With only a few days left in March, and Easter close at hand, I look back on the year and wonder where the time went? It seems as though just a few short weeks ago the school year was beginning and now with Easter just a week that means that the year is almost complete…… now this is usually the time of year, when time stands still! When the end is in sight it seems as though it takes forever to reach it, although I don’t that’s going to be the case this year.
With the end of they school year at hand I’ve been trying to find a contact at the CIA in Hyde Park, I would love to take my girls up to the Culinary Institute for a field trip. They have come so far this year, and have really begun to shine in their preparation of dishes. I’m still trying to convince some of them that a good Culinary School is a real college…..sigh. But that’s not the reason I’m teaching them, I don’t expect to make Chefs out of them, but what I do want to do is instill in them the joy of cooking, by teaching them how to be successful in the kitchen, after all as I always tell them, “it’s not rocket science”.
If I were to type up a list of ingredients that make up a good chef or home cook, the very first item on that list would be that they must love food, and that they enjoy working in the kitchen. Cooking is therapeutic, and even after and ungodly awful day, when I think I never want to cook another thing, I sometimes find myself baking…….it soothes me, takes my mind of my troubles, and of course gives me something sweet to eat. The second ingredient on my list would be “confidence”. and that comes from practice, even if you love food and love cooking, if you don’t work on improving your skills, that joy you find in the kitchen will soon be replaced with dread. So practice my young apprentice and your confidence in the kitchen will grow (sometimes along with your mid section). The third ingredient is one that after you’ve mastered the first two, will be the driving force behind your desire to cook delicious meals…..”Someone to cook for”. Whether it be in a restaurant, or for friends or family, without an audience to perform form your work is for naught. To be hones with you, if I am only feeding myself, dinner may be the blue box ( I hear cringing), peanut butter and jelly or even God forbid Taco Bell….sigh. There are other ingredients to being successful in the kitchen, but to me those will always be the most important, whether your cooking on a Viking Range or around a campfire, they all apply.
But hearing me ramble on and on, is not why you’re hear today, It’s guest post Friday!!! The happiest day of the week! Today my friends I get to introduce you to Aylssa who you may know as Mom de Cuisine. When I first met Aylssa through her comments, I was intrigued. You know I talk about the weather a lot (old people do that) and Aylssa would leave a comment about a Sand Storm…… really a Sand Storm? I began thinking OMG, where the heck does she live? She gave no clue on her about page, other than moving half way around the world, and not giving us a starting point, left a whole lot of options!! All I knew for sure is they had sand storms…. and sand is why I don’t like the beach, so I can’t imagine me living there!
Alyssa has certainly made the best of the situation by embracing the cultures she now lives with and inter twinging them with the dishes she was use to in the states, so she couldn’t have found a better name, Mom de Cuisine is quite an appropriate title, for she certainly has developed her own style of cooking, bringing the best of both worlds together as she feed the most important audience in the world, her family!
So sit back, relax, put your feet up and just in case of a sand storm get a scarf out to cover your face (you can also use it to wipe the drool off your keyboard) as I give you Aylssa and……
Thank you Chef Dennis for this wonderful opportunity! When I got the message from him asking me to do a guest post I immediately thought that I would like to make something highlighting local ingredients. Ok, well I actually did a little happy dance first, but then I thought about what local ingredient or dish I should make.
For those of you who don’t know me (or even if you do) I’m Alyssa from Mom de Cuisine. I started my blog several months ago when my family picked up and moved from Florida to theMiddle Eastfor my husband’s job. Yeah, before you ask, it’s been a big change. As I’m sure you could imagine there have been some cultural changes to figure out, but there have also been some culinary.
Before we moved, I never cared for Middle Eastern food. However, more and more we find ourselves indulging in local ingredients and cuisine. I mean, if I don’t get my weekly shawarma fix, I’m seriously cranky! Even my super picky kids have jumped on board. You could have knocked me over with a feather the night my son (who previously only ate French fries and fruit) tried hummus. And my daughter can’t make a trip to the store without asking for a kilo of biyriani rice (and eating the whole thing by herself!)
For us, I think the food has been just as much apart of this experience as anything else. From trying to find ingredients I’m used to cooking with, to experimenting with new ones. So today, I thought I’d go with a dessert highlighting two of my favorite local finds: Turkish coffee and pomegranates. While we live in Bahrain, coffee shops pouring Turkish coffee are as ubiquitous here as Starbucks is back home (although they do have Starbucks too.) And then there are pomegranates. Oh, the pomegranate. While they aren’t new to me, they are so accessible year-round that I always find myself buying them whole, juiced, or dried. I just love them. So with 115 degree temperatures to look forward to in the not-too-distant future, what would you do with Turkish coffee and dried pomegranates…why make ice cream of course!
- 1 ½ cups heavy whipping cream
- ½ cup milk
- 1 cup prepared Turkish coffee
- ½ cup—3/4 cup sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ¼ cup dried pomegranate berries
- 2 tablespoons pomegranate juice
- Mint leaves for garnish.
- Combine cream, milk, Turkish coffee, sugar and vanilla extract in a sauce pan over medium heat, bring to a simmer and cook until the sugar melts, about 5 minutes.
- Taste to make sure it’s sweet enough.
- Bring the cream mixture to room temperature then chill overnight to allow the flavors to combine.
- Meanwhile, cover the pomegranate berries with the juice in a small sauce pan and bring to a simmer just until the berries rehydrate, about 3-5 minutes. Remove from the heat and allow them to come to room temperature.
- Puree the pomegranate mixture to desired consistency and chill.
- To make the ice cream, follow instructions according to ice cream maker for the coffee ice cream, adding in the pomegranate the last minute of churning.
- Place ice cream in a freezer friendly container and freeze 2-3 hours or up to 1 month.
- Serve with a sprig of mint to garnish.
Again, thank you Chef Dennis for allowing me to post on your wonderful blog. And as always, thank you for everything you do for the blogging communities and bloggers alike!
Thank you Alyssa, for such a wonderfully delicious guest post! Now before you forget head on over to Mom de Cuisine and say hi to Aylssa…….just remember to tell her Chef Dennis sent you! Please make sure to give yourself enough time to browse through her posts, your going to love her Make Ahead Monday series, along with all the other delicious creations she shares with us on her blog! I know you’re going to find some wonderful recipes to recreate and share with your family!
Have a wonderful weekend, see you all real soon!