Gastronomy and Life's Other Pleasures

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Posts tagged vanilla

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The husband finally felt well enough to have some of his Baskin Robbins ice cream birthday cake last night! He has been sick since the day before his birthday (which was almost two weeks ago now! Yikes). He really loves Baskin Robbins’ ice cream cakes and decided that he wanted a gold medal ribbon ice cream cake for his birthday this year.  If you like ice cream cake but are looking for something different than a DQ ice cream cake, Baskin Robbins is a great alternative.  Their cakes are simple: it is their ice cream formed into the shape of a cake! Usually there is a little something extra on top (ours has a layer of delicious fudge as you can see in my photo above) which adds some extra colour and flavour. 
I’m just glad he is beginning to feel better.  How rotten is it to be sick on your birthday?!

The husband finally felt well enough to have some of his Baskin Robbins ice cream birthday cake last night! He has been sick since the day before his birthday (which was almost two weeks ago now! Yikes). He really loves Baskin Robbins’ ice cream cakes and decided that he wanted a gold medal ribbon ice cream cake for his birthday this year.  If you like ice cream cake but are looking for something different than a DQ ice cream cake, Baskin Robbins is a great alternative.  Their cakes are simple: it is their ice cream formed into the shape of a cake! Usually there is a little something extra on top (ours has a layer of delicious fudge as you can see in my photo above) which adds some extra colour and flavour. 

I’m just glad he is beginning to feel better.  How rotten is it to be sick on your birthday?!

Filed under food dessert cake ice cream ice cream cake Baskin Robbins gold medal ribbon caramel chocolate vanilla birthday sweet treat celebration

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Macarons from Fauchon in Paris, France

I truly have the best sister ever!  Knowing my absolute adoration of the delicate and sweet macaron, my sister brought me back a wonderful six pack of these delightful little beauties from Fauchon in Paris after spending some time there for work (and a little holiday) recently.  

Well, of course when I say brought me back I mean the the husband and me; I was nice enough to share! haha

She hand selected the flavours in our box, which were as follows (following the photo from left to right, top to bottom):  vanillla, chocolate, four red berry and pistachio, caramel de sel, raspberry, lemon, pistachio and praline.  My favourite was the praline: the filling was incredibly rich and buttery.  I surprised myself in that I actually liked the four red berry and pistachio as my second favourite - I could not believe how amazing the filling was in this one!  It was tart and sweet at the same time and just so fresh.

The husband preferred the fruit flavours - the lemon and raspberry - but agreed that all six were the best macarons he had ever tasted.  I couldn’t agree more!

Filed under food dessert sweet macarons Fauchon Paris France treat delicate pistachio chocolate lemon raspberry vanilla praline caramel de sel caramel gift

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Easy dessert: Vanilla eclair

I came across this recipe (click here) while scrolling through the food blogs I follow using Feedly, and, at the time, I sent it to a friend and fellow cooking/baking enthusiast. This recipe comes from the Kitchen is my Playground blog, and, although I usually don’t go for recipes like this one (I prefer to make things as much as possible from scratch), it looked really tasty and light, and like a very summery dessert, so I decided to give it a try.  My friend with whom I shared the recipe proceeded to make the eclair and was kind enough to give me his critique.

After reviewing the recipe, I decided to forego the rich chocolate topping (which is a mixture of sugar, milk, cocoa, butter and vanilla).  Instead, I saved enough of the Cool Whip from the recipe to create a thin layer over the last layer of graham crackers.  To top it off, I dusted on a few spoonfuls of cocoa powder using a fine sieve.  The result was nice: it is indeed a light, airy dessert, quite sweet, but cool and refreshing.  The flavours are really subtle, and I think foregoing the chocolate layer on top reduced the sweetness and richness of the recipe.  I would definitely make it again!  It makes a very large amount (one 9x13 pan), so it would be perfect to bring to a summer party or large gathering.

