Monday, December 29, 2008

Lizzy's Ice Cream in Waltham

On Thursday, December 18, Rachel celebrated her thirtieth birthday. Our lack of motivation to get out of the house dampened our plans to get to the Institute of Contemporary Art (FYI: my motivation will be in full swing when the Shepard Fairey -- of the oh-so-famous Andre the Giant Obey and iconic Obama Hope Poster -- show comes to the ICA on February 6, 2009) , as did an advertisement in the window of a hair salon as we walked from my house to the commuter rail. It was an ad for Ugandan food. "Cool," we said, as we postponed our train ride and walked down Moody Street to Karibu (a must try). After a filling shared plate of Ugandan food (beef stew, beans, rice, yams, sweet potatoes...) we decided it was time for a birthday sweet.

Further down Moody Street we traveled to Lizzy's Homemade Ice Cream (yes, we did visit the one in Cambridge a while back in another post) I tasted some Eggnog Ice Cream and Pumpkin Pie Ice Cream -- both were good but tasted a bit icy to me. I wonder if they use eggs in their ice cream? I think not. I have written to ask but still no word 11 days later...

Their ice cream is quite good, but not as custardy and rich as I prefer. In all honesty, I have a palette that prefers the sweetest, richest ice cream...Not that I would not go to Lizzy's again. It's good stuff, even if it isn't as custardy as my most favorite ice creams.

Rachel and I both had Mint Oreo ice cream -- yum. This is way up there with my Mint Girl Scout Cookie Ice Cream -- actually, it is very similar, except theirs uses Oreos instead of Thin Mints. I should post this recipe for my Mint Girl Scout, which is a variation from a recipe in the Ben and Jerry's Homemade Ice Cream and Dessert Book.

Rachel had a cone, which as Tina notes, is a much better way to take in the flavor than the bowl that I had. Either way, the ice cream was good and neither of us minded the subfreezing temperatures outside while we were inside eating our frozen goodness.

Happy thirtieth, Rachel!

Friday, December 26, 2008

Brigham's Wins Me Over With French Vanilla Ice Cream

I am coming on years here in Boston, and now I can say I am about 1/3 a Boston Girl, and 2/3 a Connecticut Girl -- I have spent a third of my life up in the Boston area. That being said, it's time for me to admit my leaning towards all things Boston (Growing up in Central Connecticut, we had to decide Yankees versus Sox, Giants versus Pats, and Knicks versus Celtics -- not being much of a sports fan, I never really chose.) However, I have to say, I am truly a Boston Girl (that's right, Pushstars, that song just might be about me. I find myself caring about how the Sox or the Celtics are doing. I can't say so much for the Pats, as (the horror) I have never understood football. I hockey though, so I do have to say the Bruins are second only to Hartford's one and only (and now defunct) pro team, the Hartford Whalers (once a Connecticutian, always a Connecticutian).

But I digress.

Back on topic. Now that I am a Boston Girl (or 1/3 anyway) another thing I that "I can call my own" (another Pushstars' Boston Girl reference) is Brigham's Ice Cream. I once wrote Brigham's in my sadness over the death of their Fluffernutter Ice Cream. So sad, in fact, that I had to make my own recipe for it. Yes, which I should post, and I will, I promise (though, long story short -- vanilla base, with peanut butter and Fluff -- along with the Somerville Illuminations Tour, Fluff is one of the best things to come out of Somerville -- swirled in).

Last month, we were supposed to have the lovely Clint, Stacey, and Ivy over for dinner. At the last minute, Ivy got sick, and our plans got canceled. Good news is, she seems to better, bad news is, we never rescheduled, and I found a new obsession. I had intended to bake (because I love to) but time ran short and I picked up a Vermont Mystic Pie Company pie (by the way, these are so much less expensive at Costco than the grocery store -- when I saw the reciept, I realized a fresh bakery pie would have been the way to go -- but alas, now we have a frozen pie that is actually quite good once cooked in the oven for a surprise visitor) and a container of Brigham's French Vanilla Ice Cream.

A few days after the canceled visitors, in a moment of sweet tooth weakness, I made the huge error of opening the carton. I dipped my spoon in and...WOW. On first bite, I knew this would be a problem. This ice cream was so rich, so was the treu definition of frozen custard. It literally was creme brulee without the brulee, poured into an ice cream machine and churned. Oh. My. God. I love custard based ice cream (made with eggs as opposed to the Philadelphia style which has no eggs) so naturally I was in heaven, but to me, this was so much more. It was just the right amount of sweetness and egginess (I don't know if this sounds like such a great way to describe ice cream, but if you like custard based ice cream, you will know what I mean).

Anyway, long story short: I am a fan of Brigham's. Especially this French Vanilla. It alone makes living in the Boston area well worth it.

Stay tuned for an upcoming list of why the Boston area is a great place for ice cream lovers.

Author's note: I usually write my posts and then go back in and throw in the links. I did this with this post, went to link to the French Vanilla, and found no listing for it on their site. Oh, no, I thought. This did not have the same fate as my Fluffernutter, did it? I emailed Brigham's and this is the reply I received: "We no longer have that flavor available, it was only made in prepackaged quart containers, never in bulk for our scoop shops." Bum-mer. I am beginning to think maybe I shouldn't get Brigham's ice cream anymore. Everytime I fall passionately in love with a flavor, they stop making it. This is so true with Trader Joe's too: their black lentils, their orange cardamom cookies, and their vanilla bean paste...

