Caramelized Fig Ice Cream with Mascarpone & Honey Pecans

10 Jul

IMG_1219Figs! Love them! Especially when they are ripe and sweet.  So of course when seeing them I’d brought them with anticipation eating them with breakfast.

Unfortunately with rescheduling of meetings, my plans had changed!  So by the week’s end I had more figs that I needed and was scrambling my brain on what could I make with these beautiful figs?

It so happened that this past December; I’d brought a Cuisinart® Ice Cream maker and was reminded that it was in storage (the extra freezer bowl which was part of the rebate offer arrived 2 weeks ago).  So that’s it! Figs plus ice cream…let’s try!

Reading the recipes which came with the ice cream maker and looking at fig desserts; I collaborated what I liked and came up with this most delicious caramelized fig ice cream treat!  If you are not a fig person, the fruit can be substituted with peaches, bananas, or even nectarines! Whichever you select, it will be soooo good!

Preparation

The freezer bowl to make ice cream needs to frozen for at least 24 hours, this is the most important step, don’t be like me and think it’s cold enough and staring at a bowl spin around for 20 minutes;  nothing happens!  Nothing!  Ice cream delight delayed a day; but when frozen right…a piece of cake!

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Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups of milk
  • 1 1/2 cups of heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup of mascarpone ( 4 oz)
  • 1/3 cup of turbinador sugar
  • 1/2 pinch of pink Himalayan salt
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 1 lb of figs
  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • 1/2 cup of brown sugar
  • 2 tbsp of unsalted butter
  • 2-4 tbsp of water
  • 1 cup of honey roasted pecans; chopped to bits

Follow these simple steps and you’ll be surprised how easy it is!

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Figs

To make it easier, I measure and place ingredients in their little individual bowls.

Begin by melting butter in a saucepan, medium heat.  Then add brown sugar, stirring until completely dissolved.  Take figs and cut off stems and begin to slice in halves.

Then add them to saucepan with the lemon juice and water.  This is where you have to be patient, because you are going to be stirring until you almost have like a jam texture!

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Figs added to brown sugar.

When at this point, add the salt and stir.  Turn off the heat and set aside to cool completely.  You will be tempted to taste and you can, you won’t be disappointed at all!

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Now in a small pot; let’s begin the ice cream mixture.  Also over medium heat, combine milk, heavy cream and sugar.  The sugar must be dissolved and the temperature lukewarm.

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Adding heavy cream to milk mixture with sugar.

Once the sugar is dissolved, whisk in the egg yolks gently.  Now place in bowl and set in fridge, until the fig mixture is cooled.

Please do not start the ice cream process until the fig mixture is cooled!

Take the ice cream freezer bowl out of freezer and place on basin (follow the instructions of your ice cream maker).  Pour milk mixture and start the ice cream process.  Allow the machine to spin for the first 20 minutes to allow the thickening process.

The fig mixture should now have a jam consistency, so once the 20 minutes has expired add the mascarpone, pecans and fig mixture.  Let the machine spin for another 10 to 15 minutes.

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The milk mixture thickening to a beautiful consistency.

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Honey roasted pecans chopped.

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Mascarpone with fig fixture added to ice cream maker.

Once the time has expired, quickly add the semi frozen mixture to a Pyrex dish or glass top pop dishes.  Let freeze for two  to three hours.

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Semi Frozen and glass top dishes.

Then you will have an addictive dessert!
efiglee

 

letia Mitchelll 403 Letia:)

Photos by Letia Mitchell LifeStyle & Design®

Mind, Body & Spirit Network with Sphakita Spa NYC

3 Jul

Sphakita SpaNeed a break, you think when?  It happens when the Founder, Sallie Fraenkel of Mind Body & Spirit Network plans an event at the renown Sphatika Spa in NYC; with an invite to you…YOU GO!

I graciously accepted and upon arrival to Manhattan; surprisingly I’d quickly found a parking spot on Madison Ave @ 70th Street!  The honking of car horns, people rushing to go home hustle and construction bangs in the background is clearly at its best; even if its only 6PM.  Choosing to ignore it all; I walked quickly to 69th Street looking for 818!  I felt like I discovered a hidden door; opening to a beautiful Art Déco designed building.

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3 flights up and upon ringing the bell; the door opens to be greeted by a smiling staff and Sallie Fraenkel just thrilled to see you.  The aroma of lavender in the air sets the mood with instruction to remove your high heels and change to bedazzling slippers.

Janet League-Katzin, Founder & Director of Sphakita Spa NYC

The highlight of the evening was meeting the Founder and Director, Janet League-Katzin and hearing the inspiration of how Sphakita Spa was born.

