We’re continuing our Christmas idea list with this sweet culinary find.
Item of the day: Chef n’ Sweet Spot Instant Ice Cream Maker, sells for @$44 here on Amazon.
According to the item description, you simply freeze the bowl a day ahead of time, add ice cream ingredients and stir, and presto, homemade ice cream.
From the product description, “…Mix ingredients together and pour 1/2 cup into the Sweet Spot. Let sit for a few seconds to start freezing, then scrape and scoop to build a consistent texture.
Add toppings such as fruit, chocolate or nuts and fold into the mixture.
Makes six individual 1/2-cup servings in 30 minutes before the need to refreeze the Sweet Spot.”
(Fyi, I’m not affiliated with any of these products).
But, I do love ice cream.😋
Thanksgiving is less than a week away and I have yet to decide on what I’m making for dessert. So, I’m tempting myself with my options.
Lots of layers?
Or, Ice Cream Cake?
Warm and dreamy?
Cool and creamy?
After viewing all of these pieces of chocolate heaven, the answer is clear.
I’ll make one of everything!
Husband: You know you have enough dessert here to feed 60 people.
Me: Well then,…I guess we’ll have leftovers.
What dessert are you making (or eating) for Thanksgiving?
If you’re a chocoholic, chances are you frequent bakeries, donut shops, and coffee houses. More and more, counters are adorned with tip jars and cash register screens prompt your tip preference. These standard practices have stirred up some debate.
So, I want to know from you, fellow coffee guzzlers and chocolate consumers-
When should you tip?
Obviously, if you are at a sit down restaurant, order a coffee, and somebody brings it to you, a tip for satisfactory service should be automatic.
But, when you order that same cup at counter service, then it can get a bit tricky.
You dont tip the cashier for pouring and handing you a $1 cup at a fastfood chain, but, should you if you are ordering that same cup in a coffee house?
Or, does it depend on your order? Say you’re ordering an upgraded coffee. One that requires more effort than just pouring your coffee.
If so, do you tip the barista? Or, the cashier? Or, the other staff member that got your bagel for you? What if it was a dozen bagels? And they need to be sliced. And toasted!
Then there’s the doughnut server. That patient soul who waits as you pick out twelve different doughnuts? Which gets me thinking about the baker that got up in the wee hours of the morning to make these doughnuts fresh for you. And he didn’t even skimp on the Boston Cream filling.
Some peple would argue that all of these employees are just doing their job. Others argue, that these people are providing a personal service and should be tipped accordingly.
I’m stuck in the middle. Mainly because two of my first jobs were waitress and cashier. As a waitress, (at a sit down restaurant), tips are your livelyhood. Back then, the paying rate was only $2+ an hour. Plus, you had to pay out a percentage of your sales to bussers, hosts, and bar staff. So, if you didn’t get tipped, you’d literally have to pay to wait on someone.
Alternatively, my actual first job was cashier at a grocery store. Obviously, this job didn’t generate tips. Yet, technically being a cashier was providing a service for the customer. Bagging up groceries for safe transport home, negotiating sale prices that the customer swore they saw on a sign somewhere, and ringing up stacks of coupons. So then, is it different if a cashier rings up a dozen eggs and bags it, in comparison to a coffee house cashier who is ringing up a croissant and bagging it?
I’d love to hear your opinion on this one. What’s the proper tip etiquette in coffee houses, bakeries, and doughnut shops?
At the end of the day, I encourage everybody to share the love, and show your appreciation for a job well done. Every hardworking employee deserves a kind gesture of gratitude for their service, whether you choose to acknowledge it in a monetary form, a verbal thank you, or even a complimentary smile.
In just a couple short months, it will be holiday baking time. This year, upgrade the flavor. Instead of using generic store bought vanilla flavoring, make your own extract.
Making homemade vanilla extract is ridicuously simple! The recipe below is the basic recipe. Here, we use vodka as the base, but you can use other liquors, such as rum or brandy.
