Coco-nutty for ice cream

Posted on February 24, 2017. Filed under: Deserts, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , |

Ah. Puns puns puns puns.

So, right after I decided to be vegan for a week (which wasn’t 100% effective, but still pretty good) I started my time of the month. I wanted ice cream pretty badly. But, Ben and Jerry’s does have a non dairy ice cream option, so I thought I’d try it. Sunday after a production meeting, I ran to Walgreens expecting them to have some, they did not. I decided to google how to make vegan ice cream, and it looked pretty easy.

Now, I have always believed that desserts shouldn’t be healthy, it’s fine to eat healthy most of the time, but it’s completely ok to indulge every once in a while. This ice cream, while vegan, is not really healthy. The base is full fat coconut milk and it does a pretty good job at mimicking a dairy ice cream base.

The recipe I used called for an ice cream machine, which I have. However, I had it churning for a while and it never changed, so I ended up putting it straight into the freezer. This resulted in it being very hard when frozen, but leaving it out of the freezer before serving softens it up just enough.

Vegan Ice Cream with Toasted Coconut, Pineapple and Walnuts

Here’s what to get from the store:

Full fat coconut milk
Honey or agave
Corn startch
Coconut flakes

Coconut Milk Ice Cream
(From the Kitchen)

 2 (13- to 15-ounce) cans full-fat coconut milk
1/2 cup agave syrup, maple syrup, honey, turbinado sugar, or cane sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons cornstarch (or 1 tablespoon arrowroot starch)
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
Optional extras: nuts, chocolate (or carob) chips, fruit puree, cacao nibs, etc.


  1. Shake the coconut milk: Cans of coconut milk separate into a thick, creamy layer and a thin watery layer on the shelf. Before opening them, shake the cans of coconut milk thoroughly to incorporate the layers.
  2. Set aside 1/2 cup coconut milk: Open the cans of coconut milk. Measure 1/2 cup and set this aside.
  3. Pour the coconut milk into a saucepan: Pour the remaining coconut milk into a 2-quart sauce pan.
  4. Add the sweetener and salt to the coconut milk: Measure the sweetener (agave, maple syrup, honey, or sugar), and add it to the coconut milk, along with the salt.
  5. Warm the coconut milk on the stove: Warm the coconut milk on the stove over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, until the sweetener has completely dissolved into the coconut milk, 1 to 2 minutes.
  6. Whisk the cornstarch into the reserved coconut milk: Measure the cornstarch and add it to the reserved 1/2 cup coconut milk. Whisk thoroughly until the cornstarch is totally dissolved.
  7. Add the cornstarch mixture to the coconut milk: Pour the cornstarch mixture into the warm coconut milk while whisking gently.
  8. Heat the ice cream base until thickened: This is your ice cream base. Increase the heat to medium. Stirring occasionally, continue cooking the base until it has thickened enough to coat the back of a spoon, 6 to 8 minutes. Do not allow the base come to a boil.
  9. Stir in the vanilla: Remove the base from heat and stir in the vanilla.
  10. Chill the base: Pour the base into a shallow container. Let the base cool slightly on the counter so it’s not hot when you put it in the fridge. Before refrigerating, press a piece of plastic wrap against the surface — this coconut milk base doesn’t form a skin quite as badly as a milk-and-egg base, but it doesn’t hurt! Cover the container and refrigerate for at least 4 hours or for up to 3 days.
  11. Begin churning the ice cream: Remove the base from the fridge. It should be completely chilled and slightly pudding-like in texture. Pour the base into your ice cream machine and begin churning.
  12. Churn until the ice cream is the consistency of soft-serve: Churn the ice cream until it thickens considerably and is roughly the consistency of soft-serve ice cream. Depending on your machine, this could take anywhere from 10 to 20 minutes — keep an eye on it! If you want to add any extras, add them now and churn a few more seconds until they are fully incorporated.
  13. Transfer to freezer container: Scrape the ice cream into your freezer container. Press a piece of parchment or wax paper against the surface to prevent ice crystals from forming.
  14. Freeze for at least 4 hours: Transfer the container of ice cream to the freezer and freeze for at least 4 hours to harden the ice cream.
  15. Warm slightly before serving: If your ice cream is too hard to scoop, let it warm a few minutes on the counter before scooping. I find that coconut ice cream melts a little more quickly than milk-based ice creams, so don’t wait too long!

Wednesday it was about 70 degrees outside. I was off so I went to the Lake Front Trail to take a walk. I’ve lived here for 7 months and I hadn’t gone down there yet. It was beautiful. I love this city so much .

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I may have a problem….

