Monday, April 7, 2014

Breyer's Toppings

Wow! It's good to be back posting! Our new team member Patrick inspired us to get back to it and in the process we found this post written but erroneously never posted! Our apologies. Sometimes life gets in the way of ice cream! Well, at least in the way of writing about ice cream. We usually have room for ice cream!

We can't believe it has taken us this long to write about the adorable box of Breyer's Toppings we got in the mail, way back, in well, um...well, we am too embarrassed to admit how long it took to write this post.

To begin with, in general, I think sprinkles are okay. I don't love them. I have to have rainbow ones on a dish of vanilla carvel and chocolate ones on a black raspberry ice cream cone, but other than that, I don't opt for them. I think they are waxy and boring and leave a yucky coating on my mouth. Until now. Enter Breyer's sprinkles. Best I have ever had. In fact, so good they are dangerous. I sometimes find myself eating them by the spoonful, no ice cream required. Seriously good. They are sweet without being too sweet, and crunchy, not chewy. And the chocolate ones actually taste like, well, chocolate!

The only problem? I have never ever seen them on the shelves of a store. And I have looked at my Shaw's, Stop & Shop, Target, Sudbury Farms (local), and Price Chopper. Never. I just see those waxy, yucky ones. Their site says they are at all Walmarts, some Targets, and at grocery stores nationwide. Not mine. (Well, I don't have a Walmart near me, so that doesn't count.) For now I am hoarding my sprinkles.

I also LOVED the fruit toppings. I particularly liked the cherry, and look for all excuses to use it. The topping tastes fresher and less bottled than most other jarred fruit toppings I have tried.

Tina was lucky enough to get the same package and she raved about the caramel and chocolate toppings having great textures and not being too rich. And instead of fighting with some hard plastic bottle to eek thick fudge out of the toppings come in a squeezy tube which make them easy to pour plus super easy for kids too who love to douse their sundaes in toppings. A+ for clever packaging of not only product but the overall branding.

Try yours today!

Added bonus: the presentation from Breyers was also great -- what a fun treat (no pun intended) for designers and ice cream lovers to get in the mail. Thanks, Breyers!





Thursday, April 3, 2014

May The Odds Be Ever In Your Flavor

I recently traveled up to Vermont to spend some time with the Ben & Jerry’s team. There are many things that I would like to share with Scoopalicious readers about my Ben & Jerry’s trip but a personal high of my ice-cream expedition was being able to compete with and against fellow food bloggers to create a new Ben & Jerry’s flavor. We were broken up in to teams of three and four in order to start our brainstorming. My group consisted of New Yorkers so we decided to create a New York centric ice-cream. Originally we wanted to have a donut flavor ice-cream with dark chocolate covered matzo but we didn’t realize that we would be given a list of options based on their immense inventory (How could they not have chocolate covered matzo?!).

Once we entered the test kitchen and met flavor Gurus Jon and Peter we went to work on creating our flavors. There was a true sense of competition as we were informed that the winning team would be able to have individual ice-cream socials at their Ben & Jerry’s of choice where their ice-cream would be served! Our team decided that coffee was a driving force for the New York crowd. There was an option to add liqueur so why not make it a coffee liqueur flavored ice cream! Our Ben & Jerry’s Flavor Guru, John, was scientific with testing the potency and flavor of the coffee liqueur in the ice cream. The stakes were high so we had to take sips of liquored up cream to determine how strong of a flavor we wanted. Once flavor content was determined we started making the ice cream in a large machine while we started to play with the ingredients. It was decided that our flavor would be called Cuppa Cawfee (you have to say it with a thick New York accent)
Since there wasn’t any matzo, Jon had us try dark chocolate chunks and espresso dark chocolate chunks. The team decided that the espresso chunks might be too intense since the ice cream itself had a coffee flavor, so we decided on dark chocolate. Next up was a chocolate covered almond crunch which we thought would add a unique flavor and texture. Last up was a chocolate fudge swirl to top things off.
Once the ice cream was finished being made in the machine our team was able to fold the ingredients in to the ice cream and fill pints to be frozen for the competition to be held later that day. Next up we had the opportunity to meet with the marketing department and create a poster with the graphic designers. Kathy from Ben and Jerry’s was incredibly sweet and a good sport considering how intent we were on winning the competition. We spent a lot of time trying to create a New York City backdrop with Woody (Woody is the iconic cow used for a lot of Ben and Jerry’s advertising). We decided on a scene where Woody was holding a coffee cup of ice cream while standing in front of the Brooklyn Bridge.
The competition was ready to commence. There was some fierce competitors with such flavors as 40 Weeks that had everything but the kitchen sink to entice pregnancy cravings and The Polar Cortex which played on the idea of our intense winter weather as an ice-cream by adding various crunchy flavors to represent, snow, ice and sleet. Our Flavor Gurus Jon and Peter and one other co-worker had the task of trying all of our flavors to determine who the winner would be. Their deliberation was stressful but we were able to taste all of the other team’s flavors while we waited. The Gurus returned and other teams were eliminated until it was our team and the Polar Cortex team left. It was announced that both teams were the winners and that each out us would be getting our flavors created by Ben & Jerry’s and served at our Ben & Jerry’s ice cream socials!
I will let all of you know when and at which Ben & Jerry’s my ice-cream social will be so you can try our new flavor creation.

