Tag Archives: ice cream

Foodie Gifts!

Our families spoil us, and we spoil each other. I wanted to share some of the food-related gifts I am really excited about. You may just want to spoil yourself or some other food geek with them, too.


Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams at Home by Jeni Britton Bauer

I’ve never had the pleasure of tasting Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams, but I really wanted a new ice cream cookbook. On a whim I added this to my wish list, after hearing a lot of buzz and reading great reviews. I almost always test out cookbooks from the library these days, so I don’t know what I was thinking. Now that I have the book it is blowing my mind, and I’m already trying to figure out how often we can make ice cream without it affecting our health. Once a month? Twice? It is hard to narrow down just a few recipes to mention: Roasted Strawberry & Buttermilk. Baked Rhubarb Frozen Yogurt. Scarlet & Earl Grey. Bangkok Peanut. Ylang-Ylang with Clove & Honeycomb. Berry Crisp Ice Cream! I could keep going and going. This book is a revelation.


India Cookbook by Pushpesh Pant

Last year I started to dabble in cooking Indian at home, mostly from library books. I don’t even know where to begin with this gigantic book, but it is spectacular. The sections are different colors of lightweight newsprint, separated by gorgeous, glossy photo pages. Levi was just telling me how much he is craving Indian food. I do believe 2012 will be the year we eat a ton of it.


mason jar stamp

Can’t you just picture the adorable tags and labels I am going to make with this stamp?


Homemade Soda by Andrew Schloss

Now this book I did test out from the library, and deemed it worthy of taking up valuable shelf space in our little house. I love that recipes include different instructions for just making a syrup to mix with seltzer OR actually brewing. Some recipe highlights: Coffee chocolate stout. Fermented honey soda. Original orange crush. Chamomile lavender kombucha. An entire section on shrubs and switchels! And herbal/healing waters! I’m think we’ll be trying the lavender grape migraine mitigator.


Silhouette Salt Mill from Crate & Barrel

Our pepper mill broke awhile back and we have searched to the ends of the internet for an affordable, aesthetically pleasing replacement. In the very long interim, we have been refilling Trader Joe’s mills (not intended to be re-usable) until they break (which is often). Finally, we found something cheap that will hopefully hold up. The salt and pepper mills look identical, but actually have a tiny “S” & “P” on the metal piece at the very top.


Schmidt Brothers 15-piece Downtown Block

I have hemmed and hawed about getting a couple really fancy knives that individually cost more than this entire set, and finally decided to try out a decent set of knives and a sharpener. These won’t actually be in our kitchen until February, so I’ll have to report back!


OXO Food Mill

I can’t wait to see what Jess makes with a food mill, something we found would come in really handy in 2011.

Did you get any great food-related gifts this year? Do tell!

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half of an epic celebratory weekend

Once upon a time this blog was about how we ran off to Canada and eloped. Wednesday will mark three years since that happened.


three years married!

We also have Jess’ birthday to celebrate the day before, so we usually try to make a fabulous weekend of it. Last year we took a road trip on the coast. This year we kind of casually picked a few things that sounded fun without a ton of planning and somehow managed to have the best weekend I can remember.

Since we made reservations for an eight course vegetarian dinner at Tilth in Seattle, I proposed a lunch of nothing but milkshakes and Jess obliged.

We simultaneously came up with the genius idea of trying a salted caramel milkshake at Molly Moon, because that is how our marriage seems to work. And you guys, holy crap.

I have since decided that this will be my birthday present to myself come September, as well as my last meal if I ever get the death penalty. I know salted caramel was on trend like five years ago, but it will never stop being amazing. Salty + sweet = true love forever. I probably won’t need a salted caramel cupcake again because this exists.

We people and boat watched at Gas Works Park, where even the garbage on the ground was romantic.

Then on to Tilth where we planned to go all out and get the Grand Eight Course Vegetarian Tasting Menu. To our surprise there was also an amuse-bouche, so it was more like nine courses plus cocktails and the house made sodas I just had to try.

I won’t bore you with 12 pictures of our dinner, especially since we sat inside so the photos are lighting-challenged. How about some highlights:

the most perfect shot of asparagus soup and a slice of heirloom tomato with preserved lemon and basil

a porcini flan and grilled cauliflower with pickled garlic and truffle oil

sasparilla and rhubarb-ginger soda, served with classy giant ice cubes!

strawberry-rhubarb shortcake with chantilly cream

Everything was so fresh and flavorful and delicious, we ran out of compliments to tell the waitress when she checked on us during each course. And we enjoyed the fanciness of it all. I was overly amused by Jess’ napkin getting refolded for her while she was in the powder room. One time while she was gone the maitre d’ and the waitress each folded it for her. Awesome.

