live & laugh: homemade french vanilla ice cream

Homemade French Vanilla Ice Cream

It’s time to get patriotic. July 4th is upon us!

This weekend I am going to have my brother and a couple of his friends over to watch the fireworks and I really wanted to make something red, white & blue for the occasion and I wanted to make it ahead of time.

Enter, white ice cream, red sorbet and blueberries.

I have owned the ice cream maker attachment for my stand mixer for about seven years now and have probably made ice cream only two other times before this. I’m not sure why that’s the case though, because it is so easy to make different ice cream and sorbet bases.

I decided to go with a classic and make this homemade french vanilla ice cream to pair with a fruity raspberry sorbet that would be somewhat of a play on a creamsicle.

Homemade French Vanilla Ice Cream

I keep my ice cream attachment in my freezer at all times so when I do decide to make ice cream (about once every two years apparently) I can do so without hesitation.

This ice cream is considered french vanilla because of the egg-custard base, which I’m all about because it makes the ice cream so much more rich and delicious — in my opinion. I also went with using a vanilla bean as opposed to vanilla extract to have those brown flecks running through the ice cream, which is how I picture french vanilla ice cream.

To tie the patriotic vibe of this dessert together, I scooped my homemade ice cream with some raspberry sorbet and topped it all with some fresh blueberries. I liked having the light, fruity sorbet paired with the rich, creamy ice cream — perfect for a hot summer day. And aside from the blue color, the blueberries add nice little pops of texture to the dish.

So good!!

I’m not going to lie, I have been dipping into the ice cream all week since I made it…hopefully I have enough left for everyone to enjoy this weekend. What foods do you plan to indulge in??

Have a safe and fun Independence Day!!

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peach, avocado & watercress salad

Peach, avocado & watercress salad

It’s peach season — hello summer!!

Unlike a good amount of other fruit produce (i.e. berries, bananas, apples) peaches are not something that are available all year round in the store — unless you’re buying them frozen, which is totally cool too! But whenever the fresh peaches and other stone fruits arrive, my mind races on all the different ways to enjoy them before they disappear again.

I was in the mood for something savory and looking to make a yummy side dish for my lunch, so ended up with this peach, avocado & watercress salad.

Peach, avocado & watercress salad ingredients

Now, I know I have made a couple simple recipes in the past — but this has to be the easiest one ever! It’s literally chop everything, combine in a bowl, mix and consume:

Peach, avocado & watercress salad prep

Ta-da!

The different ingredients in this salad struck a really nice balance…the sweet peach, peppery watercress, spicy jalapeño, cool avocado, acidic lime juice…all of it, it was SO good! I will note that because I bought and used the peach in the same day, it wasn’t as sweet/ripe as it could have been, but I somehow think that may have worked out for the better in this particular situation…

I enjoyed this as a side for lunch with my roast beef sandwich, but there was a lot leftover! So, I stored it in the fridge and enjoyed it as a cooling, refreshing side to a spicy omelette I made the next morning. It’s really such a versatile side that you have to try, especially because it’s almost no work at all!

Here’s the recipe for you to do just that.

And if you’re interested in another savory peach salad, give my peach, bacon and arugula salad a try!

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lemon berry pound cake & basil whipped cream

Lemon Berry Pound Cake

 

Well, well, well…

Look who decided to show up 6-months later to talk about lemon berry pound cake…yep, it’s me!

It breaks my heart to think that this much time has passed since I last shared anything from my kitchen with you all </3 And…I could go on with a list of a bunch of excuses, but to spare you…life just happens sometimes and, life happened…but I’M BACK!!

To make it up to you, I baked you this berry delicious pound cake :)

Lemon Berry Pound Cake Ingredients!

 

Lemon-flavored baked goods are some of my favorite things to indulge in (remember those lemon blueberry prosecco pancakes I made a couple years ago?!), especially when the weather starts to warm up..the flavor is just so bright and tart and fun…perfect for the warmer months.

Since lemons team up with blueberries quite often, I wanted to mix things up a bit and decided to bring raspberries to the party. I also wanted to have something that really balanced the tartness of all the lemon-berry flavors and came up with an interestingly delicious basil whipped cream, naturally!

Lemon Berry Pound Cake Prep

I was really pleased with how this pound cake turned out — and I’m fully convinced the lemon yogurt had a lot to do with it. The yogurt just does a great job of keeping the cake really moist, plus it adds another level of lemon-flavor without getting too-tart of a result, which may happen if you solely rely on lemon juice to get you there.

