…We All Scream for Ice Cream

stress

This has been a momentous week for our family. Our second oldest child became a teenager. He’s a wonderful boy. I love to watch him playing with his toddler and baby brothers…makes my heart melt. It has also been a wonderful week weather-wise. We’ve been enjoying hanging the laundry out, having our windows open, lots of walks and playing outside. The Vitamin D is great, right? We’re all sleeping better with all the fresh air.

Last year I started making homemade ice cream for our children’s birthdays. I was constantly searching for a way to do this without eggs and without an ice cream maker. Then several months ago we found an old-fashioned hand-crank ice cream maker at our local flea market. It’s a bit beat up but it does the job. I’ve finally found a recipe for ice cream that doesn’t use eggs. You can see the recipe here.  This is not a cheap recipe, but we only have ice cream on birthdays so we don’t mind spending a little more for these special occasions.

Noah has discovered that leftover homemade ice cream is much better than fresh so tonight he and his brother made the ice cream for his birthday party tomorrow night. It takes a good thirty minutes of cranking to get ice cream. It is soft serve style but after “curing” in the freezer for several hours it becomes harder. I didn’t think of it soon enough, but next time I will use unflavoured gelatin to try and thicken it a little more. One tweak I did make to the recipe was changing the sugar to honey. In order to make the honey mix properly we had to heat the honey with the cream and then cool it before we started cranking.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

We’ve had a little taste of the ice cream tonight – you know, just to make sure it was okay. 😉 I’ll let you know next Friday how it tasted. Making our own ice cream is a lot of work but very satisfying. It’s great to know all the ingredients that are in our ice cream – all readable and all edible.

How was your week?

Advertisements

Healthy, Frugal AND Tasty!

You probably already know that beans are a frugal way to extend your grocery budget. Many people also know that they are healthy – they provide protein and fiber, are low on the glycemic index, improve disgestion to list just a few of their benefits. However, many people – especially children do not enjoy them.

We have been eating more beans lately for all of the above reasons. I was fairly skeptical at first but I am quickly becoming a believer in the tastiness and versatility of beans. I have found one way to make them more palatable to my children is if they are mashed. Recently I made white beans and mashed them up like potatoes, and they were a big hit. My children enjoy refried beans in tortillas. Of course, the cheese and sour cream probably doesn’t hurt either. 🙂

Tonight we had one of our new favourites – Black Bean and Quinoa Burgers. Basically you use cooked black beans and then mix them with whatever you would normally mix with meat for making burgers. We also add quinoa – about a quarter to half a cup for every two cups of beans. You can use canned beans, but I prefer to cook ours.

Cooking beans used to scare me. I thought I had to soak them overnight which is a bit too much pre-planning for me. I have learned that I can measure out what I need cover them with at least one to two inches of water and boil them. After they simmer for a couple of minutes I turn them off for an hour. Then I drain the water, add more and cook them until soft. I used to do it in my slow cooker, but it recently broke so I’ve found that I can cook them almost as easily on the stove.

These burgers are so delicious. My children love them especially when I pair them with homemade baked fries. We don’t often use hamburger buns. I consider them extra carbs we don’t necessarily need, but we have eaten them buns. They are every bit as good as their meaty cousins.

a yummy, child-approved suppe

a yummy, child-approved suppe

As I try new bean recipes I’ll let you know how they go down with our children. What is your favourite way of fixing beans?

Tomato Soup Goodness

 A few years ago I discovered homemade tomato soup. Let’s just say that we have never bought another can of Campbell’s since. This soup is so good and so simple. It’s so simple that even my nine-year-old daughter can make it with a little supervision and help. It really doesn’t take much longer than opening a can, emptying it, and adding milk or water to it, but the taste is about one hundred times better. Plus as an added bonus, I know what’s in this soup – every ingredient is pronouncable and no MSG. So here is how we do it.

First, you open a large can of tomatoe pieces. For us that is one of the jars we canned last summer. You dump it in your soup pot and mash the tomatoes up. We use a stick blender, but anything that mashes them will work. Sometimes there is still some little chunks, but that’s okay.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

my lovely assistant

blended tomatoes

blended tomatoes

Then we add chicken stock. Mine is usually frozen because I forget to  take it out in time, but it melts. 🙂 Next  we add water, a small can of tomato paste, honey, parsley and dill weed.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

frozen chicken stock

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

adding honey

Now you can add milk with flour mixed in to thicken the soup or as we did today just cream. I left out the flour because I was keeping this THM diet-friendly. Next comes butter and salt. As soon as it’s all heated through you’re ready. Like I said simple, simple, simple. When you taste it though, it is so delicious you will never want to buy canned tomato soup again.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

lovely, delicious goodness

soup