July 31, 2018
Home Made Ice Cream
Few things are as deliciously satisfying as home made ice cream, especially on a summer day. That's why we are dedicating this issue to the art of making and eating ice cream! And there is a lot to talk about.

So, scroll down for inspiring recipes and ideas for serving up this favorite, icy treat.

The basic ingredients for home made ice cream are cream, milk, sugar, sometimes eggs, and flavorings. So, when making your own ice cream, you want to start with the absolute freshest and best quality ingredients available. We like to use organic whenever possible.
Coop's MicroCreamery hand made artisanal sauces are over-the-top delicious. They are made in small batches with the best ingredients. Their Hot Fudge Sauce has the deep, rich flavor of fine European Chocolate. We dare you to resist eating their Salted Caramel directly from the jar. And, the Cold-Brew Mocha sauce is made with an Arabica blend that not only adds the smooth, non-bitter characteristic of cold brew coffee, but enhances the chocolate flavor.

Two favorites from Recchiuti will elevate any bowl of ice cream to new heights! Their Burnt Caramel Sauce has an intense, smoky flavor with a lingering, buttery finish. And, the Extra-Bitter Chocolate Sauce is made with Recchiuti’s smoky custom blend of 64% dark chocolate and finished with vanilla to enhance the roasted cacao profile of this chocolaty sauce. 

Stonewall Kitchen Bourbon Pecan Caramel Sauce is a carefully crafted smooth, rich caramel sauce, with added fresh pecan pieces, and then just to put it over the edge, a hint of a smooth, barrel-aged bourbon.
If we had to pick a cone, it would be from Three Twins. Their Organic Cake and Sugar Ice Cream Cones are inconceivably delicious--a perfect shelf stable companion to your favorite ice cream. That is unless you are looking for a waffle cone…J oy Classic Waffle Cones are just like the ones in the ice cream parlors.

Color Kitchen Rainbow Sprinkles are made with all-natural food dies from plants. You can have bright colors and keep the chemical colorings out of your dessert. 

Klein Family Farms Arroyo Seco of California Walnut Pieces and Pecan Pieces are some of the highest quality nuts available. 

Clover Sonoma Sweetened Whipped Topping in a canister is made with fresh cream, has just the right degree of sweetness, and leaves that wonderful swirly pattern on top of your sundae. And, an alternative is Yola Yogurt Topping made with yogurt instead of cream. It compliments frozen yogurt desserts beautifully. 
From our blog, The Cocktail Post

If you are looking for a beverage to make a crowd happy—or to keep a pitcher in the fridge, this quick and easy Rooibos Peach Punch might be for you. It is made with South African Rooibos tea and peach juice and makes for a perfectly refreshing summer cocktail. We also love it without the vodka.

The peach juice compliments the rooibos tea really well, and the addition of fresh mint lends a bright spark. There are loads of health benefits to drinking rooibos tea, but we are not going to kid ourselves…the vodka probably cancels that all out!

Rooibos Peach Punch Recipe
Yields 1 Cocktail

Looking for something unique to do with the kids (or perhaps an inexpensive date)? Many of the museums in the Bay Area have free days, or days with reduced entry fees, in August. And, some are always free.

Time to begin planning some adventures for the upcoming weeks! Here is a list of free museum days in August…

A Cookbook Recommendation

By David Lebovitz  
A revised and updated edition of the best-selling ice cream book, featuring a dozen new recipes, a fresh design, and all-new photography. This comprehensive collection of homemade ice creams, sorbets, gelatos, granitas, and accompaniments from  New York Times best-selling cookbook author and blogger David Lebovitz emphasizes classic and sophisticated flavors alongside a bountiful helping of personality and proven technique.

David's frozen favorites range from classic (Chocolate-Peanut Butter) to comforting (S'mores Ice Cream) and contemporary (Lavender-Honey) to cutting-edge (Labneh Ice Cream with Pistachio-Sesame Brittle).

