Delicious Home-Made Ice Cream Using the Cuisinart Ice-45

Do you love ice cream? Who doesn’t! With all the gadgets filling your kitchen, you may think you don’t need an ice cream maker. I thought so too, until I looked more closely at the ingredient list on some of the popular brands of ice cream. First of all, if you look closely, a lot of the brands say “frozen dessert”, not ice cream. That’s because they use varieties of vegetable oils instead of milk. When they do use milk, it’s usually “modified milk ingredients.” What do they modify it to?

That’s why I decided to get an ice cream maker, and I decided on the Cuisinart Ice-45 Soft-Serve ice cream maker. With home-made vanilla ice cream, here are the complete ingredients you and your children will be eating: milk, cream, sugar and vanilla. That’s it. No chemicals, salt or anything modified. For chocolate ice cream, it’s milk, brown sugar, cream and coco. No more fake desserts for us! And the taste? Much more delicious than store-bought! And there’s a freshness to it, even if we store it in the freezer for long periods.

How to Make Delicious, Home Made Ice Cream

For this model, place the ice cream freezer bowl in a deep freeze. Not your refrigerator, which isn’t cold enough, but a non auto-defrost chest freezer. (Auto defrost cycles from warmer back to cold.) You need the bowl to get really, really frozen, several degrees below freezing. If it’s not cold enough, your ice cream will be too runny. We leave it for around 48 hours.

When the bowl is ready, place it into the ice cream maker. Put 1 cup milk and 3/4 cups sugar (brown sugar for chocolate) in a blender and whip it. Then, gently mix in 2 cups table cream and 2 teaspoons vanilla (or 1/3 cup coca for chocolate). I say gently mix. Whip it too much and you get – you got it, whipped cream! Pour the mixture into the bowl, and turn it on. 40 minutes later and you have about 1 and a half quarts of soft ice cream! Times vary – the more frozen the bowl, the sooner your ice cream is finished. Do your own tests – too short and it’s liquidy, too long and it’s too thick. Instructions say 20 minutes, but it takes 40 for us.

Ice Cream For Parties

The one draw-back with this machine is that it does not make a huge amount of ice cream. Though there’s plenty to go around for a family or two, it’s not enough if you have eight kids at a party. So what we did is make several batches in advance and freeze it into hard ice cream. It freezes very well, much better than commercial ice cream that will develop crystals if it’s been frozen too long. For an Elmo themed party, we put a bit of red food coloring into the mix (very little! You want the friendly Elmo red, not vampire red!), and spent a week making 3 batches. Just to clarify the lack of work involved, the “week” consisted of washing and drying the freezer bowl, leaving it in the chest freezer for two days, making ice cream, repeat. If you buy a second freezer bowl , it would make the job a lot easier! The day of, we sculpted the hard red ice cream into circular faces and used marshmallows, whipping cream, bananas and chocolate chips to make Elmo’s eyes, nose and mouth. Viola, a gorgeous and creative party dessert!

What we Like:

  • We’ve always loved Cuisinart products. They seem old-school durable, in that they build their products to last decades.
  • No chemicals or salt. Mix the ingredients and pour in – it’s as easy as that. And the consistency is smooth and creamy.
  • Versatility – You can try sorbets and custards as well.
  • Easy to clean – the parts easily come out to rinse, and easily slip back in.
  • The ice cream freezes perfectly into hard ice cream, so we can make and store a lot for future uses. A quick zap in the microwave or simply leaving it out for a few minutes will soften it.

Though it isn’t a problem for us to spend the time to freeze the bowl, in the future we might skip that step by upgrading to the Cuisinart Ice-50. It has a built-in compressor, so there is no bowl to freeze.

Contributed by Chris Molnar. Chris is the father of two toddlers, so he and his wife host a lot of parties and serve lots of ice cream! He is the editor of Themeaparty.com, a website with party theme ideas for kids and adults. Click here for a guide to personalizing your party supplies.

Dr Andrew Weil From Spring Switzerland – Frypans Cookware

The first thing that comes to mind when you begin cooking with cookware from Dr Weil of Switzerland is that It heats evenly and quickly helping you get to a meal on the table in good time. Additionally, it has handles that stay cool while you cook.

One thing a lot of people are concerned about with aluminum in cookware,  is whether or not it is a health risk. So if you tend to worry about whether or not the aluminum and coatings on pans can be damaging to your health when you are cooking, you may want to take a closer look at this cookware. It has been created with rolled steel edges that are meant to stop any of the toxins from the aluminum that is used in construction from getting into your meal.  The Aluminum core is absolutely, completely covered with the stainless steel layers.

You can pick up Dr Weil’s  frypans in 12 inch 10 inch and 8 inch, so three handy sizes and the 12-inch Wok Set is also very popular and comes with a bonus cookbook and knife. So even more reason to consider buying th wok set.

What We Like

  • This cookware is 5 ply bonded with 18/10 Stainless Steel for optimum heating.|
    It has an aluminum core which allows for fast even heat distribution
  • The health-friendly aspects of this pan and that it was created with the goal of being toxin-free while cooking.  The unique rolled and sealed rim ensures aluminum never touches your food.
  • The pan heats evenly as you are cooking.
  • It’s easy to clean up after you use it since it is dishwasher safe.
  • Handles are ergonomically designed for comfort and also designed to remain cool even when the pot is hot.
  • This cookware can safely be used on induction and ceramic stove tops
  • Dishwasher safe.

Where Can I Buy the Dr Andrew Weil From Spring Switzerland – Cookware?

Amazon.com.

