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Posts Tagged ‘dessert’

mint chip ice cream skirt flats

I decided to go opposite for yesterday’s prompt: treating myself to a scoop of mint chocolate chip from Lizzy’s (first time this summer!) on my afternoon break.

Full disclosure: I spilled the melting ice cream all over my skirt in rather spectacular fashion. But it still tasted sweet (and, to my relief, it washed out).

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halifax harbour j k

After our glorious five nights/four days in PEI, the hubs and I headed to Halifax for the weekend. We’d never been there, and we thoroughly enjoyed checking out this smallish, vibrant city on the water.

halifax harbour dusk

I’ve said it before: on vacation, we like to wander and we like to eat. That is exactly what we did in Halifax, for two days.

We arrived on a Friday afternoon, checked into our Airbnb apartment, and immediately went a-wandering. We found the Halifax Common, and a few streets away, DeeDee’s ice cream.

jer-deedees-ice-cream

(J’s berry-swirl ice cream happened to match his polo.)

katie-deedees-ice-cream

I had raspberry passionfruit sorbet, which is as tart and delicious as it sounds.

We strolled the neighborhood a while longer, then drove down to the waterfront that evening for dinner at the Bicycle Thief.

bicycle thief sculpture halifax

While we were waiting for our reservation (it was crowded), we walked along the harbourfront. Live musicians, food trucks, cool old ships, and lots of families out enjoying the lovely evening.

ships halifax harbour

When we did have dinner, it was delicious. I had a truly amazing lobster-corn chowder with new potatoes and bacon. (Also: their bread is focaccia and it’s homemade. Yum.)

bicycle-thief-chowder

We sat outside, and the view was as fantastic as the food.

bicycle thief restaurant halifax

We wandered around town in the long dusk, and split a decadent chocolate torte with raspberry sauce at the Middle Spoon. I could not get a good picture, but it was scrumptious.

The next morning, we headed to Annie’s Place for breakfast.

annies halifax

Annie herself welcomed us, and we had huge chai lattes (not that either of us were complaining) and excellent eggs, bacon and toast.

We spent most of the day exploring after that. First up was Woozles, an utterly charming children’s bookstore down the street from Annie’s.

woozles bookstore halifax

We didn’t spot any Heffalumps (or Woozles), but there were plenty of gorgeous books.

woozles interior

We also stopped by Bookmark – I’d been to their Charlottetown store, but enjoyed exploring this location.

bookmark halifax

The Halifax Public Gardens are close by, and they are gorgeous.

halifax public gardens

We’d heard the Halifax Central Library was worth seeing – though, to me, a library is always worth seeing. This one did not disappoint.

halifax central library

We ate lunch at the Seaport Farmers’ Market, then wandered back downtown, popping into more fun shops, including The Loop, a sweet little yarn shop.

loop yarn store halifax

For dinner that night, we ate at 2 Doors Down – really good pub food and local Nova Scotia wines.

two doors down halifax wine list

We weren’t quite ready for dessert, so we spent a while playing board games and eating popcorn at the Board Room Game Cafe. A Canadian friend had told us about this trend – it was so fun.

jer board room game cafe halifax

We capped off the night by splitting a slice of cheesecake at Sweet Hereafter. (It’s J’s favorite dessert.)

jer cheesecake sweet hereafter

We had to hit the road on Sunday, but stopped at Coastal Cafe for brunch first. J’s face says it all. (The huevos were amazing – some of the best Mexican food we’ve had outside of Texas.)

jer brunch halifax

Halifax, you are charming. Cheers!

halifax mural

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We have eaten a lot of ice cream this summer.

I say this as someone who does not worry (much) about eating dessert nearly every day. I figure if my meals are mostly healthy, there’s no harm in enjoying a cookie or a bit of dark chocolate or a bowl of blackberry cobbler. But this summer, it has been (mostly) too hot to turn on the oven, even for me.

