Homemade Summer Smoothie Ice Cube Recipe

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DIY Homemade Summer Smoothie Ice Cubes RecipeI’ve seen ice cubes done in quite a number of creative ways from freezing herbs and flowers to gummy candies inside. However, these DIY Homemade Fruity Summer Striped Smoothie Ice Cubes from Oh Joy! really take the cake! Fruit juices, tropical fruits, and coconut milk are meshed together in fun combinations to really dress up your summer drinks and give them a fruity twist. These creative and tasty ice cubes are perfect for grown up cocktails to kids’ juices for parties or everyday drinks. Tilt your ice cube trays to give them diagonal decorative flair. Have you ever made your own enticingly delicious ice cubes? What ingredients did you use to make yours special?


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Homemade Ice Cream Recipes

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Friday on my way to work I saw an ice cream truck. I seriously thought these things were extinct, but obviously not. This truck was larger than the tiny trucks we had as a kid – I guess size does matter *wink* – and it had the tauntingly eery, traditional ice cream truck music. Fortunately the music didn’t sound like it was dying. Anyhow, it gave me a craving for some ice cream, so I dug around and found some fabulous recipes for DIY ice cream you can make yourself without breaking the bank. Now your waistline… I’m not so sure I can help with that.
Coconut Cream Popsicles. A ridiculously delicious and easy to make ice cream treat made with natural coconut milk, whole milk, sugar, and vanilla extract. Compliments of Smile Monsters blog. Yum. You’ll also want to check out the other recipes on this site for Lemony Lemon Popsicles and Mocha Latte Frozen Treats.
Image Copyright © Helene Dujardin 2011
Grilled Peaches, Poached Cherries, and Vanilla Bean Ice Cream. Now this is an ice cream for foodie fans. It requires a bit more work to make the ice cream and then pit and grill the fruit, but the effort is worth it. This recipe would be perfect for summer parties or for saying “I love you” to your special someone. Grab this recipe on Tartelette blog.
Fresh Lavender Ice Cream. It won’t be long til lavender is in bloom and what better way to use your plucked blossoms than in a delicious summer treat? This lavender ice cream recipe calls for 1/2 cup of fresh lavender florets, whole milk, real vanilla bean, vanilla sugar, heavy cream, and a sugar substitute. They recommend Splenda, but if you want to go all natural, opt for Stevia. You can find this recipe at Eat Drink Better Blog. (If you’re looking for more recipes for your lavender blooms, check out this Lavender Margarita Recipe.)
Fennel Ice Cream. If you’re far from an ice cream “traditionalist” you may want to try this incredibly unique recipe for fennel ice cream. Made with fennel seeds for flavor, “the cream takes on the essential flavor of the seeds, as you would expect, but the butterfat works to soften that flavor, rounding off its pointy edges, turning down the volume on the licorice notes, resulting in a taste that’s almost hard to identify: cool, herbal, smooth, even quiet. It doesn’t scream fennel, by any means. It mostly whispers eat me, ideally with a bowl of sliced strawberries.” You can find this recipe at Orangette Blog.
I scream, you scream, we all scream for ice cream! So what’s your favorite ice cream flavor?

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Infuse a little love. Recipes for infusing vodka, sugar, and water for entertaining, gifting, or just enjoying.

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infusion: an infusion is the outcome of steeping plants with desired chemical compounds and/or flavors in water or oil. Source: wikipedia
Water. Oil. Alchohol? Sugar? Lately I’ve been infatuated with recipes for infusions. After discovering a fun recipe for vodka infusion over at The Backyard Bartender, I went on the hunt for more recipes you can create just by mixing a little of this with a little of that. Here are some of my favorites.
1.) Adventures in Vodkaland. Infusing vodkas in a simple process and certainly easier than making moonshine. Not to mention legal. All you need is a great vodka – who wants a hangover, right? – an airtight jar, some edible herbs, fruits, veggies and spices, and time. The Backyard Bartender offers several infusion recipes. Combos include Vanilla Bean + Cardamom, Celery + Bay Leaf, and Fennel + Lemon. While not all of her ideas were entirely successful, it’s really the fun of coming up with your own recipes then trying them out on your friends.
For more vodka infusion recipes ideas, visit Taylor Takes a Taste. There are recipes for tried and true Bubble Gum Vodka and Limencello as well as new test recipes for combinations like Pineapple + Red Pepper, Honeydew + Cucumber, and Cranberry + Orange + Nutmeg.
2.) Inviting Waters. If alcohol’s not quite up your alley, try making infused water instead. Martha Stewart recommends using rosemary sprigs, lime, and orange zest for a citrus-rosemary water. Or combine sliced ginger, cucumber, and mint for another refreshing alternative.
Donna Hay suggests flavoring your water with green apple and mint leaves, raspberries, or lemongrass and pieces of ginger as another tasty option.
 
3.) Make: Infused Sugars. Issue 3 of Joie Magazine offers some great ideas for making your own infused sugars on page 28 along with presentation ideas for those of you who love to give handmade gifts.
 
You can also grab ideas for scented sugars from Martha Stewart and a recipe for Vanilla Infused Sugar from Soap Deli News.
 
Sugar not quite your thing or just looking for a twist from the obvious? Style Me Pretty offers a diy for tangerine flavored sea salt. Sea salt with some zest from tangerines and lemons is a great way to finish off a fish or poultry dish.
Do you have a favorite infusion combo you like to add to your cooking? Please share!

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Make Infused Sugars for a Little Spice to Everyday Life

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Sweeten up your culinary style by creating your own infused sugars. Sprinkle them on fresh baked cookies and pies or use them in place of plain sugar in coffees and teas!
Vanilla Sugar

Here’s a recipe for making vanilla infused sugar. Use more or less vanilla to taste. Click here for the recipe. Also give orange and lemon infused sugars a go by adding the dried zest from three fruits to two cups of your sugar of choice, then grind together in a food processor. Get creative with a variety of other herbs and spices as well. Try adding not just vanilla  bean pods but whole cloves,  star anise, cardamon pods, lavender buds, fennel seeds, cinnamon sticks, crystallized ginger, fresh rosemary, fresh mint, and even organic rose buds to create your own unique blends. Layer these tasty options with your sugar and allow to infuse for at least one week before use, shaking jar daily to insure a thorough infusion. Store in pint jars for future use or for gift giving.


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End of the season peachy preservation.

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Alas, peach season is almost over. I’ve really enjoyed the local peaches at our farmer’s market this year. They’ve been sweet, juicy, and just down right delicious. Fortunately, there is a way to keep those peaches around through the winter. Homemade Peach Chutney is the perfect solution, and way less boring than plain old canned peaches.
Picking Peaches, originally uploaded by adwriter.
Make some for yourself and extra as gifts for the upcoming holidays. Then head on over to Sweet Preservation for printable tags for your newest creations. They offer a variety of free, printable labels for labeling your preserves, chutneys, and whatever else you might cook up. I especially like their Mark the Date labels, which allow you to keep track of just when you canned your fruit and veggies so you can keep your pantry organized. Additionally, you’ll also find Happy Holiday labels for turning your canned goods into a simple holiday gifts that are sure to get eaten!


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