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Ice Cream

Dessert/ Ice Cream

Popcorn Ice Cream

How do I describe how good popcorn ice cream is?

Well, it taste like popcorn (my favorite food group), it’s smooth and full of vanilla flavor. Pair it with a sprinkling of salt, maybe some salted popcorn or caramel corn or my favorite with movie popcorn add-ins — Milk Duds (don’t do that any longer) and you will have a surprisingly good dessert. Crunchy, sweet, salty, what more could you want?

One beautiful night in Santa Fe back in September, with the sun going down and the temperature starting to drop my twin sister, two friends from high school (Pauletta and Judy) and me went to dinner at Eloisa restaurant. We had been to this restaurant as one of the stops on our walking food tour and during that tour they took us to the rooftop bar (Bar Alto) to show us the 360° view. A magnificent view to have cocktails before going to dinner downstairs and we knew we just had to go back there for drinks and dinner.

The Eloisa is in the Drury Hotel which is a historic renovation filled with artwork throughout the hotel (we didn’t stay there). My dinner for the night was a Beef Tenderloin with wood-grilled shrimp and a potato-corn gratin, asparagus and a spicy chipotle béarnaise. (Menu) None of us finished our steaks and we took leftovers back to the house for steak and eggs the next morning; we HAD to save room for dessert.

The Caramelized Brioche French Toast with popcorn ice cream and apricot sorbet sounded so interesting we couldn’t resist. I think I could do a better job on the Brioche French Toast (too thick and didn’t soak up enough of the cream mixture it sat in overnight), but the popcorn ice cream was so delicious and they told me (kind of) how to make it.

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Dessert/ Ice Cream

Blueberry Lavender Ice Cream

Gotta try at least one new ice cream recipe this summer.

Have you ever seen fields of lavender? When we were in France several years ago I was disappointed that we didn’t get to see fields of purple; but we were there too early in the year. I have seen fields of lavender in Texas at Becker Vineyards and also at Matanza Creek in Santa Rosa, California which were both breathtaking. Since purple is one of my favorite colors I wanted to try some using some culinary lavender I had bought in Austin awhile back.

I was taught years ago in school that you don’t use artificial coloring in food (I think the exception has to be decorated cookies and cakes). Green should never be used in Key Lime Pie. You know that PURPLE is my favorite color (have I said this before???). So how am I making my purple ice cream then if I can’t use that little bottle of purple food coloring I have that I use for cookie frosting — blueberries, of course.

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Dessert/ Ice Cream

Peachy Pistachio Ice Cream

Summer may be over but never wrong season for some homemade ice cream.

They said that the first day of Fall was September 22. Not here in Texas. It’s still pretty hot outside and when it’s hot, I want to make some ice cream.

I ran across some good peaches at Trader Joe’s a few weeks ago and just had to make a couple of jars of peach preserves and with the peaches that didn’t get go into the preserves I made this peachy pistachio ice cream and it did its job and cooled us down on a hot summer night when we had some friends over for some rotisserie chicken. With this chicken I made my Salad Luke and some sautéed green beans.

Don’t you just love fresh peaches when they are in season and meet your expectations when you bite into one. Nothing is worst than to pick a peach and have it feel good, smell good only to be kind of tasteless when you eat the thing. My grandmother use to make fried peach pies but used dried peaches that she would cook and put into a homemade crust then lightly fry them in a skillet. Boy, were they ever good.

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Dessert/ Ice Cream

Buttermilk Ice Cream with Bourbon Peaches and Other Friends

My peach friends are blackberries and blueberries.

Do we ever get tired of ice cream? When it is hot as blazes here in Texas, ice cream is the only thing that will cool you down short of jumping in the swimming pool.

While Blue Bell was taking their break in the ice cream making business, I wouldn’t buy any other brand. If it is not Blue Bell, then I’m going to make my own. And, even when it started showing up on the shelves again, I only wanted to buy their “light” because to me that is their best.

While visiting for a few days in New Orleans recently we were at the World War II museum (great museum) and decided that we could walk to Willa Jean’s for lunch (I thought it was rather a long walk 🙂 ). Wonderful lunch and I will be making a sandwich (sort of) that I had but for dessert we shared their cornbread bread pudding with bourbon and buttermilk ice cream. I didn’t want to attempt the cornbread pudding because it seems a little heavy to be making in the summer. So, I decided to make a buttermilk ice cream with bourbon fruit on the side. Yum, yum. Maybe I’ll do the cornbread bread pudding in the fall when it starts to cool down a bit.

