because what is life without good food?

Ice Cream

Ginger Cantaloupe Ice Cream

Ginger Cantaloupe Ice Cream

I was at the grocery store last week and they had these HUGE locally grown cantaloupe … my daughter had been staying with her grandparents for the week and would be coming home soon and she loves cantaloupe, so I bought one, brought it home, cut it up, and had this gargantuan tub of pretty orange cantaloupe chunks in my fridge to greet her upon her return.

She was quite pleased to see it and munched away at her cantaloupe. But, well, it was a HUGE cantaloupe and she didn’t make much of a dent in the big tub at her first munching. I expected she would have more later, but she didn’t. A day passed, then another, and she didn’t touch the cantaloupe, though I asked her if she would.

It became clear to me that I need another solution for using up this cantaloupe. I had seen a cantaloupe sorbet that was quite beautiful … I briefly considered that, then thought, no, I want something more creamy. With ginger. Yes! Ginger would be perfect with cantaloupe.

So this ginger cantaloupe ice cream is what I came up with. It’s quite healthy for you with loads of vitamins from the cantaloupe plus ginger is so good for the sinuses and digestion … but the most important thing is it’s totally delicious. The ginger is the perfect counterpoint to the sweet mellow cantaloupe flavor and I really like the cream taste and the hint of rum.

Even after making this, though, I still have a big pile of cantaloupe pieces in my fridge. Would anyone like some cantaloupe?

Ginger Cantaloupe Ice Cream

Ginger Cantaloupe Ice Cream

  • 1 cup fat free half and half
  • 1 egg
  • 2 thin slices of fresh ginger root
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 3 cups of cubed cantaloupe
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 – 1/2 cup whipping cream (I used 1/4 cup to keep my ice cream low in fat, but if you want it extra-creamy, add a little more)
  • 1/4 cup golden rum (optional, but it helps the ice cream from freezing too hard and adds a nice flavor … if you want the rum flavor without the alcohol, use 1 teaspoon of rum extract)

Directions:

  1. In a saucepan, stir together 1 cup of the fat free half & half with the sugar and cook over medium heat just until hot. While the milk and sugar are cooking, in a small mixing bowl, beat the egg till it is fluffy and a consistent yellow (that is, no blobs of egg white floating about).
  2. In a slow stream, add about 1/2 cup of the hot cream mixture to the egg, whisking or beating constantly as you do. Beat it a little more just for spite, then add it back into the saucepan in a thin stream (while whisking) and heat at medium-low heat, whisking constantly, until it is thick enough to coat the back of a wooden spoon, about 5 minutes.
  3. Blend the cantaloupe, vanilla, ground ginger, and whipping cream in a blender until smooth. Mix the cantaloupe mixture with the cream mixture, pour into a jar, cover and refrigerate until it’s nice and cold.
  4. Just before freezing, add the rum and shake it well (or stir), and pull out the two ginger root slices. Freeze in an ice cream maker according to the manufacturer’s directions. Eat it straight away, or put it in the freezer for an hour or two to firm up a bit more. Either way, it’s lovely.

Ginger Cantaloupe Ice Cream

This recipe was shared at Cast Party WednesdayThursday’s TreasuresTastetastic Thursday, Foodie Friends Friday and Fit & Fabulous Fridays.


Basil Green Tea Gelato

Basil Green Tea Gelato

Do you love basil? I love basil. My mother has suggested maybe my dad and I love basil a little too much. How could that possibly be?

I have seen people put basil in sorbets and syrups and even cookies, so for #icecreamlove this month, I had this brilliant flash of inspiration: I wanted to make ICE CREAM with BASIL in it! I thought I was SOooo clever … but well, I googled it and it turns out that’s not an original idea. Sigh. But then very few ideas are. I mean with 7 billion people on this earth (currently, plus how many before us?), it’s highly unlikely that none of them ever had the same flash of insight.

I made my brilliant basil ice cream anyway. But I put green tea in mine too. Because it just felt right to add green tea.

I don’t really know whether to call this an ice cream or a gelato. I chose gelato because Saveur calls it a gelato and hey, they’re Saveur, they should know.

