beating the heat with a twist from bobbie’s dairy dip

it’s hot and humid out there.  frying egg on the sidewalk hot-just ask my husband.  he has been walking around with a hand held infrared thermometer taking surface temps on anything that doesn’t move.  cats, dog, me; you name it, he has probably read the temp on it.  to find him something else to do, i suggested a trip to bobbie’s dairy dip for a cone.  
ice cream is one of my favorite things.  especially chocolate ice cream.  chocolate ice cream loaded with fudge and peanut butter and chunks of candy bars…but despite my chocolate obsession, i have always had a thing for a cone of soft serve.  my preference is a vanilla soft serve and i do not mean yogurt, i mean the traditional vanilla flavored frozen treat-is it even really ice cream?  not important.  the rush to eat it before it is melting and dripping down my arm may give me a brain freeze, but i do not care.  it is the tastiest way to beat the heat.

 bobbie’s dairy dip has been in business since 1951.  the newest owners took over in 2006.  the menu includes burgers and fresh cut french fries-they smelled tempting.  we stuck to the cones-priorities…

 the pick up window

 our cones.  two medium twists came to less than $5-that beats most places in town.  sure the high end places may have better quality but, every now and then, you just gotta do the soft serve.

 a medium cone is a lot of ice cream.  on a hot day, you have to be quick about it or it drips all over.

 it was that good…
beat the heat-head to bobbie’s dairy dip!
they do not have a website but do have a facebook page
for the most info on the menu and reviews, visit urban spoon, nashville scene, nashville scene foodblog-bites

vegan strawberry-banana ice cream

my attempts to change my diet are a little hit or miss.  got the cholesterol under control only to lose the vitamin d level needed for strong bones.  frustrating to say the least.  so, to change that, i am spending time outside in the garden during sunny hours and i am eating small amounts of dairy.  one thing i won’t stop doing, eating sorbet and ice cream made without dairy products.  i recently picked a bowl of strawberries from the garden and mixed up a batch of ice cream using one of david lebovitz’s recipes.

strawberry blossoms are pretty.  when you look at them close up, the center of the bloom looks like a little yellow strawberry.

when you grow strawberries, it is a constant battle between you and the critters who eat them with a healthy dose of praying the rain doesn’t ruin the berries.  it is also a little like treasure hunting too.  each afternoon, i walk around the bed peeking under leaves in search of ripe berries.

a few notes about the recipe; strawberries soak up water like a sponge so wash them by giving them a quick dunk in a bowl of cold water and then pat them dry with paper towel to prevent waterlogging.  a ripe banana will add to the creamy texture but you can omit it and increase the strawberries to a pound and a half.  if you are not a coconut milk fan, use almond or hazelnut milk for a nutty flavor or switch it to rice or soy for a neutral flavor.  when you puree the mix, if you leave it chunky, there will be icy bits of fruit in the finished product-the fruit freezes to a hard texture because of its high water content, i recommend a smooth puree.  the added syrup and alcohol will also help prevent that rock hard frozen consistency but not much-let it soften before serving.

vegan strawberry-banana ice cream
adapted from david lebovitz
makes about 1 quart
1 pound fresh strawberries, rinsed and hulled
1 ripe banana-the riper it is the stronger the flavor
2/3 cup sugar
2 tablespoons rice syrup (or wildflower honey if you are not a true vegan)
1 can coconut milk
2 teaspoons dark rum
2 teaspoons lemon juice
combine the strawberries with the sugar and the syrup and allow it to stand for an hour to juice.  add the remaining ingredients and puree in a food processor or blender.  place in ice cream freezer canister and process according to the manufacturers instructions.  allow the final product to set in the freezer for several hours before serving.

all american brownie pie, #31 of 52

so, it was the afternoon on july 4th.  we had already come back from the hot chicken fest-and were totally fried, literally(read the previous post) and i realized that i hadn’t baked my pie for our barbecue party.  my ideas of a fruit pie were shelved for something much simpler-a crustless brownie pie.  i know, that’s a bit lame to call it a pie but in my own defense, i was sun-fried and overheated not to mention short of time.  brownie pie it is…

some brownies recipes call for whipping the eggs and sugar, and this recipe is one that instructs you to whip them to a ribbon.  but just what is a ribbon?  it is easily defined as a slowly dissolving mound of batter as it falls from the beater.  if you look at the photo to the left, you can see that the batter is slowly mounding and that the mound is slowly smoothing out.  ok, some imagination is needed but keep in mind that i held the beater with my left hand and worked the camera (somewhat clumsily) with my right hand and in that time frame, the mound built and dissolved.

baking a brownie in a glass or pottery pie dish makes it easy to serve as a dessert-just cut into wedges and serve with ice cream, caramel, whipped cream or any other garnish that you like.  this quick recipe mixes up in less than 15 minutes and can be baked and ready to serve in an hour and a half.