Scoopalicious is Growing! Welcome, Patrick!

A few months ago, you may have read a great post by our guest blogger Patrick. A while back, when we realized we were letting a bunch of great events in New York pass us by (um, like meeting Jimmy Fallon and Tina Fey, for instance), we realized we didn't want these experiences to go to waste. I thought of the people I knew in New York City, and I immediately thought of the enthusiasm and passion of my friend Patrick. Patrick and I have known each other since grade school, and there are few people that I know that seem to love and live life as fully as Patrick. I talked to Tina and we thought it would be a great idea to have him as our Guest Blogger/New York Correspondent. His first (and highly successful) mission? To an event to meet Nutty the Water Skiing Squirrel!)

Fast forward to February, and it looks like we have made the right choice. Patrick has made such an impression on the Ben & Jerry's PR people that he gets invited to Burlington to be a VIP with a bunch of other food bloggers -- just as I did a couple of years back. He's thrilled, replies "yes," packs his bags to spend a few days up north (and props to him for going from cold to colder in this never-ending winter!).

Patrick comes back from his trip with such excitement, and as I look at the blog that Tina and I love dearly, but have so little time to give as much attention to as we'd like, and we realize, we need this energy back -- hopefully to inspire us as well. We officially ask him to be a member of the Scoopalicious team, and he says yes!

We are so excited to welcome Patrick to the Scoopalicious team and look forward welcoming ice cream season with him. Er, um, who are we kidding?! It's always ice cream season.

P.S. You might see this photo popping up more again on this blog, but it's just so Patrick I couldn't resist using it as his introductory photo!


Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Am I dense? Or is it this recipe?

I hate to come back to this blog on a negative note, but with two kids under three, I don't make a lot of ice cream anymore.

When I do make ice cream, I want it to work.

Twice, I have used chocolate ice cream recipes from Scoop: 125 Specialty Ice Creams from the Nation's Best Creameries and been super frustrated. The ice creams tasted great when I made the base, but they were so darn thick they just spun and spun in the ice cream maker, not getting cold, just attaching to the dasher.

Is it me? Am I doing something wrong? I know I did do one thing wrong this time but I can't imagine it would have been the result of my base refrigerating into one gelatinous blob. My mistake (and yes, I know the saying ab out blaming one's tools, but I also know as a graphic designer, I think they made a poor design mistake...) was that I missed adding the heavy cream at the beginning. Why? Because when they list the first step, they try to be all fancy with their design and bold the first couple of words and first ingredient. It pulls that first ingredient out of the list of other ingredients and combines it with the action...at least it does for me.

I have attached a screen shot from the Amazon preview of one of their other recipes for you to see what I am talking about.


See, don't you miss the cream? Maybe it's me. But to me the design just doesn't work in that way.

But I digress because I did add the cream, albeit later, but that shouldn't make much of a difference because my dear favorite ice cream authors in The Ultimate Ice Cream Book: Over 500 Ice Creams, Sorbets, Granitas, Drinks, And More add the heavy cream at the end all the time and they never have gelatinous bases!

