Saturday, March 30, 2013

An Egg-stra Special Treat! :)

Oh my goodness!  Thanks to Culinary Concoctions by Peabody (who just happens to be a fellow Western Washingtonian!), and courtesty of Pinterest, I have found the most amazing ice cream recipe!  Ever!

Cadbury Creme Egg Ice Cream!

Yep.  You read that right.  Cadbury Creme Egg Ice Cream!  Can I get an amen?!

You have to try this stuff!  It's Easter candy based, so you kind of have to make it now.  I totally understand though if you're done with the stores for today, but go Monday and buy some discount Cadbury Creme Eggs and then plan this baby into your life! :)

I made this today.  It's in the freezer right now setting up (or "ripening" as the ice cream maker manual says...weird...).  I can't wait until Brent gets home from work tonight so we can scoop some up and snuggle on the couch!  Of course, I did have to test it before I put it in the freezer.  I mean, what kind of cook would I be if I just tossed it in there, right?  Let me tell you, even in runny soft serve form, this stuff is amazing!  It is probably the smoothest ice cream I have ever tasted, especially as far as home-made ice creams go.  I really hope that carries through to the finished product!

Just a heads up, you will need an ice cream maker for this recipe. :)

So, with out further gushing from me, here's the recipe! :)

Cadbury Creme Egg Ice Cream
From Culinary Concoctions by Peabody

3 1/2 Cups Heavy Cream
1/4 Cup Cocoa (I used Dutch Process, but I'm sure just plain old Hershey's would work too)
3/4 Cup Granulated Sugar
Pinch of Salt
2 Tbsp Corn Syrup
1 Tbsp plus 1 tsp Corn Starch
4 oz. Milk Chocolate, chopped or broken up (preferably Cadbury Dairy Milk to keep all the chocolate in the same family - you should be able to find it in the candy aisle)
8 oz. Mini Cadbury Creme Eggs (they come in the little 12 pack, clear egg cartons.  You need two packs), unwrapped, chopped, and divided..  (They chop better if you freeze them first.)
1 tsp Pure Vanilla

1. Combine 2 cups of the cream, cocoa, sugar, salt and corn syrup in a non reactive saucepan over medium heat.  Whisk together until smooth.
2. In a small bowl whisk corn starch and 1/4 cup of cream to make a slurry.  Set aside.
3. Add milk chocolate and 4 oz of the Cadbury eggs to your saucepan.  Whisk until smooth (if you froze or refrigerated your Cadbury eggs it may take a bit for the fondant to melt.).  Remove from heat.
4. Add the remaining cream, corn starch mixture and vanilla, whisking to combine.
5. Make an ice bath in a large bowl and set the pot or bowl with your ice cream mixture over it, stirring frequently to cool.  Add more ice when needed and keep stirring until it's chilled (about 30 minutes).  You could also put the mixture in the fridge for a few hours to chill it, but I didn't want to wait that long. :)
6. Once the mixture is chilled through, pour it in your ice cream maker and process it following the manufacture's instructions. (we have a cuisinart and it recommends 20-30 minutes for processing before freezing).
7. Pack the ice cream into an air-tight container and sprinkle with the remaining 4 oz of chopped Cadbury eggs.  Cover and freeze for at least 4 hours.

Chilling over the ice bath
Starting to thicken up in the ice cream maker!
Headed to the freezer!
The waiting is the hardest part!

Saturday, March 23, 2013

A Recap...In Parts...Part II

This is another photo heavy post...consider yourself warned. :)

Back in October we decided to take a combined birthdays/anniversary trip down to Utah for General Conference weekend.  We stayed Friday and Saturday night at the The Plaza in downtown Salt Lake - we were right across from temple square which was fantastic!

We met up with my Aunt Linda and a friend of hers for soup at Kneader's on Friday night.  It was great to see her!  After that the four of us wandered over to Deseret Book where I bought a new Conference Journal and a copy of Edenbrooke by Julianne Donaldson, which is an adorable book!  It's a proper romance of the Jane Austen type.  If Jane Austen type books are your thing you should definitely check it out!

