Organic Chocolate Chip Plumalicious Ice Cream

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I’m a huge ice cream lover, but it’s been a while since I’ve had ice cream in a cone.  We were in Fort Bragg last week and stopped at a place called Cowlicks where I got black rasberry chocolate chip ice cream in a waffle cone.  When we got home and I did my weekly shopping I just had to get some cones but could not find a flavor comparable to what I had at Cowlicks……so naturally I made my own.  In this recipe I use local Brentwood Plums and all organic ingredients.  It tastes just as refreshing and heavenly as it looks.

Ingredients:

2 cups plum preserves

2 cups organic heavy cream

1/3 cup organic cane sugar

1 tsp vanilla extract

2 tbsp honey

1 cup chocolate chunks or chips

Directions:

1. Stir together cream, sugar, vanilla extract and honey to a saucepan and cook on medium until sugar is dissolved.

2. Add plum preserves to a blender and add 1/4 cup of cream mixture in with the plums

3. Blend on high until it is a smooth, creamy consistency

4. Add blended ingredients into a large bowl

5. Add cream mixture into bowl with plum preserves and mix together well

6. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and refridgerate at least 4 hours

7. Once refridgerated at least 4 hours, remove from fridge and mix in chocolate chips

8. Poor into your ice cream maker and mix according to your ice cream maker directions (mine is about 25 minutes)

9. Store in a sealed container in the freezer or devour it right away, your choice 😉

Another Walk in my Garden…Spring is Springing!

My garden is coming along great!  The artichoke plants are huge, no artichokes yet but I am hopeful we’ll get some this year.  We are enjoying eating the broccoli and I am also allowing them to flower so that the seeds spread.  Same goes for the Bok Choy, it’s pretty much gone but the flowers are spreading seeds.  Here are a few pictures from today:

First artichoke plant

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Broccoli flowering away!

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These are peas, they are growing up a trellis.  The flowers are beautiful and the kids often go back there to pick some snacks 🙂

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Calendula (and St. Francis in the background)

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Tigerella Tomato plant just transplanted outside last week

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Matt’s scorpion peppers (supposedly the hottest peppers on the planet) just transplanted last week

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Ok this basket is from the dollar store!  Gardening does NOT have to be expensive, we start everything from seeds which makes it much cheaper (plus teaches you patience and the satisfaction of fully enjoying the garden you have nurtured from the start).  I did cheat with the basket though, flowers were purchased from Lowe’s for like $3 so this whole basket cost me about $5.

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Just a little “after the rain” walk in the Garden

I love the smell outside after it rains.  And now that we’re in a full on drought here in CA, I am ever so much more appreciative of the rain.  Here are a few snapshots from today.

A ladybug on my arugula 🙂  We love ladybugs in our garden just as much as we love earth worms.  By the way, arugula grows really well here in Brentwood.

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Italian Romanesca Broccoli.  Seems to be doing well!

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Butter Lettuce.  Also thrives well here in Brentwood

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Telephone Pole Peas.  These grow tall!  This spring we will be buying a tall trellis to let these go wild because as of now they are taking up a lot of space in our garden bed!

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Garden Progress

One of the reasons we were so anxious to buy a house was for the soul purpose of having a vegetable garden.  We started one last year and purchased all our non GMO verified seeds from http://www.rareseeds.com.  It turned out great but was a big experiment as to what grows well in our yard and just gardening in general.

If you have limited sun in your yard like us (here in Brentwood that is a good thing, the summers are brutal), then we have found that lettuce, bok choy, parsley, radishes thrive in the shade.  Ours grow in an area with about 2 hours of sun a day.

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We had little success with our pumpkins, we grew one successfully but we’re gonna try again this year.  We planted some broccoli and brussel sprouts in the fall.  Matt decided he wanted to just scatter the seeds everywhere in the garden bed (SMH…big no no).  Once they all sprouted I went through and got rid of a bunch so that I could leave some space between each plant.  By the way, you aren’t supposed to plant brussels and broccoli in close proximity, something my wonderful husband who I love so much did not read.  Anyway, so I got rid of a bunch, spaced them, and I am just now seeing broccoli sprouting.

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We planted Romanesca Italian broccoli, I will post pictures of the progress later.  So far it seems to be doing good where it’s at.  It gets about 3-4 hours of sun per day.

Next we have our artichokes.  We started the seeds last spring and here is our largest one today.   We’re really hoping to get some artichokes this year!  It really started growing once the weather got cooler, which is no surprise as Castroville, CA is the artichoke capital of America (it is near Monterey, very cool foggy weather).

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Will post progress of our garden as the year goes on, next week we are ordering our compost and planting some new seeds.  Stay tuned!