Jul 29, 2008

More Gelato Recipes

I've written about gelato ice cream before and introduced you to a nice vanilla gelato recipe which you can make at home. Now I have more gelato recipes and wanted to share them with you. I've chosen to cover chocolate and banana which I have read are 2 of the most popular flavors in gelato ice cream:

chocolate gelato (gelato cioccolato)
banana gelato (gelato banana)

The chocolate gelato recipe calls for dark chocolate as an ingredient and although I don't like to eat dark chocolate on its own, I find it super in ice cream or in this case gelato. I'm sure there are other people out there like me! There's something about blending rich chocolate into an ice cream mixture that becomes quite irresistable!

I read an interesting BBC article a couple of years ago about how chocolate can be beneficial to health and it led me to read up more on the subject. What I found was an amazing array of information, anecdotes and research in support of the idea and my chocolate and health web page was written as a result. There's so much to know and understand about chocolate and I'm sure there's still more to be learned.

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Jul 22, 2008

Animals & Ice Cream

There’s nothing more cute than a puppy or kitten doing something innocent but fun. As a child I remember my little Yorkshire Terrier enjoying the bottom part of my ice cream cone which I would snap off for her as she waited patiently whilst watching me eat most of the ice cream. Maybe it was the cold temperature, but she would never just grab the little ice cream cone all in one go; she would just take a lick then taste it over and over before then gingerly but eagerly taking another. It was so cute! What’s more she loved it too.

Those were the days before video cameras and the Internet so I wondered if with today’s technology I could find other people’s pets with a similar love for ice cream. Sure enough, on YouTube I came across some wonderful clips and compiled my own dedicated page of animals eating ice cream. There you can download clips of dogs, cats, birds, even rabbits, horses and a lizard all eating ice cream!

Unusual animals can be really interesting, especially when they’re young. Here’s a website I found with some great photos of baby animals – from goats, to bears, turtles and lemurs to gorillas and lots more. A great collection of photos for animal lovers to enjoy.

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Jul 20, 2008

National Ice Cream Day 2008

It's here ... National Ice Cream Day for 2008! The third Sunday in July: this year it's 20 July.

It's a rather unusual 'Special Day' but one that more and more people are getting to know about and learning to celebrate. For some it will be a special trip to one of their favorite ice cream parlors whilst for others it will be to just stay home and make a batch of delicious homemade ice cream.

If you've never made your own ice cream before, now's the time to try. It's great fun and both children and adults alike can get involved and if you have an electric ice cream maker it doesn't take very long either. You can make a gelato (soft scoop) ice cream or choose from a whole range of sorbets; alternatively you can opt to make one of the more traditional custard/cream base ice creams such as vanilla ice cream or strawberry ice cream.

When you've made your ice cream it doesn't end there .... you can serve it in an ice cream cone or as an ice cream sundae or even go for the big one and try a Knickerbocker Glory (as in the photo).

Once you've made and eaten your ice cream you can then sit down and relax - and know that on this special day you have really played your part. So go to it and enjoy!

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Jul 12, 2008

Green Tea Ice Cream

Green tea ice cream is not the first ice cream flavor that comes to mind but it's one of the more unusual ice cream recipes. It's also surprisingly popular and my green tea ice cream recipe is amongst the top 10 ice cream recipes viewed on my website.

Admittedly it's a rich recipe using cream and eggs but if you're looking for an indulgence to share with family and friends that's just that little bit different, it's certainly worth considering and that's probably the reason it's so popular.

The other reason for its popularity is possibly because more people are becoming aware of green tea's reported health giving properties. For example, green tea is totally unfermented - in fact it's steamed which gives it up to 60 per cent more polyphenols than most other teas. This is one reason why there's also a growing demand for green tea extract as a health supplement.

Green tea is a fascinating subject and if you'd like to read more I have a dedicated green tea web page.

Did you know that movie superstar and marshall arts expert Jackie Chan has put his name to a selection of green teas? I was surprised to learn this because he doesn't exactly need the advertising revenue! However, having read about Jackie Chan's life, career and wonderful charitable endeavours, it's clear he's a man with strong convictions. These include taking a pride in yourself, your health and the world around you. I remember once watching the outtakes from one of his earlier movies called 'Mr. Nice Guy' and after a street scene shot had been completed, Jackie was seen to bend down and start picking up litter from the gutter only to go and put it all in a street litter bin and then calmly walk off with no fuss back to continue filming.

