Ice Cream Floats with Brio Ice Cream

brio 4Ok, let’s be honest…Ice Cream is one of the most beloved desserts and frozen treats!  Although there is not much better than a scoop of ice cream topped with sprinkles and chocolate sauce, I might be as in love with ice cream floats.  This frozen drink has become a new favorite of mine and maybe because it has been one of the best ways to cool off this summer.  brio 1brio 2brio 3

The wonderful thing about an ice cream float is there really is no recipe to follow!  Pick your favorite flavor ice cream and start creating from there.  I got my inspiration from the wonderful flavors of Brio Ice Cream.  They have six amazing flavors that will make for the best scoop or added to any dessert.  I chose the more classic flavors to add to my floats and they were delicious!  

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Strawberry & Cream Ice Cream Float
2 Tbsp Strawberry Syrup (homemade or store-bought)
3 Scoops Madagascar Vanilla Brio Ice Cream
Vanilla Cream Gourmet Soda

Directions:
Add strawberry syrup to glass + 3 scoops of ice cream and top off with soda

brio 5Dark Chocolate Cherry Ice Cream Float
4 Fresh Cherries, Muddled
3 Scoops Dark Chocolate Brio Ice Cream
Dark Cherry Gourmet Soda

Directions: 
Muddle cherries at the bottom of glass, add 3 scoops of ice cream and top off with soda

brio 7Root Beer Caramel Ice Cream Float
2 Tbsp Caramel Sauce (Homemade or Store Bought) 
3 Scoops Vanilla Caramel Brio Ice Cream
Root Beer Gourmet Soda 

Directions:
Add caramel sauce to the bottom of the glass + 3 scoops of ice cream and top with soda

brio 4

There are several of brands of ice cream and flavors that I love and keep in my rotation, but I have recently discovered Brio Ice Cream and will make a permanent place in my freezer and is the perfect addition to my gourmet Ice Cream floats.  Brio Ice Cream was founded by the original creators of Earth’s Best Baby Food and many years later they wanted to reinvent ice cream giving us less guilt and more healthy benefits. The ice cream is packaged in individual 3.6 ounce cups or 14 ounce containers.   All of Brio’s ice cream flavors are made with whole organic milk and loaded with calcium, protein, antioxidants and probiotics.  There are no artificial sweeteners or flavors added to any of the products.

As we strive for added nutrients to our daily diet, we won’t feel as guilty ending our day on a sweet note!!

Brio Ice Cream can be found throughout the country…click here to find a store near you!

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Back to School Lunch Box Must Haves

lunch boxSummers are made up of late nights, no routine and a lot of tiresome fun and it is not always easy getting back into the school routine.  For me early mornings are the hardest part.  Getting everyone up, dressed, fed a healthy and nutritious breakfast, lunches packed and out the door.  

As important as breakfast is for ourselves and our kids, so is the lunch we pack to fuel the rest of their day.  The lunch box routine does not have to be intimidating or stressful when you have an organized refrigerator of simple and healthy options.  In my family, we love a classic sandwich but I always like to change it up so everyday lunches don’t look the same.  

Lunch Box Menu Options:

Turkey & cheese skewers
Sweet potato chips
Grapes
Edamame

PBJ Roll Ups
Apple slices
Carrots and ranch
Pretzel sticks

Salami and crackers
Mozzarella balls
Cucumbers and tomatoes
Dried fruit mix

Pasta salad
Sugar snap peas
Strawberries with yogurt dip
Popcorn 

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Frozen Hot Chocolate

hc 3While we are soaring through the hottest part of summer, there is only one way to stay cool; frozen treats after a long day of outdoor play and back yard barbecues. Frozen hot chocolate has become a family favorite and it’s rich chocolate, not overly sweet and frothy flavor brings us back to the comfort of the hot chocolate we love during the winter months. Blend the frozen hot chocolate to be extra smooth before pouring into a large mug and top with fresh whipped cream, toasted marshmallows and crumbled graham crackers. hc

Frozen Hot Chocolate
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Ingredients
  1. 6 ounce Semi Sweet Chocolate Chips
  2. 2 Tbsp Cocoa Powder
  3. 4 Tbsp Powdered Sugar
  4. 3 Cups Whole Milk
  5. 5 Cups Ice
Optional Toppings
  1. Whipped Cream
  2. Toasted Marshmallows
  3. Graham Cracker Crumbs
Instructions
  1. Melt chocolate in a bowl over a double boiler, stirring constantly
  2. Once chocolate is completely melted, add in cocoa powder and powdered sugar, whisk until completely combined
  3. Add in 1 1/2 cups of milk to chocolate mixture and whisk until smooth
  4. Remove the chocolate mixture from the heat and allow it to cool completely
  5. Add Ice, the remaining 1 1/2 cups of milk and chocolate mixture into a blender and blend to remove all chunks of ice and it becomes very frothy
Pour frozen hot chocolate into a glass or mug and top with fresh whipped cream, toasted marshmallows and graham cracker crumbs
  6. Serve immediately!
INK foods : In Nanny's Kitchen http://inkfoods.com/
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Roasted Banana Split Ice Cream Sandwich

IMG_4550

Summer is upon us and until I had kids I never realized the importance of keeping busy, cooling off and chilling out.  There is a fine balance between keeping our kids active and boredom.  The stage of life my girls are in is quite confusing, you sign them up for every camp out there and when they are home two seconds, they want to know what’s next, but what I have slowly figured out is that a little home time is really what they need. They don’t need their every day filled to the brim with no time to run around outside in the sprinklers, play old fashion board games and just enjoy a moment of quite reading and craft time.  These moments seem the most calm and the ones I tend to enjoy most with them.

Both of my girls love helping in the kitchen, which is wonderful and messy all in one, but I am thankful for their interest in cooking and baking.  As the heat kicks in, it is hard to focus on anything else but ice cream and we have loved creating this frozen treat smashed between two of our favorite cookies, brownies, graham crackers or really anything that goes with our favorite ice cream flavor at the time.

Roasted banana split ice cream sandwich is one of our favorites and it is perfect for a dinner party, backyard barbecue or just a quiet night at home. Set out all the topping you would need and let your guests create their own. Making homemade ice cream sandwiches is the perfect project for you and your kids but these old fashion frozen treats are also making a comeback and can be found at some of our favorite bakeries, ice cream shops and restaurants.IMG_4507IMG_4512

Roasted Banana Split Ice Cream Sandwiches
Yields 12
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Chocolate Cookie
  1. 2 Cups All Purpose Flour
  2. 1/2 Cup Cocoa Powder
  3. 1/4 tsp Salt
  4. 1 Cup (2 sticks) Butter, Unsalted
  5. 1 1/2 Cups Powdered Sugar
  6. 2 Egg Yolks
  7. 1 tsp Vanilla Extract
Roasted Banana Ice Cream
  1. 3 Bananas
  2. 2 Cups Heavy Cream
  3. 1 Cup Whole Milk
  4. 1 Cup Granulated Sugar
  5. 5 Egg Yolks
  6. 1 vanilla bean, split
Chocolate Cookie
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F
  2. Combine flour, cocoa powder and salt and set aside
  3. In a large mixing bowl, cream together butter and powdered sugar and mix until smooth
  4. Add in eggs yolks and vanilla extract and mix until combined
  5. Scrape down butter mixture and slowly add dry ingredients until dough has come together
  6. Remove the dough from the mixing bowl, shape into a rectangle, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for approximately 1 hour or until chilled
  7. Roll the chocolate dough to 1/4 inch thick and cut into 3 inch squares and place on parchment lined sheet pan
  8. Using a skewer, poke nine evenly spaced holes into each cookie before baking
  9. Bake for 15 minutes at 350 degrees F
  10. Allow the cookies to cool completely before assembling
Roasted Banana Ice Cream
  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F
  2. Place 3 unpeeled banana on a parchment lined sheet pan and roast until skin is completely black, approximately 20 minutes
  3. Allow the bananas to cool completely, peel, mash and set aside
  4. In a bowl, whisk together the egg yolks and half of the sugar
  5. In a saucepan combine heavy cream, milk, 1/2 of sugar and vanilla bean
  6. Once it comes to a simmer, slowly whisk 1/2 of the milk mixture into egg yolk mixture
  7. Add the egg yolk mixture back into the saucepan, stirring constantly for 1 minute
  8. Add the mashed bananas into custard and cook for 3-4 minutes or until custard becomes thick and coats the back of a wood spoon
  9. Using an immersion blender, pulse mixture until smooth
  10. Strain mixture into a large bowl to remove any cooked eggs or banana pieces
  11. Cover custard and refrigerate until cold
  12. Once the mixture is cold, make the ice cream according to your ice cream machine instructions.
  13. Spread the frozen ice cream into a 9x9 inch parchment lined pan, cover and freeze overnight
  14. Remove the molded ice cream from the pan and cut into 3 inch squares
  15. Assemble Ice Cream Sandwiches and freeze until ready to serve
  16. Serve with optional toppings or enjoy on their own!
Notes
  1. Toppings: (optional)
  2. Fresh Whipped Cream
  3. Maraschino Cherries
  4. Chopped Pecan
  5. Toasted Coconut
  6. Chocolate Sauce
INK foods : In Nanny's Kitchen http://inkfoods.com/
Where to find the best Ice Cream Sandwiches in Dallas:

