Double Berry Swirl Amaretti Ice Cream

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I felt like it was only fitting to leave you with (yet another) frozen treat before things get real cray around here and I take a little break to move into our new place (we signed closing last night!) and prepare for the birth of our son(!!!). I mean, ice cream always feels celebratory, right?

In the spirit of celebration, I know that the question I ALWAYS want to know when someone is having a baby is the name and I’ve totally been holding out on you all. I mean, we’ve had it picked out since before we knew the gender, I just wasn’t ready to share it with everyone we know, plus the internet. There’s a lot of judgement and suggestion coming in from every direction when you are trying to name a baby, and well…it can be SO OVRHWHELMING. But, I’m totally ready and confident to share now. So…without further ado…

Casper Hart!

Casper, because I suggested it months ago on a super-long list of potentials and it really grew on both Sean and I. We wanted a real, not-made-up name, but also one that was a little different. Hart–which means stag–because I was sort of stuck on a whimsical, woodland theme for the middle name, but still wanted it to be masculine. It’s a nod to my late grandfather who was instrumental in my up brining, since my own father (his son) was killed in an accident when I was really young. He instilled a love of the woods in me and had a woodland nickname himself (Old Grizz), never made me feel like I was missing something growing up without a dad, and was generally my favorite person on the whole planet. Anyway, that’s the deal with the name.

In the next few weeks, I will not be posting any recipes (I may throw in a round-up or two, and a baby update), but I do have some guest posts planned with some of my super-awesome blogger friends. I am really excited to share the delicious bites they’ve come up with and hope you enjoy them as much as I do while I’m away! If you follow me on Instagram (there’s a peach-icon to the left if you want to follow!), I have no doubt there will be baby photos and updates there, as well.

Finally, let’s talk ice cream!

This ice cream is a simple vanilla bean flecked base with swirls of boysenberry–my grandfather’s favorite berry (which are kind of like blackberries)–and raspberry throughout, plus crunchy, almond-y amaretti cookies sprankled in there for good measure. I am a nut for texture and amaretti are one of my favorite treats–plus they pair so nicely with berries and vanilla.

So, that’s it! House buying, baby things, and ice cream. You know, life stuff.

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Print Recipe

Double Berry Swirl Amaretti Ice Cream

Makes about 2 pints of ice cream.

Adapted from Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams at Home

You can use any berries you’d like for this recipe. I went with boysenberries and raspberries. You can also combine the berries instead of keeping them separate when making the syrups. Amaretti cookies are crunchy, almond Italian meringue cookies.

Berry Swirls:

1 cup each raspberries and  boysenberries

1/2 cup sugar, divided

Ice Cream Base:

2 cups milk

1 tablespoon cornstarch plus 1 teaspoon cornstarch

1 1/4 cups cream

1 vanilla bean, split and scraped (or 1-2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract)

2/3 cup sugar

1/4 cup corn syrup

3 tablespoons softened cream cheese

1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

Other:

crushed amaretti cookies

In a saucepan combine the raspberries and 1/4 cup of the sugar. Heat over medium high until the berries release their juices and begin to boil. Boil about 2 minutes and remove from the heat. Press the raspberries through a fine mesh strainer into a heatproof bowl, extracting as much juice as possible. Discard the solids.

Repeat the same method with the boysenberries. Allow the berry syrups to cool to room temperature. Store the berry syrups in separate jars in the refrigerator until ready to use.

In a small bowl combine 1/4 cup of the milk with the cornstarch, to create a slurry. Set aside.

In a saucepan, combine the remaining milk, cream, and vanilla seeds + bean pod. Heat over medium-high until scalded (when small bubbles form around the edges of the milk mixture and it begins to steam), remove from the heat, cover, and allow to steep for 15 minutes.

In a large bowl, whisk together the cream cheese and salt, set a fine mesh strainer over the top of the bowl. Set aside.

Prepare an ice bath in a large bowl or clean sink basin.

Remove the vanilla bean pod from the milk mixture and stir in the cornstarch slurry you prepared earlier. Return the milk mixture back to medium-high heat and stir in the sugar and corn syrup. Bring the mixture to a boil, stirring frequently, until thickened. Boil about 4 minutes. Remove the mixture from the heat and strain through the fine mesh strainer into the bowl of cream cheese and salt. Whisk to combine well. Pour the ice cream base into a gallon sized, zip-top, freezer bag and seal. Place the bag in the ice bath to cool. Once cooled completely, place in refrigerator up to 24 hours and churn in an ice cream maker according to the manufacturer’s instructions, or churn immediately.

Once the ice cream is churned, layer it into a freezer safe container, 1/3 at a time, drizzling with the berry syrups and sprinkling with crushed amaretti cookies. Repeat with remaining ice cream, syrups, and cookies. Place the ice cream in the freezer for several hours, until firm, before serving.

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Chocolate Peanut Butter Banana Pops (vegan)

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Heeey!

