Cotton Candy Ice Cream Recipe – no ice cream maker required. Happy Nat’l Ice Cream Month!

Cotton Candy Ice CreamNow, I will admit, Cotton Candy ice cream is one of those things I adore and rarely eat. But it makes my inner child happy when I do! 🙂 This recipe requires no ice cream maker. It’s pretty good, considering all you have to do is put it in your freezer. If you want it to taste like the versions you get in the specialty ice cream shops, using cotton candy syrup or real cotton candy and an ice cream maker is a treat. But either way, it will remind you of days gone by and eating cotton candy at the circus or the county fair. I have included at the bottom a more traditional cotton candy ice cream recipe where a ice cream maker is required. Try both! Let me know how yours turns out! 🙂
Cotton Candy Ice Cream Recipe (no ice cream maker required)

Ingredients

  • 1 8oz. Tub Of Cool Whip
  • 2 3.4oz Vanilla Pudding
  • 2 Cups Milk
  • 2 Cotton Candy Duncan Hines Frosting Creations Flavor Packet
  • Blue Gel Food Coloring (Optional, see link at bottom on how to make safe food coloring alternatives )

Instructions

  1. In a large mixing bowl, or the bowl of an electric mixer beat together pudding and milk. Place in fridge for 5 minutes to firm.
  2. Once pudding has firmed up in fridge add entire tub of cool whip and 2 Cotton Candy Frosting Creations Packets, beat until fully combined. If desired add in a little bit of blue food coloring (gel works best) to help tint the ice cream a nice blue. The yellow pudding gives it a bit of a green tiny without)
  3. Pour ice cream into 1.5L plastic container with lid and place in freezer. Let ice cream sit for at least 8 hours, overnight is best. (See tip below)

***A tip when making any ice cream recipes the old-fashioned way [without an ice cream maker] is to always chill it for an hour or two in your refrigerator before putting it in the freezer. A cooler mixture will always freeze much more quickly.

To give your cotton candy ice cream a pretty light blue color (or pink) without using artificial food coloring and dyes, please follow this link on how to make safe food coloring alternatives. http://www.justaddgoodstuff.com/safe-food-coloring-alternatives.

Here is a very different version of a Cotton Candy Ice Cream recipe, but an ice cream maker is required:

You will need:
3/4 cup whole milk
1/4 cup sugar
pinch of salt
1-1/2 cups heavy cream
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 bags cotton candy (about 4 ounces)
3 egg yolks

1. In a medium saucepan, warm milk, sugar, salt, 1/2 cup of cream and vanilla.

2. Stir in cotton candy, one chunk at a time until it completely dissolves.  My cotton candy dissolved the second it hit the milk.

3. Remove milk mixture from heat, cover, and let it steep for 30 minutes.

4. Re-warm the milk mixture.

5. In a small bowl, whisk egg yolks. Add 1/8 cup of the warmed milk mixture to the eggs and whisk until combined.

6. Pour yolk mixture into milk mixture.

7. Stir constantly over medium heat until mixture thickens.

8. Stir remaining 1 cup of cream into custard to cool.

9. Chill thoroughly in fridge.

10. Churn ice-cream in your ice-cream maker according to the manufacturer’s instructions.

 

 

 

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Homemade Green Tea Ice Cream Recipe – Happy National Ice Cream Month – JULY :)

I first encountered green tea ice cream (抹茶アイスクリーム Matcha aisu kurīmu) many years ago whilst dining at a Japanese restaurant in my hometown of La Mesa, CA – which is the first suburb city bordering with the city of San Diego when traveling East on Interstate 8 – at the time, green tea ice cream was unavailable for purchase at your local grocery store. I instantly was pleasantly surprised by it’s unique taste and texture. Some years later, when living in Las Vegas, NV – I happened upon an excellent Japanese restaurant and once again was delighted when ordering green tea ice cream for dessert. It was just as heavenly tasting as it melted in my mouth as I had remembered it years earlier. Thankfully, a few major ice cream companies now carry this flavor and you can even get a brand imported from Japan at the market Trader Joes. Here in west-central Illinois, green tea ice cream is not easy to locate, and I’ve not seen any Japanese restaurants within 50-75 miles of me. I’m positive that some hours away from me, in Chicago, I could find it along with most any kind of food. The upside is, I can always make my own! And what could be better than homemade Matcha ice cream, made with my own hands, with all natural ingredients? 🙂

Green Tea Ice Cream (no ice cream maker required)

Green Tea Ice Cream

Yummy Matcha (Green Tea) Ice Cream!

