Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Gluten Free Oreo Cheesecake Ice Cream..Best ever!

This homemade oreo cheesecake ice cream, which happens to be gluten free, finally came into existence after much experimentation.
I must have made vanilla ice cream a couple dozen times before I finally got the texture right, and then went on to try something even more tasteful.
You see, I've always been a fanatic when it comes to oreos and ice cream together. I used to get oreo blasts and McFlurries from Sonic and Mcd's, but since going gluten free, I've had to come up with something of my own.

I think I finally scored. No, I know I scored! Even my gluten eating siblings had a hard time pretending they didn't like it because it was gluten free. Took a batch to church and it was gone in 10 minutes.

To make roughly a gallon of this ice cream you will need:

4 cups milk
2 1/2 cups sugar
24 oz cream cheese
4 cups cream
6 egg yolks
tiny pinch of guar gum
tiny pinch of xanthum gum
8 tsp vanilla
1 batch of gluten free Oreos, crushed (see recipe)
A juicer that homogenizes or a good ice cream maker

A note on the juicer vs. ice cream maker. We have a cheap ice cream maker from Walmart, and ice cream never turns out nearly as good as when I just use my champion juicer to homogenize it. I'm not sure if this is because it's cheap, or if it's because homogenizing just flat our works better.
I found that with my juicer, the texture is a gazillion times better, very similar to store bought ice cream, only a little denser, not quite as airy. So if you can do it this way, DO IT!

If you don't need it to be gluten free, you can buy a package of oreos from the store for this.

Farm fresh eggs.

Guar Gum and Xanthum gum I use.

~Begin making the ice cream~

Put your 4 cups of milk and 2 cups of sugar over high heat and let simmer for about 10 minutes. Remove from heat and allow to cool till you can comfortably stick a finger in. One trick I use to speed up that process is to put a couple inches of cold water in the sink and set your pan in it. Repeat that 2 or 3 times and your milk will cool down a little faster.

Next, add your cream cheese. You'll have to work it in with your fingers, it won't want to melt very well.
Once you've worked it and smushed it up all you can, it will still be lumpy, like this.
(NEVER put your cream cheese in while the milk is scalding. it will cook the cheese. Ew!)

Put it back on the stove and heat over medium heat. Use a pair of beaters and beat the cream cheese mixture while it is heating.
You don't want to let it get too hot, or the cream cheese will start to cook. Just bring the temperature up until it's starts to get too hot to put your finger in. The beaters will help to smooth it out. It will look all bubbly like this. Turn off the heat and let cool to lukewarm.

Next, using beaters beat the 4 cups of cream until frothy. Add egg yolks, a tiny pinch of guar gum, and of xanthum gum. If you don't have these, you can probably omit and still get good results.

Continue to beat until well mixed. Add the vanilla and beat until frothy.
Pour the cream cheese mixture into your cream mixture, and beat together until well combined.

If using an ice cream maker, pour into the ice cream maker and make like normal. Mix in the crushed oreos and freeze until solid.

If you are going to use the homogenize method as I do, pour into cake pans and freeze for several hours until hard. I freeze it overnight.
Remove from freezer and cut into rectangles, so you can feed through the homogenizer.

(These would be great for ice cream sandwiches!)

Feed through homogenizer. The heat will cause it to become very soft and melted. Put into a container and refreeze until it's partially frozen.

A batch of gluten free oreos, made with Hershey's Dark Chocolate.

You want the ice cream to still be pretty soft, but not melting. Mix in your crushed oreos. Put the container back in the freezer and freeze until hard.

Best. Ice cream. Ever!

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Gluten Free Yeast Donuts. That are GOOD!

Yes, I did say they are gluten free and good! That is something that does happen now and then believe it or not!
It's just a matter of finding the right combination of flours I suppose. Fortunately, I didn't really have to do that myself. 
You see, I found a recipe that came out really well. And I'm excited. I haven't had a good donut in YEARS! Until today that is. And then I had like 4!

Ok, so you probably want the recipe now don't you?
You can find the original recipe HERE. I changed a couple of minor things though, so read on for my changes. I also did half of this batch, instead of the whole batch.

The Recipe.

1¼ cups white rice flour
1 cup granulated sugar
3/4  cup potato starch
½ cup corn starch
½ cup plus 1 tablespoon sorghum flour
4 teaspoons xanthan gum
1 teaspoon salt
1 ¾ teaspoons baking powder
7 ½ teaspoons instant dry yeast
1 ¼ cups warm milk
1 ½ sticks unsalted butter, melted
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
4 cups vegetable oil (or more) for frying
Extra sugar, powdered sugar or cinnamon, or glaze, optional.

 1. Place rice flour, granulated sugar, potato starch, corn starch, sorghum flour, xanthan gum, salt, baking powder and dry yeast in a bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Beat briefly to combine.
 2. Add milk, melted butter and eggs to dry ingredients. Beat for 5 minutes at medium speed.

 3. Let dough rest for 20 minutes in a warm, draft-free area.
 4. Cover cookie sheets with parchment or wax paper, and coat with rice flour.
Spoon dough into a pastry bag fitted with the widest tip or use a plastic bag with the bottom corner cut to create a ¼ to 1/2-inch opening. Pipe a donut-shaped circle onto parchment paper....OR....wet hands and roll pieces of dough into a log, and connect the ends (which is what I did). Set donuts on baking sheets and let proof for 20 minutes in a warm, humid environment. I actually just turn the oven on for a couple of minutes, and then turn it off and put them in there, where it's nice and warm. Works great!

