Category Archives: Ice cream

What’s On My Phone Wednesdays: Lamb, Beets, Full Tilt Ice Cream, and Lots of Chocolate

While celebrating my friend Mike’s birthday at Vessel, I ordered the Lamb French Dip sandwich. Tender, braised lamb is cut paper thin and topped with pickled shallots. And the au jus! I could drink that alone. My friend Katy enviously eyed my meal but is allergic to wheat. The good folks at Vessel kindly created a deconstructed sandwich for Katy with no bread, apple butter and horseradish condiments on the side, and a bigger side salad. It was an elegant solution and much appreciated.

Lamb French Dip Sandiwch at Vessel in Seattle

During a visit to Kingston, Washington, I had dinner at the Main Street Alehouse, which was offering the “Heart Beet Salad” that night. I love hearts of palm and beets so I ordered the salad despite its ridiculous name (or perhaps because of it?)

Main Street Alehouse Menu

Unfortunately, a blanket of bland shredded mozzarella obliterated all of the salad’s ingredients, including a nicely balanced honey mustard dressing.

Main Street Alehouse salad with hearts of palm, beets, romaine, shredded mozzarella and honey mustard dressing

If you see me doing a happy dance in the aisle of my local Red Apple grocery store, it’s because I just discovered that it now carries Full Tilt Ice Cream. I used to live within walking distance of the original Full Tilt, and I have missed its friendly vibe and ice cream flavors inspired by the incredibly diverse community in the White Center neighborhood. While I haven’t had much ice cream lately since I’ve been on a raw, vegan and gluten-free cleanse, it’s nice to know that once again, Full Tilt is nearby.

Full Tilt Ice Cream available at Red Apple grocery store

Another favorite sweet snack of mine—Pocky—can now be bought in bulk at Costco. Pocky is a thin biscuit stick dipped in chocolate. Beyond owners of Asian grocery stores, who is buying (and consuming) this much Pocky?!

Asian snack Pocky, a thin biscuit stick dipped in chocolate

 

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Ah, Leo, at last we meet

I’ve heard much about Molly Moon’s big blue ice cream truck named Leo, but I had never seen it in person until a few weeks ago.

I had diligently been following the truck on Twitter for awhile, but wherever I was, Leo always seemed to be at the opposite end of town. Or worse yet, I would find out that I had just missed him.

One day at work, I saw that Leo was going to be in Belltown. My office was many blocks away in Pioneer Square, and I had an afternoon booked solid with meetings, but I was determined to finally track down the truck.

And I did.

Molly Moon ice cream truck

But what to order?

Molly Moon ice cream menu

I went with the “Parker’s Praline” ice cream sandwich–soft praline cookies with vanilla ice cream.

Molly Moon ice cream sandwich
Molly Moon ice cream sandwich unwrapped

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Random food photos

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I take a lot of food photos with my phone, but I never realized how many until tonight. I needed to clear space on my memory card and discovered I had 5 months of food photos stored. So I’m finally putting them on the blog where they belong.

The top photo was taken at Uwajimaya, my favorite supermarket in Seattle. I couldn’t believe the name of this beverage. Who wants to drink sweat? What’s odder is that I showed photo to my friend Sarah, and she was like, “Oh yeah, Pocari Sweat. That stuff is good.”

