Sunday, 19 April 2015

My new ice cream maker

Neil bought me an ice cream maker for Christmas and I think it's the best thing since... well, since actual ice cream. It can be used to make frozen yoghurt and sorbet as well as ice cream, and it's really easy to use. After making my first ever ice cream and realising with alarm how much cream (both single and double) goes into it, we bought a skinny ice cream maker recipe book and have consequently developed a slight obsession with making frozen yoghurt.

My latest ice cream maker creation is my blueberry and vanilla frozen yoghurt which was AMAZING. I thought I'd quickly talk you through the ingredients and the process just in case you ever have the urge to make this delight yourselves. I highly recommend it!

200g blueberries
400g low fat natural yoghurt
50g 'half spoon' sugar
1tsp vanilla extract

Firstly, you need to stew the blueberries and the sugar for around 15 minutes. I used a little mini saucepan with a lid (I love my little mini saucepan) and ended up with this lovely concoction. You can blend the blueberries into a smooth puree if you prefer, but I wanted some blueberry chunks in my finished product.

Secondly, you need to add the natural yoghurt and vanilla extract to your blueberry mixture. 

You need to make sure that the yoghurt has been chilled in the fridge beforehand as this will help with the freezing process, so don't take it out of the fridge until you're ready to add it to the blueberries. 

I'm sure you can guess the next step... mix it all together! Make sure the mixture is mixed really thoroughly so that the blueberries are distributed evenly throughout. You'll then need to cover and chill the mixture for at least half an hour. Making ice cream and frozen yoghurt involves a lot of chilling, for obvious reasons.

Once the mixture has been chilled, it's time to add it to the ice cream maker and intently watch it churning for the next twenty minutes. Don't worry, you don't actually have to watch it intently... I just can't help myself. You can leave it to churn for longer than twenty minutes if you don't think the mix has thickened enough after this time, but most mixtures should be pretty frozen after twenty minutes. Once you're satisfied, transfer your mixture to a container then store in the freezer for a few hours to finish the freezing process. 

Ta-dah! I made a rookie error with this particular frozen yoghurt... I only froze the inner bowl from the ice cream maker for three hours before making the yoghurt, and it should ideally be frozen for at least eight hours. 'Oh, it won't matter', I said to myself confidently before embarking on my frozen yoghurt project. I can now confirm that it did matter a little bit. It meant that the mixture didn't really freeze at all during the churning process as the inner bowl wasn't cold enough, so it was still quite runny when we tried it a few hours later. However, it was absolutely delicious and the addition of the chunky blueberries made it even better. 

I've also used the ice cream maker to make strawberry frozen yoghurt and pecan and maple syrup ice cream which you can see on my Instagram page

Has anyone else got an ice cream maker? Do you have any recipes to share? 

Sunday, 12 April 2015

Outfit of the day - New Look special!

I've been wondering lately how I ever managed to find the time to blog three or four times per week. Where on earth has the time been going lately? I'm going to attempt to get back to some kind of blogging schedule by posting once a week to begin with. I've got plenty of exciting things to blog about, I'm just struggling to find the time to type it all up! Blogging is a very therapeutic hobby for me so it would definitely be beneficial for me to get back to some kind of regularity when it comes to my blog.

So here goes... here's my first Outfit of the Day post for a while!

Necklace - Tiffany & Co (present from Neil's mum)
Dress - New Look (out of stock)
Shoes - New Look

I wore this outfit two weeks ago when we went for a meal at Villa Napoli for our seven month wedding anniversary meal. Yes that's right, we're celebrating our anniversary monthly for the first year. Why ever not?

This dress is so pretty and fits really well. The navy top half has a crochet lace pattern and the bottom half is floaty and floral. The belt came with the dress and is a lovely addition as it pulls in the dress in all the right places. Although this dress is casual enough to wear on a summer's day with some flip flops, it can also be dressed up easily with a pair of heels and some nice jewellery such as my classy necklace from Tiffany & Co.  

There's a delicate mint green detailing on the dress which meant it was the perfect match for my new shoes. If I do take the unusual risk of wearing heels, they absolutely have to have some kind of supportive strap to prevent me from breaking my ankle/s. The ankle straps on these shoes ensure that they can't possibly fall off my feet but also make them look extra dainty. The toe section ('toe section' always reminds me of Michael McIntyre... anyone else?) is a soft suede material and they're just beautiful. I really love this mint colour and I think I'll be adding several items of the same shade to my summer wardrobe. 

Have you bought a pretty new dress lately? Feel free to leave me the links to your latest 'Outfit of the Day' posts in your comments!