Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Non Dairy, Egg Free Pumpkin Ice Cream

Guys! Another ice cream recipe for ya! This one is nearly vegan because it uses honey.  You could omit it but I've already photographed my ingredients.  Too late for me! And honestly, it wasn't sweet enough with just the honey.  It was a little flat.  So I had to add a 1/4 cup of light brown sugar and pinch of salt.  All better.   

15 ounces of coconut cream
15 ounces of pure pumpkin
15 ounces of full fat coconut milk
2 tsp pumpkin pie spice 
2 tsp vanilla extract 
4 ounces of honey
1/4 cup light brown sugar 
1/4 tsp salt 

To make the ice cream, you're going to combine all of those ingredients and then add them to your ice cream maker for 30 minutes.  Then it has to set up for at least 3 hours in the freezer. After 3 hours it will have a nice scoopable texture. After 24 hours, it's going to be rock hard. In order to serve it, it needs to sit on the counter for 20 minutes. 

You can see I topped mine with Hershey's Kisses.  Mmmm, so good.   

Monday, July 21, 2014

Chocolate Chunk Vegan Ice Cream

I don't know what's gotten into me but lately I've been obsessed with ice cream. While I do love dessert, ice cream is probably my least favorite. I still think it's delicious but if I can order cake or pie or creme brûlée, sorry ice cream.  

I posted last week that we had phenomenal ice cream at Cow A Bunga, which made the UT's list of San Diego's top 25 frozen desserts.  Then I took my son to Neveria Tocumbo for Bubulubu ice cream, also on the UT list, which was great and just like the candy bar.  I think that all that sampling got me thinking about breaking out the old ice cream maker that I used only once 12 years ago. 

Last summer my sister came home with a cashew based cherry ice cream.  It was outstanding and very expensive.  I knew I could recreate something like it for a fraction of the price.  And now that I'm obsessed with trying new ice creams, it's the perfect time to attempt it.  

I had researched tons of recipes and watched many YouTube videos on the subject and they all seemed pretty similar.   First thing's first, buy raw cashews. If you buy the pieces instead of whole ones, it's cheaper. I think I paid $4.99 for mine at Trader Joe's.   

Then you have to soak the cashews in water for 2-4 hours.  

Once they've soaked up the water, blend it up to a smooth texture. Mine reminded me of hummus. 

Then I added the lemon juice, coconut oil, simple syrup, and vanilla extract and blended again.  I think the next time I make it, I'll just blend everything together in one step instead of two.  

Trader Joe's has this nifty bundle of three dark chocolate bars. I chopped all three and set them in the freezer until it was time to add them to the cashew base. 

I added the cashew base to my ice cream maker and let it go for 20 minutes.  Around 15 minutes, it really started to thicken up and resemble a frozen treat.  While I was scooping it out of the mixing bowl and into its container, I added in the chocolate chunks.  

When I first set out to make this, I was going to add cherries.  Cherries and chocolate are one of my favorite dessert combos.  However, I wanted my husband to love it and he doesn't care for fruit in his sweets.  When he came home from work and my son told him what we made, the Mr. taste tested it on the spot. He was in love! He couldn't believe it was made of cashews and had to make an effort to not eat more before dinner. So, yay for me! It's beyond satisfying when my husband loves my food.  

The day of, the ice cream was easy to scoop and portion. Two days later, I was having a rough time even though I dipped my scooper in hot water.  I recommend leaving it out on the counter for 15 minutes before you eat it. 



  • 2 cups raw cashews
  • 2 cups water
  • 3/4 cup simple syrup
  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 5 ounces of chopped chocolate
  • Soak the cashews in the water for 2-4 hours
  • Blend up the cashews, water, simple syrup, coconut oil, vanilla extract, and lemon juice until smooth.
  • Add the mixture to your ice cream maker and let it go for 20 minutes. (if you don't have one, I think it's safe to freeze it in an airtight container.)
  • At this point it will resemble a soft serve which is great. You can also freeze for a couple more hours and it will be more like ice cream.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Sea 180 Coastal Tavern

Last weekend we ventured down to Imperial Beach to check out the surf dog competition. It was all sorts of cutes with different breeds of dogs actually surfing. I heard the announcers say hang 20. We'll be going back next year but we'll get there early so we can find parking and stake out a primo viewing spot on the beach. We watched from the pier which was still nice. 

Around lunchtime, we went to Sea 180, located in the Pier South Resort. The resort is part of  the Marriott Autograph Collection and just recently opened in January 2014. My husband and I are definitely going to stay there for a night or two soon. It's location is perfect, right on the beach and surrounded by fun places to eat like Cow-A-Bunga ice cream, Babycakes Bakery, Coronado Brewing Company (coming soon across the street,) and Sea 180, another Cohn jewel, on hotel property and directly on the beach. 

Sea 180 is a Cohn restaurant and that group also includes BO Beau and 100 Wines, a couple of my very favorite restaurants. I knew when I saw Brussels sprouts and flatbreads on the menu, I was going to be a happy camper. I love ordering those items at BO Beau too! One of the best features of Sea 180 is the ocean view. I'm kicking myself for not taking a picture of it. The patio is right on the sand! 

