I’m all for ice creams with creative mix-ins, textures, and interesting flavor combinations, but sometimes you just want old fashioned, classic vanilla. This Malted Vanilla Bean Ice Cream takes that sentiment to new levels of nostalgia. For me, it is the ultimate vanilla ice cream.
The malt gives you that Happy Days, poodle-skirt wearing, soda fountain-loving feeling. And the deep vanilla flavor and pretty speckles of vanilla bean make this ice cream a dreamy luxury.
I rarely crave regular vanilla ice cream, but this malted vanilla? That’s another story. You’ll see. This is the perfect ice cream for pie, for drizzling salted caramel over, and for milkshakes! Oooh, I love a good vanilla malt milkshake!
Persimmons…or as my husband adorably calls them “per-cinnamons.”
I have to admit, I was pretty unfamiliar with persimmons before moving to San Francisco. But apparently this city knows them well and loves them even more because they are everywhere. They are stacked so high in the stalls at the market, they are literally rolling into the street.
I’ve mostly seen two different types of persimmons. Hachiya persimmons have a darker, reddish orange skin, and have a round shape like an apple. These are the kind of persimmons that need to be fully ripened and soft before eating (or else they taste unpleasantly astringent).
Fuyu persimmons on the other hand, are a lighter orange color, and are shaped like squat tomatoes. They can be eaten both firm and soft. When they’re firm, the flesh is crunchy – great for shaving into salads or sandwiches – and when they’re soft, I like to eat them all by themselves.
I recently received a copy of chef John Besh’s new book, Cooking from the Heart a beautiful 308-page hardcover filled to the brim with glossy photos, memories and tales of cooking (and life) lessons, and step-by-step instructional photos. I first met chef Besh last year in New Orleans and still remember how gracious he was.
The Slanted Door is one of those classic San Francisco restaurants that had been on my to-go-to list for years. The flagship of chef/restaurateur Charles Phan’s restaurant group, The Slanted Door has made a name for itself with its modern take on Vietnamese cuisine.
I finally got to check this off my list, thanks to Acqua Panna Natural Spring Water, who so kindly invited me to finally get a taste of what everyone has been raving about. Everyone…like the James Beard Foundation. That’s right, The Slanted Door is a nominee for this year’s James Beard Outstanding Restaurant Award.
As I settled into my meal, I could see that the nomination was well-deserved. The vibe was comfortable yet classy. The food had all the vibrance and freshness I loved about Vietnamese street food, but executed by a refined hand, with an eye towards high-quality ingredients and adorned with lavish touches like grass-fed Estancia beef and wild California uni.
And a whole lot of it. Eyes widened as this beautiful plate of sea urchin roe came to the table. Delicate pearls of black tobiko topped the uni, which blanketed crisp slivers of cucumber and creamy avocado. Creamy and luxurious, I tried to make this sea-kissed bliss linger as long as possible.
It passed too quickly, as always, but before we had the chance to miss it, new delights appeared.
It’s the most wonderful time of the year! Yep, I’m one of those people who start listening to Christmas music the day after Thanksgiving. December hits and all of a sudden, all I want for breakfast is eggnog latte and gingersnaps. And, did I just impulse buy 5 boxes of candy canes? Why, yes. Yes I did.
This year, the Christmas elves at Lick My Spoon have been working hard. And because I have it on good authority that you’ve all been extra nice, our annual Foodie Gift Guide is also a giveaway! So check out our goodies and do a little elfin dance. Here are this year’s picks:
1. Back to the Roots: Aquaponics Garden
Back to the Roots, the same people who brought you the homegrown Mushroom Garden kit using recycled coffee grounds, just launched their latest and greatest project on Kickstarter: a beautifully simple, closed-loop ecosystem that can sit right on your kitchen counter – the Aquaponics Garden. Essentially, the kit is a self-cleaning fish tank that uses the waste from the fish as organic fertilizer for the plants above. The plants take up the nutrients, and in turn clean the water which falls back down for the fish. You get to enjoy sustainably grown fresh herbs and baby greens year round, without having to worry about watering your plants, and you get to look at pretty fish while you do it. The Aquaponics Garden raised $100,000 in just 10 days. The Kickstarter closes on Saturday Dec 15, 2:59am EST, so get it while you can!
Oooooh yeahhh. Holiday Homemade Nutella. This is happening.
When my favorite “deep-fried Southern belle” friend Rachel asked me to participate in her annual Holiday Bake Sew Craft Along, I was super excited. Really, I was just excited to say “y’all” in my guest post.
If you’re into DIY projects or are looking for homemade food gifts for the holidays, you have to check out this project. Each day this month, an awesome group of domestic goddesses are guest posting around the theme “a handmade homemade holiday.” Rachel’s A Southern Fairytale is hosting 30 days of food gifts, while Kelly from According to Kelly is featuring 30 days of holiday crafts, and Cindy from Skip to My Lou has 30 days of gift inspiration from the sewing machine.