If you are a basil lover like me, you will love this gelato. It has a wonderful sweet basil taste. It IS very clever, even if it wasn’t my own brain child. I totally ♥ this gelato … er, ice cream? oh whatever …

Basil Green Tea Gelato

Basil Green Tea Gelato

Kinda sorta adapted from Saveur and Eats Well with Others

  • 1 1/2 – 2 cups fresh basil leaves
  • 1 cup 2% milk
  • 1 cup fat free half & half
  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream (for a lower-fat version, use skim milk in place of 2%, more fat free half & half and less heavy cream … I would recommend 1 1/2 cups fat free half & half and 1/2 cup whipping cream)
  • 1/2  – 3/4 cup sugar (I used 1/2 cup, but if you want it sweeter, add more sugar … )
  • 2 eggs
  • a pinch of salt
  • 3 green tea bags

Put the basil, milk, half & half, whipping cream, sugar, eggs, and salt in a blender and blend till smooth. Pour the mixture into a saucepan and heat till the sugar is dissolved and the mixture is hot to the touch (like as hot as a tea you would drink). Put the green tea bags in the pot and let the mixture sit for 5 minutes or so to let the tea steep.  Chill the mixture in the fridge until it’s cold. If you want, you can strain out the basil leaves by straining the mixture through a fine sieve or cloth. (I decided to strain it this time, but I’ve seen others leave the specks of green.) Either way, take the tea bags out and freeze it up in your ice cream maker.

Enjoy immediately, or freeze it in the freezer for a couple hours to firm it up some more.

Basil Green Tea Gelato

This post is an #icecreamlove post powered by Linky Tools

Click here to see all the other wonderful ice creams everyone is making this month …

This recipe was also shared at Weekend Potluck, Manic Mondays and Melt in your Mouth Mondays.


Peanut Butter Ice Cream {Low Fat}

Lowfat Peanut Butter Brown Sugar Ice Cream with PB2

I am a peanut butter fanatic. For as long as I can remember, I have cherished the taste of peanut butter. Peanut butter and jelly sandwiches were my favorite snack growing up … until as a teenager, I noticed I was putting on some weight. I asked my mom (the dietician) for some help and she gave me some materials to help me form a plan to get to the weight I wanted to be. That was when I checked just how many calories were in my favorite “little” snack, and decided that my beloved peanut butter just wasn’t fitting into my plans. I didn’t totally give up on my favorite snack, but I didn’t eat it very often anymore.

Many years have passed and my passion for peanut butter has not faded, but I still want to keep myself at a healthy weight, so I still take care to limit how much of my beloved peanut butter I put into my body. My son shares my fondness for peanut butter, especially when it’s paired with chocolate.

Recently a friend told me she’d tried PB2, a powdered form of peanut butter that has had 85% of the fat taken out. I was suspicious and checked, but they don’t use nasty chemicals or preservatives. It’s simply peanuts, without (most of) the fat. I thought I should try it in one of my favorite ice creams: the decadent peanut butter swirl ice cream from Saveur.

To lighten it up, I used PB2 in place of most of the peanut butter, I skipped the swirl part, swapped out the milk and a cup of the whipping cream for fat free half and half and replaced the 3/4 cup of white sugar with 1/2 cup of brown sugar. The result is a rich, decadent-tasting ice cream that has a LOT less fat (about 30% of the calories from fat, which is a good guideline to stick to in general) and a yummy peanut butter taste. Add a few peanuts on top and a bit of chocolate syrup and I’m in heaven. And I don’t even have to feel guilty about it!

Lowfat Peanut Butter Brown Sugar Ice Cream (with the magic of PB2)

Peanut Butter Ice Cream {Low Fat}

Adapted from Saveur.com’s Peanut Butter Swirl Ice Cream.

Note: there are 2 cups total of fat free half and half in the recipe … I separated them in the ingredient list to make it easier to follow the directions.

  • 1 cup fat free half & half
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/2 cup PB2 powder
  • 1 Tablespoon natural peanut butter
  • 1 cup fat free half & half
  • 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 2 tsp. vanilla extract

Directions:

In a saucepan, stir together 1 cup of the fat free half & half with the brown sugar and cook over medium heat just until hot. While the milk and sugar are cooking, in a small mixing bowl, beat the eggs till they are fluffy and a consistent yellow (that is, no blobs of egg white floating about).

In a slow stream, add the hot cream mixture to the eggs, whisking or beating constantly as you do. Beat them a little more just for spite, then put the saucepan back on the burner and heat at medium-low heat, whisking constantly, until it is thick enough to coat the back of a wooden spoon, about 5 minutes.

Remove  the pan from the heat and mix in the PB2 and the peanut butter using your mixer. Whisking the custard well while it is cooking helps keep the lumps out, but if you see any lumps in your custard, strain them out. If not, just let it set for a few minutes to cool, then beat in the cream and vanilla. Cover and refrigerate until cold, 6–8 hours, then put it in your ice cream maker and freeze into creamy wonderful deliciousness. I like to add a little drizzle of chocolate syrup and a few roasted peanuts on top, but just a little … I didn’t want to spoil all the work I’d done to lighten up my peanut butter treat.

