Thursday, August 27, 2015

Flip or Flop: Pool Snacks

Cake Batter Ice Cream

*This post was originally published on 7/12/11.  Enjoy!

Nothing says summer to me like homemade ice cream.  There's a rich, sugary-sweet flavor that just can't be topped.  It brings back the days of sitting on my grandparent's porch stealing chunks of ice while someone worked the crank on the old ice cream maker.  Bowls of rich vanilla cream drizzled in blackberry jelly... afternoons in the sprinkler... and falling asleep in the sun.

Yes it really is "comfort in a bowl."

So when I came across this Cake Batter Ice Cream on Amy's Notebook, I knew it was one I'd have to try.

2 cups heavy cream, divided
½ cup yellow cake mix
½ cup sugar
Pinch of salt
3 egg yolks
2 tsp. vanilla extract
1½ cups whole milk
In a medium saucepan, combine 1 cup of the heavy cream with the yellow cake mix, sugar, and salt.  Heat over medium heat until warm.  Meanwhile, place the egg yolks in a medium bowl and whisk until smooth (very important).  Combine the remaining cream, vanilla, and whole milk in a large mixing bowl (original recipe calls for a sieve to catch clumps of batter; skipped this step).
Temper the egg yolks by slowly pouring a small amount of cream in at a time.   Pour the cream mixture in a steady stream, whisking continuously until completely combined.  Return to the saucepan over medium heat.  Continue heating, stirring and scraping the bottom of the pan, until thickened slightly (original recipe calls for temp to be 170-175 degrees; you'll know when it's ready).
Immediately pour the custard mixture into the bowl with the remaining cream and milk and mix to blend.  Cover and chill the mixture thoroughly in the refrigerator.  Once chilled, freeze in an ice cream maker.  Wrap with thick towels and allow flavors to mix.  Can do this for up to a hour.  Store in an airtight container in the freezer.
This recipe really is wonderful and one that I look forward to enjoying for years to come.  There really is nothing like homemade ice cream and I hope you enjoy it as much as we did!
What's your favorite summer treat?
For more experiments, check out Amy's Notebook Experiments under the header.

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Dinners of the Week--Aug 10-16, 2015

Brownie Batter Dip {Pinterest Inspired}

*This post was originally published on 3/26/12.  Enjoy!

A couple of weeks ago, I was running around the house trying to get dinner ready for company and kept thinking I needed to have something for dessert.  Now usually I skip dessert, but these time I was thinking it might be fun to have something extra.  So I was searching my brain, trying to come up with something yummy and possible with ingredients we already had in the house.  I checked my Pinterest boards to see if I could come up with something.

That's when I remembered this Brownie Batter Dip that I had pinned a few weeks prior.  It was so easy to put together and absolutely amazing.  We served it with apple slices and pretzels, and it made the perfect sweet ending to our meal.  Just a simple little thing to make our evening special.  Enjoy!

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Six Year Old Boy (Scrapbook Pages)

*This post was originally published on 8/20/12.  Enjoy!

Finally scrapped Noah's 6 Year Photos!

He's all about Mario Bros right now
so it's perfect!

Used the Mario clip art again.

Also cut stars and mushrooms from the Cricuit.
And added detail.

I love how this one came out!

Dinners of the Week: July 3-9, 2015

Saturday, August 8, 2015

The Dinner Tag

Weekend Links

This Week:

What I Made: I'm working on a dinosaur egg piƱata for my almost 4 year old.  It's looking very "rustic."  :-)

What I'm Reading: I'm between books right now.  Wish I wasn't.  I have the Aug bookmarks book on hold and another as well.  They'll probably both come in at the same time. 

What I'm Doing: We have a busy Saturday here... farmer's market, clothing exchange, trip to 
Jo-ann's... Think I need some chocolate!

What I'm Watching: We've been watching Friends.  We're on season 8.  Also watching Food Fighters.  Fun to see home cooks take on professional chefs. 

What I'm Enjoying: Working with my gymnastics class... seeing Josiah try new things... pilates twice a week... up to 40 min on the rower... lots of swimming. 

What are you up to?

Thursday, August 6, 2015

Star Wars Birthday Party

*This post was originally published on 11/14/12.  Enjoy!

This past October, my little guy turned 7 years old.  Seven!  Seven years old!  I can't believe it.  I blinked and he grew up.  This year, he's become obsessed with star wars, which absolutely fascinates me since he's never seen the movie.  But in his mind, Star Wars is this amazing world of villians, good vs evil, and light sabers.  So I caved and started planning a Lego Star War's party which actually turned out to be a lot of fun.

Princess Leia made an appearance at the party as well.  She even had her own light saber to defend herself against her brother.  I saw a lot of different light saber ideas on Pinterest, but in the end went with pool noodles since I knew the boys would be beating each other with them anyways.  We cut the noodles in half, then wrapped the cut end in SHINY (not matte) silver duct tape.  Then I added a strip of black electrical tape on the top and the bottom of the silver.  Both tapes were very forgiving and easily movable if necessary.

I love planning food for these parties.  What does that say about my appetite?  Popcorn, veggies and dip, and pretzel rods dipped in chocolate for light sabers.

I didn't get a picture of the punch, but we made Yoda Soda: 7-Up mixed with limeade and scoops of lime sherbert floating in it.  The kids thought the green color was weird, but once they tasted it, they were hooked.

And my mom came up with this one: Death Star Donuts.  Chocolate donut holes purchased from the store and sprinkled with edible silver stars.  Yummy!

My mom made the cake.  She frosted a sheet cake and sprayed it with silver coloring from Wiltons.  Then for the lego pieces, she added smaller cakes, made the nobs with marshmallows, and frosted the whole piece.  We stacked them on the back of the cake and added Lego Star Wars figures as well.

To start off the party, we had an obstacle course with several items from around our house: a crawling tunnel, cones to kick a soccer ball around, a black tablecloth to run through, and bobbing for an apple at the end before tagging the next team mate.  All through out the course, we had "Jedis" trying to stop the kids by whacking them with light sabers.  I'm not sure who it was more fun for: the kids or the adults.

I looked up several pictures of Yoda a few days before and drew on to play Pin the Light Saber.  My kids love every variation of this game and usually end up going several times.

My mother-in-law printed out several pictures of Stormtroppers and we took out Noah's nerf gun.  The idea was to hit as many as they could.  You could make the Stormtroppers stand or do what we did: tape them to a black tablecloth hanging from the clothesline.  Either way, my little girl was going to make sure she got a good shot.

Finally it was time for cake!

And a group photo before opening presents!

It seems like all our parties lately have ended with a pinata.  And this party was no exception.  Although the homemade pinata turned out to be a little bit sturdier than planned and we broke the plastic bat.  Plan B involved a metal bat and some very concerned parents.  Don't worry.  No one was hurt in the destruction of the Death Star pinata.  Oh, yeah, except for the pinata.

In the end we had a ceremony where we presented each of the kids with their certificate of Jedi training, making them official Jedi's.  Now, they're off to defend the galaxy.  They're well prepared, energetic, and full of sugar.  At least until next year!

*Additional Resources:
Topsy Turvy

*Linked to these Parties
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