Posts tagged ‘ice cream’

April 26, 2011

macarons a la trader joe’s

Ever since a Fresh & Easy market opened up right next to my house, I haven’t gone back to Trader Joe’s – not once! I felt bad, but I guess I was just in the Honeymoon stage with Fresh & Easy.

Today, I finally took a trip to Trader Joe’s, and I think I’m “back.” I compared some more prices between Trader Joe’s and Fresh & Easy, and it seems in GENERAL, Trader Joe’s is usually cheaper than Fresh & Easy. I’ll keep going to Fresh & Easy for items such as Key Limes and cilantro, but will probably be sticking with Trader Joe’s for my regular grocery shopping.

To celebrate my “come back” (yeah, nice excuse!) I purchased a couple goodies on top of my regular old purchases.

Strawberry Ice Cream made with coconut milk and French Macarons!

I REALLY hemmed and hawed over whether I should buy these French Macarons. I never really was a fan of French Macarons, but I think that was because I never had a REALLY GOOD French Macaron. They were usually stale and generally not very well made. I didn’t KNOW that it wasn’t well made though, because I had never had a WELL MADE Macaron.

That all changed on Sunday. My friend bought a box of French Macarons from Miette Bakery and let me have a couple, and my goodness, I was converted. THIS was a well made Macaron, and it just tasted so fresh and perfect.

Macarons have been on my mind since then. So when I saw these Macarons in the frozen aisle at Trader Joe’s, I was extremely tempted. In the end, I decided to give them a try.

2 Vanilla Macarons for me, and 1 Chocolate and 1 Vanilla Macaron for Jeff. I didn’t care to try the Chocolate Macaron.

I was really, really impressed with these Macarons. Sure, they’re not exactly Miette or Laduree and I am not a French Macaron connoisseur by any means, but as a product of Trader Joe’s and from the FROZEN aisle, I enjoyed these. A LOT. All the vanilla ones are gone. I guess I’ll have to try a chocolate one tomorrow.

They say to defrost from the freezer for about 30 minutes or so, but I find they’re perfectly good straight out of the freezer. Unless you have a super buff freezer, then you may want to defrost. Defrosted or undefrosted, I loved these and will definitely be getting them again!



Unfortunately, I was not a fan of the other “goodie” – the Strawberry Ice Cream made with Coconut milk. I didn’t taste any coconut very much at all and just wasn’t a fan of the flavor very much. Jeff liked it though, so he can have the rest. =)

(By the way, I bought this OXO ice cream scooper from TJ Maxx (along with Kitchen Aid tongs, which I am now weirdly obsessed with). I think TJ Maxx is my new favorite place to buy Kitchen tools! I do try to look up the reviews of the tools on my Amazon app before buying them though because sometimes the tools sold there have less than stellar reviews (which may be why they’re at TJ Maxx now), but so far I’ve had a really good experience with these products sold for less from TJ Maxx!)

The Macaron helped the ice cream a little though!



In other news, I made my VERY FIRST batch of hummus today! Jeff has found recently that he really likes hummus so I decided to try my hand at making it. I didn’t want to buy tahini though because it tends to be a bit pricey so I decided to try to make it without the tahini.

Simple ingredients, simple recipe!



In place of the tahini, I decided to use sesame oil. If I’m not mistaken, I think tahini is sesame paste, so I thought it wouldn’t be missed too much if I used sesame oil.

And I ALWAYS have sesame oil in my house. Always, always, always. It is hands down my favorite oil.

I have a huge container of sesame oil and just refill this bottle. One day I plan to get a oil dispenser just for sesame oil because I use it so often! And because it does tend to get oily and messy.



Anyway, back to the hummus! Just blend those 5 ingredients (I used a single-serve blender because I don’t have a blender or food processer and it worked great!).

You can add some of the juice from the canned chickpeas if you want it to be a thinner consistency.

And serve with pita chips or your favorite veggie!

Yum. Sesame-y and garlicky – 2 of my favorite flavors! (Those are Garlic Gold Nuggets sprinkled on top.)

I’ll definitely be making my own hummus again and experimenting with different flavors!



