Archive | Ruminations RSS feed for this section

Ice Cream: A Global History GIVEAWAY

1 Aug

I had always thought that once you grew up you could do anything you wanted – stay up all night or eat ice cream straight out of the container. ~ Bill Bryson

Fellow ice cream lovers, have I got a treat in store freezer for you!!

Ice Cream: A Global History

Laura B. Weiss, the famed author of Ice Cream: A Global History has teamed up with 365scoops for a very special interview and GIVEAWAY. That’s right, you read this correctly. Not only do you have the chance to learn fun and interesting ice cream facts from the ice cream guru herself, but you also have a chance to win an autographed copy of Laura’s wonderful book.

Laura is an author, journalist and editor whose food, travel and lifestyle stories have appeared in numerous national publications, including The New York Times,, Saveur, Travel + Leisure and more.  Formerly a writer and editor for TIME’s school edition, Laura also worked at AOL, where she was responsible for directing and negotiating content partnerships with major news and entertainment brands, such as Teen People, PBS, and Cartoon Network.

How did 365scoops get to team up with Laura? Well, when I wrote the delicious post about Ben’s Bars many moons ago, I was gifted Ice Cream: A Global History as a thank you. I’ve cherished the book ever since and recently Laura reached out asking whether we could potentially work together. Folks – dreams really do come true because now me, little old me, is interviewing her royal ice cream highness, Ms. Laura B. Weiss!

365Scoops: What is your favorite ice cream flavor and why?
Laura B. Weiss: I know this is boring, but chocolate unless I order a sundae, in which case I want really great vanilla with tons of hot fudge. No whipped cream, please.  I like my ice cream in its purest form. If it’s really good ice cream, that’s all you should need
(Laura, I am right there with you! Chocolate is the best!)
365Scoops: Which country consumes the most ice cream in the world?
Laura B. Weiss: Statistics vary but it’s either the US or Australia.
365Scoops: Who actually invited the ice cream cone? Some say it was the 1904 World’s Fair in St. Louis, and other’s say it was in NYC. What is the truth behind the legend?

The real ice cream cone

Laura B. Weiss: The mother of the ice cream cone (yes, it was a woman!) was an English cookbook writer named Agnes B. Marshall who in the 1880s created a recipe for a cone that could be filled with water ices or pudding. You ate the dish with a knife and fork! Then we get to the 1904 St. Louis World’s Fair. That’s where waffle vendors and ice cream vendors got together. They must have said something like  “See all these hot, hungry people? We’ll sell them an ice cream treat they can walk around with and we’ll make a bundle!” There were four and possibly more vendors who claimed credit for the Fair’s cone. A New Yorker named Antonia Valvona came up with a cup-like cone the year before the Fair. So I guess if you come from St. Louis, you like the World’s Fair creation story. If you’re a New Yorker, you’ll root for Vavona.

365Scoops: Tell us a bit about the differences in ice creams across cultures
Laura B. Weiss: Ice cream is pretty universal and vanilla is the most popular flavor around the globe. But each culture adapts ice cream to its own culinary traditions. So, for example,  the Japanese like flavors like kurogoma (black sesame seeds) and  kinako (powdered, roasted soy beans).  Gelato is an interesting case of how each country’s culinary traditions can change a traditional food. In Italy, a classic gelateria will serve only a handful of flavors like pistachio and chocolate. In the U.S. and in other western cultures, gelato has been transformed into a dessert that defies the traditional dish. I’ve seen chocolate chip gelato and dulce de leche gelato.
365Scoops: What is your favorite, most obscure ice cream fact?
Laura B. Weiss: Can I have two?
First, Hollywood movie directors filming Westerns would wave ice cream cones in front of mules used as extras to get them to perform in front of the camera.
Second, it seems that Ben Cohen one of the founders of Ben & Jerry’s has very little sense of taste and smell. That’s why they incorporated texture in the form of chunks of cake and candy into their ice cream.
(365Scoops: I love you Ben Cohen!)
365Scoops: Who is responsible for today’s artisanal ice cream trend?


Laura B. Weiss: A lot of people would credit Haagen-Dazs and Ben & Jerry’s, but I give the nod to Howard Johnson. He came up with the idea of a multitude of flavors–28 to be exact. He tried to wean Americans from those stuffy old standbys–chocolate, strawberry and vanilla and introduce new flavors like Maple Walnut and Caramel fudge.

