lucky charms ice cream and salty cereal gravel

lucky charm 0316

You know that wonderful lady over at A Periodic Table? Well, after falling in love with our Jeni’s books, we thought it would be fun to team up for a Jeni’s Ice Cream Spinalong! Because cooking is always more fun with friends, even when those friends are 1,500 miles away.

So here we are, with our first ice cream debut…

A little bit about the process… We pick a base recipe and a theme. It’s really that simple. Armed with that information, we retreat to our separate laboratories to work our magic, then come back together when we’re done to reveal what we’ve created. This month we chose an easy recipe: Jeni’s Basic Sweet Cream… and for the theme? Breakfast. Because who doesn’t want to eat ice cream for breakfast?!

This project really happened to showcase how versatile the Jeni’s recipes can be. Shannon turned our base into a delightful Sticky Bun Ice Cream while I went for Lucky Charms Ice Cream, which I thought would be super fitting for March. You know, with the leprechauns and all.

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Back to the ice cream… I took Jeni’s standard Sweet Cream ice cream base and just soaked some Lucky Charms (sans marshmallows) in the milk, then strained them out and used that to make the ice cream base. You don’t have to sing the Lucky Charms jingle while you’re separating the marshmallows from the cereal, but it does make the process more enjoyable.

Once the base was churned into ice cream, I layered it with the marshmallows in the container and moved it to the freezer to harden. While the ice cream was hardening, I made a cereal “gravel” to complement the cereal flavor in the ice cream and then, remember those waffles from last month? Yeah, we used some of those too, because this is breakfast, after all…

So, to make your breakfast sundae, you will need, you will place a wedge of warm pillowy waffle into a bowl, top it with a scoop of your Lucky Charms ice cream. and finish it off with a touch of crunchy, salty, cereal crumb gravel.

Et, voila! You have achieved breakfast-for-dessert success. Unless, of course, you are having it as dessert-for-breakfast. No judgment here. And, if you want to accompany your cereal  sundae with a scoop of Shannon’s sticky bun ice cream with cinnamon-pecan swirl, nobody will blame you one bit.

lucky charm 0360

Disclaimer: Again, as I’ve said before, Jeni’s has not given me anything in exchange for my glowing reviews of their ice creams or their cookbooks… That being said, I definitely wouldn’t turn down some free ice cream or the opportunity to open my own shop ;) (Just in case you happen to be reading this Ms. Britton Bauer! I love you!) But seriously, if you don’t have any of the Jeni’s books (This one or This one) you should get them. They’re super cheap and filled to the top with win. I promise I won’t do a Jeni’s PSA in every post. This one should be enough… If you’re still skeptical, find some Jeni’s near you and become a believer! 

lucky charms ice cream

Yield: 1 quart ice cream & 2 cups of gravel


    For the ice cream
  • 2 2/3 cups whole milk
  • 2 1/2 cups Lucky Charms cereal (no marshmallows), lightly crushed
  • 1 tablespoon + 2 teaspoons cornstarch
  • 2 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 1/8 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 1/2 cups heavy cream
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup light corn syrup
  • 1 cup Lucky Charms marshmallows
  • For the gravel:
  • 1 cup crushed Lucky Charms cereal (no marshmallows)
  • 3/4 cup all purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons corn starch
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons sea salt
  • 8 tablespoons butter


    Prep work
  1. Separate the Lucky Charms cereal from the marshmallows. Although you won't use all of the cereal and the marshmallows, save them (separately). We'll need them next week.
  2. Combine the cereal and the whole milk in a large bowl. Let sit 20 to 30 minutes at room temperature to infuse.
  3. Using a fine mesh sieve, strain the cereal out of the milk, pressing on the cereal to extract any absorbed milk.
  4. In a small bowl, make a slurry by whisking 2 tablespoons of the milk with the cornstarch.
  5. In a large bowl, whisk cream cheese and salt together until combined.
  6. Fill a separate large bowl with ice water and set aside.
  7. Make the ice cream base
  8. Combine the remaining cereal milk, heavy cream, sugar, and corn starch in a 4 quart saucepan.
  9. Bring mixture to a boil over medium-high heat. Once boiling, set a timer for 4 minutes. Keep an eye on it to ensure it doesn't boil over, stirring as necessary.
  10. After 4 minutes, remove the pan from the heat and whisk in the cornstarch slurry. Return the pan to the heat and return to a boil for another minute.
  11. Remove pan from heat and gradually whisk the milk mixture into the cream cheese until smooth. Pour into a gallon-size Ziploc bag and seal the bag, pressing out excess air.
  12. Submerge the bag in he ice water until cold, about 30 minutes. If you aren't ready to spin your ice cream yet, you can dry off the bag and place it in the refrigerator until you are ready.
  13. Spin the ice cream
  14. Pour ice cream base into your ice cream maker and spin according to manufacturer's directions.
  15. Once the mixture reaches the texture of soft serve ice cream, transfer to your storage container, alternating layers of ice cream with layers of marshmallows.
  16. Place storage container in the freezer until the ice cream is firm, at least 4 hours, but overnight is better.
  17. Make the gravel
  18. Preheat the oven to 275F
  19. Combine the dry ingredients in a medium bowl.
  20. Add melted butter and stir to combine, mixing until it is the texture of wet sand.
  21. Pour the mixture onto a parchment-lined baking sheet and spread evenly.
  22. Bake the mixture for 20 minutes, tossing the mixture halfway through the baking time.
  23. Remove from oven and let cool completely.