Friday, December 19, 2008

Pamper Yourself with Ice Cream Treats Under $6.00

Holidays stressing you out? I found some sweet treats on Etsy to calm for this holiday season. It might be a little late to order as a holiday gift (but contact the sellers to be sure) but are a perfect new year treat!

Since we are all busy, I am keeping the list short, but as always, sweet.

I was first inspired to write this post when I saw a listing for CrazyKBathandBody's Waffle Bowl Ice Cream Goats Milk Soap, but just visiting her site for the link, I also see she makes an Ice Cream Sandwich soap and some super cute Hostess Cupcake looking soaps (which is so real looking it seems that the seller's mom almost ate it!) Funny, I said these would be great pampering products, but I don't know if I could actually use these beauties, as they are so sculptural. At under six dollars and over three hundred scents to choose from, these soaps are a steal!

Next up we have something perhaps only a pregnant lady could love -- but boy would she love it! Elladean sells, get this, Pickles and Ice Cream Vegan Soothing Lip Conditioner for Moms to Be. I don't know if I could actually buy and wear this (but then again, I am not pregnant) but I am so amused by her darling illustrations and illustrative photos and the quirky text on the packaging (visit the listing to see that!) that it seems worth the $3.25 to try it out...Has anyone ever tried pickles and ice cream? Or pickle ice cream? Please do write us and tell us your opinions.

And last but not least, we have perfect Ice Cream Cone Handmade Soap by SoapStore. SoapStore's shop is totally worth checking out, as her food soaps are so realistic looking. At $4.50, these are so on the list of prizes for next year's ice cream party -- my only trouble? -- picking among the many colors and flavors! My one sweet wish -- not SoapStore's fault -- is that shipping didn't have to be so high.

Have a clean and sweet holiday!

Monday, December 15, 2008

Ice Cream Trim-a-Tree

Got an ice cream lover on your Christmas list?
They'll love one of these fun ice cream inspired ornaments to hang on their tree every year or check out the fun crafty do-it-yourself ice cream cone ornament.

Pink Ice Cream Cone Ornament

Merck's Family Old World Christmas glass banana split ornament

Merck's Family Old World Christmas ice cream cone ornament

Department 56 Glitterville Ice Cream Cone Ornament

Do it yourself!
Ice Cream Cone Ornament
Sweet treats on your xmas tree made with a real sugar cones that kids will love to help make.

What you'll need:
approx 3" satin ball ornament
Sugar cone
Cotton balls
Glue (Tacky glue works best)

How to make it:
Glue a 3-4" diameter red satin ball ornament to a sugar cone.
Add cotton balls around space between cone and ball with glue. Add cotton to top of ornament ro represent whipped cream. Let dry.
Use hanger from satin ball extending through cotton fluff on top to hang from tree. (Can use a piece of yarn or ornamental string or ribbon for hanger also.)

Happy Holidays!!!

Saturday, December 6, 2008

SpiceDish Saturday {December}: Banana Spice Snap

Last month we started SpiceDish Saturday. Can't believe a month has gone by, but it has! I think the picture to the left is proof that we need not wait another minute to make this ice cream -- it looks SO yummy! So I will stop talking and give to you another recipe from the Ab Fab EB...AFEB...hmmm....

Call it a sign of the economic times, but I find that most of my recipes lately consist of leftovers or pantry items that I try to stretch as far as possible. This ice cream was no different.... and surprisingly led to great tasting results. Trying to rid myself of at least a few of the dozens of frozen bananas I have in the freezer, I decided to make banana ice cream. When making banana ice cream it's actually very important to use bananas that have been previously frozen (I could go into an Alton Brown like spiel here but lets just say it has to do with the formation of ice crystals and move on). I wanted to add some oomph to the banana with spices because, well, I love spice ice cream so I added ginger and then one upped the spice factor with a few crumbled ginger snaps I had sitting in the pantry. This is a surprisingly rich, creamy and decadent ice cream that also happens to be pretty easy to put together! Enjoy.

Banana Spice Snap

3/4 cup whole milk
1 3/4 cups heavy cream
1 cup sugar
4 egg yolks
1 ½ cups mashed banana that has been frozen and thawed (fresh banana will turn into frozen ice chunks!)
1 cup ginger snaps, broken in pieces
1 tbsp ground ginger
1 dash nutmeg
1 tsp vanilla

Warm the milk, sugar and ginger in a saucepan. When sugar is dissolved, remove from heat. Pour cream into a bowl and set a strainer on top of the bowl. In another bowl, whisk yolks. Add a few tbsp's of the milk to the yolks and whisk. Slowly add rest of the milk while whisking constantly. Pour mixture back into saucepan. Heat on medium. Stir the mixture with a wooden spoon, until mixture thickens and coats the spoon. Be sure to stir constantly so eggs don't harden. Pour the mixture, through the strainer, into the cream. Stir in well mushed banana and vanilla. (For a smoother texture, blend in blender). Cool over ice, then put in the fridge to cool completely. When cold, freeze in ice cream mixer (according to directions). 5 minutes before finished, add cookie pieces. If soft, ripen in the freezer for a few hours.

Thanks, AFEB!

P.S. Check out SpiceDish's site for some "Rubberized Awesomeness" -- totally up our alley. Really, this is rated G, people (as my friend Ashu would say).

