Friday, July 31, 2009

Last Day of National Ice Cream Month 2009



As I wrote last year, July 31st has become extra bittersweet for me. It used to just be the fact that the summer was half over on the negative side, and my birthday on the positive side. For the past two years though, the end of National Ice Cream Month is another line item on the negative side!

On the brighter side, it's been a full and exciting month -- a new recipe from Spice Dish, a new member of the Scoopalicious team, an ice cream TV show, a guest post on Astronaut Ice Cream, the Big Gay Ice Cream Truck...and much more...

And yes, I love the Library of Congress collection. Look for more images from the LOC in upcoming posts.

Image from Library of Congress.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Free Ice Cream on July 30 at the Mark Twain House in Hartford


Good news for those Connecticutians who used to enjoy Mark Twain Days in Hartford. Though there won't be a frog jumping contest or fencing expos, there will be some frozen treats at the historic home.

To celebrate the brand new 1890's ice box in the Mark Twain House, the landmark will be having an ice cream social from 4-7 PM on July 30. And the ice cream will be donated by the the UConn Dairy Bar. What could be finer?

Lemonade, music, games, and more round out the evening...and be sure to visit the Harriet Beecher Stowe House next door!

So tomorrow, join Tom Sawyer and Uncle Tom for some ice cream!

Thanks to Korky Vann of the Hartford Courant Blog for the tip.
Photo from the Library of Congress.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

There's always room for Jell-O...Except in my Ice Cream

So I was getting ready for my ice cream party and Kevin reminded me that he has a diabetic friend coming to the party. Out of my thirty-some flavors, I had none that were sugar-free. (As my friend Lisa watches me type, she says, rightly so, "Yeah, why would you? Cuz who wants sugar-free ice cream?") She should go ask Alice. Alice is Kevin's diabetic friend.

Anyway, this sparked something in my head that reminded me I had wanted to try making ice cream with Jell-O. So I went out and bought sugar-free jello, used one og my recipes but replaced the sugar with Jell-O, made some adjustments to keep it from tasting too aspertamey, and put it in the fridge to cool. I won't bore you with the details because it didn't work.

I went a couple of days later to churn it and...I had a creamsicle flavored Jell-O mold. And it wasn't very good...

I don't really know why I thought this would work and didn't think about the fact that it would jell as gelatin does, but it might be the thirty flavors I had made in a period of weeks and my head wasn't on straight.

Anyway, this is one of those things: let well enough alone. Jell-O is awesome alone, as is ice cream...

Buuuuuut, I have heard there are some good Jell-O recipes that use ice cream...maybe we'll feature some of those soon!

Monday, July 27, 2009

Turkey Hill Holds Virtual Ice Cream Party on July 29

Turkey Hill is so thoughtful -- they're holding a huge ice cream birthday party for me...don't tell them they are three days off -- I know they worked so hard to organize it...Oh, wait, no, I think it's just a big party for everyone!

This Wednesday, July 29th, Turkey Hill's blog, Ice Cream Journal, is holding an online ice cream party...Grab your favorite Turkey Hill Ice Cream (preferably one of their limited edition flavors) and head over to Ice Cream Journal at 8 PM EST and to chat with other Turkey Hill lovers and comment about your flavor!

Visit their blog for more info on the shindig...

I'm interested to see how this goes -- I've never been to a virtual ice cream party.

If only I weren't hosting book club...

Sunday, July 26, 2009

$15 Cuisinart Ice Cream Maker at Kohls

Go here now! Today. Pronto. I think this is only good today and tomorrow, but I am not even sure.

I know I don't usually do two posts in a day, but this one is too good to pass up. If you read this blog and don't have an ice cream maker, but really want one -- or if you have one but you don't really like it, and you want to replace it -- now is your chance. This is the one that I have and I love, and right now at Kohls it is only $15. (You have to add it to your cart to see the low price.)

Added tip? If you already have this model, it's always nice to have some extra freezer bowls. Extra bowls run about $30. Do the math. My only issue is that then you have a machine you don't need...and I do love the environment...

Thanks for the heads up, Etie Von!

UPDATE 7/27: Apparently this is sold out online, but check your local Kohls to see if they have any in stock.

Homemade Ice Cream, Contained

When it comes to ice cream party time, and I have made thirty-plus flavors of ice cream, I am always scrounging for containers.

At the same time, I have become quite an "expert" on what works best.

My favorite is the 32-oz. yogurt container. Being a screenprinter, I also use these to mix my inks, so I can never have too many yogurt containers. Mind you, I don't use them for ink then bring them back to use for ice cream -- you're either an ink container for the rest of your life, or an ice cream container. I've used Rubbermaid, Ziploc, and these great new containers from Ball that stack and store beautifully.

Of course, when I run out of these, I do have to have other alternatives. I have to buy containers. The best I have found are the 4 cup screw tops. I like their shape, how much they hold, how they fit in the freezer...

One problem with the 4 cup (32-oz) containers is sometimes you either have too much ice cream for the container, or too little. If your problem is the former (poor you!) you have two choices: 1.) eat the overage 2.) stock up on a bunch of one and two cup containers and have a mini cup as well (good for storing in the back of the freezer for an ice cream emergency!). If your problem is the latter, just make sure you press plastic wrap against the ice cream before using the container cover, to keep additional air out of your ice cream -- otherwise your ice cream will get icy).

On average though, I like the 4 cup size the best -- it usually fits the production perfectly -- most often with a little bit left that doesn't fit that is just enough to eat right out of the machine!

One last note: while making ice cream at the cabin in Vermont, I could find no plastic containers anywhere. Uncle Charlie had a genius idea -- finish the last bits of ice cream left in the three Ben & Jerry's containers, wash them, and use that. In a pinch, this always works and there is the added bonus of having to "clean" the containers out first!