For the beans, we’ve chosen the Madagascar variety, for that classic rich vanilla flavor. Feel free to vary it up, for your own signature blend.
A 750ml Bottle of Vodka (any brand, 80 proof)
10 Madagascar Vanilla Beans ( I got mine here on Amazon).
A glass jar for storage.
1. Slice the vanilla beans horizontally, exposing the seeds. Place the beans into the bottle.
2. Fill the bottle with Vodka, and give it a shake.
That’s it! It’s that simple.
Shake up the bottle a few times a week. Your Vanilla Extract will be useable in 1-2 months, just in time for holiday baking! It’s best to make a batch as soon as possible. The longer it ages, the more intense the flavor.
Top off the bottle with alcohol as needed to keep an ample supply on hand.
*gifs by giphy
- Connect with other bloggers.
- Gain exposure for your blog.
- Increase your followers.
- Discover new blogs.
- And of course collect delicious recipes!
- White, Milk, or Dark Chocolate
- A sprinkle of chocolate chips
- A powder of cocoa
- A white chocolate glaze
- A dash of chocolate sprinkles
Movie Theater Sundae photo
Brownie, topped with popcorn flavored ice cream, peanut butter pretzels, and brown butter caramel.
Where to find it: The Stanton Social, NY
Cookie Shots photo
The interior of the handmade cookie cup is slathered with Belgian chocolate, and then filled with a Madagascar vanilla or chocolate cream.
Where to find it: The Dirty Cookie, CA
Chocolate Sphere photo
Warm buttered chocolate melts the chocolate sphere to unveil chocolate lava cake and ice cream.
Where to find it: Pantry, Boston
Eggloo Waffle and Ice Cream photo
Inspired by Hong Kong’s Egg Waffles, Eggloo’s waffles are stuffed with your choice of homemade ice cream and toppings.
Where to find it: Eggloo, NY
French Hot Chocolate photo
Hot Chocolate thick enough to use a spoon.
Where to find it: Angelina, Paris
Outrageous Milkshakes photo
See the photo below? Enough said.
Where to find it: Black Top, NY
Cannoli Nachos photo
Cannoli chips served with sweet ricotta dip.
Where to find it: Di Mare Pastry, CT
The Kitchen Sink Cake photo
The “cake” is actually made up of layers of cheesecake, pecan pie, devil’s food cake, brownies, peanut butter crunch, vanilla chiffon cake, and chocolate chunk cookies…and served with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.
Where to find it: Hard Rock, Universal Studios, Orlando
Ice Cream Fondue photo
Where to find it: Mega Bangna, Thailand
Chocolate Pinata photo
Break open your own chocolate piñata to release a bounty of churros and fresh fruit.
Where to find it: Uncle Julio’s, TX
Chocolate Explosion (photo)
Your waiter cracks open the sphere to reveal vanilla and mango mousse, brownie chunks, nuts, and candy. Then, the dessert is finished off with ice cream, chocolate sauce, and liquid nitrogen.
Where to find it: Quattro Restaurante, Mumbai
Rolled-Up Ice Cream photo
Thai-inspired homemade ice cream, hand-rolled in front of you.
Where to find it: 10Below ,NY
The Treasure Chest photo
Chocolate treasure chest overflowing with a dozen scoops of ice cream, 3 slices of cake, deep fried Oreos and candy bars, and more!
Where to find it: Caesars, Las Vegas
I’m always on the lookout for new chocolate experiences. What desserts would you add to the list?
Girl Scout cookie season has come and gone. So what’s a girl to do when she has an insatiable craving for the Samoa cookie?
What’s a Samoa, you ask?
It’s the cookie with-
Sweet toasted Coconut,
Rich, decadent Chocolate,
And, chewy golden Caramel.
And when you combine all three flavors and textures, it’s nothing short of irresistible.
Now imagine all of that goodness…on top of a cheesecake.
No-Bake Samoa Cheesecake
Original Recipe by Life, Love and Sugar