Tag Archives: ice cream

On National Ice Cream Day

15 Jul

Cue the elegy.

Today, on National Ice Cream Day, I say goodbye to what used to be my favorite go-to ice cream… Breyers vanilla ice cream.  When I should have been enjoying a bowl of a favorite frozen treat, I found myself lamenting the ingredients list.  I’m afraid that because we’ve been so busy trying out local ice cream brands that hit the market the last five to six years, I’ve only recently noticed the ingredient change with Breyers vanilla ice cream.  All that on a cold, gloomy Sunday summer morning.

On a positive note, I can make ice cream.

During my preteen years, I saw Breyers commercials boasting the natural ingredients that a Breyers ice cream contains.  This one was the cutest.  The one below summed up in four words (ingredients, that is) why Breyers vanilla ice cream was my ice cream sweetheart for years.  (Years!)

Don’t you just love how on the lid it says in all caps, “VANILLA ICE CREAM MADE WITH REAL VANILLA BEAN FLECKS”.  And look how it says “Natural Vanilla”.

Yet, on the ingredients list, vanilla isn’t listed.  What then could be the “flecks” that are found in the ice cream?  As for the “Natural Vanilla” part, I suppose when it comes to interpretation, “NATURAL FLAVOR” could be anything.  And it could also be “Natural Vanilla”.

The next commercial is a little older and as you can see, Breyers still pointed out then how their ice cream is better compared to the other guys.

At a time when the public is moving towards wholesome natural foods and products, UNILEVER decided to take Breyers ice cream the opposite direction.  So UNILEVER, I just want to say… wtf?!  Oh hold on, let me go with the all caps… WTF?!

Homemade Lemon Ice Cream

17 Feb

Sometime ago, during my college years, I used my mother’s ice cream machine to make a favorite frozen dessert, but my first experience with making ice cream was unsatisfactory.  With no more than three attempts of using the machine and not producing the ice cream I hoped to produce, I decided to call it quits.  With no one interested in making ice cream, Mom eventually retired the bulky small appliance somewhere in the depths of one of her kitchen cabinets.

Last week, I decided that I would make lemon custard for lunch with two fabulous female friends.  They both were coming from far distances (at least half an hour drive) and the least I could do was to make a luncheon as fab as they are.  We have Meyer lemons so I thought I’d make something lovely with them.  However, the lemon custard, that was supposed to be for dessert, never materialized on our Thursday lunch date (yesterday) because this past Monday, I aspired to make lemon ice cream instead… without an ice cream machine!

To make sure my attempt is successful, I read Harold McGee’s research on frozen desserts and ice cream in On Food and Cooking, and read various articles online on “how to make ice cream without an ice cream machine” and found David Lebovitz’ to be the best.  Using the method Lebovitz shared and a simple lemon custard recipe, I made a successful first attempt.  So thank you, MM. McGee et Lebovitz.

Lemon Ice Cream

1 c lemon sugar*
4 egg yolks
2 tbs lemon juice
2 c milk, heated

1-1/4 c heavy cream, heated

Combine sugar, yolks, and juice over low heat or using a double boiler.  Whisk until the mixture is smooth and thick.  Add the heated cream then milk.  When mixture is combined, chill over an ice bath.  Transfer the cooled custard mixture into a freezer-safe container.  Chill the mixture and check about 60 minutes after.  Take out the mixture and thoroughly whisk it, making sure to incorporate the frozen edges.  For every 45 minutes after, repeat the process 3-4 times.  As the mixture freezes, it’ll become harder to whisk so make sure to use a sturdy spatula.  In about 4 hours, the ice cream will be ready.  Patience is key here, so have lots of it.

For a creamier texture, decrease the amount of milk added by a cup and the amount of sugar by a 1/4 cup, and increase the yolks by two more. 

Smile and serve.

* If you don’t have lemon sugar, increase the lemon juice to 1 cup and use regular sugar.

Ice Cream and Strawberries

23 Aug

A sensual summer treat involving vanilla ice cream, strawberries, and pastries (in my case, palmiers).  The Hubby wasn’t around when I made it.  Needless to say, more for me.


Happy summer!

Screaming for ice cream

21 May

I scream! You scream! We all scream for ice cream!  

Just this past Saturday (17 May), Ryan and I celebrated LeAnne’s (a Seattlelite girlfriend) not-quite 30th blue birthday party with her family and friends—as in blue from ROY G BIV (a mnemonic aid for remembering the colors of the rainbow) which she and her childhood friends are using to celebrate a series of their birthdays. LeAnne’s birthday fell on the color blue. What luck, it happens to be one of my favourite colors; green is the other.   

One of her many stipulations, or wishes let’s say, was that her guests wear at least 50 percent blue, either top or bottom. Another one was to bring two ice cream toppings instead of gifts. Ryan and I presented her with sliced almonds, sliced mangoes in syrup, and blackberries.   

It was quite a thematic birthday party. Fun as well.  

Her charming house was packed with guests but because I wanted to eat too, I was only able to shoot a few ice cream creations (pictured according to time taken).   
















Although ice cream was the highlight, there were other yummy dishes about: quinoa salad, blue corn chips and bean dip (that made my tastebuds dance salsa), veggie burgers and veggie dogs, makings for a personalized sandwich, and so many more that I can no longer remember. It would be helpful to have photos—had I taken a photo of the buffet table, but I didn’t. Ironically, during the party, I reminded myself that after I partake in the dinner and have my ice cream, I would take photos of the two buffet tables: one for savories and the other for ice cream toppings. There was an impressive array of toppings: from popular candies (e.g. gummi bears) to decadent ones (e.g. dulce de leche).  

Fortunately, I didn’t forget to take photos of the birthday pies. Two out of the three are made by Rex, LeAnne’s partner. I know he baked her birthday apple pie and strawberry-rhubarb pie from scratch! While the Lemon meringue pie was baked by their friend Mark–I assume he made it from scratch as well.  


Lemon meringue pie made by Mark  


Strawberry-rhubarb pie made by Rex  


LeAnne’s birthday Apple pie made by Rex  

Cheers, LeAnne!