Encyclopedia of Meg: I

I is for ice cream! Not surprising, right? But yes, I love ice cream. I love to buy it (especially from the Penny Ice Creamery), I love to make it, but most of all I love to eat it! I feel the best way to address this beloved topic of mine is in three parts: discuss previously mentioned favorite ice cream shop, reveal a recent ice cream discovery, and share a recent ice cream making adventure!

The Penny Ice Creamery
I love this place, I mean true, heartfelt love. Sure, it’s a little pricey, but for me that’s a good thing. Why? Because it deters me from stopping by this wonderful place everyday! (And since I’m trying to cut back the sweets as I count down the days until wedding day, that’s even more important than usual.)

Photo compliments of Penny Ice Creamery's facebook page

But why do I love Penny so much? Because their ice cream is amazing! It’s made fresh from all local and in-season ingredients. You never know what will be on the menu when you stop by, but you know it will be different and delicious. My faves so far? Salted Caramel and Mascarpone Hazelnut, so so good. And today’s menu has fresh mint chip, I need to try that! I know, your mouth is watering, right? And to top it all off, they are at my local farmers market every week. Ice cream at 9am? Yes please.

New Find
A few weeks back, at the Target near my parents’ house, I made an amazing discovery: Ben & Jerry’s Volun-Tiramisu. What? Ice cream that’s also tiramisu? Yes please! Apparently, it’s a special flavor, only available at Target (another reason to increase my Target dependency).

Homemade Ice Cream
I love making ice cream and why wouldn’t I? You can combine your favorite flavors and control what goes into you dessert. Recently, I wanted to make some ice cream for a good friend who had done us a lot of favors as of late (pup-sitting, airport pickups, etc). I asked him what his favorite flavor was and he said cookie dough and cookies ‘n’ cream. Me too! I thought why not combine the too. After making chocolate chip cookies, I froze some batter for the ice cream. I added teaspoon-sized balls of the dough along with crumbled Joe-Joe’s cookies to Gidget’s vanilla ice cream. (I doubled the recipe and used vanilla bean paste since my local store didn’t have vanilla beans, but the paste worked great!) My super cookie ice cream turned out fantastic! Good for me? Of course not! But everything in moderation, right? (Well, maybe not everything!)

                  
Craving ice cream yet? Me too! Ok, I admit, I had to get some of this cookie/ice cream goodness out of the freezer!

Ice Cream Making: Thin Mint Chocolate Chip

Ok I must thank my fiance for the ice cream maker he got me for Christmas! I love it! I’ve now made three batches of ice cream and I think each one is a little better than the last.

Last week I combined two of my favorite desserts: ice cream and Girl Scout cookies. I took my friend’s recipe for chocolate ice cream and added two cups of crumbled cookies. The end result was creamier than the previous ice creams I have made thus far. I think the secret was the use of corn starch and cream cheese. I will definitely be using this combo again in my ice creams. I also really liked not using egg yolks. It seems more healthy (although with all the sugar and chocolate, there’s not much “health” in this tasty dessert!)
The end result also tasted great! I don’t know why someone hasn’t mass-produced mint chocolate cookie chocolate ice cream… I guess because no mint cookie compares to the Girl Scout classic.

If you are looking for a first foray into ice cream making, I highly recommend this one!

February Tight Challenge

Hey blog friends! I signed up for this neat little challenge, the February Tights Challenge. I love it because I have a ton of tights, I love dresses and this challenges me to wear both more often. I’m not committed to wearing them everyday, because quite frankly some days are PJ days all day, right? But it’s a fun way to challenge me to dig deeper into my closet and avoid the nasty jeans (that I already sort of hate). Anyway, you always post photos to the Challenge’s flickr group. Check them out and join up if you want to put your wardrobe to the test (there’s a link on my sidebar).

PS… I’m trying out Gidget’s chocolate ice cream recipe today (and adding Girl Scout Thin Mints cookie crumbs to it, hope to write a post about that soon!)

My First Foray into Ice Cream Making

First, if it is possible to dedicate blog posts, I dedicate this one to Gidget. Her adventures in ice cream making through last year made me want to make homemade ice cream so badly. Well, for Christmas my fiancé got me an ice cream maker and yesterday I made my first batch! I chose one of my all time favorite ice cream flavors: cookies ‘n’ cream! Below is my photo essay of the adventure, complete with the tasty reward.

Some of my tasty ingredients

Crumbled Joe Joe's from Trader Joe's

Cooking the half & half, sugar, and egg yolks.

Everything all mixed together (minus the cookie crumbs)... smells like melted vanilla ice cream, yum!

Letting the mix chill.

After chilling for 8 hours, I finally got to start mixing!

Adding the cookies

Yum!

It made about a 1 3/4 quarts

Bowls for Kevin & I

I think he likes it!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

For those interested, I used the recipe for Vanilla ice cream that came with the ice cream attachment.

French Vanilla Ice Cream
2 1/2 cups half-and-half
8 egg yolks
1 cup sugar
2 1/2 cups whipping cream
4 teaspoons vanilla
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups chopped Joe Joe’s
In a medium saucepan over medium heat, heat half-and-half until very hot but not boiling, stirring often. Remove from heat; set aside.
Place egg yolks and sugar in mixer bowl. Attach bowl and wire whip to mixer. Turn to Speed 2 and mix about 30 seconds, or until well blended and slightly thickened. Continuing on Speed 2, very gradually add half-and-half; mix until blended. Return half-and-half mixture to medium saucepan; cook over medium heat until small bubbles form around edge and mixture is steamy, stirring constantly. Do not boil. Transfer half-and-half mixture into large bowl; stir in whipping cream, vanilla, and salt. Cover and chill thoroughly, at least 8 hours.
With ice cream attachment assembled and attached, turn to STIR (Speed 1). Using a container with a spout, pour mixture into freeze bowl. Continue on STIR (Speed 1) for 15 to 20 minutes or until desired consistency. Immediately transfer ice cream into serving dishes, or freeze in an airtight container.
Add cookie bits during last 1-2 minutes of freeze time.