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Irish Mocha Chip Ice Cream

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Well, hello there! Long time, no see.


I hadn’t intended to abandon the blog for any length of time, but life sort of sucked me into its unpredictable time warp. Between the kids and appointments and work and all of the other business of being a family of five, the weeks just flew by. Oh, and I joined a local gym, which has a ‘Kids Korner’, that the kids actually love going to. Ninety bucks bought me up to two hours of time for myself, every day, forever. Best childcare deal out there, folks. I’ve rarely missed a day since I joined. The getting in shape aspect almost feels like the bonus of going, not the very purpose itself.


But, it’s come to my attention that one of my favorite holidays is rapidly approaching. So, I’ve pulled myself out of life’s time warp in order to bring you an appropriately Irish themed recipe. This is one for the grown-ups, as it’s chock full of caffeine and festively spiked with a bit of Irish Cream. Interestingly, it was my five year who inspired the whole ice cream idea, while I was pondering aloud about some Baileys twist on panna cotta or chocolate mousse. “It should be an ice cream,” he insisted. And with the approaching spring season peppering our days with warmer weather, he was right-on with that suggestion. I may need to reward him with a decaf, alcohol-free version of this recipe soon.


The look your child may make when you prepare an ice cream, just for grown-ups.

If you’re looking for some more traditional Irish ideas, like Corned Beef and Cabbage, Irish Soda Bread, Shepherd’s Pie or even a low-carb twist on Cottage Pie, check out last year’s St. Patty’s Day recipe round-up HERE.

Have fun and most importantly, be safe, in all of your St. Patty’s Day festivities!

Today’s Focus on Technique – The Difference Between Ice Cream and Frozen Custard

The main difference between ice cream and frozen custard (also known as French-style ice cream or French custard ice cream) is the addition of egg yolks. Technically, to be considered a frozen custard, it must contain at least 1.4% egg yolks by weight. The USDA has lengthy documents which define all of the characteristics of ice cream, frozen custard, gelato, sherbet and something called mellorine, but basically, the difference between ice cream and frozen custard comes down to the egg yolks. The egg yolks in a frozen custard add a rich, silky creaminess to the end result. When adding the egg yolks to the ice cream mixture, it is important to temper the eggs by very gradually adding the hot cream mixture to the yolks. This allows the temperature of the eggs to rise to meet the temperature of the hot cream mixture without scrambling the eggs. The egg mixture is then returned to the pan and gently heated until the eggs are cooked to a safe temperature. For more info on tempering eggs into hot liquids, click here. I haven’t calculated the percent weight of egg yolks in the following recipe, but I’d venture to say it falls technically in the family of frozen custards.


Irish Mocha Chip Ice Cream

Adapted from Emeril’s Coffee Ice Cream 


  • 1 1/2 cups heavy cream
  • 1 1/2 cups whole milk
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons instant coffee granules
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 3-4 tablespoons Baileys Irish Cream*
  • 4 egg yolks
  • 2/3 cup mini chocolate chips

*TIP – When cooking with liquors or liqueurs that you don’t frequently use, see if your liquor store carries the mini bottles (like they have on airplanes), to avoid having leftovers go to waste. 


Combine the cream, milk, sugar, coffee, and cocoa powder in a medium saucepan. Bring to a gentle boil over medium heat, stirring until sugar, coffee and cocoa are dissolved. Remove from the heat.

In a medium bowl, lightly beat the egg yolks with a fork. In a slow steady stream, gradually whisk about 1 cup of the hot mixture into the egg yolks. Then, gradually add the egg mixture to the remaining mixture in the pan. Cook the mixture over medium-low/low heat, stirring frequently, for 5-8 minutes, until it just begins to bubble. (You can use an instant read thermometer to check that the mixture is at least 170ºF.) Remove from the heat. Cool slightly at room temperature, then transfer to a bowl and cover with plastic wrap, pressing down against the surface to prevent a skin from forming. Refrigerate until completely chilled, about 2-3 hours. Stir in the Baileys Irish Cream and chocolate chips just before freezing in the ice cream maker.

