Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Ode to Peanut Butter Cup Ice Cream

Just kidding about the title--I have other stuff to talk about, too. Annie, my husband and I have both had family cats all our lives, and we've NEVER met cats with this much personality! They are really something else. I've had a "girl" vibe for a while, and my husband and I keep saying "she" and "her" about Butterbean. I also keep almost casting on for cute little dresses (and Reid, from knitty.com), then remembering that I can't do that yet! When we talk about baby names, we sort of half-heartedly go through a few boy names, but concentrate on girls'. I hope if it's a boy, I don't give him a complex.

Just when you guys thought I couldn't get any more "crazy cat lady" than I already am...I think Mirando might know I'm pregnant. I've read about dogs knowing their owners were pregnant, but not about cats, so I may be imagining things. Here's the thing: Mirando is a really snuggly cat. He hops up on the bed between us and just snuggles away. It's really sweet. For the last couple of months, he's been hopping up on my side of the bed in the early morning and snuggling up to my belly. It's not something he'd ever done before and now he's doing it every day, but they do go through phases, so it could be a coincidence. One morning, Matt looked over and said, "Huh. It looks like Mirando is snuggling with Butterbean." And it kind of does!

Knitting: Still going on Hourglass sleeve #1. Thank you for the link, Holly! Yarnthrower and Rain, thank you for the reassurance. I know it won't be noticeable, but staring at the "line" halfway through every round makes me unable to NOT see it :) I will definitely try the paired m1 increases next time I do something like this, though.

Reading: Mansfield Park. I'm also listening to Crouching Buzzard, Leaping Loon by Donna Andrews sometimes when I knit.

Writing: Good stuff happening here. 29,000 words, and let me tell you, it's a trip to look at the bottom of your Word document and see that you're on page 56 of 100. That's right! We're in the three-digit word count. I have one more scene to add (I know, it's always "just one more scene") to carry on a new character, and then I think I'm ready to start Chapter 7. I should breeze through the whole thing to check the timeline and make sure none of the characters/subplots seem too thin.

Cooking: I made Peanut Butter Cup Ice Cream tonight, and let me tell you, it is GOOD. I spun off from this Peanut Butter Swirl Ice Cream recipe, which I almost made, but then decided that peanut butter ice cream with no chocolate in it was just wrong. I thought about making a batch of the Peanut Butter Swirl and one of chocolate and then swirling them together, but it seemed much easier to just add chocolate to the PB recipe. And what peanut butter ice cream is complete without some Reese's Peanut Butter Cups? And if you get the big bag of the miniatures, you'll have a lot left over. Yum. This is also husband-approved, despite the reduced-fat quality. He really likes what I call "pain-in-the-butt ice cream", where you have eggs and there's cooking, then everything has to cool and it takes FOREVER and produces loads of dirty dishes. I love just chucking milk, sugar, and some sort of flavor in the ice cream maker, partly because I'm lazy, but I was also the weird kid who preferred the ice milk to ice cream at the local ice cream shop, and the first time I had frozen custard (I am not a Wisconsin native) I almost threw up, it was so rich. But this recipe is just so good, and I would make it again. Three eggs seemed like a lot, but it didn't seem overly rich to me, so I doubt I'll tamper with it. And I know this is awful (again with the laziness!), but I didn't feel like refrigerating it for 6-8 hours, so I stuck the bowl in the freezer and stirred every ten minutes until the mixture was cold, and it worked fine. I would also probably use a bigger bowl to beat the eggs and re-use it for mixing the whole thing.

Peanut Butter Cup Ice Cream

3 cups 2% milk, divided
3 oz. chocolate chips or semisweet chocolate
3/4 cup sugar
3 eggs
1/2 cup smooth natural peanut butter
2 tsp vanilla extract
20 Reese's mini peanut butter cups, quartered (1 heaping cup)

Heat one cup of milk with chocolate in a small saucepan over medium heat until chocolate melts, stirring frequently. Beat sugar and eggs together in a medium bowl until frothy.

Gradually whisk hot milk into egg mixture, then pour back into saucepan. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until it is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon, 5-10 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in the peanut butter. Pour into a large bowl and let cool 10 minutes. Stir in remaining two cups of milk and vanilla. Chill thoroughly.

Process in the ice cream mixture until nearly churned. Add peanut butter cups and continue to churn until desired firmness. Transfer to a freezer-safe container and freeze.


Stefaneener said...

Oh, yeah, that sounds like some tasty ice cream.

The cats may in fact know about the new little one -- they ought to be able to hear if nothing else. Cats are fabulous labor companions, if memory serves.

Great about the writing! That is the one Donna Andrews I think I'd like to listen to -- it was funny.

Rain said...

There's an old wives tale sort of thing in the UK, you tie your wedding ring onto a thread and hang it over your middle. If it swings back and forth the baby is a girl and if it swings in a circle it's a boy. My mother and her cronies swear by it.

Rachel said...

It doesn't matter that it's 8:45 a.m. -- that is not keeping me from CRAVING peanut butter cup ice cream. :)

Rachel said...

It doesn't matter that it's 8:45 a.m. -- that is not keeping me from CRAVING peanut butter cup ice cream. :)

Amy said...

oh I think cats know. Probably before the dog.

Annie said...

Maybe your belly is warm?!? We have 3 cats and I have to say, they have 3 distinct personalities and someday I will post pictures of their craziness.

I saw on one of those animal channel shows this segment about a cat that was so protective of the baby in the family that it would alert the parents of any illness before the parents even saw signs of fever etc. It would howel into the monitor and crouch under the crib to make the parents get close to the baby to chase the cat away - and then of course they would see that the baby was getting sick. This cat helped take care of the baby for years! I want THAT cat! :-)

snowdrop said...

I think your cat does know! I had a cat once who knew when I wasn't feeling well. For example, if I had cramps and horizontal, she would jump up and lay on my belly and purr and make it better!

YajB (WoolleyMomMyth) said...

I wandered over from a Google search for eau de nil rowanspun dk and stayed for the ice cream and the synchronicity.
I'm rereading Mansfield Park too!
Just finished P&P, as I'd recently aquired the Jennifer Ehle/Colin Firth DVD.
Found some of these links amusing:

Yael B in Israel