29 July 2011

Mandy's Famous Bubble Gum Ice Cream

I'm not allowed to have bubble gum in the house.

This rule dates back to my childhood, when I would shove as many pieces as I could into my mouth and chew the giant wad, only to spit it out minutes later when the flavor began to leave.  I would repeat this process again and again until all of the gum was gone.  I once did this with a giant paint can of Tongue Splashers bubble gum (remember those, the ones that would "paint" the entire inside of your mouth?), and was pretty alarmed at what I discovered once digestion had taken place.  (I'll leave that one to your imagination, lest Cassie unfriend me.)

Also, I like to blow really big bubbles that pop and get in my hair and eyebrows.  It's a mess.

So, yeah, no bubble gum in this house.

Except that when you mention to your favorite 5-year old, sweet little neurotic memory-like-a-steel-trap Iris, that you're considering making some bubble gum ice cream, and that you'll make it before she moves away (and breaks your heart in the process--I'm still mad at her parents), and then every time you talk to her or see her in the interim she asks about the famed bubble gum ice cream--well, you've go no choice then but to buy a big ol' bag of bubble gum.  I actually bought two kinds: Double Bubble Bubble Gum for flavor, and some pretty colorful gumballs for beauty.

And you might think that since decades have passed since the Tongue Splashers incident of '91 that I have matured, that I'm a grown woman now, a professional, a college graduate.  Surely I would be able to resist the foolishness that is putting multiple pieces of gum into your mouth at the same time, right?  Right?



Fortunately, there was plenty of gum for me to go all Violet Beauregarde up in here AND to create some wild ice cream.

Note: this ice cream tastes like bubble gum.  It's not some lame vanilla ice cream with bubble gum pieces.  If you're a grown-up, it probably won't be your favorite.  But if you're seeking the love of a child (ew, that sounded way more gross than I intended), this might be a good way to go.  Also, do not be a pedophile.  That is gross.  Do make this ice cream for a kid's birthday party, so long as you're not on a sexual offenders list.  This note really took a turn for the worst.

Mandy's Famous Bubble Gum Ice Cream


2 cups half & half
2 cups whole milk
6 egg yolks
1 cup sugar
20 pieces of Double Bubble bubble gum
1/4 tsp. vanilla extract
3 drops peppermint extract (optional)
pretty colorful gumballs, cut into quarters
pink food coloring (optional)


1.  In a large saucepan, bring the half & half and the milk to a boil.  Add the bubble gum.  Boil for 3 minutes, and then cover and remove from heat.  Allow milk mixture to steep for 30 minutes.

2.  In a separate bowl, whisk together the egg yolks and the sugar.  Slowly add the milk mixture to the egg mixture, whisking all the while.

3.  Return contents to the saucepan on medium heat.  Stir constantly, scraping the bottom of the pan, until the mixture becomes thick and coats the back of a spoon.  Do not allow it to come to a boil.

4.  Once the mixture achieves desired custard-like thickness, pour it into a bowl and add the vanilla extract and peppermint extract.  You may also choose to add a few drops of pink food coloring.  Chill the mixture in refrigerator for a minimum or 4 hours.  Freeze in ice cream maker according to manufacturer's instructions.

5.  When the ice cream has churned, you may wish to freeze it further in the freezer.  Mix in the quartered gumballs.

28 July 2011

This and That

1.  Put the white couch cover on and I'm completely in love.  Also pretty enamored with my new Savannah toille pillow.  Maybe having the white cover will inspire me to be better about keeping the floors clean?  Oh, and I still can't decide which color to dye the other one.  Oh, and if this one looks a little dingy it's because it's the one from the as-is bin and I just haven't washed it.  Probably going to get some kind of weird communicable disease or something, but I was tired of doing laundry.

