Wednesday, March 9, 2022

Stracciatella Gelato

Since my birthday last year, we've been experimenting with some ice cream recipes in my new ice cream maker. The best so far has been a vanilla extract heavy peanut butter ice cream with chocolate chunks. I kept thinking that I was dreaming when I ate it. Kudos to the hubs, because he was the one who made that delicious batch!

Most recently, we decided to branch out and try a gelato. I got myself confused with a "stracciatella" description I found online, thinking that this ice cream was going to be made from the interior amazing goodness of burrata mozzarella. (Perhaps something we'll still experiment in the future. Doesn't that just sound like heaven from the freezer?!?)

The actual Stracciatella Gelato recipe that we found indeed only called for milk and cream (no mozz), but we wanted to try something different. So we put together all of the ingredients and came to find ourselves short two cups of whole milk. So we substituted with coconut milk. And honestly, it turned out really tasty! It was very coconut forward though. It basically ended up being coconut ice cream with chocolate chunks, but we weren't mad about that!!

Next time, we'll try to have all the correct ingredients, so we can taste what a stracciatella is supposed to taste like... but in the meantime, we may have discovered a very happy accident! 

Wednesday, March 2, 2022

Winters in California

We have been settled down in California now for almost six years. I moved out here for a new job in July of 2016, and although we've lived in three different places since then, it has been a long stay for us! Before California, we were in Colorado for four years and Texas for only two years. Being fairly nomadic since we've left Ohio in 2010, it feels both nice and yet also strange to be in one place for so long.

California is expensive. We have enjoyed some amazing life and career milestones out here, but we are starting to wonder if this continues to be the right spot for us. Not only are we looking at our budget and how it could benefit from a more cost-effective location. We are also longing for safer cycling roads, kinder people and we miss our friends. Santa Cruz was named the most dangerous county in California for cyclists and pedestrians this year, and with cycling being one of our daily activities, we're just not sure how much longer we can dodge an accident. The drivers are just downright mean, and not just to cyclists and pedestrians. The road rage toward other cars can be scary out here. I just don't understand what makes people want to tailgate and yell at you from their car on a Friday afternoon at 2pm in a beach town?! Like - chill out. We're at the ocean! It's beautiful. Take a breath.

Consistently though, every time we start this discussion, we take a drink out to our front patio to chat. The sun is shining and the weather is warm, even in the winter. All of our tropical garden plants and succulents look gorgeous, blooming pink and green. It will be extremely difficult to decide to move away from this weather. It's like nothing else we've ever experienced, and going back to any place with snow and rain will be a bit of a a shock. 

But what is better? Deal with some snow and rain in the winter so that you can better afford your life and feel safe, secure and "home" again? Or continue to live in this gorgeous place where we struggle a bit? Does the weather contribute enough to make it worth staying? I actually believe it's the only thing keeping us happy with our situation at all...

And so, it begins again.

More to come soon.