Kitchen Catastrophe Number Two


That darn cat!  I couldn’t believe my eyes.  If you read my articles faithfully, you would have read about my  “Kitchen Catastrophe” with brownies.  Well, as luck would have it, the cats have struck again.  This time they upped the game.  But before I can tell you the rest of the story, I have to take you on a short “rabbit trail” of storytelling sorts.

This is how it all began

I signed up late last year to take an online baking class( more on this later).  As part of the class, our instructor Tessa Arias from Handle the Heat has been sharing with her students baking products that she recommends.   One of her recommendations was to get a Cuisinart 1 1/2 quart ice cream maker.  I really like ice cream, so I jotted it down on my list of products to watch for on sale.


ice cream

Photo Credit Roy Buri

One day while shopping at Kohl’s, I happened to go through the clearance shelves in the cookware department.  As I was skimming over the boxed items I ran into a mint green Cuisinart 1 1/2 quart ice cream maker.   Screech!  Did I just see what I think I saw? Yes indeed.  There it was in mint green color.  I grabbed the box and checked it over.   Looking inside everything seemed to be present.  I suspected someone got it, opened the box and decided the product or the color just wasn’t for them.  Therefore, I, Michele, now get a crack at it.  Oh boy!  And I happen to have a 30% off coupon. Silently, I do a little happy dance.  Well, as they say, “Waste not, want not.”  So I packaged up the ice cream maker, set it in my cart and proudly walked it to the checkout.

We now resume our regularly scheduled story

Now, back to the part about the cats.  In order to make ice cream, the ice cream maker has a container that must be frozen.  Depending on the fullness of your freezer, you could set it inside your freezer and have it frozen in about 6-8 hours.  The company recommends 24 hours, but I like to test the limits, so I decided to set it outside on the patio and let the outdoors give it a good freeze since it was in the single digits.  I had set the container out at about 12 noon.  I returned at 6 pm, to find my container frozen but freshly peed on and IN! BLAST IT ALL YOU CATS! They have tested the limits of my feline love.

Completely annoyed I yanked the container off of the floor of the patio, whipped open the patio door and stomped into the house.  Brad had been sitting in the kitchen around the island and looked up to see my disgusted face.

“Oh Boy!” said Brad, “What happened?”

So in true Michele fashion, I regaled the ill deed done to my container, to which he just bust out laughing, shaking his head.  With paper towels, I quickly sopped up the pee in the container as well as the dribbles outside or the container.  Taking the dish soap and hot water I took a dishcloth and washed the container, rinsing several times with very hot water.  Unfortunately, my frozen container now is making a sloshing sound so I dry it and stick it into the upstairs refrigerator-freezer.  Now we will have to wait another hour. UG!

You scream I scream, we all scream for ice cream

ice cream maker

Photo Credit Michele Bruxvoort

The hour passed.  I check the container to see if it was completely frozen and it was.  Having previously mixed the ice cream ingredients together, I had set this mixing bowl outside also to chill.  Stepping back outside on the patio I glanced at the ice cream mix bowl.  No cat pee on that bowl.  Phew!

Note to self: keep everything on the table or bench.

Back into the house, I dump the ice cream mix into the frozen container and lock everything into place and hit the “on”  button.  Ice cream deliciousness is just twenty minutes away!  After hundreds of dizzying numbers of frozen container turns, we were able to sample the chocolate ice cream.

YUM!  Tastes just like Culver’s custard!

Just for fun, give it a try with the freeze and stir method or the plastic storage bag method.  Honestly, you don’t need a machine.  Check out Tessa’s recipe.

last licks

In our family, when you are enjoying your bowl of ice cream and begin to scrape the bowl madly.  We call that “Last Licks”.  So as I close out this post, here is my “Last Licks” for you.  This is the recipe for the ice cream I made in my Cuisinart. All recipe credit due to the Cuisinart ice cream recipe book:

Simple Chocolate Ice Cream

¾          C. cocoa powder sifted

½         C. granulated sugar

1/3       C. packed dark brown sugar

Pinch of salt

1            C. whole milk

2            C. heavy cream

½           TBSP pure vanilla extract (I used imitation vanilla and it was just fine)

In a medium bowl, whisk together cocoa, sugars, and salt.  Add the milk, and using a hand mixer at low speed or a whisk (the whisk worked just fine), beat to combine till the cocoa, sugars, and salt are dissolved.  Stir in the heavy cream and vanilla.  Cover and refrigerate for two hours, or overnight.  Then you would place this mix in the frozen freezer bowl, placed on the machine, insert paddle, lock in place and turn on.  The average time for mixing is 15-20 minutes.  I am quite confident you can use this recipe as a freeze and stir or plastic bag method.