Monday, December 1, 2008

A Month of Sundaes

I think it is due time I write a post about A Month of Sundaes by Michael Turback so that I can give it to Tina to read when I see her tomorrow

It wasn't so much that it had an exciting ending that I wanted to finish it, but more because I wanted to check it off my list. I thought the history was interesting, but it wasn't particularly a book that I just couldn't put down. The other reason I may not have been so into it is as a general rule of thumb, I am an ice cream girl more so than a sundae girl. I mean, a good sundae will never be turned down, but for me, it's all about the base -- the cold, creamy, sweet resting place for all the toppings.

There are a couple of places in the book that really stood out to me that I want to visit:
  1. Putman Pantry in Danvers, MA. Why? It's nearby, and I can't believe our dear friend Spaghetti never told us about it! Guess T and I will have to meet him up there for sundaes someday soon. For those of you that doen't know Spaghetti, it's still worth the trip, as Turback descibes the "fourteen foot, stainless steel sundae bar as an anti salad bar." I'm so there.
  2. Serendipity 3. But then again, that's been on my list for a long time. Ashu, next time I visit you, we are SO there. If it's still there, can we sit at Andy Warhol's table? By the way, I happened to come across this article I missed when I wrote about the World's Most Expensive Sundae at Serendipity 3 back in July. With it are pictures and all!
  3. Shark and Rose, in San Jose, CA. Do you know the way to San Jose? I don't but I am sure to figure it out next time I am in California, so I can see what all the fuss is about their Soup Spoon Sundae. Is this little sundae enough, or does it leave one begging for more?

My biggest problem with the book was the design. And I am not just saying this as a designer. The book was designed in pink and black, which I think is very appropriate for a book on ice cream. However, the typefaces chosen were awful. I understand where the designers were coming from, wanting typefaces that were fluffy and ice cream-like, but they were so fluffy they were practically illegible. The body text was a swirly serif that should not be used for so much writing. It makes ones eyes tired because it really has to study each word rather than read in a flowing manner. The little pink box notes were even worse: they were written in a cursive script. This is not suitable for reading a paragraph of type. The worst were the capital "S"s -- they kind of looked like "T"s or "J"s.

Ok, so here's the embarrassing part. I never remember what I read, so writing this little review here has been a little hard since I finished the book on October 20th. So here i am looking back to see what parts of the book stood out to me, and alas, I come across the Inside-Out Sundae. Where can I find it, I ask? Oh, Minnesota. I was in Minnesota last week. But Minnesota is a big state so I probably wasn't anywhere nearby. Oh, it's served at the Green Mill. Oh, the Green Mill that we ate at last week?! Yep, if I could remember what I read, I sure would be better off -- I could have been reviewing the Inside-Out Sundae in person!

Hmmm...Green Mill's (super slow) site doesn't seem to mention it. Does it still exist? Looks like it exists in Bemidji, Minnesota location. So maybe I didn't miss it after all...

All things considered, people define what makes a sundae very differently. Does it have to have nuts? Syrup? A cherry? One thing is for certain, a sundae has ice cream, and here at Scoopalicious, that's all we think that counts!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Turkey Hill Dairy's Ultimate Holiday Recipe Contest Ends December 1

Lucky you, Scoopalicious Readers! It's a double post Wednesday. We had a couple of great things to note with deadlines fast approaching, so...

Turkey's not even on the table yet but this holiday deadline is quickly approaching so we thought we'd share this fun contest.

Turkey Hill Dairy is hosting the Ultimate Holiday Recipe Contest. In honor of their holiday ice cream flavors, Egg Nog and Peppermint Stick, they are asking all you ice cream fans to concoct a recipe using either one of those flavors. The recipe can be anything you want it to be…ice cream cupcakes, a yummy frothy drink, a layered cake, whatever your sweet tooth desires. Only rule is that Turkey Hill’s Egg Nog Ice Cream or Peppermint Stick Ice Cream be an ingredient.

So start the brainstorming and show us what you got. Send your recipe to Turkey Hill at by December 1 (we know its days away on a busy holiday weekend, sorry for the last minute!). And we here at Scoopalicious would love to see what you do so feel free to send it to us too and maybe you'll be a spotlight on our blog with your great recipe.

So what do you get for all this hard work?

If chosen as one of the best recipes you will be featured on the Turkey Hill website and will receive a one month’s supply of ice cream. And if you are one of the best of the best, that is one of the top four recipes – two for Eggnog and two for Peppermint – you'll get a feature story for just yourself on Turkey Hill's blog, the Ice Cream Journal (, from December 8-11. The fun part is that the blog's visitors will then be able to vote for their favorite recipe and that winner will receive a year’s supply of Turkey Hill ice cream! WOW…all these prizes…what's not to love. Good luck!

Kevin Cyr's Koolman on

So I subscribe to the 20x200 mailing list. 20x200 is an awesome project by Jen Beckman. The 20x200 site says it best: "On a Sunday night back in January, Jen came up with a formula: "(limited editions x low prices) + the internet = art for everyone." The concept is fabulous.

I have been busy out in Minnesota with my nephews, coloring and watching movies, and now that four-year-old Evan is napping I had a minute to check my email and I found a print I just needed to post about about.

This week's print is Kevin Cyr's Koolman -- an ice cream truck! What could be finer? The unfortunate part is that I got to this a little late, and only the bigger sizes are available. All 200 of the $20 size (8.5"x11") is sold out, so our only remaining options are to spend $200 on one of the remaining 14 (out of 20) 22"x17" prints or $2,000 on one of the two that measure 30"x40"...even the $200 print are going fast so I'd act now if you just have to have one...(I'm hoping Husband reads this post before they sell out -- otherwise he's stuck contacting Mass College of Art grad (yay Fenway area art schools!) Kevin Cyr to see if the original 24"x48" oil on plywood is still available.

