Monday, May 28, 2012

summer is the best

Friday and Saturday of Memorial Day weekend have already been THE BEST, so as I write this Sunday, I can only imagine what delights await me.

Summer is THE BEST!

Let’s count down the things that were awesome:

My sister came home from Englande!

She brought me a University of East Anglia mug in a beauteous orange, and a variety of delicious British chox.


So exciting on the outside:


But the inside was confused. Am I a granola bar? Am I nutella? I don’t know, and thus am ultimately unsatisfying.

Everything else: magnifique. Love me some Cadbury.


Mulberry trees!

Following a trip to the farmer’s market for local veggies, we got some extremely local fruit in the parking lot. For freeeeeeeee!


Is there anything more magical and summer time-y than picking your own mulberries? Your hands coated in purple juice? Ahh.


Next idea.. Oi oi oi.

A swim up bar.

Lydia (bestie), Steve (boyf) and I were chatting (… over drinks) about our dream Memorial Day staycation party, and we wanted something that evoked the beach, and then someone (Lydia?) went SWIM UP BAR!

And then Steve bought a pool and then…



Water was collllllllld!


Pina coladas, Bloody Marys, Dark and Stormys, and a cooler full of stuff. Oi oi oi.


Enough said.

It was a delightful party and as such, I have a lot of before and no “after” photos. Such is life. I’d rather enjoy a party than document it.

A few things of note:

I am in general kind of obsessed with the latest issue of Cooking Light (WELL DONE guys!) and am making my way through my dog-eared pages (Guacamole with fish sauce: officially awesome).

Imagine my delight, in the throes of planning a tropical party, to discover a healthified pina colada recipe!

The pina part is made by individually quick freezing slices of fresh pineapple…DSC00796

And the coconut- so brilliant!

You steep 2 cups of flaked coconut in fat-free evaporated milk to make… FAKE COCONUT MILK!

Yes, I know the stearic acid in coconut is now considered a healthy saturated fat, but guess what? It still has a gazillion calories, and I had calories to conserve for the final item on this post.


Anywho, it was STRONG, and short-circuited my blender (add the ice gradually. Don’t try to blend it all at once. Bad idea.) And… good. I guess. I have pina coladas so rarely (once every… five years?) that I should probably just have the real thing.

The grill was utilized, which is lovely in the summer.


Hot dogs, blistery like I like ‘em. (And kosher, so I can pretend they’re slightly less horrible for you).


Other items made their appearance, like a jicama salad, a big ole watermelon, a caprese salad that disappeared seriously in five minutes. Guests were kind enough to contribute; Lydia brought a so-good-I-couldn’t-stop-eating-it parmesan dip from the farmer’s market she worked at earlier in the day (!), and Adrienne brought fruit salad with lavender (!). My friends are classy.

But the highlight, THE HIGHLIGHT, of this party?

Homemade apple pie ice cream.


Toast up oats, brown sugar and the like for “crust”.



Cook up some apples for the “filling”


Plus Mark Bittman’s ice cream base= heaven.


All American, cool and creamy, perfectly sweet with all of the flavors of apple pie without any of the hassle. UNBELIEVABLE!


Apple Pie Ice Cream

1/2 T melted butter
2 T brown sugar
¼ c. oats

2 tsp. butter
3 small apples, sliced
3 T sugar
1 tsp. cinnamon

Ice cream base:
2 c milk
2 T cornstarch
1/3 c. sugar
2 T brown sugar
1 c cream
½ tsp. cinnamon

First, make the “crust” and apples. In a frying pan on medium, melt the ½ T of melted butter. Then add oats and brown sugar, stirring often, until oats are starting to toast and become fragrant. Pour the oat mixture out of the pan into a bowl.

In the same pan, melt the remaining butter on medium. Stir in the apples and cook, stirring occasionally, for two minutes. Then add the 3 T sugar and 1 tsp cinnamon. Cook until the apples have lightly browned, and the sugar has begun to caramelize, about 10 minutes. Remove from the pan, and allow to cool completely.

Put the milk in a saucepan on medium high and bring just to a boil, stirring. Meanwhile, mix the cornstarch with 2 tablespoons of the milk (cold) to make a slurry. Remove the milk mixture from heat, and whisk in the slurry and sugar. Return to the heat, stirring constantly, until thick.

Cool, then stir in cream and apple and oat mixtures. Freeze in an ice cream maker, and enjoy; topped with caramel if you wish!


Erin Lee said...

of course steve bought a pool! hahahaha thats fucking awesome!

Anonymous said...

Woah, your fake coconut milk idea is genius! And I'm all for saving a few calories, to cash them in on more deliciousness ;) haha

Steven Alexander Heathcliff Basil Bert said...

Next time we'll have to get inflatable turtles to cruise around in the water! What a great start to summer, I can't wait for the other merry-making that has yet to ensue. Your ice cream was to die for, I learned about the mystical properties of lavender in fruit salad, and the dark and stormies extended the feeling of swimming beyond the borders of a kiddie pool. Gott fest!

Shannon ~ My Place In The Race said...

I went mulberry picking not too long ago too! So tasty :P