Pumpkin Ice Cream

My kitchen is full of gadgets.  All of which I think are completely necessary.  A few years ago I got a Cuisinart Ice Cream and Sorbet Maker for my birthday.  For a while, I didn’t use it because it was right around that time that I decided to stop eating crap all the time…which ruled out ice cream.

Then I discovered that this thing can make ice cream out of pretty much anything–greek yogurt, almond milk, bananas, etc.  In other words,  I can make it as low-calorie as I want.

Still trying to use up all the pumpkin in my refrigerator, I came up with this:

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Pumpkin Ice Cream

  • 2 cups of unsweetened almond milk
  • 1/2 cup pumpkin puree
  • 2 tablespoons of pumpkin butter
  • 1 tablespoon of cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon of pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 tablespoon of honey
  • 1 packet of stevia
  • 1 tablespoon of PB2 (optional)

Whisk all the ingredients together in a bowl.  Turn on the ice cream maker and pour in the ingredients.  It only takes about ten minutes until your ice cream is ready to go!

These ice cream makers aren’t too pricey.  If you’re interested in getting one, check Bed Bath & Beyond.  You can use a 20% off coupon there.  Sometimes Williams-Sonoma has a deal on these that includes an extra freezer bowl.  It ends up being a great deal.  As always, Amazon.com has a great price on them every day.

The KitchenAid Food Processor

Favorite Thing #1:

The KitchenAid Food Processor

20131227-182819.jpgI am geeky enough to admit that my Kitchenaid Food Processor is one of my favorite things.  I decided last summer that I needed one, and I had ridiculous ideas about buying the 13-cup Cuisinart chopping sensation.  All the foodies at Williams-Sonoma insisted that was the one I needed.  I mentally budgeted for the thing…well only sort of because I was also saving for Frye boots (and I wanted them more).

While shopping around an outlet center, I managed to snag a refurbished 7-cup Kitchenaid model for only $59!  My thinking was that even if it only lasted a year, I could see if I really would use it, then I could buy the Mac Daddy if I used it a lot.

I use it ALL the time.  ALL the time.  And I have no plans to buy the big one.  Usually, I’m cooking for just me or one other person, so if I make much more than what I already do, I have to throw it away.  Also, who wants to clean that gargantuan thing?

I make everything from cookies to chopped carrots with it.  It works right alongside my new food dehydrator, too!  There are plenty of recipes to come that rely on the wondrous food processor.  Instead of listing the hundreds of things you can do with it, here are a few tips on how you can get one of your own for less than the list price of $99!

Get a deal on your food processor:

  • At Bed Bath & Beyond, use one of the 20% off coupons they basically throw at customers.  That brings it down to $80!
  • The Kitchen Collection store at Tanger Outlets has a varied selection of refurbished Kitchenaid products.  It’s hit or miss, but if you can find one, you will save at least $30!  This is where I got mine, and the lady told me that she prefers refurbished products because they have been closely inspected–even more than the new ones!
  • Target occasionally puts these in the weekly ad at 20% off.  I bought my mom’s this way.  In addition, if you have a Target Red Card, you save an additional 5%.  If you are a walking medicine cabinet like me, you can also use a pharmacy reward card to save an ADDITIONAL 5%.  Great deal.

I have some other ideas, but these are sure things!  If you are interested and want some more ideas, let me know!  If you take any cooking advice I offer on here, let it be this one.  Buy a food processor.  Now.  You won’t regret it.  And visit Andy Shardo’s often for yummy things to make with it!

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On the first day of the nerdiest Christmas ever

My friend and I exchanged our gifts last night.  It was officially the nerdiest Christmas in history.  We bought each other things we really wanted.  She got a Water Pik, and I got a food dehydrator.

Even though this exchange occurred late in the evening, I couldn’t leave on my trip to Anderson without trying out my food dehydrator.  When I started reading the instructions, I realized there is a lot more to food dehydration than slicing and turning the switch.  I knew I had apples and carrots in my refrigerator and bananas on my counter that will spoil soon, so I started slicing.

The dehydrator has four trays which sounds like a lot, but once you start slicing food it’s not as much as you think.  I filled them up quickly.

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I filled the bottom three trays with the apples and bananas.  I’m excited about having them for the road today.  The apples and bananas have a little cinnamon on them, too!  Carrots are on the top tray.

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I turned on the dehydrator about an hour before I went to bed.  I think it was on about nine hours.  They all turned out pretty well.  The apples and bananas turned out exactly like I imagined.  The carrots, however, dried up a little too much.  I think I will take them out a little earlier next time.  I have had carrot chips at the Fresh Market and absolutely loved them.  I just can’t figure out how they make them.  These don’t taste quite like those, but they are still good–just tiny!

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Now I just need to find some more great things to do with my new dehydrator!  In addition to the dehydrator, nerdy Christmas also brought me this:

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This little tuft of grass can be found on the baby bottle aisle at target, but I have a lot of ideas for this little guy.  See, nerdy Christmas.

I will be heading home soon.  I’m excited to be with my family and also sad to leave my tree.  When I see it again, it won’t be Christmas anymore; therefore, it won’t have the same sparkle.  Goodbye little tree.

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yeah, I had a bowl of cereal for dinner

I had a really long and not-so-wonderful day.  The original plan ended with me at the gym for thirty minutes.  That didn’t happen.

Instead, it ended with me at my computer with a bowl of cereal.

Kashi Go lean

It’s not just any cereal.  It’s Kashi Golean with bananas.  The secret to a good, hearty bowl of cereal is the fully involved bananas.  They have to be layered into the cereal just like cheese on nachos.  And they have to be floating in almond milk.

This dinner serves several purposes:

  • It offsets the crap I ate at a staff meeting this afternoon.
  • I don’t have to clean anything up.
  • I love bananas.

I’m glad this day is done, but I did learn a few things today. First, I don’t have to react to everything I see and hear.  Second, not everyone is thinking the same thing I am.  Third, frustration is exhausting, so I must be selective with my frustrations.  Finally, cereal is good.  Cereal and bananas is better.

(Sort of) Peanut Butter Banana Waffle

First, you need to know that PB2 is one of greatest creations of our lifetime.  Perhaps that’s a little melodramatic, but I use so much PB2 I should own the company.  PB2 is powdered peanut butter.  It has all the flavor of peanut butter without the oil.  You simply mix the PB2 powder with some water and you have peanut butter.  It’s great for smoothies and baking, but I even mix it together with a banana and have it as my dessert at night.

It is a little hard to find in stores, so I order mine from Amazon.  You can even order chocolate peanut butter!  Click here for the best deal I can find.

YUM!

YUM!

Now that you know all about PB2, I can help you make your breakfast!  Here is what you need to make this:

Putting the milk in a pretty glass makes all the difference!

Putting the milk in a pretty glass makes all the difference!

2 tablespoons of PB2

2 teaspoons of cinnamon

1 soft banana

1 reduced fat Eggo waffle

1 cup of almond milk

Combine the PB2 and water to make the peanut butter.  The more water you add, the creamier the PB.  Once you have it mixed, add the cinnamon and stir.  Cut the banana in half and mash half of the banana into the peanut butter mixture.  You should have a half cup of pb/banana spread.

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Toast the waffle as brown as you like it.  

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Spread a thin layer of the mixture on the waffle.  Layer the banana slices on top of the mixture, and use the remaining mixture on top of the banana.  Place on a small plate.

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Pour the almond milk into a pretty glass.

Eat!

This breakfast contains about 275 calories.