Thursday, July 31, 2008

Bittersweet Ice Cream...

July 31 has often been a bittersweet day for me. When I was in school, it just about marked the halfway point of summer vacation (it was all downhill from there!), but it is also my birthday.

Now, even as I get older, I love birthdays, but now that I am aware of the existence of National Ice Cream Month, it will forever be the last day of the best month of the year.

So, here I am, another year older, and one ice cream month wiser.

Thanks for taking part in our National Ice Cream Month post-a-thon and keep visiting! (This month has certainly inspired us to be better bloggers!)

P.S. Results of the onesie cone-test will be up soon! Good luck!

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Blogalicious: Ice Cream Journal

Scoopalicious has a number of other favorite ice cream sites on its right hand side, and I keep a list of ice cream blogs in my Google Reader so that I can keep up with what is going on in ice cream land. Once in a while though, we like to give a special shout out to our neighbors in blogland.

Yesterday Tina and I got a lovely little "hi" email from our friends at Ice Cream Journal (Turkey Hill Ice Cream's Blog) and I thought it was due time to highlight their blog.

I love Ice Cream Journal for a lot of reasons. One of my favorite parts is "Ask Ernie" in which Ernie -- though I am not quite sure what his background is -- answers readers' questions about everything from specific queries about Turkey Hill Ice Cream to more general ones such as "What Causes an Ice Cream Headache?" Might it be no coincidence that my husband and I are naming our new puppy Ernie?

I also love keeping up with the surveys they post. Did you know that most people answering the current Turkey Hill survey proudly eat ice cream right out of the carton?

Though Ice Cream Journal rarely posts recipes for making your own ice cream (they do sell ice cream and it wouldn't make too much sense if they were giving out recipes to make your own), they do post a plethora of ways to use their ice cream from festive holiday snowballs of ice cream to today's Duetto Lemon Pie (thinking of you, former roommate Tara...!) And for those of you who do want to be a little creative and try making ice cream without a machine, the blog even has a recipe for, that's right, Tin Can Ice Cream. (And when you are done, you can use the cans to call next door to invite your neighbors to ice cream!)

Turkey Hill's Blog is a great one, and helps highlight the variety of blogs out there, from the small, do-it-yourselfers such as Tina and I, to the big companies who want to have a more personal voice like Turkey Hill...

I love making homemade ice cream, but when I am in the mood to buy it, it's Turkey Hill Choco Mint Chip all the way. The only way for it to be better? For me to call my friend Swati and invite her over to eat the mint chocolate chip out of the carton while watching TV together...

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

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Holy Cannoli Gelato at Cha Cha's, NYC

Yay another weekend in NYC for me! Love the city and even more fun when its a girl's weekend full of eating, sightseeing, cocktails, and of course, ice cream. Well Gelato in this case but something frozen and yummy.

So we head out of our hotel on 42nd and continue to walk, and walk, and walk, and walk until we hit Little Italy. I had never been to this part of the city so I was quite excited to see how it compares to our North End of Boston. Definitely much smaller than I anticipated but it was packed with people. Oh and one annoying opera contest that we couldn't seem to get away from. It was enough to drive me to eat more gelato to distract me. So anyways, this street is packed with good old italian eateries, street vendors, and wow lots of people. Definitely different than Boston's italian district...NYC is sort of like a piazza where Boston is a quaint street with old and new restaurants and a bustle of people on the sidewalks but nothing like NYC and its restaurants back to back with tables packed to the sidewalks edge.

So I was on the hunt for some funky gelateria but this district is truly authentic and style is not at the top of the list. So Cha Cha's sure jumped out at me or maybe I ran into it while dodging crowds. Who knows but at this point in the day, 4 hours of walking and 90 degrees and sunny it was a great find. As you can see by the picture above this is no fancy Pinkberry. It's full of character and what matters most is the gelato. They probably offered about 15 gelato flavors and 15 italian ice flavors.

So what was my choice...Holy Cannoli and Chocolate. I love cannolis and almost debated a cannoli over gelato so this was a great compromise. And the chocolate had a rich chocolate brown color that looked like it'd be intense in flavor. I had to scream to ask the guy what Holy Cannoli actually was and he responded back to me with a great native New Yorker accent ..."Ever heard of a has that in it!" No shit Sherlock! So my take is that its vanilla based with pieces of the cannoli shell and chocolate chips throughout (pic on left). Another answer I could barely hear sounded like they actually mushed filled cannolis in with vanilla gelato but I wasn't getting much of that ricotta flavor so not sure this is the case. In all it was good, not great. The chocolate was much better with a rich and smooth flavor. Regardless it was perfect after walking the city. My friend actually calculated that we walked 7.5 miles just that afternoon so I don't feel one bit bad about getting two scoops. Man, I should have gotten more!

