Sunday, May 31, 2009

Craft # 5g: Chipotle Chocolate Ice Cream

This is the last of the May Ice Cream series. I wanted to make one more kind and I wanted it to be chocolate. Here is a little known fact about me: I am not a big chocolate ice cream, cake or brownie fan. Granted, I will eat them when they are in front of me, but I prefer vanilla. That being said, I really wanted to make chocolate variety.

I told Rich this and he again came up with a suggestion: Spicy Chocolate Ice Cream. {I kind of want to call it Hot Chocolate Ice Cream, but am not sold that should be the name}

Chocolate ice cream meant I needed to purchase my very first container of unsweetened cocoa powder, as this would be a key ingredient. Also, you should know I took zero photos during the cooking process and frankly I haven't had a scoop, just an ice cream sandwich.

Chipotle Ice Cream, 'Hot Chocolate Ice Cream'
(Source: Many. I didn't keep track and took bits and pieces to assemble my own version)

1 ¾ c milk
1 ¾ c half and half
1 c. sugar
1/4 t. salt
1/2 c. cocoa
2 oz. semi-sweet chocolate
4 egg yolks
1 t. cinnamon
1 pinch cloves
1/8 t. nutmeg
1/8 t. ground ancho chili powder
1/4 t. ground chipotle powder
1 t. vanilla extract

Combine milk, half and half, sugar, salt, cocoa and semi-sweet chocolate in sauce pan over heat.

In separate mixing bowl, beat eggs and spices (excluding vanilla).

Temper eggs with cocoa mixture. Pour mixture into reserved saucepan and cook over moderate heat, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon, until mixture coats back of spoon and registers 175°F on thermometer (do not let boil). Immediately remove from heat and pour through a fine-mesh sieve into a bowl and refrigerate, several hours or overnight.

Prepare ice cream according to ice cream maker instructions.

{ugly picture; delicious hot chocolate ice cream sandwich on gingersnap cookies}
*Have you noticed a theme with the last three ice creams? I wanted ice cream sandwiches, baby!! So I made two batches of cookies this weekend to pair with the ice creams. They are tasty!!!

Random encounter in Plymouth

Malin and I went for a walk earlier this afternoon. A block in front of us was a woman in all-black athletic wear (tank top and pants) and a man with light hair and a white top, black pants. Since we had just started our walk, Malin was very eager to catch up to play with these friends.

Per my normal process, I slowed to pass them and held Malin tight. As we went by, the woman asked, "Excuse me? Do you know where to find the nearest Starbucks?" They were headed away from the Starbucks, which is probably a two plus miles away, and toward a Caribou (~3 blocks away and within sight). I told them so and was about to continue on my way when I thought I recognized the woman.

And here was our conversation:
Me: Excuse me, but are you Mary Lou Retton?
Her: MariLu Henner.
Me: Oh. Sorry. Umm... what are you doing here?
Her: I'm in town for a family wedding at the Marriott.
Me: Oh. Well, Caribou serves coffee. Otherwise the Starbucks is a long ways away in the opposite direction.
Wow. I can certainly say you are one person I hadn't expected to run into today.

... silence...

Me: Well, best of luck with your caffeine fix...
Her: Oh, I don't drink coffee. We are going for tea.
Me: Oh. In that case, Caribou has a wonderful Jasmine tea.
[exit stage left]

Okay, I didn't really exit, but I did take off and leave her on her merry way. I happened to stop at the Caribou a few hours later (on a separate mission) and asked if Marilu Henner had been there. The Barista's had no clue who she was (even after I provided an outfit description), but did mention a woman from LA had stopped in and was in town with her husband for a wedding. [And in case you are wondering, she ordered a Chai w/ Soy Milk]


Saturday, May 30, 2009

Craft # 5f: Basil Ice Cream

Rich requested this one. He was inspired by a Basil/Sugar grinder we bought a while back; we have yet to use it, but are ready if you need Basil & Sugar added to something.

