Tag Archives: ice cream

Adventures in Almond Land

So, this ride on the gestational diabetes merry-go-round, I decided that I wanted to go even lighter on the whole dairy thing than I did when I was pregnant with Baby.

Okay.  I don’t really want it.  But, with my numbers looking like they live on a pogo stick in spite of the insulin shots, I’m willing to try nearly anything.  (I refuse to try eel.)  This isn’t that big of a deal.  I limit my dairy intake to tiny amounts of cheese, cream cheese, and margarine.  The killer is that I’ve been craving ice cream.  I want cold.  Creamy.  Yumminess.  It may be less than 40 degrees outside, but I want it.  Plus, I got my ice cream maker for Christmas, and I want to use it, dang it.

So far, I’ve tried making three different recipes for actual almond milk ice cream.  The first one I made came from the first recipe of the three listed and consists of almond milk, greenish bananas, cocoa powder and Splenda.  That one’s really good…although it’s more of a sorbet than ice cream in my opinion.  I’ve made it twice with the bananas, and then yesterday, I substituted 15 ounces of pumpkin purée for the bananas.  (Pumpkin has a lower sugar content + higher fiber that seems to = lower blood sugar for this girl.  However, the side trip to Pumpkinville is a topic for another post)  That tasted pretty good as well, although I probably could have (read should have) made it a little sweeter.  Pumpkin is pretty mild, but apparently when mixed with unsweetened cocoa, it morphs into an almost coffee-like flavor.

I’ve also made the “normal” vanilla ice cream base in my Better Homes and Gardens cookbook just substituting almond milk for the dairy stuff.  Good, but I still wasn’t terribly happy with the texture.  Almond milk makes weird custard, apparently.  Who knew, right?

Remember how I was pondering how to make instant pudding with almond milk last post?  No?  That’s okay…neither did I.  Anyway, I gave it a shot today.  Apparently, if you halve the liquid called for, it instantly achieves extra-thick pudding-y goodness.  I made a double batch of white chocolate pudding using that method, then decided upon reflection that it was a little too thick.  (It started strangling my blender, so…)  I added an extra cup of milk, plus a teaspoon of almond extract and 2 tablespoons of Splenda, and BOOM!  Great flavor without the wateriness of almond milk.  I let it set for about 10 minutes, and then ran it through my ice cream machine.

My husband was really happy about his dessert tonight.  So was I.  I have all kinds of pudding boxes with various flavors in my cabinet…let’s hear it for finding a use for them!

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“We’ll be back after these messages…”

I haven’t posted since Wednesday.  I feel kinda bad about this because I’ve been doing a fairly good job about the daily post since just before the New Year.  However, I’m giving myself a hall pass for this gap in postage.

  1. Thursday: 28-week glucose test (for gestational diabetes).  In case you don’t know what this test entails, you have to drink twelve ounces of straight orange sugary-syrup nastiness.  Remember those little barrel drinks from when we were kids?  The ones in really bright colors containing enough sugar to kid-power a small village?  Try multiplying the intensity of one of those bad boys by twelve.  It’s bad.  My symptoms ran from talking really fast to being completely unable to remain motionless to nausea.  And then when the sugar high wore off, I was left with the shakes and the queasies for the rest of the day.  Plus, I got my TDAP vaccine and they took blood from me four times.  I was completely incoherent most of the day…ergo, no post.
  2. Friday: Found out I have gestational diabetes again.  (Yay…)  Apparently, my body can’t make insulin and a baby at the same time.  I’ve never been terribly good at multitasking, so this makes a little sense.  So, I’m back to a very strict diet, testing my blood sugar four times a day (owie!) and I’m on medication.  The good thing about this is that it will (knock on coconut) go away as soon as I have my baby.  It did last time…and I’ve had no issues when I’m unpregnant.  I also had my blood drawn twice and got my RhoGAM shot to keep my Rh-negative self from developing antibodies against my potentially Rh-positive New Baby.  I was really crabby most of the day…ergo, no post.
  3. Saturday:  Bright spot of the past three days…I made almond milk ice cream tonight.  It turned out much better than I thought it would, and that makes me really happy.  I want to try a tofu-based ice cream and frozen yogurt as well…maybe I’ll whip up those bases tomorrow.  I learned that my blood sugar tends to spike a lot when I eat or drink milk products when I was pregnant with Baby, so I’m trying to stay away from dairy as much as possible from the get-go with New Baby.

Tomorrow, we should be back to your regularly scheduled programming.  In theory.

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Goodbye, 2012

What an interesting year it has been.

