Showing posts with label ice cream. Show all posts
Showing posts with label ice cream. Show all posts

Monday, November 24, 2014

Thanksgiving 2014 - Perry's Ice Cream Pie

Thanksgiving week is upon us! I thought that instead of bombarding you with dozens of pumpkin/stuffing/turkey recipes this year, I would give you a single, delicious one. Inspired by my favorite hometown ice cream brand - Perry's Ice Cream!

I'm sure you've all been seeing images of the snowstorm that hit Buffalo, New York last week. Houses buried under five feet of snow, snow drifts up and over cars, highways closed, grocery stores cleared out, people building beer fridges out of the snow, etc, etc, etc. I'm proud to hail from that part of the world and I'm all too familiar with that type of weather. Don't worry about Buffalo. They generally dig out in a day and carry on with their business.

Even with all that snow, Perry's Ice Cream continued churning and making tasty flavors for their local fans. (I'm loving the looks of this chocolate cookies and cream they just created!) Each fall, Perry's comes out with a few limited edition flavors. This year I was lucky enough to receive two containers of their new Maple Cheesecake ice cream!

I promptly ate one of the containers. If you are in the WNY region, be sure to pick up a container of this stuff. The cheesecake flavor is really mild and disappears behind the maple. It's not just maple, there's ribbons of maple crunch running through the ice cream.

The second container was set aside for my "Friendsgiving" this past weekend. I decided that in addition to the traditional pumpkin pie, I would make an ice cream pie. It's an incredibly easy pie to make. Just put together your favorite cookie crust, I made the Momofuku Milk oatmeal cookie crust, and top it with the ice cream! Freeze until solid and serve with some whipped cream.

When given the two options of pumpkin pie and Maple cheesecake ice cream pie, what do you think my friends chose? I'll let the entire pumpkin pie in my fridge answer that question.

Not in a Perry's region? This ice cream pie would also be amazing with butter pecan or toffee-flavored ice creams. Just keep it simple and you'll have a tasty Thanksgiving dessert in no time!

Disclaimer: This post is not sponsored by Perry's Ice Cream. I am a member of their Inside Scoopers program and via this relationship they occasionally send me their new flavors. I receive no financial compensation for these posts and all opinions are my own. That being said, I've been eating Perry's Ice Cream since I was a little girl. It is awesome.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Buffalo Summer

It's summertime! I'm just a few hours away from boarding a plane and flying home for a visit! I tend to go home to see my parents twice a year, Christmas and summer. That way I get to see both of the Buffalo seasons, winter and July. 

Well, that's how the old joke goes. I'm more in the camp that Buffalo has four distinct, yet unequal seasons. 

Fall starts rolling in immediately after Labor day. In mid-September, the leaves start to turn and the sweaters and jeans quickly reappear. I think it's Fall that WNYers live for. I always loved Fall because it meant going back to school. But then again, I'm a nerd and totally loved school. Feel free to make fun of me.

Yes, winter is long and snowy, but you'll rarely hear a local complain about it. "What is winter without snow?", they will tell you. I remember several Christmas eves, driving through blinding snow to get to my grams house. 

Spring is rainy and cool and it tends to last from early May until mid June. It gives you plenty of time to plant your gardens and clean up from the winter mess. 

Summer pops it's head in around early July and brings sticky, hot weather. We didn't have air conditioning in my childhood home. I was only ever upset about it for one or two weeks a year. You don't get 100 degree days in Buffalo, but humidity will make you wish you had a cold drink in your hand all day. 

One easy way to tell that it was summer in my childhood home? Check the freezer for ice cream. If it was summer, there was a solid shelf of Perry's ice cream. If it wasn't summer, there was probably just half a shelf. My dad seriously loves Perry's ice cream. (Remember, I took him to the Perry's ice cream factory last year? It was his birthday present, he loved it.)

You might remember that I'm lucky enough to be a Perry's Inside Taster! This means that once or twice a year, then send me ice cream! This is super important these days, because my Wegmans in New Jersey have stopped carrying the brand! (Worse day ever) This summer, I received a large box of dry ice and three containers of Perry's. Three containers of ice cream that were all destined for something different. 

First, the French Roast Coffee. I never saw this ice cream. The package arrived and I put the containers in the fridge. I left for a conference. When I came home, the ice cream was no longer in the fridge. The boyfriend may or may not have eaten the entire container of ice cream himself. He wouldn't fess up.

Next, Otto's Cupcake. I saw this ice cream a few months back, during Sweet 16 basketball time. It's chocolate ice cream, with pieces of chocolate cake and orange frosting swirled in. Let me be clear though, the frosting swirl is orange in color, not orange in flavor. My dad and I both had some and discussed this point for a good five minutes. We were both expecting orange flavor because we didn't read the box before we ate it. This ice cream was tasty.