Then we had a gorgeous sunset drive through Seattle before heading off to downtown Tacoma for alchemy drinks at this place we’ve been meaning to try for ages.

1022 South is named after it’s address on J Street in downtown Tacoma. One part old apothecary, one part classy bar, they make fancy cocktails with homemade bitters and botanical infusions.

This was just round one: cherry shrub – rum, tarragon, amaro, cherry balsamic shrub and drunken boat – blackstrap rum, ginger liqueur, house made ginger beer, flamed angostura bitters

I wish I had a video of my drink on fire. Everything tasted amazing, and it lit a fire under us to experiment more with homemade syrups and even shrubs (apparently and aged fruit syrup).

After drinks we ate a caprese plate of tomato, basil, fresh mozarella and balsamic reduction and drank tons of complimentary cucumber water to sober up before driving back to Olympia. I can’t imagine anything more indulgent, but this was just DAY ONE.

More tomorrow, if you can handle it.

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a little solstice indulgence

Since we recently took our first jar of honey from the bees, I decided we should make something a little extra special with some of that honey. What could be more special than homemade ice cream? And what better day to do this than yesterday, the longest day of the year (not to mention it got up to 79 degrees for us and our tomatoes).

While Jess and Levi were at work I prepared a simple mixture of four ingredients: organic cream, organic whole milk, honey from our backyard, and two vanilla beans.

Yes, we like to do some things old school around here. Ice and rock salt and man power.


Clementine helped oversee Levi’s work. He insisted he do all the cranking, which was fine by me.


And then she took a nap because it kind of takes forever to make ice cream.


We peeked inside 3 or 4 times before finding this.


Yes, it does taste as good as you imagine. Better, even.

I used this recipe.

And Jess is celebrating extra. Now that I’ve tasted the rewards of all the work we’ve put into the bees, I don’t want anything to go wrong so I’ve agreed we could fit another hive or two into the yard. I’m so proud of her for keeping these bees going through their first year, and now we have two busy hives pollinating the neighborhood and making our lives a little sweeter.

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purple cow with a lime twist

Do yourself a favor next time it’s a really hot day and make yourself a float. Don’t just make any float, make this float. Some fresh squeezed lime can really improve an ice cold soda, and a favorite in our house is grape soda with half a lime in it. The other day we got a burst of sunshine around these gloomy parts, and it occurred to me that turning our favorite drink into a float could be a good idea. Boy was I right.

Here’s what you need:

Good old-fashioned grape soda. I’m sorry, but I have a special place in my heart for artificial grape flavor.

Half a lime.

Vanilla ice cream. You are going to pour grape soda on it, so it doesn’t have to be fancy. This is vanilla bean. Mmm.

Fill up a tall glass with scoops of ice cream and zest some lime over the top.

Squeeze half a lime over the top and squish the lime wedges into the glass.

Pour grape soda over the top.

Let the magic happen and put it in your belly. You won’t regret it.

And Jess and Levi won’t forgive me if I don’t mention that you have to suck the last bits out of the lime wedges when you get to the end.

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the Klondike float: a photo essay

Idea from serious eats

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VD

We had a pretty low-key Valentine’s Day around these parts. Levi was off with his dad. Like just about every holiday lately, I had to work. Sometimes this is great, like the 14 time-and-a-half hours I got on President’s Day. And sometimes it is not so great, like you get a lot less cuddling on Valentine’s Day. We made the best with the hours we had and made an indulgent dinner and dessert to celebrate.


Jess made little hearts on our pizza out of banana peppers and pineapple. And by the way, Andrea, the jar made a great noise when we broke the seal and we’re still alive, so I’m pretty sure you are badass at canning.

Next we made The Pioneer Woman’s baked fudge. It is sort of like an extra gooey brownie. And it was the simplest dessert I can remember making that tasted so good.


It took about five minutes to mix the ingredients and put them in some ramekins and into a pan of water.


50 minutes later the whole house smelled incredible.


And then our favorite ice cream in the world on top. Ben & Jerry’s Creme Brulee. Custardy ice cream with giant swirls of carmelized sugar. Oh man.


Best dessert ever.

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