Monthly Archives

July 2011

Coffee Ice Cream

July 21, 2011

I’m not going to lie, one of the major perks about getting married had to be all the amazing kitchen gadgets we got from friends and family. It wasn’t that my kitchen was bare and in dire need of pots and pans, but there were a few items that I have had my eye on for some time but was too cheap to actually buy for myself.

One of those things being an ice cream maker.

Thankfully, our amazing friends Kurt, Sarah, Caleb and Jill read my mind (err….our registry) and bought us our very own ice cream maker attachment for my KitchenAid stand mixer. Needless to say, I was pretty excited and got to work making my first batch of ice cream in less than three days after returning home from San Diego.

The results were pretty darn stellar. The ice cream was smooth, creamy and full of rich coffee flavor – better than most coffee ice creams I have purchased. Of course, I can only imagine it would be stellar to stir in some chopped candy bars, chocolate covered espresso beans or a swirl of fudge, but for our first ice cream experiment I kept things simple.

Coffee Ice Cream
Recipe adapted from
*1 1/2 cups whole milk
*2 1/2 cups heavy cream
*1/3 cup granulated sugar
*1/3 cup brown sugar
*1 tablespoon instant coffee (I used decaf)
*1 teaspoon vanilla extract
*Pinch of salt
*4 egg yolks

*In a small bowl, beat together the egg yolks. Set aside. 
*Combine the milk, 1 1/2 cups of the cream, the sugars, coffee, salt and vanilla in a large saucepan. Heat over medium high heat just until mixture begins to steam, stirring frequently.
*When mixture begins to steam, pour some of the mixture into the egg yolks, stirring quickly to combine and temper egg yolks so they warm but do not cook.
*Add egg yolk mixture back to remaining milk mixture in saucepan and continue to cook until mixture reaches 170°F or it coats the back of a wooden spoon.
*Remove mixture from heat and add in the remaining 1 cup cold cream. Transfer to a large bowl. Refrigerate until chilled, preferably overnight.
*Once mixture is chilled, pour through a mesh sieve. Pour strained mixture into ice cream maker and prepare according to manufacturers instructions.

Happy cooking!



San Diego Honeymoon: Part 2

July 20, 2011
{Catching a San Diego Padres game on a beautiful night in the city}
{Vegetarian hot dogs were available at the game, which pretty much made my night!}
 {Since neither of us are really baseball fans, we took more pictures than most at the game}
{The first part of the next morning was spent watching Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1 in preparation for part 2 that night!}
{During our time on Coronado Island, we stopped at a place called Burger Lounge for lunch}
{I was skeptical, but they ended up having an amazing salad with a quinoa veggie patty}
{Cute, happy hubby waiting for his burger and onion rings to arrive}

{And me, avoiding the camera}

{A slightly blurry shot on the airplane as we headed home to Iowa}

{And a breakfast that rocked my socks off: Starbucks oatmeal, chopped nuts and dried fruit, a spoonful of peanut butter and banana slices (both from the hotel) with a small soy latte.}

Question of the day: Where did you honeymoon or where was your most memorable vaca?

His and Hers Greek Salad

July 19, 2011

Last night I finally made it to the grocery store with Joey and made my first meal in our new kitchen! I’ll admit, the idea of having to plan meals every night and think about what I was going to buy at the grocery store in a more thoughtful manner instead of just winging it concerned me a bit. And no one prepared me for how much milk men go through in a single week!

I never really anticipated being the type to meal plan for the week, but I realized yesterday that planning ahead would keep me much more sane and keep some variety in our mealtimes.

Monday night’s dinner was on the light and fresh side since it was a scorching 99°F yesterday with no relief in sight for the next few days. While Joey washed the cars, I made this His and Hers Greek Salad. Named because Joey’s (his) was topped with baked seasoned chicken breast and mine (hers) was sans-chicken. And easy, fresh way to find compromise between our two eating styles.