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Recipe: Strawberry Basil Ice Cream

I know, I know! I keep pushing these emails to the limit in fitting them into the day. However, in my defense, I did spend all day making ice cream and sorbets for my ice cream shindig next weekend. Husband Kevin will tell you instead that I spent all day making a mess of the kitchen. Technically, I think we both are right.


There are a couple I want to share with you, but since the Strawberry Basil Sorbet just looked so pretty simmering in the pot, I thought I would share this first. Unfortunately the quality isn't great -- I was mid-process in a couple of ice creams, and the situation didn't allow for me to go find a real camera. I had to grab the closest one -- my phone (which for the record, I just had to scrape custard off of...)

It's a simple strawberry sorbet to which I added some purple and green basil leaves. I nearly used all the basil in my garden, because my garden really isn't doing well this year with all the rain.

Ingredients:
  • About 4 cups of strawberries, hulls removed
  • Juice from 1 lemon
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1-1/2 cups of water
  • About 10 large basil leaves, coarsely chopped (I used purple and green in this recipe, but you can use all of one color)

Directions:
  1. Put all the ingredient in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Lower the heat, and simmer for about 5 minutes.
  2. Remove from heat and allow to cool.
  3. Puree mixture in a blender or food processor.
  4. Pour mixture into a clean bowl, cover, and cool completely in the refrigerator.
  5. Churn the mixture according to manufacturer's instructions.
  6. Enjoy!

Friday, July 24, 2009

WQED Pittsburgh Does Ice Cream



Better late than never...I know this is a pretty late post. In fact, I only have 54 minutes to make it fit into Friday!

My amazing friend Betsy saw part of an ice cream show on WGBH (I guess it was produced by WQED Pittsburgh, though)...but the really awesome part? She couldn't find when it airs again, so she found it for me on YouTube (in 6 parts).

Part I (9.55)
Part II (9:57)
Part III (9:58)
Part IV (10:00)
Part V (10:00)
Part VI (7:31)

I haven't seen it yet...I saw a little clipping. It looks interesting though!

Thanks SO much, Bets!

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Happy National Vanilla Ice Cream Day!

Happy National Vanilla Ice Cream Day! There are two kinds of favorites I am going to write about here...when I have time to make it and when I don't...

When I have time to make it, I use this recipe:

Vanilla Ice Cream
  • 4 cups heavy cream
  • 5 egg yolks
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla (or 1 tablespoon vanilla bean paste if you prefer)
  1. Pour cream into saucepan and heat to just before it begins to simmer.
  2. Meanwhile beat the egg yolks and sugar until thickened.
  3. Slowly add the hot cream into the egg mixture while beating them together.
  4. Pour mixture back into saucepan and cook on low heat, stirring constantly, until the mixture coats the back of the spoon.
  5. Strain mixture through a strainer into a clean bowl. Allow it to cool slightly and add the vanilla.
  6. Refrigerate overnight (or until completely cooled).
  7. Pour in ice cream maker and churn.

If I don't have time to make it? Brigham's French Vanilla all the way. They told me they discontinued it (and I still can't find it on their site), but I keep finding it on the shelves. I'm not complaining!

[Scoopalicious is celebrating National Ice Cream month with a Post-A-Day throughout the month of July!]

Ice cream image by ctechs at stockxchng.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Ice Cream Social at Scotty's Snacks Blog

Michelle over at Ice Cream Forum (we'll be profiling Ice Cream Forum soon, so stay tuned!) sent us this head's up:

Scotty's Snacks (along with Savor the Thyme and Tangled Noodle) is having an Ice Cream Social over at their blog. Time is running out so head over for more details, but the gist of it is that "everyone can participate by simply submitting photos of ice cream, URL’s for your videos of ice cream and/or URL’s of your home-made ice cream recipe posts to icecream-at-scottysnacks.com."

These are due by July 31st. Everyone will be recognized for their efforts, and some will even be chosen as prize winners -- which are, as Scotty's says, a "sur-prize!"

(I'm trying to decide which to enter myself...while I like the pomegranate buttermilk photo at left, I wasn't such a fan of the flavor...!)

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Interview with Doug Quint of the Big Gay Ice Cream Truck in New York City

A while back I read about The Big Gay Ice Cream Truck coming to New York. I emailed owner Doug Quint right before my trip to NYC and as luck would have it, he planned to open it my second day in the city. However, monsoon rain and winds in the city prevented Ashu and me from going out and Doug from opening on his opening day. I had to leave the city to head down to New Jersey, and Doug opened his truck without me there. I settled for the next best thing: an online interview with the man himself.

Scoopalicious: Hi! Tell us a little bit about yourself and this new endeavor you have rolling through the streets...

Doug:
I’m your typical gay, middle-aged bassoon player who drives an ice cream truck.

I grew up in a small town called Pittsfield, Maine. I moved to NYC for conservatory training at Manhattan School of Music and then continued at Juilliard. I play the bassoon in various orchestras and chamber music groups in both Boston and New York. I just finished all of the course work for my doctoral degree- I’ve been attending CUNY- so I’m about to start writing dissertation proposals. I had an urge to do something different with my life this summer, and the opportunity to drive an ice cream truck came about. How could I turn it down? I decided to create an identity for the truck, and thus the Big Gay Ice Cream Truck was born.

Scoopalicious: Are you our vending ice cream every day, all day?

Doug: I don’t do this every day. I continue as a performing musician, and I need plenty of time to “keep my chops up” with concerts, rehearsals, and practice. In addition there is much to be done to keep the truck menu current, work on scheduling and press, and basic logistical work that I couldn’t do if I tried to operate every day.

