ice cream … with no apologies

I love ice cream.

All kinds of ice cream.

Coconut milk ice cream.


Ice Milk.

Frozen yogurt.

But I especially love ice cream we make at home … mostly because then I know what’s in it.  And, more specifically, what’s NOT in it.

Like dextrose (which is often made from corn starch), high fructose corn syrup (do I have to explain what’s wrong with HFCS?), or guar gum (which isn’t necessarily bad for you, I just think if we can use fewer ingredients, just maybe we should).  (Side note re: corn starch and corn syrup … because nearly 90 percent of the corn used in commercial products in the U.S. is GMO corn, it’s nearly impossible to ensure that these products are “organic” and grown without pesticides … just something to think about.)

Plus, I’ve got helpers that also like to make ice cream.

LO checks ice cream

So there was this day not so long ago in our house when we really wanted ice cream.

But we had no coconut milk (which is what we usually use in our homemade ice cream).

No maple syrup (which is what we usually use as our sweetener for most things delicious).

And it was too late to go to the store.

We did have a half cup of whipping cream.

And a can of sweetened condensed milk.

And vanilla.

And an ice cream maker staring me down.

So I took a gamble.

Which turned out to be one of the tastiest gambles I’ve ever made.

And even though we now have coconut milk.

And maple syrup.

I have been known to throw caution to the wind and make this luscious, delicious, decadent, almost too sweet, but totally not too sweet, rich vanilla ice cream.

Image copy

And then not share it with the kiddos.

(If I knew how to make an emoticon with a sheepish grin … that’s what would be right here.)



P.S. – here’s the easy how-to:

ice cream ingredients INGREDIENTS:

  • 1/2 cup whipping cream
  • 1 1/2 cups milk
  • 1 can sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt


Combine all the ingredients in a medium mixing bowl.

If you’re using a Cuisinart ICE-21 (like the one we have), put the frozen bowl in place (we keep ours in the freezer for exactly these moments when the urge for ice cream demands it be made immediately), turn on the machine, and pour the contents of your mixing bowl into the Ice Cream Maker and let it rip … for about 15-20 minutes.

Remove the ice cream from the ICMaker, place in a freezer safe container and let the ice cream “set up” in the freezer for at least an hour (or until the kids go to bed).

P.P.S. – Don’t weigh yourself in the morning.

We’re linked up on

I couldn’t help it … and I’m blaming Abby … and Suzy … and Young House Love

Jeanne here.

After Abby took part in this $20 thrift store challenge from Young House Love, I have had an itch to head out to the Thrift Store.

It’s not that I needed anything.

Not really anyway.

I mean …

I’m constantly looking for interesting “letters” because I’m very slowly compiling an alphabet wall for the kids’ room inspired by this example I found on Pinterest.

One day, our nursery wall will look like this!

But today … my plan was to go out to Suzy’s and finish my desk.

Unfortunately, Suzy was in the middle of a major lacquer-job … not really a place for two littles to be running around.  And I didn’t really want to be breathing in lacquer, either.  Especially not in an enclosed space.

So we didn’t even unload.

We just gave Suzy a wave, and wished her luck with her project, loaded up the dogs and headed out.

The thing is, Suzy’s home is about 3 miles from a great Thrift Store.

IMG_6026 I had a $20 in my wallet.

And the kids seemed game.


Sort of.

So I went for it.  I took the Young House Love challenge.

And I’m pretty psyched.

Because if I hadn’t taken the challenge, I wouldn’t have come home with red garden boots!

3 dollar garden boots

Or these adorable hearts that will hold whatever we decide to gift our two littles on Valentine’s Day.

50 cent hearts (Until I happened on these cuties I wasn’t planning on getting them anything for the Hallmark holiday.  Now what am I going to do?)

The littlest Cowboy wouldn’t have gotten a new cow to add to his collection (not that he needed another cow … but it’s just so cute!).

50 cent cow And our aspiring animal doctor wouldn’t have been able to practice her craft on parrots, cats and dogs with near as much accuracy and precision.

2.25 animal hospital (Not pictured – the animal hospital’s roof opens and inside there are play vitamins, vaccines, a feed bowl, a working flashlight, a tongue depressor and a can of dog food … it’s kind of awesome.)