For more of Cyr's fabulous work, visit his website.
Image credit: © Kevin Cyr,

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Tomorrow, November 24, 6-9 PM -- Free Cold Stone Ice Cream Cake and Pie Tasting

Cold Stone has certainly been all over our blog in the past couple of days, with contests to win and cakes to taste.

Visit your local participating Cold Stone Creamery from 6-9 tomorrow (Monday) for a tasting of their cakes and pies. While you are there, pick up a cake for Thanksgiving, and enter to win!

Note: I got this in my email because I am on the Cold Stone Creamery mailing list. I am not sure if this is only in Massachusetts and New Hampshire or all over, because I can't find the event on their site. You might want to call ahead to confirm whether this event is happening in your area.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Another piece of cream cake, that is!

Today I got an email from Cold Stone Creamery. Before I got into that, I do want to point out that Gmail now has themes, and if you use Gmail and choose the "candy" theme, you will have a cute little ice cream staring at you every time you check your mail. And if you are like me, that would be all the time...oh! oh! And if you choose the "bus stop" theme and make your location Boston, you also have a kid holding a huge (um, "dream" might be a better word) cone down at the bottom.

Oh, and more digression. I am on my computer that doesn't have Adobe Creative Suite on it and I am too lazy to go upstairs and use Photoshop, so I just wanted to mention this super cool online photo editing site I just read about. Picnik. Great for on-the-go editing!

All over the news, I am hearing about bailout this and bankrupt that. Apparently Cold Stone Creamery isn't having these problems, because they have a contest this holiday season with a chance to win up to $10,000 when you buy one of their cakes. Sweet! Cakes and money! (Although right now I can't even begin to think about ordering a cake because I ate too much Party Favors cake at a reception at the Museum School's Art Sale, InsideOut.) Anyway, $10,000. How could I get away from that? Without further ado, here is the $10,000 news!

Now through January 6th, 2009 (or sooner, if they run out of game pieces), purchase a Cold Stone cake and get a "gold medal." With this gold medal, you have a chance to win one of three $10,000 prizes, five $500 prizes, or one of 1000 cakes! Even the smallest prize has some sweet potential!

Anyway, this is an ice cream filled post along with a couple of hot tips, so I hope between this post and Tina's yesterday, we are getting out of the dog house for being kind of MIA.

Speaking of $10,, um, at least 10,000 lakes...I will be in the land of 10,000 lakes (Minnesota) next week but hopefully will be able to report back on some midwestern ice cream.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

This is a new one...Turkey Cake

Ice cream cake that is....what will they come up with next?
There is something so wrong about this but something so right! Baskin Robbins has come out with a new festive cake, the Turkey Ice Cream Cake. According to their site, this creative cake can be made with the ice cream flavor of your choice (their favorite is half chocolate half vanilla to re-create the dark meat and light meat effect) which will be glazed in chocolate and caramel. The legs are actually sugar cones with a caramel top glaze. Now if this isn't a conversation starter for those awkward family gatherings I don't know what is. I totally want this...its hysterical and a cake to never be forgotten!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Perfect winter flavor...Milk Chocolate Guinness Ice Cream

When I came across this one in David Lebovitz's book, A Perfect Scoop, I knew I had to try it or at least make it for Scott. He loves Guinness beer and luckily we usually have a few cans on hand so that makes it even easier. I first tried this at Bethany's Ice Cream Party and absolutely loved it. It is velvety and rich with a slight hint of Guinness. Even if you aren't in love with beer, the mild taste is intriguing and oh so good. I have now made this twice. First time I made it it was super creamy and I actually ate this before completely frozen (having friends over for dinner and of course made it last minute) but it was equally as good. So the second time I didn't have as much luck but I think I know what I did. As I mentioned my husband is fond of Guinness so I thought I'd do him a favor and add more beer for added flavor. Big mistake! Adding more alcohol affects how the ice cream willl freeze so this batch was icier and did not freeze so well. Stick to the original recipe on this one and you can't go wrong. It's a perfect winter flavor to sit on the couch and indulge in!

Milk Chocolate Guinness Ice Cream

7 ounces milk chocolate, finely chopped
1 cup whole milk
1/2 cup sugar
pinch of salt
4 large egg yolks
1 cup heavy cream
3/4 cup Guinness Stout
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Put the chocolate pieces in a large bowl and set a mesh strainer over the top.

Warm the milk, sugar, and salt in a medium saucepan. In a separate medium bowl, whisk together the egg yolks. Slowly pour the warm mixture into the egg yolks, whisking constantly, then scrape the warmed egg yolks back into the saucepan.

Stir the mixture constantly over medium heat with a heatproof spatula, scraping the bottom as you stir, until the mixture thickens and coats the spatula. Pour the custard through the strainer over the milk chocolate, then stir until the chocolate is melted. Once the mixture is smooth, whisk in the cream, then the Guinness and vanilla. Stir until cool over an ice bath.

Chill the mixture thoroughly in the refrigerator, then freeze it in your ice cream maker according to the manufacturer's instructions.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

New Feature: Spice Dish Saturday!