Hummus made without Tahini

Makes: 1 medium bowl of hummus



Ingredients:

1 can of chickpeas, drained

1/4 cup sesame oil

Juice of 1 lemon

1/2 tsp kosher salt

1-4 cloves garlic, peeled (depending on how garlicky you want it)



Directions:

Blend all ingredients in a blender or food processer. If you want a thinner consistency, add in a little juice from the canned chickpeas. Serve with pita chips or veggies.

Nutritional Information for 2 T hummus: 52 calories, 4g fat, 0g saturated fat, 110mg sodium, 3g carbohydrates, 1g fiber, 0g sugar, 1g protein

April 5, 2011

everyday dessert

Look at that gloop of marshmallow. Yum.

I need something sweet (aka dessert) every night. It can range from a tiny piece of chocolate to a bowl of ice cream to one of these. It doesn’t matter what!

I have to admit, I’m partial to ice cream though…

Specifically Haagen-Dazs.

Specifically the flavors Green Tea…or Coffee…or Rocky Road.

What’s your favorite sweet way to end the day?

February 28, 2011

Salted Caramel Ice Cream

The other day I had a wonderful time with an old friend of mine. We got our nails done (You Don’t Know Jacques!) and got Chicago pizza (we are in Northern California and I believe there is only one place here comparable to the Chicago pizza in well, Chicago. But that’s for a post at another time) for dinner. And then we went to get some frozen yogurt.

While I was spooning tiny bites of tart, organic, soy, frozen yogurt into my mouth, I had a revelation.

I don’t like frozen yogurt anymore.

In fact, did I ever like it? Or was I merely going along with the fad that had swept across the nation? Did I just pretend to like it because it was “light” and I could have a go-to after-dinner dessert whenever I wanted without feeling guilty even though I never enjoyed it?

I tend to get deep thoughts like this towards food. I didn’t know the answer to these questions but in that moment all I knew was that what I really wanted was something…better.

And since this was my fantasy, in particular what I wanted was Salted Caramel ice cream from Bi-Rite Creamery.

If you ever find yourself in San Francisco, please do yourself a favor and look up Bi-Rite Creamery. Then go there, find a lucky parking spot, get in the line that trails around the corner, and order yourself a scoop of Salted Caramel ice cream.

I promise, you won’t be sorry.

Of course, they have a ton of other (genius) flavors to choose from. I got overwhelmed on my first visit there because I wanted to try everything. Brown Butter Pecan?? Roasted Banana?? Brown Sugar with Ginger Caramel Swirl?? Earl Grey?? Cinnamon with Snickerdoodles?? Honey Lavender?? Salted Caramel?? My mind was spinning. My heart wanted it all.

I sampled two flavors, ordered 3 flavors, and had Jeff also order 3 flavors so I could maximize my sampling capacity. I got a tummyache, and all it did was confuse me because it was nighttime and I could barely see the different flavors as they melted into each other.

Since then, I have learned my lesson, chiseled it down to 3 favorites, and know what I am getting even before I step into line (and there is always a line, even at 11pm on a freezing night): a scoop of Salted Caramel, a scoop of Earl Grey, and a scoop of Honey Lavender. Hey, I just drove half an hour to the city – gotta live it up right?

The Salted Caramel is rich and has the perfect caramel taste. The taste that tastes…burnt. In fact, if I could have it my way I’d rename this to Burnt Caramel. Earl Grey is much more subtle and tastes like Milk Tea. It’s the perfect balance to the rich Salted Caramel flavor. And the Honey Lavender creates a party on my tongue. It is not only perfectly and sweetly delicious but the flavor of lavender is such an un-everyday flavor that it makes my tongue excited and happy.

Jeff? He’s boring and always orders chocolate. I’ll never understand that guy. But then again, many don’t understand me because I’m not a fan of chocolate. Yep, its true. My boyfriend loves chocolate more than I do. No, I did not say my boyfriend loves chocolate more than me. The first is sad, but the latter would just be really sad.

But no matter what flavor, to me, ice cream will always win over frozen yogurt.

I’m passionate about my ice cream, can you tell?