Vanilla Ice Cream

large-bowl-of-homemade-vanilla-ice-cream

Be sure to click the pictures so see the flecks of vanilla bean!

I love ice cream and if I buy it, I go for Ben and Jerry’s. As a child one of my most favorite memories is eating ice cream with my grandparents after dinner. There is something about homemade vanilla ice cream that is just so amazing, especially this recipe. This recipe is so creamy, so delicious, once you have tasted this recipe you will want to make it all the time. …MMM so good!!! Make me do the Happy Dance! 🙂

bowl-of-homemade-vanilla-ice-cream

All the flecks of vanilla bean, the rich egg yolks, heavy cream makes for a rich creamy custardy ice cream. All the egg yolks make this ice cream yellow color. Did you know that vanilla is the most popular flavor ice cream with chocolate as second?

July is National Ice Cream Month, in 1984; President Ronald Reagan designated July as National Ice Cream Month. The third Sunday of the month is National Ice Cream Day.

So let me show you how I make this homemade ultimate Vanilla Ice Cream!

Ingredients
1 cup whole milk
¾ cup caster (superfine) sugar
1 vanilla bean
Pinch of salt
2 cups cream
6 egg yolks
1 tsp pure vanilla extract

Serving size: 1 quart
vanilla-ice-cream-ingredients

The recipe is easy but there are a lot of steps. Be sure to read the entire recipe and get organized before you start. The first thing I will tell you is, do not substitute any of the ingredients, especially the caster sugar. Caster sugar is very a very fine sugar and it does make a different. Use the highest fat heavy cream you can find.

Place the whole milk, sugar and salt in a small saucepan. Split the vanilla bean and scrape out the seed and add them to the milk. I reuse the vanilla bean pod by placing it into my bottle of pure vanilla extract or us it to make vanilla sugar.

Place the saucepan over high heat and bring the mil mixture to just under a boil. Remove from heat, cover the pot, set aside to infuse for an hour.

After an hour we are ready to make the ice cream. Make an ice bath using a large bowl and fill it with a little water and lots of ice cubes. Set a slightly smaller bowl in the ice bath and pour in the heavy cream. Place a strainer over the smaller bowl which will be used to strain the egg mixture.

In a separate, medium size heat proof bowl, whisk the egg yolks lightly. Slowly pout the infused milk into the yolks whisking the entire time until combined.

Place this bowl over a pot of simmering water, cook while constantly stirring until the mixture reaches 180 degrees F or until the mixture coats the back of a spoon. Remove from heat and pour through the strainer into the heavy cream.

vanilla-ice-cream-custard

Mixture has been strained into the heavy cream.

Stir the custard over the ice bath until it’s cooled and then add the pure vanilla extract. Then remove bowl from the ice bath, cover with plastic wrap and place into your fridge until cold, preferably overnight.

ice-cream-maker

Once the custard is cold, you are ready to churn your ice cream. Pour your custard into your churn.

cuisinart-ice-cream-maker

My churn takes about 30 minutes to make the ice cream. Once the ice cream is done it will be soft, so I remove it into another container and place it into the freezer to get hard but not before I taste it!

bowl-of-homemade-vanilla-ice-cream

I hope you will give this recipe a try, it’s the ultimate homemade vanilla ice cream! so good!! I guess you could add your favorite topping, chocolate, brownie, broken candy bars, etc. or mix it into the ice cream but this recipe is so good without toppings! 🙂

handcrafted-ice-cream-scoop

My handmade ice cream scoops make great gifts!
handmade-ice-cream-scoop

Learn how I hand turn an Ice Cream Paddle on my wood lathe.

Do you make homemade ice cream?

Enjoy your ice cream!!

Ultimate Southern Pound Cake

southern-pound-cake

Grilled Skirt Steak Tacos

skirt-steak-tacos

Grilled steak is great for soft shell tacos! The rich grilled skirt steak is a good compliment to an intense flavored salsa.

skirt-steak-marinating

When cooking steak, always season your steak with salt before grilling. Sometimes I like to use a marinade.

