Coconut Ice Cream with Toasted Coconut

This toasted coconut ice cream is absolutely divine! I saw this recipe in an ice cream recipe book quite some time ago, and I have been wanting to make it for so long. I was a little nervous about the recipe because of the egg in the mixture, as I tend to always make ice creams that require no cooking, but I decided to take the extra time with this one. If you are a fan of coconut, you should really try out this incredible toasted coconut ice cream. However, if you are one of those crazy people, and you are “repulsed” by the thought of coconut, then maybe you shouldn’t! I hope there are more coconut lovers out there than haters, because people who hate coconut just make me sad. If you do love coconut like I do, than you’ll love this toasted coconut ice cream. Enjoy!

Recipe for Coconut Ice Cream with Toasted Coconut

INGREDIENTS

1 1/2 cups of whole milk
1 1/2 cups of heavy whipping cream, divided
2 1/4 cups of sweetened shredded flaked coconut, divided
4 egg yolks
3/4 cup of granulated sugar
1/4 cup of coconut cream (I used Trader Joe’s)
1 tsp. of pure vanilla extract
A little less than 1/8 tsp. of almond extract (optional)

DIRECTIONS

In a large pot, mix together the whole milk, 1 cup of the heavy whipping cream, and 1 1/4 cups of the coconut. Set over medium heat and cook until bubbles form around the edge of the mixture, about 5 – 7 minutes. Remove from heat and let sit for 20 minutes.

Pour the milk mixture through a fine mesh sieve into a large bowl and press down on the coconut to extract as much flavor as possible. Then discard the coconut. Pour the strained milk mixture back into the pot and set back over medium heat. Cook again until bubbles form around the edge of the milk, about 5 – 7 minutes.

While the milk mixture is heating, separate out the egg yolks and place into a medium sized bowl. Add in the remaining 1/2 cup of heavy whipping cream and the sugar. Mix the ingredients until well-combined.

Carefully scoop out 1/2 cup of the hot milk mixture and add into the egg mixture. Mix until smooth. Then carefully pour the egg mixture into the pot with the hot milk mixture. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until a custard forms. The custard should coat the back of the wooden spoon when it is ready. Do not let the mixture come to a boil. It should take about 7 – 9 minutes for the custard to form. Once the custard coats the back of the spoon, remove from heat. Stir in the coconut cream and mix well. Pour into a large bowl and add in the vanilla extract and almond extract.

Partially fill a large enough bowl that will fit the bowl with the ice cream mixture in it with cold water and ice cubes. Then set the bowl with the ice cream batter into that bowl. Stir occasionally. Once the mixture is cooled, cover with a lid or tightly with plastic wrap. Put in the fridge for at least 4 hours, or overnight.

While the mixture is chilling, toast the coconut. Put the remaining cup of coconut into a small frying pan and set over medium-high heat. Cook, stirring frequently, until the coconut and toasty and lightly browned, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and pour into a bowl. Allow it to cool and then seal in an airtight container until ready to use. 

Pour the chilled ice cream mixture into the bowl of an automatic ice cream maker and make the ice cream according to manufacturer directions. When the ice cream is the consistency of thick whipped cream, add in 1/2 cup of the toasted coconut and continue the mixing in the ice cream maker until done. Then transfer the ice cream to an airtight container and place in freezer for a couple hours before serving.

Top each serving with the leftover toasted coconut, if desired.

Recipe makes approximately 8 servings.

Recipe Adapted from: Williams Sonoma Ice Cream

Basic Vanilla Ice Cream (no eggs)

The best gift I have ever received was my automatic ice cream maker. Ever since I got it, I have loved creating new ice cream recipes. I have made coconut ice cream, green tea ice cream, rum raisin ice cream, chocolate mint ice cream, and the list goes on and on! Of course, the very first recipe I ever made with the ice cream maker was this simple and delicious vanilla ice cream. It is very easy to make and it is that classic vanilla flavor that everyone likes.

When I first began trying out recipes, I really did not know that you could make ice cream at home without any eggs. Fancier ice cream recipes do use egg yolks, but basic recipes can be made with just cream, sugar, whole milk, extracts, and add ins.