2.  Yesterday was a day dedicated to doing nothing except eating, watching Parks & Recreation, and assigning a Hogwarts house to everyone we know.  In short, if you are awesome, you go to Gryffindor.  If you are kind of awesome, but more nerdy than awesome, then you go to Ravenclaw.  If you are dumb, you go to Hufflepuff.  And if we don't like you, you go to Slytherin.  And just to make sure that our assessments are accurate, I just took an online quiz, and I'm totes Gryffindor.  Duh.

3.  I think there should be a "correct pronoun usage" challenge on the Real World/Road Rules Challenge.  Also, CT is hot.  Crazy, maybe has rabies, but hot nonetheless.  Matt thinks I have bad taste and that CT eats his young.  Have we talked about this before?

That cut above his eye is probably from fighting a helicopter or trying to bite the head off of a rhinoceros.

4.  Mitch is still the cutest dog on the planet.  I think he's a little mad at us right now, though, because we have yet to buy him his own lake house and boat.

5.  I can't watch that Sarah MacLaughlin commercial (that's on right now, but I'm averting my eyes) with all of the dogs and cats because it makes me cry like a baby and then I just want to buy a farm and just adopt dogs and cats and be crazy.

6.  Made Spicy Pork Stew for dinner the other night, because apparently I'm on a spicy pork kick, and because it's actually one of the most healthy things we make, besides, you know, lettuce and ice cube popsicles.  The original recipe came from some diabetes website, and Cassie says that I should just call it diabetes stew, which would set really low expectations, and then when people eat it they'll be amazed at how good it is.  (Kind of like the movie Hot Tub Time Machine.) It's really good.  It's even better with this cornbread.

7.  If you haven't checked it out already, go to Cassie's bee-log and learn how to make mayonnaise by watching her vee-log.  I hate mayonnaise, but I kind of want to make it and then make some fancy chicken salad or something.

8.  Are you on Pinterest yet?  Come play with me on Pinterest, already!

9.  I took a shower this morning (amazing, I know), and my hair is still wet 14 hours later.  Oh, delightful Savannah humidity.

10.  I think that if I don't watch my favorite HBO movie, It's Complicated, RIGHT THIS SECOND, the universe might implode.

Hope your Friday is the bee's knees!

27 July 2011

Back with a Vengeance

That title probably made you think that I'm mad.  I'm not mad.  Well, not angry mad.  Crazy mad, maybe.  Who cares?  I'm off topic already.

Anyway, we're back from our little summer trip.  It was just delightful.  We chillaxed, and ate at every chain restaurant that we don't have at home (judge away), and shopped, and ice creamed, and gambled (super poker-playin' Matt won $600!), and talked, and swam, and drank, and laughed, and went for boat rides, and watched HGTV (a must when visiting Matt's parents--Matt's dad's commentary alone makes it worthwhile), and almost got attacked by a swarm of bees a la Macaulay Culkin's character in My Girl.*

Here's what it looked like.

 Malted milk ice cream, this time with chocolate malt powder.  Out of control.

 Got to see Matt's old roommate, Brad, who has a good job and is handsome and looking for a wife.  Ladies?  Anyone?  He's funny, too!

Anyone?  He's really funny!  And important!

 Mitch loves it when he can run around outside sans leash.  So do I.

 Buffalo chicken tender night.

I like to torment Matt's younger brother by taking 100 pictures of him at a time.  He loves it, I'm pretty sure.

 When Mitch is on vacation, he refuses to eat dog food.  Only treats and steak.  Spoiled dog.

 Been eating grilled cheese sandwiches like it's my job.

Boat ride = happy pup.

I know you've probably been feeling a void in your heart since we haven't been updating much, but have no fear.  I've got recipes and some house stuff and some rants about MTV shows on their way.  Stay tuned!

*My Girl is the second movie that made me cry like a baby.  The first was The Land Before Time.  Poor Littlefoot!

24 July 2011

Stay Classy, San Diego.

So, here's a funny story.  A month or so ago, I got this email from BlogHer saying that they were doing this promotion with Knorr and asking if I'd be interested in getting some chicken stock samples and making up a recipe using the stock.  Sure, why not?  Hell, we use chicken stock all the time, and worst case scenerio, I have some extra, right?

