Archive | July, 2015

Ricotta Ice Cream with Balsamic Strawberries

8 Jul


The theme of this week seems to be  “food Chef Kefi, RN made but didn’t eat.” A meaty, full-of-flour pizza yesterday, and today some super-easy, 4-ingredient ice cream that’s chock full of sugar (and oh so good!). Not sold yet? Serve up that ice cream with some strawberries marinated in a balsamic glaze and just let the drool dribble on down your chin. An ice cream maker will help keep this ice cream light and smooth, but isn’t required.

Ricotta Cheese Ice Cream With Balsamic Strawberries 


  • 2 c ricotta
  • 4 egg yolks
  • 1 1/3 c confectioner’s sugar
  • 2 TBS Marsala wine (or 1.5 TBS sherry vinegar)
  • 2 c strawberries, sliced
  • 5 tsp sugar
  • 1 TBS balsamic vinegar
  • Juice of 1 lemon


1. Whisk together the egg yolks and confectioner’s sugar in a standing mixer until the mixture is thick and lemony in color. Add the Marsala wine, then the ricotta and whisk together until just combined.

2. If you have an ice cream maker, pour mixture into machine and churn to desired texture, then freeze. If you don’t have a machine, pour mixture into freezer-safe container and freeze until ready to serve.

3. Combine balsamic, sugar, strawberries, and lemon juice and refrigerate until ready to serve.

4. Move ice cream from freezer to fridge about 30 minutes before serving to soften. Serve with strawberries.

Sriracha Meatball Pizza

7 Jul

photo (1)If you follow me on Instagram (and you should! @chefkefiRN), you saw this pizza a few days ago.I was feeling like cooking and MrKef was feeling like eating–truly, we are a match made in heaven–so I ransacked the pre-planned meals from a few different Hello, Fresh! bags to make this guy. It’s covered in meat, so your pescatarian chef didn’t try it, but it got rave reviews from MrKef, so we will go ahead and call this one a success.

Sriracha Meatball Pizza


–For the Dough

  • any pre-made dough, warmed to room temperature
  • 1 TBS olive oil

–For the Toppings

  • 1 TBS olive oil
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 1 plum tomato, seeded and diced
  • 1 TBS balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tsp sugar (I used coconut sugar, you do you.)
  • 1/2 lb ground beef
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • sriracha, to taste
  • salt & pepper, to taste


1. Preheat oven to 425F. Warm 1 TBS olive oil in pan over medium heat. Add onions and cook for 4-5 minutes, until soft, fragrant, and starting to brown. Add diced tomato, balsamic, and sugar, and combine well. Cook for another 4-5 minutes, until tomatoes have broken down and mixture starts to resemble jam. Remove from pan and set aside. Do not clean out pan.

2. In the same pan, sprinkle the meat with cumin, salt, and pepper and cook until browned.

3. Assemble the pizza. Spread 1 TBS olive oil over a metal baking sheet, then knead your dough out to your desired shape. Spread the onion and tomato relish over the pizza. Throw as much sriracha as you’d like all over the pizza, sprinkle your cheese on, and top with meat.

4. Cook for 14 minutes, or until you reach desired crispiness.

4th of July and a Gluten-Free Key Lime Pretzel Pie

6 Jul

photo 5How does the Familia Kef celebrate America’s birthday? We are pile into MamaKef’s kitchen, cut up lots of watermelon, and let the good times roll. (Editor’s Note: Hop down to the end if you’re only here for the pie.)

SummitKef joined in on the fun this year, and we introduced her to the very best treat- cupcake cones!

photo 4Things were a little less exciting for MrKef, who was befuddled by MamaKef’s final step for husking corn: the pastry brush.

photo 3(Apparently, it gets the fine hairs off.)

As usual, the food started coming and it didn’t stop coming. Please note the BEAUTIFUL cheese plate arranged by CafeKef:

photo 2

not to mention our rendition of the stars and stripes (idea by yours truly, amazingly-improved execution by BabyKef):photo 1On a side note, is there a single city-dweller who is not SHOCKED by this price for Talenti gelato? SummitKef and I were trying to figure out an import-export scheme from Walden to DC, but sadly found that freezing options were profit prohibitive.

photo 5Okay, just ONE more thing until we get to the recipe–CELEBRATING THE BIRTH OF CAFEKEF! Although the official day is not until tomorrow, we’ve already celebrated twice. When you’re as wise, measured, and hilarious as CafeKef, you get to have a lot of celebrations. In addition to MamaKef’s cupcake cones and honey mustard chicken (a story for another day), I whipped up an easy and fun key lime cheesecake/pie (none of us could quite decide which it was) with a gluten-free pretzel crust. I finished it off with a little lime whipped cream, which I fashioned into some plate art (after fashioning lots of plate mess… genius takes time).

photo 1

Note that the candles on that cake are topped with hearts, not flames. Also note that CafeKef blew out a QVC-issued flameless candle:

photo 3

Okay, and now finally– the RECIPE! I got the original here.

Gluten-Free Key Lime Pretzel Pie


–For the Crust

  • 2½ c gluten-free (or not) pretzel twists, finely ground
  • ¼ c sugar
  • ½ c unsalted butter, melted

For the Filling

  • 24 oz. cream cheese, softened
  • 1¼ c sugar
  • 1 TBS vanilla
  • 4 eggs
  • ¾ c fresh key lime juice
  • zest of 1 lime

For the Whipped Cream

  • 1½ c heavy cream
  • 2 TBS powdered sugar
  • lime zest to taste– I used about a TBS.


1. Combine ground pretzels, sugar, and butter. Shape into the bottom of 9-inch springform pan. Set aside.

2. Preheat oven to 325F. Cream together the cream cheese, vanilla, and sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs one at a time, mixing until well combined between each egg. Beat in lime juice and zest. Pour batter into prepared crust.

3. Bake for 70-80 minutes (mine took 80), or until middle is set. For an evenly-set pie, put a Pyrex 3/4 full of water on the rack below the one on which you set the pie.  4. For the whipped cream: whip cream and sugar until stiff peaks form. Fold in zest.

5. Garnish pie with whipped cream. Pie is served best cold, per MamaKef.

photo 2photo 4

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