Chocolate Coconut Ice Cream with Toasted Coconut and Almonds

I really wanted to try my hand at making homemade ice cream so I asked my stepmummy if I could borrow her ice cream maker…thankfully she said yes! Keeping Bryan in mind (even though he was gone all summer) I thought I would try making some coconut milk ice cream, I figured I should experiment and do some taste testing before I make some for him…makes sense right? My neighbor Lisa has become my taste taster in Bryans absence. Lisa rather enjoyed the recipe below and would probably have eaten the entire container that night. I told her I will make her another batch soon.

This is a pretty simple and straight forward recipe. You can feel free to change the add-ins to what ever you would like. I just went with what I had on hand…shredded coconut, cocoa powder, and almonds. This is pretty darn delicious I must say and was very excited about how it turned out. Not too shabby for my fist try! I’m pretty sure I did a happy dance in the kitchen.

Can’t wait to experiment some more. I’m thinking the next attempt with be somewhat tropical inspired.

Chocolate Coconut Ice Cream with Toasted Coconut and Almonds

2 cans (14.5 oz each) of Coconut Milk (not light!) – this is usually found in Asian markets or at your grocery store in the international isle

3/4 cup cocoa powder – sifted to remove any lumps

1/2-3/4 cup of sugar – I used a combination of honey and sucanat, both from Wholesome Sweeteners 

1 tablespoon cornstarch

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1/4 teaspoon salt

3/4 cup chopped almonds

3/4 cup toasted unsweetened shredded coconut

This will yield about 1 1/2 quarts of ice cream – if your ice cream maker is smaller just adjust the ingredients to fit your needs.

  • Always freezer the bowl of your ice cream maker in advance.
  • I like to keep my coconut milk in the refrigerator which speeds up the process a bit. If you have room temp coconut milk be sure to chill the mixture for one hour before adding it to your ice cream maker.
  • In a large bowl mix together the cocoa powder, sugar (honey, sugar, agave, which ever you use), salt, and corn starch.
  • Add the coconut milk and vanilla extract – mix well until all lumps/solids are dissolved. As stated above if you are using room temperature coconut milk, be sure to pop this in the fridge for one hour before proceeding.
  • Please read your ice cream makers instructions, as each can be different for churning and freezing your ice cream. Some ice cream makers suggest running it for 20 minutes and others that I have read suggest 30 minutes. I went by sight to achieve the consistency that I was looking for – this was about 25 minutes.
  • When you have about five minutes left in the churning process add in your chopped almonds and toasted coconuts.
  • For a soft serve consistency enjoy right away or place in an air tight container and freeze. If you do not eat it right away and choose to freeze it, be sure to remove the container about 10 minutes or so before serving. Lisa and I tried it both ways and they were both delicious!
  • Top with toasted coconut and some finely chopped almonds! Enjoy

Again, the chopped almonds and toasted coconut are just suggestions, please feel free to change this up!

Applesauce and then some

It was a great weekend.  Saturday I got to spend a bit of time with my cousin Dianne who is getting married in a few weeks.  We went and checked out her wedding and ceremony site – The Aldrich Mansion in Warwick, RI. I loved being able to see the place before the wedding to scope out some great photo spots (I’m her wedding photographer!).  Then Bryan bought me two more pieces for my Le Creuset collection.

Before moving up to Rhode Island I found two Le Creuset pie dishes (cobalt blue that match my free Le Creuset tea-pot!) which had never been used by his mum so she gave them to me! A few weeks ago when we were at T.J. Maxx we found a bunch of Le Creuset pieces in cobalt and apple green (those are our kitchen colors – sadly though Le Creuset doesn’t make the apple green anymore so it is very hard to find pieces) so he bought me an apple green utensil holder and a cobalt baking dish.  On Saturday he bought me four apple green ramekins and an apple green baking dish. I truly love being able to find such amazing products for so little. Then yesterday Bryan and I went apple picking and we came home with about 10lbs of macintosh and cortland apples – my two favorites for baking.

I’ll be making him some mini-apple pies this weekend in medium-sized ramekins and using the pre-made pie crusts from the store.  For myself some more apple crisp sounds pretty good, I’m telling you its my weakness.  I wanted to try something different though, I wanted to make something I have never made before so I decided to try my hand at making apple sauce…in my 1970’s crock pot that Bryan’s mum gave us when we moved.

I don’t think I ever realized how easy it was to make applesauce, especially if you have a crock pot.  I need to put this crock pot to use more often, especially now that the cool weather is approaching.  I’m thinking chili sometime soon would be good!

Applesauce

5 medium to large apples – I used a mix of macintosh and cortland

1/3 cup water

1/4 cup honey (or you could use agave)

1/2-1 teaspoon ground cinnamon (all depends on how much you like the cinnamon flavor in your applesauce)

1 tsp vanilla extract

Peel, core and dice the apples in large pieces – discard the peels and cores.  Add all ingredients to crock pot and set on low for about 4-5 hours.  Apples will become extremely soft/mushy.  Mash apples with a fork or potato masher and enjoy!  Keep in an airtight container for up to one week.

