How To Make Ice Cream–Learning From My Mistakes

Posted on May 28, 2010. Filed under: Daily Update | Tags: , , , , , , |

No matter what it is, I always get things done. Whether I do it the easy way or the hard way, the right way or the wrong way, well… that’s another story.

Last night, I churned this most decadent chocolate chip ice cream. Definitely use premium ingredients when making your own ice cream.

Ingredients like Organic Dark Chocolate and vanilla bean paste. Really, how can you go wrong with these? Well, if you go wrong with every other aspect, you can probably go wrong.

Don’t bother with vegetable gums even when not using egg yolks unless you really know what you’re doing. I added xanthan and guar gums to this, but I don’t know what the hell I’m doing.

When there’s a puddle of half-frozen ice cream on your counter, don’t call someone at the store asking for more half and half and hang up with the words “Oh my God, I have to clean this up *click*”.

Don’t get in to a fight when you’re brought back half and half that’s not guaranteed from hormone-free cows when you aren’t even planning to use that night. Certain fights can wait for the morning.

Always mix in ingredients and any alcohol flavorings at the very end since that can inhibit freezing in the machine.

When the ice cream maker is done churning, it’s not ready. Period. I don’t care what an ice cream machine recipe says. You need to shove it in the freezer and you need to manually churn it every 5 minutes for about an hour or it’s never going to come out right.

Don’t take the most unflattering photo in the world of ice cream, unless you’re really hiding a puddle of cream behind you and need to clean that up FAST.

When all else fails, add more chocolate chunks.

And if you get caught eating straight from a bar of bulk baking chocolate, try not to look so guilty and smile for the camera.

And at the end of the night, when all else seems lost, remember this: a microwave is a hell of a lot easier to work than an ice cream maker.

What was your last kitchen disaster?

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200017 Things Making Me Smile

Posted on April 29, 2010. Filed under: Daily Update | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

1. They now sell 18 Rabbits granola bars(reviewed here) in an on-campus cafe!

365 Peanut Butter

365 Peanut Butter

2. Finding a jar of 365 creamy peanut butter I was convinced I didn’t have amongst my array of nut-butters.

Pomegranate Chobani With Orange Dark Chocolate, Oatmeal With Vanilla Peanut Butter

Pomegranate Chobani With Orange Dark Chocolate, Oatmeal With Vanilla Peanut Butter

3. Organic chocolate at every meal, this time courtesy of Newman’s Own Organics

Oatmeal With Vanilla Peanut Butter

Oatmeal With Vanilla Peanut Butter

4. All too much of my absolute favorite nut butter: 365 peanut butter with Madhava’s vanilla agave

April's Food Network Magazine

April's Food Network Magazine

5. This months Food Network Magazine, about which I’ve said, and I quote, “This issue deserves to be framed.” Love it.

6. Getting a response from the Food Network editors for what I wrote in!! I wrote in about their lack of tofu recipes. The response wasn’t so much about that, but that they might use my comment in an upcoming issue and wanted to verify my name and hometown! I’d be so excited if I made it in 😀

Zevia Ginger Ale

Zevia Ginger Ale

7. Feeding my diet soda addiction, naturally.

8. Avocadoes! And that they’re on sale this for 98 cents along with other good deals.

Tuna Salad With Chili Lime Yumnuts, 1/2 An Avocado, Lime Nachos

Tuna Salad With Chili Lime Yumnuts, 1/2 An Avocado, Lime Nachos

9. Healthy salads, filled with tuna salad with chili lime Yumnuts, avocado with lemon juice, and lime Food Should Taste Good chips.

Lime Food Should Taste Good Nachos

Lime Food Should Taste Good Nachos

10. Chips! OK, maybe this was an addiction better left forgotten.

11. 2 ancient historians referencing the Godfather in a candid, back and forth lecture on this, the day of their students’ class.

Purely Decadent Chocolate Peanut Butter Zig Zag

Purely Decadent Chocolate Peanut Butter Zig Zag

12. Chocolate and peanut butter in ice cream(or anything). It works every time! Unfortunately, this was the last of the pint, which shouldn’t have been the case except it looks like somebody felt it was OK for them to eat my ice cream last night 😦 Seriously, if it’s not yours, don’t take it! Ugh. At least that assisted in Project Cleanout?

