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  1. Thursday, June 28, 2012

    On Egg Shells, Cartons, and Disposals…and hopefully a good old fashioned debate!

    It’s been a while since we’ve had a good, old-fashioned debate here on the blog. I think the best one ever was Milk on the Rocks. For the record, I will never be swayed from my belief that ice in milk is awesome.

    Today’s topic of debate? Broken egg shells in the egg carton.

    I firmly stand by the adage that you should never put broken egg shells back in the carton with unused eggs. I always thought this was a truth based on scientific fact. I mean, we’re supposed to be super careful about washing our hands after handling raw eggs. So, it would stand to reason that putting broken, open shells in with the unused eggs ups the chances of spreading food-borne bacteria, right? Well, when I sat down to write this post, I tried to find an expert to back me up. A quick Internet search yielded a bunch of useless discussion boards. The Egg Safety Center doesn’t even mention it in their list of dos and don’ts. Hmmmm….I still think I’m right. Putting broken shells back in the carton just doesn’t seem clean or safe. That’s my story and I’m sticking to it.

    Hence, the debate. What do you think you should do with broken shells? Back in the carton? Into the trash? Perfect for composting? Bad for composting? Throw them in the disposal? Look at all the debates we’ve opened up! It’s awesome!

    For the record, I put my egg shells in the trash. And, when we get our compost game on, I’ll probably put them there instead. (I know some people who compost think the shells take too long to break down, I’ll have to research it more.)

    I will say this, in addition to not putting broken egg shells back in the carton, I also never put them down the disposal. This really, truly is a no-no that any maintenance person or plumber will back me up on. The egg shells probably won’t hurt the disposal itself, but you are definitely asking for your sink to back up at some point if you throw egg shells in there. Other items that shouldn’t go down the kitchen drain:

    • Peelings (not great for the disposal, can also back up the drain)
    • Grease (it gets cold and hard, causing build up in the drain, similar to a clogged heart artery)
    • Bones (duh. totally not good for the disposal)
    • Rice and pasta (I didn’t know that one, learned about it on Rice and pasta are too small for the disposal to break down and they expand when wet, which can back up the drain. Fascinating stuff, eh?)

    And, since I always love sharing my kitchen neuroses with you, when I take eggs out of the carton, I always make sure the carton is balanced evenly. I’m pretty sure I picked this up from my mom. It’s totally OCD, but I will tell you it is nice to take the carton out of the fridge and never have to worry about the weight being distributed unevenly. Okay, now that I’ve put that down on paper I know it sounds crazy. But I’m still going to balance out my eggs!

  2. Tuesday, June 26, 2012

    Whoopie Pies!

    Nate loves whoopie pies. As a New Englander, it’s in his blood. I’ll be honest…the only “real” whoopie pie I had until about a year ago was in Amish country. And it was kind of gooey and not-so-great. Well, I could see other people maybe liking it, but it just wasn’t my thing. But Nate, he’s always talking about how good whoopie pies are, so I felt it was time to embrace the whoopie pie.

    For his birthday last week, I decided to make whoopie pies. He was happy about that and said I had to get his mom’s recipe. I called Pat and her very words were, “This recipe isn’t very good. I think you need to tweak it.” When I told her that Nate gushes about her whoopie pies, she just laughed. I was beginning to think that it really was just the nostalgia talking and that Nate was crazy…

    Holy cow people, these whoopie pies were GOOD. So good that I think I might make another batch. Tonight. Because they’re gone. And I’m sad about that. So is Nate. He keeps asking where they all went.

    New Englander or not, nostalgia or not, these whoopie pies are fab. Enjoy!