I used a skirt steak for our tacos, it is so incredibly favorable and when cooked and sliced the right way, it’s one of the most tender cuts you’ll find. The recipe for Skirt steak tacos is simple and only takes about 20 minutes. I like to keep my tacos simple and fresh with fresh diced tomatoes, shredded lettuce, corn, crumbled Mexican cheese and a hot salsa with a of squeezed lime.

skirt-steak-marinating-mix

My favorite marinade is the Kikkoman marinade mix for meat that is a dry powder and mixed with cold water. I decided to marinade this skirt steak using Kikomans.

grilling-skirt-steak

On the grill, just flipped the steak, nice grill marks!

After cooking any steak, once the steak is done to your liking, please, please let it rest for a minimum of 5 minutes. If you do not, once  you cut into it, you will loose all it’s juices. When cutting a skirt steak, be sure to slice across the grain in thin slices at an angle. For tacos I always slice as thin as possible.

skirt-steak-tacos

Assemble tacos with your favorite toppings!! 🙂  These are great with a really cold beer or a nice glass of wine!

After every good meal, you gotta have a delicious dessert, how about some homemade vanilla ice cream?

bowl-of-homemade-vanilla-ice-cream

Making Crème Brûlée                 Fudge Cake

creme brulee       hot fudge cake and ice cream

Strawberry Pie                            Chocolate Cheesecake

strawberry pie       chocolate cheesecake recipe

Cheesecake                                 Red Velvet Cake

cheesecake     red velvet cake

 

 

Eastern Kingsnake

King-Snake

I found this Eastern Kingsnake in the garden, since I did not want him hanging around I caught him into a postal bin. This Eastern Kingsnake was every bit of 5 foot long and aggressive. He stood up at me several times, he acted like a king and did not want to be bothered. Kingsnakes give off a smelly musk odor when captured and they also vibrate their tails to scare you.

As you can see the Eastern Kingsnake is a black snake with a banded pattern on its back and the bands are yellow to white color.

Large-King-snake

Kingsnakes use constriction to kill their prey. They will eat other snakes, including venomous snakes like rattlesnakes as well as lizards, rodents,frogs, birds and eggs.

I took this kingsnake about a half a mile away from the house, I sure hope he doesn’t come back!

Do you have a lot of snakes in your area? What kind of snakes have you seen this summer?

Check out my blog post from last year about all of the Copperhead snakes we have in our area.

 

 

Rain, Rain and More Rain

rain and fog

It is another wet day on the mountain today. Our high temperature yesterday was 79 degrees F with a low of 64 degrees F last night. The mountain received another inch of rain yesterday and looks like more for us today. The fog has settled in and it is currently sprinkling.

This makes for a lazy day but I have too much to get done today!

Enjoy your day! 🙂

 

 

 

Sea of Ferns

sea-of-ferns

After the rain stopped around lunchtime today I decided to hike along the north side of the mountain where the ferns cover the landscape. July on the mountain brings a sea of ferns in this areas where the ground stays moist. The forest floor has changed so much in the last 4 months but I especially love the sea of ferns that take over this time of year.

giant-ferns

We only reached 63 degrees F yesterday but today we will be closer to 80 degree F. Not much sun to speak of yesterday, it rained all day and night and before it finished this morning we had slightly over 1 inch of rain.

 “We love the things we love for what they are.”   — Robert Frost

 

If you are interested in trading a few garden plants, check out my recent post, Plant Exchange.

 

Plant Exchange

Bearded-Iris-and-Begonias

Plant Exchange plants I received, perfectly packages and arrived safely!

I am doing the Happy Dance!!! It’s fun to find a box full of plants at your mailbox! Check out the pictures of the beautiful plants I received in my trade~! In case you missed my post last week, Plant Exchange , I was looking to trade Lemon Lime hostas for variegated bearded iris.

