Coffee Ice Cream and Happy 4th!

If you saw my Facebook post yesterday, you know that I am now the proud owner of a Cuisinart Ice Cream Maker. It’s a countertop model that is electric, requires no salt or ice, and makes ice cream scary fast. Like homemade ice cream in 20 minutes fast. It’s awesome.

I *needed* some ice cream to go with these red velvet brownies my daughter made (from a box) and coffee ice cream was calling my name. I whipped up this recipe using sweetened condensed milk (because I love that stuff), let the mix chill for a couple of hours, and then made ice cream for before dinner.
And I just happened to have red, white, and blue MandM’s on hand. #candyhoarder
coffee ice cream

 Coffee Ice Cream

1 cup strong brewed coffee, cooled
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup milk (I used 2%)
1 can sweetened condensed milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Whisk together all of the ingredients and chill for 1-2 hours (or overnight). Place mixture in ice cream maker and run per manufacture’s instructions. Mine produced a firm soft serve texture initially, and then I placed it in the freezer over night. The result was firm, “scoopable” yet creamy ice cream.
Happy 4th of July! God Bless the USA!

Non-Scale Victories {#TheWinningMoment #WeightWatchersIceCream #ad}

This post brought to you by Weight Watchers® Ice Cream. The content and opinions expressed below are that of Makin’ it Mo’Betta.

I don’t know about y’all, but I get sick and tired of obsessing over everything I eat, everything my children eat, and constantly feeling like I am depriving myself. I have often had the mentality “I can’t eat that”…because it has too much fat or too many carbs, it has this in it or that…It can be exhausting! That’s one of the things I really like about the WW program, is that it takes a lot of the stress out of eating. The apps make tracking food easy, and counting points was much less stressful to me than counting calories. Now, it’s been a couple of years since I followed the program, but I still keep the basic principles in mind…I know if I eat pizza, I need to balance that with healthier options the rest of the day. Just knowing I CAN eat pizza or whatever you may consider your “forbidden” food, makes eating much more enjoyable. It’s all about moderation! It also helps a TON, that Weight Watchers® has many products available that are comforting and delicious, but still help maintain your goals. These non-scale victories make everything better!
Weight Watchers Ice Cream are satisfying, delicious, and if you are interested in the Points Plus values, they are listed right on the package. Less stress + yummy treats = A Winning Moment! Not to mention they come in a variety of flavors and are available in bars, cones, and sandwiches. They have flavors other than those pictures as well, like Dark Chocolate Raspberry! I’ve tried them all (you know, for research purposes *coughcough*) and I have to say that the Dark Chocolate Dulce de Leche was a favorite! Another great thing, they are sold in several convenient locations such as Walmart, Target, Kroger, Publix, Safeway, Stop & Shop, Shoprite, and Supervalue.

My kids were more than happy to dive into the treats, and being able to keep up with my children and enjoy life with them is definitely a winning moment as well. There are certainly more things in life to validate me, my life and my sense of self-worth other than a number on the scale.

It’s little changes that I am continuing to make each day that help me feel happy, healthy and content. Don’t get me wrong, I still want the number on the scale to go down…but I’m not obsessing over it. As a matter of fact, my daughter sneakily took the above picture of me, and I didn’t immediately delete it! Usually, I’m my own worst critic, and loathe seeing pictures of myself. Not only did I not delete it, I decided to post it here. Why? Because I can see progress. Those are my winning moments. 

And this…this is another non-scale victory and winning moment! Whenever I go over my step goal for the day (usually around 10,000), I feel a sense of accomplishment. It means I got my butt moving. It means I’m doing something for ME, but I’m also (hopefully) setting a good example for my children. When my kids see me exercising, preparing meals for the family, making healthier swaps with ingredients and food choices, and teaching them that foods are not to be considered the enemy or forbidden, but enjoyed and incorporated into a balanced life, I hope it sticks with them as they grow and make their own choices.

