Nov 30, 2008

Vanilla Ice Cream Toppings

I make more vanilla ice cream than any other ice cream flavor. It's not that I'm afraid to be adventurous - I've tried all kinds of unusual ice cream recipes but I and my family simply find that nothing compares to vanilla ice cream when it's freshly made. Apart from its unique flavor, you can do so much with vanilla ice cream. Add fresh fruit and cream and it tastes great. Put in it an ice cream cone and it's wonderful. Put it into a lavish ice cream sundae and it's fantastic.

I think vanilla ice cream really comes into its own though when it comes to ice cream toppings and sauces. Any topping and any sauce will work with vanilla ice cream in my opinion. You can put chocolate sprinkles, chopped nuts, mini marshmallows or colorful 'hundreds and thousands' on it and it will work. You can opt for rich maple syrup like this Organic, GMP Certified Maple Syrup with a 5 star rating (Amazon store) or toffee sauce or strawberry syrup or chocolate sauce and, again, it tastes and looks great.

So be mindful when you're trying to impress guests with a new ice cream recipe - there are times when only good old fashioned vanilla ice cream will do!

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Nov 24, 2008

Celebrate Thanksgiving With A Gourmet Gift Basket

Thanksgiving is just around the corner and as it's such a special time of year, many people give great thought to planning their Thanksgiving meal or, if being invited to eat with others, perhaps they're thinking of buying an appropriate gift for the host. If you are one of the latter, then here's a great idea for a Thanksgiving gift - a gourmet gift basket.

Giving thanks for our blessings with a gift of food in any shape or form is always going to be a winner and if you know what your host and their family like to eat, then it's not that difficult to find just the right gift. There are many gourmet gift baskets to choose from. Check them out now! Photo: 5 star rated gourmet gift basket available through the Ice Cream Recipes Online Store.

If, on the other hand, you are the host and have a Thanksgiving meal to prepare, have you thought about making your own homemade ice cream for Thanksgiving? Check out my Thanksgiving ice cream recipes page for ideas.

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Nov 22, 2008

Ice Cream Maker Tips - Cleaning

All kitchen appliances have their pros and cons so a range of tips on how to use them properly is useful. The ice cream maker is no exception. So if you're planning to make ice cream as part of Thanksgiving celebrations, get ahead, get your ice cream maker out and give it a good checking over.

In this and subsequent posts I plan to cover some of the key tips in how to use your ice cream maker to best advantage.

Let's start with tip 1 - Cleaning Your Ice Cream Maker

If you have an ice cream maker then cleaning it properly before and after use will be something you are used to. If, however, you are about to buy an ice cream maker then my advice is make sure you develop the habit of cleaning it properly from the moment you take it out of its box. Clean it and do it properly every time you use the machine. That way not only will you be making your ice cream hygienically but you will also help preserve the working life of your ice cream maker. As anyone knows, ice cream can be messy, especially if you've just made a batch of fresh ice cream, served it up for the family to enjoy and then you forget about the remnants left in the ice cream bucket or bowl, only to come across it a couple of hours later., warm, runny and sticky .... yugghh! Always try to clean your machine as well and as quickly as possible after you have finished using it.

That also applies to the utensils you use - making sure they are clean before you use them is really important otherwise your ice cream could become contaminated. Here's a list of the utensils you are most likely to use when making ice cream:
  • measuring spoon (or scales, measuring jug or cup)
  • food grater
  • mixing bowls
  • spatulas (wooden or plastic are preferable to metal)
  • sieve
  • saucepan (if you are making a custard base ice cream)
  • ice cream scoop
  • storage container(s)

Just remember - a clean machine is mean machine!

More reading on ice cream maker tips

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Nov 12, 2008

Homemade Ice Cream - At The White House?

On 1 November I wrote a post about US Presidents and connections with ice cream. At that point the outcome of the US Presidential Election was unknown but I dared to ask the question:

"If it's Obama, given one of his hobbies is said to be cooking, I wonder if he'll make his own homemade ice cream? Now that might just be a first for a US President!"

History has been made and Barack Hussein Obama II is going to the White House. He may go on to make further history; his sense of vision and love for his country are strong enough to see him achieve that but in between the pressures of daily office he will need some relaxation. Most likely it will be in the form of spending time with his family and I would love to think that there might be one day sometime, any time, when he and his family are at home together that they decide to make some homemade ice cream. Sounds silly? Not in the least, I'm quite serious. Making your own ice cream is good fun - and you get to enjoy the end results. All in all, a great way to make dad, mum and the kids all happy, relaxed and enjoying a sense of togetherness.