Pinch of salt (optional)

2 tablespoons green tea powder (Matcha)

3/4 cup granulated sugar

6 egg yolks

1 cup whole milk

2 cups heavy cream

(Coconut cream and milk may be used instead. Read note at bottom about the use of soy milk).

You may purchase Matcha Green Tea Powder online here: http://tinyurl.com/k5h4nlo and you will be given a choice of various brands by following this link. If you are like me, I find buying online to be the easiest way to shop and it saves me the huge cost of petrol [gasoline] and wear on my vehicle 🙂 If you live in a larger city, you may find it at Asian food markets, some tea shops, or Whole Foods Market.

Matcha 抹茶 or green tea powder is not the same green tea that you drink at home or at Japanese restaurants.  So you can’t grind the regular green tea to make matcha.  It is made from shade-grown tea leaves and used for Japanese tea ceremonies and wagashi (Japanese confectioneries).

1. In a small bow, mix the green tea powder with 2 tablespoons granulated sugar.

2. In a separate bowl, mix together the egg yolks and remaining sugar.

3. Pour the milk into a small pan and gently heat taking care not to let it boil. Remove from the heat and mix a few spoonfuls of the warm milk with the green tea powder and sugar in a small bowl. When you have a smooth paste, add it to the remaining milk in the pan, then gradually combine with the egg yolk mixture.

4. Return mixture to the stove and heat slowly over low heat (taking care to not let the mixture boil), until the mixture coats the back of a spoon. Remove from the heat, strain through a fine sieve, and allow to cool completely. (If you do not have a fine sieve, you can skip this step, the reason for straining the mixture through a fine sieve before adding in the lightly whipped cream is to make sure it’s perfectly smooth.)

5. Lightly whip the cream and then add it to the cold green tea-milk mixture. 6. Transfer the mixture to a large container and [chill for an hour or two in the refrigerator] and then put it in the freezer. As ice crystals start to form, remove from freezer, and mix well with a wooden spoon, return the mixture to the freezer. Repeating this a few times as it freezes makes the ice cream smooth.

***A tip when making any ice cream recipes the old-fashioned way [without an ice cream maker] is to always chill it for an hour or two in your refrigerator before putting it in the freezer. A cooler mixture will always freeze much more quickly.

***Soy milk and soy products in general…and regarding replacing dairy ingredients with soy milk…Americans eat far too much soy (it’s hidden in almost all processed foods, everything!). I suggest you read this article http://wellnessmama.com/3684/is-soy-healthy as well as many other articles online to educate yourself and make your own decision. Bottom line, I won’t use soy products in any of my recipes. Personally, I can do without adding anything to my diet that will only add to estrogen dominance problems in women.

Health Benefits of Green Tea: The health benefits of Matcha (Green) Tea are typically greater than those of standard green tea because when you drink matcha you ingest the whole leaf, not just the brewed water. It is exceptionally high in antioxidants and contains a potent class of antioxidant known as catechins, including the catechin EGCg (epigallocatechin gallate) provides cancer-fighting properties. Green tea is also rich in L-Theanine, an amino acid that promotes a state of relaxation and well-being by acting upon the brains functioning creating alpha waves, which lead to a state of relaxed alertness..

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July: National Ice Cream Month! Homemade Honey-Lavender Ice Cream Recipe :)

Honey Lavender Ice Cream

I remember hot, humid summers spent in Arkansas and this delicious cold treat seemed heaven sent! Although, for those of us that are children of the 1970’s, as I am, you may still remember ice milk, my grandparents always bought ice milk instead of ice cream and I have the fondest memories of making Shasta grape soda ice milk floats with my beloved papa.