Lowfat Peanut Butter Brown Sugar Ice Cream (with the magic of PB2)

This post is an #icecreamlove post powered by Linky Tools

Click here to see all the other wonderful ice creams everyone is making this month …

This recipe was also shared at Melt in your Mouth MondaysMakin’ you Crave Mondays, Totally Tasty Tuesdays, Cast Party Wednesday, It’s a Keeper Thursday, Thursday’s Treasures,  Tastetastic Thursday, and Fit & Fabulous Fridays.


Muck Ice Cream (Chocolate, PB & Banana)

Chocolate Peanut Butter Banana Ice Cream

Creamy. Chocolatey. Peanut-buttery. Ice cream. Oh yes, and banana.

This is my son’s creation, his brain-child, his idea. I wanted to give it a fancier name, but he wasn’t having any of that. NO, it’s Muck Ice Cream. I asked him what Ben & Jerry’s would name it and he said, “Muck Ice Cream.” I get the feeling there just isn’t going to be any arguing with him on this one.

He has made this scrumptious ice cream recipe twice now. The first time he didn’t measure anything, so I asked him if he would please measure it next time and he did!

So that means I get to share it with you. I am so excited to share this one! This ice cream takes about 5 minutes to make, 20 minutes to freeze — you will have ice cream before you could even think about running to Dairy Queen. And Dairy Queen doesn’t have ice cream anywhere near as good as this.

It’s so good, we had it for breakfast today.

Muck Ice Cream

  • 2 bananas
  • 1/2 cup chocolate syrup
  • 2/3 cup peanut butter
  • 2 cups fat-free half and half (milk works well too, but using half and half makes it so oooh so extra-creamy good)

Directions: Mix up all the ingredients in a blender until very smooth. Freeze in your ice cream maker.

I highly recommend getting one of those speedy Cuisinart ice cream makers. They make life SO much better if you’re anywhere near as much of an ice cream freak as I am.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Banana Ice Cream

This recipe was shared at Totally Tasty Tuesdays, the Newlyweds Recipe Linky, Thursdays TreasuresWonka Wednesdays and This Week’s Cravings.


Brandied Pumpkin Maple Spice Ice Cream

Brandied Pumpkin Maple Spice Ice Cream

I know it might seem a little odd to be making ice cream in the fall when the weather is starting to get chilly, but think about it. This is the time of year when people are baking pies and apple crisp and don’t you always want a scoop of ice cream on top? Why use plain old vanilla ice cream when you can have something much more exciting?

Brandied Pumpkin Maple Spice Ice Cream

Brandied Pumpkin Maple Spice Ice Cream

I think next time I make this, I will use some whipping cream in place of the fat free half & half to get a more creamy texture. The flavor was amazing, the texture could have been a bit creamier.

Ingredients:

  • 2 c. fat-free half & half
  • 1 c. buttermilk
  • 1/4 c. brown sugar
  • Several pieces of candied ginger (I think I used 5 pieces.)
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1 c. of cooked pumpkin or butternut squash puree
  • 2 t. vanilla
  • 1/4 t. nutmeg
  • 1/4 t. cinnamon
  • 1/4 t. cardamom
  • 1/8 c. maple syrup
  • 1/4 c. brandy …  (Optional, but if you leave out the alcohol, the ice cream will get much harder in the freezer. The alcohol keeps it from freezing too hard.)

Directions:

  1. In a medium saucepan, mix half & half, buttermilk & brown sugar. Add the candied ginger. Heat, stirring frequently, until small bubbles form at the edge of the pan.
  2. In a separate bowl, beat the egg with a whisk or mixer until frothy.
  3. Slowly drizzle a stream of the hot cream mixture (about 1 cup of it) into the egg, whisking or beating constantly.
  4. Gradually add the egg mixture back into the remaining hot cream mixture in the saucepan, whisking as you go.
  5. Cook over medium-low heat, stirring frequently, until mixture thickens slightly and is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon–roughly 5 minutes.
  6. Remove from heat, transfer into a glass jar and refrigerate until thoroughly chilled–at least 2 hours.
  7. Meanwhile, stir together the pumpkin or butternut squash in a bowl with the spices, vanilla, maple syrup and the brandy till smooth. If there are any chunks in the squash, run it through a blender, food processor, or handi chopper to get a smooth mixture.
  8. Once the cream mixture is cool, pull it out of the fridge and strain out and discard the candied ginger chunks.
  9. Mix together the pureed pumpkin mixture with the cooled cream mixture till they are well blended.
  10. Freeze in your ice cream maker till good and frozen. With my little Cuisinart ice cream maker, it takes about 20 minutes.