A beautiful and soft spoken woman; with such a regal presence.  Janet League -Katzin shared how she met Sallie Fraenkel and how their friendship is so special.

 

Janet League-Katzin and Sallie Fraenkel, Founder of MBSN

Janet League-Katzin and Sallie Fraenkel, Founder of MBSN

She expressed how important it is to take the time to relax and allow the body to recharge.  Being run down interrupts the body in reproducing its cells; by simply changing your approach can increase your wellness.  Crystals were also talked about and could be found all throughout the spa.  Their energy can help balance the body and could definitely  be felt; everyone easily unwind.  Sphatika Spa is the place to come to; where Janet’s overall goal is to treat each client special.

The treat was to have a 15 minute facial, access to organic, gluten-free munchies, Sphatika superfoods and a selection of delightful beverages and healthy coconut ice cream sodas to take your pick.  All the women were so thrilled!

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The lively conversations were found in all the rooms, each guest anxiously awaiting their turn to have a Sphakita Spa facial.  When called, I was so excited!!!!  The 15 minute facial was divine; ending with a rose oil massage with hints of crystals.  My face was soft and had a radiant glow!

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As the evening was ending, we received a heartfelt “Thank You” where we were presented with a Sphakita Spa gift bag and no return of the bedazzled slippers provided when our lovely evening started.  “Are we going to see you again?” asks Janet.   My reply, Yes; because I deserve it!

Whether or not you can attend Sphakita Spa; the suggestion is to take the time at least once a month to take a break and allow your body to relax and recharge.  You deserve it!

My Sphakita Spa Gift Bag

My Sphakita Spa Gift Bag

 

letia Mitchelll 403

 

Letia:)

 

 

 

 

IMG_2330Janet League-Katzin an award-winning actress; best known for The Guilding Light, Another World and The Spook Who Sat By The Door.  

The treatments of the Royal Sphatika Spa and the Sphatika 100 % Natural Skincare Line were created to provide what she found to be missing in the course of her search.  The result is an extraordinary holistic treatment methodology and product line that delivers the next level in the evolving spa experience.  Sphatika Spa is located at 818 Madison Ave NYC.

Photos by Mind Body & Spirit Network® and Letia Mitchell LifeStyle & Design®

 

 

Beyoncé! Ivy Park – Inspirational!

9 Apr

beyonce ivy parkI know you have seen the video and in anticipation to see the active wear!

There may be some of you; who are not least in the bit interested in exercising!

However, let’s look beyond that and look at the video as encouragement for anything that is ahead of you!  Beyoncé has a great message.

Everyone has a place where we consider safe and often go to; to build our strength.  For some it may be a place of worship, a friend’s home or a tropical island!

What ever the place maybe, it’s a moment or memory you can go to and get what you need!

So watching the video, it brought me to that place of being home as a little girl – with my Mom, Gilda and my Uncle Al.  They are both gone now, but still constant and encouraging staples in my life!  Mom and Uncle Al

 

So that’s my park…what’s yours?   

 

letia Mitchelll 403 Letia :)

Photo by Paola Kudacki for Elle Magazine’s editorial; April issue. Video courtesy of Nordstorm, IVY PARK – Cofounded by Beyoncé – effortlessly cool activewear for women everywhere.  In stores on April 14th.

Easter Baby Hunt Prep!

5 Mar

Easter is on the way; so I was asked about Easter eggs for an upcoming Baby Easter Egg Hunt! easter eggs

So thinking…what about buying colorful plush toilet lid covers to place on the floor; so there will be no worries of getting hurt!

Moms can be at ease and the babies can enjoy themselves!

All you do is choose from the array of different colors and leave the cardboard in!  The intent is to scatter them across the floor; with all the other Easter décor and it’s a bunny hopping fun!

I’d just told the store clerk….I need 20, no 25! And they’re on clearance!  Easter ideas!:)

 

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letia Mitchelll 403 Letia:)

Love is in the Air! Valentine’s Day! 

27 Jan

You see hearts everywhere, so you know The Cupid is near!  

Hearts filled with chocolates, scrumpous cakes decorated beautifully and gifts to show you care! 

A friendly reminder, just in case your Post It® it got mistakenly blown away by Cupid!  

 

Valentine’s Day…in two weeks!  Great cake ideas by Cake Central!  

Letia :)

Photo by Cake Central.

Banana Oatmeal Bread! Easy!

18 Jan img_2367

img_2367I shop weekly for fresh fruit for making smoothies and green juices.  My plan to include bananas daily did not pan out and they also ripened very quickly!

The bananas are the sweetest at this stage and I was left with the decision; what should I do?

