Notes to self

1. Buy this book—>

2. Make paletas.

3. Share with friends.


My conundrum: Do I buy an ice cream maker and try making flavors on my own?  Or am I too lazy busy?  I recently finished up classes for grad school so I’m thinking I might try to take back some of my life.  For starters, I rejoined Netflix (not good—I’m also a tv & movie addict!).  Should I also buy an ice cream maker & go crazy or will it just sit on my counter, frowning at me like the crock pot, rice cooker, and blender?

The pic above from The Frozen Fix (where there are lots of recipes, like this lemon poppy seed ice cream) almost makes me want to do it.

Ice Cream Club, New York City

Interesting…apparently there’s an “ice cream club” in NYC, where people bring the ice cream they’ve made.  If only I wasn’t so lazy busy, I’d make an ice cream club here in Chicago.

They’re having a meeting soon.  If you’re in NYC, check it out:


Ice Cream Club is basically the best and cheapest (and only?) way to eat 1,049 flavors of homemade ice cream. You bring some ice cream you made, and so does everyone else.

And it’s been forever since we’ve had a meeting, so you must come on Sunday, June 19, from 1-3pm at the Brainery, 515 Court Street. No need to rsvp!

If you’re in need of some flavor inspiration, check out the blog: The weirder, the better. 

Salted Caramel

I just read about this in Time Out Chicago: Amazing sounding dessert popsicles including almond-milk chocolate mole pudding pops & Thai curry and mango yogurt pops.  Wow!  Made by Ginna Haravon, owner of “Salted Caramel,” they’re sold at Park Ridge Farmer’s Market and Provenance Food & Wine.  Follow on twitter @saltcaramel

My summer goal is to try this out.

See article here.

Ice cream tour Chicago June 2011

I went on an ice cream tour with a friend who was visiting from San Francisco.  If you’ve read my previous posts, you may have picked up on the fact that I adore San Francisco & most of my favorite places to eat are located there.

However, since moving to Chicago for grad school about 3 years ago, I’ve been searching the city for favorite things: Art Institute, Harold Washington Public Library, Grant Park, neighborhood festivals.  But ice cream?  No good ice cream!!

I was beginning to think it was a dessert desert.

(Maybe I’m the only one who thinks that’s funny.)

But my friend said, “Let’s go!”  And so I did a little research/thought about the few places I had been and came up with:

1. Paleteria La Monarca

2. Bobtail Ice Cream

3. Paciugo Gelato (gasp! a gelato place??!!)

4. Anthony’s Homemade Italian Ice

5. Sweet Collective

6. Nice Cream (only in pints in grocery stores, but it’s SO good!)

We ended up only going to the first three & added a fourth (Cloud 9) and had eaten too much to go anywhere else.  And it turns out that Anthony’s sells Bobtail (and their own Italian ice, which is okay but not part of the tour, really).  Sweet Collective also doesn’t make their own (although they do sell Ruth & Phil’s Gourmet Ice Cream, which I’d like to try in the future).

I’ll review each of the first three (and Nice Cream, since I’ve had it before) in separate posts.

Overall, a lovely day.  Even if it was overcast & cold.  See pics here.

Phoenix ice cream

It was 99 degrees with 2% humidity this past weekend when I traveled to Phoenix, AZ—perfect ice cream weather!  I googled “artisan ice cream” the minute I got to my hotel room and found a lot of chatter about Crave Ice Cream. Phoenix Public Market sells pints, so I went on a mission and dragged a friend along (even though we were technically supposed to be in a meeting).  I tried four flavors (um, I shared!): 1) spicy mexican chocolate, 2) malted chocolate with cocoa nibs, 3) salted caramel with almonds, and 4) vanilla bean.  And, since we stumbled upon it in the store, we also tried Sweet Republic’s Strawberry something or other.

Sweet Republic is supposed to be one of the 10 best ice cream companies in the U.S. “according to Bon Appetit,” buuuut I’ll admit I wasn’t super impressed.  I’ve seen a lot more done with strawberries before.  Crave, on the other hand, was amazing.  My favorite was the salted caramel with almonds.  Such strong, luscious flavor!!  And the spicy mexican chocolate was great, too (darker than most mex choco I’ve tasted & nice and spicy!!).

Royal Wedding ice creams from Jeni’s

Update 6/13/11: They no longer offer “royal wedding” flavors.  Let’s hope the royal wedding lasts longer!

Heee hee:

New ice cream shop opens in San Francisco!

Just heard about this from a friend:

They just opened a shop in Hayes Valley.  Here’s the scoop from ZagatBuzz:

"Smitten, the artisan shop that uses liquid nitrogen to churn made-to-order ice cream, has opened at the Proxy Project, making it the first business to open in the innovative multiuse project at the corner of Octavia Boulevard and Linden Street in Hayes Valley (although the Yucatan mobile truck Chaac Mool was also there last weekend as a test-run for its official opening at Dolores Park this Saturday).

Set in a sleek, converted metal shipping container with pop-up skylights, Smitten is currently offering two to four ice cream flavors daily – vanilla, salted caramel and strawberry were on the menu last Sunday. Made from organic milk, they’re available in two sizes – three or five ounces – and there will eventually be customizable mix-in options such as chocolate chips or cookies.

The liquid nitrogen results in small ice crystals in the ice cream, creating an ultra-creamy texture. Because there are no additives or stabilizers used, the ice cream melts quickly, so customers devour their scoops at the nearby park.”

One for the Big Apple

In an effort to expand ice cream shops I’ve described thus far (mostly in CA), here’s a review of a NYC favorite.  It doesn’t receive the rating it deserves on Yelp, but here’s what I have to say about the Brooklyn Ice Cream Factory:

1) When I visited back in 2007, I tried the coffee, the peaches & cream, and the chocolate chocolate chip.  All were fantastic; they do the basics and they do them well.  But don’t go there expecting something along the lines of pushing-the-boundaries of ice cream.  Gaahhh, this is where Ben & Jerry’s, with it’s everything-but-the-kitchen sink approach to ice cream (disgusting, imho) has failed us by creating expectations of too many flavors.  Good, basic flavors are just that: Good, basic flavors.  It’s kind of like singing in a whisper—seems easy, but it’s actually very hard to do well!!

2) Their sugar cones are great.  Don’t bother with anything else.

3) You can’t beat the view.  If you’re thinking of a romantic spot to bring someone, this is definitely the place.  Heck, if you’re thinking of bringing me on a date, this is the Valhalla (and I’m pretty sure Odin likes it, too!).  

A friend of mine was in this shop when Ashton Kutcher stopped in for a visit.  Yes, even the rich & famous like this lil’ ice cream shoppe. :)

mepotret said: I’m goin’ to a small Gelato store in my town this evening, and planing to make a post about it.. so glad to find your blog, it’s a must-follow-blog! :))

 ♥  ♥  thanks for the blog love!  ♥  ♥