Wednesday, November 24, 2010


I'm tired, but I feel like I am juuuuuuust about ready for Thanksgiving tomorrow.  We did not have school today (a wise decision, as so many students and their families head out the day before Thanksgiving to get to wherever "there" is on time), so I spent the morning cleaning and laundering.  OK, I did a little grading, but that was only to get caught back up because one of the servers was down for a while, slowing everything down.  But I did not grade a single essay.  Those can wait.
After the folding and the hanging and the vacuuming was done, I ran a few errands.  The most important of these was getting the ice cream.  No, I didn't go to Safeway or Fry's or Basha's.  I went to Udder Delights out in Gilbert.
I confess; I have wanted to go there for a while.  The shop is a drop-off location for Desert Root Farms, but it's a really good thing that Bergie's is closer, as I might be getting a cone each weekend instead of just a biscotti.  Of course, when one sees the name, Udder Delights, one can't help but look up the website.
Of course, once you get to the website, you want to see the flavors.  U.D. has regular flavors, available year-round.  These include sugar cookie (with real sugar cookies) and bubble gum (meh - not my favorite, but always a hit with the kids).
There are also seasonal and monthly flavors, like pumpkin cheescake.
Earlier this month, I checked out the new monthly flavors, even though I was really hoping that "ice cream weather" was just about over.
And there it was.



Ice Cream.

Omigawdomigawdomigawd!!!!!!   Red velvet flippin' ice cream!!!!!!!
Clearly, I had to investigate to see if the product was worthy of such a title (can you tell I love red velvet cake?).
Thankfully, I put myself in charge of dessert for tomorrow's family feast, and what better treat to go with pie (more on that later) than ice cream?
So, it was the last errand on my list today.
The people are great; I was told that since this was my first time visiting, I was REQUIRED to sample at least three flavors of ice cream or sorbet, but I was allowed to sample all of them if I wanted to.  I sampled only 4, but what a four:

  • apple pie (seasonal)
  • sugar cookie
  • cinnamon streusel
  • and, of course, red velvet

The red velvet was a gorgeous vermillion that looked as rich as the cake for which it is named.  But smooth?  No.  Mixed in are HUNKS of chocolate and regular cheesecake.  Not little nibbles, mind you.  These chunks are so large that one is an entire bite in and of itself.
My final order was a quart of the apple pie, and quart of the sugar cookie, and a waffle cone with what must be the world's largest single scoop of the red velvet.
I had eaten the whole thing by the time I got home.

At least I'm sharing the apple pie (left) and the sugar cookie!

When I got home, I put my precious cargo in the freezer and then turned my attention to the pie crust that I had to make and the biscotti that I wanted to make just to make.
The pie crust is easy; I like Martha Stewart's pate brisee recipe for a two-crust pie.  It's fabulously simple to make, and it doesn't call for any of that shortening nonsense.  Yes, I know; I am trying to use this blog to see how I can eat healthfully, but 1) this is a holiday that I'm cooking for, and 2) I am morally opposed to using shortening in a pie crust.  So, the pate brisee mixed up easily, and it's now chilling in the fridge, waiting for its apple-cranberry filling tomorrow.
We still have a boatload of frozen bananas, so I found a banana biscotti recipe.  I did modify it, using white chocolate chips instead of cinnamon chips (apparently a rare beast here in AZ)  Then, I wanted something more appropriate to the holiday at hand, so I tried some cranberry-orange biscotti as well.  The banana biscotti turned out nicely, although, as per my aversion to baked goods bearing bananas, I based this determination only on the lack of burning and the lovely cinnamon smell that pervaded the kitchen.

Unfortunately, today, the score appears to be Allison: 1, Oven: 1.  That's right, the cranberry-orange batch, the second one I made, decided to get a leeeeeetle crispy on one side.  I think I can salvage but scraping, but we'll see - while the banana still had a hint of softness to it, the cranberry-orange feels brittle, and I'm almost afraid to take it out of the "air proof container" where I placed them all.

Right now, I am waiting to finish step 2 of the brioche rolls I am baking tomorrow.  I will be honest, even though I had some good success with my pain complet (take 2), I am still terrified.  The mood of yeast, as any aspiring baker knows, fluctuates with the wind, and even though I have been waiting for the dough to rise for slightly more than the prescribed hour, it doesn't appear to have risen all that much.  The last thing I want it puckish rolls, so I'm toughing it out for a bit more and praying to the gods of all things buttery, yeasty, and French that things turn out well.

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