Homemade Strawberry Ice-cream

As we are getting into fall, you would think I would be craving cozy meals like soup, stew or chili. While I love a comfort meal on a brisk autumn day, ice-cream is season-less and this strawberry ice-cream has my mouth watering whether it’s breakfast, lunch or dinner. Here’s how to make it!

YOU’LL NEED

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 Cups Of Cream
  • 2 Cups Of Whole Milk
  • 1.5 Cups Of Sugar
  • 1 Package Of Strawberries
  • 1.5 Teaspoon Of Vanilla
  • Drop Or Two Of Red Food Colouring (Optional)

DIRECTIONS

1 // First things first, cut off the stems of your berries and chop them up into small cubes (approx. 1/4 inch pieces). They don’t have to be exact, just small enough so that they are easily mashed and don’t appear as giant chunks in your ice-cream.

2 // Use a fork or potato masher to mash your berries into a jam-like consistency. They should be soupy so that the strawberry juice is able to effectively flavour your milk and cream.

3 // Measure out your milk and cream into a large bowl and add your strawberries to the mixture. Whisk until the berries are completely incorporated into the base of your ice-cream.

4 // Add the sugar, food colouring and vanilla to your ice-cream mixture and whisk for four minutes or until completely blended. The milk should be a little bit frothy at this point. For those who are weary of sugar, feel free to experiment with other natural sweeteners. The flavour won’t be exactly the same, but the strawberries and vanilla really are the stars of the show, so don’t be afraid to play and adjust the sweetness to your taste. I just find that the cup and a half of sugar really make the flavour of the berries pop.

5 // Pour your ice-cream mixture into your machine and freeze according to the manufacturer’s instructions.

6 // Once frozen, either serve or store in an airtight container if you would prefer your ice-cream to have a firmer consistency. It has a soft-serve texture when it’s fresh out of the ice-cream machine. Freezing it for a few more hours (or better yet, over night) gives it a texture that is more like the traditional ice-cream we are all used to.

7 // Enjoy! It has a fresh berry flavour that is a little more tart than store-bought versions. It pairs well with a touch of coconut whipped cream, berry compote, chocolate syrup and/or desiccated coconut.

Give this recipe a try and let me know what you think!

xoxo,

Alicia

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Brie, Tomato & Basil Pasta

On hot summer days when I’m feeling lethargic and unmotivated, I just want a meal that can be made quickly. And you know, one that is also delicious and not filled with fast-food preservatives and grease – it’s a tall order, I know. Enter, this simple but sumptuous Mediterranean pasta. With chunks of gooey Brie and aromatic sundried tomatoes and basil, it takes fifteen minutes to make but tastes like something you’d eat with delicate silverware over a white linen tablecloth. It’s also incredibly easy. Seriously, if you can boil water and have opposable thumbs to tear cheese, you can whip this dish up without a problem! Here’s how it’s done.

INGREDIENTS 

  • 1 Wheel of Brie
  • 1 Cup Sun Dried Tomatoes
  • 2 Chopped Fresh Tomatoes
  • 3 tbsp Fresh Chopped Basil 
  • 1 Package of Pasta (Choose whole wheat variations for extra fiber.)
  • Olive Oil (Use enough to lightly coat all of the pasta.)
  • 2 tbsp Butter
  • 2 tbsp Garlic Powder 
  • 1 tbsp Oregano
  • Salt and Pepper to taste.

DIRECTIONS

1 // Bring a pot of salted water to a boil and cook pasta according to the directions on the package (usually for around 10 minutes). Drain the pasta.

2 // Drizzle olive oil over cooked pasta and toss until all of the noodles are lightly coated. Add the butter and toss the pasta further.

3 // While the pasta is still super hot, tear up Brie into small pieces and add it to the pasta. Stir the pasta so that the melted cheese is dispersed throughout.

4 // Add the garlic, oregano, salt and pepper to the pasta. Toss in the sundried tomatoes and basil. 

5 // Garnish the pasta with a little extra chopped basil to make it pretty!

This is one of the easiest (and most delicious) pastas ever. It tastes equally yummy cold as it does hot and the flavours seem to intensify when you reheat and eat it the next day. You can also customize this recipe with any other add-one you want – for example, my boyfriend loves it with chopped up bacon bits. If you’re feeling like having a lazy evening but don’t want another meal that comes in a take-out box, this quick and tasty dish is absolutely perfect. You can also eat it cold as a pasta salad for a light summer’s day dinner.

What’s your favorite lazy day recipe? 

xoxo,

Alicia

Chocolate Face Mask DIY


Photo via Hello Glow

Let’s face it – most of us are addicted to chocolate. And while my favorite way to indulge with this sweet treat is to eat it, cocoa (what chocolate is made from) is actually packed full of antioxidants and other nutrients that are great for your complexion. This mask DIY is inspired by the ever-so-popular Cupcake mask from LUSH, but with my own tweaks to make it more moisturizing and suitable for my dry and sensitive skin. It’s comprised of only five ingredients and most of them can be found in your fridge. So kick back and relax with this super indulgent mask, a glass of wine, and your favorite Netflix series. Just try not to eat it! 

