Category Archives: Ice cream

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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Filed under Filipino food, Food resolutions 2009, Ice cream, Savory, Sweet

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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Filed under Ice cream, Reviews, Savory, So right, Sweet, Travel

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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Ice cream: it’s what’s for dinner

Molly Moon's ice cream

Inspired by a recent episode of “Jon and Kate Plus 8,” (my latest TV indulgence) in which the Gosselins let their twins and sextuplets have ice cream for dinner, I traveled to the Wallingford neighborhood of Seattle to visit Molly Moon’s Homemade Ice Cream. My dependable eating buddy, Lynn, joined me to sample some scoops.

Molly Moon’s is one of a handful of artisan ice cream shops that have recently joined Seattle’s food scene. This past week, the Seattle P-I’s Rebekah Denn wrote a good article about the rise of fancy ice cream.

Lynn and I tried five flavors at Molly Moon’s: salted caramel, cardamom, Thai iced tea, maple walnut and vanilla bean. We got kid-sized scoops, which were perfect for sampling.

We both loved maple walnut, which had a rich, full maple flavor that was not too sweet. We found cardamom to be overpowering and couldn’t imagine eating a full scoop. Salted caramel was puzzling. The flavor was spot on, but did I enjoy it? I couldn’t decide. Thai iced tea did indeed taste like its namesake, but I would rather just drink one than eat the ice cream. The most bland flavor was vanilla (oh the irony!)

I’ve decided to taste all of Molly Moon’s flavors and check out the sundaes and banana split as well. (Will this get in the way of my triathlon training?) Stay tuned for flavor updates. Props to my friend Mahnaz for first telling me about Molly Moon’s.

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The $8.00 milkshake


A little over a year ago, the New York Times’ Kim Severson blogged about her close encounter with an $8.00 shake at the Brooklyn Burger Bar.

The first thing that Severson thought of was Uma Thurman and John Travolta bantering about a $5.00 shake in “Pulp Fiction.”

Her verdict on her pricey ice cream concoction? “In a word, it was OK.”

Eerily, I had almost the exact experience on Sunday at the Steelhead Diner. I was trying out the restaurant for the first time, spotted an $8.00 milkshake on the menu and immediately thought of said Tarantino flick. I adore ice cream and would gladly shell out eight bucks for a transcedent milkshake experience.

I ordered the chukar chocolate milkshake, which was made with fruit from Chukar Cherries and Olympic Mountain Ice Cream, two Seattle-area favorites.

I enjoyed the excellent fried chicken sandwich and sauteed mustard greens for lunch and saved the shake for dessert. I expected it to be an exclamation point to my entire meal.

It wasn’t.

Halfway through the shake, I was loving it and thinking that it was worth the high price. The consistency was creamy and thick, but not too thick, and the sweetness of the chocolate and the tang of the cherries played off each other beautifully. But then I got to the bottom, which was a clot of cherries that hadn’t been pureed enough and didn’t incorporate into the shake. Without the chocolate ice cream, the cherries were too bitter and cancelled out all other pleasing flavors of the meal.

Dairy Queen, here I come.

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