As if that wasn’t enough, here’s the cherry on top:  The first person who poses a unique and interesting ice cream related question on the 365scoops facebook page, tweets @365scoops and @foodandthings will win a signed copy of Laura’s book. Sounds pretty sweet to me! May the biggest ice cream enthusiast win!

365Scoops + Kosher Like Me FREE Ice Cream Giveaway

11 Oct

“The best things in life are free.”

I couldn’t agree more.

Luther Vandross and Janet Jackson sang their hearts out in their famous duet, “The best things in life are free” and now you can eat your heart out on some FREE, that’s right, FREE 365scoops ice cream.

Here’s how it works:

In celebration of Kosher Like Me’s one year anniversary, 365scoops and its amazing food blogger, photographer and culinary wiz friend, Liz Rueven of Kosher Like Me, are teaming up to give away one free quart of ice cream to a lucky winner.

Kosher Like Me is a terrific blog that came to be after it’s kosher-observant author, Liz Rueven, had ordered too many monotonous meals of grilled fish and veggie laden pasta. Determined to find more exhilarating and varied vegetarian dining experiences, Liz is on the lookout for restaurants that adjust their offerings as the seasons change. She is interested in chefs who are flexible  enough to accommodate vegetarians (and with a smile, please) and who care about how their food is grown, harvested and handled. Her culinary adventures, restaurant experiences, and delicious recipes and photos are all shared in this blog.

365scoops is thrilled to be joining Liz Rueven and Kosher Like Me for this terrific anniversary celebration and FREE ice cream giveaway.

Here’s what you do to enter the contest:

  • Enter a comment at the end of this Kosher Like Me post and tell Liz what your favorite ice cream flavor is. Be sure to include your email address so that we can contact you!
  • For an extra entry, please “like” the Kosher Like Me facebook page. (While not a requirement for the contest, please “like” the 365coops facebook page as well, so you can learn about other awesome 365scoops recipes and giveaways)
  • If you are not a subscriber to the Kosher Like Me newsletter yet, you may subscribe (see the box to the right of the post that says “sign me up”?) and garner a third chance at winning.

Be sure to return to the comments section here and let Liz know which actions you have taken.

Make sure to enter this giveaway by midnight EST on October 21, 2012.

The winner will be selected by Random Number Generator and announced on Tuesday, October 23.

Prizes must be claimed and you must order your quart of ice-cream by October 31. Claims after that date will not be honored.

Good luck!

On the Air!

18 Jul

Beat the heat with some sorbet or ice cream

Friends, Romans, countrymen, lend me your ears…365scoops is live on-air for The Kosher Scene in a first-ever, exclusive interview!

Are you wondering how 365scoops got started?

Are you craving some delicious new flavors?

Hoping for a special discount on your next order?

Then tune in here at 8pm on Wednesday, July 18th for a unique foray into the life and times of 365scoops!

To read a bit about the interview before it’s live, here’s a great tidbit on KosherScene about yours truly and 365scoops!

An enormous thank you to CS, the main writer, interviewer and food reviewer extraordinaire behind The Kosher Scene. If you ever need a kosher restaurant recommendation in the five boroughs of NY (or in Argentina and Israel for that matter) he’s your go-to-guy. Read this blog and salivate over the amazing foods. Then listen to my interview and order yourself some ice cream (it will make you feel better, ice cream always does!) It’s just that simple!

The Wackiest Jewish Ice Cream Flavors on Earth

16 Jul

In honor of National Ice Cream Month I was invited to write a guest piece on JCarrot’s blog about wacky Jewish Ice Cream flavors.

Nova Lox Ice Cream…coming right up!

If you’re a fan of Ben and Jerry’s, you’ve likely heard of some comically flavored ice creams — Americone Dream or Phish Food, anyone?

This summer, in honor of National Ice Cream Month (yes, it’s a real thing), we’ve rounded up the craziest Jewish ice cream flavors from herring to cholent and haroset to jelly donuts.

Fan favorites include everything from tzimmes (honey carrot ice cream) scooped up at Max & Mina’s Ice Cream in Queens, N.Y., to hummus, tehina and za’atar offered at Lavan Restaurant in Jerusalem and local Tel Aviv ice cream parlors.