Basil Ice Cream
Yield: Makes about 3 cups Active Time: 25 min Total Time: 3 1/2 hr

2 cups whole milk [I used skim]
3 tablespoons chopped fresh basil [to me this was two packages of herbs from the store]
1/2 cup sugar
4 large egg yolks
1/2 cup well-chilled heavy cream [I used fat free half and half - and probably closer to 3/4 c]

Bring milk, basil, 1/4 cup sugar, and a pinch of salt to a boil in a 2-quart heavy saucepan, stirring, then remove from heat and let steep 30 minutes. Transfer to a blender (reserve saucepan) and blend until basil is finely ground, about 1 minute. [I again had to do this in batches using the Magic Bullet; the second batch I blended less, because I wanted visible basil pieces in the ice cream]

Beat together yolks and remaining 1/4 cup sugar in a medium bowl with an electric mixer until thick and pale, about 1 minute. [I did this by hand] Reheat milk mixture and then add milk to egg mixture in a stream, beating until combined well. Pour mixture into reserved saucepan and cook over moderate heat, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon, until mixture coats back of spoon and registers 175°F on thermometer (do not let boil). Immediately remove from heat and pour through a fine-mesh sieve into a bowl. Refrigerate for several hours, or overnight, until well chilled.
Stir in cream and freeze in ice cream maker. Transfer ice cream to an airtight container and put in freezer to harden, at least 2 hours.

I haven't taken any finished product photos yet... but I will likely sandwich this one between two cookies...

Backlogged Posts

Now that we have completed our first leg of the moving process, I am back. At least until we find our next house, pack, move and unpack. With that said, I did a lot in May and am going to be retroactively posting. Hopefully it won't take me too long - because I want to get back up to date and talk about current stuff.

If you are looking for new posts, be sure to check the full month of May. I'll be adding them in the midst of blanks. I'll update this particular post when I'm done.
*Happy reading!!

UPDATE: May posts are fully updated. There is more to talk about, but I can post them in June.

Friday, May 29, 2009

Craft # 5e: Mango Ginger Yogurt

For a while I've wanted to try Greek yogurt. I've heard a lot about it, but up until now had not used or tasted it. When this recipe called for it as an ingredient, I was pretty excited to have an excuse to buy some. I liked this recipe because it is pure ingredients and does not include a custard base. So in my mind that means no post-mixing refrigeration required.

Mango Ginger Frozen Yogurt
(Source: Sugar Laws)

1 large mango, peeled and pitted
1 tsp fresh grated ginger [I used 1/2 t. ground ginger]
3/4 cup sugar [I think I only used 1/2 c. sugar]
6 ounce carton vanilla yogurt
5 ounce container plain Greek yogurt [I used closer to 8 oz]
1 tbsp vodka
2 T. crystallized ginger

In a food processor {I only have the magic bullet, so I used that} puree the mango, ginger, vodka and sugar until combined. Add the vanilla yogurt and Greek yogurt and process until blended. {At this point the volume outgrew the Magic Bullet, so I had to mix smaller batches.}

Churn in an ice cream machine for about 40 minutes, when almost done add crystallized ginger to yogurt mixture. Freeze for 2 hours or to the consistency you prefer.
{Juicy Mango}
{Mango Ginger Yogurt Sandwich on White Chocolate, Coconut, Almond Cookies: Side View}

{Mango Ginger Yogurt Sandwich on White Chocolate, Coconut, Almond Cookies: Arial View}

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

SOLD - to the highest bidder!!

It's done! As of this very moment we no longer own our house. Rich and I did the pre-sign yesterday morning, and right now the new home owners are signing their name during the official closing.

I am truly happy that the house is sold, that we are done packing and moving (for now) and that everything is out of there!!! {Holy smokes we have a lot of stuff!!} However, I will fully admit that when we got into our car with the last of our belongings knowing that we would not be coming back -- my eyes welled.

