Thursday, January 15, 2009

Snow Ice Cream!

When you're given a ton of snow, make snow ice cream! To be honest, I had never heard of snow ice cream until one of the teachers at Jonathan's school said something about the never ending snowfall here in Michiana being perfect for making snow ice cream. Since she is from Texas, she was astounding that we had never had snow ice that made me determined to dive into my Midwestern roots and make some snow ice cream!
Since there was more snow in the forecast last night, I put out a bowl to collect the snow--as opposed to scooping up snow from the yard that I wasn't sure what had "explored" it already.

When I got up this morning, I transferred the snow to a freezer bag and stuck in the freezer for when Jonathan got home from preschool.

After researching snow ice cream, I found this recipe...

1 cup of milk

1/2 cup of sugar

1/4 tea vanilla

4 to 5 cups of snow

Mix the milk, sugar, and vanilla together in a bowl, then slowly add the snow and stir until it is the consistency of ice cream. Eat or freeze!

Well...I have to say that our ice cream turned out more like ice milk...but it didn't stop us from eating it!

I only had skim milk on hand, so I think that made a difference in the consistency. When doing this again, I would also use less sugar...I think a 1/4 cup of sugar would be enough and I think I will use more of a heavy cream.

Since we have more snow in the forecast, I'll have plenty of chances to make more snow ice cream!

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Hot Chocolate For A Cold Day!

Baby, it's cold outside!

Check that, baby, it's FREEZING outside! What better way to warm up than with a cup of hot chocolate? Here are some recipes!

Creamy Hot Cocoa
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
3/4 cup white sugar
1 pinch salt
1/3 cup boiling water
3 1/2 cups milk
3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup half-and-half cream

Combine the cocoa, sugar and pinch of salt in a saucepan. Blend in the boiling water. Bring this mixture to an easy boil while you stir. Simmer and stir for about 2 minutes. Watch that it doesn't scorch. Stir in 3 1/2 cups of milk and heat until very hot, but do not boil! Remove from heat and add vanilla. Divide between 4 mugs. Add the cream to the mugs of cocoa to cool it to drinking temperature.

Want to make a mix you can store? Here you go!

2 c. nonfat dry milk powder
3/4 c. sugar
1/2 c. Hershey's cocoa
1/2 c. powdered non-dairy creamer

Mix in large bowl combine all ingredients; blend well. Store tightly in covered container (16 servings). Single serving: Combine 1/4 cup mix to 3/4 cup boiling water.

Or....if you want an easy fix, I prefer Swiss Miss chocolate packets. Drop in an Andes candy on top (or some Andes baking chips) and let it melt....mmmmmmm

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Wii Wii All The Way Home

Okay, today at work I sat listening to what might as well be a conversation in Russian....the guys in the office were talking about Wii. I have been trying to avoid the video games in our household as long as I can. Jonathan just turned 4 and I am not quite ready to open the can of worms....because I know he will probably be one of those guys in the office that are talking in Russian to some other "old fashioned" mother in his office. While I will admit, Wii does seem to be a more family friendly game that at least gets you moving, but I am afraid of the "addiction." I have never been in love, or even like with video games however, so maybe I am just living on an island unaware of the social injustice I am causing my four-year-old to endure--but to be honest with you, I am also afraid I will never have another conversation with my husband again if we were to break down and join the Wii world.

I even caused a stink this Christmas when my sister wanted to buy my son a Leapster. I gently suggested that there are plenty of other toys that I am sure he would enjoy more...then all heck broke loose. But it's "educational" she kept saying over and over, as if I was going to change my mind. I don't know about you, but I cannot stand it when other people's children come to my home and cannot take eyes off their hand-held "video games." I can see how these tools would be useful when traveling or if you are going to some one's home that you know will not have things for kids to do i.e. great-grandma's house. I just feel that Jonathan is too young yet. I know that my son has plenty of years ahead of him to play video games and whatever else I can only imagine will develop in his for the time being, I am going to allow him to enjoy just being 4 and whatever his imagination can think up! What do you think? Am I crazy?

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

The Tree That Lasts Forever

I am sad to say that I have yet to take down my Christmas tree. It is such a daunting task. It is not filled with the excitement of gearing up for holiday cheer, but rather the dread of digging out all the boxes again to put it all away, then hauling them back to their storage spot....which really means throwing them in the part of the basement no one is allowed to lurk into. It just reminds me how unorganized I am. I guess that should be my New Year's resolution--to be more organized. I was able (with the help of my husband...okay he spearheaded the whole thing and I helped) to get Jonathan's closet organized. With all of the Christmas/Birthday gifts the kid got from every living relative, we were all busting at the seams! So, when my Container Store catalog came, we took it to Lowe's and bought a comparable version of a great closet system. With a couple of Rubbermaid tubs for all the dinos, cars, and various small part toys boys like to play with, it has really turned out nicely. It was also A LOT cheaper than the Container Store version.

Here's a picture:

Original price: $550
What we paid: $190...nice.

If only I had a big closet I could just move my fully decorated tree to and leave it there until next year!