A while back the oh-so-fabulous Cakespy introduced us to EB of SpiceDish...with that introduction, we found a new friend, a charming person, and a ice cream maker a la mode! (ok, I just made up that expression -- what I am trying to say is she is AWESOME.) After following her wonderful blog and all the recipes she creates and/or tries, Tina and I had a wonderful idea -- let's invite SpiceDish to be a monthly guest blogger. So we asked and she said "yes!" How lucky we are!

Without further ado, here is the first installment of SpiceDish Saturday!

This is an ice cream for the adults out there who find themselves pulling melted skittles out of their carpets, bubble gum wads stuck in sox and new cavities in their kid's heads. This is a treat to that will use up that bit of pumpkin you have leftover from muffin making, the dregs of cocoa you haven't made hot chocolate with and what's leftover in those pumpkin heads full of 'fun-size' candy bars. It may feature kid-sized candy bits but its flavor is most decidedly adult. The deep chocolate base with a hint of vegetal pumpkin flavor both spiced by cinnamon is decadent all by itself, but the candy bits bring back those holiday memories.

Cocoa-Pumpkin Ice Cream With Goodies! (aka Holiday Aftermath)

1 cup whole milk

1 cup heavy cream

¼ cup dutch cocoa powder

¾ cup sugar

¼ cup pumpkin puree

½ tsp cinnamon

Pinch of salt

Mixed mini-candy bars, chopped

In a saucepan add the milk, sugar, cocoa and salt. Heat while whisking until it froths up. Turn off the heat and add the pumpkin. Stir in. Chill until cold then freeze in your ice cream maker. 5 minutes before it is finished churning add the candy pieces. Enjoy!

We will enjoy! Thanks EB and welcome!

Beautiful photos courtesy of EB of SpiceDish as well!

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

TO DO TODAY: 1. Vote 2. Eat Ice Cream

For the first time in the history of this blog, we are telling you to put the ice cream eating second. Just for today. First thing today, go out and vote. On your way back from the polls, head over to Ben & Jerry's to get your free scoop! Happy Election Day! May the best flavor win!

Sunday, November 2, 2008

And the winner is.....

Can you tell its the countdown to this Tuesday's big festivities at the polls. Yeah we know, we are an ice cream blog but we are amazed at how many connections ice cream has with the election and its our civic duty to keep our fellow bloggers informed. Today we give you the answer you've all been anxiously awaiting (I know sitting on the edge of your seats I am sure!).

A few weeks back we posted about the fun online election, Flavor Debate 08, that our friends at Baskin Robbins were having in honor of the Presidential Election. Just to give you some background in case you missed that post, the flavor debate was between Obama's "A Whirl of Change" ice cream (Peanut-Nougat ice cream whirled with chunks of chocolate-covered peanut brittle and a caramel ribbon) and McCain's "Straight Talk Crunch" ice cream (Caramel ribbon, chocolate pieces, candy red states and crunchy mixed nuts swirled into White Chocolate ice cream). Baskin Robbins stores across the nation had each flavor on hand and polls were open in stores and online throughout Sept/Oct to vote for your favorite flavor. And that people did. Baskin Robbins had nearly half a million people vote, and just as we expect Tuesday's race to be, it was way too close.

Obama 's Whirl of Change 51%
McCain's Straight Talk Crunch 49%

Now that was tight! Well this election was truly a yummy one. More instant gratification in this race but Tuesday's election has long term effects so if you didn't get a chance to vote in this tempting election you definitely must get out and vote this Tuesday.

Friday, October 31, 2008

Candidates for Ice Cream, or Ice Cream for Candidates?

Out of curiousity (or boredom? -- I am waiting for the few trick or treaters who actually walk up the large hill of our dead end street...yes, it will be a long night) I did a Google search for "[candidate name] ice cream" and here are some of my favorites.

Back in the early days of the 2008 race for the White House, got us excited for a new flavor idea for Ben & Jerry's, Yes, Pecan!...this name was thought up by Aaron Nathan. Or was it? Rumor (or comments below) suggest this was on the Obama site some while before Aaron's submission, but it seems that Aaron was not aware of this when he came up with the idea in the library. Either way, it's a great name and flavor idea, and we wish B&J would make it! Go here for the rest of the story and some other great Obama ice cream names.

Comedy Central's Indecision 2008 called for entries Photoshopping John McCain...the first entry (and undoubtedly our favorite) involved McCain and a big ice cream cone...if only I could be John McCain in that photo.

Not much of note on Sarah Palin and ice cream. Turns out she is a fan of Moosetracks Ice Cream. According to the LA Times, that's what the Republican VP chose when she, John, and Cindy stopped at an ice cream shop in Cedarburg, Wisconsin. Big news on the Sarah Palin/Ice Cream front. To make this banal story a little more interesting, the Denver Latest Word Blog notes a little faux pas made by the Denver Post: Apparently, in a story about a crash into a Baskin Robbins, someone mistakenly inserted Sarah Palin's picture instead of the scene of the crash. Nah, still not much more interesting.

Whatdy'a know Joe? In Biden/ice cream news, the basic story is that Joe Biden has been to a lot of ice cream shops. As the SeattlePi puts it "[Biden] is simply out there visiting ice cream parlors and keeping his famous mouth shut except for a lick or two after a couple of somewhat embarrassing gaffes -- a tendency for which he has been notorious throughout his career." (from "The Disappearing Joe Biden", Dan K. Thomasson, Now there's nothing wrong with that, Joe. We've been known to shove ice cream in our mouths too, instead of risking making inappropriate comments.

