DIY Homemade Ice Cream Recipes {Lots of Recipes!}

homemade ice cream

 

Nothing beats homemade ice cream!

Ah!  I just finished off the last of the chocolate ice cream – for medicinal reasons of course.  The sweltering heat…  So now I’m thinking of making a batch of homemade ice cream.  We have an ice cream maker I scored at a local thrift store, but I have never used it.  I guess there’s no time like the present to try something new, learn a new skill, and save a little money in the process.  Plus homemade ice cream tastes so good!

So I’ve been scouring the internet trying to find some tasty homemade ice cream recipes – okay, scouring the internet may be a bit of an exaggeration.  Google homemade ice cream and you get about 52.5 million search results.  At any rate, I’ve been looking up tasty homemade ice cream recipes to try and to share with you.  Hope you enjoy. ;)

Do you love homemade ice cream?  What’s your favorite?

Pretty, Green, and Naturally Beautiful

Growing Grapefruit

It’s DIY Friday!  This week:  Be naturally beautiful with these Do-it-Yourself natural beauty treatments.

  • DIY Pumpkin Foot Scrub: With all those pumpkins sitting around the house now that’s it’s Autumn, why not whip up a batch of homemade pumpkin foot scrub?  This recipe sounds so yummy – I can’t wait to give it a try!
  • Four Autumn-Inspired DIY Beauty Treatments: Just reading the ingredients in these scrumptious homemade beauty recipes is enough to make my mouth water!  I can almost smell them…Yummy!
  • Homemade Facial Masks: Homemade masks are a staple beauty treatment for me.  There’s nothing like putting fresh, wholesome ingredients on your skin and relaxing for twenty minutes while all that natural goodness goes to work on your face – it’s fantastic!

What about you?  Have a great DIY beauty recipe?  Feel free to share your natural beauty tips with us. ;)

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Mock Pizza in A Bowl

Mock Pizza in A Bowl

The War on Gluten

I’ve been completely gluten free for nearly two weeks now.  It’s been a necessary decision for me.  I’m pretty sure I have Celiac Disease – I have all of the classic symptoms of it, so now it’s hurry up and wait for my test results to come back.   I’m certainly feeling that a gluten free diet is what I’ve been in dire need of this past year-and-a-half of severe, inexplicable illness.

It’s been a tough few days – I’ve always had a passion for gluten.  Breads have been a comfort food all of my life.  I usually began my day with a slice of whole wheat toast or a yummy  piece of homemade bread.  Giving up my old gluten-filled favorites, and opting for gluten free alternatives has been a challenge.  Lots of label reading, sacrificing, and patience.  I think in the long run it will be worth it, especially if Celiac is confirmed – that means gluten free for life.

Mock Pizza in A Bowl

Last night my husband and kids had pizza for dinner – it’s smelled wonderful, better than usual I think because I knew I had to skip it.  So today for my afternoon snack I made a little “mock pizza” by tossing together some California sun dried tomatoes and some feta cheese.  Not a grain of gluten in sight, and it was still satisfying.  I got a little of that pizza flavor without making myself desperately ill.

Going gluten free means getting creative.  Maybe my culinary skills will improve, who knows?  It’s definitely an exercise in determination and will power, and I’m determined not to be so sick anymore.  I’ve been scouring the internet for gluten free recipes, looking for gluten free bread alternatives (that’s been an interesting experiment), and trying very hard to make this dietary change work for me.  I know I can do it, but some days it sucks.

Here’s my “mock pizza” recipe. It’s super duper easy, and satisfying too.

Mix together sun dried tomatoes (in oil) and some feta cheese.  Now eat it.  Enjoy! ;)

What about you?  Are you gluten free too?  Feel free to leave a comment and let us know your thoughts on the subject. ;)

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It’s DIY Friday! | DIY Hodge Podge

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[caption id="" align="alignleft" width="240" caption="Image via Wikipedia"]A female ruby-throated hummingbird (Archilochu...[/caption]

Something Old, Something New…

It’s DIY Friday! once again, and this week I’ve rounded up some fun projects the whole family can do together.

These DIY projects are fun, educational, and very green!

