Three Day Challenge: Honey Lavender Ice Cream

Honey Lavender Ice Cream

Honey Lavender Ice Cream

Yesterday was the last day of my challenge and while it wasn’t entirely stress free it was fun and a pretty interesting experience.  First of all I have had an ice cream maker for about 5 years and have never actually used it. This was my chance! I was determined to conquer the ice cream hurdle and make Honey Lavender Ice Cream! I found this recipe by following KitchenAid on Instagram and knew I wanted to try it out. The recipe was posted on their blog and was easy to follow. Of course, I have yet to acquire my Tiffany Blue KitchenAid Stand Mixer yet, if anyone feels like contributing to it’s future purchase, feel free to contact me.

Moving along, so earlier in the day on Sunday I began to make the custard portion of the recipe. I had my heavy cream, whole milk, doterra lavender essential oil, honey and a lemon to zest. I brought everything to a simmer and then let it cook for 15 minutes off of the heat. Then I whisked the egg yolks and tempered them until the cream mixture was now in the bowl with the tempered eggs.  Everything went back in to the saucepan to thicken. I added the rest of the ingredients, about 12 drops of my lavender essential oil and got out my Wilton’s food coloring again to make it a light purple. Once it had thickened I strained it and put it over an ice bath constantly stirring to cool it down for about 15 minutes. Once that was done, I covered it and put it in the fridge for about 4 hours until I came home later in the day. I cleaned and washed my ice cream maker and had put the container in the freezer to freeze for later.

Here’s where it gets good! When I was ready to take the custard out of the fridge and went to grab the bowl and it slipped! My glass bowl full of purple custard slipped out of my hand, bounced on the bottom by the fruit drawers and a whole glop of custard flew out of the bowl and draped my door in purple goop….

I left the fridge door open and got out my ice cream maker container in the freezer and put it in the machine. Of course, making ice cream is more important than cleaning up so I continued to make my ice cream. It was my first attempt at ice cream and nothing was going to sideline me now and I was determined to make the best of it, continuing on like Julia! I started pouring or pushing the custard in to the ice cream maker.  I churned it for 20 minutes, adding some gold sprinkles to it and then poured it into the other frozen glass container and stuck it in the freezer. I pulled it out and ice cream it had become! Sababa!

Here are some photos of my wonderful, almost stress free final challenge. If you’re wondering, yes I did eventually clean up my fridge door and I let Rex lick the small dollop that fell to the floor. He apparently likes Lavender Ice Cream!

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So good you can eat it out of the container.

Gold, sparkly sprinkles make everything better.

Gold, sparkly sprinkles make everything better.

Bon Appetit!

Bon Appetit!

My Three Day Challenge has come to and end, I have de-stressed and relaxed a little more since the first challenge. I have made some fun and interesting recipes and learned that just because you have a set back while making something new it doesn’t have to stop you. Making food, cooking, baking, making candy, there’s always something that can go wrong, something that can potentially be stressful to your ‘schedule’ but you just need to choose to see it as a positive learning experience and pick that spoon up, or clean the fridge and get right back to what you were doing. Even if the final product doesn’t turn out the way I want it to, remember the not-so-banana-cream-pie, I won’t let it deter me or keep me from trying it again and getting it right. No excuses!

That’s all for now. Maybe I’ll challenge myself to another three day challenge again.

Bon Appétit!

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Three Day Challenge: Stress free Salt Water Taffy

Salt Water Taffy

Salt Water Taffy

As you know, yesterday I posted about Day One of my Three Day Challenge. Today I tackle Day Three but I’ll catch you up on Day Two. Saturday I conquered Salt Water Taffy!  As you can see from the photo above I made two flavors; Wild Orange and Cinnamon. The recipe was fairly easy, I recommend having a second person around to help with the stretching and pulling if you are making two flavors, but I’ll get to that in a bit.