Saturday morning we were actually able to attend Conference in the Conference Center!  That's right, we were at the session where President Monson announced the change in the missionary age!  It was so exciting to be there in person, especially since Brent and I are both returned missionaries! :)  After he made the announcement and the choir started singing they actually had to dim the lights to remind us all that we needed to be quiet - everyone was just so excited by this news!  After the session was over we hung back a little so we didn't have to be part of the crush of people trying to leave at the same time.  It was so fun to hear all the people around us talking about missions.  We overheard this pretty awesome conversation where this girl was saying that she could leave in a year or so for her mission and her mom asked if she was thinking about going.  The girl replied that she wasn't before, but now she really was!  It was so neat! :)

Saturday afternoon and evening we spent down in Provo with Brent's brother and his wife.  We watched the afternoon session at their apartment while Brent and Daniel assembled Ikea furniture.  Then we went and grabbed some Cafe Rio before the boys headed out to Priesthood Session.  While they were gone, Sarah introduced me to Downton Abbey - which I love!  It was fun to spend time with them and share in their tradition of Conference Ice Cream Cake.  :)

Sunday morning we listened to Conference on Temple Square before we headed north to Pleasant View to visit my Aunt and Uncle.  We watched the afternoon session with them and spent the night there in my old bedroom (I lived with them for about a year before my mission.).  It's always so much fun to visit my Utah family and to get to spend time with them!

Before we headed out to the airport on Monday, we stopped at Brent's great aunt and uncle's house so that Brent could meet them!  They live just a few blocks away from my family in Pleasant View and used to be in the same ward as them.  It turns out I had actually met them before my mission, when they had just gotten home from theirs!  Small world!

It was a wonderful trip!  A great way to celebrate our birthdays and our one year anniversary! :)

Also as an anniversary/birthday celebration, we went with my Aunt Sue to go see Wicked at the Paramount in Seattle!  This was my second time seeing it (and it was just as amazing!!), but Brent had never seen it!  We went to the matinee and then went to the Cheesecake Factory for dinner where we consumed a whole day's worth of calories in one glorious was a wonderful day! :D

While we were waiting to check into our hotel we ate lunch at Cafe Zupas!  It's a delicious soup, salad and sandwich place that a former mission companion introduced me to.  They have the best Summer Strawberry Salad!  You also get a chocolate covered strawberry with every meal - yummm!  Unfortunately, the nearest one is in Riverdale, UT... :(  If you're ever in Utah, check it out - you won't be sorry! :)
Waiting in line for the Saturday morning session of Conference!
Look how cute we are waiting for Conference to start! :)
Up in the nosebleeds, but hey!  There's really not a bad seat at the Conference Center. :)
That opening in the crowd towards the center of the photo is where all the sister missionaries are waiting to talk to people after Conference. :)
This is the view from the window at the end of our hallway.  I love Temple Square!
This is the view from our window.
Same view, night time.
Brent is helping Daniel (his brother) conquer the Ikea furniture.
Sunday morning session on the Square.
Let's try that w/o the shades.
I think this is probably one of THE BEST pictures I have EVER taken. :)
The Conference Center as seen from Temple Square.
The Salt Lake Temple is so pretty!
Assembly Hall
I could take pictures of the temple all day...
Thank you, kind stranger, for taking this picture for us!
More us in front of the temple. :)
The stage for Wicked!!!!

Brent and Me in front of the poster!
My Aunt Sue and I! Love her!!! :)

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Brown Sugar Oatmeal Coconut Chewies!

As many of you may know, I like to play in the kitchen.  I love to bake cookies and muffins, make casseroles and soups and try new recipes.  I often post about these kitchen adventures on facebook and get requests for recipes, which made me think "Hey!  I should post recipes on the blog!"  I repin stuff on Pinterest, I even have a Food I've Actually Made board, but you can't really go into a lot of detail when you make changes and tweak things.  So, hopefully nobody minds if a few of our blog updates are me posting recipes...maybe it'll help me update more often?

