Three Ingredient Cake Batter Ice Cream (Dairy free!)

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Difficulty: Medium

Preparation time: 10 minutes active, 4 hours or more inactive.

Ingredients:

2 eggs or 4 egg yolks

1 box cake mix of choice

3 cans coconut milk

Method: Blend 2 cans coconut milk in stove top pan until uniform. Slowly stir in cake mix. Heat until mixture begins to thicken, stirring continually. Don’t worry about lumps, the mixer will take care of that.

Whisk eggs in a separate bowl. Slowly add warm cake batter/ coconut milk mixture. (Slower is better here, as the heat will be cooking your eggs. Too warm, and you get scrambled eggs) Add last can of coconut milk and mix for an additional 5 minutes. Cool mixture in refrigerator at least 4 hours or overnight. Process according to ice cream maker directions. If soft serve texture is preferred, dig in. For hard packed ice cream, freeze. Allow to soften at least 30 minutes before scooping.

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If your coconut milk looks like mine, don’t worry. Hit it with a blender !

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CAKE MIX!!!IMG_5361

Whisking eggs continually, adding milk mixture

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The right consistency, thick enough to coat the back of a spoon

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Churn baby churn!

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Churning complete

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Ready for the freezer

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Of course, if you needed to eat some soft serve, I wouldn’t blame you.IMG_5404

Variations:

Gluten free: Use your favorite gluten free cake mix.

Black Forest: Use chocolate cake mix, fold in chopped cherries after mixture is churned.

Strawberry Shortcake: Use Strawberry cake mix, fold in Graham cracker pieces or diced pound cake after churning.

Stir ins: Stir in whatever you like after churning- cake pieces, nuts, syrup, sprinkles, peanut butter, cookie pieces, graham cracker crumbs, fruit, jam

Let me tell you about the best birthday cake I ever had.

I was ten, we were living in Central America. My father was contracting with the military and we were certainly having many adventures. We missed food from home. When my parents asked me what kind of cake I wanted, I enthusiastically said, “Ice cream cake!” Panama has a lot of amazing things. Parrots, canals, trucks filled with pineapple stacked as high as the eye can see. What they don’t have is ice cream cake.

My mother never batted an eye. She baked my favorite cake in the world- Funfetti. She bought ice cream in the store and spread it over my cake. She frosted it and presented me with an ice cream cake. I was delighted!

It didn’t occur to me the work that went into that cake until years later. There was no internet to ask for help. My mom didn’t speak Spanish to order a cake from a bakery. Buying ice cream required an hour long car ride one way to the nearest American commissary. I’m just now understanding how much work went into that cake. She could have given me a different cake, but she didn’t. Thank you mom.

My fat self has been wanting Ice Cream. I can buy nondairy ice cream from the store, it’s very expensive. Do they have cake batter ice cream? No. I knew it was possible to make a custard base without dairy milk. Full fat coconut milk to the rescue! This ice cream does not contain pureed bananas- it is not ‘nice cream.’ I respect my friends trying to eat healthy and lose weight but I don’t want to eat mushed up frozen bananas.

Can you make this without an ice cream maker? You can use the mason jar trick. You can put it in the freezer and stir every thirty minutes. Your dessert will end up with a bit more ice in the texture. I really love my ice cream maker and I think it’s worth having one. This Cusinart is on sale for summer! I like to keep the base in the freezer for anytime inspiration strikes. I would consider this a staple in the nondairy kitchen. Maybe even a staple for nondairy mommy sanity.

I wanted real, thick, decadent ice cream. Now I can have it for cheap! Tell me what variations your fat self comes up with, I can’t wait to hear them.

