Jul 5, 2017

Blue Skies and Blue Ice Cream - What Summer Fun!

I'm sure many of you will agree that there's no greater pleasure on a warm summer's day than eating a cool, delicious ice cream!

In fact I actually remember many places that I've visited by association with a particular ice cream flavour that I ate whilst there. Here are a couple of examples:

La Rochelle in South West France - a wonderful, medieval French port with a stunning harbour, great restaurants and coffee shops. What do I think of when someone mentions La Rochelle? Pistachio ice cream! Here is the pistachio cone I ate on a visit to La Rochelle some years ago.

Pistachio ice cream cone

Le Puy du Fou in the Vendée - one of the world's best theme parks and it's all based on history. The spectacle at the Roman Amphitheatre is incredible ....

..........  but then so was the ice cream I had there! I queued to get this delicious violet ice cream cone.

Violet ice cream cone

Matching your ice cream to the location

It may sound a little crazy but you can actually go one step further with all of this. You can even  match the colour of your ice cream to your surroundings! I did this recently on a visit to La Flotte on the beautiful Île de Ré. It was a beautiful morning with a glorious, bright blue sky. So I bought a bright blue ice cream!

Can you guess what ice cream it is?
It's a mint flavoured water ice (sorbet) with chocolate chips. Unusual but refreshing!

If I had to pick a favourite it would be the pistachio. Its colour, texture and taste was superb. I even have my own pistachio ice cream recipe which you can try and make at home. You don't have to go to La Rochelle for it!

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Apr 26, 2017

Leap Into Spring With Delicious Mint Ice Cream!

For those of us who live in the western hemisphere, it's the time of year when we get to spend more time outdoors. It could be as simple as a local walk, or more adventurous such as visit to a tourist attraction or even going away on vacation. In all those scenarios, eating ice cream becomes an option and a pleasurable one at that!

I've just been for a walk in the Spring sunshine around a lake not far from my home. No sooner had I parked my car than I spotted the small ice cream counter at the boathouse cafe with a queue forming! The walk could wait a few more minutes I thought :)

So I waited patiently for my turn and without hesitation chose a mint choc chip ice cream cone. Just one scoop, no sauce, no chocolate flake. At the start of the ice cream eating season you have to build up to such things! It was delicious and not too much of an indulgence to put me off my walk. So I was able to feel indulgent without any guilt! I love this ice cream flavour and, indeed, have my own recipe for homemade mint choc chip ice cream.

This is a great ice cream to serve at home for family or friends. One of my favourite ways of serving it is with fresh fruit and a sprig of fresh mint from my garden, all set in a chocolate waffle basket.

It makes for an interesting and colourful dessert whilst not being too heavy such as a pudding might be. So it's ideal for completing just about any menu.

Note: I chose the sprig of fresh mint because it is a timeless and wonderfully versatile herb. I was reading about it just recently and its history in culinary dishes goes way back. It was popular in medieval times as a salad ingredient along with purslane and even flowers like the primrose. So if you fancy a salad with a difference check out this page about medieval salad dishes from the 12th century. Having a cup of fresh mint tea is another option of course. I love to pick fresh mint from my garden, drop it in a cup and just add boiled water. Letting it steep for 5 minutes produces such a refreshing drink. I love it!

So whether it's ice cream, a salad or a hot drink, fresh mint can be on the menu in your home in many different ways!

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