Summer has been a little crazy ’round these parts. Let’s just say that it’s truly a season of celebration. I’ll explain more later, but for now you’ll have to trust me. Regardless, we thought it would be the perfect time to revist our ricotta crostini party – this time, spicing things up with an assortment of cheeses and more of our favorite seasonal toppings. Sadly, my nacho cheese and pickled jalapeno crostini didn’t make the cut! I guess I better stick to the cocktails. Hopefully our little summer crostini party inspires your inner party animal and gives you some creative ideas for your next gathering. Now if you’ll excuse me, I have some eating to do . . .
Ice cream week here at HonestlyYUM wouldn’t be complete without a roundup of some of our favorite scoops from around the Bay. I can proudly say that we truly boast some of the best ice cream, well, just about anywhere! Hopefully this list is helpful for those of you visiting the SF Bay Area. And locals, please chime in with your favorites – inevitably I left out some well-deserving spots (there are so many amazing choices!!!). I definitely plan on heading back out for a few more cones this weekend. Speaking of which, don’t forget to stop by Fentons Creamery’s 120th anniversary celebration this Sunday, July 20th, from 12-3pm for some serious ice cream fun!
Coconut Chocolate Chip Almond (Vegan) - Ice Cream Bar, San Francisco
This 1930′s style soda fountain in Cole Valley has floats, phosphates, shakes and sundaes – not to mention some of the best ice cream I’ve EVER eaten – vegan or not.
Ube - Mitchell’s, San Francisco
One of San Francisco’s oldest ice cream parlors, Mitchell’s knows a thing or two about making ice cream. In fact, I’d drive days for a scoop of their Ube (purple yam). Luckily, it’s just right across the Bay in the Mission district.
Lemon Meringue – Ici, Berkeley
Soft, fluffy meringue is mixed right into this beautiful creation. Oh, and make sure you get a cone – there’s a surprise at the bottom!
People are always surprised to hear that I love my vanilla ice cream with a drizzle of olive oil and a sprinkle of sea salt. And then when I insist they try it – I get great pleasure in knowing that I’ve convinced them that it is, indeed, a winning combination. The grassiness and fruitiness of extra virgin olive oil and the delicate brininess of the sea salt flakes brings out the flavor of the vanilla and adds a wonderful, rich subtleness to the ice cream. It’s simply divine and if you haven’t tried it . . . well, give it a try and let me know what you think!
It’s important to use the best ingredients here. Use your very best dipping olive oil, flakey salt and the best vanilla ice cream you can find.
You can’t buy happiness but you can buy ice cream. Whenever we’re in the mood for scoopfuls of creamy, ice cold delights, we head to Oakland’s Fentons Creamery – the oldest continuously operating creamery west of the Mississippi. Founded in 1884 by Elbridge Seth Fenton, it’s the birthplace of flavors like Toasted Almond, Swiss Milk Chocolate and Rocky Road! With Fentons’ 120th anniversary just around the corner, Todd and I took a tour of their in-house production facility, where over 50 flavors are made and mixed by hand. Batch by batch. And what better way to end a visit than with one too many sundaes of gargantuan proportions? So good and so classic. Put an ice cream spoon in me!
Before our trip to Florence, I told Karen the first thing we had to indulge in was Neapolitan pizza. And of course, a heaping plate of mind blowing truffle pasta. There is something about Italian pizza that many, including me, have tried to emulate – but have fallen short. But that sure hasn’t deter me from testing pizza dough recipe after pizza dough recipe, searching for that perfect crust. I’m excited to share that artisan baker Ken Forkish‘s “Same Day Straight Pizza Dough” formula comes pretty darn close.
I should warn you that Ken’s recipe is pretty tedious compared to some of the recipes I’ve used in the past – especially when it comes to the mixing part. The physical part of making the dough actually doesn’t take long at all – it’s the amount of time you’ll need to let the dough rest throughout the process that requires a bit of pre-planning. But the fermentation allows the dough to develop some amazing flavors, making this pizza dough recipe my favorite thus far.
I’d prefer not to curse here on the blog – but this recipe is *&$#%@ de-li-cious. I first heard about the infamous Aperol spritz back in the day from my best friend Adam who wouldn’t shut up about the damn things. Perhaps I was jealous that he had been to Italy and I hadn’t. Frankly, I just wasn’t into sipping anything that didn’t contain rum and/or Coke. Quite a bit has changed since then. I’m married, I have a big fluffy dog, and I carry a concealed mini-bottle of Aperol on me at all times (it’s a great conversation starter). So when Erica and Karen came home from Florence raving about their new favorite cocktail, the Aperol spritz, this time I was prepared. As you’ve probably noticed, I’ve been on a frozen kick lately (I blame summer) so a float was the logical move to make. So if you’re a fan of Aperol, Prosecco, sorbet or all of the above, do yourself a favor and give these a try!
Start by making the Aperol sorbet. If your ice cream machine requires any prep, such as freezing the machine’s base, be sure to do so in advance.