The one of the left is what my husband and I shared. It's a Korean BBQ Pulled Pork Flatbread. It was sweet and savory and tangy. I will 100% order it again and again. Our friends ordered the one on the right, Meatball Flatbread, which the menu describes as "smoked tomato sauce, fresh mozzarella, and charred peppers." Our friends loved it. 

You guys, I was so in love, I took a close up of a slice. See the little greens? They added the perfect amount of herby freshness to the dish.

I didn't drink but everyone else did.  This is the red sangria. Doesn't it look beautiful and refreshing? I hear it was.

THE Brussels. There were four of us and we already knew how we felt about these. We couldn't split one dish four ways so we had to order two orders. Honestly, we could have ordered one more and it wouldn't have gone to waste. If you have not eaten Brussels at BO Beau or Sea 180 (they're similar) make it a point to do so. These are not your average veggie side. These are crispy, sweet, salty, amazingness.  TRUST ME.
The orange colored drink was their fancied up version of a tequila sunrise. I had a sip and thought it was delicious. 

That's my son on the left eating the french fries, more specifically, garlic herb fries. They came with lime aioli which I liked. My son didn't bother with it but he's a purest and doesn't dip anything.

Once we completed our meal we headed over to Cow A Bunga and ordered their famous ice cream. I had two scoops of peanut butter brownie. It was one of the creamiest ice creams I've ever had. For all of you ice cream fans and even if you're not (they have great coffee and chai tea drinks) you need to head on down to try this little place by the pier.

The sandcastles are being built in Imperial Beach starting tomorrow and the celebrations continue through Saturday at least. Here's the link to IB Sun & Sea Festival. While you're there check out Sea 180 (I'm urging you to make a reservation) for brunch or lunch or dinner and make sure to sit on the patio for the best view and then head on over to get your ice cream at Cow A Bunga.  Or if you're a cupcake fan, there's Babycakes.  Enjoy your weekend everyone!

Monday, June 23, 2014

Ironside Fish and Oysters

I was feeling like I hadn't ventured out and tried anything new in a while. The other night when my friend suggested Ironside for dinner, I jumped at the chance. I told myself I would remember to take pictures of all the food and make to post it! A few weeks ago I was in San Francisco and I remembered to take photos but then my phone died and there went all my delicious food pics. Waaaaah.  

How cool are these lights in the bar? The place has a cool vibe and is decorated with lots of stacked luggage. Fun, right? We were originally seated in the bar but asked to move to the dining room when we ordered our entrees and second round of drinks. 

Oysters are in the name of the restaurant, so we had to order some. Since none of us knew what type of oysters to order, we requested a variety. I preferred the smaller ones.  Oysters were served with a mignonette sauce, lemons, horseradish, and Tabasco. Sorry my friends, no cocktail sauce at Ironside. I enjoyed the oysters immensly and wondered why I don't eat them more often. Gotta do that.

This is the clam chowder and it was excellent.  The way it was served with clams in the shell made it a little fancy, which I appreciated. There was pork and cheddar and potatoes in the delish chowder. Something that we all loved was that the soup wasn't thick. I highly recommend this.

One of my friends splurged and ordered the lobster, grilled. She said she enjoyed it.

Across the table, you can see the kale salad my friend ordered.  She said it was excellent and it was enough to take home and eat for two lunches. Nice! I ordered the beer braised mussels with sausage. DELICIOUS! The broth was heavenly. I only wished I had more bread so I could sop it all up. 

Well friends, if you love seafood, I recommend you get out to Ironside in Little Italy. May I also suggest you use opentable.com and make a reservation? The place gets packed.


Friday, May 9, 2014

Mother's Day Treats at Costco

Hey everyone! It's Friday before Mother's Day and do you have a plan or a gift? Well, I kind of do. We're going to be have brunch at my cousins' home with my extended family. We'll drink lots and lots of champagne because that's essential for Sunday brunch and any celebration and have lots of yummy food. I volunteered to bring something sweet like cinnamon rolls and an egg dish. I think I'm going to bring this one

I was at Costco a couple of days ago (Mission Valley location) and saw all of the special treats that they make just for Mother's Day. They were dipping strawberries and shortbread cookies in chocolate, YUM. I look forward to those shortbread cookies all year long. There were flowers everywhere, even near the mattresses.  I also saw some other items that could be incorporated this Sunday if you're staying home. I hope this list of goodies helps you out and I wish you all a very happy Mother's Day! 

This is the first time I've seen Kirkland Prosecco. The price is right so I'm going to have to try it. Duh. 

This cake is so beautiful! It's a Starr Culinary Delight Lemon Raspberry Cake. It's only $8.69. This would pair nicely with Prosecco.

These beauties are new to me. They're $7.99 for the 6 pack. I think I'm going to buy these to serve instead of cinnamon rolls. It's my Mother's Day too after all so I think a store bought item is in order. I'm thinking about how delicious they'll be all warmed up. Yum.
Only $9.99 for these hand dipped long stem strawberries.... Can't beat that.

Finally! These are here! Short bread cookies dipped in chocolate.  Mmmmmm....