If desired, you can make the ice cream base up to two days ahead of time. Keep chilled in the refrigerator until ready to spin.

I often use the 1 quart square or rectangle Ziploc containers for freezing - they are almost the perfect size (sometimes I have extra)

[ Recipes adapted from Jeni’s Splendid Desserts ]

[ Check out Shannon’s recipe over at A Periodic Table ]

Lucky Charms Ice Cream - Wee Eats

thursday things – an alpacalypse in phoenix and other news


Phoenix has had a busy week, with some raindrops falling, people freaking out about pink clouds, and a near ALPACA-LYPSE. A couple of llamas escaped from their owner’s yard and took the interwebs by storm while our local police spent several hours chasing them down. The llamas were eventually caught, but not before Buzzfeed had time to make a “Which Runaway Llama Are You?” quiz.

Movita shared a super awesome coloring page with me, so I’m basically going to get nothing else done today.

Shannon made us Baymax cookies because she’s amazing.

Speaking of amazing things, I forgot to share with you all last week the awesome shirt and notepad that Mr. Eats got me for Valentine’s Day! For some reason I put question marks there when clearly they should be exclamation points.


pusheen shirt

Science is solving super important problems like, “What kind of music cats like?” They created cat-centric music, which you can listen to here. I haven’t played it for our cats yet, but have every intention of doing so when I get home today.

Meanwhile the internet is going bonkers over this dress. I thought that the debate was just made up out of nowhere until my very own Mr. Eats and I didn’t agree on the colors. Is it white & gold or blue & black? IS THERE REALLY EVEN A DRESS AT ALL? I don’t know, guys… I just don’t know.

blue or white dress

Even Cookie Monster is cashing in on the hysteria.

Campbells is trying to get in on the juice trend.

KFC is taking the lead on reducing waste by making edible coffee cups. I don’t see how that could possibly go wrong.

I can finally justify all of the coffee I drink, since apparently 3 to 5 cups a day is the golden spot.

If you’ve ever wondered what it would be like to taste words, this guy will tell you all about it. Apparently “college” tastes like sausage and “Karen” tastes like yogurt… Gross, Karen. Take a shower…

Rumors of a cotton candy flavored Oreo are circulating which is great because every time I eat an Oreo I think, “You know, this is good, but what it really needs is more sugar.” It reminds me of this famous quote

In other news, for some reason these people let a 2 year old sing the national anthem… if you can even really call it “singing”…

Relax, guys. I’m kidding. He’s adorable.

greek nachos with lemony chicken and tzatziki

greek nachos 3

Last week one of my coworkers brought a giant bag of lemons to work and offered some to me. I graciously took some because I happened to be craving our favorite chicken wraps for dinner. We had the wraps, which we usually consume wrapped in a thin tortilla, for dinner that night when a wonderful thought occurred to me.

I was a few bites into my wrap when I turned to Mr. Eats and said, “What if I made these into nachos?”

I’m pretty sure he thought it was a terrible idea, even after I explained that they would be topped with the very same toppings we were eating at that exact moment. But, I didn’t let his lack of enthusiasm dissuade me at all. In this line of work, it’s a common occurrence for the people around you think you’re completely off your rocker when you try to explain your food visions to them. So I soldiered on.

So when the weekend rolled around and I made my nacho dreams come true.

greek nachos 2

I made some fresh pita chips by cutting pita into wedges, spraying those wedges on both sides with some coconut oil, and baking them in the oven for about 15 minutes. Of course, you could buy pre-made pita chips or even just use tortilla chips if you’re not up for making them. Then, I warmed the lemony chicken leftovers and some sauteed veggies as a topping. Since I was making everything else, I cut myself some slack and picked up some storebought tzatziki and a bag of shredded mozzarella. A bit of hummus would probably be a great addition too, but we didn’t have any in the fridge.

