Peppermint Stick Ice Cream and a video for my 2 Year Blogaversary!

Happy Thanksgiving!!  Yesterday was my 2nd year blogaversary.  Yay!  It is hard to believe that I have been at this for two years and what a ride it has been from that first post on November 23, 2009 that was titled “Hello.  Is anyone out there?“!  In fact, I almost called today’s post “Oh, the Places You’ll Go!” because it seemed quite fitting after all of our On the Road experiences (and you may recall that I do like Dr. Seuss). 😉

Blogging is much like marriage, I have decided.  The first year is really tough and you struggle with your new life and how it fits with what you used to know as “normal”.  You get frustrated and want to quit and cannot seem to figure out how to manage all the new responsibilities and still lead a normal life.  Then, the second year becomes easier and you settle into a groove of sorts.

This anniversary is very different for me than the last one.  Yes, I still get upset with some of the things I see in the blogosphere in general.  I spoke about some of those topics on a panel at the International Food Blogger Conference (IFBC) in New Orleans in August.  I don’t agree with everything that goes on out there in the food blogging world, but I have decided to do what I think is valuable and quality work and that good things will happen.

I also continue my love-hate relationship with some of the food photography sites after two years.  I wish they would  just say what they really think rather than making excuses like “too tight” or “lighting/exposure” or “composition”, especially when I see what they do accept.  How about saying “I just really don’t like your picture today” or  “I had a really late night last night and the photo of your food is making me kinda sick.”  It would make those rejection emails far more interesting.  😉

Will they accept or reject this photo?


How about this one?

Maybe this one?

I have also learned to “just say no” to Twitter and Facebook and all the other social media.  Yes, I might miss some things by not constantly interacting on these sites (just like you did when you were a kid and missed school for a day), but, guess what, everyone will be out to play again tomorrow.  I have chosen to spend more time enjoying the people that are here with me in the room and get outdoors and enjoy the day rather than worrying about my hits or some other “measure of success”.

If you don’t already know this, I am really quite the sentimental sap.  I get all teary-eyed at sad movies (especially involving animals), I cry at chick flicks (even Pretty Woman after 100 times!) and get all choked up over anniversaries and weddings.  Well, this 2nd anniversary has me choked up a bit, especially after Mr. B spent all day and night yesterday working on this incredible video as a surprise for me.  There are even some teasers for some people and places that I have not written about yet.

I realize that this is a long video, but the music is very entertaining and it is a wonderful recap of many of the people we have met and the places we have been over the past year.  You might even see yourself in the video! 🙂

Who would have ever thought where this blog would lead us when I started it on a whim 2 years ago in North Carolina?  The journey that we have been on since then and the people that we have met have inspired us and changed our lives.

Thank you to everyone that we have met and interviewed since we started our Chef Interviews and the On the Road series.  Many of you have become good friends and we treasure those friendships.

Thank you also to everyone that has followed and supported Bunkycooks and On The Road culinary adventures over the past two years!  We appreciate all of you and look forward to taking you along, wherever the road leads us next!

Thank you also to all of the amazing and talented bloggers, writers and photographers that I now call friends.  Your friendship and encouragement is one of the reasons we keep at this.  You know who you are. 🙂

Finally, I also want to thank all of the people, advertisers and companies that have been sponsors of our website, On The Road culinary adventures and other efforts.  We appreciate your support in helping to offset some of the costs of food, travel and expenses involved in producing

We can’t have a proper celebration without dessert (or a cocktail, but I am having that on my own tonight).  I thought a little Christmas inspired ice cream would be appropriate since today is Thanksgiving and Christmas is just around the corner!

This Peppermint Stick Ice Cream is festive, creamy and delicious.  It is a new favorite of Mr. B’s.  What a perfect ice cream to make during the holidays.  The peppermint flavor is really subtle and refreshing.  Topped with a homemade chocolate sauce, it is a special holiday treat!

Forget Pumpkin Pie! I’m having this for dessert tonight!

Maybe you will win this shiny new red Cuisinart Ice Cream Maker so that you can make one batch of Peppermint Stick Ice Cream and then a batch of Double Vanilla Bourbon Ice Cream since this ice cream maker comes with two freezer bowls!

Wouldn’t this be fun to have for Christmas?

Here is how you enter:


We have purchased this machine for the giveaway and will need to ship it to the winner, so, regretfully, due to the weight and contents, this package can only be shipped to a winner in the Continental U.S.  I apologize to my readers that live anywhere outside the U.S.

Mandatory entry:

Leave me a comment telling me one of your favorite parts of the video recap.

Extra Entries:

Here are 3 additional ways that you can enter.

1. Follow @bunkycooks on Twitter. Leave a comment here indicating that you are now a follower. If you are already a follower, you can leave a comment saying you are.

2. Become a fan of Bunkycooks on Facebook. Leave a comment here indicating you are now a fan. If you are already a fan, you can leave a comment saying you are.

3. Subscribe to Bunkycooks by RSS feed or email. Leave a comment saying you are now a subscriber. If you are already a subscriber, you can leave a comment saying you are.

*** Please be sure to leave separate comments!  I will count one comment as one entry.  Thank you! ***

This giveaway ends at 5 pm EST on Friday December 2, 2011.

I will notify the winner by email. Please get back to me with your shipping information within 48 hours or I will choose another winner.

I hope you and your family have a wonderful Thanksgiving!

Peppermint Stick Ice Cream

We loved the subtle peppermint flavor in this festive ice cream. I used pure peppermint extract and candy canes made with peppermint extract, rather than peppermint candies (as the original recipes suggests). If you enjoy a more pronounced peppermint flavor, increase the amount of extract to 1 teaspoon and the crushed candies to 3/4 cup. Make this an extra special dessert by serving a homemade chocolate sauce over the ice cream.


1 cup whole milk, well chilled
3/4 cup granulated sugar
2 cups heavy cream, well chilled
1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
3/4 teaspoon pure peppermint extract
1/2 cup crushed candy canes (that are made with pure peppermint extract)


In a medium bowl, use a hand mixer or a whisk to combine the milk and granulated sugar until the sugar is dissolved, about 1 – 2 minutes on low speed. Stir in the heavy cream, vanilla and peppermint extract. Turn the machine ON, pour mixture into freezer bowl through ingredient spout and let mix until thickened, about 25 – 30 minutes. Add the crushed peppermint candies during the last 5 minutes of mixing.

Place in the freezer for approximately 2 hours to achieve a really nice and creamy consistency.

Adapted from the Cuisinart Ice Cream Maker recipe book