Filed under food dessert eclair graham crackers cool whip whipped topping cocoa powder vanilla vanilla pudding quick easy recipe sweet treat light summer cool kitchen is my playground blog

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The desserts continue…

One of our favourite things on our honeymoon was the dessert bar at Il Cielo, one of the a la carte restaurants.  

Tucked into one side of the restaurant, there is a seated bar area just for dessert.  So, after you finish your delicious meal, you can choose to remain at your table, or you can move to the dessert bar and watch while your delectable treat is prepared right in front of your eyes!

Since we dined at Il Cielo twice during our honeymoon, we were able to visit the dessert bar twice, and we did not hold back! We got to try almost every dessert on the menu except for a few.  The desserts pictured above were the ones we had on our last night at the resort, and they were some of the best!  My favourite was the tiramisu, which was served with amaretto soaked-berries.  We also loved the chocolate lava cake and the honeyed crepe.  The dessert bar at Il Cielo will definitely be one of our favourite honeymoon memories!

Filed under food dessert sweet crepe tiramisu lava chocolate cake vanilla coffee Sandals Sandals Emerald Bay Great Exuma Bahamas honeymoon honey berry

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Summer project: iced lattes
I’m a huge fan of iced lattes, and iced coffee in general.  I would love to be able to go to Starbucks a few times a week for this treat, but that would just be crazy expensive!
I decided to try out my own DIY iced lattes after seeing and buying Illy ground espresso at Costco during one our recent shopping trips.  The can cost about $9, which is still less than what I would typically pay for two iced lattes from Starbucks! (Sad, I know).
After prepping my ingredients and espresso-making apparatus, I got started on the brewing.  I let the brewed espresso cool slightly before pouring into a glass.  Next, I sweetened it slightly using 1 tsp of Torani vanilla syrup and added a dash of cinnamon.  I topped off the glass with cold skim milk and a few ice cubes and voila, an iced latte! I was quite pleased with the results; the Illy espresso packed a strong punch and I added just the right amount of milk for my taste.  I can’t wait to make these all summer long!  I also think it would be delicious your favourite non-dairy milk - I am going to try unsweetened almond milk next time.

Summer project: iced lattes

I’m a huge fan of iced lattes, and iced coffee in general.  I would love to be able to go to Starbucks a few times a week for this treat, but that would just be crazy expensive!

I decided to try out my own DIY iced lattes after seeing and buying Illy ground espresso at Costco during one our recent shopping trips.  The can cost about $9, which is still less than what I would typically pay for two iced lattes from Starbucks! (Sad, I know).

After prepping my ingredients and espresso-making apparatus, I got started on the brewing.  I let the brewed espresso cool slightly before pouring into a glass.  Next, I sweetened it slightly using 1 tsp of Torani vanilla syrup and added a dash of cinnamon.  I topped off the glass with cold skim milk and a few ice cubes and voila, an iced latte! 

I was quite pleased with the results; the Illy espresso packed a strong punch and I added just the right amount of milk for my taste.  I can’t wait to make these all summer long!  I also think it would be delicious your favourite non-dairy milk - I am going to try unsweetened almond milk next time.

Filed under food coffee Illy espresso latte iced milk vanilla cinnamon drink summer cold caffeine

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Dylan’s Candy Bar

We had the pleasure of trying some chocolate bars from Dylan’s Candy Bar after my Mum brought us back some treats from her trip to Miami, Florida this past February. 

I had never heard of this shop (I don’t live under a rock, really!!), but after a little bit of Googling, I found out that it is owned and was created by Dylan Lauren, daughter of fashion designer Ralph Lauren.  The first shop opened in New York City in 2001, and there are many stores throughout the US.

My Mum visited the shop in Miami Beach, and she said it was really cute and fun.  She picked out four chocolate bars for us to try: red velvet cake, vanilla cupcake with sprinkles, dark chocolate and brownie batter.  

So far, we’ve only eaten the red velvet cake bar, which was delicious! It was super sweet, and had little white marshmallow pieces throughout.  It tasted unlike any chocolate I’ve ever tasted, it was very unique! I can’t wait to try the rest.  I also hope that I get the chance to personally visit a Dylan’s Candy Bar shop; I think I’d love it based on what I’ve seen on the website!