    Whoopie Pies!
    Perfect dessert for a party!
    Recipe type: Dessert, Cookies
    • For the cookie part of the whoopie:
    • 1 cup butter, softened at room temp (original recipe calls for shortening, fyi)
    • 1 teaspoon baking soda
    • 2 eggs
    • 2 teaspoons vanilla
    • 4 teaspoons baking powder
    • 2 cup sugar
    • 2 cup milk
    • 4 cup flour
    • 1 cup cocoa powder
    • ½ teaspoon salt
    • Cream Filling:
    • ⅓ cup evaporated milk
    • ½ cup butter, softened at room temp
    • 4 ounces cream cheese, softened at room temp
    • ¼ teaspoon salt
    • ½ cup sugar
    • 6-7 cups or so of powdered sugar
    1. Cream sugar and butter together. Add milk and eggs – mix well. Don’t be scared”¦the batter is going to look all lumpy and weird and you’re going to think you did something wrong. You didn’t.
    2. Add everything else and beat well. See, told you the batter would look normal eventually.
    3. Drop from teaspoon onto ungreased cookie sheet. I used my medium scoop, which was about 2 tablespoons – so my whoopie pies were medium sized. Pat does mini cute tiny little whoopie pies. Choose your own adventure!
    4. I baked mine on a silpat. I also smoothed the dough balls out and pressed them down slightly before baking (with wet fingers to minimize sticking, but make sure you don’t drip water on the dough). I definitely recommend pressing them down a bit so they aren’t totally round after baking, they’ll sit on your serving plate easier.
    5. Bake at 425 degrees for 7-9 minutes, until they are firm to touch and toothpick comes out clean.
    6. So the ORIGINAL cream recipe is a shortening-based filling. I think shortening-based frostings taste nasty, so I evolved the original recipe using butter, cream cheese (to lend creaminess) and powdered sugar. Cream all of the ingredients together in a mixer with about 5 cups of the powdered sugar. Then, keep adding powdered sugar until the frosting is sturdy enough to hold up to being placed between two cookies but still relatively soft”¦I know, super helpful. You just don’t want the filling to be too soft or fluid or it will squeeze out of the sides of the cookie, but you also don’t want super duper crazy stiff filling.
    7. Place frosting in a large ziploc bag with the very tip of the corner trimmed off and pipe frosting onto a whoopie pie cookie, topping with a second cookie. You should have plenty of filling to fill all the whoopie pies.
    8. When making the medium-sized whoopie pies with the 2 tablespoon scoop, this recipe yielded 26 whoopie pies.
    9. (Original cream filling recipe, in case you want to go that route: ⅓ cup evaporated milk, ¾ cup white sugar, 1 teaspoon vanilla, ⅔ cup crisco, pinch salt – mix, let sit 15 minutes, beat until creamy.)


  3. Sunday, June 24, 2012

    Week 283 Menu

    Nate got Anna a white princess dress-up with accompanying veil yesterday. And I think this veil may become a permanent fixture on her head. It seriously hasn’t left her head.

    Last week my 7-year-old Cate helped plan the menu. Each afternoon she would ask what was for dinner that night, and if the plan had changed (due to unexpected leftovers, errands, etc), she could remember what food item we had planned for which days. She would totally call me out on it and then re-plan out the week for me. It was sooooooo cute. And, thanks to her persistence, there is only one item we didn’t get to. Good job, Cate!


    Asian Spinach Salad (this is a really good recipe I haven’t done in a long time)

    Boursin Turkey Baguettes

    – Leftovers

    – Something on the grill, tbd with Nate

    – Eat out

    Yorkshire Pudding

    You know the drill…bring on the menus!

  4. Friday, June 22, 2012

    Quick and Sweet Coleslaw

    First off, have you tried my favorite sandwich ever yet? It’s the Rachel. It’s the best. And if you haven’t tried it, hop to it, already!

    My apologies for this incredibly boring photo of my incredibly non-boring favorite sandwich. I’ll be honest. I just wanted to eat it when I was shooting it, so I didn’t really care how the picture came out!

    As we all know, the apple does not usually fall far from the tree. Cate is also a big fan of the Rachel and requested it this week when she planned our weekly menu.

    One of the toppings for the Rachel sandwich is coleslaw. I usually just grab one of those coleslaw kits with the dressing already made in a packet. Those darn kits cost way more than the bags of plain cabbage and they don’t make that much coleslaw. BUT…my girls love that coleslaw. And, sadly, whenever I try  making homemade coleslaw, they won’t eat it. Little stinkers.

    Wellllll…this week I grabbed the wrong bag of coleslaw and ended up with dressing-less cabbage. What is a girl to do? Why, do an Internet search for “sweet homemade coleslaw dressing” of course! AND…

    Success! This totally sweet, really easy dressing was yummy and the girls loved it. And I can see why…hello, sugar! Holy cow. I believe I discovered the secret to that prepared coleslaw mix. Sugar. Evil evil sugar.

    Like I said, this recipe is easy and I had all the ingredients on hand. However, you do need to plan ahead so the dressing can sit, allowing the sugar to fully dissolve.