What do you consider some of your winning moments?

WEIGHT WATCHERS on foods and beverages is the registered trademark of WW Foods, LLC. WEIGHT WATCHERS for services and PointsPlus are the registered trademarks of Weight Watchers International, Inc. Trademarks are used under license by Wells Enterprises, Inc. ©2015 Weight Watchers International, Inc. All rights reserved.
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Easy Ice Cream Kit Kat Cake

I know, some of you are thinking ice cream?! As cold as it is? Is she nuts?! Well, uh..probably, but that’s not the point. The point is…my middle child had a birthday in January (she’s twelve!) and this is the cake she wanted.

She is also the reason behind the now infamous (at my house anyway) Kit Kat Candy Cake and last year’s Reese’s Peanut Butter Better Than $#% Cake (so.good.) This year, she wanted an ice cream cake – but not a traditional one with layers of cake and ice cream…she doesn’t allow her ice cream and cake to touch. *insert eye roll* Nope, this ‘cake’ is made entirely of ice cream. And candy of course. With some Oreos thrown in for good measure.

I have to admit, it was very good. It has also given me some great ideas for future ice cream cakes. It was also much easier than I thought it was going to be, which is always a plus. My only complaint is she didn’t want chocolate ice cream. Are we related? I’m not so sure. (I’m kidding daughter of mine. KissKiss LoveYouMeanIt). 

Don’t let the long list of “instructions” fool ya, it’s not difficult, I just added a lot of commentary in there. “Tips” if you will. You’re welcome or I’m sorry. Whichever fits.

Ice Cream Candy Cake 

  • 2 quarts of your ice cream of choice (We used mint chocolate chip and vanilla)
  • 1 package Oreo cookies
  • 1/4 c. milk
    Kit Kat candy bars (I used about 10 Kit Kat bars…which is 40 ‘sticks’)
  • toppings of choice (we used leftover Kit Kat bars, mini M’s, chocolate chips)
  • (optional) 1 tub Cool Whip, thawed enough to spread, for ‘frosting’
 
*You will also need a 9 inch springform pan*
  • Remove ice cream from freezer and let soften so that it is soft enough to remove from carton, but not completely melted (The more melted it is, the more the ice cream will ooze through the Kit Kat bars surrounding the cake. This isn’t a big deal, but just something I learned in the process. It can always be cleaned up afterwards, if you want it really “pretty” on the outside.)
  • While ice cream is softening, combine 24 Oreo cookies and the milk in a food processor (a blender would probably work for this as well). Set aside. This will form the bottom layer or “crust” for the ice cream cake.
  • Spray the springform pan with non-stick spray. Cut a piece of parchment or wax paper into the same size circle as the bottom of the pan. Line the pan with the paper, then line the Kit Kat bars (standing upright) around the inside of the pan. I find that working with the bars in pairs of two works best. Place bars as close as possible to each other, all facing out the same way. You may find that you need a single bar to close a gap. (Another tip I’ve learned along the way…if you are making Kit Kat cakes in the hot summer time, refrigerate the candy bars and remove from the fridge a few at a time. It makes handling them a little less messy.) 
  • Once Kit Kats are in place, press the Oreo crumb mixture evenly on the bottom of the pan.
  • Place in the freezer for 10 minutes.
  • Remove pan from freezer and spread one quart of ice cream evenly over the Oreo crust. I added some chopped Oreos over this bottom layer to kind of break it up. You could layer anything you wanted, or nothing at all…your choice! Place pan back in the freezer for 10 more minutes.
  • Remove from freezer again, and spread the second quart of ice cream over the first, and freeze again for 10 minutes.
  • At this point you can either leave cake in the freezer for 8-10 hours to firmly set or you can add the thawed Cool Whip topping as a ‘frosting’, then freeze for 8-10 hours. Since we used vanilla ice cream on top, I didn’t add the Cool Whip.
  • Remove from freezer 10 minutes prior to serving. Add your toppings of choice, and remove the springform outer ring of pan. Slice and serve! 
*Tip – buy an extra Kit Kat bar or two in case you have a few broken sticks in your packs. Perk: you get to eat all the broken ones.