Finally, All Natural Dark Chocolate. This ice cream made its way into those ice cream sandwiches you see above. I was inspired by these brownie ice cream sandwiches from Smitten Kitchen. 

I knew that I still had a container of chocolate Perry's in the freezer and thought nothing would pair better with the ice cream, than peanut butter. I whipped up a batch of my favorite peanut butter bars, divided the batter in two and sandwiched almost the entire container of ice cream between the two slabs of peanut butter bar. The boyfriend thinks my ice cream to cookie ratio is off. He's just crazy, these ice cream sandwiches are amazing.  Give them a try! Or come over, I have a whole pan of them to share!

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Vanilla Soda & Ice Cream Floats

Carbonate everything!

Ever since I got my soda siphon at the flea market, I've been making so many different homemade sodas!  I seriously want to carbonate everything.  Pretty much anything I can pour into the siphon has a chance of being carbonated.  Except milk, I'm pretty sure that would be just weird.

Having an endless array of soda flavors also gives me endless possibilities of ice cream float flavors!  Which is exactly what I had in mind when I prepared this all natural vanilla soda.

Sure, you could buy some cream soda from the store.  Or you could quickly make this vanilla soda from all natural flavors!  It's seriously simple too.  All you need is a vanilla bean and some palm sugar.  Sure, palm sugar is a specialty ingredient (you can find it in my aStore on the bottom right!), but it gives this soda an distinct flavor.

Make it.  Pour it over ice cream.  Enjoy in a comfy spot outdoors.  Do it do it do it!

Friday, July 12, 2013

Restaurant Wars 2013 - Dairy Queen

I've been slacking on my 2013 challenge.  It's funny really.  Since I've been unemployed I have had more time to complete the challenges, but I haven't finished one since May!  Today marks me getting back on the horse and starting the second half of the year with a delicious bang.

Today's challenge is perfectly timed with this hot weather that has been blanketing the country.  It's ice cream related.  My challenge restaurant this week is Dairy Queen!

The vast menu of DQ gave me lots of options to choose from for my challenge.  From Blizzards to Peanut Buster parfaits, waffle bowl sundaes to Dilly bars, most of treats are made from soft serve ice cream and different inclusions.  What I usually order when I head to DQ is a vanilla cone, dipped in cherry red shell.  Simple, delicious.  Love it.

There are lots of recipes out there for chocolate magic shell.  Simple combine chocolate chips with some coconut oil and you've made yourself magic shell.  Cherry magic shell is a little bit more tricky.  I had to make a few batches to get this one right.  I started out with white chocolate and coconut oil, with cherry extract.  That batch tasted like coconut magic shell.  Not quite what I was going for.

Batch two I swapped out the coconut oil for grape seed oil.  Grape seed oil is perfect for this because it lends no flavor to the magic shell.  It wasn't there yet, because the cherry flavor wasn't strong enough.  That red stuff from Dairy Queen really tastes like cherries.  Well, fake cherry flavoring actually.  I decided to swap out the cherry extract for cherry candy oil.  It's a much more potent flavoring and matched with a little vanilla extract, made for just the right combination.  I threw in a big dash of red food coloring and I finally came out with magic in a jar.

Now I don't need to drive halfway across New Jersey to get myself a DQ vanilla cone.

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Vanilla Ice Cream with Roasted Cherry Swirl

Happy Fourth of July Internet friends! 

For my international friends out there, I hope you have an enjoyable Thursday.  For my American friends in the Internet ether, Happy Independence day! 

I hope that your day is filled with sunshine, cookouts, ice cream and warm weather.  I love living in the tri-state area this time of year because we can celebrate the holiday all week long!  There have been fireworks dotting the skyline since Saturday as the hundreds of townships in the area celebrate with local events.  Boyfriend and I headed to the Montclair fireworks last night and have big plans to view the fireworks of New York City, western Long Island and eastern New Jersey from high up in the hills of Upper Montclair tonight.

To celebrate Independence day this year, I decided to put my OXO fruit tools to use and make some cherry swirled vanilla ice cream.  A few weeks ago I received a package from OXO (via the OXO blogger outreach program) filled with tools to help us enjoy the summer fruit bounty.  The box included a pineapple corer, mango pitter, strawberry huller, fruit scoopers and this cherry pitter! 

Using the cherry pitter cut my prep time down significantly and my cherry sauce was in the oven in no time.  Cherries are delicious all on their own, but roast them in the oven with a little sugar, you've got a winner.  Rather than just topping the ice cream with the roasted cherry sauce, I decided to swirl it right into the just churned ice cream.  Super delicious, perfectly refreshing for the fourth of July!

