Sunday, June 3, 2012

Pinterest Challenge #4- Homemade Ice Cream

For Mother's Day last year my hubby and son gave me an ice cream maker and juicer attachments for my Kitchenaid Mixer.  For the last year I have been getting grief for not having enough homemade ice cream.  The problem is, I haven't found a recipe that is outstanding without eggs in it.  I really hate the idea of putting in raw eggs, and even more hate the idea of cooking a custard.  The second one is mostly because I usually make ice cream spur-of the-moment, its not usually a planned menu item.

This pin gave the idea for ice cream with 2 ingredients, and neither one of them is eggs, so I had to try it.  I hate pins without links, so I almost didn't even pin it, but then I decided I wanted to try it bad enough to pin it anyway.

Here is the original pin

Soda Pop Ice Cream:  easy and affordable!  You choose your favorite soda (2 liters), add a 14 oz. can of sweetened condensed milk, throw it in an ice cream maker, turn it on and 30 minutes later you have a creamy blend of deliciousness. The variations are endless, like Sunkist for a dreamsicle taste or Rootbeer float. This is seriously fool proof.

We tried root beer first, and it tasted like a float.  Delicious!  Next we tried the orange soda, it did taste close to an orange cream-cicle.  I definitely liked the root beer better, but the rest of my family said they liked them both.

The consistency is not exactly like regular homemade ice cream, but it is really good.  When we made the orange soda ice cream it didn't get thick enough for my liking, so I stuck it in the freezer over night.

Alright, so I didn't think about the carbonation when I put it in.  We all had a good laugh.  My mother-in-law suggested that I let the soda go flat before I make the ice cream.  She said it might help it to thicken a little more too, so we will for sure try that next time!

It looks different than this if you dish it right after you make it.  This picture is after it was frozen over night and then scooped out.  I like it better this way, again, my family doesn't have an opinion either way!



Pinterest Challenge #3- Raspberry Lemonade Smoothies

Ok, I will start with I love raspberries and I love lemonade... so this was made just for me!

Here is the original pin

This is another pin that I used the idea... and then went a totally different direction!

To start... I didn't do any exact measuring, the measurements I put down are just guesses.  And then I changed all of the ingredients except the raspberries and ice.  I didn't have any lemonade concentrate, but I had something similar.  Since I didn't have lemonade, I really needed to add sugar to compensate.  And so, it ended up close... but not really!

Here are my ingredients:

Frozen Raspberries
(I used some leftovers from our family raspberry patch last year.  I froze all of the ones that I didn't need for jam.)

(Ok, I figured you know what ice looks like and it really didn't need a picture)
Frozen Lemon Juice
(I freeze mine in ice cube trays so that I can pull out a little when I need it, and they worked out just perfect for this recipe!)

Sugar and Water
(again, pictures seemed unnecessary, and I couldn't get one that I liked!)

For a single serving I put about 10 ice cubes, 3 lemon cubes, 1/4 cup frozen raspberries, 1/4 cup sugar, and just a tiny bit of water.  I did end up adding more sugar to mine, but my hubby loved it really tart.  Blend well and enjoy!

The sad part... I left the extra raspberries out on the counter overnight and so they thawed out.  I had to use them all right away, so no more smoothies until raspberries are back in season. Sad day indeed.


Pinterest Challenge #2- Slow Cooker BBQ Chicken

So next I made Slow Cooker BBQ Chicken for the Pinterest Challenge.  Can you tell that I like to use my crock pot?  Funny thing is, I didn't get one as a wedding present and when my hubby's grandma found out she went and bought us one!  And what's even funnier... it took me over a year to even take it out of the box!  Now I couldn't live without it!

Here is the original pin.

This recipe I actually followed... almost exactly!

4-6 pieces boneless skinless chicken breasts, frozen or thawed
1 bottle BBQ sauce (sweet baby ray's was recommended and I happen to have some)
1/4 c vinegar
1 tsp. red pepper flakes
1/4 c brown sugar
1/2 - 1 tsp. garlic powder

I put the ingredients in the slow cooker and mixed them all together, then added the chicken.  I also took the time to make sure each piece of chicken was coated in the sauce, but I don't know if that was necessary or just my OCD.  You cook it on LOW for 4-6 hours, obviously longer if you put the chicken in frozen.  The only thing that I didn't follow exactly was the red pepper flakes, I didn't quite add that many, I was worried it would be too much kick for my 3-year-old.

Here is how mine looked... so yummy!

I served it with my famous (fine, only famous in my family and close friends) Ranch Potatoes.

 Ranch Potatoes

2 lbs red potatoes (any variety works, really)
1/4 cup oil (I use canola)
3 Tbsp ranch powder (1 packet = 3 Tbsp)

Cut potatoes into pieces, I do larger pieces to save time.  Place potatoes in a gallon-size bag that zips.  Add the oil and powder.  Seal and shake until evenly coated.  Spread evenly on a cookie sheet, I line it with tin foil to make the clean up easier.  Bake at 400 for about 30 minutes.  The cook time will vary depending on the size you cut your potatoes, the type of potatoes you use, and of course your oven.  Poke a potato with a fork to see if it is done, we like them cooked until the outside is crispy and the inside is nice and soft.  This recipe, like all of mine, is very approximate, sometimes I sprinkle on extra ranch after I spread them out if it doesn't look seasoned enough.  I also always make more than 2 lbs, so I almost never actually measure the oil, just pour til it looks good!  The original recipe is from the back of the Hidden Valley Ranch Powder container.



Pinterest Challenge #1- Oven Potato Wedges

I have been having tons of fun and been able to do quite a few Pinterest projects!  Sorry, I am going to be doing a bunch of posts at once, so bear with me!  Here goes #1...

I made Oven Potato Wedges... sort of.  I am absolutely terrible about following a recipe exactly.  A recipe is "more guidelines than actual rules" (sorry, I couldn't help it!) to me and so I used the idea and made my own.

Here is the original pin.

Oven Potato Wedges

And now here is my version.

2 pounds red potatoes, cut into small wedges
3 tablespoons canola oil
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano 
*All of those measurements are very approximate.  My family devours potatoes, so I always make more than 2 lbs.*

I would love to hear if any of you make your own improvements on my version!

And since potatoes aren't a great main dish (don't tell my hubby!), I made some BBQ Chicken Sandwiches in the slow cooker to go with the potatoes.

This recipe was simple and I loved that I didn't have to think about dinner, it was cooking by the time we ate lunch!

3 lbs uncooked boneless skinless chicken breasts
1 cup ketchup
1 small onion (optional)
1/4 cup water
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
2 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
1 Tbsp brown sugar
1 garlic clove, minced
1 bay leaf
2 tsp paprika
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper

Combine all of the ingredients, except chicken.  Place the chicken in the slow cooker and pour mixture on top.  Cook on low for 3-4 hours or until meat is tender.  Take out the bay leaf.  Use 2 forks to shred the chicken.  Stir the chicken and sauce together.  Cover and cook on low for another 30 minutes.  Remove the lid and let it cook for an additional 30 minutes with the lid off to cook off some of the juices.  At this point I tasted it and it wasn't overwhelming flavor, so I added some BBQ sauce.  It made a world of difference, it turned out amazing!  I didn't measure how much I put in, I just added and tasted, and repeated that until it was what I wanted!  See, I never can follow a recipe exactly!

I served the chicken on toasted buns with ranch and lettuce.  It was good without the ranch if you want to watch the calories.