 5. In a deep skillet or electric fryer, heat oil over medium heat until oil reaches 350 degrees. Gently lift a couple of donuts into the oil and fry 4 to 6 minutes or until golden brown. Turn over with a fork. Cook another 2 to 3 minutes. Remove to a tray lined with several sheets of paper towels.

6. While still warm, sprinkle donuts with sugar, powdered sugar or cinnamon, if desired. Or, like I did, you can glaze them with a powdered sugar glaze, which is just butter and powdered sugar and water. Just add a little powdered sugar at a time until it's as thick as you want.

Snapped this picture with my iPod. Don't they look so pretty while they're frying!

The texture was really good! I've made all kinds of donuts before, and none of them where like this! These where soft and bouncy, like a good donut should be! They didn't flop, fall, or come out heavy and overly starchy, or too crumbly. Yay!


Monday, September 10, 2012

Homemade Makeup!

Saturday, I got to do something pretty cool. Make mineral makeup! The Botkin ladies had all the supplies and invited everyone over to learn, while the guys worked on Ben's house.

I'd been wanting to try making mineral makeup for so long, but had no idea where to begin, or what ingredients I really needed.

Turned out to be a fairly simple process, or at least for the loose powder makeup anyway! But to be fair, I didn't do much. Elizabeth and Anna put the ingredients in mixers, and guess what I did! I pushed a button! Lol!

The class was for foundation, blush, and concealers. I only did foundation because that's what I needed, and there wasn't time for me to make the others, I had to leave early.

Elizabeth and Anna putting ingredients in a blender.

Coffee grinders are good for mixing everyone's individual makeup!

Studious little girls.

Color matching.

Laurel mixing her makeup.

The finished product. I made loose powder for myself. Very easy to do! The ingredients are:

Titanium Dioxide
Pearl Powder (I think it was called?)
Zinc Oxide
Iron Oxide Red
Iron Oxide Yellow

I think getting the iron oxide colors would be good, that way if my skin tone changes over winter, I can adjust the color of my makeup, without having to make all new makeup and wasting what I made already.

Laurel made liquid foundation. I'm not sure of all the ingredients, but pretty much the same as mine with oils added, like almond oil for instance.

This is me wearing the makeup I made! The powder went on very well, with no caking at all. I am so very happy with this foundation and would definitely keep using this. 
I made about 60 grams, so I'll have enough to last me at least till next spring, maybe even longer...I don't go real heavy with foundation.
By the way, I always use a handmade lotion made from grape seed extract and coconut milk on my face before putting on my foundation.


Yesterday, I (or actually my brother) installed 16 GB of ram in my macbook pro. Yes I did! 

I previously had 4 GB, which was a bit of a pain. Not nearly enough!

So today I am happy!

If you are looking for RAM for a mac computer and have one that is 2011 or later, you might want to check out the RAM I bought from Komputerbay by clicking HERE. I was about to dish out $150 or so for 16 GB at Other World Computing, which was the cheapest price I could find, and then found Komputerbay's RAM with an incredibly good price, and over 400 5 star reviews. 
I decided to take a chance, and so far, it works flawlessly!

It made a huge difference. Previously I had to stare at that annoying beach ball quite a lot, and iMovie would always crash. Of course, iMovie is stupid and full of bugs, but that's beside the point. Doesn't crash anymore. That's good.

And beach balls are now few and far between, if even at all. Which is also good. 

REALLY good.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

A Few Photos

This is a great wreath my sister Elise made for our sister-in-law Rachel. I think it's pretty neat!

Yesterday I took a few snapshots of Natasha and Garret. Natasha found my hair flowers and really wanted to wear one.

Garret of course, was just curious about my umbrella studio light. He thought that would be a ton of fun to play with.

And of course, my camera is much to be desired. It's a very fascinating grab-able device you know.

So it's true, I did practice my photography a little this week!

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

The To Do List

Believe it or not, I actually do have a to do list. To be honest I'm having a hard time getting it all done. Time goes by too quickly, and I have to stay up late to get some of it done.

I'm way behind in my crocheting. Fall is sneaking up really fast and I need to get a good amount of inventory made.

My to do list for the next couple of weeks. Whether or not I am actually able to get this all done in the time allotment I want, I don't know. But hey, at least I'm trying!

•Make at least 6 pumpkin hats
•Make at least 4 animal hats
•Make at least 2 headbands
•Make at least 20 new bookmarks
•Make at least 2 fall scarves
•Practice my photography
•Begin Chalean Extreme workout
•Finish cd one of Pimsleur Italian
•Clean up my computer and back up photos on my new external hard drive
•Finish making curtains for the living room
•Make a little corner of the bedroom more photography friendly
•Blog a little more often
•Sight read for at least 15 minutes at least 4 times a week (piano)
•Learn more photoshop techniques

Yes, you read right. I DID put clean my room at the bottom of the list!

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Surprise Anniversary Party

Saturday we attended an anniversary party that was put on as a surprise for the parents by the children. Finger foods, cake, and dancing!

I managed to snap a few photos of the occasion.

Elise and mom.

The girls having fun conversations.

A few table decorations.

The cake was very lovely! I wish I could have eaten some.

The candied almonds are really addictive!

Beautiful music. Sadly I don't know the names of these people.

Such a cute little fellow!

Laurel, wearing a dress she made for the occasion.

Nawelle and Laurel.

Abigail, Anna, and Katherine.

Dad and David.


The dancing. Mom took these ones. Too bad I can't take pictures and dance at the same time!