    Quick and Sweet Coleslaw
    Prep time
    Cook time
    Total time
    Simple and sweet, this recipe is adapted from a recipe on AllRecipes
    • 1 16-ounce bag shredded coleslaw mix
    • ⅔ cup mayonnaise
    • 3 tablespoons canola oil
    • 1 tablespoon white vinegar
    • ⅓ cup sugar
    • ¼ teaspoon salt
    • ½ teaspoon poppy seeds
    1. Mix all ingredients except the cabbage. Whisk well and let sit for 30-60 minutes, stirring occasionally, until sugar is dissolved. Combine dressing with coleslaw mix. Enjoy!

  5. Wednesday, June 20, 2012

    Organic Cane Sugar

    As you may know, for the last couple of years I have been slowly shifting to using organic products in our home. My ultimate goal with going organic is to help the environment, although I am also learning that there are some real health benefits as well, which is just an added bonus for me. But I must admit, there are a few things here and there that I’m just not sure will work if they’re organic. Sugar was one of those things.

    A few months ago I was at Costco and noticed the woman in front of me had organic cane sugar. I asked the Costco worker if he’d ever used it in place of refined white sugar and he was excited to tell me that he had and it worked great. Funny enough he had once worked at a sugar refinery. He said if I knew what they did to make the sugar white I would never eat it again.

    Now, I don’t know anything about the process or if there really is anything evil about the way sugar is refined, but I DO know that going organic is something I’m very interested in. Alas, I was chicken to try the sugar out. The crystals are darker and much larger than white sugar and I wasn’t sure how it would work in my regular cooking and baking.

    I finally bit the bullet, bought a bag and am TOTALLY happy with the sugar. I’ve used it in baking and with the homemade ice creams we’ve been whipping up lately. I honestly haven’t noticed a difference. Please note this is a very unscientific experiment. That’s how I roll, people.

    The Costco dude said when substituting the regular refined white sugar for organic, use a bit less than what is called for with white sugar. Again, I’m not sure how correct he is, but I’ve found that using the same amount or a bit less than the recipe calls for has worked great.

    So, go forward and enjoy your organic sugar with abandon!


  6. Monday, June 18, 2012

    Catch the Buzz!

    The associated giveaway with this post is now closed…but please do still keep reading to check out DailyBuzz Moms!

    Have you checked out DailyBuzz Moms yet? If you have not, I promise I won’t take it personally. I know we all have a lot going on. BUT…I think I might take it personally if you don’t check it out now! 😉

    DailyBuzz Moms is a project that I am very grateful to be a part of. You may or may not know, but I am the editor for DailyBuzz Moms, which means I have this really cool job where they pay me to read blogs every day, pick fun topics and then feature blog posts in a daily Top 9 around those topics. It seriously might be one of the best jobs ever and I count my lucky stars it’s mine. So anyway, I think we’ve got a pretty cool thing going over at DailyBuzz Moms, so please come take a look-see! Fair warning…when we first launched, my good friend Nikki said she ended up spending hours digging through the site, and that was when we only had a handful of Top 9s published. Imagine the time you could spend {waste? no way!} now that we’ve been going for over a year and are still going strong!

    Speaking of which, I can’t believe it’s already been a year since we launched. Time really does fly when you’re having fun! To celebrate DailyBuzz Moms’ 1st birthday, we decided a giveaway was in order. There are just a few more days left to enter, so I wanted to make sure you all knew about it.

    What are we giving away? A $500 SHOPPING SPREE TO TARGET!!!!!!! Yes, you heard me right. $500. I know. Awesome, right?

    It’s super simple to enter! You can either enter through Facebook or Twitter. Click here for the Facebook contest entry page (the photo above will also link to the Facebook entry page) and click here for the Twitter contest entry page. I promise it is painless and I’m jealous I don’t get to enter myself. The contest ends June 23, so hop to it!

    Good luck with the giveaway! And I hope you’ll all come visit me on DailyBuzz Moms!

    PS: For you bloggers out there, if you’re not already a part of the DailyBuzz Moms publisher network, I would LOVE it if you were. Click here to join and shoot me a line if you do!

  7. Sunday, June 17, 2012

    Week 282 Menu

    Happy Father’s Day! Sadly Nate had to go to a conference early this morning and missed out on pancakes in bed. But we have a special dinner planned for him to make up for it!

    Cate has been excited all week about helping me plan this week’s menu. Let’s see what she came up with!

    Cream of Mushroom soup

    Homemade pizza – mushroom and cheese

    Rachel sandwiches

    – Leftovers


    – Eat out

    Paninis (turkey with honey mustard)

    I think Cate did a good job picking out a yummy menu for the week! 🙂

    Your turn! Show us what you got! Tell us what you’re eating this week!