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Dessert/ Desserts/ Ice Cream

Lemon Sorbet with Mint Marigold Syrup and Meringue Bark

Put those marigolds in your yard to good use.

Don’t you just love beautiful desserts. Sometimes they look better than they taste. There is nothing worse than seeing, wanting, buying and eating a beautiful dessert only to find that it was all looks and nothing in the taste department.

You should know by now that I love copying or trying to recreate something I’ve eaten at a restaurant. It’s not like going to someone’s house and you love something and ask the hostess for the recipe and she’ll give it to you. You have to do a little detective work sometimes.

A few weeks ago, I met my daughter, Alexis for lunch in Austin at Olemaie. I always want what the person next to me ordered. This girl had a bowl that looked like salad, had some interesting greens, sprouts, fennel etc on top but it was a bowl of dumplings and not salad at all. The most delicious drop dumplings I’ve ever had and I didn’t think I even liked “dropped” dumplings and the bowl had pieces of fermented carrot floating in the broth along with the dumplings. Of course we ordered their BISCUITS which are not on the menu at all; they are a secret and only people knowing about then, know to order them. I’d read about them before going there. $10 for three biscuits with honey butter and it was the best $10 I’ve spent in a long time. Big square biscuits, brown and crunchy on all sides and soft in the middle. (Of course, I’m trying to find out how they made them and I did read some of their secrets which I will be trying.)

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Dessert/ Desserts/ Ice Cream

Peach and Cherry Custard

I Scream, You Scream, We all SCREAM for Blue Bell!

Ok, Blue Bell, you’ve had months to get back on the shelves and we are all growing impatient. I wanted some ice cream last weekend to go with a dessert I was making for company and I was at a loss to know what brand to buy. I’ve bought Blue Bell since moving to Texas and as far as I’m concerned there is no others that compare. Maybe Hagen Daz but who wants to pay twice as much for a cup of ice cream.

So, I have decided if I can’t have Blue Bell I will just make my own. I have many ice cream recipes on the blog that I love; and I like to come up with one or two more to try in the summer months when nothing else sounds better for dessert than a bowl, cup or cone of ice cream.

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Dessert/ Desserts/ Ice Cream

Grilled Pineapple Dessert

A great little summer dessert.

Looks like summer is here; can you believe that? Do you have your summer all planned out yet? We don’t. We are in the process of having an outdoor kitchen built and not sure how long that is going to take. We will be doing some babysitting for the grandsons this summer which should be a lot of fun and hoping to squeeze a trip or two sometime before the Fall.

This dessert is so easy to make for any of your outdoor parties where you already have your grill heated. In fact, you could cook the pineapple in advance and just serve it room temperature, then you don’t have your ice cream melting which is one of my complaints about warm desserts that are served with ice cream.

Remember when there were regular pineapples and then there were the new ones coming to the markets called “gold” pineapples. Now, that is all you see in the market. There are all sorts of test for checking the ripeness of fruits (scent, sight and feel). Pulling the center leaves from a pineapple does not tell you whether it is ripe or not. I just found this out and I have been using that technique for years. Probably a lot of my other methods of picking the most perfect piece of fruit or produce isn’t accurate either.

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Dessert/ Ice Cream

Coconut Almond Ice Cream

Sometimes you feel like a nut! Sometimes you don’t!

That’s one candy bar commercial that always rang true with me. Sometimes I did feel like a nut (literally) and other times I just wanted the creamy coconuty piece of candy without the almonds.

Almond Joy and Mounds candy bars are sister bars but with a few differences; the mounds is covered in dark chocolate and the almond joy has milk chocolate with two almonds on each piece. (“Sometimes you feel like a nut, sometimes you don’t / Almond Joy’s got nuts ‘ Mounds don’t”. I’m merging the two candy bars into a delicious cool treat for the summer months that are ahead. I don’t think they even have commercials for candy bars any more do they? I just love being able to have a quick and easy ice cream to throw together at the last minute.

I always loved both candy bars when I was younger. My only problem with the Almond Joy was there were only two almonds per piece and I would carefully eat around each almond saving the almonds for the last bite. Now with this recipe I can have the best of both. I can all add all the toasted almonds I want and I can have a dark chocolate shell instead of milk chocolate.

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Dessert/ Ice Cream

Peanut Butter Cup Ice Cream

Peanut Butter and Chocolate, what a combination!