Use this ice cream atop your favorite pie or autumn dessert …  or by itself, drizzled with a little maple syrup, caramel sauce or sprinkled with a bit of chopped candied ginger. But today I’m enjoying my ice cream “plain”, just like this and it’s delicious … it has enough depth of flavor to be an elegant dessert all by itself.

Brandied Pumpkin Maple Spice Ice Cream


Sweet Corn Ice Cream with Salted Caramel Sauce

Sweet Corn Ice Cream with Salted Caramel Sauce

(Also, scroll to the bottom to see what to do with the REST of the plentiful corn …)

Buttered popcorn is my very favorite jelly bean flavor. I don’t even like jelly beans … but if it’s a buttered popcorn jelly bean, I do.

So the idea of sweet corn ice cream really appealed to me … would it taste like buttered popcorn, I wondered? Like a buttered popcorn jelly bean? The light bit of sweetness combined with the luscious butter and the salt … mmm.

When I saw this Sweet Corn Ice Cream with Salted Caramel Sauce recipe from Taste and Tell, I was even more intrigued by the idea … and when I read her description of it and she described it sort of like caramel corn … and when I saw those delectable pictures of corn and caramel and this lovely light yellow butter-colored ice cream drizzled with caramel, well then I couldn’t stop thinking about it  … yes, I obsess about foods like that. I had to have it.

And luckily my parents brought me some corn to make it! Oh I am so blessed.

Sweet Corn Ice Cream ... look at that beautiful buttery corn color!

So here’s my take on this treat. I noticed that Taste and Tell said it wasn’t as creamy as she liked, so I replaced the cream and the milk with fat-free half and half. And I substituted an egg and an egg white for the 3 yolks–probably sacrificed some creaminess there, but cut the cholesterol!

Sweet Corn Ice Cream with Salted Caramel Sauce

For the ice cream:

  • 2 cups corn kernels
  • 3 cups FAT FREE half and half
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • dash of salt
  • 1 egg + 1 egg white
  • 2 T. brandy (optional! but the alcohol, while it’s a very small amount, keeps the ice cream from freezing too hard)

Directions:

  1. Combine the corn and 1 cup of the fat free half-and-half in a food processor or blender and process until smooth. Pour through a sieve over a large bowl, reserving the liquid and discarding the solids.
  2. Whisk the egg and the egg white until fluffy.
  3. Add the other 2 cups of half and half, the sugar, the salt and the eggs. Whisk all the ingredients together and pour into a large saucepan.
  4. Cook the mixture over medium heat until thick, but do not boil, stirring constantly, about 15 – 20 minutes or until the mixture coats the back of the spoon. Remove from heat.  Let your kids lick the spoon from the pan. :)
  5. Pour the mixture into a glass jar or two and refrigerate until cool–at least 2 hours.
  6. If you are using it, add the brandy to the jar and shake till well blended.
  7. Freeze in an ice cream maker according to manufacturer’s directions. (Taste and Tell did a caramel ribbon IN the ice cream which sounds lovely but I skipped that step.)
  8. Serve with caramel sauce.

Salted Caramel Sauce

I changed up this recipe quite a bit … wanted to use brown sugar and no heavy cream.

  • 6 tablespoons butter
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup FAT FREE half and half
  • 1/2 teaspoon good quality pure vanilla extract
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons salt

Melt the butter in a small saucepan. Stir in the sugar and cook, stirring frequently, until the mixture gets really bubbly, like it’s starting to boil higher and higher out of the pot.

Remove from the heat and whisk in half and half, salt and vanilla. Let cool to room temperature. Store in the fridge, but warm it slightly to drizzle over the ice cream.

Sweet Corn Ice Cream with Salted Caramel Sauce

and as promised … what to do with the rest of the corn!

Many thanks to my good friend Vanessa for sharing her recipe for freezing corn.

Freezing Corn Vanessa Style

  • 8 c. corn, cut from the cob (NOT blanched)
  • 2 T. sugar
  • 1 T. butter (no substitutes)
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt

How to make it:

  • Cut corn off cob (do NOT blanch)
  • Put in a large pan on stove top
  • Add all other ingredients
  • Simmer for 8 minutes on med heat
  • Let cool well
  • Put in freezer containers or freezer bags and freeze.
  • Put whatever amount in each container that you would use for your family for one meal..

This will last in the freezer for at least 3 years.