Speaking of flavor…it was so on point!

The mix of berries with the lemony cake was delicious all on its own, but when I added the basil whipped cream, it just rounded out the cake so well. Adding both raspberries and blueberries to this cake not only gave it a great flavor, but the colors were really pretty, too!

OH and I should note that absent from my photos is the lemon glaze that I made and drizzled over the cake as it was cooling. This is important — you don’t want to skip the lemon glaze because so much of the yummy tartness comes from it! Don’t worry though, as usual, I have everything written out for you..

Here’s the recipe!

So, here’s to not disappearing for another 6 months again. I promise I have some really great food and new posts planned for the coming weeks.

I’m so excited to be back, thanks for sticking with me!!

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Lemon Berry Pound Cake Bite

cauliflower cream soup

Cauliflower Cream Soup

As the colder weather seeps in and Winter finally approaches, there are two things I have already observed…

  1. My electricity bill is starting to creep up
  2. I am craving and eating more soups

One of the best things about making homemade soups is that you typically make more than you can eat, but most freeze wonderfully and you can make a couple batches that can last you all season!

I have really been into cauliflower this year (that’s a thing, right?), so I recently made a cauliflower cream soup with roasted asparagus and toasted breadcrumbs…mmm yes.

Cauliflower Cream Soup Ingredients

If you were to skip the roasted asparagus and toasted breadcrumbs, this soup would be one of the easiest things you’d ever make…but you don’t want to skip those two things because they are delicious and add great color and texture to this soup!

Cauliflower Cream Soup Prep

HA, told you it was easy : )

This cauliflower cream soup is fantastical, I tell you.

Finishing the soup with a little heavy cream adds such a great richness that elevates this soup to another level. Topping it with crisped, roasted asparagus and toasted breadcrumbs add great layers of texture to the dish and they also add a salty bite that cuts through some of that richness that was created. All in all, when you put it all together it’s a great balance of flavors that warms you to the bone.

If you’re not into cauliflower this year, like me, you could easily sub in something else, like broccoli… But don’t be a fool, go with the cauliflower! Trust me.

I’ll have the recipe posted shortly, but until then… Here’s my recipe for this cauliflower cream soup, definitely give it a try this season!

Happy Souping!

Cauliflower Cream Soup Cauliflower Cream Soup

live & laugh: apple coffee crumb cake

Live & Laugh: Apple Coffee Crumb Cake

Whenever I think about Fall, I think about a lot of the usual things: crunchy leaves, crisp/cool air, football, pumpkin flavored everything, sweatshirts, apple cider, etc etc. All of those things I love dearly and enjoy often, but there’s one thing I have always thought about when it comes to Fall that I had never actually experienced…apple picking!

For the past few years I have said every Fall that I was going to make a trip and enjoy the whimsy that is apple picking, but it just never seemed to work out or happen. Welp, 2014 was the year people!

A few weeks ago my brother, Eric, and I visited Linvilla Orchards and walked through the rows and rows and rows of apple trees. We tasted a lot of different varieties and I was quickly inspired to make something apple. Now, I don’t bake too often, but one of my all-time favorites things is coffee cake (I just love the sugar butter crumble baked on top), so I decided to bake this apple coffee crumb cake with a simple, but delicious brown sugar drizzle!

Apple Coffee Crumb Cake

I can’t describe to you how amazing the aroma of baking butter and sugar truly is. If you bake this cake for nothing else, bake it for the warmth and delightful scent it produces…seriously.

The chopped apples baked perfectly and added a nice texture to the cake. Since I used granny smith apples, their tart taste lended itself nicely to the already sweet cake. The crumble topping was everything I had hoped it would be and the brown sugar drizzle just puts this cake over the top. When I first made this, I ate it warm with a scoop of vanilla frozen yogurt and a nice hot cup of coffee, but I quickly realized it was just as good served at room temperature.

All in all, the apple picking adventure was so much fun and we couldn’t have asked for a better Fall day to do it on! I would love to make it more of a tradition and start going again every year. Note: You can still go apple picking into late November, so if you haven’t yet this season I would definitely recommend going if you can!

At the very least, if you can’t make it to a nearby orchard, grab some apples at the grocery store and try this amazing recipe for my apple coffee crumb cake.

Apple Coffee Crumb Cake Apple Coffee Crumb Cake

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