Homemade Blueberry Pie Ice Cream

Living in an agricultural state, we have this trend of finding entertainment in paying other people to let us preform the work of picking produce. I know some of my Yankee friends like to poke fun of the concept, but there’s an odd satisfaction in enjoying fresh fruits I’ve picked myself. It’s also a wonderful educational experience for kids, and helps build an appreciation for where our food comes from. I enjoy the tranquility, and kids somehow find it fun and exciting. It’s totally worth it to me.

Since reading Blueberries for Sal as part of our Before Five In A Row curriculum last year, blueberry picking has been a tradition we’ve recently started to pursue every summer. We go to a small family owned farm in our area and fill a bucket with as many blueberries as we can possibly gather. Once we bring our fresh fruit home we immediately can them and add to our ever-growing-never-ending collection of homemade jam.

This year I was pleasantly surprised to find that I had a lot of blueberries left over after the canning process. Considering that I’ve been in love with making homemade ice cream lately, the next idea I had for the blueberries was, of course, blueberry ice cream!

When I got around to actually making the ice cream, I decided to play around with texture and taste a little more than I intended. The result was incredibly delicious, and now a new favorite of mine. It’s rich in flavor, has a great texture, and I cannot stop eating it!

Also, if the blueberries are replaced with bananas this would make an excellent “banana pudding” ice cream!

Blueberry Pie Ice Cream


1 cup whole milk
2 cups heavy cream
1 cup sugar
2 tbs vanilla
2 cups fresh blueberries
1 11oz box of Nilla Waffers


Combine milk, cream, sugar, and vanilla in a large bowl. Whisk for about two minutes, until the sugar is well dissolved.

Mix in blueberries.

Fill a zip lock bag with Nilla Waffers (I used about 3/4 of the box). Using a meat cleaver or hammer (or whatever tool you have on hand), smash the cookies to a powdery consistency.

Mix the cookie powder in with the ice cream mix.

Prepare ice cream according to the manufacturing instructions of your ice cream maker. I have a niffty Cuisinart ice cream maker that has a freezable bowl I prepared a head of time. Your ice cream maker might require ice to be added. Read up on the instructions and become familiar with your maker.

Once the ice cream is finished, pour the rest of the Nilla Waffers into the zip lock bag. Once again crush the cookies, however, this time keep them a little more chunky and textured.

Pour the rest of the Nilla Waffers into the ice cream and mix well. Put the ice cream in a storage container and pop in the freezer to continue forming.


Lavender Cupcakes With Honey Frosting

I love food adventures. New flavors and unique ingredients are part of the fun in being kitchen savvy. It’s an even better experience when you’re sharing new and delicious creations with people you love. It’s simple math in my book: Food = love.

The social circles I run in tend to be rather clever and creative with their food, and I love having a high bar to challenge me. Whenever I’m tasked with feeding these people it provides me with the opportunity to try new things that I otherwise wouldn’t attempt, and more often than not that attitude is reciprocated. It’s a very beautiful relationship.

While preparing for a recent young adults fellowship in our home, I was greatly inspired to use the bag of lavender buds I have sitting in my pantry. I originally purchased the bag to make lavender infused milk, which I hoped at the time would assist in our toddler’s bedtime routine (since lavender has a calming effect). The awesome thing about this purchase is the fact that 1) the bag is rather large and 2) It’s very strong, and therefor a little goes a long way. Ergo, I have a lot left over.

So I decided I would try using it in baking, and decided that our gathering would be the perfect excuse to give it a go. The cupcakes I settled on making turned out to be delicious, and I had no leftovers after everyone left.

Now, I just need to discover what else I could incorporate lavender in.


For the cupcakes you will need:
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
1 1/2 cups flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
2 1/2 tbs lavender buds (finally chopped)
2/3 cup cold milk

For the frosting you will need:
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter
8 oz cream cheese, softened
4 cups powdered sugar
2 tsp vanilla extract
2 tbs honey (plus more to drizzle if you wish)

1) Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. and line a muffin tin with cupcake liners. Soften the butter and sugar together with an electric mixer. Add eggs one at a time, and then the vanilla. If you want to make the cupcakes a purple color for appearance, this would be a good time to add half and half of blue and red food coloring.

2) In a separate bowl stir together flour, baking powder, and salt. Stir lavender buds into mix (make sure they are as finely chopped as possible, otherwise you will have chunks of lavender in the cupcakes).

3) Combine the two mixtures, and add milk.

4) Pour batter into the prepared muffin tin, and bake for 20 minutes.

For the Frosting:
Beat the butter and cream cheese together until well mixed. Adding 1 cup at a time, beat in the powdered sugar. Once the frosting is smooth and creamy, add in the vanilla and honey.


Apple Pie Cookies

For those of us who really love to cook and bake, presentation tends to play a super important role in the way we prepare our food. Normally on an average week night it doesn’t matter, but for those special occasions or even semi special occasions I would rather go the extra mile and do something that’s nice to look at as well as to eat (bonus points if people struggle to take the first bite out of a desire to preserve the art!).

Apple pie cookies are as delicious as they are cute, and they are the perfect go-to recipe for pot luck events and parties. Picnics, birthday parties, gatherings with friends, dinner parties. They can fit in anywhere, and the best part is that they’re not all that difficult to make! 

2  (9 in.) pie crust
1/2 cup unsalted butter
3 tbs flour
1/4 cup water
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
8 granny smith apples (peeled, cored, and chopped)
1 jar of dulce de leche
1 egg
2 tbs cinnamon
1 tbs all spice
Round cookie cutter

1) Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Melt butter in a saucepan. Stir in flour, water, and sugars. Bring to a boil, and reduce temperature. Let simmer for a minute or two. Add mixture to a bowl with chopped apples (make sure the apples are finely chopped! Since these are cookies and not a pie, you’re going to want it to be less chunky!). Stir together until well combined.

2) Lay out one layer of pie crust. Spread on enough dulce de leche to cover the surface. Cover dulce de leche spread with the apple pie mix. Careful not to add too much!

3) Lay out the second layer of pie crust on a separate surface and cut out strips of dough. Lay the strips over the apple pie mix in a lattice pattern.

4) Dip a round cookie cutter into egg wash and cut out rounded cookies.

5) Mix cinnamon and all spice together in a bowl. Brush each cookie with egg wash and sprinkle with cinnamon and all spice.

6) Lay cookies on a baking sheet and bake for 23-24 minutes!