Thursday, June 2, 2011

Ice cream and blankies

I hope every had a good Be Nice on the Internet Day. Were you nice?

The blog has been a bit heavy lately, so today I have some lighter fare for you.

Ice cream

We finally broke down and got an ice cream maker. In pre-Paleo days, Mike had a bit of an ice cream "problem". He claimed he was past that, never needed to have ice cream again. But I started having mad cravings for ice cream, and we realized that it doesn't have to be the lactose/casein/sugar fest of typical ice cream if you make it yourself.

We splurged and got the $50 Cuisinart model. Totally worth it - it's fast and easy to use, and easy to clean. Seriously, soft serve ice cream in 20 minutes. You start it when you sit down to dinner and it's ready for dessert.

Our first ice cream attempt was on Memorial Day. We used only heavy whipping cream and a little bit of maple syrup for sweetener. Wonderfully rich, like frozen whipped cream, but it lacked a little flavor, so we topped it with some almond butter and dark chocolate chips:

The awesome 70s cup was a gift from my brother years ago.

Last night we tried a coconut milk version - I drained off the water from the can and just used the coconut cream. Added a couple of tablespoons of maple syrup and some shaved mint chocolate, and here's what we got:

Not as pretty as the last picture, but this was sublime. So creamy and dense, sweet but not too sweet. For my next batch, I want to do the same thing but with a little instant coffee powder instead of the mint chocolate. Mike prefers the heavy whipping cream, and it's good, but I am sold sold sold on the coconut version. Plus it's a lot cheaper (do you know how much good-quality heavy whipping cream costs? Yikes.)

This was so rich I couldn't finish it, so I put the leftover ice cream in one of those freezer pop molds in hopes of recreating a childhood favorite, the pudding pop. I plan to eat that when I get home tonight, so I'll let you know if the experiment was successful.

If you're on the fence about whether to get an ice cream maker, go for it! You won't regret it. I'm usually not a fan of unitaskers and extra kitchen gadgets, but this is an exception. I am so excited about making lots of different flavors all summer.


So I finished the first baby blanket a while ago. Not sure I ever got a finished shot of it, but you can see it in progress here. I love it - it's organic cotton in a nice earthy color, lots of texture. But it's a little small, more of a stroller blanket. I wanted something that was bigger, brighter, more contrasty and fun.

I've had this second blanket in my head almost since the beginning of my pregnancy. I even figured out which yarn and which colors I wanted to use. But for whatever reason, it took me a while to get the yarn ordered up. I finally ordered it, it came last week, and I started the blanket over the weekend. I've already made a lot of progress:

The photo is a bit blurry, but I seem to take all my knitting photos with my iPhone camera a minute before I walk out the door in the morning, so...that's what you get. The colors are true. It's based on the bricklayer (or courthouse steps) pattern in Mason Dixon Knitting, using Shine Worsted yarn from Knitpicks in clementine, marmalade, robot, and platinum. Don't you just love those color names?

I think it looks cute and fun without being too "baby", a bright modern design with lots of visual interest. It's just how I pictured it in my head. And the Shine yarn is sooo soft. It's a combination of cotton and modal (made from beech trees) and is just a dream to work with, plus it's machine washable. Mike informed me that he wants his OWN blanket made from this yarn. Only thing is, he's six feet tall and likes to have his feet covered. So that project may be a ways down the road.


Yesterday's workout was:

Pull-ups 5-5-5-5-5 (band assist)

Back squat 5-5-5-3-3-3

Kettlebell sumo deadlift 5-5-5-5-5
12-16-20-24-32 kg

Everything at a slow pace, lots of breaks. My energy was low, so it was a good day for some low-volume lifting. Today I'm skipping strength class and climbing instead. I think I'll stick to 5.8's and 9's and really focus on balance. Then gluten-free Chinese food for lunch, yay!



Bluescaptain Joe said...

42/50, but mom helped me with one.

Bluescaptain Joe said...

also, i can't believe you still have that cup! I have one just like it in my cupboard, and it's one of my favorites.

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