Filed under food chocolate Dylan's Candy Bar candy sweet red velvet brownie batter dark chocolate vanilla cupcake sprinkles dessert Miami shop

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Lunch at the Works Burger Bistro
What’s more fun than a Friday lunch with your work bff’s?  We went out to the Works Burger to celebrate a coworker’s last day before her mat leave this past Friday, and celebrate we did, with milkshakes all around!
I opted for the brand new (and limited time!) milkshake on the menu, the Maple “Sin-amon,” which is vanilla ice cream, a layer of maple syrup and cinnamon, another layer of vanilla ice cream and topped with crumbled maple cookies.  It immediately jumped to the top of my all-time favourite milkshakes list!  
For my lunch, I went with my usual, the avocado blt with chicken on a croissant. Perfection in every bite!  All in all, another amazing meal at the Works, and the service was on point as well - they did a fantastic job!

Lunch at the Works Burger Bistro

What’s more fun than a Friday lunch with your work bff’s?  We went out to the Works Burger to celebrate a coworker’s last day before her mat leave this past Friday, and celebrate we did, with milkshakes all around!

I opted for the brand new (and limited time!) milkshake on the menu, the Maple “Sin-amon,” which is vanilla ice cream, a layer of maple syrup and cinnamon, another layer of vanilla ice cream and topped with crumbled maple cookies.  It immediately jumped to the top of my all-time favourite milkshakes list!  

For my lunch, I went with my usual, the avocado blt with chicken on a croissant. Perfection in every bite!  All in all, another amazing meal at the Works, and the service was on point as well - they did a fantastic job!

Filed under food sandwich blt bacon avocado croissant Works Burger Ottawa milkshake maple cinnamon vanilla restaurant review lunch

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Blue Bunny Banana Split ice cream
This ice cream was one of the many finds we made during our last trip to New York State for grocery shopping.  It was finally cold enough outside to bring along the cooler and buy some refrigerated items that would be able to make the trip back home!
The fiancé loves ice cream and the amount of options that they have in the States is just crazy compared to what we have in Canada.  He chose this flavour as it is so different than anything he has ever tried before in a store-bought tub of ice cream.
The container describes the flavour as vanilla ice cream swirled with strawberry, banana and fudge ribbons, diced pineapple, cherries and mixed nuts.  The ice cream is a very light pink colour, and the swirls of chocolate and strawberry are quite obvious but the banana is more obvious in eating it.  I was surprised at the pineapple and cherry chunks; they are plentiful and who knew frozen pineapple was so delicious in ice cream?
We both really liked it - it is so unique to anything we’ve tried.  I am forever a slave to chocolate so this wouldn’t be my first choice, but if you love a banana split, this ice cream is for you!
What is your favourite Blue Bunny ice cream flavour?

Blue Bunny Banana Split ice cream

This ice cream was one of the many finds we made during our last trip to New York State for grocery shopping.  It was finally cold enough outside to bring along the cooler and buy some refrigerated items that would be able to make the trip back home!

The fiancé loves ice cream and the amount of options that they have in the States is just crazy compared to what we have in Canada.  He chose this flavour as it is so different than anything he has ever tried before in a store-bought tub of ice cream.

The container describes the flavour as vanilla ice cream swirled with strawberry, banana and fudge ribbons, diced pineapple, cherries and mixed nuts.  The ice cream is a very light pink colour, and the swirls of chocolate and strawberry are quite obvious but the banana is more obvious in eating it.  I was surprised at the pineapple and cherry chunks; they are plentiful and who knew frozen pineapple was so delicious in ice cream?

We both really liked it - it is so unique to anything we’ve tried.  I am forever a slave to chocolate so this wouldn’t be my first choice, but if you love a banana split, this ice cream is for you!

What is your favourite Blue Bunny ice cream flavour?