Another pic taken at Uwajimaya. Even Japanese oven mitts and dish towels are cute!
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What, pray tell, is a “microroast?” Coffee fetishism in Seattle knows no bounds.
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Part of me thinks it’s really cool that Costco sells Dick’s milkshake mix. The other part of me wonders why someone would personally ever need to make that many milkshakes.
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Ezell’s fried chicken is a special treat that I allow myself to eat about once every three years. It’s always good.
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I would like to go on a tour of Molly Moon’s Homemade Ice Cream. Until then, I’ll just have to catch shots like this.
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This spinach pizza was a late night desperation dinner. We didn’t have any food in the house except for a Boboli pizza crust, some spinach that was two seconds away from going bad and mozzarella cheese of questionable age. It turned out to be a pretty tasty pizza! Carmelized onion can right many wrongs.
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Every grill romaine lettuce for a salad? I tried it for the first time this summer, and it brought a completely different flavor to the romaine. To let that shine through, I kept the salad pretty simple. I just added some artichoke hearts, cherry tomatoes, some parmesan cheese and a squeeze of lemon.
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I think the recipes for all of these dishes came from Real Simple magazine. Pesto, chickpeas and radishes was something I would have never thought to put together myself. And tossing couscous in brown butter was a revelation!
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If I had to eat the beet salad at Fonte Coffee & Wine Bar every day for the rest of my life, I think I might be okay with that.
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Does Whole Foods really have the best bacon in Seattle?
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Geraldine’s Counter has pretty food. But on this visit, everything was woefully underseasoned. It’s amazing what salt–or lack of it–can do to a dish.
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Every time I see this pinball game at Full Tilt Ice Cream in White Center, I think of Lindsay Lohan.
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The lowdown on Mobile Chowdown

Have you ever hosted a party and realized halfway through it that you were going to run out of food and/or booze and had no way to get any more? It’s not a good feeling.

I can only imagine how the various street food vendors reacted to the mob scene that was Saturday’s Mobile Chowdown.

My husband and I arrived at the Chowdown around 1:30 p.m. I knew it was going to be crowded, but I wasn’t prepared for the sea of people that greeted us when we pulled up.

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Lines for Skillet, Maximus Minimus, El Camion and Marination Mobile were easily 50-100 people deep. By the time we got there, Gert’s BBQ had already run out of food and was done for the day.

I saw that the line for Dante’s Inferno Dogs was less than 10 people so I quickly claimed a spot. I was intrigued by the jalapeno cheddar sausage, and I thought it was pretty tasty although the casing was a bit thick. It had a good snap, but I couldn’t bite through it cleanly, making it difficult to eat.

Jalapeno cheddar sausage from Dante's Inferno Dogs

Jalapeno cheddar sausage from Dante's Inferno Dogs

After I finished my sausage, I surveyed the scene again, and to my dismay, it looked like it had gotten even more crowded. I despaired at ever getting through any of massive lines, but I thought that the Parfait Ice Cream line wouldn’t be impossible. And luckily I was right. I didn’t have to wait long, and I decided to try the Meyer lemon ice cream. I got a scoop of butter toffee for my friend Bev who was patiently waiting in Marination’s line and a scoop of caramel for my friend Kumi who was holding one of the few tables with chairs for our group.

Both Bev and I thought our ice cream could have been creamier. The texture was a little more like ice milk than ice cream. Bev did appreciate the generous chunks of butter toffee, and Kumi was entirely satisfied with her serving of caramel. I thought the lemon was bitter like the pith of the fruit.

Meyer lemon ice cream from Parfait

Meyer lemon ice cream from Parfait

While I was in line for ice cream, my husband decided to try his luck with El Camion. I did not think that was a good choice. Of all the lines, it looked like that was moving the slowest. I jumped into the Maximus Minimus line hoping to score him a pulled pork sandwich. Bev joined me after the Marination Mobile folks announced they were almost out of everything. They were very nice and gave everyone who had been in line vouchers. Soon we heard that Skillet was done as well.

Skillet 86'ed

Skillet 86'ed

Bev and I waited about 30 minutes in the Maximus line, and we were just five people from the front, when we were told Maximus was no more. That was two strikes out for poor Bev!

My husband had managed to put in an order at El Camion, and by this point, he was extremely hungry and grouchy. I asked him what he ordered, and he said two tacos(!) He had waited in line for an hour. If I made it to the front of any of the lines, I would have ordered everything on the menu.

The Marination Mobile team had managed to regroup and had enough supplies to take a few more orders. Bev ran over hoping she would be lucky enough to finally get some food. And she did! It was a positive end to a frustrating event.

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Bluebird is no fly-by-night operation

Since I’m training for a half marathon, probably the last thing I should be eating is snickerdoodle ice cream. But there I was last night at Bluebird Homemade Ice Cream & Tea Room enjoying a scoop. I had also gotten a kids-size scoop of chocolate pudding ice cream for my son, and he did eat much of it, but let’s be honest–it was really for me!