Interesting factoid about Cha Cha's (which is actually a restaurant not just a gelato cart)..."The best thing about Cha Cha's is its owner John "Cha Cha" Ciarcia. He started off as a boxing promoter for Tony Danza and ended up as the "go to guy....when you need something done..if ya know what I'm sayin." Love Tony Danza!

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

Monday, July 28, 2008

Ben and Jerry's Factory Tour

Sometimes I act just like a kid: I get so excited for something that when it finally happens, I am a little bit disappointed. That happened on Friday. Seeing as I love to see how things are made and I love ice cream, I had hyped up the Ben and Jerry's tour so much in my head and when we finally went on it, it just wasn't as wonderful as I expected.

The tour was quick, crowded and pretty standard. It started off with a quick film about the history and the 3-part-mission (which I really admired) of Ben and Jerry's and then our lively tour guide took us through the plant for the eight step process of making the ice cream (each step was labeled in the factory room as we looked down from the catwalk and she talked us through it). Our tour ended with a small scoop of strawberry cheesecake ice cream.

I do have to say, as a collector of ice cream paraphernalia, I did enjoy the gift shop! (I can either look at it as being unfortunate for my collection or lucky for my wallet that the shop is currently unavailable online!)

Afterwards we visited the flavor graveyard up on the hill, which was kind of fun and it inspired me to create my own flavor graveyard beginning with brother-in-law Liam's Lime Spoom. [Appropriately, at our next stop to the Rock of Ages (a great tour, I might add), I was able to pick up some flat granite scraps to use for this purpose!]

I couldn't take pictures for you on the actual tour, but I did manage to get a couple on the grounds and some photos-allowed sites.

Bethany and Kevin as Ben and Jerry

Bethany coming out of a carton of ice cream?
(It's really just an ice cream carton podium
in the sample room.)

I did have fun with my parents, husband, sister and brother-in-law, so spending time with them was well worth it...! Wished my little sister was there too, but alas, she was enjoying her own ice cream down in Virginia, and hopefully she'll be guesting with a field report soon! (Thanks, Arianna!)

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Sunday Sundae

Did you know that Serendipity 3 (yes, the namesake of the movie by the same name) in New York City serves the Guinness Book of World Records' most expensive dessert? Yep. It's the $1000 Golden Opulence Sundae. Serendipty's website doesn't say much about what's in it, but Wikipedia describes it as "The dessert consists of five scoops of Tahitian vanilla bean ice cream infused with Madagascar vanilla, covered in 23-carat edible gold leaf, rare Amedei Porceleana and Chuao chocolate, American Golden caviar, passion fruit, orange, Armagnac, candied fruits from Paris, marzipan cherries, and decorated with real gold dragees. The sundae is served in a baccarat Harcourt crystal goblet with an 18-karat gold spoon."

Do you think you get to keep the goblet and spoon?

Another Serendipity bonus? Star sightings...apparently this 60th Street gem is a celebrity hotspot...

[Editor's Note: Don't expect a tasting review by either of us anytime soon...not in our budget!]

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

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Summertime Pina Colada Ice Cream

If you love Pina Coladas and gettin' caught in the rain...! I can't even believe summer is halfway over and I have yet to have an actual Pina Colada so I'll settle for second best. But its second only because its sans alcohol! I actually am not a huge fan of coconut but something about a Pina Colada doesn't bother me. I actually like the taste. I think its because I don't like the texture of shaved coconut but I enjoy the flavor so when it's in ice cream (or the drink) you lose that texture issue. It becomes a refreshing summertime favorite. I bet too you could replace the flavoring with actual rum. It may not reeze so well if you put too much in though so try the flavoring first. Enjoy!

Pina Colada Ice Cream
1 (12 oz.) can crushed pineapple
1 pkg. frozen coconut (thawed)
1 qt. half and half
1 pt. whipping cream
1 can Eagle Brand evaporated milk
4 eggs, beaten well
2 C. sugar
2 t. rum flavoring

Place 4 egg yolks in a bowl, whisk together, and set aside. Place heavy cream and coconut in a large bowl and set aside.