Also appearing is a brand new selection of frozen cocktails, including a Negroni Slush and Spritz Sorbet, and an indulgent series of sauces, toppings, and mix-ins to turn a simple treat into a perfect scoop of delight.
Ice Cream Recipe Collection

What are you doing for the 4th? Some of us are planning the big celebration for this weekend, while others are holding out for the Wednesday holiday.

Home Made Ice Cream
Easy Vietnamese Coffee Ice Cream is a quick and easy, no-churn ice cream, inspired by Vietnamese Iced Coffee. It’s creamy, sweet and uses sweetened condensed milk. 

Honey-Cinnamon Ice Cream with Toasted Pecans The warm cinnamon flavor melds wonderfully the earthiness of the honey and pecans. An added bonus to this Honey-Cinnamon Ice Cream is that honey lends itself to extra-creamy ice creams, which you’ll notice immediately when you taste this one.

Malted Vanilla Ice Cream with Peanut Brittle & Milk Choco­late Pieces This recipe was inspired by the malted ice cream at Herrell’s in Massachusetts. They were doing smush-ins long before anyone else, and it was there that Anne first tried malted vanilla ice cream with Heath bar pieces mixed in.

Gam’s Vanilla Bean Ice Cream For my grandmother, if there was one ice cream flavor to rule them all it was Vanilla Bean. Not just vanilla. Vanilla Bean. This is her recipe.

Frozen Yogurt and Gelato
Tart Cherry Frozen Yogurt If you make your own yogurt (which is incredibly easy by the way) so much the better…

Avocado Gelato Now, we know what you're thinking. Avocado Gelato? Hmmmmm. That's kinda pushing the boundaries of the ice cream comfort zone. We are here to tell you it's tasty. It's really tasty. It's creamy, sweet and so good on a hot day

Black and Tan Sundaes According to Amy will make your home made ice cream shine. We recommend Gam's Vanilla Bean in this one.

Valentine Ice Cream Sundaes If you are thinking about building a sundae, get some ideas from the experts. These are over-the-top delicious.

Ice Cream Pies & Cakes
Hula Pie The weather has been so fantastic lately that it reminds me of our family vacation to Maui, and the Hula Pie we had at Duke’s. Gam's Vanilla Bean is great in this one.

Valentine’s Ice Cream Cake It doesn't need to be Valentine's Day to enjoy this cake—that makes any occasion more memorable.

Cracker Jack Ice Cream Cake is fairly easy to make, especially if you use a springform pan, But, it does require freeze time. So, be sure to plan ahead. Gam's Vanilla Bean is great for the base flavor.

Our staff pick is Country Baking Co. Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough… because ice cream sandwiches!

We love Country Baking Co.—they do all of the messy work for you. Their cookie dough comes pre-measured, mixed, and scooped. All you have to do is pop the tray in the oven and enjoy warm cookies!

Each package of dough bakes up 12 jumbo cookies that are loaded with Ghirardelli chocolate chips. And, they are ready in about 15 minutes.

Country Baking works from scratch in small batches. Plus, they are made nearby in Carmel, CA. And the list of ingredients is exactly what you would have made your cookies from at home: Unbleached Wheat Flour, Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips, Unsalted Butter, Brown Sugar, Sugar, Eggs, Pure Vanilla Extract, Baking Soda, Baking Powder, Salt.

Now, to get to the Ice Cream Cookie Sandwiches!

From our recipe blog, The Kitchen Table

Bird on a Bun
My family has a group chat so that we can check in during the day to discuss such important matters as  When was the last time you showered?, Did you put the dishes in the dishwasher? and  We’re out of cerea l. My personal favorite is the afternoon ritual of What does everyone want for dinner? If I am lucky, I will get an actual text response, usually from my husband because, like the old people that we are, we text in complete sentences. My kids like to respond with emojis and more often than not, the response is the cheeseburger emoji.

I am an unapologetic burger lover and I have passed this love of meat and cheese on to my children. My husband also loves the sacred burger but, because he is a better person and more concerned about such things, he will oftentimes opt for a turkey burger to give his arteries a break. While I applaud his efforts, I have found it difficult to emulate them because I had yet to find a turkey burger that is worth it. They tend to be flavorless and dry. Sometimes I do come across a recipe that I have to try.