Posted on October 3, 2014. Filed under: Breads, Main Course | Tags: , , , , , |

Do you ever have an idea to make one thing and somehow end up making 5? No? That’s just me? Oh well. I’ve had this problem for a while, I’ll start with one thing and end up with way more food than people to feed it to. This time it started out simple enough, I had some bananas that HAD to be made into something before they liquified. My first thought, of course, was banana bread. But, then I thought, “Oh hey, I saw this recipe for apple cinnamon rolls, let’s make those too”. Then I decided I just HAD to do something pumpkin (because, thanks to Jeremiah, all I can think of are fall things, because, you know, it’s white people season) so I decided to do cinnamon rolls with pumpkin filling. BUT the only cans the store had were the big ones, so I just HAD to make something else, so that ended up being cheesecake filled pumpkin bread. On top of all that, Shawn had said something about black bean soup sometime last week and I just HAD to make that to. So, if you were trying to keep count today (just today) I made: banana bread, apple pie cinnamon rolls, pumpkin pie cinnamon rolls, pumpkin cheesecake bread and black bean soup. All in about 7 hours, I’m pretty proud of that. Clearly, I can’t eat all of that, because I would turn into a human diabetic beach ball, so I gave a lot of it away to people at work, along with Shawn and Calli. Well, the soup is mine, for now, and I still have about 4 cinnamon rolls and parts of the breads, so I’m set.

The banana bread recipe is my mom’s, she’s been making that bread for as long as I can remember. I used the same dough for both cinnamon rolls so they’re both kind of a Frankenstein recipe, but the soup is all me (so I apologize for the recipe in advance).

Apple Pie Cinnanom Rolls

Here’s what to get from the store:
Lemon Juice
Bread Flour
Pumpkin Puree
Cream Cheese
Black Beans
Yellow Peppers

Banana Bread

 2 cups flour
2 eggs
1 tsp baking soda
1 cup mashed, very ripe bananas
1/2 tsp salt
1/3 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup butter
1 tsp lemon juice
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup chopped nuts

  1. Sift flour, soda and salt.
  2. Cream butter gradually adding sugar.
  3. Add eggs and banana, blending thoroughly.
  4. Combine buttermilk and lemon juice.
  5. Add flour mixture and buttermilk mixture gradually, beginning and ending with the dry ingredients
  6. Pour into greased 9 x 5 loaf pan
  7. Bake at 350 degrees for 60 – 70 minutes.

Cinnamon Roll Dough
(From The Hopeless Housewife)

1 package yeast (2 1/4 teaspoons)
1/2 cup lukewarm water
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup scalded milk, cooled to warm
1/3 cup melted butter
1 egg, room temperature
2 teaspoons salt
4 cups bread flour (or all-purpose flour)
  1. In a small bowl, add yeast and 2 teaspoons of the sugar to the lukewarm water and let it sit until it dissolves, about 10 minutes. In the mixing bowl of a stand mixer using the dough hook attachment, (or a large mixing bowl with an electric mixer) add scalded milk, melted butter, egg, remaining sugar, and salt and mix on low speed until combined. Add half of the flour and mix until smooth. Add yeast mixture and continue to mix on low. Slowly add the remaining flour (if using an electric mixer you will have to stop when it’s getting hard to mix and use a wooden spoon to incorporate the rest of the four as best you can- the motor of the electric mixer will burn out- then turn dough to a floured surface and knead for 5 minutes, folding the dough over onto itself and pushing down repeatedly). For a stand mixer, increase the speed to medium and knead for 5 minutes. Remove dough, place in a greased bowl, cover, and set aside on countertop or warm place. Let it rise until it is double in size, about 2 hours.
  2. While dough is rising, make the filling. (Recipes below)
  3. When dough has risen, remove cover and, using your fist, punch the dough down and remove from the bowl. Roll out on a well-floured surface into a 16×24 inch rectangle and spread the remaining 2 tablespoons butter almost out to the edges, but not quite. Mix the brown sugar with the cinnamon and sprinkle evenly across the butter. Spread the  mixture over the brown sugar as evenly as you can. Roll into a log, starting from one end to the other, lengthwise, so the log is 24 inches. Cut 2 inch slices, this will give you 12 cinnamon rolls.
  4. Line a 9×13 baking pan with parchment paper and butter the parchment. The cinnamon roll slices close together, but not touching, in the pan. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise until the dough is doubled, 1 1/2-2 hours.
  5. While the rolls are rising, preheat the oven to 375°F. Bake for about 20-22 minutes, being careful not to over-bake them.
  6. While the cinnamon rolls are baking, mix cream cheese, butter, powdered sugar, vanilla, and salt together with an electric or stand mixer on medium speed and set aside. When cinnamon rolls come out of the oven, spread the glaze over the top and serve.

Apple Pie filling for Cinnamon Rolls
(From The Hopeless Housewife)


6 tablespoons melted butter, divided
5 granny smith apples, peeled, cored, and diced
1/2 cup sugar
1 cup brown sugar
2 tablespoons ground cinnamon
  1. Heat 4 tablespoons of the butter and sugar in a large skillet, then add the apples. Sauté until apples are slightly caramelized. Remove from heat and set aside.

