Tag Archives: strawberries

Fresh Strawberry Ice Cream

Forbidden Rice Blog | Fresh Strawberry Ice Cream (8 of 8)

Summer seems to be flying by. I could’ve sworn it was June just yesterday, that the kids were about to get out of school, not start back up again… Vincent’s going into his senior year of high school and Silas into his last year of elementary school. I’m not sure how that happened so quickly.

Regardless, summer produce is still in full swing (thank goodness!). Strawberries luckily make two robust appearances around here — late spring/early summer and then again in the late summer. (I prefer the latter, as the berries always seem a deeper red, sweeter and more delicious!) A good old-fashioned strawberry ice cream celebrates both the loveliness of summer and the wonderful abundance of these beautiful berries. While this recipe does require an ice cream maker, and just a little while to throw together between the chilling and churning, the strawberry ice cream that results is absolutely creamy and delightful (and totally worth your efforts)!

Forbidden Rice Blog | Fresh Strawberry Ice Cream (4 of 8)

Fresh Strawberry Ice Cream

Makes a little more than a quart of ice cream.

4 egg yolks
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons half and half
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons heavy cream
3/4 cup granulated sugar
3 pints fresh strawberries, hulled
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
scant 1/4 teaspoon salt

Forbidden Rice Blog | Fresh Strawberry Ice Cream (7 of 8)


In a small bowl, whisk the egg yolks.

Put the half and half plus half of the sugar in a medium sized pot. Heat over medium heat, being sure the mixture doesn’t boil, occasionally stirring until the sugar dissolves, (5 or so minutes). Set a fine-meshed sieve over a large heatproof bowl.

Forbidden Rice Blog | Fresh Strawberry Ice Cream (1 of 8)

Once the half and half mixture is hot, whisk a little of it into the egg yolks to temper them. Whisk all of the warm egg yolks into the hot half and half. Stir constantly with a wooden spoon or heatproof spatula as you heat the mixture over medium heat (keep scraping the bottom and stirring until the mixture thickens and you can coat the back of a spoon). Again, make sure the mixture doesn’t come to a boil. Remove from the heat and pour through the mesh sieve over a large heatproof bowl. Add the heavy cream to the mixture and stir to combine. Cover and chill in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes (or until thoroughly chilled).

Forbidden Rice Blog | Fresh Strawberry Ice Cream (2 of 8)

Place the strawberries in a large bowl and mash them a bit with a potato masher. Add the remaining sugar. Let the strawberries macerate in their own juices, stirring occasionally until the sugar has disintegrated, 15 to 20 minutes. Add the berries to the chilled cream mixture. Add the vanilla and salt. Chill, covered, in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes (but up to 2 days in advance).

Freeze the custard according to your ice cream maker’s instructions.

Forbidden Rice Blog | Fresh Strawberry Ice Cream (3 of 8)

Forbidden Rice Blog | Fresh Strawberry Ice Cream (6 of 8)

Day to Day Life: Weeks 12, 13 & 14

The last few weeks have been a whirlwind. I thought about skipping two weeks of Day-to-Day posts, but alas… I’m opting for this route instead. Three weeks worth of photos (while the number of them may seem overwhelming, they’re the careful pickings from over 1000 photos edited and navigated through!).

IMG_1651_zpsdd994457 A post-workout lunch. Beet/grapefruit/orange/celery/apple/grape juice; avocado-cheese toast, and more grapefruit.

IMG_1707_zpsf66ee3da This lady knows when we’re about to go out of town, always. She gets clingy. And turns into a 100 pound lap puppy.

IMG_3501_zpsf0b1ff1c Homemade enchiladas including homemade corn tortillas. Dinner for six.

IMG_3510_zpsae2d1120  The less obvious way to dress in order to scoop up dog crap in 30-degree weather.

IMG_3533_zpse8be5db1 Jack Kerouac Alley in San Francisco. Around the corner from one of my favorite bookstores to stop in.


IMG_1756_zps39df9788 If you’re ever in Santa Cruz, CA, do yourself a favor and visit Engfer Pizza Works. Tucked up in a local neighborhood, this low-key pizza spot was delicious. More later.

IMG_3552_zps9fa88e43 Also in Santa Cruz, these pupusas were phenomenal. Also more on that soon.

