Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Peachy Frozen Yogurt

I have a bit of an obsession with my mom's Cuisinart Ice Cream Makers. She has two of them, because one isn't enough. She is just around the corner for me, so it's convenient to borrow it every now and then, but when we move...I will be getting one. I promise. Because they are AMAzing.

My mom's are white, but I am dreaming about this little turquoise one. Isn't it cute? Cant you just picture it on my counter? I can. And I do. No ice, no salt, and usually no extras which means i'm not eating a gallon of leftover ice cream by myself. It's wonderful.

So this morning I woke up and realized I still have my mom's maker from the weekend. And when the question of what to have for breakfast came up, hello!!...frozen yogurt makes so much sense! I looked at a recipe or two and decided peach was sounding pretty good. The only sad thing is that peaches aren't in season right now. *sigh* So canned peaches feature in this recipe, and while they can't hold a candle to fresh peaches, they still got the job done. The measurements aren't exact, but it will get you close. And don't be afraid to play around with flavors! Next time I kinda want to throw in some pineapple or something. Yum!

You will need some vanilla, sugar, greek yogurt and a 15oz can of peaches.

First, drain the peaches. They don't have to be perfectly drained...I didn't even use a strainer because I hate dirtying dishes if I can avoid it. I'm sure none of you can relate to that...

Next, put your peaches in a food processor and hack them up real good. I like to keep some little chunks, though so it's not a complete puree.

...see? Little chunkies.

Next, put about 2 cups of the greek yogurt in a bowl. If you havent used this brand, run out of your house and get some right now. HURRY! It's my favorite. Chobani, shmobani. Okay, I do like Chobani. But this stuff is better because it's made by Greek Gods and cherubs.

Also, add about 2-3 Tablespoons of sugar (depending on how unhealthy, I mean sweet, you want it), 2 teaspoons of vanilla and your chopped peaches.

After I mixed all this together, I decided to add 1 Tablespoon of honey. You don't have to do the honey, it just sounded yummy to me. Make sure you melt it for about 10 seconds in the microwave so it incorporates into the yogurt and doesn't clump up.

After you mix that all up, throw it in the maker and freeze it until it thickens. I like to cover the top of mine (or my mom's, rather) with a cloth. That way, no toys can get thrown into the unsuspecting yogurt...or gelato...or ice cream...or whatever i'm making. I also think it helps it freeeeeeeeeeze faster. But that may be untrue. :(

And then, eat it right out of the container.

Or put it in a pretty ramkin, on a dishtowel with the only fancy-looking spoon you have hanging around and snap some pictures for your new blog. I really need to get some cute utensils and measuring cups...

Here is my raggedy "printable" that I made in allrecipes. I'll have Matt show me how to create a real one for the future. :)

Peachy FroYo


  • 1 15oz. can peaches
  • 2 c. plain greek yogurt
  • 2-3 T. sugar
  • 2 t. vanilla
  • 1 T. honey (optional)


  1. -Chop peaches in food processor until you've reached desired chunkiness. Combine peaches with yogurt, sugar and vanilla.
  2. -Warm honey in the microwave 8-10 seconds and add to the peach mixture until well incorporated.
  3. -Freeze in an ice-cream maker until thick and delectable.

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Cakin' it


I love it.

I love it more than words can express, but if words could express, it would be the words of Jim Gaffigan. Listen to his bit on Cake and you will understand.

It's difficult to ruin a cake, taste-wise. It really is one of those things that nobody cares how it looks, they just want it in their bellies. Unless it looks like feces. And even then! If it's supposed to look like poop, people grab their forks and dig in.

But one of my favorite things about cake is how beautiful it can look! And it can take anywhere from very little effort, to exorbitant amounts of time, effort....tears. huh? ya...i've cried over my cakes....many times. There was a time when making a beautiful cake would make me break out in cold sweats. But I enjoyed it so much at the same time, I knew if I could practice and get over that fear of failure, I would love it! So now, I welcome an opportunity to make a beautiful cake or cupcakes. Or anything with the word "cake" in it, really.

A few weeks ago it was my little Wyatt's 1st birthday. It was so fun that I made him TWO cakes. Because I wanted a fun one for his birthday and a cute one for his pictures I took a few days later. Sounds extreme and stupid, right? Well...I have a trick! When I made his "birthday" birthday cake, I did a layer in yellow cake and a layer in chocolate. That meant I had plenty of batter for a 9-inch cake and a 6-inch. So I baked everything on the same day and then...get ready...I froze the smaller layers! Yes...cake freezes. Some of you may know this from freezing wedding cake, but I had completely forgotten how well it freezes! All you need to do is thaw it out in the refrigerator before you decorate it. If you thaw it at room temp, you run the risk of it getting soggy. Yuck! Cold cake is also MUCH easier to work with than warm or room-temp cake.

After the cake has thawed you can do a couple of things. Level it and decorate, OR pop it under the broiler for a couple minutes! It gets this nice crust on the top and seems like it is fresh from the oven. I love to serve hot chocolate cake with a maple frosting melted over the top. Trust me...the combination is incredible. I grew up on a recipe called "Old Black Joe cake with Maple Frosting" and to this day, it is my favorite. thing. ever. Now I have a better chocolate cake recipe, but nothing can beat that frosting I grew up on. This is my husband's current favorite cake. Anyways, back to the frozen birthday cakes.

