I almost didn’t want to write a post about this because the accompanying picture is so terrible, but since I’ve written about all the other times I’ve had ice cream in the last couple months I couldn’t leave this one out. I went out for Indian food and ordered 2 desserts- Gajar ka Halwa (a sweet carrot based “pudding”) and Pistachio Kulfi. My picture of the Gajar ka Halwa literally looks like cat vomit, so you will not be seeing that, but this is the Kulfi:
If you’ve never had it before it’s like a very, very dense ice cream. To me it has a sort of caramel-ish undertone. This particular one was pretty delicious. The spices were nicely balanced (sometimes too much cardamom can be overpowering) and it had just enough pistachio. I want to try making this at home because I found a recipe where you can sort of fake it using Cool Whip. To be honest I’ll probably never end up making it and I’ll just come here for dinner a couple more times instead.
One day I decided to sign up for a whole bunch of email lists to see what kind of coupons I could get. So far I’ve gotten some free queso dip, a free travel coffee mug, and a coupon for free pizza that I have yet to use. I also signed up to be a Ben & Jerry’s Chunk Spelunker. I could do without the cutesy name, but you get a free scoop of ice cream just for signing up, so it’s worth it.
I got Triple Caramel Chunk, which Ben & Jerry’s describes as “Caramel Ice Cream with a Swirl of Caramel & Chocolatey Covered Caramel Chunks.” You can’t see any chocolate caramel chunks in my picture, but there were plenty in there (they’re shaped like tiny little peanut butter cups). My scoop is not too photogenic and I suppose it was meant to look more like this:
The verdict? I liked it. I like anything caramel, usually. For some reason I still don’t think I’d order it again. Maybe it was just too much of a good thing. They could’ve stopped at double caramel chunk and I probably would’ve been more than satisfied. I give it a B, maybe B-.
Unfortunately I was not in Italy last weekend, but I was in an Italian neighborhood that has great restaurants and cafes. After a squid ink risotto dinner (lunch? it was around 3:30 so it could have gone either way) and a pit stop at a bakery, we set out to find gelato. Now despite the authentic Italian-ness of this part of town, I have had some HORRIBLE gelato there before. I was determined not to experience another icy, flavorless, way-too-sweet cup of ice cream, so I didn’t settle for the first place I saw. In fact, we stopped in no less than 4 cafes before we finally ordered our dessert.
I think I was right to be picky. I googled the cafe afterward and it looks like it may be one of the only places (if not the only place) in that area that makes their gelato on site daily. It’s disappointing that there are so few good quality options in a neighborhood known for its Italian specialties, but there you go. I got Bacio with a scoop of Frutti di Bosco sorbet. The flavor pairing was nice and the lighter sorbet was a good compliment to the creamy hazelnut and chocolate gelato. This was a million times better than what I’ve had in the past, but I’m still not sure if it tops either of these two. Delicious nonetheless.
We’re now well into apple-picking season. I doubt I’ll be making an appearance at the orchards, though, because I don’t like apples that much. But apple flavored desserts I can certainly deal with. I’m talking about apple cider donuts, pies, crumbles; NOT apple flavored candies. (Green apple jolly ranchers? Not for me). There’s one dessert that I’d never had in an apple variety before this week, and given the previous posts on this blog you can probably guess which one that is. Yep, I drove about 20 minutes out of my way to get my hands on some Apple ice cream on the first day of Fall.
I hadn’t made it to this place all summer, and you can probably see why I wanted to get there before they closed up shop for the fall/winter months. I can’t say enough good things about this ice cream. It was less reminiscent of pie than the Pumpkin flavor, but I guess if you imagine having apple pie a la mode and mixing some pie filling into the vanilla ice cream you’d get something similar to this. The texture was perfectly creamy with small chunks of cinnamon spiced apples. Here is my sort of mini time lapse photo shoot to demonstrate said texture:
I might actually go back for seconds on this one before they close. I’ve already been to almost every ice cream place in my area and tried the flavors I wanted to try (I’ve had 4 more new ones since Saturday, and I’ll probably feel the need to write a post about each of them as I’m discovering this is a great mindless activity.)
Oh, and get ready for photo quality to decrease because Sunday was the first day I started using an iPhone. Although a part of me is going to miss having my trusty flip phone and point-and-shoot camera floating around in my bag, I think it was time for some updated technology in my life.
