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Sharp Cheddar/My Ice Cream’s Better

Points and pints [of ice cream, or beer, whichever floats your boat, or your ice cream beer float] to whoever gets the reference in the title of today’s post! Come on readers, I believe in you! I believe less in my ability to transport ice cream to your residence successfully, but that’s a conundrum for another day.

I know I made you all wait a little bit longer than anticipated for this ice cream recipe. Your apple pie/galette is likely long gone, your anger at me boiled over and crystallized into a delicate, angry snowflake. Well, friends, all I can say is that I was truly exhausted after Turkey Day. Before Thanksgiving I had made a cooking schedule for myself, one to which I strictly adhered, and ended up completely spent. My lower back ached as if I’d been kicked mercilessly by a kickboxing banshee. If you’re curious, I made (*deep breath*) corn bread, roasted Brussels sprouts, macaroni and cheese, cranberry sauce, pumpkin pie, an apple galette, cheddar ice cream and chai ice cream. This was part of a meal for six. In a teeny apartment. And then we transported all of it to my parents’ house. Some of you are laughing at me. I get that. Like why is she all braggy over this? Normally I am not one to give myself credit for, like, anything, but I will say I am proud of my contributions this year. Food is love/love is cooking monstrous amounts of food for your peoples. #noregrets

I rewarded myself for all of the hard work by harassing my parents’ dog all Thanksgiving Day. If you don’t speak dog, I’ll just translate for you. He’s basically saying something along the lines of “seriously, it’s enough. Put me down, we are barely friends. Stop trying to make this happen. “

BUT. I would have regretted not sharing this wonderful, wonderful cheddar ice cream recipe with all of you. Yes, I know a good number of you are looking at your screens right now, throwing me shade and wondering exactly how many Pumpkin Old Fashioneds I downed before deciding cheddar in a dessert was a good idea (Answer: three. #noregrets). Well, this is a thing folks. I believe it’s as American as apple pie, in fact. A good portion of this great country apparently enjoys throwing a slice of sharp cheddar atop a warm slice of apple pie, and I believe in cheese, so I pretty much went for this with gusto. The original notes on this recipe recommend that this treat only be eaten with an apple-heavy dessert, as the cheddar is sharp enough to be somewhat overwhelming without the sweetness of the apple for balance. My family and I, however, found this to be delightful on its own. I leave it to you to decide how best to consume this wondrous creation.

Cheddar Ice Cream (makes 1 pint) adapted from Serious Eats

3 large egg yolks

1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons of sugar

3/4 cup of heavy cream

3/4 cup of half and half

4 ounces of sharp cheddar cheese, grated

Salt, to taste

Save some to snack on while you work. I'm always looking out for you. Remember that.)
Save some to snack on while you work. I’m always looking out for you. Remember that.)

In a large saucepan, whisk together sugar and egg yolks until pale yellow in color. Stir in cream and half and half until fully incorporated. Place over medium heat, stirring mixture frequently, until it begins to thicken and a custard sticks to the back of your spoon and leaves a clean, sharp-ish line when you swipe your (clean!) finger across it.


Remove pan from heat and pour in cheddar. Allow the mixture to stand for 30 seconds to 1 minute, then whisk to combine. Use an immersion blender to fully mix, or transfer the mixture to a regular blender and blend until pureed. Add in salt, to taste (don’t forget that this is cheese ice cream, ya’ll. Really make sure you’re tasting after every salting.)

Pour custard through a fine strainer, into a heatproof covered container. Chill in refrigerator for 4 to 8 hours, then churn in your ice cream maker according to instructions (mine recommends 20 minutes).

Transfer mixture back to an airtight container and freeze until ready to use.

As you can see, this isn't some loud, bright yellow. If you're looking to prank a loved/liked/tolerated one, you could totally try to pass this off as lemon ice cream for kicks. Please try this and get back to me. 
As you can see, this isn’t some loud, bright yellow. If you’re looking to prank a loved/liked/tolerated one, you could totally try to pass this off as lemon ice cream for kicks. Please try this and get back to me. 

So, verdict? Everyone at the table was suspicious. Not hesitant, not wary, but full-on suspicious. My dad thought the cheddar from the mac n’ cheese accidentally made its way into my ice cream and I was just trying to save face (he knows I am a hot buttered mess when I cook). However, once they saw me and Jimmy plop scoops onto our slices of galette, (indeed I did pay Jimmy in personal pumpkin pies for this, and it was worth every hunk of butter) they were curious.

