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Lanie’s Pink Lemonade Cherry Ice Cream

I am blessed each month to attend Inspire Women’s Inner Circle where the sweet staff and wonderful teacher, Anita Carman, refresh and encourage women’s ministry leaders. This month we celebrated Anita’s birthday, so I brought ice cream to go with cake. I like to make a pink ice cream to match Inspire Women’s signature color, so I created pink lemonade cherry ice cream with white chocolate morsels. Here is another refreshing summer ice cream creation:

2 hours in advance, in a small bowl combine:
2 cups pitted, dark sweet cherries (I prefer Trader Joe’s frozen);
1/2 cup sugar;
Zest from 2 lemons;
Fresh juice from 2 lemons.

Let cherries macerate. When it’s time to mix the ice cream, strain cherries and reserve cherry juice. Mash half the cherries to mix in the ice cream mix, and reserve half to add in later.

In a large mixing bowl, mix on low speed until sugar is dissolved (2 minutes):
1 cup whole milk;
1/2 cup sugar.

Stir in:
2 cups heavy cream;
1/2 cherries, mashed;
Reserved cherry juice;
1 tsp Tahitian vanilla.

Turn on electric ice cream maker, and pour in ice cream mixture.
Let mix until beginning to thicken, about 15-18 minutes.

Add in:
Reserved cherries;
Heaping 1/2 cup white chocolate morsels.
Let mix another 5 minutes.

Ice cream will be soupy. Transfer ice cream to an airtight container and place in freezer to firm up. Remove frozen ice cream from freezer to soften for about 10 minutes before scooping.

This is so fresh and delicious! Maybe try amping up the sour by adding the zest and juice of a third lemon… Happy summer!

Unpaid ad, but FYI: My ice cream maker is the Cuisinart Classic Frozen Yogurt – Ice Cream & Sorbet Maker.

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Super Cutie Cherry Muffins

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For my birthday Mom gave me a set of mini muffin tins to add to my kitchen collection, and she included  the printed recipe for cherry muffins. I had seen the Food Network and country singing star bake these muffins on Trisha’s Southern Kitchen, so I was excited to try them. Naturally, I made some adjustments and now I have a recipe which I can call my own. Today I made these cutie muffins with a bright pink cherry to share with the sisters at Inspire Women, and I was flattered when my treat was called, “Divine.” This is my creation:

Cream together: 1/4 cup softened butter + 1/2 cup granulated sugar + 1/2 cup brown sugar.
Add and mix: 2 eggs.
Add and mix: 3 Tbs maraschino cherry juice + 1/4 tsp almond extract.
Sift together: 1 cup unbleached flour + 1/4 tsp baking powder.
In 3-4 batches, add and mix dry mixture into creamed mixture.
Stir in: 1/2 cup pecan pieces.

Scoop muffin batter into mini cupcake tins lined with mini cupcake papers. (Pampered Chef small scoop is the perfect size to portion 2 tsp batter.)
Lightly press 1/2 maraschino cherry into each mini cup of muffin batter.
Bake @ 400* 8-10 minutes, until muffins are lightly browned on top.
Dust hot muffins with powdered sugar.
Remove individual muffins to wire rack to cool.
Makes about 3 dozen mini muffins.

Serve with love! Package these cutie muffins in a basket to give for a gift or share at a ladies’ gathering. They are so super cute and yummy!

Lanie’s Pimiento Cheese

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Since last month’s Inspire Women Inner Circle was a dessert fest, today I wanted to take something more substantial to share with the ladies. Pimiento cheese sandwiches on mini Hawaiian rolls sounded like a good autumn sandwich, and they were a hit! Here’s the story of my affair with pimiento cheese…

I had never heard of pimiento cheese until I lived in Memphis – it’s a southern thing. A friend wanted to buy a pimento cheese sandwich at the gas station convenience store, so that was a disgusting introduction, imo. I was re-introduced to this southern spread by my father-in-law who buys a certain pricey brand. And then one of my colleagues brought her famous dill pimiento cheese spread to an office pot luck, and I was inspired that I too could make homemade pimiento cheese. I tweek my friend’s recipe to make it my own by mashing softened cream cheese with the mayo for a little tang, and I serve pimiento cheese spread on mini Hawaiian rolls. This is my recipe:

16 oz (1 lb) sharp cheddar cheese block, shredded (I used a blend of 2 Trader Joe’s sharp cheddars. It is important for the recipe to buy block cheese and shred it on a box grater.)
2 oz cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup real mayo
4 oz jar pimientos, strained and chopped (Reserve the pimiento juice.)
1-2 Tbs fresh dill, finely chopped
1 tsp Tony Chachere’s creole seasoning
Finely ground black pepper
2 packages mini Hawaiian rolls

Start straining the pimientos so they will be well-strained. Shred the block cheddar with a cheese grater. Mash together softened cream cheese and mayo to achieve a consistency which will mix into the shredded cheese. Add the shredded cheese to the cream cheese/mayo and mix; add the chopped pimientos and mix; add the chopped dill and mix; add seasonings and mix. Add 1-2 Tbs reserved pimiento juice to thin cheese spread to achieve desired consistency.

Notes: If time permits, make the day before so the flavors may get acquainted; pimiento cheese is even better the next day. Serve on mini Hawaiian rolls or with Wheat Thins.

 

 

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