Transfer the cooled mixture to your ice cream maker. Freeze according to your ice cream maker’s instructions. The ice cream will still be semi-soft (and lusciously creamy) coming out of the ice cream maker. It will harden a bit further after a few hours in the freezer.

*This recipe would make a perfectly delicious mocha chip ice cream without the Bailey’s. You could also use decaf instant coffee grounds if you’d prefer to skip the caffeine.



Pumpkin Pie Frozen Custard

Our weather is forecast to hit 69 degrees tomorrow. It will probably be the last ‘warm’ day for a long while, as winter is already breathing its frosty breath down our necks. In the meantime we’ll appreciate whatever remaining moderate weather we have left. It won’t be long before we’re slicing cinnamon-spiced pumpkin pies at our Thanksgiving tables. But right now I’m still desperately trying to hold onto whatever remains of the warm season before we plunge into the winter abyss.

So, I thought, why not marry the autumny flavors of  pumpkin pie with my favorite warm weather treat…ice cream?? What more perfect way could there be to acknowledge what may well be the last day we can go without our winter coats, than with a rich and creamy pumpkin pie frozen custard, flavored with vanilla, ginger, nutmeg, and a generous dose of cinnamon. Your ice cream maker will thank you for giving it one last whirl before it’s tucked away for the season.

Frozen custard differs from ice cream in that it contains egg yolks. The egg yolks add an extra creaminess to the frozen treat. The following recipe would also work well without the eggs, so if you or a loved one have an egg allergy, just omit them and call it ice cream. The half-and-half will contribute a good amount of creaminess, but you can substitute light cream or heavy cream for an even richer result.

Focus on Technique – Tempering Eggs

Tempering eggs is a process by which egg yolks are gradually brought up to a higher temperature, by very slowing incorporating hot liquid. This is done to prevent the eggs from scrambling when they are incorporated into hot liquid…cause who wants to eat custard with the texture of scrambled eggs, right??? Tempering the egg yolks helps them to maintain a smooth, silky consistency. Egg yolks may be tempered for use in custards, puddings, sauces, or souffles.

To temper egg yolks, start by lightly beating the eggs with a fork. Then, take some of your hot liquid and very gradually, starting with just a few drips at a time, incorporate some of the hot liquid into the eggs, whisking constantly. After the first few drips, you can increase to a slow stream. Continue incorporating the hot liquid until the egg mixture is about the same temperature as the mixture you will be adding it to. Then, you can safely add the egg mixture to the remaining hot liquid and bring to a gentle simmer for a couple minutes to ensure the yolks are cooked.

Pumpkin Pie Frozen Custard


  • 1 1/2  cups half and half
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 cup pumpkin puree (canned or fresh)
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/8 teaspoon ginger
  • Pinch of salt
  • 2 egg yolks, lightly beaten


Combine the milk, pumpkin puree, sugar, vanilla, cinnamon, salt, nutmeg, and ginger in a saucepan. Bring the mixture to a simmer over medium heat, whisking frequently. Once the mixture begins to simmer, reduce the heat. In a separate bowl, lightly beat the egg yolks. Gradually whisk about 3/4 cup of the hot mixture into the egg yolks, starting with a very slow drizzle. Gradually whisk the tempered egg mixture into the remaining mixture in the pot. Bring to a very gentle boil over medium heat, whisking constantly for 2-3 minutes. Allow the mixture to cool for several minutes at room temperature, then refrigerate until completely chilled. Pour the mixture into your ice cream maker and freeze according to your maker’s instructions.

Praline Banana Splits

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I’m going to disappear for a couple weeks. Not completely vanish, but I’m going to take a little break off of new posts. There are a few things around this blog that require a bit of housekeeping, namely the Recipe Collection and Gallery pages, which I haven’t updated in nearly two years. Eek! So, I’m going to spend a little time focusing on cleaning up a few things around the site that have been nagging at me before resuming new posts.