Butter Pecan Ice Cream {Traditional & Paleo Versions} w/cookbook review

I know some people are already into sweater weather, but here, we are still running the A/C, ceiling fans, having outdoor barbeques and eating ice cream! Of course, I don’t know about you, but I will pretty much eat ice cream year round. That’s what blankets are for! Seriously, I couldn’t let it get too far into Fall without sharing this yummy, homemade Butter Pecan Ice Cream. 

I have just two words for you….butter….and cream. Oh my. However, if you do not eat cream for whatever reason, do not fret…I have an equally decadent version for you too! Just hang with me a minute! 

I made this a few weeks ago for my Dad’s birthday. It’s one of his favorite ice cream flavors (along with pineapple) and it was actually my first time EVER trying Butter Pecan! I can’t believe I have been missing out all these years! I’m such a chocolate freak, that it never occurred to me that I might actually like this. It’s creamy and slightly buttery – so much more than just vanilla, which is what I have always thought it was. It tasted like frozen sweetened condensed milk with toasted pecans. I happen to L-O-V-E sweetened condensed milk. 
 

Homemade Butter Pecan Ice Cream

*This recipe makes 2 quarts

2/3 cup chopped pecans
2 tablespoon butter
1-1/2 cups brown sugar
4 eggs, beaten
2 cups half-and-half cream
2 cups heavy cream
2 teaspoons vanilla extract

  • In a skillet over medium heat, toast pecans in butter until lightly browned and fragrant, stirring constantly, about 3 to 5 minutes. Set aside.
  • Whisk eggs in a mixing bowl; set aside. 
  • In a saucepan, combine brown sugar with half and half , mix well. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, once boiling, remove from heat. 
  • Temper the eggs by slowing adding in a 1/4 cup of  hot milk/sugar mixture into the eggs while whisking constantly. Once you have added about a cup of hot mixture and eggs are warm, add eggs/milk into saucepan, put back on the heat, and cook, stirring occasionally, until mixture thickens. Once it coats the back of a spoon, remove from heat and stir in cream, vanilla, and pecans.
  • Allow mixture to cool (I place mine in the fridge overnight)
  • Once cooled, pour into ice cream maker and freeze according to manufacturers’ directions.
Recipe adapted from Allrecipes
Yes, this recipe is a little fussier than my usual, but it wasn’t difficult and the results were definitely worth it! This ice cream was nice and thick and creamy! Sweet cream and butter toasted pecans…yum.
Now, for you Paleo folks, I haven’t forgotten about you! I received this great little cookbook a while back and I was amazed at the variety of Paleo ice creams that you can easily make with just a few ingredients! It’s appropriately titled, Paleo Ice Cream and authored by Ben Hirshberg. So if you thought ice cream was a thing of the past since you went paleo, then think again! This book has 75 different recipes, ranging from the traditional – like this Butter Pecan or the unusual – like Cucumber Mint or the most fabulous sounding Maple Chocolate Bacon Ice Cream. It’s more than just ice cream too, I can’t wait to try the recipes for Brownies, Caramel and Cookie Dough – just to name a few. And yes, they are all paleo! My only slightly negative comment regarding the book is the lack of pictures. {What am I, five?!} What can I say, I like to see what I’m cooking is supposed to look like!

