Monday, October 26, 2009

Milky Earl Grey Sorbet

I am going to admit something that is, perhaps, a little odd. I like British things. Do I make fun of British things? Yes. Constantly? Sure. But that's only because I like everything the country has to offer!

I like those names like Stratford-Upon-Twickwickenhamshire. I liked Fergie waaay better than Diana. I like the way people in England don't seem to mind it if you're super duper drunk. I like chavs and twitchers and bangers and mash. I like Miss Havisham. I particularly like the way a lot of them don't seem too interested in the letter T.
Speaking of T, I am a tea drinker. And yes, I like Bri'ish tea. So much so that I wondered what would happen if I brewed some Earl Grey and mixed up with milk and sugar. Well let me tell you, it is oh, so good. So very good indeed!

Milky Earl Grey Sorbet

2 tablespoons decaffeinated Earl Grey tea
5 cups boiling water
1/2 cup demerara sugar
1/4 cup milk

Place tea and water in a bowl. Steep for one to two minutes making sure that the brew doesn't go bitter. Strain immediately. Add sugar. Let cool over night. Add milk. Freeze in an ice cream maker as per the manufacturer's instructions.

Excellent Idea Alert!

What if there was a band called The British People? They'd be just like the Village People but a thousand times better. They would wear snazzy costumes and do a song to the tune of "YMCA" but change the words so it would be "London, UK." Amazing, right? Bigger than the Spice Girls, right? Bigger than the freakin' queen! God bless her, by the way.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Sunday Spice - Star Anise Ice Cream

This, friends, is one of my most successful adventures. Just ask Remy – it was part of her birthday spread. The consistency, the flavor, the fragrance, the color - everything, was just amazing. The recipe is a variation of what I found here.

Why is it a variation? Uh, because I ran out of vanilla beans and the market didn't have any so I subbed vanilla extract. Laziness is the other mother of invention.

Star Anise Ice Cream

2 cups whole milk, or light cream
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2-3 tablespoons
3/4 cup sugar
4 egg yolks
3/4 cup heavy whipping cream

Combine milk and star anise. Heat to boiling, cover and remove from heat. Let sit for 20-30 minutes. Strain the milk through a fine sieve to remove the star anise.

Beat the egg yolks with the sugar. Temper the yolks with the warm milk, being careful not to cook the eggs.

Heat the mixture on medium-low heat, stirring constantly. Do not boil. Bring to nappe consistency, so it coats the back of a wooden spoon. Remove from heat, strain again, and stir until cool.

Whip the heavy cream to light peaks. Fold whipped cream into the cooled custard and freeze in an ice cream machine according to manufacturer's instructions.

This recipe is, as I would write to my 4th grade summer camp friend Laura Barnoski:

2 cool
2 b
4 got 10

Laura. Whatever happened to her? Oh, snap - she's on Facebook. Sweet!

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Sunday Spice - Cardamom

When I was 18, I moved out of my mom's apartment in Los Angeles to shack up with my then-boyfriend in San Francisco. At this time in my life, I really liked going to the supermarket.

The market was the perfect place to exercise my new found, albeit misguided, freedom. What, you don't think I can live off of Camel Lights and parmesan Goldfish Crackers this week? Watch me. Apparently, moving 450 miles north of everything and everyone I knew to live with a person who was earning his degree in, get this, performance art wasn't quite daring enough. Oh, no. I needed needed Steak-umms and Rice a Roni to introduce the freaky to the deaky. Why? Because I was raised in the 70's on bland, rennetless cheese infused "health" foods before any of that stuff tasted like something you'd feed to someone you loved. Also, I always went to the market stoned.

I was young. It was SF. Sue me.

Anyway, the reason I mention all of this is because I don't really like going to the market that much anymore. Not because I no longer smoke the marijuana but because the market closest to me is cramped and unreliable- sometime they have mint and horse radish, sometimes they you're shit outta luck.

After living in the Bay Area for awhile, one can't help leaning a little towards the foodie side of life. It's simple math: chanterelles outnumber Burger Kings there. And in all honesty, if it tastes divine, why the hell wouldn't you put macerated nasturtiums in your butter?

The need to skip so many trips to the foodlandia is why I'm excited that pantry weather is here and I can start relying on my spices to make goodies. No more hauling ass to Chinatown for fresh fruit for me.

First on the list - cardamom ice cream for Remy's birthday. Happy Birthday, Rem!