Everything's bettah with cheddah. 
Everything’s bettah with cheddah. 

Curiosity turned to interest and interest turned into pure delight. Both of my sisters even enjoyed scoops without any accompaniments, so I think it’s safe to say this is one strange custard you can surely enjoy by itself, and with #noregrets.

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Fancy Pantsy Grown Up People Desserts Ice Cream No-Bake Recipes Strange and Yummy Stuff Your Parents Would Like

Sad Shibow Buys An Ice Cream Maker, Just In Time For Unseasonably Cold Weather.

* Looks around *

* Is confused *

* Dips toe into slushy, creamy, sugary water-like substance that appears to be ice cream *

Sad Shibow? Is…is that you?

HI FRIENDS! For those of you just joining, pay no attention to the above disoriented blabbering. This place has always been…this place! For those of you who’ve been homies for life… it’s a site redesign! What are your thoughts on the matter? I quite like it. Longtime readers may have noticed (and praised) the disappearance of my creepily large, bloodshot eyes from the header image, a change that was made a while ago, after People I Work With–capitalized because, important and scary– began questioning what exactly was making my peepers so red (I had terrible sleeping habits for many years. I know. I wish that story were less boring too.) Ever since that small change, I’ve been slowly working on improving the look of the site over the past year, likely because, selfishly, I feel compelled to continue to talk about sad things but simultaneously hope you’ll all be too enamored with the things I bake and the general look of the site to actually pity me. CHECK OUT THAT WORD CLOUD IN THE SIDEBAR (I’m having a crummy time of it and am trying to buoy my spirits by changing it up around here). Now which part of that last sentence spoke to you?

So, with that bit of housekeeping out of the way, let’s chat. Remember when I told you that I was engaging in some serious retail therapy to beat the blues? WELL! I can’t stop. Guys I really can’t. I need my credit card number Eternal Sunshine’d from my spotty mind, for I have discovered the art of earning miles with my purchases, and I am taking far too much advantage. Do I have a particular destination in mind, you ask? Well, of course…not. But I’ll sure as hell be able to pay for it with miles I’ve racked up from buying the ice cream maker of my dreams and Star Wars-themed Halloween costumes for the family dog.

Indeed, just in time for an extremely cold, windy, possibly hurricane-y October, I have finally purchased a machine that will allow me to make any and every frozen dessert I desire. And did I start out with something simple? Pish posh! Vanilla schmanilla! Also, I couldn’t find vanilla beans! But I did find the giant basil plant in our kitchen, and that baby needed snipping. Oh yes. It happened. Classy new layout, classy ice cream flavors… what is this place?!

Basil Ice Cream (makes one quart)

2 cups of fresh basil

2 cups of whole milk

1 cup of half and half

3/4 cup of sugar

2 tablespoons of lemon zest 

Juice of 1/2 a lemon

Pinch of salt

3 egg yolks (Save your egg whites! Make meringues!)

Combine all ingredients in a blender and puree until combined. Pour puree into a medium-sized saucepan and heat until simmering, whisking constantly. 

Remove from heat and pour through a strainer– don’t worry if some basil comes through. In fact, I would encourage such a circumstance. Chill in the refrigerator until cold, about 2 hours, then pour into your ice cream maker and let it churn according to the manufacturer’s instructions (every maker has different rules. Somehow I know this applies to life as well). Serve with something else fancy, like lemon egg white souffles. 

Top left and right: lemon egg white souffles. Yes, I know they fell, but they were still pretty damned delicious, airy and not at all bad for you health-wise. They complemented the basil ice cream (bottom center) quite nicely. Recipe will possibly one day follow if there's interest.
Top left and right: lemon egg white souffles. Yes, I know they fell, but they were still pretty damned delicious, airy and not at all bad for you health-wise. They complemented the basil ice cream (bottom center) quite nicely. Recipe will possibly one day follow if there’s interest.

