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Posts Tagged ‘fruit’

I LOVE ICE CREAM.  Everyone knows it, I’m not ashamed.  If there was only one food I could eat, it would be ice cream.  Certainly, my readers know I’m an ice cream freak, aficionado, crazy woman – any and all descriptive words apply.  Summer is my time to indulge in ice cream at almost any time of the day.  Seriously, seriously…I think I would show up at Day’s or Nagles when they opened up and have ice cream for breakfast.  What’s holding me back?  Well I already need to lose weight so every time I go for ice cream I have to deal with the angel on my right shoulder and the devil on my left and lately I noticed I’m holding my ice cream cones as if I were a southpaw!  And then again, the food police are in residence every couple of days and that really curtails my ability to succumb.

Besides my two favorite Ocean Grove ice cream shops, I also stop now and then at the Cone Zone.  Now there’s a place that knows how to make an ice cream cone.  It is two huge scoops precariously perched one on top of other.  I stopped there two days ago on my way into town from NYC.  Can you imagine the inner conversation I had with myself from Exit 11 on the NJ Turnpike till I actually arrived in Neptune?   I ran through  a list of possible flavors and plausible reasons of justification about stopping and eating ice cream at 1pm.  After much back and forth, I think the heat and humidity were the deciding factor, why not ice cream?

And that brings me to my latest taste experimentation.  For the past two years I don’t think I ate any flavor other than Peanut Butter Moose Tracks, and hey, it is STILL right up there in the top 3.  However, this year has been the year of the new flavor and flavor combination.  My stop at the Cone Zone which blessedly had no line (not like the two ice cream empires in OG) allowed me to look over the invitingly cold and colorful offerings.  I had a cone with two scoops and I almost always get two different flavors because you know life is short and you never know when you’re going to get that next ice cream cone!

1. Banana Caramel Chocolate Chip: Looking at the barrel through the glass, I could see thin lines of caramel swirled throughout the not-too-pale and not-too-bright (yuk artificial) yellow ice cream which was spotted with dark chocolate chips.  This one will be good and I can count it as a serving of fruit in today’s food pyramid.

2. Java Jolt: What could be better for a mid-afternoon pick-me-up than a bit of caffeine and in such a delightful form?  Cold, creamy, vanilla ice cream liberally laced with coffee and wide ribbons of chocolate fudge running through it? Nothing that I could think of so I had one scoop of this and one scoop of the Banana Caramel Chocolate Chip.

3. Mission Fig: Spending time in the Garden State is hardly an area of deprivation from the best fruit and vegetables, so not sure why this year, fruit ice creams are among my favorites.  But they are and this delicacy is to be had at Day’s .  Mission Fig has a delightful, delicate flavor.  It must have a vanilla ice cream base but it is not really white, and bits of fig and the distinctive taste and flavor of the fig puree throughout the ice cream is remarkable.

4. Chocolate Midnight Cookie: For the past many years, since the advent of Cookie Dough ice cream, makers have been tweaking and twisting that concept to myriad creations.  This one is a WINNER!  Even Peter orders it every time.  Deep dark rich-looking chocolate ice cream with very, very dark crumbs and pieces of very dark, well Midnight actually cookie mixed in.  YUMMY!

5. Blueberries and Cream: I had to taste test this one first because you know how artificial some fruit-flavored ice creams ; this one just sang of wild Maine blueberries.  Chunks of the fruit in vanilla ice cream and if you closed your eyes, you might think you were in Ogunquit.

Well I started this blog late last night, most likely out of severe disappointment because I literally drove to both Day’s and Nagle’s TWICE during the course of the evening while I was out doing a few errands and BOTH times BOTH places had such long lines and I was so hot and tired that I couldn’t imagine standing around for 30 minutes to get some ice cream to take home – by this time it was already 8:30pm and I hadn’t even started making my gazpacho – oh yes that again!  Now it’s 10:00am and I swear if I write one more sentence about ice cream, I am out the door and on my way!!!!

Project 366 2008 Feb 10 - 40/366. Not my favor...

OR maybe this one?

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Tomato
Image via Wikipedia

Ok ok, yes of course you can use any fresh tomatoes for this dish – BUT why would you IF you can get your hands on the gems of the Garden State; Jersey Tomatoes?  And this is P’RIME TIME!!! The Green Markets, the vegetable stands, your co-worker’s garden and I know you’ve heard me say this before (how about all this summer?) BUT go the extra distance and find locally grown fresh tomatoes, your recipes will love you for it.  Chilled soups are an antidote for summer’s heat, and because they take advantage of the season’s fruits and vegetables, they are fresh and full of flavor but low in fat and calories.

ROASTED TOMATO SOUP

12 ripe medium tomatoes (about 1 pound), cut in half horizontally

15 large springs of fresh dill

1 navel orange

1 large clove garlic minced (I would probably use 2)

1 small onion, finely chopped

2 cups low sodium fat-free chicken broth

1  1/2 teaspoons salt

1/4 teaspoon ground pepper

2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

8 tablespoons nonfat plain yogurt

Croutons

Heat oven to 450 degrees.  Roast tomatoes on baking pan, cut side up, until just softened and charred on the edges, 15-25  minutes.  Reserve four halves; cut the rest into quarters.

Meanwhile, tie 13 dill sprigs into a bundle with kitchen twine; set aside.  Remove a strip of orange zest, 1/2 by 2 inches long; squeeze juice from orange.  reserve zest and juice.

Spray bottom of small stockpot with olive oil spray.  Add garlic and onions; cook, covered over low heat, stirring, until translucent, about 7 minutes.  Add tomato quarters, stock, dill bundle, zest, juice, salt, pepper, and 2 cups water.  Raise heat to high, bring to boil.  Reduce heat to medium low; let simmer 20 minutes.

Discard dill and zest;puree soup in food processor until smooth; strain, and discard seeds.  Add vinegar.  Refrigerate.  Cut reserved tomato halves into sixteen wedges.  Pour soup into eight bowls, garnish with tomatoes, and add 1 tablespoon yogurt.  Snip remaining dill over soup; serve with croutons.

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