How to Choose an Indoor Grill

Grilling is one of the most healthy cooking options. It lets any grease drain away from the food, cutting down on your fat intake and total calorie intake.

Almost anything can be grilled, from fish to steaks to veggie burgers. What you cook on your grill is limited only by your imagination.  Unfortunately for those us that don’t live in Hawaii or Florida sometimes we have to grill indoors. So the question is how to choose an indoor grill?

The first thing you’ll want to consider when choosing an indoor grill is if you want a stovetop model or a countertop model. There are benefits and disadvantages to both.

  • Countertop: A counter top model is a great cooking option. You can find countertop grillswith a heavy lid so that the food cooks evenly on both sides in much less time. You can find countertop grills that are set at an angle so any grease drains away from the food and into a grease

    trap. The only real disadvantage to a counter top indoor grill is the space you will need for storage when it isn’t in use.

    Stovetops: A basic stovetop grill is more commonly referred to as a griddle.  You’ll want a heavy cast iron grill so you can use the highest heat possible on your stove. The only disadvantage of a stovetop model is that grease doesn’t drain as easily as with a counter top model. Although ther are stovetop grills available that have a raised cooking surface which helps to eliminate this problem.  The best benefit of a stovetop grill is the high heat you can use.

How to choose an indoor grill basically boils down to whether or not you want to cook on the stovetop or use a separate countertop model. Both are great choices when you’re forced to move the grilling back indoors in the dead of winter. With an indoor grill you can enjoy that great grilled flavor all year round.

CorningWare French White 7-Ounce Ramekins, Set of 4

A set of ramekins are a must for  any well equipped kitchen. Ramekins can be used as a small bowl for dipping  sauces, a bowl for your morning Kashi and of course for cooking up individual  servings of custard, flan, and crème brulee.  They can even be used as small  fruit bowls and for dipping sauce.

I have a set of these ramekins actually I have 8 of them. Along with everything else you can use them for, I find them great for making individual chocolate muffins. A treat I don’t make very often thanks to an ever spreading waistline.

The CorningWare French White 7-Ounce Ramekins are really well made.  They are a manufactured  stoneware that can hold up to the harshest treatment.  You can use them in the freezer, the fridge, the microwave and even  in the oven.

CorningWare French White ramekins,  are slick and non-porous. You don’t have to worry about food sticking to the  sides or staining. Since it’s non porous you don’t have to worry about any  strong food odors transferring between dishes.

The ramekins have a classic design with a flared lip and  fluting along the outer sides for a traditional classic look. These are a bit  larger than standard ramekins but that just makes them that much more  functional.

What We Like:

  • CorningWare have so much faith in their product that there French White Ramekins come with a ten year warranty. Something not too many other companies have the confidence to do.
  • The price point for this set of ramekins is perfect. They are  a quality set that can be used in any cooking environment. So the price is very reasonable for what you get. The Corningware set is quite competitively priced  compared to some other units we have looked at.
  • We really like the 7 ounce size. They are bigger than the  traditional four ounce ramekin. This just means that we get bigger crème brulee  servings, not exactly a bad thing.  The larger size also makes them much more  functional than standard four ounce units.

And while you are thinking about creme brulee you might like to consider buying the Bonjour Chef’s Torch.

Canning Before the All American Home Canner/ Pressure Cooker was Available

Long before the advent of the All American Pressure Cooker Canner, preserving food was a necessary task.  And the methods used in the past were often tedious.

The history of home canning can quite easily be traced to the early 1800s. But there are plenty of suggestions that man’s attempt to preserve food started well before that. The Egyptians used to place sealed jars containing food in the Pharaohs tomb for his use in the afterlife. The Romans certainly used sealed earthenware containers and buried them for future use. Although these early attempts were hardly successful that evidence of man’s obsession with retaining the bounties of a current harvest for the future.

It is also said that Napoleon authorized the use of sealed glass jars to preserve food for his troops during long campaigns.

As far as what we would currently term canning, the inventor of the Mason jar, John L Mason, first introduced his famous threaded jars in 1858. These jars became the central focus around which our modern approach to home canning developed.

In the early days, fruit was the most commonly preserved item. American women pioneered the increasing use of fruit preservation and extended it to vegetables. The idea was that the home orchard’s produce could be more completely harvested in that all excess fruit and vegetables could be preserved for use during the winter months when fresh produce became unavailable.

As sugar became less expensive and wood-burning stoves became a common household implement, preservation methods developed into a kitchen-based activity which all families could utilize.

The process involved placing the jars in a large bath like, water filled container on top of the wood-burning stove. The food was placed in the jars and went through a cooking process before being filled with hot liquids, usually sugar-based syrup in the case of fruit, to seal the food in, and then applying a screw top lid.

The jars had to be regularly inspected to ensure that there was no spoilage. From all reports, the food was often overcooked but still quite edible. Nevertheless, it fitted the bill for the times, and the cost of food purchases were reduced considerably. Salt and sugar were the main preservative elements of the canning process, so sauces and pickles were favorite products.

There were many other products apart from the Mason jars however. Over the years many manufacturers entered the market and provided kits to be used for home canning. Atlas jars and Bell jars were popular as were the lightning jars manufactured with a metal clamp and a glass lid.

Even if those products are no longer used in today’s home canning industry they are still popular collector’s items and can be found at second-hand shops around the country.

Thank goodness the All American Pressure Cooker Canner has made preserving your excess produce a simple task. Read our review on the All American Presser Canner and in no time at all you will have a pantry stocked full of  home preserved great tasting food  even when it is normally out of season.