Bluebird is located in Seattle’s Capitol Hill neighborhood in an area that is also home to Molly Moon’s and Old School Frozen Custard. That’s a lot of frozen dairy for essentially a four-block radius, but each shop has its unique character and treats.

Bluebird definitely has the best space. There’s ample seating, and all of the furniture has a story. Much of it is made from reclaimed materials. In addition to ice cream, it serves sandwiches, pastries and a wide variety of teas.

The snickerdoodle ice cream was way too sweet for me, but I really enjoyed the chocolate pudding ice cream. It was velvety smooth and had a deep cocoa flavor.

Definitely worth going an extra mile for.

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“I got some ice cream…”

I went to college in St. Paul, Minnesota and lived through two of the coldest winters ever, which is saying something in that part of America. One record temperature was -75 degrees. So understandably, all of the ice cream shops in St. Paul would be closed during the winter because no one really one more frozen thing.

I always hated this though because I like the act of going somewhere for ice cream. Sure, you can buy it at the store and bring it home. That has its own comfort. But going out for ice cream is one those rare things that makes almost everyone happy.

Nowhere was this more evident than at the recent grand opening of Seattle “ice cream boutique” Molly Moon’s second location in the Capitol Hill neighborhood.

The line that snaked down the sidewalk included sleepy college students, Goth couples, pierced punk rockers, parents with babies strapped to their chests and aging hipsters.

Everyone was giddy. No one was complaining about how long the line was. Children were exuberant but well-behaved. Couples were more in love than ever.

This is the power of going out for ice cream.

My friend Sharon and I tried three flavors that day: salted black licorice, strawberry balsamic and pomegranate curry sorbet. I don’t even like black licorice, but I wanted to at least see how Molly Moon’s would approach this flavor. Maybe years of hating the strong anise flavor would suddenly fall away after my first taste of ice cream. It didn’t–but the salt did add an interesting element and made it at least palatable. Sharon loved it.

I preferred the pomegranate curry sorbet. I didn’t know what to expect from this flavor combo and was pleasantly surprised. It was too strong to eat more than a couple of bites on its own (no way would I ever want this in a waffle cone), but I could definitely see myself enjoying this sorbet after say, a great Indian dinner.

Strawberry balsamic is a Molly Moon’s staple, and with good reason. It’s a nice balance of sweet and tangy.

And now, for all of you Eddie Murphy fans who think of this first when you hear the words “ice cream…”

Does Eddie still rock leather suits? And do more people in America now know him from his work in “The Nutty Professor” and “Shrek” than in “Delirious” and “Raw”?

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Part 3: It’s my birthday so I’ll eat what I want to

In the afternoon, my co-workers surprised me with an ice cream cake from Baskin-Robbins.

It was a two-layer round cake. The top layer was vanilla ice cream, and the bottom was strawberry ice cream. The two layers were separated by a delicious chocolate cookie crust.

The cake had my name written on it, which was awesome because I haven’t had a personalized birthday cake since I was a kid.

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9 food resolutions for 2009

1. Cook a Filipino meal at least once a month.
My son just turned a year old, and I want to start introducing him to a key part of his heritage. But let’s be honest–this resolution is mostly for me. I miss Filipino food! I recently realized that I now only eat Filipino dishes at parties or restaurants. I rarely cook Filipino cuisine at home. I want Filipino food to be part of my family’s life every day. But I know I have to start slowly. My initial goal is once a month so that this resolution can be a successful one.

2. Inventory the contents of my freezer…
My husband makes a delicious cranberry sauce that friends and family frequently request for their Thanksgiving meals. So he made a big batch, gave a bunch away and froze the leftovers, which have been hanging out in our freezer–for two years.

3. …And figure out what’s in my cupboards.
Cleaning out the cupboard is akin to going through your closet. You rediscover old treasures (a pencil skirt/green lentils), find things you didn’t realize you had (cashmere gloves/Cincinatti chili mix) and re-live some mistakes (leopard print leggings/Manwich).

