Classic Peach Milkshake

IMG_3433If you remember a couple weeks ago, I wrote about how I typically consume milkshakes in place of meals.  I realize this may not be the healthiest of choices, but I love milkshakes and I am just too full to enjoy them with meals or after meals most of the time.  I posted a Chocolate Cherry Milkshake that I made one night as Little Miss Mixture and I had gone out to a late lunch and neither of us was that hungry, so we had a fun summer dinner – Milkshakes.

On occasion I am able to make one type of milkshake for everyone in the house, but many times there are a couple varieties or different flavors requested.  This was one of those times.  Little Miss Mixture wanted to try peach.  I find peach milkshakes are really most enjoyable during the summer when the peaches are fresh.  If you have been reading recently you know we went peach picking and have a lot of peaches on hand now.  I have sliced and frozen a large amount of them.  I think frozen peaches are great for making smoothies, but the flavor is not quite the same as a fresh peach in a true classic milkshake.  Peach milkshakes are best in the middle to late summer when the freestone peaches are at their best and make it easiest to work with.

This milkshake is quintessential summer in the south and can be ready in five minutes.  Why not make the most of the summer by enjoying fresh local fruit and ice cream.  If you are like me in anyway a milkshake can just brighten your day.  Try it!

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Classic Peach Milkshake

6 oz. Vanilla Ice Cream

1 1/2 Fresh Peaches, pitted and sliced

1 tsp Vanilla Extract

1/4 c. Milk, optional

Directions

Combine all ingredients in a blender and puree until smooth.  If you prefer a thicker milkshake, puree the first 3 ingredients and then add milk to get desired consistency.  If the peaches are really juicy no milk is needed to get a perfect thick peach shake.  Pour into a glass and enjoy.

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No Bake Cherry Vanilla Cheesecake Ice Cream

Happy National Ice Cream Month!  I have a weakness for good ice cream.  It is no secret I will happily allow ice cream or a milkshake to replace a meal.  However here it is national ice cream month and not only have I had very little ice cream, but the cool July temperatures have deterred me a little from making it.  Don’t get me wrong I eat ice cream any time of year, but when it comes to making it I seem to only get in the mood when it is a nice sunny day outside.  Recently we have not had many of those.  In fact as I am typing this post, I am not sure our family activity for today will occur as it is a comfortable 60 degrees, but it is raining.  Yes 60 degrees in the middle of July you know what that means.  Mrs. Mixture will not be swimming anytime soon.
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I am not going to allow it to rain on our family fun.  One of our  summer bucket list items was to make homemade ice cream.  Well it seems I have done this twice now with fruity flavors.  I am guessing my chocolate loving family is going to have something to say about the next batch we make.

In the meantime, this ice cream is not your typical cheesecake ice cream.  In fact, I purposefully made the cheesecake flavor very mild in hopes that the family would enjoy it.  Mr. Mixture does not like fruity desserts, nor does he like cheesecake.  I know. What is wrong with the man?  He is a chocolate dessert kind of person though on occasion he can surprise me with his enjoyment of random desserts.  Truth is I also made the cheesecake flavor mild, because 4 oz is what I had in the refrigerator when the idea of the ice cream first came to me.

 

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Cherry Vanilla Cheesecake Ice Cream

2 cup Heavy Cream

1 Tsp. Vanilla Extract

4 oz. Cream Cheese

1/2 cup Skim Milk

4 Tbsp. Sugar

1 recipe of Graham Cracker Crust, crumbled

1 recipe of Homemade Cherry Sauce

Directions

Allow the cream cheese to come to room temperature.  Once at room temperature  Beat cream cheese to whipped consistency adding vanilla extract.  Once combined add heavy cream and milk lightly beat so as to combine, but not make whipped cream.  Lastly add sugar and mix in.  Then pour cream cheese mixture into ice cream maker and proceed as per ice cream machine manufacturers directions.

Once the cream is ready add the crumbled graham cracker crust and the cherry sauce.  Allow to mix into ice cream.  For soft serve consistency ice cream, enjoy immediately.  For hard ice cream.  Transfer to freezer ( either in ice cream maker bowl or transfer to a freezer safe container) and allow to freeze for 4 hours.

If you prefer a more distant cheesecake flavor, I recommend using 6 oz. cream cheese.

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Graham Cracker Crust

3/4 cup graham cracker crumbs.

1 1/2 Tbsp, melted butter

1 1/2 Tbsp sugar

Combine crumbs and sugar in a bowl.  Pour melted butter over and blend well.  Pack mixture into the bowl / oven safe container depending on preparation method,  and refrigerate for 45 minutes to 1 hour or in oven safe container bake for about 6 minutes at 350 degrees.  If using oven method allow to cool before proceeding.  Once graham cracker crust is ready, crumble and add to ice cream.

