seasonally inappropriate coconut milk ice cream … and happy birthday Abby!

Last night we celebrated Abby’s birthday (which is actually today).

We had a simple dinner … fried chicken, roasted root veggies, a salad and apple pie with maple coconut ice cream.  It was delicious.  And perfectly Abby.

But before I share my “ancient family secret” for tasty dairy free coconut milk ice cream (which we love, even though we aren’t a dairy free family), I’d like to take a moment to say something about Abby.

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Because she’s pretty amazing.

She’s one of those people who can immediately make everyone comfortable … just by walking into the room.

She’s an incredible mom … one of those moms who makes it look really easy.  She can stop an argument between toddlers without interrupting her train of thought.

Her photographs … well … she didn’t give me permission to repost these but … her photographs speak for themselves (she does family portraits and baby photos … in case you’re interested 🙂

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The thing is … Abby is love.  Not the air-kiss-on-the-cheek-love ya-mean it-love.  But Genuine Love.

Unpretentious.

Unassuming.

Unadulterated love.

She is love of family.

Love of friends.

Love of food.

Love of life.

And all of that love permeates everything she does and everyone she meets.

Which makes me a pretty lucky gal, actually (not to turn this into a post about me) … You see, I’m one of those people who believe that we do get to choose our family.  Sure, we’re born into a unit.  Mom.  Dad.  Sisters.  Brothers.  Aunts.  Uncles.  blah blah blah.  But we spend our lives accumulating the people we want to share it with.  We get to choose our mate.  We choose our friends.  So why not choose people with whom we’d like to have as family?  Who we love and respect and enjoy.

So … I’m the lucky one.  That day at the Dinosaur Playground when our little one decided that Abby’s little guy was going to be her friend.

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Because that was the day I got to meet my new family.

(And now for the recipe for the maple coconut milk ice cream that I promised yesterday … which is seriously a favorite in our house … like … we can’t keep coconut milk in the house because it’s too dang tasty!)

Maple Coconut Milk Ice Cream (makes about 8-10 servings)

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INGREDIENTS:

  • 2 14 oz. cans of organic coconut milk (we use full fat because I like the creamy ice cream texture!  “Light” will make it more like ice milk)
  • 2/3 cup of maple syrup
  • 2 tablespoons vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon of salt

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DIRECTIONS:

Whisk together all of the ingredients.

Turn on your ice cream maker.

Once it’s spinning, pour in the coconut milk mixture.

Let it spin for about 15 minutes (checking occasionally to make sure things are progressing) — the time spent in the ice cream machine is going to depend on your ice cream maker.  Fifteen-twenty minutes is about as long as it needs to go in our Cuisinart ICE-21.

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It will start to “firm up.”  Before it becomes butter-like, remove from the ice cream maker into a freezer safe container and freeze for a few hours before serving.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY, ABBY!

love, Jeanne

things I never planned on

Abby here.. I’ve been thinking a little lately how I can look back on my life.. the good and the bad… and see how it has all worked together for my good.  There were so  many things along the way I thought would go differently, only to now realize it all makes perfect sense.

To start things off… because this one is a fun one…

I never planned on crying my eyes out in We Are Marshall, claiming it as my favorite movie ever and then years later becoming best friends with one of the executive producers.  It’s Jeanne I’m talking about!  She is humble-pie and would never just come out and tell you all the awesome things she has done.  In fact, after a few play-dates when we first met she casually mentioned she had worked on a few movies… so I do the only logical thing and went home and immediately googled her… only to find out she produced my favorite movie ever.  It was 6 weeks later, once I knew I had sealed our friendship, that I confessed the googling and begged for the inside scoop on the movie!

I never planned on living in Montana.  As a Texas girl, I would have never dreamed of being able to live life in harsh winter temperatures like this just last weekend.

But as it turns out, not only are we living life here… we are loving life here! And with the right gear you can actually enjoy the snow… Who knew?

I never planned on not finishing college.  I didn’t set out to rack up an insane amount of student loans, get 6 credits away from a degree and then quit.  But you see, this little man was born before I could finish.  He was one more thing we weren’t planning on, but I’ll pay 100 bucks back a month for the rest of my life with nothing to show if it means a lifetime with him. (For those of you that think i’m crazy… I do plan on one day hitting the books again and possibly finishing up!)

I never planned on gardening.  Growing food used to be the furthest thing from my mind, but now it feels so much apart of who I am.  Gardening in a Montana Winter is harder than regular pushups, but once spring rolls around expect to get inundated with posts on growing food. 

I never planned on my children’s room looking like this.

I always envisioned something with more of an organic feel like the one below found here.  But while my boys’ room might not be Pinterest-worthy… it is oh so special.  See that painting above my little one?  His grandma painted that.  And something you don’t see here is the twin size mattress strategically placed on the floor.  Not only does that mattress get slept on, it also doubles as a trampoline for my kids.  Yes, my kids (and I) jump on the bed… and I love it! Everyday we make memories in this room.

I never planned on my 14 month still waking up 2-3 times a night.  And while we are currently working on getting him to sleep through, I am ever so thankful for the (dare I say hundreds of) hours of late night snuggles I have logged with this sweet face.

I never, ever planned on having a 2nd trimester miscarriage with my second pregnancy.  I do not say this lightly, but I can look back now (2.5 years later) and thank God for the 2 children he has loaned me in this short life.  While I may never understand why, I do know that just a few short months after I miscarried, I became pregnant with David and was able to kind of make sense of it.

I never planned on being this crazy about all things wellness.  What started off as a simple switch to organic foods has now turned into a full blown obsession with what goes in and on our bodies.  As of lately, there are always vegetables fermenting, kombucha brewing, smoothies being made, bone broth cooking and all sorts of other really random things going on in the kitchen.  It’s awesome and ridiculous how excited I get over this stuff.

…and finally

I never planned on life moving so dang fast.  It’s like I blinked and now I am all grown up with a family of my own.  I panic when I think about how fast time flies, and I sometimes wish I could just bottle life up and put in on a shelf for a while.

One last thing… Don’t forget to sign up for this weeks GIVEAWAY!