Garden Update

Summer has officially arrived in the Parkallen Home Garden. With summer comes a garden full of fresh veggies. I wanted to give you a little update on how the plants are doing so far this summer.


The strawberry plant is starting to flower nicely.

DSC05387So are the raspberries! I cannot wait to walk into the back yard and pick a handful of those beauties.

DSC05389We have a bush full of chives that are in full bloom.

DSC05392The tomato box is getting getting big and strong, and is also starting to flower.

DSC05401The cauliflower has a bulb that has started to grow.

DSC05398The pepper plant is looking nice and happy.

DSC05397And the buttercups are starting to flower as well.

DSC05396Even Hubbard is starting to grow big and strong.

DSC05399Justin added a trellis to the peas, and they are catching on quite nicely.

DSC05393The zucchinis are also flowering and starting to grow some stems.

All in all, the garden boxes were a fantastic idea. The soil is draining well, and the plants are thriving! I am getting so excited to head into the garden to collect veggies for dinner. I would say we are only a few weeks away from that! Stay tuned for more gardening adventures in our Parkallen Home Garden.


Cardamon Cherry Ice Cream

Ah Cherry season. I was so excited to see rainier cherries at the market yesterday that I bought a large bag. It was good that I did too because it was the last bag of the day when I got there! I thought the return of cherry season would best be celebrated with ice cream. I also love cardamon, so when I saw this recipe, I was quite excited to try it!

DSC05372Here they are, the lovely rainier cherries.

DSC05373I pitted and diced them, and added some sugar to let them sweeten up over night.

DSC05374First step, warm the milk, cream, vanilla and cardamom in a pot until just steaming.

DSC05375While it’s heating, mix the egg yolks and sugar until the sugar dissolves.

DSC05376Here the egg yolks are, ready to be tempered.

DSC05377Tempering is where you add the warm milk mixture to the egg yolks very slowly, while whisking the whole time, so not to break the egg mixture.

DSC05379Once incorporated, add back to the pot and stir continuously over low heat until the mixture begins to thicken. Stick it out and avoid turning up the heat. Trust me, it’s worth it.

DSC05380Transfer back to your heat proof bowl and let cool in the fridge overnight.

DSC05381The next day, churn in your ice cream maker.

DSC05382Here it is, looking all tasty and ready to be devoured.

DSC05383Right at the end, add the cherries.

DSC05384Transfer to a freezer safe bowl and let it firm up for at least an hour before serving. (Waiting is always the hardest part of making ice cream!)

DSC05385Enjoy, on a sunny June day!

Cardamon Cherry Ice Cream (Courtesy of Food Wanderings)

You will need:

  • 2 cups cherries, pitted and halved
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups 1% milk1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/4-1/3 ground cardamon
  • 8 egg yolks
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla
  • 1 1/2 cups of half and half

In a medium bowl, add the cherries and 2 tablespoons of sugar. Mix and keep refrigerated overnight.

Whisk the yolks and sugar lightly in a medium heat resistant bowl, until sugar dissolves.

In a medium sauce pan, add the milk, half and half, vanilla and cardamon. Turn the heat to low medium heat until it just begins to steam.

Once bubbles start appearing around the edge of the pot, add 1/2 cup of the warm milk into the egg yolks in 2-3 increments while constantly whisking the egg yolks. This process is called tempering. Add the tempered egg yolks into the sauce pan while constantly stirring for up to 10 minutes. The milk/yolk mixture will turn into a light thin custard. Remove from the heat and pour the custard base into a heat resistant bowl with a lid. Let completely cool and refrigerate overnight.

The next day, churn in an ice cream maker according to manufacturer’s instructions. Once it reaches a soft serve consistency, strain the cherries and add them to the ice cream maker. Churn for a few seconds longer until the cherries are evenly incorporated. Scoop into a freezer proof container. Cover with a lid and keep in the freezer, ideally overnight, before serving. Enjoy, a lot!

White Chocolate Peach Muffins

There is nothing more satisfying than baking on a cold, windy, rainy evening. When it get’s like this, I just want to make muffins. So make muffins I did. White Chocolate Peach Muffins, to be exact!


I’ve had this recipe kicking around for a really long time, and truthfully, I have no idea why I’ve never posted it. They turn out great, every time, and you can swap out the peaches for different fruit to switch things up!