If you haven't decided on your candidate yet, maybe your favorite ice cream story can help you shed some light!

"Yes, Pecan" image from and McCain/ice cream photo from

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Scoopalicious Count Down to Election Day

As NPR reminded me every few minutes today, Election Day is in five, count 'em, FIVE days. As with any event, we do have the incredible talent of connecting it to ice cream, so for the next five days and all posts will be connected to the election. And then, for four more years, no more election talk...

OK, to start off the countdown, we want to remind you that if you vote our friend at Ben & Jerry's are giving out free ice cream! All you have to do? Show up at a participating Ben & Jerry's on November 4 between 5 and 8. (Apparently their original plan was to offer free scoops to only the people who voted, but since there seems to be a legal issue in doing so, they changed the event to an "everyone welcome" election day party, which makes it nice too for the under eighteen crowd.) Either way, if you are eighteen or older, I think you should still play by the original rules, show your patriotism, and vote! (This Google map makes it easy to find out where you vote this coming Tuesday, so no "I didn't know where my poling place was" excuses!)

As American as apple pie? We think not. As American as ice cream.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Guest Blog: Beijing Black Sesame

What is the ice cream experience like abroad? We have Japanese Ice Cream and Ice Cream Ireland to tell us something about it, but it's always nice when our traveling friends taste ice cream in different countries and tell of their experiences. Husband was in China last week on business, and he graciously bought ice cream at the Beijing Airport and wrote us a guest posting. If you have international ice cream stories to tell, please do tell -- we'd love to share your story.

I was walking through Beijing International Terminal 2, debating if I had bought enough souvenirs for my awesome, sexy wife when I noticed this:

I didn't have much room in my luggage, but I did have room in my stomach, so I figured I could try bringing back an ice cream post from China. Plus, if I load it up with enough compliments about Bethany and her incredibly smart and talented partner, Tina, they'd post anything.

First off China does a few things right and service is one of them. In the USA, this little stand would have been staffed by one unhappy teenager trying to avoid looking at you. Customers = work, right? This stand had two enthusiastic women scanning the crowds. The guys at the right were just standing around looking at some lights on the wall, my guess is that they were monitoring the delicate ice cream computers. At this point, I've wandered a bit closer so that both women are smiling, waving, and trying to offer me samples. I start scannng the case and they hand me a tasting spoon of coffee ice cream, easily one of my favorite flavors ever that I didn't even see in the case yet. How did they do that? There must be an ancient Chinese art of flavor identification.

The coffee was pretty good, but I could get that anywhere. I kept looking in the case and something else caught my eye in the back corner. Black sesame. Now if any of you know my dazzling wife, you'll know the only type of sesame she ever liked was the street, and even then she would have reminded you how much she doesn't like the seeds. Bethany wasn't here, so I bought the smallest size of black sesame for 25 RMB, thanked them in my nonexistent Chinese and walked away.

Ok, now take some time to look at this picture very closely and you'll see something very unfortunate:

Got it?
That's right.
Seat 44L, which is soon to be one crappy seat in the back corner on a 14-hour flight to Newark.

The ice cream. Now I am notoriously bad at identifying Bethany's archnemesis of seeds, which is probably why I had no idea what this tasted like. It had a great texture, but then this other flavor kicked in and stayed. I think the best part was the blue-grey color, which I hadn't seen since I tried squid ink ice cream with a friend in Hokkaido. That had decidedly more color than taste. This has decidely more taste than color, and I also wasn't too happy with where this taste wanted me to go. It was like my poor little taste buds had just gotten into some sketchy van.

Anyway, the taste let up when I finished the cup, which was good news since it was going to be a while before I'd get on the plane and the food cart would make it all the way back to 44L. The ladies probably knew me better than I did; next time I'll stick with the coffee. All of the other flavors in the case had been pretty common, with some green tea ice cream thrown in to round out the Asian experience. The next time I'm in this terminal I think I'll get one of those other flavors, unless they come up with another color that looks like it shouldn't be ice cream.

Disclaimer: Despite the lovely things said about both Tina and me, we had nothing to do with the content of this posting and, though accurate, we did not edit this piece to make ourselves look better!

Friday, October 24, 2008

Ice Cream on a Bag

It's been a while since I have done a product collection and recently I was thinking about ice cream bags. No, not something you can carry your ice cream in (what a mess!) but something printed with an ice cream motif, allowing you to share with the world how much you LOVE ice cream.

Tina picked up an ab fab ice cram bag as a gift for me a while back at Target. It is one of my favorites for numerous reasons: 1. It's from a dear friend, 2. It has ice cream on it, 3. It is adorable and unique, and 4. The fabulous story that goes with it...

Here's the story...I was at Costco one day and saw this girl carrying this adorable ice cream cone bag. I fell in love and just had to have it. Little problem though. I hate to go up to random strangers. So I didn't. I never knew where she got it. A couple of weeks later, I met Tina for lunch. It was around the time of my birthday and she had gotten me a gift (too sweet, Tina! -- no pun intended...) and the gift included adorable ice cream magnets, a great ice cream recipe book, and THE bag!

Target carries some awfully cute stuff, but if you want to be a little more unique, our friends at Etsy have some adorable handmade ice cream bags.