We certainly have a lot of memories there. This was our house. We looked at it together, we moved in together, we were living together! Our first indoor project (painting the living room) will forever be a story worth telling. Our first outdoor project was widening the garden path in the backyard. We brought our dog home to that house. (He was house-trained in that house, and had many accidents!) Rich proposed in the kitchen. We held our engagement party at that house. In fact we had a number of parties there: house warming (complete w/ holiday gift exchange), annual Super Bowl parties, Tailgating, GRILLING, purse party, dinner party w/ the girls, patio parties. Speaking of which, we put in a BEAUTIFUL patio and did wonders to the landscaping of the backyard. We painted the exterior (huge improvement) and installed new exterior doors & storm doors. We removed the screens from the windows our first year and never ended up putting them back up (I'll be glad to have screens again). It was our house.

But now it is not ours, and that's okay. We will find a new house and to make new memories in. And this next house will be our house, too. But even more so, because this time my name will be on the mortgage.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Book Club: Kindred

Our May Book was Kindred by Octavia E Butler.

The book itself is about slavery in Maryland in the 1800s.
But here's the twist: the book is Science Fiction. Unexpected, right?! I know! That's what I thought.

The story starts with Dana (an African American woman) and her husband Kevin (a white man) in 1976. They are in the process of unpacking when Dana gets dizzy and is pulled into Maryland circa the 1800s.

She rescues a drowning boy from the river, Rufus, who turns out to be her great-great-great.... grandfather. After the rescue Rufus' dad puts a gun to Dana's head, Dana gets scared and dizzy and *voila* she's back in her 1976 living room. Dana is wet and muddy which is Kevin's indicator that she really did disappear and go to 1800-Maryland.

Throughout the book she is pulled several times to rescue Rufus and each time, months or years have passed for him, while in Dana’s own time only hours or days have passed. On one of her trips, Kevin grabs hold of Dana as she begins to feel dizzy and is transported along with her to the 1800s. Ultimately he ends up trapped in that era for several years, which takes a significant toll on him.

Once you are past that randomness of time travel, the story itself is really good. It provided a very different perspective of slavery - not quite from the slave view nor the slave owners. It was more of a birds-eye view where the key players getting sucked into that time frame. In all, it was a very interesting, worthwhile, quick read.

*At book club we wondered what became of Dana and Kevin's relationship after this ordeal. It seemed strained, so I would be interested to see how things turned out for them.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Critical Equipment

We are in the midst of packing up our house and belongings and sorting them into two categories: Apartment vs. Storage. [8 days until our closing!]

The apartment we are renting is fully furnished, complete with dishes and linens. We even have a scale in our bathroom!! Needlesstosay, we won't need to bring a lot of our things in order to live comfortably for a few months. That being said, I am struggling to part with some of my 'stuff', if even for 60-90 days.

Here are the kitchen appliances I have deemed critical* for apartment-living:


{Ice Cream Maker - it is summer, afterall}

{4-slice Toaster}

{Coffee Maker}

{Magic Bullet - just two cups and a large cylinder are coming with}

{George Foreman}
Here is the one thing, so far, I have decided can go to storage.

{Salad Spinner}
And I am still in debates about this one:


*If the apartment already has these, I will put ours in storage.

UPDATE: I brought all of the "critical" items mentioned above and am glad I did. So far I have used the coffee maker (for the first time since February), mixer and magic bullet. That's 3 of the 6 appliances; not too shabby for only being at our apartment for 5 days. Also - they did have a coffee maker and toaster, but I decided I don't want to use theirs and kept ours here anyways).

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Smartest Moving Idea Ever!!!

Rich asked a bunch of his guy friends if they could come over on Saturday to help move the furniture out of our house and into storage while we look for our next place.

Our initial plan included a rental truck and storage unit. [We already have one storage unit and were going to need to rent a second one for all of our furniture.] The guys would come over Saturday morning, load the truck, drive 20 miles to our storage facility and then unload the truck. It was a great plan.