With the economy being what it is, food prices aren’t going down any time soon, and it’s time to make the most of what you have. But first you have to know what you have and where it is!

4. Use kitchen gadgets or give them away.
My husband and I put a mandoline on our wedding registry with ambitions of making our own potato chips, gratins and other dishes that required cutting foods ridiculously thin. How many times have we used the mandoline since we got it almost three years ago? Exactly once. And it’s still in its original box.

5. Learn how to cut a whole chicken into pieces.
It’s cheaper to buy a whole chicken and cut it up yourself. This task usually falls to my husband, but I am determined this year to learn what I consider a very basic kitchen skill.

6. Learn how to clean and cook a whole fish.
When I was a kid, my parents cooked fish at least once a week, and most of the time, the fish would be whole with the head and tail intact. Yum! I love eating fish, but I’ve never prepared any that wasn’t filleted. I’m not exactly excited about gutting or scaling a fish, but again, I think this is a skill that all (fish-eating) cooks should have.

7. Get my knives sharpened.
If I’m going to accomplish resolutions #5 and #6, my knives need to be in peak condition!

8. Rely less on recipes.
I yearn to be a more intuitive cook. I want to be able to whip up a great meal with whatever is in my fridge at the moment. I want to just know how to make a great lasagna.

Recipes are a good place to start and get inspiration, and I want to be able to have the confidence to cook on my own.

9. Make ice cream more often.
This year’s Christmas dinner was punctuated by delectable cinnamon ice cream made by my sister-in-law, Yvette. Making ice cream is relatively easy, and it’s something that always impresses people. When you serve homemade ice cream, someone will undoubtedly say, “You made this?” with a mix of wonder and gratitude. And homemade ice cream makes a unique and fabulous gift.

I’ll keep you updated on my food resolutions throughout the year. Here’s to a tasty 2009!

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Utah’s greatest bits

To finish out my posts about my foray into Utah’s food scene, here are six food finds you should check out if you ever find yourself in the Beehive State.

1. Roasted banana ice cream at the University of Utah’s Red Butte Garden served by Scoopology.

2. “Tennessee tangos” at Sugarhouse BBQ. The rest of our meal was kind of a disappointment, but the rib tips were divine.

3. Grilled ham and cheese sandwich with fries at Liberty Park. A homey treat like mom used to make. While you’re at the park, be sure and visit the Tracy Aviary.

4. Hawaiian shave ice at the Park City farmers market. I got mine with mango, lychee and ling hing mui flavoring.

5. Liberty Heights Fresh. I wish this was my grocery store.

6. Mazza. We wanted to eat at this Middle Eastern restaurant but ran out of time. Sarah and Damon were kind enough to share some leftovers they happened to have in the fridge, and they were delicious. I could only imagine how good a full meal would have been.

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In other ice cream news…

Full Tilt Ice Cream is scheduled to open June 20 in White Center. As its name suggests, it will have pinball machines. Full Tilt will also showcase local artists and musicians. I love that this business is opening in White Center, which is near where I live.

White Center is an unincorporated area that lies just outside of Seattle’s southwest city limits. It’s populated by large groups of refugees and other immigrants, including Southeast Asians, Eastern Europeans, Mexicans and sub-Saharan Africans. In local schools, 54 languages are spoken. White Center is known for poverty and crime and was once featured on the television show “Cops.”

But things are changing. The challenged neighborhood attracted the attention of the Annie E. Casey Foundation when in 1999 it was selecting sites for its ambitious urban renewal initiative, Making Connections. The foundation has invested millions of dollars in early childhood learning services, jobs programs and economic development for White Center.

Positive things are happening in White Center, and I’m glad that Full Tilt is one of them. The Seattle P-I reports that the shop “will have flavors influenced by the ethnic populations in the neighborhood, thus the likes of sweet red bean and mango-chili.”

My friend Kathleen happens to be friends with the owners of Full Tilt. (Seattle is the land of six degrees.) Check out their MySpace page for more details.

And if you want to learn more about the social change that’s happening in White Center, check out the Web site for the White Center Community Development Association. My friend Aileen is the awesome executive director.

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