Friday, July 6, 2012

Happy Christmas in July.... 2012

Wow...everytime I get on here, I say I've been MIA and will do better. I realize I need to stop those promises and just go with it. So here I am, celebrating Christmas in July with all of you. It's not the 1st or the 2nd or even the 4th, but today is July 6th and the 6th sounds just as good as any other day to start celebrating!

This perfect post came to mind, when my dear Aunt Sandy sent me a facebook message about a CIJ Ice Cream flavor she'd seen at the grocery store. We were all taking guesses, at what the flavor would be. Would it be Pepperment? No, that's to predictable. Would it be Devinity and Walnuts? Nooooooo

So I did a Google search and found that Blue Bell has done even better and combined SEVERAL of your favorite cookie flavors. Chocolate chip, snickerdoodle and sugar cookies combined with a tasty sugar cookie ice cream with festive red sprinkles and green icing swirls. Doesn't that sound like a heavenly on a hot summer night, after a swim in the pool?

Like many, Ice Cream is a weakness of mine. If I had to choose between cake and ice cream...Ice Cream would win hands down, every time. Sadly I don't own an ice cream maker. it's been on my wish list for some time, but always seems to be one of those items that just gets tossed aside when I'm looking for ideas or have a little extra money. But for the sake of this post, lets PRETEND I do have an ice cream maker. Here are some recipes for Christmas "Themed" flavors you might all enjoy.

Jean at Delightful Repast has posted a heavenly looking recipe for EGGNOG ICE CREAM. I love eggnog ice cream, but knowing this is "scoopable" and "custard like" puts it at the top of my must make list. Be sure to check out her site for detailed instructions and some tips on using raw eggs.

Epicurious has a recipe for Mincemeat Ice Cream that looks interesting. Mincemeat is one of those pies you either love or hate. So if you are a mincemeat fan, here is the recipe for you.

Vanilla Ice Cream
2 cups heavy whipping cream
2 cups whole milk
1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise
10 large egg yolks
1 1/2 cups sugar

2 Golden Delicious apples (about 1 1/3 pounds), peeled, cored, cut into 3/4-inch cubes
1 1/2 cups raisins
1 cup pecans, toasted, chopped
1 cup sugar
3/4 cup apple cider
1/4 cup Calvados (apple brandy)
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
2 1/2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 cinnamon stick
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon finely grated lemon peel

For ice cream:
Mix cream and milk in heavy large saucepan. Scrape in seeds from vanilla bean; add bean. Bring to simmer; remove from heat. Whisk yolks and sugar in large bowl to blend. Gradually whisk hot cream mixture into yolk mixture. Return mixture to saucepan. Stir over medium heat until mixture thickens and leaves path on back of spoon when finger is drawn across, about 5 minutes. Strain custard into bowl. Cover; chill until cold, about 4 hours.

For mincemeat:
Bring all ingredients to boil in heavy large saucepan. Reduce heat to medium and cook until almost all liquid is absorbed, stirring frequently, about 15 minutes. Discard cinnamon stick. Transfer mixture to bowl; refrigerate until cold, about 2 hours. Process custard in ice cream maker. Transfer ice cream to bowl. Fold in 3 cups cold mincemeat. Cover and freeze until firm, about 4 hours. (Can be made 3 days ahead. Keep frozen.)

I just asked my daughter if she could convert any special Christmas treat, into an ice cream, what would it be? Her choice...Date Balls.

After looking around, it seems that Brown Eyed Baker has a recipe that might be very similar in taste. Date, Rum & Pecan Ice Cream. Date balls don't have rum in them, but rum in any treat is yummy. If you don't cook with alcohol, don't hesitate to try the recipe with rum extracts.

I hope that is a great start to this months celebration. Trust me, on my next trip to the grocery store, I'll be scoping out the freezer section!