Thursday, April 28, 2016

Rich & Creamy Homemade Strawberry Ice Cream Recipe

We have been enjoying some really beautiful springtime days around here. We have had beautiful blue skies, with temperatures with highs in the mid to upper eighties. Another thing that signals spring is in full swing is that locally grown strawberries have begun to appear at the roadside stands in our area. A bucket of those beautiful local berries has already made its way into my kitchen!

Have I told you about my dearest and closest friend Harriette? Yes. Yes, I have, but here I go again. She is one of the sweetest people on the face of this planet? She is also one of the most loving, selfless and generous people I have ever known. We enjoy hanging out together. Sometimes we get together to work on some craft project or other or to sew something or just to talk and enjoy one another's company. She loves me unconditionally, in spite of all my shortcomings, including a mind that jumps from one subject to another and then back again. She knows what I am trying to say, even when I veer off on another tangent in the middle of the conversation. That, and all my other crazy, quirky ways!

We also like to go out and haunt some of the local thrift stores to see if anything strikes the fancy. For instance, we were out a couple of days ago and I saw something I thought would be really useful. I saw an electric ice cream churn which looked to be in very good condition.

I already have an ice cream churn and it works just fine, but it is a hand churn. It takes a lot of arm work and energy to use it, which isn't as easy for me as it used to be. I hate to admit it but I have some hand and back issues so when I use the hand churn, it is when we have grand kids over. They take turns sitting on top of the churn to hold it steady. They also take turns turning the hand crank. The cranked out the big in the post where we made Homemade Fresh Chunky Peach Ice Cream!

I've been wanting to buy an Ice Cream Maker attachment for my Kitchen Aid Stand Mixer but that thing is pretty expensive. So, when I saw the Cuisinart Ice Cream and Frozen Yogurt maker at the thrift store the other day for the great price of $5.00. I waved my friend over to the table where the thing was sitting and asked her what she thought about it.

I said "If it works, that is a really good price, don't you think?" I was getting ready to hunt for a plug to try it out when Harriette said "Yes, it is a good price, but if you really want one, I know someone who can hook you up with one just like it that hasn't really been used very much." When I asked who in the world had one cheaper than $5.00, she told me she had one stored away at her house and I could have it for a price I could not refuse. FREE! I told you she's wonderful, didn't I?

When we got back to my friend's house, we walked out back to a shed where she thought the churn was stored and there it was, right where she thought it would be! It looked brand, spanking new!

But, as usual, I digress! Let's get back to those strawberries that are in my kitchen, waiting for something delicious to be made with them. Ice cream would be good. Yes, strawberry ice cream, some really rich and creamy strawberry ice cream. I made Rich & Creamy Homemade Strawberry Ice Cream! 
Rich & Creamy Homemade Strawberry Ice Cream

Rich & Creamy Homemade Strawberry Ice Cream
Sweet dreams are made of this!
Rich & Creamy Homemade Strawberry Ice Cream

The electric ice cream maker works wonderfully, sitting on my counter top and churning away. My hands, back and arms are grateful. The result is this beautiful, sweet and luscious creation!
Rich & Creamy Homemade Strawberry Ice Cream
I made this ice cream using Heavy Whipping Cream as its base. For those with a palate for rich ice cream, this one is for you.
Rich & Creamy Homemade Strawberry Ice Cream
My new (to me) electric ice cream maker will make up to one-and-a-half quarts of ice cream and my recipe filled it up, all the way to the top, after all that heavy whipping cream fluffed up in it as it churned away!
Rich & Creamy Homemade Strawberry Ice Cream

Our local strawberries are so sweet and juicy. They really do make some beautiful and delicious strawberry ice cream!

I used this great Cuisinart Frozen Yogurt-Ice & Sorbet Maker and it took only about 20 minutes to churn up about 1-1/2 quarts of this beautiful ice cream:
Frozen Yogurt-Ice Cream & Sorbet Maker

Would you like to make up a batch of Rich & Creamy Homemade Strawberry Ice Cream? Well, go ahead and find you some luscious and sweet fresh strawberries and get started! You're certain to like it. Here is the recipe!

Rich & Creamy Homemade Strawberry Ice Cream

Ingredients:

1/2 cup whole milk
1 cup granulated white sugar
Pinch of salt
1-1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1-1/2 cups fresh strawberries(mashed or chopped, as preferred) with juice
1-3/4 cups heavy whipping cream

Directions:

Wash and pat dry the fresh the 1-1/2 cups fresh strawberries. Remove the leaf caps (hull) from the strawberries.
In a bowl, mash or chop the strawberries and set aside. Pour 1/2 cup of whole milk in a large bowl. 
Add granulated sugar to the milk in bowl. 
Add pinch of salt 
Add 1-1/2 teaspoons of pure vanilla extract. 
Whisk together the milk, sugar, salt and vanilla extract until the sugar is dissolved in the milk. 
Add the mashed fresh strawberries(including the juice).
Add the heavy whipping cream to the milk and sugar mixture and slowly stir to combine. 
Pour strawberry mixture into the container of ice cream maker or churn and follow manufacturers directions for making the ice cream.
When the mixture is very thick and creamy, transfer to a freezer container and place container in freezer for several hours or overnight so that ice cream will thicken and can be dipped with an ice cream scoop.

