Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Lemon-Spice Ice Cream Sandwiches

It's been quiet on the blog for a little while now, so I couldn't wait to get back to it after returning from my recent vacation in Cancun.  It was everything a beach getaway should be: relaxing, indulgent, restorative, and all around good for the spirit, soul and body. 

Back home now, I've been more eager than usual to share some Summer-worthy goodness with you. I mean, when you're flooded with inspiration from every side, it's all but self-torture to keep calm and do nothing. :)  So, to my kitchen I went--and I'm so thrilled to be back and sharing this fancy little ice cream sandwich recipe that I happened upon.

Like the best ice cream sandwiches, it starts with homemade cookies.  But not just any cookies.  These cookies are brightly accented with lemon, and coupled with kicks of cinnamon and ginger, for the perfect citrus-spice mix.  The ease of bringing them together and assembling is the cream on top (or shall I say in the middle)--and they deserve a whirl in your ice cream repertoire during Summer--and beyond.

Happy Eating!

Lemon-Spice Ice Cream Sandwiches
Ingredients:
1 stick unsalted butter, melted, plus more for pan
3/4 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup sugar
1 tablespoon unsulfured molasses
1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest, plus 2 tablespoons juice
2 large eggs
2 pints ice cream, softened

Method:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Butter a 10-x-15 in. rimmed baking sheet and line with parchment; butter parchment.  In a bowl, whisk together flour, cinnamon, ginger and salt.  In another bowl, whisk together butter, molasses, sugar, lemon zest and juice, and eggs.  Whisk dry ingredients into wet ingredients until smooth.  Spread batter evenly in prepared sheet.  

Bake until cake is dry to the touch and edges begin to pull away from sheet, 12 to 14 minutes.  Let cool 5 minutes.  Loosen edges with a knife; flip out of sheet.  Remove parchment; flip top-side up onto a wire rack.  Let cool completely.

Transfer cake to a work surface; cut in half crosswise.  Place one half top-side down on a  piece of plastic wrap.  Beat ice cream until malleable, then spread over cake in a 1-inch-thick layer (go all the way to the edges).  Top with second half of cake, top-side up.  Wrap in plastic and freeze at least 8 hours and up to 1 week.  Use a serrated knife to trim edges and cut into 1 1/4-by-3-inch pieces.  Serve immediately, or wrap in plastic and freeze for up to 1 week.  Enjoy! 

Recipe courtesy of Martha Stewart Living 
  


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Thursday, June 30, 2016

{POPSUGAR MUST HAVE}: Summer In a Box!

Summer called and just in time for the upcoming holiday weekend, your essentials for a stylishly fun season await!  Beauty, fashion, fun, snacks and more make for perfect afternoons by the pool or oceanfront.  And the before the month wraps, you can get everything delivered to your door in POPSUGAR's June Must Have Box!

Featured Clockwise: Wild and Wolf's Ridley's Game Room "Who Am I?" Quiz | Hat Attack Neutral Diamonds-Printed Sarong | Pacifica Deodorant Wipes | Knock Knock Compact | Sisters of Los Angeles "Cheers" Gold Bottle Opener | NCLA Born on the 4th Nail Lacquer | Sriracha Pressels 

Happy Summer Living!

Disclosure: POPSUGAR sent me this Must Have Box to try. All opinions are my own.

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Monday, June 27, 2016

Toast With This!: Blackberry Ginger Soda

If last week's solstice didn't carry enough of a bang to convince you that Summer has officially arrived, then this past weekend's sweltering heat offered a not-so-gentle reminder.  And almost as fast as I welcomed the season, I began seeking a refreshing sip to usher in a much needed cool down.

While running my Saturday morning errands, I stopped in one of my favorite stores and landed upon the inspiration for this beautiful & ohh so good drink: rich, sweet blackberry syrup and sparkling dry ginger.  My wheels instantly began turning and the resulting mocktail was born.  I couldn't resist garnishing it with stunning blackberry king ice cubes, for added flair, and topping it off with a couple of splashes of club soda.




The punch from the ginger, coupled with the sweet blackberry essence and fizzy soda, makes this the perfect drink to toast the season--and it should definitely be in rotation in your sipping and entertaining repertoire.  It's a casual, pour-as-you-like, non-recipe of sorts so make it your own, leading with the ginger as the base and accented with blackberry syrup and club soda to finish.

Happy Sipping!

Blackberry Ginger Soda
Ingredients:
Sparkling Dry Ginger (or ginger ale), chilled
Blackberry Syrup
Club Soda
Blackberry Ice Cubes

Method:
Fill glasses with ice cubes.  Pour desired amount of ginger into glass, followed by a few drizzles of the syrup.  Top with a couple splashes of soda.  Stir to combine and enjoy! 



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Friday, June 10, 2016

See Summer Better with Warby Parker

You endured winter chills and spring showers to reach the sun-kissed days of Summer.  Finally on the horizon, the season wouldn't be the same without a special pair (or two or three) of the perfect glasses to don with your stylish Summer wares.

Enter eyewear luxe of the most stylish proportions: Warby Parker.

