Archive for June, 2012

Simple Chocolate Milkshake

Monday, June 18th, 2012

Hi everyone! It’s been a little too long since my last post. Life has been full this past week or so – full of good things.

My sister Maren graduated from Seattle Pacific University (my old school!) with a Masters of Education.

That is my other sister Halley on the left, and me on the right. Congrats to Maren and all the other grads out there!

In the midst of celebrating her graduation as well as my mom’s birthday and Father’s day, I found time to soak in a little sunshine while it lasted…

…and indulge in Theo Chocolate/Scout Mint ice cream from Molly Moon’s.

I also took some time to experiment with homemade milkshakes. One thing I’ve struggled with is making my milkshakes nice and thick. I used to just keep on adding ice cream, but then they became too sweet.

I decided to officially get to the bottom of this mystery, and spent some time researching as well as experimenting. I’m so happy to report that the final result was a smooth, dreamy, and totally thick milkshake.

Here’s a roundup of the tips I found, and a recipe for a basic chocolate milkshake. (Feel free to customize and have fun with it, but remember that the ingredients you add may affect the texture.)

Tips for a Thick Milkshake

1.   Make sure your ice cream is good and frozen. If it’s even a little soft or soupy, then your milkshake will be too.

2.   Don’t add too much milk.

3.   Blend on low and only until milkshake is smooth.

4.   If needed, put the milkshake in the freezer for 15-20 minutes after blending.

5.  Use premium ice cream. This is the step that made a huge difference for me. The cheap stuff often contains artificial thickeners, and it just doesn’t blend well. A good rule of thumb is to go for the ice cream sold in a pint-sized container.

To keep things simple while I focused on the texture, I made a basic chocolate milkshake. In the end, it reminded me a little bit of a Frosty from Wendy’s.

Here is the recipe – happy blending!

Simple Chocolate Milkshake

Makes 1 large or two small servings

2 cups (or about 1 pint) premium chocolate ice cream (I used Häagen-Dazs)
2-3 tablespoons chocolate syrup
1/4 – 3/4 cup milk

Add ice cream, 2 tablespoons syrup, and 1/4 cup milk to blender. Blend just until smooth. Taste and add more syrup if needed. If shake is too thick, gradually add milk until it reaches the consistency you like. Enjoy!


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Chocolate Nutella Pizza

Thursday, June 7th, 2012

Hello everyone! I hope your week has been good. There’s a lot of preparation and excitement going on around here because my sister is graduating with her master’s degree this weekend, and the summer birthdays are starting to happen as well.

In the midst of this, I wanted to bake something creative but also easy. This recipe for Chocolate Nutella Pizza got rave reviews on Food Network’s website, and I thought I’d give it a try!

I purchased hazelnuts and a frozen pizza dough at my local Whole Foods, and already had plenty of Nutella and chocolate chips on hand (naturally).

This recipe was so simple, especially with the frozen dough. I just rolled it out, baked it, and put on the toppings. I think it would be perfect if you’re having friends over for dinner. I love recipes that have the “wow” factor but are also simple to make when you have other things going on.

This pizza was fun, unique and totally satisfied my sweet tooth for the day. It did have a fairly simple flavor – you could probably just spread Nutella on toast or a bagel, sprinkle on the chips and get the same effect. I probably wouldn’t go to the effort of making the dough from scratch for this one. I do think it would be fun to experiment with the toppings to give it a little something extra – berries would be a delicious start.

I made no changes to this recipe, so I’ll send you straight to the source. It can be found here:

Have a great Friday!

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Strawberries Romanoff

Monday, June 4th, 2012

Well Monday morning is here and the workday wind is blowing! I have a busy week ahead and am coming off a full weekend as well.

And by “full” I mean that I am literally full from good eats.

One of the best things I had this weekend was a savory crepe filled with smoked salmon, pesto and goat cheese. This was while meeting my friend Grace for brunch at Red Twig in Edmonds. You might be seeing a bit more of Grace on this blog later in the summer…more on that to come!

Saturday night my sisters and brother and I stopped by Pochi’s to pick up some bubble tea. I just love bubble tea so much. This flavor is avocado chocolate.

But what with all the rich food, I was in the mood for something a little lighter on Sunday. I was flipping through an old issue of Cooking Light and noticed a recipe for Strawberries Romanoff.

Essentially, it is sliced strawberries marinated in sugar and orange-flavored liqueur, topped with whipped cream.

This recipe was simple, easy to throw together and a refreshingly light dessert. The orange boosted the flavor of the strawberries very nicely, although not dramatically. I made this because I had some leftover orange liqueur from another recipe, but if you don’t have any, these strawberries would be just as delicious on their own, macerated with sugar.

Enjoy, and have a wonderful week!

Strawberries Romanoff

Slightly adapted from Cooking Light

Serves 4

4 cups sliced strawberries (about 1 1/2 pounds)
3 tablespoons powdered sugar
1/4 cup Cointreau or Grand Marnier (orange-flavored liqueur)
1/3 cup whipping cream, chilled
3 tablespoons powdered sugar
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
Mint sprigs (optional)

Slice strawberries and mix them in a bowl with the powdered sugar and orange liqueur. Cover and chill for 3 1/2 hours to let the strawberries macerate.

Combine whipping cream, powdered sugar and vanilla extract, and beat on high speed until stiff peaks form. Dish strawberries onto a plate and top with whipped cream and a mint sprig if desired. Serve immediately. Enjoy!

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Jessie's Kitchen Chronicles