So, thoughts? Well, I am writing this post about a week after this ice cream was first made, and my boyfriend has not stopped asking when we can make it again. It had a refreshingly light touch of basil, and mercifully wasn’t too sweet. Jimmy kept referring to how “fancy” it felt to have such a “decadent” ice cream in our humble household… and then he went and made it fancier! If you’re looking to gussy this ice cream up, or you’re looking to make some sophisticated milkshakes for your classy friends, combine two scoops of basil ice cream with a tablespoon of strawberry preserves. You. Are. Welcome.  


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    They’re Laughing At Me. Not With Me. That’s Cool, Because I Have All The Ice Cream.

    There’s this article and picture of a crying baby elephant circulating around the ‘nets. I briefly considered posting it here but…too sad, even for this blog. I think the elephant is crying because his wench mother keeps stomping on him and generally just hating on his greatness. You’re probably thinking that I’m about to say that I’m the baby elephant and the world is the baby elephant’s mother. I wasn’t going to say that, but if you were to think that you’d be totes right. MY LUCK SUCKS.

    I could go on, but let’s just say that I’m worried and sad about moving, money and all of the people I love and miss and never get to see. If I haven’t seen you in a while, know that it’s not because I do not love you. It’s because the universe does not love friendship. 😦

    And now to cheer you all up. Lately, as many of you have noticed, I have tried to position a random, usually uplifting/funny photo somewhere at the beginning of my posts. Today will be no different, aside from the “random” part. Once you’ve all caught your breath and gotten your bearings back, I’ll meet you after the below photo:

    photo (1)

    Are you good yet? You can thank me later for the incredible abdominal workout you got from laughing hysterically at the above. Just for the hell of it, allow me to explain.

    When I was little, my very best friend at the time and I were, like most very best friends, completely inseparable. I wanted to do everything she did, and since she wanted to go to modeling school (Jesus Christ on a whole wheat cracker, I truly cannot believe I am sharing this), so did I. As you can see from the above picture in which I am apparently dressed like a miniature popcorn salesman–and yes, I did say salesman, thanks mom for the unfortunate pageboy haircut– with an affinity for People Magazine, I did not make it very far in the catalogue model game. Before you ask, no I have no idea where that outfit went, but I imagine it now resides in a special little nook in Hell. Special thanks to my dear younger sister for sending along this gem. Sylvapotamus, if you’re reading this, obviously you can name your price for the rest of these photos, because sadly I know there are more.

    Whew. So. Now that I’ve lifted you all up, or at least made you laugh at my expense, let me depress you by reminding you that summer is pretty much just totally over. That’s insane, right? I still feel like I never even completely got a summer. Maybe that’s why I insisted on randomly making an ice cream pie just as the temperature started to drop. Whatevs. You’re going to want to, too.


    Key Lime Ice Cream Pie (no ice cream maker required!)

    adapted from Serious Eats

    For the crust:

    10 graham crackers

    1/2 teaspoon of salt

    3 tablespoons of sugar

    5 tablespoons of butter, melted and cooled

    For key lime ice cream:

    1/2 cup of key lime juice (regular is fine if you don’t have key lime)

    1 tablespoon of lime zest, plus a bit more for garnish

    3/4 cup of sweetened condensed milk

    1 cup of heavy cream

    1/4 teaspoon of salt

    Now, let’s start with your crust. Preheat the oven to 350ºF. In the bowl of a food processor, pulse together graham crackers, sugar and salt until powdery. Pour butter in and continue to pulse until a coarse meal is formed, stopping to scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed.


    Transfer your crumbs to a pie plate and press evenly into the sides and bottom of your pan. Refrigerate the mixture for about 15 minutes, then bake for about 15 minutes until the crust is dark and takes on a nutty aroma. Remove and cool completely, then freeze until ready to use.


    For your ice cream, in a large bowl, whisk together key lime juice, lime zest, condensed milk and cream. Stir until thick, which should take about a minute, and then salt the mixture to taste.

    Pour your ice cream mixture evenly into the pie crust, smoothing out the top with a rubber spatula, and then freeze until the mixture is firm, 2 to 3 hours. To serve, allow the pie to sit out and soften for about five minutes, then garnish with more zest and serve this baby.


    So this was AMAZING, obviously. It’s key lime ice cream. It’s ice cream sans ice cream maker. That cuts the time between me thinking about the ice cream and me making the ice cream in half. That also cuts the expense in I don’t know how many (math schmath), since ice cream makers are hella expensive. But yes, if you miss summer like I miss summer, you need this thing in your life. Immediately.