But nothing quite compares with the quintessential Jewish Diaspora flavor — Nova Lox.

Read the entire article here

Chocolate Stout Ice Cream

30 Mar

“Beauty is in the eye of the beer holder.” ~ Kinky Friedman

Chocolate Stout Ice Cream. Bottoms up!

When I was a senior in high school my parents went away for a few days and left me to watch my sisters. It so happened that they were gone over St. Patrick’s Day, and the nice little Jewish girl that I was, I decided it would be fun (err my friends convinced me) to host a St. Patrick’s Day party, complete with green beer and green funnels.

Clearly an amateur, I decided to photograph the party, you know, to document how much fun we were having. A few days later, I had the photos developed (yes, this was before the days of digital cameras and facebook!) and they were INSIDE my school backpack. My parents came back from their trip, and we were all innocently eating dinner together when my mother said “So, did you have fun while we were gone? What did you do?” $HIT! I smell trouble. But I played it cool. “Oh it was fun, I went to Emily’s on Saturday night.” LIE #1

“Oh really,” she said, “I happened to be in the back hall and saw your bag with photos hanging out, so I looked and saw all these great pictures of you with green colored liquid all around our house.”

“That’s strange,” I said “because we were at Emily’s house.” LIE #2

“How funny,” my mom said “because I recognize all the furniture in those photos. Are you telling me that you moved all the furniture to Emily’s house?”

And that’s where it all went wrong.

“We sure did!” I said. LIE #3

Needless to say you can guess how the rest of this unfolded. I was grounded, and pissed off. The thing is, I thought I was being so clever and sneaky, but when you have parents who SNOOP through your stuff (those photos were buried deep within my backpack), it’s hard to get away with anything. This was the house that LIES built!

Anyhow, ever since that fun “party” (there were maybe 10 people, it was hardly a party, OK?), I have always had a soft spot in my heart for St. Patrick’s day.

So, in honor of that wonderful celebration (better late then never!), I present you with Chocolate Stout Ice Cream. Bottoms up!

Tempering the egg mixture

Chocolate Stout Ice Cream

Adapted from David Lebovitz


1 cup (scant) milk chocolate chips

2 cups half-and-half

1/2 cup sugar

3 egg yolks

1 tsp vanilla extract

3/4 cup Chocolate Stout (I used Trader Joe’s brand)

pinch of salt


Pouring the egg and milk mixture over the chocolate chips

Warm one cup half-and-half, sugar and salt in a medium saucepan.

While this is heating, whisk together the three egg yolks.

Temper the eggs by pouring the hot milk mixture over the egg yolks, whisking vigorously. Pour the mixture back into the saucepan and heat until 170 degrees F or until the mixture is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon or wooden spatula.

Pour the chocolate chips into a large mixing bowl and cover with a fine mesh strainer. Pour the egg/milk mixture through the strainer onto the chocolate chips and stir until melted.

Whisk in the remaining 1 cup of half-and-half, then the beer, then the vanilla.

Chill completely in the refrigerator for approximately 2 hours.

Adding the chocolate stout to the ice cream base

Pour the mixture in the base of an ice cream maker and churn according to the manufacturer’s instructions (approximately 20 minutes). Because this recipe contains beer it will be slightly softer and creamier when you scoop it out of the machine. Transfer to a freezer safe container and let harden in the freezer for at least 2 hours before scooping.

The Verdict: The Hubby brought a pint of this concoction to his office and needless to say, they loved it! Two people even ate it for breakfast (be still, my heart!). I don’t personally love beer, but I really liked this ice cream. It has the perfect amount of beer, and because I used chocolate stout, it really enhanced the chocolate ice cream base as well. Bottoms up!


Strawberry Lemonade Granita

26 Mar

“A lot of people think Passover just means you can’t eat bread. But it’s so much more than that, and that’s what I find the hardest. I love ice cream, but it has corn syrup in it, so I can’t eat it.” ~Marsha Cohen*

*Oh, poor Marsha, don’t fret. At 365scoops we don’t use corn syrup in our ice cream, so you can always eat our creations!

Look at that beautiful granita!

It’s hard to believe that it’s almost Passover…where has the year gone?  I feel like it was just last week when we gathered around the Seder table scarfing down charoset and matzah ball soup. In honor of Passover, I was asked to write a piece for The Nosher and My Jewish Learning and provide you, my readers, with a Passover frozen treat.

