Tag Archives: ice cream

Grilled Peaches

Jalapeno-stuffed, bacon wrapped cheddar dogs and grilled peaches à la mode

I am on vacation.  From my main job, anyway.  Sadly, there won’t be any beach or Mediterranean abode or even a lot of relaxation.  There’s a lot to do–a new fence being built (yay!), garden beds to replant after being tramped while the fence was being built (boo!), storage spaces to clean, committee meetings to go to, a zoo to visit.  But at least there won’t be any boredom…?

Remember when summer vacation was actually…a vacation?

Stuffed Cheddar Dog

Stuffed Cheddar Dog

Oh well.  At least I’ll get a lot of good stuff done and this “vacation” was definitely started off right.  I got at least one proper, full relaxation day in, though.  Slept in, laid around, watched tv (a Psych marathon if you’re interested), had a mini cookout with friend and watched a movie.  I won’t go into detail about my feelings on the movie we watched (Oz The Great and Powerful)–I hated it but that’s ok.  Because at least while watching it, I got to eat good food.

Stuffed Cheddar Dog

Stuffed Cheddar Dog

First of all, jazzed up hot dogs from Biercamp, an artisanal charcuterie in town.  Their sausages are delicious enough, but we decided to kick it up another notch….so we split them in half, stuffed them with sliced jalapenos, wrapped them with Biercamp peppered bacon, grilled them, served them on Zingerman’s buns and smothered them with shredded sharp cheddar.  There should have been grilled, buttered onions on top too but sadly, I forgot to make them.  I know.  I know.  I’m working on forgiving myself.

Mexican Corn

Mexican Corn


Alongside those hot dogs, we had Mexican street corn–you know, grilled corn on the cob slathered with a “crema,” or essentially, mayo, sour cream and lime juice, and rolled in parmesan and chile powder.  Pretty good, I will say.  We also sampled a bit of this week’s Champagne Wednesday cocktail, too.

Dessert was also fabulous: grilled peaches with vanilla bean gelato and balsamic glaze.  More specifically and food porn-ingly, we brushed halved, fresh peaches with butter, ground cinnamon and brown sugar, grilled them on either side and served them in cocktail glasses with a scoop of Talenti vanilla bean gelato and a drizzle of balsamic vinegar glaze.

Grilled Peaches

Grilled Peaches

Yeah baby.  Just thinking about it makes my muscles feel all soft and happy.

The meal in general went a long way to soothe frustrations I have about how ridiculously difficult it’s been to get our fence replaced.  I mean, endless paperwork and permits and days of construction and blah.  But it’s ok because peaches.  Peaches.

The Stuffed Cheddar Dogs Non-Recipe


  • Hot dogs
  • Fresh whole jalapeño peppers
  • Bacon---and not "Canadian bacon" either
  • Buns
  • Shredded cheddar cheese
  • Grilled buttered onions
  • Any other hot dog toppings you like


  1. Carefully slit each hot dog down the middle lengthwise, being careful not to cut the hot dog all the way in half. You basically just want to create a little pocket in the center.
  2. Cut the jalapeño in half. For two hot dogs, I used about a third of a large jalapeño, because we like things spicy. Adjust accordingly for your quantity and preference. Slice the jalapeños into thin slices crosswise. Stuff as many slices into the hot dogs as you like.
  3. Wrap a slice of bacon around each hot dog. You'll probably need two slices to wrap from top to bottom. Seal the slices with tooth picks to keep them from unraveling, or tuck the ends into the strips.
  4. Grill the hot dogs as you normally would until heated through, and the bacon is crispy.
  5. Put a hotdog into a good quality bun, and top with any other toppings you like--ketchup, relish, mustard, etc--and finally smother it in cheddar cheese. Place under a broiler for a minute to melt the cheese a bit.
  6. If you'd like to add the buttered onions, what I usually do is thinly slice an onion and pile it into the center of a good-sized piece of tinfoil. Place a big pat of butter in the center of the onions, pull the corners of the tinfoil together and tightly wrap into a little package. Put the package on the grill while you get the hot dogs ready, or for about 10 minutes, then pull them off. Put 'em on your dogs.
  7. Enjoy!


Obviously, this can be scaled up or down pretty easily for however many hot dogs you need to make.

Also, if you don't like hot dogs, try bratwursts or any other kind of sausage.