The recipe was supposed to be entered in this contest with like 200 recipes and then 8 finalists would win a trip to San Diego, where they'd then have some kind of cook-off competition thing and then maybe be selected to represent Knorr in other promotional stuff.  When I told Matt about the whole thing, he said, "Sounds like you're a little out of your league here."  I agreed, but decided that it would be fun to give it a shot.

And so I signed up, got the samples in the mail and was then kind of conflicted about what to make. I decided that it should be simple, basic, and accessible, you know, like a recipe that could go on the package or something.  This was not, I thought, a time to show off my culinary prowess (plus, who really wants to eat chicken stock ice cream, anyway?)  After some hemming and hawing, I decided to make spicy pork carnitas.  So I made them, and here's what they looked like.

But for some reason I wasn't over the moon for the recipe, and I was a little reluctant to submit it.  As the deadline was fast approaching and I was filling my days with other things like Fourth of July festivities and elliptical injuries and general slothfulness, I decided to just go ahead and submit it to fulfill my end of the bargain.

And then a couple of days ago I got an email saying that I am one of the eight finalists and that I'm going to San Diego for the BlogHer conference in a couple of weeks!  Shoot yeah!  I'm still a little bit in shock, and a lot excited, and totally looking forward to visiting the San Diego Zoo.  I'm nervous, too, because I can kind of clam up in situations where I'm expected to perform or to be charming or to meet new people.  But that's what wine's for, right?

And I've totally sized up my competition, and Matt was right--I'm totally out of my league.  But that's cool, because I have a free trip to California and I'm going to meet this guy.

Oh, and I guess I should share that recipe with you, too, huh?

Here goes it.

Spicy Pork Carnitas

1 ½-2 pounds pork tenderloin
2 tablespoons olive oil
½ teaspoon crushed red pepper
1 teaspoon kosher salt
½ teaspoon black pepper
1 small onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1 jalapeno, minced (with seeds for more spice, without for less)
1 lime, cut into quarter wedges
3 ½ cups Knorr chicken stock, made from concentrate


  1. Rub pork tenderloin on all sides with salt, pepper, and crushed red pepper.  Heat olive oil in dutch oven on medium-high.  Brown meat on all sides in dutch oven, then remove.
  2. Add onion and cook for three minutes.  Add jalapeno and garlic and cook for another two minutes, or until onion is translucent. 
  3. Add Knorr chicken stock to pan, bring to a simmer.
  4. Meanwhile, nestle lime wedges into the pork.  Return pork to pan and cover.  Cook on medium-low heat for 90 minutes.
  5. When the pork is tender enough, shred with two forks. 
Serve on tortillas with sour cream, shredded lettuce, cheese, and avocado.

Three cheers for zoo fun!  And carnitas!  And all expense paid trips to San Diego!  

21 July 2011

Decisions, Decisions.

What up?  We're on vacation right now (but there are rabid wolf/alligator/murderers guarding our house so don't rob us unless you want to be drowned and stabbed and then chewed up after you contract rabies) and just enjoying chatting with friends and family.  Plus, there's an elliptical machine here, so Matt, a.k.a., "fitness fool" is able to get his fix.

Vacation's been pretty quiet and gluttonous.  Yesterday, though, Matt's mom and I made a trip to IKEA because I wanted to pick up an extra couch cover for our couch.  And I lucked out like a mofo because not only did I find my white cover, but I found an extra one in the as-is bin for only $30.  So for $80 I got two couch covers.  They look like this:

White cover pros: awesome looking, fresh, clean, pillows will look awesome on it.  Cons: a dog sits on the couch, Wal-Mart feet, general feelings of anxiety about f'ing it up.

Here's the plan.  One of these covers will stay white until it becomes too dingy or stained, at which point I will dye it grey.  But the other?  Oh, the possibilities!