Heat the evaporated milk, half & half, and sugar over med heat. Heat thoroughly but do not boil. Slowly add the warmed milk mixture to the egg yolks, stirring constantly. Pour the warmed milk/yolk mixture back into the saucepan. Cook over low heat, stirring constantly until the custard base coats the back of a spatula. Strain this hot custard base into the heavy cream and add rum flavoring.

Place in refrigerator for at least four hours. Freeze according to the manufacturers instructions.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Free Year of Ice Cream - unbelievable

Looks like Turkey Hill is celebrating National Ice Cream month too! Want a free year's supply of ice cream and a trip to Lancaster County to tour Turkey Hill Dairy? Ask no more...just leave a comment on their ice cream journal blog in the month of July and cross your fingers! Only 5 days left so be sure to visit and comment as many times as you'd like for greater chances at binging for a whole year.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

What would you do for Toscanini's Ice Cream?

Klondike says "What would you do for a Klondike bar" and Cambridge, MA says "What would you do for Toscanini's" ice cream?

Well let's just say many will go above and beyond to make sure this local establishment is around for a very long time. Recently on Forbe's Traveler's list of America's Best Ice Cream, Toscanini's, has a reputation for innovative ice cream (which we are yet to try :( ) but now has an even better rep...ditching the tax man. Uncle Sam came knocking for $168,000 in back taxes, and the scoop shop's loyal fans (Harvard/MIT students, alumni around the world, local regulars and so many more random people) actually answered. They actually banned together to bail the shop out of a payment needed to keep the doors open within one week. Now seriously I love ice cream and all but am I really going to give donations to keep a troubled shop owner out of hot water he created?! These people actually came up with $$34,348.08 for Mr Toscanini to keep his ice cream dream alive. I think I could find better causes to donate my money to but to each their own I guess and Mr Toscanini (actually Mr Rancatore) obviously has built a true following. This now intrigues me even more to try this hotspot so hopefully we'll report back soon. Some of their top tea, burnt caramel and khulfee (an Indian flavor with cardamom and pistachio), Vienna Finger Cookie and so much more.

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

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

The Great Staple.... Basic Vanilla Ice Cream

Happy National Vanilla Ice Cream Day...Enjoy!!

What You'll Need...
2 cup heavy cream
1 cup half & half
5 egg yolks
3/4 cups sugar
1 vanilla bean
1/4 tsp vanilla extract

Place 5 egg yolks in a bowl, whisk together, and set aside. Place heavy cream in a large bowl and set aside.

Heat the milk, salt, and sugar over med heat. Split the vanilla bean lengthwise and scrape the seeds into the milk mixture and throw in the scraped out bean too. Heat thoroughly but do not boil.

Slowly add the warmed milk mixture to the egg yolks, stirring constantly. Pour the warmed milk/yolk mixture back into the saucepan. (bean pod should remain in the mix) .

Cook over low heat, stirring constantly until the custard base coats the back of a spatula. Strain this hot custard base into the heavy cream and add vanilla extract. Place in refrigerator for at least four hours. Remove the vanilla bean and freeze according to the manufacturers instructions.


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

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Onesie Cone-test!

To celebrate National Ice Cream Month, I designed and printed two onesies with ice cream cones on them. Printing both designs is a bit time consuming, so I would really like feedback on which I should continue to print and sell, as well as any comments/feedback on the design itself.

You can help! Leave feedback either via the comment form or in an email as to which onesie you like the best by this Sunday, July 27 (be sure to include your email!), and be entered to win your favorite. (Even if you don't have little ones, chances are someone you know is having or will have a little one in the near future, so this is still a great prize!)

Options are below:

Monday, July 21, 2008

Lizzy's Ice Cream

The other night I met some friends for dinner in Cambridge. We had a lovely meal at Charlie's Kitchen, and then as we were headed towards the T, Rachel, Tara, and I decided to stop for some ice cream at Lizzy's on Church Street.