Disclaimer - I received the OXO fruit tools as a part of the blogger outreach program.  All opinions about the tools are my own and I have not been compensated for this post.

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Wilde Taste Tester

What do you do for the man who has everything when his birthday rolls around?  Why, you make him Charlie and bring him to is own Chocolate Factory.  Or as it was in this case - Dad and the Perry's Ice Cream Factory!

That's right, I'm the best daughter in the world and I took my dad to his most favorite place in the world for his birthday - the Perry's Ice Cream Factory in Akron, NY. 

Now I can't take all the credit for thinking up this amazing birthday trip.  In reality, it was kismet, fate, destiny or just plain luck, that Perry's Ice Cream invited me (and a special guest) to come visit the factory for their first ever - Perry's Taste Testing event.  The tour and taste testing happened to land on my dads birthday weekend, so I flew home to celebrate (and eat lots of ice cream) with him at Perry's.

If you're not a local Western New Yorker, you might not be familiar with Perry's Ice Cream.  It's a local brand that fills the freezer cases at TOPS and Wegmans in my hometown.  It's the ice cream that our local schools carried when we were kids (get them hooked young!).  Perry's is what you find at local ice cream stands.  If you happen to live near a Wegmans grocery store (except that new one in Boston), you can buy Perry's Ice Cream.  If you are outside of their distribution region, you can come visit me.  I have lots in my freezer.

Perry's is still run by a Perry actually.  See that guy above?  That's Brian Perry, executive vice president and fourth generation Perry's ice cream worker.  During our trip to the factory, we actually got to look down on the factory floor and watch the ice cream being made (sorry, no pics allowed!).  Cartons of ice cream were zipping around all over the place.  Huge silver drums processed the ingredients and immediately distributed the product into containers and sent them to the freezer.  The front of the room was dominated by a machine dedicated to making ice cream sandwiches.  It was totally fascinating.

My dad and I weren't alone in our visit to Perry's.  A few other bloggers were there (Hello to Ashley and Brette!) as well as some local press and other businesses (Including a girl I totally graduated high school with.  But she either didn't recognize me, or is still too cool for school.).  There's me in my bright green pants, standing next to my dad, who is so excited to be there.

A quick group shot with Brian Perry (jammed in the back behind my bright green legs) and some questions from the press (did you know Perry's recycles/reuses/re-purposes just about everything that comes in their doors?) and we were finally off to the most important part - the taste testing!

Now this was going to be a big job.  We weren't there to just eat the ice cream.  We were there to taste test it and give our opinions.  The great ladies at Perry's gave us a presentation about how to taste test.  We had to think about the following things...

1. Texture
2. Flavor
3. Aroma

Lactose-Free Vanilla
Texture is pretty straightforward - Perry's pasteurizes their ice cream low and slow rather than a hot flash pasteurization.  This leads to a smoother, creamier ice cream.  It's devoid of large ice crystals, unless you leave it in the freezer for months, but who is going to do that!  Texture is also touched upon when the ice cream has inclusions - or little bits of something else.  Inclusions vary from nuts to chocolate to candies. 
Oh My, Cherry Pie!
Flavor is where it gets tricky.  First - dairy.  Someone from the South might not like Perry's because you can definitely taste the dairy in the ice cream.  Southerners tend to prefer a sweeter ice cream rather than one with a lot of dairy notes.  Us Northern ice cream eaters like to taste the dairy notes, then the flavors and sweetness.
Movie Time

 Flavor gets more complicated as you add extracts, fruits, chocolates and inclusions.  Did you know there are four different types of vanilla?  Or that you can describe the taste of chocolate in over 20 different ways?  From roasted to nutty, burnt to barny, chocolate is very complex. 

Sponge Candy
Finally comes aroma.  When you plan a taste testing event, be sure to avoid wearing perfumes, lighting scented candles or eating/drinking anything else for about 20 minutes.  You want a clean palate.  Drink plenty of water in between flavors and go from lightest to heaviest flavor (we went from vanilla to dark chocolate).  Be sure your ice cream has a few minutes to warm up from the freezer, other wise you'll just taste cold.  
Queen of Hearts
We taste tested seven different flavors.  Let me tell you, it was a hard task.  I know, I know.  "Eating all that ice cream must have been terrible!"  It was not terrible, I was just very full.  I was a little confused by the Movie Time flavor (Popcorn flavored ice cream with swirls of sea salt caramel and caramel truffles).  It smelled like movie theater popcorn, but tasted like caramel.  Yet it had the aftertaste of popcorn.  My dad loved it and finished mine.

