Homemade Raspberry Frozen Yogurt

Raspberry Frozen Yogurt

In the past couple years, a couple dozen or so self-serve frozen yogurt places have popped up around College Station. They’ve become my favorite go-to treat, and one time I was there recently I found a new favorite – raspberry frozen yogurt with chocolate chip cookie dough. Yum! Unfortunately, it turns out it is one of their rotating flavors, and the next few times I went back they didn’t have any. I decided that since we got an ice cream maker for our wedding, I could make it myself!

Raspberry Frozen Yogurt

After searching a few frozen yogurt recipes on pinterest, I settled on this:

Ingredients:

  • 12 oz. fresh or frozen raspberries (or any other fruit of choice)
  • 12 oz. greek yogurt
  • 7 oz. sweetened condensed milk

I blended the raspberries with the condensed milk, then mixed that into the greek yogurt by hand. I plopped all this into the ice cream maker for about half an hour. It was delicious straight out of the ice cream maker, but I let (most of) it harden some more in the freezer over night.

Homemade Raspberry Frozen Yogurt

I brought what was left of the frozen yogurt to a church small group event, and it got great reviews. I also made eggless cookie dough (safe to eat without cooking!) chunks I made by following the cookie dough filling recipe here (bonus – sweetened condensed milk comes in 14 oz. cans, and this used up the other 7 oz.). It was at least as delicious as normal cookie dough, and so good with the frozen yogurt!

How I Roll

I’ve been having fun making sushi lately! I basically taught myself how using youtube. I had no experience making sushi about a month ago, but the sushi I’ve made has been a big hit with everyone who’s tried it. Making sushi was something that seemed difficult and intimidating, but after just watching a few youtube videos it was way easier than I expected – you should try it! Here’s how I made mine …

Crunchy sushi with cream cheese, tempura, crab, and sushi

I found sushi rice (short grain rice), sushi vinegar, and a small inexpensive sushi rolling mat at my local asian store. I followed these instructions for preparing my sushi rice (it also tells you how to make sushi vinegar from more normal ingredients).

spicy crab sushi

Last week I made sushi for dinner with some friends, and wanted 5-6 rolls and a pretty wide variety – but I just made one roll at a time at first. For this set I got nori, rice paper, smoked salmon, shrimp, imitation crab, cucumber, carrot, avocado, sriracha, mayonaise, toasted sesame seeds, tempura flakes, cream cheese, soy sauce, and wasabi at my normal grocery store. But that’s for a lot of different sushi! This video was the best I found as far as instructions for making sushi – both with the nori/rice paper on the outside and inside of the roll. The fun part about sushi is there are so many options and so many combinations!

sushi with smoked salmon, carrot, avocado, and cucumber

The best tip I learned was to clean and wet the knife I used to slice the sushi roll into pieces in between cuts – this helped the slices stay really neat. Also – wet your hands before you try to handle the rice – it keeps the rice from sticking to your hands nearly as much.

The rolls I made in the order of pictures in this post:

  • Two rolls – one with shrimp cooked in sriracha, cream cheese, and toasted tempura flakes wrapped in nori, one with smoked salmon, cream cheese, and toasted tempura flakes wrapped in rice paper. Both have rice on the outside with toasted sesame seeds.
  • Avocado and imitation crab mixed with some mayo and sriracha. This was everyone’s favorite!
  • Two rolls – they both have smoked salmon, carrot, cucumber, and avocado. One is wrapped in nori with rice and toasted sesame seeds on the outside and the other is wrapped with rice paper on the outside.

spicy crab sushi

Whopper Cake

Some time ago on pinterest, I saw a cake covered in whoppers and thought it looked pretty cool. When I was a bridesmaid in a wedding earlier this year and they asked the wedding party to bring desserts to the wedding, I decided to make a whopper cake (and a cheesecake, but that’s another story). I don’t often make chocolate desserts since my husband is allergic, but since this was for a bunch of people at a wedding I figured it was a good chance to play with chocolate.

