Tag Archives: cheesecake

Blueberry Cheesecake Ice Cream

Last weekend, Wheat’s cousin Catherine was in town visiting their grandparents.  So we had Catherine, Wheat’s grandparents, and Wheat’s parents over for supper, of course.  Nothing fancy, as it was a very last minute affair, but we did have a couple pies from our local pizza place, American Pie, and I threw together a Kirbo Salad.  We spent the evening catching up with her, and showing Wheat and Catherine’s grandparents pictures of themselves from the Bainbridge Yesterdays Facebook group.

Grandma & Papa Kirbo | Oysters & Pearls

I always love seeing old pictures.  The fancy dinner parties where everyone dressed to the nines are my favorite to see! I wish people still had dinner parties like that!  But then again, I was doing good to pull together pizza, salad, and ice cream… So maybe we’ll hold off on those for now.

Catherine, Bruce, and Grandma Cass | Oysters & Pearls

It was great to have Catherine around, as she lives in Jackson Hole and was just in town for a wedding.  You may have spied her enviable adventures over on her blog, Cat Tales.

Let’s all beg her to start posting again. :)  Come back soon Catherine!

Catherine & Papa | Oysters & Pearls

Then of course, we had to have dessert.  I had just read the latest Southern Living, and they had a no-cook buttermilk ice cream recipe with a variety of suggested mix-ins.  I was (and still am) not over my blueberry phase, so blueberry cheesecake it was!

Buttermilk Ice Cream Ingredients | Oysters & Pearls

The recipe only produced one quart of ice cream, so I made two batches (I didn’t technically double, because I could only fit one batch at a time in my food processor.

Homemade Blueberry Cheesecake Ice Cream (adapted from Southern Living July 2013 – makes 2 quarts)


for the base ice cream (which is also perfectly delicious on it’s own!)

– 2 (8 oz) packages of cream cheese, softened to room temperature
– 1 cup half and half
– 1 1/2 cups sugar
– 1 cup whole buttermilk
– 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
– 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

If you want just a tangy, creamy vanilla ice cream, stop here!

But if you’re making blueberry cream cheese ice cream, add 1/2 teaspoon almond extract.

for the blueberry swirl

– 5 tablespoons blueberry jam (best if homemade :)
– 1 1/2 cups fresh blueberries
– 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

Buttermilk Ice Cream Mix | Oysters & Pearls

Process all the ingredients for the base in a food processor or blender until very smooth.

Let the base chill in the fridge for at least two hours, or overnight.  Then freeze according to your manufacturer’s directions.

Blueberry Swirl Mix | Oysters & Pearls

Any time between making the base and freezing the ice cream, smash the ingredients for the blueberry swirl together in a bowl with a potato masher.  Place in the fridge and let chill until the ice cream churn is done doing it’s thing.

Once the ice cream is frozen, mix in the blueberry swirl!

Homemade Blueberry Cheesecake Ice Cream | Oysters & Pearls

Either enjoy the ice cream immediately (it will be sort of soupy after stirring – above) or put it back in the freezer (our preferred method – below).  We tried both. :)

Homemade Blueberry Cheesecake Swirl Ice Cream | Oysters & Pearls

Either way, it’s ridiculously delicious.

Homemade Blueberry Cheesecake Ice Cream  | Oysters & Pearls

I got these adorable gelato dishes from Waiting On Martha.  There’s a white one, a cream one, a pink one, and a pistachio one.  I <3 them!

I believe I got the last set (sorry, y’all!) but she has tons of other really cute entertaining (and otherwise) goodies that make me swoon.

Blueberry Swirl Cheesecake Ice Cream | Oysters & Pearls

If you are looking for one more thing to make with your fresh blueberries, this is it!  Ice cream + blueberries = the epitome of summer.

Bite of Blueberry Cheesecake Ice Cream | Oysters & Pearls

All my blueberries are now officially used up.  Le sigh.  I suppose I’ll have to find something else to eat and blog about now.

Blueberry Cheesecake Ice Cream  | Oysters & Pearls

Have a good one!


Baked Beans & Tater Salad at the Pool

Hope everyone had an amazing holiday weekend! As usual, I’m a week behind on posts. We spent a long weekend around the 4th at the beach, but today I’ll tell you about last Saturday and our pool day. :)

My friend Jessica just had a baby boy, so we went over to visit little C-baby and the gang for a pool day. I say just, but little Chason is now 8 months old! Crazy, how time flies.

Anywho, Kevin (Jessica’s husband) was making BBQ sandwiches, and Jess made desserts (mini oreo cheesecakes that were thebomb.com), and Sarah made tomatillo salsa and regular salsa for lounging by the pool. I volunteered baked beans and potato salad. It was a pretty primo summer pool side menu.

It was supposed to rain all day long, but we decided to go ahead and head their way anyway. I’m so glad we did, because the sun came out and we got to spend a few hours in the sun!

Wheat, Natalie, Jessica & Tina | Oysters & Pearls

Wheat, myself, Jessica, and tiny Tina hanging out at the pool.

Kevin | Oysters & Pearls

Kevin, the man of the house. We were laughing that he must have purposely matched his swimsuit to his float.

While at the pool, we enjoyed some chunky salsa and some homemade tomatillo sauce that Sarah made. They were awesome, and I was hooked on the tomatillo sauce!

Fresh & Chunky Salsa | Oysters & Pearls

Sarah said this salsa is made the same way I make it: tomatoes, onion, jalepenos, cilantro, lime juice, and salt and pepper. I love chunky fresh salsa!

Tomatillo Salsa | Oysters & Pearls

The tomatillo sauce is a recipe she said her mom snagged from Southern Living years ago. She said they sliced in half and roasted the tomatillos, then processed them in a food processor with jalapenos, onion, lime juice, salt and pepper. I think I got it right? Maybe Sarah will comment and let me know? ;)

When the rains came back, we had to move inside to the screened porch.