This recipe is from Sally Sampson's book Ice Cream: 52 Easy Recipes for Year-Round Frozen Treats published by Wiley.

Cardamom Ice Cream

2 c half and half
1 c sweetened condensed mil
4 tablespoons white sugar
1 tablespoon freshly ground cardamom*
4 large egg yolks, at room temp
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
pinch kosher salt

Place the half and half, condensed milk, 2 tablespoons of the sugar and the cardamom in a small pan and cook over low heat, whisking from time to time, until it is warm.

Place the egg yolks, 2 tablespoons sugar, vanilla extract and salt in a small metal bowl and whisk until completely mixed. Add 1/4 c of the warm half and half mixture to the eggs, whisking all the while.

Continue adding the half and half mixture to the eggs, 1/4 cup at a time, until you have added about 1 1/2 cups. Slowly, whisking all the while, return the now half and half and egg mixture to the remaining half and half mixture in the pan and continue cooking until it just begins to thicken. Do not allow the mixture to boil. Strain into a metal bowl, discard the solids and set aside until it reaches room temperature. Cover and refrigerate at least 8 hours or overnight. Transfer to an ice cream maker and proceed according to the manufacturer's instructions.

*I did it this way but next time, I think I will do an infusion with the whole seed so it has a little bit of a more subtle taste. That is, I will use the seeds instead of ground cardamom, let it sit for awhile, strain, then continue with the recipe. Perhaps the cardamom that I bought at Patel Brothers is a bit stronger than the one Ms. Sampson uses. Don't get me wrong, it's fine but there is room for less - if that makes any sense.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

There's Corn in the Stuy

About eight weeks back I was walking around Bed-Stuy when I saw this.

Corn. In a cinderblock planter in front of a bodega. Because, people always grow corn in front of their corner shops in the middle of America's biggest city. Wait, New York is America's biggest city, right? Hmm, I always just assumed...

Okay, I Googled it. NYC is America's biggest city. Whew! For a minute there I thought I was overpaying for this tiny apartment to live someplace itty bitty in population like Houston or Beijing.

Oh, but I digress (what's new?).

I thought about finding things in unexpected places and ice cream is one of the last places you'd expect to find corn. But this is all the rage these days. Corn ice cream has been popping up on menus every fall for the last few years. Corn? Popping? Get it? Oh, never mind. Here's the recipe I used from Apartment Therapy's thekitchn and here's the end result:

Did it turn out? Was it any good? Yes and yes. Once you get over the association of creamed corn from the cafeteria at your elementary school. Foodies be damned, someone had to say it.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Goodbye Summer

Today is the last day of summer. Before we leave it all behind, I have to remark on two things.

One: when I made the Honeydew Lime Sorbet, I had leftover melon so I also made some popsicles. They came out very good. At least Murray thought so. Much to my chagrin, my boyfriend is one tough m.f! Just because he adores me (I think), doesn't mean that he lets me off the hook with a pat on the head and a "Yum, mint peanut berry sorbet on crackers - my favorite!" If it's crap, he'll tell me so. So when he took a bite and said, "I like these," I didn't take it lightly. I did a happy dance. Inside. Where he can't see it and realize what kind of power he wields.

Here's the recipe from the book Pops! by Krystina Castella published by the ever wonderful Chronicle Books.

Yes, I just took a picture of the recipe from the book. I'm that effin' lazy. Whatever. Did I mention that Murray liked them?

FYI, they came out looking like this:

Notice the obligatory bite out of the top so it doesn't look too much like a flight of Freudian fancy.

The second thing I'd like to mention is also on the topic of pops. We went to the Brooklyn Flea market where the chompable People's Pops were being sold. We got the cantaloupe and mint and guess what Mr. Murray said?

"Yours are better."

Awww! To be fair to the people of People's Pops, I've never made cantaloup mint. I did do the Cantaloupe Kiwi which were delightful. But were they better? Well, I don't see any reason to brag...

Saturday, September 12, 2009

A knock-knock joke

Knock, knock!
Who's there?
Honey who?
Honey, do you want some lime sorbet?