Scoopalicious: I read something about you in a New York Times article: "...the Big Gay Ice Cream Truck is driven by Doug Quint, a doctoral candidate in bassoon performance at CUNY. 'The whole Brooklyn Philharmonic season was canceled,' he said. 'I have to get through the summer somehow.'" That answers my question of "What were you doing before you decided to open the truck?" but brings up a whole slew of other questions. First off, do you ever play the bassoon from the truck?

Doug: Ugh, no! Ice cream trucks are a sticky mess. I’m not bringing my bassoon anywhere near one!

Scoopalicious: What was the thought process from "no Brooklyn Philharmonic season" (sorry about that, by the way) to "Let's open a big gay ice cream truck!"?

Doug: It wasn’t quite the linear progression that The Times bit might make you think. Freelancing is always a little slow in the summer, so a “side job” is a natural thing for lots of us. With orchestras saving money by downsizing and some groups canceling entire seasons (like The Brooklyn Philharmonic, as I mentioned to The Times) it seemed as though this summer, in particular, would be a good time for an interesting work endeavor.

Scoopalicious: Who is Ryan Petroff, Little Gay? Does he have his own truck?

Doug: Bryan (not Ryan, you silly) is my boyfriend. He’s the voice of reason in this project, and also the palate behind many of the menu items.

Scoopalicious: [Oops! So sorry, Bryan!] How is business?

Doug: The weather has improved and the press has been great, so things are starting to really pick up. I’m pleased.

Scoopalicious: How has the bad weather this summer affected business beyond the obvious annoyance to both you and I of your kickoff day being postponed?

Doug: It’s true -- people don’t come out for ice cream during monsoons!

Scoopalicious: Sounds like there are some turf wars going on in the city. Have you been negatively affected by this?

Doug: Not in the least. I find most of the vendors to be good guys. They are on their feet, working like mad for very little money. Most want to work with you to increase traffic and get the goods sold. I hear the stories, but really I find that street vendors make an effort to be comrades, not enemies.

Scoopalicious: It also sounds like you don't have a permanent spot. You have been using Twitter quite creatively to let people know where you will be -- how is this working out?

Doug: Amazingly. I tweet the locale and people magically appear. They come to the truck like they have won a scavenger hunt! I also tweet the menu, so many folks know what they want before they leave for the truck.

Scoopalicious: Tell me a bit about your awesome logo and the talented desginer who made it for you.

Doug:
Jason O’Malley (www.jasonomalley.com) is a good buddy of ours. When he learned of my concept for the truck he volunteered to work on a logo; I couldn’t have been happier that he offered, because I was one phone call away from begging him anyhow! I knew he’d come up with something that I’d love, and he did it. The logos played a big part in our initial days. Before there was a physical truck we had this catchy design and people took notice.

Above, Doug serves a cone from The Big Gay Ice Cream Truck.

Scoopalicious: OK. We really should talk about the ice cream. Do you carry novelties or just ice cream?

Doug:
Just ice cream and occasionally Big Gay Ice Cream Truck t-shirts.

Scoopalicious: Soft or hard ice cream?

Doug: Only soft serve. I love dressing it up.

Scoopalicious: What flavors do you carry? Do you rotate different ones in? Any "Big Gay" specials?

Doug: The ice cream flavors are simply vanilla, chocolate, and swirl. Our topping menu rotates and new things come and go all the time. A big favorite is the ice cream sandwich with a layer of Nutella.

Wow. Yum. Wish I lived in New York City! In the meantime, I'll just sport my new shirt in support! Thanks for the great interview, Doug! And thanks for the use of the great photo and logo!

You can find more about The Big Gay Ice Cream truck (including where you can find it in the city) at the links below:
[Scoopalicious is celebrating National Ice Cream month with a Post-A-Day throughout the month of July!]

Monday, July 20, 2009

Space Camp Alum Reports on Astronaut Ice Cream in Honor of the Anniversary of the Moon Landing

Bethany's husband Kevin joins us today with this guest post about "astronaut ice cream" in honor of this very special space exploration occasion. Happy 40th Anniversary, First Moon Landing!


In honor of the anniversary of the moon landing, I eagerly volunteered to write about freeze-dried ice cream. The ice cream I bought was labeled "Astronaut Ice Cream", but that is likely more of a brand than a description. It's clear that astronauts opted for the real stuff as soon as it was possible.

[Full disclosure: I did attend Space Camp in 1988, which might make me more qualified for this post than an actual astronaut.]

I think ice cream is all about ratios: water, air, fat, sugar, binders, and flavors. If you're some sort of food wizard, you could play with the ratios and decrease the amount of any ingredient with a pretty good outcome. There are fat free, sugar free, and dairy free ice creams, but to me that ruins the fun. To me the magic in ice cream is in the high ratio of milk fat to low price, and everything else is along for the ride. However, what happens when science enters the novelty dessert business and blow away the ingredient that none of us cared about anyway?



No ice cream review should include the words lyophilization or sublimation, so let's delve right into the ice cream itself. Let's start with a chart of what happens when you leave ice cream at room temperature:



That's right, it's all in the shelf life. The scale for time is in logarithmic weeks, so while your bowl of ice cream, and the people who made it, have long since passed on, the freeze-dried ice cream enthusiast still has an option.

