Archive | May, 2012

Strawberry Cheesecake Ice Cream

25 May


I find myself embroiled in the almost-end-of-the-school-year battle. Fourteen days left, which means the end is in sight and makes everyone (teachers and students alike) anxious to be out, out, out of school, but at the same time there are final exams to write and review lessons to prepare and, truth be told, I’m mostly interested in finding a hammock to read in.

For those of you preparing for a long weekend (yay!), here’s an easy recipe to share with your picnic pals, who will probably be more than happy to help you figure out where to put your hammock. Plus it doesn’t take too much time, so there’s plenty left for all the grading.

Strawberry Cheesecake Ice Cream

Printable Recipe

12 ounces cream cheese, softened

1 cup sugar

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 cup mascarpone, softened

1 cup whole milk

2 teaspoons vanilla

1/4 cup sour cream

In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the cream cheese on medium speed until light and fluffy. Add sugar and salt and continue mixing, until very well combined. Add the mascarpone and continue beating. With the mixer running, slowly add the milk and vanilla. Allow the mixture to become smooth, and then add the sour cream. Cover and refrigerate at least one hour (ideally two, or overnight if you can stand it).

Once the mixture has chilled, turn on the ice cream maker and slowly pour in the ice cream base. Allow the machine to churn for 15-20 minutes, until the mixture is visibly thickened. Transfer to a bowl, cover, and allow to set in the freezer for about 30 minutes (or you will end up with cold, tasty soup).

In the meantime, make the garnishes.


1 pound stawberries

1/4 cup sugar

Wash, hull, and slice the strawberries. In a large bowl, stir together the fruit and the sugar. Allow to sit at least 30 minute. Use as a topping on the ice cream. Store the leftovers in the fridge.

Graham Cracker Crumble

6 graham crackers, crushed

1/4 cup sugar

4 tablespoons butter, melted

Preheat oven to 350°. In a small bowl, combine all three ingredients. Mix together until crumbs are just moistened. Press out onto a parchment-lined cookie sheet. Bake about 10 minutes, or until the edges are just turning brown. Let cool. Break apart and sprinkle on top of the ice cream.


Strawberry Margarita Milkshake

5 May

Let’s just get one thing straight about Cinco de Mayo: it’s made up. Even more made up than Valentine’s Day, and that’s really saying something.

But even an obscure battle in which 4,000 Mexican troops defeated 8,000 French soldiers is a pretty good reason to enjoy margaritas in the sunshine, so I say let’s celebrate! Plus, this recipe is so easy, you could probably do it while battling Frenchmen!

Strawberry Margarita Milkshakes

Printable Recipe

2 cups vanilla ice cream

1/2 cup frozen strawberries

1/2 cup margarita mix

1/4 cup tequila

Combine all ingredients in a blender. Pulse until well blended.

Whipped Cream

1 cup heavy whipping cream

2 tablespoons sugar

In a stand mixer with whisk attachment, whisk the two ingredients until soft peaks form. Top milkshake with whipped cream.

Chocolate Caramel Pretzel Bars

1 May

It would probably be inappropriate of me, as the teacher, to whine about having to walk over six miles greening up. But dang, I’m toddling for cripes’ sake.

It might be better for me to lament the fact that after my long, arduous Vermont winter, I forgot that my Scandinavian skin hates the sun. I look like a baby lobster.

This recipe is sunburn-friendly–there’s no need to stick you scorched face in to a hot oven more than once.

Chocolate Caramel Pretzel Bars

Adapted from Išbandyti receptai

Printable Recipe


1 1/2 stick butter

1/2 cup sugar

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 1/2 cup flour

In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream together butter, sugar, and salt until light yellow and fluffy. Gradually add in flour and mix until combined–the dough will be crumbly. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 20 minutes. In the meantime, preheat oven to 350°. Prepare a baking dish by lining it with parchment paper. When the dough is chilled, press into a thin layer in the baking pan. (Slightly damp hands will keep the dough from sticking to you.) Bake 15-20 minutes, or until lightly golden brown. Allow to cool.


1 cup brown sugar

1/4 cup water

1 tablespoon butter

1/2 cup heavy cream

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 1/2 cups pretzels, roughly chopped

In a medium saucepan, combine brown sugar and water, stirring only until the sugar is dissolved. Bring to a boil over medium heat, without stirring, for about 15 minutes. It will be difficult to tell when the caramel is ready because of the darkness of the brown sugar, but I generally go by when it starts to smell like caramel. While the sugar mixture is boiling, combine the heavy cream, salt, and vanilla in a small bowl. Once the caramel is ready, add the butter and heavy cream mixture and stir vigorously. Return to heat and stir until caramel is smooth. Stir in pretzels. Pour caramel over cooled crust and let set.

Chocolate Topping

1 bag milk chocolate chips

1/2 cup heavy cream

1 tablespoon honey

In a medium saucepan, combine all ingredients and stir constantly over medium heat until chocolate is just melted. Spread over caramel / pretzel layer. Cover baking dish with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 6 hours.