Before I vanish, I wanted to leave you with something delicious. Mouth-watering inspiration came to me in the form of National Banana Split Day, which will take place on August 25. My twist on a banana split includes one-ingredient banana “ice cream”, caramelized banana halves, and a decadent pecan praline sauce. Yeah…bananas and praline. Yum. 

You may have run across fancy banana ice cream makers out there, but no specialized tool is required to make this perfectly creamy banana confection. A regular food processor or a good blender will do the trick! And since our “ice cream” is made with pure naturally-sweetened, naturally fat-free banana, you can afford to have a little more fun with the toppings, like this pecan praline sauce. Once you try this sauce, you’re going to want to pour it over everything. In fact, I plan to make a second batch to drizzle over my husband’s birthday cheesecake. Best yet, made with fat-free milk, it’s a lighter version than many cream-laden praline sauce recipes, with no sacrifice to the crave-worthy end result.

Enjoy, folks! I’ll be back with you soon and in the mean time, keep an eye around the site for updates!

Praline Banana Splits


For the Praline Sauce*

  • 1 teaspoon butter
  • 1/6 cup pecans, chopped
  • 1/2 cup dark brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup milk (fat-free works well)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon cornstarch
  • Pinch of salt

For the Caramelized Bananas

  • 1 banana, peeled and sliced in half lengthwise
  • 1 teaspoon butter
  • 1 teaspoon brown sugar

For the Banana “Ice Cream”

  • 3 medium or 4 small bananas, sliced and well-frozen


For the Praline Sauce: Stir the cornstarch and salt into the milk. Set aside. Melt the butter in a pan over medium heat. Add the pecans and cook for 1-2 minutes, stirring frequently, until lightly toasted. Reduce the heat to low and stir in the brown sugar, until it begins to soften and melt. Whisk the milk mixture into the pecan mixture. Raise the heat back to medium. Continue whisking until the mixture bubbles and thickens, about 1-2 minutes. Remove from the heat and cool slightly.

For the Caramelized Bananas: Combine the butter and brown sugar in a pan over medium heat. Once the butter has melted, place the banana halves in the pan, cut-side down. Gently move the bananas in the pan so that the cut-side becomes coated with the butter and sugar. Cook for 3-5 minutes, until the cut-side develops a golden brown crust. Remove from the pan and cool slightly. Cut each banana half into half crosswise.

For the Banana Ice Cream: Place the frozen bananas pieces into a food processor or blender. Begin by pulsing the slices until they are mostly broken up. Then, continue blending the mixture until it’s smooth and creamy like ice cream.

To Assemble the Banana Splits: Place a large scoop of the banana ice cream in each bowl. Arrange two of the bananas pieces on the sides. Top with a tablespoon or two of the warm praline sauce. Garnish with additional pecans, if desired.

Makes 2 generous banana split sundaes

Recipe for the Praline Sauce adapted from the EatingWell recipe found HERE.

Peanut Butter Monkey Ice Cream

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This sweet summer treat is the brainchild of my brilliant five-year-old, who is perpetually dreaming up new recipe ideas. Of course, the fact that he speaks the words and I immediately get cooking has provided some serious reinforcement of this behavior. If you dream it, I will make it. I don’t think a soul at the table was disappointed after Liam recently suggested I make a batch of chocolate peanut butter pudding. In fact, as he sat at the table of guests enjoying the luscious, still-warm pudding, he suggested that everyone should thank him for coming up with such a great idea. Actually most of Liam’s recent recipe ideas have had something to do with peanut butter and chocolate. I told you, he’s a brilliant kid.

With three kids in the family, we go through a good deal of ice cream once the summer heat hits. Catching the elusive ice cream man has become a mission of epic proportions. In the five years that we’ve lived here, we’ve caught the ice cream man once. Once. And this is not for lack of effort. I’m beginning to feel like that kid in Better Off Dead who justs wants his two dollars, as my ice cream man races down my road with the speed of the mailman in Funny Farm. My life has become an ’80s movie.

