Saturday, August 29, 2009
Monday, August 24, 2009
My friend Sarah and I took a trip down the coast recently, with not much of a plan in mind, and made some fun stops in various places. On a whim, we decided to check out Amish country, so we headed over to Lancaster, PA. Once there (after an awesome ride in the restored Strasburg train), I realized we were very close to Intercourse, PA, and knew that we just had to make that a stop. I had grown up seeing "I heart Intercourse" (with a very small "PA" underneath) t-shirts, and I definitely wanted to head over there and pick up some fun souvenirs! (I'm not much of a souvenir shopper, so this was actually a big deal to me.) So we made the short drive over, through beautiful PA countryside, and boy was it worth it for a nice afternoon break before hitting the road again. I should admit here that I actually had two goals in mind that day: the second was handmade ice cream.
When we stumbled across Lapp Valley Farm's ice cream stand, I was thrilled! (I am Bethany's sister, after all - it should come as no surprise that our whole family is addicted to ice cream!) I had a difficult time making a decision from about a dozen or so flavors (nothing out of the ordinary, save for "Butter Brickle", which I now wish I'd been in the mood to check out), but settled on an old favorite, listed as "COOKIES' n. CREAM" (don't worry, they didn't lose too many points with me for the grammar!).
As you can see, the scoop I ordered was an unexpectedly brown ice cream, with no actual cookie chunks in the batter - it appears it was mixed in so thoroughly that it became sort of a light chocolately ice cream instead of the usual vanilla-with-cookies-mixed-in. Perhaps that was because of the hand-mixing. In any case, I wasn't disappointed - the ice cream was very rich and creamy, and delicious on a hot, sunny day! The perfect refreshment.
The location of the stand is worth a trip, ice cream or no (although I do highly suggest a cold treat from Lapp Valley!). It was very busy even on a Tuesday afternoon in August, which makes sense as it is located within an adorable setting: a little old-style bricked seating area of tables with umbrellas is surrounded by various shops, including a kettle corn/homemade potato chips stand, a toy store, artisan shops, souvenir shops, and the like - there are even pony rides for the kids! And of course, the ubiquitous horse and buggy were parked nearby....
The ice cream itself was served up by girls dressed in Amish costuming (but I noticed, they did work in an air-conditioned booth!). The setting is quaint but still modern enough, and filled with groups of people doing the tourist thing on a late summer afternoon. Definitely worth a visit if you are in the area; it's a very pleasant day trip destination. What little I saw, I have to say: I adore Intercourse! :)
(Pricing is $2 for 1 scoop; fresh, homemade waffle cones are $2.50 for 1 scoop. Slightly more for 2 scoops, but all less than $5.)
Thanks, Arianna! Should we add this to Our Readers Recommend?
Wednesday, August 19, 2009
We don't know what could be better. The city's best ice cream makers (great ice cream + a big heart) head into Union Square, Somerville for a showdown to show that Boston is indeed an "Ice Cream City." Don't know if we need to prove it (I mean, what with Scoopalicious hailing from Boston, don't we already know this?)
Like the Jimmy Fund Scooper Bowl, this all goes to a good cause, The Juniper Fund, a scholarship "for a metro-Boston musician to pursue higher education" (from The Juniper Fund website) created in memory of John Hall.
We can't wait! Thanks to our friend John for the heads up!
Citysearch's local-centric dessert blog, Sugarbomber.com, and Twitter's @eatBoston are teaming up to produce and promote a showdown of the Boston area's finest ice cream makers on Saturday, August 22nd at Grand in Union Square, Somerville. Our goal is to prove Boston's status as an 'Ice Cream City' by showcasing the area's best ice cream makers and other purveyors of fine frozen desserts.
- What: The 1st Sugarbomber.com / eatBoston Ice Cream Block Party @ Grand
- When: Saturday, August 22 3 PM – 6 PM (Rain Date: August 23)
- Where: 374 Somerville Ave, Union Square, Somerville in the Family Center parking lot adjacent to Grand.
- Cost: $2 suggested donation to The Juniper Fund.
- Event RSVP: RSVP via the facebook event page
- What Vendors Are Bringing: 2-3 large batches of the ice cream flavor(s) they think can take down any flavor in the city.
- Participating Vendors: Christina's, Toscanini's, JP Licks, Chilly Cow (of Arlington), Wheeler's Frozen Desserts (Vegan), B.Good's Shakemaking Rickshaw. Awaiting confirmation from a couple others, up to date info on event page.
Grand: Grand is a retailer specializing in contemporary home furnishings, apparel, vintage curiosities and gifts.
Citysearch: Citysearch is a leading online lifestyle guide with the most up-to-date information on businesses, from restaurants and spas, to hotels and retail.
eatBoston:@eatboston plumbs the depths of Twitter to deliver the freshest info on Boston eats, restaurants and local food events delivered daily.
The Juniper Fund: The Juniper Fund is a music scholarship fund, established this year in memory of John S. Hall who passed away in 2004 after a brave battle with cancer.
Info via Aaron of WheretoEat and Christine of City Search. Thanks much!
Monday, August 10, 2009
One thing that I think is pretty cool is that I have been meaning to share some of the recipes from my ice cream party (I know, I know! I will! I will!) and one of the recipes I was going to share was the Coconut Samoa Ice Cream I made for Husband. Mine is pretty easy: Make a coconut ice cream (I used the Toasted Coconut Ice Cream recipe in David Lebovitz's The Perfect Scoop) and add crumbled Girl Scout Samoas (a.k.a. Caramel deLites)...and cooincidentally, The Naptime Chef's latest recipe was also for Girl Scout Samoa Ice Cream!
