Green Tea Ice Cream

I love green tea ice cream.  I first tasted it at a Japanese restaurant in the area only a few years ago, and I couldn’t believe that such a wonderful flavor wasn’t sold at the supermarket along with the vanilla and chocolate.  It turns out that in our small town, if you want green tea ice cream (and you didn’t want to go to a restaurant with four young children), you’d have to make your own.

My only problem was that the Japanese green tea/matcha powder isn’t sold locally either.  Fortunately, our friend Miss Behaving sent us some genuine matcha powder all the way from Japan this summer.  You know it’s real matcha when you can’t even read the writing on the package!  Isaac, who is very much into Nintendo, Pokemon, Bakugan, and all things Japanese, was very impressed.  He eagerly volunteered to help me make some green tea ice cream.

This was my first attempt at making any kind of ice cream.  I found this recipe online and I doubled the amounts.  It turned out to be really simple to make.

We dissolved the matcha powder in some hot water, made some custard out of sugar, egg yolks, milk and cream…

…combined everything and cooled it…

…and churned it in our trusty Kitchen Aid.

It turned out really well!  It was simply delicious, and the entire container was eaten in less than a week by Mark, Isaac and myself.  OK, maybe I had more than my fair share!  😉

Thank you, Miss Behaving, for a real treat!

Giveaway: I Can’t Believe I Never Knew These Existed!

I love iced tea. The only problem is that I didn’t have a good place to make 1-3 servings of it at a time. We do own an old-fashioned kettle, but it’s too big to be practical. I used to use a small pitcher (think: one of those receptacles for holding your cream for coffee), but Mark accidentally broke it. Since then, I had been managing the best I can using coffee mugs and the microwave, and I usually ended up with a big mess since mugs don’t pour well into iced tea glasses.

But not anymore! About a week and a half ago, I was online looking for a recipe for green tea ice cream (if you’ve never had it, it’s GREAT!) I need something called “matcha powder” to be able to make some at home. I found a couple of websites that sell different teas, and that’s when I found this!

It’s called an “IngenuiTEA”. It works great with both tea bags and loose leaf tea. It comes in a small 16 oz size, and a larger 32 oz size. It’s microwave and dishwasher safe! After about 15 minutes, I realized I had to have one. I ordered the 32 oz one along with a 40 oz glass pitcher to make that iced tea I mentioned before. It arrived in 2 days!!! Here’s a demonstration of how it works; I am brewing a pitcher of my favorite organic Red Rooibos loose leaf tea:

The result is a perfect pitcher of iced tea, and all the loose tea leaves are left behind in the IngenuiTEA. It’s very easy to clean – it has a filter that pops out quite easily. I’ve been drinking lots more tea lately! Even Isaac likes it (but I never give him anything that’s caffeinated, of course). Jonny’s not such a big fan of tea.

So I’m giving one of these away. If you are interested, leave a comment. You can tell me about a gadget you can’t live without, share a good recipe you’ve made recently (maybe one for green tea ice cream?), or perhaps an idea to keep kids occupied over the summer. The winner will be chosen at random, and will get to pick what size tea maker s/he would like. Good luck!

Blueberry Muffins

Even though I miss Trinidad, there are some truly awesome things about living in Central PA at this time of year. Fresh local blueberries are high on my list.

And one of my favorite things to make with fresh blueberries is…blueberry muffins!  We use this recipe from the King Arthur flour website.  Normally I wouldn’t break out the Kitchen Aid for muffins, but this isn’t your typical quick bread recipe.  To me it’s more like a cupcake recipe.   Even though blueberry muffins are great, Jonny refuses to eat them.  So I had to make a couple of “plain” muffins for him.

Both Jonny and Isaac helped to make these, but my the time this photo was taken Jonny was upstairs in a time-out for shouting, hitting, and not taking turns.

The muffins turned out great!  Here’s to summer!

I Love My Spoon!

Ben Spoon 1

Yes, I know it’s been a long time since I updated this blog, but we’ve been so busy lately.

