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Thursday, October 6, 2011


There's nothing more horrifying to my husband than a mall. And who could blame him? As he suffers from a severe allergy to shopping. The minute he enters a store, he gets tachycardia, his lungs shot down, his blood pressure sky-rockets, his skin turns green and his eyes involuntarily get the expression of a sad puppy. He's had this illness since he was quite young, long before I met him. To his good luck, I'm the opposite. I LOVE shopping. I find it completely invigorating, so we complement each other (imagine how much he agrees)...
The whole process of "discovering" a cooking ingredient, a funky necklace, an eco-friendly clothing line for kids, a creatively packaged first-aid kit, baking molds, straws with polka dots, crazy shoes, foreign spices, beautiful ribbon, cool hats, art tools, craft materials, cosmetics, a new skirt. I'm a sucker for them all, obviously with the exception of electronics.
And I don't discriminate. I'm happy at exclusive boutiques, flee markets, thrift shops, green markets, specialty stores, outlets, vintage establishments, trade fairs, sample sales, or websites.
It's not that I need to acquire everything I like. What I enjoy the most is the observing, searching and finding special, unusual or great deals (I should have been a professional shopper...).This is the way I discover and absorb what's happening in the world that surrounds me, and finding things I've never seen before, makes me incredibly happy. 
But some times, I do fall into the trap and end up buying stuff (hello free-gift cosmetics!!!) I don't need.
For an extremely long time, I've coveted an ice-cream maker, but due to the lack of space, time, and conviction, I'd never bought one. I was proud of my will power.
But a couple of days ago, I went into Sur La Table, just to look... I couldn't help it this time around. I bought her. She's purple. She's easy to use, easy to clean, fast, efficient, and allows me to make my most favorite food in the universe: ICE CREAM.
I'm so happy with the machine, that I'm giving her a name: she's Gerta, and I want to spend the rest of my life with her, or until an even cooler model tare us apart. Note: no idea why I picked that name, but it suits her.
Meet gorgeous Gerta:

I got to work right away. I churned up a peach-basil-honey sorbet that was good, a descent home-made coconut milk ice cream, and a fabulous one with home-made oat milk, that once frozen was not that tasty anymore. I've thrown in cake left-overs, cookie dough, spices, and more inspiration keeps coming in (my family is getting scared. My daughter told me: "mom: I really like chickpeas, but can you please not put them in the ice cream?")
Here's my base recipe. It's flexible: other sweeteners can be used instead of honey (I just had a lot of it, made from different flowers, brands and colors), and other milks could substitute coconut milk (I wanted to make it dairy, egg, gluten and nut free, as I had some allergic friends visiting).

  • Vegetarian (contains honey) no: eggs, dairy, gluten, nuts or soy
  • Super ingredients: coconut milk
As I previously wrote, coconut milk is high in medium chain fatty acids, which scientists (and of course, manufacturers) have been lately associating with metabolic and cardiovascular benefits. Besides the health claims, these fats, make coconut milk a creamy and rich ingredient in frozen desserts when dairy and eggs are not used.


  • 2 (13.6 fl. oz) cans coconut milk (I like Thai Kitchen Organic, which doesn't have preservatives, don't use "lite")
  • 2 Tablespoons arrowroot starch
  • 1/2 cup plus 2 Tablespoons mild honey (I like Tupelo), or other liquid sweetener such as pure maple syrup, date syrup, golden syrup or coconut nectar
  • 1/2 vanilla bean, scraped
  • 1 bag chamomile tea (optional)
  • 1 pinch sea salt

Arrowroot-Coconut Milk Slurry
In a small bowl, whisk in 1/4 cup coconut milk with arrowroot and set aside.

In a medium saucepan, bring the rest of the coconut milk, honey, vanilla (seeds and pod), bag of chamomile and salt to a simmer (little bubbles forming around the edge where the saucepan sides and coconut mixture meet), whisking constantly.
Immediately add in the arrowroot-coconut milk slurry and keep whisking until mixture reaches a boil (larger bubbles forming in the center of the cooking liquid).

  Strain immediately into a heat-proof bowl.

Cover with plastic wrap touching the surface of the liquid and let cool completely (you can refrigerate overnight).

Pour cold mixture into the ice cream machine following the manufacturer's instructions (if you own a Gerta-like machine, you just plug in, turn it on and let it do it's thing for about 20 minutes).
Your ice cream is ready!

Stay tuned for more ice cream recipes. I'm working on some really interesting combinations...

For those celebrating Yom Kippur: have a meaningful fast.

Please forgive me if I ever hurt you online or in person.

May everyone be inscribed in the Book of Life for a good year!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

You are officially the dessert master for our Sukkot marathon of meals. So excited to have you here to visiting need a Gerta.