Tuesday, December 14, 2010

This is how we roll.

Remind me why we aren't going to a warmer clime for Winter break?

Sunday, December 12, 2010

First Haircut

Henry was experiencing some premature balding.

He had kind of a monk's tonsure going on.

He didn't like the razor, but at least he didn't scream bloody murder or cry like his brothers STILL DO!

We love the new look.  Now to stock up on hats to keep our little dude warm for the winter.

Wednesday, December 08, 2010

Peppermint stick ice cream

Elliott happens to be a master ice cream maker.  He has developed a couple of different flavors, including sweet corn ice cream, an homage to our current place of dwelling.

A couple of winters ago, before he started making ice cream, we bought a pint of peppermint stick ice cream at a local ice cream shop, and I became addicted to a scoop in my hot chocolate.  This year, Elliott came up with his own recipe for the ice cream, and it is so perfect, I had to share.

Because this ice cream has just a hint of peppermint, and is great on its own; or melting in a steaming cup of super dark cocoa hot chocolate (the one pictured below is from Cost Plus last year.)

Elliott's Peppermint Stick Ice Cream

2 cups heavy cream
1 cup whole milk (you must use whole)
160 grams (approx. 3/4 c.) sugar
pinch of salt
6 large egg yolks.
1 tsp. peppermint extract
12 small candy canes, crushed

Combine 1 cup of cream with the milk in a medium saucepan. Add the sugar and pinch of salt. Warm while occasionally stirring until the sugar melts.  Meanwhile, pour the egg yolks into a bowl and whisk.  When the milk/cream is warm, pour some into the bowl of yolks, and whisk it together.  Add the cream/yolk mixture to the saucepan with the rest of the milk and cream.  Cook over medium heat, while stirring, until the mixture reaches 175 degrees. Remove from heat. Pour the remaining cup of cream into a bowl.  Put a fine sieve over the bowl, and pour the contents of the saucepan through the sieve into the bowl.  Stir the contents of the bowl together and add the peppermint extract.  Chill over an ice bath, then put into the refrigerator for several hours.  Once it is completely chilled, churn it in your ice cream maker according to the machine's instructions.  Add the crushed candy canes at the very end of the churning process.  Put into the freezer to set.

Monday, December 06, 2010

Mint chocolate covered marshmallows

I'm not making any promises, but this week my plan is to post several recipes that say "chocolate" and "winter" all in the same bite!

First up is mint chocolate covered marshmallows.  This recipe is so simple you can probably make it with your eyes closed, and so yummy you won't be able to stop eating them.

The ingredients are 10 regular sized marshmallows, and about 1 cup of the seasonal Nestle dark chocolate and mint chips.  I saw these at Target last week and had to buy a couple of bags to try them out.  I made cookies with them last week which turned out amazing, and couldn't wait to make something more.

Melt the chocolate and mint chips in a microwave safe bowl in 30 second increments, stirring in between, until they are melted and smooth.  It took me about one and a half minutes total.

Line a cookie sheet with a sheet of wax paper.  Using toothpicks, dip the marshmallows into the melted chocolate, covering as much of the marshmallow as possible, but leave room at the top to be able to slide the marshmallow off the toothpick without getting your fingers dirty.  Slide the marshmallow onto the wax paper.

Once the marshmallows are all on the wax paper, use a spoon to cover the top portion of the marshmallow with the chocolate.  You may have a little bit of chocolate left over, and you can simply spoon this onto the wax paper and make little mint chocolate disks. (See them in the picture below.)  Place the cookie sheet into the fridge, and let the candies harden for at least 10 minutes. 

You now have two choices.  You can eat them as is (yum!)  Or you can add them to a cup of steaming cocoa (double yum!!)  I went for the cocoa option.

The other thing you can do, if you really like minty hot chocolate, is take one of those little disks you made with the leftover chocolate, and let it sink into the bottom of your hot cocoa.  It will start to melt, as you see below, and makes for the most delicious, rich cocoa you can imagine.

We had a bit of sugar overload tonight for our family night.  We had a lesson about Christmas, and then enjoyed the cocoa and marshmallows, along with some gingerbread men that Elliott made for us.

Emma and Sophie's:

He had to save some of it for tomorrow.  :-)