Bella | Oysters & Pearls

Bella, one of their sweet chihuahuas, took up residence in my lap most of the time. Harold, meanwhile, spent a lot of time patrolling the grounds for intruders. When he wasn’t patrolling, he was on the lookout.

Harold at the Hester's | Oysters & Pearls

Aunt Sarah & Chason | Oysters & Pearls

Chason and his Aunt Sarah. He is the cutest and the sweetest!

Chason Wheat | Oysters & Pearls

You can’t see it very well, but the smocking on his jumper is of frogs, and he is playing with a toy frog. Little man knows how to coordinate just like his Dad!

As far as food goes, because let’s be real, as you know, my life mainly revolves around food… We had a feast. Kevin made pulled BBQ sandwiches, I brought baked beans and potato salad, and Jessica made some mini oreo cheesecakes. It was a really good meal!

Poolside BBQ | Oysters & Pearls

I suppose you’d like a couple recipes? The baked beans are sponsored by Lala, yet again.

Best Ever Baked Beans | Oysters & Pearls

Lala’s Best Ever Baked Beans

I call them best ever, because they literally are the best baked beans ever, and they really are unlike any baked beans you’ve probably had before.


– one large can of Van Camps Pork & Beans

– one pound Jimmy Dean sausage, HOT flavor

– 1/3 of a box of brown sugar (I used light brown)

– ketchup

– mustard

– Worcestershire sauce

– one Vidalia onion, diced

– cane syrup


Lala gives very scientific and precise directions. ;) Brown the sausage in a pan and drain well. Go up and down the pan once with the ketchup, and a little less mustard. Several shakes of Worcestershire sauce. Up and back also with cane syrup. Mix all the ingredients together in the pan. Cook a couple hours on low. I cover it with foil but vent one corner. I mixed these up ahead of time and took them over to Jessica & Kevin’s house to cook. I put them on 300 degrees and left them in the over for 4 hours or so, turning the oven down to 200 degrees after 2 hours. You really can’t mess them up cooking them this low and slow!

Baked Beans | Oysters & Pearls

I also threw together some ‘tater salad with some new potatoes my dad grew. I never really follow a recipe for potato salad. It usually just comes together based on what else I have in the fridge, but this version turned out really tasty and light.

Tater Salad | Oysters & Pearls


– enough new (red) potatoes to feed your crowd)
– one red onion, diced
– one bunch green onions, diced
– 8 ounces sour cream
– 8 ounces (just eyeball the same amount) of Duke’s Light Mayonnaise
– 3 or 4 tablespoons red wine vinegar, or to taste
– salt and pepper to taste


Boil your potatoes until you can just poke them with a fork and the fork comes out fairly easily. You don’t want them mushy! While they are boiling, chop your onions. Once the potatoes are done, drain off the water and let them cool just long enough that you can handle them to cut them into bite size pieces. Toss the potatoes, onions, sour cream and mayonnaise together, then season with the red wine vinegar, and then salt and pepper, to taste. Let it sit in the fridge to let the flavors get married for at least a couple hours. You can make it a day ahead of time, too.

Mini Oreo Cheesecakes | Oysters & Pearls

We polished off our meal with these mini oreo cheesecakes that Jess made. Maybe she will leave a link or recipe in the comments? I’m sure it wouldn’t be too hard if you wanted to recreate them. The “crust” was a whole oreo on the bottom, and you could probably use any no-bake cheesecake recipe for the filling and mix it with crushed oreos. They were pretty tasty!

After all this activity (even though he slept the entire time we were at the pool), Chason was ready for supper and bed time.

Sleepy Chason | Oysters & Pearls

The cutest, I tell ya!


Recreating The Cheesecake Factory Kale Salad

Recreating The Cheesecake Factory's Kale Salad | Oysters & Pearls

Okay, foodies, settle down.  I know Cheesecake Factory is not acceptable fodder for a serious food blog.  However, I’m not all that serious, and cut me some slack, I’ve only been there once.

My coworker/friend and I were on our way home from a work trip and stopping for Atlanta for the night.  We pulled into town around 9:30-ish, and we were hungry-ish with few options available that time of night and very little energy to put into the decision.  We veered into the Cheesecake Factory parking lot in a hazy moment of defeat peppered with hopes of cheesecake for dinner.  Turns out, my food-snobby taste buds were pleasantly surprised to see a kale salad on the menu that sounded delicious.  And it was.  And I’ve had memories of that kale salad stewing in the back of my mind every since.  We  received kale in our Harvest Moon box last week (and again this week – YES!) as well as apples, and I was pleased as punch to attempt to finally recreate this salad of yore.

Cheesecake Factory Kale Salad | Oysters & Pearls

Cheesecake Factory Kale Salad

– enough washed & dried kale to fill your plate

– 1/2 an apple, granny smith or a green apple of some sort

– 2 tablespoons buttermilk ranch dressing

– slivered almonds

– dried cranberries

Recreating the Cheesecake Factory Kale Salad | Oysters & Pearls

Obviously, I was missing those last two ingredients.  But this salad was the bomb, despite their noticeable absence.  I plan on picking them up and enjoying this salad all week long.

The Cheesecake Factory Kale Salad | Oysters & Pearls

Who knew I would take away something so delicious from a chain restaurant? ;) My version, of course, with its locally grown and organic kale and apples, beats Cheesecake Factory any day, in my local-loving book.

And yes, we got cheesecake and took it to our hotel rooms.  YOLO…?

What’s your favorite way to eat kale? I have two more bunches from our box this week and need some ideas!