DSC05358First things first, mix sugar and eggs until nice and fluffy.

DSC05359Then add the wet ingredients to the mix.

DSC05360I added the dry right on top of the wet. (I know I’m not suppose to do that, but the idea of getting two bowls dirty just bugs me…)

DSC05361Then mix it all together.

DSC05363Throw in the diced peaches and white chocolate chips and stir it all around.

DSC05364I threw in some sesame seeds to make it a little more hearty.

DSC05365Here the batter is, all mixed up before heading into the tin.

DSC05367I transferred the batter to the muffin tin and topped each muffin with sliced almonds, for added yumminess!

DSC05370Et voila! Beautiful Muffins, all ready to be devoured.

White Chocolate Peach Muffins

You will need:

2 eggs

1/2 cup sugar

1/2 cup milk

1/4 cup plain yogurt

1 teaspoon vanilla

1/4 cup melted butter or oil

2 cups whole grain flour

1 tablespoon baking powder

1/4 teaspoon cinnamon

1 cup diced peaches

1/2 cup white chocolate chips

1/2 cup sunflower seeds

1/2 cup of sliced almonds

Preheat 0ven to 375. In a large bowl, whisk together eggs and sugar until light. Add milk, yogurt, vanilla & oil. Gently whisk to combine. In another bowl, combine flour, baking powder and cinnamon. Add to wet ingredients and stir just until flour disappears. Gently stir in peaches, white chocolate and sunflower seeds. Spray a muffin tin with non-stick cooking spray and spoon in the batter. Bake for 20-25 mins, or until top of muffins begin to brown.

Coconut Ice Cream

It’s that time of year again: It’s time for Edmontonians to revel in all things summer. That means BBQs and ice cream, cold patio beers and burgers, campfires under the never setting sun and warm, lovely weather. Soak it all in, Edmonton. We deserve it. At this time of the year, I start jonesing hard for ice cream. That’s why I bring you my inaugural summer ice cream recipe. This time, it’s coconut! I’ve always loved coconut ice cream, especially Pinochio’s Ice Cream. It’s creamy, nutty and sweet flavour make my tongue dance with delight!

DSC05332First things first, I was delighted that the recipe I found online actually contained a whole lot less fat than I anticipated (bonus!).

DSC05333Step 1: bring milk, half and half and coconut milk to a simmer in a saucepan.

DSC05334Next, using an electric mixer, blend sugar and egg yolks until it has the consistency of mayonnaise.

DSC05336Like this!

DSC05335Once the milk is simmering, it’s time to temper it into the egg yolk mixture. That means adding it, bit by bit, while you are continuously mixing the yolk mixture. As you can imagine, it is extremely difficult to take a picture of this step, unless you have a third arm.

DSC05337Here it is, tempered!

DSC05338Add it back to the pot, and heat over medium-low, stirring constantly, until the mixture begins to thicken.

DSC05339It will take about 15-20 mins, but it will worth every second of standing over the pot, in the end. Trust me. Also, I got to read a magazine while stirring! Way to multitask, eh?

DSC05340Transfer back to your bowl, and let it refrigerate over night.

DSC05341Pop it into your ice cream maker.

DSC05342And let it do it’s magic for 20-30 mins (according to your ice cream maker’s instructions.)

DSC05343Et le voila, incredibly creamy, with not nearly as much fat as you’d expect.

DSC05346Let firm up in the freezer for a while, and serve a top a tasty cone.

image(2)Enjoy in your backyard on a lovely summer’s evening.

Homemade Coconut Ice Cream (Courtesy of the Food Network)

2 cups 1 % milk
2 cups half and half
2 cups lite coconut milk
8 egg yolks
3/4 cups sugar
Bring milk, half and half, and coconut milk to simmer in heavy saucepan for a few minutes.

Whisk the egg yolks and sugar together, long enough to dissolve the sugar and until it looks like mayonnaise.

Temper hot liquid into egg mixture. Return all back into saucepan over low heat, stirring constantly, until mixture starts to thicken. Transfer back to bowl and chill immediately in the fridge. Refrigerate overnight.

Churn in your ice cream machine. Transfer to a Tupperware and pop it in the freezer. Let firm in the freezer for at least 30 minutes then serve. Enjoy, a lot!