Whoppers covered chocolate cake

As I was making two desserts the night before the wedding, I made this cake with boxed cake mix and canned icing. I used one box of devil’s food chocolate cake to make two 9″ rounds, and chocolate icing. After stacking and icing the cakes, I stuck whoppers on/around the whole cake – using the icing as an adhesive. It took about one and a half of those 12 oz cartons of whoppers. They stuck on pretty well, but I brought some of the leftover whoppers to the wedding to replace a few that got dislodged on the car ride to the church. I didn’t actually get to taste it since it was gone by the time the wedding party got inside from taking pictures, but I did get lots of great comments and questions about it at the reception 🙂 You could use icing to stick all kinds of candies to a cake – I think it would be really fun with something in rainbow colors like M&Ms or skittles.

And here’s a picture of Eddie & me at the wedding. The bride wanted us to all wear green and each have a different accessory color to match our bouquets. Mine was orange (obviously), and I ended up making my dress, jewelry, and headband.

Green Bridesmaid Dress

Avocado Pasta

I shared some of my favorite pinterest avocado finds last time (see my full avocado pinterest board here), but I saved this recipe for a special post all its own: avocado pasta. This has been one of my husband and my favorite recipes all summer – its quite healthy pasta recipe which still has a tasty creamy sauce – just this time the creaminess is from avocadoes (and great for your skin and hair!) instead of cream (which is really just great for lovehandles). It also comes together in about 15 minutes!

Vegetarian green avocado pasta

Avocado Pasta Recipe
makes about 4 servings
adapted from Oh She Glows

Ingredients

  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 3 small avocadoes (or about 1.5 large ones)
  • 7 oz. spaghetti
  • 1 Tbsp. olive oil (for cooking pasta – if you want)
  • 2 Tbsp. lemon juice
  • 2 Tbsp. parmesan cheese

Avocado pasta ingredients

1. Cook pasta according to box directions. I usually add a tablespoon or so of olive oil to the boiling water to keep noodles from sticking together.I like to use pasta high in fiber and protein – this time I used Barilla Plus.

2. While pasta is cooking, add garlic, lemon juice, avocados, and 1 Tbsp. parmesan cheese to food processor. Pulse until well blended.

Avocado pasta creamy sauce

3. Once pasta is cooked and drained, mix sauce into pasta. Garnish with remaining parmesan cheese, and enjoy!

Vegetarian green avocado pasta

Have you ever made a creamy sauce using something healthy instead of cream?

I’m sharing this at some of these places.

Poached Chicken Recipe

Poaching chicken once a week has been one of the best new things my husband and I have started doing. We poach about 2 lbs of boneless chicken breasts (frozen or refrigerated both work fine) all at once each weekend. Its a very simple recipe. While it takes a fair amount of time where we need to be at home, there’s not much time that actually requires our attention. And then we have moist, tender, delicious chicken to use in various recipes (like the pesto chicken pasta I shared last week) throughout the rest of the week already prepared! Its encouraged us to eat at home more (saving money) and to eat healthier.

Here’s the recipe we use:
slightly adapted from CRAFT
around 2 lbs. chicken breasts (refridgerated or frozen and thawed)
32 oz. chicken broth
3 bay leaves
1/2 Tbsp. salt
1/2 Tbsp. pepper

Directions:
1. Trim chicken breasts as desired.
2. Place chicken breasts in a pot.
3. Add chicken broth and then add enough water to cover chicken breasts.
4. Add bay leaves, salt, and pepper.
5. Bring to a boil, and then cover and simmer for 40 minutes.
6. Turn off heat, and let chicken cool in liquid while covered (about 1 hour).
7. Once cool (or you get impatient), wrap individually in foil and store in fridge for up to 10 days.

I know some of these steps sound tedious (do I really need to use chicken broth? do I really need to let the chicken cool in the liquid before putting it away?), but trust me – they make a big difference in the chicken’s taste and moistness.

It would be super easy to make more or less depending on your family’s needs – just change the quantity of chicken and still use enough chicken broth/water mixture to cover the chicken in your pot.

I’m sharing this at some of these places.

Have you made poached chicken before using different seasonings? Do you have make-ahead ingredients that help you prepare meals more quickly? Please share!

<3,
Julia