IMG_1747_zps1a17b4fd Santa Cruz Boardwalk. Sunshine, salt water, sailboats.

IMG_3562_zps8baecc89 Boardwalk shenanigans.

IMG_3665_zps3b10b503 We caught the elephant seals (January’s pups) at Piedras Blancas on Highway 1 while heading south.



IMG_1800_zps7ba29420 Ventura Beach greeted us with sunshine, blue skies, and warmer waters that reminded me of home.




IMG_1810_zps1e7f602d Beach-bound out of LA.

IMG_3845_zpsc29d7195 Legoland.



IMG_3736_zps3b69b200 Having a conversation with Lego Arnold Schwarzenegger.

IMG_2018_zpsf1376bcb For us, traveling usually means a LOT of burritos and pizza. This particular meal was needed when heading back home: southern tofu “chicken,” red beans, brown rice, steamed broccoli, carrots and cabbage, raw kale, and then house-made ranch and BBQ sauce. 


IMG_2059_zps86439820 One seven year old in particular loved hotel-offered breakfasts. I’ve never seen someone so little eat hash browns, bacon, a whole bagel, scrambled eggs, two pieces of french toast, and a bowl of cereal… only to claim  he’s hungry 30 minutes later.



IMG_2100_zpse78423bd After not cooking for a week, we got home to an empty refrigerator, hungry but not wanting to deal with the grocery store. Tuna melts for Easter, on bread found at the back of the freezer? Yes.

IMG_4548_zps2c8eeca8 This tart was to make up for not cooking over the last week. Not really. It was a tart born out of available ingredients and the desire for dessert. : )


Strawberry Mascarpone Tart with a Meyer Lemon Oat Crust and Balsamic Glaze


The beauty of being a legal adult is that you can happily indulge in sea salt caramel gelato for breakfast whenever the hell you feel like it. Granted, you wait until the kids are in school because you can’t have gelato for breakfast then tell them they can’t – for fairness’ sake. Oh, I know, there are other luxurious aspects of adulthood, too, but this particular gelato-for-breakfast thing… it’s pretty major. Some days just start off kicking your butt and dessert before 10 AM can seem necessary to get through the rest of the day.

Then you come across fresh organic strawberries (you know, the smaller, sweet, all-red berry type) and decide you can finish the day with dessert, too. Luckily, early spring means the peak of really good strawberries. It’s also a lovely time for Meyer lemons, which offer both a sweetness and an amazing aroma. Strawberries together with Meyer lemons? They marry nicely.

When I was thinking of this tart, I wanted the Meyer lemon to have some presence, but mostly I wanted the sweetness of the strawberries to come through. I opted for a mascarpone filling rather than a richly sweet cheesecake-type filling. I love the creaminess of mascarpone and decided to keep the filling not overly sweet. You can add more sugar if you’d like.

The crust itself smelled, tasted, and worked wonderfully. I loved the speckles of vanilla bean and flecks of Meyer lemon zest scattered throughout the dough. This would be a great crust for other fruit pies, too. I plan to do more experimenting with it.

Between the sweetness of these strawberries, the lemony oat crust, creamy mascarpone filling, and the richly flavored balsamic glaze, I dare you to eat just a single piece of this tart!



Strawberry Mascarpone Tart with a Meyer Lemon Oat Crust and Balsamic Glaze

Makes one 13¾” x 4½” x 1″ tart.
Serves 8-10 people.


For the crust:
1½ cups all-purpose flour
½ cup confectioner’s sugar
¼ cup quick oats
¼ cup shredded unsweetened coconut
½ a vanilla bean, scraped
½ tsp. Meyer lemon zest
1/8 tsp. salt
1 stick cold butter, cut into small cubes
1 egg, lightly beaten

For the strawberries:
1 pound fresh, preferably organic, stemmed and halved
½ cup unrefined cane sugar

For the balsamic glaze:
1 tbsp. aged balsamic vinegar
juice from the strawberries

For the mascarpone filling:
16 oz. mascarpone cheese
¼ cup confectioner’s sugar
1 tbsp. Meyer lemon juice
½ tsp. Meyer lemon zest
1 tsp. vanilla extract



Prepare the crust: In a large mixing bowl, stir together the flour, sugar, oats, coconut, vanilla bean, lemon zest, and salt. Cut in the cubed butter, blending with your hands until you’re left with a coarse mixture (and pea-sized pieces of butter scattered throughout). Add in the egg. Either use your hands or a wooden spoon to mix until the dough comes together in a ball. It’ll be moist but not overly wet.


