Tuesday, January 31, 2012

2 things.

1. I swallowed a less than half-way dissolved cough drop today. That was fun/it felt weird and I'll be fine if I never do it again.

2. My color personality used to be blue/white. That was when I took the test like a year and a half or two years ago. Guess what I am now. Blue/RED! Having taken the color code test two times in the past like five weeks (one of which was last night as an activity with my FHE group) and getting the same result both times confirms it. That's right, folks. Watch out. I'm a massive blue that is getting more and more aggressive and becoming motivated by power more and more by the day.

Monday, January 30, 2012

Do you know what is one of my favorite things to make?

Ice cream!

So what do you do when you have a lot of whipping cream you need to use?

Make two batches of Ben and Jerry's sweet cream ice cream, of course!

This cute girl was my helper.

I did one batch with crushed Mint Oreos.

 And the other with Reese's Minis.

 Let me tell you how it is super delicious.
Both of them, really.
But I have to say I think the Mint Oreo version was my favorite.

So, here is the sweet cream base recipe:

2 large eggs
3/4 cup sugar
2 cups heavy or whipping cream
1 cup milk
Whisk the eggs in a mixing bowl until light and fluffy, 1-2 minutes. Whisk in the sugar, a little at a time, then continue whisking until completely blended, about one minute more. Pour in the cream and milk and whisk to blend. (Makes 1 quart).

Pour the mixture into the ice cream maker and let it thicken up before you add any mix-ins.

It should take about 15-20 minutes.

 As soon as it's thick and creamy, throw in whatever you want!

I did probably 1 1/2-2 cups of crushed Mint Oreos. I didn't measure, though. Just put in as much as you want. If you don't like your ice cream loaded, put in way less than I did! The amount I did was quite a bit because that's how I like it!
 For the Reese's Bites batch, I just poured in the whole bag. (I usually make a Reese's PB Cup ice cream with the Sweet Cream Base with the regular Reese's, chopped. I think I prefer that method because then the peanut butter mixes throughout the whole thing. This one was pretty good too, though.)

As soon as it has all mixed in, pour it into a container with a lid and put it in the freezer.

Or, if you prefer soft serve, you can eat it right away!

And let me just tell you once again... If you don't have a Cuisinart Ice Cream Maker, you need one.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Pumpkin Caramel Monkey Bread

First of all.
I hope all of you snow lovers around here are happy.

Second of all,
I made this tasty bread tonight.

(Photos courtesy of my cool cousin Amy)

Make it. You will love it too.

To me, the pumpkin flavor doesn't seem super strong, so if you don't like pumpkin... I don't think you would have a problem with this bread. It was even so good that I drove to my parents' house in the streets covered in white death to share it with them and with my sister who was over visiting. (In all truthfulness, though, I should admit I didn't know the roads were as bad as they were before I left). I stayed about two and a half minutes before I had to leave due to the anticipation (and yes, anxiety) of the drive back. I know I sound crazy, but I promise you I don't think I am. I just have had bad experiences with snow.
So here's what I think you should do. Make this.. and don't go outside.

Here is the recipe (originally from Food Snots):

1 package quick rise dry yeast
1/4 cup warm water
1/4 cup warm milk
1 cup solid-pack pumpkin
1/2 cup butter, melted
1/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
2 eggs, beaten
4 1/2 – 5 cups all-purpose flour

1/4 cup butter
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1 tablespoon light corn syrup
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

3/4 cup chopped pecans
1 1/2 cup sugar
1 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 cup butter, melted
In a small bowl, dissolve yeast in warm water. Set aside. In a large mixing bowl, combine the milk, pumpkin, butter, sugar, salt, and pumpkin pie spice. Beat in eggs and dissolved yeast mixture. Add 2 1/2 cups of flour and mix until just combined. Add the remaining 2 – 2 1/2 cups flour until dough is no longer sticky.
At this point either change to the kneading attachment on your mixer or turn onto floured surface; knead until dough is smooth and elastic, about 3-5 minutes. Place dough in a bowl coated with cooking spray, turning once to coat entire surface of dough. Cover and let rise in a warm place for 1 hour or until doubled in size.
Meanwhile, make caramel by combining butter, heavy cream, brown sugar, corn syrup, and vanilla in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium heat and cook, continuously stirring, until caramel has reach 210-215 degrees F (about a minute after boiling). Pour half of caramel into a greased 10-inch fluted pan. Sprinkle half of the pecans over caramel.
Punch down dough and shape into 40 balls (about 1-inch diameter). In a small bowl, combine sugar, cinnamon, and pumpkin pie spice. Place melted butter in another bowl. Roll balls in butter, then roll in sugar mixture.
Place 20 balls in the pan over the caramel. Top with remaining caramel and pecans. Roll remaining balls in butter and sugar and place over balls in tubed pan. Let stand for 20 minutes.
Place fluted pan on a baking sheet and bake at 350 degrees F for 30-35 minutes or until top is golden brown. Cool bread in the pan on a wired rack for 10 minutes before inverting onto a serving plate. Serve warm.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

I just want you to know

that I love this song.

Who couldn't love Duran Duran?

And it's a wonder I wasn't born in a different decade. (The end of 1989 doesn't quite count as the decade of the 80s in my book). I guess I have an old soul.