  8. Friday, June 15, 2012

    Daily Do Overs

    I am pretty sure we all have moments in our lives we wish we could do over. Big or small, there are always those things you just can’t un-do. But sometimes we are given a chance. A chance to make it right, to do over that moment we wish had never happened.

    As I’ve been contemplating my own do-over moments for this post, my mind first went to cooking. Like the first time I made brownies as a ten-year-old girl. I was melting butter and chocolate and wanted to ask my mom a question, ran upstairs, and came back to a burned mess. My mom was patient and kind, helping me clean the pan and pulling together new ingredients to start over. Or the time I made my first roast beef dinner. Roast beef and mashed potatoes felt like the quintessential home-cooked meal when I was young, so when I was first married, I decided to try my hand at this classic comfort meal. Of course I invited a few friends over to eat with us. I was excited about my new home (i.e. dark basement apartment) and being able to entertain (i.e. squeeze around a tiny, hand-me-down kitchen table). The meat AND potatoes were dry as bones. Everyone was kind. They ate their meal and politely praised my talents and it was a fun evening of food and friends. I can remember each person who was there (hi Maren, Celeste and Rob!) and think of that night with fondness. And while I couldn’t re-do the particular food I served that night, as with any recipe, I was able to make it again and again and now have no problem whipping up a tender roast and creamy, flavorful mashed potatoes.

    As I continued thinking about these do-over moments, I realized that, as a parent, I have moments I wish I could do over all the time. More than in any other part of my life. Parenting is hard and I am far from the perfect parent. I would hazard to say that I have do-over moments every day with my children. Some are bigger, some are smaller, but I really don’t think a day goes by that I don’t have a time or two (or more) where I really wish I had handled things differently with my little ones. But the magical thing about parenting is that while there is ample opportunity for making mistakes, there is just as much opportunity to make it better and do it right.

    My life as a mother is full of Daily Do Overs.

    Take for example just this week…I was having a particularly busy day with work. The kids are home for the summer and trying to balance work with fun with household responsibilities is proving to be quite the balancing act. I had some work that I had to get done before we could head off to do errands, go to a playdate and then dance class. I was sitting at my computer completely focused on that work and not much else. The words “In a minute” escaped my mouth many times in a very rote way.

    Anna asked for a cup of milk. “I can get that for you in a minute, sweetie.”

    Type. Type. Type.

    Owen piped in with, “Waaaaahhh…I want my binky and someone to cuddle with me!” (Can you believe he’s using full sentences already? Wink wink.)

    Type. Binky in mouth. Type. DVD cases to play with. Type.

    Then Cate walked in. She asked if the shirt she had picked out matched her denim shorts. I quickly glanced at what she had chosen, told her anything matches denim shorts, and she left the room saying, “Okay!” She returned a few minutes later saying something about her zipper. Cate likes us to do everything for her, so I just assumed this was another case of her wanting me to do something that she could do herself. Without listening or paying attention, I just turned to Cate and said, “Honey, you can zip up your own pants.” She quietly left my side.

    With no time to spare, I finished up what I had to do and told the kids to hop in the car. Anna started asking/whining about her milk and I impatiently told her she would be fine. She started crying and then both girls obediently went out to the car. A pang of guilt hit and I realized how SIMPLE it is to just get a cup of milk. So, I poured a sippy cup of milk and took it with me to the car. She was delighted. Daily Do Over #1.

    At some point I looked back in the car and noticed Cate was wearing black leggings. I was perplexed, she had thought so hard about her cute outfit for the day. “Honey, why are you wearing your black leggings”

    Cate replied with, “My zipper was stuck on the shorts so I had to change.”

    {Heart pangs.}

    She couldn’t get the zipper up. She was asking me for help because she needed it. And I had been too busy and focused on my to-do list to even hear what she was asking me. When I didn’t give her the help she sought, she quietly found a solution. Which is sweet and I’m proud of her, but, man, did I feel like a crummy mom.

    “I’m sorry I didn’t help you fix your zipper, Cate. I didn’t realize it was stuck.”

    “It’s okay, Mom.”

    That’s the amazing thing about kids. They are so forgiving. And so good at forgetting. And moving on. Which is the saving grace of parenting. And the reason why it’s so important to just say sorry when we screw up and jump at any chance at a do over.

    When we got home, I went and found her shorts in the drawer (that she had put away like a good girl!) and got that zipper unstuck. Daily Do Over #2. Sure, I was a little late to the game, but at least I had arrived.