Works for veggie dogs, too! Although without the bacon obviously...ribbons of zucchini might work though!


Grilled Peaches à la Mode with Balsamic Glaze

Yield: 4


  • 4 peaches
  • 2 tablespoons butter,softened
  • 4 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 4 tsps ground cinnamon
  • 1 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 4 scoops vanilla bean gelato or ice cream


    Prepare the balsamic glaze:
  1. Pour the vinegar into a small pot and cook over medium-low heat until reduced by at least half, about 20 minutes. You want a thickened but not stiff consistency that fully coats the back of a spoon. You can start this about 10-15 minutes before you cook the peaches. If it finishes first, turn off the heat and let it sit. It will stiffen a bit and may lighten in color but if so, just give it a good stir.
  2. Prepare the peaches:
  3. Cut the first peach in half from tip to tip. Keep the knife still, but turn the peace 360 degrees. Then grab both halves of the peach and twist in opposite directions to disconnect them. Remove the pits. Repeat this process for each subsequent peach.
  4. Brush the inside (flesh side) of each peach half with about a quarter tablespoon of the butter and sprinkle it with half a teaspoon of cinnamon sugar and half a tablespoon of brown sugar. Pat the sugar down so it sticks.
  5. Turn your grill onto about medium heat. Place the peaches flesh-side up on the grill and let cook for 4-5 minutes. Turn the peaches over and cook another 4-5 minutes, or until slightly charred and soft.
  6. Put the dish together
  7. Put one peach half in a small bowl, or be super-fancy and use a wide-bottom cocktail glass. Put a scoop of vanilla gelato on top. Drizzle it with a tablespoon or two of the balsamic glaze and top with another peach half. Repeat for each peach.
  8. To eat: Put on your fancy face, lift your pinky and enjoy.


This is also easy to scale up or down. Basically, one peach per person, each peach gets 1/4 tbsp of butter, 1/2 tsp of cinnamon, 1/2 tbsp brown sugar, 1 scoop of ice cream and however much glaze you want.

Also might be good to add: whipped cream with a slight bit of cinnamon added, or chopped, salted nuts.



A farm near us opened last week for strawberry-picking season.  Josh and I, eager to get our berry on, showed up on Wednesday.  “We’ll pick a few pounds,” I thought, “No big deal.”  I mean, we were only there for an hour, the two of us.  No big deal…

Yeah.  It’s all fun and games until you get up the scale at the end of your trip and you have to shell out money for the 25 pounds of strawberries you just plucked from the earth.

So we took this story to its natural conclusion and made jam.  Lots of jam.  25 half pints of jam…plus a couple quarts of strawberry ice cream…and still have half a flat of strawberries left. Continue reading

I was in Chicago for a conference last week (hello, good food!) when I got a delightful email from someone at Whole Foods all about mangoes, asking me if I’d like a free case of mangoes to see how many uses I could come up with for them.  Umm, YESYES I WOULD LIKE.  You should never turn down a mango.  Kumquats, sure, but never a mango.



  • Step One: Procure mangoes.
  • Step Two: Make (very long) list of tasty foods to make.
  • Step Three: Make noms.
  • Step Four: Eat noms.
  • Step Five: Write blog post


So that’s pretty much what’s been going on here.  I made the first dish last night–mango ice cream, and mango-ancho chili ice cream.  Why ice cream?  Because:

  • I got an ice cream maker for Christmas and have since gone a little ice-cream-making-mad.
  • It sounded delicious.
  • I had all the ingredients for that but none of the other items on my list and was too lazy to go to the store yesterday.

ice cream ingredients in a blender

It was really easy to make, too, which was a nice bonus.  It also got the most beautiful texture of any ice cream I’ve made thus far, I mean just absolutely gorgeous texture.  Pale yellow color, light and airy and silky.  The flavor was a very light, sweet, fruity flavor, super refreshing.  The kind of thing you really want on a hot day, y’know?  To experiment a bit more, I tried a few different add-ins: coconut, chili powder, ancho chili powder.

mango ice cream

The pure mango ice cream was my favorite.  The mango-coconut combination was Josh’s.  The chili powder was ok, but the ancho chili powder was pretty good, giving the ice cream an interesting, unexpected savory flavor.  Other mix-ins and toppings could include fresh mint or cilantro, strawberries, cashews, pecans, caramelized banana, candied bacon…really, anything.

