Thursday, April 24, 2014

More Cooking with Girl Scout Cookies (Thin Mints)

This year, we grabbed a case of Thin Mints and threw them directly in the freezer. What is better than frozen Thin Mints? Perhaps only Thin Mint ice cream! In the past, I've just done a simple vanilla ice cream and crushed Thin Mints in it. This time, I used Alton Brown's chocolate ice cream recipe, exchanged the vanilla for mint extract and crumbled in the Thin Mints. YUM!!!

This is the original recipe from Good Eats, Churn Baby Churn II:

3 cups half and half
1 cup heavy cream
1 1/2 ounces Dutch-processed cocoa powder
8 large egg yolks
9 ounces white sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla (for the Thin Mint ice cream, I only used 1 tsp of the mint extract)
1 sleeve of Thin Mints crushed (if making thin mint ice cream)

Whisk 1 cup of half and half with the cocoa in a saucepan. Combine with remaining half and half and heavy cream. Bring to a simmer over medium heat, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat and set aside.

Whisk egg yolks in large mixing bowl until they lighten in color. Gradually add sugar until smooth.

Slowly ladle one third of hot cocoa mixture into the yolk mixture whisking constantly (which is why I use a mixer) to temper eggs. Return this mixture to the saucepan with remaining cocoa mixture. Cook over low heat, stirring frequently until the custard thickens slightly & coats the back of a spoon.

Add vanilla (or mint), and cool to room temp (about 30 minutes). Cover and refrigerate until temp drops below 40 degrees (overnight works best).

Pour into prepped ice cream maker and process. About 5 minutes before end time, sprinkle in crushed Thin Mints. Serve with whole or crushed Thin Mints. Enjoy!!!

Monday, April 21, 2014

Cooking with Girl Scout cookies

Normally this is not a topic I would even consider -- I mean really, who has extra Girl Scout cookies? Well, this year, I do. We, er I, overestimated the area's desire for Shortbread and we ended up with about 2 cases more than we needed. And people aren't exactly clamoring for Shortbread!

There are a lot of options out there, but most called for crushing the cookies and making into a crust. Then I found one to use the cookies to make tiramisu. I've always wanted to try to make tiramisu and this seemed like a fun way to use up some of the cookies (and perhaps sell more boxes with the recipe!)

I think next time I will add cocoa directly to the mascarpone mix so it wasn't so grainy.

1/2 cup sweetened condensed milk
8 oz mascarpone cheese
1tablespoon cocoa
Mix the above together.
8 oz heavy cream
Whip the heavy cream to stuff peaks and then fold in the mascarpone mix.
5 tablespoons of brewed coffee (or 1/2 coffee and 1/2 coffee liquor)

To plate the tiramisu:
1 shortbread cookie
1 tsp coffee
1/4 cup mascarpone mix

Layer as many times as you like. This will make approximately 7 servings of tiramisu with 2 layers.

Yum yum!!

Friday, April 18, 2014

Easter Eggs

I always think that dying Easter Eggs is so much bigger than it ends up being. We don't eat many hard boiled eggs though I do plan to eat all these -- should be a good before work out snack! This year, I saw a post about using Kool-Aid.

It looked like a good idea -- strong colors and much better smell! We used just 2 tablespoons of water for each packet of Kool-Aid and only the grape was an odd color (more black than purple).

We put eggs in the mix, dribbled the mix on the eggs for a tie-dyed look, and, in Jessie's case, used the spoon as a brush.

It was a lot of fun and the eggs look great. I like the colors much better than the Paas packets. Definitely doing this again!

Monday, April 7, 2014

Blessed (and Frustrated)

As I walked back from spin class this afternoon, I waffled on whether or not I really am frustrated. My weight doesn't seem to have changed and my clothes seem to fit the same. My thighs are still big, but wait, is that some muscle definition I see there? And how lucky am I to work 5 minutes from the gym? A gym that doesn't charge extra for classes?

We just "survived" a long winter -- bitter cold, snowy/windy days -- but we were never hungry. I wasn't ever worried about surviving the winter. We always were warm and had plenty of food.

Our little family is healthy. Trips to the doctor come once or twice a year and the most illness we have to worry about is a cold here & there or a splinter.

Today, the sun is shining, there is a slight breeze. I can hear bird singing. So my pants are a little tight. Today I am going to be thankful that I have pants! I have the clothing I need to protect my body -- which is strong, even if it has a little fluff. It is my body. I am still on this weight loss journey. I enjoy my spin and weight classes. I like my fitbit, which helps me stay on track with my food and my steps. I want my body to be a Holy Temple for God; I want to be disciplined so I can enjoy that one Girl Scout Thin Mint without wondering where the entire sleeve went! I want to be able to enjoy the spring weekends by walking or playing with my girls and not worry about being winded once we get to the park.

14. Therefore my friends, flee from idolatry. 21. You cannot drink the cup of the Lord & the cup of demons too; you cannot have a part in both the Lord's table & the table of demons. 1 Corinthians 10:14, 21

Food is not my reward and exercise is not my punishment. I'm doing a 4 week Bible Study in preparation for Easter and this was last Friday's verses. It stuck with me this weekend -- what are my idols? Has exercise become one? Food is -- definitely. It's time for me to spend more time with the Lord, taking time to pray before hitting the snacks at work! One bag of Cheez-its is all it takes to throw off my calorie intake! So I'm learning and remembering that I cannot do this alone. If I seek God's guidance and assistance, I CAN make this happen.