Adult Ice Cream Sundae

Raspberries were on sale for $1 this week, so we got 5 containers. I opened my freezer last night and saw that my  parents must’ve left ice cream when they babysat last night – Breyers Vanilla. It’s kind of a weakness of mine! I immediately thought of the Bailey’s I have in the back of my fridge and a sundae I made one time with Bailey’s “Hint of Mint”.

So I started thinking… and made a really yummy adults – only sundae!

I originally envisioned drizzling the Bailey’s, then a fresh, red raspberry sauce drizzled over the ice cream, and some chocolate chips. But when I was making the raspberry ‘sauce’ I had another idea… ***I added it spontaneously, so I’m adjusting the recipe from exactly how I did it…***

First preheat a small skillet or saucepan over medium heat.  Melt a little pat of butter, then add your raspberries – I probably used about 10. This is a GREAT way to use any of those raspberries that are a little mushy.  Roll the raspberries around a bit in the butter, then add a couple splashes of Peach Schnapps – I’d say more than a teaspoon but less than a tablespoon. Let it simmer until the juices have turned pink/red. Now add some chocolate chips and simmer for a minute or so until the chips melt. Roll the raspberries in that sauce until they are covered in it. Turn off the heat.

Scoop your ice cream into a bowl (I used 3 scoops!) and drizzle a bit of Bailey’s over it. Then, using a spatula to get all the sauce off the pan, pour the chocolate raspberry sauce over the ice cream and add a few chocolate chips for texture.
Eat immediately, because that sauce will melt the ice cream quickly! It was REALLY good!

Here’s another variation I’m going to try:
– Use vanilla Greek frozen yogurt, omit the chocolate chips and add another berry (blueberry or strawberry) to the sauce

Here’s how I made the Adult Thin Mint sundae:
– Drizzle some Bailey’s Hint of Mint over Breyer’s Vanilla Bean ice cream, and crush some Thin Mint girl scout cookies over top. (Yeah. It’s good.)

My last tip is, wait until after the kids are in bed to enjoy these treats!

Irish Oatmeal – and how it can help develop your palate

When we were grocery shopping this week, my 6-year-old asked to get oatmeal. I don’t usually make oatmeal, so I thought this was curious. I like having oats in the house for baking, but I’ve never been a huge fan of oatmeal. I’ve recently realized it’s due to the mushy texture – with everything I eat, I need texture: something crunchy, something to chew on. Plus, I questioned the real nutritious value of microwavable oatmeal packets, and I had never made homemade oatmeal.

But my little girl wanted it, so I figured we could try it again.

Now, I am pretty happy with A’s palate so far. She is able to pretty accurately describe what she’s eating using good descriptive words. She always asks about what’s on her plate or in her bowl. I tell her, because instead of hiding from her that she’s eating vegetables, I want her to appreciate and enjoy all parts of her food; when she inevitably likes it, I have now opened a door to using that ingredient in other ways and reminding her that she likes it. The worst case scenario is that she’s able to vocalize when there’s something she doesn’t like.

So the first time I made her oatmeal, before school this week, I made it according to package instructions, and tasted it plain. (Yep. Still don’t like plain oatmeal. Does anyone, I wondered?) I knew I could add butter and brown sugar, but I was trying to think a little healthier, so instead I added honey and a few dashes of cinnamon/sugar. Then I got thinking about my texture issue and added a very little bit of chopped pecans I had purchased to put in chicken salad. Then she said she wanted cut up strawberries on top, so we did that as well.

Well, here’s proof of her sensitivity. I had mixed the pecans in and didn’t tell her. She quickly noticed there was some kind of nut in there, and let me know she didn’t like it. But she did seem to like the oatmeal otherwise, and even asked for seconds.

She asked for oatmeal again today, and asked to help make it. I gladly agreed, thinking, here’s an opportunity to develop her palate a bit more. (You can probably try this with your kids using a different food, but oatmeal is pretty kid friendly, and pretty easy to make small adjustments and notice differences in the taste.)

When I first started cooking, I remember feeling overwhelmed at the idea of not following a recipe EXACTLY. Watching cooking shows, seeing people taste a dish and say, “It needs more ____.” How should I know what else it needs?! I was still learning what the most basic spices and ingredients tasted like, and how best to combine them, and didn’t yet trust my palate to determine what was missing from a dish. I want to prevent my kids from having the same issue. Oatmeal is one of those things that you can modify to your liking really easily, so I figured it was a good place to start.

I measured the water, put it on the stove in a small saucepan, and explained this:
“Any time you are boiling water, adding salt helps it boil faster, and brings out the natural flavors of whatever you’re cooking.”
Once we reached a boil, we added the oatmeal and put the timer on, stirring almost constantly. We removed it from the heat, covered it, and let it sit for 3 minutes. Then I removed the lid, stirred, and let her taste it plain.
“I want you to taste it how it is and tell me what you think we should add.”
She tasted it, made a face, and said, “I want to add cinnamon.”
So we added some cinnamon. She tasted again. “I think we need more cinnamon.” (I think she was right.)
More cinnamon, another taste, and even while making a face, she said “I think that’s good,” and held out her bowl. Because of the face she made, I asked, “Do you want to add some honey to sweeten it?” and she agreed: “Last time I had it there was honey in it and it was really good!”
So we added honey and she was happy with it. She did say, “I don’t want any pecans. I don’t like the nuts and how they stick to my teeth.”

Well maybe she didn’t, but I did. I made myself a bowl and topped it with the pecans and then – chocolate chips. Not just to add some texture, but to add that smooth mouth-feel that happens when chocolate melts. And, because, let’s face it, I’m still a chocoholic at heart! ❤

*Adding chopped bananas or strawberries, raspberries or blueberries will lend more nutrition and flavor.

Click here to read more about how to develop your kids palate, and rid yourself of picky eaters!