I grew up eating Blue Bell, which they don’t sell in the Northeast, and last summer we ate a lot of Haagen-Dazs fruit sorbet. But this year we are completely obsessed with Ben & Jerry’s new line of Greek yogurt, since we sampled it during our Vermont trip in March. J prefers the Strawberry Shortcake flavor and I am head over heels for the Raspberry Chocolate Chunk. I’ve lost count of the pints we’ve consumed, but the number is high.

Sometimes, we bother with bowls and portions and the ice cream scoop. Much more often, we eat it straight from the carton, sitting in the living room after dinner, reading books or blogs or watching Friends, under the slight breeze of the ceiling fan.

ben & jerrys greek yogurt raspberry

Because of this, I don’t treat myself to ice cream during the workday very often. (Anyway, a scoop of ice cream in a shop costs about as much as a pint at the grocery store.) But there is an Emack & Bolio’s shop around the corner from my office, and the other day I discovered a new yogurt shop on the other side of the Common. Occasionally, it’s fun to scoop up a cup of cool sweetness at lunchtime. And during one hot, humid day in D.C., as we walked the National Mall, I spotted a frozen yogurt truck and made a beeline for it. Ahhh.

ice cream jane austen

Usually, when it comes to dessert, I’m a chocolate girl. But this summer I am (as you can see) all about the fruit ice cream, sometimes studded with chunks of chocolate. When I think back on this summer, I will remember (among other things) the sheer pleasure of spooning up that creamy, fruity sweetness almost every night, savoring it with my love, in our messy, breezy apartment with the windows open.

We are making the most of these warm days and humid evenings, eating fresh tomatoes and pints of blueberries and sweet, drippy peaches from the farmer’s market, and eating dinner outside whenever possible. A few (or more) spoonfuls of ice cream is the perfect pleasure to top it all off.

What are you savoring this summer? What are your favorite ice cream flavors?

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1. A batch of Ron’s oaty scones.
2. A wee baby hat for a friend, out of leftover sock yarn.
3. A patch for some jeans, rendering them wearable again.
4. A few new outfits with items I already own.
5. Quite a few blog posts.
6. A patio container garden. (So far: mint, basil and a geranium.)
7. Packing lists.
8. Order out of chaos in our apartment.
9. Lots and lots of wedding decor.
10. A couple of summery salads.
11. Cream of jalapeno soup on a chilly night.
12. Pages of scribbled ideas in my journal.
13. A strawberry-rhubarb crisp.
14. A few simple, healthy dinners.
15. Packages to send to friends.

What are you making these days? (Check out the wonderful stuff happening at 30 Days of Creativity. Inspiring!)

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I’ve been doing a lot of baking lately. It’s partly a reaction to sitting all day at a computer, building and editing web pages, which are real but not tangible, and I can only rarely cross them off my list as “done.” This sitting and clicking also makes me restless – after being sedentary most of the day, I want to get home and stir something up, even if it’s only flour, sugar, butter and their fellow baking ingredients.

The other night, I wanted something sweet but not too sweet, so I turned to this recipe from my friend Ron Morgan, who co-directs the study abroad program in Oxford where I spent a blissful semester as a student and later a happy year as an employee. Ron occasionally whips up a batch of these for the students there, and they are pure, oaty heaven with a squeeze of honey, a dollop of jam or a pat of melty butter.

Fittingly, it was pouring rain the night I made these, and suddenly I was back in Ron and Janine’s aqua-walled living room, watching Ron bring in a cookie sheet of (slightly burnt) scones from the kitchen. And I was also downstairs in the basement kitchen, mixing these up for the five guys with whom I shared the floor, and for whom I loved to bake, as much and as often as I could.

Of course, I do much of my baking now for one boy – my very appreciative husband. Apparently I’d never made these for him before – but we both declared them winners, and so did the friends with whom we shared them.