Filed under food dessert sweet ice cream Blue Bunny banana split vanilla strawberry fudge pineapple cherry nuts

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Baby Shower Cupcakes
What would a baby shower be without a tower of delicious cupcakes?  These sweet treats featured a rich chocolate cake topped with a fluffy vanilla icing, all with a special surprise hiding inside: a cream cheese chocolate chip centre!  Decorated with candy Lego blocks and baby blue sprinkles, the mom-to-be was in cupcake heaven.  Made by a friend and fellow shower attendee, we were so grateful for the addition to the menu.

Baby Shower Cupcakes

What would a baby shower be without a tower of delicious cupcakes?  These sweet treats featured a rich chocolate cake topped with a fluffy vanilla icing, all with a special surprise hiding inside: a cream cheese chocolate chip centre!  Decorated with candy Lego blocks and baby blue sprinkles, the mom-to-be was in cupcake heaven.  Made by a friend and fellow shower attendee, we were so grateful for the addition to the menu.

Filed under food cupcakes dessert sweet chocolate vanilla cream cheese chocolate chip centre center filling treat baby shower sprinkles

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Suzy Q Doughnuts - Doughnut Ice Cream Sandwich
How can you up the ante when it comes to an already fantastic, delicious, homemade doughnut?  You make it into an ice cream sandwich.
This was only our second visit to Suzy Q since I first talked about it here.
That’s what Suzy Q has done for the summer, offering either chocolate or vanilla softserve, or a combination of both (swirl!), in between two halves of a doughnut of your choosing.  The boyfriend and I chose our Raspberry Cassis doughnut to be graced with the chocolate/vanilla swirl, and we were not disappointed!  
Have you ever tried a fresh doughnut ice cream sandwich?

Suzy Q Doughnuts - Doughnut Ice Cream Sandwich

How can you up the ante when it comes to an already fantastic, delicious, homemade doughnut?  You make it into an ice cream sandwich.

This was only our second visit to Suzy Q since I first talked about it here.

That’s what Suzy Q has done for the summer, offering either chocolate or vanilla softserve, or a combination of both (swirl!), in between two halves of a doughnut of your choosing.  The boyfriend and I chose our Raspberry Cassis doughnut to be graced with the chocolate/vanilla swirl, and we were not disappointed!  

Have you ever tried a fresh doughnut ice cream sandwich?

Filed under food doughnut SuzyQ Doughnuts Ottawa soft serve ice cream vanilla chocolate swirl raspberry deep fried donut snack dessert sweet

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Strawberry Apple Torte
We took a drive to Peterborough for the long weekend to visit the boyfriend’s parents, and I offered to bring a dessert to accompany his Mum’s dinner.  I wanted to come up with something a little bit different, so I was delighted when I came across this recipe on the lovely Two Tarts blog.
The crust is not to sweet, and the addition of lemon zest makes for a delicious zing.  The family loved it!
I had to cook my torte for a little bit longer than the directions indicate, and I increased the oven temperature (closer to 40 minutes at 375°).  I also added 1/4 teaspoon of cinnamon to the crust batter, which I thought tasted great.  I can’t wait to try this with other season fruits - I imagine peaches or plums will be delicious!  Click on my photo for a link to the original recipe.

Strawberry Apple Torte

We took a drive to Peterborough for the long weekend to visit the boyfriend’s parents, and I offered to bring a dessert to accompany his Mum’s dinner.  I wanted to come up with something a little bit different, so I was delighted when I came across this recipe on the lovely Two Tarts blog.

The crust is not to sweet, and the addition of lemon zest makes for a delicious zing.  The family loved it!

I had to cook my torte for a little bit longer than the directions indicate, and I increased the oven temperature (closer to 40 minutes at 375°).  I also added 1/4 teaspoon of cinnamon to the crust batter, which I thought tasted great.  I can’t wait to try this with other season fruits - I imagine peaches or plums will be delicious!  Click on my photo for a link to the original recipe.

Filed under food dessert strawberry apple cake vanilla Two Tarts blog recipe