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Entries in ice cream (12)

Thursday
Jul122012

Roasted Strawberry Coconut Ice Cream

Roasted Strawberry Coconut Ice Cream

Ice cream has many faces. To young children, ice cream is a delight, enchanting both the mind and the mouth. The frozen treat leaves a sticky smudge all over their faces as they attempt to lick the bowl clean. In the heat of a wild summer, ice cream cools down the body during warm afternoons, bringing a smile to anyone who happens to find a towering cone in their hands. Ice cream can also be a comfort food, a friend in moments when the world just isn't in your favor.

During my college years, my friend and I developed a ritual to coping with boy trouble whenever we found ourselves in a wearisome place. The routine always began with a hesitant call on the phone; once the strain of the situation became evident in one of our discordant voices, it was time to take action. The solution for these problems was always the same—ice cream. The grocery store became a fixture in those moments, as we'd wander the frozen food aisle carefully choosing the chilled tonic that would heal our wounds.

Roasted Strawberry Coconut Ice Cream

In the eve of twilight, we'd walk our heavy souls to a nearby park, with spoons in our back pockets, and dig into the melting cream, eating more than we should have dared. Just as the remaining ice cream would melt into a pool in the bottom of the container, the rush of sorrow and heartbreak and the unfairness of love would come spilling out of one of our hearts. As one bared her soul to the other, the other would open her ears, hoping the simple act of listening would lift just a part of burden the other carried. Some nights we'd find solutions to the problems together, but more often than not the troubles would hang in the air, unsolved and unresolved, as a satisfying answer failed to appear.

When the sugar would gather in our bloodstreams, we'd find ourselves on the park swings, cursing men and love with every pump of our legs. Higher and higher into the air we would fly as the metal chains of the swings began to shake. In those moments, with a belly full of ice cream and a dear friend by our side, the weight of the world would lift an inch off our shoulders for just a moment and we could begin to feel free.

Roasted Strawberry Coconut Ice Cream

To me, ice cream has always been a healer—a healer of broken hearts, hot summer days, and scraped knees. Ice cream has the uncanny ability to ease the troubles of life and bring lightness to the heaviest of situations. Ice cream, in its own way, is a carrier of happiness. In the chocolate swirls, strawberry chunks, and Neapolitan flavors, there holds a promise of smiles, happy moments, and ice cream smudged faces.

This is why I love ice cream.

Roasted Strawberry Coconut Ice Cream

Roasted Strawberry Coconut Ice Cream is light and creamy, with bursts of strawberry flavor. Strawberries are sliced, drizzled with balsamic vinegar, and sweetened with a spoonful of sugar before roasting in the oven until the berries are dark and sweet. The ice cream is very simple to assemble (and dairy/egg-free!). The flavors alternate between spoonfuls of smooth coconut and bright strawberries.

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Sunday
May132012

Chocolate Salted Almond Ice Cream

Chocolate Salted Almond Ice Cream

The end of the school year has always signified the beginning of summer to me. When I was younger, the school bell ringing for the final time was the first glorious moment of summer. Even as I've grown older, I still wait to hear the toll of an imaginary school bell, letting me know it's time to put down work and go outside. Sometimes I think we all need these little reminders, imaginary or not.

Though the end of the school year is still a couple of weeks away, I find myself daydreaming of summer fun. I wish I could be ten again—young and carefree, with an endless summer stretching out before me.

Chocolate Salted Almond Ice Cream

Summer has always meant a bright sun, green grass, fresh fruit, grilled meat, and ice cream, usually in just that order. Though I do love to eat ice cream in winter, it just tastes better under a hot summer sun. When I was living in Madison, Wisconsin, there was an ice cream shop I passed every day on my walk to and from work. The ice cream was homemade and dirt cheap, luring me in a couple times a week. The only thing more formidable than that dangerously delicious combination was a buy-one-get-one-free coupon (and no one to share it with).