His and Hers Greek Salad (for two)
*1 chicken breast, cut in half lengthwise into two thinner pieces
*2 teaspoons olive oil
*1/4 teaspoons Italian seasoning mix
*Salt and black pepper
*3 to 4 cups chopped Romaine lettuce
*1/2 medium cucumber, chopped
*2 tomatoes, chopped
*1/3 cup crumbled feta cheese
*4 tablespoons Greek-style salad dressing

*Preheat oven to 375°F. Line a baking pan with aluminum foil. Place chicken breast on foil and drizzle with the olive oil, Italian seasoning mix, salt and black pepper. Bake in the oven for 12 to 15 minutes, or until chicken is cooked through.
*Meanwhile, in a large bowl, combine the lettuce, cucumber, tomatoes, and crumbled feta cheese. Toss with the dressing and divide between two bowls.
*Top one (or two) of the bowls with the chicken breast and serve.

Happy cooking!



July 9, 2011

July 17, 2011

We’re back from San Diego and getting settled into life in our new digs! Much more on this later, but because Joey’s job and my job are in slightly different locations, we have moved to an adorable little loft apartment in Grinnell, Iowa, a small town that if a half way point between where Joe works and I work.

As part of our new living situation, I will be working from a home office two days a week (Monday and Friday) and driving into Des Moines the other three days. I’m so thankful that I will be able to continue doing what I love but a little nervous for the new transition. Something to get used to, for sure!

Over the course of last week, more photos began to pop up on Facebook and my mom had some on her camera, too. So I figured today would be a great time to do a non-official wedding recap, with photos I could piece together from a few different sources. Enjoy!

{a welcome sign in chalk for our guests}
{natural, food-inspired centerpieces with apples and artichokes}
{our take-home gifts: recipe cards with some of the recipes served at the wedding, including the pies}
{photo guest book in place of the standard pen and paper variety}
{the fabric flags were made with scraps of fabric from my grandma}
{my friend and mentor, the fabulous Nancy Wall Hopkins}
{our friends Laura and Mike – wish we lived closer to them!}
{a group of Joey’s friends from college}
{my beautiful matron of honor, Emily, and her hubby, Brian}
{right after being announced husband and wife!}
{chatting with work friends and drinking mimosas before the reception}
{three of our four beautiful little ribbon dancers}
{croquet was played as part of the outdoor portion of the reception}
{my favorite part of the reception: the pie table!}
{posing with Nutmeg at the reception}
{instead of bird see, guests waved mini ribbon wands as we left via pedicab}
{leaving the reception full of smiles}
{a kiss for the crowd!}
{riding off into the sunset….err to Joey’s pickup}
I hope you enjoyed this little glimpse into our big day. As soon as I get the official photos, I’ll be doing a full-blown recap. And I’ll be back to posting recipes in just a bit! As soon as I figure out where everything in my new kitchen is…

Adventures in San Diego: Part 1

July 14, 2011
{Looking only half awake at the San Diego airport}
{We had time to kill before checking into our hotel so we ate an amazing lunch at Zanzibar. Vegetarian egg white omelete and whole grain toast? Yes please!}
 {A beautiful fruit and water greeting surprise from my family.}
{My handsome hubby enjoying our first dinner in San Diego at La Fiesta. He said if he could have one meal be his last, this meal at La Fiesta would be it.}
{Monday we cashed in our tickets (Thanks Amber and Jake!) and explored the San Diego Zoo. I haven’t been to a zoo in ages and loved every minute of it.}
{Joey hanging with the flamingos.}
{And me hanging out with the flamingos.}
{I couldn’t stop talking about how much Nutmeg would love the bird and duck exhibits.}
{Day 2 was all about the beach, La Jolla, to be exact, where we got sun burned as we played at the beach, biked around the area and explored the sea coves in sea kayaks.}
{Sunning at La Jolla.}
 {Joey capturing a candid moment while waiting for our sandwiches at The Cheese Shop in La Jolla.}
{Day 3: Making the trip up to Los Angeles for the day.}
{Our very best attempt at looking like we belong in Beverly Hills while we cruise Rodeo Drive in our convertible. For the record, we did not fit in.}
{Hello, Rodeo.}
{Is there any better way to end the day than a trip to a VEGAN fast food joint? Homemade black bean burgers, homemade ketchup, and a smoothie made with almond milk, frozen berries and flax oil. Heaven! For Joey, we made a trip to Wendy’s. We’re working on that marital compromise thing.}
Part 2 coming at you as soon as we return! Thank you all so much for your sweet words about our big day. I has made my day each time I read one of your comments and am just as anxious as you are to get my hands on more photos to post!