Tag Archives: mint

Stop what you’re doing and make avocado coconut chocolate chip ice cream

22 Aug

I was in the middle of writing a blog post about the apple-blueberry-yogurt pie I made for the fourth of July, but then I tasted this ice cream that I just finished and changed my mind.  It’s SO GOOD.  The light avocado flavor plus the coconut milk and a teensy bit of lime and salt just make the creamiest indulgence.  This still has cream in it, but could be done vegan (just use more coconut milk).  I’m in love with this ice cream.  And also, I’m in love with ice cream (I didn’t bring the ice cream maker with me to Boston, but since coming back I’ve made strawberry ice cream and strawberry-lime-mint sorbet which were both also awesome and I’ll put the recipes at the bottom of this post).

If I used maple syrup or agave or something instead of sugar, this would be paleo, right?  It’s my husband’s birthday on Sunday and I want to make him something as good as the cake I made two years ago.  I’ve been going through a big carb phase for the past seven months, so this would be a thank-you to him for putting up with all the pasta/bread/not-paleo-at-all stuff we’ve been eating.  And what would be better than an avocado coconut ice cream cake with an almond-chocolate base?  I’ll update if I do that!

Incidentally, let me brag about him for a second: he’s currently in the woods in Oregon, running in one of the world’s largest relay races from Mount Hood to the coast.  I’m currently sitting at home with a bowl of ice cream and a laptop.  This is exactly what I imagine we look like right now:

I've never been in an eating contest.  I'm more of an amateur-portion person- you can tell from this picture (because it's not in PRO-portion)

I’ve never been in a competitive eating contest. I’m more of an amateur-portion person- you can tell from this picture (both because of the size of the bowl, and because it’s not in PRO-portion)

Anyways.  I picked up five small avocados for a dollar at the amazing produce shop down the street earlier this week, and I set them in a basket with some bananas waiting for them to ripen.  The problem with buying five avocados at once when it’s just you at home is you have to use them all at once, or you’ll have overripe ferment-y ones (remember the raw avocado pie from last summer?).  So I thought of ice cream or massive smoothies- avocado is definitely for sweets in Vietnam, with avocado smoothies being a huge thing (blend an avocado with ice and sweetened condensed milk.  Drink.)  I also didn’t have any milk at home, but I did have two limes and a can of coconut milk.  Also some friends brought me chocolate with coconut in it.  So that’s what happened!

Lately I've been very clumsy and stubbing my toe a lot.  This makes me mix up things- am I an avocado for this ice cream, or an AdVOCAte?  Stubbing my toe made me lose the extra 'o' (and also made me anagram)

Lately I’ve been very clumsy and stubbing my toe a lot. This makes me mix up things- am I an avocado for this ice cream, or an AdVOCAte? Stubbing my toe made me lose the extra ‘o’ (and also made me anagram)

Non-custard ice creams are so easy- just put everything in a blender.  Plop your avocado pieces in (I cut avocados in half, then use a spoon to scoop out the flesh), some sugar, some cream, the juice of two limes, and a can of coconut milk.  Blend.

Ah, the admirable avocado (certainly not PIT(i)ful in this picture)

Ah, the admirable avocado (certainly not PIT(i)ful in this picture)

She's been in some complicated relationships-it's still hard for the coconut milk to open up.

She’s been in some complicated relationships-it’s still hard for the coconut milk to open up.

She's just sick of all the li(m)es, but realizes that we all li(m)e sometimes to make life a little smoother (or perhaps more zesty- have i mentioned you look REALLY good in that?)

She’s just sick of all the li(m)es, but realizes that we all li(m)e sometimes to make life a little smoother (or perhaps more zesty- have i mentioned you look REALLY good in that?)

Blend that up til smooth, then toss it in the fridge while you go do other things.  Also, cut up a chocolate bar into little chunks.

We could try to be honest all the time, but everyone has a DARK side- and BARing all might not be a great idea

We could try to be honest all the time, but everyone has a DARK side- and BARing all might not be a great idea

People will CHOC up outcomes to what yOu say- so there's no need to explain you're LATE because you want to spend less time with them.  Just blame traffic- a little li(m)e won't hurt anyone.

People will CHOC up outcomes to what yOu say- so there’s no need to explain you’re LATE because you want to spend less time with them. Just blame traffic- a little li(m)e won’t hurt anyone.

This was my first time leaving the mixture in the blender instead of transferring to a bowl.  It makes SO MUCH MORE SENSE because then you don’t splash all over when you pour the cream into the ice cream maker.

