I can remember making homemade ice cream with my family a few times as a child. My neighbors had a hand crank ice cream maker version and I loved helping. My parents had one too and we would make it for birthdays since it was a special treat. We would make homemade ice cream with chunks of fresh fruits for my mom because she loved the taste.
B IS FOR BERRIES
Strawberries taste delicious, and can be best enjoyed in the summer months. Do you know the many benefits of eating berries? They are full of antioxidants which helps prevent cancer. They are great for your digestive system because they are rich in fiber. Research has also shown berries such as strawberries, raspberries, and blueberries are great for heart and bone health.
This recipe was simple, refreshing, and full of nutrients. I love making homemade food and treats because we can choose the quality and the flavors are better. My children loved helping in the kitchen with it and of course eating it!
Strawberry Mint SorbetSORBET INGREDIENTS
3/4 cup honey
1/4 cup water
1 bundle of fresh mint
6 cups strawberries, washed and stems removed
juice of 1 lemon
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
First, heat the honey on the stovetop on low until you see bubbles form. Place the mint in the honey. Next, turn off the heat and allow the mint to infuse with the honey. Finally, let the honey cool down completely.
Blend the strawberries in a food processor. Then, pour the honey and mint mixture into a fine mesh strainer and get as much honey into the processor as possible. Throwaway the mint. Then, add all additional ingredients in and blend until well mixed. Store the mixture in the refrigerator until cold (at least 4 hours).
Finally, pour the sorbet liquid into an ice cream maker and follow the instructions for the ice cream maker.
First, I share our struggles to get pregnant. Next, I share how we opened up a cupcake shop. Finally, I share my favorite Vanilla Cake Recipe!
My husband and I tried for more than three years to get pregnant. I was more disheartened with each passing year when I did not become pregnant. I wondered why I had this huge desire to be a Mama, yet not be able to obtain it. My doctor recommended blood work and a radiology exam to check for infertility. All of my levels appeared normal, so we waited.
I took Clomid, an ovulatory stimulant, for five months with no positive results. My doctor said he had taken us as far as he would go, so he wanted to refer us to a fertility specialist. My husband and I had a discussion and we finally decided to let this goal go for awhile and focus on other things. I was heartbroken, and mourning the loss of my dream, so I cried for several days.
BEGINNING A CUPCAKE SHOP
For more than a year, I created and tested cupcakes recipes in the kitchen. We valued high-quality ingredients since that is how we eat at home. Organic, whole milk, Madagascar vanilla, cage-free, organic eggs, and organic fruits were staples in our sweets, therefore I wanted to bring that to my business. We would use as many organic ingredients as possible in baking and also provide an abundance of gluten-free options. Flavor played a key role and each cupcake was taste tested happily by family and friends. I worked towards making the best tasting cupcakes I could, using the best ingredients I could in order to present the best quality.
Finally, we acquired keys for the shop. About two days later, we found out we were pregnant! I was shocked and filled with wonder for so many different blessings during that time in our lives. God’s love is amazing. My husband and I prepared for our special miracle at the same time preparing to open a cupcake shop.
I clearly remember the first day of opening. We didn’t advertise or market. The health inspector had approved us for opening the day before. We decided to bake about 120 cupcakes to see what would happen. On opening day, so many customers, friends and family poured into our doors so by the afternoon, we were SOLD OUT of cupcakes.
Business that first weekend was even better and in one Saturday, we had sold more than 300 cupcakes. This was a huge deal because we were in a small town! I put in long hours daily at the shop, was pregnant, therefore, I could barely keep up with production that first year.
VANILLA CUPCAKE RECIPE
While I didn’t bake this particular recipe while we had my shop, if I did it all again, this recipe below would be my go-to for vanilla cupcakes. They are the most delicious we have made. These cupcakes contain high-quality ingredients which may lead to a superior flavor.
ALMOND CUPCAKES (or Vanilla Bean or Vanilla Cupcakes)CUPCAKE INGREDIENTS
1 vanilla bean
1/4 cup honey
3/4 cup full-fat yogurt
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature (grass-fed)
2 cups almond flour
1/2 cup brown rice or sorghum flour
1/3 cup cane sugar or coconut sugar
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1 heaping teaspoon baking soda
1/2 heaping teaspoon baking powder
3/4 teaspoon sea salt
Preheat your oven to 325'F. Line a cupcake/muffin tin with approximately 12 regular size liners. I prefer the unbleached kind.
Whisk your eggs. Use a knife to cut the vanilla bean, scrape out the seeds and add them to the bowl with your eggs. Add the honey, yogurt, butter and mix together. In a separate bowl, sift the almond flour, your choice of other flours, sugar, nutmeg, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Combine the wet and dry ingredients and mix together. Use an icecream scoop to pour the batter into your cupcake liners. Bake until a cake tester or knife inserted into the cupcakes comes out clean. The baking time varies depending on your oven, but a good rule of thumb is about 20 minutes. Set aside the cupcakes to cool on a baking rack.
1 cup heavy cream
1 tablespoon cane sugar or coconut sugar
1/2 tablespoon vanilla extract (Madagascar vanilla)
1/2 cup mascarpone cheese
pinch of sea salt
Whip the cream with a mixer until it thickens. Add the sugar and vanilla extract, and beat until fluffy. At the end, add the mascarpone and a pinch of salt.
Top the completely cooled cupcakes with the frosting and add berries for a beautiful and delicious touch. Eat and try to share.