Under the Wing of Erin Cooks – plus Triple Berry Frozen Yogurt

May 2, 2009 at 12:09 am 35 comments


Do you know Erin, the beautiful blogger behind Erin Cooks? Yeah, silly question.

It seems as if April is my luckiest month ever. There was my 17th birthday, and my first Daring Bakers challenge. And, most unexpectedly, a slew of kind comments that leave me smiling the whole day. Only last month I blogged about how I knew no one would read 17 and Baking, and that was fine with me. What a birthday gift!

I was matched with Erin for the Adopt-a-Blogger #3 event hosted by Kristen of Dine & Dish, where new bloggers get an experienced blogger as a mentor. “Experienced” is quite the understatement… Erin’s been blogging for 10 years. Her beautiful photography and pleasant, accessible writing style have won her quite a large following.

Erin’s Heart Shaped Peppermint Patties

Her recipes, too, look amazing… Raised doughnuts, Peanut Butter Ice Cream with homemade white chocolate peanut butter cups, and her favorite Thick, Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies. But it’s not all sweet. Erin also cooks dinner, breakfast, and appetizers; she cooks healthy, she travels, she reviews.

Despite all this, though, she’s down to earth. She emailed me right away, full of helpful tips and kind encouragement without a trace of superiority. (She even blogs about her disasters, a fact that I love!) I strongly encourage you to check her out. She is a fabulous mentor and an excellent cook. Erin, thanks for all your help!

Now… what do you do with a giant bag of frozen berries?

Triple Berry Frozen Yogurt!

I got my KitchenAid ice cream maker when I turned 16, an age where birthday presents finally became hit or miss. Gadgets and music were risky. Clothing was an even worse option. I was doubting I would adore my family’s presents, but prepared myself to love them anyway. Man, do they surprise me.

There were two boxes. I opened the first and screamed when I ripped off the paper to reveal the words “KitchenAid Food Processor.” It was shiny, black, and sparkled. I was speechless. I think I almost cried. :)

When I finally calmed down enough to use my hands again (they were waving around in an embarrassing, jazzy sort of way) I moved onto the second box. I got all worked up when I saw that the box was marked “KitchenAid Ice Cream Maker.” I started laughing, I was so happy.

My family – Dad, Mom, and Grandma – all exchanged glances. My Grandma’s face fell and she looked upset – no, guilty. “Oh, Elissa,” she said slowly. “I’m sorry. I’m so sorry. It’s just the box – I bought myself an ice cream maker in December. I just needed a box. I feel awful.” She put her face in her hands as I opened the lid and, sure enough, pulled out a green t-shirt and some capris.

“Oh, it’s okay. These clothes are really cute,” I said, trying to sound enthused. I knew I was doing a bad job, but I couldn’t help it. The clothes were cute, but they didn’t compare to what could have come out of the box.

The whole room was very quiet for a few moments as the disappointment of reality set in. Then my dad asked, quietly, if I could check something in the freezer for him. Alright.

I walked to the kitchen, opened the freezer, and screamed even louder than before. There it was – my ice cream maker, already in the freezer, chilled long enough to be used right away. Not only that, but they’d prepared a vanilla ice cream base for me, ready to be churned on a whim. In the living room, all three of them were laughing hysterically, just as happily as me.

[Yes, Dad, that's the Flounder baby spoon from my The Little Mermaid silverware set. I always eat frozen desserts with it, because smaller bites make it last longer.]

I make ice cream all the time, especially when it gets warm. I recently got turned onto frozen yogurt and love it for its health advantages. Some people strain whole milk Greek yogurt for a rich, creamy, more ice-cream-like dessert, but I use unstrained nonfat yogurt. If I wanted ice cream, that’s what I’d make. Don’t expect this to be decadent. It’s not rich, but it is tangy, sweet, and utterly refreshing. And it’s the most beautiful color, and can be made in no time at all.

We bought a bag of frozen berries – raspberries, marionberries, and blueberries – and that’s what I used for this frozen yogurt. I didn’t even defrost them beforehand.

Triple Berry Frozen Yogurt
Makes six 1/2 cup servings

16 oz (about 4 cups) frozen berries
5 tbsp sugar
4 cups nonfat plain yogurt, chilled
6 tbsp sugar

In a medium saucepan, combine the berries and the 5 tbsp of sugar. Cook over medium heat, stirring, until berries are broken down and a syrup forms. For a smoother frozen yogurt, puree the berries and juices in a food processor or blender. Strain out any seeds and let berries cool to room temperature.

Combine the berry puree with the 6 tbsp of sugar and the yogurt, straight from the fridge. Chill until the whole mixture is cool, then churn in an ice cream maker, following the manufacturer’s instructions (it was about 12 minutes on mine.)

