Monday, May 2, 2011

Homemade Orange Creamsicles

Creamy, icy, satisfying and rich!
  • 2 cups orange juice
  • up to 1/3 cup honey
  • 4 egg yolks
  • 2 cups fresh cream
  • 2 cups fresh whole milk
  • 4 to 6 drops organic sweet orange essential oil or 1/4 teaspoon orange extract
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Homemade Creamsicles: Method

  1. Stir 1/3 cup honey into 2 cups orange juice.
  2. Pour the mixture of juice and honey into a heavy-bottomed sauce pan and heat it over a medium flame until reduced by half.
  3. Once the mixture of honey and orange juice has been reduced by half to a viscous syrup, remove it from the heat and allow it to cool to room temperature.
  4. Whisk four egg yolks, two cups fresh cream and two cups fresh whole milk with organic sweet orange essential oil or orange extract and one teaspoon vanilla extract. Continue whisking until all the ingredients are very well combined.
  5. Whisk the mixture of honey and orange juice into the mixture of eggs, cream and milk.
  6. Pour the creamsicle mixture into your popsicle molds and freeze until solid, at least twelve hours.

NOTE: If you do not have popsicle molds, try using Dixie cups and popsicle sticks. Pour the mixture into dixie cups, place in the freezer and after four to six hours place popsicle sticks into the center of each cup and continue to freeze for at least an additional six hours.

Slow-Cook Once for Multiple Healthy Meals

by Monica Resinger - Used by permission
Description: Tips for cooking up a batch of chicken in the crock pot and using it to prepare three healthy meals.

I have found a wonderful way to save even more time with the slowcooker, and that is to cook a few day's worth of meat at once, then use the cooked meat for a few night's worth of upcoming meals. You will need a large slowcooker for this; if you don't have a large slowcooker, don't go out and buy one brand new since they are abundant at thrift stores.

Because I am working at healthier meals for my family, this article will be referring to boneless skinless chicken breast, but the idea can be applied with any meat.

The first day, after spraying the slow cooker with non-stick cooking spray (great tip for easy clean-up), I added a few cut-up carrots to the bottom of the crock and seasoned them with seasoning salt. You could add any vegetables of your choice that would go with any of your upcoming meals. Then I added layers of boneless skinless chicken breast to the top (probably around 3-4 lbs. worth), seasoning each layer with fresh chopped garlic and seasoning salt (an added benefit... your house will smell SO good all day long). Be sure to trim any fat off the breast before adding to the pot. I added about 1/2 cup of water, placed the lid on top, turned the slow cooker on low, and cooked about 8 hours. Very easy work for enough succulent cooked meat for at least 3 days' meals!

MEAL #1: The first night we had chicken sandwiches. After spraying a pan with non-stick cooking spray, I toasted onion buns over medium heat, then let the family add their own condiments like sliced tomato and onion, lettuce, mayonnaise, mustard, etc., and a piece of the cooked chicken. They were delicious! I served oven fries with the sandwiches... simply slice potatoes, put them on a baking sheet sprayed with non-stick cooking spray, spray the potatoes with the spray, season and cook at 400F for 40-60 minutes. These are better than the ones drenched in oil...honestly, and I am one that loves deep-fried french fries and all the fattening foods!

MEAL #2: Since I have some more onion buns from meal #1, I will make a delicious barbecue sauce (you can use bottled if you prefer), then add chunked up chicken to the sauce and serve that over the toasted onion buns. We'll have the carrots that were cooked with the chicken and baked potatoes on the side.

MEAL #3: I'll make a delicious marinara sauce, then add cut-up cooked chicken to it and serve over spaghetti with garlic bread on the side. A great way to add flavor and nutrients to spaghetti or marinara sauce is to add finely minced carrots, celery or other vegetables to the sauce. You can saute them along with the onions, or add them straight to the sauce.

These are just a few ideas. Chicken is so versatile that there are endless ideas for using the cooked meat in meals. You could do salads, soups, casseroles and more. If you are making a soup, be sure to use the delicious broth that this creates!

I hope this gives you inspiration for dusting off your slow cooker and putting it to use...they are such a great way to save time, even if you use them for one night's meal.

If you are interested in slow cooker recipes, check out The Slowcooker E-Cookbook here: If you are interested in chicken recipes, check out the Down Home Chicken Recipe E-book here: Get Monica's FREE weekly e-zine for homemakers! To subscribe, just send a blank e-mail to: