Tag Archives: TCP

TCP Cooks: Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream Subtitle: Meet Christine. She’s evil.

No, not this Christine. Although she was The Complete Package’s inspiration.

Christine photo from moviewallpapers.net

This Christine. TCP’s Christine. She’s every bit as dangerous & just as evil.

The Cuisinart Electric Ice Cream Maker

The Complete Package brought her home a few years ago. Seems he was craving ice cream and decided he could just make his own at home. Enter Christine. Three months and 15 pounds later (okay, that’s an exaggeration), he declared her evil and put her away. Every once in a while, when summer temperatures soar above 100F, TCP will pull out his former love and take her for a spin again.

This weekend, he made coffee ice cream to go with the Oooey Gooey Little Chocolate Cakes I baked. It was a good call. His coffee ice cream was a perfect complement to those dark chocolate beauties. Peppermint or mint chocolate-chip would have also worked perfectly with dark gooey chocolate. But let’s not get ahead of ourselves. It all starts with this recipe for Ben & Jerry’s Sweet Cream Ice Cream Base, which TCP found on the internet a few years ago. While I can’t vouch for its authenticity, I can vouch for its creamy goodness.

Sweet Cream Ice Cream Base (makes 1 quart):
2 large eggs
3/4 cup sugar
2 cups heavy whipping cream
1 cup milk
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract (TCP’s addition)

In a mixing bowl, whisk the eggs until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Whisk in the sugar a little at a time; continue to whisk until thoroughly combined. Add the cream, milk and vanilla extract and whisk until blended.

Pour the ice cream mixture into the ice cream maker and process according to the machine’s instructions. If you don’t have an electric ice cream maker, just put the ice cream base into a bowl with a tight-fitting lid and place it in the freezer. Take it out and stir it every 15 minutes or so until it gets too firm to stir. Return to the freezer until it is firmly set.

This ice cream base lends itself to all kinds of experimentation.

Variation #1: For coffee ice cream, add an additional 1/4 cup of sugar to the vanilla base. Dissolve 1 tablespoon of espresso powder in 1/3 cup of brewed coffee; cool completely and add with the milk and cream.

Variation #2: For peanut butter ice cream, partially freeze the vanilla base; layer the vanilla ice cream with 1/2″ layers of softened peanut butter. Return to the freezer until firmly set.

Variation #3: For fruit flavors, partially freeze the vanilla mix, then stir in fruit that has been macerated in sugar. Return to the freezer until firmly set.

Variation #4: For mint chocolate-chip, add green food coloring (optional), mint flavoring and miniature chocolate chips or shaved dark chocolate. Freeze until firmly set.

This weekend, we were all about the coffee ice cream. It was spectacular, especially when scooped over those warm, gooey little dark chocolate cakes. Oh, Christine… you are evil. Deliciously evil.

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Musings on Austin, Motorcycles, Grandkids & Sleep Deprivation

Well, it’s Tuesday and I’ve just wrapped up 10 action-packed days with the grandbabies, Jonah Bear and Lilly Bug. I thought I would feel bright-eyed and bushy-tailed after a recuperative night’s sleep, but that didn’t happen. Instead, I was up until 3:00am, and I’m feeling totally wiped out. So instead of crafting a dazzling literary recap, I’m opting for a random run-down of what transpired. I apologize in advance for taking the lazy way out. Forgive me. I beg of you.

1. Our adventure started June 10th when The Complete Package saddled up the motorcycle and Ziggy and I manned the “support vehicle” for our trip to Austin. It was our annual pilgrimage for the Republic of Texas motorcycle rally. TCP attends the bike rally; Ziggy and I spend the weekend with the kids. The ROT Rally is said to be the largest in Texas and one of the biggest in the US. Approximately 200,000 participants were expected. This year, TCP entered his new motorcycle in an open division contest and took second place in the Metric Custom category. Got a trophy and everything. My Baby and I took the kids downtown to watch the motorcycles parade past the state capitol and down Congress Avenue on Friday evening. Have you ever seen a motorcycle parade that runs for 11 uninterrupted miles and takes more than 30 minutes to pass? It’s pretty awesome, even if you’re not that into motorcycles. The kids were enthralled, and seeing their Papi ride by in the parade was a highlight. In their minds, Papi (TCP) is now a rock star. You go with your bad self, Papi. Here’s a shot of his bike, or as I like to refer to it – “the other woman”.

2. Bama Boy, our son-in-law, introduced us to his favorite meat market. It’s called Johnny G’s and it’s located in Manchaca, just south of Austin. It is best described as a small, family run meat palace. We bought two hand-cut ribeye steaks for Bama Boy and TCP (about 1.5″ thick) and two smaller steaks for My Baby and I. Then we snagged some smoked jalapeno cheese sausage and some spices. It’s a great little Mom & Pop shop, and those ribeyes were Uh-May-Zing.

3. Turns out Peter Pan is alive and well and recruiting Lost Boys in the Austin area. Who knew? If I could bottle Jonah Bear’s energy, I’d be a guhzillionaire.

4. If you take two kids and two adult women, put them in a car in the dark of night with a multi-colored flashing disco ball light stick and a cool blue light saber, add vintage rock music and park them at a Sonic Drive-In, you’re bound to draw attention. It may or may not have been a coincidence that a police cruiser pulled in just as we were leaving. Look, kids! It’s the Fuzz!

5. There’s no such thing as “too many pancakes” or “enough donuts.”

6. Behold the power of cheese! (Remember those commercials?) Hi, Lilly Bug.

7. After spending 6 days in Austin, I brought the kids back to Houston to spend the weekend at our place. My Baby and Bama Boy were celebrating their sixth wedding anniversary, so a kid-free weekend seemed like an appropriate gift. It was a total win-win for all of us. We wore those kids out. Wore ’em out good!

8. This weekend, Jonah Bear and TCP made homemade cherry pecan ice cream and lasagna. There’s nothing better than men who cook, except for men who cook and then do their own dishes. At 4 years old, Jonah is really getting into the cooking part. We’ll work on washing dishes another time. As for TCP, the man can scour a pan. And no, you can’t have him. And no, he doesn’t have a brother.

9. If I’ve seen Disney’s Tangled once, I’ve seen it a millions times. Jonah Bear usually pretends to be the hero. Lilly is the leading lady. I’m usually the villain (totally against type, I know) and Ziggy is the sidekick. This time, Jonah decided the bad guys were cooler, so he played the roll of the Stabbington brothers (twins). That’s right. Just when you think one bad guy’s enough, Disney produces twins. If you haven’t seen it yet, it’s a really cute movie. My favorite character – the little old cupid dude at the very end. Makes me laugh every single time.

10. Jonah Bear cried when it was time to head home. I cried when he started crying. Then TCP started crying. I’m telling you, we were one hot mess. Everything you’ve heard about being a grandparent is true. There is such joy in watching your babies grow up and have babies of their own. There is such freedom in enjoying your grandbabies without the stress and anxiety you felt with your own children. You really do learn a lot with age, and there’s a great sense of peace that comes with knowing you didn’t screw it up. Our daughter is amazing. Our son-in-law is a blessing. Their children are the greatest gift ever, and in all seriousness, we couldn’t love them more. Life is good. Really good.

Now if you’ll excuse us, Ziggy and I could really use a nap. A really long nap.

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