Perhaps one day when President Obama talks to Oprah Winfrey in an informal tv chat, who knows we might just hear him talking about making a little ice cream at home with the family. If he does, that could be another first - homemade ice cream in the White House. Now there's something the ice cream manufacturers would love to franchise!

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Nov 5, 2008

Lakeland Terrier Belle & Ice Cream

I have written before about animals and ice cream on my website, recalling a fond childhood memory of my little Yorkshire Terrier (Josie) who loved eating mini ice cream cones. I've also put links to video clips of people's pets eating ice cream - from dogs to cats, rabbits, parrots, horses and even a lizard!

Well, I was reminded of just how much animals love ice cream when I met someone for the first time recently. Lee Rotherham breeds Lakeland Terriers, an unusual and beautiful breed of English terrier. Apparently these dogs have very unusual coats (in fact one layered underneath another) that grow in such a way as to provide a 'waterproofing' against wet weather. Isn't nature wonderful?

Anyway, back to my conversation with Lee.

I happened to mention how my little 'Yorkie' used to love ice cream.

"Belle does too!" he exclaimed with excitement.

Belle is one of Lee's prize Lakeland Terriers.

"Well I would feature her on my ice cream blog .... if I had proof" I said.

The next day I received this photo of Belle enjoying an ice cream cone. Isn't she cute? I just had to share this with my Blog Of Ice Cream readers!

If you love reading about dogs, especially terriers, you'll probably want to learn more about Lakeland Terriers.

Lee is based in the UK and here is his Lakeland Terriers website.

If you're outside the UK you might like to read the Nancy Kiss Caliente Lakelands website. Nancy is based in Canada.

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Nov 1, 2008

US Presidents, Ice Cream & Poker

Watching the media 'circus' of the US Presidential elections the last few days set me to thinking about the different Presidents there have been over the years and how many of them were very strong individuals.

Indeed a number of them made no secret of the fact that they really enjoyed ice cream. Good for them! These include Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Jefferson, Abraham Lincoln, George Washington and even George W. Bush.

Lincoln had ice cream served at his 2nd inauguration and Washington reportedly spent $200 one summer alone on ice cream - and in 1790 $200 was a small fortune!

Harry S Truman's family also appear to have had a fondness for ice cream - in an interview with Dorsy Lou Warr in 1991 she said that her father was a member of Harry S. Truman's poker circle and often provided the Trumans with pop and ice cream.

Thats another intereting subject - Presidents with a love a poker. I must pass on this fascinating story I read called Atomic Poker which relays the account of when and how Truman revealed the existence of the atomic bomb. There was also Warren Harding who played poker at least twice a week and once reportedly gambled away a set of White House china! Many of his advisors joined him in games of poker hence they became known as the "Poker Cabinet".

Whatever your feelings on poker and gambling, in a Presidential context it makes for very entertaining reading!

Getting back to ice cream though, what about Barack Obama and John McCain?

Well, it appears Barack Obama enjoys ice cream - here is a photo of him with his family about to take 'a much needed ice cream break'. Not only that, but apparently Ben & Jerry who have endorsed his campaign have even created a flavor in his honor called "Cherries for Change."

As for John McCain, he clearly enjoys ice cream too. On a hot afternoon in August he reportedly heard the music of an ice cream truck and immediately asked a campaign worker to go get ice cream for his team. He apparently said at the time: “I have not had ice cream from a street vendor since childhood."

Also back in August, Baskin-Robbins were not shy to start using the Presidential elections in their ice cream creations:

"Straight Talk Crunch” for John McCain and “Whirl of Change” for Barack Obama.

The former - a concoction of vanilla ice cream, white chocolate, caramel and almonds - apparently received the thumbs up from McCain himself, declaring “It’s delicious”. Full article courtesy of CBS News.

Regardless of how the election goes, you can be certain of 2 things:

1. A lot of ice cream will be consumed by people watching the results unfold on tv.

2. Whoever gets into the White House likes ice cream.

If it's Obama, given one of his hobbies is said to be cooking, I wonder if he'll make his own homemade ice cream? Now that might just be a first for a US President!

Read more about famous people and ice cream.

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