Ice Cream

cherryicecreamEver since making coconut ice cream, well, I am in love with the stuff. It's so refreshing and addicting! It makes me feel like I'm on a tropical vacation. I knew I wanted to make different versions of that ice cream very, very soon. 

Then, my friends at Republic of Jam just happened to stop by our tasting room (okay, they are right next door) with 6 quarts of freshly picked, sweet Pacific Northwest cherries. After eating about 2 quarts myself (swear), I decided to make ice cream. And chocolate needed to be involved...it just did.

In my adventures around the internet (I could read food blogs all day), I found OXO has a new cherry pitter,...and wait for it...it has a splatter screen. Yes folks, it's the little things. I have no other choice but to get this, like NOW. While I love my cherry pitter, it sprays juice, the seed goes flying, the dog chases it and swallows it. It's a mess and I've ruined quite a few articles of clothing. I need the screen and I'm getting it.

Anyway, what I love about this ice cream...there is no-custard, but you do have to make sure your ingredients are cold. In other words, some planning is necessary. 

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blog-strawberry-ice-cream-011b-1024x682Mother Nature couldn’t have planned a better time to blast us with heat and humidity. After all, July is National Ice Cream Month. In 1984, President Ronald Reagan said so. He also claimed the third Sunday of July will always be National Ice Cream Day. Thank you very much, but I don’t need to wait for a specially designated month or day to enjoy ice cream. It’s one of my favorite indulgences — any day. Or, everyday! It doesn’t have to be a hot day to scoop up a big bowl of ice cream, but it is the perfect frozen treat to bring the body temperature down.

I accidentally brought home a one-pint carton of Organic Valley French Vanilla-flavored half-and-half last week. I meant to grab a carton of the plain old stuff — my husband can’t drink coffee without it. He doesn’t like added flavor — just added fat.

So, when life hands me French vanilla half-and-half, I make ice cream. Ice cream with fresh-picked, sun-kissed, sweet strawberries. Lots of creaminess from a generous dose of fat. Don’t count the calories. Just indulge, enjoy and stay cool! There’s still a lot of ice cream month left on the calendar :)

Oh, what a great mistake I made!

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ImageSometimes there are things in this life that you have to eat no matter what the consequences. You have to block out the nasty knowledge you have about fat and heart disease and go back to your childhood, where, in my case, you could find print ads with doctors endorsing cigarettes. Holy Smokes!

The other day, my husband took me to Williams Sonoma to buy the latest model Cuisinart. That’s for another article by the way because it is a cook’s wet dream.

What we hadn’t planned on was purchasing an ice cream maker; also made by Cuisinart. The little devil was $60 and there was a cute cookbook we bought, as well. The recipes went from labor intensive, (custard based gelato), to simple, (ice creams and sorbets). Of course, my daughter Hannah and I had to attack the custard one. I rationalized that it was about time my beautiful 15 year old learn basic custard. We chose a cinnamon and brown sugar ice cream because those were pantry staples.

The whisking and the tempering and the straining all went as planned, then Hannah lost interest and went into the living room to watch Family Guy because I’m Mother of The Year. The mixture had to sit in the refrigerator for 2 hours or overnight. Like a watched pot, I took the bowl out of the fridge after two hours exactly. Hannah had moved on to Gossip Girl because I’m a saint and should be writing parenting books.

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scoop_of_ice_cream.jpg Apparently we aren't the only one's obsessed with ice cream this month. While meadering around the web we found the "You Scream, I Scream, We All Scream for Frozen Desserts Roundup" on Mike's Table, that called out to all food bloggers to share their best/favorite recipes for ice, cold, creamy treats.

The response is so impressive and inspirational (Vanilla Basil, Roasted Peach, Carmelized Mango, Mint Julep Gelato, Dark Chocolate Kahlua Brownie Crunch), even to those of us who aren't constantly begging for more, that we had to share. After checking out some of the entries, we are now "thisclose" to splurging on an ice cream machine. 

Check it out

icecream.butter.pecan_.cup-sm.jpgA few weeks back, Patricia and I made this angel food cake which was delicious. It also left me with 9 egg yolks. 9 I say! I gave Eli the choice of what to do with the yolks; pot de creme, lemon curd, custard, ice cream. He, of course, chose the ice cream. He and I sifted through David’s book, The Perfect Scoop and it was a toss up between two flavors. I have made a lot of David’s ice creams and I really didn’t want to repeat a recipe. The Butterscotch Pecan got the final vote. And I am so glad it did.

The key word in this recipe is “butter”. The butter mixed with the brown sugar is the flavor profile that resonates on the back of your tongue, long after the ice cream has left your mouth. Mind you, I am not a huge ice cream fan. Generally, I pass on this decadent dessert and go for the apple tart with caramel sauce or a piece of chocolate or the gourmet doughnut (fried-yes, I love a really, really good doughnut). This ice cream is like no other. It is in a class all by itself and this ice cream could send me to a Weight Watchers meeting each week: confessing that my daily points were consumed with a scoop of this ice cream.

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