One evening after work, I made the only logical decision and used my coupon, buying two ice cream cones for myself—one for each hand—and made the trek back home. It was a very warm day and, with the sun beating down on my head, the ice cream began melting faster than I anticipated it would.

Chocolate Salted Almond Ice Cream

The ice cream began dripping down the sides of the cones. It would have been a challenge to keep up with one cone; with two, it was impossible. The ice cream melted right off of the cones and onto my hands. As I'd lift the cones to my mouth in a futile attempt to keep up, the ice cream that had pooled in my hands started running down my arms and dripping off my elbows. A trail of melted ice cream began following me on the sidewalk (and I began to regret my irresponsible decision to order two cones at once).

I was a sticky mess. My arms were covered in syrupy, sweet cream and my face must have looked a fright. In these dark ice cream moments, I passed a young child on a bike. After seeing the state I was in (the greed and regret over my two cones evidenced clearly on my arms and in my hands), he shook his head at me, showing obvious disapproval. When I finally made it home, I needed a shower to wipe away the ice cream shame.

The moral of this story is a simple one: if you're going to use a buy-one-get-one-free coupon on yourself, get that ice cream served in a bowl.

Chocolate Salted Almond Ice Cream

Chocolate Salted Almond Ice Cream is delightfully rich in chocolate with chopped roasted, salted almonds scattered throughout. This ice cream is made only with whole milk (not cream), but you'd never guess it for how rich, creamy, and naughty(!) it tastes. The almonds balance out the intensity of the chocolate, keeping the palate from becoming overwhelmed. I had a hard time staying away from this ice cream, stealing spoonfuls during dessert, midnight snacks, and before breakfast.

When you dream about an ice cream as lovely as this, it's only natural to want it first thing in the morning (or is that just me?).

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Sunday
May062012

No-Churn Blueberry Cheesecake Ice Cream

Blueberry Cheesecake Ice Cream

In high school, I was smitten over the boy who sat in front of me in Latin class. It was a quiet crush; I was a shy and modest girl, only becoming more introverted when faced with the back of my crush's head. In the four years we shared the same small Latin class, I never worked up the courage to talk to him. We had quite a bit in common, both in and out of school, but when we'd find ourselves alone in the classroom, I'd bury my face in my notes instead of facing him. When I did open my mouth to speak, the words would stop before leaving my mouth, leaving me looking like a fish out of water.

I can only imagine what he thought about me, if he thought anything at all.

Blueberry Cheesecake Ice Cream

This particular boy I admired also wrote for the school paper. Each month I made it a point to page through it, as girls with high school crushes will do. One particular month, however, I came across an article that made me stop. It was written by a girl proclaiming her crush on a boy for all the school to read. The article would not have been nearly as interesting, except for one detail: part of the article had been lifted from a creative writing assignment I had written for English class the year prior. Confused by the plagarism, I scanned the article and gasped. This proclamation of "like" wasn't written about just any boy. It was for my crush and this girl was using my words to profess it!

It was a moment straight out of a sitcom.

Blueberry Cheesecake Ice Cream

I immediately folded up the paper and looked around for my best friend. As the girl who had heard me gush about this boy for the better part of two years, she was the only one who could understand and share in the sheer irony of the situation. As I showed her the paper and told her the story, we laughed until I cried. It was comedic and devastating, all at once. Looking back, it was, in essence, one of those quintessential high school experience.

Though I chose to ignore the plagiarism, I eventually learned my crush had turned the other girl down. As happy as I was about this turn of events, it still left me with one unanswered question: did he turn her down because he didn't return her feelings or did he turn her down because of the words she used to profess it? Would he have turned me down if he had known where those words originally came?

I may never know.

Blueberry Cheesecake Ice Cream

No-Churn Blueberry Cheesecake Ice Cream is creamy, dreamy, and you don't need an ice cream maker to create it! Blueberries are swirled into a cream cheese base, creating a colorful dessert that tastes remarkably like blueberry cheesecake. It is very rich, so a little does go a long way. One scoop will make for a refreshing dessert after an evening meal.

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