No-Churn Coffee Ice Cream

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I was working late, answering inane questions from needy customers (including some who have never heard of please, thank you, or excuse me) and staring at the clock. Time moved, just barely.

With just a few hours left, Danny texted me. He was doing something we’d talked about but never done before, and I couldn’t wait to get home.

As I counted down the hours talking about Cabs and Pinot Noir, he was making ice cream without an ice cream maker (!!!)

I walked in the door to find him setting things up, reading Nigella’s recipe, and starting to whisk by hand, though that didn’t last long. We worked in shifts, whisking until our arms tired out until I suggested we use that KitchenAid mixer we have… And then it came together very quickly. Soft peaks. Light and airy. I dipped my finger in the bowl and it tasted intensely of coffee. We moved the whipped cream into jars and placed them in the freezer, and I could hardly wait for Valentine’s Day. There would be homemade ice cream!

We took it easy the next night and didn’t cook a thing. We served up picnic fare, including good bread, good prosciutto, and very good cheese. And for dessert, frozen coffee.

This no-churn ice cream tasted just as good, if not better, than any store-bought coffee ice cream. It was creamy, reminding me of gelato at times, and the texture was just right. It even melted slightly at the edges just like regular ice cream. This homemade ice cream was unbelievably good. So good that I finally grew up and bought a real ice cream scoop. This ice cream deserved a scoop! A big spoon just doesn’t cut it anymore.

Nigella’s original recipe calls for double cream, which has a higher fat content than the heavy cream we subbed in. We just couldn’t find the double cream at the time (later spotted it at Whole Foods) but the heavy cream worked well. Instead of espresso or coffee liqueur, we used freshly brewed coffee and a hit of bourbon.

Up next we’ll try different flavors with this no-churn method. Any suggestions? The jars worked but were a bit difficult to scoop out of, so we’ll try a better container next time. And there will be a day when I get a legit ice cream maker. But it could be a while. I just got a real scoop.

no-churn coffee ice cream

This tastes just as good as any coffee ice cream I’ve bought at the store, and this couldn’t be simpler to make. It won’t last long. 

10 1/2  ounces (about 1 1/3 cups) heavy cream
6 ounces (3/4 cup) sweetened condensed milk
2 tablespoons instant espresso powder
1 tablespoon freshly brewed coffee
1 tablespoon bourbon

Place all the ingredients in the bowl of an electric stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment. Whisk until soft peaks form, gradually increasing the speed until the cream is light and airy. Fill two 500 ml airtight containers and freeze overnight. Serve!

Makes a little more than 3 cups. Adapted from Nigella Lawson.

Brown Sugar Bacon Oatmeal

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Our winter came in a series of two-day cold fronts, and it’s hard to tell if the spurts of cool air are over just yet. This weekend we turned on the heat for the first time ever. Suddenly cozy and no longer a slave to a blanket during a 30-degree morning, we made this hearty weekend oatmeal for breakfast. Again. It was Danny’s crazy idea to add bacon to oatmeal. We’d added eggs, greens, and cheese to oatmeal before, but I never thought of bacon. I wondered if it would work.

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Chicago

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Chicago was good to us. It rained and it snowed, but it never dipped too far below 30 degrees. We ate very well, and the people were so friendly. It’s the Midwest, yeah, but I wasn’t sure what to expect from this big city.

While waiting for lunch at Antique Taco, we were given free chips and salsa because Danny’s mushroom taco was taking a little long. The chips went really well with their rosemary margarita. The tequila warmed me up and made me happy that we were off the plane and finally exploring the city.

We saw a DeLorean in a coffee shop. I had many lattes, my caffeinated drink of choice while on vacation, apparently. We slipped into Myopic Books and read about pancakes and Chez Panisse. I watched rain become snow, which I hadn’t seen in more than 10 years. We quickly bought umbrellas.

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Our first dinner together in Chicago was at Lula Cafe. That first picture is our view from inside. It was cozy and romantic with a little tealight candle lighting our table. Our waitress told us about her upcoming trip to the Everglades and offered some more recommendations around Logan Square.

We shared a spaghetti squash salad to start. It was poached in hazelnut oil and served with thin slices of pear, trout roe and crispy trout skin. It was killer. This was the kind of place where menu descriptions aren’t enough, and the dishes that come out are so much better than you could’ve imagined. Danny had a rutabaga polenta bowl with a poached egg, and I ordered a pan-roasted chicken with kale and fingerling potatoes.

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Five Things

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I hope you all had a sweet day yesterday. We had a very good one over here. Those flowers are keeping me company on this gloomy morning. We’re looking forward to the weekend! Here’s this week’s five things to get you started.

(1) I’m still not over my obsession with Cheryl Strayed, Dear Sugar, and Tiny Beautiful Things. Get into it! Here’s an interesting conversation on writing like a mofo between Strayed and a woman who first wrote to her for advice on writing.

(2) This is so cute. Grandmothers are the best.

(3) Speaking of grandmothers, we’re both big fans of the Golden Girls. Here’s a list with clips of the 11 best scenes from the show to fit moments of your life.

(4) I drove a little slower yesterday so I could keep listening to this story. A young woman named Toby listens to a 17-year-old playing the violin and then asks him to marry her. She was just a couple years older than Itzhak Perlman. Nearly 50 years later, they’re still married and spent a life traveling around the world for his career. With their five kids. It’s a sweet interview, and her answers are honest and amusing.

(5) This so-called sexy potato soup with fried almonds is on my list. Garlic, potato, saffron, and serrano ham. Oh yes.

p.s Chicago pictures coming next week!

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