Winter Blues & Spirited No Churn Ice Cream

IMG_9386Winter Blues. You got em? Let’s chase them away with homemade ice cream. Yup, you heard me! We’re making ice cream in the dead of winter. Seriously, it’s a mood changer because not only is it darn delicious, rich and creamy, but also done in 10 minutes (plus freezing time) and requires NO ice cream machine. I bet you’re smiling now. Remember my posts about cleaning stuff out? You just might want to pitch your old-dust-collecting- taking-up-way too-much-space ice cream machine after trying this recipe.

ice cream

All the flavors of one of my favorite candy bars this ice cream is rich with chocolate condensed milk and coconut creamy from the liqueur. It gets some toasty goodness from more coconut and almonds which you can fold in or just sprinkle on top like I did. Scoop it or slice it, it’s guaranteed to take those winter blues away.

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Almond Joy No-Churn Ice Cream

1 (14 oz) can Eagle Brand sweetened condensed milk, chocolate flavor

1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder

2 tablespoons coconut cake liqueur

1 teaspoon coconut flavoring

1/8-teaspoon fine sea salt

2 cups heavy cream

¼ cup slivered almonds, toasted, cooled

2 tablespoons unsweetened shredded coconut, toasted, cooled

Line a 9-inch loaf pan with plastic wrap leaving a 4-inch over hang on short ends. Pour sweetened condensed milk into a large bowl. (Scrape it all out of that can with a rubber spatula.) Sift cocoa powdered over the top. Add liqueur, flavoring and salt. Using the spatula blend mixture until it is well mixed and smooth. In large mixer bowl, beat cream to just stiff peaks (do not over-mix or you will end up with butter). Stir about a cup of cream into chocolate mixture to lighten it up. Fold in remaining cream until fully incorporated. Pour mixture into prepared pan. Sprinkle top evenly with almonds and then coconut. Bring up the extended edges of plastic wrap and press gently over the surface. Freeze for 6 hours or as long as overnight. When ready to serve let ice cream stand at room temperature for 5 to 10 minutes to make scooping easier or remove from loaf pan, peel away plastic and cut into slices. Garnish as desired. Store leftovers tightly wrapped in plastic and an air-tight container.

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Love, Mom

Mystery Solved with a Frozen Treat

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On the banks of Lake Elise

I saw you on a lily pad

Smiling, sitting Indian style

With your arms reaching up and out

I reached to you and was happy

But then the sun rose

To tear-filled eyes

Dreaming again

thank you for the whoosh moment Kathy Adamson Romaniello

thank you for the Lake elise whoosh moment Kathy Adamson Romaniello

on the happy banks

on the happy banks

It remains a bit of a mystery how my son died that night and it’s a mystery how one can be happy and sad at the same time. It’s complicated and twisted when it comes to grief. The obvious is that one who has lost their person will always have a sense of sadness. That cannot be changed. With time, however, the sadness becomes more manageable and doesn’t interfere with day-to-day activities. Is there an occasional meltdown? You betcha, but those episodes are much more short-lived and usually triggered by, at least in my case, fatigue. A good night’s sleep and coping skills are restored. What’s your trigger? Identify it and try to avoid it.

so unlike him this photo always cracks me up

so unlike him this photo always cracks me up…thank you Van Sant family for this photo

Welcome happiness. It’s a choice. It’s all around us. See it in a stranger’s smile, smell it in the garden, feel it in a warm embrace, hear it in a song. To choose happiness and to feel joy is an option we all have. It celebrates your person. Reach up and out and embrace it.

a typical day at the beach with Andrew, Tyler and William

a typical day at the beach with Andrew, Tyler and William

And speaking of a meltdown, what a warm summer it has been. Want to know what makes me happy this time of year? It’s ice cream, gelato, sorbet, sherbet and well you get the picture….oh, wait-did I say frozen snicker bars? Yes, all kinds of frozen treats put a smile on my face. It’s no mystery that to make a tasty freeze only a blender is required.

Vitamix frozen beauty

Vitamix frozen beauty

My garden (which always makes me happy) is overgrown with cucumbers. Did you know that cucumbers have a prickly surface? I had no idea until I grew my own. Ouch-really prickly! And did you know that the borage flower tastes like cucumbers? How convenient that they are both ready for picking and eating at the same time (as long as you don’t use chemicals on your plants). Add some fresh pineapple, a few fridge staples and a high speed blender and we are in sweet frozen heaven. Happy summer-no ice cream maker necessary.

fresh cucumbers from the garden

fresh cucumbers from the garden

Fresh Pineapple Cucumber Sorbet

2 cups fresh pineapple chunks, frozen

1 cucumber, peeled, seeded, cut into chunks, frozen

½ cup silken tofu

½ cup plain Greek yogurt

2 tablespoons agave (adjust to your own desired sweetness)

1-teaspoon fresh lime juice

1 or 2 leaves fresh mint, optional

Place all ingredients into blender* in order given. Start on low speed and increase until mixture is smooth and well blended. Serve immediately.

Note: If you own a Vitamix use the Frozen Dessert setting

Note #2: if you prefer to drink your frozen concoctions just add some soy milk or juice to the blender and mix to your favorite consistency

no borage-use mint and another pretty flower for garnish

no borage-use mint and another pretty flower for garnish