Friday, December 30, 2011

Peppermint Cookies and Cream Ice Cream

It's been busy around here the past two weeks with family members coming and going as we celebrated the holidays.  I am lucky enough to have two weeks off of work this time of year so there was time to make and eat a lot of food.  But we got our exercise in too.  In fact, we tried two new activities.  

Recently I discovered a nature trail that offers a four different length trails through the flora and fauna of Central Florida.  I talked my three kids into checking it out and promised we would only do the 3.1 mile trail.  
Cate and me
After studying  the map at the entrance to find the trail we wanted we learned it was marked with green markers.  We got started and it was no problem, the markers were easy to spot.
About one mile in one of us had to go to the bathroom. Although it did involve some grumbling and talk of turning back we were the only ones out there, so that was easily solved.  I'll admit, I lied a little and told them we were about half way through so we might as well keep going because it would be the same distance either way.  Although they were skeptical, I was able to get away with this because  I was the only one wearing a Garmin. I felt a little sneaky, but it wouldn't kill them to walk the whole thing.
All smiles before we realized we took a wrong turn.
The trail was very nice once we got through the sugar sand section which filled our shoes with mini sand dunes.  We passed a beautiful lake and saw lots of animal tracks.  But when 3.1 miles came there was no end in sight.   We were sure we had stayed on the green trail so we just kept walking. 

By mile four we were worried we had taken a wrong turn. (Hoping it wouldn't turn out like the movie, but making survival plans just in case ) Caroline had an injured hamstring and could only walk a short distance before she began limping and walking more slowly. 

To scare us, Patrick told us that the tracks we had been seeing were from wild hogs (that did make me a little nervous) and right after that there was a snake laying in the middle of the path. Moral was beginning to fade. 

I knew we would eventually find our way out, but I was concerned that it was so much longer than we expected and I had never been on these trails before either.  It was the end of a long day and the sun was starting to go down.  We did have a cell phone with us, so if we were still out  when it got dark, we could get some help.

Two hours and five minutes after starting we finally made it back to the parking lot.  We ended up walking 5.4 miles. We were thrilled and relieved to get to the car and have a drink of water. I'm thinking I will not be able to talk them into doing this again.

Our other adventure also took place in the wilderness, but this time we were on the tree tops.  We went canopy cycling!

You ride through the trees on a canopy cycle hanging from a cable wire.  It is a hour long trek through a gorgeous conservation area including a section that takes you over a lagoon with a large alligator. It was a fun experience!

To cool us off from all these outdoor actives we made some homemade ice cream.  Cookies and cream is always  good, but thanks to Cate we had some Trader Joe's Candy Cane Joe-Joe's in the house, so we used them to create some peppermint cookies and cream.  These cookies are wonderful by themselves but really shine in the cool, creamy vanilla ice cream.  

Peppermint Cookies and Cream Ice Cream

1-  1.5 quart vanilla ice cream (we use Edy's Light), softened
2- sleeves Candy Cane Joe-Joe's (about 24 cookies), crushed 
Whipped Cream*

In a large bowl mix softened ice cream and crushed cookies.  Fold in whipped cream and freeze until firm.

To make whipped cream :
1 cup heavy whipping cream
3 tablespoons confectioner's sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla

In a large bowl whip heavy cream with mixer until stiff peaks are about to form.  Add sugar and vanilla and beat until stiff peaks are formed.  Do not over beat or it will become butter like. 

*8 oz Cool Whip can be substituted for whipped cream.

Hope you made some good memories over the holidays.  Happy New Year!!

1 comment:

  1. That canopy cycling thing looks scary - but yet crazy fun!


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