The first time I made a chocolate recipe from this book, I looked at the base and I thought it was just too dense. I have a note in the book that I added an extra half cup of both whole milk and heavy cream and it worked out just fine.

However, this time, I thought to myself that maybe it would work, maybe I should give it the benefit of the doubt. Nope. I even tried stopping the churning a couple of times to push the mess back down with a spoon. And you know what happened? The ice cream froze to the side (finally) but ended up freezing too fast that the dasher got stuck and wouldn't turn anymore.

I want to love this book. The concept is great. I just can't see how these recipes made it into the book. Did someone not test them? Did someone leave out some liquid in the typesetting of the book?

Again, maybe it's me. I have taken quite a hiatus but I would like to think ice cream churning is like riding a bike.

I'm interested to see if anyone else feels this way about the book.

And I am sorry, Jackie, your present is to come because I just don't want to give you a solid block of frozen chocolate. In the meantime, you can tell me what your favorite flavor is.

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Nutty the Water Skiing Squirrel Presents...Scotchy Scotch Scotch



Tina and I are always bummed when we get invited to events in NYC on such short notice. We missed Ben & Jerry's events with Jimmy Fallon and with Tina Fey. When we heard about this latest B&J unveiling, we decided we need to get someone to this event...someone that would appreciate free ice cream and a waterskiing squirrel. 

Luckily we found someone and he brought another someone and they were a great choice to send as our proxies...

Without further ado, we want to thank our guest poster, Patrick Langevin, for this awesome write-up and for taking the time out of his busy day to attend this event as our new New York correspondent. And thank you to his date Maggie for keeping him company, enjoying and taking some great pictures (as both the subject and photographer!) Nothing like relying on the the goodness of childhood friends to take care of important ice cream business for us. Thanks, Team FHS! 

I had the opportunity to attend the Ben & Jerry’s unveiling of their new celebrity flavor on Tuesday evening and I had no idea that such sweet hilarity would ensue.

My guest and I arrived at Pier 36 on the Lower East Side of Manhattan to find a large pool of water sitting in the middle of the room. Nutty the Water Skiing Squirrel was announced and came out to perform with his trainer. Nutty was quick to hop on his water ski as the remote control boat sped off around the circular pool. Nutty seemed to be a natural on water skis and looked around at the crowd as he daringly skied over the small ripples in the water. Nutty’s final lap was followed by lots of cheers.


The time had come for the big reveal. They played a small clip from the movie Anchorman with Will Ferrell as Ron Burgundy giving a news brief about Nutty the Water Skiing Squirrel. The fabric was drawn from the hidden sign to reveal Scotchy Scotch Scotch as the new limited batch Ben & Jerry’s Flavor. Thankfully not a Scotch flavored ice-cream (Although you had the opportunity to have scotch poured over your sample) but a butterscotch ice-cream. Immediately following the announcement a Channel 4 News van drove out from behind the curtain and out came a bevy of Ron Burgundy look a likes with trays full of Scotchy Scotch Scotch samples.


Scotchy, Scotch, Scotch is creamy with ribbons of butterscotch and crispy thin chunks of butterscotch. You definitely need to be a lover of butterscotch for this ice cream but I enjoyed the texture and the butterscotch flavor. The extra crunch from the butterscotch chunks really were what made this flavor stand out. I would have enjoyed a butterscotch ice cream but that extra crunch really brought it to the next level of ice cream fulfillment.



My friend and I sat back by the pool eating our ice-cream while watching Nutty the squirrel perform one last time. Before leaving we had the opportunity to meet Nutty and his trainer. Nutty decided to sit on both of our shoulders to personally greet us before we had to say goodbye.

Only Ben & Jerry’s could create such a unique experience to announce their new celebrity flavor to coincide with the release of Anchorman Two, in theatres in December. I would suggest grabbing yourself a pint of Scotchy Scotch Scotch on your way to the theatre or to eat on the couch while watching the original film.


P.S. Happy Belated Birthday, New York Correspondent! Hope this kicked off your birthday week in high style!

P.P.S. Since this is a new flavor, the B&J Flavor Locator might be of use to those wanting to try Scotchy Scotch Scotch.

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