Saturday, July 30, 2011

homemade vanilla ice cream topped with sugar-glazed strawberries... and sprinkles

I'm not a very festive person. I suppose I am with Christmas, but anything else seems not worth my while. Perhaps it's that I'm too lazy {we'll say "likely"}. Perhaps it's just that I get overwhelmed by the pomp of it all. Or perhaps it's the fact that I feel crafts, etc, must be practical to be worth their weight. Either way, we don't do much for holidays.

But this Independence Day we went all out.... and made the above treat. :) I know. Somebody contain the festivities. Homemade vanilla ice cream topped with sugar-glazed strawberries topped with {at my 4-yr-old's request and in attempt to be a bit more festive} pretty blue sprinkles. It was pretty tasty, although I think I prefer the dish sprinkle-less. Pretty, though, no?

A few pre-prep instructions:
1) This recipe uses an automatic ice cream maker {ours is Cuisinart, and we love it- thanks K&B!!}. You'll need one to do it our way.
2) Make sure your freezer bowl {part of the ice cream maker} is totally frozen; I believe the manufacturer suggests freezing it for 24 hrs ahead of time {just checked; it's 6-22hrs... how's that for vague?}. Your creamy mix won't freeze otherwise. Though ice cream soup doesn't sound entirely bad...
And 3) Prepare the strawberries before you start on the ice cream. They need the full time to sit in the sugar if they're to be syrupy and delicious. They'd be fine otherwise, but trust me; they're better this way.
Okay, that's it! Now get crackin! Your taste buds will thank you!

RECIPE: Sugar-glazed Strawberries


Slice/dice the strawberries. Sprinkle liberally (some might say "dump") with sugar (maybe 1/4 c. sugar for a reg-sized carton of strawberries?). Mix well. Refrigerate for a while (20 min-ish minimum). The sugar draws out the juices, and together it makes for some fantastic, sweet, syrupy strawberries to go on top!

RECIPE: Homemade Vanilla Ice Cream

2 c. milk (2% or whole)
2 c. whipping cream
3/4 c. granulated sugar
2 tsp. vanilla extract (the good stuff, if you've got it)

Put all above ingredients in the blender. Blend well until sugar is dissolved. (This can also be done with a whisk and in a medium bowl, but the blender produces slightly better results.) Turn on the ice cream maker, making sure the stirring part is in already and the lid is on. Pour mixture into freezer bowl through ingredient spout and let the machine work its magic! You'll know it's done when the ice cream resembles ... well, ice cream ... and is nice and thick (about 25-30 min).

Dish up the delicious ice cream immediately (it is super soft-serve and will melt quickly) and top with the pre-prepared strawberries! Then add some blue sprinkles if you're feeling particularly American that day. :) Enjoy. It's yum.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

chicken nuggets... with yogurt and strawberries

No, not together. :) Separate, preferably in their own little compartments in an adorable little kiddie dish. No recipe needed. Just bake chicken nuggets according to package instructions, add a dollop of yogurt and a few fresh strawberries, and BAM! Dinner is served! Happy children, happy mom. :) Can't argue with that.