If you do not have an automatic ice cream maker at home, then you need to go out or get online and buy one! You will love the creations you can make in your kitchen and you will never go back to store-bought again! Enjoy.

Recipe for Basic Vanilla Ice Cream

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise with beans scraped out (if you do not have a vanilla bean, just increase the vanilla extract in the recipe by one teaspoon)
  • 1/2 tsp. of pure vanilla extract (use a high-quality vanilla)
  • A dash of salt
  • 1/2 cup of whole milk, well-chilled
  • 1/3 cup + 2 tsp. of granulated sugar
  • 1 cup of heavy whipping cream, well-chilled

DIRECTIONS

Scape the vanilla beans into a very small bowl. Pour the vanilla extract over the vanilla beans and mix with a spoon. Add in the dash of salt. Set aside.

Pour the milk into a medium bowl. Add in the sugar, and then beat mixture with an electric hand mixer on low speed for 1 minute, or until sugar is fully dissolved. Stir in the vanilla mixture. Pour in the heavy cream, and then beat again on the lowest speed for about 10 – 15 seconds. Cover bowl and put in fridge for about an hour.

Once mixture has chilled, pour the mixture into an ice cream maker and follow manufacturer directions. After mixture has turned into ice cream (with my new ice cream maker, it takes about 25 minutes), scrape into a Tupperware or snaplock, cover and put in freezer to set. Enjoy!

Recipe Adapted from: Cuisinart Automatic Frozen Yogurt-Ice Cream & Sorbet Maker Instruction and Recipe Booklet

Delicious Granola

Granola is super yummy and a great snack to have around the house. Greg loves granola with milk, and I love granola over yogurt. Wendy likes granola that is chocolate flavored and doesn’t have any nuts! Sometimes I like to make my own granola to my liking, and this granola recipe is one that I like a lot! I think this recipe is so delicious because of the flavors of cinnamon and coconut. I also like the addition of the coarse sea salt and coarse sugar. Granola is such a simple snack to make and you can enjoy it at any time of the day. Serve it over yogurt, with milk, over ice cream, in a smoothie, or just plain. Enjoy!

Recipe for Delicious Granola

INGREDIENTS

3 cups of rolled oats (such as Quaker Oats)
1 cup of raw almonds
3/4 cup of raw pumpkin seeds
1/2 cup of sweetened flaked coconut
3 Tbsp. of canola oil or canola/olive oil blend
1/2 cup of honey
4 Tbsp. of pure maple syrup
3/4 tsp. of ground cinnamon
A pinch or two of coarse sea salt
1/4 tsp. of coarse sugar
3/4 cup of raisins
1/4 cup of white chocolate or chocolate chips (optional – or is it)

DIRECTIONS

Preheat the oven to 300 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Mix together all of the ingredients except for the salt, sugar, raisins, and chocolate chips in a large bowl. Use a spoon to mix the ingredients until they are well incorporated and the honey, oil, and syrup have coated the entire mixture. Spread the mixture onto the prepared baking sheet. Sprinkle the coarse sugar and coarse sea salt evenly over the granola. Place baking sheet in oven and cook for 25 minutes. After 25 minutes, take granola out and toss gently with a spoon. Adjust oven temperature to 310 degrees and place granola back in the oven for 10 – 15 minutes (leave in longer if you want granola to be more toasted). Remove from oven, stir gently, and let granola cool completely.
Once granola is cooled, stir in the raisins and white chocolate or chocolate chips. Store in an airtight container at room temperature.

Recipe makes approximately 24 (1/4 cup) servings.

Dark Chocolate Ginger Truffles

I am a lover of ginger. I think that ginger is one of those things that people either love or hate. So, if you’re not a ginger lover than perhaps this truffle is not for you. But, if you enjoy its warm and subtly spicy flavor then I do believe you will absolutely love this truffle. I was first introduced to the combination of ginger and chocolate at a chocolate shop in San Francisco several years back. My husband and I visited my sister who was living in Noe Valley at the time and we  happened to walk into the store. It was the first time that I realized that chocolate could be combined with spices and it opened up a whole new world for me. I ordered a bunch of the chocolate and then later chocolate by Vosges started popping up and I was able to  buy exotic chocolates at the grocery stores! And, I have tried the bacon and chocolate bar and I’ve got to be honest, I’m not a fan. Are you?