This ice cream is not overly sweet either which I like.  Using a fresh cherry made into a sauce rather than the over processed cherry pie filling type cherry flavor allows for a simple refreshing type of cream rather than a super sweet ice cream.  Try it.  See what you think.  To jazz it up a little you could always toss some chocolate chips on top or chocolate sauce when serving it.

Happy National Ice Cream Month!!!!!!

Chocolate Cherry Milkshake

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Well I just went back and read my About Me page.  I must apologize as I failed to mention a favorite food … Milkshakes.  I have a vague memory that I spoke about my love for milkshakes and liquid meals in one of my smoothie post, but if not there it is.  I have always loved milkshakes and before smoothies were a popular breakfast item , I can remember my mom making fruit shakes for my breakfast.  I was and never have been a great breakfast eater.  As an adult, I know how to get food when I need it, but as a child I do not think my parents liked sending me off to school without breakfast.  Thus I can remember fruit shakes, toaster strudels, carnation instant breakfast, and a variety of other items being given to encourage me to eat breakfast.  I probably ate mixture for breakfast as early as middle school and continue to do so at times.  I like cereal.  I just never learned to enjoy it covered in milk and turning soggy as I eat it.  Funny as I think about it.  I love milk and still consume it on a regular basis with meals, but cereal and milk are two foods I do not mix.  However as I am typing it just occurred to me there is one way I would probably enjoy milk and cereal together… in a milkshake.  That is an idea for another day.

Well I love milkshakes, but they are just too filling to accompany a meal.  I actually consume them more in place of a meal.  I used to get them for snacks or as quick bite when I was busy working and sort of missed meal times.  As a kid I remember having milkshakes for lunch on a summer day for occasion, and this is something I have continued to do.  Well it is more of a year round occurrence than a summer thing.  It is just so easy and many times it is the perfect amount of food if we have had a later breakfast or bigger breakfast on the weekends, but need something with substinance to hold us to dinner.  I do have some guidelines with our milkshake meals – they generally always contain a fruit, banana mostly.  Nay sayers go on, but all food has a place and just as I remember it as a memory as a child, so will Little Miss Mixture.  Besides there are worst things that could be consumed than a combination of fruit, milk, and ice cream.

 

The other day Little Miss Mixture and I were invited to have lunch with my mom.  We went to a local restaurant that specializes in sushi and burgers.  Yes it is a strange combination, but it works.  The menu had some unique milkshake, including some adult only ones, but I was there for lunch and did not need that much.  However the idea of a shake seemed to stick with me for the remainder of the day.  Having eaten a somewhat late lunch, not being that hungry, and no pressure to make dinner as Mr. Mixture was out of town.  I decided to eat some of the leftover food we brought home and make milkshakes.  Perfect dinner for a hot night.

As a kid we used to visit Dairy Queen.  In fact I can recall having my first blizzard and it being served upside down to show how thick it was.  I am fairly certain when we got these they replaced our meals as well.  See I am just carry on another family tradition.  I have always liked cherry things.  For years I ordered the Cherries Jubilee flavor at Baskin and Robbins, and one of my favorite blizzards was chocolate covered cherry.  I had never tried to recreate one of these flavors until the other day.  I could be in trouble because the first time was success and why wouldn’t it be.  How can you go wrong with chocolate and cherries.

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Chocolate Cherry Milkshake

20 fresh cherries, pitted

6 oz. Vanilla ice cream

1 tsp. Vanilla extract

1 Tbsp. Chocolate Syrup

Blend until smooth and enjoy.

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I wonder how many more delicious things I can make before cherry season is over.  What is your favorite way to eat cherries?

 

 

Strawberry Ricotta Ice Cream

IMG_3102I hate to see good food go to waste. Now this is not to say that I clean my plate or overeat. I am really referring to partial items sitting in the refrigerator or pantry that get forgotten about. How often do you buy an ingredient for a recipe and actually use the entire container? I seem to always have extra ricotta cheese.
I have only recently discovered ricotta cheese and its versatility. This new found love pulls me to pick up a container just to have since I seem to be able to use it in a lot of last minute dinners – pizza, pasta, etc. However there are two situations that occur. I forget I have it and then I must try and get it used before the expiration date, or I use a partially container and then I need to find another use so as not to waste the cheese.
I have found a great many random things to make none of which I would classify as a recipe. Need an afternoon snack – try mixing ricotta cheese, with some peanut butter and cocoa and dipping apple slices or graham crackers in it. A recent breakfast consist of a heaping tablespoon of Chocolate Peanut Butter – really how can you go wrong mixed with about 3 Tbsp of Ricotta and a handful of dried cherries mixed with chocolate peanut butter.  Almost indulgent and yet it so satisfying and healthy.
Prior to traveling I always clean out the refrigerator whether it is a weekend away or several weeks away. I hate coming home to find surprises lurking in containers. In doing so recently I needed to use up just under 1/2 a container of ricotta. The catch I was not hungry and we had other food that was going to be consumed for dinner before we headed out the next morning.
Having recently made some ice cream and realizing I had a small amount of cream and milk leftover from that, I decided ice cream would be the perfect way to use the cheese and save it for consumption at a later date. This is the first time I have created an ice cream completely on my own and I was pleasantly surprised it came out great.  In fact it was much creamier than the s’mores ice cream which was a more traditional homemade ice cream flavor.

