Tag Archives: ice cream

Peanut Butter Banana Soy Ice Cream

29 May

I have a deep, dark secret hiding in my freezer.  Not the collection of severed heads, I kind of like showing those off.    No, I have about half a case of the limited edition Elvis Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups.  You know, peanut butter and banana.  I was so excited about these things that my friend Brian bought me an entire case when he first spotted them.

But they didn’t quite live up to my expectations and a case of peanut butter cups is a lot to handle, so I started feeding them to anyone that came over to my apartment.  I chopped them up and put them in brownies.  Anything.  Eventually I forgot they were there, and they pretty much just serve as a ledge to put my frozen veggies on.  Maybe someone will eat them someday.

Peanut butter and banana is one of my favorite combinations.  Peanut butter is one of my favorite things to put in ice cream.  Ice cream is one of my favorite foods, period.

So I thought I’d give the soy ice cream another try.  I would really, really like to get a soy ice cream made that doesn’t turn to a rock in my freezer.  I mean, it’s fine, just let it thaw for a little bit and it’s still creamy and good.  But I really like attacking the ice cream in my freezer at random moments, spoon in hand.  I can’t do that if the ice cream is too hard to eat.

There’s two problems with homemade soy ice cream.  1) You need a high fat content to get it creamy.  Soy cream doesn’t quite have the fatty fatness of heavy cream from cows.  2) When making ice cream, it just gets whirred around in the ice cream maker for a half hour or so.  Any longer and it would probably turn back into ice cream liquid.  So you don’t get a bunch of air mixed in.

So I wanted to use half soy cream and half soy milk, and hoped that the peanut butter would add enough fat to make it creamy enough.  The grocery store near me has stopped carrying soy cream (jerks!), so I had to use all soy milk.  To even things out, I decided to add a couple of teaspoons of canola oil to the mixture.  And I hoped for the best.

Fresh out of my ice cream maker, it had the usual soft serve consistency.  It tasted awesome, but I let it get a little more solid in my freezer.  After a few hours it was firm enough to scoop nicely.  Look!

Holy cow, that’s some nice looking ice cream.  Since I really like peanut butter a lot, I would up the amount to maybe 3/4 cup next time.  The banana overpowered it quite a bit.  It’s not an incredibly sweet ice cream, even though there is a lot of banana.

After a whole day in my freezer, it did turn to a brick.  Less of a brick than other soy ice creams have, but still very hard.  Oh well!  I haven’t had a chance to feed some to anyone yet, but I’m bringing a container of it to Bret’s this weekend so hopefully it wont kill him.

 Okay on with the recipe!


3 ripe bananas

2 cups soy milk or 1 cup soy milk and 1 cup soy cream or any combination you want, I suppose

1/2 cup brown sugar

1/2 – 3/4 cup peanut butter

1 Tbsp. vanilla (or less, I don’t think it needed that much)

1 – 2 tsp. canola oil or flax oil (optional, I’m not actually sure it did much)


Put your bananas (peeled!) into a blender and blend with the soy milk/cream until there are no chunks left.  At this point you’ll be tempted to drink your banana soy shake, but resist temptation and pour it into a saucepan.

Add the brown sugar and the peanut butter to the saucepan, and heat it over a medium-low heat.  Stir it all up until the peanut butter and sugar dissolve.  Take it off the heat and add the vanilla and the oil if you’re going to use it.  Go ahead and lick the spoon that you’ve been using, because it’s gonna taste real good.

Let the mixture sit until it’s cool, then transfer to a lidded container and stick it in the fridge for a few hours.  Once it’s cold, process it in your ice cream maker.

Eat it right away or let it harden a bit in the freezer.  Once it’s frozen for more than a day, you’ll need to soften it up in the microwave for like 10 – 15 seconds so it’s scoopable. 

– Ellen


Bret and Ellen Eat a Bunch: Saturday Edition!

23 May

So Bret came to visit last weekend, and we planned to have a super time. We were successful. There was plenty of garage sales and scrabble and accordions and movies and awesome times. And of course, food. We love food.

Bret came on Friday night and we made hazelnut scones from Vegan with a Vengeance so we would have breakfast to eat before we went out to garage sales. Bret took a picture of the scones he took home with him. I was too busy eating the ones that I kept.

Mm mm scones!

I assure you that they are one more reason to buy this cookbook. Bret’s been cooking things out of it starting from the beginning, and since I want to make everything in it too, I’m thinking of starting at the back and going forward. Which means dessert first! One of the things I like best about being an adult is that I can eat dessert first if I want to. Sometimes I want to.

