You scream, I scream, we all scream for ice cream!
It’s summertime, and many of us think about cold and refreshing treats for the hot days ahead. When I was a little girl, my grandpa would bring out a hand-cranked ice cream maker during family barbecues and my job was to sit on it to hold it steady. It may sound silly, but I loved that job, and felt super important doing it.
I’m not sure if that old ice cream maker fell apart, or it’s stored away somewhere and I can’t find it. I would love to buy or make another one some day, but for now we’ll get Zoey involved in making ice cream another way, that will admittedly burn off more energy!
Let’s make some homemade ice cream in bags!
1 cup of half and half
1 1/2 teaspoons of vanilla extract
1 tablespoon of sugar
1/4 cup of salt
2 plastic sandwich bags
1 plastic gallon bag
Pour the half and half, sugar and vanilla extract into a small bowl, then whisk to combine.
Pour the half and half mixture into one of the plastic sandwich bags and seal, then place it into the other sandwich bag and seal.
Fill half of the gallon bag with ice and the salt.
Place the smaller bag into the larger bag and cover the rest of it with ice, then seal the larger bag.
The salt will make the ice colder than comfortable so wear oven mitts to protect your hands and shake the bag for about 6-12 minutes.
Remove the small bag from the larger bag and rinse it well to remove any salt residue.
Carefully open the bag and empty the ice cream into a bowl, stirring a bit to smooth.
I had every intention of making naturally dyed eggs this year. Every. Intention. Then I realized I did not leave myself enough time to prepare and create the dyes. Going natural is a labor of love that I would still love to do…next year.
This year, I dyed a small amount of eggs using food coloring, vinegar and water. It was a lot quicker, a lot simpler, and I was pretty happy with the results!
4 16 ounce mason jars
8 teaspoons of vinegar (2 for each color/jar)
4 cups of water (1 for each color/jar)
Food coloring of your choice
8 hard boiled eggs
Prepare each mason jar by adding two teaspoons of vinegar to each one.
Boil the four cups of water and carefully pour one cup into each mason jar.
Add drops of food coloring to create the desired shade (don’t be afraid to add a lot, I used 40 drops of blue in one jar) and stir until the color, vinegar and water are well incorporated.
Gently add two eggs to each color, allow the the water to cool slightly, then seal the lids and put them in the refrigerator overnight.
Remove the mason jars from the refrigerator and carefully remove the eggs from the dye, then drain the rest.
Rinse the eggs, gently rubbing with your fingers to remove the darker colored film covering the eggs.
Gently pat the eggs dry with paper towels.
I used the mason jars I had available, which were 16 ounces with regular mouths. I dyed two eggs within each jar; I probably could have crammed 3 eggs into each jar, but I didn’t think that would have given them an even coating of the dye. Please feel free to multiply the recipe and enjoy!
Welcome back friends! This week we’ll be cooking up Little John’s beef stew featured in Disney’s animated feature, Robin Hood!
This recipe is featured when Robin Hood and Little John are taking a break in the woods. Unfortunately Little John leaves Robin to tend the stew, and Robin starts daydreaming, effectively burning the stew (don’t worry we won’t burn ours). Friar Tuck shows up while Little John is trying to salvage the food; he tries the stew, coughs a bit, and comments “well done, ain’t it?”
I love a good, hearty stew! I thought burning it would be in poor taste (#momjoke), so I kept an eye on it. I also feel like Little John takes pride in his cooking so I kept it simple based on ingredients they may have been able to obtain, but not so simple as to insult his enthusiasm.
2 tablespoons of butter
1 pound of beef stew meat, cubed
1 large onion, diced
1/2 teaspoon of basil
1 teaspoon of black pepper (plus a few sprinkles more to season the meat)
1/2 teaspoon of oregano
1 teaspoon of rosemary
1 1/2 teaspoons of salt (plus a few sprinkles more to season the meat)
1 teaspoon of thyme
3 cloves of garlic, minced
3 ribs of celery, chopped
1 cup of tomatoes, diced
2 cups of water
4 carrots, peeled and chopped
4 potatoes, chopped
2 tablespoons of flour
1/4 cup of water (additional)
Melt the butter in a dutch oven or large pot on medium heat.
Season the stew meat with a little salt and pepper, then add it to the pot and brown all sides.
Once browned, remove the meat and allow it to rest on a plate with its juices.
Add the onions, basil, black pepper, oregano, rosemary, salt, and thyme to the meat drippings within the dutch oven and sauté for about four or five minutes.
Add the garlic and celery, then sauté for another two to three minutes.
Deglaze the pan with a little water (enough to loosen up the food particles left behind from cooking the meat and aromatics) and stir, then allow everything to cook for another five minutes.
Add the beef (and its accumulated juices) back into the pot, along with the diced tomatoes and two cups of water.
Bring everything to a boil, then reduce to a simmer for about an hour to an hour and a half, or until the beef is fork tender.
Add in the carrots and potatoes and bring the liquid back to a boil, then reduce to a simmer for another thirty to forty minutes or until the potatoes are fork tender.
In a separate bowl, mix the flour into 1/4 cup of cold water and add it into the stew.
Continue cooking and stirring the pot until the sauce has thickened (about 10 more minutes).
During these Summer months, and even into Fall, we get some pretty warm and sometimes uncomfortably hot days. To cool Zoey off and soothe her teething gums, I thought it would be fun and refreshing to make some frozen treats using the food she already eats and candy molds!
Candy mold of your choice (I used Mickey and Minnie)
Wash and dry the candy mold.
Choose the flavor of baby food and/or yogurt you would like to freeze and spoon it into the candy molds until it’s even with the top of the mold. I wiped the top of my mold down to make it look better, but you do not need to do this.
Place the mold in the freezer for an hour or more until the contents are frozen.
Remove the mold from the freezer and pop out one or two frozen treats at a time for baby to enjoy!