Who’s ready for another week? It’s hard to believe it’s already mid-September; it feels like time is flying by here. We have been busy bees at work, especially since students arrived last week. We enjoyed a date night Friday at a local tap room/brewery, which was a lot of fun! This weekend felt like things kicked off into high gear. I had an interview to be a volunteer at the local zoo, Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium, then grabbed lunch before heading over to the Humane Society for my first volunteer shift! I got to hang out in the “cattery” washing dishes and litter boxes. It will be awhile before I can directly interact with the kitties that are waiting on their new families, but I can at least talk to them and show them some verbal love while I work. After volunteer activities were over, Will and I had a “treat yo self” moment and ventured to the mall for some new PNW-work clothes. We had so much fun, but are now poor haha. We hit it big-time at Old Navy and got a few things off our list that we were looking for. I’m also happy to report that I live super close to an H&M again, which makes my heart very happy. Will did not see the thrill as much as I did.

So I’m on a bit of a hazelnut kick recently – please forgive me. But after spending 15 years thinking I was allergic to hazelnuts, I enjoy every chance I get to make up for the lost time! Nutella, of course, is the primary source of my hazelnut joy, as I believe it may be for other people. However, there’s not always a ton you can do with Nutella. I tend to just stick a spoon in the jar and have at it….not necessarily the best use of Nutella (but certainly not bad). After enjoying a lot of Nutella off of a spoon, I realized it might be time to get more creative with how I consume it. Thus, brainstorming commenced and research began. Of course there is everything out there from Nutella cupcakes to Nutella brownies (we’ve tried them and they’re actually *too* much), to Nutella ice cream. Well the ice cream struck a cord because our beloved ice cream maker has been on an unintended hiatus for a few months. We’ll blame the bitterly cold winter that the East Coast dealt with this year. So the desire to be creative coincided with the start of spring and Nutella ice cream suddenly jumped to the top of our “to try” list. And man, is it awesome. It’s even better than you thought it sounded when you clicked on this link. It’s quite possibly the creamiest, most flavorful, special ice cream there ever was. Ben & Jerry’s really needs to partner with Nutella to make this a reality for everyone else. I’ll happily share this recipe and they can do their magic with naming it and adding other ingredients. This. Is. Magic. It’s might also be because I swap the portions for milk and cream, but shhhhh. Nobody needs to know it’s that bad for you. Anywho, if you have an ice cream maker, give this a whirl. If you don’t have an ice cream maker, I suggest getting this one (or a more cost-effective option…something tells me Goodwill has plenty) just to make this ice cream. And if neither of those options work for you, just give us a call and we’ll make it for you!

Vanilla FroYo

Posted by Megan | Dessert, Ice Cream

Once upon a time, I looked in the refrigerator and saw I had a an unopened tub of yogurt. When I check the date, I saw it expired in five days, which was not nearly enough time for me to work my way through a huge container! As a result, the best idea I could come up with was to throw it all in my ice cream maker and make a frozen yogurt! While not the most creative ice cream flavor (i.e. relying on the flavor of the yogurt), it got the trick done and has provided a sweet treat for me to enjoy. The process was simple enough for me and I enjoyed the ease of tossing the entire container with a couple other ingredients, into the machine to use it up. What I particularly enjoyed was the creaminess of the froyo – sometimes when you get it out, it can be so sugary and empty, but this was extra creamy since it was Greek-yogurt based. While it may not be my favorite frozen treat ever, it certainly is fun to open the freezer and find it in there, ready and waiting to be eaten. I’m enjoying using different toppings to jazz it up and treat myself! It’s the perfect little dessert to keep handy in the freezer.

I’m almost caught up! I’m almost caught up! And by almost caught up I mean that I’ve got about one week left before I can post about what we’re making in real-time again. Hooray! Prepare yourselves for a flurry of posts again this week, beginning with this ice cream recipe, because who doesn’t love ice cream?!?! This batch of heavenly goodness is one that can only act as a special treat, mostly because the Bailey’s makes it a *tad* more expensive than other ice cream recipes we make. But it had been a very long time since we had whipped anything up and we figured why not try something new and exciting for our first ice cream batch since we’ve been married? The result was most excellent and when I found this a week later still in the freezer, it was even better. There’s nothing more fitting for bridging the winter-spring season of March than a touch of the Irish holiday combined with the first tastes of spring. Invest in the Bailey’s, go forth and make ice cream!