Elizabeth commented that she had reblooming German Iris, “Stairway to Heaven” to trade and was interested in the Lemon Lime hosta. We emailed and agreed on the trade, I would send her a bunch of eyes of Lemon Lime hosta and she would send me two bearded iris. Next step for us was to prepare and ship the plants.

The above and below pictures are the plants I received from Elizabeth, are they just beautiful! I am very happy with the trade!! She also included as an extra gift, a Begonia. I got the Begonia planted right away and the iris were planted today.

Thank you so much for trading with me Elizabeth!

Begonias-and-bearded-iris

Reblooming German Iris, “Stairway to Heaven” and Begonia

As you can see in the above picture, she cut the fans on the iris to help them survive the trip to me. By the way, Elizabeth loves the outdoors, excellent photographer, gardener and blogger. She has also posted about our trade, check out her post, Forest Garden Blog.

Lemon-Lime-Hosta-and-Japanese-Iris

I shipped the Lemon Lime hostas (above left) and an extra gift, a good size Japanese Iris!

Japanese-Iris-and-Lemon-LIme-hostas

I also cut the Japanese Iris fans to help the iris survive the shipping. My package arrived at her home today, got an email saying that FedEx delivered the package safely to her today. The plants all made the trip beautifully!! She is going to plant the hosta in a containers and was going to give some thought on where to plant the iris before planting.

We were both very happy with the trade and have already talked about doing another trade. Trading is fun and well worth the effort! 🙂

Now on to proposing another trade! Ok, for my second trade this is what I have;

HAVE:  Japanese-Iris-Jin-Yu, Siberian Iris, Agapanthus Stevie Wonder lily of the Nile and Lemon Lime Hosta. The Japanese-Iris-Jin-Yu is a mature plant as well as the Agapanthus and hosta. The Siberian iris are good size but not full grown. If you are interested in trading please leave a comment letting me know and list what you have for trade. Below here are a few plants, seedlings I am looking for but just make me an offer!

Helleborus
Variegated Bearded Iris
Oxblood Lily bulbs
Crinum Lilies
Striped Solomon’s Seal
Iris cristata
Lily of the Valley
Pink Paniculata Hydrangea seedling
Japanese Maple seedlings
Walnut Tree seedlings
Blueberry seedlings
Black Bamboo

 

Japanese-Iris-Jin-Yu

Japanese-Iris-Jin-Yu

agapanthus stevie wonder lily of the nile

Agapanthus Stevie Wonder lily of the nile

siberian iris

Siberian Iris

 

The Plant Exchange provides a place where you can offer plants, seed, cuttings and bulbs for trade and make requests for what you are seeking. It’s fun, you offer a plant, seed, cuttings, bulbs to trade for free in exchange for plants, seed cuttings or bulbs in return.

If you are interested, in a “Plant Exchange”, you can post a comments on this page include details of what you have to trade and what you are looking for. If someone is interested, they will comment and email you. Be sure that you include your email so that you can email each other and work out the details of the trade and exchange shipping addresses.

Sorry but I can not be responsible for your trades, trading is done at users’ discretion. Michael’s Woodcraft has no control or responsibility over trades arranged here. Keep in mind some traders may let you down, let’s hope that doesn’t happen, please be fair in your trade. Other might send a free gift, an extra plant that they think you would enjoy having in your garden! 🙂

The rain has set in for the weekend here on the mountain, our local forecast shows 100% rain today and tomorrow. Great for the garden 🙂 Enjoy your weekend!

 “The greatest leader is not necessarily the one who does the greatest things. He is the one that gets the people to do the greatest things.”  – Ronald Reagan

 

 

And The Winner Is?

July 18, 2014

two-handle-cutting-boards

Winner Winner Chicken Dinner!!! I wrote all the names on pieces of paper and shuffled them around a couple times. My wife picked out one name. The winner of my double handled cutting board is……

 Double-handle-board

Congratulationg to Suzanne!! Check out Suzanne’s web site, apuginthekitchen  🙂

Suzanne, please send me an email with your full name and street address so that I can get the cutting board shipped to you!!! 

I want to thank everyone for posting comments 🙂