everything trader joe's gyros.

yaaaaaaaaas. 

excited to share this one! pete & i love to make gyros at home - and we've made them in several different ways using ALL items you can buy at trader joe's!

all for $22! and you can use these ingredients to make either a whole bunch of gyros at once, or stretch them out to have them in 2-4 sittings, depending how many people are eating and how many gyros you'll have. i usually eat 1 if we're using the naan bread; if we're using the thinner flatbreads i might have 2. anyhoo you can stretch these out and have gyros for several meals!

and you can have this done in less than 20 minutes! very excite!

i LUHUHUHHHHVE gyros. & greek food in general. even though these are considered the hot dog of greek food, me no give a hoot. i proudly enjoy hot dogs too, so there. 

so the meat component in here is meatballs -- not lamb + beef. but, i find that the italian meatballs at TJ's do a great job at mimicking gyro meat flavor. especially when you crispify them.

here's what we use!

italian style meatballs ($3.99), tomatoes ($2.29), cucumbers ($1.99), green bell pepper ($0.69), spinach ($1.99), red onion ($0.89), feta cheese ($2.69), tzatziki ($3.49), and naan ($3.69) or flatbreads. 

you can use other colors of bell peppers or other veggies you like, these are just the basics of what i normally go for, flavor-wise. it doesn't matter what type of tomatoes or cucumbers you get - they have a few varieties.

also, i prefer to make tzatziki homemade. but they've got it at TJ's, too!

the naan bread is super fluffy and has a great texture, but they're an odd shape to fit stuff in. i'll get the middle eastern flatbreads at TJ's most of the time. pitas work, too.

i've tried using TJ's turkey meatballs in these gyros, but the regular italian style are just way better tasting.  way mo fat & calz though. i actually barely use two meatballs on my gyro because i'll slice them up and crisp up the interior in the pan. and they're pretty rich. one meatball goes a long way for me. pete just goes whole meatball style; he doesn't know what calz are. 

dice up the tomatoes, cucumbers, green pepper, some red onion, add a few shakes of salt & pepper, and gently toss with a spoon. i like to chill this while i'm waiting for the meatballs to cook. 

we kicked our microwave to tha curb, so i like to thaw the meatballs a little bit before putting them in the pan. i add a little water and cover the pan to steam it up for about 5 minutes, then uncover and turn them to crisp. then i'll cut them in half or slice each meatball into 4 and crisp up those innards on low while i'm getting everything else ready.

if you do have a microwave, heat them in there for a few minutes and then brown them in a pan for about 5 minutes.

warm the naan, flatbreads, or pitas on a pan til they're easy to fold, then build your gyro!

i like to bulk it up and add extra greens like spinach, then layers of tzatziki, veggies, meatball slices, feta, and more veggies on top! 

sriracha is also amazing on gyros.

hey! you could also use the extra veggies & such to make a chunky greek salad on the side! 

we love you TJ's! and obviously while you're there you'll probably get a cheap bottle of wine and some sort of delish seasonal cookies or fabulous chocolate treat. because that's just what happens in that place. 

 

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champagne mango ice cream for coco kelley!

hi!

i am so excited to announce that i will be a new food & recipe contributor for coco kelley!

if you know her site, you know it is brimming with stunning inspiration for interiors, entertaining, design, and do-it-yourself projects. cassandra's site has been around for 10 years now, essentially since the beginning of blogging! ha! she has sooo much beautiful content available over there and i am thrilled to be able to be a part of it.

my first recipe for coco kelley is this fresh champagne mango ice cream! 

i was just talking about all the funny mini batches of ice cream i'd been concocting recently (when these pb s'mores ice cream bites were born), and this was the purpose for all that testing!

i'm super proud of how this recipe turned out. i finally mastered a creamy ice cream base, and the fresh champagne mangos with a spot of fresh lemon juice make for SUCH a refreshing and yummy summer ice cream!

peter even LOVED it and he is truly my toughest food critic. 

my nerves are at an all-time high when he goes to taste something i made (he really should moonlight as a food critic - his feedback is always interesting and on point. if you don't toast this guy's bread or bun, you are dead to him). but anyhoo i was surrounded by mangoes and melons and "frozen yogurt" tests and containers of cream and milk and this and that everywhere and it was 90 degrees and i was hot & bothered waiting for his opinion practically with my hands over my eyes. and he said.....

Champagne Mango Ice Cream_4.jpg

"YUM." a capitol YUM with wide eyes which means 'YES, great job quinn this has my seal of approval and don't change a thing.' .....i don't think i could have handled whatever critique he may have had in that moment after making like 6 batches of ice cream that week hahaha.

it's really good. and champagne mangoes are typically ALL perfectly ripe which is insane/amazing! have you tried these? i've seen a lot of them available at produce stands and grocery stores in this last stretch of summer. they are a bit sweeter and more tender than a regular mango. and all of them are ripe and ready to eat as soon as you buy them which is fabulous.

check out the recipe for this ice cream over on coco kelley! and get after them champagne mangoes while they're still around!

i topped mine with golden raspberries, champagne grapes & flaked coconut for a delightful crunch and juicy textures!

