Ice Creams, Cake, Couscous, Climbing, Chicago, Sewing, and Yarn

When I cook… I cook. The books get lined up on the counter and it is go time. Except, the ratio of savory to sweet needs some work as it is 1:3 which is not very healthy!

My backyard mint is doing quite well.

Nothing beats fresh herbs.

Dice it up.

Steep in some warm milk, cream, and sugar for a few hours.

Chop up some Newman-O’s (aka a knock off of oreos).

Mix the mint with the cookies.

And boom! Fresh mint cookies & cream ice cream. Mint ice cream recipe from David Lebovitz’s The Perfect Scoop page 99.

Next up, chop up some York peppermint patties. Mini ones, anyway.

Add to churned chocolate ice cream that uses peppermint extract.

And chocolate peppermint patty ice cream is done! Recipe for the ice cream is again from The Perfect Scooppage 26.

Then, churn some butter. Time to make a birthday cake.

Add chocolate. lots of it. Forget to take photos. This is Suzy’s Cake by Pierre Hermé from his book Chocolate Desserts, page 5. It’s heavy in chocolate, butter, sugar, eggs, and just a smidge of flour to create a very thick batter. I added in a layer of frozen berries.

Once baked and flipped over… what it does not win in looks, in wins in tastes! Not every cake can be a visual stunner. In Mr. Herme’s defense, I deviated a bit from the recipe by adding all that fruit.

The birthday girl and climbing crew enjoyed it, so that’s all that matters to me!

The house is also full of lemons thanks to a lemon tree next door. Naturally I zested it and mixed it with some sugar.

Too many lemons + previous frozen sweet tart dough that had been sitting in the freezer for months = Lemon Cream Tart from Dorie Greenspan’s  Baking From my home to yours page 333. Which is actually a recipe from Pierre Hermé as well. And I completely forgot to photograph the cream in the tart, so you will have to believe me that I did create and finish this tart. Nothing I like more than using up stuff that is taking up room in the freezer and on the counter top!

As for healthy, a vegetable and chicken filled couscous from Juste une Casserole by Sabrina Fauda-Role page 68. One of my new favorite cookbooks from France because the entire premise of the book is meals that can be cooked in one casserole only, which is great for lazy cooking days where I don’t feel like doing a ton of prep work. Chop and throw it in the pan… nothing wrong with that!

And in between all that cooking there is occasionally some down time, so I worked a bit on my Simplicity 1541 wool skirt. It is getting there. Yes I know it is March and winter is almost over. But! California can get cold in the summer evenings. So I will definitely find time to wear this.

Off to Chicago for a quick work trip.

I wandered a bit too close to a lovely yarn store, knit 1.

Once I go in, I can’t walk out with my bag a bit heavier.

Meet Lorna’s Laces Shepherd Sock 616 Venetian Spring.

Then my new favorite thing to visit while traveling: climbing gyms! It’s always good to meet people in the climbing community elsewhere, because you never know who you will run into on the rocks outdoors in the future. It’s a small world, but a great one. Growing quickly too.

By the time I was done climbing, it was too late to order any famous deep dish pizza… so White Castle and their fascinating small burgers it was for me. They have a waffle slider with fried chicken too…! I was impressed, even if it was fast food.

Then back to California to end my week.

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