Tuesday, July 13, 2010

warm nights on the porch

With sunny days and long nights finally here, I have found myself spending many hours lounging on my deck in the back yard. We have these wood and canvas chairs that you can sink into, and are perfect for book reading and snacking. The ice cream and shortbread I savored one warm night recently had been made for Fourth of July, which made me crave my new wool sweater more than a sundae. 

Other treats I have been enjoying in the evening light

An apricot and strawberry tart made with Rustic Rye Dough out of Good to the Grain (I have tried multiple delicious recipes from this book, this dough stood out). I made this as a dessert for a dinner I prepared for two friends of mine visiting Seattle from Germany. They enjoyed the dessert, but were pickier with their beer. They chose a tall can of Busch over the Alaskan Summer Ale I offered, although they said they appreciated the Orca Whale on the label.

I also took up a culinary adventure by grilling, which I have never done on my own. I was tenacious and grilled a whole salmon. Inside the salmon I tucked in garlic, lemons,  and rosemary. It sizzled and dripped tasty fats while over the charcoal. The only difficult process was when I went to turn it over; I almost capsized the entire grill, demolished the salmon, and burned my hands. It was all in good efforts though, as it turned out delicious. 

I ate the Strawberry Lemon Ice Cream and Ginger Oat shortbread intended for Fourth of July for many meals over the past week, including breakfast. The last spoonfuls of the ice cream were eaten as an after-work bike ride refreshment this afternoon. The combination of the buttery oat cookie with the tang of the strawberries and lemon are perfect for summer evenings outside, and I am excited to make more ice cream and cookie combos. 

Ginger Oat Shortbread

1 stick unsalted butter
2 Tbsp shortening, non-hydrgenated
1/4 c. granulated sugar
1 Tbsp brown sugar
1/2 c. all-purpose flour + 2 Tbsp
1/2 c. oat flour
1/4 c. oats
2 Tbsp powdered ginger
1 tsp salt

 In a stand up mixer, beat together the butter, shortening and sugars until well combined, and beginning to become soft, but not too fluffy. Add the flours, oats, ginger, and salt. Mix until all components have just come together. Turn out dough onto a large piece of plastic wrap. Lightly flour the top, and roll into a rectangle approximately 1/4 inch thick. Cover the top of the dough with plastic wrap. Place dough sheet on a cookie sheet and chill at least one hour. At least 15 minutes before you decide to bake the cookies, preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  When ready to bake, take the dough out of the fridge and unwrap the dough. Prepare a cookie sheet with parchment paper. Cut the dough into rough 3x3 inch squares, and place on the parchment. Bake for 18-22 minutes, until the cookies begin to brown on the edges. Cool on a rack before trying to remove from parchment.

Strawberry Lemon Ice Cream 

2 c. Heavy Cream
1 c. Whole Milk
1/4 c. honey
1/3 c. sugar
thick zest of 2-3 lemons
Fresh Cidronella (optional, I had some in my garden)

3/4 c. lemon juice
1/4 c. water
1/2 c. sugar
2. c strawberries, roughly chopped

In a saucepan on medium high heat combine the cream, milk, honey, sugar, and zest. Heat until just before boiling, but do not boil. Take off heat, cover, and let the cream infuse for one hour. Transfer to the fridge to chill overnight. In another saucepan combine the lemon juice, water, and sugar. Boil unti reduced by half. Add the strawberries and toss them until coated with the syrup. Keep over heat for 5 minutes, until the strawberries loose some of their structure. Transfer to the fridge to chill overnight. To freeze ice cream, take the cream mixture out of fridge and strain into a large bowl. Mix in strawberries, and freeze according to your ice cream maker.


  1. yea for more ice cream and cookie combos :)!

  2. that tart looks bomb

  3. mmmm, i like the sound of those oat cookies. christine! why haven't we seen much of each other this summer?? sad.