First though, can we take a minute to admire my buttercup yellow kitchenaid mixer? :)  My brother-in-law (who wasn't yet married to my sister at the time) and his sisters went in together to get me us me my dream kitchen aid as a wedding gift!  Aren't they great!? :)
It's so pretty!!!
Anyways, moving on...

So I found these delicious cookies on Pinterest.  They originally come from Tina over at The Dough Will Rise Again so be sure you head over there and check out their blog. :)

These are really easy cookies...and they're delicious!  My cookies somehow ended up a little bit poofier than hers did, but no harm done!  I made most of them plain, but I added mini chocolate chips to a few, butterscotch chips to some others and white chocolate chips to a couple more.  All four ways are delicious!  I hope you'll take the time to try these out! :)

Brown Sugar Oatmeal Coconut Chewies

1 Cup slightly softened Butter
1 1/4 Cup packed Brown Sugar
3/4 Cup Sugar (I used Splenda and they tasted just fine!)
2 tsp Vanilla Extract
2 Eggs
1 tsp Baking Soda
1 tsp Baking Powder
1/2 tsp Salt
2 1/4 Cups All Purpose Flour
1 Cup Quick Oats
1 1/2 Cups Shredded, Sweetened Coconut
I forgot to include the Splenda in the picture, but there are your ingredients.
1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Cream butter and sugars together.
2.  Add eggs, one at a time, mixing until fully incorporated.  Add vanilla and mix completely.
3.  Add Baking Soda, Baking Powder and Salt to wet ingredients.  Mix until fully incorporated.
4.  Add about half of the flour and mix until it's just combined.  Scrape down the sides of your mixing bowl and repeat with the rest of the flour.  Don't over-mix the dough or you won't get the chewy cookies!
5.  Add Oats and Coconut, mixing until just combined.
There's the finished dough and the spoon I used to scoop dough balls. 
6.  Roll the dough into balls, or use a cookie scoop to ensure that they're all the same size.  I just used a regular spoon (like the kind you eat cereal with) and made little dough balls.  She makes them about a little over an inch in diameter, but my dough balls were definitely smaller.  The recipe makes roughly 6 dozen cookies when you stick in this size range - I got 68, but I was eyeballing size...
7.  Place the dough balls on a lined cookie sheet (I used one with foil and one with a silpat liner, both worked fine.) about 1 - 2 inches apart.  Bake for 8-10 minutes until edges are light brown.  I baked mine closer to the 10 minute mark, but that's because I have a problem with taking cookies out of the oven when they're really light in the middle.
First batch, fresh out of the oven!  They smell so good!
8.  Let the cookies cool on the cookie sheet for about 5 minutes.  Then transfer to a cooling rack (or a paper plate).  You can store them in an airtight container or zippy bag for up to a week, though I don't think ours will make it that long! :)
So good!

So there you have it! :)  Some delicious cookies just waiting to be made in your kitchen!

Enjoy, and keep on giggling!


A Parts...

So, I'm obviously not very good at this whole blog updating thing...ah well.  I guess we'll do a couple of recap posts to catch us up. Just a warning though...the next couple of posts (this one included) will probably be pretty photo heavy. :)

So, to start of the recap, here's a few pictures from our afternoon in Seattle and the one picture we took at LDS night at the Mariner's back in July.

Quick picture before we get on our way! Isn't he sweet? :)
Gotta love that skyline!
Our usual parking spot at the C-Link garage. :)
This would have worked better if you could see the whole wheel...oh well.
I know it's not 9 3/4 but the Harry Potter nerd in me still got excited...
I thought this wall was pretty cool with the broken dishes in it.   It kind of reminds me of the story about the early LDS women who smashed their china so the walls of the temple would sparkle...kind of...
Pike Place! Love going there! :)
I know it's not as big as London's but it's a heck of a lot closer. :)
It was a beautiful day to be out and about in Seattle.
Also a beautiful day for being out on the water and in the sky.
On the wheel!!  Here we go! :)
These are some shots from our ride on the wheel.

We were pretty high up!

And here's the only picture we actually took at the game that night...woops!
So, there's that update for you!  Next post will be our weekend in Utah for General Conference! :)