This year I’ve said I was going to embrace trying new things; one being cooking more! Then it dawned on me that I can make a banana bread; but use ingredients that were towards the healthy side!

The recipe is real easy and less than an hour to prepare.   And on this cold winter morning, the baking made the home smell wonderful!  The banana bread came out perfect!  So here are the steps and the recipe!

You will need 3 bowls, spatula, large spoon, mixer (if you don’t want to mix by hand), measuring cup, measuring spoons, whisk and a smile!img_2368

Get all the ingredients; to double-check you have everything! It’s nothing worse than starting and you find out that you thought you had everything and you don’t!

My substitutions were the walnuts, I like the walnut taste…..not necessarily the walnuts in the bread.  So I used walnut oil (1/2 teaspoon)!  If you don’t like walnuts; you can try raisins, pumpkin seeds,  anything you like.  Instead of white sugar, I’d used trubindao sugar.  I also used coconut oil; instead of shortening.img_2357

Oh! I’d also increased the measurements, because I had a lot of bananas – as you can see!  So my banana bread is larger than the proportions in the recipe.

 

img_23651/2 cup coconut oil

  • 3/4 cup Sugar in the Raw (turbinado sugar cane)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup mashed bananas
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon
  • 1 1/2 cups wheat pastry flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup quick cooking oats
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts

 

 

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Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Lightly grease a 9×5 inch loaf pan.

 

In a large bowl, cream together the shortening and sugar until light and fluffy. Stir in the eggs one at a time, beating well with each addition, then stir in the banana and vanilla.

 

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In a separate bowl, sift together flour, baking soda and salt. Beat into creamed mixture. Stir in oats and nuts.

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Pour into prepared pan.

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Bake in preheated oven for 50 to 55 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the loaf comes out clean.  Let the bread rest for about 30 minutes and then go for the slices!

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letia Mitchelll 403 Letia:)

 

All photos by Letia Mitchell LifeStyle & Design® (excluding sugar image).

 

 

Thai Carrot Soup to Start the New Year with Spice! 

3 Jan

img_0751I wanted something satisfying and warm to eat!  So while grocery shopping, I decided to make some soup!  I love-making soup, where I can make it how I like it and be creative!

So Thai Carrot soup it is!  It came out wonderfully and for the upcoming nights when arriving from work; I can effortlessly choose to have a nice warm bowl of soup and little spinach salad!

It was quite easy and in less than an hour in the early morning;  I was done and ready to venture out to enjoy the rest of the day!

If you love carrot soup, try it!  You can add what you like…coconut milk, ginger, yogurt….what ever you like.  I just wanted a Thai peanut, very spicy, carrot soup! And I mean spicy…which you can omit!  Here are the steps; if you decide to make it also and add your delights; please share!

Happy New Year!

2 pounds of peeled carrots, 1 large sweet Vidalia onion, 2 tbsp of minced garlic, hot chili pepper flakes, peanut butter and 1 granny smith apple + Sriracha

2 pounds of peeled carrots, 1 large sweet Vidalia onion, 2 tbsp of minced garlic, hot chili pepper flakes, peanut butter and 1 granny smith apple + Sriracha.  It will make about close to 1 quart and 1/2 of soup.

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In a Dutch Oven, saute onions, apple, garlic in one teaspoon of hot coconut oil (about 2 – 3 minutes).

 

Add all the carrots and it's ok to eat some while they go in!

Add all the carrots and it’s ok to eat some while they go in!

Add 1 box of Vegetable broth (or any broth you like) and simmer for 20 minutes; until carrots are tender.

Add 1 box of Vegetable broth (or any broth you like) and simmer for 20- 30 minutes; until carrots are tender.

Once tender, now puree! Either a food processor or hand blender.

Once tender, now puree! Either a food processor or hand Immersion blender.

You want to have a smooth consistency!

You want to have a smooth consistency!

Now you add the peanut butter, blend then taste! A little salt and hot chili flakes, then taste again. Then judge is it to your liking.

Now you add the peanut butter, blend then taste! A little salt, basil and hot chili flakes, then taste again. Then judge is it to your liking.

For me! Not all, I added more S hot sauce!

For me! Not all, I added more Sriracha hot sauce!

Add to a beautiful bowl. Topped with basil and more hot sauce!

Add to a beautiful bowl. Topped with chopped basil and more hot sauce!

letia Mitchelll 403 Letia:)

The peanut butter is added last. For those who are allergic to nuts; it can be skipped without compromising the taste you want for a wonderful carrot soup!

Photos taken by Letia Mitchell LifeStyle & Design®

 

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