Tag Archives: Baking and Confections

No-Cook Vanilla Ice Cream

6 Oct

My husband is an ice cream snob. He prefers plain-Jane vanilla ice cream, and he prefers home-made. I don’t really blame him – home-made is oh, so much better. But I heartily believe that he misses out on a lot of hip-widening goodness (if you’re going to gain 10 lbs, you might as well do it eating as many different flavors as you can find), by limiting himself to one flavor. That being said, nothing beats a really good vanilla for a jumping off point – think of the toppings! I have a recipe that I always use, but it calls for eggs and there is no cooking involved. I’m a cookie dough eater, so I’m not afraid of raw eggs (I have yet to suffer from salmonella poisoning that my mom always threatened would most certainly occur – maybe I’ve built up an immunity…yet another reason one should eat cookie dough), but the texture has not always been quite right for me. It is great straight out of the ice cream maker, but, though I love ice cream, I have yet to manage to polish off an entire batch in one sitting. This means re-freezing, and it always ends up hard as a rock! I tried cooking it – texture was fab. Taste was pretty darn terrible. Ever had egg flavored ice cream? Well now I have, and I don’t recommend it. So, the search was on! I found one I liked and tweaked it a little (when I say ‘a little,’ I mean I made about 5 different batches of ice cream, 3 of which are sitting in my freezer and are so bad that I think they may set up a permanent residence there – so properly appreciate this recipe – I don’t usually put forth so much effort to get it right ;)). Here’s my winner: same great taste, much better behavior in the freezer – the only downside that I found was that it doesn’t hold up straight out of the ice cream maker; you will have to give it time to set in the freezer before serving. I figure it’s an even trade.

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Ingredients:

3 cups half and half

*for creamier texture, substitue 1 cup milk and 2 cups heavy whipping cream

3/4 cup sugar

1 tsp vanilla extract

pinch of salt

In a large bowl, combine ingredients and mix well until sugar is completely dissolved. Place in ice cream maker and churn according to directions. Allow to set in freezer for at least 2-3 hours before serving.

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French Toast

12 Sep

I don’t usually use a recipe for french toast – it’s kind of crack a couple eggs, add a little milk, maybe a shake of cinnamon…but I decided to try this one out because it was labeled ‘Yummy French Toast.’ Maybe that’s a silly reason, but I guess the word ‘yummy’ spoke to me that day. And am I ever glad that it did! It is more than yummy – don’t skip the syrup because that’s what makes it really extraordinary.

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Ingredients:

8 pieces texas toast bread

3 eggs

3/4 cup milk

2 tsp vanilla

1/4 tsp cinnamon

1/8 tsp nutmeg

Mix eggs, milk, vanilla, cinnamon, and nutmeg in a bowl. Dip texas toast bread in mixture, both sides, and cook on griddle. Serve with Buttercream Syrup.

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Best-Ever Muffins

10 Sep

Today was a day of miracles. Miracle 1: Our car lives! Turns out a wire – a very important wire apparently – had been broken. New alternator, new wire = working car. Huzzah. Miracle 2: My baby took a nap. A real, honest-to-goodness nap. Not 5 minutes, not 2 second, but 3 hours. I got the kitchen cleaned, the floor swept, mopped and vacuumed. Miracle 3: For the first time ever, my 2 year old pooped in the potty. It took a couple of hours of, “Mom, I have to go potty…actually, I’m ok” – pretty much every five minutes. I didn’t think she’d do it. I was so sure it would end up in her panties. And then I heard a little voice from the downstairs bathroom while I fed the baby, “Mom, I’m going to do it myself. I’m going to go poo….Mom! I did it!” I had to check of course and I was so ridiculously proud. It made the six other pee accidents I had to clean up throughout the day totally worth it.

Miracle 4 didn’t even happen to me, but to my sister. They have been in desperate need of a second car for quite some time, but having school loans to pay off, they have been making do and pinching pennies so that they can get their debts taken care of first. With three kids and a pilot husband who sometimes comes home from flights at odd hours, you can imagine that pick ups and drop offs aren’t always convenient or easy for the little ones.. I was just talking to her this morning about how much she would love to have a van, but how impossible that dream seemed. And then my parents came by for dinner tonight and said that my sister’s husband had gotten a call – “Someone has anonymously donated money towards a car for you – a van. The keys are here for you, please come and sign the paperwork and take it home.” My jaw dropped. I don’t think my sister has stopped crying yet. She thought it was my parents, but they were just as surprised to hear the news. We literally have no idea who it was! There are so many things that happen in this world that are terrible and scary, but then someone goes and does something like this, and my faith in humanity is restored. There are wonderful people in this world! Whoever you are – thank you for your generosity. It couldn’t have gone to someone more deserving. I made you some muffins, but since I don’t know who you are, my kids ate them in honor of you. 🙂 I hope they grow up to be as kind.

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Ingredients:

1 3/4 cups flour

3/4 cup sugar

2 tsp baking powder

3/4 tsp salt

1 egg

3/4 cup milk

1/3 cup oil

Combine dry ingredients and make a well in the center. Combine egg, milk, and oil; add all at once to dry mixture. Stir until moistened. Fill well greased or paper-lined muffin tins 2/3 full. Bake at 400^F for 20-25 min.

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