Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Blue Marble Ice Cream

102 Franklin St, New York, NY 10013
(212) 775-1117

Organic ice cream is a phrase used a bit too often nowadays. Not all ice cream makers can really claim this. In this over crowded market place Blue Marble is an ice cream company that is standing up from all the competition out there. We found Blue Marble as a small oasis just outside of New York City's China Town in a coffee shop on the corner of Franklin Street.

For a start we ordered the base flavors of Vanilla, Strawberry and Chocolate which were simply genuine. The purity of all three flavors came straight through in the first spoonful. There was no doubt that this was a perfect combination of organic ingredients that gave these and all the other flavors we tried a beautiful texture and taste.

A single marble scoop is generous and put in a cup as the norm is, makes a nice complete treat. Featuring wooden spoons and environmentally friendly cups, Blue Marble has placed importance on being natural. The ice cream is also without the artificial growth hormones and flavor enhancers found in supermarket shelf products. The result is there to taste and enjoy. You really cannot make out that this ice cream has no eggs and no corn syrup.

We tried the single marble scoops just make sure we could taste more flavors and not get sweetened out. On the menu they do have milkshakes and sundaes also. The ice cream cakes and ice cream cup cakes are also on their list. Yet to try them out on hot sunny days. I am sure they will be great. Founded in Brooklyn, their products are also available via grocery stores and retailers all over the tristate area. 

The logo is simple design which I likened to bursts of blue color and flavor from a brown sugar ice cream cone. It is completely in sync with the products and pleasing to look at and as their website informs is inspired from an astronaut's comment about the earth looking like a 'blue marble' when seen from outer space.

And yes, they do source from small farms, grass fed cows from upstate New York and have strong focus on sustainability which are the current best practices in the food business.

Sunday, March 31, 2013

Hummus Place

109 Saint Mark's Place, (Between 1st Ave. and Ave. A), New York, NY 10009
(212) 529-9198

Mediterranean cuisine spans several countries and we have always found it very soothing and welcoming especially with its focus on vegetables, fruits, grains and beans. Of course in New York City you can not miss the falafel sandwiches and the couscous. Taking time to find a good place to sit down and enjoy the flavors of this cuisine, I narrowed onto 'Hummus Place' for a Sunday afternoon lunch.

This place was authentic from the start and is also known for making their food fresh daily. The eggplant sandwich with a boiled egg was one combination that was something that I had not seen at other places. One bite into it and I was hooked. The hard boiled egg with the tahini made a very nice taste and different from the regular eggplant sandwiches. Also, the mango chutney added the correct balance in flavor.

The falafel came served on Tahini and green sauce. One of the best Tahini that I have tasted. Perfectly made and fried to perfection, they were quickly gobbled up.

Strained yogurt with za'atar and olive oil called 'Labane' was served as a dip. The touch of olive oil made the taste of za'atar come through. I have not tried it before but this was a good start. Will have to see how I can incorporate it into my own recipes.

As a side order, we had baked cauliflower with parsley tahini sauce which literally melted in the mouth. A full head of cauliflower made with the mildest of seasoning was quite soothing. A good healthy choice and something that I had not expected to be so tasty. Will surely remember to order this again.

The veggie couscous made of whole wheat grain and topped with vegetables came decorated with chick peas, raisins, caramelized onions and roasted almonds. A very nice combination and delicately made. This dish was served with a small bowl of clear soup, which I poured on top of my dish and it made it soft and slightly moist and hence perfect to eat.

There are three locations of this restaurant in the city, and the one in East Village was the one we tried. I am definitely keeping this one on my list for the next visit to the city.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Sesame Truffle (Til Ladoo)

Happy Holi everyone! The festival of colors welcomes the beginning of the new season. Holi also signifies the victory of good over evil. Hindus all over the world celebrate it with colored powder, water, music, dance and lots of tasty treats to eat. So, here I am sharing recipe of a dessert that we used to eat during this time.

This tasty truffle look alike sweet is one of my favorites , which I learnt to make from my Aunt. Sesame seeds give warmth and energy to the body. They are rich in anti- oxidants and are used in most of the cuisines of the world. Store the seeds in the freezer for a longer shelf life.

1 1/2 cups White Sesame Seeds
1 cup Reduced Ricotta Cheese
1 tsp Melted Butter/ Ghee
4-5 Cardamom Seeds, slightly crushed
1/2 cup Sugar

Put the ricotta cheese in a non stick pan and cook it on low to medium heat till it is reduced into half and it looks almost solid. Keep aside to cool.

Dry roast the sesame seeds till they become fragrant and slightly brown. Let cool. Grind it coarsely in a blender. Put it back in the same pan. Add ricotta cheese, green cardamom and sugar. Stir well for five minutes or till it all comes together. Rub some butter/ ghee in both hands and shape them in balls.