Mango-Ginger Ice Cream


Ice cream. Such a gloriously rich, creamy, calorie dense treat, loved by young and old alike. Actually it is the prefect food for the very young and very old, as you do not need teeth to eat it, right?

This ultra rich version features fresh mango and ginger root, a perfect pairing of tropical flavors.


When I buy mangoes, I rarely do anything with them but peel them and eat them. I often don’t even cut them! Peel and bite, no muss, no fuss!  At Camp Blogaway 2012, I was given a case of mangoes by the National Mango Board, so I could eat some and play with them too! Obviously, playing for me means playing with food.

One of the things I did was develop this Mango-Ginger Ice Cream, since I live in a house of ice cream lovers. And mango lovers. Seemed logical.


Recipe: Mango-Ginger Ice Cream


  • 2 cups half and half
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 6 egg yolks
  • 1 cup raw cane (turbinado) sugar
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 1/2 cups mango puree
  • 1 tablespoon freshly grated ginger


  1. In a saucepan, scald the heavy cream and half and half.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together the egg yolks, sugar and salt.
  3. When the cream mixture is hot, add a small amount to the yolk mixture, being sure to whisk constantly. Slowly whisk in the remaining cream, then place the bowl over a pot of simmering water.
  4. Whisking constantly, heat the cream and egg mixture, until thickened enough to lightly coat the back of a metal spoon.
  5. Pour the custard through a fine mesh strainer into another bowl. Cool the custard completely in an ice bath.
  6. When the custard is cooled, stir in the vanilla, mango puree and ginger.
  7. Following the instructions on your ice cream maker, freeze the ice cream.

Preparation time: 5 minute(s)

Cooking time: 15 minute(s)


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Skewered Steak Tips with Avocado Gastrique

Gastrique? Am I using some fancy schmancy chef talk? What the *#$! is a gastrique? OK to be perfectly honest this sauce is not a gastrique in the classical French culinary sense. But the ingredients – vinegar, fruit (yes, avocado is a fruit) and spices lends itself to being called a gastrique, at least by me.

Yumsugar gives this definition:

A thick sauce in classic French cuisine that consists of a reduction of vinegar, wine, sugar, and sometimes fruit that has been caramelized over heat.

So, think of a gastrique as a sort of sweet and sour sauce.  The key to this sauce is the vinegar I used. Once again, Honey Ridge Farms sent me a sample of something that has dazzled my taste buds.  The Serrano Chile Balsamic Vinegar is packed with flavor, from the honey notes, to smoothly sweet balsamic tartness, then POW! The serrano chile sneaks up on you, in a really good way.  When tomato and strawberry season starts, I will be drizzling this all over them!

I admit, I may be stretching to call this incredibly rich, slightly tangy sauce with a subtle heat a gastrique.  Whatever you call it, it is divine!

You can season the steak tips with just salt and pepper, or a steak rub. I recommend my Smoky and Spicy Steak Rub.


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Skewered Steak Tips with Avocado Gastrique
  • 1 – 1 1/2 pounds steak tips
  • salt and pepper, or steak seasoning
  • 1 medium avocado
  • 2 tablespoons Serrano Chile Balsamic Vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon garlic infused olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground chipotle chile

Season the steak tips with salt and pepper, or a steak seasoning rub of your choice. Let the steak marinate for at least an hour. Divide the meat between four metal skewers.

Heat the broiler for 10 minutes. While the broiler is warming, make the gastrique.
In a small food processor, puree the avocado, vinegar, olive oil, salt and chipotle chile until it is smooth. Stop and scrape down the bowl if needed. Place the gastrique into a small serving dish.

Broil the steak for 3-5 minutes per side, depending on how done you like your steak. Serve the skewers with the avocado gastrique dipping sauce.


Prep time: 10 mins Cook time: 10 mins Total time: 20 mins Yield: 4 servings

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Chocolate Chip-Coconut Bars

These Chocolate Chip-Coconut Bars are making me happy and my scale rather unhappy! I swear I heard it let out a groan the other day. Or maybe that was just me. . .

Oooey, gooey, chocolatey and oh so rich. From the buttery rich base of the cookie, made from the Master Cookie Dough, to the creamy and chewy topping, these cookie are a fabulous holiday cookie. Actually, a fabulous anytime cookie, really.

What you’ll need:

1 9×9 square baking pan

2 cups Master Cookie Dough

1 cup shredded sweetened coconut

1 cup chocolate chips

1 can (14 oz) sweetened condensed milk

Heat your oven to 350 degrees.  Press the cookie dough into the bottom of the pan.

Spread the coconut evenly onto the dough, then sprinkle the chocolate chips onto the coconut. Pour the can of condensed milk over the coconut and chips.

Bake the cookie 25-30 minutes, or until the milk is bubbly and slightly browned, and the filling is set. Let the cookie cool for 30 minutes, then carefully loosen it around the edges. Turn the cookie out onto a plate, then invert it onto a cooling rack.

Let the cookie cool completely before cutting.  Trim the edges off the cookie (and if you are anything like me, eat the edges quickly before anyone else can get them!)

Cut the cookie into 16 squares.



Cookie #2 – Chocolate Macadamia Nut Bites




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Panko Crusted Fig and Cheese Stuffed Pork Chops

Fresh Mission Figs and Cambozola Cheese

When fig season arrives, I enjoy eating the sweet, fresh fruit out of my hand.  Figs are such an interesting fruit, being rather squat and ugly on the outside yet beautiful on the inside.  A perfect example of not judging a book by its cover.