Having just read about Jackie Chan's Tea I'm keen to try some out myself. If you want to do the same, it is now available online - in the green tea products section of the Ice Cream Recipes Online Store (in association with Amazon).

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Jul 7, 2008

National Ice Cream Month & National Ice Cream Day

Last year in July, I wrote about the 24th anniversary of 'National Ice Cream Month'. So this year of course it's going to be the 25th anniversary - a quarter of a century that Americans have officially recognised the importance of celebrating the magic of ice cream!

When you sit down and think about it, you begin to realise that ice cream is not just a treat; it was never going to be a passing fad either but it has become a part of modern culture. For many people ice cream is a symbol of fun, enjoyable summer days and brings back childhood memories chasing after the ice cream truck when it came down the street. I certainly remember that!

Today we have a marvellous rich variety of ice cream flavors to choose from - whether it's from the ice cream truck or whether you make your own homemade ice cream. You might choose a simple vanilla ice cream decorated with a delicious ice cream topping or sauce or you might prefer to try something a little more adventurous such as coconut ice cream. You can even go a step further and try making gelato for the first time. It's easy enough and there are some great, simple gelato recipes you can try out. Always sounds good too when you next meet up with friends and talk about how your gelato worked out - very impressive!

Oh and don't forget - 20 July is National Ice Cream Day this year.

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Jul 4, 2008

From Ice Cream Toys To Ice Cream Ties

If you like ice cream - and let's face it, the majority of people do - then you might like to buy something with an ice cream theme, either for yourself or as a present for someone you know who also loves ice cream.

You might look in a local department store but you're not likely to find much there with an ice cream theme and if you search online you're likely to have to refine your search over and over for invididual items - and that's not easy to do if you don't know what kind of things are available with a dedicated ice cream theme. Even then you might at best come up with a comparisons site such as bizrate.com where you then have to go off searching one link at a time. All rather time consuming and a fair amount of effort. I know as I speak from experience. I wanted to look at ice cream ties as a different gift for my husband and at babies' clothes with an ice cream theme for a friend who's just had a baby boy (hi Dylan).

I couldn't easily find any one site where there was a good and broad choice. So, with the benefit of this experience, I decided to team up with amazon.com and open an online store in which every item selected has an ice cream theme. The great news is that it's now live - the Ice Cream Recipes Online Store and I'm delighted to share that news with you.

It's not the biggest store - in fact it's simple and straight-forward and powered by Amazon's great technology it should be the kind of site (safe and reliable) that my readers will like. The special thing about it though is this .... the range of items is focused and, I believe, really relevant to the kind of visitors that come to ice-cream-recipes.com every day.

Photos: one of the colorful ice cream ties available in the store and a watch with a chocolate ice cream cone. Now there are two things you don't see every day!

The store also has sections on ice cream makers, ice cream scoops, ice cream books, ice cream tee shirts, ice cream footwear, ice cream caps, ice cream jewelry, ice cream toys & games and even ice cream baby clothes. I hope to add more as time goes along but because I'm taking the time to individually select the items the store won't grow too fast. That's not imporant though - I just want people to have the chance to search for anything with an ice cream theme without having to trawl through lots of websites. Hopefully, job done!

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Jul 1, 2008

Celebrate 4 July With Vanilla Ice Cream

Last year I was amazed at the number of visitors to http://www.ice-cream-recipes.com/ around 4 July. I have always known that holidays of any kind are great occasions for making homemade ice cream and sharing it with friends and family but a summer holiday is especially so. For some reason, it turns out that 4 July is THE day when Americans want to make their own ice cream more than any other day in the year.

So what was the ice cream flavor my visitors were most interested in on 4 July? Yep, you guessed it .... vanilla ice cream. The perennial of all ice creams! Out of 85,000 page views that day, my main vanilla ice cream recipe had almost 20% of that in its own right! I have to admit that vanilla is my favorite ice cream, especially when it's made with a fresh custard (cream) base and using a real vanilla pod. A couple of scoops topped with delicious chocolate sauce and a dollop of fresh whipped cream - what bliss! Here's my custard base vanilla ice cream recipe.

It may seem like hard work on a special holiday to take time out and make some homemade ice cream but it's not that difficult, nor is it too time consuming and the end result is well worth it. You not only get to enjoy the ice cream yourself but you get the pleasure of see all those smiling faces when you hand it out to other people.

Whatever you're planning to do this 4 July, have a great time - and if you fancy a bit of homemade ice cream don't hold back. Get to it and enjoy it!

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