Here’s where I found the recipe, and I was in love with the color to begin with, I think that’s what got my attention at first. A Tiffany Taffy, that’s what I’m calling it! I won’t post the recipe and instructions here because it’s a little on the dense side. Thankfully I asked my mom if she would help me make them.

First, we added the sugar and corn syrup and such in to the saucepan and let them melt together while stirring them. This is typical for candy making. We heated them to about 250, not 256 like the recipe says and I’m glad we did. If we had left them in the pan any longer than the candy would have been too hard to pull apart. Mom buttered two glass bowls and once the mixture hit 250 I poured half in one bowl and half in another. I used Wilton’s food coloring since I had some from when I made my rainbow cake. I used orange and pink for my Wild Orange and Cinnamon flavors. I used my doterra essential oils to flavor the taffy and just added 3 drops each since I didn’t want the flavor to be too overpowering. Looking back, another drop or two would have been ok.

After coloring and flavoring each mixture, Mom and I scooped the mixtures out turning them over in the bowl to simultaneously cool them and help pull them. After about 10 minutes of this I was able to butter my hands and pull out the taffy and start pulling them.

Pulling the taffy.

Pulling the taffy.

This was the fun, stress relieving part. It so much fun to just have this candy in your hands and pull it apart and bring it back again. We each pulled and stretched our taffy for about 20 minutes each so it’s a really great stress reliever. I even said so as we were doing this. Once the taffy became harder to pull and wasn’t translucent it was ready to be cut. I sort of rolled it out with my hands and into a long rounded circle like a snake and cut it up ready for wrapping!

They were not too difficult to make, tasty and very much taffy! Sababa! My next and final challenge is Lavender Honey Ice Cream!

Bon Appétit!

Ready for cutting.

Ready for cutting.

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Pieces of pretty taffy!

Pretty Taffy

Pretty Taffy

My Taffy, the final product

My Taffy, the final product

Banana Cream Pie……almost…

Well, this blog is about my trial and error experiences with trying out new recipes and here is one that definitely was a flop. I really wanted a to make a pie. I typed it in to my Pinterest search bar and started pinning pies, not too many just enough to give me an idea of a few different types of pies, cream pies, fruit pies, special crusted pies etc. I found an old-fashioned banana cream pie using a pre-made crust, which is fine, I was really focused on the banana cream part anyway.

So the process was fun, I scalded the milk. Which by the way I have never done. What is scalding the milk anyway?? I googled ‘how to scald milk’ which told me I needed to heat the milk over low to medium heat so as not to heat it too quickly but bring it to a hot temperature. Ok so I scalded my whole milk, added it to the pot with the sugar, flour and salt and heated that as well. I had lightly beaten my yolks and tempered them before adding those in to my hot pot of liquid ingredients. While that went on I had baked my frozen crust and let it cool. I sliced one banana and layered it on the bottom of my crust. I was also boiling a can of sweetened condensed milk to make caramel sauce but knew that was going to take longer than the whole pie.

After letting the liquid cool with everything mixed in I poured it into the crust. I have extra filling so I filled three small cups for pudding. I put them all in the fridge to set overnight and they looked beautiful!

So here I am this morning going to have some pie as an early Monday morning breakfast snack with my protein shake, don’t judge, and as I cut myself a piece of pie, it’s not really set and pours over the crust and my plate as a big mess of runny yumminess….

This was definitely not a sababa experience, I have yet to figure out why my pie was not actually a pie….

I enjoyed making it however which is always 95% of the fun of a new recipe. I love just putting away the trials of the day, the stress, the blah and just escaping in a recipe, in something new. I can leave myself behind and just create something with as few or as many ingredients as necessary. I will figure out a banana cream pie and it will be delicious and set! Below are the pretty photos that fooled me in to thinking I had actually created a pie. However, as Julia said:

“This is my invariable advice to people: Learn how to cook- try new recipes, learn from your mistakes, be fearless, and above all have fun!”
Julia Child, My Life in France

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Pancakes in 2 Ingredients – Boom!

Two ingredient pancakes for breakfast.

Two ingredient pancakes for breakfast.

