Piña Colada Ice Cream • 3D Nature Painting • Alexander´s Sister Cocktail
By Mary Canovas
Here´s a potpourri of recipes and crafts to get you into a springtime and coming summertime mood. From a no churn, no baking, no machine all natural ice cream which is the best, easiest and healthiest ice cream you´ve ever tasted (no additives) to another easy no bake Nutella cheesecake for your special events (see Entertaining Special Springtime 2).
I´ve also included a great recipe for all you frustrated bakers and cooks who can’t find sweetened coconut at your supermarket (Springtime Special 2). For the ladies (guys like it too) there´s Alexander’s Sister Cocktail – a deceptively ladylike cocktail with a kick.
And finally for all you craft buffs who would love to paint but are let´s say “not proficient” in the arts, a great 3D Painting absolutely everyone can make and enjoy.
Springtime is half way through, but with the weather we were having, it actually felt more like summer. That, of course made me think of ice cream. Although to tell the truth, like most Americans, ice cream is an essential to every season and possibly every day of the year. I love to buy different flavors and there are some really great brands you can buy in Madrid – even though some are exorbitantly priced (like Ben and Jerry´s). I also dislike the idea of consuming so many “extra” ingredients but making your own natural ice cream is a daunting task especially using an ice cream maker and heating up the ingredients, etc. That´s why I´m included a wonderful recipe for the whole family – no artificial “anythings”, no eggs, no ice cream maker, easy to make and truly creamier and more delicious than anything you can buy and at a fraction of the price of a gourmet ice cream.
If you´ve never tried to make it you will be happily surprised with my Piña Colada no churn all natural ice cream.
Try it with a little chocolate syrup and whipped cream on top.
(Makes aprox. 2 liters of ice cream)
• 400 ml – 14 oz condensed milk (not evaporated or natural)
• 60 ml – 1/4 cup liquid edible coconut oil
• 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
• Optional: 3 tablespoons rum or Cointreau **
• pinch of salt
• 600 ml or 2 1/4 cups heavy or whipping cream – very COLD
• 4 to 5 tablespoons of sugar
• 340 gr. – 1 1/2 cup of crushed pineapple and 2 slices minced and drained
• 30 gr. -1/3 cup of dried coconut (not sweetened)
** Although the liqueur is optional, I recommend it to make the ice cream creamier because it helps prevent ice crystals from forming during freezing.
1. In a large bowl, whisk condensed milk, liquid coconut oil, vanilla, rum, and salt together.
2. Add minced pineapple and coconut and 2 tablespoons of sugar and mix well.
3. With an electric beater, whip the cream with two tablespoons of sugar until in stiff peaks form – don´t overbeat or you´ll get butter! Check on the sugar – remember cold ice cream is less sweet, so add a little more sugar than you would usually like, to get it just right.
4. Using a spatula, carefully fold the whipped cream into the prepared condensed milk mixture until everything is well incorporated. Never beat, always fold for the ice cream. It is important to fold not to beat so as not to lose volume.
So, you´re not exactly a world class painter but you love art and would love to create a masterpiece! We are going to make a painting so beautiful and different that you can put it in any room – living room, bedroom, entrance. However, it is so easy that even if you are all thumbs in the art department you can make a true work of art. We will rely on nature to do the most difficult part and your creativity to make it perfect. You can vary the colors and type of branches and flowers to adapt it to any room. It works just as well with modern minimalist homes, or with the most conventional environments.
Since we use dried branches, this is considered a recycled art form – our way of helping the planet.
• Dry branches without leaves – We used pussy willow branches that had dried buds still on them
• Paper or silk flowers – We used cherry blossoms
• Acrylic paint, brushes, glue gun
• Optional: glitter and white glue
Prepare the canvas
• Paint with the color or colors you want. Let dry. We painted a very light and misty background using acrylic paints mixed with water.
• Optional: If you want to use glitter, apply a few strokes of “modge podge” (or half white glue mixed with half water) and sprinkle glitter on top. Let dry and shake off excess. * We used crystal or snow glitter for the background of soft colors to be enhanced, not covered.
• Attach the hook to the back of canvas for hanging.
• Try out different placements and sizes of branches before gluing to get a general idea of the look you want.
• Glue the branches one at a time with your glue gun at the points of contact with the canvas. Keep a little pressure on the point to ensure that it sticks well.
• Glue the flowers to the branches.
• If you don´t have silk flowers, make them from tissue paper or napkins – see our tutorial
The Alexander cocktail just may be the most famous cocktail with liqueur and whipped cream. This cocktail is his sister: Alexander’s Sister.
Gin, liqueur and cream in equal parts
• 1 oz. – 30 ml gin
• 1 oz. – 30 ml Green Mint Liqueur Cream
• 1 oz. – 30 ml heavy cream
• Optional: pinch nutmeg
• Cold cocktail shaker
• Pour the ingredients into a shaker with ice and shake.
• Strain into a cold cocktail glass.
• Optional: Put a pinch of nutmeg on top before serving
Featured image: Elenadan via Flickr, CC BY2.0