An ice cream lover, I have always enjoyed making homemade ice cream using my ice cream maker, cotton candy and bubble gum ice cream are fun flavors to make anytime, but especially when I’m feeling my inner child wanting to come out. 🙂 As an adult, my tastes lean more toward Green Tea ice cream or more exotic flavors like Honey Lavender ice cream. I first decided to try making homemade Honey-Lavender Ice Cream in early 2012 after watching the film It’s Complicated with Meryl Streep and Alec Baldwin and the characters discuss the deliciousness of the honey lavender ice cream Streep’s character, a restaurant owner, had made, the old fashioned way, without an ice cream maker, just using her freezer. It’s an exotic flavor, that is now a favorite of mine. You may find via making a few batches of the ice cream yourself, how you prefer yours to taste. The better-quality of honey you use the better it tastes, you may decide you like more or less of a lavender taste, and if steeping the lavender (or making your own lavender honey; recipe at bottom) less or more steep time with the lavender would make it less or more intensely flowery tasting. Currently, I’m in-between ice cream makers, due to moves and mine just getting old and worn out. So, I’m always pleasantly surprised to discover ice cream recipes that only require having a freezer. Below, I’m including a recipe for homemade honey-lavender ice cream, which doesn’t require an ice cream maker. I’ve placed an ice cream maker on my birthday and Christmas wish list for this year…if neither the birthday gift fairy or Santa sees my wish list, I’ll eventually purchase one again, but until I have a new one, I’ll continue to be on the look-out for delicious ice cream recipes that only require just using the freezer in my frig.

A super easy homemade lavender-honey ice cream recipe!

Lavender Honey Ice Cream Recipe

1 1/2 cups Heavy Whipping Cream

1/2 cup of Whole Milk

3 jumbo Egg Yolks

3 tablespoons Sugar

1 cup of Lavender Honey

1/2 tsp Vanilla Extract

Spring of fresh lavender for garnish

In a bowl, whisk the eggs and sugar until they are a creamy color. In a separate pan, combine cream, milk and yolks, bring it almost to a boil, but do NOT boil it. Pour a small amount of the cream mixture into the egg mixture while whisking. Add the egg mixture back into the cream mixture and stir. Continue stirring until thickened, but remember do NOT boil the mixture! Remove from the heat and stir in the lavender honey and continue stirring until honey is completely dissolved and let it cool.

At this point, if you are using an ice cream maker, you just pour it into your ice cream maker and follow the manufacturer’s directions. If you are currently like me, without an ice cream maker, you can easily make it the old-fashioned way. All you need is just a wee bit of patience. Pour your custard mixture into a freezer-proof container and freeze for about half an hour. After half an hour, stir and return to the freezer. Continue the process every half hour until frozen. It usually takes 2-3 hours, but will take longer in very hot climates, in which case, you can lower your freezer’s temperature by one notch for faster freezing while you are making the ice cream.

***A tip when making any ice cream recipes the old fashioned way [without an ice cream maker] is to always chill it for an hour or two in your refrigerator before putting it in the freezer. A cooler mixture will always freeze much more quickly.

I prefer to use fresh lavender buds (crushed) from my garden or dried culinary lavender in my recipe, but then a few extra steps are required as pouring the cream mixture through a fine-mesh sieve into a bowl and then discarding the lavender, and this recipe is meant to be a super easy version so I’ve kept the fresh lavender in the recipe here just as a garnish before serving. You may purchase lavender honey online using this link: http://tinyurl.com/patuuh5 This link provides you several different choices of brands and sizes of lavender-honey you may choose from.

If you are bit more adventurous, I’ve provided recipes below for making lavender-infused honey (the natural way, which takes a week to infuse lavender into the honey, but well worth the wait!) 🙂 Or if you have a double boiler, you will find a quicker recipe using one at the bottom. Some have had luck with using a very large pan instead of a double boiler, but I have only made my lavender honey the natural way by week-long infusion.

Please do let me know if you decide to make your own lavender honey and which way you choose and how it turned out?  And I’ve love to hear what you think of this wonderfully exotic honey-lavender flavored ice cream; is it a new favorite of yours too?

If you’re in the mood for a bit more work and you’d like your homemade honey-lavender ice cream to have a pretty purple hue but are not a big fan of artificial food coloring and dyes, please follow this link on how to make safe food coloring alternatives. http://www.justaddgoodstuff.com/safe-food-coloring-alternatives.

How to make lavender infused honey

You may use raw honey for this recipe, but it’s not required, remember you will be using it to make the honey lavender ice cream, so choose the type (raw or processed) you wish to use and consider texture and taste. I’m more natural minded and prefer this method of making lavender infused honey to using a double boiler for the honey retains more of it’s health benefits if not heated as one would using a double boiler. I have also included a lavender honey recipe using a double boiler, I have not used it, but people seem to be happy with it. I prefer the slower, closer to nature way personally, but that is just my own preference. So, to make this lavender infused honey it’s not labor intensive but it is well worth the time of waiting one week to be able to use it to make honey lavender ice cream. The lavender must stay a minimum of one week in the honey to infuse the lavender taste.