To the science purists reading here:
  • The units on tastiness is not labeled, but it is indeed scaled in International Kevin Tastiness Units, or IKTU.
  • If you do the math on the x axis, this chart goes to ~1.9 trillion years. You will likely have to repackage your ice cream at least a few times during this period.
Enjoying freeze-dried ice cream is a bit different of a process. Since it isn't wet, you just grab it with your fingers and shovel. It's firm, but crumbles easily and tastes good. It still has the magic ratio of fats and sugars after all, but it doesn't necessarily taste like ice cream. Strawberry kind of tastes like strawberry, but it mostly just tastes like freeze-dried ice cream. Though, I can vouch that if you cram enough of it in your mouth at one time, the ice cream somewhat reconstitutes, just without the risk of brain freeze.



In short, this is good stuff. You should make a beeline to your nearest science museum and buy some, I know I will. Just don't spend too much time picking it out, I promise you it's still good and the ice cream sandwich is basically the same thing as the neopolitan.

Guess I am eating alone tonight, since it seems like Kevin is off at the Boston Museum of Science buying "astronaut" ice cream. Thanks for the post, Kev!

[Scoopalicious is celebrating National Ice Cream month with a Post-A-Day throughout the month of July!]

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Late Breaking iPhone/Ice Cream News

We like free offers. We like ice cream. I like my iPhone. I especially wanted to post this because my husband paid the $1.99 for this game and my nephew just loved it. I haven't played it yet, but it gets a five-year-old's five scoops of approval!

Sorry for the late notice -- for some reason my head keeps telling me that tomorrow is National Ice Cream Day. It's available today for free, but I'll bet you that nephew Evan would tell you even if you miss this offer, it's worth the two bucks:

Acclaimed iPhone Game "Scoops" Available Free On National Ice Cream Day
"In 1984 U.S. President Ronald Reagan declared the third Sunday in July to be National Ice Cream Day. Reagan recognized the popularity of ice cream in the United States and stated that this holiday should be observed with 'appropriate ceremonies and activities.'" (From Wikipedia) NimbleBit is celebrating this tasty and refreshing holiday on Sunday, July 19th by giving away their game "Scoops" (regular price $1.99) for FREE.

"Scoops" is a stacking game for all ages which puts you in control of a towering stack of ice cream scoops! "Scoops" has been featured by Apple in iTunes and retail stores and has been the #1 Kids game since the category's creation. Join the nearly 200,000 ice cream fans already playing Scoops and stack a cone to celebrate National Ice Cream Day. More information including a video of game play can be found at http://www.nimblebit.com/games/scoops/. Scoops is available on iTunes at http://itunes.apple.com/WebObjects/MZStore.woa/wa/viewSoftware?id=291591378&mt=8.

NimbleBit is an independent game developer with over 1.5 million apps downloaded on the App Store. Other popular iPhone games by NimbleBit include "Sky Burger", "Hanoi", and "Textropolis". More information about NimbleBit and their games can be found at http://nimblebit.com.

Happy National Ice Cream Day

Our good friend Ronald Reagan who declared July to be National Ice Cream Month also declared the third Sunday in July to be National Ice Cream Day.

Rumor has it he was also a huge fan of jelly beans. In his honor, I made my Vanilla Bean Jelly Bean ice cream...

I have made this three times so far and each was a different kind of jelly bean.

I made a vanilla base, but instead of just using a vanilla extract, I use a vanilla bean paste (because I am too lazy for all the scraping of the vanilla beans) so I still get the specks of seeds.

The three jelly beans that I have tried are:
  1. Regular, run of the mill Brach's Jelly Beans (the most common type around at Easter)
  2. Starburst Jelly Beans (by special request of my sister)
  3. Cold Stone Creamery Ice Cream Creations Jelly Beans (I mean, c'mon, that's just a given!)
The key here is to make sure your beans aren't too big -- if I am using the large beans, I cut them in half. Also to make sure you don't tell your dentist you made and ate this ice cream -- the jelly beans become pretty hard and chewy.

Having tried them all, my vote is for option 1.

Happy National Ice Cream Day!

P.S. For a nice history of National Ice Cream Month, The Ice Cream Bloke writes a nice history on the Food Channel website.

Photo of Cold Stone Creamery Ice Cream Creations Jelly Beans from the Jelly Belly site.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Erikson's Ice Cream: Maynard, MA


Wednesday afternoon I had a reunion with a friend after haven't having had seen her in four years! It was so wonderful to catch up and I was thrilled to find out that even though I hate to drive, her beautiful home in Stow, Massachusetts is a beautiful half-hour drive away on Route 117.

The cherry on top is that also on Route 117 is Maynard's Erikson's Ice Cream. Martha, the friend in question, took me to Erikson's before I headed home. When we arrived at the window, we must have hovered over the list of flavors for at least ten minutes. The list was extensive and the flavors were tempting. We finally approached the window, even though we were uncommitted.

"What's Green Monsta?"

"Mint Ice Cream with Oreos and Cookie Dough."

"Oh...And Monster Mash?"

(The girl at the window describes something that I can't repeat because honestly, I can't remember -- a vanilla base with caramel swirls and this and that and the other thing...)

"Hmmm...And purple cow is black raspberry with chocolate chips?"

"And white chocolate chips."

"What's Moose Tracks?"

"Vanilla ice cream with fudge swirl and Reese's peanut butter [she used a fancy word here that I can't remember]"

"Can I try the lemon raspberry cheesecake?"

(That's good!)

"What's your favorite?"

"Green Monsta and Almond Joy. If you like coffee Freedom of Espresso is really good."

"I don't like coffee. Otherwise I am sure it is good."

In the end Martha settled on Moose Tracks and I tried Green Monsta. As per Martha's suggestion, we got kiddie cones. Um, really. Not what you are thinking. Some places would consider this a large and you would have to agree. With the large and generous portions of Erikson's kiddie size, I don't even want to know what the large looked like.