Monday, March 3, 2014

Brunch at 100 Wines

I've got a recommendation for all you brunch fans! You've got to check out 100 Wines in Hillcrest. This jewel is another wonderful Cohn restaurant, I love that group. I thought the space was beautiful and the menu was diverse. As soon as we finished up our meal, I was texting my girlfriends about this place, noting the $1 mimosas and scrumptious food. Enjoy!

This patio has so much character. It's the perfect place to enjoy $1 juicy mimosas or the $2 shabby pink champagne, my favorite. 

Mmmmmm, a delicious and gorgeously plated croque madam. Each forkful was dipped in mustard and enjoyed. I'll be ordering this again.

Cinnamon rolls baked fresh to order, butter cinnamon swirl, vanilla icing, and candied pecans. You can add bruleed bananas, gelato, or nutella. This was fantastic. My little boy gobbled it up. 

Osso buco Eggs Benedict, pork osso buco, Tabasco hollandaise sauce, English muffins, with mixed greens. I've never had Tabasco hollandaise. It was outstanding. It was a nice bright note to the creamy sauce.  

Apple butter hot cakes topped with tart cherry preserves and a side of maple sausage. My friend commented that these were the best pancakes he had ever eaten. Wow! They were really good. I was in love with the tart cherry preserves. Normally I don't care for fruit on my pancakes but this, this was wonderful. You've got to try it! 

Saturday, February 8, 2014

Oscar de la Renta and Beats by Dre at GTM

I've been hearing about GTM for a while now and that I should go because it's where Costco sends their extras or returns. And you all know how I love my Costco. So finally I made the trip. There are three locations in San Diego; Lemon Grove, Santee, and El Cajon.  We visited the Santee location and were pretty happy with what we found. While I did recognize tons of the products from Costco, I also saw this bag from the Target Neiman Marcus collaboration. More specifically though, it's made by Oscar de la Renta.

It's pretty, right? The price is good too. When it was debuted a year ago, the full price was $59.99. Today at GTM, it's $14.99. 

The real reason we went, was to look at a pair of Beats headphones. Normally these ones cost $200 but GTM is selling them for approximately $136. GTM also has a coupon today for 30% off electronics. (They release a coupon on their website every Wednesday.) That would have been a great deal except they aren't wireless. So I had to leave them at the store. If you're looking for a pair of Beats, you should go take a look and see if they're the ones you like. 

Monday, February 3, 2014

The Honest Company at Costco

This is at the Mission Valley location. I'm sure that they have it others too. 

I've been eyeing this product, The Honest Company's baby shampoo and body wash, at Costco for a little while. I pulled the trigger and bought it when I saw the price was reduced to a low $11.99. The sign states that the discount is good through February 9, 2014.

Listen up though. Should you miss the sale, it's still such a bargain at $14.99. You're getting two 17 ounce bottles of product. On The Honest Company's website, one 8.5 ounce bottle is $9.95. See? Run to Costco and get this great product! 

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Lentils, Kale, and an Egg


In an attempt to eat better and less meat, I made the above dinner. It turned out great! My husband loved it! My 5 year old boy did not but I knew that was a possibility. 

The lentils are from Alton Brown. I googled "lentil soup recipe" and his recipe on FoodNetwork popped up. To find the kale recipe, I googled "fried egg over kale" and Poor Girl Eats Well was the number one hit. I had to alter the recipes just a little because I didn't have all of the ingredients.

Lentil Soup
Yields 6-8 servings
Total prep and cook time 1 hour 20 minutes

2 tbs coconut oil (that's what I had in my cupboard. Alton's recipe called for olive oil.)
1 cup chopped onion
1/2 cup chopped carrot
1/2 cup chopped celery
2 tsp salt
3 ounces tomato paste
1 pound lentils, rinsed
2 quarts veggie or chicken stock
1/2 tsp cumin
1 tsp 21 seasoning salute from Trader Joe's (Alton's recipe called for 1/2 tsp grains of paradise and 1/2 tsp coriander, neither of which I had in my pantry.)

Heat your oil over medium high in your big pot with a lid (I used a dutch oven) and add onion, carrot, celery, and salt. When the veggies are translucent roughly 8 min later, add the tomato paste.  Brown the heck out of that tomato paste for lots of flavor. It's ok if it gets stuck to the bottom of the pan. Add the stock a little at a time while stirring and bringing up the tomato paste and veggies that are caramelized to the bottom of the pot. After the stock has been added, pour in the lentils and seasoning. Bring the soup to a boil and reduce to a simmer over low heat. Cover the pot and walk away for about 45 minutes. The lentils should be tender. 

Garlicky Kale
1 tbs coconut oil
2 tsp minced garlic
2 cups of kale

Over medium high heat, melt the coconut oil and then add garlic. Stir the garlic quickly and then add the kale. Saute till the kale is wilted, about 4 minutes. Sprinkle with salt. 

Once the kale is ready, make your egg however you'd like. I prefer mine over easy. Now it's time to assemble your dish. Ladle the lentils in the bowl, top with garlicky kale, and add your egg. Time to eat! Enjoy!