Saturday, August 23, 2008

gummy creations

August is always a crazy month for me. Getting ready for classes to start again, and for the return of students I still am amazed how fast the month flies by. So while I haven't been posting, I have been busy, and busy with lots of food related stuff.

We went to the family reunion in the Okanagan, and brought back with us, some peaches, pears, cherries, tomatoes and peppers...and so I have been busy canning some new stuff (to be posted later when I get a decent picture of the jars in natural light).

As I was sitting at the table looking at the freshly canned Roma tomatoes, I started to think about how I could have walked about 50 feet to the little grocery store practically out my door and picked up a tin of tomatoes for a measly buck something, there is something so satisfying doing it myself.

Then, as it often does, my mind wondered away and I started thinking about random things I could try to make from home.... I am not sure if anyone has ever watched "How It's Made", but it tends to be something that catches my attention, perhaps because it helps me think about how I could make things that we so often run out to the store to buy. I just love the challenge of trying to make something at least once...and so came the ah, ha moment when I thought, why don't I make my own gummy candies. Truly I have never desired to do it, but I figured the kitchen is already a mess, why not!? The result is below... not exactly the same as the junk you can buy at the corner store, but still kind of fun. We made the recipe below twice, first raspberry flavoured and then lime. I'm looking forward to trying to make these with my nephew!


1 package flavored jello
6 packages unflavored gelatin
1/2 cup cold water


1. In a small saucepan, mix both the flavored and the unflavored gelatin.

2. Stir the gelatins up. Pour cold water in mixture and stir with a spatula until you have a gloppy-chunky blob not unlike play-doh.

3. Turn heat stove top burner on medium and melt blob.

4. Stir the blob constantly until melted.

5. Spray molds very lightly with a vegetable spray like Pam.

6. Pour the melted mixture into miniature bear molds, or other small candy type molds.

7. Place filled molds in freezer for 10 minutes to cool.

** I don't have candy molds but I do have silicon shapes ice cube trays from Ikea...and as a result, flowers and puzzle pieces. Voila!
Recipe from Marianne Dambra

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

dulce de leche pecan ice cream

At the wedding we went to a few weeks ago, instead of having a seating chart, there was a table with escort cards laid out. On each card there was the name of a guest, their table number and a favourite recipe of the newlywed's to take home (and hopefully make!).

This recipe comes from Pete's escort card. And given that he loves caramel and ice cream, we knew we would have to make it. I have had at the happy couple's house before, and it didn't disappoint when we made it - so a big thank you to them!

This is a delicious ice cream to is not however a healthy treat, sweet and rich - so to make on occasion is good, just not something you may need to have in you freezer at all times. We made a few adaptations to the recipe, so below is what we ended up making.

1 c milk, plus 2 T
1 c whipping cream
4 egg yolks
1/4 c sugar
1 jars dulche de leche (or 1 can prepared sweetened condensed milk)
1/2 c pecan halves
Freshly ground black pepper


  1. In a small saucepan, heat 1 c milk and the cream over medium heat, just until bubbles appear around edge of pan. Remove from heat and set aside.
  2. In a bowl, beat together egg yolks and sugar. Add warm milk mixture.
  3. Wipe saucepan clean. Return custard mixture to pan and cook over medium-low heat, stirring constantly, until custard thickens and coats back of a spoon, 8-10 minutes.
  4. Immediately remove from heat and strain through a fine-mesh sieve into a clean bowl.
  5. Stir 1/3 can dulce de leche into warm custard.
  6. Cover with plastic wrap, pressing it directly on surface of custard, and let cool completely.
  7. Refrigerate for 1 hour.
  8. Preheat oven to 375°F (190°C). Spread pecans on a baking sheet, sprinkle with 1 T of water, and season to taste with pepper. Toast pecans until fragrant and lightly browned, 7-8 minutes. Let cool, then roughly chop. Set aside.
  9. Freeze chilled dulce de leche custard in an ice-cream maker. Transfer to a chilled freezer-proof container and fold in toasted pecans. In a small bowl, mix half of the remaining dulce de leche with 2 T milk, then fold into ice cream just enough to form a marbled effect. Freeze until service.
  10. Accompany ice cream with 1/3 can dulce de leche.
To prepare sweetened condensed milk into dulce de leche:
  1. In a large dutch oven, filled with water, bring water to a rolling boil.
  2. Carefully drop can of condensed milk into water, ensure it is fully covered, preferably with an inch or two of water.
  3. Keep water boiling at a low boil for 3 hours.
  4. You will need to keep adding water to the pot to keep the can covered, this allows can to be under constant and equal pressure. (I checked every 15-20 minutes_
  5. After 3 hours (though many sites say anywhere for as short as 90 minutes) remove can from water and allow to cool.
  6. You can store the can in the fridge once prepared unopened, and it would last for months.
**Please be careful while preparing the dulce de leche - it can be a little dangerous!**

Adapted from Williams-Sonoma, TASTE