This makes 5 cups of delicious ice cream.  Very creamy and smooth and oh so chocolatey! Very definitely reminded me of Culvers Custard.   I sure hope you give this a try.  It would be fun to make on any day with your kids,  grandchildren, or fellow grown-ups.  Winter, summer, spring or fall, ice cream is still the best of all!





Oscar Mayer Wiener Mobile

The Oscar Mayer Wiener Mobile!  Have you ever seen it driving its way around America? Well, I have not only seen the Oscar Mayer Wiener Mobile, BUT I HAVE RIDDEN IN THE OSCAR MAYER WIENER MOBILE.  WHAT!?  Yes, you read that right.  I did ride in the Wiener Mobile and it was my good friend Kristen Christian’s wedding party wheels.  Try to contain your jealousy, green is very unbecoming on you.

Photo Credit Michele Bruxvoort

This is how we roll

Imagine if you would… a wedding party of 10, rolling out of the church parking lot in the Oscar Mayer Wiener Mobile.  Complimentary Wiener Whistles were handed out by the Wiener Mobile drivers as we boarded.  Huh?  Wait a second.  Wiener Whistles?  No complimentary Oscar Mayer wieners on a bun!?  Graciously I took a whistle and joined the chorus, all the while wishing I had a deliciously grilled Oscar Mayer wiener.  Maybe kazoos would have been a better choice? Continue reading

The Cold Roast Beef Sandwich

The cold roast beef sandwich might be popular with some, but not with this girl.  This sandwich often made its way into my “Welcome Back Kotter” metal lunch pail.  My dear mother was a good steward of every bit of food in the refrigerator.  Spying last nights roast beef, she lovingly made me a sandwich and put it in my lunch pail.  This sandwich started out cold, but then slowly from 7:30 am on, made it’s way up to room temperature. And room temperature roast beef is just gross.  What child in their right mind wants to eat room temperature roast beef?  I sure didn’t! Continue reading

How to Host Without Complaining

Thanksgiving is just around the corner and we’ll soon have family and friends around the table. So I asked my friend, Sue Donaldson to share a little about hospitality

Hospitality is Hard: How to Host Without Complaining

Continue reading

Appreciation of Cheese

I appreciate cheese.  Glorious Cheese!  I can’t imagine my day without it.  In fact, being from Wisconsin and loving cheese go hand in hand.  When you have your baby in a Wisconsin hospital, the pacifier the baby receives in the hospital nursery is made of cheese. Okay… just kidding there.  I wanted to see if you are paying attention to what I am writing.  But seriously, cheese is a big deal. Continue reading

of cats and brownies

Kitchen Cat-astrophes

Kitchen catastrophes.  We’ve all had them.  Some of us keep them as secret as an FBI file and others of us publish them.  So today reader, you are witness to my confession.  I stand in my pantry and solemnly swear upon my 1963, twelfth printing of the “Good Housekeeping Cookbook”, to tell you the truth, and nothing but the whole truth, so help my KitchenAid standing mixer. Continue reading

favorite cookbooks

Kitchen Adventures

Adventures Ahead

I look forward to taking you on my interesting and fun kitchen adventures!  We will explore things like making kefir water, sourdough starter.   Kitchen product reviews.  Interviews with some of the areas talented cooks and bakers.  Plus I will demystify cooking and baking techniques and terms.  All delivered to you in an easy to read, light-hearted manner.

On my recent trip to Wisconsin, I spent a good portion of my six and a half hour drive time thinking of topics to write to you about.    I finally settled on the topic of cookbooks.  Cookbooks evoke many fond memories for me.  I can open up my pie safe and pull each one out and tell you about their history.  History of how I got the cookbook, who may have given it to me, what I liked about the content of the cookbook and what recipes I liked or didn’t like. Continue reading


Welcome to our kitchen!  We look forward to sharing with you recipes from near and far.  Along with venturing outside of everyday cooking and baking. We look forward to “cooking up” some great fun!