13. Finding a dime in the bathroom. I should’ve cleaned it first.

14. Our last fire drill of the year coming when I had dinner baking in the oven. OK, I was actually panicking at the time and assumed I let something explode, but it definitely gave me a chuckle in hind sight 🙂

Raw Fruit & Nut Bar

Raw Fruit & Nut Bar

15. My skills in [not] baking must be getting better because this bar of chopped dates, cherries, raw walnut butter, maple glazed almonds(non-raw) and agave nectar came out… well, it came out 🙂

Maple Baked Tofu, Roasted Broccoli, Raw Fruit & Nut Bar

Maple Baked Tofu, Roasted Broccoli, Raw Fruit & Nut Bar

16. Hot meals out of the oven, like my maple baked tofu. Traditionally, I might serve this with sweet potatoes. But tonight I thought I’d try changing it up since that dish just never satisfies me as good as it is.

200016. Today, we will have hit 200,000 page views, all thanks to you and your wonderful support 🙂 I think without growth and backing, I’d be afraid to “blog on”. But I feel the love and the momentum and can’t wait for 200,000 more.

200017. New Survivor and Grey’s Anatomy tonight! Get excited!

What has made you smile today?

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Excess

Posted on April 18, 2010. Filed under: Daily Update, Product Review | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , |

I’m so glad you liked my first Picture It post; I feel like I’ve had so many food memories already and will undoubtedly have more so I can’t wait to share more of them.

Yesterday, it seemed that everything was in excess. Luckily, I’m in a mindset where I’d sooner laugh it off than actually fret. Every day is a new day and the bigger picture is always more important and dwarfs those little “outrages”. And you always have the power to change.

I don’t even know how many cups of decaf coffee with stevia I had yesterday; today, I’m all about the moderate amounts of teeccino(non-acidic, herbal coffee). In fact, now I’m just drinking unsweetened herbal tea because I really just want water but it’s so cold I need something hot.

Newman's Own Organics' Super Dark Chocolate

Newman's Own Organics' Super Dark Chocolate

1/2 of a big Newman’s Own OrganicsSuper Dark Chocolate Bar? Yeah, that’s not so bad…

Endangered Species Deep Forest Mint Dark Chocolate

Endangered Species Deep Forest Mint Dark Chocolate

Add on what was left of a really old Endangered Species mint dark chocolate bar and maybe my love of dark chocolate is a little excessive. I had had this one lying around since Summer because–blech–it just isn’t very minty(for the record, Alter Eco‘s Dark Chocolate Mint is much better).

Empty Wrappers

Empty Wrappers

I imagine I look a little guilty with these in my trash right now, but I sure as hell don’t feel guilty. At least dark chocolate is low on sugar, dairy-free, and high with flavenoids? I love excuses. I eat chocolate like it’s my job(moreso than just being a chocolate reviewer), so if anyone could hook me up and make that really the case, I’d be mucho appreciative. And, yes, this is me excessively pleading to get a Summer job in the chocolate industry.

Yesterday was filled with an excessive amount of work; I anticipate being much more lazy today.

Last night, I clicked on iTunes to start downloading my Doctor Who way too much to no avail; it finally did so this morning.

And Bear Grylls giving himself an enema for the sake of rating was all too excessive. And I would not care to say more.

Pomegranate Yogurt With Apple Ginger Granola, Oatmeal With Mighty Maple And Maple Butter

Pomegranate Yogurt With Apple Ginger Granola, Oatmeal With Mighty Maple And Maple Butter

I’m sure you don’t need 2 guesses to know what I wanted at breakfast this morning. I completely removed that from being an option, and you’d have thought I’d shot myself in the foot. What to do, oh, what to do? I topped oatmeal with Mighty Maple and maple butter(which I wrote about last weekend), and topped 1/2 an Honest Foods bar on a pomegranate Chobani.

Honest Foods Apple Ginger Bar

Honest Foods Apple Ginger Bar

Oh, yum. I just loved the apple ginger bar. This could easily be my favorite non-chocolate bar out there. It tastes kind of like an apple cinnamon oatmeal Quaker Oats square. But it’s also bursting with an welcomed excess of dried fruit and nut, and the nutrition of it is amazing. Even though almond butter is the fat used to cook it, it’s not a strong flavor, which I love. What a great way to start my day of moderation.

