Homemade Chocolate Ice Cream

We are having a social/swimming  party at church and it gave me a good excuse to try my hand at some chocolate ice cream.  It turned out great! Creamy, chocolaty, goodness! Here is what I did:

2 cans chocolate sweetened condensed milk
1 can pet milk
1 ½ cups sugar
1 quart half n half
4 eggs, to be tempered
2 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup chocolate syrup

In a small boiler, take two cans of the chocolate sweetened condensed milk, one can pet milk(evaporated milk) and sugar and bring to where all contents are hot and sugar has dissolved but not boiling.

Take four eggs and whisk. Take hot mixture and slowly temper the eggs. Once eggs are properly tempered, mix eggs in mixture and remove from heat. Add vanilla. Pour mixture into four quart size ice cream maker. Pour in half n half. Stir and place in fridge for two hours or longer.

When thoroughly chilled, use electric ice cream maker as per instructions.
This is one you need to try! The chocolate condensed milk is the star of this recipe.

Old Hickory-Columbus, MS Review

Image via Yelp.com.  It was raining when I tried to take my pic.

My dad's birthday is coming up Sunday and we decided to take him out for a steak. We decided to take him to Old Hickory in Columbus, MS. I wanted to also review the restaurant while I was there, because Old Hickory is a happening place in Columbus. Here are my thoughts:

1. The atmosphere: The atmosphere is a very rustic, old-fashioned restaurant. If I had one word to describe it, I would call it a "manly" restaurant. I would not call this a fine dining restaurant, and would not take someone for a "date night" dinner. It has a much more casual feel to it. 

2. The service: The service was average to above average. The waitress was very pleasant and checked on us periodically. She had a smile on her face when she waited on us. 

3. The food: 

Sirloin for two.

You will realize quickly the only food you can order on the menu is beef.  From rib-eyes to large sirloin to filet, you have beef galore. Every main meal comes with a salad, potato, and bread. 

We noticed right at the beginning that the salad only came with three types of dressings: ranch, blue cheese, or thousand island.  My wife does not like mayo or cream based dressings so she had to eat her salad with no dressing. Also, we noticed that the dressings are "community" dressings. The dressings came out in three large bowls to the table that you dipped with a spoon.  Now I am not sure of the protocol, but we noticed two possibilities happening with the dressings. 1. They were wasting a huge amount of dressings by bringing that amount out  and then discarding it. Or, 2.  They were re-using the same containers at different tables,  in which how do we know someone didn't lick the spoon and put it back in the dressing? That seemed a little off for us, either way.

We had the sirloin for 2 and it had a good flavor to it. However, the sirloin was very thick and had a very large amount of silver skin that made about 1/3 of it not edible or hard to cut. The pieces that did not have the silver skin were very good. It was cooked perfectly medium-rare.

The potato was just an average potato that came with the meal. 

4. Price: At almost $25 for a steak, it would need to be a near-perfect steak. Unfortunately, due to the toughness of our steak we didn't feel it was worth the $46  steak for 2  that we purchased.  We feel this was probably more of a $30 steak. My parents whom were with us had rib-eyes, and said they were cooked very well. 

5. Overall: For a casual experience with one of the better tasting steaks you can go out and eat, this is a good place.  The price is a little steep, for I could buy the same steak and cook at home for a fraction of the cost with just as much flavor.  I would not recommend this as a "fancy" date you would take a first date or for your anniversary.  It is a man's man restaurant. If you don't like beef don't go here. With just a few minor criticisms, however it is a good place to eat. I recommend you try it a least once if you are in the Columbus, MS area.

Visit their Facebook page here.

Old Hickory Steakhouse
1301 Hwy 45 N
Columbus, MS 

Smoked Chicken Thighs

It was a challenge to continue to be on Whole30 and celebrate the 4th of July. So I decided to do some research and find a recipe that sounded good and was still Whole30 compliant. I found a recipe on Recipe Diaries and tried it out on a wing and a prayer. Or a thigh? Anyway, it turned out really good! Smoked and then finished in the oven. I adjusted to recipe due to spiciness and amount of thighs.

    12 chicken thighs
    2 tbsp clarified butter
    2 tsp paprika
    1 tbsp chili powder
    1 tbsp thyme
    1 tbsp garlic powder
    1 tbsp cayenne
    1 tbsp salt
    2 tbsp black pepper

 Take clarified butter, melt it down, and rub or brush each thigh thoroughly with it. Mix all of your spices together and coat all thighs well. Place your thighs skin side down on a smoker cooking indirect at 225 degrees(if you don't remember my indirect method, click here). I used hickory chips(about 1/4 bag, soaked) and charcoal to smoke the chicken. I smoked the chicken  1 1/2 hours on the smoker(only turning once) then cooked in the oven 1 1/2 hours at 225 degrees.

I will say now, that this was BETTER than the recipe where I marinate it in Dale's Seasoning. Yes, it is that good! And it is Whole30 compliant!