Honeydew Lime Sorbet

3 c cubed honeydew
1/2 c sugar
1/4 c boiled water
1/2 c lime juice
2 tsp grated lime peel

  • Heat water and sugar until sugar dissolves.  Cool syrup to room temperature.
  • Combine honeydew with syrup, lime juice, and lime peel in a blender.
  • Chill for 2 hours.
  • Freeze in ice cream maker as per manufacturer's instructions.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Banana Ice Cream Injector

This is real.  Well, a real patent, anyway.  There is no proof that Mr., Mrs., or perhaps Miss P. Marchio ever manufactured this tool that sucks out the insides out of a banana then fills that hollow space with ice cream.  But sincerely I hope it was made.  I also hope to receive one as a gift at my bridal shower.  That is, if I ever have a bridal shower.  Or perhaps I'll just die unloved, single, and penniless in an alley in Rego Park Queens.  Maybe I'll adopt all the neighborhood stray cats and give them names that start with J - Julie, Jennifer, Jingle Jangle, Jesus, Jewanda, Jermagesty, Joint.  Maybe I'll teach them all to ski and how to wait patiently in line at the Rego Park mental free clinic.  Wait, what was the point of this entry?  Oh, yes, the Banana Ice Cream Injector.  Clever, clever, clever indeed!

Thursday, September 10, 2009

How to Make a Tiger Popsicle

Just in case you were wondering.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009


Many moons ago, I had a boss who was a rabid Mets fan.  Like all Mets fans, she had endured many painfully embarrassing baseball seasons.  Also, like all Mets fans, she hated the Yankees.  I don't know ANYTHING about baseball except this: 
  • If you want to be a winner, you root for the Yankees.  
  • If you want to be a hater, you fall madly in love with the Mets.  
Why on earth do I bring this up?  Because one time when talking about all of us on her staff, Old Boss looked at me and said,  "I love all of you.  But I love Jodi a little bit less because she likes the Yankees."  That's sort of how I feel about these mini popsicle shaped earrings.

Adorable if you're 13 but I love them a little bit less than the popsicle shaped flash drive.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Love this! Hubby Hubby Ice Cream

Last week, Ben and Jerry's announced that in the month of September, they will be changing their flavor "Chubby Hubby" to "Hubby Hubby."   Why?  Because Ben and Jerry's Ice Cream hails from the state of Vermont and Vermont is one of the few states in the US where gays and lesbians can legally marry.  It's great to see that Ben and Jerry's supports gay people's right to be as totally boring as straight married couples.  Hooray!

Chubby Hubby consists of "fudge covered peanut butter filled pretzels in vanilla malt ice cream rippled with fudge & peanut butter."  Yes, enough of that will make your man rather, uh, round.

Since Ben and Jerry's didn't create anything for the ladies, I will offer a few humble suggestions for the wife-wife pairings of the world.
  • Here Come the Brides - White chocolate ice cream with chunks of almonds, laced with coconut rippled with hazelnut-chocolate cream.
  • Something Old, Something New, Something Sapphic, Something Blue - Old-fashioned vanilla ice cream (old) engineered to never melt (new), swirled with blueberries (blue), and a poem printed on the under side of every lid because Sappho was a poet, after all.
  • Two Bouquets - Equal amounts of rose and lavender sorbets swirled in holy matrimony.
  • Girls Gone Mild - Buttermilk ice cream, strawberries, and peach.  Comes with remote control and carpool schedule.
The altered packages of "Hubby Hubby" are only available in Vermont so if you live elsewhere, you'll have to road trip it to New England to buy a pint.  And if you do, send pictures!

Monday, September 7, 2009

I'm Melting!

As summer comes to it's end, let us look back at this ice cream season and some of the innovations that have been infused into the world of frozen treats. The big issue, apparently, is melting.  Or not melting.  This might be the new, glass half-empty, half-full sort of thing, so take your pick.  No judgments, I swear.  

I am not sure exactly when melting became a sin, a cause for alarm, a situation that begs for scientific intervention.  But alas, it can no longer be denied that we are well into what I can only assume is an ice cream crisis.  A melt-down, if you will.  

Like all food, ice cream as a temporary indulgence.  A fling not unlike a Club Med encounter with an IT guy from Detroit that you'll (hopefully) never see again.  Ice cream was never, ever meant to be marriage.  An ice pop, no matter how delicious, is a fleeting pleasure.   

The melt is just part of the whole frozen experience, the sweet memory.  But like fire, man is now seeking to control the melt.  Though I don't see people clamoring to make things that would make my life better such as the Non-Cancerous Suntan or the No-Hangover Martini, the Everlasting Sno-Cone may soon ubiquitous.  Here are the three biggest players in the frozen for life movement.