Katie at Tacky Top Hat (or as I first read it, Tacky To Phat based on her esty name, has adorable handpainted ice cream bags for sale at her store. With this little smiling ice cream cone, what could make one happier? Oh, maybe the rainbow striped lining could be the cherry on top...

Aidan of Bubbledog has a chic Soft Serve Ice Cream Trio Tote Bag Purse. When it comes to ice cream, three is never a crowd...This bag has a great polkadot pattern with three (chocolate, vanilla and strawberry, of course) appliqued ice cream cones. It is fully lined and also has a pocket. Oh, and if you are looking for something to carry inside the bag, try Aidan's Neopolitan Ice Cream Inspired Zippered Pouch, also lined with an adorable polkadot print and a steal at only $12.

Fellow Massachusettsian, sohokitten, has totally won my heart with a screenprinted bunny in an ice cream cone bag. Four things close to my heart: ice cream, bags, screenprinting, and bunnies (ok, well, I like bunnies, but I don't know if they belong on the "close to my heart" list normally, but when added to the above equation, I think they count! This machine washable, 10" x 10.5" bag is perfect for carrying around your, wallet, keys, and your list of local ice cream spots.

Sundae lovers rejoice...cones aside, across the sea in the UK, Megan at Mr.PS screenprinted this wonderful Sweet Sundae screenprint shopper tote bag. I love the simplicity of the red on cream. I just love Megan's design aesthetic...from her checkered background in the photo (the bag sits so nicely against the setting -- and it's also just such an appropriate picnic decor) to her simple but classy logo that is sewn to each bag. I do have to wonder about the name, Mr.PS...maybe we can find more out at her website...nope, but I did find her lovely blog.

I've been wanting to include the work of YeeHaw in the blog for a long time. From ice cream prints to bags, I have always been as much of a fan of their work as they seem to be about ice cream. Their cotton ditty bag featuring an pink soft serve cone and tons of character is one of many of their ice cream items that just all don't fit into this post , so look for an upcoming post featuring YeeHaw in the near future. In the meantime, get ready for the presidential election with YeeHaw's fabulous Presidential Heavy Weight Championship Match poster (also available in "Vee Pee," as YeeHaw puts it!)

Want to give one of these bags as a gift? How about putting it into Happy's Strawberry Ice Cream Gift Bag? Or not since this bag seems to work so well on it's own, it could be a gift in itself. At $8.50, this wonderfully embellished felt bag is quite a steal. Not a fan of the flavor? This bag also comes in pink with a vanilla cone.

This last one isn't quite a bag, but can carry the money so you can buy a bag or any other ice cream treats -- and it is just too good to pass up! reVisionDesign, who awesomely uses recycled items in her projects, has a Recycled Stewarts Wallet for sale at her shop. Talk about unique -- a cool concept and absolutely no two are the same.

I hope you "carry" these ideas with you for the next time you need that perfect bag.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

It's all in the Ice Cream Lick

For me, its in a dish with a spoon. I guess its my OCD tendencies that lead me to the dish for fear I might actually get some ice cream on my face or the fear of not being able to outlick the melting. But apparently ice cream really does taste better licked from a cone instead of spooned out of a dish. Well after these findings I may just have to think twice the next time I direct the scooper to put it in a dish.

According to Kay McMath, a sensory scientist and judge for an international Ice Cream Awards, "Flavour in ice cream is released when it's warmed in the mouth to at least body temperature."

"During licking, the tongue is coated with a thin layer of ice cream where it is more quickly warmed, and the flavour is detected by the large surface area of the taste buds present on the tongue."

"By comparison, the spoon provides insulation to keep the ice cream colder when put into the mouth. Once in the mouth the tongue pushes the ice cream to the roof of the mouth to melt before swallowing. A smaller surface area is therefore involved in warming the ice cream to release the flavours," she said.
Mrs McMath said that when licked from a cone ice cream was eaten in smaller amounts therefore the full flavour release occurred with every lick. So the longer the ice cream licking, the greater the taste and enjoyment.

Sorry to get all scientific on you but that is pretty interesting. There are definitely times when I long for a cone but I'm primarily a dish girl!

Oh and in case you are on the lick side and your wrist hurts from twisting that cone to save the drips then you might want one of these genius motorized cones. It's tagline.... "Takes a licking -- keeps ice cream from dripping!"

(Seriously the cone is the size of her head!)

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Recipe: Cake Batter Ice Cream

A while back we posted a recipe for a very simple but amazing cake batter recipe. We got feedback from someone who said we should be careful because cake batter is meant to be cooked, and we should be aware of the possibility of Salmonella. Though I probably should be, I am not too worried about Salmonella and I love the original recipe. However, when making ice cream for 30-40 guests, I have to say I am a little more anxious about it, so I made a very good recipe by cooking the base.

For the recipe I used the Vanilla Ice Cream #1 (Pure and Simple) from Bruce Weinstein's The Ultimate Ice Cream Book: Over 500 Ice Creams, Sorbets, Granitas, Drinks, And More as a guide, but I changed it up a bit.

2/3 cup of sugar

2 large eggs

3/4 cup Yellow Cake Mix (though I am sure other flavors would work well too!)
1 cup skim milk
2/3 cup half and half
1 cup heavy cream
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

Beat the sugar into the eggs until thickened and pale yellow. Add the cake mix.

Bring the milk and half and half to a simmer in a medium sauce pan. Once simmering, remove from stove and pour the milk mixture into the egg, sugar and cake mix and beat until well mixed. Pour the entire mixture back into the sauce pan, and cook over low heat while mixing constantly until the mixture thickens. The mixture may start to "bake" -- if this happens, take it off the stove immediately, and then pour through a strainer into a clean bowl. Allow the mixture to cool for a bit and add the heavy cream.