Until, one of my co-workers suggested an even BETTER plan. PODS!!! Portable On Demand Storage = Genius!!!

Our pod was delivered to our house Saturday morning at about 11:15a. The guys had every single piece of our furniture loaded, reorganized and reconfigured in the 16' pod by 1:30p.

*And I'm talking every piece of furniture! In our pod we fit: 2 couch/love seat sets, 2 large bookcases, 2 small bookcases, 2 queen mattresses, 2 queen box springs, 2 queen bed frames, a large entertainment center, long dresser, bureau, tall glass-doored cabinet, wine fridge, kitchen/bar table, coffee table, end table, two night stands, LARGE gas grill and outdoor fireplace. And that is only listing a portion of the items we were able to pack away!

Yes; we got a later start than we had hoped (we wanted to get started at 9a), but this took so much less time than our original plan. The guys would have had to do the same work, but twice with the unload. And later down the line, they would need to do it all over again, to load up a rental truck and unload in our new house. The way things are - we will still need help. But only to unload the pod once from the driveway of our new house! Using PODS is an absolute brilliant idea and we are beyond glad we did it this way!!

{Two very happy home-sellers}

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Splendid Splenda

Prior to today, I had never in my life knowingly had Splenda.
My girlfriend Krystle really likes it and has mentioned that she sprinkles some on strawberries or puts it in her coffee.

Two weeks ago we were at Target and came across flavored Splenda packets. Krystle bought the French Vanilla version to try. [It is also available in four other flavors – Mocha, Hazelnut, Caramel, and Cinnamon Spice]

This afternoon I went to Krystle and Pierce's house for a few hours and Pierce made some coffee. Long story short - Krystle and I also had a cup and it was then that I had my first Splenda experience. I had one French Vanilla packet in my coffee and it was delicious! The packet smells like cupcakes w/ vanilla frosting and it added just the right amount of sweetness for me. What a yummy treat! So yummy in fact, that I had a second cup of coffee.

I'm going grocery shopping soon and might have to buy some...
*If I do buy one -- what kind should I get?

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

The Penthouse!

We made our seat selection for the 2009 Gopher Football Season. At each home game you will be able to find us in section 214, row 26. Our friends selected their seats 11 minutes after we did and are sitting directly behind us. She astutely pointed out, "We’ll be able to high 5 after touchdowns!"

This season the Gophers will be playing in a brand new, outdoor stadium on campus. My favorite billboard reads: "Stadium Village, now with Stadium." It's going to be a fun year!

Monday, May 11, 2009

Craft # 5d: Coffee Toffee Crunch

The third ice cream I brought for Mother's Day was coffee toffee crunch. In all honesty, this was Salted Caramel gone wrong.

There are a few things that I did incorrectly:
1. I ran out of white sugar while making this batch (I bought more to make the official salted caramel rendition posted yesterday) and used brown sugar instead.
2. I didn't want to use butter in the recipe, so I used Karo syrup. The syrup I had on hand is dark, not light.
3. I don't want to blame the blog, but... I was fumbling for my camera and in turn the caramel burned. (It was either that or I just didn't know what caramel looked like before it was burnt.)
From a recipe standpoint, I pretty much followed the salted caramel recipe. I started using only one cup of sugar (a combination of white and brown sugar) and Karo syrup (2T). Unfortunately I let it cook for too long and the caramel mixture burned. Hoping to salvage the ice cream, I continued the process of making the custard and added more brown sugar (at least another 1/2 c.), hoping to disguise the burnt flavor.

I didn't want to throw it out and Rich, ever the idea man, saved the day. He tasted the custard and said it reminded him of coffee, because of the bitter aftertaste. He suggested "Coffee Toffee Crunch" and I went with it.
So I mixed up the ice cream according to manufacturers directions and added a bunch of crumbled Heath bars to the mixture right at the end.