I was having a girlfriend over for breakfast about a month ago and she’s trying to be gluten free. I came across this blog through another post on Facebook and thought it was pretty cool! She made pancakes, and they were gluten free, and they only had TWO ingredients! Say what? Yes, just two ingredients and you can make pancakes too! You combine 2 eggs and one banana and BOOM! Pancakes.

I was blown away and didn’t think that these could possibly taste all that great. But we decided to give it a try. I mashed up a ripened banana fairly well and then added in the eggs and beat those in with a fork as well. It turned in to this little bowl of batter and I was surprised. My friend and I both looked at each other and said, “That looks like as good as it’s going to get for gluten free batter.” I poured it in to the pan after I had heated up some coconut oil and before my eyes the batter turned in to pancakes! I made the first few batches plain, then added some plan low fat yogurt and blueberries to the last batches.

I have to say that I was pleasantly surprised! I served the vanilla chia seed pudding with raspberries, a baked peach and mimosas with the gluten free pancakes for breakfast and the meal was delicious. This was an easy, healthy, gluten free, protein packed pancake that really tasted good. I have to say that adding the yogurt really helped to add to the fluffiness and thickness of the pancakes but they were still more like crepes. I think with one batch we were able to make almost a dozen pancakes which was fine between the two of us. This recipe and entire meal was definitely sababa!

2 regular pancakes

2 regular pancakes

2 blueberry pancakes

2 blueberry pancakes

Head to your kitchen and get cooking!

Bon Appétit!

In the mood for Mexican Sweet Potatoes

While I was at work thinking of things I could make for dinner that have that extra kick because I’m in the mood for Mexican food, I came across this interesting recipe from Back on Pointe for these Healthy Mexican Sweet Potato Skins and I thought, ‘Perfect!’ I just so happen to have a sweet potato at home just waiting to be made in to something delicious. Sababa! This recipe was it! After taking a look at the ingredients on the way home I decided to omit the sour cream (yuck) and the cream cheese (don’t need the extra calories and headed to the grocery to pick up the shredded cheese and some yellow corn on sale.

Now, how great is this recipe? You can satisfy your Mexican craving and eat healthy all in the same meal! Now back to the sweet potato, so I came home with my low fat shredded cheese and my corn and put my apron on so to speak. Being that I got home close to 7 I wasn’t going to bake the sweet potato so I nuked it for a few minutes, probably 8-10 after poking it with a fork a few times to cook. I shucked the corn, that word looks weird…shucked. Anyway, did that and then roasted the corn over medium-heavy heat without any butter or oil until it browned nicely. Next, I sauteed the onions, added them to a bowl with my black beans. Then I removed the potatoes from the microwave and after letting them cool I scraped out the middle so it left only the skin in a nice little boat. Instead of mixing it with the sour cream and cream cheese I just added it to the bowl with the bean and onions and added in the corn mixing them altogether. I added in some salt, cumin and a little pepper just to taste and then put the mixture back in to my potato skin, topped it with cheese, cilantro and some quickly whipped up guacamole and Bon Appetit!

Here’s the ingredients and instructions: (recipe adapted from Back on Pointe)

