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