Red, White and Blueberry Cheesecake Ice Cream

The other day I picked up a massive container of locally grown and picked blueberries. Seemed like a great idea at the time, but as the days wore on we weren't making the dent I had envisioned in our berries and I worried they would start to go bad. 
Cue the search for all things blueberry recipes!
You may remember our family bbq from the other weekend featuring both blueberry cocktails and desserts, you can check them out here.

With 2 cups of blueberries giving me the stink eye every time I opened the refrigerator door, it was time to get crafty.  
Blueberry Cheesecake Ice Cream anyone?

What started as an experiment and what I truly thought the girls wouldn't like, turned into a raging success. 

Here's how it came together...
Start with a standard no-cook vanilla ice cream base, I have always used the recipe that came with my Cuisinart Ice Cream maker, here.
1 c milk
3/4 c granulated sugar
pinch of salt
2 c heavy cream
1 tbs vanilla extract

1. Combine the milk, sugar and salt in the bowl of a mixer/blender and blend until the sugar is dissolved. Stir in the heavy cream and vanilla extract. Refrigerate for 1-2 hours or overnight.

Meanwhile, in a separate pan, combine:
2 c blueberries
1/8 c water
1/2 c granulated sugar
1/2 lemon, juiced
1 tsp corn starch
2. Simmer over low to medium heat until the berries pop and the juice/sauce begins to thicken, about 20 minutes. Set aside to cool.

3. Chop a 1/2 block of cold cream cheese into bite size pieces, or smaller if so desired. 
My girls don't like cream cheese, so I made mine really small. 

4. Add ice cream mixture to frozen ice cream maker tub, churn as directed, about 15 minutes. As the ice cream mixture begins to reach your desired consistency add in the cream cheese bites and half of the blueberry mixture. Churn until completely incorporated.

5. While the ice cream churns, crush 4 graham cracker bars into bite size pieces.

6. Remove ice cream mixture to freezer safe container and mix in (by hand) remaining blueberry sauce and graham cracker pieces.

7. Freeze as directed, 3 hours or overnight. 

8. Enjoy! 
A perfect treat for your Independece Day celebration. 
Happy fourth of July weekend, y'all!

until next time, 

Embracing the Cold {Turkey Chili}

Remember all those posts about the warm weather, how odd it was to me, and how you felt like I was really rubbing it in? Well, the tables have finally turned and we are experiencing some surprisingly cold weather (at least that's what the tell me, this isn't typical) here in Charlotte. But, that's all right with me, because we are embracing these temperature fluctuations with fires in the fireplace, Christmas decorations (full tour coming next week) and cozy cold weather meals. 

Lately, I have been completely obsessed with the Pioneer Woman's Simple, Perfect Chili (recipe can be found here). Like, I made it 3 times in the last couple of months - that's a lot for me. I made a couple changes this last batch, and I think it turned out better than ever - plus the kids love it - so I thought I'd share it here with you, today.

DD's kid friendly turkey chili
adapted from the Pioneer Woman's simple, perfect chili

2 lbs ground turkey
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
8 oz can tomato sauce
10 oz can mild rotel tomatoes
8 oz water
2 tbs chili powder
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp oregano
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
1/4 c ground tortillas chips mixed with water to form a paste
15 oz can kidney beans
1 small can baked beans (I used bush's original)
1/2 c frozen corn kernels

1. Brown the turkey and garlic in a heavy bottom pan, over medium heat, until done. Pour off excess fat, as needed. 
2. Add tomatoes, water and spices. Simmer with lid on for an hour or so until the flavors have come together.
3. Grind a large handful of tortilla chips ( I used a mortar and pestle) into a powder. Add water, about 1/4 c to form a paste. 
4. Add the corn tortilla mixture, beans and corn to the chili. Simmer for an additional 10-15 minutes. 

This is a thick and hearty chili that my kids love to eat over rice, with avocado and cheese on top. The sweet to spicy contrast is out of this world. The corn chip thickener adds a wonderful background flavor that is highlighted by the corn kernels. 

I hope you enjoy it. 
Have a great weekend!

until next time,