Butter Pecan Ice Cream

*reprinted with permission from the cookbook Paleo Ice Cream
 
YIELD: About 1 quart

1 (13.5-ounce) can coconut milk
4 tablespoons honey

1⁄4 teaspoon xanthan gum (optional)
6 tablespoons butter

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 egg yolks

1 1⁄2 cups coarsely chopped pecans
1. In a medium saucepan over low heat, combine coconut milk, honey, xanthan gum (if using), butter, and vanilla extract. Stir continuously until the mixture thickens enough to coat the back of a spoon, about 8 minutes. Set aside.
2. In a heat-safe bowl, whisk the egg yolks until they reach a fluffy consistency. Add a small ladle of the warm mixture and stir until combined. Continue adding the warm mixture, one ladle at a time, until it’s completely mixed into the egg yolks. Don’t add too much of the warm mixture at once or you may end up with scrambled eggs!
3. Cover the mixture and refrigerate until completely chilled (about 8 hours or up to 2 days).
4. Freeze the mixture in your ice cream maker according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
5. Sprinkle in pecans just as your ice cream finishes hardening and enjoy! If you don’t plan on serving the ice cream immediately, transfer to a freezer-proof container and freeze up to 1 week (or 2 months if you use xanthan gum and place a layer of plastic wrap on the surface of the ice cream). To serve, remove from freezer and let sit about 15 minutes, or until desired texture is reached.
 

Homemade Chocolate Frosty – no ice cream maker! {#TruMoo #ad}

This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of TruMoo for SocialSpark. All opinions are 100% mine.

Don’t you hate when you get all excited about a recipe and then you realize it takes a special appliance or ingredients that you don’t have? That’s how I felt when I first saw a DIY frosty recipe floating around on Pinterest. I clicked over just to find out it required an ice cream maker. Now, I have an ice cream maker and I love it…but it’s one of those that requires ice and salt and needs to be monitored while churning, etc. Ain’t nobody got time for that. I break that out for special occasions. THIS recipe is different. No ice cream maker needed! And it uses common ingredients that you may already have in your fridge/pantry.

It’s thick and creamy and taste just like a Frosty from Wendy’s! But guess what…this one is made with light whipped topping, fat free sweetened condensed milk, unsweetened cocoa, and lowfat 1% TruMoo Chocolate Milk! Just blend the ingredients together and stick in the freezer for 30 mins to an hour, stir and enjoy!

My kids are so excited that I can make these at home, and I am excited that they are getting more milk in their diet (my 11 and 13 year old girls are not drinking enough milk these days). TruMoo Milk contains no artificial growth hormones, no high fructose corn syrup and contains 8 essential nutrients. (See TruMoo for more information)

This one was in the freezer for a full hour and was nice and thick and spoon worthy! If you take it out sooner, you can use a straw…just depends on your preference!

Homemade Chocolate Frosty

1 container of whipped topping (8 oz); frozen
1/4 cup sweetened condensed milk
2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
1 cup (8 oz) chocolate milk (I used 1% TruMoo)

Combine all ingredients in a blender or food processor. Blend until smooth. Pour into freezer safe container and freeze for 30 minutes to 1 hour. Remove from freezer and stir. Makes 2 servings.

Recipe source: Averie Cooks

It’s easy and delicious. The leftover condensed milk can be stored in the fridge so you can make this again and again 🙂 We’ve already made it a couple of times!

If you are not a chocolate fan, that’s okay, because TruMoo also comes in Strawberry and Vanilla flavors. You can make your own special frosty drinks with whichever flavor you like best. See more great ways to enjoy TruMoo.

*GIVEAWAY*
Would you like to try TruMoo too? All you have to do is leave me a comment answering the question “What TruMoo flavor are you most excited to try?” For an additional entry, like TruMoo on Facebook and leave a separate comment telling me you did so. I will be choosing 2 people to receive 2 FREE vouchers for TruMoo products. (US only please) Giveaway ends 8/14 (midnight, EST), winner will be contacted via email and will have 48 hours to confirm win.
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Huge Ice Cream GIVEAWAY! #sponsored

This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of Unilever Ice Cream for SocialSpark. All opinions are 100% mine.
It’s HOT outside, and I don’t know about where y’all are, but here in NC, it’s not only HOT but it is H-U-M-I-D. The air is so thick with moisture you practically have to swim through it. And what beats the heat better than….