quick and easy brownie pie
1 (9″) pie serving 8-10
3 eggs
3/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
3 ounces unsweetened chocolate
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/2 cup self rising flour
3 tablespoons cocoa powder-natural not dutched
heat the  oven to 350.  grease a deep 9″ pie dish and set aside.  in a mixing bowl on medium speed, whip the eggs with the sugar and vanilla until it forms a thick ribbon (see photo above).  while the eggs whip, melt the chocolate and butter in the microwave on the lowest setting.  fold the butter and chocolate into the egg mixture.  sift the cocoa and flour over the batter and carefully fold it until it is mixed and no streaks remain in the batter.  pour into the pie dish and bake until slightly fudgy when tested with a pick-about 40 minutes.  allow it to cool about an hour before cutting.  serve it with ice cream, whipped cream, hot fudge, caramel…the list goes on and on
and if you dare to bake one, snap a photo and send it to me, i will post it here!

catching up with pie #12; butterscotch baked alaska pie

for all of you who think i may have given up on my 52 week pie challenge-think again.  yes i will admit that this is a couple days late but cut me some slack-i do not have a working oven at the moment and it is making this more of a problem solving challenge than a baking challenge.  that said, let’s move on and get to this week’s pie…

since i am awaiting the parts to make mr. kenmore whole again (they have shipped and i am waiting eagerly for them to arrive) i have had to change direction a bit.  this week i chose an ice cream pie with a cookie crumb crust so that i wouldn’t have to use an oven.  for reasons unknown, i was fixated on butterscotch ice cream.  can’t explain it; never had it before and no, i’m not pregnant.  to get started, i made a batch of butterscotch ice cream base and while i attempted to freeze it-wiltons hand crank/frozen gel filled bowl leaves much to be desired, i made the crust.  the result was a very soft ice cream that ultimately ended up being a little harder than i would have liked.  some day, i will get a real ice cream freezer and that will no longer be an issue.

as i worked on freezing/cranking the ice cream, i made a chocolate cookie crumb crust with pecans from  some homemade biscotti that were not dipped in chocolate.  when i filled the crust with the ice cream and set it in the freezer to firm up, i decided to work on the garnish and that is where i completely drew a blank.  how could i make this pie interesting and what would go with butterscotch???  a chocolate sauce would over power it and whipped cream is kind of boring.  fruit, maybe but…then i did the unthinkable-i asked my husband what he would like with it.  his response was a rapid fire marshmallow cream and so, baked alaska it is!  to keep it interesting, i made a caramel sauce with some rum in it to drizzle over it and called it a dessert.

butterscotch baked alaska pie with rum caramel sauce
serves 8-10
butterscotch ice cream
adapted from sunset magazine
1 3/4 cup half and half
1 3/4 cup heavy cream
1″ piece of vanilla bean pod
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 cup dark brown sugar 
6 egg yolks (reserve the whites for the topping)
1 tablespoon dark rum
place the half and half, heavy cream, vanilla pod and salt in a sauce pot and heat over medium low heat. in a skillet over medium low heat, melt the butter and then add the dark brown sugar.  stir to melt the sugar and bring the mixture up to a slow boil and continue to boil for 3-4 minutes.   carefully whisk in about half a cup of the hot cream and stir to dissolve the sugar.   pour the melted sugar into the remaining hot cream and stir to combine.  in a heat proof bowl, whisk the eggs.  carefully whisk some of the hot cream into the egg yolks to temper them.  reduce the heat to low and whisk the hot egg yolks into the cream and cook while stirring until it thickens.  this will not take too long, about 2-3 minutes.  be sure to stir constantly and to check the thickness, dip a spoon in the mixture and then drag your fingertip across the back of the spoon.  if the stripe holds it’s shape, it is done.  do not boil the mixture or it will curdle.  pour the base through a strainer and chill completely.  proceed according to the ice cream freezers instructions.  
cookie crumb crust
1 (9″) pie shell
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and hot
1 cup cookie crumbs
2 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon chopped pecans
combine the ingredients and press into a  (9″) pie plate.  when the ice cream is ready, pour it into the pie shell and smooth it out.  cover with plastic wrap and freeze for at least 6 hours or overnight. 
meringue topping
6 egg whites
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
1 cup sugar
in a mixing bowl, whip the whites with the cream of tartar until foamy.  gradually add the sugar and continue to whip until stiff peaks form.  spread the mixture over the top of the pie.  to make spikes, tap the meringue with the back of a spoon and pull it away quickly.  to brown the meringue, use a torch or the broiler and keep a close eye on it so it doesn’t burn.   cut the pie and garnish each slice with the caramel sauce if desired.
caramel sauce
about 1 cup
1/3 cup heavy cream
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup water
2 tablespoons corn syrup
2 tablespoons dark rum
place the cream and butter in a heat proof dish and microwave to heat them and melt the butter.  place the    sugar, water and corn syrup in a sauce pot with a lid and over medium heat, allow it to heat while covered.  after 2-3 minutes, remove the lid and swirl the pan to melt the sugar.  cover again and allow the steam to wash down the sides.  after a minute or two, uncover the pot and watch as it slowly begins to turn a light amber.  carefully add the warm cream, stirring to prevent it from boiling over and over low heat, cook until all of the sugar is dissolved.  remove from the heat and add the rum.  serve while still warm but not hot from the stove!
and as always, make one and send me a photo to post here.  go ahead, i dare you, double dog dare you to make this pie!!!  e-mail photos to