I’m going to stop labeling these as the Ice Cream Challenge because the official unofficial end to that was over 2 weeks ago. But it’s still fun to write about the stuff so here’s another one.
I’ve already declared that I love gelato more than regular ice cream. A new ice cream shop/cafe opened near me and they happen to serve gelato. They also happen to be right up the road from the salon where I was getting my hair cut. (My hair looks awesome, btw. It’s also very soft according to my hairdresser’s daughter who was petting my head. Awkward.) Since the weather was nice and I knew it would be the last really hot day for a while, I headed over there after my appointment.
The guy behind the counter (who I believe was the owner) had me try the Sea Salted Caramel Chunk because it’s the most popular flavor. It was good but not what I was in the mood for. I went with Coconut Almond Chip and Watermelon Mint. The owner tried to convince me that I would not find Watermelon Mint anywhere else because it’s an exclusive homemade flavor, but if I recall correctly I already taste tested it the last time I got gelato. I’m hoping they source their gelato from that same company, because they have some great flavors and I wouldn’t have to travel two hours to get it again.
Remember when I went to that farm to get pumpkin ice cream, but they didn’t have any? Well three days later I got the chance to try the seasonal flavor while on a day trip with my mom to the town where she grew up. As a teenager she had worked at the local ice cream store, and later when she had kids she’d bring us there when we visited our grandparents. For the sake of nostalgia we wanted to stop by and see if it had changed at all. Apart from the space in the back that had been rented out to someone else, it was all pretty much exactly the same. And hey, they had Pumpkin! I was curious about the Red Velvet Cake, but I had to go with this one anyway.
Outside we sat in the gazebo I used to play in back in the day, and a nice family came and sat there, too. The mom had gotten a cone of Pumpkin AND Red Velvet (smart woman.) My own mom couldn’t finish her Kahlua fudge so I had a few bites of that. The two flavors together reminded me of having pumpkin pie and coffee. Perfect for after dinner on a summer (almost fall) night.
August 31st was scheduled to be the last day of this “challenge.”
Backstory on this one: Last summer after a day at the beach my friend and I wanted to stop for ice cream on the way home. I saw a sign for a creamery right off the highway and we decided to give it a try. We both loved it; the restaurant had a porch overlooking a lake, which was nice, and my friend commented that she could tell the ice cream was homemade since she didn’t feel so gross after eating it. Back then I got Heath bar and cookies ‘n’ cream (Heath bar was the clear winner there).
When I returned this year I was in the mood for something more fruity and nutty than chocolatey. I thought about getting orange pineapple because I see it everywhere and have never had it, but I don’t know.. I wasn’t feeling it. I went with black raspberry chip (again) to compliment the delectable White Pistachio.
Whole pistachios, just the right amount of chocolate chips. This was a good one.
This would’ve been the Grand Finale, and it’s certainly an acceptable note to end on. However, there are too many stores and flavors that I never got to during that week and a half. I won’t make it a point to go out for ice cream every day, but if I get something good I’ll write a little post about it. This seems to be the only thing I’ve been able to consistently blog about anyway!
I eat a lot of purple ice cream, don’t I? It’s my favorite color, so that works for me. This isn’t ice cream though. It’s yet another frozen yogurt, but according to my arbitrary rules, it counts. I got it at a farm up the road and I had never tried this flavor before. It’s black raspberry ice cream (ok ok, frozen yogurt) with white and dark chocolate chips. The white chocolate chips set it apart from your average black raspberry chip. It tasted enough like legit ice cream to me, and I was satisfied.
Confession: On Day 6 I got very, very sick. Maybe I was dehydrated, maybe it was a 24 hour bug, maybe I shouldn’t have polished off that whipped cream when I was already starting to feel a little off, but I did it anyway. Consequently, the next day I planned on not leaving the house at all. Plans soon changed when I unexpectedly had to drive someone to the bus station, and guess what was right across the street…
After a steady diet of plain rice for almost 24 hours, I was feeling ok enough to try out the new greek frozen yogurt. I’m of the opinion that this is essentially the same thing as ice cream with maybe a couple extra grams of protein. I got the raspberry fudge chunk flavor. Not tart at all, lots of “fudge chunks” (not fudge so much as giant chocolate chips) that complemented the raspberry nicely. This was decent. Moving on…