This recent find is what’s for dinner tonight since it is hot as Hades and there ain’t no way I am turning anything in the kitchen on when it is 95 degrees out. Plus, the kids have practice and burgers be fast and easy. Slice up a watermelon and you have a quick cool tasty hot summer dinner…

Spicy Turkey Burgers
Adapted from the  Food Network
Yields 4 Burgers

I recommend first cooking up a small test burger to check that the degree of spiciness and seasoning is to taste. That way, if you are not too keen on spice, you can add the chili paste gradually. 

This has been the Summer of Experimentation in my house. I am never quite sure what I will walk into when I get home. Because, for lack of a better term, my daughter is bored.
To battle this, she’s been spending her time watching food network and cooking. Her brothers (and their friends) are making out like bandits. By the time they get home from baseball, there are plenty of “snacks” for them to eat. Sometimes it’s cookies and sometimes it’s biscuit BLTs.

Yesterday I came home to raspberry whipped cream filled cream puffs, because sure. Why not? It is for this reason that we made homemade ice cream for the 4th of July.

There is a history of ice cream making in the family. My grandmother used to make ice cream in the summer for Sunday dinner. It was really good but it was sucha production. Gam had this Italian monstrosity of a gelato maker that she was incredibly proud of. But, it was so heavy she had to wait for my dad to get there so he could lift it onto the counter. Not gonna lie though, that machine made fantastic ice cream.

The Il Gelataiowas also very loud. Gam fired that thing up right after dinner and made sure we were all waiting with baited breath listening for when the sound changed—meaning that the ice cream was almost ready. (Heaven forbid we actually talk to each other and not hear the sound change. That would be tragic.)

Her passion for the Il Gelataiowas probably only matched by her strong opinions about the flavors of ice cream she would make in it. Coffee was one of her favorites as was strawberry or peach. But, if there was one flavor to rule them all it was Vanilla Bean. Not just vanilla. Vanilla Bean. She was adamant about that. (My sister is probably reading this with tears rolling down her face from laughter.) Gam was a bit obsessive about it. Even when Gam would buy ice cream at the store it would never be straight up vanilla. Nope. Vanilla Bean. (And don’t get me started on which brandshe thought was the right one…)

For the 4th we made two flavors. The first is a coffee ice cream with crushed Oreos in it. The second, of course, was vanilla bean.

I did mess with it a bit. Since it was served alongside some apple pie, I swirled some dulce de leche in when it was still soft and then threw it in the freezer to harden. It’s a nod to my grandmother with a hint of rebelliousness ‘cause nothing says Fourth of July like a little rebellion!

From our blog, The Butcher's Block

In grilling, there are a few ways to go…but the most popular would be a wet marinade or dry rub. Both taste great and they serve two different purposes. Some cuts of meat work better with one or the other. We’re here to help you figure out what works best for your BBQ.

Dry Rubs
Dry rubs are a dry mixture of spices and herbs that you sprinkle or rub on to the meat before grilling. Typically a rub will include salt, pepper, paprika and brown sugar but that combination depends on region and cuisine.

Dry rubs can be used in two ways, either as a seasoning or a cure. When used as a seasoning, the blend is rubbed on right before grilling. If used as a cure, the rub is applied four or more hours ahead of time so it can flavor the meat more intensely. Memphis style ribs are famous for their dry rubs.

Dry rubs are better suited to more tender cuts like beef fillet because too much time in a marinade can make already tender meats mushy.

Marinades are wet seasonings that are used for flavoring foods that tend to dry out when cooking, like chicken breasts. Most marinades are made up of oil, like olive or canola, an acid like lime juice or vinegar and a whole range of aromatics like onions, chilies, spices or herbs.

The time required for marinades depends on the type of meat you are planning to cook. Chicken breasts can take as little as 30 minutes while a larger cut like leg of lamb might require overnight marinating. It is important that you refrigerate any meat that needs to marinate for more than two hours. Keep in mind that pieces of meat left in the marinade too long can lose their firmness.