Store in an airtight container and keep in the freezer.

Printer Friendly Version – Triple Berry Frozen Yogurt

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35 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Amy I.  |  May 2, 2009 at 12:40 am

    Hey Elissa, I like your blog! I’m a newbie participating in Adopt-A-Blogger too. Looking forward to reading along :)

    Reply
  • 2. Cristine  |  May 2, 2009 at 1:01 am

    Looks yummy! Perfect for spring!

    Reply
  • 3. Erin  |  May 2, 2009 at 4:16 am

    You are simply too sweet for words. Thank you so much for the kind introduction. I truly hope I can be of some assistance to you. Once again please do not hesitate to email me with any questions.

    By the way, the color of the Triple Berry Yogurt is just gorgeous. I love vibrant food. Especially when it’s actually good for me.

    Reply
  • 4. Shannalee  |  May 2, 2009 at 4:57 am

    You’re 17!? I am amazed at the talent, seriously. Gorgeous photos.

    Reply
  • 5. Amanda  |  May 2, 2009 at 4:59 am

    That’s a great story. My parents are well-known for the “tiny-present-in-giant-weighted-box” stunt they pulled on my aunt, but this story easily tops that one. :)

    Reply
  • 6. Kids Birthday Cake  |  May 2, 2009 at 5:51 am

    [...] Under the Wing of Erin Cooks – plus Triple Berry Frozen Yogurt [...]

    Reply
  • 7. Becky  |  May 2, 2009 at 6:13 am

    Beautiful frozen yogurt! It really makes me want to dust off my Cuisinart ice-cream maker. I set it aside because I just can’t justify making full cream ice cream, but this looks light and perfect!

    And I love your blog too! Made the Peanut Butter and Chocolate Chunk Muffins last night and plan to give some to a pregnant friend this morning – who better to justify eating Peanut Butter and Chocolate first thing in the morning than someone growing another human being? Thanks for the great recipes!

    Reply
  • 8. peachkins  |  May 2, 2009 at 7:10 am

    wow..this looks amazing..

    Reply
  • 9. Alana @ The Good Girl Gone Blog  |  May 2, 2009 at 7:30 am

    As always, this looks amazing!

    Reply
  • 10. Erin  |  May 2, 2009 at 7:33 am

    That is the sweetest story, ever! You’ve got such a great knack for writing! And your pictures- amazing! Erin is one of my oldest blogging buddies (we’ve known each other online almost that whole 10 years!) and as much as I love her- she’s going to have a hard time teaching you because you’ve got such a great start already! :) I’ll be adding you to my reader for sure.

    Reply
  • 11. andrew  |  May 2, 2009 at 8:18 am

    wooow~ yummy!! LOOKS REALLY REALLY good!! =D

    Reply
  • 12. Marta  |  May 2, 2009 at 10:59 am

    Elissa you’re so lucky! What a great mentor!! I’m very glad that you’ve made the most out of this opportunity and really take advantage of all the blogging knowledge Erin has to pass down. I wish I was part of that program…. how do I sign up?!
    In my humble opinion you are doing a fantastic job!! Your writing is so easy to read, your recipes are exquisite and very elegant. I mean this as a compliment: I never would expect such beautiful desserts, with such a grown-up twist, from a 17-year-old!
    Great frozen yogurt! Perfect for the start of watch-your-waistline season!
    Enjoy a lovely weekend :)

    Reply
  • 13. Katie  |  May 2, 2009 at 12:11 pm

    Oh man, I’m so glad you eat ice cream with baby spoons, too! I always thought that was just a weird habit of mine.

    What a sweet (excuse the pun) story, and what a fabulous-looking frozen yogurt! My own birthday is coming up and I’m debating whether I should ask for kitchen gadgets, or whether I should just continue to mooch off my Mom and Aunt when I’m at their houses.

    Reply
  • 14. Lauren  |  May 2, 2009 at 1:52 pm

    Mmm, your frozen yogurt looks perfect!! I love the rich colour =D.

    Reply
  • 15. beck  |  May 2, 2009 at 3:33 pm

    HI Erin Loved reading this story. Have you ever checked out the Thermomix – it can make an instant sorbet from ice blocks, fresh fruit and sugar. It also cooks so you can make your own yoghurt too. Before you invest in more kitchen appliances I suggest you take a look at it because it can grind, mill, grate, juice and need with one set of blades
    R

    Reply
  • 16. Cze-Johnson Carrie  |  May 2, 2009 at 3:35 pm

    ok.. I now have TWO reasons to be jealous of you…. Erin as a mentor, AND you are half my age (eep… MORE than half/ wait.. YOUNGER than half.. nevermind.. I’m much older!!) with your own ice cream maker attachment!