The end result was pretty good. In fact, if didn't know this was a total mistake, you probably wouldn't think anything of it. I'm not sure it can ever be replicated, but to be honest, the whole caramel-making process was more challenging than I had thought... so it might not be too difficult to burn another batch after all...

{The Mother's Day Trifecta}

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Happy Mother's Day!!

Happy Mother's Day, Mom!!

This morning I joined my mom and aunt for their weekend ritual: coffee. It makes for an early morning, but I love to join them. It is just so great to catch up and hang out. Typically their morning ends with errands, which are fun, too.

Later in the afternoon Rich and I joined my parent's (and brother) for dinner at their house.

We brought the salad, broccoli and three ice creams for dessert. My dad grilled up salmon and my mom assembled the bread and oven fries. In short: we had a feast and it was delicious!

It was fun to get to spend the day with my family.
Love them.

Craft # 5c: Salted Caramel Ice Cream

For Christmas I bought my mom, my aunt Colleen and Rich each a box of chocolate covered caramels topped with sea salt from Trader Joe's. They looked delicious! And while I didn't trust myself with a box, I knew I would still get to try a piece if I gave it to them. (Yeah... I had an alterior motive...)

So when I saw this ice cream recipe I knew my mom and aunt needed to have it for Mother's Day. Hence, Mother's Day ice cream #2.

Salted Caramel Ice Cream ‘caramel fleur de sel glace’
(Sources: David Lebovitz, Estarcion, EveningEdge, CD Kitchen)

1 c sugar (+1/2 c. sugar, if desired)
1 T butter
1 cups heavy cream [I used fat free half and half]
2 cups whole milk [I used skim milk]
5 egg yolks, whisked together minimally
1/2 teaspoon fleur de sel -- plus more for serving
3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract

Spread the 1c sugar (plus additional ½c. if desired) in the saucepan in an even layer. Cook over moderate heat, until caramelized. When melted, add butter. When the caramel is to your color-liking, mix in salt and whisk in the heavy cream (stand back - it will spatter)! Reduce heat. {The caramel may harden and seize, but return it to the heat and continue to stir over low heat until any hard caramel is melted.} Stir in 1 cup (250 ml) of the milk.

Whisk the yolks in a small bowl and gradually pour some of the warm caramel mixture over the yolks, stirring constantly. Scrape the warmed yolks back into the saucepan and cook the custard using a heatproof utensil, stirring constantly (scraping the bottom as you stir) until the mixture thickens. If using an instant-read thermometer, it should read 160-170 F (71-77 C).

Pour the custard through the strainer, add the vanilla and stir frequently until the mixture is cooled down. {Taste the caramel custard - you don't want it to be at full salt yet.} Refrigerate at least 8 hours or until thoroughly chilled.

Freeze the mixture in your ice cream maker according to the manufacturer's instructions. Just before you turn the ice cream maker off, add in a generous pinch of big-grained sea salt. {I didn't do this... probably because I quit reading the directions. However I did add a pinch of big-grained sea salt to each scoop prior to serving}

I want to explain the soft-serve ice cream texture in this photo. This is what happens when you make 3 ice creams in the course of 48 hours. The frozen mixing bowl for the ice cream maker wasn't able fully re-freeze between batches and was less effective in the freezing process. It didn't help that I took the ice cream directly from the machine and brought it to my parent's house. It didn't have enough time to set and thus was very melty. Good thing that is my mom's favorite part. {I left the ice cream at my parent's house and they told me it did freeze up nicely overnight. However from what I understand this one disappeared quickly and didn't make it past that first night.}

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Craft # 5b: Cake Batter Ice Cream

For Mother's Day I made not one, not two, but three different ice creams. The first one I made was cake batter ice cream. I know that Cold Stone Creamery carries this variety, but our "Neighborhood Ice Cream Shoppe" also has it and Rich ordered it once. One word: YUM! It really does taste like cake plus it has sprinkles.

My mom love ice cream cake, the DQ kind, but I thought I would take a different spin on it and make cake flavored ice cream.