Unable to rely on the local ice cream man, we’re resorted to purchasing our ice cream at the grocery store or making our own. Making your ice cream at home is not a money-saving endeavor. The cost of the cream and other ingredients will run you just as much as picking up a half-gallon container of your favorite brand. But, there are few pleasures in life as ridiculously decadent as a spoonful of homemade ice cream straight out of the ice cream maker. That’s when it’s best folks; fresh frozen, still slightly soft, and oh-so-satisfying. Don’t wait. Just dive in.

The addition of a fresh, pureed banana to this creamy peanut butter ice cream is the inspired genius of my son. He tried to back out of the banana idea moments after suggesting it, but I was too committed to the idea at that point. He later agreed that his initial instinct was right on target. Mini chocolate chips, fresh bits of banana, and salty peanuts complete this fantastic ice cream treat.

Peanut Butter Monkey Ice Cream


  • 1 1/2 cups heavy cream
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 1 banana (pureed)
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup peanut butter
  • 1/2 banana, chopped
  • 1/2 cup mini chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup salted peanuts, coarse chopped


Prepare your ice cream maker according to your maker’s instructions.

In a saucepan over medium/medium-low heat, combine the cream, milk, pureed banana, sugar, and peanut butter, whisking frequently, just until the sugar dissolves and the peanut butter has melted. Cool for a few minutes at room temperature, then refrigerate for a couple hours until the mixture is completely chilled. Once the mixture is cold, pour it into your ice cream maker and freeze according to your maker’s instructions. Once the ice cream has reached the consistency of soft-serve, add the chopped banana, chocolate chips, and peanuts. Freeze in the ice cream maker for a few minutes longer.

Cannoli Ice Cream

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I’ve been working on another post (for a super yummy Spicy Bacon Ranch Pasta Salad), but this recipe gets an instant pass to cut to the front of the line. I made this ice cream yesterday afternoon and I just can’t wait another second longer to share it with you… Cannoli ice cream with mini chocolate chips and fresh candied orange peel.

Need I say more?

Last year, during the peak of strawberry season, I made one of my favorite homemade ice creams. It was an absolutely luscious strawberry cheesecake ice cream, made with fresh-picked berries. That was some seriously crave-worthy ice cream. It was actually the memory of that ice cream which inspired this recipe. I was sitting outside on an exceptionally hot afternoon day-dreaming of that delicious strawberry cheesecake ice cream, which led me to consider…what other desserts can I turn into ice cream? Cannolis were one of the first ideas which popped into my mind. And I figured that if I could make a cheesecake flavored ice cream with sour cream mixed into it, why couldn’t I make a cannoli ice cream with ricotta cheese as a main ingredient?

Turns out that ricotta cheese lends itself amazing well towards creating a rich and decadently creamy ice cream. I have to admit, there was a point in time, a few minutes before the ice cream had finished it’s run through the ice cream maker, when I snuck a spoon into the machine to taste a bit of the not-quite-frozen mixture. It was the consistency of soft-serve ice cream at that point and the texture of the ricotta was still evident. Mouth-watering. It took every ounce of my self-control not to eat the whole batch right out of the still-churning machine.

This recipe is super-simple to put together, though you’ll need to make the candied orange peel a little ahead of time. Trust me, it’s worth the small effort. I’d initially considered listing the candied orange peel as an optional ingredient, but that would’ve been a major mistake. The flavor and the texture of the candied peel contribute so much to this ice cream, it would be a major loss to omit it.

If you don’t have an ice cream maker, this may well be the recipe to make it worth buying one. I love this ice cream so much, that I actually looked into the cost of ice cream makers to see if I could offer one as a giveaway, but I just can’t pocket the personal expense at this time. (It’s the thought that counts, right?) Hey Cuisinart…want to offer one of my readers an ice cream maker??