Enjoy! ;)

  • DIY:  Vintage Tins & Free Labels: I’m crazy for vintage, and this DIY project is vintage chic and green all over.  It’s a great way to up-cycle those aluminum cans, plus make some awfully cute decorative pieces to boot.
  • Oatmeal Box Pinhole Cameras: Have some old oatmeal boxes around the house?  Don’t throw them out, make a pinhole camera!  This project is fun, educational, and totally green – kids of all ages can enjoy this one.  I remember making an oatmeal box pinhole camera in junior high, and still have my photos.
  • Hummingbird Food:  Hummingbird Nectar Recipe: Love hummingbirds?   We do.  In fact I cooked up some hummingbird nectar using this recipe to lure a stray birdie out of my laundry room – worked like a charm.

What about you?  Have a great DIY Project you’d like to share?  Feel free to send me an email – I’d love to feature it!

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It’s DIY Friday! | Easy Chocolate Nut Bread

Chocolate Nut Bread

Yummy Chocolaty Homemade Goodness!

Happy Friday readers!  It’s time once again to share a little DIY know-how with you.  This week I give you my recipe for some tasty chocolate nut bread.  It’s super easy to make, and sure to leave you wanting more.

This recipe comes from The Fannie Farmer Baking Book, one of my many awesome thrift store finds.  Although the sticker in the picture reads $1.00, I paid maybe a whopping $0.50 for the book from my local Hospice Thrift Store (that’s quite a bit more than I usually pay for a book, but I love baking goodies for my family!).

It’s chalked full of delicious goodies, many of which I hope to share with you in the future.  So stop salivating, grab a pen, and get out your shopping list.  Here’s what you’ll need to bake your own lovely loaves:

Ingredients:

  • 3 ounces (3 squares) unsweetened chocolate  (I use Ghirardelli Premium Baking Bar 60% Cacoa Bittersweeet Chocolate.  It does contain some sugar, but the end result isn’t too sweet.)
  • 8 tablespoons (1 stick or 1/2 cup) butter, softened
  • 3 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs, slightly beaten (I use organic eggs because they’re organic, and I feel they truly do taste better..)
  • 1 cup milk (also organic)
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup chopped nuts (I like to use walnuts, but any of your favorites will do.  I like to experiment with different combinations from time to time, usually when I’m out of a particular ingredient and have to make a substitution… Necessity is the mother of invention…)

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Grease and flour two 8 1/2 x 4 1/2 x 2 1/2-inch loaf pans. Melt the chocolate and butter together in a small pan over low heat; set aside to cool.

Stir and toss together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.  Place the sugar, eggs, milk, vanilla, and nuts in a large mixing bowl, and beat them together until blended.  Add the combined dry ingredients and the chocolate mixture and beat just until the batter is smooth.

Divide the batter evenly between the prepared pans and bake for about 45 minutes, or until a knife inserted into the center of a loaf comes out clean.  Remove from the oven, and let cool in the pans for about 5 minutes, then turn out onto a rack to cool completely.

Viola! A scrumptious treat to pair up with your favorite tea, coffee, or a cold glass of milk.  Enjoy! ;)

What about you?  Do you have a favorite quick bread recipe?  Are you a chocoholic?  Fee free to leave a comment and let us know what you think. ;)

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It’s DIY Friday! | Fun Kid-Friendly Projects

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diy
Image by mayari via Flickr

Happy Friday!  This week I’m changing up my DIY Friday! edition just a little bit.  Instead of offering up one of my own projects, I thought I’d share some links to some really fun, creative kid-friendly projects instead.

Now that summer’s in full swing, it’s the perfect time to get the kids busy on some fun summer projects.  So turn off the video games and the television set, and get those creative juices flowing!

  • Make a Flower Pot Pen Bouquet:  This is a great project that I can’t wait to do with my daughters.  These flower pens are so cute, and make a very cheerful addition to any desk or work area.  In fact, these floral pens are all over the place at my doctor’s office, and I’ve been wanting to make some for months now.
  • Homemade Play Dough Recipes:  Nothing keeps little hands busy for hours like good old fashioned play dough.  These recipes are simple, cheap, and very easy to make.  So go ahead and get your hands dirty!
  • Line Painting Flowers:  This project is so lovely!  I love this project so much I may have to use it for painting something other than a piece of paper.  It is geared toward older kids, ages 10 and up, but I’m sure you can adjust the project accordingly for younger children.