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Hunka Hunka Stuffed French Toast

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Tools:

Broiler, sheet pan, bowl, stove top pan

Ingredients:

1 banana sliced into rounds

brown sugar, enough for generous coating on banana slices

1 egg

1 cup milk of choice

1/3 cup honey

3 slices bacon

3 tablespoons peanut butter

2 slices quality bread

powdered sugar, for topping

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Method:

Set oven to broil. Place bananas on baking sheet, topping with generous sprinkling of brown sugar. Place in oven on the top rack, as close to the broiler as you can get. Once brown sugar has melted, remove from oven and set aside to cool.

Brown bacon in pan, reserve drippings.

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Whisk egg, honey, and milk together. Spread peanut butter on both slices of bread, arrange bacon on one slice and bananas on the other. Quickly put the sandwich together, squish so the peanut butter helps keep the ingredients together. Soak in honey, milk, and egg mixture for 2 minutes, ensuring bread has absorbed liquid. Brown on both sides in pan drippings, top with powdered sugar. Serve.

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Variations:

Gluten Free: Substitute gluten free bread of choice, dip sandwich in egg mixture quickly as gluten free bread tends to absorb faster.

Different Filling ideas: Strawberry peanut butter. Peanut butter and jelly. Nutella banana. Camembert and apple slices.

Vegan: Substitute Smart Life Bacon Strips or generic bacon bits (Yes, they’re Vegan.) Use 1 cup milk, 1/3 cup honey and whisk in 3 tablespoons cornstarch or flour instead of egg mixture.

There is nothing worse for a food loving human than losing the ability to taste.

I have a cold. This was the last meal I could take before sickness overtook my sinuses. My house is a den of sick-niquity. I miss this sandwich. It’s an homage to Elvis whose favorite sandwich was peanut butter, banana and bacon. We’re making this a unique brunch item by giving it the French Toast treatment. What will your friends say when you bring this to the party? An easy way to up your presentation game is with an icing sugar shaker.  Talk about a man pleasing meal! It’s a little out of the box, but if you love a salty sweet pairing, you’ll be in blue heaven.

When you’re sick, it’s important to have a good queue for binge watching on Netflix. Comfy pants and tea with honey are essential. Normally I attempt to cook my way out of sickness by concotions that involve a lot of spiciness. This is hard, unrewarding work that deserves lots of movie time. I’ve given a lot of thought to my top ten favorite movies I would take on a deserted island.

  • Big Fish
  • Clue
  • Muppet Treasure Island
  • O Brother! Where Art Thou?
  • Edward Scissorhands
  • Pirates of the Caribbean: Curse of the Black Pearl
  • The Proposal
  • A League of Their Own
  • Seven Brides for Seven Brothers
  • Calamity Jane

Limiting yourself to ten is not as easy as you might think, there is never enough room for all the necessary pirate movies or classics. Nonetheless, I’ll be feasting on the buffet of movie choices until my sense of taste returns to me. What are your top ten?

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Chai Spiced Cinnamon Rolls with a Hot Cocoa Glaze

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Tools: Rolling pin, knife, pastry brush, baking dish

Preparation time: 10-15 minutes

Ingredients:

2 cups prepared pizza dough (I used whole wheat)

2 tbsp. melted spread of choice (needs to be a spread that bakes well, I used Earth Balance)

1/4 cup brown sugar

1 tbsp cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom

1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg

1/8 teaspoon ground ginger

 2 turns grated vanilla bean (from vanilla bean grinder)

glaze:

2 tbsp. melted spread

2 tbsp. cocoa powder

2 tbsp. brown sugar

Method:

Roll out pizza dough in a rectangle. Spread dough generously with melted spread, cover in a layer of brown sugar. Sprinkle on all spices evenly. Roll and cut into 2 inch rolls. Place in greased oven safe baking dish. Bake at 350 Degrees F for 15 minutes. Add glaze, bake an additional 15 minutes.

Glaze: Combine all ingredients. Brush on halfway through baking.

Variations:

Omit cardamom if you prefer.

Gluten free: Use gluten free pizza dough. Fortunately there are a lot on the market now, you lucky dog!