Aside from the important themes of Passover, particularly those of freedom and liberty, Passover also means, at least in my world, a paucity of good desserts. While I am completely obsessed with ice cream, I also love sinking my teeth in a nice, moist piece of cake. That just ‘aint possible on Passover. The other major pain about Pesach is that no one ever has good cooking utensils. We always reserve the good stuff for the rest of the year, and often our pots and pans, let alone baking equipment for Pesach, ends up being pretty junky. Save for the amazing omelet pan that my parents have for Passover (I’m convinced omelets are better this time of year as a result of the pan) we don’t have nearly as many fun kitchen gadgets. Needless to say, this obviously goes for the ice cream maker as well.

Though I am a big supporter of a kosher-for-Passover ice cream maker, I realize that it’s a completely unnecessary expense. So, in the absence of an ice cream maker, you might be left with a dearth of good dessert ideas.

Zesting the lemons. Make sure to roll them in your hands first to warm up the juices.

Enter the granita. Originally created in Italy, the granita is a semi-frozen dessert made from sugar, water and flavoring. It requires absolutely no special equipment, and the beautiful thing about this granita is that it can be served as a dessert (perhaps with some fresh berries on the side) or as an intermezzo (or, as I prefer, an intermatzoh) to cleanse the palette between courses at the Seder. It’s your choice…and whatever you decide, you won’t be disappointed.

Strawberry Lemonade Granita

Adapted from My Baking Addiction


1 cup water

3/4 cup sugar

Juice from 2 lemons (approximately 4 tbs)

Zest from 1 lemon

3 cups strawberries, hulled 

1 tbs potato vodka (optional)


Tons of strawberries!

First make simple syrup. Normally simple syrup is made with 1 cup sugar, 1 cup water, in other words, a 1:1 ratio. However, this recipe cuts down on the sugar (you’ll thank me later) and ends up just fine!

Prepare the simple syrup by combining the water and sugar in a medium saucepan. Place over medium-high heat and bring to a boil, whisking often to dissolve the sugar. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer for 4 minutes, while continuing to whisk until all the sugar is dissolved. Remove from the heat and let cool, then transfer to a bowl or container, cover, and refrigerate until cold, at least 1 hour.

While the mixture is cooling, place the strawberries, lemon juice, lemon zest and vodka into a blender and mix until smooth.

Pour the cool simple syrup into the strawberry/lemon puree and blend until mixed.

Blending all the ingredients

Pour into an 8×8 square glass pan and freeze. After approximately 2 hours, check the granita. Once it has started to freeze run a fork through the entire pan and begin breaking up the ice to make little icicles. Return the dish to the freezer, then check the mixture every 30 minutes afterward, stirring each time and breaking up any large chunks into small pieces with a fork, until you have fine crystals of homemade granita!

If by mistake, you forget about the granita and it freezes solid, run a very sharp knife through frozen mixture from one side of the pan to the other to loosen the ice crystals. Then scrape a fork back and forth to create fine crystals. Scoop into a cup and enjoy!

Look at those beautiful granita crystals. Yum!

While this makes a quart of granita, it doesn’t actually serve as many people as a quart of ice cream. Expect to serve four people with this, especially because they’ll definitely come back for seconds!

Serve with fresh strawberries and a lemon wedge to enhance the presentation. Enjoy!

The Verdict: Delicious! The addition of potato vodka actually raises the freezing temperature, so the granita was slightly slushie. Plus, after a long Passover Seder, a little vodka might be a good idea!

The best part? No ice cream maker or tools required. This is a very simple crowd pleaser and absolutely refreshing as well. Granitas are a perfect treat for Passover or year round. Enjoy.

Peach Raspberry Hamentaschen Ice Cream

9 Mar

“Whoever ushers in Adar*, their joy shall increase!”  

Peach raspberry ice cream and raspberry hamentaschen

Friends, it’s the Jewish month of Adar* and you know what that means? Purim! And hamentaschen, and candy and drinking and fun!

But mostly hamentaschen.