Lizzy's was started in 1995 by Nick Pappas who came from the corporate world, but clearly found his true talent and passion in ice cream making. I have been plenty of times to the Lizzy's in Waltham, but had never been to the newer Cambridge location. The Cambridge location is quite small -- it is basically a counter. (The Lizzy's website actually calls it the "Harvard Square Take-Out Shop.") The Waltham shop is much larger with tables and chairs and even some nice "living room" furniture in the front of the store. I guess that real estate on Moody Street in Waltham comes much cheaper than that in the heart of Harvard Square. Nonetheless, the addition of Lizzy's in Harvard Square is quite a treat for the urbanite.

The three of us took a few minutes to decide from the 40 flavors that Lizzy's offers...

Tara had coffee oreo which I think she liked, but haven't gotten her review yet -- if she sends one, I will add an addendum to this post with her review!

Rachel had a scoop of ginger and a scoop of sweet cream and had this to say about her first Lizzy's experience:

"Last night I had a small cone (which was two huge scoops! I really think that ice cream shops could stand to use a smaller scoop and then just charge less for the ice cream... the size of a small cone is really ridiculously large)...It was good, but I wasn't blown away. The Ginger flavor -- I kind of wished there was more ginger flavor to it. The chunks of candied ginger inside it was good. The texture was good though, nice and creamy. Not overly sweet.

The Sweet Cream was a little bland. I have to admit that Sweet Cream is one of my favorite flavors, and that my favorite Sweet Creams come from Christina's in Inman Sq and from Haagen Dazs. This one, from Lizzy's, just was kind of not here nor there. It wasn't overly sweet (which they can sometimes be) but it also wasn't much sweet at all. I think I'd have been disappointed if I got it alone, but it was a good pairing flavor. Texture was good."

I, knowing that for my own annual homemade ice cream shindig I was going to have to pass up making the black raspberry ice cream for red raspberry ice cream, decided to try Lizzy's own red raspberry chocolate chip ice cream. I don't think I have ever had red raspberry ice cream/frozen yogurt and I wanted to know what I was in for if I did indeed try my own hand at it in a couple of weeks.

The frozen yogurt was very good and quite refreshing, but clearly frozen yogurt, not ice cream. As is true with most frozen yogurt, it was much less creamy than Lizzy's ice cream, and I have a feeling in general that red raspberry ice cream just isn't as rich as black raspberry (both in flavor and in color). The serving was huge, and the price for a small was four dollars and change. Similarly to Rachel, I could have gone with a smaller size at a lower price -- next time I think I will try the kiddie cup size and go for the actual ice cream.

Next time I will go with my old Lizzy's standbys: mint chocolate chip and cookies 'n' cream. No fault of the raspberry chocolate chip -- great tasting and great combo of flavors, but I think I was just in the mood for rich, non-fruity ice cream on that summer night. But if you like fruity frozen yogurt, I would say it's definitely worth a test!

In general, I love Lizzy's. I am glad that if Waltham only has a handful of ice cream shops, that Lizzy's is one of them! It is among my favorites. And a plus to loving Lizzy's is their adorable cow (see left) mascot. In the Cambridge location, this adorable animal greets visitors from above the door.

Live in the Greater Boston Area but not near one of the scoop shops? Don't worry, check out this list for a number of other locations that carry Lizzy's ice cream in cartons.

*All images are from the Lizzy's site as it was late at night when we went and my dark cell phone pictures just wouldn't do the charming Lizzy's justice.*

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Happy National Ice Cream Day!

(Hope it's Scoopalicious!)

Photo taken by Becco at stock.xchng.

Ice Cream is out of this world...

Happy 39th birthday to the first moon walk!

Did you know that Whirlpool isn't just about dishwashers and refrigerators? When it comes to ice cream, astronauts have this appliance company to thank for their ability to eat the sweet treat in zero gravity. It was actually a subcontractor to Whirlpool who developed for NASA the dehydrated Astronaut Ice Cream that astronauts and field tripping school kids all around the country enjoy. (For more information on astronaut food, see here.)

Out of the top five sellers at the Kennedy Space Center gift shop, two astronaut ice cream products are among them.

I'm not surprised. I don't know a kid around that doesn't go to a science museum shop and look longingly at the Astronaut Ice Cream. In fact, this 28-going-on-29-year-old-kid still does! Albeit it's not super premium ice cream, but there is something magical about how the styrafoamy block turns to ice cream in your mouth.

[Husband, this this 28-going-on-29-year-old-kid just gave you an idea for a birthday present!]

