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Monday, May 19, 2008

Anticlimatic

Well, the results are in and the Fluer de Sel Caramel wasn't the ice-cream orgasm I thought it would be (I finally found a secluded grocery where the public isn't up to speed), BUT, there's something else that took the trophy. Oh sure, it was caramel-y and chocolate-y and creamy-y in all the right places, but I'm a cinnamon girl at heart.

All you ice-cream divas, listen up! The new Haagen Dazs "Cinnamon Dulce de Leche" is the next Top Model as far as ice-cream is concerned. This stuff is literally crammed with creamy pockets of cinnamon caramel! I actually think the texture was CREAMIER than the Fluer de Sel and I could definitely see this loverliness being pals with a slice of apple pie over the winter holidays. Sigh.

Be still my heart.

To All My Pickle Peeps

O.k., I know pickle season is just over the horizon for all my northern friends, so I wanted to give you heads up on a fan-friggin-tastic pickle recipe. Think of me as your "pickle research department" each season, as we start our canning & preserving months ahead from the rest of the country.

I tried a new recipe from the Ball Complete Book of Home Preserving and it is OMG, delicious! In fact, I loved it so much that I sent hubby back to the cuke people to get more cukes JUST for this recipe! I knew 8 jars weren't going to last us for the rest of the year.

They're lemony and sweet, without being over-cloyingly brine-y. YUM! You must try this recipe this season, plus, they are fabulously beautiful to look at in their jars!

Lemon Cucumber Pickles
Recipe Source: Ball Complete Book of Home Preserving
Makes 6-8 pint jars

14 cups sliced pickling cukes (chip size 1/2 inch thick)
4 red bell peppers, seeded & thinly sliced (I used 3)
2 tsp pickling salt
7-9 bay leaves, divided
1 T whole, black peppercorns
1 tsp allspice
1 1/3 cups white vinegar
1 1/4 cups sugar
3/4 cup lemon juice
1 lemon sliced
6-8 cloves garlic

Prepare jars and lids for canning. Tie one bay leaf, pepper corns, and allspice in a square of cheesecloth, or place inside a metal tea ball like I did. In a large, stainless steel saucepan, combine vinegar, sugar, lemon juice and spice bag. Bring to a boil over med-high and boil gently for 7 minutes or until spices have infused in the liquid.

Place 1 lemon slice, 1 clove of garlic, and one bay leaf in each jar. Pack jars with cuke slices and pepper. Ladle hot brine over vegetables, giving 1/2 inch headspace. Process in a BWB for 10 minutes. Let pickles marinate for two weeks before eating. Try not to eat a whole jar in one sitting!

**Note: I always make double the amount of brine required, as it seems I always need more than the recipe calls for.

**Note: You can add Pickle Crisp to make the pickles crisper - 3/4 tsp per jar or 1 1/2 tsp per quart.

5 comments:

JoyBugaloo said...

Ah, see? It's all a matter of taste, isn't it? The Fleur de Sel Caramel is truly the best ice cream I've ever had! And I am not fond of cinnamon with coffee (like cappucino-flavored things), and I can't imagine I'd want it in my dulce de leche! But maybe I'll give it a try. If I don't like it, my roommate will eat it. ;-)

Oh well, sorry I led you astray--but that just leaves more Fleur de Sel Caramel for ME! Tee hee.
--Gina

OhioMom said...

Ice cream season is upon us, this year I will try my hand at making my own :)

Just the Right Size said...

Gina, I think it's more of a texture thing. I don't care for crunchy things in ice-cream, plus cinnamon is my most favorite spice/flavor of all! And I'm a carmel girl over chocolate any day...except cake!

Ohiomom, homemade ice-cream is sublime. Get thee to an ice-cream maker today! :-)

Joe said...

Cinnamon Dulce de Leche ice cream? I hope we can find this stuff in the market this weekend!

Just the Right Size said...

Joe, yes you must try this. It's an out of body experience. A new favorite for me (until the next one comes along..tee-hee). :-)

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