    A friend of mine named Rachel is a teacher. She was telling me about an experience she had once where she got to sit in on parent-teacher conferences with another teacher, one who was an amazing educator and a great mentor for her. Rachel worked at a private school for talented, over-the-top-smart children who have to go through a battery of tests to attend the school. In one parent-teacher conference, a set of particularly over-achieving, Silicon Valley parents asked Rachel’s mentor, “What is the number one thing we can do to help our child’s development and to help them succeed in school?”

    “Apologize to your kids.”

    Rachel said they were surprised, puzzled. I think they maybe even pushed the issue a bit. But the teacher held her ground. The best thing you can do for your child’s success is to say sorry when you make a mistake.

    I can’t tell you how relieved that advice made me feel. I may not be perfect, but I do always say sorry to my children when those “do-over moments” happen. And, when I can, I really do try to do the moment over.

    Like I said, it’s a daily struggle for me and, I believe, for all parents. But it’s a forgiving struggle. And I am so grateful for those Daily Do Overs. I don’t know what I would do without them.

    This post was sponsored by Frigidaire. When you share your own do-over moment at, Frigidaire will donate $1 to Save the Children’s U.S. programs. Plus, Frigidaire® will help cover the costs for one lucky visitor to win the ultimate do-over.

  9. Thursday, June 14, 2012

    Homemade Strawberry Ice Cream

    Apparently it’s ice cream week at the Maynards! I seriously wasn’t planning on making more ice cream…and then I did. My girls wanted strawberry ice cream. How could I say no?

    Since the first two Cook’s Illustrated ice cream recipes were such delicious successes, I went ahead and used their strawberry recipe as well. It’s a small labor of love, but it was worth it. And the girls helped me out with a bunch of the steps, which was really helpful and fun!

    The girls both declared without hesitation that this was their favorite homemade ice cream so far. I still think it’s a three-way tie between chocolate, vanilla and strawberry, but the strawberry ice cream was pretty darn amazing and perfect for summertime!

    Homemade Strawberry Ice Cream
    • 1 pound strawberries, hulled and sliced thin (3¼ cups) (Jane note: I will slice AND chop the strawberries next time. Even with all our mashing there were still some pretty big strawberry chunks in the final product that I would have liked to be smaller)
    • 1¼ cups sugar
    • Pinch salt
    • ⅓ cups heavy cream
    • 1¼ cups whole milk
    • 6 large egg yolks
    • 3 tablespoons vodka (Jane note: left this out because I didn't have it)
    • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
    • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
    1. Combine strawberries, ½ cup sugar and salt in bowl. Mash berries gently with potato masher until slightly broken down. Let stand, stirring occasionally, until berries have released their juice and sugar has dissolved, 40-45 minutes. (Jane note: like I said, we mashed a lot - I think smaller berry pieces are better - and I also think my berries only sat for about 30 minutes - I made sure the sugar was dissolved, but I don't think they sat as long as 40 minutes.)
    2. Place fine-mesh strainer over medium bowl and set over larger bowl of ice water. Combine cream, milk and ½ cup sugar in medium saucepan. (Jane note: I also added ¼ teaspoon of salt to the cream mixture at this point.) Heat over medium-high heat, stirring occaionally, until mixture is steaming steadily and registers 175 degrees, 5-10 minutes. Remove from heat. (Jane note: as soon as we hit 175 I took it off - it wasn't steaming all that much)
    3. While cream mixture heats, whisk egg yolks and remaining ¼ cup sugar in bowl until smooth, about 30 seconds. Slowly whisk half of heated cream mixture into egg yolk mixture, ½ cup at a time. Return mixture to saucepan and cook over medium-low heat, stirring constantly, until mixture thickens and registers 180 degrees, 7-14 minutes. (Jane note: I never hit got stuck around 177 and was taking forever, but figured we were good and everything seemed to work fine.) Immediately strain custard through fine-mesh strainer and let cool over bowl of ice water to room temperature, stirring occasionally.
    4. While custard is cooling, transfer berries to medium saucepan and bring to a simmer over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, until berries are softened and broken down, about 3 minutes. Strain berries, reserving juice. Transfer berries to small bowl, stir in vodka and lemon juice, then let cool to room temp, cover, and refrigerate until cool. Stir vanilla and reserved juice into cooled custard, cover and refrigerate until custard registeres 40 degrees, at least 3 hours or up to 24 hours. (Jane note: We were too impatient to wait for 40 degrees - we waited at least 3 hours and then went for it. The custard was definitely cool, so I figured it would be okay. And, it was.)
    5. Transfer custard to ice-cream machine and churn until mixture resembles thick soft-serve ice cream, 25-30 minutes. Add berries and continue to churcn until fully incoporated and berries are slightly broken down, about 1 minute. Transfer ice cream to a chilled airtight container and freeze until firm, at least 2 hours. (Jane note: or just eat it right away because it's awesome ANY time!)