Ingredients
  • 3 medium sweet potatoes
  • 1 can corn, rinsed and patted dry
  • 1 can black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1/2 yellow onion, chopped
  • 2-4 canned chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, minced or pureed
  • 1 ounce light cream cheese
  • 1/4 cup light sour cream
  • 1 teaspoon salt (+ more to taste)
  • 1/2 cup cilantro, roughly chopped
  • 6 tablespoons shredded cheese (Pepperjack, Cheddar, Colby Jack… anything will work)
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Bake the sweet potatoes for 45-60 minutes.
  2. While sweet potatoes are baking, place corn in a heavy cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat with no butter or oil. Sprinkle with salt and other Mexican seasoning (as much as you want). Do not stir! Let corn roast for several minutes before stirring. Let it roast for a few more minutes before stirring again. Continue this for about 10 minutes, until corn is browned and roasted on the outside. Set aside in a small bowl with the black beans.
  3. Saute the onion in the butter over medium heat until soft and translucent. Set aside.
  4. Remove sweet potatoes from the oven when fork-tender. Let cool for 5-10 minutes. Cut the sweet potatoes in half. Scrape the flesh of the sweet potatoes out, leaving the skins intact. Sometimes leaving a thin layer of potato inside of the skins helps them hold together better.
  5. Mix the flesh of the sweet potatoes with the cream cheese, sour cream, chipotle peppers, and salt. You can use a mixer or just a spoon, depending on how soft the potatoes are. When well-mixed, gently stir in the black beans, roasted corn, sauteed onions, and cilantro.
  6. Scoop the filling into the skins and top each with 1 tablespoon shredded cheese. Broil for about 5 minutes or until cheese is melted.
Notes

The filling is delicious all by itself!

One serving size is 1 potato skin.

Healthy Mexican Sweet Potato

Healthy Mexican Sweet Potato

Is there really quinoa in your muffins?

To answer your question, yes, there is quinoa in my muffins. One might ask why? Well quinoa is a healthy grain if you will and can be used in many ways. I was scouring the Pinternet otherwise known as Pinterest in the Food & Drink section, where else, found this very interesting carrot muffin recipe with Quinoa! And to make things more interesting she used Coconut Oil instead of butter! What? Are you crazy? I just made the most delicious buttery apple crostata and now you want me to use coconut oil instead of all that buttery goodness…..I’m now skeptical of how these muffins will turn out….

….ok….

…I am a skeptic no more. The batter, oh the batter. It. Was. Aaaaaaamazing! I made the quinoa, added all the ingredients and voilà! Amazing carrot cake batter, with quinoa no less! Cut to after the muffins came out of the oven and they were perfect and my house smelled wonderful and every little part of the skeptic in my was squashed when I took that first bite….yum! Bon Appetit!

Carrot and Quinoa Muffins

Carrot and Quinoa Muffins

Spring Time for Dessert

The first of April has come and gone, where oh where did time go? Spring has sprung but in Arizona it’s a little hotter than Spring in other parts of the country. Over the weekend I had remembered I had this old episode of Giada’s that I rewatched just to see her make this beautiful apple crostata. I have never had a crostata before, didn’t really know what a crostata was but it looked this like yummy buttery pastry with delicious baked apples inside. How could that not be as wonderful as it sounds? After watching that episode on my DVR I quickly looked it up online and found it here at food network.

I went right to work, I gathered all the required ingredients and brought out my trusty Cuisinart food processor I got for a steal on sale with Kohl’s cash back during the holiday season almost two years ago and began my crostata adventure. I started out making the dough first and wow, how good does it smell when you mix butter and sugar and flour together to form a dough?! Once that was done, wrapped and chilling out in the fridge I started coring and peeling up those beautiful apples. There’s something about being in the kitchen alone with your recipe and making it come together. While I was preparing the apple filling as the dough was chilling, ha, that rhymes, I was feeling a sense of peace and contentment just knowing that no matter what my crostata looked like it was going to turn out. Even if it didn’t, I was trying something new, a new dessert, a new recipe and that in itself was a success.

Ok, enough babbling, back to my crostata. I removed the chilled dough after an hour, filled it up with my apples and put it in the oven to back. You could not believe the sweet, enticing smell that filled my entire house. I couldn’t wait to get my crostata out of the oven! Finally after the longest 40 minutes ever, I removed it from the oven and it was gorgeous! I reluctantly let it cool for 10 minutes as Giada suggests and then went to work and cut into my perfectly beautiful apple crostata for dessert. The first bite was heavenly! You could really taste the butter in the crust and the apples were perfectly cooked and warm, so yummy!

With that said, Spring Forward if that applies to you and make time for dessert and try this wonderful apple crostata for yourself!

Apple Crostata a la Lili

Apple Crostata a la Lili