The filling of this dark chocolate ginger truffle is made of a dark chocolate ganache with freshly grated ginger and then it is coated with an even darker chocolate and topped with a piece of crystallized (candied) ginger. They are so good that someone who sampled them came to me weeks later and asked me to make them for her so she could give them to someone as a gift. That is the thing with truffles. They are very special and if you take the time to make them, they make perfect gifts. Or, perfect treats just for you and nobody else! Enjoy.

Recipe for Dark Chocolate Ginger Truffles

INGREDIENTS

For the ganache filling
4 1/2 ounces of heavy whipping cream
3/4 – 1 tsp. of grated fresh ginger (use a microplane to grate)
5 1/2 ounces of semisweet chocolate, very finely chopped
For rolling, dipping and topping
Dutch-processed cocoa powder (for rolling)
8 ounces of bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped (for coating)
Several pieces of crystallized ginger, cut into thin and small pieces (for topping)
decorative sugar, if desired (for topping)

DIRECTIONS

Heat the cream and ginger in a medium saucepan over medium heat. When it comes to a simmer, immediately pour the very finely chopped semisweet chocolate it and remove from heat. Cover the pan with a lid and allow it to sit for five minutes. After five minutes, use a spoon to stir gently until the mixture is smooth and all the cream is mixed in to the chocolate. Pour the chocolate into a shallow container, cover tightly, and set in the fridge for at least 4 hours.
Take the mixture out of the fridge and open container. Dust hands with cocoa powder and have a bowl of cocoa powder and paper towels very close by. You may want to roll up your sleeves, too! Use a cookie dough scoop to scoop some of the mixture and gently shape into a ball. Drop onto a foil lined container. Continue to scoop and shape and drop until the mixture is gone. Then cover the container tightly and put in the freezer for at least 4 hours, preferably overnight.
Prepare a double boiler with about one inch of water. Once the water begins to steam, put the pan with the bittersweet chocolate on top and stir until it is thin and smooth. Take the ganache filling balls out of the freezer. Line a baking tray with foil. Drop a ball into the chocolate, use a spoon to coat, and then drop on the foil lined tray. Top with a piece of crystallized ginger and sprinkle on some decorative sugar, if desired. Put the tray in the fridge until they harden, then store in an airtight container in the fridge. Store in the fridge but when they are served, serve at room temperature.

Recipe makes approximately 2 dozen truffles.
Recipe Adapted from: Truffles, by Dede Wilson

Zucchini Brownies (No Butter, Flour, Sugar, Oil, or Egg)!

I discovered these zucchini brownies years ago when I was experimenting with different recipes with zucchini. I had come across the recipe on Pinterest, and since at that time I had tons of zucchini growing in my garden, I gave them a try. They were so much better than I had expected! They were actually pretty incredible. I think these brownies are just as good as any other brownie I have ever had, and if you are gluten-free or health conscious, these are a dream come true! The true test of the amazingness of the zucchini brownies was when my nieces came for a visit. Now, they have been known to be pretty picky about what they eat (they were on a mac and cheese & bread diet back in the day). I decided to give them the brownies but did not tell them that they were healthy or filled with veggies. When they were devouring them, I asked if they liked them, and they said yes – and then asked if they could have more! After they ate their seconds, we spilled the beans to let them know that they ate brownies with zucchini! These brownies are sure to be a new favorite sweet treat to make when you are looking for something a little healthier. Because they have some chocolate in the batter, the brownies are not vegan. And, when it says no sugar, that means there is not any granulated sugar in the recipe, but obviously there is sugar in the natural ingredients in the recipe. But they are gluten-free, healthy, and delicious! Make sure to put them into the fridge to harden before cutting and serving. Enjoy!

Recipe for Zucchini Brownies (No Butter, Flour, Sugar, Oil or Egg)

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 1/2 cups grated zucchini
  • 1 cup of store bought almond butter, at room temperature
    1/2 cup of honey
    1 Tbsp. of pure maple syrup
    1/8 tsp. of pure vanilla extract
    3/8 tsp. of baking powder
    1/2 tsp. of baking soda
    1 Tbsp. of cocoa powder (I used natural cocoa powder)
    1/16 tsp. of salt
    4.5 ounces of bittersweet chocolate (70%) chopped coarsely
    1/2 cup of mini semisweet chocolate chips
    Coarse sea salt, for sprinkling (optional)

DIRECTIONS

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Generously grease the bottom and sides of an 8 x 8 pan with butter or coconut oil (this will be the only butter or oil used in the entire recipe).