Anders in Crystal, Toppers in River Stone Blue Fade
The newest Summer collection is an all-optical spread showcased in four new frames and three new colors. The looks offer adaptable shapes and flattering-on-all hues.  Simple translation?  There's something for everyone.

Nesbit in Heritage Bronze

The just-in River Stone Fade, River Stone Blue Fade, and Hickory Fade colors make their debut alongside new shapes Anders, Leighty and Streeter.  But there's no reason to stop there.  Explore the full glasses and sunglasses collections for more options.  The convenient Home Try-On Service makes it a cinch to find the perfect look and fit.

Bensen in Belize Blue
Crafted with impact-resistant material and 100% UV protection, along with bonus features like scratch resistant coating and anti-reflective treatment, there's no better way to see Summer--in style.  Frames start at $95.  Begin indulging here.


Happy Summer Styling!

Photos courtesy of Warby Parker



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Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Grilled Caesar Salad with Homemade Caesar Dressing

This past weekend marked the unofficial start of the Summer season.  There were festivals, concerts and BBQs galore to soak in the beautiful weather and holiday weekend good vibes--and that means food (specifically what to eat) was never too far behind.

A family BBQ was on my agenda for Memorial Day and I contemplated what to contribute to the menu.  I briefly considered doing a dessert, but then decided to go in a different (but equally delicious) direction with a classic Summer staple: salad.  But not just any salad.  If it was going to be a salad that could hold its own among burgers and franks and sides and, yes, dessert, it had to be one that I was sure could deliver.   So I decided to dust off my my recipe for Grilled Caesar Salad with homemade Caesar dressing.  I fell in love with this salad years ago, and it was a hit at last year's Spring Pop-Up Cooking School, so it had already passed the taste test many times over.



There's nothing quite like making your food from scratch. The homemade effect is hard to beat and that couldn't be truer when it comes to homemade salad dressings.  Caesar dressing is especially wonderful with a bold, deeply savory and scrumptious flavor that can single-handedly elevate your classic Caesar Salad to other-worldliness-and when coupled with grilled, slightly charred greens, you'll never see this salad the same again.


Here's to a beautiful Summer filled with lots of Happy Eating!

Grilled Caesar Salad with Homemade Caesar Dressing

Ingredients:
2-3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 garlic clove, peeled and finely minced
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon anchovy paste
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
Few dashes of Tabasco (optional)
3 tablespoons grated Parmesan, plus extra for sprinkling
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 large egg yolk
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil, plus extra for drizzling
Romaine hearts

Method:
Add the lemon juice, garlic, mustard, anchovy paste, Worcestshire, hot sauce (if using), egg yolk, salt, and pepper to a blender to combine.  With the blender on low, slowly drizzle in the olive oil to incorporate until dressing is thickened.  Remove dressing from blender and whisk in 3 tablespoons of Parmesan.  Set aside.

Heat a grill pan over medium-high heat.  Take romaine hearts and lightly drizzle with olive oil.  Grill, face-side down, for up to two minutes, or just until greens start to slightly wilt and char.

Greens can be served whole or chopped.  Add dressing and garnish with a sprinkling of fresh Parmesan.  Enjoy!     





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Friday, May 20, 2016

Atlanta Food & Wine Festival Returns Bigger & Better!



In two short weeks, a culinary experience that heralds the essence of the South beyond anything most have ever seen or tasted will return to Atlanta for an epic weekend in food, drink--and good times.

Now in its sixth year, it's hard to imagine that anything could top last year's festival, however this year promises to be the biggest--and the best--one yet.  Spectacular new additions--including a new series of expert instruction via Master Classes; a new Tasting Tents location; and a first-of-its-kind in the U.S. Pop-Up Vineyard in the City, in the heart of Midtown Atlanta, with a featured Sunday Brunch, the Ultimate Road Trip Kick-Off Party and much more--will make it worth every moment!

The themed Tasting Tents will reside in the gorgeous Piedmont Park Promenade

Sneak Peek rendering of the Pop-Up Vineyard in the City
"For food lovers, there is nothing more appealing than spending a weekend indulging in exceptional food and drink by rock star culinary talent, especially when the experience includes a road trip to a fun Southern city,” explains Dominique Love, Co-founder of the Atlanta Food & Wine Festival.

I couldn't agree more.  The ultimate Southern culinary weekend awaits and, trust me, you don't want to miss it!  Get your tickets now at atlantafoodandwinefestival.com.  Then prepare to know the south--and its cuisine--like never before.

Happy Eating!





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Wednesday, May 11, 2016

{Style Files}: Off-the-Shoulder Everything



"A Fashion that does not reach the streets is not a Fashion." ~Coco Chanel

If there's one look that's shaping up to be my favorite for the warmer temperatures and season, it's the effortless, chic, uber-flattering, off-the-shoulder trend.  And it's a look that can stand all on its own, while making a statement.  From day to night, beach to street, and beyond, it's style personified.

I'm already indulging myself and decided to share some of my favorite inspiration for your Spring/Summer wardrobe.  Make it your own by dressing it up (or down), as little or as much as you please.






Want more inspiration?  Check out 30+ looks here!

Happy Styling!
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