Monday, 27 October 2014

Pumpkin Bowl Ice Cream

Summer may be over but that doesn't mean that we can't have ice cream, right? Every day is a good day for ice cream, but holidays are even better. 

I've partnered with 'Got Milk?' to bring you this simple Halloween themed dessert. It's so simple your kids will be able to make it themselves. It's so much fun they'll want to make it themselves. And what could be better than happy kids getting involved in making their own food?

My kids and I are big fans of making our own ice cream - without an ice cream maker! All you need are a few simple ingredients, some ice, salt and ziplock bags and you can make delicious ice cream in just five minutes. 

My kids love to make ice cream using this technique. Food always tastes better when you make it yourself, especially if it's fun to make. And I like knowing exactly what is going into my kids' food. This recipe combines the goodness of milk and a little physical activity to make a fun, delicious treat. It's a fun way to get a little more milk into your children's diet and to provide their bodies with the fuel they need to grow.

To give our ice cream a Halloween theme we're coloring it orange and serving it up in carved out mini pumpkins. My kids aren't huge fans of pumpkin flavor so we're making the ice cream vanilla however you could add pumpkin pie spice for a more authentic taste of the season.   

What you'll need
1/2 Cup Half & Half (or Full Cream Milk if you prefer your ice cream a little less rich)
1 Tablespoon Sugar
1/4 Teaspoon Vanilla Essence
2 Drops Orange Food Coloring (or 1 drop each of red & yellow)
6 Tablespoons Salt
Large Ziplock Bag (Gallon size)
Small Ziplock bag (Sandwich size)
Small pumpkin (hollowed out for serving) 

Makes 1 Serving

Step 1
Pour the Half & Half, sugar and vanilla essence into the small ziplock bag and add a few drops of food coloring. To make it easier for my kids I place the ziplock bag in a bowl so they don't have to try and hold it while pouring in the ingredients. Carefully seal the ziplock bag making sure it's sealed nice and tight.

Step 2
Half fill the large ziplock bag with ice. Pour in 6 tablespoons of salt and give the bag a quick shake to mix it through. The salt is the magic ingredient. Salt lowers the freezing temperature of water which means that the ice will be colder and therefore freeze the ice cream faster.

Step 3
Place the small ziplock bag inside the large ziplock bag and seal it.

And now for the fun part...

Step 4
Shake, shake, shake!
Shake the bag of ice vigorously for approximately five minutes to "churn" the ice cream. Five minutes may not seem that long but it can get a little tiring for tiny ice cream chefs. And that bag of ice can start to get a little heavy. I like to put on some music and have a little dance party with the kids. The time flies by much faster when they're shaking their booties while shaking the bag of ice!

After five minutes of shaking the ice cream should be nice and thick. If it's still a little soft continue shaking for an extra minute or two.

Remove the small ziplock bag from the ice. Scoop out the ice cream and serve it directly into the carved out mini pumpkin.

All that's left to do now is enjoy your delicious homemade ice cream!


Freeze the pumpkin bowls prior to serving the ice cream. This will help keep the ice cream frozen a little longer - although, trust me, it'll be devoured pretty quickly! 

The pumpkin bowls can be washed and reused over and over. Keep them in the freezer to prevent them going off.

For a more authentic pumpkin flavor add a small amount of pumpkin pie spice to the ice cream mix before shaking it.

For a creamier taste and texture use pouring cream instead of Half & Half, or for a less creamy taste and texture use full cream milk.

For more delicious recipes made with the goodness of milk visit

This post was sponsored by ‘Got Milk?’ through their partnership with POPSUGAR. 
While I was compensated by POPSUGAR to write a post about ‘Got Milk?’, all opinions are my own.

Sunday, 26 October 2014

Six Months Old

Yesterday was my half birthday. Hooray! I'm six months old.

I tried to ask Mummy for a half birthday party and half birthday cake but she didn't seem to understand what I was saying. I guess I'll have to wait until my actual birthday, six months from now. That'll give Mummy plenty of time to plan it!

I've been pretty busy over the last month. Like always I've been learning all sorts of new things.

My new favourite thing is eating. Mummy calls me P. Piggly Hogswine because I like to eat a lot! I'm already eating two meals a day (lunch and dinner) plus snacks throughout the day.  My favourite foods are rice cereal, mushy fruit and veggies, yoghurt, pieces of banana, Baby Mum Mum rice crackers, and whatever Mummy eats at the Cheeseboard. Those brioches are pretty tasty. Oh, and I'd really like to eat some cake, but like I said before, Mummy doesn't seem to understand my requests. I also like trying to eat shoes. And Mummy's nose. I'm not sure if either of those things are actually edible though.


My other new favourite thing is crawling. After a month of scooting around on my belly I've learned how to crawl properly. I still like my belly flop technique as I'm pretty fast at it, but each day I'm crawling more and more.

Now that I'm moving around everywhere I'm getting into everything. Mummy keeps moving Ava and Lola's toys off the floor to stop me trying to eat them. I really need to get my little hands on their toys so I'm learning how to pull myself up on furniture. So far I can pull myself up to standing in my crib, in the bath and on the tv cabinet.

I love taking a bath with my big sisters. I sit up with them like a big girl and splash my hands non-stop. Splashing Lola is especially fun! She hates getting water in her face so I make sure to splash her a lot. She screams and I laugh and laugh!