Ben has been doing GREAT with grasping toys and other objects. He especially loves board books and newspapers. He is a big fan of those full-color advertising fliers that come in the Sunday papers.

Lately, we’ve been doing something new at the dinner table – giving Ben his own spoon to hold with some food on it. He doesn’t seem to be too impressed with baby food these days, so in these photos he’s enjoying some of Mark’s homemade spaghetti sauce (I know, I know, not very reflux-friendly, but Ben’s Nissen fundoplication is still holding up well!)

Ben spoon 2

With a little encouragement he will now bring the spoon to his mouth and lick the spoon. Tonight he had some homemade potato and mushroom soup which he also seemed to enjoy.

Ben spoon 3

Getting Ben to transition to oral feeds has been a lot harder than we ever expected. I’ve found that we have to go at his pace, not ours, although we do have to be consistent and at least attempt oral feeds every day. Hopefully we’ll get there one day.

New Year Popovers

Popovers

Happy New Year!

We had yet another boring relaxing day at home. Mark made us a delicious roast beef tenderloin for dinner which we ate with green beans and rice pilaf. I didn’t want to make bread today because I felt lazy tired, so I looked through my trusty “Joy of Cooking” for an alternative – something we could eat with butter and honey that wouldn’t take hours to make. I found a recipe for popovers, and we made some. I’ve only had these once before when I was a very young child. They had an interesting taste and texture reminiscent of French toast. We all liked them (Isaac asked for seconds) and we’ll definitely make them again.

I haven’t really thought of too many resolutions for the new year except for one: I’d like to worry less about the future. Anyone else have any resolutions they’d like to share?

If you are interested in having the popover recipe, click below:

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Cinnamon Twists

Cinnamon twists 2 

We had a rather uneventful Labor Day weekend.  It didn’t really feel like a holiday weekend because I worked Saturday and Sunday, but thankfully I was off on Monday. 

We have always loved Alton Brown’s divine overnight cinnamon rolls, (most recently blogged by my friend Lara), but they are not easy or quick to make.  Mark found this recipe from my Fleishmann’s Best Ever Breads cookbook (I think I got this book for free years ago by sending in used yeast packages), and we decided to try it.  Like Alton’s rolls, these do require refrigeration for at least a couple of hours, but unlike his, they do not need to be proofed before baking the next morning.  I did end up using his cream cheese frosting recipe with these.

We made raisin and non-raisin varietes.  Here’s the dough:

Dough

I will say that they definitely baked up better in the glass dish.  They got a little too hot in the nonstick pan and actually burned slightly on the bottoms.  We are now the proud owners of a second large glass baking dish – we bought it a day or two after we made this recipe.

Isaac and Jonny loved them!

Isaac eatingJonny eating

Click below for recipe:

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Hamburger Buns and Nectarine Cobbler

Ben at Farm

It’s been quiet around here lately.  I’m off again this week, but mighty disappointed at the cold and rainy weather we’ve been having for the last 3 days.  Why couldn’t it be like that when I was at work last week???

Aliyah returned from Trinidad on Sunday night, and the boys are very happy to have her back.  Isaac is boring entertaining her with his Legend of Zelda music.  He already knows how to play several melodies on the piano, so I’ve officially signed him up for piano lessons.  I hope he enjoys them.

We went to the farm of a friend on Saturday for a party which is where I took these pictures of Mark and the boys.  We saw lots of corn, but no animals.  Isaac wanted to explore the cornfields, but Jonny was having a meltdown…

Mark Isaac Ben

Isaac and Jonny

I decided to try a couple of recipes this last weekend.  First, I made these hamburger rolls which turned out GREAT.  They were very hearty:

Homemade hamburger buns

Then I made a nectarine cobbler which didn’t turn out quite like I expected (this being my first time making cobbler).  The crust puffed up HUGE and somehow swallowed up the nectarines.  It was still quite tasty coupled with vanilla ice cream and Mark’s delicious dulce de leche:

nectarine-cobbler.jpg

Here’s the recipe for the hamburger buns:

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