WHAT YOU’LL NEED

  • 1 Tsp Cocoa Powder
  • 1/2 Cup Kaolin Powder
  • 1/2 Plain Yogurt
  • 1/2 Tsp Vanilla Absolute
  • 1 Tsp Honey 

Cocoa Powder – Rich in antioxidants, cocoa powder helps to detoxify your skin of the harmful free radicals in the environment. It gives the skin a healthy glow while keeping it supple and youthful.

Kaolin – This absorbent clay sops up excess oil and purges skin of impurities. 

Plain Yogurt – Unsweetened yogurt soothes irritated skin and acts as a natural moisturizer. The lactic acid also acts as a gentle exfoliant, dissolving dead skin cells.

Vanilla Absolute – This yummy smelling essential oil calms redness and gives the skins a more even appearance.

Honey – Honey has been used for centuries as a natural moisturizer and antiseptic. Not only does it zap zits and kill bacteria, it also acts as a humectant, drawing moisture from the environment and into your skin. 

DIRECTIONS

1) Measure out the dry ingredients (cocoa powder and kaolin) and set aside in a small bowl. Mix until the kaolin and cocoa powder are well blended. 

2) Next add the yogurt, vanilla absolute, and honey. The mask should have a paste-like consistency that is similar to icing (it will smell like icing too!). If you don’t like the consistency of your mask, customize it by adding more yogurt or more kaolin. 

3) Spread the mask over your entire face, avoiding the delicate area around your eyes. Leave on for ten minutes, then wash off and apply moisturizer. 

4) Enjoy your silky soft, matte skin!

If you give this mask a try, let me know what you think in the comments! I hope you enjoy it!

xoxo,

Alicia


dirty-martini-cocktail-how-to

The Dirtier The Better

I’ll admit it – I rarely go out drinking. I’m 23 but with the soul of a 95-year-old woman and nine times our of ten I would rather curl up with a cup of tea and Netflix or read a book in the bath. One Friday night I was legitimately knitting while watching Harry Potter and The Philosopher’s Stone. Did you fall asleep yet? When I’m not being boring or indulging in one of my favorite geriatric activities, I do like to indulge in one (or four) drinks, some snacks, and the company of my boyfriend and/or friends. My tipple of choice? The dirty martini.

Now, not everyone likes the strong, briney flavor of a dirty martini. It took me a while to appreciate the dry, refreshing flavor of gin but now I love it and there are a lot of variations out there that play with different flavors (this one has notes of rose in it – something that totally seduces a flower child like me). The first time I made a dirty martini I couldn’t even finish it. Sure, there are only three ingredients, but the way it’s made, the quality of the sauce you use, and how cold the drink is makes ALL of the difference. Now, I make a pretty mean martini – sometimes I even prefer mine to those that are made in a bar or restaurant! Not to toot my own horn. Now if you aren’t into super sweet drinks, like gin, love olives, and can’t get enough sodium in your life, low and behold your new favorite cocktail. Here’s how to mix an awesome dirty martini that will make you feel like a female James Bond.

dirty-martini-ingredients

INGREDIENTS

  • 6 oz gin or vodka (I prefer gin but it’s really your call.)
  • A drizzle of dry vermouth
  • 1 oz of olive brine (I like my martini’s filthy so I add 1.5 or 2 oz sometimes)
  • 2-4 stuffed olives (If you can find them, blue cheese stuffed olives add some extra decadence and kick to an already salty dirty martini)

YOUR TOOLS

  • A chilled glass
  • An ice-filled shaker or a spoon for mixing
  • A spear for your olives

Traditionally martinis are made with gin, but vodka is a very popular substitute. I like both but gin is my favorite. The tree-like flavor of gin (derived from juniper berries) makes the cocktail a little more refreshing and lightens up the salty flavor of the olive brine. Dirty martinis can be ‘wet’ or ‘dry’ depending on how much vermouth you add. I am not a massive fan of vermouth and so I add just a drizzle and like to keep my martini’s on the dry side.

  1. How to mix them? Chill a glass by putting it in the freezer for ten minutes or by filling it with ice and then dumping it out. You can use a martini glass if you’re feeling fancy but we’re not that posh over here and I would drink a martini out of a mason jar if it was my only option.
  2. Next, put your ingredients into a shaker, shake it like Taylor Swift says, and then strain it into your glass. You can also pour the ingredients directly into your glass and stir to mix your drink. Some people believe that martinis should ONLY be stirred because shaking it ‘bruises’ the gin. Whatever that means. It’s your choice. A lot of bars use shakers but I don’t have one and my martinis always come out tasting great.
  3. Strain your mixed martini into your chilled glass and garnish with olives.
  4. Enjoy the salty deliciousness!

Do you have any favorite cocktail recipes? Do you have tips to make an even better dirty martini? Let me know in the comments! I am always down to up my martini game.

xoxo,

Alicia