Combine the grated zucchini, almond butter, honey, and maple syrup in a large bowl. Use a mixing spoon and stir until ingredients are well incorporated. Add in the vanilla extract.

In a smallish bowl, combine the baking powder, baking soda, salt, and cocoa powder. Sift the ingredients together and then set aside.

Heat the bittersweet chocolate. Prepare a double boiler and heat the chocolate in a pan over simmering water. Stir constantly until the chocolate is melted and smooth. Set the melted chocolate aside and allow it to cool slightly (a few minutes). Spoon the melted chocolate into the zucchini mixture, and mix to incorporate well. Add in the cocoa powder mixture and stir well. Fold in the mini chocolate chips. Pour the batter into the prepared baking pan. Sprinkle desired amount of coarse sea salt over the batter (a little goes a long way – I used just a couple pinches). Put into the oven and bake for 35 – 40 minutes, rotating the pan halfway during baking.

Remove from oven. Allow them to cool completely at room temperature. Cover with foil and put into the fridge to harden for a couple hours before cutting and serving.
*Makes about 16 brownies*
Recipe Adapted from: Delighted Momma, originally from Fast Paleo

Zucchini brownies – healthy(er) & delicious! I added decorative
sugar to celebrate how awesome they are. 

Dark Chocolate Raspberry Truffles

Looking for treat ideas for Valentine’s Day? These dark chocolate raspberry truffles are rich, elegant, and truly fantastic. These truffles are not made of a sweet filling, as the filling is the raspberry itself! The raspberry is gently rolled in a small amount of sugar, then covered with a chocolate ganache, and topped off with a coating of dark chocolate. Amazing! If you make these, make sure to eat within a couple days because the raspberries are perishable. I don’t think you’ll have any problem with that, though. Enjoy!

*As far as truffles go, these are very low in calories because the filling is just the raspberry. Each truffle is only about 35 calories! So eat up – dark chocolate and raspberries are GOOD FOR YOU. You will  also probably have some leftover ganache. Just put it in a container and store in the fridge – it will make a nice addition to hot chocolate.

Recipe for Dark Chocolate Raspberry Truffles

INGREDIENTS

For the filling
40 – 45 fresh and firm raspberries
3 – 4 Tbsp. of granulated sugar
For the ganache
4 1/2 ounces of heavy whipping cream
6 ounces of bittersweet baking chocolate (70% cocoa), very finely chopped
For the coating and topping
4 1/2 ounces of bittersweet baking chocolate, finely chopped
Cacao nibs

DIRECTIONS

Gently rinse the raspberries and set on a plate lined with a paper towel to drain the moisture. Pat dry if needed. Put the sugar into a shallow bowl. Roll each berry in the sugar and place onto another plate.

Line a baking sheet with foil. Put the cream into a small saucepan and set over medium heat until it just comes to a simmer. Then remove the cream from heat and immediately pour in the very finely chopped bittersweet chocolate. Cover the saucepan and let it sit for 5 minutes. After 5 minutes, use a spoon to very gently stir the mixture until it is completely smooth. Use a spoon to dip a berry into the ganache and coat completely. Use the spoon to place the ganache covered berry onto the prepared baking sheet. Once all berries are coated, place baking sheet in fridge for a few hours or overnight. If after a few hours they do not seem hard enough, place in the freezer for about 30 minutes.

Prepare another baking sheet with foil. Prepare a double boiler with water and put the finely chopped bittersweet chocolate into the top pan of a double boiler. Put the bottom pan with the water onto the stovetop over medium-high heat and when it comes to a simmer and steam is rising, place the pan with the chocolate on top. Stir the chocolate constantly until it is completely melted. Turn off stovetop heat. Carefully drop a ganache covered raspberry into the melted chocolate and use a spoon to coat completely. Use the spoon to place it onto the other foil lined baking sheet. Sprinkle on some cacao nibs. Continue this process until all are coated. Put the dark chocolate raspberry truffles in the fridge and allow the chocolate coating to harden.