It’s been a long time since I’ve posted an ice cream recipe! This one has been in my queue since late summer, if you can believe that, and it keeps getting passed over for other things. I’m finally cracking down on myself to catch up and it’s time this recipe gets its turn, just in time for spring and fresh berries at the farmers market (despite the fact they’re calling for more ice/freezing drizzle today). Will made this from a combo of fresh and frozen berries that we had on hand for breakfast and snacks, and it was the last ice cream we made for several months. It last in our freezer for a long time because I’m not the biggest “fruit for dessert” person, despite really enjoying the wonderful flavors of this. Between the temperature drop and the fruitiness, I let this one slide past. Check in with me in August and we’ll see how I feel about it then! If you’re a big berries person or are craving what could be considered a “healthier” alternative decadent ice creams, this is probably the right recipe for you. It’s light and balanced, packed with nutrients from the berries but balanced with the indulgence of ice cream!

Dulce de Leche is really obnoxious to make. Like, really out-of-control obnoxious. When you google how to make dulce de leche and the instructions are to simply heat it over low heat, stirring constantly, until thick and caramel-colored, you might think this sounds simple. You would probably be a tiny bit wrong. Because while that sounds great in theory, at least for me, this “constant stirring” business went on for at least an hour. An hour of stirring sweetened condensed milk, hoping that it would thicken up! Somewhere in that hour, the battle became whether or not to just turn the heat way up and hope my stirring would outdo any burning that may occur, or to just continue stirring on low until dulce de leche formed. I opted for somewhere in between, eventually pumping the heat up to medium and amping up my stirring so that way things would move faster.

Ladies and gentlemen, happy Friday! You made it through another week! And what better way to reward yourself than a nice ice cream treat. With fall creeping into the air, we begin to transition into some of the prettiest parts of the year here in Virginia. There’s not much better than a cool fall breeze, some time in the camping in the mountains with friends, and quintessential fires, either in your fireplace or at a campsite. And there’s nothing more exciting than having a s’more by the fire. But if you don’t have a fireplace (or don’t like dealing with fire), I have the perfect solution for you: S’more Ice Cream!

I have a new favorite blog and it revolves around baking! It’s called Sally’s Baking Addiction and it has the most wonderful dessert recipes. I’ve tried a couple, including a mint cheesecake brownie that turned out tasty but not pretty enough to blog about, and these cake batter cookies. Well needless to say, these cake batter cookies were a hit! I’ve been dying to try making some of our own cake batter ice cream, but didn’t really want any cake batter left sitting around, so when I saw one of my neighbor’s birthdays pop up on Facebook, it seemed like the perfect opportunity to try this cookie recipe AND make my ice cream. With one box of yellow cake mix, I was armed and ready to try both recipes, ultimately making some of the most enticing-smelling desserts that have ever been in my kitchen (and not just the new one).

Once upon a time, a boy and a girl got an ice cream maker for Christmas. From there, they experimented and experimented with different flavors, each better than the last. Usually they made chocolate-based or truly “dessert” flavored ice creams, but one day they decided to branch out to fruit ice cream. They had made fruity frozen yogurt before, but had not previously passed into the fruit ice cream territory. They chose to surprise a special guest with her favorite pie flavor, only in ice cream form. And this pie flavor happens to be a classic: key lime pie. As part of their fruity ice cream, they also decided to try a different basic recipe, the “skinny” version of ice cream. This ended up being the perfect flavor to try it on because it gave the ice cream a bit more of a sorbet-esqe texture as opposed to a creamy texture, which was more befitting of a fruit ice cream. And thus, I present to you: Skinny Key Lime Pie Ice Cream!

I don’t know about the rest of you, but we have been having perfect weather here in Williamsburg the last couple days! We’ve actually been able to enjoy sitting on our back porch and had a great time at an Avett Brothers concert last night in Richmond, without melting. And speaking of melting, I figured it was time to post a new ice cream recipe, since we hadn’t made any since moving from Tallahassee (sorry for the cheesy segway)! We finally broke out our ice cream machine and tried a modified version of a recipe that I’ve been dying to try ever since I pinned it. The recipe is for cream cheese ice cream and I will throw out the warning that you kind of have to love cream cheese in order to appreciate this ice cream–otherwise, it’s a bit too much flavor. This ice cream also demands toppings, so we frequented our mint chocolate chip hot fudge syrup and fresh blackberries from the Farmer’s Market. The ice cream also got better over the course of several days and probably the best bowl of it was the last bowl, because we let it sit out to soften a bit. Even though we enjoyed making it this way, we might revisit the concept with a different recipe at a later point!