Yep, good ol’ ICE CREAM!! And I’m here to help you with that, along with the great folks of Unilever Brand Ice Cream. Now, you may not be familiar with Unilever, but I bet you are VERY familiar with their awesome products like BreyersPopsicleGood HumorKlondike and a couple of newer ones, Magnum Ice Cream  and Fruttare. I can tell you from first hand experience….they’re all good! Most of these I’ve been buying for years. Breyers has been a favorite in my family for quite some time. I was thrilled when I discovered that a lot of the Breyers varieties do not contain eggs so my son could enjoy ice cream with the rest of the family. Thankfully, he has outgrown his egg allergy, but we still enjoy the many, many Breyers ice cream flavors. He recently had the Breyers M&M  ice cream for his birthday, while my daughter had the Breyers Birthday Cake flavor for hers.  Pictured above is my absolute flavor combo….Reese Cup!! Yes, chocolate and peanut butter, together, in ice cream.  It’s amazing.


Unfortunately, my girls really, really liked it too.  It didn’t last long.

As a matter of fact, my middle child is happily scraping out the container one rainy day in this pic, while my oldest is enjoying a Good Humor Chocolate Eclair Bar, and my son is eating (one of MY) 100 calorie Klondike bars! {3 PP for those doing Weight Watchers! They have a No Sugar Added version too!}

The Magnum Ice Cream  bars have been something my girls have been talking about for a while now, but I had not tried. Let me just tell ya…they are not your ordinary chocolate covered ice cream bar.  They are covered in Belgium chocolate! Rich, creamy, delicious chocolate, over velvet-y smooth vanilla ice cream. They are decadent. They are delicious. They are gone. I don’t even trust myself to have these in the house. They will be for special occasions!

However, I have already mentioned that Klondike has some calorie friendly options (plus ice cream sandwiches, and the fun ‘taco’ treats!), as does Popsicle. My kids picked out a variety flavor pack of Popsicles that are low in sugar and make for a great every-day kind of treat. They have been enjoying them after swimming! They have absolutely been LOVING this review opportunity 🙂 What can I say? I have too!
I have enjoyed some of my old favorites, and have learned about a lot of new ones. Fruttare for instance, is a fabulous new bar filled with real fruit and juice (and some varieties have milk as well.) I really wanted the coconut and milk flavor, but my kids out-voted me and got strawberry. It’s so good!
 photo 5d20da5d-48e8-47b6-aa37-0b59ecd8a0c2_zps2303edc5.jpg
SOOOO….who wants to try SIX different Unilever Brand Ice Cream Products…for FREE?!!! *I see hands raised everywhere!* All you have to do is leave a comment on this post telling me what brand is your favorite or which one you are most interested in trying. Check out the links to learn more information about all the different varities.  For additional entries, share this post on any social media platform (Facebook, Twitter, Google +, etc.) – you will need to leave an additional comment telling me each way you shared, with a link so that I can verify.
I will be awarding SIX free product coupons to ONE lucky winner. (US residents only, please make sure I have an email address to contact you if you win!)
*GIVEAWAY ENDS 07/25/13 AT MIDNIGHT (EST)*
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Homemade Dark Chocolate Ice Cream

Other than this healthy banana ‘ice cream’, I have never made homemade ice cream before. Turns out, it’s pretty easy, especially when your Dad takes control of adding the ice and salt! The ice cream maker I have can be electric or has a manual crank…not sure who would want to sit and crank ice cream, but I remember that’s how it was done when I was little aka ‘back in the olden days‘.

We made it for Father’s Day, and it went quite deliciously with the bars I made (recipe to come!)