Grey couch cover pros: general awesomeness, looks very adult, won't show Mitch fur, won't show dirt, will look cool when contrasted with bright and colorful pillows.  Cons: not all that exciting, kind of dullsville.

I need your opinion here.  Keep in mind that I will already have a couple of serious grown-up looking covers, so this one is for fun and general awesomeness.  Also, the color needs to be a shade that is not too dark lest it show too much Mitch fur.

So I've narrowed it down to green, orange, pink, purple, or turquoise.

Green couch cover pros: so fun, bright and happy, won't show Mitch fur too much, will look good against the wooden shelves.  Cons: maybe a little too bright, too similar to the turquoise in the kitchen and elsewhere in the house, lots of my throw pillows are green.

Orange couch cover pros: so fun (!), wouldn't show fur too much, would look good with my pillows on it, is a really fun contrasting color to the turquoise that's everywhere else.  Cons: I already have a bunch of orange accents in the room, and this could be overkill; it will be up against the kind of already orangey wooden bookshelves.

 Pink couch cover pros: it's pink, it's so incredibly fun I can't even stand it, would look really fun with my pillows, would look great contrasted with the turquoise elsewhere in the house.  Cons: it's pink, could be a little too warm since it's going up against the wooden bookshelves, perhaps overly girly.

Purple couch cover pros: school spirit, purple is awesome, there's really not any purple in that room already, nobody has a purple couch, would look awesome with my pillows, Matt will think it's blue.  Cons: could be a little too dark, people might think that we are royalty and be nervous around us.

Turquoise couch cover pros: um, beautiful, would look great with my pillows, would look great against the bookshelves, wouldn't show dog fur too much, it's basically my favorite color, isn't overly obnoxious.  Cons: I have already painted three rooms in our house turquoise and it might be too much.  What if I start to hate turquoise at some point.  Hell, it happened with hunter green.

So, I need your input.  What should it be?  

17 July 2011

Love and Marriage

[Matt notices the peach pit that Mandy left next to the computer.  Disgusted, he picks it up and rises from his seat.]

Matt: After dark?!

*Um, this is actually a picture of a peach pit that's been carved in the likeness of JFK, our second most handsome president.  Weird.

16 July 2011

Long Time No Talk.

Hey there.  Sorry you haven't heard much from us lately.  On Tuesday we got the sad news that some of our best friends here are moving far far away, and very soon, and it's been just a little bit heartbreaking for me.  Add that to that the fact that the most exciting or interesting thing I've done all week has been to replace a faucet, and you might be thanking me that I haven't been cluttering up the interwebs with my sad, cranky, dull self all week.

I'm at the point now where I can talk about them moving without crying, and we're going on vacation soon, and I've been trying to find things to do (read: to eat) that are comforting.

So here's what's brought me joy this week.

That dog and that husband hurt my heart--in a good way. 

Fancy little notebook for my purse and a Pilot Precise V Rolling Ball pen to match.  Also, Mexican food. 

Watching a friend with giant cojones do stand-up comedy. 

 Back in the Day Bakery key lime bar and bacon jam.  Now if that doesn't make you happy, nothing will.

 Lizard butt.

Watermelon juice.  F yeah!

Five more pounds of peaches.  I will try not to eat them all in one sitting.

Not pictured: watching the series finale of Friday Night Lights (I love Coach Taylor with my whole being!), boxed wine, Cassie, sassy little kids who will make you cry by saying things like "I drew you this picture so that you would have something to remember us when we move," yoga pants, down comforters, Pinterest, Parks & Recreation, phone chats with my nearest and dearest, and hot dogs.  And Alexia fries.  And ketchup.  We're classy like that.

12 July 2011

This and That

1. I didn't wear real clothes at all today.  Didn't change out of pajamas until almost 6:00 p.m., changed into ellipting clothes, and then back into pajamas.  My god, I love summertime.

2.  Matt and I watched like 15 episodes of Parks & Recreation today.  My god, I love that show.  I also had a really amazing idea to get an lcd projector and project images onto the ceiling so that I can lie in bed and watch tv and movies.  Are you jealous that wasn't your idea?

