grill baby, grill!the shelterwood field notes are gorgeous!inaugural grillageholy hail!day 3558: two birds in the 3558: and yet still more 3557: attempting to teach frida to not eat The New Girls. 3557: attempting to teach frida to not eat The New Girls. 3557: attempting to teach frida to not eat The New Girls. 3557: attempting to teach frida to not eat The New Girls. III.

Perfect Purple Moon Ice Cream!

Perfect Purple Moon Ice Cream!

some might recall i’ve been concocting purple moon ice cream which is my 100% organic homage to the froot loopy blue moon ice cream without the artificial food coloring, or other mystery ingredients. it took a few iterations but i’ve finally perfected the recipe.

nearly everyone – young and old – who taste it, loooooove it ( you can’t win everyone over ). if they’re familiar with blue moon they say it’s even better than the original, which is not terribly surprising given the delicious organic valley dairy ( yes, i’m the ov milk and cream brand manager and i’m biased. but really, the quality of the ingredients always matters, and with ice cream they might matter even a little bit more. ) and real fruit and citrus flavors. if they’re not familiar with blue moon, then they just think it’s super great ice cream with a bright fruity flavor and a smooth mouthfeel ( thanks to the heavy whipping cream and vanilla pudding ).

a few unsolicited remarks:

get out of here! this is the best ice cream i’ve ever had!
are you kidding me? how did you make it sooooo good?
omg. you need to start selling this.

i didn’t do anything magical. i think most people are just used to mediocre ice cream and using the best ingredients really highlights how extraordinary ice cream can be.

of course, odin is the only critic that matters to me. he loves it and says it’s his favorite ice cream. that’s all the praise i need to put it into permanent rotation.

basically, after the original experiment, i tried a bunch of things that didn’t work and the final recipe is close to the first with a few key changes. the quantities are doubled to make a full batch in standard ice cream mixer. the amount of raspberry juice was tweaked to give more natural color and flavor and maybe most importantly, the vanilla pudding is added after scalding the milk, not in the last 5 minutes of mixing. let me tell you from hard won experience, a little vanilla pudding is good. too much is not :-)


1 cup organic valley whole milk
1 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup organic valley half-and-half
1 teaspoon vanilla extract or 1/2 teaspoon vanilla oil
3 cups organic valley heavy whipping cream
6 teaspoons vanilla pudding mix
2 cups frozen raspberries, pureed and strained through fine mesh sieve ( makes about 1 cup of juice )
2 teaspoons lemon flavored oil or 1 teaspoon lemon extract


1 cup of milk scalded in pan.
add 1 cup of sugar and 1/2 tsp of salt. stir till dissolved.
add 1/2 cup of half and half.
add 1 1/2 cups of heavy whipping cream.
add 6 teaspoons vanilla pudding mix, slowly. mix well.
add vanilla, raspberry, lemon flavoring.
chill in fridge till very cold.
put in ice cream machine for 20 minutes
transfer to a freezer safe container and freeze for at least 4 hours.


two of frida’s favorite things.

two of frida's favorite things. I.

frida wonders, “we going for a walk?”

two of frida's favorite things. II.

“oh, not going for a walk? ok, but rub my belly!”

odin wuz here.

odin wuz here.

a mouse randomly moves around the house to this spot and that spot. next to the coffee pot, or the water filter, or the radio, or the tooth paste tube. it’s been happening for longer than i can remember. i think it’s odin’s funny way of reminding us he was there and thinking of us discovering the mouse in the house.

the traveling driftless beer.

the traveling driftless beer.

two anonymous gifts left on my desk. the beer today, the coaster 7 years ago. while i’d love to drink the driftless brewing company beverage, maybe i’ll give it away and someone can take a picture of it so it can become the flat stanley of beers. #travelingdriftlessbeer

giving blood. the surrealist edition.

giving blood. the surrealist edition.

due to cancelled blood drives on account of inclement weather, the red cross is short 38,000 pints of blood in the midwest. give blood!