Best of all, I get to offer you guys a killer GIVEAWAY perfect for the holiday baking season!
As I racked my brain for a tasty homemade gift idea to share, these Christmas Cookie Jars came to mind. They’ve always been a big hit, but I think this year I’ve found something else that may just top that: Homemade Nutella. Good heavens. This stuff is divine.
Blogging about food and ogling food porn is all fine and good, but there is still nothing like sitting down to a meal IRL…with real food, and real people, face to face. Novel concept, huh?
Make those in-real-life moments happen with the help of Grubwithus. Founded in July 2010, Grubwithus is a community where friends and future friends create and join group meals. Users can browse and reserve meals online, and then meet and socialize over great food.
Meals are hosted at restaurants (Beretta, Zazie, and La Mediterranee currently have events listed in SF), and each diner pays in advance for a set menu that is served family style. The price of the meal covers food, tax, and tip, so everything is taken care of upfront, eliminating that awkward check-splitting moment at the end of large group meals. Also, since the price of the meal is negotiated directly with the restaurant, the Grubwithus price will always be lower than what you would pay going to the restaurant on your own.
Grubwithus strives to bring people together over food, helping people connect with others who share similar interests. For example, you could mingle at the Singles Dining Club, swap travel stories with fellow Jetsetters, or find others who are New in Town. If entrepreneurship and tech is your thing, you may want to check out the Y Combinator group, which hosts meals with different founders. Browse the themed groups and choose who you’d like to dine with.
If you’re trying to plan a birthday dinner or dinner with a big group of friends, you can also set up a private meal which can only be seen by those who have been invited. Enjoy the meal and leave the logistics to Grubwithus.
Congratulations, Katherine Goulart, you’re the winner of our Harvest to Holidays Giveaway!
Thanks to everyone who participated — so many hearty and comforting dishes! I’m all about it.
Fall is my favorite time of year. The leaves are changing into bursts of reds and oranges, the air smells fresh and crisp, and the markets are calling my name with bushels of shiny apples, golden pumpkins, winter squash, and earthy mushrooms. â€˜Tis the season for hearty roasts, steamy soups, and kitchens that smell of baking bread.
In celebration of the harvest season, I’ve put together some of my favorite items to help you get cozy as the weather turns chilly, and to get you ready for all the holiday cooking and entertaining on the horizon:
- CHEFS Catalog: Le Creuset 5.5-Quart Round French Oven
- Harry and David: Harvest to Holidays Gift Basket
- The Spoon Sisters: Split Decision Pie Pan
- Stony Brook Wholehearted Foods: Butternut Squash Seed Oil and Pumpkin Seed Oil (1 bottle of each)
- Scharffen Berger: Chocolate Baking Gift Set
- Sur La Table: $25 Gift Card
- Lick My Spoon: New T-Shirt!!!
It’s summmmer time and the livin’ is easy…There are barbecues to be fired up, waves to be surfed, and sand to be squished between toes.
In celebration of Summer lovin’, today we are kicking off our series of seasonal giveaways! Every spring, summer, fall, winter, you can now expect to see an epicly awesome giveaway here on Lick My Spoon You’re welcome. I love you too. This inaugural Summer Giveaway is all about high-quality MEAT. Rawrrrr.
“Meat” (har har) our awesome producers and prepare to get carnivorous over the goods they’ve generously offered:
- Lava Lake Lamb: (16) lamb loin chops
- Rocky Mountain Organic Meats: (6) 1-pound packages ground beef
- Niman Ranch: (4) bone-in pork chops, (2) packages Fearless Franks, (2) packages Applewood Smoked Bacon
- Columbus Salame: tasting kit of 6 salame varieties
- CHEFS Catalog: Deni Professional Meat Grinder and Picnic Time Barbeque Tool Set/Apron Tote
It never ceases to amaze me how different fresh fruit and veggies taste when they are homegrown in season. Right now the asparagus is tender and crisp, the strawberries are like candy, and delicate zucchini blossoms are just begging to be stuffed with ricotta and lightly fried. I remember the first time I tasted — really tasted — a carrot. Crooked and imperfect, with a bit of dirt still clinging to the frilly greens on top. Sweet, earthy, and wholesome.
The lovely flavor of these spring carrots is highlighted in this Carrot Soup, with the sweet playing on the warm spice of ginger and cumin. You could also add a spike of curry or garam masala for a more exotic twist. I top it all off with a bit of tangy Cumin-Lemon Yogurt Crema for a cool contrast. Speaking of cool, this soup also makes an interesting chilled soup. Think carrot gazpacho