This ice cream was amazing. It was rich and creamy and seemed very fresh. Martha commented that the mint balanced the sweetness of the mix-ins well. I loved the huge chunks of oreos. Now that I think of it, I don't particularly recall the cookie dough but I didn't miss it so I think it was a subtle addition that I'd just try to be more aware of next time. And oh, yes. There will be a next time. For both Erikson's and Green Monsta...While Martha enjoyed her cone as well, I think she found hers to be a bit too sweet. Things are rarely too sweet for me -- I had no problem with it.

Erikson's isn't just ice cream. It looked like they had hot dogs and things of the like. They also seemed to have an extensive listing of toppings for sundaes. I was tempted to purchase a packed container to take home -- but it was the fifteen or so homemade (by me) flavors in my freezer at home that swayed me. This time.

Erikson's has no inside seating area for customers. One orders through one of the three windows while admiring the old photos of the place and noting that the ice cream shop is over seventy years old. (I expect at least another seventy with the quality of their product!) Behind the building there are probably a dozen picnic tables -- some covered by a roof but all shaded. It was almost empty out back and we enjoyed our cones at a table in a calm quiet, beautiful weather and perfect conversation.

With the mix of the joy of seeing Martha, the beautiful drive to her house, and the treat of Erikson's, I have a feeling never again will we let four years pass before connecting again.

[Scoopalicious is celebrating National Ice Cream month with a Post-A-Day throughout the month of July!]

Friday, July 17, 2009

National Peach Ice Cream Day

So today is National Peach Ice Cream Day. First of all, who makes up all these holidays? We could blame Hallmark for this one, but I really don't think Hallmark has a Happy Peach Ice Cream Day card...

So anyway, I tried a Peach Pie Ice Cream Recipe that I was going to share with you but I decided against it. Here's why: I've made a lot of ice creams and am getting pretty good at it, not to toot my own horn. But every time I make peach ice cream it's bland and hard and icy. Also, I love ice cream and I love peaches. Perfect marriage, right? Wrong! To me when things are so good on their own, sometimes one just has to leave them as is. But that's just me and my justification of my failed peach ice cream attempts.

But I do have to say, if you have a good peach ice cream recipe and you want to share it, please do send it along and I will try (yet again) and make it. And even if you don't want to share, but you have a good recipe...I'll share my little secret which happened by chance:

I was lazy one day and bought a three pack of ready-made pie crusts. All the packages had two nice crusts and one crumbled one, and I needed the pie crust, so I bought them. Hating the wasted food, I baked the broken crust, crumbled it, froze it, and saved it for my peach ice cream. Even though the peach didn't turn out well I did learn that no matter what, pie crust in ice cream is yummy.

Happy Peach Ice Cream Day! For me, I'll celebrate with a ripe peach at some point, and a bowl of ice cream at another.

Peach photo courtesy of Topfer at stock.xchng.

[Scoopalicious is celebrating National Ice Cream month with a Post-A-Day throughout the month of July!]

Thursday, July 16, 2009

On the Rebound: The Ultimate Ice Cream Book

I have one book in my collection of hundreds of books (ice cream and otherwise) that needs to be rebound: The Ultimate Ice Cream Book: Over 500 Ice Creams, Sorbets, Granitas, Drinks, And More by Bruce Weinstein. This book is my bible, my go to book...Seriously. I mean, the binding is cracked and the pages are falling out. I'm not saying they did a poor binding job -- I just think it has been overused! I need to take it to Kinko's to have them put a spiral binding in it!

If you go to Amazon and do a search on ice cream it is currently number three on the list. I'd say it should be number one, but I have to put it at number two since you can't use it without an ice cream maker!

Anyway, I was just thinking as I used it the other day about what a great investment it was and if there was ever a book more loved...So I thought I would give it a little shout out!

[Scoopalicious is celebrating National Ice Cream month with a Post-A-Day throughout the month of July!]

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Your Opinion Counts

I just got a question from a friend about good places for ice cream in Pittsburgh. Poor girl left Columbus, Ohio, home of Denise's (look for an interview with Denise's in the coming weeks!) and Jeni's and now needs a good place in Pittsburgh. As I have never been to Pittsburgh, I couldn't help her. Then it occurred to me that we have a country full of readers and maybe they could help. And not just Pittsburgh. Anywhere.

Do you have a favorite store you want to share with us?

Fill out this form below and we will start compiling a list of ice cream shops around the country and around the world...

Look for our list in the coming weeks!

Thank you! Thank you!

Illustration above courtesy of Lisa at ArtGoodies. Visit her Etsy Shop for more great work!



[Scoopalicious is celebrating National Ice Cream month with a Post-A-Day throughout the month of July!]

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Speaking of Turkey Hill...

I know I should have told you about this sooner, but my-oh-my have things been busy this summer!

Turkey Hill's blog, Ice Cream Journal, is doing some pretty awesome celebrating about Ice Cream Month as well. If you don't visit Ice Cream Journal regularly, you should. They've got a great blog -- just do us a favor and don't leave Scoopalicious completely -- you can read two ice cream blogs!

Anyway, this month they are celebrating with great facts, contests and prizes. In fact, leave a comment on their daily post and you could be the random winner of two containers of Turkey Hill Ice Cream! What could be finer?

They also have trivia contests that not only brush up your ice cream knowledge, but also have some pretty cool prizes.

Though we are not Ice Cream Journal's sister blog, we do wish we could be. Maybe cousins?

[Scoopalicious is celebrating National Ice Cream month with a Post-A-Day throughout the month of July!]

Monday, July 13, 2009

Ice Cream Review: Turkey Hill Movie Night Ice Cream

I've been wanting to try Turkey Hill's Movie Night Ice Cream for a while now. It's popcorn flavored with popcorn and praline peanuts and vanilla flavored with caramel. It's one of the craziest flavors I have heard of in a long time so I knew I had to post about it.