Thanks again, Vanessa, and thank you to Taste and Tell for sharing your awesome recipes!

This recipe was submitted to Cast Party WednesdaySerendipity & Spice and Recipe of the Week-Secret Ingredient: Corn.


Rich, Creamy Dark Chocolate Milk Stout Ice Cream

Rich Creamy Dark Chocolate Milk Stout Ice Cream

I am a woman. I’m not supposed to like dark beer. But I do! I love it! Thick, dark beer. Beer so dark it could be mistaken for coffee. Oatmeal stouts.  Rogue Shakespeare Oatmeal Stout mmm. Cream Stouts. Porters. Double Chocolate Stouts. And my most recent discovery: Milk Stouts. On vacation in Colorado this year (the perfect place for a beer lover to vacation!), I found the Left Hand Brewing Company’s Milk Stout. To me, it’s like vacation in a beer. Now that we are home, I can’t find that one, but I did find some Moo Joos Milk Stout that is almost as good and it’s brewed a little closer to home.

Being a dark beer lover, chocolate stout ice cream is something I had heard of and always wanted to try. I ran across a recipe for Malted Guiness Chocolate Stout Ice Cream the other day at the Sassy Radish. I loved her post, but it was challenging me to try to make it lighter, healthier. Can you make ice cream that is thick and rich and chocolate that’s not going to make you incredibly fat? Hey I had to try.

I couldn’t bear to cut down the amount of chocolate, but I used the most intense dark chocolate I had on hand: Green & Black’s Organic 72% Baking Chocolate has just a hint of sweetness with an intense dark chocolate flavor. I didn’t have quite enough of that, so I threw in some Ghirardelli 60% Cacao Bittersweet chocolate chips. Dark chocolate has the most health benefits of all the chocolates so it’s the perfect ingredient for a “healthy” but rich chocolate ice cream.

Dark dark chocolate for the ice cream

Rich, Creamy Dark Chocolate Milk Stout Ice Cream

I had no malted milk powder like she used in hers, so instead I added espresso powder and cinnamon–and a hint of kahlua. I cut out the whipping cream and used fat free half in half in place of both the milk and the cream. And I replaced the 4 egg yolks with 2 eggs. And this is what I came up with. It is amazingly thick and rich, with an intense dark chocolate, coffee flavor and a hint of that lovely dark milk stout taste. Stout and chocolate lovers  rejoice!

Ingredients:

  • 7 oz. dark chocolate
  • 2 c. FAT FREE Half & Half
  • 1/3 c. sugar
  • 1/4 t. nutmeg
  • 1/4 t. cinnamon
  • 1 T instant vanilla espresso powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/4 cup Milk Stout (or other stout beer–most people would probably use Guiness, but I wanted something a little more adventurous)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/8 c. Kahlua

Dark Chocolate and Milk Stout -- Ingredients for the Ice Cream

Directions:

  1. Place the chocolate in a large bowl and set a mesh strainer over the top. I chopped up the Green & Black’s chocolate bar into smaller chunks so it would melt easier.
  2. In a medium saucepan, over medium heat, warm 1 c. of the fat free half and half, sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, espresso powder and salt until small bubbles form around the edge of the pan.
  3.  Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, whisk the eggs till fluffy.
  4. When the milk mixture is simmering, remove from heat and add about half the warm milk mixture, in a slow, thin drizzle, to the eggs, whisking constantly, then scrape it all back into the saucepan.
  5. Whisk the mixture constantly with a heat-proof whisk over medium heat until the mixture thickens – about 3 to 4 minutes. Pour the custard through the strainer over the chocolate, stirring until the chocolate is melted. Once the mixture is smooth, whisk in the cream, then the beer, vanilla, and kahlua.
  6. Chill the mixture for at least 8 hours or overnight (I had such a hard time waiting!), then freeze in your ice cream maker according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
Rich, Creamy Chocolate Milk Stout Ice Cream

Nutrition Information

Either way you make it, this ice cream is a rich, decadent treat. Just a small scoop of it is very satisfying.

Before

(the Sassy Radish version)

Calories from fat are almost 70% of the calories.

This version is higher in vitamin A and iron, from the extra egg yolks.

After

(lightened version … the recipe above)

Calories from fat are about 35%. The sugar content is a little higher.

This version is higher in calcium and protein.

Nutrition information for the malted guiness chocolate stout ice cream from the Sassy Radish  Nutrition facts for this recipe (the lightened chocolate stout ice cream)

Nutrition facts generated at http://caloriecount.about.com/cc/recipe_analysis.php


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