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

Saturday, July 19, 2008

What would you do for a Klondike Bar? Video Contest

Only 12 days to get in your video of what exactly you would (or maybe wouldn't) do for a Klondike bar. It's simple..have fun and show the world what ice cream will make you do. And what's even better you could be $100,000 richer because of it. Check out the site, there are some really creative folks out there or crazy people just really passionate about the yummy Klondike bar. Or not sure you want to get in front of a video you could also win $25,000 for just viewing and voting on your favorites.

I know, being ice cream obsessed you would think we would have our act together and have a video to share but not yet. Stay Tuned! But in the meantime enjoy these fun clips in the running to take home the cash.

Friday, July 18, 2008

The Simpsons Scream for Ice Cream

So I am sitting with Kevin doing some stuff on my computer, just to go upstairs to climb into bed with a book, and I get pulled in by a Simpsons rerun he is watching: Ice Cream of Margie (With The Light Blue Hair). Do the networks know it is National Ice Cream Month?

I'm loving this episode: Homer is selling ice cream and Marge is an artist. This show is chock full of ice cream paraphernalia: trucks, novelties, lactose intolerance and giant ice cream scoops used as shovels at the ice cream man's funeral. Really, what could be finer?

Though most critics reviewed this as a pretty dull episode of the Simpsons, it seems to be me in a nutshell: ice cream and art. Does this mean I am dull?
[Scoopalicious is celebrating National Ice Cream month with a Post-A-Day throughout the month of July!]

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Happy National Peach Ice Cream Day!

Happy National Peach Ice Cream Day! To celebrate, I tried something a little different and I infused rosemary into the cream as I was warming it, and made a Rosemary Peach Ice Cream.

This was not as sweet as I usually like, but I loved the mixture of flavors -- it has a very rich taste. As with many of my recent fruit ice creams, one churned and put in the freezer, this was a bit icier and froze harder than I would have preferred. However, once I let it sit and soften for for a bit, I liked the creaminess of the concoction

Unfortunately, I don't have time to post the whole recipe today, but I promise I will post it very soon!

In the meantime, you can take your favorite custard-style peach ice cream recipe, and while cooking the milk, add two sprigs of rosemary while it simmers. Continue following the recipe by adding the whisked eggs, cooking it until the sppon is coated and when it comes time to strain this custard mixture, strain out the rosemary as well.

Promise when I return from lack-of-internet-land, I will post the recipe, but until then, have the most wonderful National Peach Ice Cream Day!

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

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Ice Cream Jesus

First the Virgin Mary on a Grilled Cheese sandwich for sale on Ebay and now its the image of Jesus in a tub of Spumoni ice cream. A local chocolate shop, Hatch Family Chocolates, in Salt Lake City apparently has a tub of Spumoni ice cream and the swirls of the flavors create an image that looks like Jesus. Check it out...does this look like Jesus to you?!

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

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Ice Cream Abroad: Ice Cream Ireland Blog

One of my favorite ice cream blogs to keep up with is that of Keiran Murphy, one of the owners (along with his brother Sean) of Murphys Ice Cream in Killarney and Dingle, Ireland. (I am also enamored with the typographic treatment of their logo.)

Keiran's blog, Ice Cream Ireland, is diverse, knowledgable and interesting. I love it for it's recipes, photos (see right for an excellent example!), ice cream making tips, and the culture of ice cream and Ireland in general I get from keeping up with the blog. One of my favorite posts ever was Ice Cream Made Easy, with Sean and his son Conor teaching us how to make ice cream. It is just wonderful!

I've never been to Ireland, but Murphys Ice Cream is on my list of places to visit.

Recently the brothers published a book, Murphys Ice Cream Book of Sweet Things, which I am dying to get my hands on, but it seems not to be available yet in the U.S., and I am trying to avoid the high international shipping costs. But if it continues to not be available state side much longer, I am going to cough up the shipping because I would love to have a copy.

Murphys Ice Cream belongs right up there with things I like from Ireland: The Frames, Damian Rice, U2, my brother-in-law and his family, my friends from Cork, Damian and Gemma, and Irish blooded American friends. Oh, right...and that fabulous accent. And the movie Once.

Images courtesy of Keiran at Ice Cream Ireland. Thanks, Keiran!

Monday, July 14, 2008

Skinny Cows and Ice Cream Sandwiches

I am a huge fan of Skinny Cow products, and not just because they are supposedly healthier. I think their vanilla ice cream sandwiches are amazing and I love their Skinny Dippers as well.