It was hard to find it though -- I think that it was pulled off the shelves because of the peanut recall...but peanut recall begone!...it's back on the shelves and though my freezer is filling up with my own frozen creations I had to buy it when I saw it at the store.

Ok, so the truth? The vanilla caramel side is almost gone. The popcorn side? Yeah, that's still there. It probably won't go fast. I should have known I wouldn't really like it. I never really liked buttered popcorn jelly beans and that's what it reminds me of.

What was most interesting was the popcorn in the mix. It was kind of like my rice krispies -- they got kind of soft and soggy. While some (such as my husband) like soggy things, I don't. I don't even like milk in my cereal for that very reason -- I hate the sog!

Anyway, I "half" liked this flavor...

While writing this post, I asked husband to try it. What does he think? "It tastes like popcorn...there's popcorn in it! Mmmmm. Soggy popcorn. I like soggy popcorn...!" See? I told you!
I asked what he thought of the vanilla caramel side. "There are two halves? You mean I have to try the right? This ice cream is perfect for us! I like the left, and you like the right! Except if you turn it around, then I like the right, and you like the left..." Hey, that's just what I was hoping he would say! (The caramel is "way too sweet" for him.) This is a match made in heaven.

[Scoopalicious is celebrating National Ice Cream month with a Post-A-Day throughout the month of July!]

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Sundae Sunday

I have to admit, when I make my ice cream, I usually don't put all the fixin's on it, because I like it it in its pure form. But sometimes a sundae is just the right treat.

There's a sundae that I share a passion for with my mom and my cousin Dan. It's a Friendly's creation. The problem is (or is it?) that they only sell it in their five scoop sundae, which is usually a bit too much for me. It's the Reese's® Pieces® Sundae which they describe on their site as "... vanilla ice cream, peanut butter and marshmallow toppings, hot fudge, a mound of whipped topping and a cherry. Topped off with delicious Reese's® Pieces® ." Ordering it smaller isn't that easy. Dan and I have been twice and the first time they left off the marshmallow! This didn't make us too happy -- while we still enjoyed the marshmallowless creation, we did agree that it was all the ingredients together that made this one so wonderful. In the picture at left, Dan is clearly enjoying every last drop of the marshmallowless sundae so it can't be too bad. Or maybe Dan just sees the world through rose colored glasses...

What's your favorite sundae?

Side note from the trip: We went to the Meadow Glen Mall for our first Reese's® Pieces® Sundae trip. The Friendly's is tucked away among the shops so you have to go through the mall to get there. On our way out, we passed a Mini Melts machine. We didn't get any while we were there (too full on sundae) but they looked a lot like Dippin' Dots. I'll have to go and try them out some time soon so I can report back!

[Scoopalicious is celebrating National Ice Cream month with a Post-A-Day throughout the month of July!]

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Spice Dish Saturday {July}: Blueberry Apricot Sorbet

EB of Spice Dish is off to Europe for the summer, so we'll have to savor this recipe for a while. Won't be hard as it looks amazing. Thanks, EB and have a safe and wonderful trip!

This is the perfect summer sorbet. Light, refreshing and perfectly sweet.

Blueberry Apricot Sorbet

1 lb fresh apricots

1 pkg blueberries

1 cup water

1 cup sugar

1 tsp Amaretto


Cut the apricots into small pieces. Cook the apricots, blueberries and water over medium heat until they have the texture of mush. Stir frequently. Add the sugar and stir until dissolved. Let the mixture cool to room temperature. Add the Amaretto and puree the mixture in a blender until smooth. Chill the mixture until completely cold. Freeze in your ice cream maker.

Friday, July 10, 2009

A New Addition to the Scoopalicious Team

Tina welcomed Chace Joseph (8 lbs 14oz) at 8am on Tuesday.

Congrats to Tina and the family! Welcome Baby Chace!

Richardson's Ice Cream, Middleton, Massachusetts

Massachusetts is blessed with a lot of super ice cream spots. It's often joked that no matter how cold it is outside, you can still find many a Massachusettsians having a scoop or two...case in point: in the photo at right, my friend Rachel and I enjoy an ice cream after trudging a mile and change through slushy Waltham on December 19th of last year.

My friend Chris sent to me a link to a great audio slide show by the Salem News about how Richardson's in Middleton, Massachusetts makes their ice cream. (Thanks, Chris!) I had their ice cream at the Reading Jordan's Furniture a couple of years back, and though I don't recall what I had, I do recall loving it.

Making the ice cream extra special to me now is what I saw in the audio slide show: the history behind it and the family owned and operated feel that still seems to remain.

Richardson's site says it has been around since 1695 (!) as a dairy and has been making ice cream since 1952. That's 314 years of running a dairy and 57 years of making ice cream. You can't go wrong with that much experience!

What's best about this is that it is rare you get such a thorough tour of ice cream production...thanks Paul Richardson of Richardson's and Deborah Parker of the Salem News for a great tour!

And next time I am in the area, I promise a first hand review of Richardson's...

[Scoopalicious is celebrating National Ice Cream month with a Post-A-Day throughout the month of July!]

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Abbott's Frozen Custard, Needham, MA

If you are from the Rochester, New York area, you most likely are familiar with Abbott's Frozen Custard. Other parts of New York, Louisiana, and Florida might know of the frozen custard franchise (if they are lucky.) Last summer, Needham, Massachusetts welcomed the first Abbott's to New England, so now we at Scoopalicious are can indulge in the rich frozen treat.