in a scandinavian themed church basement, when asked why i made the trek to give blood in inhospitable wintry conditions, i almost made the nurse cry when i told her about all the the transfusions odin received in the nicu. and after giving blood ( the the rarest blood allele ), as i was helping a co-worker who passed out ( it happens! ) i was told i look like charlie sheen. on a tuesday.

goodbye ‘grade b maple syrup’, hello ‘grade a – dark robust taste’?

goodbye 'grade b maple syrup', hello 'grade a - dark robust taste'?

we consume a lot of maple syrup, much of it added to lightly sweetened plain yogurt and, of course, occasionally on top of french toast or pancakes. i can’t remember exactly when, but at some point years ago i remember learning that grade B was better. huh? how could grade b be better than grade A? and cost less?! well, it was true, the cheapest maple syrup tastes best and once you get used to the dark, flavorful grade B you can’t go back to the bland grade A. but it obviously has had a branding problem, since in almost every other instance you can think of, grades with lower letters in the alphabet mean the product is inferior.

vermonters are moving towards a uniform grading system where everything is grade A with flavor descriptors – e.g. grade B will become ‘grade A dark, robust taste’. no doubt some folks think the new grades “lose vermont touch and some see a conspiracy:

“In Wisconsin, where the grading proposal is under discussion, syrup-maker Katrina Becker of Stoney Acres Farm said some producers fear their industry could become Big Maple. One standard is the first step to price controls, more regulation and speculative maple-syrup trading, she predicted.”

maybe this is the first stage of a maple syrup revolution that could change the business forever finally realizing thomas jefferson’s dream of maple syrup besting sugarcane in the battle for america’s sweet tooth.

my first attempt at creating a refreshing chocolate soda actually creates an exploding chocolate volcano.

as usual, after a 10 mile run of course i have some organic valley chocolate milk on hand for my refueling needs.

only this time, i think, hey, how about making a nice, refreshing chocolate soda with my sodastream. the folks at sodastream even have a recipe, but that recipe involves mixing carbonated water with chocolate milk and i thought, “why water it down? why not just fill it up all the way and carbonate it!”

turns out, the reason you don’t do that is it creates a spectacular exploding chocolate volcano!

you can briefly see me carbonating the chocolate milk in this clip but i attempted to to shoot the video just as it reached full pressure and chocolate foam started comign out of the top of the container. i dropped the phone, loosened the bottle, and boom! chocolate milk everywhere.

the aftermath does no justice to how far and wide the chocolate milk went.

try and try again….

10 mile run with 10 mph winds and +5°F degree wind chill. in. a. snow storm.

10 mile run with 10 mph winds and +5°F degree wind chill. in. a. snow storm. I.

i guess at least it was above zero and no snow blindness!

10 mile run with 10 mph winds and +5°F degree wind chill. in. a. snow storm. II.

it didn’t sustain snowing at this intensity for long but the wind whipping around the steady snow fall was, um, fun? there’s a road there somewhere!

when i’m out in weather like this, i get looks from drivers that i think means something along the of, “you poor, poor, deranged soul.”

playing around with flourescent fluid – what could possibly go wrong!

playing around with flourescent fluid - what could possibly go wrong!

there are a lot of fun projects in nick and tesla’s high-voltage danger lab. odin’s working on the “van tracker”. you soak the inner core of a highlighter in some water, then if you’re following the instructions you put the bag on the bumper of a van and poke a pin in it and use a blacklight to see where the van went.

not really thinking it through before i said it, i offered that it might be more fun to put the flourescent fluid in a squirt gun and write secret messages in the snow that you can only see with a blacklight.

highlighter fluid in a squirt gun – what could possibly go wrong!

8 mile run. 15 mph winds. sub-zero windchills. snow blindness. looking for a tauntaun to crawl into.

8 mile run.  15 mph winds. sub-zero windchills. snow blindness.  looking for a tauntaun to crawl into.

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