All Natural Black Cherry
I fell in love with the Queen of Hearts flavor (Dark chocolate ice cream with a raspberry swirl and fudge filled hearts).  Most of the men in the room didn't like this one, while the ladies were more partial to it.  I think women tend to lean more toward dark chocolate than to men.  There was also a local flavor - Sponge candy!  Something to get the WNYers excited about summer and bring out the local aspect of Perry's. 

Party Sandwich!
We even got to try their newest novelty - the Party Sandwich.  This will be a bit hit with the under 12 crowd.  Cake batter ice cream, filled with rainbow sprinkles, sandwiched between two vanilla cookies.  They were fun, but sadly the last thing we had for the day.  I couldn't come anywhere near finishing it.

We wrote down all our comments, using our new flavor words like cultured, smoky, caramelized and buttery and handed our comment cards to the Perry's Team.  Hopefully our comments will help make more delicious flavors?  I'd totally be willing to come back and try some more flavors!


The only thing I'm bummed about?  We got to take home a few pints of our favorites, but since I flew to Buffalo, my dad took ownership of all my ice cream!  Plus, all the flavors we tried that day are ice cream stand flavors - not available in the stores!  I guess I'll just have to make another trip to WNY this summer and get a scoop or two by the river.

Before we left, the Perry's team offered to take us into their freezer.  This is not your traditional, basement freezer with a few half gallons of ice cream.  The Perry's freezer is a warehouse, kept at 25 degrees below zero, filled from floor to ceiling with pallets and pallets of ice cream.  My dad wanted to back the truck up to the loading dock and load up a few pallets for himself.

I took the picture on the left just after we got into the freezer.  My dad took a picture of me after spending about a minute in the freezer.  His hands were shaking so bad, all three images he took looked like this!  The freezer workers laughed at us when we came out to warm back up.  But at least I look awesome in a hard hat.  It matched my pants.

This summer I'll have to try to a few of these flavors in my little machine.  It will be a little hard in my home kitchen, but I'm up for the challenge!  I think sponge candy would make an amazing ice cream sandwich (hint hint!).

I there a local brand of ice cream in your part of the country?  Do you prefer it over the big guys?

Photo Credits - Photos 3-6, 15 & 16 are credited to Yuka Photo Art (all the rest are from my iPhone)

Note - While Perry's did provide samples for taste testing, there was no financial compensation for the trip or this post.  I like to write about Perry's because they are one of my local hometown businesses. 

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Yogurt Popsicles

The warm temperatures this week have me yearning for springtime.  I can't wait for long flowy dresses and wedge sandals.  I want to head out to the countryside and pick berries.  I'm ready for winter to release its grip from the Northeast so boyfriend and I can spend out weekends on our bikes, enjoying picnics under shady trees.

While giving our kitchen a good, post-new years cleaning, I came across my popsicle molds.  The day was cold and dark and I was sad to realize it would be months before I would be filling the molds with fresh berry purees and citrusy juices.  The molds went back into the cupboard, waiting for their chance to shine again.

It was this warmer week that brought the popsicle molds back to the front of my mind.  That, along with boyfriends Chobani week, gave me the inspiration to bring you these beauties - Chocolate chip cookie dough frozen yogurt pops.  Maybe with the first set of popsicles, spring will follow soon after?  Like the groundhog of the food world.  Let's hope, because I'm ready for floaty chiffon tops and trips to the farmers market.

These yogurt pops bring our Chobani week to an end, because you can't finish your day without a tasty dessert!  Boyfriend has taught us a little something about the grocery business and the secret world that is behind those swinging doors.  And he's learned quite a bit about yogurt and all the great things you can do with it!

Are you ready for spring?  Or maybe you live in one of those temperate regions of the world, where if it drops below fifty degrees people break out the winter coats.  Seems like we will have a few more chilly weeks here in the tri-state region, doesn't mean I won't be eating these popsicles, just means I'll be curled up on the couch under a blanket when I do eat them!

Friday, December 21, 2012

Brownie Cupcake Sundaes

We are only days away from Christmas.  It's been really easy to tell how many days are left before the holiday weekend begins because of the following.  Each day this week...

My morning train has been emptier and emptier.  Friday morning promises to give me a three-seater all to myself!

There have been fewer and fewer people in the halls at work.  My company is closed next week for our winter shutdown and some people choose to extend this vacation by taking a few days this week as well.  I'm pretty sure there will be 10% of the people in the building and maybe 1% of them will be doing actual work.