The ice cream sandwiches normally come in a pack of six, they carry a much larger box at Costco. I am always tempted to buy, but...

I cannot keep these in the freezer. I am addicted.

One thing I am a bit confused about is their affiliation with scrapbooking. In fact, they have a list of scrapbooking events at which you can taste samples. I'm not much of a scrapbooker. I wish there were more places I could test their treats!

For those of you who want to make your own ice cream sandwiches, I am a big fan of these little ice cream sandwich makers -- I don't have this shape, but I am sure they still work just as well. One note I learned? You can even put a pile of brownie scraps in and it makes a pretty yummy ice cream sandwich, even thought it might not be quite as pretty as using the cut out shapes.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Blue Moon

I just ran across the flavor Blue Moon Ice Cream. Being an East Coastie, I have never heard of it until I saw it on a mail order ice cream site. At first I thought it was a brand. I googled it, to find the Chicago Tribune describing it as "Smurf-blue, marshmallow-sweet, and tasting remarkably like Froot Loops." Rumor has it it originated in Milwaukee and now Chicago's Edgar A. Weber and Co. owns the secret formula.

I want some.

Guess I will have to try it next time we are visiting the nephews in Minnesota. Unless anyone knows where to find this on the East Coast...

I could try making it from this recipe...

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Lyndonville, Vermont: Carmen's Ice Cream

I spent last weekend in Vermont. After a day of craft fairing with our Shadow Lake neighbors, we stopped for pizza and then ice cream at Carmen's Ice Cream at the Lyndon Freighthouse.

Carmen's was quite popular that afternoon, as the line ran off the porch into the parking lot. Unfortunately, because of the setup, one has to be almost at the window to even see the list of flavors. I didn't find this the most effective, because having never been there, I wasn't even able to begin imagining what flavors were available to choose from.

As Carmen's boasts over 60 flavors, the truth of the matter was I had a very hard time deciding on what I would have once I got within reading distance. The time finally came that I was standing at the window and I had to decide...I wanted something local and summery, so I decided on Maine Blueberry, which, though summery, was not quite local. Oh well. Local or not, it was creamy, sweet and a prefect summertime treat, and my mouth still waters to talk about it.

The preteen girls I was with were more daring. Segolene and Katia decided on cotton candy, which I still regret not getting, because I have always wanted to try it. Tess had a cone of peanut butter caramel cookie dough. Like me, Leslie (not a preteen) was a little more mellow and opted for a strawberry shortcake sundae, which she described as "unbelievably fabulous."

This seems like a new favorite Vermont destination to me -- I'd say Lyndonville has at least two claims to fame, if not more: Bag Balm (yep, they make it here) and Carmen's.

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

Friday, July 11, 2008

Top Selling Ice Cream Books at Amazon...What's the Scoop?

Out of curiousity the other day, I looked up "ice cream" at amazon in the cookbook section and then sorted them by bestseller. Though anyone can do this search, I thought it would be fun to see how many of the top ten I have, and review those I do have! How "with it" am I in ice cream land? Do I have all the best sellers? Do my favorites make the list?

Answer: I have three of the top ten. And no. One of my favorites made the list (The Ultimate Ice Cream Book) but one did not (Gail Damerow's Ice Cream: The Whole Scoop!)

So I used my lazy internet skills, created an amazon widget, added some comments, and made a list! I'd love to hear more feedback on these products if anyone has used them!
[Scoopalicious is celebrating National Ice Cream month with a Post-A-Day throughout the month of July!]

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Incredible Shrinking Ice Cream

No you are not going crazy. No you do not need glasses. And yes what you always knew was a half gallon, has secretly shrunk (but not the price of course) and the manufacturers never thought we'd notice! Seriously I bought some Edy's ice cream for the family since my homemade production is at a low these days and brought it home a quickly started to eat our way to the bottom. Next day I just needed to run in the supermarket for something quick and as I strolled through the freezer section something caught my eye. How come the Edy's containers are short and stubby. Do they now offer a pint? No, they just shrunk the packaging and contents by such a minimal amount that its almost tricky to the eye. It now contains 1.5 quarts and the original container contained 1.75 quarts...all for the same price! Breyer's, same thing. So now when you think that Ben & Jerry's seems more expensive, think again and go for the premium!