California Mission figs are my favorite type of fig, with their purple-black skin and deep red flesh.  The Mission fig got its name from the Spanish Missionaries that planted them as they traveled up the California coast from Mexico.  Although there is an abundance of green fig trees all over the neighborhood, you usually have to fight the birds, squirrels and possums to harvest and eat them.

While the flavors of figs, cheese and pork may seem strange and off putting at first, it is actually a savory blend of sweet, sharp and rich.  Many years ago I developed a recipe for fig and Gorgonzola cheese stuffed pork tenderloin, that was stunning with its intensity of flavors.  This recipe is a variation on that recipe, using Cambozola cheese instead of Gorgonzola cheese.  Cambozola cheese is a soft triple cream Camembert like cheese with Gorgonzola blue dispersed in it.  The cheese is at once ultra rich, buttery and creamy, with the added sharp tang from the blue cheese.  A perfect combination.

Panko Crusted Fig and Cheese Stuffed Pork Chop

Panko Crusted Fig and Cheese Stuffed Pork Chops

4 bone in center cut pork loin chops

salt and pepper to taste

4-6 fresh figs, preferably Mission, cut into small pieces

Approximately 1 cup sliced Cambozolo cheese

3/4 – 1 cup all purpose flour

1 egg, beaten with a small amount of water

1 cup panko bread crumbs

Pork Chops, Figs and Cheese

Place your chops onto a cutting board.  Season the on both sides with salt and pepper.  With a sharp knife, cut a pocket into the chop starting from the end farthest from the bone.  Cut carefully through the middle of the chop, almost to the bone.  This is called butterflying the meat.

Pork Chop Butterflied for Stuffing

Place a small amount of chopped figs onto the open pork chop.

Figs Placed on Chop

Top the figs with a generous amount of sliced cheese, pressing down slightly.

Cambozola and Figs Placed on Chop

Close the top flap of the pork chop, pulling slightly if needed to close the seam.

Fig and Cheese Stuffed Pork Chop Ready to be Breaded

Place the flour, egg mixture and panko breadcrumbs each into a shallow dish.  My favorite pan for breading is an old pie tin.  Thank you Marie Callender’s!  Have a baking sheet lightly sprayed with nonstick cooking spray ready.  Coat the pork chops with flour, being sure to pat off any excess.

Flouring the Stuffed Pork Chop

Next, dip the pork chop into the egg mixture.

Egg Coating on the Pork Chop

Finally, press a good coating of panko breadcrumbs onto the pork chop.  I usually place some panko on top and press down, then turn the chop and repeat until I have an even coating.  Be sure the seam side of the chop is coated well to prevent the cheese from oozing out onto your pan!

Pressing Panko Breadcrumbs onto the Pork Chop

Place the chops onto the reserved baking sheet.

Breaded Stuffed Pork Chops on Baking Sheet

Bake the chops in a preheated 350 degree oven for about 30 minutes, or until the juices run clear.  Enjoy!

Panko Crusted Fig and Cheese Stuffed Pork Chop

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Cinnamon and Ancho Chile Scented Avocado Ice Cream

Today is National Chocolate Ice Cream Day!  But I am not a big fan of chocolate ice cream, though I do love chocolate in most other incarnations.  I decided to re-post a recipe I developed, for those might want to try an ice cream that is a little different…Avocado Ice Cream.


Avocado ice cream? Really?  An avocado is a fruit, so why not.  There is no written rule that says ice cream has to be sweet all the time, so why not try a more savory ice cream?

This idea came to me while tweeting with a fellow food writer, Erika Kerekes about the overabundance of avocados from her tree.  She asked for a recipe, so I decided there was no time like the present to develop one.  We are in avocado season, so they are plentiful and easy to find.

This recipe is easy to make, although you will need an ice cream maker.  These days, many companies manufacture ice cream makers, which means the price is within reach of most people. I use a Cuisinart, which requires you to freeze the insert for about 24 hours before making the ice cream. Be sure to follow the instructions for your machine.

As you can see from the picture it looks like you’re are eating a big bowl of guacamole with a spoon ( not the there is anything wrong with that!) but the ice cream is rich and creamy, with a subtle hint of spice.

Cinnamon and Ancho Chile Scented Avocado Ice Cream

Avocado Ice Cream

2 cups heavy cream

1 cup milk

6 egg yolks

3/4 cup + 1 TB granulated sugar, divided

pinch of salt

1 tsp vanilla extract

3 ripe avocados

2 oz lemon juice

1/2 tsp ancho chile powder

1/2 tsp cinnamon

Over medium heat, scald cream and milk.  Meanwhile, in large bowl, whisk together yolks, 3/4 cup of sugar, salt and vanilla until light and creamy.  Add small amount of hot cream to yolks, whisking quickly to temper the egg mixture.  Gradually whisk in remaining cream.  Place mixture over water bath, whisking constantly, until mixture has thickened enough to coat the back of a spoon. Remove from water bath, place bowl immediately into ice bath. Stirring occasionally, cool mixture, then strain into another bowl.  Cover and chill for at least one hour.  This can be made up to two days ahead.

While custard is cooling, scoop the flesh of the avocados into food processor or blender. Add remaining 1 TB of sugar, lemon juice, ancho chile powder and cinnamon.  Process until very smooth, stopping to scrape down sides as needed.  Place avocado mixture in refrigerator to chill along with the custard.

When ready to make the ice cream, stir the avocado and custard together, until well blended.  Following the instructions for your ice cream maker, freeze the ice cream.

The ice cream will be a soft serve consistency when it comes out of the machine, so if desired place ice cream into freezer safe container and freeze for another hour or two.

Try it with a churro, or make your own cinnamon-sugar tortilla chips.


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