Cake Batter Ice Cream
(Sources include: Recipezaar, Spice Dish and Scoopalicious)
2/3 cup of sugar
4 large eggs yolks
1 cup skim milk
2 cups half and half [I used fat free half and half]
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
3/4 cup Yellow Cake mix [I used closer to +1 cup. I really liked the flavor and kept adding cake mix to the custard]
Dash of salt (optional) [I added it]

Beat the sugar into the eggs until thickened and pale yellow. Add the cake mix.

In a large saucepot, over medium heat bring the milk and half and half to a simmer add dash of salt. Once simmering, remove from stove and slowly add the hot milk mixture into the egg, sugar and cake mix and whisk until well mixed. Pour the entire mixture back into the sauce pan, and cook over low heat while mixing constantly until the mixture thickens. {The mixture may start to "bake" -- if this happens, take it off the stove immediately - it can still be salvaged by pouring through a strainer into a clean bowl.}

Remove from heat, and strain into a large bowl. Cover and refrigerate until cool (for several hours or overnight). Freeze according to manufacturer's directions.

Tip: taste mixture half way through to see if I have enough flavor, if you like more then you can add another tablespoon or two dry mix. For every quart of ice cream you should have 1/2 cup dry mix for flavor incorporated. [This is how I ended up using more than 3/4 c. mix]

For cake batter lumps: Add additional dry cake mix half way or ten minutes before the freezing is complete and/or add another 2 tablespoons dry mix at the end of the freezing process and swirl with a spatula for lumps of dry mix. {did it}
Confetti Cake: Add rainbow sprinkles to the ice cream semi-frozen ice cream (about five minutes before ready to remove it from the ice cream maker.) Eat immediately or transfer to another container and freeze. {also did it. Not sure how much I added, but probably close to 2-3T.}
Add chunks of prepared cake: Five minutes before completion add cupcake pieces and sprinkles {didn't try}
Lemon & Strawberry Cheesecake: Use Lemon Supreme Cake Mix, fold in the strawberries and some toasted coconut at the very end. {didn't try it}
It was good. My dad's feedback was "it coats the back of his throat." Not sure if that's a good thing or a bad thing, but I thought it tasted like cake and that was the point. In a later post you'll see what the full scoop looked like.

Friday, May 8, 2009

Busy Month

I probably should have mentioned this in my previous post - but because we've sold our home we kind of have a lot of work to do in a limited amount of time, 17 days in fact. As a result, expect blogging to be at a minimum in the upcoming weeks. {I would love to create more posts that I have been, however I feel extremely guilty if I'm not working on one of the projects below.}

Here is our list:
- Find temporary housing in which to reside while we look for our next home; we found a place!! checked off the list 5/11!
- Pack up belongings; Rich has started, I have not... DONE! 5/25. I ended up contributing, finally...
- Coordinate move, furniture, boxes, etc.; Moving truck rented, plan to move all large furniture 5/16; Change in plans, I think we are going to try to get a POD! So glad we did this!
- PO Box vs. Mail Forwarding; Rich is working on this... done! 5/22
- Order Lake Harriet Pizza once a week before we move {Our favorite local pizza place!}; ordered 4/26 (Supreme Pizza), 5/6 (Taco Pizza), 5/11 (Supreme Pizza); 5/23 (Supreme Pizza w/ Jalapenos)
- Order Fresh Wok at least twice before we move {Our favorite Chinese delivery restaurant}; ordered 5/9 (Steamed Chicken & Mixed Veggies), 5/22 same meal as before
- Search & purchase our next house!!~ Viewing trips w/ realtor: 4, Houses Shown: 27 (updated 5/30)

Monday, May 4, 2009


We sold our house!! I didn't mention it on the blog before, but we listed our house in March. After 45 days on the market we received an offer we accepted!! We've had the inspection and all systems are a go for sale!