3.  The other day I was driving down our street and had to slam on the brakes because I almost hit a rooster.  And this isn't like when I was in high school and would look out of the windows and see cows and stuff.  Like, we live in the city.  Why was there a rooster on my street?  And why hasn't he been waking us up in the morning?

4.  Totally made corn ice cream this weekend to make this thing I saw in the July Martha Stewart Living that was all homemade biscuit, blueberry compote (totally just accidentally typed compost--compote and compost are very different) and sweet corn ice cream.  The recipe intrigued me, and I finally made it today.  The bad news: the dessert was a little weird. (Not bad, but weird.  Who knows, though?  Maybe Matt will go bananas for it?)  The good news: I know how to make biscuits now.  Oh, also corn ice cream is a little freaky (as you likely already thought to yourself).  I now finally understand just how some people feel about buttered popcorn flavored Jelly Belly jelly beans.  For the record, though, I love buttered popcorn flavored Jelly Belly jelly beans.  I also really like saying "buttered popcorn flavored Jelly Belly jelly beans."

Mitch also loves biscuits.

5.  Hit up the farmer's market at Forsyth Park this weekend, finally.  It's only on Saturdays, and I used to work Saturdays, so I'd never been.  It was just delightful, and I walked away with blueberries, a 5-lb. bag of peaches, and some bread and handmade cheese that I bought from this guy who was dressed like a Roman (like an old-timey Roman, not a modern-day Roman--but really what do I know?  I've never been to Rome).  So anyway, over the course of the afternoon and evening, I ate the entire loaf of bread, the entire ball of cheese (OMG WHY WAS IT SO GOOD??), and the entire five pounds of peaches.  I thought I was going to die, or at least throw up.  But then I was all, "Oh, shoot, if I throw up does that mean that I have an eating disorder" and then I remembered that I'd just eaten  more food than a family of six would eat in a weekend, which is probably an eating disorder in itself.  No, I didn't barf, but I did lie on the couch whining to Shecky about what a gross glutton I'd been, wishing that I had an lcd projector that was projecting movies  (or perhaps old episodes of 90210) onto the ceiling.

I want to eat you, ball of cheese.

Well, I actually have real grown-up tasks to complete tomorrow, not the least of which will be putting on actual clothes and going out in public.  But, before that happens, I totally need to figure out how to watch all of season 3 of Parks & Recreation on the internet.  On my ceiling.  I've got big dreams, people.

10 July 2011

Weekend Fun

I'm starting to enter into that part of the summer where I need other people to remind me that it's the weekend.  Shoot yeah!  And I've been spending the last few days being grossly, disgustingly lazy and gluttonous.  For serious.  

In other news, the new season of Teen Mom is on (OMG SO MUCH ANGER!  WOULD IT BE SO WRONG TO PUT BIRTH CONTROL IN THE WATER??) and True Blood is fun.  I also mopped all of the floors in the house.  It's embarrassing how infrequently that task gets completed.  Oh well.  It's fun to walk around the house with bare feet--at least until the next thunderstorm rolls in.  (Annnnnnd. . .we've officially bored the beejeezus out of the blog readers.)  

Aside from eating ungodly amounts of food, watching Parks & Recreation on Netflix instant, and working, albeit slowly, to cross off everything on my giant to-do list, not much has been happening around here.  It's not been terribly exciting (except for that time we saw a spider get a beetle in its web!), but it's been pretty nice.  I've found that I'll usually choose nice over exciting, anyway.

 Buffalo chicken salad--favorite summertime somewhat healthy meal.

Found an awesome milk glass vase at Goodwill for a dollar!

 Crazy ice creaming.

Singing songs.

 Discovery channel at the Carport Bistro!

 Matt Kung Paoing it up!

So Southern you can't even stand it. 

Time for True Blood!

Happy week to you!  May you forget what day it is!


Related Posts with Thumbnails