In the mean time, if you love cannolis, buy, beg, or borrow yourself an ice cream maker and give this recipe a whirl!

Cannoli Ice Cream


  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 2 cups whole milk ricotta cheese
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • Candied orange peel from one orange, chopped (Recipe below)
  • 1/2 cup mini chocolate chips
  • Prepared cannoli shells, for garnish


Prepare your ice cream maker according to your maker’s instructions.

In a small saucepan over low heat, warm the cream and the sugar, stirring frequently, just until the sugar dissolves. Place the mixture in the refrigerator and chill until completely cooled. Combine the cream/sugar mixture with the ricotta and cinnamon. Mix in the candied orange peel and chocolate chips. Transfer the mixture into your ice cream maker and freeze according to your ice cream maker’s instructions.

Serve with a piece of prepared cannoli shell.

Candied Orange Peel


  • 1 orange
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup water


Bring a small pot of water to a boil. Add the orange peel and boil for about 2 minutes. Drain and rinse with cold water.

Bring a fresh pot of water to a boil. Add the orange peel again. Cook for another 2 minutes. Drain and rinse with cold water.

Combine the sugar with the water in a small saucepan. Stir to combine. Bring to a gentle simmer. Add the orange peel. Simmer for about 15 minutes, until the peels are tender and slightly translucent. Carefully strain. (The mixture will be extremely hot, so use caution.)

When cool enough to handle, arrange the peel on a drying rack to continue cooling.

Strawberry Cheesecake Ice Cream

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It takes a lot for a non-chocolate dessert to excite me. It’s got to be something pretty special. Even still, I usually feel chocolate’s absence. I must admit that when I put this recipe together, I tried to rationalize a place for chocolate. I almost threw in a handful of chocolate chips, for good measure.

But I would have been wrong to add the chocolate. This luscious ice cream, with the rich taste of a slice of strawberry cheesecake, does not need a stitch of chocolate. It’s true. It’s perfectly decadent as it is. So deliciously decadent that I’ve been battling with the little angel and devil on my shoulder about whether I should exercise a bit of self-control or simply surrender and finish every last bite for breakfast.

Is there any better way to welcome summer than with some homemade ice cream made with hand-picked berries?? I think not.

Go ahead. Indulge.

Strawberry Cheesecake Ice Cream


  • 8 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 1/2 cup sugar*
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1 cup light cream
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 2 cup fresh strawberries, halved if large
  • 1 cup graham crackers, broken into small pieces
*Use more or less sugar, as desired, depending on the sweetness of your berries.


In a large bowl, beat together the cream cheese and sugar until creamy. Add the sour cream, cream, lemon juice and vanilla. Beat until smooth. Add the strawberries and beat until the berries mostly break up, leaving a few delicious chunks. Refrigerate for about an hour. Pour the mixture into your ice cream maker and freeze according to your machine’s directions. Add the graham crackers during the last 5-10 minutes of freezing.

Inspired by the Cheesecake Ice Cream recipe found here.

Strawberrylicious Round-Up

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Strawberry season has finally hit its stride in our neck of the woods. I foresee an afternoon of berry picking (and berry tasting) in our near future. I’m also predicting that the ice cream maker may find its way out of storage for this season’s inaugural batch of sweet, creamy goodness.

New strawberry recipes are forthcoming. In the mean time, here are a few previously posted Gourmand Mom strawberry recipes. Click on the titles for the recipes!

