Another great aspect of fall weather is the time spent with family during thanksgiving. I love my mom and dad but we dont have a big family.  Buddy’s family on the other hand is big. This thanksgiving we visited his family and there were usually 13 place settings at the table. The ages ranged from 6 months to over 90!  The conversations can be quite entertaining but I always love the food. Buddy’s family spent most of their lives in Germany. German food is amazing, and their standards for family dining are right up my alley. All of this makes me want to join in the fun. One of my favorite German traditions is celebrating advent. Advent celebrates the coming of Christ’s birth the four Sundays preceding Christmas with a decent breakfast, a large late afternoon supper and a dessert meal of pies, Christmas cookies, coffee and tea. Before each meal the advent candle(s) is/are lit. One candle is lit the first sunday, two the next Sunday, and so on until four candles illuminate the table on the night before Christmas. This symbolizes the lightness penetrating the dark with the coming of Jesus. It’s quite beautiful. This year I wanted to make something to add to the cozy dessert meal. I didn’t get to make ginger ice cream this thanksgiving and I was craving it bad. Someone in the family didn’t like ginger so I compromised and made coffee ice cream instead. It turned out quite well and definitely complimented the mixture of pumpkin pie, cherry pie, mince meat pie, and ginger cookies we had with coffee and tea. I love this recipe. Happy advent season everyone! I hope you spend some of it cozied up around a table full of good family and food.

Courtesy of my 8 year old niece

Coffee Ice Cream (recipe from… its one of my favorite apps!):
1 1/4 cups sugar
2 3/4 cups heavy cream
1 cup whole milk
4 large eggs
3 tablespoons instant espresso powder*
1/2 teaspoon vanilla

In a dry 5-quart heavy kettle cook sugar over moderately low heat, stirring slowly with a fork (to help sugar melt evenly), until melted and pale golden. Cook caramel, without stirring, gently swirling kettle, until deep golden. Remove kettle from heat and carefully pour cream and milk down side of kettle (mixture will vigorously steam and caramel will harden). Simmer mixture, stirring, until caramel is dissolved.
In a large bowl lightly beat eggs. Add hot cream mixture in a slow stream, whisking, and pour into kettle. Cook custard over moderately low heat, stirring constantly, until a thermometer registers 170°F. (Do not let boil.) Whisk in espresso powder and vanilla until espresso powder is dissolved. Pour custard through a fine sieve into another large bowl and cool. Chill custard, its surface covered with wax paper, until cold, at least 3 hours, and up to 2 days.
Freeze custard in an ice-cream maker, in 2 batches if necessary. Transfer one third ice cream to a 2-quart airtight container and drizzle one third caramel swirl over it. Repeat layering with remaining ice cream and caramel swirl. Freeze ice cream until hard, at least 8 hours, and up to 1 week.

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