The purpose of marinades is mostly to flavor meat but they also serve as a means to tenderize less tender cuts of meat like flank steaks or beef sirloin. The tenderizing properties come from the acid that is in the marinade.

One of our all-time favorite marinades is this recipe for Santa Maria Style Tri-Tip Marinade. It is quick to throw together and may become one of your favorites, too.

A Staff Favorite

Melon season is in full swing and the honeydew melons that just arrived in the store are delicious. So sweet and juicy—you can't get better than this.

How to pick a Honeydew Melon
  1. Check that your melon is free of bruises, soft spots, moldy patches, and cracks.
  2. Choose a melon with a dull-looking appearance. A shiny outside is an indicator of an underripe melon. Also, honeydews should be pale yellow to light lemon in color, not overly green.
  3. Choose a melon that's heavy for its size.
  4. Push your fingers on the round section where the vine was attached. Check that it is slightly soft.
  5. The best honeydews smell fresh and fragrant with a hint of sweetness.

Honeydews are wonderful eaten straight with a spoon. They are also great with a scoop of ice cream or gelato. And, with a little extra effort, there are some fun desserts that highlight the flavor of the fruit.

Honeydew Slushie
This favorite recipe just takes minutes! 

Freeze 2 cups of cubed honeydew melon and then blend it with 2 cups of water. Add a tablespoon of honey, and blend to incorporate. That's it! You can garnish with fresh mint leaves if you wish.

It is good to serve in a glass with both a spoon and a straw (for the bottom). We have no doubt that a splash of vodka would be a festive addition on a hot day.

Honeydew and Coconut Milk Dessert
This is simple, elegant, and refreshing. The perfect dessert for when you want something light and flavorful. It is best when you find that perfect melon.

From our blog, The Cocktail Post

If you have not tried Lillet Blanc, a French aperitif, we strongly recommend you do. Our favorite way to enjoy it is on the rocks with a wedge of lime or lemon.

Lillet is a brand of French aperitif that was established in 1872. An aperitif is an alcoholic beverage that’s served before a meal to stimulate your appetite. But, we also enjoy it on its own as a simple cocktail.

An aperitif can be anything from a liqueur to a dry Champagne or a fortified wine. Lillet is a fortified wine—or more specifically a blend of wines that is married with orange peels, a blend of fruit liqueurs and quinine, and then aged in French oak barrels. What you end up with is a light, refreshing, fruity wine that’s served chilled.

Lillet Blanc is a medium color white wine, made from Sauvignon Blanc and Semillon grapes. The nose is of honey and orange and a hint of mint. While the nose may lead you to expect a sweet dessert wine, in fact, Lillet Blanc leads with a taste of firm bitterness, which suddenly diminishes, leaving a lingering trace of orange, honey, and herbaceousness on the palate.

If you want to get more elaborate, there are several delicious cocktail recipes that use Lillet as an ingredient, a few that include gin. One of our favorites is The Vesper.

Vendor of the Month

With Barbecue season in full swing, we keep turning to Oakland Dust for amazing flavor. Oakland Dust creates hand-crafted, locally inspired spice rubs for all your favorite foods. These unique blends add flavor to all your dishes.

Try dusting on popcorn, roasted veggies, salads, pulled pork, and naturally…your barbecue.

Lloyd Ross, founder of Oakland Dust, was born and bred in Oakland and still lives here today. “I created Oakland Dust for my love of food and for the city I proudly call home,” he said.

Oakland dust rubs come in seven deliciously-blended flavors and four BBQ sauces.

Pork Rub, Beef Rub, 510 Spicy Steak Rub, Chili Lime All-Purpose Rub, Seafood Rub, Poultry Rub, and Curry All Purpose Rub.

BBQ Sauces
The ONE BBQ Sauce. The ONE Hot BBQ Sauce, Oakland Gold, and Hog Sauce for BBQ and Dipping.

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Visit our recipe blog to learn what Amy, our VP and resident foodie, is cooking up in her home kitchen.