Strawberry-Rhubarb Crisp

Strawberry Pretzel Squares

Strawberry Spinach Salad with Goat Cheese and Almonds

Quadruple Berry Muffins

Mixed Berry Mousse with Vanilla Bean Panna Cotta

Strawberry Stuffed French Toast

Shrimp, Chorizo, and Pineapple Quesadillas

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When I retrieved my ice cream maker from its hiatus in the basement, I told myself that I wouldn’t post too many ice cream related recipes. I recognize that not everyone has an ice cream maker lying around and I’d rather post recipes that don’t require any special equipment. I’m not doing a very good job of limiting the ice cream recipes though. It’s summer and I’m really enjoying the novelty of my ice cream maker. I’ve been finding myself dreaming of ways to use it. Some of my ideas are inarguably fantastic; others not so much. Last weekend, after a few glasses of wine, I was ready to whip out the machine to make some sort of Swedish Fish ice cream. I got some strange looks from the crowd, so we abandoned that mission. But I recently had another idea that I just had to try and since there was no one around to talk me out of it, I did. To make up for the fact that I’m sharing my third ice cream recipe in the past two weeks, I’m going to throw in a super simple, delicious bonus recipe which makes a easy, tasty dinner and requires no special equipment.

Remember earlier in the week when I mentioned the candy-sweet local corn, which I added to my pesto pasta with salmon and tomatoes? I wasn’t joking when I said it was candy-sweet. It seriously tastes like it’s been watered in syrup and grown in a bed of brown-sugar soil. I fed some to the kids and told them it was candy. They never paused for a second to question it. I’ve been dreaming about that corn ever since, plotting other ways to take advantage of its awesomeness. I wanted to use it as a dessert. It’s really that sweet. Sweet corn frozen custard came to mind.

Truth be told, this recipe was not a complete success. I contemplated whether I should share it or not, but I figured that if you’re crazy about corn, this recipe might be right up your alley. I fed a spoonful to my husband without telling him what it was and his reaction was less than enthusiastic. Confused would be the most appropriate description of the look on his face as he tried to process what he was tasting. His sentiments were that you can’t just feed people a bowl full of corn ice cream; that it needs to go with something. I agree. So, I made a homemade caramel sauce and served it with a graham cracker…sort of a caramel corn sundae, I suppose.

This frozen custard has a definite sweet corn flavor. The only added sweetener comes from a few tablespoons of honey. I used buttermilk to make up part of the cream base, sort of a play on my sweet honey cornbread with buttermilk, but I think the buttermilk was a mistake. The final custard was not nearly as creamy as I’d hoped. It had more of a firm, icy texture. I’m no ice cream making expert, but I suspect the iciness was a result of the buttermilk…perhaps a freezing point issue? If I were to repeat the recipe, I think I’d use an all cream base. Fairly certain that would produce a creamier result. The recipe I’m sharing with you excludes the buttermilk.

Summer Corn Frozen Custard


  • 3 Cobs of Sweet Corn
  • 2 cups Light Cream
  • 3 Tbsp Honey
  • 1 tsp Vanilla Extract
  • 2 Egg Yolks, lightly beaten


Boil the corn for 8 minutes. Cool. Cut the kernels off of the cob. Save the cobs. Use a blender or food processor to blend the kernels with the cream, honey, and vanilla extract. Pour the mixture in a saucepan and add the corn cobs. You can break the cobs, if necessary, to fit in the pan. Heat the mixture, stirring often, until it begins to bubble. Remove from heat. Strain the mixture through a fine sieve, pressing the mixture to remove all of the the corn-flavored cream. Add a small amount of the hot liquid to the egg yolks to temper the yolks. (Adding a small amount of the hot liquid allows the egg yolks to heat gradually and prevents them from scrambling.) Add the tempered egg yolk mixture to the hot cream. Return the mixture to a saucepan. Heat the mixture until it begins gently bubbling. Cook for about 3 minutes. Remove from the heat and refrigerate until it is completely cooled. Then, pour the mixture into your frozen ice cream bowl and freeze according to your machine’s directions. Serve with caramel, if desired.

