Monday, June 25, 2012

June Happenings & Another Ice Cream Recipe

Lily & Lauren turned TWO June 10th.  I still can't believe it.  

Birthday celebration - ice cream party!
Daddy pampered the girls - they got their toenails painted at the mall!

We absolutely LOVE our backyard and spend a lot of time outside. The girls got a slip & slide for their birthday and they all had a great time playing on it. Landon also got us (I hog the grill at our house...Landon prefers it that way though) a new grill.  We grill out A LOT - about 4-5 times a week so I am EXCITED!  

Sweet girls enjoying cookies & ice cream.
Homemade ice cream - we love it.  Tonight was chocolate chip cookie dough.  I will post the recipes for the eggless cookie dough and sweet cream base below if anyone is interested.  :O)

Vanilla Ice Cream, Philly Style
David Lebovitz, The Perfect Scoop

2 cups cream
1 cup whole milk
3/4 cup sugar
pinch of salt
vanilla bean (i didn't have one)
3/4 t vanilla extract

Pour 1 cup of the cream, sugar and salt into a medium saucepan.  If using the vanilla bean, scrape the seeds into the mixture and add the pod to the pot.  Warm over medium heat until the sugar is dissolved.

Remove from the head and add the remaining cream, milk and vanilla extract.

Chill thoroughly in the fridge.  When you are ready to churn, remove the vanilla bean and freeze the mixture in your ice cream maker.

This makes a great base for adding your favorite candy bar, brownie pieces, cookie dough, etc.

Eggless Cookie Dough

1 stick butter
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup light brown sugar, packed
2 T milk
1/2 t vanilla
1 1/4 c flour
1/2 c mini chocolate chips

Beat butter with the sugars until light and fluffy.  Mix in the milk & vanilla.  Add the flour and mix until combined.  Stir in the chocolate chips.  Voila!  Cookie dough that is safe to eat! 

 I rolled mine into tiny balls and threw them in the freezer until the ice cream was done churning!  I ended up using a little over half of the recipe for the ice cream.  The other half is waiting in the freezer for a craving to hit.  :O)

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Crazy Day & Churro Chex Mix

I have had mixed feelings about Lily & Lauren turning two.  I LOVE their little personalities developing, but I am missing those little baby days so badly.   I had some GREAT things planned for this week...none of them we have been able to get to.  Let me just give a re-cap of yesterday just for laughs:

6:00 - run, eat, read and get ready
7:30 - Brooke wakes up, eats and gets dressed
8:30 - Twins wake up, eat and get dressed
9:00 - we all load up in the car and head to wal-mart to look for a sound machine for the girls' naps.  While we were there, I didn't even look for one because I forgot.  he he.
9:20 - we all load up in the car
9:30 - we tour a school we are hoping Brooke will get into 
10:00 - get home and unload
***play, scream, cry***
10:55 - Load up into the car
11:00 - Meet a friend for lunch at Chick-Fil-A....I long for adult fellowship!  :O)
12:00 - get home and lay everyone down for naps
This is where it got crazy - LOTS of screaming.  I tried to separate the girls, but they just kept screaming each other's names across the house.  Funny now - not so much yesterday.  I had plans of cleaning the house and preparing dinner.  Lauren has had a pretty bad cough (which is keeping her up) she had an appointment at 2:30.
2:30 - load up into the car 
2:45 - we are late.  I hate being late.  Thankfully they are pretty understanding.  :O)
3:00 - Head home with a prescription for steroids and an antibiotic.  Thankfully nothing contagious, she just has some serious allergy problems. Poor baby girl.  I had an appointment scheduled for 4:15 so I called Landon and begged him to come home to watch the girls so I wouldn't have to take them.  :O)
***Play, scream, cry***
4:15 - Who knew going to the dr. could be so relaxing?!?  I'm exhausted from just the loading and unloading!
5:00 - get home and hustle to get dinner & dessert ready!  I also got a phone conversation with a sweet friend who was encouraging me in God's word. I am so thankful for the friends that God has placed in my life!
6:00 - we enjoy some great fellowship with friends after a crazy day.

Whew.  It as a crazy day and I didn't get anything done that I had planned.  Several times throughout the day this verse came to mind:

"From the end of the earth I call to you when my heart is faint. Lead me to the rock that is higher than I." Psalm 61:2

I am already missing those sweet newborn days.  I know in another year I am going to wish I could go back in time to "enjoy" another one of these crazy days.  I need to look to God for strength and patience, but I also need to ENJOY every day as a gift from Him.  

Since I didn't have time to make the dessert I planned,  I made this churro chex mix that I spotted on Pinterest instead.  It was a hit!  Have a great week!

Cinnamon Churro Chex Mix
1 box of Rice Chex cereal
1 cup cinnamon chip (Hershey's is the brand I found at wal-mart!)
1/4 cup butter
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1/4 cup sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon

Microwave the chips and butter in 30 second intervals until melted and smooth.  Pour over the cereal and stir until coated.  Throw the sugars and cinnamon into a large plastic bag if you have one (if not, pour on top of the coated cereal and toss) and toss the cereal in it.  Shake until coated! Throw in a bowl and enjoy.  Just a warning:  this is highly addictive!

Friday, June 1, 2012

Blackberry Coffee Cake

We went blackberry picking yesterday morning because it was a beautiful day.  With a cool breeze and beautiful sunshine, it really reminded me of a summer day at Northland Camp.  I hope our family can go there for family camp one of these days - I would LOVE it!

She was serious about pickin'...until she got her foot wrapped around a stray thorny bush.  Things went quickly downhill after that.  Poor thing....I still dragged her around encouraging her to shake it off and get more berries!  While we were "having fun", the girls were throwing shoes and car keys out of the wagon while I wasn't looking.  I didn't even realize it until I got to my car and found out that all those items were missing.  We went back through and found 3 out of 4 shoes and a set of car keys. Whew.  Always an adventure around here.  :O)

Here is what we came out with!  Juicy and HUGE...some of them were still tart, but I couldn't throw the red ones away that my sweet Brooke picked!

Of course we had to go and bake them in something.  We made muffins after nap time.  Brooke was so excited that we used her berries!  This is a great basic coffee cake recipe for any fruit you have on hand!

Blackberry Coffee Cake Muffins
(I used this recipe.  I also made this last weekend using blueberries and a 9 inch pan and it was wonderful!)


1/3 cup sugar
1/2 cup flour
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 cup butter

2 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup butter 
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup milk
2 cups fresh or frozen berries (whatever you have on hand!), well drained

First: Preheat your oven to 375°F.

Topping: I used my kitchen aid to mix these ingredients together.  I emptied it into a small bowl.  No need to wash the mixer - just use it for making the batter!  It saves a little bit of time.  :O) 

Batter: Blend the flour, baking powder and salt together in a medium sized mixing bowl. In a large bowl cream together the sugar, butter or margarine, egg and vanilla. Alternately add the milk and the flour mixture to the creamed mixture, ending with flour. Stir only enough to blend. Fold in the berries.

Pour the batter into a well-greased and floured, 9-inch cake pan. Sprinkle the topping over the batter and bake for 40 to 45 minutes or until a cake tester or knife comes out clean.  You can also bake this in a muffin tin.  I distributed the batter evenly between 12 muffin cups and baked for about 25 minutes.  

Let the cake cool for 10 minutes. If using a cake pan, loosen the sides with a knife or spatula. Holding the cake pan in your left hand, gently tip the cake out onto your right hand, remove the pan, and gently right the cake onto a serving dish.