2012 seemed like it would be fairly “normal.”  You know…work, school, work, diapers, work, laundry, work…I saw all of those on the horizon for this past year.  What I didn’t see coming was the switch from being a working mom to a homeschool mom…or the possibility of loving said switch.  I didn’t see the collapse of a soggy dining room ceiling, a tornado stealing our shed and then dropping it on the neighbor’s car, or the dog eating the living room carpet to soothe an upset tummy coming, either.  Apparently, Professor Trelawney I am not.  (Wait…)

Continuing to highlight some of the more memorable moments of this past year:

  1. I started this blog…and then put it on hold around Oldest and I started summer break so I could attempt to write The Great American Novel of 2012.  Instead, I conducted The Great Purge of His Bedroom while he was off visiting relatives in various places. Maybe in 2013…
  2. We got our annual mandatory academic progress test results back…Dude passed with flying colors.  All paperwork was filed and curriculum purchased so we could continue to homeschool during the 2012-2013 school year as well.  In case you were wondering, fourth grade rocks!  I’ve gotten to teach basic electronic theory during science this term.  *flexes techie muscles*    We have had a few awesome field trips and done some pretty fantastic projects that will (hopefully) be covered in more detail during later posts.
  3. Baby has twelve teeth, a fifteen-ish word vocabulary, and can walk like a champ.  We discovered on Halloween that he was apparently born knowing how to use a light saber.  (He made the cutest Yoda I’ve ever seen…I’m telling you.)  He absolutely loves books, cars (said with a Bostonian accent), trucks, Mickey Mouse Clubhouse,  and our dog-dogs.
  4. He is also going to be a big brother in about three-ish months!  We found out that New Baby was on the way on my birthday, which was about the best present ever.  (I’d been wondering what all the nosebleeds were about…apparently, that’s how my body reacts to being pregnant.  Fabulous.)  Yet to be discovered is whether or not gestational diabetes and bed rest are on my horizon this time around.
  5. Thankfully, the whole second trimester energy spike thing happened right around the holiday season, so I was able to make and bake a whole lot of stuff that will also (hopefully) be covered in more detail during later posts.
  6. Item 5 was brought to you and all actual beneficiaries in part by the discovery of Pinterest.
  7. The disasters mentioned in Paragraph 2, plus a few others.  It’s okay.  We survived.
  8. Hubby presented me with a KitchenAid mixer for Christmas, and it has changed my culinary life this past week.  I still can’t decide whether to call it The Beast or Bonnie.  It’s a toss-up.  I’ll keep you posted.  So far, we’ve made four batches of cookies (gingerbread men, spritz, vanilla-mint candy canes, and cinnamon roll sugar cookies), icing, my grandma’s legendary Anadama bread, and mashed potatoes.  As a side note, this year was my second making Christmas dinner all by myself, and I didn’t set anything on fire!  All of that Food Network viewing is so paying off!  My in-laws further expanded my culinary horizon with their gift of the ice cream maker attachment.  Holy frostbite.  That thing is awesome!  I made honey-vanilla ice cream the day after Christmas and grape sherbet (chalk it up to weird pregnancy cravings) this weekend.  There is but one thing to say about how they turned out.  Dude.  Okay, moving on.
  9. I can now say that I’ve given hermit crabs a bath.  Considering how much they resemble spiders and my arachnophobia, this is quite a feat.
  10. Much amazing time with family and friends, including a two-week visit with my baby brother this summer, surprise visit from my Bestie while we were Up North for Thanksgiving with my grandmothers, parents, brothers, aunts, uncles and cousins (oh, my!) and another surprise visit from my sister and her husband the weekend before Christmas.  Hopefully, this new year will contain much more of this line item.  Also, please note that the board game called Frazzle! is pretty awesome and adds a lot to family gatherings.  It comes with a gavel.  ‘Nuff said.

I could go on and on, but I shall restrain myself.  Suffice it to say that I have learned so much this past year, and while moments of it were more painful than others, God has been incredibly good to me and my family and I am so grateful to Him for everyone and everything He brought our way.  Looking back on this year, this verse keeps coming to mind.

When times are good, be happy;
but when times are bad, consider this:
God has made the one
as well as the other.
Therefore, no one can discover
anything about their future.

Ecclesiastes 7:14, New International version

No amount of crystal ball gazing or reading the tea leaves would have prepared me for the roller coaster of this past year.  (What say you, Professor?  Besides that I’m in grave danger.  I live with gravity every day.  You don’t have to tell me that.)  This year, more profoundly than other years, has shown me exactly how much I have learned (and have yet to learn) about trusting that God can handle things much better than I ever could.  One just has to sit back and enjoy the ride…even if it comes standard with wet drywall and doggie indigestion.

Happy New Year!

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