Now, on to that super easy, super delicious, no-special-equipment-required recipe. A few weeks ago, a friend of mine sent me a message wondering if I had any ideas for how to make use of some chorizo she had on hand. Yum. Chorizo. I gave her a few general ideas at the time. And then I couldn’t get chorizo off the brain. Chorizo is a spiced pork sausage that is typically available as chorizo picante (spicy) or chorizo dulce (mild). Spanish chorizo is cured and can be eaten as is. My supermarket carries cured chorizo near the deli and cheese section. Chorizo is also available as a fresh sausage which you would probably find in the meat section of your supermarket. Fresh sausage needs to be cooked prior to eating. I love the combination of chorizo with seafood, especially shrimp. It occurred to me that both shrimp and chorizo would pair well with pineapple. So, I decided to put together some super fast Shrimp, Chorizo, and Pineapple Quesadillas. I’ll definitely be making these again.

Shrimp, Chorizo, and Pineapple Quesadillas


  • 1 cup Spanish Chorizo, chopped
  • 1 cup cooked salad-size Shrimp
  • 1/2 cup Pineapple, finely chopped
  • 2 cups Mexican Blend Cheese
  • 8 Flour Tortillas


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Heat the chorizo in a pan over medium heat until it begins to release its oil. Add the shrimp and pineapple. Stir to combine. When the shrimp and pineapple are warm, remove from heat. Sprinkle about 1/4 cup cheese onto each of four tortillas. Evenly distribute the chorizo, shrimp, pineapple mixture over the four tortillas. Top with another 1/4 cup cheese on each. Cover with the remaining four tortillas. Bake for about 10-12 minutes until the insides are hot and melty and the tortillas feel slightly crisp. Press down on the quesadillas about halfway through to help them melt together. Allow the quesadillas to cool for a minute or two before cutting.

Peppermint Chocolate Chip Oreo Ice Cream

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Gotta show the ice cream maker a little love. We don’t want it to become angry again.

I asked my visiting niece what her favorite ice cream flavor was. Mint Chocolate Chip was her reply. For good measure, we decided to throw in some crumbled Oreo cookies too. Hard to go wrong with that combination!

All of the kids enjoyed mixing up this tasty batch of homemade ice cream. My niece was especially intrigued. She intently watched the ice cream churn for several minutes before finally asking when it would turn green. She was visibly disappointed when I explained that it would not be turning green. So, we added a few drops of food coloring. The ice cream turned a lovely pale green, which delighted my niece. The color was lost after we added the cookies, but by that point, the color didn’t seem to matter as much.

All of the kids enjoyed taste testing the ice cream. They were also quite willing to take care of the extra cookies. Our labrosaurus rex would’ve helped too, if given the chance.

Peppermint Chocolate Chip Oreo Ice Cream


  • 1 1/2 cup Milk
  • 1 1/2 cup Light Cream
  • 2/3 cup Sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp Peppermint Extract
  • 1/2 cup Mini Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips
  • 10 Oreo Cookies, crushed


Combine milk and sugar. Stir until the sugar is dissolved. Add cream and peppermint extract. Stir. Pour into your frozen ice cream bowl and freeze according to your machine’s directions. Once the ice cream begins to thicken, add the chocolate chips and cookies. Allow the ice cream to continue mixing in the ice cream maker until the chocolate and cookies are well blended and the ice cream is thick.

What a Watermelon Roll!

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My ice cream maker hates me. Honestly, I don’t blame it. It’s been sitting in my basement, neglected for years. My husband bought it for me several years ago. I was thrilled at the time. I opened the box and tenderly caressed my new toy. I had big plans. I was going to be an ice cream maker extraordinaire, put Ben and Jerry’s to shame, give Mr. Baskin and Mr. Robbins a run for their money. And you know what? In all the years I’ve had the ice cream maker, I haven’t made even one single batch of ice cream.

Sort of reminds me of the summer my dad decided he was going to become an amateur fisherman. He went out and bought all of the supplies; a couple rods, lures, and a box to keep it all in. He fished for a summer, which is more than I can say about me and my ice cream maker. But then the fishing supplies got packed away alongside the abandoned bread machine and juicer. My sister blames Price Club for all of their tantalizing deals, which repeatedly sold our father on new hobbies alongside large tubs of mayonnaise and 100-packs of toilet paper.