Remove container of ice cream from freezer, serve up and enjoy your Rich & Creamy Homemade Strawberry Ice Cream!


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Monday, April 25, 2016

Costumes From' "Fashionable Romance Wedding Gowns in Film Exhibition" at Biltmore House

Late last month I shared with readers about a day we spent at Biltmore House and Gardens in Asheville, North Carolina. That post was centered around the beautiful conservatory and gardens at the estate. We had a really great time with our daughter, her husband, our three granddaughters and our dear friends, Larry and Harriette. If you missed that post, you might want to check it out here.

In this post, I am writing about the spectacular Fashionable Romance Wedding Gowns in Film exhibition, which is a collection of award-winning costumes from a number of great movies. The collection is presented by the Belk Company. In addition to the fabulous movie costumes, a number of hierlooms from the Vanderbilt/Cecil family are displayed throughout Biltmore House and at Antler Hill Village & Winery, another of the Biltmore properties included in the price of admission to the Biltmore House & Gardens. This wonderful collection will be featured from February 12, 2016 through July 4, 2016.

This will be the first of two posts about the Fashionable Romance Wedding Gowns in Film exhibition at Biltmore House and Antler Hill Village & Winery.

You can read more here about how Biltmore House and Gardens originated and how the Vanderbilt/Cecil family is still involved in the management of Biltmore House & Gardens. It is an awesome story about the history and lineage of the magnificent estate and the how it came to be.

We visited the Biltmore last year when the Downton Abbey "Dressing Downton" costume collection was on exhibit there. The taking of photographs was not allowed on the interior of the house. I was able to take only photographs of the exterior grounds and garden area and in and around the shopping and dining areas of the estate. Following are a few of the photos from a post of wrote about our visit to see the gorgeous Biltmore Dressing Downton collection. 

Source: Mimimine.blogspot.com

Source: Mimimine.blogspot.com

Source: Mimimine.blogspot.com

Source: Mimimine.blogspot.com
When we visited last month (March), I was very pleased that we were allowed to take pictures on the interior of the house and of the Fashionable Romance: Wedding Gowns in Film collection. The Grand Entrance Hall and Winter Garden areas are, of course, decorated in a fashion befitting the wonderful palatial style in which the Biltmore was constructed.

There is an enormous and beautifully decorated faux wedding cake, situated just below an ornate chandelier. The flowers adorning the cake are in a bright mixture of colors and the chandelier covered with long, brilliantly glistening crystals, cascading like a waterfall. The chandelier, too, abounds with the same bright flowers which adorn the wedding cake! Long strands of lights are encased in swags of white tulle, hanging, in abundance, above all! My husband insisted on taking this picture with me in it.

Fashionable Romance:Wedding Gowns in Film
Speaking of flowers, every room in which the collection is featured is enhanced by the addition of beautiful arrangements of a combination of fresh and very realistic faux flowers and foliage, such as this one in the Billiard Room:
Floral Arrangement in the Billiard Room of Biltmore House
The Winter Garden, an enormous room that was originally built as a conservatory, boasts beautiful topiary of rose  of yellow and white, as well as ficus trees, tropical plants and other beautiful plants and flowers.
Flowers and Plants in Biltmore House's Winter Garden
This room was originally built as a conservatory when the house was constructed. This must have been a wonderful place for residents and guests of the Biltmore to go to sit and relax and take in the beauty all around. The above picture is just a snippet of what was in the Winter Garden the day we visited. It reminds me of some of the beautiful conservatory-like lobby areas of some of the grand hotels I have seen.

The rooms of the Biltmore House are the ultimate setting and absolutely perfect for displaying the collection of fabulous costumes from many noted films from over the years. These gigantic chandeliers hang over the enormous table in the Biltmore's banquet hall. Once again, the chandeliers are used to great advantage to add flowers, greenery and ribbons galore!
Chandeliers in the Grand Ball Room at Biltmore House's Fashionable Romance Exhibition
The banquet hall is the setting for costumes worn in The Duchess, 2008. Starring Keira Knightley as Georgiana Cavendish, Duchess of Devonshire and Ralph Fiennes as the Duke of Devonshire, The movie was set in the period of the 1770's. Michael O'Connor designed the costumes, which won an Academy Award for Best Costume Design. The area around the costumes in the rooms are roped off. This room is enormous and the midday sun flowing through the enormous windows created a glare in this picture, but these costumes are wonderful.
Academy Award Winning Wedding Costumes Worn in The Duchess Film
Notice how perfectly the chairs in this room accentuate the color of the Duke of Devonshire's suit. I cannot imagine having a fireplace in my home like the one pictured behind the wedding costumes here. It is actually several fireplaces in one! Have you ever?!

