Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Mocha Chip Ice Cream

We tried a new (for us) recipe from our Cuisinart ice cream maker recipe book, and it's really good. Most of the ice cream recipes in the book call for whole milk and heavy cream, but we always use 2% milk and half-and-half (milk and cream) instead. It would probably be creamier if we went by the recipe, but we'd rather have less fat, and it tastes good to us. We'll most likely be posting about ice cream/sorbet again soon, since it's summer and we're making it a lot.

First, we tried a batch of mocha ice cream. It's the same exact recipe, except for without the chocolate chips:

Mocha Ice Cream
Mocha Dark Chocolate Chip Ice Cream, fresh out of the machine

We got a sweet deal on the chocolate bars. Valli Produce has them on sale for 89 cents this month, so we've been stocking up on mostly dark chocolate (our favorite). Ed's job is pounding the chocolate bar to make the chips:

One 3.5-oz. bar yields the amount of chips shown
 Mocha Chip Ice Cream
(makes about 1.5 qt.)

1 cup milk
3/4 cup sugar
1.5 Tbsp. instant coffee or espresso powder (we used instant coffee)
1.5 Tbsp. cocoa powder
2 cups half-and-half (1/2 quart)
1 tsp. vanilla extract
4-oz. bittersweet/semi-sweet chocolate bar, chopped into tiny, uneven pieces (or same amount of chocolate chips)

1) In medium bowl, whisk milk, sugar, coffee, and cocoa until dissolved.
2) Stir in half-and-half and vanilla. (Don't add chocolate chips yet)
3) Freeze in an ice cream maker, according to manufacturer's instructions. Add chocolate chips during last 5 min. of mixing.

FYI: We experimented to see if we could eek two back-to-back batches out of our freezer bowl (instead of re-freezing it between batches, which takes several hours), but it didn't freeze at all--it just kept it cold (just in case anyone out there has the same ice cream maker and was wondering). Now we see the benefit in having a second freezer bowl. Maybe we'll pick one up.

Saturday, July 2, 2011

The Most Talented Family You've (Probably) Never Heard of

This week, I stumbled upon this video. The quality isn't great, but it's incredible to watch:

That's Gunhild Carling. After seeing that, I had to watch more videos of her, and I found out that her whole family is that talented. The Carling family is from Sweden and they've been performing since the early 1980s. I can't believe the amount of talent they have. They play multiple instruments, sing, and dance. According to their web site, her mother plays banjo, violin, drums, and double bass; her father plays trumpet; her brother Max plays violin and clarinet; her sister Gerd plays piano, harp, organ, trombone, alto sax, and vibraphone; her brother Ulf plays drums; and Gunhild plays...well, watch the video montage below:

I also really enjoyed the following clip from a concert her jazz band did (and the video and audio quality is excellent). She fronts the band, playing trumpet and trombone, singing, and directing. It's a little long (3 songs), but worth it. There are guest dancers for the first song, she wrote the second song (which I love), and her father wrote the third song. Several Carling family members are in this clip (mother on banjo, father on trumpet, brother Max on clarinet (and I think sax), and brother Ulf on drums).

I want to be like her when I grow up.