Pumpkin Pie filling for Cinnamon Rolls
(From Diethood)

4 tablespoons butter, melted
1/2 cup pumpkin puree (not pie filling)
1 tablespoon milk
1/4 cup packed light brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg

  1. In a small bowl, mix together pumpkin puree, milk, brown sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg.
  2. Evenly divide pumpkin filling and spread over each piece of rolled-out dough.

Pumpkin Cheesecake Bread
(From Just Another Day in Paradise)

1-8 oz cream cheese, softened
3/4 cup sugar
1 Tablespoon flour
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla

1 2/3 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon ginger
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1 1/4 cups pumpkin puree
1/2 cup canola oil
2 eggs
1 1/2 cup sugar

  1. Preheat oven to 325. Grease and flour two 8″ loaf pans. In one bowl, combine the filling ingredients. Beat until smooth and creamy. Set aside. In another bigger bowl, blend the flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, cloves, ginger, and nutmeg and set aside. In another bowl (yes another one), combine the pumpkin, oil, eggs, and sugar. Mix well. Then stir the pumpkin mixture into the flour mixture until combined. Fold in the nuts.
  2. Pour half of the pumpkin bread batter equally into two pans. Then spoon the cream cheese mixture evenly over both. Now spoon over the rest of the pumpkin batter over each loaf. With a knife stuck just in the top layer of pumpkin and the cheesecake layer, swirl the layers around to marble the top part of the bread.
  3. Bake for 55-60 minutes, when a toothpick comes out clean. Cool the bread in the pans for 10 minutes. Then remove to a rack.

Black Bean Soup

5 cloves of garlic, smashed and diced
1/2 yellow onion, diced
1/2 white onion, diced
1 jalapeno, diced (and deseeded, do it)
32 oz of broth
1 large can black beans
A1 Steak Sauce
1/5 cup buttermilk
Salt, white and black pepper, paprika

  1. Saute the garlic and onions in olive oil with salt and pepper until translucent. Add the jalapeno, steak sauce and seasonings and saute a few moments more.
  2. Add the broth and beans (don’t drain them!) and simmer for about an hour.
  3. Taste the soup, burn your mouth because you didn’t de-seed the jalapenos, and add the buttermilk. Add some of that fresh basil and oregano you have sitting in your windows and simmer while you go save your best friend from a gas-less car and buy yourself some sour cream to save from more burning.
  4. Serve with sour cream and crunchy tortilla chips.
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Posted on January 10, 2010. Filed under: Deserts | Tags: , |

Tomorrow is tech for Three Pigs again, and one of my actors really wanted my white chocolate blondie muffins again, so I baked up a bunch of those for him. Now, today was the first day that I got to back in a long time, so I decided to look through my new baking cook books for a cookie recipe. I found a recipe for applesauce cookies that I thought looked good, so I started working on that. After that batter was finished, I tasted it and thought the texture was a little off, so I added oatmeal, something was still off, so I added more cinnamon and some nutmeg, and a little more applesauce. After a while I thought the dough had turned into more of a batter, and decided to make it into a bar cookie, with some crumble on top (it was either that or make a crust, I think I made the right decision.) So, here’s my recipe:

Applesauce Bars
1/2 cp butter
1/4 cp packed brown sugar
1 egg
2 cps flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2-1 tsp cinnaon
1/2 tsp baking soda
Pinch of salt
dash of nutmeg (probably 1/4 tsp)
1 1/2 cp applasauce
2 tbsp water
2 cps oatmeal (non instant)
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup sifted all-purpose flour (sift before measuring)
1/4 cup butter, room temperature
1 teaspoon cinnamon

  1. Preaheat the oven to 350
  2. Beat the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add egg.
  3. In a seperate bowl, mix dry ingredients; add to butter mixture.
  4. Add applesauce and water, mix.
  5. Mix in oatmeal
  6. Pour into greased 9 x 13 pan and bake for 20 mins
  7. Make crumble topping and put on the bars as soon as they get out of the oven. Put pan back in the oven for a minute longer (ONLY A MINUTE)
  8. Let cool, cut and enjoy!
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Apples and greens

Posted on October 10, 2009. Filed under: Dining | Tags: |

I went to Culvers yesterday and tried the Apple Harvest salad. The apples and dried cranberries mixed well with the warm chicken and greens. I ordered the raspberry vingerette, but they forgot to give it to me, which was fine. This was a salad that didn’t need dressing, which is a first for me.

Today, I was gifted a half gallon of fresh apple cider from a farmers’ market. I made a mistake of drinking the whole thing during my show, but I couldn’t help it, it was good cider! It was my first cider of the season, so that made it even better. To make the day that much better, my mom made apple pie. As always, it was very good, but it had  a little less sugar than normal. To me, fall has officially begun.

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