Extremely easy to make, throw it all in the pot and come back in a few hours for some very tasty (if I do say so myself) applesauce! Best part – it is naturally gluten-free🙂

Now for the “And then some” part of the title of this post

By now many if not all of you have probably heard of  The Gluten Free Girl and the Chef’s new cookbook “The Gluten Free Girl and the Chef – A love story and 100 tempting recipes“.  If you haven’t well what are you waiting for?? Check out these amazing reviews (and many of them if not all are doing give aways of the book also!).  I haven’t bought my copy yet but it is on my Amazon Wish list!! I can’t even begin to explain the mouth-watering reviews that I have read, but they all talk about the bread recipe that is in the new book and I am dying to try it.  Please check out the reviews/giveaways below:

Adventures of a Gluten Free Mom

Ginger Lemon Girl

Celiac in the City

Celiacs in the House

So go, read, drool and enter for your chance to win a copy of this book…if you don’t win then go and buy it!

And on another side note, I would like to thank the wonderful people at Small Appliances for my amazingly wonderful new Coffee and Espresso Machine!  I’ve had some major coffee pot issues lately, my french press broke (shed a tear) and then when we moved in my dad gave me back “my” (it wasn’t mine, no idea where this pot came from but I gave mine away when I moved to California) old coffee pot.  So when my french press broke I started using that one.  It worked fine at first even though the top of the carafe was broken and I bought the wrong filters until one day it just decided it wouldn’t drip down any longer.  I had to take hot water, put the cup under it and hold up the part that makes it drip – seriously.  I posted on twitter that my half working pot had completely broke and the extremely kind and generous people at Small Appliances contacted me and offered me a new coffee pot.  I seriously thought it was a joke and if it wasn’t I was expecting some little four cup mr. coffee.  Instead they sent me the Krups Coffee/Espresso machine below!  I can’t thank them enough for their generosity!  So if you are in the need of any  appliances check them out!

Ellie’s Honey-Roasted Sweet Potatoes

One of my favorite chefs on the Food Network (and now The Cooking Channel) is Ellie Krieger.  She is fantastic and her food is healthy!  If you don’t know who Ellie is you should try to catch one of her shows on the previous mentioned channels.  Here is a small blurb about her from Wikipedia:

Ellie Krieger is the host of a show on the Food Network called Healthy Appetite. She is also an author and has written several books on healthy eating.

Krieger was a fashion model during her late teens and early 20s for the Wilhelmina Models agency.[1] As a model she became conscientious of what she was eating, so during this time, she changed her eating habits to be healthier.[2].

Krieger has a bachelor’s degree in clinical nutrition from Cornell University,[3] and has a master’s in nutrition from Columbia University.[4]Krieger is a registered dietitian and nutritionist[5] and was an adjunct professor at New York University in the Department of Nutrition, Food Studies, and Public Health.[1]

Krieger contributes to magazines such as Cooking LightFood Network Magazine and Women’s Health Magazine.[6] Additionally she maintains her own blog.

Back in November a really good friend of mine who works at a Barnes and Noble in New Jersey met Ellie at her store and had one of her cookbooks, So Easy signed for me!  It was such a surprise when I got it in the mail…I use this cookbook very often and have loved every single dish I have made from it.  All I have to say is healthy food and be extremely tasty!  What is even better is I have had no problems making any of her dishes gluten free🙂

I also have an edition of Fine Cooking from June 2009 – Eat Smart with Ellie Krieger (Featuring recipes from her best seller, The Food You Crave).  This magazine is jam packed with her amazing recipes and the other night I made her Honey Roasted Sweet Potatoes.  Normally I boil my sweet potatoes and mash/whip them up with a bit of cinnamon but I wanted to try something new, and I am happy I did.  (You can also watch a video on this super simple, yet extremely tasty recipe here)

Ellie’s Honey-Roasted Sweet Potatoes

– Roasting sweet potatoes concentrates their flavor and leaves them caramelized outside and tender inside.  Coating them with a touch of lemon and honey before cooking makes them all the more flavorful.

3 large sweet potatoes (about 2 pounds), peeled and cut into 1 inch pieces

2 tablespoons olive oil

2 tablespoons honey

1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice

1/2 teaspoon salt, plus more to taste

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Place the potatoes in a 9×13-inch baking dish.  In a small bowl, whisk together the oil, honey, and lemon juice.  Pour the mixture over the potatoes and toss to coat.  Sprinkle with the salt and bake, stirring occasionally, until the potatoes are tender, about 1 hour.  Season with more salt to taste and serve.

(Also these are great re-heated).  I think these will be on our table for Thanksgiving this year. Not to sweet but perfectly flavored and tender.

Gluten Free Granola

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Gluten Free Granola

Canola Oil or Silpat

1/8 cup honey

1/8 cup agave nectar

1 1/2 cup gluten free rolled oats

1/2 shredded coconut

1/2 cup slivered almonds

1/2 cup chopped walnuts

~Preheat oven to 350 degrees

~If honey isn’t runny enough to mix, heat in the microwave for ten seconds.

~In a medium sized bowl all honey, agave nectar, oats, coconut, almonds and walnuts.. Mix until all ingredients are evenly coated with honey and agave.

~Either coat a cookie sheet with oil or use a Silpat. Evenly spread oat mixture in a thin even layer.

~Bake for 15 minutes. Turning pan half way through.

~Let cool. Break into pieces and store in an airtight container.

Mix in any additional ingredients you wish to use…pumpkin seeds, dried fruit etc.