Dessert

Smitten Ice Cream

October 10, 2013

smitten ice cream As an ice cream enthusiast, I like to visit at least one (if not more) local ice cream shops when I travel.

In a new city I do some research about where to grub, but recommendations from locals are the best. Luckily my friends and gracious hosts in San Francisco, chimed in on my meal planning. Knowing I’m dessert obsessed, they insisted I try Smitten Ice Cream. I resisted the urge to google the shop and went on their recommendation alone. The last piece of advice they offered was to order the mint ice cream if they had it…like tasting a mint leaf straight off the plant.

My sister and I spent the next day wandering through The Haight neighborhood shopping and taking photos, making our way down to the Hayes Valley neighborhood to eat dinner and get some of this ice cream. After some greasy cheeseburgers, we walked around the corner to get in line at Smitten.

The line is always long, but don’t be discouraged; it doesn’t take long. Thanks to patented liquid nitrogen machines, each flavor has its own machine to speed up production and keep customers occupied. As the ice cream bowls spin and spin with liquid nitrogen pouring over the sides, the entire line stares, mesmerized  at the contraptions whipping up little cups of deliciousness. I missed my name being called twice. smitten ice cream

I ordered the mint, and Madeline the vanilla with pear/caramel sauce. The mint was so light and fresh, just like they said it would be. The vanilla was perfect, not too sweet, and so creamy. Warm weather not needed to enjoy– I could eat this stuff in the freezing cold and feel great about it.

smitten ice cream

emsontheroad

I love their slogan: “New, Old-Fashioned Ice Cream”; that’s the perfect way to describe it. It tastes like homemade ice cream on the porch of my grandparents’ house that we spent hours making– cranking and waiting. Smitten is the same delicious ice cream– just less work and waiting.

Sunday funday photo

May 5, 2013

Happy Sunday! Still enjoying some #tscsummit sweets :)

tscsummit

Cacao Atlanta

April 23, 2013

I love my husband but I sometimes feel like I’m having an affair with the tall dark and handsome 70% cacao bars I buy. I’m an extreme chocoholic. I’m not at all embarrassed by this affliction- I celebrate it (perhaps too often but you only live once).

cacao atlanta

A few nights ago in Buckhead, en route to Fellini’s Pizza, I spotted Cacao. I am a sucker for a chocolate shop, let alone a charming French patisserie inspired shop…clean and bright, filled with decadent delights. I stopped cold in my tracks- staring (drooling), and said to my mother- “I know where I’ll be at 11am tomorrow.”

cacao atlanta

The next day before hittin’ the road back to Athens, we ran across the street to Cacao for a quick trip to Paris by way of the South. We were welcomed by a pleasant aroma of rich coffee and sweet/bitter chocolate…heavenly. We had a great time chatting with Tricia about the history of the shop and learning about each and every product. The owner/creator Kristen Hard, a classically trained French pastry chef, fell hard for the cacao bean working as a chef around the world and thankfully brought her passion back to the South.

cacao atlanta

Tricia got us started off with some sipping chocolate (divine) and walked us through the different goodies lining the walls. My mother (a packaging junkie) spotted some adorable baskets in the corner used for creating one of a kind gift baskets, so we decided that was the best option. Having a total “Treat Yo Self” moment (Parks and Rec anyone?), I began grabbing anything that peaked my interest. Being a self-proclaimed chocolate connoisseur, I picked up quite the basket.

cacao atlanta

I love how most items are inspired by Southern desserts or flavors…pecan pie truffles, mint julep truffles, Coca-Cola truffles, homemade oatmeal cream pies, cocoa-nib peanut brittle (oh yea). The shop’s commitment to sustainability is also impressive. Each piece of chocolate is hand crafted with the highest quality organic ingredients while honoring the traditional chocolate making processes and everything in the entire store is made in Georgia, with the exception of herbal teas offered on the menu. The Cacao shop in Buckhead also offers – Honeysuckle Gelato- Southern inspired gelato based in Atlanta!

cacao atlanta

macarons!

cacao atlanta

The decor is sweet and simple and very French. A white and grey palette punctuated by the rich colors of the chocolate and other treats. The art instillation above the cafe tables is equally stunning. Created for their Valentine’s Day celebration, the lovebirds and tiny paper hearts make for a beautiful centerpiece in the shop.

cacao atlanta

cacao atlanta

sweet success

To top off our decadent morning we had to try something from the esspresso lab. I opted for the Shakerato- 3 shots of espresso and vanilla syrup shaken over ice. Buzz buzz y’all.

cacao atlanta

cacao atlanta

A tisket a tasket, I got a chocolate basket!

Since my Cacao visit, I’ve slowly sampled my goodies- or hoarding them if you will. I want to hold on to the dark chocolate goodness as long as I possibly can- or until I reorder them online (bless online shopping)! Stop by one of their three shops in the ATL immediately or visit their online store to get your cacao fix!

Cacao Atlanta- http://cacaoatlanta.com/ Cacao on Facebook Cacao Twitter

Peachy Keen

July 6, 2012

Hope everyone had a fun and safe holiday!  I spent several days hangin’ with my family and some old friends in my hometown hometown of St. Simons Island, Georgia for the holiday.  Yesterday for the 4th, we had a potluck party at a condo on the beach- the perfect summer spread: deviled eggs, corn and tomato salad, smoked chicken, ribs, strawberry and feta salad, baked beans and garlic toast….oh yea.  To top the meal off we had the perfect summer dessert spread: key lime pie, mojito fruit salad, peach cobbler and Blue Bell ice cream!