    Loved your birthday flashback story, and LOVE the looks of this frozen yogurt! great job on all counts!

    Reply
  • 17. Lori  |  May 2, 2009 at 4:05 pm

    This looks amazing. I think you did a fantastic job. Bravo to you. I think that its great that you are creating amazing food and a blog at 17.

    Reply
  • 18. oneordinaryday  |  May 2, 2009 at 5:46 pm

    What a great birthday memory. Sweet and funny, both. And your frozen yogurt looks amazing! Great job!
    Michelle

    Reply
  • 19. deeba  |  May 2, 2009 at 5:48 pm

    Well done indeed Elisa. What a wonderful blog you have. Happy belated birthday! Love the fro yo…my fave way of doing ice-creams! Welcome to the DB gang too!!

    Reply
  • 20. Mindy  |  May 3, 2009 at 2:53 am

    Throughout my teenage years, I received kitchen gadgets too–the most memorable was this machine that cut potatoes into curly fries…yum! And my grandmother was notorious for the surprise gifts–she once rolled 100 one-dollar bills into a box of 500 straws for my brother. He had to go through each one individually to get the loot out!

    And by the way, your frozen yogurt looks delicious!

    Mindy, another Adopt-a-Blogger adoptee :-)

    Reply
  • 21. bronte  |  May 3, 2009 at 11:37 am

    woww…that frozen yogurt looks SO good! While browsing foodgawker earlier i came upon your blog, and i just wanted to say that i too am also 17, and want to be a pastry chef. (I live in LA) And i wanted to say how amazing all your things look, and your photography is just STUNNING. I wish i could take pictures like that! What kind of camera do u use? I just think its cool to find another young baker on these blogs. I’m bronte by the way…nice to meet you! <3

    Reply
  • 22. melanger  |  May 3, 2009 at 7:26 pm

    It is winter here so a frozen yoghurt would not typically be appealing, but this looks great. When summer rolls round, may have to give this a go! :)

    Reply
  • 23. Baking Monster  |  May 3, 2009 at 8:17 pm

    That looks so good!

    Reply
  • 24. Jenny Tan  |  May 4, 2009 at 4:45 pm

    Hi Elissa, you are an amazing teenager! I’m glad you are taking part in all sorts of stuff to improve and get even better on your love for baking. Your future is gonna be SO BRIGHT. Also, you have a wonderful family who supports your passion. I love how they tricked you with the ice cream maker! LOL…what a fun family! :)

    Reply
  • 25. Daniel  |  May 4, 2009 at 8:57 pm

    You added the 5 tbls of sugar when you cooked the berries, when do you add the 6 tbls of sugar?

    Reply
  • 26. Elissa  |  May 4, 2009 at 9:38 pm

    Daniel – Whoops! You’re right, I accidently left that out. Sorry! You combine the sugar with the berry puree and the yogurt before churning. The sweetness of the berries isn’t enough to counteract the plain yogurt all on its own.

    Reply
  • 27. Maris  |  May 4, 2009 at 9:58 pm

    Elissa, this looks great! You’re so talented!!

    Reply
  • 28. Recipe man  |  May 4, 2009 at 10:38 pm

    this look amazing. you have a gift.. this is so easy yet so tasty

    thanks!

    Reply
  • 29. Monica h  |  May 5, 2009 at 6:45 pm

    This looks delicious- what an amazing birthday gift!

    Reply
  • [...] 9, 2009 by asliceofawesome Yum! Triple Berry Frozen Yogurt – http://17andbaking.wordpress.com/2009/05/02/under-the-wing-of-erin-cooks-plus-triple-berry-frozen-yo… Baked Sweet Potato Latkes – http://erincooks.com/2008/03/09/loving-the-latkes/ Mushroom [...]

    Reply
  • 31. Christy  |  July 21, 2009 at 10:19 pm

    I made this today, and I absolutely love it! It allowed me to get rid of extra frozen berries and some old yogurt that thankfully hadn’t yet expired.

    Reply
  • 32. Melissa  |  July 12, 2011 at 11:08 pm

    That was such a funny story I had tears coming down my face – what an awesome birthday ! I always have frozen berries just in case inspiration hits – I’m going to make this it looks so delicious. I have a super yummy coconut lime sorbet recipe on my blog if you want to check it out http://littlesnowflower.blogspot.com/2011/06/coconut-lime-sorbet.html so delicious on a hot summer day.

    Reply
  • 33. Benthe  |  March 6, 2012 at 4:18 pm

    I made this today and damn, this is good!

    Reply
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Elissa Bernstein



I'm Elissa: a 17 (now 21) year old baker in Seattle Boston juggling creative nonfiction workshops, subway maps, and my passions for writing, baking, and photography. Photo above © Michelle Moore

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