Once the cheese was warm and gooey, I removed the tray from the oven and topped them with some shredded lettuce, diced tomatoes, and tzatziki which, as it turns out, is not actually very easy to drizzle gracefully onto the chips. So my tip to you: maybe just serve the tzatziki on the side, but make sure you include it because it really pulls the nachos together. I am sure of this because as soon as Mr. Eats took a bite he said, “The sauce really pulls the nachos together,” so it must be true.

greek nacho 1

greek nachos with lemony chicken and tzatziki

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Cook Time: 30 minutes

Total Time: 2 hours

Yield: 1 large sheet pan of nachos


    For the chicken:
  • 1 lb boneless, skinless chicken breast
  • 1 large lemon, juiced
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • For pita chips
  • 4 large pita pockets, split across the bias into two thin rounds
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil or a sprayable neutral oil
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • For sauteed veggies
  • 1 bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 small or 1/2 large onion, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • Other toppings
  • 2 cups mozzarella or provolone, shredded
  • 1/4 cup feta cheese
  • 3 to 4 tablespoons tzatziki
  • 1 tomato, diced
  • 2 cups shredded lettuce


    Make the chicken:
  1. Mix the lemon juice, oil, salt, and spices and whisk to combine. pour over chicken breasts and allow to marinate 1 hour.
  2. Heat grill to medium-high heat. Grill chicken until it reaches 165F degrees, about 10 minutes per side.
  3. Remove from grill and set aside to cool. Once cooled, chop into 1/2 to 1 inch size pieces.
  4. Make the pita chips:
  5. Preheat oven to 350F degrees and line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
  6. Split pita bread in half along the pocket, making two thin pita rounds. Cut rounds into wedges (I cut my pitas into 6 wedges).
  7. If using regular oil, toss pita bread in oil and spread onto parchment-lined baking sheet. If using spray, spread wedges onto baking sheet and spray with oil, flip and spray the other side with oil as well. Sprinkle with salt.
  8. Bake for 15 minutes, rotating pans halfway through the baking time, until wedges are crisp and lightly browned.
  9. Cook the veggies:
  10. Heat a saute pan over medium-high heat. Once hot, add the oil and chopped veggies. Cook until softened. Remove from heat and set aside.
  11. Make the nachos:
  12. Heat oven to 350F degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment.
  13. Spread pita chips onto baking sheet and top with half of the shredded cheese.
  14. Top with chicken and sauteed veggies, then top with remaining shredded cheese and feta.
  15. Bake for 15 minutes, or until shredded cheese is melted.
  16. Remove from oven and top with lettuce, tomato, and tzatziki.


- Every part of these nachos can be made up to two days prior to serving. Store pita chips in a paper bag at room temperature. Chicken and veggies should be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator and warmed slightly prior to topping your nachos.
- You can make your own tzatziki, but I used the Sabras brand from my local grocer and it was pretty darn good.

thursday things


Another Thursday is upon us so, LET’S DO THIS!

I did not get to celebrate Fat Tuesday because the Polish population here in Phoenix is abysmally low, meaning that my beloved paczki are nowhere to be found. Instead I read this double vanilla jam donut recipe and just pretended like I could taste them.

Serious Eats is helping us to demystify our poultry labels.

Nestle has announced their plan to remove all artificial ingredients by the end of 2015, which I think is a rather noble quest.

I was able to find two of the three new Cookie Core flavors at my local Target…

bandj cookie core

And you guys, seriously, these things are so freaking good I thought I was going to die.

“Peanut Buttah” is OVER THE TOP peanut buttery, which sounded like a negative thing when Mr. Eats said it but I definitely mean it in the best way possible. The peanut butter ice cream is chock-full of rich peanut butter flavor, the cookie core is basically just a ribbon of sweetened peanut butter running through the middle (yes, please!), the crunchy cookies reminded me of peanut butter captain crunch (which is one of the best cereals of all time, thank you), and the crunchy bits just gave it an extra push into pure peanut buttery heaven. 5 out of 5 stars guys, for real.

cookie core top

“Spectacular Speculoos” on the other hand… both the vanilla and the dark caramel ice creams are solid and could easily stand on their own, but are even better as a team where the plain vanilla really balances the caramel flavor. The speculoos core is basically everything you dreamed speculoos cookie butter could be, and the speculoos cookies themselves are soft and chewy pillows after absorbing the moisture from the ice cream and have a flavor somewhere between speculoos cookies and your favorite soft molasses spice cookies. Another 5 out of 5.

I don’t even want to try the third flavor for fear that my heart will explode from happiness.

Of course, ow that I finally tried two of the three Cookie Core flavors, Ben & Jerry’s released another drool-inducing flavor. I think this company may just be the death of me…

Check out the latest interview with Anthony Bourdain, where he talks about everything from groin pain to conflict in the Middle East.

