Also, the service was top notch. The servers came by with coffee refills often and were very sweet to my little boy who sometimes wasn't on his best behavior. You know what I mean.

I looked up the menu before we went and knew I would have a difficult time deciding what to order. They list egg dishes, benedicts, and pancakes that could double as desserts. Hmmmm.....

When we got there my friend decided on Sandwich I Am. It's described as "Udi's soft pretzel roll filled with scrambled eggs, cheddar cheese and a sausage patty, served with a side of smoked cheddar hollandaise, and hash browns." This description doesn't do it justice. Every bit of the dish was delicious, down to those hash browns. To add ketchup or hot sauce would have been a crime.
Sandwich I Am

I ordered the Sweet Potato Pancakes. Good Lord were they tasty! The menu describes them as "their signature sweet potato buttermilk pancakes topped with homemade caramel, pecans, and ginger butter." They were tender, fluffy, and more than even I could eat. All aspects of this dish were right on, texture, flavor, size.
Sweet Potato Pancakes and an outstanding cup of coffee

The only question I have now is, what am I going to order next time. Maybe the Sticky Bun French Toast or the Bella! Bella! Benny? Do us both a favor. Please check out the menu and then stop by Snooze Eatery A.M. Enjoy!

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Fig Tree Cafe Hillcrest

I totally scored again with a great deal through Living Social. I paid $15 and received a $30 voucher for Fig Tree Cafe in Hillcrest. It's always busy when we drive by which is a good sign. We checked it out online and the menu looked enticing. So needless to say, I was excited when I saw the email notification for Fig Tree Cafe deal.

My husband really wanted the cheese board and I can't pass one up so that was our first course. It was so good, that I'll be coming back here Saturday night for a repeat. The balsamic vinegar and honey drizzled all over was a nice touch. I'm a sucker for anything agrodolce. You can see that there are six cheeses, three on each side of the board. In the center of the board are mustard, figs, walnuts, and a thick berry jelly. Bread is also served with the cheese.

Whenever I go to a new or just new to me restaurant, I order whatever the specialty is or whatever seems the most unique. For my main course, I ordered the Fig Tree personal pizza. The menu description goes as follows, bufala mozzarella, wild arugula, mission dried figs, Parma prosciutto, balsamic glaze. I was a happy girl after one bite. It was authentic Italian pizza, the crust and the size. The toppings were great too, sweet and salty.

Like I said, I've already got my next visit on my calendar. I already know what I'm going to order too. We'll get the cheese board again and I'm going to try the porchetta personal pizza. I also want to try the avocado chutney and the sun dried tomato and gorgonzola mousse from the bites portion of the menu. 

You guys will totally dig this place. I recommend making a reservation because it gets busy and the restaurant is very intimate. Enjoy!