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    Smile Like You Mean It. Preferably A La Mode.

    YOU GUYS. I just discovered this crazy amazing band. They are known as The Killers. They are stupendous!

    I’m kidding, I’m kidding, I’m not that out of touch. Relax, cool kids. But, I have become re-obsessed with these guys for reasons unknown, though I’m not complaining. They really are amazing. On a side note, does anyone have a bajillion dollars kicking around that you’d like to use to buy me tickets to see them live? Just kidding. Not really. No…no I’m not really kidding.

    Anyway, originally I was going to post “When You Were Young” to go along with this post, but that song and video are both hella depressing (and hella fantastic), and I figured you were all as sick of me and my complaining by this point as I was. This song’s probably pretty sad, too, but I’m a little bit too tired and a little bit too focused on trying to stay positive to notice. So…you know…smile like you mean it and whatnot.

    Really though. I have posts and posts worth of crap to complain over. I have more stuff to complain about than I do stuff to bake. But, then, so do we all, right? I’m starting to think that maybe the only way to turn it all around is to turn it all around myself. And to maybe laugh at random moments as well. Like, really random. It scares the beejeebus out of people, and that makes me happy.

    Something else that makes me happy is ice cream. Ice cream makes me so #%$(@-ing happy (I curse a lot, especially when I am happy). In my last post, I mentioned a trip to Vermont. On said trip, my boyfriend and I encountered something called a Creemee. This, supposedly, is just a regional term for soft serve, though I kind of think that’s bunk since this is the stuff dreams are made of. I tell you, I have never had a frozen treat so rich and decadent and, well, creamy. Since our return to NYC, Boyfriend has not failed to mention it at least once a week, nostalgically reminiscing on the Creemee as if it were a long, lost friend whom he misses terribly. In fact, he is, as I type this, on his way to Vermont for another one. Okay, okay, he’s going for other reasons too, but he kind of made it seem like he had one goal, and one goal only, in mind. To be fair, I asked him to bring me back one, as well. This will obviously not work for several reasons, the primary reason being that he’ll eat mine, too. No matter. I’ve figured out how to almost fully replicate them all on my own! Without an ice cream maker, because I am boogie-down broke! MUAHAHA!


    Maple Creemee (makes a little less than a quart)

    adapted from Tribeca Mommy

    Inside of a quart-sized zipped plastic bag:

    1 cup heavy cream

    3/4 cup of milk (I used 1% because that’s all I ever have)

    1/4 teaspoon of vanilla extract

    1/3 cup of pure maple syrup (Grade A or B…B’s darker and stronger, which I heart)

    Inside a gallon-sized bag:

    1/2 pound of coarse salt

    2 1/2 pounds of ice

    Also, you’ll need a spotter and/or excellent upper-body strength. Hey, you gotta work for your Creemee around these parts.

    This is super easy by the way, aside from all the exercise. Place all ingredients except salt and ice in your smaller bag, zip very very tightly (unless you want salty ice cream, gracias no) and shake around a bit. Then, carefully place half of your ice and salt in the gallon bag, carefully lay quart-sized bag on top, and cover with more ice, leaving enough room to comfortably zip the gallon bag, and zip it.

    I call this "Han Solo In Carbonite." Wait...
    I call this “Han Solo In Carbonite.” Wait…

    Here’s where the spotter/stretching comes in. Wrap a small towel around the bag and shake for ten minutes. Some of you are laughing at me for making a big deal of shaking a bag of ice for ten minutes. You people are buggin’. This is, like, not easy.

    You can stop once your mixture is thick and custard-like.


    Obviously you can’t see from the above, but, uhhh…that’s where we stopped.


    Now, this may not look pretty at all. Maybe it looks a little like white gazpacho, or hummus. Actually, it really does, doesn’t it? Well, it’s a creemee, I promise. And it’s all kinds of wonderful. Really. So wonderful, in fact, that my boyfriend secretly made two more batches of this stuff while I was away. Fortunately, he shared, but still. Two. Within days of this first batch. It’s that amazingly good. Also, if you have children, you can totally employ them encourage them to help you shake shake shake this stuff up. I am often, mentally, five years old and I really enjoyed making this. That should tell you everything.