Monday, August 18, 2014

Strawberry Banana Vanilla Soy Ice Cream

We can never have too much ice cream at our house so my boys are always looking for some after dinner. But to be honest, I'm not all that fond of making ice cream. It's not so much making it but rather all the effort involved. Or maybe it's just that I loathe how my bulky freezer bowls for my ice cream machine takes up so much space in the freezer so I have no reason but to make more ice cream. Despite how I sacrifice precious freezer space to accommodate the need of homemade ice cream, it is truly worth it in the end. I mean, how else could I have the freedom to create delicious ice cream flavors that are also healthy?! This Strawberry Banana Vanilla Soy Ice Cream is a great example. A sweet cream base using Silk vanilla soy milk is swirled with fresh bananas and strawberries to create a cool, creamy summer treat that's good for you too!
I have a friend that is lactose intolerant and one of things she misses is ice cream. When I told her I could try creating a lactose free ice cream for her to enjoy, she was ecstatic! It's great that these days, lactose free ingredients are readily available , especially when I have lactose free friends, family and clients to serve. I loveSilk soymilk and almond milk in place of dairy when needed and my lactose friends certainly appreciate it! Silk soymilk is great lactose alternative for healthy living and wellness. So why not use it in ice cream too?
I flipped through my Ben & Jerry's Homemade Ice Cream & Dessert book for some ideas and inspiration and found the following recipe. It starts out with a sweet cream base and mixing in fresh strawberries and bananas. I made some adaptations to the original recipe including using vanilla soy milk (instead of whole milk), fresh strawberries (instead of frozen strawberries in syrup) and key lime juice (instead of lemon juice). Before enjoying, I drizzled a little strawberry coulis to garnish!

Strawberry Banana Vanilla Soy Ice Cream
recipe adapted from Ben & Jerry's

Sweet Cream Base:
2 large eggs
3/4 cup sugar
2 cups heavy whipping cream
1 cup vanilla Silk soy milk

Fresh fruit flavoring:
2 small/medium overripe bananas, mashed
1 pint fresh strawberries, diced
1/4 cup sugar
1 tablespoon key lime (or lemon/lime) juice

Sweet cream base:
In a large bowl, whisk the eggs until light and fluffy, 1 to 2 minutes.

Whisk in the 3/4 cup sugar, a little at a time, then continue whisking until completely blended, about 1 minute more.

Pour in the cream and milk; whisk to blend and set aside.

In a separate small bowl, place diced strawberies, 1/4 cup sugar and key lime juice; set aside to macerate for 15 minutes.

Adding the fresh fruit:
In a large bowl, mash the bananas.

Drain the strawberries and add the natural syrup created to the banana. Set aside just the diced strawberries. Whisk banana mixture until smooth.

Combine the sweet cream base with the banana mixture and blend thoroughly.

Transfer the mixture to an ice cream maker and process according to manufacturer's instructions.

About 2 minutes before you are done churning/processing your ice cream, add the diced strawberries and continue churning/processing until done.

Transfer your ice cream into a freezer safe container and freeze for a few hours (or overnight) to allow flavors to blend.

If you are a Silk soymilk fan, be sure to check them out on social media!:
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Hashtag - #silkproteinpower

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Silk. The opinions and text are all mine.

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Korean Bulgogi

The summer is coming to a close with Labor Day weekend just around the corner and kids starting school (if not already). Given this, my friends and I wanted to take advantage of the perfect grilling weather this weekend. Since we are huge fans of Korean cuisine, we figured a Korean Grilling Party was in order! The dish that took center stage was the Korean Bulgogi. Paper thin cuts of marinated beef and pork hit the grill giving off a delicious aroma of soy sauce, garlic, sesame oil, sugar and sake just like traditional Korean BBQ...

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Kickin' Teriyaki Chicken Wings

I took a much needed weekend away and it's great to come back refreshed and relaxed! Even better are recipes that require little to no effort at all. We love our chicken wings and I had a craving for Asian flavors. To combine the two ideas, these Kickin' Teriyaki Chicken Wings fit the bill. A marinade full of umami along with some heat from red pepper flakes and Sriracha made for a beautiful, flavorful chicken wing that's baked to a rich, glorious color...

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Peach Melba Ice Cream

Summer is slowly coming to an end. The funny thing is that it didn't even feel like summer with the cool weather we had in the Midwest. I can't complain though... I actually enjoyed the weather and loved how mild it was. But even the cooler weather hasn't stopped me from enjoying ice cream. There are probably 25+ ice cream flavors I'd like to make off my growing list, but at least I got to cross off this one. With the juicy, ripe peaches on my counter, I churned up this Peach Melba Ice Cream. Sweet bits of fresh peaches swirl in a rich peach ice cream base that's been kissed with macerated raspberries for a cool and creamy treat...

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Bacon & Blue Cheese Flatbread

Every now and then, I get some free time to really take in some of my favorite Chicago neighborhoods. Not too long ago, I spent the weekend reviewing quite a few restaurants while exploring some shops and markets in the area. On my little foodie excursion, I picked up a few things that were unique, random, and most of all, delicious. By the time I got home, I was able to see all the things I picked up and soon realized that although it seemed like a great idea at the time, I really didn't know what to do with everything. With a nearly empty fridge to work with on a busy week when I didn't have time to go grocery shopping, I was faced with trying to come up with dinner. And that's when my creative juices started to flow. These Bacon & Blue Cheese Flatbreads were born out of necessity using random gourmet items and limited fresh ingredients on hand. Gluten free pizza crusts are topped creamy blue brie cheese, crisp duck bacon, fresh baby spinach, chopped tomatoes and a drizzle of garlic olive oil for a gourmet spin on homemade pizza night...

Saturday, August 2, 2014

Back to School Snacks & A Language Stars Open House!

It's officially August and that means kids are going back to school! If you're looking to have some great, wholesome snacks ready for the kiddies, I've got a few ideas to share. Here are some treats to help get everyone geared up to starting a new school year...

Chocolate Peanut Butter Granola Bites

Almond Chocolate Chip Cookies

Apple Crisp

Many parents may be going into the school season mode and that includes myself. One of the programs my little guy has been introduced to is Language Stars. This is a play-driven foreign language class for kids between the ages of 1 and 10 years old that utilizes a high-energy, FunImmersion® method of instruction, students learn a foreign language through games, art projects, music and more. Currently there are 15 locations throughout Chicago.

A Back to School Open House event is happening from July 28-August 16. During this event, parents are invited to come to a center and see the program in action. There are a bunch of events they can attend: ice cream socials, webinar, free trial class. Click on this link for a free class or other event or take advantage of this Rafflecopter giveaway for One Free Month of Classes!

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Best Ever Butter Yellow Cake

I love birthdays. It's so fun to celebrate with loved ones and I especially enjoy celebrating the birthdays of my closest family and friends. This week, the Baron celebrated his birthday and in honor of his special day, I had him choose whatever crazy, out of the ordinary, ultimate cake he wanted. The sky was the limit! But I should have known better. Rather than throwing me a challenging cake request, he simply requested a yellow cake with chocolate frosting. Little did I realize that sometimes the simplest dish can be the most challenging. In the end, the birthday boy got his cake, the Best Ever Butter Yellow Cake with Chocolate Frosting, to be exact. It was a buttery cake with a tender crumb, adorned with colorful sprinkles atop creamy, glorious chocolate frosting... 
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