I also got two shirts and a pair of pants for the boy ($5) and four new chapter books for our girl ($2).

So … thanks to Abby … and Suzy … and Young House Love …

Without each one of you (plus $13 out of the $20 I brought with me), my house would have a lot less stuff in it …

With Love,


PS – Don’t forget to register for our Real Food Challenge and Valentine’s Day GIVEAWAY!

the gang’s all here …

by Jeanne …

I think I’ve mentioned that we live in town.  And it’s been a great transition-home for this Los Angeles transplant.  Being in town means we’re close to things like the Museum of the Rockies, the library, parks and classes for the kiddos.  There’s a Children’s Museum, a world class gymnastics program and at least three indoor pools.  We’re close to skiing.  Close to grocery stores.  Close to Target.  To Costco.  Close to the Gap.

We’ve even got a double lot, so there’s plenty of room for us to have a functional garden, and lots of room for the dogs (Henry and Hitcher) to get exercise and hang out.

I’ll admit, though, there are some downsides to being in town.  Like… we’re close to Target.  And Costco.  And the Gap.

But the big thing for us is …we have three horses.

And our backyard is pretty big.

But definitely not big enough for three horses. 🙂

So we keep our horses out in the town of Gallatin Gateway, at the home of our friend Suzy B.  Suzy lives in an updated farmhouse on more than a few acres about 20 minutes from our home … with an amazing view of the Spanish Peaks.   It’s sort of exactly the kind of home you might imagine everyone in Montana wants to live.

And the setting is just one reason I love to take the kiddos out there as often as I can.

Another reason is because Suzy is just incredibly cool.  But this post isn’t about Suzy.  I’m going to save that for another time.

This post is about the six OTHER reasons we love to spend our afternoons at Suzy’s …


This is Red.  He’s a Sorel Quarter Horse.  He’s about 15.2 hands.  Handsome.  A bit lazy (in a good way).  He forgives most my novice-rider mistakes.  And even though he was the Cowboy’s long before I knew either of them, Red is my guy.   And I think he loves me, too 🙂


Rez. Named after the Yakima Indian Reservation from whence he came, Rez is all man.  A Red Dun Quarter Horse.  Sixteen hands.  Strong.  Like the Cowboy who rides him.  Rez is like the quarterback on a high school football team.  The popular guy.  Some attitude.  A little bit aloof.  But charming all the same.  He even sort of has a sense of humor.  I think he does, anyway.


Then there’s Blue.  She’s the youngest of the bunch.  She’s the horse that the Cowboy bought for his little girl when she was born.  (She’s also from White Swan, the Yakima Reservation) … A Foundation-bred Blue Roan Mare.  Fifteen hands.  Sassy.  Flirtatious.  She doesn’t like me all that much.  She doesn’t like Suzy too much either (we think it’s a gal thing, because she loves the Cowboy).  But she’s gentle as an angel with our little one … so we’ll keep her.


And, of course, there are Suzy’s horses … Liberty and Sugar.

Liberty reminds of Pinky Tuskadero (maybe you know the reference?  Is Happy Days still on Nick at Nite?) She’s sort of the leader of the girl gang … if there was a girl gang.  Don’t mess with Liberty.

And Sugar.  Well.  I’ll say this.  Sugar is as Sugar does.  He’s sweeter than his name.  And he sure does love apples.


And last but not least … the gentle kinda dorky giant … Cadet.  He boards at Suzy’s, too.  And if Katy ever wants to sell him, I’m going to ask the Cowboy to buy him for our little guy.  You see … Cadet is nearly 17.5 hands.  HUGE.  He’s a Morgan/Clydesdale.  And the thing is … our little guy isn’t going to be little for very long.  And he’s going to need, a big sweet horse.

aaahhhh …the glory of fall

Jeanne here …

Who doesn’t love the crisp chill and blue sky of a deeply fall day?

sweater weather … I wish they made this one in MY size 🙂

There’s nothing like wandering through a hay maze without a sweater even though your mother begs you to wear one.

Or running away from mom.

Or convincing your health-nut-no-refine-sugar-eating mother that having cotton candy ONCE won’t kill you ….

Bunny was lost in the maze Friday night … and found in the maze today … we feel blessed!

Yeah … who doesn’t love a beautiful fall day?