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Monday, August 23, 2010

Homemade Goodness

For the record, its not that I haven't been doing any house projects lately, but they are just taking me longer than usual because the summer weather makes me want to sleep - all the time. So, look forward to seeing my dresser and window frame turned into picture frame in the fall.

Last week I used a wedding gift for the first time. It is an ice cream maker. I did not register for the ice cream maker because I never thought about taking the time to make my own ice cream, but now that I did it once, I think we're hooked! My in-laws were over for dinner so my mother-in-law helped me out. (I see a trend here since my mother helped me with the chocolate dessert last week).

Anyway, I have a 4 quart Rival electric ice cream maker. There is no handle to churn, but there is a motor that does all the work for you and a see through cover so you can see the ice cream "growing" by the minute. The recipe used sugar, milk, whipping cream, and vanilla extract.

Once the liquid mixture was in the canister, it took 40 minutes. I spent maybe 10 minutes measuring the ingredients, dissolving the sugar and mixing it all together. Although the recipe says to dissolve the sugar on the stove, an old pro told me just to heat up a little bit of the milk, dissolve the sugar in it, and then add the rest. Worked like a charm and saved me some steps.

We went with classic vanilla this time and it is the most scrumptious ice cream I have ever tasted. Brad and I have been enjoying the gallon for the past week and have more than a half-gallon left. We have been using chocolate syrup (him) and sliced peaches (me) as our toppings - delish!

Monday, August 16, 2010

Not What it Was Meant To Be

This weekend we had three extra visitors at our house. For me this meant it was time to try some new recipes that make too much food for our usual two-person household. My husband used his new Weber smoker and made the best pork I have ever tasted. It was even better than the barbeque we got used to while living in Memphis!

I on the other hand, made a new gazpacho-like dip with tomatoes, cucumbers, and serrano peppers from our garden as well as onion, bell pepper, olive oil and vinegar. It was great with tortilla chips -- I even had the leftovers last night.

But the recipe I was most excited to make was one that I have been holding onto since February...slow cooker chocolate cake. I went to the grocery on Thursday for a few last minute visitors-coming-to-town items and made sure I had all the necessary ingredients. I mixed the ingredients and put them in the slow cooker just past noon on Friday. Once our friends arrived and we were talking about making dessert in a slow cooker, something none of us had ever done, I realized I forgot to add the sour cream - now my cake would be super dry!

I was relieved that my mom was in town because she zipped over to the grocery and picked up chocolate pudding and Cool Whip. In less than 30 minutes she converted my chocolate cake into a layered death by chocolate and it was delicious. Unfortunately, I ate it so quickly that I don't have a picture of the whole thing or the process, but this is how it looks now:

For the original recipe I used, visit With This Nest:

Friday, August 13, 2010

Childhood Carnival

Don't oceanfront boardwalk amusement parks make you want to be a kid again? The fearless feeling of a rickety old roller coaster with a horrible restraint system, the ferris wheel that moves too fast only to take tickets from more kids to ride, and the funhouse where you never know what to expect?