I deserve a medal for all the times I’ve walked past the Cinnamon Bun vendors in the mall.

I think about all the calories, the trans fats, and not to mention I can’t have any because they include dairy. What if we could make them healthier? What if we could have them whole wheat? What if they could be vegan? Oh friends, we can.

Let’s not talk about how many I ate. That’s just not important.

When baking, it’s better to pull out a little sooner rather than later. Pizza dough can get hard when over baked and we want these soft and melty in the mouth.

One of my favorite kitchen gadgets comes into play here- my silicone basting brush. It cleans easy and doesn’t pick up any oily residue thanks to the dishwasher. Click here to get your very own or just start with that link and buy whatever you’d like on Amazon and I get a small commission (Yay!)

It’s a marvelous thundery, rainy day. I once again have snoring baby. Sleep training could probably be going better. I’m a softy, letting him cry it out ended in him giving up on sleep completely and getting very, very, wired and tired. I continue to pursue techniques that help. For now, I’m much more interested in him getting sleep during the day. I hope wherever you are, you are as comfy as me in my pajamas and snuggly snoring baby.

Enjoy these with some coffee, milk, and maybe even treat the mom in your life for Mother’s day!

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Honey Vanilla French Toast

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Tools: Nonstick pan, bowl, whisk or fork, nonstick cooking spray

Preparation time: 5 minutes

Ingredients:

1/4 cup local honey (Not the kind in the bear shaped squeeze bottle)

1 egg (or two if you prefer your French toast to have a thicker coating)

splash of milk of choice

1 teaspoon vanilla or 2 turns vanilla bean grinder

1 teaspoon cinnamon

4 slices bread (can use gluten free, dip your bread in mixture more briefly, as bread tends to crumble)

Method:

Combine egg, honey, milk, cinnamon, and vanilla, whisking until mixture is uniform. Dip bread in mixture, allowing to soak for a minute. Coat nonstick skillet with cooking spray, cook on medium heat. Watch bread carefully as they will brown quickly. Flip once, then enjoy!

Today is cold. Summer is confused.

I ventured out before having coffee today to check out a new grocery store. This is the closest I will ever achieve to a heroic act. I was so excited to see the dairy free options the new store carried…of which there were none.

It was not a pleasant day to venture out in the wind and the cold. When I returned home I jumped into pajamas. Flannel ones! The coffee was brewed and marvelous comforting French toast was made. It comes together so quickly you can have it on any day of the week. I don’t even use syrup with this, all it needs is a pat of Earth Balance melting over the hot slices. Enjoying my imagery?

A word on nonstick pans. You need a good one. I can’t tell you how many I’ve gone through finding cheap coatings that scratch so quickly no matter how careful you are and how many silicone utensils you use. Until I found the Pioneer woman’s. It’s holding up beautifully, and it’s blue which makes me happy. Here is a link to your very own blue nonstick champions.

The rest of today will be spent recipe developing. Doesn’t that sound more professional than snuggling with my baby in pajamas? Wherever you are, enjoy this recipe and I sincerely hope this cold weather decides to move on.

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Cocos Sin Leches (Tres Leches Dairy Free!)

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Prep time/ cook time: approximately 1 hour

Tools: Stove top, electric mixer, oven

Ingredients:

1 yellow cake mix or white cake mix of choice (I easily found a dairy free cake mix, and I’m sure my gluten free friends could find one as well)

4 cans full fat coconut milk

4 tablespoons sugar, to taste

2 turns ground vanilla from vanilla bean grinder (or teaspoon vanilla extract)

Maraschino Cherries for Garnish

Method:

Prepare cake mix in 9×13 pan as directed.

(Vegan friends: substitute eggs in recipe for oil, flax eggs, or mashed banana)

Coconut sweetened condensed milk:

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Mixture is reduced by 2/3 and bubbles when ready.