While loving our frozen treats, it's always fun to learn a little bit more about the product and the people who make it happen. In this case, we are lucky to be able to chat with Mary Pat Dauria, the owner of Needham's Abbott's.

Scoopalicious: Abbott's is from Rochester, just like you and your husband originally. What made you bring it here?
Mary Pat (photo at right): [My husband] Alex and I grew up on Abbott's. We could not believe there were no true frozen custard shops in NE and we saw the need. Most people from Rochester a big part of their childhood is having frozen custard at the Abbott's at Charlotte Beach. They still have long lines all summer.

Scoopalicious: What is frozen custard? What makes it different from ice cream? (MP, I know you explained this to me, but I don't want to jumble it up...if you have a good place I can reference online, that would be fine too.
Mary Pat: Ice cream labeled “frozen custard” must have 10 percent milk fat and 1.4 percent egg yolk solids by weight. The machine that it is made in churns it slowly so it is very dense and it is made fresh everyday, not frozen.

Scoopalicious: Owning an frozen custard franchise...dangerous. Do you eat a lot of it or have you grown tired of it?
Mary Pat: Well, I can honestly say neither one of us has grown tired of it. I have to test the flavors as I make them all day. At the end of the night I always have a cup or a novelty. I look forward to it. I also encourage my employees to test and bring home. You can't sell something unless you love it.

Scoopalicious: Business seems to be booming. Are there other frozen in the area or did you fill happen to fill a big void?
Mary Pat: I think we filled a void. There was a very popular place on Nantasket Beach years ago, so older people in the area remember that. I believe we are the only place in the area that sells true frozen custard -- not soft serve labeled as frozen custard. You can find a few places in New Hampshire and Maine.

Scoopalicious: Your shop is small but popular. Any chance you will be expanding to have more seating area in the near future?
Mary Pat: We have no plans to expand this shop. People do not seem to mind standing and we do have benches outside. I am hoping to open more locations in the near future.

Scoopalicious: You only have about eight (?) flavors on your menu at any given time. How do you decide what flavors to have? Do you keep any up permanently while rotating others out?
Mary Pat: We do only 8 flavors because we have dipping cabinets that keep the product chilled and there is only 8 bins in them. Also since we make it fresh everyday it would be hard to make many more. I always run Chocolate, Vanilla, Chocolate Almond, one yogurt and one lite flavor. The rest I change everyday. People call me and request certain flavors and I will make it for them anytime. Otherwise I make what I am "feeling" that day.

Scoopalicious: What has been the best part of this new venture?
Mary Pat: All the new people I have met!!!! I love Needham and met such wonderful kids and adults. I love what I do and look forward to going in everyday.

Scoopalicious: The worst?
Mary Pat: The worst was probably just getting the business up and running. Getting all the building permits and running into all the build-out issues. I had a lot of sleepless nights. I do have to say also cleaning the machine every night is not my favorite thing!!

Scoopalicious: What did you do to fill your desire for frozen treats before you brought Abbott's to New England?
Mary Pat: I would eat a lot of Abbott's when I would go back to Rocheater.

Scoopalicious: Any other favorite places to get ice cream?
Mary Pat: I do have to say I am a Ben & Jerry's fan. Cherry Garcia is my favorite.

Scoopalicious: What is your favorite product in the whole shop?
Mary Pat: That is tough. I really like the plain vanilla with hot fudge. My favorite novelty flavor is prbably "Purple Cow", black raspberry custard with blueberry drizzled in and white & chococlate chips mixed in. HEAVEN!!

Scoopalicious: How was the first year?!?!?!
Mary Pat: The first year was awesome. I learned a lot. Sales exceeded expectations and am looking forward to more Abbott's on the horizon.

Abbott's sure is something special. It's rich and creamy and the flavors are just amazing. I mean, you can't go wrong with the old standbys of chocolate and vanilla, but it's rarely a disappointment when you go for something like pumpkin (one of my personal favorites) -- though, I have to say, I'll be visiting Mary Pat again very soon to try the Purple Cow. However, when you go to Abbott's in Needham, you don't just go for the ice cream (which in itself is worth it). You go to meet Mary Pat and her friendly crew of employees who will take great care of you.

All in all, whether you are in New York, Florida, Massachusetts or Louisiana, Abbott's is not a treat you want to pass up.

Thanks for the interview, Mary Pat, and best of luck to you and Alex and the whole team. We hope the upcoming years are just as awesome, if not better, than the first!

[Scoopalicious is celebrating National Ice Cream month with a Post-A-Day throughout the month of July!]

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Ice Cream Joke of the Week


What do you get if you divide the circumference of a bowl of ice cream by its diameter?

Pi a'la mode


(bad we know...but you try doing a post a day!)

[Scoopalicious is celebrating National Ice Cream month with a Post-A-Day throughout the month of July!]


Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Zagat's Rates Frozen Treats...what do you think?

ZAGAT’S TOP ICE CREAM/CUSTARD SHOPS
1. Ben & Jerry's Scoop Shops [WINNER]
2. Rita's
3. Culver's Frozen Custard
4. Baskin-Robbins
5. Carvel





Scoopalicious analysis: Of course Ben & Jerry's tops the list....awesome ice cream, awesome attitude, awesome style. Only downside I see is its a little more expensive and let's face it they don't offer the largest scoops but it is well worth the price. My fave...Phish Food. So their other picks are tough cause I think this depends on where you live. And as for Carvel...well they all closed near me but you can still get the Whale cake at our local grocery store! Final thought: Although hard to find Ciao Bella rates up there and there's always the local Friendly's that is sure to please.