Store truffles in an airtight container in the fridge, but serve truffles at room temperature. Consume within a couple days of making.

Recipe Adapted from: Truffles, by Dede Wilson

Quiche with a Homemade Crust

I remember that my mom used to make the best quiches for dinner. Nobody’s quiche could ever compare to hers! I love homemade quiche. When I have hosted baby showers or had to take something in for a work breakfast, quiche is something that I like to make! This quiche recipe is so delicious. The crust is buttery, the filling is creamy, and every bite melts in the mouth!

I’ve made this recipe both with and without bacon. I definitely love bacon, but I think I actually like the quiche without the bacon the best. I added the option to add in the bacon to this recipe, though. One nice thing about this recipe is that you can make the crust ahead of time, cover with foil, and leave at room temperature before you do the filling. We love this recipe at our house, and I hope you love it too! Enjoy.

Recipe for Quiche with a Homemade Crust

INGREDIENTS

  • For the crust1
  • 1/3 cup of all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 tsp. of kosher salt
  • 1 stick of well-chilled unsalted butter, cut into several pieces
  • 2 – 3 Tbsp. of ice cold water
  • For the filling
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 large egg yolks
  • 2/3 cup of heavy cream
  • 2/3 cup of whole milk
  • 1 cup grated Swiss cheese
  • 1/4 tsp. of salt
  • 1/4 tsp. of ground black pepper
  • a pinch or two of ground nutmeg1 cup of grated swiss cheese
  • 4 ounces of cooked bacon, cut into small pieces (optional)

DIRECTIONS

For the crust

Place the flour and salt into the bowl of a food processor fitted with a metal blade. Pulse a couple times to combine. Add in the pieces of butter to the bowl. Pulse several times until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. With the food processor running, slowly pour 1 tablespoon of the water through the feed tube. Add in 1 more tablespoon of water. If the dough does not leave the sides of the bowl after several seconds, add in the remaining tablespoon of water. Once dough leaves the sides of the bowl and forms into a ball, turn the processor off. Carefully remove the ball of dough, slightly flatten it into a disc, and cover it in saran wrap. Place in the fridge for at least an hour. 
Remove the dough from the fridge. Press the dough into the bottom and up onto the sides of a 9.5-inch pie plate. Place the dough back in the fridge for 30 minutes. 
When ready to cook, preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Fit a piece of parchment paper into the pie plate to cover the dough on the bottom and the sides. Fill the pie plate with pie weights or dried beans. Place the pie plate into the preheated oven and cook for about 13 minutes. After 13 minutes, carefully remove the pie plate from the oven. Then carefully remove the parchment paper and pie weights/beans. Place the pie plate back into the oven and cook for another 8 – 10 minutes. Remove from oven and place on a cooling rack. While it is cooling, make the filling. 

For the filling

Place the eggs, egg yolks, cream, and milk into a medium-sized bowl. Use a fork or whisk to beat well. Add in the salt, pepper, and nutmeg and mix it in. Stir in the cheese. 

For assembling

If using the bacon, arrange it in a single layer on the bottom of the slightly cooled pie crust. Pour the egg, cream, and cheese mixture into the crust. (If not using bacon, just pour the egg mixture into the pie crust). Place back into the oven and cook for about 35 – 40 minutes, or until golden in color. The quiche will still wiggle a little in the middle – you can check doneness by inserting the edge of a butter knife into the middle of the quiche, if it comes out clean the quiche is done. Remove from oven and let it cool slightly before serving. Makes 8 one-piece servings. 


Recipe adapted from The Food Network, Emeril Lagasse 

Spicy Ginger Labor Inducing Cookies

This recipe post definitely brings back some memories! When I was pregnant with my daughter and in my third trimester, I always felt like I was going to go into labor with her any day. Everyone who saw me thought so too, as I would have random strangers at the grocery store look at my and tell me I looked like I was going to was going to have the baby pop out of me (I remember this clearly when I was about 33 weeks along….). You can imagine my shock when my due date approached and still no baby! My due date came and went, and of course for days I thought I was going into labor, and each day I thought “today is the day.” But then it never happened. I had to be induced at 130 AM on Monday April 7th. Even after they induced me, I was worried that it wouldn’t work. Another mommy to be came into the hospital at the same time as I did and they had to send her home and reschedule! Luckily, after hours and hours and more hours, I gave birth to Wendy Olivia at 7:20 PM that evening. She has been a joy for almost 8 years since then (and for new mamas, when they say time flies…it actually does). Cherish every second!