Ron’s Oaty Scones (original source unknown)

Makes about 20 medium-sized scones

Dry Mix
7 cups all-purpose flour
4 cups oats (not quick-cooking oats)
1 1/3 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup baking powder
1 TBS baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp cream of tartar

Wet Ingredients
1/2 cup butter
8 oz plain yogurt or sour cream
1 tsp vanilla
1 egg yolk

Combine 3 1/4 cups of dry mix (you won’t use it all) with wet ingredients, and stir until combined. Place 1″ (or so) balls of dough onto greased baking sheets. Bake at 375 degrees for 16-18 minutes, until tops are golden brown.

Serve with butter, honey or jam. Enjoy!

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Since I read Barbara Kingsolver’s Animal, Vegetable, Miracle, I’ve been trying to keep a seasonal kitchen – which is hard work during the winter. My longing for spring takes many forms, but sharpens when I walk through the produce section, trying to resist the out-of-season fruits grown in a greenhouse or another hemisphere and shipped thousands of miles. (Most of them don’t taste that great, anyway.)

That said, I am thankful for sweet clementines and tangy grapefruits in midwinter, and the reliable if not exactly eco-friendly presence of bananas. But as a girl who can eat berries by the handful, loves peaches swollen with their own juice, and adores fruit cobblers of all kinds, the wait for summer fruits is always too long. So I’ve been haunting the cold corner of the produce section for a few weeks, peering into the spot between the celery, the radishes and the prepackaged fresh herbs, hoping to glimpse those neon-pink stalks of rhubarb, a sure sign that spring and its fruits – and, even better, summer fruits – are on the way.

So I can’t tell you how glad I was to finally, finally wrap four long pink stalks of rhubarb in a plastic bag, pick up a container of strawberries, and come home to wash and admire them, jewel-bright, glistening in my dish drainer. Then I chopped them up, mixed them with some molasses and a little sugar (we were out of honey), whipped up a crumbly topping, and slid it all into the oven.

And oh my. Heaven. Heaven made darker and richer by the molasses, with a hint of allspice and cinnamon – heaven that burst on my tongue with the first bright, red sweetness of spring. J and I spooned up warm, delectable bites of this first spring dessert, fairly groaning with pleasure. And then I ate it for breakfast for several days. (You can download the recipe here.)

It’s coming, we say several times a day around our house, pointing to the swelling buds on trees, the wee new shoots of grass, the rising mercury, the sunshine spilling in the windows. It’s coming. And even though that night was a chilly one, with the wind howling around the eaves of our house, as I savored this first, juicy, sweet-tart dessert of spring, I believed it.

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list #6: desserts I love

Time for some decadence here. (And I skipped a list last week, so you’ll get a couple this week.)

1. Anything chocolate – but particularly dark chocolate. I fell in love with Divine chocolate while in Oxford – but Green & Black’s is delectable, too.

2. Blue Bell ice cream. I’m from Texas. There IS no other ice cream brand. Favorites include Mint Chocolate Chip and Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough.

3. Chocolate chip cookies – which my Pop calls “CCC’s”, and which we always either bake or eat (or both) at their house.

4. Fruit cobbler. I just use the basic Betty Crocker recipe, with the crust dropped in biscuitlike dumplings on the top. Blackberry is my dad’s favorite, and mine, too; Jeremiah prefers strawberry. But either way, YUM.

5. Scones. I love Molly’s Scottish Scones recipe, and Abi makes the most delicious scones using the Barefoot Contessa’s recipe.

6. Ice cream from G&D’s – particularly their fruit sorbets. Of course, you can only get that in Oxford.

7. Peanut butter cookies topped with Hershey’s Kisses. My husband can’t eat them, so I don’t make them very often any more. But yummm. They remind me of high school days and a long-ago trip to D.C., where I made six batches of these babies inside of a week.

8. Pumpkin bread. Real Simple’s recipe is yum – and can be modified for chopped peaches when there is NO pumpkin to be found, as I learned in Oxford a couple of years ago.

9. Zucchini bread. The Hickory Street Cafe, here in Abilene, has the BEST.

10. Cheesecake. Jeremiah loves this waaay more than I do, but I do savor an occasional slice of the creaminess.

What desserts do you love? Come on, share the goodness.

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