Our mid-morning snack was ice cream. On the way back towards Saratoga we stopped at The Ice Cream Man. If this place was a bit closer to me, I would eat ice cream there all the time. It’s slightly better than Farmer’s Daughter, but Farmer’s Daughter is closer. Bret took a picture of his ice cream, but I was too busy eating mine. I had the grasshopper brownie, and the girl scooping was very generous. The brownie pieces were real brownie pieces, like you could tell they were baked in a pan and cut into chunks to be put in the ice cream. Mm!

For dinner that night, I suggested we go to Shalimar, which is my favorite Indian restaurant in the area and one that Bret’s friends had also said was pretty awesome. It didn’t live up to his expectations, but it was a good meal even though the waitress didn’t wrap up our leftovers. Sure, we probably should have specified, but we had a lot of food left and well.. oh, it’s okay. I’ll get over it.

I got us lost getting to the restaurant, so by the time we got there Bret was hungry and cranky. I get cranky when my belly’s empty, too. But the place was pretty empty so we got our food quickly.

We shared the vegetable pakora to start. So greasy, so good.

I ordered the baingan burtha because I love me some eggplants and chickpeas. No bread, and no, that’s not weird. It tasted like butter, but I’m not sure if that was because the eggplant was cooked so long that it got really creamy, or if there was a ton of butter in it. Maybe both. Either way, I was satisfied with it. No matter how unimpressed Bret was, Shalimar still remains a favorite.

We washed down a day of food with a bottle of Spanish wine back at my apartment and listened to our belly’s make the noises that they make when Indian food is put into them.

(I’m gonna let Bret add stuff or edit stuff if he wants because I can’t concentrate)


Okay! I can’t really concentrate either but that’s okay! I’m going to try to make this easy on me and make it, like, a list.

Chickpeas and chutney: When I got there Ellen had cooked some chickpeas up with some chutney and man was that a good idea. It was really tasty and maybe Ellen should do all the cooking from now on whenever we hang out. I’ll just lay around and play Katamari and shout, “Ellen! Ellen! I’m hungry! I’m hungry, Ellen!”

Hazelnut scones: These were tasty, but not the tastiest scones that I’ve made yet. They actually turned out kind of bitter. But that’s okay! Scones can be anything you want them to be. I should tell you sometime about the habanero scones I made.

Ice cream: The cone they gave me at the Ice Cream Man made me crap my pants. Look at the size of this thing!

I ordered two scoops. Does that look like two scoops to you? Holy wow! Anyway, I got malt and cherry cheesecake, which is a funny combination but it was really good.

Shalimar’s: I got palak aloo which is spinach and potatoes for those of you who don’t know the lingo.

It was pretty good. I’ve had friends telling me for years that Shalimar’s was the best Indian in the history of the world ever, so I think I had a skewed perspective that made me not appreciate it as much as I would have otherwise. But I got to eat tasty pakoras and they had a decent bathroom. I think someday I need to take Ellen to Samrat which is my favorite Indian place. I’m not going to make it out to be the best Indian ever but it’s my favorite place. I used to go to Syracuse all the time, and it got to the point where the people there recognized me when I came in. They don’t anymore, though.

I just wrote a whole bunch about Sunday and then realized that this is the SATURDAY EDITION of Bret and Ellen eat a bunch. Even though it’s Friday now. Whoops. I hope we finish these posts before she visits next weekend or otherwise we’re going to be way confused.

At one point over the weekend I fell asleep on Ellen’s knees. That was like the nicest thing. Ok. That has nothing to do with food. I’m going to post this now. I hope Ellen was done writing!


My Three Favorite Ice Creams

21 Apr

Okay, there is absolutely nothing non-dairy about this post.

It’s all about ice cream.  The real stuff.

There are three ice cream shops/brands that I will never, ever pass up.

  • Herrell’s– Northampton, MA.  Steve Herrell is the god of ice cream.  Deciding on a flavor is difficult here, there’s so many (I mean, where else can you get key lime cardamom ice cream?).  But even if it’s the dead of winter, I won’t pass Herrell’s without going in for a cone and to say hi to the happy, plastic bears.
  • Farmer’s Daughter – Schuylerville, NY.  This is a little drive-in grill/ice cream shop in the middle of nowhere.  I actually don’t know much about Farmer’s Daughter, other than that it has been around for a really long time.  My mother went there a lot when she was a kid.  Not that I’m calling her old or anything.  But they make their own hard ice cream and it’s glorious.  My mother and I went there over the weekend to have lunch and ice cream.  The food is just regular grill food, I had a veggie burger and she had a grilled cheese and we shared a basket of sweet potato fries.  We were stuffed, but couldn’t leave without having ice cream.  We stared at the menu board for a long, long time.  I decided on a small cone of Chocolate in my Peanut Butter and my mom picked a medium cone (it was huge!) of Maple Walnut.  And then we sat out back on a cow patterned picnic bench and ate.