I'm not advocating lying all the time, but hey, any PO(u)Rt in a storm!

I’m not advocating lying all the time, but hey, any PO(u)Rt in a storm!

Note: DON’T put the chocolate chips, nuts, mix-ins, whatever in when you first pour in the mix.  Wait until it’s about the thickness of greek yogurt so that the chips get evenly distributed.

IMG_20140822_175735793

Avocado coconut chocolate-chip ice cream (vegan, paleo options available)- adapted from David Lebovitz, who adapted it from this awesome looking cookbook Absolutely Avocados.  Makes about 1 quart.

1 can coconut milk

3-4 small avocados or 2 big avocados

3/4 c sugar (or agave syrup/other sweetener for paleo)

2 limes

1/2 c cream (or more coconut milk)

pinch of salt

chocolate (I used a 3 oz bar of dark chocolate with coconut in it)

Blend all ingredients except chocolate together.  Chill in a fridge for at least 20 minutes.  Start your ice cream maker and throw in the blender-ful of stuff.  Chop chocolate into small chips, and add in about 10 minutes into churning process.  Enjoy!

IMG_20140822_165348162

Bonus recipe: Strawberry-lime-mint sorbet, adapted from the Cuisinart recipe book that came with my ice cream maker

Note: While for ice cream I just throw the sugar in, by now I’ve decided that simple syrup is the way to go with sorbets.  Otherwise you’ll get grains of sugar ruining the smoothness of the sorbet

1 c water

1 c sugar

1 bunch mint leaves (I took them from my garden so I don’t know how many there were.  Maybe 15)

3 limes

2 c strawberries (one pint according to this helpful website)

pinch of salt

Bring the sugar and water to a boil to make a simple syrup.  Let it boil while stirring for a minute, then turn off the heat.  Throw in the mint.

Meanwhile, cut up and measure your strawberries.  Blend them with the juice and zest of the limes and the salt.  Discard the mint.  Add about 1/4 c of the simple syrup to your berry blend, and blend.  Taste.  This is probably too sour.  Add more syrup 1/4 c at a time until the mixture is a little bit sweeter than you’d like.  Chill in the fridge, clean up, and throw in the ice cream maker.  Yum!

I used my leftover mint simple syrup (I had about 1/4 c) in a strawberry iced green tea.  Delicious.

Cantaloupe-mint sorbet, or we got an ice cream maker!

6 Jun

I can now point to a time when Twitter actively changed my life.  My internet pal/fairy blogmother Evelyn Lamb  tweeted a few months back about how great homemade yogurt is, and she sent me her recipe for it (future post).  Then she mentioned that it also makes great HOMEMADE FROZEN YOGURT.  I love frozen yogurt and what other people spend at Starbucks, I spend at frozen yogurt joints.  I asked (this entire conversation is somewhere on Twitter) if it’s worth it to get an ice cream machine, and she said yes, so I added it to our crate and barrel wedding registry, not thinking anyone would get it for us (we had 25 people at our wedding).  Turns out people who don’t come to your wedding still like buying you gifts, so now we have an ice cream maker!  WOOHOO!

Speaking of gifts, husband got me some flowers as a welcome-home present from that conference I went to in Ann Arbor (more on that later).

This is the least flour-y photo ever put on a baking post in this blog

This is the least flour-y photo ever put on a baking post in this blog

I loved the arrangement, and I especially loved that they put fresh mint into it!  Immediately after getting me from the train station we went grocery shopping, and I picked up a cantaloupe and a lemon.  I came home to that new ice cream maker, and knew what had to happen.

Sugar and water might be a great match, but their parents are traditionalists- they can't elope.

Sugar and water might be a great match, but their parents are traditionalists- they can’t elope.

Sometimes it's hard for me to tell if I'm joking, or if I mint every word in my captions

Sometimes it’s hard for me to tell if I’m joking, or if I mint every word in my captions

Sorbet is actually pretty easy: make a sugar syrup (or use honey or agave), and blend it with your fruit+ flavors.  I boiled a cup of water with a cup of sugar, then let it simmer while I cut up a cantaloupe.

Mmm... melons

Mmm… melons

He's water.  And boy, he'll

He’s water. And boy, he’ll (BO-IL)

be excited to see his sweetheart.

be excited to see his SWEETheart.

Let's give them some privacy to mix

Let’s give them some privacy to mix

I have yet to figure out a reasonable way to cut up a melon.  I just sort of hack it into chunks.  That’s fine for this, because you just throw it in a food processor/blender with the juice of a lemon and some mint leaves until it’s pureed.