Use your hands to press the dough into your tart pan, evenly along the bottom and all four sides. Freeze for one hour.


Once the hour has passed, preheat your oven to 350°F. Use a fork to poke 8-10 sets of holes in the crust, then line with parchment paper or foil, topping with pie weights or dried beans (to keep the crust from puffing up while baking). Bake for 15-20 minutes then remove the weights and parchment paper. Return the crust to the oven, baking an additional 10-15 minutes, until lightly golden brown. Cool completely.


Prepare the strawberries: Combine the halved strawberries and half cup of sugar in a bowl. Stir to evenly coat the strawberries, then cover the bowl and set aside at room temperature for at least an hour.


Prepare the glaze: After an hour, strain the juice that has been released from the berries into a small saucepan. Add the tablespoon of balsamic vinegar, whisking together until completely combined. Cook over medium-high heat, whisking often, until the mixture thickens up into a syrup (8-10 minutes). Set aside to cool.

Prepare the mascarpone filling: In a large bowl, combine the mascarpone, confectioner’s sugar, lemon zest, and vanilla extract. Beat until the mixture begins to thicken up (2-3 minutes). Add the lemon juice, then continue beating over medium speed until the mascarpone forms soft peaks. Make sure not to over-beat the mascarpone or it’ll take on a curdled/butter consistency.


Make your tart: Spread the mascarpone filling evenly into the bottom of your tart shell, until it’s even with the top of the pan. Arrange your strawberries on top of the mascarpone however you’d like (watch out – it’ll show your level of OCD ;) then drizzle the balsamic glaze evenly over the tart.

Cut and serve chilled. Leftovers best eaten in 2-3 days.


Strawberries and “Cream” Oatmeal

I love oatmeal. For breakfast, lunch, dinner sometimes. Quick oats, old fashioned rolled oats, steel cut. Sometimes mushy, sometimes drier. Usually hot, sometimes cold. You can cook it in water, milk, both. Even a bit of fruit juice if you want a slightly different flavor. Plus you can keep it healthy with fresh or dried fruits, or go over the top and add chocolate, peanut butter, butter, sugar.

Oatmeal can lower cholesterol levels and help reduce your risk of heart disease. It has more soluble fiber than whole wheat. It’s chock-full of vitamins, antioxidants, and minerals. It’s quick, inexpensive, and versatile enough to borderline ridiculous.

I liked oatmeal as a kid. My mom would make a big pot, following the directions on the Quaker Oats canister: water, milk, a pinch of salt. Then she’d leave brown sugar, butter, more milk, cinnamon, and raisins on the countertop for us to add to our liking. I always added more butter and brown sugar than necessary. I probably still do. There are times I still crave that exact style of oatmeal. However, I’ve gotten more adventurous about what I add to my oats. Bananas, blueberries, crystallized ginger, chopped macadamia nuts, or walnuts, or pecans. Dried coconut, vanilla, nut butters, agave syrup, dried cranberries, sunflower seeds, crumbled energy bars, pumpkin puree. Endless possibility.

The following recipe is vegan. Or if that ain’t your thing, you can toast the oats in butter, add regular dairy milk. It’s good though. And easy. And kid-approved (at least here it is).


Strawberries and Cream Oatmeal


1 tbsp. coconut oil
2 cups old-fashioned oats
1½ cups water
1 cup vanilla rice/soy/almond milk
1 tsp. vanilla extract
2 tbsp. brown sugar
3 tbsp. unsweetened coconut
1 cup strawberries, diced
¼ tsp. ground cinnamon



Heat the coconut oil in a medium-sized pot until it liquifies. Add the oats and toss to coat. Toast the oats until they’re fragrant and lightly brown (10-15 minutes), over medium heat.

Add in the water, milk, and vanilla. Stir to combine all the ingredients. Let the mixture cook for about 5 minutes. Once it begins to bubble up or steam, stir constantly for about 5 more minutes, until the liquid is absorbed. Once the oats are you preferred consistency (a little bite left, or mushy), they’re done. While still over medium heat, stir in the vanilla, brown sugar, coconut, strawberries, and cinnamon.

Serve immediately and enjoy!