Combine two cans coconut milk in saucepan with ground vanilla. Cook on medium high heat, stirring occasionally until reduced 2/3 of the way and mixture coats the back of a spoon. This will take anywhere from 45 minutes to 1 hour. Add 4 tbsp. sugar and stir until dissolved. Let cool, mixture will continue to thicken.

Whipped coconut cream:

Chill two cans coconut milk overnight. Open, scoop out solid cream at top, whip with electric mixer until whipped cream consistency is reached. Add 1 tbsp. sugar. Reserve coconut water for another use.

Assemble!

Poke cake with fork or toothpick (Skewers make holes that are too large.) Pour in condensed coconut milk mixture. Cover, let chill overnight.

Make coconut whipped cream and frost cake.

Take out maraschino cherries an hour before serving and let drain/dry on paper towel (to prevent syrup dyeing white frosting) Top cake.

Enjoy!

Variation: Tres leches cupcakes- oh yes. Use metal cupcake liners, as these will be oh so deliciously ooey gooey. Prepare cupcakes as directed on box (Or use your favorite white/yellow cupcake recipe) Poke holes in cupcakes once cooled (Careful not to puncture liner) pour in condensed coconut milk mixture. Top with whipped coconut cream.

This is the mother of all poke cakes.

Traditionally Tress Leches (Meaning three milks) is made with sweetened condensed milk, evaporated milk, and whipped cream, hence the name. There are as many variations as they are stars in the sky.

When I was first starting out dairy free I craved, craved, craved dessert- in particular Tiramisu. Thankfully I stumbled across a very clever blogger named Rachel. She has concocted an amazing tiramisu oatmeal. Tiramisu for breakfast!!! Finding her blog showed me I could do this. For some very clever recipes- including amazing oatmeal variations- head on over. I’m getting no royalties at all, you just need to know about her!

My beloved vanilla bean grinder makes an appearance again in this recipe. I just love vanilla bean. Want your own vanilla bean grinder? Click here to get it on Amazon. Or, start there and buy whatever you would like and I still get a small percentage. Thank you!

I once had this for my birthday cake. I had it in Panama, I had it in Texas. Going dairy free I KNEW I had to make it dairy free. Living without some things is simply unbearable. I love this cake. I could have it for breakfast. For my fellow dairy free friends, Salud! Enjoy!

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Brown Sugar Bourbon Apple Pie

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Tools: Saucepan, cutting board, peeler, strainer and bowl that fits underneath

Prep Time/ Cook Time: approximately 1 hour

Ingredients:

Prepared pie crust for double crust pie (I prefer using Crisco in my crush which is also vegan)

6 apples- peeled and diced (approximately two cups)

1/4 cup white sugar

1 tbsp. cinnamon

1/2 tsp. nutmeg

1 teaspoon lemon juice

4 tbsp. spread of choice or butter

1/4 cup packed brown sugar

2 tbsp. white flour

1 tbsp. bourbon of choice (Optional)

Contents of 1 vanilla bean scraped or 1 tbsp. vanilla

Egg wash (1 egg whisked with 1 tbsp. milk or water) optional

Method:

Toss apple chunks with white sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg and lemon juice. Strain mixture with a bowl underneath to catch all that syrupy goodness. Allow to sit for a hour, stirring mixture occasionally.

Combine spread or butter with brown sugar  and vanilla bean scrapings over medium heat. Add apple syrup and flour, cooking until flour is no longer pale. Remove from heat, add bourbon (and vanilla extract if using instead of vanilla bean.)

Toss apples with brown sugar butter mixture. Place in prepared pie tin, top with dough. Cover in egg wash, sprinkle with additional 1 tbsp. white sugar. Cut slits for pie venting.

Bake at 375 degrees Fahrenheit for 1 hour or until top is golden brown and filling is slightly bubbling through slits in pie crust.

Variations:

For a completely vegan pie, substitute egg wash for a mixture of milk of choice and agave nectar.

Let’s talk about Pie Gap.