Before I was induced that night I was trying natural ways at home to induce labor. I was just hoping that it would happen before having to go into the hospital. I had heard stories of women eating different things like pineapple or spicy food and that it worked for them. I tried tons of stuff, and then I came across a recipe for these cookies. They are supposed to induce labor because of the ginger in them, which apparently has been known to do the trick. Well, another trick that did not work for me, but the cookies were dang good! They were probably the best ginger cookies I had ever had, and Greg definitely agreed. They have just the right balance of sweet, gingery, and spicy and they are totally a comfort treat. And hey, maybe they will help you with natural labor! Enjoy!

Recipe for Spicy Ginger Labor Inducing Cookies

INGREDIENTS

2 1/2 cups all purpose flour 1 1/2 tsp. of baking soda
1 tsp. of ground cinnamon
1 1/4 tsp. of ground ginger
1/2 tsp. of ground cloves
1/2 tsp. of salt
1/2 tsp. of cayenne pepper
8 Tbsp. of unsalted butter, softened at room temperature
1/2 cup of granulated sugar
1 cup of light brown sugar, packed
1/3 cup of blackstrap molasses
1/2 tsp. of pure vanilla extract
2 eggs
For rolling:
Granulated Sugar
1/8 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/8 tsp. ground ginger

DIRECTIONS

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
In a medium bowl, sift together the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, cloves, salt, and cayenne pepper. Set aside.
Put the butter in a large bowl. Add in the granulated sugar and light brown sugar. Beat with an electric hand mixer set on medium-low speed until smooth and creamy. Add in the molasses, vanilla extract, and eggs and beat well. Add the flour mixture and beat again until well-incorporated.
In a small bowl, mix together the sugar, cinnamon, and ginger.
Use a cookie dough scoop to scoop dough into 1-inch balls. Roll each ball in the sugar mixture and then place on a cookie sheet lined with foil or parchment paper. Bake for about 10 minutes or until golden brown. Let cool for a few minutes on baking sheet then transfer to a cooling rack, although these cookies do taste best when they are still nice and warm!

Recipe Adapted from: Just Mommies

Here is a picture of my sweet Wendy Olivia, which was taken shortly after she was born, April 7th 2014.

And here is a picture of her today!

Slow Cooker Chicken Tortilla Soup

I like things in my life to be fairly simple. That is why this slow cooker chicken tortilla soup recipe is a winner in my book. The soup itself requires barely any prep time at all. If you want to really save time with this recipe, you can opt out of doing the tortilla crisps, and just use store-bought tortilla chips instead. I think the tortilla crisps add a nice touch, though. I love topping this soup with with avocado, sour cream, cheddar cheese, and the tortilla strips. This soup is great for leftovers because the soup actually gets even better after being in the fridge for about a day, since it gives the flavors a chance to meld together even more. Hope you love this one as much as we do! Enjoy.

Recipe for Slow Cooker Chicken Tortilla Soup

INGREDIENTS

I love the homemade tortilla strips in this recipe!
  • 5 cups chicken broth
  • 1 29-ounce can diced tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup diced yellow onion
  • 4 cloves of garlic, pressed
  • 2 tsp. cumin powder
  • 1 Tbsp. chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp. paprika
  • 1/2 tsp ground coriander
  • Pinch or two of salt
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • 2 1/2 pounds of boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • 2 14.5 ounce cans of black beans
  • 2 cups of frozen corn
  • 2 Tbsp. of freshly squeezed lime juice
  • 1/4 cup fresh cilantro leaves
  • For topping: chopped avocado, sour cream, cheddar cheese
  • For the tortilla strips:
  • 4 8-inch flour tortillas
  • 2 Tbsp. vegetable oil
  • 1/2 tsp. ground cumin
  • 1/8 tsp. cayenne pepper
  • salt

DIRECTIONS

For the soup
Put the chicken broth, tomatoes, onion, garlic, and spices into the bowl of a slow cooker. Add the salt and pepper. Drop the chicken into the mixture, cover with the slow cooker lid, and cook on low heat for 6 hours (or until chicken is cooked and shreds easily with a fork).
Use a slotted spoon to remove the chicken from the slow cooker and transfer to a plate. Use a fork to shred the chicken into smallish pieces. Then add the chicken back to the slow cooker and stir in the beans, corn, lime juice, and cilantro. Cook for an additional 10 – 15 minutes. While it finishes cooking, make the tortilla strips.