Liz, owner of Joy Macarons has taken her famous French Macaron and sandwiches them with homemade ice cream for the most amazing Ice Cream Sammy’s. The combinations are endless with flavors like Thai Tea, Guava/Coconut, Butter Pecan and Cereal Milk but why not try them all.  

A new ice cream shop coming to Dallas, Milk Cream, has put a twist on the traditional ice cream sandwich and instead stuffs their ice cream in a dense doughnut like bun. You will be able to indulge in these milky buns this summer on Ross Ave.  Milk Cream is estimated to open July 23rd.

Equipment Needed:
Ice Cream Machine
Immersion Blender
Square Fluted Cookie Cutters

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Profiteroles…Fancy Up Your Ice Cream!

cream puff 4

Happy July!  It is crazy how fast this summer is going, but it has been a fun and busy one.  Trying to keep the girls entertained and cool has been the main focus and July is going to only get hotter.  With warm temperatures, the only thing we can turn to is ice cream and I am thankful it is National Ice Cream month so we have an excuse to eat it every day!  Profiteroles are a simple way to fancy up my go to homemade classic ice cream or dairy free coconut ice cream recipes.

A classic French dessert that might seem intimidating to make will surprise you with it’s simplicity and ease for a light summer dessert. Pâte à Choux is the dough that creates this airy and crisp shell often filled with your favorite ice cream or custard and garnished with powdered sugar, a decadent chocolate sauce (dairy free option) or fresh fruit. Bite size, full of ice cream and fresh fruit, profiteroles will win over your guests heart and keep you cool during the summer heat.

cream puff 2cream puff 3cream puff 6

Classic Profiteroles
Yields 24
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Ingredients
  1. Pâte à Choux
  2. 1 cup Water
  3. 1/2 cup Butter, Unsalted
  4. 1/4 tsp Salt
  5. 1 1/2 cups All Purpose Flour
  6. 4 Eggs
Filling/Garnish
  1. Vanilla Bean Ice Cream or Flavor of your choice
  2. Fresh Strawberries, sliced
Instructions
  1. Heat water, butter and salt in a medium sauce pan and bring to a boil
  2. Once the butter is completely melted, reduce the heat and add in the flour
  3. Whisk until the flour and butter mixture come to a paste form and pulls away from the sides of the pan
  4. Take the mixture off of the heat and pour dough into a mixer with paddle attachment
  5. Mix on medium speed for 2 minutes to release the steam from the dough
  6. Slowly add the eggs, one by one and beat until the dough is smooth and all ingredients are fully combined
  7. Pipe or scoop into 2” round balls
  8. Egg wash the top of dough
  9. Bake at 425 degrees F for 10 minutes and reduce to 375 degrees F for approx. 15 minutes or until profiteroles are a light golden brown
  10. Allow the profiteroles to cool completely before filling
  11. Cut profiteroles in half and add one scoop of vanilla bean ice cream and fresh cut strawberries
  12. Garnish with powdered sugar
  13. Serve immediately
INK foods : In Nanny's Kitchen http://inkfoods.com/
Must have kitchen gadgets:

