“A BIRTHDAY IS JUST THE FIRST DAY OF ANOTHER 365-DAY JOURNEY AROUND THE SUN. ENJOY THE TRIP!” Anonymous.
No birthday celebration is ever complete without ice cream! Today, I’m participating in a virtual surprise party for one of the ‘Theme Weavers’. (That great group of women who, once a month, bring you a week long event celebrating a particular food theme.) And in honor of the birthday girl, I consulted a Texas cookbook for this one. This Mexican ice cream has a sweet vanilla base, but is studded with maraschino cherries, caramelized sugar bits and toasted pecans! It’s almost as sweet as the birthday girl herself. Whose birthday is it? . . . . .
HaPpY BiRtHdAy to my dear friend, Jeanne from Inside Nanabread’s Head!
I first met Jeanne about a year and a half ago, when I was a spanking new blogger without a clue. We were both members of Tasty Kitchen and she reached out to me with a kind word and a friend request. I remember being blown away when I first visited her blog. It’s very eclectic. Some food. Some crafts. Some family. Some travels. A pineapple tree….you know…..typical stuff. Wait! Pineapple tree??? Yup! That’s Jeanne! But it quickly became clear to me that this was one very talented, creative and amazing lady. And I am so grateful that she has taken the time to share her huge heart, her wonderful sense of humor, her knowledge about anything and everything, and her generous spirit with me. It has been my absolute joy in getting to know her. And here I am, 2 years later, and still clueless. And Jeanne continues to support me through it all. I can only hope one day I am able to return the million kindnesses she has shown me. And boy, would I LOVE to meet her in person!
So, Jeanne, I wish you a fabulous, happy and healthy year. And I look forward to our friendship for a long time to come!
Now let the party begin! What’s everyone bringing? Let’s start with my Mexican Ice Cream:
This recipe was adapted slightly from Nanny’s Texas Table by Larry Ross.
Yields: about 1 quart
Level of Difficulty: easy
- 1/2 cup of granulated sugar
- 2 Tablespoons of water
- a pinch of sea salt
Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper. Place the sugar and water in a heavy saucepan. Heat this over medium heat until the sugar melts and turns amber in color. Remove it from the heat and pour it all at once onto the parchment lined tray. Immediately sprinkle it with sea salt to your liking. Don’t wait or else the sugar will harden and the salt won’t stick! Allow this to cool for about 10 minutes. Break into small pieces. This amount should yield about 1/2 cup of caramelized sugar bits.
MEXICAN ICE CREAM:
- 1/4 of a cup of granulated sugar
- 2 teaspoons of cornstarch
- 2 large eggs
- 2 cups of milk (I used whole)
- 1 cup of heavy cream
- 1 teaspoon of Mexican vanilla extract ( I find this at Penzey’s)
- 1/2 cup of halved maraschino cherries
- 2 Tablespoons of maraschino cherry syrup
- 1/2 cup of caramelized sugar bits
- 2/3 cup of toasted, chopped pecans
- a pinch of salt
You are basically beginning with a simple vanilla ice cream base. In a large, heavy bottomed saucepan, whisk together the sugar and cornstarch and a pinch of salt. Then add the eggs and whisk this all together. Next, stir in the milk until the mixture is smooth. Place the pan over medium heat and cook, stirring, until the mixture is thick and smooth. Remove the pan from the heat and allow it to cool slightly. Add the cream and the vanilla and refrigerate until the mixture is completely cool. Then freeze it in your ice cream maker according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Mine took about 20 minutes.
It’s easier to mix everything together if you dump the ice cream into a large bowl. Add your maraschino cherries, the syrup, caramelized sugar bits and pecans. Fold everything in until it is mixed well. Your vanilla ice cream, of course, will turn pink! I love pink food!
Once everything is fully mixed, transfer it to a freezer container and freeze until you are ready to serve. Honestly, sometimes I can’t wait. And I like it more like a soft serve custard. Either way it’s refreshingly good. Not as sweet as you would expect. A little hint of salt from the caramelized sugar and pecans. And just a fun array of textures. A party in your mouth!
On one of my regular trips to the thrift store, I happened upon this ice cream cone thingy for $1.29. I’m not sure if it was really meant for ice cream cones, because……how long can you display them really?
But whether you serve these in a cone or a dish…..be sure to add some sprinkles for the birthday girl!
Please stop by Inside Nanabread’s Head to wish Jeanne a very happy birthday and to take a peek at her wonderful site. You will be hooked like we are!
So what’s everyone bringing to the party?
- Orange Cream Pie from Kirsten @ Comfortably Domestic
- Coca Cola Cake from Allison @ Decadent Philistines
- Aged Manhattens from Beka @ Kvetchin’ Kitchen
- Nutella Turnovers from Megan @ Country Cleaver
- Guacamole from Kat @ Tenaciously Yours
- Cheesy Chorizo Dip from Mads@ La Petite Pancake
- Chocolate Cake with Cooked Flour Frosting from Katie @ The Hill Country Cook
- Mini Key Lime Pies with Animal Cracker Crust from Lauren @ Climbing Grier Mountain
- Fig, Fontina, & Pecan Flatbread from Madeline @ Munching in the Mitten
- Coconut Banana Brownie Pie from Carrie @ Bakeaholic Mama
- Tropical Ice Cream from Monica @ The Grommom
As always, the links to the recipes will be updated as they are available. But clicking on the site name will always get you there! And the party’s not over yet……another special surprise will be revealed on Saturday!