  1. In June, Coldstone Creamery announced the No-Melt Ice Cream.  New York Magazine asks, "If it doesn't melt, is it still ice cream?"  Read all about it here.
  2. Unilever, the largest ice cream manufacturer in the UK, shrouds their kitchen science in environmentalism.  Since their room temperature ice creams require no refrigeration, it is expending less energy during shipping as well as storage.  Impressive doublespeak, friends!  Read about it here.
  3. Gelatin is what they're using to make Slow Melt Popsicles.  Keeping on the environmental tip, perhaps this could be sprinkled on the Polar ice caps, too.  Just a thought.  For some razor sharp observations on the subject, I insist you to read this post over at Bad Mommy Moments

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Sundaes in New York

Check out the round up of sundaes available in New York on one of my favorite blogs, Grub Street.  Then, go ahead and dress up as a sundae then do some jazz hands.  Feels good, don't it?

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Ice Cream of the Rich and Famous

Robert plants a kiss on that cone.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Ice Cream of the Rich and Famous

Rupert Grint, aka Ron Weasly, 
makes the magic happen in this Mr. Whippy van.  
Soft servicus appearacus!

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Two Kiwis

I love Flight of the Conchords, the folk-comic music duo from New Zealand.  So do lots of people so that's not odd.  What is odd is how much they apparently love me.  I'm like, "Bret, Jemaine, stop trying to get my attention - I'm in a committed relationship!" But their love for me continues even though I do nothing to provoke it.

Don't believe me?  Here's the facts:

  • There is a character in the show called Murray.  Not the most common name, is it?  You know who else is called Murray?  My boyfriend, that's who!  It's like their trying to see where my allegiances lie, their Murray or mine.  When the TV is on, I've looked them square in the eye and told them, "My, Murray.  Mine!" It's like their desperate or something.
  • I live in Brooklyn near the Williamsburg Bridge.  Not only did they put the bridge in the opening credits of season 2, they shot a whole scene the library near my apartment.  Coincidence?  I freaking doubt it.
  • And finally, perhaps you will recall the number "Inner City Pressure," a musical sequence in season 1 shot near an elevated train.  Was it the F train at Smith and 9th?  The 7 up Roosevelt Ave?   No, no, a thousand times no!  It was shot at the JMZ which is the train I take every blessed day.  And the stop they're at is Marcy, which is my stop.  Well, it's my stop if the J is going express.  If it's going local then my stop is Hewes, but I refused to get bogged down in the details.  It's all right there plain as day: they adore me.

Well, I don't want to lead them on or anything, so perhaps this is dangerous.  But since they've done so much for the borough of Brooklyn, I felt it only right that I honor Bret McKenzie and Jemaine Clement with a few Kiwi recipes.

Kiwi Ginger Lime Pops
1 c water
3/4 c sugar
1 tbs fresh ginger, grated
1 tsp grated lime zest
5 kiwis
1/2 c lime juice
1 egg white
  • Heat water, sugar, and lime zest until sugar dissolves.  Let cool to room temperature.
  • Strain the syrup over a sieve into a bowl
  • Puree kiwis with lime juice then combine with egg white and syrup
  • Freeze 
Because Jemaine is part European and part Maori, I thought it might be more representational if these pops were mixed.  I, too, am mixed race and I insist on cultural sensitivity at all times.

Cantaloupe Pops
1/2 c water
1/2 c sugar
1 small cantaloupe, seeded and pureed
1/4 c lemon juice
  • Heat water and sugar until sugar dissolves.  Let cool to room temperature.
  • In a blender, puree cantaloupe and lemon juice.  Set aside.
  • Combine syrup with cantaloup mixture.  
  • Freeze and share with Jemaine on your fire escape

Kiwi Sorbet
1 c water
3/4 cup super fine (caster) sugar
1 1/2 lbs kiwis

  • Peel and chop kiwis.  Blend in a blender until smooth
  • Add sugar and water
  • Let chill at least one hour
  • Freeze with your trusty ice cream maker as per manufacturer's instuctions
  • Spoon feed to Bret as you wait in line at the post office

I love you, Murray!

Monday, August 3, 2009

Keep On Truckin'

In New York, multitasking on the job is usually encouraged but when cops found marajahookie and "sugar" in an ice cream truck in Long Island yesterday, well, I guess they felt differently.  

Yes, yet another popsicle pusher was arrested due to drugs.  Sadly, the only thing surprising about this arrest was that the guy wasn't selling.  He was buying.

I'm pretty sure I know why he was seeking solace in mood altering substances. The poor guy had to listen to that blasted ice cream music all day!   A person just might need a little somethin' somethin' to numb the pain of hearing Pop Goes the Weasel for the 500th time.  