Our closing date is fast approaching (a little more than 3 weeks away). So we have a lot to do in a little amount of time. First on the list: find a new place to live.

*We are so excited!!*

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Craft # 5a - Cinnamon Honey Ice Cream

During my Dad's winter stay in Las Vegas, he read an article about the health benefits of a variety of foods and has been making a concerted effort to ingest them on a daily basis. Two of the foods, in particular, are Cinnamon and Honey. Cinnamon and Honey are thought to aid digestion, reduce cholesterol and arthritis symptoms, treat toothaches and eliminate bad breath (among other things).

Rich, my idea man, suggested my Dad's ice cream flavor be Cinnamon Honey. Brilliant!

Cinnamon Honey Ice Cream
2 cups milk [I used fat free half and half]
1 egg (whole) + 3 egg yolks [I think I just used 4 egg yolks]
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup honey
150ml cream (just over 1/4 pint) [I think I used 1c.]
2 sticks (about 6 cm) of cinnamon
1 t. ground cinnamon

Put the milk into a saucepan on medium heat, add the cinnamon and continue stirring until at simmering point. Remove from the heat, cover and leave to infuse for about 1 hour. [I did not do this, but if you do - reheat the milk to the simmering point before tempering the eggs.]

In a separate bowl, mix together the egg yolks, sugar and honey. [I've read several recipes that have you beat the egg yolks and sugar mixture until the yolks are light yellow (~1 minute). So I usually do that at this step.]

Next step: temper the egg mixture. The goal of tempering is to slowly bring the egg mixture up to the milk temperature. [If you do this too suddenly (i.e. - dump the eggs into the hot milk), you will end up with scrambled eggs.]
To temper, I take a ladel to take some of the hot milk mixture and slowly add it to the egg mixture, while whisking the eggs. I repeat this process a few times until I'm certain the egg mixture is about the same temperature as the milk mixture in the pot.

Pour your egg mixture back into the pot and heat gently, stirring contastantly. This is your custard. You want it to thicken until it coats the back of a spoon (you should be able to swipe your finger along the back of the spoon and the line stay in tact) and registers 170 to 175°F on thermometer, about 5 minutes. Do not let the mixture come to a boil. That will also lead the eggs to cook and your custard to curdle.
Once you have a thickened custard, remove your pan the heat and strain the mixture into a bowl. Cover and chill for several hours, preferably overnight in the refrigerator. Put the cinnamon sticks back in the custard in order to further infuse the flavor [this is why I skipped the original hour of steeping].

The following day (or once chilled) stir in the cream and ground cinnamon. Transfer mixture to an ice cream maker and f
reeze according to the manufacturer's instructions.
After churning, I recommend freezing the ice cream mixture for another 1-2 hours so it sets. If you prefer a softer ice cream (similar to soft-serve), by all means, serve immediately!

{finished product}
Happy Birthday Dad!!

The end result was a very sweet ice cream. It kind of reminded me of the leftover milk after eating Cinnamon Toast Crunch. I would definitely make this again, but maybe cut back on the sugar content.

Friday, May 1, 2009

Craft # 5 - Ice Cream

I have two really great craft ideas in queue, but due to recent developments with our house I don't think they will get done in the month of May. So I'm going with Plan B: homemade ice cream.

Before we were married Rich thought we needed an ice cream maker; I thought he was crazy. My parent's had an ice cream maker, but never used it (and I think eventually donated it). So if I grew up not using one, I certainly didn't need one now. He didn't listen to me and bought one with some Best Buy points he had saved up. That year we hosted Thanksgiving and we tested the ice cream maker with some pumpkin pie ice cream. It was delicious.

I've made several kinds since: vanilla, almond, raspberry white chocolate, tiramisu, bacon - all of which have been good. {The tiramisu was not as good... but I have improvement ideas.}

The month of May contains two significant family celebrations: my Dad's birthday and Mother's Day. So for May's craft of the month I will experiment with different flavors and gift each parent with ice cream on their respective day.