But this post isn’t about fishing, juice-making, or other neglected hobbies. It’s about ice cream. I was inspired to give my ice cream maker its maiden whirl by a friend of mine, who recently started a wonderful blog with her sister, They write about all sorts of interesting topics, including childcare, healthy eating, caring for an elderly relative, and my favorite topic, recipes! In one of their recent posts, they shared a step-by-step recipe for Watermelon Ice Cream, slightly modified from an Emeril Lagasse recipe. The little chocolate chip seeds are what really sold me. I was instantly reminded of the delicious Friendly’s Wattamelon Roll, which my husband goes gaga for, and set my mind on making one.

There’s a long story here, involving the mutilation of multiple innocent watermelons, an angry and uncooperative ice cream maker, and four (yes, four) batches of watermelon ice cream/sherbert and one batch of lemon sherbert. There are tales of too icy, too creamy, and too sweet. There are tales of repentance and forgiveness. I could regale you with stories of watermelon water content, ice-crystallization, cream vs. milk, and no-sugar added. I could explain why I chose to make a sherbert instead of an ice cream. But, I won’t bore you with the details. Suffice it to say, the ice cream maker and I are now the best of friends and I mastered two beautiful, melt-in-your-mouth sherbert recipes.

Enjoy either recipe on its own or use the two recipes together to make your own watermelon sherbert roll with all the same flavor of the original Wattamelon Roll, minus the Disodium Phosphate, Red 40, and Blue 1.

But first a few tips from my weekend of ice cream making:

  • Make sure your ice cream bowl is completely and thoroughly frozen. I turned the temperature down on my freezer to get the bowl to get the bowl cold enough.
  • Leave the ice cream bowl in the freezer until the last minute. It will begin defrosting quickly once you remove it.
  • Chill your ice cream mixture before pouring it into the ice cream maker.
  • You can make ice cream or sherbert with milk or cream, but what you use will affect the texture. Choose wisely. The recipes I have provided are what I found to be the best balance of texture and taste, while keeping waistlines in mind.
  • If you don’t have an ice cream maker, you can make a decent sherbert by allowing the mixture to freeze for 30 minutes or so, then blending the partially frozen mixture in a blender. Allow it to partially freeze again. Blend again. Then, allow it to completely freeze. This process will introduce some air into the mix as it freezes and breaks up some of the ice crystal formation. It will produce a tasty sherbert but the end result won’t be as creamy or smooth as with using an ice cream maker.

Lemon Sherbert


  • 1 Cup Light Cream
  • 1 Cup Milk
  • 1/2 Cup Sugar
  • 1/2 cup Lemon Juice (freshly squeezed, if possible)


Combine the cream, milk and sugar until completely dissolved. Add the lemon juice. Stir to combine. Pour the mixture into your ice cream maker and freeze according to your machine’s directions.

Watermelon Sherbert


  • 4 cups Seedless Watermelon, chopped
  • 1 cup Light Cream
  • 1 cup Milk
  • 1/4 cup Sugar
  • 3 Tbsp Lemon Juice
  • 3/4 cup Mini Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips


Puree the watermelon until it’s liquid. You should have about 3 cups of watermelon liquid. Pour the liquid in a saucepan and simmer until the liquid reduced to about 1 cup. It will appear thick and syrupy. Cool the liquid completely. In bowl, combine the milk, cream, and sugar. Stir until the sugar is completely dissolved. Add the watermelon mixture to the cream mixture. Add the lemon juice. Stir to combine.  Pour the mixture into your ice cream maker and freeze according to your machine’s directions. When the mixture has thickened, add the chocolate chips to the machine.

To create a watermelon roll, press lemon sherbert onto the bottom and sides of a round bowl. Fill the center with watermelon sherbert and freeze. If desired, paint the exterior with green food coloring.

Another alternative is to create watermelon pops.

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