Once tortilla strips are finished, ladle the soup into bowls and top with grated cheese, sour cream (or full-fat Greek yogurt), chopped avocado, and tortilla strips.

*If you make the soup later in the day like I did, ladle the soup into airtight containers and store in the fridge. Reheat in a pan over medium-low heat on the stove top. I actually found that the soup got even better leftover because the flavors melded together more in the fridge! 

For the tortilla strips
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Lightly oil a baking sheet with Misto or Pam.  In a small bowl, stir the oil and spices together. Brush each side of a tortilla lightly with the oil mixture (about 1/2 tsp.per side – you will not use all of the mixture). Then stack the flour tortillas together on a cutting board and cut into desired sized strips.. Put the strips in a single layer on the prepared baking sheet and sprinkle salt over top. Place in oven and cook until crispy, about 10 – 15 minutes. Let cool on the baking sheet until ready to use. Any leftovers can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for a few days.

*If you want to save time on this recipe, use tortilla chips in place of the tortilla strips!

Chicken Tortilla Soup Recipe makes approximately 8 servings.

Chicken Tortilla Soup recipe adapted from: Cooking Classy
 Tortilla Strips recipe adapted from: Food.com

Rum Raisin Ice Cream (no egg)

Greg’s all-time favorite ice cream flavor is rum raisin. Whenever we do go out for ice cream (which really isn’t very often), he goes for the rum raisin. After visiting Maine together in 2017, I thought it would be fun to surprise him at home with his favorite ice cream flavor. It started wit the soaking of the raisins in rum for quite some time. Then, I made waffle cones for the rum raisin ice cream!

This recipe was easy because it did not involve any egg in the ice cream mixture. It is just made of milk, cream, sugars, raisins, cinnamon, vanilla, and rum. The most difficult part of this recipe is the waiting…because the waiting is the hardest part. You know it is going to be so so good, but you just have to wait so long to taste the deliciousness. If you are a rum raisin ice cream fan, and you have an automatic ice cream maker at home, go ahead and give this recipe a try. The flavor of the ice cream is sweet with a hint of cinnamon, and the raisins have just the right amount of rum bursting out of them in every bite you take.  Enjoy!

Recipe for Rum Raisin Ice Cream (no egg)

INGREDIENTS

1/2 cup dark raisins
3 Tablespoons dark rum 
3/4 cup whole milk
Just under 1/8 teaspoon cinnamon, plus a couple pinches for raisin mixture
1 Tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons dark brown sugar
1/4 cup white sugar
Pinch of sea salt
1 cup heavy whipping cream
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

DIRECTIONS

First, soak the raisins. Put the raisins into a bowl and pour in the rum. Add in a couple pinches of cinnamon. Give it a stir, then cover with a lid and let sit at room temperature for 24 hours. A couple hours before the raisins are finished soaking, mix together the milk, dark brown sugar, white sugar, just under 1/8 teaspoon cinnamon, and sea salt. Beat until well blended. Then stir in the heavy whipping cream. Cover, and put in the refrigerator for two hours.

After the 24 hours of soaking, drain the rum off the raisins, reserving one tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon of the rum for later. Set aside the reserved rum, cover the raisins, and set raisins in the fridge until ready to add into the ice cream maker. Put the chilled ice cream mixture into the bowl of an automatic ice cream maker. Make according to directions, and a few minutes before it is done, pour in the reserved rum  and vanilla extract. Then, add in the raisins. When ice cream is finished churning, scoop it into a container and seal. Put in the freezer for at least 24 hours before serving.

Recipe Adapted from: Serious Eats

Having an automatic ice cream maker is life changing. Seriously.

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