Easy Banana Ice Cream

When my father in law came over for his banana bread yesterday we got on the subject of ice cream, and I decided I needed to make some before the Texas heat gave way to cool crisp autumn days. Since my FIL has been so helpful lately, I decided to make him his favorite… Banana ice cream. The man loves bananas, banana pudding, banana bread, banana ice cream. Which is great because bananas are cheap!

Anyways, this recipe is simple. I use a self-freezing ice cream machine, so I don’t need ice or rock salt. I picked it up a few years back off of craigslist from a guy who said his wife was forcing him to get rid of it. He was almost in tears as I put it in my car, and kept saying to be careful and not to shake it. I felt bad for him, but I got an awesome ice cream maker for about $50.

This is the name of the specific one I use: Wolfgang Puck Automatic Self-Refirdgerated Frozen Ice Cream & Sorbet Maker

The recipe is out of the user manual courtesy of Marian Getz, and it yields about 1 quart of ice cream. The finished product tastes like banana cream-sicles and is amazing if you love bananas.

Banana Ice Cream

Ingredients:

16 ounces pureed banana (about 5 bananas)

2/3 cup sugar

1/8 teaspoon kosher salt (I used fine ground sea salt)

2 teaspoons lemon juice

2/3 cup heavy cream

1/2 teaspoon vanilla

Directions:

1. Puree bananas in a blender

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2. Combine all ingredients in a mixing bowl

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3. Chill mixture for at least 2 hours (overnight works too) in the refrigerator.

4. Pour chilled mixture into mixing bucket

5. Insert assembled dasher motor into bucket (this is the gadget that churns the ice cream)

6. Plug in your ice cream maker to an appropriate outlet, and set timer for 40 minutes. Soft serve stage is ready in about 25-30 minutes. When the dasher meets resistance unplug the appliance to prevent any damage.

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7. Twist bucket and gently remove from the machine.

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8. Scrape the ice cream mixture into a freezable airtight container. If mixture doesn’t come to top place wax paper or parchment over the top of the ice cream and press down gently to limit air exposure. Freeze for at least 3 hours to achieve hard consistency.

Notes: Churning times can vary depending on the type of machine you use and how cold the initial mixture is. This is homemade ice cream so some separation may occur after first freeze.

Mmmm… Banana Nut Bread

I was rearranging the food in my freezer, and realized I had stored over ripe black bananas in there like a squirrel stores nuts for the winter. I pulled out about 12 bananas total, and moved them to the fridge to thaw. Over ripe defrosted bananas stink, but they make the BEST bread.

I let K and G help me gather our ingredients, and mash the bananas. They love mashing them into a chunky paste. I love baking with them. They get a kick out of the stand mixer, and of course want to try every ingredient. K was adamant about tasting the baking soda, I tried to warn him, but being a 5 year old, he knew best. He gagged for the next 15 minutes while I tried not to roll on the floor with laughter.

Here is the recipe I use:

1 1/4 all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon fine salt
2 large eggs
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 stick unsalted butter (at room temp)
1 cup sugar
3 very ripe bananas, peeled and mashed
1/2 cup chopped walnuts or pistachios

Sift the flour, baking soda and salt into a bowl, set to the side. Whisk the eggs and vanilla together in a small bowl/cup, set to the side. Grease and flour a loaf pan. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Cream the butter and sugar in a stand mixer with the paddle attachment until light and fluffy. While mixing, pour the egg mixture into the butter until incorporated. You may need to stop to scrape down the sides of the bowl to get the mixture to fully incorporate. Add the bananas to the mix. Mix till mixture looks curdled/separated, and then remove the bowl from the mixer.

Slowly add in the flour mixture, and stir with a rubber spatula until just incorporated. Fold in the nuts, and pour the batter into the greased and floured pan.

Bake at 350 until a toothpick inserted into the center of the bread comes out clean, about 40-50 minutes. Cool the bread in the pan on a cooling rack for 5 minutes. Turn the bread out of the pan and let cool completely on the rack. If you don’t have a rack, you can turn it out onto parchment paper. Wrap in plastic wrap to preserve moisture and freshness.

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Reward Wreath… DIY

When I was a little girl, my mom used to make a reward wreath for my teachers and for home as a means to reward us for hard work and good work ethic. It was also used to encourage us to keep pursuing our goals. Now that I have kids of my own, and now that K is in school, I had my mom show me how to make one step by step for my son’s teacher. I made this one rather basic, but a banner or more personalization could easily be added.

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Supplies:

Wire Hanger

Duct Tape/Painters Tape

Tissue paper of varying colors

White Tissue paper

String (Kite string works really well)

Small toys

Directions:

1. Take the wire hanger and untwist the wire.

2. Shape it into a circle. I overlap the wire 6-8 inches to make smaller wreaths, but you can make then any size. Keep in mind it will take more toys and tissue paper the larger the wreath.

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3. Once you have chosen a desired size, wrap the extra wire around, and tape around the entire hanger.

This is how I start it.

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When you are done taping it should look like this:

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4. Cut tissue into squares large enough to wrap toys.

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5. Place toy in each WHITE tissue square and fold tissue around the toy.

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6. Place wrapper toy inside colored tissue

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7. Gather colored tissue around the wrapped toy, twist, and tie closed with string.

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8. Take finished wrapped toys, and tie each tissue wrapped toy to the wreath with stringImage

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9. Keep doing this until you reach the desired fullness you want. I even do the back of the wreath so the wreath lasts longer.

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And there you have it. A reward wreath! You can attach scissors for the teacher to cut each reward off the wreath, or you can have the child rip the colored tissue and take the white tissue wrapped toy out of the colored tissue.