Buy a honey that is lighter-milder in taste. Clover or Wild Clover are good options.

Ingredients:

2 empty sterilized jars: one to give away as a gift and one to keep for yourself

2 cups of  honey (1 cup for each jar) 

2 bunches of lavender flower sprigs (about 14 sprigs) or 4 tablespoons of lavender flowers (If you do not have your own herb garden, you may order culinary/food grade lavender by following this link: http://tinyurl.com/ku26fub ).

Note: you need to use organic, culinary lavender or what is also called food grade lavender. Do not buy lavender that isn’t used in food. The link above will give you several different choices of culinary lavender to choose from.

Optional: cheese cloth if using lavender flowers or dried lavender you must filter lavender out of honey at the end of infusion

Steps to Make Lavender Infused Honey

1. Find a source of lavender. Your own backyard garden or purchase online.

2. Cut lavender into 2 bunches, about 6 springs per bunch if picking from your own garden. If using culinary lavender flowers, use 2 tablespoons (or more, depending on how strong of a flowery taste you desire) per jar

3. Put lavender into 2 clean sterilized jars

4. Cover lavender with honey (if using raw honey it will be a bit thicker)

5. Let lavender infuse in honey for at least one week. (I like to put my honey in a kitchen window to use the heat from the sun to assist in the infusion process, but only do this in off-summer seasons of the year, when the sun is not at it’s hottest, unless you have a window somewhat shaded or it doesn’t get direct sunlight at the hottest times of the day. Depending on where you live, the weather temperature may be too hot to do this.) Once a day turn jar over and back again to mix lavender into honey.

6.  After a week, open honey and take out gently, the sprigs of lavender or if using lavender flowers or dried lavender, you will need to filter these out by warming the honey jars in a bowl and filter with a cheesecloth.

7.  Bottle up the jars.

8.  If giving one as a gift, label and decorate the jar as desired and keep the other jar for making the honey-lavender ice cream. Lavender honey doesn’t need refrigeration. It will last up to a year in your cupboard.

Lavender Honey Recipe (using double boiler)

This recipe is courtesy of The Herb Grower Blog.

  • 8 ounces clover honey (you can use other varieties, but keep the honey light and neutral)
  • 3 tablespoons dried lavender buds

Tools

  • Double boiler
  • 2 lengths of cheesecloth (about 6″ x 9″ each)
  • Twine
  • Funnel
  • Glass jar with a lid
  • Decorative gift giving jars

Directions for Lavender Honey

Measure the lavender into two lengths of folded cheesecloth (fold each piece in half) and tie with twine. (You can add the lavender directly to the honey, but this method is less messy and almost as effective. If any bits get out — some do — you can strain them through more cheese cloth after you’ve finished the infusion.)

Place the honey in a double boiler and add the lavender packets.

Tie the twine ends to the handle of the pan to make it easier to remove the lavender later. (Keep the twine away from your heat source).

Heat the mixture for 40 minutes on a low to medium flame (The water in the double boiler should be at a light simmer, not a rolling boil).

Stir every few minutes.

Cool.

Remove the lavender, and pour the honey into a decorative jar (or jars). You may need a funnel for this.

If there are lots of suspended lavender bits, strain them through three lengths of cheese cloth or a fine mesh strainer.

For extra flavor, retain one lavender bag with the mixture, place the batch in a glass jar, cap it and place it in a sunny window for a couple of days. The more time you cook or season the honey with the lavender in place, the stronger the flavor will be. If you’ll be using the flavored honey mostly in cooking, stronger is better. As a sweetener or condiment, the minimum cooking time and no extra curing usually works best.

Lavender honey doesn’t need refrigeration. It will last up to a year in your cupboard.