Enjoy, and have a great weekend! ;)

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It’s DIY Friday! | Almond Biscotti

Almond Biscotti

It’s Friday once again (it seems like it’s always Friday – not that that’s a bad thing mind you), so that means it’s time for another DIY Friday! edition.  This week, in honor of the July 4th weekend, I’m offering up an easy almond biscotti recipe (yes, I know biscotti is originally an Italian treat, but hey, America is the melting pot, right?) that will go perfectly with some coffee or tea – something to keep you wide awake for all those super fabulous fireworks.

I’ve had this almond biscotti recipe (I think it’s originally a Cooking Light recipe, although I’m not sure) hiding away on my recipe shelf for ever.  I always thought making my own biscotti would be too difficult and far too time consuming.  Today though, the munchies defeated my will power and I had to dig through my recipe stash for something to make – anything really, that was different, easy, and something other than granola-esque.  Don’t get me wrong, granola is king at my house, but I had a hankering for something a little different – and I wanted to try something new.

I was quite pleased with my results.  My biscotti came out just like biscotti is supposed to, although I must admit I didn’t have all of the necessary ingredients.  No almond extract to be found in the pantry, so I had to compensate with a little more vanilla extract instead.  All in all though, they turned out to be the yummy indulgence I hoped they would be.

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup slivered almonds, chopped and toasted
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon almond extract
  • 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 large egg white, lightly beaten
  • Cooking spray

* Instead of cooking spray (which I never use) I spread a small amount of olive oil onto my baking sheet; and I used brown eggs that are cage-free/hormone free.

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Combine flour, sugar, almonds, baking soda, and salt in a large bowl and set aside.  Next combine extracts, eggs, and egg white in a small bowl; add to flour mixture, stirring until blended (dough will be dry).
  3. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface; knead lightly 7 times.  Shape dough into a 16-inch long roll.  Place roll on a baking sheet coated with cooking spray (or oil); flatten to 1-inch thickness.
  4. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.  Remove roll from baking sheet; cool 10 minutes on a wire rack.  *Since I do not have a wire rack (never thought I really needed one) I simply turned a cookie sheet upside down and used that for my rack.
  5. Cut roll diagonally into 30 (1/2-inch) slices (I didn’t count, but I’m quite sure I came out with fewer than 30).  Place slices, cut side down, on a baking sheet.
  6. Reduce oven temperature to 325 degrees.  Bake cookies 10 minutes.  turn cookies over; bake an additional 10 minutes (cookies will be slightly soft in the center but will harden as they cool).  Remove from baking sheet; cool completely on wire rack.

* Since my oven seems to always bake things too quickly, I reduced the suggested temperature by 25 degrees for each round of baking.  I suggest keeping an eye on them too, so they don’t brown too much.  I usually put aluminum foil over whatever I am baking towards the end of baking time if things are beginning to brown too much.

Enjoy!  ;)

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Deliciously Addictive Chocolate Chip Cookies

800px-Choco_chip_cookie
A chocolate-chip cookie.
Image via Wikipedia

Chocolate.  Chip.  Cookies.  Need I say more?  Okay, maybe I should say bit more – maybe I should give you the recipe – but first, I think I’ll expound a little on the wonder that is the chocolate chip cookie.

Here are some  historical chocolate chip cookie facts (yeah, I like useless information):

  • Did you know that the Toll House chocolate chip cookie was born in 1933, when Ruth Wakefield, proprietress of the Toll House Inn, substituted a Nestle semi-sweet chocolate bar for baker’s chocolate while baking a batch a cookies?
  • Did you know that Wally Amos (Famous Amos), introduced the chocolate chip to cookie dough back in 1975?  I’d say that was a very good year!  Cookie dough meet chocolate chip…it was a match made in cookie lover’s heaven, thanks Mr. Amos.
  • Did you know that in 1992, Barbara Bush lost a widely publicized chocolate chip cookie recipe contest to Hillary Clinton?  Thousands of Family Circle Magazine readers voted overwhelmingly in favor of Hillary’s recipe – I bet that really burned Barbara’s cookies (yeah, I like puns too).

Ingredients:

  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • semisweet chocolate chips – use as many or a little as you like.
  • chopped walnuts or pecans (optional) – again use as many or a little as you like.