I like to give high fives to Mummy, Daddy and my big sisters. It's so much fun, especially when I miss. Oh, that makes me laugh so much!

At my recent check up the doctor told Mummy that I'm now pretty much right on average for my weight. I now weigh 7.13kgs (15lb 11oz) and I'm 66.5cm (26 1/4") long.

Oh, and one more important thing... I'm now an Australian citizen just like the rest of my family. I don't understand what that means but I think it has something to do with kangaroos. Or emus. I'm not really sure, but they both appear on my citizenship certificate.

See you next month!

Saturday, 25 October 2014

Three Years in America

 Three years! That's how long the girls and I have been in America now. Well, not Mathilde, she's only been here six months ;)

The last year has been a pretty eventful one. The major event of course being the arrival of our little American baby. We've been on fun adventures, celebrated holidays and had quite a few visitors from home. In fact, today my best friend in the whole wide world will be arriving to visit! I can't wait, but more on that later.

Here's a look at some of the highlights from year number three in America. I won't lie, there are a lot of photos, so get yourself a coffee, get comfy on the couch and enjoy...

We started year number three in New York with friends

Hooray for New York!

Hanging out in Brooklyn

Halloween 2013

In November we shared some exciting news!

Visiting the Googleplex

My little sister Kylie visited in November

Ava passed her first karate belt test in November

In December we spent a day at the Christmas Festival in Nevada City

Feeling festive at the Fairmont Hotel

Visiting Santa at Macy's

Our 2013 Christmas card photo

Lola and her snowman at "Snow? In Berkeley?"

Choosing a Christmas Tree

Meeting Santa at the Christmas tree farm

Over the Christmas break we looked after Gecky, Ava's class pet 

Santa brought an American Girl doll for Ava...

...And one for Lola too

On New Year's Eve we visited Winchester Mystery House in San Jose

In January we had a trip to Children's Hospital Oakland when Lola got Lego stuck up her nose!

For her 7th birthday we got Ava her very own pet: Cookie the Leopard Gecko

Ava met some creepy crawly friends at her 7th birthday party...

...And a few slithery friends!

The girls always love finding new hearts in Union Square. This one is their all time favourite!

In February Lola's preschool had a pyjama day

In March Ava's school had a career day. Lola joined in too as a cupcake maker!

In March we spent an afternoon in Crissy Field enjoying the sculptures by Mark di Suvero

We celebrated St Patrick's Day by attending the parade in San Francisco

Not long before Mathilde's arrival I was treated to a baby shower at the Claremont Hotel with friends

In March Ava passed another karate belt test

In April the girls were treated to a day out at the American Girl store

Not long to go before Mathilde's arrival and the girls drew pictures of her on my belly

In April we attended the Cal Open Day

Ava finally lost a tooth!

The girls were excited to see that the Easter Bunny had visited our home

Mathilde decided to stay put for Easter...

...But made her debut a week later on April 24th. Welcome Little One.

Now that Mathilde has grown out of her original baby seat it's amazing to think she ever looked this tiny in it!

In late April we visited Indian Rock here in Berkeley for the first time. 
Sisterly love

In May Ava competed in the Berkeley Kids Triathlon again

In May we attended Maker Faire. 3 week old Mathilde was the littlest maker there!

One month old

Mathilde's first carousel ride in Golden Gate Park in May

The big girls rode the carousel too...

...And the concrete slides!

At the end of May Ava took part in the Berkeley Chocolate & Chalk Art Festival

We all settled in to being a family of five

In June our family wheels got a make over

In mid-June the school year finished and my parents came to visit! 

With Mamma & Papa we toured the city on Ride the Ducks...

...went to the baseball...

...climbed Indian Rock...

...hung out in Dolores Park...

...took a boat cruise on the bay...

(which went under the Golden Gate Bridge!)

...and took a road trip to Big Sur and Monterey.

Two months old

We celebrated Mathilde's first Fourth of July at Berkeley Marina

In July we took in the amazing Tara Donovan exhibition in Menlo Park

In July we visited the Conservatory of Flowers in Golden Gate Park

In July we attended Pedalfest in Oakland...

...followed by the Berkeley Kite Festival the following day.

Three Months Old

Just after she turned three months Mathilde started sitting on her own

In August Lola had her hair cut short

In August the girls had a lemonade stand at Totland and made a killing!

In August we visited Seattle for the first time

We took in the views from the top of the Space Needle...

...and played in the most amazing fountain ever at the base.

Even Mathilde enjoyed the fountain

We took a harbour cruise in Seattle

After a few days in Seattle we took Amtrak down to Portland

The girls enjoyed the many public gardens in Portland... 

...and the street art

At the end of August our friends Mark & Mart visited

We visited Muir Woods with Mark & Marta - and our best duck face poses!

Having visitors is great for getting out and seeing more of this beautiful area 

Mathilde loves the Golden Gate Bridge

Four months old

At the end of August Ava started Second Grade

In September Lola started back at preschool

In September we attended a Tinkerlab book launch party and got creative

Mathilde has been eager to grow up so fast

Five months old

At five months Mathilde started solids

In October we attended the Hoes Down Harvest Festival

In October we took the girls camping for the first time

Lola started karate too and in October both girls passed another belt test

We celebrated Lola's fourth birthday with an ice cream party

We celebrated the season with pumpkins galore

Our last adventure for year number three 

Another year gone by and a lot of wonderful memories.

You can see our first year in America here and our second year here.

Here's to a great start to year number four!