I made the wrong ice cream decision, as it wasn’t nearly as peanut buttery as I expected.  But it was creamy and icy, and I gobbled it right down.

  • Perry’s Ice Cream – Based out of Western New York, but I think they have a pretty wide distribution.  This ice cream, along with having a Taco Bell and a Pizza Hut right across from my dorm, was one of the major reasons I gained so much weight in college.  But I don’t hold it against them.  Back then, my favorite was Mint Ting-a-Ling.  As a large scale manufacturer, Perry’s is impressive.  If it’s from an ice cream stand or a supermarket, it always tastes fresh. 

 Ice cream!  Spring and summer!  Hooray!

– Ellen

Bret’s Notes: Arr, I’m boarding Ellen’s post because I had an experience over the weekend that was too appropriate here. I went to visit some friends in Burlington, New Jersey and they took me to the Ummm Ice Cream parlor which makes its own ice cream on the premises. I got plain vanilla and it was the most creamiest best ice cream I’ve had in memory. At some point in my life I decided that the best way to tell the quality of something is to consume it in its simplest state. Like black coffee. You can’t really tell if coffee is good or not if you’re dumping tons of milk and sugar into it. So I’m like that with ice cream – vanilla’s generally the best way to judge an ice cream’s quality. And holy wow. It was good.

You may notice from the picture below that I nomnommed on the top of it before I remembered that I should take a picture. That’s how excited I was. Oh and there was a dude behind the counter who was really nice to us. That always helps a lot.

Green Tea Soy Ice Cream

15 Apr

I scream, you scream, we all scream for – ah!  ice cream!  It makes the lactose intolerant cringe, the vegan shake their fist in.. disgust?  Jealousy?  And me, well, ice cream just makes me happy.

Substitutions is my favorite cooking game to play.  Let’s try to take the cream out of ice cream!  While we’re at it, let’s make it taste like green tea!  Why?  Because green tea ice cream is tasty.  That’s why.

Since matcha isn’t cheap, I looked around for a green tea soy cream online that I might be able to copy.  I couldn’t find such a thing, but I did find a great big handful of soy cream recipes with all sorts of other flavorings.  After reading through them, I got the basic ingredients down:

  • soy milk/soy cream
  • sugar
  • a thickening agent
  • an ice cream maker (duh)*

Okay, that’s simple!

Here are the ingredients!

2 cups soy milk

2 cups soy cream (or more soy milk, but it’s not gonna be as creamy)

3/4 cup sugar

2 Tbsp. arrowroot powder

2 Tbsp. matcha

1 tsp. vanilla extract

And here’s how we do:

Pour 1/4 cup of the soy milk into a little bowl.  Add in the arrowroot and whisk it all up.  This is an important first step because arrowroot doesn’t work like it should if it’s added directly to a boiling liquid.  So you need to mix it with something cooler first.  There’s science behind this!

You now have a slurry.  I don’t know about you, but nothing makes me hungrier than using the word “slurry”.

Add the matcha to this mixture, and whisk again. 

Now, add the rest of the soy milk, the soy cream, and the sugar to a big pot.  As soon as it starts to boil, take it off the heat.  Remember the slurry?  Now is when you mix it in.  The slurry, in all it’s scientific glory, is going to make your milk/cream/sugar mixture a bit thicker.  Not a lot thicker, it will thicken up more as it cools.  You can add the vanilla now if you want. 

 At this point, you have to be patient.  Set your pot on a counter top and let it cool down a bit.  Take a nap, read a book, pick your nose (but don’t forget to wash your hands before you start cooking again).  Once it’s room temperature, transfer the liquid to a lidded container and stick it in the fridge.  Go back to picking your nose.

It needs to be in the fridge for at least two hours to get nice and cool and ready for the ice cream maker.  But really, if you fall asleep or go out to a movie or something it wont hurt at all.

Last step!  Process the ice cream mixture in your ice cream maker for however long the instruction book says to.  Mine took about 25 minutes.


Share with friends!  It makes a lot!

The only downside to this recipe is that once the ice cream is made and stored in the freezer, it gets pretty hard.  Not icy, just hard.  So before serving, you have to let it soften up in the fridge for about 30 minutes.

I have ambitions to try soy ice cream with silken tofu.  We’ll see how that turns out

– Ellen

* Okay you don’t really need an ice cream maker, but it sure does help.