I am currently a stay at home mom of two little boys, a blogger at www.EcoMeg.com and an aspiring novelist.
Every Friday afternoon during the summer, I host a playgroup at our house for my sons and all of their Montessori classmates (they're in the same class). It's really not as crazy as it sounds. Not every child attends every playgroup, and I encourage the parents to stay and attend, too, so there is lots of supervision. Today I decided to make some muffins for the playgroup's afternoon snack. I didn't have any fresh fruit but I had plenty of frozen fruit. So I selected some lovely cherries from our freezer.
Gelato differs from ice cream in a few different ways. It's lower in fat since its milk to heavy cream ratio is higher. It's lower in sugar. It's taste is richer and texture is creamier. And it's served at a higher temperature. Gelato experts might argue that the experience is also different because it's blended at a slower rate than that employed by an ice cream maker - but you CAN make gelato in a regular ice cream maker. Ultimately, and in my humble opinion, it's just plain better than ice cream. And after a nine day trip this past summer to northern Italy, my kids agree. Here's a great recipe for a gelato base. To this, you would add whatever flavorings you like - chocolate, fruit, spices, extracts, etc. My kids love to help with this part (see recipes for specific flavors, below). This recipe will make two batches (7 half-cup servings each) - so you can make one batch tonight, refreeze your freezer drum, then make another batch tomorrow. Enjoy!
This past Thursday was my older child's first day of school. To celebrate, we went out for ice cream. As we walked from the car, we discussed what flavor he might like to have. His response was "pear!" I wasn't confident they would have such a gourmet flavor, so I mentioned that we could make our own pear ice cream sometime (though I'd never done it before!). On the way back to the car, after he'd enjoyed his scoop of mint chocolate chip and I my cookies 'n cream, we bought a 2 quart Cuisinart ice cream maker at Williams-Sonoma (which happened to be right where our car was parked - convenient!). When we got home, I immediately opened the box, washed the mixing bowl and put it in the freezer (it's filled with a fluid and needs to freeze completely before you can make your frozen treats). The next day, I decided to just go for it. But I did not have any pears. I examined my refrigerator and freezer and discovered: 1 bottle of vanilla low-fat kefir, 4 organic gala apples and some frozen all natural pie crust. So I decided to make: Apple Pie Kefir Ice Cream! My family LOVED it. Once completely frozen, it becomes quite hard, so if you plan to freeze and serve it another day, allow it to thaw for 5 minutes before serving, or make these into popsicles!
I recently added a few dishes to my repertoire that are low-carb - that just focus on vegetables and protein. This is one of them. It's quick, easy, very flexible with respect to the type of protein you want to use - and incredibly tasty. Enjoy!
Every time I have a few overripe bananas, I whip these up. They are quick and easy to make, and are so moist and delicious that they don't last long. The recipe makes 18 muffins (fill muffin cups around 1/2 - 2/3 full) or four mini loaves. Today, we brought these to school for my son's birthday snack (we left out the nuts) and the kids loved them.
Avocado, watermelon, pumpkin - these are a few of my absolutely favorite foods. Pumpkin is a highly flexible fruit (yes, it's a fruit, not a vegetable!). It can be made into bread, muffins (see my recipe at http://www.ecomeg.com), gingerbread, cookies, pancakes, pudding, pumpkin butter, soup, ice cream, cheesecake, and, my favorite, pumpkin pie. In my view, pumpkin pie even trumps strawberry shortcake, which I chose as my wedding cake because cakes can't be made out of pumpkin pie. No, I'm actually not joking. As a pumpkin pie connoisseur, you might logically expect me to share with you my favorite pumpkin pie recipe - so here it is!
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