Strawberry Ricotta Ice Cream
1 1/2 Quarts

3/4 cup Ricotta Cheese (this is approximate as I used what was left in the container.)

1/3 cup Heavy Cream

1 Cup 1% Milk (you could use milk of choice, but this was sitting in our refrigerator)

3/4 cup chopped Fresh strawberries

1/3 cup sugar

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Puree the mixture.  Pour into ice cream maker and make according to instructions.  It took about 20 minutes for my batch to become a nice soft serve consistency.

Printable Recipe and Nutrition Info found here.

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Little Miss Mixture is generally open minded with things, but she was very hesitant to try the ice cream after finding out I made it with Ricotta cheese.  After she took a small bite, I think her hesitation was gone as she immediately requested more.  It past her test.  Now I am thinking peach season is upon us and you could easily substitute peaches for an excellent summer ice cream.

Have S’mores?

Image 2ImageWhen what should have been a quick and easy recipe fails, you can become frustrated.  Truth is there are several ways a recipe can fail – the taste and the appearance.  Depending on the situation you can still enjoy it.  Feeding the family at home no big deal if the lasagna is slightly runny, or the egg broke and the yellow is all over the plate, but when taking food to a get together appearance matters.

I am still not sure why the s’mores cup did not work.  I had the same recipe I used the first time, so possibly the brand of graham crackers, or maybe I will blame it on the weather.  Regardless I was not going to serve them, but after the cups sat for awhile they hardened up and were not a mushy mess, so I tossed them in a rubbermaid container expecting some greedy little eyes and hands to ask for them.  A day went by and the only person whose hands were caught were mine.  I had to try them to see just how bad they were.  The flavor was good, but they still did not look very appeasing.  But why waste a perfectly good flavor especially when beauty of food has never been my number one priority, so I decided to take one summer flavor and mix it with another.

S’mores Ice Cream.  I googled around to get some ideas of the base different recipes used and since I planned on crumbling the cups as a mix in, I decided on a simple sweet vanilla cream base.  I found a simple recipe on http://www.addapinch.com and adapted it to meet my taste.  I love ice cream and the richer the better, but I did not want to run to the store for whole milk, so I decided to adjust for using a lower fat content milk then it is not quite the indulgence, right?

S’mores Cup Ice Cream

1 1/2 cup 1% milk

2 cup heavy cream

1 tsp. vanilla

1 1/2 cup sugar

Mix ingredients together and poor into ice cream maker and continue until mixture firmer and has grown in size.  This is the air being incorporated into the mixture that makes for delicious ice cream.

1 1/2 cups crumbled s’mores cup

1/4 cup mini marshmallows

2 oz. dark chocolate chunks

Once it is almost done.  Toss is crumbled s’more cups and a small handful marshmallows and chocolate chunks.  You can serve the ice cream as is, but I prefer to transfer to a container and allow to sit in the freezer several hours or overnight for the best flavor and consistency.

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Obviously you could make this recipe without making the s’mores cups.  Simply roast marshmallows in the oven and combine graham crackers and chocolate.  No matter how you create the ice cream, it will take you fireside with its flavor all the while cooling you off.

We seem to have been on a s’mores kick recently as Little Miss Mixture had me try the indoor s’mores.  I have to say they were easy and had a great flavor.  I have to wonder if I am not looking for that fireside experience or enjoying an outdoor fire for another reason, if I would go through the trouble when the flavor can be replicated in 10 minutes inside in the comfort of my kitchen.

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To make indoor s’mores all you need is an oven proof pan that accommodates the amount you want to make.  Enough for one or enough for more.  Cover the bottom of the pan with chocolate chips or desired chocolate.  Place marshmallows atop and place in oven on 450 degrees for about 8 minutes or until marshmallows are golden on top.  Serve in pan along side graham crackers for dipping.

I used a small Le Creuset as they work well at high temperatures in the oven and are easy to clean, but I know have a reason to get one of those cute mini cast iron pans.  I always wondered what to use it them for.

How cute would an individual pan of s’mores be for dessert?

No matter how you decide to get that s’mores flavor.  I think we can all agree that the flavor of roasted marshmallows mixed with or without chocolate and graham crackers is a must in the summer, and now with indoor s’mores it may be an all year treat no matter where you live.

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