Chocolate topped ice cream treats

For those of you who love an ice cream treat, but just can’t have a whole bowl, here is a great way to portion out a delicious dessert.  I scoop out Edy’s Vanilla ice cream into eight large cookie balls with my cookie scoop.  Freeze them on a tray and then make a quick ganache topping.  This time I melted 6 ounces of semi sweet chocolate with 4 ounces unsalted butter (or 6 ounces to be able to dip the ice cream balls) and 1 1/2 tablespoons corn syrup in a double boiler on the stove top.  When the ganache is melted and ready, working quickly, pour over the ice cream balls or dip the ice cream into the ganache.

The treats could be topped with sea salt, sprinkles, or chopped nuts.  Return to the freezer immediately until just ready to serve.  They must chill at least 30 minutes to set for presentation.

frozen strawberry almond yogurt

For years I have used my ice cream machine for making only ice cream.  However, it is capable of making many other products. A few days ago, I made homemade strawberry yogurt for the first time.  I adapted a recipe for blueberry and basil yogurt, changing the fruit ingredients, as my husband is not a fan of blueberries.

This is a very good basic recipe and is very tasty.  It can be made as easily as my basic ice cream recipe, but also requires a chill time of several hours.  We usually freeze our homemade treats overnight.

Gather these ingredients to get started:  3 containers of Greek style vanilla yogurt, 2 cups half and half, 2/3 cup sugar, 1/3 cup light corn syrup, 1 1/2 teaspoons almond extract, and 1/4 teaspoon Kosher salt.  Other flavors could be substituted; I used almond for this recipe, but the original recipe used vanilla extract.

Whisk the ingredients together until the sugar is dissolved.  Add mashed fruit, about 1 1/2 cups maximum.  Pour into the ice cream maker and process for 20-22 minutes.  Store in freezer several hours before serving.  This recipe makes another great summer dessert.

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Happiness comes with the right scoop

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People often tell me that they don’t enjoy cooking or being in the kitchen at all. Sometimes I think it is because they are busy people and just don’t have the time to relax and enjoy the process of making a nice meal.

Another reason could be not having the proper tools, which seem to make the process easy and sometimes even fun.  Over the years I have collected many tools, some of which do the same thing.  As an example, I have several types of ice cream scoops.  Different engineers have decided the best way to scoop ice cream, whether it be to use an ice cream spade or different sizes of stainless steel scoops.

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Since manufacturers have changed the size of ice cream containers within the past few years, some of these scoops do not work as well as they may have in the past.  Recently, I was sent a stainless scoop to try and review for my blog.

And, I had a great first experience with this ice cream scoop design with rock hard ice cream. By warming the stainless portion in warm water, the scoop moves through the cold ice cream very easily.

My new scoop is well made and not flimsy. It is solid and built to last. The hand grip is padded for comfort and helps with the scooping process.

The size is perfect for a variety of ice cream products. It is neither too wide nor too long for ease of use with smaller ice cream containers, especially for my home-made ice cream container.

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Past ice cream scoops have had flaws (too flat, too wide, too long, too thick), but this product seems to have overcome all of them.  If you need to update your ice cream scoop, this might be the answer for you too.

For more information on this scoop, please follow this link:  http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00PTSTST2