Scoopalicious: Tell me about the Naptime Chef...
The Naptime Chef: The Naptime Chef™ started in early 2009 because of the birth of my daughter. Nothing throws a wrench in your cooking style like the arrival of a baby, and I was no different. I love to cook and bake, but with an infant I had no time or energy! I would start thinking about dinner at 4:30pm and, totally overwhelmed by the prospect of cooking from scratch, end up ordering delivery instead. It was awful. About three months after she was born I started “reworking” my favorite recipes to figure out how I could make them while she napped and complete them in the evening. After all, my tastes hadn’t changed, I still wanted to eat and make good food! Once I figured out how to make all my favorites I was thrilled. Shortly thereafter I went to playgroup and told my friends about the lasagna I had recently made, they looked at me like I was crazy. I realized that they were struggling with cooking at home so I started The Naptime Chef™ to help them.
I purposely publish recipes that can be prepared ahead of time and completed in the evening, or whipped up on a moment’s notice. I want all home cooks to get excited and realize that is possible to cook delicious food with children at home, you don’t have to give up being a foodie just because you are a parent! Remarkably, many adults with grown children have told me that my work has reminded them of the joys of home cooking, and has motivated them to get cooking again.
The great news is that the site is currently being redesigned and will re-launch this fall with great features like an ingredient “search” bar, a recipe box, printable recipe pages and loads of helpful advice for all home cooks.
Scoopalicious: Tell us a little bit about yourself and your background?
The Naptime Chef: I grew up in Cooperstown NY where I learned to appreciate farm fresh food and artisanal food products. I attended Emma Willard (Hey! One of my best friends also went here!) for High School and then Bates College. When I arrived at Bates I was thrilled to discover their commitment to organic produce and recyclable materials. This was in the mid-90's, so they were ahead of the curve. After college I moved to New York City where I live today. My husband and I love the energy of the big city, and our 20-month old daughter enjoys it as well.
Scoopalicious: How did you come up with the idea of the Great Ice Cream Festival 2009?
The Naptime Chef: I love making Ice-cream and so does my friend Nicole, so we thought it would be fun this summer to make a new ice-cream flavor per week. Whenever we are together - our daughters are playmates and we are good friends - we always end up talking about food. So this project seemed like a fun thing for us to do together. We split the duties, each of us tackle recipes independently and then compare notes before they are published. Nicole doesn't blog, she is an event planner and busy mother. Her life is about to get busier, too, she is due with her second baby in September!
Scoopalicious: Who eats all the ice cream?
The Naptime Chef: Honestly, my husband and I. Thank goodness we live in NYC where we can walk everywhere for exercise!
Scoopalicious: How do you decide which ice cream to make when?
The Naptime Chef: At the beginning of the festival we asked people to submit ideas for flavors they would like to see. This gave us guidelines and ideas, it has been a lot of fun to develop new flavors based on requests.
Scoopalicious: What's your favorite ice cream so far?
The Naptime Chef: I love anything with mint so Peppermint Bark ice-cream has been my favorite so far.
Scoopalicious: What's your least favorite flavor? (We'll need you to report back at the end of the project for a final report on these two questions!)
The Naptime Chef: I don't have a least favorite. Yet.
Scoopalicious: What have you learned so far?
The Naptime Chef: I have become ace at making custard and now really appreciate the precision that goes into the cooking it correctly. If the custard gets messed up you have to start over and it stinks.
Scoopalicious: Which ice cream maker do you use?
The Naptime Chef: A basic Cuisinart Ice-20. There is no need for fancy equipment when making ice-cream, this can be bought on Amazon inexpensively.
Scoopalicious: I noticed that recipe number 2 (Chocolate Butter Almond) was based on a recipe from an ice cream maker instruction book. Are most of your recipes based on other recipes or are they from scratch?
The Naptime Chef: I have a vanilla custard base that I use for most recipes and that is my jumping off point. But the Chocolate Chocolate Chip w/ Salted Cashews was based on a New York Times recipe from last summer.
Scoopalicious: How was the peach ice cream? I have never made a peach ice cream that I was happy with. Mine is always icy. Any hints?
The Naptime Chef: The peach ice-cream is amazing! I let the peaches macerate in sugar for a little bit which draws out their juices. Then the juices go in the custard and serve as a natural sweetener and flavor boost. Don't scrimp on the peaches either, only fresh will do! Iciness might be caused by not enough milkfat, be sure to use real cream and whole milk.
Scoopalicious: Your friend Sarah seems helpful, too...how do we get hooked up to her ice cream making hints?
The Naptime Chef: Sarah is my friend from high school on Facebook. If you become her friend, too, you can read her "notes" page and ice-cream recipes! But I am not going to print her last name on a website - you'll have to contact me for it!
Scoopalicious: What's next?
The Naptime Chef: This fall I am planning a Great Apple Festival in celebration of my favorite delicious fall fruits. This winter I think I'll do cookies. It is fun to have a "concentration" by season, and I think my readers enjoy it as well.
Scoopalicious: Anything else you want to tell us?
The Naptime Chef: Never, ever by synthetic ice-cream. Either make it yourself or buy the quality brands that come in pints. Everything else is just filled with silicone!
Thanks so much TNC! We really enjoyed the interview! Keep up the yummy work!