I’ve been thinking about these whole fruit banana pops for some time now. I mean, there are all those recipes for that 1-ingredient banana “ice cream” out there and I’ve been like, “I should make that into a popsicle!” Then, I would forget about it. But! I finally got it together and covered them in chocolate shell, peanut butter, peanuts, and wouldn’t ya know…they’re even vegan. BOOM.

I blitzed up a few of the dozens of super-ripe bananas that take up residence in my freezer and piped it into my popsicle molds. Then, they sat there for a few days while I tried to figure out what to do with them. I mean, they would be a health food if I left them alone, but they’d also be kinda fugly. Last week my new friend, Kailey, was over and I mentioned I was going to chocolate-dip them and she suggested I add peanuts. Then I decided, why stop there?! I’ll drizzle them with peanut butter, too. And, thus, these magical banana pop babies were born and they are SO GOOD. Make them, seriously.

[recipe]

Print Recipe

Chocolate Peanut Butter Banana Pops 

Makes about 10 pops using this mold.

For these to be vegan, be sure to use vegan chocolate and peanut butter. Bananas are already vegan.

5-6 frozen, ripe bananas

10 ounces chocolate, chopped or chips

1/3 cup peanut butter

3 tablespoons coconut oil, divided

1/4 cup salted peanuts, chopped

Break or cut the frozen bananas into chunks (or freeze your bananas in chunks) and pulse in the food processor until smooth and creamy. Spoon or pipe the pureed bananas into the popsicle molds, insert sticks, and freeze for several hours (or days).

When ready to coat the pops, line a baking sheet with parchment and place in the freezer.

In a microwave safe bowl, combine the chocolate and 2 tablespoons of the coconut oil. Heat in the microwave in 30 second bursts, stirring between each, until the chocolate is melted and smooth.

In another microwave safe bowl, combine the peanut butter and remaining coconut oil and repeat the same procedure as you did with the chocolate.

Remove the banana pops from the freezer and carefully un-mold the pops. I had to run them under just warm water for a few seconds to get them out without breaking. Working quickly, dip the pops into the chocolate, using a spoon to help coat the pops completely, let any excess chocolate drip, and place on the prepared baking sheet. Repeat with the remaining pops. Stick the baking sheet back into the freezer until the chocolate shell is completely set. Once set, drizzle the pops with peanut butter and sprinkle with chopped peanuts. Place the sheet back into the freezer until set. Can be stored in the freezer for several days.

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Strawberry Mint Bourbon Smash

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Maybe you’ve noticed this old blog has a new look! It’s only been a year in the making…a dear friend of mine, Abbey Bentley, did the design for me over a year ago, but it’s taken that long for Sean and I to get it implemented on this site. Between his full time job, growing and preparing for a baby, and moving across the country, it just kind of fell to the wayside.

But, now it’s finally up and running and I am super excited! The illustrations are by the talented Kate Worum  and were inspired by images from photographs I took from archived blog posts…which makes them feel even that much more special. Definitely click around, check it out, and please let me know if you run into any glitches and we will get them remedied ASAP.

Anyway, I am super excited that Hungry Girl por Vida has a fresh, new look and what better way to celebrate than a cocktail?!

Obviously, I am not partaking in cocktails for at least another month or so, but that doesn’t mean I’m not concocting them in my brain. I made this bourbon smash for Sean this weekend since he’s such a great dude by helping me keep this blog running, whilst working his full time job, and for making me laugh on pretty much a daily basis even when I’m super grouchy, uncomfortable, and can’t reach my feet anymore. Basically, I’m a lucky gal.

This cocktail includes ripe strawberries, lots of fresh mint (my fave!), a bit of St. Germaine, bourbon (duh), a few dashes of bitters, a teensy bit of sugar, and some soda water to make it bubbly. It’s refreshing, a little sweet, a bit floral, and perfect for any celebration–including the upcoming 4th of July here in the USA.

So, CHEERS! to celebrations of all sorts, good dudes, talented ladies, amazing readers (YOU!), and fancy new blog designs!

[recipe]

Print Recipe

Strawberry Mint Bourbon Smash

Makes 1 cocktail.

For pregnant people (like myself), those that don’t drink, or aren’t of age, you can easily make this into a refreshing soda by ditching the booze and adding 1/2 extra teaspoon of sugar to the mix. If you want the floral-citrus notes of elder flower that St. Germaine lends to the cocktail in your non-alcoholic version of this drink, you can use elder flower syrup (which can totally be found at Ikea!).

2 ripe strawberries, cut into pieces

4-5 fresh mint leaves

1/2 teaspoon sugar

a few dashes of aromatic bitters

1/2 ounce of St. Germaine

1 ounce bourbon

ice

soda water

In a cocktail glass, muddle the strawberries, mint, sugar, and bitters together until the berries and mint are well smashed and fragrant. Add the St. Germaine and bourbon, followed by lots of ice and top it all off with soda water. Give it a stir and drink up!

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