Or could it be that ice cream truck drivers think the cops can't see them because they are hidden behind a throng of screaming children?  Let's see what recent history teaches us...
  • In Westbury, NY, a man in an ice cream van was arrested for delivering the coco loco to a damsel in distress.
  • In July, a pair of rocket scientists in Kansas City  offered a neighborhood dad a bong hit.
  • Later this month, un bon vivant will appear in court in Green Bay, WI.  The charge?  Selling crack from his truck.
Some words of advice for people considering any of the activities described above: 
  • You will probably get caught and when you do, you'll get more time in jail for having illegal drugs near kids. 
  • Ice cream heals most wounds.
  • The concept of selling dope from your ice mobile so cliche it was the "plot" of a Cheech and Chong movie.  

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Lobster Ice Cream

My family in Alaska makes something called "fish ice cream" which is an amalgamation of whitefish, blueberries, sugar, and Crisco.  

I.  Am.  Not.  Kidding.  

If you think I am, check out this lively discussion on the subject here.

I mention this only because "lobster ice cream" has been makin' the rounds on the blogs lately.  I'm like, whatevah!  Mix some Crisco up in that piece and then we'll see what is and what isn't an "eccentric edible."  But if you'd like to give lobster ice cream a try, by all means, click here!

The Popsicle Account

How much did you love Peggy Olson's ad for the Popsicle account?  Brilliant, right?  Moms always break a Popsicle in half, she reasoned.  To Peggy, the splitting and sharing of a Popsicle is no less a ritual than those performed in the Catholic church.  

Armed with this clever comparison, she came up with this li'l staccato motto: Take it.  Break it.  Share it.  Love it.  Which, in turn, was paired with an image of one holy angel of a wife in the kitchen.  Gosh, Peggy's such a bright girl!  

A bright girl and still she found herself in the hospital with a belly ache only to learn she was pregnant and in labor - heavens!  If you're not a fan of Mad Men, you have no idea what I'm talking about but even so, enjoy the picture, 'kay?

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Strawberry Rhubarb Snap

I heard this story about rhubarb the other day on NPR. This farmer in Pennsylvania says most Americans are dismissive when it comes to rhubarb. Another fellow in the story even goes as far to say, "I'll probably just buy it and let it rot in my refrigerator."

I found this outrageous! Who could be so effin' cruel as to ignore celery's red headed cousin?

"Why," I thought, "I've cooked rhubarb hundreds, well, dozens of...huh. Actually, never." Which is weird because I went through an En Vogue listening, cinched jeans wearing, pie making phase in the 90's. Surely some rhubarb must have made it into the mix. Nope. Never. Not a once. I think I was a little intimidated by it. Well, intimidation be damned!

The next day I bounced over to the Union Square green market and scored a bunch. In the radio story, the farmer says he makes a sauce with rhubarb and maple syrup then pours it on ice cream. So that's what I did. I paired it with strawberry ice cream so it would mimic the perennial favorite, strawberry rhubarb pie. Alas, something was missing.

The syrup gave the rhubarb sauce a woodsy, earthiness while the strawberries 'n cream were 100% sun-on-your-cheeks summer. It needed to come together. It needed....

A ginger snap! Et voila, harmonie!

Oh, snap.

Strawberry Rhubarb Snap

1 c chopped rhubarb
1/4 c maple syrup (or more to taste)
1/4 c water

Place all ingredients in a saucepan and cook down until the rhubarb melts. Sauce will be slightly thick and pulpy and good. Serve with strawberry ice cream and a ginger snap.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Traditional Tuesday: Strawberry Ice Cream

This installment of Traditional Tuesday gives up the light pink love to the strawberry. This is a recipe of eggless simplicity that needs no introduction. I will say this much - this recipe guarantees friendship. I gave some to my neighbors the other day and though I don't speak Spanish and they don't speak English, it's nothing but warm fuzzy smiles in the hallway now.

Strawberry Ice Cream

1 lb fresh strawberries
1 1/2 c sugar
1 1/2 c whipping cream
1 1/2 c cold water
dash of lemon juice
  • Chop cleaned strawberries into quarters.
  • Place berries, sugar, water, and juice into a blender and blend until completely liquified.
  • Whip cream until slightly thickened.
  • Combine strawberry mixture with cream
  • Freeze as indicated by the ice cream manufacturer's instructions.

It's a fact:
3 out of 4 dime store divas prefer strawberry ice cream.