Homemade Dark Chocolate Ice Cream

adapted from Sluiter Nation
3/4 cups dark cocoa powder (sifted)
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup packed dark brown sugar
pinch of salt
3 cups Half and Half
1/2 tablespoon pure vanilla extract

  • In a medium bowl, whisk together the cocoa, sugars, and salt.
  • Add the half and half and beat on low speed until until the cocoa, sugars, and salt are dissolved.
  • Stir in the vanilla.
  • Cover and refrigerate for 1 to 2 hours (or overnight)
  • Following the directions of your ice cream maker, pour mixture in appropriate container. (Mine has a bowl that needs to be chilled before adding mixture, then the bowl fits into the ice cream maker.)
  • If you want it thicker than soft serve consistency, freeze immediately for about 2 hours, (or on my maker you can use the hand crank at this point to get it even thicker), otherwise…serve it up!
This was delicious and creamy, but it does get a little icy after being in the freezer a little while. I can’t wait to try more varieties! I have a Pinterest board devoted just to ice cream if interested 🙂
 
I may be linking up at any of the following – (Monday) The Tumbleweed ContessaHolly’s Stamping AddictionThe Dedicated HouseHomemaker on a DimeSkip to my LouMaking the World CuterI Should Be Mopping the FloorThis Gal CooksWatch Out, Martha!Huckleberry LoveThe Newlyweds PilgrimageSowdering About in Seattle (Tuesday) Naptime CreationsMandy’s Recipe BoxLove in the Kitchen, Memories By the Mile,Inside BruCrew LifeSarah Lynn’s SweetsBeBetsy and VMG206The Real Thing with The Coake FamilyTwinkling Trees , Anyonita Nibbles (Wednesday) Fluster BusterMostly Homemade MomAdorned from AboveLady Behind the CurtainGinger Snap CraftsHungry Little GirlNaptime is My TimeThe Wilderness Wife  (Thursday) Project Inspire ,Joyful HomemakingDesigned DecorMiz Helen’s Country CottageThe Mandatory Mooch,  The Busy Bee’s, Lamberts Lately (Friday) Not Your Ordinary Recipes,  Simple Living and EatingJust Us FourBacon Time with the Hungry Hungry HypoDiana RamblesThe Better Baker,CraftionaryOne Artsy MamaThe Best Blog RecipesOne Creative Mommy, Michelle’s Tasty CreationsClose to Home30 Handmade DaysA Peek Into My Paradise,The Jenny Evolution Walking on Sunshine(Saturday) Lemons for Lulu,  Or So She Says…Six Sisters’ Stuff (Sunday) Mommy’s Sweet Confessions, Who Needs a Cape?, Sweet 2 Eat Baking
This recipe has been featured @ Twinkling Trees and Ginger Snap Crafts!

I was featured on Twinkling Trees
 

Banana Ice Cream with Oreos

Yesterday I posted this pic –

and asked if anyone could guess what it is.
On Facebook I had a guess of “maybe a smoothie of some sort? With blueberries and chocolate??”
 
Excellent guess, but it was actually
Yes, once again, I have taken something perfectly healthy and uhh….de-healthified it?
oops. my bad.
My kids wanted a treat, and I had frozen bananas on the brain since having an email conversation with another blogger who is preggars, and ‘enjoying’ all the crazy food obsessions and repulsions that come along with pregnancy. And yes, that conversation included the healthy banana.
For whatever reason, I had Oreos in my house.  Which is such a NO.NO.  Since I have absolutely zero will power.  Anyways, I decided I would take the bananas we had in the freezer, blend them up and toss in a few Oreos.
My kids thought it was a delicious, decadent treat!

Oreo Banana Ice Cream

 I used 3 frozen bananas
4 or 6 Oreos (sorry, can’t remember!)
1/2 T. cocoa (mainly for color – my kids eat anything chocolate)
and had enough to fill 3 ice cream cones, plus some leftover!
**Don’t throw away those over ripe bananas, just peel and stick in the freezer in a freezer bag.  Then you can enjoy ‘ice cream’ whenever the mood strikes.  Leave out the Oreos, and it can be completely guilt free!