My evening return to the city each night has become more packed with families.  They are all dressed up in their winter best, heading to the city to see the Rockefeller tree, shop at Macy's and view the holiday windows.  Oh yeah, and be loud and noisy on the train.  Shhhhh...

T minus five days - Boyfriend has fled the cold weather to visit his parents in Florida.  This is a good thing.  While we will be spending Christmas apart (I'll be heading to Buffalo this to visit my own parents), I get to use this time to shop and wrap for the guy. 

I finished my holiday shopping last night after work.  My antibiotics have helped me kick the bronchitis that took up residence in my chest.  And Perry's Ice Cream sent me two containers of holiday flavors.  It's time to celebrate!

Actually, the container of ice cream pictured is not the original one that they sent me.  I accidentally ate all of that one.  All by myself.  Don't worry, it took me almost two weeks to eat the whole container.  BF and I had to make our way to the New Jersey Wegmans and buy the last container of peppermint ice cream.

Before I ate all of the ice cream, I had plans to make these little brownie cupcakes.  These dessert treats are really simple and perfect for a complicated holiday dinner.  Make some brownie cupcakes, top them with your favorite mint/peppermint ice cream and add a dallop of whipped topping.  Hello delicious.

Happy Holidays everyone!  I hope that you get to spend some time with the ones you love.

Many thanks to Perry's Ice cream for helping it feel like home, all these miles away from Buffalo.  I've also found that if people know about Perry's Ice cream, they love it.  If you can find it, give it a try!

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Apple Pie Ice Cream Topping

Is there anything that reminds us of home more than food?  Whether it be your moms special dinner, your dads secret sauce, the local diners Wednesday night special or the family owned soda shops hand-churned ice cream, there is something about having a meal in your hometown. 

Western New Yorkers have a list of things that are near and dear to their hearts.  We have Teds Hot Dogs (and now the renegade spin-off, Theodores) with their traditional coal-fired grills.  Those in search of a greasy and delicious sub sandwich know to head to Viola's in Niagara Falls.  Looking for good wings?  Head to the Anchor bar when in the city, or Duffs when in the suburbs.  Want amazing chocolate?  I always head to Watsons.

There are also a whole bunch of local goods that ex-pat Buffalonians stock up on when visiting home.  We leave room in our suitcases for Chiavettas bbq sauce, Webers mustard and your favorite wing sauce.  I consider packing fewer clothes than I actually might need so that I can bring home the biggest box of sponge candy that I can find.

There has been one thing that I haven't been able to take home.  Something that I grew up with and spent many an evening enjoying with my dad.  Perry's ice cream.  If you are a Western New Yorker or currently live near a Wegmans grocery store, you know about Perry's.  It's the ice cream of choice for all local ice cream places.  There is a huge ice cream cone right new Niagara Falls that will gladly serve you your favorite flavor of Perry's.  It's called - The Twist of the Mist!

In the first twenty-one years of my life, I must have eaten gallons of Perrys.  I was so confused when I went grocery shopping for the first time in Wisconsin to find no Perrys.  And sadly, ice cream doesn't travel well.

I spent the next eight years enjoying my favorite ice cream only at home.  My dad is a bigger fan of the brand than I am.  I know there will always be at least four or five containers of ice cream in the freezer.  This all changed a few months ago.

I was feeling nostalgic for home during the hot summer months and tweeted Perrys.  It was something along the line of  "I miss you Perrys, come to New Jersey!"  The response I got?  "We are in New Jersey!  Head to the Woodbridge Wegmans!"  I nearly fell off my chair.  Boyfriend picked me up a container of black raspberry next time work took him to central New Jersey.

Life got even better this summer when I was contacted by Perrys and asked to join their "Inside Scoopers" team.  As an Inside Scooper, I get early access to new flavors and most exciting, a trip to the Perrys factory!  My dad is super jealous.

Why yes mom, my fingernails are green.
For my first task as an Inside Scooper, I had to test out the new All Natural flavors.  I know, tough job.  These flavors are made the old fashioned way, the way ice cream was made before science got involved.  No artifical flavors or colors.  The way you probably make ice cream at home!  Four simple flavors - chocolate, chocolate chip, maple walnut and vanilla bean - that just beg to be eaten.
Hello, my name is delicious.
Now I know most of you don't have access to Perry's, but if you're in the WNY area, be sure to stop and get yourself a scoop.  Until then, you can make (or buy!) your favorite vanilla ice cream and top it with heaps of this...  Apple pie topping.  Chunks of sweet apples in a caramely sauce, spiced with cinnamon, nutmeg and clove.  It's like an apple pie, without the crust.  It tastes like fall and is just the thing to use up some of those freshly picked apples.
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