Water might start getting jealous- cantaloupe is looking very (c)hunky!

Water might start getting jealous- cantaloupe is looking very (c)hunky!

Did ya hear there was a breakout at the Spooner grove?  Jemons on the loose!  Err... Lemons on the juice!

Did ya hear there was a breakout at the Spooner grove? Jemons on the loose! Err… Lemons on the juice!

Then you mix in enough sugar syrup to taste.  I made a cup of simple syrup, but only used about 3/4 of it.  You want to make the mixture a little bit sweeter than you like, since freezing it makes it less sweet (ice crystals… science… stuff…).

I sometimes wish I'd been born two weeks early so I could be a Torus, sign of the bowl (wow that doesn't make any sense!  Worst bowl ever!)

I sometimes wish I’d been born two weeks early so I could be a Torus, sign of the bowl (wow that doesn’t make any sense! Worst bowl ever!)

Then throw it in your ice cream maker and let it run for 20 minutes or so!  I’ve never used one before so it was pretty amazing to see it go from complete liquid to this thickened substance stuff.

Everything was mixed up earlier.  Glad we got it SOR(be)TED out.

Everything was mixed up earlier. Glad we got it SOR(be)TED out.

By the time this was done, our steak was resting and salad on the table, so I scooped it into a tupperware and put it in the freezer until we were ready to eat it.  I love the brightness of the mint and lemon popping out of the sweet taste of cantaloupe (which I evidently love from that smoothie post).

Missed the sorbet this time...

Missed the sorbet this time…

Cantaloupe-mint sorbet, adapted to be an easier version of this Better Homes and Gardens recipe:

1 cantaloupe

1 c sugar

1 lemon

5 sprigs of mint

 

Bring 1 c of water + 1 c sugar to a boil.  Reduce heat to low and let simmer until thickened while you dice the cantaloupe, leaf the mint, and slice the lemon.

Turn off the heat under the simple syrup, and if you have electric, move the pot to let the syrup cool.  Meanwhile, puree the cantaloupe, mint, and lemon in a food processor (you will probably have to do this in batches) until smooth.  Then add cooled sugar syrup to taste (somewhere between 1/2 c and 1 c, depending on your melon).

Refrigerate while you do other stuff, or don’t (I put in a load of laundry, read a bit of math, and started dinner, which took about two hours).

Throw it in your ice cream maker and let it whir for 20 minutes until it looks good.  Put in an airtight container in the freezer.  It’s so good.

Baking with tea!

28 Jan

I tried googling recipes of baking with peppermint tea, but didn’t get too many hits.  So I looked up my own recipe for shortbread, and adapted it.  This texture was a little bit chalky, but I do know what I’ll do in the future to avoid that.

Give me a "T'!  And give me a... oh wait that's it.

Give me a “T’! And give me a… oh wait that’s it.

So in the future, rather than brew a very strong tea, I think I’ll infuse the butter by cooking it with the tea, and then chill it again.  What I did this time was throw three tea bags in a bowl and pour a bit of boiling water over it.

If you have some tea, and no one else can help, maybe you can hire the S-team.

If you have some tea, and no one else can help, and if you can find it, maybe you can hire the S-team.

Then did the usual shortbread recipe, but I ended up adding an extra cup of flour because the dough was so wet and gummy.  I think gummy dough corresponds to chalky baked good.

No one wants to be defeated... just beat it!  
No one wants to be defeated… just beat it!

I added the super strong tea (a bit less than a quarter cup) with the wet ingredients, and I tasted the dough and it didn’t seem quite minty enough.  So I cut up the tea bags and mixed it in to the batter.

Do these guys ever wonder, am I my sciss(t)or's keeper?

Do these guys ever wonder, am I my sciss(t)or’s keeper?

I swear we have a rolling pin somewhere in the house, but I couldn’t find it, so I used an old mason jar to roll out the dough.

We could've had it all, rolling with the dough...

We could’ve had it all, rolling with the dough…

The cookies at the end had a pleasant little mint bite and flecks of green.

Lost the pizza wheel too... oops

Lost the pizza wheel too… oops

Here’s the recipe again:

Cream:

2 sticks of butter

1/2 c sugar

a few tablespoons of very strong mint tea

Add in:

3 c flour

1/2-1 tsp salt

A bag or three of mint tea

Bake at 300 for half an hour, and no longer.

I also did something silly, where I left my house while baking.  So I actually turned off the oven after about 20 minutes and left the cookies in there.  That’s also why they were chalky, overbaked and dry.  Sad face.

IMG_20130124_223536_919

Still tasty!

 

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