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Ice cream party and VVC details

My ice cream maker was in hibernation through the very long Midwest winter this year. So rather than valuing the simple things in life, it was ravenous for over-the-top flavors when I pulled it out for the warmer months. This is peanut butter butterscotch maple chocolate chip (PBBMCC) ice cream. Coconut milk-based, this ice cream is full of peanut butter, pure maple syrup, butterscotch extract, and two kinds of chips. It’s extra decadent and also extremely simple to make because it’s not an exact science and there’s nothing to heat up. Lazy ice cream, if you will.

Here is how you make peanut butter butterscotch maple chocolate chip, PBBMCC, ice cream (see, I pulled a Rachael Ray* there) or a variation thereof:

1. In a medium bowl, stir together 1 can of full-fat coconut milk, at least 1/3 cup maple syrup, a few heaping spoonfuls of creamy peanut butter, and a splash of butterscotch extract.

2. Add a few splashes of non-dairy milk to make your ice cream go further. A little goes a long way. Too much will make your ice cream less creamy because fat=delicious. Taste and adjust the flavors as necessary. The two reasons I used maple syrup are (a) this is maple ice cream, and (b) it would be so much work to heat up the coconut milk and dissolve granulated sugar in it. You could do that though, especially if you want to mix up the flavors. Start with 1/2 cup sugar since maple syrup is concentrated sweetness.

3. Freeze in your ice cream maker according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Typically, you’ll toss in the add-ins during the last 5 minutes of freezing (check your instructions). I added about 1/2 cup total of butterscotch and chocolate chips.

4. Done-zo! Eat that ice cream! Store in the freezer in an airtight container.

You can use these guidelines for a myriad of ice cream flavors. The basic formula is 1 can of coconut milk, 1/3-1/2 cup sweetener, and your flavors. There is much room for experimentation as ice cream is very forgiving.

*I don’t have anything against RR’s tendency to refer to an ingredient along with its clunky acronym over and over in speech (à la EVOO, extra-virgin olive oil). It’s proof that if you consistently say something odd and gratuitous, it can become your brand. In fact, I even have her orange tea kettle.

And finally, I’m so excited for Vida Vegan Con this week and can’t wait to see those of you who are also attending! The agenda looks fantastic and of course, the food will be out of this world.

This week I’m finishing up preparation for the two classes I’ll be teaching:

Artful Food Photography, Sunday at 1:45pm
I’ll be talking about the blog as a space where you have complete creative control to develop your own style. Having recently completed my degree in photography, I spent the last few years working with fine arts in school, producing commercial work for books and print media, and making photos for this blog that fall somewhere in between. We’ll discuss influences, designing your photos around the food, and presenting your own voice through the photos on your blog.

Finding Balance: Blogging & Personal Life, Saturday at 2:15pm
Jamie J. Hagen, Gena Hamshaw, and I will be speaking about the importance of setting realistic schedules and boundaries while juggling a full-time job or going to school, writing a blog, and maintaining a personal life.

I’ll be back following the conference to recap the weekend, the food, the classes, and what I learned!

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Fruity: Chewy Banana Cookies, Pumpkin Spice, Blueberry. And some PB Grahams

Chewy Banana-Banana Cookies

I’ve been trying to make chewy banana cookies, on and off, for about a year and it finally happened! They’re called banana-banana cookies, rather than banana-oatmeal or banana-nut, because the banana shines in this recipe!

Chewy Pumpkin Spice Cookies

I have a fluffy pumpkin cookie, but here is the elusive CHEWY pumpkin cookie!

Blueberry Walnut Breakfast Cookies

These are completely oil/margarine-free, but don’t taste healthy!

Peanut Butter Graham Crackers

A variation from original grahams.

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Nutter Butters and Peanut Butter Cups!

NUTTER BUTTERS!!

“Real” Nutter Butters are vegan, but homemade is even better! These are crispy and peanut buttery like the real thing, but have more flavor and no hydrogenated oils or preservatives.

Nutter Butters

Nutter Butters

Peanut Butter Cups

(I’m going to post the recipe here soon! The ratio of filling to chocolate is a little off, so once that is fixed, the recipe will be here.)

Peanut Butter Cups

Peanut Butter Cookie Crumbles

These would be delicious atop ice cream or as a pie crust. I used them in the peanut butter cups, but I thought it added a bit too much of a crunch, so I prefer using graham crackers.
Peanut Butter Cookie Crumbles