mango ancho ice cream

Mango Ice Cream


  • 2 ripe mangoes, peeled, pitted and chopped into chunks
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1/2 c. brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • 1 pinch of salt
  • 2 cups very cold heavy cream
  • an ice cream maker of your choosing


  1. Put the mangoes, lemon juice, brown sugar, honey, and salt in a blender and blend until smooth. Add the heavy cream and mix thoroughly.
  2. Freeze according to the instructors for your ice cream maker. Near the end of the freezing time, add in any of the mix-ins you'd like.
  3. For the ancho chili mango ice cream, I'd slowly add in ancho chili powder a tsp at a time until you get a flavor that's pleasing to you.


P.S. Put your leftover mango peels in a pot with 1 cup of water and 1 cup of sugar and boil…voilà! Mango simple syrup.  Strain and bottle. 


[highlight]”I used to think the brain was the most important organ in the body.  Then I realized who was telling me this.” –Emo Phillips [/highlight]

apple caramel over ice cream

The brain is clearly the most superior of all the organs, and I’m not just saying that because it told me to.  Well I kind of am.  Ok, I totally am, but with other good–nay, delicious–justifications.  After all, my brain is what told me to buy a couple gallons of cider at the Dexter Mill a couple weeks ago and my brain is what told me to use that cider to make apple syrup, which was delicious, and my brain decided that if apple syrup is good then apple caramel sauce must be just as delicious and obviously, if the brain thinks it’s true, then it must be. Continue reading

My superquick, super delish v-day dessert

Take a package of chocolate shortcakes…

…add  generous scoops of ice cream–your fave.  I used Calder’s chocolate chunk chocolate.

Mix in 4 marshmallows into a pot of homemade chocolate ganache over low heat and stir until the marshmallows are mostly melted and incorporated.

Top with something crunchy–toasted walnuts or almond slivers, salty roasted peanuts, coconut, graham crackers…more chocolate!


Hello. My name is Lauren and I’m addicted to cookies

Cookies Anonymous 12 Step Program:

  1. Admit that you are powerless in the face of your sweet tooth.
  2. Come to believe that a Cookie can restore (what’s left of) your sanity.
  3. Make a decision to turn your life over to Cookie.
  4. Make a fearless gastronomical inventory of your stomach.
  5. Admit to Cookie that you have wronged the Cookie.
  6. Be ready to rid yourself of culinary defects, like tasteless health food and store-bought cookies.
  7. Ask Cookie to remove your shortenings—er, shortcomings.
  8. Make a list of all the Cookies you have harmed and be willing to make amaretti.
  9. Make amaretti whenever possible.
  10. Continue to take gastronomical inventory.  Stock up on flour and butter.
  11. Seek to improve your conscious contact with Cookie, praying for the knowledge of Cookie’s will for us and the power to carry it out.
  12. Have a scrumptious awakening, carry this message to other addicts.  Bake, eat and be merry. Continue reading

Two ways from sundae: pomegranate and chocolate

This is going to be a short post.

I just had to share it with you.

First, a layer of French vanilla ice cream.

Then some pomegranate glaze (leftover from cheesecake!).

Then more ice cream.

Then a heaping spoonful of chocolate sauce (I use melted chocolate plus a bit of milk).

More ice cream.

Then pomegranate and chocolate together.

Sprinkle with nuts.

Stare at it.

Eat it.


ABC and Schako-lattes

For dinner tonight, Josh and I decided we would go where no man has gone befo–no, wait, scratch that, we decided to go to Arbor Brewing Company in downtown Ann Arbor, where many a man has been before.  But not me.  I’ve heard good things about it, but it’s not usually on my radar of places to go.  I thought today would be a good time to check it out.

Having skipped lunch, we were having an early dinner (4:30ish) so we beat the Saturday evening crowd and since it was a lovely 81 degrees Fahrenheit, we decided to eat outside (“we” being “me” and “Josh grudgingly agreeing because he knows how much I love hot weather and how little of it I get in Michigan and besides, there was a breeze and thanks to the bevy of tall buildings on E Washington, we’d be in the shade anyway”).  The weather was lovely, the sidewalk seating was great, the staff was excellent and the menu was modest but delicious, which works out well for me because sometimes too many choices is a terrible thing.  Like the cereal aisle of a grocery store.  How can I possibly make up my mind?  More on that another time. Continue reading