The International Dairy Foods Association website states that "annual U.S. ice cream sales exceeded $21 billion dollars.” so I doubt this change in size will hurt these manufacturers too much but regardless its a deceiving way to get us consumers to once again pay more for less. So all you ice cream making friends....more reason to start churning!

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

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

America's Best Ice Cream

Perfect timing for National Ice Cream Month. Forbes Traveler Magazine just released their list of America's best ice cream spots. We've been fortunate to taste test two of the top 10 (Ciao Bella & Brooklyn ICF-pictured on left) and we can see why they made the cut. Next stop on this list for the Scoopalicious team is Toscanini's, since its a hop, skip, and a jump away for us. We hope to let you all know how it is by the end of the summer. So if you happen to live nearby any of these you must try one because the price of gas may keep us from a few! Oh and be sure to let us all know how it was!

Capogiro Gelato
Philadelphia, PA

The Brooklyn Ice Cream Factory
Brooklyn, NY

Tèo (Gelato)
Austin, TX

Bi-Rite Creamery
San Francisco, CA

McConnell's Fine Ice Creams
Santa Barbara, CA

Margie's Candies
Chicago, IL

Toscanini's Ice Cream
Cambridge, MA

Cincinnati, OH

Ciao Bella Gelato
New York, NY

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

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

And we have a winner!...

I randomly drew a name from the feedback on the most creative ice cream flavors, and xsquared was the winner of the free pint of Ben and Jerry's! Way to go!

I loved the feedback though and I am going to relist the creative flavors our readers posted:

  • i never seen these crazy flavours you speak of! I am going to have to start looking harder!
    Weirdest Ive had is Green Tea, but thats fairly common really :S -Tanybug

  • I actually tried Red Bean at our local chinese restaurant and it was surprisingly very good. It had more of a spicy flavor like Ginger does rather than sweet. -Our very own Tina

  • I've made 2 slightly odd flavors:

    1. David Lebovitz's Candied Bacon Ice Cream - delicious! But only the first night. After that, the bacon got unpleasantly rubbery in the ice cream. Recipe:

    2. Toasted Sesame Vanilla - the base base delicious but I didn't like the texture of the sesame seeds - next time I would leave them out.
    Recipe: -xsquared

  • I didn't try this because it really looked disgusting, but we had a friend whose favorite concoction was Mint Chocolate Chip with a dollop of peanut butter mixed in! -Jennifer from Ohio

Thanks all for some good flavor ideas to fill out Ice Cream Month! I am not sure I will try all of them (I don't like sesame seeds or green tea), but they are good to have on the back burner for my ice cream party.

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

Blueberry Cheesecake Ice Cream

A sure sign of summer, blueberries! I wish I could tell you these are fabuous wild blueberries that I picked while frolicking through the forest but the truth of the matter is my local market had a sale for 99 cents a pint and I couldn't resist! So I thumbed through some recipe books and sites for a great recipe to use up my bargain find and found this wonderful recipe on the Cooking Light site. BUT confession, my version is not the light one. I modified it for the real thing. For me, the perfect ice cream is truly heaven with the full fat stuff! Enjoy!

What you'll need....

2 cups granulated sugar
3/4 cup
(6 ounces) cream cheese, softened
4 large egg yolks
2 cups heavy cream
2 cup half-and-half
3 cups fresh blueberries, coarsely chopped
1/4 cup powdered sugar
1/4 cup water

In order to chop the blueberries I used my handy mini processor. It left enough chunks but also enough puree to form the wonderful blueberry flavoring.

Combine chopped blueberries, powdered sugar, and 1/4 c of water in a small sauce pan; bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer for 10 minutes or until mixture thickens slightly, stirring frequently. Remove from heat and cool completely. For some reason this looks more like raspberry but I promise its blueberry!

Combine first three ingredients in a large bowl; beat with mixer at high speed until smooth. Combine cream and half&half in a medium saucepan; bring to a boil. Remove from heat. Gradually add half of hot mixture to cheese mixture, stirring constantly with a whisk. Return mixture to a pan. Cook over medium-low heat until it lightly coats a spatula (or 160 degrees). Place over an ice bath (as shown) and cool completely.
BTW...these Kitchen Aid mixing bowls are an essential ice cream making tool. Great for ice baths and much more.

Stir cooled blueberry mixture into cooled cream mixture. Refrigerate for at least 4 hours. Freeze according to manufacturer's instructions. Yields 12 servings (makes a lot, might want to half)

Scoop and indulge!