Here is the cake for Wyatt's birthday: (and here is a link to the tutorial I used)

And here is the little frozen cake I decorated for his pictures:

Can't even tell it was in the freezer for a week, right? And yes...it tasted great, too. Charlotte snuck in a bite in that last picture. Little monster!

Right now I am getting ready to make Char's cake for her 3rd birthday in May. She is in LOVE with Rainbow Bright, so I knew I wanted to make a cake with "star sprinkles" and a rainbow and Starlight as the topper. But in all my years of searching I had never found an ELEGANT horse tutorial. They all look like this:

...which is so adorable, but not what I am usually looking for. And having grown up very seriously into horses, i'm a little picky. I like my horses muscular and regal and perfect. Also, if you've ever seen Starlight, he is a slender, fancy, "incredible horse." So finally...after literally YEARS of searching and trying to overcome my fear of fondant...I found this tutorial. Trust me when I say that if you are a caker and in need of a beautiful horse...this is it! The tutorial is actually for a unicorn, but take off the horn and you have a horse! Great tutorial. So here was my first attempt and while it's not perfect to the trained eye, i'm still so happy with it! I'll be sure to post pictures of the completed cake with my final Starlight on top.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

I Have Fish

After last night, I was a little unsure whether or not I really created a blog or if it was all just a whirlwind dream. Here it is! My blog! So...I guess i'd better introduce a little of myself. My name is Linsey Merrill and I am married to a wonderful husband with 2 great kids -- Charlotte (3) and Wyatt (1).

We live in Mesa, AZ and love it here! Well...I love it here. I think Matt would love it anywhere if it included acres of land to ride, hunt and farm. Alas, we currently barely have a backyard. But we sortof live on a farm...sortof. Anyways, I have a lot of hobbies and that's probably most of what i'll be talking about. Because even if nobody reads this, it will be a fun way to document the many shenanigans I decide to attempt. But sometimes...SOMEtimes, they aren't shenanigans at all! And I actually succeed. That's when I cheer for myself. So get out the pompoms!! Because my newest obsessions are goats (which is safe because I cant actually go out and buy any on impulse until we move and have room for them, which means lots of time to do research) and archery (which is NOT safe because it includes blunted arrows).

The former...Oberhasli Goats.

That is the breed I have decided to get when I have my dairy goat farm. Do you know how amazing these animals are? I am quickly becoming a fan. I'm not completely hopelessly ignorant when it comes to goats, but outside knowing how mischievous they can be, I have a lot to learn.

The latter...archery. Every summer at girl's camp, I loved the archery rotation! LOVED it. I am not Katniss Everdeen, but I will be. And I will lead my district into a glorious rebellion. Actually, I have 2 months of research before I can afford the bow I want:

That will be a good amount of time to really gauge how serious I am. But I did just finish an arm guard out of leather...

...which I will have to remake because it's not long enough. And the snaps are a little annoying. I need to find a better way to close it up there. Maybe I could still wear it as a fashion statement??...I have to since I spent a good 4 hours on that thing.

I think this is a good start to my blog. I look forward to a giddy relationship with you, my happy little computer friend!

BTW...the title of this post. I used to have fish and I miss them terribly. "you miss fish??" yes, I do. They are worthless unless big enough to eat, but I love their pretty colors. ;(  And look! There? to the right? in my column thingie???....I have colorful fish. Welcome back, lovelies. Don't feed them too much, the little darlings have no restraint whatsoever!

I did it!!

I posted my first thing on my first....well, not first....blog! It's true. I had a blog once. Matt said I would like it. The last time I posted was when the Half-Blood Prince came out. The movie. I didn't like it. The blog. But I like this! It's easy to use! I've had many followers (namely...me) tell me they were eagerly awaiting my next post for the last 5 minutes! You guys are so awesome. Your support and criticism is truly what makes me want to continue with this blog.

Ps: Matt is my husband. He is sleeping right now instead of figuring out that there is a world of blogging at his fingertips. Slacker.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

So behind

I clearly have no idea what I'm doing. I had no idea I could have a blog through my google account, had no idea that "blogger" and "blogspot" were of one heart and despite my family and close friends having their own blogspots, I had no idea how to create one! Actually, I still don't. But I'm trying to know how to do it because I am bored with trying to fall asleep and since my family is all sleeping, I get to send my thoughts into the computer universe, where they will probably be bumped into a dusty corner far away. That's okay, though. I'm just having fun typing and pretending somebody will, one day, stumble upon and read this post. Although....I regularly type long, and intricate comments on other people's blogs, only to have them fail when I click on the "send" button. I sit there, harried and trying to recall my words, then finally think "it probably didn't publish for a good reason." Then I want to carress my computer for saving me from a social-media type blunder. Should there have been a second dash in there??...oh we'll. how do I turn off autocorrect? Oh we'll.