Summer’s Eggnog: Pumpkin and Peaches Ice Cream

“I’m not ready for pumpkins yet!” I told Mom as she brought in a huge ‘Rouge Vif d’Etampes’, also known as a Cinderella Pumpkin. “It’s still summer time!” The stem had broken on this pumpkin and, with a soft spot … Continue reading

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Orange Vanilla Frozen Kefir

It’s funny how that happens…I took one bite and all of a sudden, I’m 7 years old again, sitting on the back porch with my younger siblings sipping on Orange Julius smoothies. The heat was beating down on us, deflecting off the concrete slab into our flushed faces. Even the breeze was hot, like it often is here in Oklahoma, but we weren’t bothered by it. We had icy orange drinks to cool us off after a long, dusty (and imaginary) wagon trail ride. (I don’t think we ever played with our swing set the way normal kids did. We took the swing seats off, used the swing chains for reins, and had an imaginary draft horse team that took us all over the Wild West.)

I remember having Orange Julius a lot as a child. The combination of milk, orange juice concentrate, and vanilla is unforgettable, but for some reason the recipe faded into the background along with our trusty Belgian horse team, Rusty and Rowdy.

I brought it back by accident, with a tangy twist and in the form of frozen yogurt. The taste is unmistakably “Orange Julius” and SO refreshing as the temperatures push the high 90’s and 100’s.

IMG_0069The milk kefir can be substituted for plain yogurt, better yet, Greek yogurt and, if you’re feeling wild, you can drizzle chocolate sauce on top. It’s amazing!

Frozen Milk Kefir with Orange and Vanilla

  • 3 1/2 c. milk kefir
  • 1/8 c. honey or 1/4 c.  sugar (We like it super tangy, so if you want sweeter go with 1/4 c. honey or 1/2 c. sugar, or more to your taste. To be quite honest here, I prefer it made with sugar. :))
  • 1 T. vanilla
  • juice of 2 oranges

I pour all the ingredients into a jar and just shake it up. You can leave it in the frig until ready to churn. Pour into a 4 qt. ice cream maker and churn until it reaches frozen yogurt consistency. We enjoy eating ours like this, but you can put it in a container and freeze it for harder ice cream.

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This would also make great Popsicles. I think I’m going to try that next.

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Fresh Mint Ice Cream with Honey Caramel Sauce

We’ve been having some crazy weather here in Oklahoma. Tornadoes, thunder storms, rain, and more rain. Last evening, however, the sun split the clouds in two and the wind blew them away to the east.

Today is gorgeous. One of those days I always want to bottle up and save forever like an expensive flask of Italian wine – just to know I’ve got a nice day to uncork anytime I want. (Argh! I’m such a control freak! :)

I’ve been out doing yard work – mowing, weed-eating, and weeding the strawberry patch, soaking it all in – never getting enough. After the work is over, I’m going to finish off the mint ice cream I made last night.

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If you’ve never tried fresh mint (yep, the green stuff that grows like crazy! ) ice cream then you are in for a treat!

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Our mint comes back every year and tends to wind it’s way into the cracks and crevices of the green house, along with the Bermuda grass that is SO hard to control. I think mint and Bermuda are best friends…or at least closely related. They have the same behavioral patterns anyway.

IMG_9731At least mint tastes good!

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Anyways, you’ll need about one cup of mint leaves for this recipe…

  • 2 1/2 c. whole milk
  • 1 1/2 c. cream
  • 1/4 c. raw honey or 1/2 c. sugar (or more to taste). If you don’t care for a slight honey flavor in your mint ice cream, go with the sugar. My personal preference is sugar in this recipe, but then it’s not as healthy that way.
  • 1 c. mint leaves
  • pinch of sea salt

Combine everything together in to the blender and blend away.

IMG_9762Line a bowl with a large tea towel and pour the blended mixture in, making sure there’s plenty of towel left hanging over the edge.

IMG_9767Gather up the corners and let the liquid drain into the bowl. Be sure to squeeze out the very last drops of minty flavor. It will be a bit brown toward the end.

It’s ready to churn. I use a 4 quart Cuisinart – the kind that has the frozen bowl. Very handy for small amounts.

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Oh yum! Using the suggested honey amount in this recipe makes it just barely sweet, which is perfect for drizzling on some caramel sauce made with honey!

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You’ll find that recipe here @ CDKitchen.

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And there you have it…the perfect sunny day dessert.

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Top with strawberries if you like…

Or shave some dark chocolate over the top.

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What variation do you have in mind?