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

Monday, July 7, 2008

Artisan Gelato in NYC, Ciao Bella

Three days in NYC and no time for ice cream...a pure disgrace. After cruising by so many cool spots in the village to grab a scoop I ended up sniffing out a last resort creamery in Grand Central Station. And for my last chance at a scoop before heading home I sure stumbled upon a good one, the Ciao Bella Gelato Company. Wow, was I pleasantly surprised! I can't say I've tried gelato too many times so this was a sweet treat. It was a hot and humid day in the city and I craved something refreshing so my choice of the day....Key Lime with Graham Cracker Swirl Gelato. This generous scoop was white in color, offered a sensational creamy texture with the perfect key lime tartness and graham cracker swirls throughout. This was SO good and the perfect flavor for a hot summer day. Ahhh, refrshing!

Ciao Bella of course has your typical favorites but it was the truly inventive options that intrigued me...Green Tea & White Chocolate Chunk, Red Bean, Venezualan Milk Chocolate...seriously the list goes on. According to their site they use top-notch ingredients imported from around the world and not only sell their wonderful creations at storefronts and by the pint in retail shops but top NYC restaurants and world renowned chefs call on them to provide truly experimental and decadant flavors. For a boutique creamery it sure sounds like they got a good thing going and if you read below,
they sure do. I definitely recommend this italian scoopable sensation that will not disappoint. Move over Ben & Jerry! (those could be fighting words I know!)

Bella was recently named one of the top brands on the verge by BRANDWEEK and is quickly becoming one of the nation’s most watched frozen desserts.

Ciao Bella has been named best gelato and best sorbetto by Real Simple Magazine.

Ciao Bella is the most awarded purveyor of artisanal gelato and sorbetto

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

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Scoops Aboard

The Titanic may have carried 3,500 passengers but they made sure there were room for seconds and was equipped with 5,500 ice cream plates.

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Ice Cream Shaped Chocolates

Things shaped like ice cream aren't exactly the answer when I am craving the creamy goodness of ice cream. But when you can't have ice cream, chocolate can be a pretty good second choice. Moonstuck Chocolates of Oregon has combined the best of both worlds into their adorable, albeit expensive, Cream Cone Collection.

Thanks so my swap-bot angel, Jessika, for introducing me to Moonstruck Chocolates!

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

Friday, July 4, 2008

Happy Fourth of July!

Trying to find some super cool Independence Day Ice Cream treats for you, and it has been quite a struggle.

I found a couple to get you in the mood though...

Thinking frozen treats and red, white, and blue,the first thing that comes to mind is being about seven years old, standing in line at the Washington Monument, and Mom and Dad buying us those rocket pops from a vendor. . What a treat! It certainly made the line go faster (or at least it seemed...) I also remember thinking how cool it was that our popsicle mimicked the monument ahead of us It looks like it is a Blue Bunny treat that we had: Bomb Pop, Jr.: cherry, lime and blue raspberry on a stick! Added bonus? I just found a Blue Bunny coupon! Yay!

On my search for Rocket Pops, I also found them called Firecracker Pops as well as the Blue Bunny Bomb Pops. Though Firecracker Pops aren't exactly the treats we had, but they look pretty close as well -- I am sure though, in 1986, our treats did not have an exploding candy top. I would have remembered that! A search on Google also brought up a listing of tons of recipes to make your own "rocket pops."

I am headed up to Concord, Vermont for the fourth, but if I were home, I certainly would be making these little fellas from BakeSpace. How cute!

Have a great fourth of July -- full of frozen treats!

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

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Ice Cream Infused Beauty

Love Philosophy! I totally adore the "philosophy" of this live life better and to live joyously and the product packaging totally ropes in the designer in me. So what else can possibly keep me coming back for more but fabulous ice cream infused scents. Philosophy strikes a cord with all us ice cream lovers and offers up a sweet Raspberry Sorbet and Strawberry Milkshake 3-in-1 product. So go ahead and wash, condition, and scrub minus the cherry on top!

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Everybody needs a pal...A Pint Pal that is

How ingenious! Of course I would never eat straight from the pint ;) but if I did this is the best creation ever. Seriously I usually wrap the pint with paper towels so I can comfortably dig away. Now with the Pint Pal my problems are solved. Love it...get a Pal today.

Post a day throughout July to celebrate National Ice Cream month!


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