At the holidays I am simultaneously attracted to, and afraid of holiday-themed treats. I’m not talking about the ones that come out of people’s kitchens. I’m talking about the ones that come out of factories. Those things usually get me all excited, and then let me down. For instance, I want to try Gingerbread m&ms, but I am so, so afraid to.
This year, I decided to come up with something in my own kitchen that captured holiday flavors. I decided to make gingerbread ice cream. Choosing a treat to make was tough. I almost went with gingerbread rice krispie treats. I will probably still go with some gingerbread oatmeal. Anyone noticing a theme?
This ice cream has a coconut milk base. I like coconut milk-based ice creams quite a lot. I’m not a milk drinker, but I enjoy ice cream. However, on occasion, I feel like I can taste the milk, and that grosses me out. I know, people and their hangups! This is one of the easiest ice creams I ever made. I whisked together the base ingredients, and then poured them into the ice cream maker. Once it got a soft ice-cream texture, I alternated layers of ice cream and mix-ins (in this case, toasted pecans and gingersnap cookies), and then put the ice cream in the freezer to fully harden up.
This ice cream got two thumbs up from Alex, and that’s always a good thing!
Gingerbread Ice Cream
2 cans coconut milk
1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1 tablespoon molasses
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon ginger
1/2 teaspoon allspice
1/2 teaspoon clove
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 cup chopped pecans, toasted
1/4 cup gingersnap cookies, broken into small pieces
Whisk together coconut milk, sugar, molasses, spices, and salt.
Pour the mixture into an ice cream machine, and churn according to instructions.
When the ice cream reaches a softly frozen texture stop the machine.
Alternate ice cream, pecans, and gingersnap pieces in a plastic container.
Freeze ice cream.
The texture of this ice cream is helped if you let it thaw a bit before serving, 5 minutes or so.
proper noun: sherlonya http://sherlonya.net/blog/
“Really, there’s nothing much of interest going on in here. Based on the amount of time you spend skulking about in the parking lot and peering in the window, I’d think you’d know that by now. How is it that you’re so omnipresent?”
“Because of you, every time I see the word ‘heir,’ I think that it is going to be followed by the words, ‘of Slytherin.’”
“If your goal was to show us your every lump, bump, roll, and cranny, then you were successful. Congratulations!”
I really don’t believe that the Honda commercial that came out last year around Presidents Day persuaded me to buy a Honda. However, sometimes when I approach my car, I hear that commercial in my mind, even though I think George Washington would disapprove of it. I think that Lincoln, on the other hand, would have appreciated the humor in this ridiculous commercial.
My car is not the only thing that makes me hear that song in my mind. I heard it the first time I laid eyes on some sexy patriotic fabric. Buying this fabric earned me nothing but grief from my boyfriend and that was before he knew I bought three yards of it.
Now, this isn’t the sort of thing I’m willing to wear. I don’t have the confidence to rock it as a dress. A drawstring bag, though, that I can do. So I did using this tutorial.
I love this little bag. Just thinking about it makes me happy.
Now, what to do with the other 2 and a half yards of this fabric….
I love going to my mom’s for Thanksgiving. Before I went, I asked if there was anything I could bring, but she had things well covered. In fact, I partook of delicious leftovers all day long. I also shamelessly became the relative who shows up with plastic food containers. In my defense, I want to be able to tell exactly what’s in the fridge. Otherwise good food goes bad, which is upsetting enough. But if I let mom’s Thanksgiving food go bad, that’s something else entirely. That’s the sort of thing to make you kick yourself for weeks on end.
I didn’t want to show up empty-handed though, so I decided to take a pie. I knew she had a pumpkin pie, so I decided to go with pecan. But I strayed from the traditional pumpkin pie and did more of a riff off of a peanut butter pie. So, where there would have been peanut butter in the pie, I used a homemade pecan butter. The pecan butter was easier to make than I had imagined, and it also gives me confidence that my William McKinley idea for Head of State Cakes is going to work out the way I intend. To make the pecan butter, I toasted pecans in a skillet and then processed them in a food processor. The pie also had a touch of cinnamon and a shot of bourbon.
I liked this pie. So did the other folks who tasted it at Thanksgiving. However, I’m even more excited by the other ideas it has unleashed. I would love to do a macadamia nut version, maybe topped with pineapple.
Pecan Cream Pie
8 ounces pecan halves
2 cups vanilla wafer style cookies
1 tablespoon sugar.
6 tablespoon butter, melted
8 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
3/4 cup powdered sugar, plus 2 tablespoons, divided
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 cup pecan butter
1 cup heavy whipping cream
1 shot bourbon
Toast pecan halves in a large skillet, stirring regularly. Remove from heat once pecans become fragrant.
Place the pecans in the bowl of a food processor. Process on high speed until pecans form a smooth butter. You will need to pause the food processor and scrape down the pecans from the edge of the bowl a few times.
While the pecans are becoming a butter, add salt.
Set aside once the butter has reached a smooth, consistent texture.
Turn the cookies into crumbs by processing them in a food processor, or by placing them in a zip top bag and crushing them with a rolling pin.
Add sugar to the cookie crumbs.
Mix melted butter thoroughly with the cookie crumb mixture.
Place the mixture into a pie plate and press it evenly into the bottom and up the sides of the dish.
Place in freezer while preparing filling.
In a large bowl combine the cream cheese, 3/4 cups powdered sugar, cinnamon, and the pecan butter until the mixture is light and fluffy, about 3 minutes.
In a separate bowl, whip the heavy cream until thick and light. Add the remaining 2 tablespoons powdered sugar. Continue to whip until stiff peaks form. Add the bourbon and whip until the bourbon is thoroughly mixed in.
Carefully fold the whipped cream into the pecan butter mixture. Pour the batter into the pie shell, and freeze for 4 hours.
Adapted from Down Home With the Neeleys
proper noun: sherlonya http://sherlonya.net/blog/
“Hey, thanks for providing the context in which I was able to have my first conversation with my son about sexting and responsibility in these times we inhabit. I think you might be a good jumping off board for talks two and three. Depending on your future actions, maybe even talks four through seven. One person’s headline is the next person’s opportunity…”
“Now that you work in a hospital, I can’t stop asking all sorts of uncouth questions about the body once things have gone wrong. I find it quite satisfying in a disgusting sort of way. However, those stories about the various and sundry items people insert in various bodily nooks and crannies break my brain a little. The vacuum cleaner story is at the top of that list….”
“I used to be grateful to you for purposes of vanity. Now, I am grateful that if I have knocked my glasses down while sleeping that I can wear you to find them. Also, I am grateful for the lack of blind spots I experience in daily living when wearing you. Though my priorities have changed, my appreciation of you has only grown.”
“You were the last person I expected to see stop to blow a snot rocket.”