Fashionable Romance Collection at Biltmre House & Gardens-The Duchess
Fashionable Romance Collection at Biltmore House & Gardens-The Duchess
Aren't the tapestries hanging on the walls in the banquet hall absolutely astounding?  I do not see how the background could not have been more perfect for these three costumes from The Duchess. 

The next pictures were taken in the breakfast room. The room was actually not used for serving breakfast, but lunch, in the home. No matter what meal it was used for, it is posh! The breakfast room is the setting for displaying the costumes from the film, Sense and Sensibility, 1995.
Biltmore House Breakfast Room
In the movie, Sense and Sensibility, 1995, Kate Winslet plays Marianne Dashwood and Alan Rickman plays the part of Colonel Christopher Brandon. Emma Thompson played the part of Elinor Dashwood and Hugh Grant, the part of Edward Ferrars. The movie is set in the early1800's, when most women wore their "best" dresses in which to get married. The custom of wearing white for wedding dresses had not yet become the fashion. The wedding dress worn by Kate Winslet (Marianne Dashwood) is more beige in color with a taupe trim. Jenny Beavan & John Bright were the costume designers and the costumes were nominated for an Academy Award for Best Costume Design.
Sense & Sensibility Costumes featured in Biltmore's Fashionable Romance Exhibition
The costumes of Emma Thompson and Hugh Grant in their roles of Elinor Dashwood and Edward Ferrars are pictured below.
Costumes from Sense and Sensibility at Biltmore House's Fashionable Romance 2016
For the movie Howard's End, 1992, the designers, Jenny Beaven & John Bright, also designed the costumes. For their costume design in Howard's End, the movie also received a nomination for an Academy Award for Best Costume Design. Vanessa Redgrave, Emma Thompson and Susie Lindeman acted in the film.
Costumes from the Film Howard's End at Biltmore House
Another photograph taken from a different angle of the Howard's End collection of costumes follows:
Costume Collection from the Film Howard's End at Biltmore
Did you notice the bust of Napoleon Bonaparte sitting on a pedestal in the above two pictures? I have done a little research on the subject and it seems George Washington Vanderbilt, the man who built Biltmore House, collected Napoleonic related items and artifacts and received several such items as birthday and/or wedding gifts and the bust was apparently one such item. Here is a closer photo of the Napoleon bust.
Napoleon Bust at Biltmore House
Here are some costumes from Pride and Prejudice, 1995.
Costumes from Pride & Prejudice at Biltmore's Fashionable Romance
Helena Bonham Carter wore this wedding dress in Mary Shelley's Frankenstein, 1994 when she played the role of Elizabeth. Have you noticed all the beautiful flower arrangements such as the one in the foreground of this wedding dress.
Wedding Dress from the Film Mary Shelley's Frankenstein at  Biltmore
The setting for the above costume is the Biltmore Library with its astounding collections and sets of books!

Pictured below are costumes from the film Daniel Deronda, 2002.
Costumes from the Film Daniel Deronda at Biltmore House

Costume from Daniel Deronda Film Collection at Biltmore

Wedding Costumes from Daniel Deronda Film  -Fashionable Romance at Biltmore
Juliet Aubrey played the role of Elizabeth, Duchess of York and future Queen Elizabeth in the movie Bertie and Elizabeth, 2002.
Wedding Dress Worn in the Film Bertie and Elizabeth-Biltmore House Fashionable Romance Collection
Out of Africa starred Meryl Streep and Robert Redford and the movie was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Costume Design. Milena Canonero was the costume designer for the film.
Biltmore's Fashionable Romance Exhibition - Out of Africa Movie

Here are costumes from the movie Hamlet, 1996 where actress Julie Christie played Queen Gertrude:
Costumes from Hamlet at Biltmore House 

Wedding Dress from the Movie Hamlet Included in the Fashionable Romance Collection
This is the first of my posts about the Fashionable Romance Collection Wedding Gowns in Film at Biltmore House and Antler Hill Village & Winery.  If you enjoy romantic films as much as I do, I hope you have enjoyed my post. This post is unsolicited, but Biltmore's collection of costumes from romantic movies certainly stirred my romantic heart. This spectacular collection will be featured through July 4, 2016 and I hope to see it once more before it ends!

I want to thank you for visiting my blog today and I hope you will come back soon!
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