Cover and refrigerate until cool.

Freeze according to manufacturer's directions.

For an extra treat, I added rainbow sprinkles to the ice cream semi-frozen ice cream (about five minutes before I was ready to remove it from the ice cream maker.) Eat immediately or transfer to another container and freeze.

For another cake batter recipe that looks amazing, visit EB at SpiceDish.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

I Scream 2008

One guest gives the ice cream table a thumbs up.

Back in August I had my annual ice cream party. Since this is my one big chance to make all the ice cream I want, I usually go a little crazy, and this year was no different (the people voted and next to the winners is their ranking -- as you will notice, there were a lot of ties!):

Ice Creams
  1. adam’s sweet cream kit-kat (4)
  2. arianna’s avocado (from the Food Network)
  3. chitra’s chocolate
  4. craig’s cocoanut chip
  5. desousa’s durian fruit (found here)
  6. ernie’s cookie ‘n’ cream (4)
  7. fragolino rocks
  8. jesse’s fluffernutter (3)
  9. kevin’s peanut butter sink
  10. lambic raspberry (here's a good site)
  11. ‘lexis mahon’s lemonade meringue (2)
  12. lisa’s white chocolate cranberry cookie
  13. mom and dad’s raspberry patch
  14. patrick’s starburst jelly bean vanilla bean
  15. rackle’s vermont hippie crunch
  16. red hot sarah’s cinnamon (here's the kinda recipe from when I made this before)
  17. rosemary peach
  18. sarah and john’s candied bacon (2)
  19. scoopalicious cake batter (2)
  20. shioka’s chocolate guinness
  21. shirley, ashu’s temple
  22. steve’s duck sauce fortune cookie
  23. strawberry rhubarb (1)
  24. vanilla bean (4)
  25. veronica’s coffee cheesecake
  1. meghan and ross’s blueberry and red wine sorbet
  2. shirley, anisha’s temple sorbet
  3. snyder’s strawberry rhubarb sorbet (4)

So yes, I made 25 ice creams and 3 sorbets for a total of 28 flavors. Guests also brought some this time:
  1. dan and ashley’s garlic goodness
  2. carley's chocolatey goodness
  3. liam’s great bowl of ginger (3)
So yes, Baskin Robbins, we caught up! Our own 31 flavors!

Lisa's White Chocolate Cranberry Cookie.
Who is Lisa and what kind of name is that?

Here's what you might be wondering...the names. How were they named? There were two ways. If a guest suggested the flavor (or even better, made it themself) it was named after them. Aternatively, if a guest's name had good aliteration with a flavor, then that was grounds for personalization as well. (By the way, Lisa is a dear friend I went to college with, but I didn't really get know her until we remet on the elevator at Houghton Mifflin. She loves these cookies by King Arthur Flour, so I made it into an ice cream for her.)

Gosh, where to begin about this? My favorites? Well, I loved loved loved Snyder's Strawberry Rhubarb Sorbet that I only made by accident and I don't ever ever choose sorbet over ice cream. How did I make it by accident? Well, I had to have a certain amount of pulp for the ice cream. Mine was too much and too watery, so I drained out two cups of liquid. Now WHAT am I going to do with two cups of strawberry liquid? A-ha! A lightbulb went off...sorbet! I am a sucker for Fluffernutter, Oreo and Cake Batter ice creams, so Jesse's Fluffernutter, Ernie's Oreo, and Scoopalicious Cake Batter were winners in my book.

What was I most proud of this year? Scoopalicious Cake Batter, Veronica's Coffee Cheesecake, and Rackle's Vermont Hippie Crunch. Why? Well, Veronica's Coffee Cheesecake and Rackle's Vermont Hippie Crunch I was proud of because I really had no idea where to begin with either of them, but looking through some books and combining some recipes, I was able to come up with some pretty good ice creams. If I can remember how I made them, I will be sure to post the directions. And the Cake Batter impressed me because a while back Tina made a really good Cake Batter Ice Cream but then there was some speculation from a reader about the possibility of Salmonella because of the uncooked cake batter. So I cooked it. And it still came out really well. I will for sure post this recipe because I did actually write it down! Cake Batter without the Salmonella -- who wouldn't want to remember that recipe?

Here my parents taste some ice cream.
Meghan is enjoying some in the background as well.

Surprises? I hate ginger in general, but I actually liked Liam's Ginger Ice Cream. And Sarah and John's Candied, really good! Who knew?! Thanks David Lebowitz! Not a surprise? Didn't really like DeSousa Durian Ice Cream or Ashley and Dan's Garlic Ice Cream, but I do have to shout out to cousin Dan and his girlfriend Ashley because they put in quite an effort making that ice cream knowing it might not be a big hit!

Oh, and another surprise, we went through about 700 of the 3,000 tasting spoons! I thought we'd never go through them -- at this rate it will only take about four years!

A group enjoys ice cream and conversation,
while my brother-in-law scoops away.

Whew! Guess that's the scoop. Going to try to post some of the recipes but please let me know if there are particulars you would like to see -- we'll see if I can find them, direct you to the book they were from (if I remember) or post it!

Images courtesy of Rachel Distler, Rachel Distler Photography. For more images of the ice cream soiree, please visit here.


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