What’s been in excess in your life lately? Please, no references to the band or awful CBS show…

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Target Finds And 10 Reasons To Love Home

Posted on April 14, 2010. Filed under: Daily Update | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Hey, all! As if I couldn’t be more confusing, I’m back to blogging from my dorm. I felt good enough today to come back for my Thursday classes. In all honesty, I wanted to come back early today to go to the classes I missed, but common sense prevailed and I needed to rest. Would you believe those are the only 2 classes I’ve missed all year?! I’ve always been the type of person who hates missing classes and trumped to school when he was sick >:-( Were you like that? Or were you more than happy to have an excuse to miss class 😛

Newman's Own Organic Super Dark Chocolate

Newman's Own Organic Super Dark Chocolate

I knew I was feeling more like myself when I wanted to snack on some Newman’s Own Organic Super Dark Chocolate before lunch…

Grass-Fed Burger, Indian Fries, Sea Salt & Vinegar Pop Chips

Grass-Fed Burger, Indian Fries, Sea Salt & Vinegar Pop Chips

The weather today was lovely. It took every ounce of my strength not to break rest and move around outside. Instead, we gassed up the grill to enjoy the sun. I prepared sweet potato fries with EVOO and indian spice last night before I got sick, so we reheated those up along with a grass-fed 85/15 burger. And then there were Sea Salt & Vinegar Pop Chips with extra sea salt. Yum! I think I’m addicted to chips in the good weather.

Jokerz Candy Bar

Jokerz Candy Bar

Jokerz Candy Bar

Jokerz Candy Bar

As we drove around town to run some errands, I cracked open a Jokerz candy by from Go Max Go Foods. Love these! If I didn’t limit myself to 1 a week I’m sure I’d be in the poor house before I knew it. Speaking of the poor house, my favorite store, Target, will do that to you. And look what I found!

Luna Protein Cookie Dough Bars

Luna Protein Cookie Dough Bars

S'mores Z-Bars

S'mores Z-Bars

Disclaimer: I didn’t actually buy either of these; I have enough bars to last me through a snow storm and more. But I did find it interesting that 6 cookie dough Luna protein were only $5.99! Also, remember Spooky S’mores? They’re now a permanent flavor! Wahoo! I think I’m going to base my diet around bars now just so I can run out and have an excuse to buy these(not really(sort of)).

Fruit & Nut Boomi Bar

Fruit & Nut Boomi Bar

Boomi Bars are a good deal more natural than the Luna’s, anyway. I loooved the nutty flavor of this one; something about whole hazelnuts really put a smile on my face 🙂 And it was a good deal fruity, too. It just seemed to have too many sesame seeds 😦 I’ve never been a fan, and this wasn’t Fruit & Nut & Seed.

Yummi Bears Sourz Multi-Vitamin

Yummi Bears Sourz Multi-Vitamin

I made one last purchase at Whole Foods that was a tough decision to make: Yummi Bears Sour multi-vitamins. In the past, I’ve always been somewhat against multi’s, saying that it’s better to just pay and get your nutrition from the foods you eat! And I still believe that. But lately I’ve been frustrated with the lack of fresh fruit and vegetables in my diet. And, short of going to Whole Foods every few days and dropping way too much $$ on produce, I haven’t been able to find a fix for this. The sudden illness just put that all over the top, so I thought for my last month on campus I’d keep the nutrition up by taking a multi-vitamin to ensure nutrition. Yes, I realize these are children’s and yes I realize they’re sour bears. Why else would you think I’d buy them 😉

Tofu And Tempeh With Broccoli And Coconut

Tofu And Tempeh With Broccoli And Coconut

Dinner was a simple 5 ingredient meal:

  • Soy Sauce
  • Tempeh
  • Tofu
  • Broccoli
  • Coconut Shreds

I cubed the tofu and tempeh and threw those in a pan over medium-high heat. As they were cooking, I added the soy sauce to sauté them in. Meanwhile, I steamed broccoli in the microwave for 3 minutes and then threw that in the pan for the last few minutes while everything cooked down. Over the top, I added shredded coconut for the nuttiness of it(it probably would be more flavorful toasted but I already had washed the pan and moved upstairs. I don’t normally love tempeh, but from time to time it’s a nice change of protein.

Going home reminded me of all the reasons it’s a great place to be. In fact, I’ve found it easier not to want to go home simply by forgetting all the reasons it’s a great place to be. But, alas, I can’t fight those feelings anymore, and so I made a list of the 10 things I’m looking forward to about living at home over the Summer.