ZAGAT’S TOP SMOOTHIES/FROZEN YOGURT
1. Smoothie King [WINNER]
2. Jamba Juice
3. Pinkberry
4. TCBY
5. Orange Julius




Scoopalicious analysis: Where can I find me a Smoothie King in New England cause I must try before I can truly give my scoopalicious opinion? Have to be honest I am not a smoothie expert so if anyone has thoughts on these winners let us know what you think. Does TCBY still exist? And Orange Julius reminds me of my younger years....mom used to make them at home too. YUM!




ZAGAT’S BEST MILKSHAKE
1. Ben & Jerry's Scoop Shops [WINNER]
2. Dairy Queen
3. McDonald's
4. Cold Stone Creamery
5. Wendy's




Scoopalicious analysis: How did the Frosty at Wendy's make #5...seriously those are so good. Is it ice cream or is it a shake cause Lord knows you get instant brain freeze trying to immediately suck it through a straw but its worth the effort! Gotta say though that these are all good contenders. I might just have to hit a drive through on my way home from work today!



[Scoopalicious is celebrating National Ice Cream month with a Post-A-Day throughout the month of July!]

Monday, July 6, 2009

TGIM @ Ben & Jerry's...Buy 1 Get 1 Sundaes



Mondays are never fun but they are now at Ben & Jerry's all summer long! All you have to do is mention this offer of "Buy One Get One Free Sundaes on Mondays " at participating Ben & Jerry's until August 31st and you can buy one sundae and get one free...TGIM!


[Scoopalicious is celebrating National Ice Cream month with a Post-A-Day throughout the month of July!]

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Ice Cream in Neverland










What is Neverland without Bubbles and Ice Cream...looks like the ranch scooped out ice cream in style. A recent auction had this totally cool ice cream cart for sale adorned with MJ's initials and battery operated lights and musical bells. I SO want this!

RIP MJ!

[Scoopalicious is celebrating National Ice Cream month with a Post-A-Day throughout the month of July!]

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Celebrate the Fourth With Red, White, and Blue!

A couple of days ago, Edy's® posted their new flavor: Red, White, and No More Blues!

While we always like to be the first with a big ice cream story, I thought I would hold off because this is the perfect July Fourth flavor.

Of course, Edy's® describes their ice cream the best:
At Edy's®, we have a history of lifting spirits. In 1929, we introduced a new flavor of ice cream to bring a smile to people during the dark days of the Great Depression. That flavor was Rocky Road. Now 80 years later, we’re at it again. To brighten the summer, Edy's is proud to unveil a new Slow Churned® Light Ice Cream Limited Edition Flavor: Red, White & No More Blues! Creamy vanilla ice cream with fruity swirls of blueberry and strawberry throughout!
Who knew that Edy's® invented Rocky Road -- to lift spirits in the Great Depression, nonetheless!

Visit their site for uplifting stories of how people made lemonade out of lemons -- er, um, ice cream out of eggs, cream, and sugar. And finally read the story of the $100,000 winner of their Taste of Recovery Contest.

I have yet to try it, but it sounds wonderful -- and very summery!

Happy Fourth of July!

[Scoopalicious is celebrating National Ice Cream month with a Post-A-Day throughout the month of July!]

Friday, July 3, 2009

Recipe Friday: Rice Krispie Treat Ice Cream

I have been busy busy making ice cream this month, and wanted to share with you a new one I made.

Honestly, it wasn't what I had hoped it to be, even after my second stab. It's still good but the Rice Krispies turn out a little soft. Maybe this is okay to those who like their cereal with milk, but I really don't like milk in my cereal for the very reason that it turns the cereal soft.

First off, I made Rice Krispie Treats ®. This was a bit dangerous because I was home alone that weekend and it was a great temptation to eat them all -- I didn't, but that's not to say I didn't eat a lot of them! If you are going to eat a lot of them like I did, be sure to reserve about 2-3 treats (out of the 12 they say it makes) to incorporate into your ice cream. (As a side note, when I went to get this recipe from the Rice Krispie ® site, I read a comment from a woman who incorporates bacon bits into her Rice Krispie treats...interesting...)

Then came the ice cream. I wanted to go for a marshmallow base. A Google search lead me to this one from the Blue Ridge Mountain Ice Cream Store. I made it, but personally, without any eggs, I found the recipe to be too much like frozen milk. That's not to say other people wouldn't like it -- I just prefer my custard based ice creams.

Then I tried altering a vanilla based ice cream with advice from Gail Damerow in Ice Cream!: The Whole Scoop. This created a lovely marshmallow flavored ice cream.

Here's the recipe:

Heat:
1 1/2 cups whole milk
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
1 (7 1/2 oz) jar of Marshmallow Fluff
1/2 vanilla bean, split and scraped

Stir occasionally, until the mixture is warm (not boiling though).

Whisk:
4 egg yolks
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Pinch of salt

Slowly add warm milk mixture to the whisked egg mixture, and whisk until mixed. Return entire mixture to the stove, and heat until the mixture begins to coat the back of the spoon. Do not bring to a boil or you will have scrambled eggs. Pour the mixture through a strainer into a clean bowl -- discard the solids that remain in the strainer. Chill overnight.

Pour chilled mixture into an ice cream maker and churn according to the ice cream maker's directions.

I then broke my reserved Rice Krispie Treats into bite sized pieces and added them to the ice cream maker during the last five minutes of churning.

The ice cream was good. Again, my only complaint is the sogginess of the Rice Krispies. Surprisingly I didn't find it too sweet.

My husband liked it, but he said it wasn't as good as the coconut. (See yesterday's post.) He also said it tasted like vanilla. When I asked about the Rice Krispies, he said he hardly noticed them -- well, then I guess they didn't bother him, anyway!


[Scoopalicious is celebrating National Ice Cream month with a Post-A-Day throughout the month of July!]

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