Prepping the peaches

For those of you who are not familiar with these adorable three-cornered treats, Hamentaschen are triangular cookies, traditionally filled with jams, and eaten during the holiday of Passover. Their shape is modeled after the three-cornered hat worn by the holiday’s villain, Haman. The holiday of Purim commemorates the day when Haman cast a lot (aka “pur”, hence the name “pur”im) to determine the day on which he would kill the Jews. After a turn of events, the Jews were not killed and instead, killed the enemies who wished to destroy them (not such a great thing to celebrate in my opinion, as we should not rejoice as our enemies fall…but that’s besides the point). On this joyous holiday we celebrate by donning costumes, giving gifts to the poor, giving food gifts to friends, reading a megillah (scroll book), imbibing, partying, and of course, eating Hamentaschen.

Scraping the vanilla bean and making vanilla sugar

Anyhow…I wanted to make a hamentaschen ice cream, but putting bits of these cookies in the ice cream would get soggy, and nobody likes soggy ice cream. So, my mother suggested making peach raspberry ice cream served with a peach or raspberry hamentaschen on the side. Sounds great to me.

Like usual, I combined a number of recipes to make this treat. Suffice it to say, it may not have been worth the effort. Either it’s not peach season (well, I know it’s not peach season) or I didn’t use enough peaches, or my recipes were just all so-so but I was not impressed. It’s OK, you win some, you lose some. And let’s be clear, this flavor is by no means awful it’s just not my favorite. The hamentaschen, however, now those were the bees knees!  Thanks to Not Derby Pie for this yummers recipe.

Peaches smothered in vanilla bean sugar

Peach Raspberry Hamentaschen Ice Cream

Adapted from Sips and Spoonfuls and Ciao Bella


6 peaches, cut in half, depitted

1 vanilla bean (scraped)

3 tbs sugar

3 cups half-and-half

3/4 cup sugar

2 egg yolks

2 cups frozen raspberries

a few squeezes of fresh lemon juice


Cut the peaches in half and remove the pits. Place skin side down in a baking dish.

Peaches...roasted and toasted

Scrape out the vanilla from the bean and mix with 3 tbs of sugar. Sprinkle over the peaches. Bake at 425 for 15 minutes and then broil for approximately 5 minutes until the tops caramelize and brown a bit.

Remove from the oven and let cool completely. While the peaches are cooling, make the ice cream base. Heat the half-and-half in a large saucepan until small bubbles form around the sides. Remove from heat and set aside. Whisk together the two egg yolks with the 3/4 cup sugar until it thickens (it will get very thick and almost impossible to whisk because you will only be using 2 yolks). Temper the eggs by pouring in the hot milk mixture slowly into the egg yolks, whisking thoroughly until well-blended. Pour back into the saucepan and heat until it reaches 170 degrees Fahrenheit. Set aside and cool.

Adding raspberries to the peach puree

Once the peaches have cooled, remove the skin, and puree in a blender along with any other peach juices that remained in the baking dish. Pour in the milk mixture into the blender and puree with the peaches. Slowly add in the frozen raspberries until the whole mixture is well blended. Squeeze in some lemon juice (to taste) and blend one more time.

There will inevitably be small pieces of peach skin and raspberry seeds in your mixture which you’ll need to strain out. So, pour the mixture a few cups at a time over a fine mesh strainer. Discard the seeds and skin, keeping only the perfectly smooth mixture. Chill completely in the refrigerator before churning.

Transfer the mixture to your ice cream maker and churn according to the manufacturer’s instructions (approximately 20 minutes). Once it’s finished, transfer to a freezer safe container for at least 2 hours so that it can harden before you serve it.

To enjoy, put 2 hamentaschen on your plate (preferably a raspberry one and a peach one, get it?) along with a scoop of ice cream, and enjoy!

The finished product. Happy Purim!

The Verdict: Eh. I actually had a moral dilemma posting this flavor. You see, I knew from the moment that I roasted the peaches that it wasn’t going to be too flavorful. I didn’t want to waste the precious ingredients, but then again didn’t want to make a yucky flavor, and post it in public. The Husband reminded me that people actually enjoy reading about my failures (thanks peeps!) and that it keeps me honest to post flavors that are not as terrific as the rest. Because, let’s be honest, not every flavor is going to be a winner. While this flavor lacked a little flavor punch, it was still very, very creamy. So, on that note, enjoy this fruity ice cream and if nothing else, Happy Purim!