  1. Montana(and the other people, potentially)
  2. A bigger refrigerator
  3. A quiet room and bed
  4. Fresh produce and food
  5. Grilling
  6. Baking
  7. All my wonderful neighbors
  8. Farmer’s markets visits
  9. A paying job(?)
  10. Less expectations and more time to be lazy 😛

Why do you love home?

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Teas, Tweets, Chocolate, And Sweets

Posted on April 1, 2010. Filed under: Book Review, Daily Update, Giveaway | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Despite the order of this rhythmic post title, I’ll start with chocolate and save the tea for last 😀

Newman's Own Organic Orange Dark Chocolate

Newman's Own Organic Orange Dark Chocolate

Last night I was feeling like a chocolate snob and debating between which brand of orange dark chocolate to have; yes, I do that. In the end, I went with Newman’s Own Organic Orange Dark Chocolate not just because it’s organic but because it has a sweeter flavor from a higher sugar content. OK, enough chocolate talk. That prompted the tweet,

EvanFMFF: I want to go on an all-organic chocolate diet so that when I get fat from it I can say “yeah, but it’s organic fat”.

It was a joke (sort of :-D) but I loved the responses so much I had to share. Some bloggers wanted to join in; could I be more popular than the cookie diet? Other bloggers were their witty selves:

RunEatRepeat: @EvanFMFF and when you die all that organic fat will be like feeding the soil in a good way 🙂

which reminded me of something I want to share from the Today Show: sewage waste is not only permitted, but used in non-organic produce fertilizing. Uhh, ew! I don’t always or even often eat organic produce but these are the kinds of things I’d rather not know because it makes me want to. And, lastly, some bloggers made a knowledgeable and poignant tweet:

CandidRD: @EvanFMFF Sadly people really do think organic and “natural” foods are ALL healthy. HA!

That’s a good reminder that just because you shop at Whole Foods doesn’t mean you can’t go wrong, or at least be picking up things that are still “sometimes” treats rather than good-for-you diet staples.

Jokerz Candy Bar

Jokerz Candy Bar

For instance, Go Max Go Foods Jokerz candy bars. Not USDA organic,  and not a diet staple by any means. But one a week won’t kill you 😉 Just maybe your wallet.

Teeccino Mocha Herbal Coffee

Teeccino Mocha Herbal Coffee

This morning I slept in in hopes of a sunny outdoors run later on this morning; let’s see what the sun has to say about that. Instead of coffee, I thought I’d opt for mocha herbal teeccino instead so as to not dehydrate myself. It doesn’t really taste like coffee, but it’s nice beverage to have around if you need to feel April Fooled into drinking the real java. It’s better because it’s non-acidic. If it were the only type of coffee I kept around, I probably wouldn’t notice missing the “real” thing.

Pumpkin Oatmeal With Honey Maple PB, Cacao Coconut Yogurt With Coconut PB

Pumpkin Oatmeal With Honey Maple PB, Cacao Coconut Yogurt With Coconut PB

Cacao Maca Coconut Yogurt With Coconut Peanut Butter

Cacao Maca Coconut Yogurt With Coconut Peanut Butter

Ahh, pumpkin oats, my voluminous friend, where have you been these past few days? 🙂 There was some pumpkin oatmeal with honey maple protein peanut butter, but the real story was in the yogurt. I mixed a plain So Delicious coconut milk yogurt with 2 tablespoons Navitas Naturals‘ twister powder(cacao, maca, and hemp) and topped that with some Tropical Traditions coconut peanut butter. Coconutty? I think so. The peanut butter was a little stiff on the yogurt and might have been overkill, but at least it was tasty overkill.

Sweet Utopia

Sweet Utopia

Rick from Book Publishing Co. offered to send me a book for review and share my opinions on. Sweet Utopia by Sharon Valencik is a book devoted to vegan desserts; how perfect does that sound? Desserts are something I’ve always had trouble “veganizing” myself so I can’t wait to see what she has to teach me and how much I can take away. For the month of April and possibly May, I’ll be flipping through the book, picking up tips, and trying out recipes. In the end, I’ll give a comprehensive review and hopefully if I end up loving it I can suggest it to you all! Sound fun?

Last but not least, the winner of the Celestial Tea Wellness giveaway as chosen by random lot is Angela! Congrats to her and happy sipping 🙂

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