Monthly Archives: March 2012

easy 3 ingredient vanilla ice cream

Last weekend the smallest kid and I found an ice cream maker at a thrift store, still wrapped in plastic in its box for a whopping $5. We adopted it and started a search for easy ice cream recipes.

We’ve tried a couple of recipes so far, but this one  I found a few days ago and its the one we will be sticking to from here on in. It meets my criteria for great taste with minimal ingredients and minimum effort. I want to make our food better for us, but if it’s too complicated or messy.. it probably won’t be repeated at our house.

I can see making this a lot this summer. Tonight we are going to try a recipe for hard shell chocolate. That, a bowl of homemade ice cream and a G&T around my house will get you.. well, pregnant. So I may skip the drink this time.

Easy Vanilla Ice Cream

(we tweaked it a little according to the ingredients we had available and it worked just fine)
  • 4 cups half-and-half or light cream (we used 2 cups of whipping cream and 2 cups of 2% milk)
  • 1 (14 ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
  • 2 tablespoons vanilla extract (we used our homemade vanilla extract and scraped some of the inside of a bean into the mix)
Combine ingredients and mix.  Pour into ice cream maker container.  Freeze according to manufacturer’s instructions.  Freeze leftovers.

The ice cream was perfect. It would be easy to add in extras like fruit or chocolate chips. Next time I’m going to try it with 1/4 cup cocoa and 1/4 cup instant coffee to make mocha, as was suggested by someone in the original recipe.

Apparently you can also make this without an icecream maker by eliminating 2 cups of cream and folding two cups of whipped cream into the condensed milk and vanilla, pouring it into a freezer container and freeze it until solid.

Homemade Vanilla Extract

 And here is our homemade vanilla, in case anyone wonders about making it yourself. We started making it last winter when we amped up our efforts at home baking.

We purchased a bunch of vanilla beans, split them lengthwise, scraped the seeds & put them seeds and all into a couple of mason jars. We filled one with vodka and the other with dark rum. I like the rum version better, but both taste like vanilla extract. Actually, they both are better than anything I’ve bought in a store before. You have to let it brew for a month or two, shaking occasionally

When the extract gets low, we top it up with more booze and it keeps going strong.

Linking to Cozy Home Scenes, Frugally Sustainable, Our Delightful Home, Skip to My Lou, Our Simple Farm, A Turtle’s Life for Me, A Pinch of Joy, Addicted to Recipes, Homestead Simple

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for the birds – easy children’s project to attract birds

Yesterday started out as another typical frenetic Saturday at my household. Horses to feed, hockey game to attend, shopping to do, housekeeping to ignore – the usual.

We won the hockey game. I ignored the shopping. The housekeeping got mostly done by me and the kids with liberal doses of me saying “My name is not Dobby!”.

The afternoon was greyish, so I occupied the kids by using leftover ribbon and yarn to make this project. I remember finding beautiful little white horsehair birds nests around the barn last year after we had groomed the white pony. I’ve also read that you can leave out bits of yarn for the birds to make their nests. I found a few project ideas on line – some people poke the strings out through grapevine balls and hang them from trees, which looked great, but I didn’t have any and didn’t feel like traipsing through burdock looking for grapevine.

I bought a suet feeder cage at the hardware store and we lined the bottom with some sphagnum moss leftover from the small squeaky kid’s diarama project. We cut up bits of yarn, ribbon, raffia, jute, etc. into 4 to 8″ lengths and stuffed them in the cage until it was full. We hung it in a conspicuous spot out back and now we’ll keep watch to see if we can spot any colourful nests around this summer.

We also put out a birdhouse,

put water in the bird feeder,

and put out some birdseed.

We are still waiting for the birds to come. I think the sudden dip in temperature and the grey day yesterday had them hiding away somewhere else. The girls spent part of the afternoon upstairs in their bedroom watching the string feeder through binoculars, so I did provide some quiet time. Mission accomplished.

Linking to Tater Tots and Jello, Six Sister’s Stuff, I {heart} Naptime, Too Much Time on My Hands, Simply Klassic Home, Folk Haven, A Pinch of Joy, Bringing Beauty, Our Delightful Home, It’s So Very Cheri, Frugally Sustainable, Cozy Home Scenes, A Peaceful Mom

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DIY pixelated photo art

viewed up close

I’ll start out by admitting that this is me copying something that I saw at the city cousin’s house. They have a beautiful poster sized pixelated photo of someone in their front hallway. From up close, it just looks like colourful art, but if you walk away from it you can see the photo take shape. I love it, so I decided to copy it myself.

First, I started with a google search – How to pixelate a photo using the Paint program that came with Windows (because I don’t have Photoshop) and found this on eHow. I picked two photos of the kids that are colourful and followed the directions. The results:

picture #1 before

picture #1 after

picture #2 before

picture #2 after

Then I took them to Wallyworld and had them printed as 11×14 sized prints. I could have printed them larger, but I don’t know where I would find a spot to hang them. As it is now, they are sitting on the mantle until I decide where they should live permanently.

I purchased some simple black frames and cut the photos to fit. And I’m done. Easy.

The kids really liked them. My mom was less than enthusiastic, but she’s always thought I was strange. The husband was diplomatic in his response, as always. I’m quite happy with them.

Linking to DIY Show Off, Cozy Home Scenes, The Trendy Treehouse, Seven Thirty Three, Mod Vintage Life. The ArtsyGirl Connection, Rad Crafter, At The Picket Fence, Too Much Time on My Hands, Bringing Beauty, Our Delightful Home, It’s So Very Cheri, The Peaceful Mom

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