You’ve rolled a crust. You’ve spent time peeling and dicing your apples. After a tantalizing hour of baking, waiting for the pie to cool, you make a cut and take out that first slice. Disaster! The filling has shrunken leaving a noticeable space between the filling and the baked crust. We’ll call it pie gap.

How do we fix this?

You can cook your filling beforehand. Applesauce pie anyone?

What if you didn’t have to cook your filling? What if you could drain your apples in a cinnamon sugar mixture that you could use to make your own caramel? Sound interesting? Try this one on for size.

I made an apple pie for a great friend over a year ago, when she came to visit she requested it again! Doesn’t it feel good to have requests? I’m happy to roll out pie crusts along with the welcome wagon any day of the week.

A little note on vanilla beans: In Germany I discovered the vanilla bean mill. Tired of forking out seven dollars for two vanilla beans? Want to up your vanilla game and ditch the extract? Please, please, please give this a try. The difference in using vanilla beans is amazing. This may have a hefty price tag to start, but it’s the price of about 5 vanilla beans and mine has lasted me a year and counting. The next time you want to treat yourself, consider the noble vanilla bean mill.

                                                         Click here to buy on Amazon!

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Honeyed Vanilla Chai

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Tools: Saucepan

Prep time: 5 minutes active, 30 minutes inactive

Ingredients: 1 cinnamon stick

1/4 cup water

1 cup milk of choice (cashew or coconut would be best)

2 green cardamom pods

4 peppercorns

1 cinnamon stick

1 scraped vanilla bean

1 inch chunk ginger, peeled

1 bag good quality tea or loose leaf equivalent

local honey, to taste

Method: Add cardamom, peppercorns, cinnamon stick vanilla bean and scrapings to pan. Allow to toast until fragrant. Add water, ginger, and milk. Simmer for 30 minutes, until fragrant. Add tea and honey to taste, steep for 5 additional minutes. Strain and serve.

Variations: If you’re really feeling under the weather, add a shot of whiskey. That will help you sleep! You could also omit the vanilla and add a shot of butterscotch schnapps for a buttery tasting adult Chai tea.

You may also use 1/4 tsp. each of ground ginger, cardamom, and cinnamon. Add 1/8 of ground pepper. You may also substitute vanilla bean for 1 teaspoon real vanilla extract added after the tea is removed from heat.

Dirty Chai: Add a shot of espresso to this. Enjoy the fireworks.

Everyone I know is sick right now.

If you plan on visiting the South, as much as we love you, come back later. The extreme temperature fluctuations have thrown us all for a loop. Coughing, sneezing, and generally an all over crummy feeling.

I fully believe in the restorative healing power of spices and honey. I also believe in the powers of a hot toddy, more on that later. The first time I had Chai tea in middle school I was in heaven, inhaling the spicy aroma of the overly sweetened brew. It became a ritual for my sister and I to go to the local coffee shop on Saturday mornings. She would drive us and I would feel so special that my high school aged sister would spend time with me.

A couple tips: I love to cook with fresh ginger and keep it on hand at all times. I peel it with the back of a spoon and keep it in the freezer. I set it out to defrost just a little if I need to cut off a chunk. It will grate or shave easily even when frozen solid.

Have a difficult time keeping your honey jar from being sticky? Can’t open the jar from sugar crystals gumming up the lid? Add a couple layers of plastic wrap between the lid and your honey jar. It will open easily every time.

Has your honey crystallized? Microwave for 5 or 10 seconds. Remove very carefully, as it will be very runny and hot! It will return to regular consistency when cooled to room temperature.

Don’t throw out those spices when strained! Simmer them in water to perfume your house with sweetness.

My version will soothe the tickle in your chest and coat your sore throat.  Peppercorns add a little tingle, local honey and ginger have very special anti inflammatory and antibacterial properties. Don’t let that stop you from enjoying even if you’re feeling well! This one’s for you, under the weather friends.

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