Friday, 12 June 2015

Pantry Challenge Day 3 – a good evening for an ice cream-less milkshake with Nutella

Today is a blah day since I’ve been feeling ill all day. I’ve not been ill, but I don’t feel well at all. I think it’s because my sleep’s not been that great lately. Oh, well! I go through this every so often – I think that most people do – & it’ll pass. So I’m not concerned. If it goes on for a long time, then I will consult my doctor about it. If it ends soon, though, I won’t worry. Otherwise, I’m fine.

This morning I had a bowl of cereal with milk, but I didn’t use up all the milk in the bowl. So I put what remained in the fridge to use for another time. Normally I’d just drink it up, but, since I’m trying to make things last as long as possible so that I don’t have to spend money too quickly, I decided to save it. In this case, it came in handy for this evening’s dessert.

I decided to make a casserole this morning & have some for lunch. I didn’t know if I’d have any of it for supper as well, but I made enough for four small servings. I always eat less in the summer because I rarely have much of an appetite in the heat. Even though today was quite a bit cooler, I still didn’t have much of an appetite due to not feeling well. The highest it’s been today is 16C, or 60.8F. The sky was almost completely grey ‘til a couple of hours or so ago, when the sun came out. Then it warmed up a bit. Not too hot, though. The birds have been singing all day, & they’re still singing. It’s been nice to hear them.

Dublin my ginger boy went outside for a while today.


Here’s what I did for my casserole. No measurements. So if you want to try this out but like measurements, I’m sorry to not have any. For things like this, I like to fly-by-the-seat-of-my-pants, so to speak.

Broad egg noodles
Grated cheddar cheese
Campbell’s tomato soup, small can
Canned corn
Canned diced tomatoes (this one had herbs and spices)

The noodles were pre-boiled, of course. I then put about a third into a freezer safe container & put that in the freezer once it’d cooled off quite a bit. Then I put about a sixth into a bowl with about half the can of corn. From the remaining third & sixth (I’m horrible at fractions. So please don’t mind me not knowing what this comes to. haha), I put about half of that into a small casserole dish. I layered some of the shredded cheese over that. Then another layer of noodles, followed by another layer of shredded cheese. The can of tomato soup, I spread over this, & then half the can of corn. Half the can of diced tomatoes went over this, followed by the last of the shredded cheese. I then baked in the over at about 300F for 30 minutes or so. Since cheese melts quickly & the noodles were already cooked, it probably didn’t need to be in this long. I wanted it well & truly baked, though, & it turned out quite well.

The rest of the tomatoes ended up getting frozen, & half the casserole is in the freezer, too. The other half I ate in two meals. How good it is!! The corn adds just the right amount of sweetness to balance out the tang of the tomatoes. The cheese adds a wonderful texture. Well, pretty well anything is good with cheese, with some exceptions.

Now for the ice cream-less milkshake!!

Something I discovered from SparkPeople recipes is that frozen bananas make a wonderful substitute for ice cream. You can either freeze them peeled & on a flat tray before putting them into a freezer bag, or else you can freeze them in their peels. This is what I’ve always done, but just watch out for how cold they are when you go to peel & cut them up. I don’t have gloves to use for this purpose, & so I’ve gotten some pretty cold fingers from this. I need to be careful because I got mild frostbite when I lived in Inuvik, but, well, yeah. I tend to forget. No excuse for not being careful, though.

So I took out one of my frozen bananas as well as the milk I’d saved earlier, which had been in the fridge ‘til now. I then cut off the ends of the banana. Then I cut it into slices. It’s surprisingly easy for most people to cut frozen bananas, but just be careful, of course. It’s good to have a pair of gloves on hand that you don’t mind mucking up a bit or a pair of dish gloves that you can use just for food & not for cleaning. Either way, a pair of gloves that allows your fingers to be nimble is a good idea for stuff like this.

One the banana was cut, I peeled it. I had a small knife for this purpose & used it to scrape off the peel. This is a lot easier than using my fingernails. Once this was done, I then put the banana into the cereal milk I told you about earlier. I used my hand blender & started blending away.

Nutella came to mind because I wanted a bit of something extra added to it. I love Nutella, & so I added a couple of teaspoons to this. Yes, I do know this measurement. haha  It was two heaping teaspoons because, well, it’s kind of hard to get non-heaping teaspoons of Nutella. At least for me, anyway.

More blending, & it was thoroughly mixed. It was a bit too thin for my liking. So I put it into the freezer in order to get thicker. I’m looking forward to it!

Something that’s usually added to frozen bananas for a bit of added flavour is a few dashes of vanilla, or a wee bit more than this. I don’t have any right now, but that’s all right. I did taste the mixture & know that it’s good anyway.

If you search online, you can find all kinds of ideas for making milkshakes without ice cream, & here’s one link with 3 recipes for such a thing:

Do you have any ideas for frozen treats that don’t have ice cream but are still creamy like it? I do love ice cream, but I’m not going to be buying any anytime soon. SO I’m open to ideas.

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