Baked Sunday Mornings: Cornmeal Griddle Cakes

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I was looking forward to making these all week. I had plans to surprise my honey with breakfast before I had to go to work for a bit.

My plans were thrown off first by my sweetie getting sick mid-week, then by a surprising and very weird tragedy that happened to my extended family on Friday.

I almost didn’t make these at all.

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I’m so glad I did take the time out for this project, I was a complete nervous wreck and pretty much just pacing around my house.

Cooking soothes my soul.

I had to slow down and breathe to measure, whisk and mix. Midway through the process (which I was taking my time with since Baby G was down for a nap) I felt stress and tension melt away.

As each element of the recipe came together I felt my thoughts slowing down for the first time all day.

I decide to give making my own butter a try, something I have always wanted to do but had put off because I thought it would be a pain.

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It was so hard to keep mixing the heavy cream after it became gorgeous, perfect whipped cream. I had already added vanilla and some lemon simple syrup (leftover from the candied lemon peel I made for the Lemon Drop cake) and it was heavenly. I bit the bullet and kept mixing.

I was surprised to hear sloshing in the mixing bowl!

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It made exactly one cup of buttermilk, enough for the griddlecakes!

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The cakes cooked up quickly and beautifully. The edges crisped up but the centers were fluffy and not at all gritty or heavy like I was imagining. They were perfect. Even my poor sick husband enjoyed them.

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I topped them with chopped pecans and maple syrup. The recipe made about ten, I used slightly more batter than 1/4 cup.

We at half of them and I’m freezing the other half for school day breakfast for my littles.

I would definitely make these again! (Even though some sizzling hot butter jumped out of the pan and burned my hand when I was cooking the last griddle cake!)

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Head on over for the recipe and to see how everyone else fared!

Meyer Lemon Curd Gelato

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I received the Ciao Bella cook book for Christmas, along with the ice cream attachment for my KitchenAid. I have used the attachment four times now and both times I used the Ciao Bella recipes they turned out perfectly.

I wanted to use up the last of the Meyer lemons I bought for Easter as well as the last 1/4 cup or so of leftover lemon curd that I still had on hand. The plain base is perfect for pretty much any flavor you want to add to it, or you can add vanilla beans and/or extract and leave it as is.

Ciao Bella gelato is sold in Whole Foods Market, but making ice cream is so easy I really don’t think I’ll ever buy it again.

The book also had a recipe for lemon gelato that used the plain base plus 2 tsp. zest and 1/4 cup of fresh lemon juice. I had 3 lemons to use up and that amounted to 1/2 cup of juice and so that is what I whisked in. I zested only 2 of the lemons–naked lemons are so weird! ;)–and also whisked in the remaining curd and added a bit of vanilla extract.

The resulting gelato was gently tart and creamy and the zest created beautiful orangey flecks– I was really pleased with it. The only issue I have with the Ciao Bella recipes is that it only makes about a quart which is just not enough for a family of 5.

Next time I think I will at least double the recipe and see how that works out.

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*adapted from the ciao bella book of gelato and sorbetto

Ingredients

2 cups whole milk
1 cup heavy whipping cream
4 large egg yolks
2/3 cup sugar

Directions

In a heavy-bottom saucepan, combine milk and cream. Place over medium-low heat and cook, stirring occasionally so a skin doesn’t form, until tiny bubbles start to form around the edges and mixture reaches a temperature of 170 degrees.

Meanwhile, in a medium heat-proof bowl, whisk egg yolks until smooth. Gradually whisk in sugar until it is well incorporated and the mixture is thick and pale yellow. Temper egg yolks by very slowly pouring in hot milk mixture while whisking continuously. Return custard to saucepan and place over low heat. Cook, stirring frequently with a wooden spoon, until custard is thick enough to coat the back of the spoon and it reaches a temperature of 185 degrees. Do not bring to a boil.

Pour mixture through a fine-mesh strainer into a clean bowl and let cool to room temperature, stirring every 5 minutes or so. To cool custard quickly, make an ice bath by filling a large bowl with ice and water and placing the bowl with the custard in it; stir custard until cooled. Once completely cooled, cover and refrigerate until very cold, at least 4 hours or overnight. Makes enough for about 1 quart (or 4 cups) of gelato, realistically about 4 servings.

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Any suggestions on what flavor I should attempt next?