 Ice Cream Maker,

Ice Cream Scoop,

Piping Bags,

Silpat

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Double Chocolate Banana Muffins

muffin 3With summer in full swing, I have tried to stay creative with our breakfast options!  As well as being the most important part of the day, it always navigates the attitude; happy, tired, silly, or grumpy.   I can promise you…these  Double Chocolate Banana Muffins made for one happy morning!!!  muffin 1IMG_4364

Double Chocolate Banana Muffins
Yields 12
Rich chocolate banana muffins for the perfect morning pick me up!
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Ingredients
  1. 1 Cup All Purpose Flour
  2. 1/2 Cup Cocoa Powder
  3. 1/2 tsp Baking Soda
  4. 3/4 Cup Granulated Sugar
  5. 1/2 tsp Salt
  6. 2 Eggs
  7. 3/4 Cup Vegetable Oil
  8. 1 tsp Vanilla Extract
  9. 1 Cup Banana, Mashed (approx. 2 Bananas)
  10. 1 Cup Semi Sweet Chocolate Chips
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and prepare muffin pans with butter or paper liners
  2. Sift flour, cocoa powder, salt and baking soda into a mixing bowl
  3. In another mixing bowl, whisk together sugar, eggs, vegetable oil and vanilla extract
  4. Slowly add egg mixture into dry ingredients and whisk until fully combined
  5. Fold in mashed bananas and chocolate chips to the batter until fully combined
  6. Scoop batter into prepared muffin tins
  7. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean
  8. Serve immediately or store in air tight container
INK foods : In Nanny's Kitchen http://inkfoods.com/

Berry Slab Pie

IMG_3954Happy Memorial Day!!  As we dive into summer, backyard bbq’s and pool parties, easy and fresh are what we are looking for. A slab pie is the perfect warm weather treat, similar ingredients to your classic deep dish pie, but tends to be on the lighter side due to the thin buttery crust surrounding fresh seasonal fruit. Enjoy this berry filled goodness all summer long topped with your favorite scoop of ice cream!IMG_3875IMG_3926IMG_3945

Berry Slab Pie
Serves 10
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Pie Crust
  1. 5 Cups All Purpose Flour
  2. 1 Tbsp Sugar
  3. 2 tsp salt
  4. 2 Cups Unsalted Butter, Chilled
  5. 1/2 Cup Cold Water
Berry Filling
  1. 4 Cups Strawberries, Sliced
  2. 1 Cup Blueberries
  3. 1 Cup Rasperries
  4. 1 Cup Granulated Sugar
  5. 3 Tbsp Corn Starch
  6. 1 tsp Vanilla Extract
  7. 1 lemon, Zested
  8. Juice of 1 Lemon
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and butter a 9x13 pan (1/4 sheet pan)
  2. In a food processor combine flour, sugar, and salt
  3. Slowly pulse the dry ingredients while adding the cold butter in cubes
  4. Once the flour looks like course meal, slowly add the water to the flour mixture until dough comes together
  5. Divide dough into two equal parts, wrap and refrigerate for 20-30 minutes before rolling out
  6. While the dough is chilling, prepare the berry fruit filling
  7. Slice the strawberries, combine with blueberries and raspberries
  8. Add sugar, cornstarch, vanilla extract, lemon zest and lemon juice to the fruit, mix until fully combined (refrigerated until ready to use)
  9. Once dough is chilled, roll the dough out to cover the bottom of your pan
  10. Add the filling to the top of the dough and spread evenly
  11. Roll out the remainder of the dough and cut into strips to make a lattice top
  12. *Egg wash the dough
  13. Bake for 35-45 minutes or until crust is golden brown
  14. Serve Warm
*Egg Wash
  1. 1 Egg
  2. 1 Tbsp Water
  3. Combine egg and water and whisk until combined 
Using a pastry brush, brush the egg wash onto the dough before baking to create a glossy and golden finish
INK foods : In Nanny's Kitchen http://inkfoods.com/
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Coconut Vanilla Ice Cream

ink-foods-paleo-ice-cream-1752

I am excited to introduce you to my friend Andrea from Loubies and Lulu!  She is a fitness, fashion and healthy lifestyle blogger and always challenges me to come up with the fun, healthy and paleo alternatives to desserts!  

