I'm at my mom's house celebrating her birthday this weekend. For her birthday gift my mom requested I make dinner for everyone, which I thought was pretty awesome for a couple of reasons. First off, I love cooking with and for people. A good meal is best shared with those you love. Secondly, I was not always known for my cooking prowess. Actually it was more like the opposite. As a kid and teenager I would experiment in the kitchen, which typically yielded disastrous results. One such time I was baking at my friend Laura's house and accidentally put a tablespoon of salt in our cookie recipe instead of a teaspoon. Then I tried to overcompensate by adding more sugar. The end result was incredibly gross, and she still teases me about it. ("Remember the time you made those nasty salty cookies and tried to convince me they weren't that bad?") In high school my church youth group had a chocolate chip cookie baking contest, and everyone asked which were mine so they would be sure and avoid them. It was pretty sad.
Our senior year of high school Laura and I took a cooking class as one of our electives. Laura's mom recommended it, since she is a really good cook and told us that we should probably try and learn a few things (such as the difference between teaspoons and tablespoons) before we were on our own in college. Things improved as I pursued my major in dietetics, since there were several classes which required cooking as part of my degree. By the time I graduated college my friends and family were no longer afraid to eat anything I prepared.
Therefore, you can see why I'm a little excited that people are actually requesting me to cook for them. My mom has been an AS-kicker blog reader since day one, and she requested I make her my Mustard Glazed Chicken and Lemon Roasted Asparagus (see http://crystalaskicker.blogspot.com/2010/07/one-step-forward-two-steps-back.html for recipes) for dinner. I made the chicken and asparagus and served them with a salad topped with avocado. When making the asparagus I skipped the balsamic vinegar this time and topped them with lemon juice and zest, garlic salt, diced shallot, and minced garlic. I created a simple balsamic vinaigrette to go on top of the salad by mixing equal parts extra virgin olive oil and balsamic vinegar. I then added a dash of Italian seasoning. It tasted a little bitter, so I added 1 Truvia packet, and voila!
For dessert, my stepdad made homemade cake and ice cream. I have been wanting to make homemade ice cream with stevia for some time now, so I was very excited to get to use the ice cream maker last night. My stevia ice cream took a bit longer to set up than the regular kind my stepdad made, but it tasted awesome!
Stevia Vanilla Bean Ice Cream:
Combine 1 cup heavy whipping cream and 1/2 cup whole milk. Add 7 Truvia packets and stir. Cut 1 vanilla bean in half and scrape out the seeds inside. Add to ice cream mix. If you don't have a vanilla bean, add 2 teaspoons good quality vanilla extract. Either use an ice cream maker for ~45 minutes and then transfer to freezer, or pour into a glass bowl and place it in the freezer. Scrape the sides of the bowl every 5 minutes, until it is the proper consistency.
The normal ice cream sets up in 25 minutes. We ran my ice cream mix for 35 minutes and it wasn't frozen enough. I would have ran it longer but the ice cream maker core wasn't frozen enough after making my stepdad's ice cream and mine. I popped my bowl in the freezer and scraped down the sides until it was done, and that worked just fine.