This tiny kitchen is pumping out all sorts of videos from mini pancakes to mini shrimp tempura. It’s almost hypnotic to watch, although all I can think about is their future arthritis.


The Oatmeal’s Exploding Kittens card game kickstarter ends today which means you have about 9 hours from when I publish this post to back it and receive what I can only assume will be one of the best card games of all time.

Dr. Seuss is going to publish a book from beyond the grave this July, and there are apparently two more books still in the pipeline.

Did you know that there are tons of concrete arrows strewn across the United States? I didn’t.

Eater did us a favor by publishing 24 of North America’s open (and soon to be open) cat cafes.

And a video you simply must watch of American kids trying breakfasts from around the world because… it’s hilarious.

If kids aren’t really your thing, here’s a video of penguins instead. Make sure your volume is turned on when you watch it… and for Movita and my other friends who are buried in the snow…


jeni’s north market waffles

jenis waffles 2

Hello and good morning, everyone! Today I bring to you another gem from the land of Jeni’s, but this time it’s waffles!

Apparently I’ve been on a bit of a waffle kick lately. I got this wonderful waffle maker a couple years ago for Christmas and I really haven’t given it close to the love that it deserves. So I took it out, dusted it off, and have been waffling like crazy these past few weeks. Of course, you all get to reap the benefits of my crazy.

This is yet another winning recipe from my beloved Jeni’s Splendid Desserts and while you may be skeptical of using waffles as a dessert, I assure you that these are just as delicious topped with strawberries, bananas, and syrup as they are when topped with ice cream. And if you are thinking that ice cream on top of waffles is “weird” I’m going to stop you right there with two words: waffle cones. Imagine that waffle cone is warm, soft, and pillowy and – tada – welcome to ice cream waffles. I rest my case.

These aren’t just any waffles, though. These are yeasted waffles.The yeast gives them a bit of a sour tang, think of something along the lines of sourdough bread, but not nearly as strong. It’s actually perfect because it helps to cut through the sweetness of whatever you are deciding to top them with and give your tastebuds a nice, healthy balance – the yin to your sweet fruity yang, if you will.

These waffles take a long overnight rest in your refrigerator which imbibe them with big, rich flavor that you won’t find in your standard breakfast waffles. We use rapid-rise yeast for these, so we can stir it straight into the flour, no proofing necessary. Then we stick the whole batter in the fridge to hang out overnight where it inflates like a giant balloon, then deflates and flattens.

jenis waffles

The batter for these becomes quite thick and sturdy after its refrigerator sleepover, so while Jeni asked me to give it a whisk before baking I ran into a few issues with this (namely the batter becoming one with my whisk), so I’m going to suggest you go the spatula route instead and just give it a good healthy fold-and-stir.

Aside from that, I have left the recipe unchanged because these babies are perfect just the way they are. Make a full batch and cool them on a wire rack, then wrap them tightly in plastic wrap and throw them in the freezer. They reheat perfectly in the toaster for a quick morning meal, which is what I happened to serve my Valentine over the weekend.


jenis waffles sugar

jeni’s waffles

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 40 minutes

Total Time: 12 hours, 55 minutes

Yield: 10

Serving Size: 1 7-inch waffle


  • 2 1/2 cups milk
  • 1/2 pound unsalted butter, cubed
  • 3 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 2 teaspoons fine sea salt
  • 1 tablespoon instant (rapid-rise) yeast
  • 4 large eggs, room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract


  1. Heat the milk and butter in a small saucepan over medium-low heat until the butter is mostly melted Stir and set aside, allowing it to cool slightly while the remaining butter melts, about ten minutes. You should be able to stick your finger into the mixture with it being warm but not hot. (About 105 degrees)
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together the flours, sugar, salt and yeast.
  3. in a small bowl, mix together the eggs and vanilla extract, set aside.
  4. Add milk mixture to the flour mixture and whisk until smooth. Add the egg mixture and whisk until incorporated. Stir with a rubber spatula until smooth, scraping down the sides of the bowl, then cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight or up to 24 hours.
  5. When ready to cook, remove waffle batter from the refrigerator and stir to recombine. Set bowl on the counter while your waffle iron preheats.
  6. Pour about 1/2 cup of batter onto your waffle iron (for a 7-inch waffle iron). Bake waffle for 4 minutes, or until golden. Serve warm.


- If desired, you can keep waffles warm in a 180 F degree oven while you bake the remaining waffles. Just place directly on the oven racks, or on wire rack placed inside a sheet pan.

- If you have a larger waffle iron, Jeni's recommends using up to 1 cup of batter for a 9-inch waffle iron.

[ Recipe from Jeni’s Splendid Desserts ]

Jeni's North Market Waffles - Wee Eats