Look over your shoulder.  What do you see?  I see summer gone in a flash. Where did it go? My knee rehab took most of my summer hours. I really missed getting in the pool for about 8 weeks and by the time I could get in the pool I was doing knee exercises. Now, I have to say that is not the way I want to enjoy the summer and the pool.

My idea of pool time is floating on a noodle or chair with a glass of wine in hand. Except what I was actually drinking when I did finally get in the pool was glass after glass of Pau d’arco tea that was suppose to be cleansing glands etc. and reducing swelling in the knee. I don’t know how anything made from the inner bark of a tree from South America could be the least bit refreshing. Well, I can just dream of next summer, a float, some wine or margaritas and maybe on a beach instead of a pool.

I seem to post most of my ice cream recipes in the summer and since I did make this a few weeks ago I want to post it even though fall is here and everyone is probably thinking of apple and pumpkin pie. It’s never the wrong time of the year to make ice cream.

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Dessert/ Ice Cream

Ginger Cantaloupe Ice Cream

My first ice cream recipe for the summer and it won’t be the last.

So we are strolling through one of the markets in Provence and a lady tells my friend about her “ginger beer”. My friend loved the taste and then came and found me and convinced me to buy some also.  My first thought was “now I can make that green apple ginger martini that I had once in Austin”. So I bought it and I have used it on a few things and plan on freezing the remaining liquid before it goes bad.

My friend has used the ginger juice on fish with great results.  I sprinkled some on some grilled steelhead trout the other night and thought it was pretty darn good.

To me there’s nothing better in the summer than a ripe cantaloupe sprinkled with a little salt.  I started thinking about cantaloupe ice cream and sprinkling the top with a little of my fleur de sel (sea salt) I brought back, and why not add some of the ginger juice to the mix as well. Well, why not make it, I have all the time in the world so why not mess up my spotless kitchen that it took me all morning to get clean.

So this is my first ice cream post for the summer months. I will probably have many more to come. There’s nothing better on a hot sweltering day than a cup (or bowl) of some kind of creamy ice cream or sherbet. And, if you make it yourself, it’s even better.

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Cake/ Dessert/ Ice Cream

Drunkened Pineapple Upside Down Cake with Coconut Macadamia Nut Ice Cream

Full of wine and food but enough room for this dessert.

This is the last (thank goodness, I’m sure you are saying to yourself) of our recipes from our feast over Thanksgiving weekend.

For our Hawaiian feast my part was to make the Hawaiian Coconut Shrimp with Orange Lime Dipping Sauce and I also helped with the Corn and Crab Bisque. The dessert recipe was orphaned so I decided to take that on too.

We had so much to eat and drink that night but believe me most of us cleaned our plates of this dessert. Always wanting to prepare as much as possible early, I made these pineapple upside down cakes in individual ramekins and frozen them about 5 days before our dinner. I was not sure if I would be able to turn them out onto the dish and have the gooey caramel sauce release from the dish. BUT, after rewarming in a low oven for about 30 minutes, they flipped out beautifully. The ice cream was made the day before and at the last minute I decided to make them a little more drunkened and I made the rum glaze that goes with a rum cake recipe I have been doing for years.  — WINNER.

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Dessert/ Ice Cream

Black Walnut Ice Cream

Are you screamin’ for ice cream this summer?

I don’t know what your first memories of ice cream are but mine are of a Walkaway Sunday at Figgins ice cream shop in my hometown. The little neighborhood shop is long gone but what I remember is my grandmother taking my sister and I there. We lived within walking distances and it was a real treat to be able to go.

I don’t know where the name walkway came from because we didn’t walkway away eating it. Believe it or not it wasn’t any more than a large sundae glass filled with rich vanilla ice cream and chocolate syrup. I’m sure it was Hershey’s syrup because sometimes when I get the right combination of the right brand of vanilla ice cream and the “canned” Hershey’s syrup, I can close my eyes and see those two little twin girls sitting on a bar stool eating their ice cream. I have had similar experiences with smells and taste that take me back to a different time. Mysterious!

Then, of course, who doesn’t have all those memories of  parents or grandparents churning ice cream. Remember how we use to have to layer the salt with the ice in the big wooden ice cream makers and we would sit there and take turns churning the mixture until you just could not turn one more time. Seems like it was always the adults doing the churning and the kids were all running around saying “is it ready yet”.

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