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Reclaiming the joy…

Rest on the Flight into Egypt

Oil on canvas by Luc Olizier Merson

I purchased Christmas cards from the Museum of Fine Art, Boston back in 1989 – a patient had brought in this really unique Christmas card entitled  – “Repose/Rest on the Flight into Egypt” a print of the painting by Luc Olizier Merson. Over time, I sent out all the cards, except one (even then I knew there could come a time when the card would no longer be available). I found most people either adored the card and found it unique and interesting or they just didn’t get it, asking, ‘Why would Mary and the baby Jesus be sitting on/resting in the paw of the Egyptian Sphinx?’ I ask, why wouldn’t they? The sphinx existed before the birth of Jesus. Sadly, I made a search tonight of the museum’s website and they no longer offer this Christmas card for purchase and it seems it’s not available elsewhere either.

As most of my family and friends know, I take a special joy in sending out Christmas cards, taking care to send different styles of cards to each relative and friend. For many years, I would have all the cards written out, sealed, addressed, stamped and waiting to be posted on the very day after Thanksgiving! But in recent years, due to life circumstances and experiences over the years, I allowed some of my joy – the mirth of this holy time – my childlike awe, wonder, and delight to be lost.  This year, I plan on reclaiming the joy! The bliss of celebrating the birth of the Messiah will emanate from me this Christmastime season. After many long, dry seasons grieved by various trials, I will once again rejoice! I will start this holy season off by returning to my past ritual of sending out my cards, and setting up a small tree, the Friday after Thanksgiving. JOY to the World, the Lord is come!

***The flight into Egypt is a biblical event described in the Gospel of Matthew (Matthew 2:13-23), in which Joseph fled to Egypt with his wife Mary and infant son Jesus after a visit by Magi because they learn that King Herod intends to kill the infants of that area. The episode is often shown in art, as the last episode of the Nativity of Jesus in art, and was a common component in cycles of the Life of the Virgin as well as the Life of Christ.

Matthew 2:13-23 –

13 And after they were departed, behold an angel of the Lord appeared in sleep to Joseph, saying: Arise, and take the child and his mother, and fly into Egypt: and be there until I shall tell thee. For it will come to pass that Herod will seek the child to destroy him. 14 Who arose, and took the child and his mother by night, and retired into Egypt: and he was there until the death of Herod: 15 That it might be fulfilled which the Lord spoke by the prophet, saying: Out of Egypt have I called my son. 16 Then Herod perceiving that he was deluded by the wise men, was exceeding angry: and sending killed all the menchildren that were in Bethlehem, and in all the borders thereof, from two years old and under, according to the time which he had diligently inquired of the wise men. 17 Then was fulfilled that which was spoken by Jeremias the prophet, saying: 18 A voice in Rama was heard, lamentation and great mourning; Rachel bewailing her children, and would not be comforted, because they are not. 19 But when Herod was dead, behold an angel of the Lord appeared in sleep to Joseph in Egypt, 20 Saying: Arise, and take the child and his mother, and go into the land of Israel. For they are dead that sought the life of the child. 21 Who arose, and took the child and his mother, and came into the land of Israel. 22 But hearing that Archclaus reigned in Judea in the room of Herod his father, he was afraid to go thither: and being warned in sleep retired into the quarters of Galilee. 23 And coming he dwelt in a city called Nazareth: that it might be fulfilled which was said by the prophets: That he shall be called a Nazarene.(Douay Rheims Catholic Bible Online)

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Stepping out in faith….

Going back to the basics!

I’m stepping out in faith and moving to Kalispell, Montana. Leaving 30th April, to drive there (1,235 miles) with my adult niece Elisabeth helping me. I’m selling or giving away, everything that won’t fit into a 4’x8′ trailer (luggage rack or in back of car). I will arrive there with no bed, no furniture except my 110+ year old cedar chest, I will be truly starting over. I will have family…my brother Bob, his wife Lesley, niece Elisabeth, nephew Joel, great niece Lola (and I will get to see niece Jessy & her family (Ingvar, Kaiya, Tayus) whenever they are stateside, they are currently in Norway working w/ YWAM). My kitty Livia with me…who has become quite the traveler lately, whom I adore.  And I have my faith. For those that know me, they will understand that I don’t do well with situations where I don’t have control, or at least a very well laid out plan. Well, yes, I do have plans…but nothing is concrete. The cost of living is MUCH cheaper than in California, but I will miss my hometown of San Diego, the ocean and California in general. But I believe that the wonderous beauty of the mountains will grow on me and make my trips back to California even more sweeter.  This big city California beach girl is well aware that I may encounter a bit of culture shock in sleepy, low-key Montana! I step out in faith and believe God will catch me, lift me up and put me exactly where he wants me to be!

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