  10. Tuesday, June 12, 2012

    Homemade Chocolate Ice Cream…and a note about the freezing process

    It’s time, my friends. Time for homemade chocolate ice cream!

    I still can’t decide which I like better, the vanilla or the chocolate. They are seriously both amazing. I am a chocoholic, so that’s saying something about the vanilla. But, I don’t know, this chocolate ice cream is just soooo good. Creamy and chocolatey, it’s almost like eating chocolate mousse or pot de creme in frozen form. The ice cream is super rich and packs a chocolatey punch – don’t be fooled by that light brown color!

    When I wrote about the vanilla ice cream, I mentioned that I didn’t follow the Cook’s Illustrated instructions for freezing the ice cream after it’s churned and that everything still turned out fine. WELLL…when I made ice cream for a third time, I discovered why they have you do what they do and now I am going to do what they sway from now on! They have you freeze a metal pan and then pour the churned ice cream into the metal pan. You let it freeze in that pan for about an hour and then transfer to an air-tight container. Just seemed like extra steps to me…but…now I know better.

    The first time I made the ice cream, I put it directly into one of my glass bowls with a lid. Nothing went awry and I didn’t think much about the process. The second time I did in fact freeze a metal pan. I put the churned ice cream in that pan and then ended up just storing it in that pan with foil on top. We ate it so quickly we didn’t really need an air-tight container! 😉

    Well, the third time I made the ice cream, when the ice cream was done churning, I put it in one of my casserole dishes because all my glass containers with lids were dirty and I hadn’t frozen a metal pan. As soon as the ice cream hit the casserole dish, it started melting!!! Not good. I left the remainder of my ice cream in the ice cream maker and put the casserole dish in the freezer for 5 or 10 minutes, then transferred the remainder of the ice cream to the dish and that seemed to help. ANYWAY…I don’t know why I questioned their technique! It all makes sense to me now! I will never qustion Cook’s Illustrated again. 😉

    Without further ado, the recipe!

    Homemade Chocolate Ice Cream
    From the Cook’s Illustrated Cookbook
    Recipe type: Dessert
    Serves: 1 quart
    • 8 ounces bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped (I used semisweet the second time – it was still rich but a bit less rich, which some people might like. Cook’s Illustrated recommends using high-quality chocolate, which I also recommend. We used Scharffen Berger.)
    • 1½ cups whole milk
    • 1½ cups heavy cream
    • ¼ teaspoon salt (Jane addition, not part of original recipe)
    • ¾ cup sugar
    • 4 large egg yolks
    • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
    1. Place an 8 or 9 inch square metal pan in the freezer.
    2. Microwave chocolate at 50 percent power, stirring every minute, until melted completely. Set aside to cool.
    3. Place a fine-mesh strainer over a medium bowl set over a larger bowl of ice water.
    4. Combine milk, cream, salt, and ½ cup of the sugar in a medium saucepan. Heat over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, until mixture is steaming steadily and registers 175 degrees, 5 to 10 minutes. Remove from heat. (Jane note: mine wasn’t steaming all that much, I just took it off when it hit 175 degrees)
    5. While cream mixture heats, whisk egg yolks and remaining ¼ cup sugar in bowl until smooth, about 30 seconds. Add melted chocolate and whisk until fully incorporated.
    6. Slowly whisk half of heated cream mixture into egg yolks mixture, ½ cup at a time. Return mixture to saucepan and cook over medium-low heat, stirring constantly, until mixture thickens and registers 180 degrees, 7 to 14 miutes. Immediately strain custard through fine-mesh strainer and let cool over bowl of ice water to room temperature, stirring occasionally. Stir in vanilla, then cover and refrigerate until custard registers 40 degrees, at least 3 hours or up to 24 hours.
    7. Transfer custard to ice cream machine and churn until mixture resembles thick soft serve ice cream, 25-30 minutes. Transfer to frozen pan and press plastic wrap on surface. Return to freezer until firm around edges, about 1 hour. Transfer to an airtight container, press firmly and freeze until firm, at least 2 hours. Can be frozen up to 2 days. (Jane note: is also delicious even before it’s totally frozen!)