Ice cream is an all around favorite of so many people and everyone should be able to enjoy a scoop of this frozen treat. When Andrea and I were talking about her favorite desserts for summer she expressed how much she loved ice cream but would love an alternative to all the dairy and sugar that is in a traditional recipe. As I was developing this recipe for Loubies and Lulu, my goal was to keep it classic and a great base for a variety of flavors.ink-foods-paleo-ice-cream-1588 ink-foods-paleo-ice-cream-1786ink-foods-paleo-ice-cream-1425

The beauty of Coconut Vanilla Ice Cream is the rich custard flavor and the endless toppings that can be added to make your favorite ice cream sundae. Strawberries, raspberries, pecan, almonds, dairy free chocolate chips and toasted coconut are just a few of my favorite topping to add as well as a rich dairy free chocolate sauce.ink-foods-paleo-ice-cream-1553 ink-foods-paleo-ice-cream-1560 ink-foods-paleo-ice-cream-1388

Thank you Andrea for making and enjoying this perfect summer recipe with me. Head over to Loubies and Lulu for additional toppings and suggestions for the perfect Ice Cream Sundae Bar.ink-foods-paleo-ice-cream-1688 ink-foods-paleo-ice-cream-1777

 

Coconut Vanilla Ice Cream
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Ingredients
  1. 4 Cups Coconut Milk*
  2. 1/2 Cup Honey
  3. 4 Egg Yolks
  4. 1 Vanilla Bean
Instructions
  1. Prepare ice cream maker and freeze bowl for 24 hours before using
  2. Slice the vanilla bean length wise and scrape out the seeds
  3. In a medium saucepan, heat coconut milk and vanilla bean seeds until simmering
  4. Whisk egg yolks and honey in a medium bowl
  5. Once coconut milk is heated, slowly add the milk to the egg yolks while continuously whisking
  6. Pour the mixture back into the saucepan and heat until custard starts to thicken and coats the back of a wood spoon
  7. Strain the custard into a bowl and press plastic wrap to the top to avoid a crust from forming
  8. Once the custard has reached room temperature, refrigerate until chilled ( at least two hours)
  9. (the coconut milk might separate slightly while cooling, just whisk until smooth and comes back together)
  10. Pour the chilled custard into the frozen bowl attachment for ice cream maker
  11. Use ice cream maker according to manufacturer instructions
  12. Remove the ice cream from the bowl and place in an air tight container and freeze until firm, approx. 2 hours
  13. Serve coconut ice cream with dairy free chocolate sauce and toppings of your choice!
Notes
  1. *There are several varieties of coconut milk, but the one that I have found to be the best tasting, most versatile and best for Ice Cream is Native Forest Unsweetened Classic Coconut Milk
INK foods : In Nanny's Kitchen http://inkfoods.com/
Dairy Free Chocolate Sauce
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Ingredients
  1. 1 Cup Dairy Free Chocolate Chips (I used Enjoy Life Semi Sweet Mini Chips)
  2. 1 Cup Coconut Milk*
Instructions
  1. Heat coconut milk in a small saucepan until it comes to a simmer
  2. Slowly whisk coconut milk into a bowl with chocolate chips
  3. Whisk slowly until chocolate is fully melted and milk is combined
  4. Allow the sauce to slightly cool before using (reheat if sauce is made in advance and needs to be warmed)
Notes
  1. *There are several varieties of coconut milk, but the one that I have found to be the best tasting, most versatile and best for Ice Cream is Native Forest Unsweetened Classic Coconut Milk
INK foods : In Nanny's Kitchen http://inkfoods.com/
Some of my favorite ingredients for this recipe:
Native Forest Unsweetened Coconut Milk
Enjoy Life Semi Sweet Chocolate
Unsweetened Coconut Flakes

Equipment Needed:
Ice Cream Maker
Ice Cream Scoop
Acrylic Ice Cream Sundae Serving Bowls
Red and White Disposable Ice Cream Cups
Ramekins for toppings
Loaf Pan

All photos by Stephanie Drenka

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