 

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chocolate dipped peanut butter s'more ice cream bites.

yes. i did.

and here are a bunch of photos that essentially all look the same. but. O M G.

peanut butter s'more ice cream! rolled into tiny scoops and dipped in dark chocolate! with crumbled graham cracker atop! wowowowowowwowowwww.

these came about as i was experimenting with about 6 different ice cream/frozen yogurt recipes for a project. there were a lotta little scientific containers of cream and milk and sugar of different varieties lurking in our freezer. i threw some peanut butter into one of the versions, and it became WAY more of a frozen dough-like consistency than an ice cream. but it IS ice cream! but i was like, whoa. wassuppppp.

this stuff is richhhhh. i was about to scoop up an average portion that one would eat in a casual ice cream eating sesh, and i was like, 'oh no.. no no. i can't serve this to anyone in this amount. they may pass out...' so yeah this in MEGA INDULGENT.

so then i was like hey i still really want to eat this...but how? and peter kept eating spoonfuls of it in secret.

bite-size it is! and obviously dip them in chocolate just to make it a cute little unit. top with graham cracker crumbles and freeze!

the actual ice cream is like ultra creamyyyy and thick (almost cookie dough-like) peanut butter ice cream. with a hefty swirl of melted marshmallow and chunks of chocolate. that alone is like WAAAAA YURM YURM brain explosion can't handleeee this life.

dipped in a coat of dark chocolate. & graham crumbles. i said that. but i'm saying it again. and it's cold. frozen! in a cute little 2-bite size!

YEAH YUM.

oh, and you don't need an ice cream maker and don't need to churn! mostly because it's sooo damn thick that it does not churn. ha! all of the accidents that happened along the way during the development of this particular ice cream base turned out to create a true miracle.

looking back into ye olde archives of this blog, it appears that i'm annually turning reg'lar old s'mores into something else. see: baked s'mores donuts & s'mores skillet.

this summer's s'mores creation is a very welcome addition to the collection.

luv you, little bitez of happiness.

Chocolate Dipped Peanut Butter S'more Ice Cream Bites

Makes 12-16 ice cream bites

Active Time: 45 minutes // Total Time: 4-8 hours

Ingredients:

  • 2 egg yolks
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1  1/2 cups half and half
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1/4 tsp. xantham gum (optional)
  • 1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 6-8 melted marshmallows, or 1/2 cup marshmallow creme
  • about 2 oz. roughly chopped dark chocolate bar
  • about 6-8 oz. dark chocolate melting wafers
  • 1 graham cracker, finely crumbled, for topping

Instructions-

In a medium bowl, whisk the egg yolks with half the amount of sugar (1/8 cup) and set aside.

On the stovetop on medium heat, add the cream, half & half, other half amount of sugar (1/8 cup), and salt. Whisk frequently until gently simmering and the sugar is dissolved.  Lower heat to medium-low.

Slowly pour about 1/2 cup of the cream mixture into the bowl of yolks, whisking constantly so the eggs do not scramble.

Add the yolk + cream mixture back to the pot and raise heat to medium. Stir constantly with a wooden spoon until the mixture thickens into a custard-like texture, about 3-5 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool about 5-10 minutes.

Add the vanilla extract and xantham gum and whisk until smooth. Xantham gum is optional, but a small amount of it helps to thicken and bind the ice cream for a smoother texture.

Once the ice cream base has cooled off, pour it into a large airtight freezer bag and freeze for about 3-4 hours.

Pour the nearly frozen ice cream base into a bowl and stir in 1/2 cup of creamy peanut butter until completely incorporated. Melt some marshmallows on low with 1 TB coconut oil (or butter) and swirl those into the ice cream. Add the chopped chocolate and fold.

Using a melon baller or a spoon, roll the ice cream base into balls (smaller than a golfball). I sprayed a little cooking spray on my hands and worked very quickly to keep it from melting. Place all the ice cream balls onto a plate or tray lined with wax paper, insert toothpicks into the center of each, and freeze for about 20 minutes. 

While the ice cream balls are chilling again, melt the dipping chocolate over a double boiler, stirring frequently. I used melting wafers that are specific to candy dipping, but you could use chocolate chips or a chocolate bar you have on hand. Remove from heat once melted. Crumble up some graham crackers in a ziplock bag using a rolling pin or bottom of a mug.

Carefully dip the chilled ice cream balls into the (cooled) melted chocolate. Use a spoon to cover the top with chocolate. Set on a plate or tray lined with wax paper, and immediately sprinkle graham cracker crumbles on top. Repeat until all the bites are chocolate dipped and sprinkled with graham. Freeze for about 20 more minutes. 

Remove the toothpicks before serving, and ENJOY! Store in a parchment-lined airtight container in the freezer.

 

 

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