In Honor of Harry Potter…Pumpkin Ice Cream!

In Honor of Harry Potter...Pumpkin Ice Cream

OK…I’ll admit it…I’m a HUGE Harry Potter fan! Before Alexis arrived I would go stand in line at the store at midnight to get my book! Now I do overnight delivery, but I still devour them the first day! I’ve already read it in fact and I won’t ruin it for those of you who haven’t finished yet, but I will say for the most part I was pleased.

So in honor of Harry I thought I’d make something pumpkin themed, even though it’s not really pumpkin season! I thought about a pumpkin smoothie or pumpkin muffins, but decided since it was the middle of summer and has been hot as Hades lately (though today and the next few days are looking heavenly!), I decided creamy ice cream was the way to go! It tastes a lot like pumpkin pie and Alexis and I both loved it!

So grab a spoon, have some Pumpkin Ice Cream while you’re reading Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows and here’s to you Harry!

What You’ll Need:
1 – 15 ounce can of pumpkin (not pumpkin pie mix)
1 teaspoon of cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon of nutmeg
1/2 cup of organic cane sugar
1 pint of half and half
1 pint of heavy cream
1 – 12 ounce can of evaporated milk
1 – 14 ounce can of sweetened condensed milk

In the bowl of a mixer cream pumpkin, cinnamon, nutmeg and sugar. With the mixer on low add half and half, heavy cream, evaporated milk and sweetened condensed milk until well mixed. Cover mixer with a towel to prevent splattering and mix on medium for 5-8 minutes until airy. Pour mixture into a large bowl, cover and place in the freezer. Remove every 45 minutes to an hour and stir with a whisk until ice cream is set.

Notes: You could also do this in an ice cream maker and just pour the mix right in. I however wanted to try this non-ice-cream maker/whisk method I had read about and I was very pleased with the outcome.

Toaster Oven S’Mores

Toaster Oven S'Mores

Who doesn’t love S’Mores? The thought of S’Mores instantly takes me back to childhood. Whether at Girl Scout camp, or summers spent camping (very rustically I might add) at the lake with family and friends, there were usually S’Mores involved. Regardless of the occasion there was the inevitable marshmallow roasting over the fire, the ones that caught on fire (whether intentional or not), laughter and fun. I remember it as if it were yesterday.

The other day at the grocery store I saw a display set up with the ingredients for S’Mores and decided to make them and let Alexis try one of my childhood favorites. Her response when seeing them was, “No thank you. Can I have some spinach?” Spinach over chocolate and marshmallow goodness? But hey that’s ok too. :O) Jamison just shakes his head when she says things like that, but she eventually came around though and she loved them too.

As a child we used various forms of chocolate. Sometimes (and this is my favorite to be honest) we used milk chocolate Hershey bars. Other times we used chocolate frosting, which is good too, but I really prefer a good chocolate bar over frosting any day.

When we purchased the ingredients for this adventure I immediately grabbed the chocolate bars. I didn’t realize until I had gotten home that I had gotten Hershey Special Dark bars, instead of the milk chocolate variety, but given we usually eat Dagoba milk chocolate, which has a higher cocoa content in it than the Hershey’s Dark variety, you can’t really tell the difference.

There is no wrong answer when it comes to S’Mores. Just go with what you like. I think they would even be good dipped IN chocolate! But any way you make them what’s not to like about chocolate, marshmallows and graham crackers?

Toaster Oven S'Mores

What You’ll Need:
4 graham crackers, broken in half
1 chocolate candy bar (This is entirely up to you. Most of the time milk chocolate is used for S’Mores, but you can use dark or whatever floats your boat.)
4 marshmallows

Place 4 graham cracker squares on a toaster oven baking sheet. Top each cracker with 1/4 of your candy bar and 1 marshmallow. Place in your toaster oven on the highest heat setting for 5-8 minutes or until the marshmallow is slightly browned. Remove from heat and top with remaining four cracker squares and press down. Enjoy immediately or you can even let them cool and eat them that way. They are more cookie like when they chocolate and marshmallow harden, but they are good no matter when you choose to take your first bite!

Easter Marshmallows

Easter Marshmallows

We set out for the grocery store this morning to procure items for our feast tomorrow and Peeps were on my list since tomorrow is Easter after all. When we got there however there wasn’t a single Peep to be found! Never deterred I remember that the Barefoot Contessa made Coconut marshmallows the other day on her show. I decided it wouldn’t be hard at all to take her recipe, tweak it, add some sugar sprinkles and make our own Easter marshmallows! This was the end result and they turned out even better than I imagined! 😉

What You’ll Need:
3 packages unflavored gelatin
1/2 cup of water
1 1/2 cups organic cane sugar
1 cup light corn syrup
1/2 cup of water
Butter to coat your dish
Powdered sugar to dust your dish
Colored sugar sprinkles

Combine the gelatin in 1/2 cup of cold water in your mixer and let sit while you complete the other steps.

In a medium sized pot mix sugar, corn syrup and water over low to medium heat and cook until the sugar dissolves. Once the sugar has dissolves raise the heat and cook until the mixture reaches 240 F. Remove from the heat and pour slowly into your gelatin mixture while the mixer is on low. Once the sugar liquid is all added turn your mixer slowly to high and beat for 10-15 minutes until the mixture is white, thick and creamy.

While the mixer is mixing coat a 13 X 9 inch pan with butter and then dust with powdered sugar. When the mixture is ready pour into prepared pan and spread out to the edge. You can wet your hands to help with the spreading if you like. Sprinkle with colored sugar crystals of your choice and let sit for 2-3 hours until firm. Cut out shapes of your choice with cookie cutters or simply slice the marshmallows into squares. Store marshmallows in an airtight container.

Easter Marshmallows