Directions:

Stir together flour, soda, and salt; set aside.

In a large bowl combine butter and vegetable oil.  Add sugars and beat/mix till fluffy.  Next, add eggs and vanilla, and mix well.

Add dry ingredients to sugar/egg mixture, and mix until well combined.  Stir in chocolate chips, and nuts if using.

Drop from a teaspoon approximately 2 inches apart onto an ungreased cookie sheet, and bake in a 375 degree oven for 8 to 10 minutes, or until done (you know what you want your cookie to look like, so use that to help you  judge when to take them out of the oven).  Remove from oven, and allow to cool on the cookie sheet at least one minute before transferring to a plate to finish cooling.

Note:  Keep an eye on your cookies while baking so they don’t burn.  If you want larger chocolate chip cookies, drop larger spoonfuls onto the cookie sheet and increase baking time – and again, keep an eye on them.

Enjoy! :)

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Zucchini Nut Bread: From Garden to Table

June 2010 022

Today I picked the first zucchini of the season from my garden.  Two beautiful, lusciously green, ripe zucchinis.  I really couldn’t be more excited.  I was so excited in fact, I called my husband and text messaged my mom and dad about it.  It may seem silly to some, my excitement over some fruit (yes, according to Wiki Answers, botanically  zucchini is a fruit, while in common and culinary use it is a vegetable),  but this has been our first go at growing our own organic fruits and vegetables, and seeing the fruits of our labor so to speak, is very exciting.

So in honor of my lovely little harvest, I thought I would share my recipe for zucchini nut bread.  I love zucchini bread – with nuts or without, it makes a wonderful breakfast, dessert, or any-time snack.  It’s delicious, nutritious, and is something that my kids will most happily eat.

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking  powder
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup finely shredded unpeeled zucchini
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil (I use canola)
  • 1/4 teaspoon finely shredded lemon peel
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts (or any nuts of your choice – nuts are optional)

Directions:

In a mixing bowl stir together flour, cinnamon, baking soda, salt, nutmeg, and baking powder; set aside.

In a large mixing bowl beat together sugar, shredded zucchini, and egg.  Next, add oil and lemon zest, mixing well.  Add flour mixture to zucchini mixture, mixing well until thoroughly moistened.

Fold in nuts, if using, and pour into a greased 8x4x2 inch loaf pan (or any loaf pan of equivalent size).

Bake in a 350 degree oven for approximately 55-60 minutes, or until a knife inserted at the center comes out clean.  Let cool 10 minutes.  Remove from pan and allow to cool completely before slicing.

Note: While baking, I turn the loaf and cover with aluminum foil about halfway through the baking time, or when the bread looks golden brown.  This ensures even baking, and helps to prevent the bread from becoming burned.  Enjoy!  Peace. :)

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Honey Nut Granola Cereal

granola ceareal

It’s a fact:  I love granola.  Granola bars, granola cereal, it doesn’t matter – if it’s made from granola I’m going to like it.

Granola’s great for breakfast, great with yogurt, and great eaten all by itself when you’ve got those midnight munchies (so leave those cookies at the grocery store).

This granola recipe is very quick and easy to make, although it does require some constant attention while baking.

Ingredients:
  • 2 cups old-fashioned rolled oats (I’ve made this with regular quick-cooking oats before and it still turned out just fine)
  • 3/4 cup slivered almonds (or any reasonable facsimile)
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup canola oil (or any other vegetable oil – it’s up to you)
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 1 1/4 cup raisins
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon (optional)

* Feel free to make substitutions.  You really can’t screw up granola too badly – just about any dried fruit/nut combination will work.

Directions:

Preheat your oven to 325 degrees.

Combine oats, almonds, and salt in a large bowl.

Next, add the canola oil and honey (and cinnamon if using), and stir until mixture is thoroughly moistened.

Spread granola onto a large baking sheet and bake 30-40 minutes, stirring occasionally, until granola is golden brown in color and evenly toasted.  I stir mine every three to five minutes, and when nearly finished baking I turn the heat down so the granola won’t burn and stick to the cookie sheet.

Remove from oven.  Pour granola into a large bowl and stir in raisins or any other dried fruit.  Let cool completely, and store in an airtight container.  Enjoy!  :)

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