Fresh peaches are one of my favorite things to eat in the summer, and with so many local peach stands near Athens it makes it easy to find reasons to bake peach desserts for people.  My great grandmother Mama Hattie created the ultimate peach cobbler recipe back in the day, and as promised I am going to share that with y’all.  For this recipe I used fresh peaches from Thomas Orchards in Watkinsville, Georgia.

Peaches:

peachesSlice peaches and put in a large pot on stove. Put as much sugar as you want to sweeten. Cover peaches in water- add more than enough to cover. This makes the juice.) Cook peaches until soft.  Then mix tablespoon of flour and half cup of water until smooth and mix with peaches to thicken.  Not to thick, still want it to be juicy.  Grease bottom of pyrex dish.

Dough: Hamrick Biscuit Recipe
2 c. self-rising flour (White Lily)
Buttermilk
2 heaping Tbsp. Crisco
Melt Crisco in baking pan in 425 degree F. oven.  In mixing bowl add buttermilk to flour until barely moistened.
Roll it out thin and cut four 3inch wide strips to outline the inside of the bottom of Pyrex dish.  Pour peach mixture in dish and dot with butter.
Cut the rest of the dough in 3inch wide strips and cover peaches. Dot top of pie with butter and sprinkle with sugar.
Bake at 350 degrees until brown.
Sounds good right?  Soooo yummy!  However if you are in a time crunch my grandmother taught us the best short cut recipe.
MOM’S BISQUICK COBBLER
2 tbsp. butter
1 c. Bisquick
1/2 c. sugar
1/2 c. milk
3 c. cut up peaches or other fruit of your choice (can be fresh, frozen
(thawed) or canned)Turn oven to 375°F.Melt 2 tablespoons butter in 8 x 8 inch baking dish. Mix Bisquick, sugar, and milk. Pour over melted butter. Spoon fruit over. If using canned peaches, pour on some of the juice also.

bisquik

Bisquick mix over melted butter

cobblerBake at 375°F for 30 minutes. Can double the recipe. Bake in 9 x 13 inch pan.

cobblerAnd voila!  Serve with Blue Bell’s Homemade Vanilla and you have the ultimate Southern dessert!

Indian summer

June 27, 2012

Hey y’all- This is a post I did for the Southern C a few weeks ago but with the heat wave coming, I thought I should share with my fellow bloggees.  If you haven’t checked out the Southern C yet…you should!  Its a great place to read about all things Southern from a fun and diverse group of bloggers…

The Southern C

Summer is officially here!  Why do I love summer so much?  It’s the
perfect season for my favorite food: ice cream.  Not that I don’t eat
frozen desserts all year round (because I most certainly do), but I
feel like the summer heat makes copious amounts of ice cream eating
acceptable.

I got to thinking about my love affair with these sweet concoctions
and it all leads back to spending a part of every summer at my
grandparents house in Birmingham, AL.  My sweet grandmother kept her
freezer stocked with the finest treats “the Pig” (aka Piggly Wiggly)
had to offer- Firecracker pops, Flinstone push-ups, and Blue Bell Moo
Bars.  After a long afternoon of swimming in her pool, we were allowed
to pick out a dessert from the freezer…it was always a tough
decision.

In recent years with the food carts craze, I’ve noticed more and more
handmade ice cream and popsicle carts and businesses.  Being a total ice
cream addict- I welcome this trend.

king of pops

One of the major dessert players down South is the King of Pops.  This super cool company started by three brothers is taking over the frozen dessert scene (at least in Athens).  They have a year round menu of creative concoctions like Arnold Palmer and Chocolate Sea Salt, and a seasonal menu with options like Bluegrass (blueberry lemongrass) and Georgia Peach Basil.  They have popsicle carts in Atlanta, Athens, and Charleston and they’re even popping up in local restaurants like The National, Ike and Jane, and Jittery Joes.  Check their website for the cart’s location; they’re a must try!

hip pops

I recently heard about a new local Athens popsicle company called Hip Pops that serve up all natural popsicles named after favorite hip hop stars and rap songs.  Who doesn’t want to try a popsicle called Blu Pop Shakur and Kanye Zest?  Luckily my friend Julie, another frozen treat fan, spotted them at that the Daily Co-Op off of Prince Avenue and we immediately made plans for a taste test.  After a long day of thesis writing for me, we headed out on a brisk walk with her puppy dogs, and headed to the Daily for a pit stop.

daily coop

daily coop

Julie and I; Katie is hiding

daily coopThey had several Hip Pop flavors that looked very appealing….all fruity and sounded delicious.  I had the MC Slammer: blackberry, mint and lemonade; Julie had the Kanye Zest:  Cucumber, Honeydew, Margarita; and Katie had the Big Peppa: pineapple and cayenne. They were just what we needed….cool, icy, refreshing, and mighty tasty.

The other day I bought a chocolate and sea salt King of Pop downtown, and as I walked back to the office eating my popsicle I realized that I had a ridiculous grin on my face, with melting chocolate was dripping all over my hands.  Despite my having to return to work (not to mention I am nearing the age of 30), I licked the melting chocolate off my hands, because God forbid I waste any of my delightful dessert… just like I did when I was 8 sitting on the edge of my grandmother’s pool (don’t judge- you know you do it too).  Maybe it has something to do with feeling like a kid again, or maybe its  because they taste so damn good- either way is fine by me.

Happy Summer y’all!

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