Category Archives: ice cream

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Focus on Local–Freezer Monkey Gourmet Frozen Treats

These Are Not Your Average Frozen Treats!  They are Gourmet!

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Meet Tiffany!

Tiffany grew up in Santa Barbara, and has always loved this area.  She went to art school in New York, but eventually ended up in San Francisco, where she found her true calling in culinary school.  She worked in restaurants for over 15 years as a pastry and dessert chef.  She got to develop recipes and see her creations bring joy to many patrons.
 
But life brought her back to Ventura County.  She decided that she wanted to branch out and do something on her own, so she took a 14-week course on how to start your own business through WEV–Women’s Economic Ventures.  (For more information on WEV, click here.)  She had to write a business plan, and thought that she might start her own bakery.  But those plans just didn’t seem right for her and her children.  In October 2011 a sweltering heat wave hit Thousand Oaks and she found herself making frozen treats for her kids.  They were a huge hit and the kids kept coming back for more.   It was a light-bulb moment.  She dug out her recipe collection, looking for sorbet and ice cream recipes.  Her business plan abruptly changed.  Soon she created several different flavors and launched the Blueberry Dessert Company.  Her son named the line of pops when he came in, asking for more of those “freezer monkeys!”

 

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Watch This!

Last week I got to follow Tiffany around as she made her Caramelized Pineapple Pops.  First, she caramelizes some sugar in a heavy pot.  (To learn how to do this yourself, see my post on candying pecans for a spinach/pear salad found here. )

 

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Tiffany poured the caramelized sugar over fresh pineapple pieces, 

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and then added a little red Hawaiian sea salt.

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Tiffany blended the pineapple, caramel and salt until pureed.  

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Once everything was pureed very fine, she strained the mixture to remove the tough solids. 

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After removing the foam (too much air for a pop!) Tiffany poured the strained puree into these amazing molds that she got from Brazil.

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The lid, with the sticks, went on last.  It clamped everything together.

 

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The mold was lowered into a container with propylene glycol, a food-grade liquid that has a very low freezing point.  The liquid was -15 degrees, and the pops were frozen in about 15 minutes!  (None of the propylene glycol gets into the pops–it just surrounds the mold.)

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Amazing!  The quick-freeze time reduces the opportunity for crystals to form in the treats, so the result is a smooth and creamy texture. 

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The treats were popped out of the molds, and they were ready for packaging.

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Tiffany stamps the date on every pop.  

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Lassen’s carries six Freezer Monkey flavors–all delicious!  Great for these hot days, but also for all throughout the year!  (No reason to stop eating frozen treats in California!)

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Next up for Tiffany?  Watch for her Bon-Bons, coming soon!  I tried the Vietnamese Coconut–it was amazing!

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There’s nothing like the fun of a frozen treat on a stick, and Tiffany’s Freezer Monkey Treats are more than just frozen colored sugar water!  They are made with real fruit and other natural ingredients!  You’ll love them! 

Love,
 
Lassen’s
fruit +recipes, fruit+desserts, plum+recipes, delicious+side+dishes, delicious+desserts, dessert+recipes, fruit+recipes

Gorgeous Plums–You Can Do More Than Just Eat Them Plain!

A-Meen-O-Mum (I Want a Plum!)

That’s what one of my toddlers said when he wanted to have a plum.  Plums have long been a favorite at our house.  I like the varieties with tart skins and sweet flesh the most.  Peter likes the black plums best. But whatever the variety, when they are in season I always have some in my shopping cart.
 
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Recently I was looking for something easy to do with the bag of glorious organic plums that I’d brought home from Lassen’s, and found this recipe.  I made them, with my own changes, for dinner last night, as an accompaniment to baked chicken and roasted red potatoes (along with this recipe for kale and quinoa salad).  They got rave reviews!

 

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You’ll Need:

  • 4 organic plums, halved and pitted.  I used the red variety, but the recipe will work with any.
  • 1/3 cup organic orange juice — can use freshly squeezed
  • 1 1/2 TSP packed organic brown sugar
  • 1/2 tsp organic ground cinnamon
  • 1/8 tsp organic ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp organic ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp organic ground cardamom

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Instructions:

  • Preheat the oven to 400 degrees, and spray a shallow baking dish with cooking spray
  • Cut and pit the plums and then place them, cut side up, in the baking dish
  • Mix together the orange juice, the brown sugar and the spices until blended.
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  • Pour the mixture over the plums.
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  • Bake in the oven for 20 minutes.  The plums will be hot and the sauce bubbly.
  • Serve warm!
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Best Additional Use For This Recipe:

Syrup for Ice Cream.

roasted+plums
Yes.  The spiced plum syrup that was bubbling in the pan was SO delicious that we cracked open the vanilla ice cream and spooned some of the syrup on top.  

It. Was. Fab.

I will definitely make this recipe many many times!  It would be great made with pluots, peaches, cherries, or apricots!  Or a blend of fruits–yum!
 
Enjoy the rest of the stone fruit season!
 
love,
 
Lassen’s
cool+haus, cool+haus+ice+cream, ice+creamsandwiches, focus+on+local, local+producers

Focus on Local–Coolhaus Ice Cream Sandwiches–Yum!

This is Not Your Average Ice Cream Sandwich from a Truck!

 
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Yes.  I took a bite.  Oh. My.  It had fresh mint leaves!  No artificial flavoring here!

If you have that sweet summer memory of hearing the ice cream truck coming up your street like I do, you can imagine my excitement as I visited the Coolhaus store in Culver City!  I met Natasha and her business partner Freya at their store on Washington Blvd.

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Natasha and Freya started baking cookies and making ice cream in 2008.  The treats were such a hit with all of their friends that they decided to launch Coolhaus–an ice-cream sandwich business with an architectural twist!  They name their creations after architects that they admire (they were in the business before they became entrepreneurs) or architectural movements, such as the above nibbled Mintimalism.

 

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In 2009 they bought a broken-down postal van, filled it with ice cream sandwiches, had it towed to the Coachella Valley Music Festival, where they sold enough to really get started.  And they were off!  There were no gourmet food trucks in LA when they started, so they thought there was a potential market to be tapped.  They were right! 

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Coolhaus now has 5 trucks in LA, 2 in New York City, a cart in Central Park, and 3 more trucks in Texas (Dallas and Austin), as well as the store in Culver City.  They are opening another store in Pasedena soon.   

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In the store and from the trucks you can choose your flavors.  They have a fun system of magnets in the trucks with the flavors that are available each day. 

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Choose your cookies! and then…

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Choose your ice cream!  Yum!

 
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I was there a bit too early for a big serving of ice cream, but there were some awesome choices that I sampled.  The ice cream was delicious and inventive!

 
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Natasha and Freya pay attention to taste trends, and also are willing to stick their necks out on a new flavor. Bacon ice cream, anyone?
 
 
Coolhaus works to use organic ingredients as much as possible.  Their dairy is produced locally and is all natural–totally free of growth hormones (they are working on getting organic and non-GMO as soon as they can.)  
 
Their chocolate is fair-trade, and they are working toward organic ingredients for their cookies as well.  They also use as much local, seasonal, and fresh fruits and herbs as they can. 

 

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After a few years just selling from the truck and prepackaged in stores, they decided that they needed a location to showcase their brand.  They also had grown enough that they needed a central location for all of the organization that needed to be done.   Natasha said they were going for a “Cool Industrial Aesthetic” in their Culver City store, and I thought it was awesome.  She is so appreciative of Culver City and their neighborhood.  They have been very welcoming to the new store.   

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I just have to add more pictures of these beautiful cookies and this delicious ice cream! 

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The trucks mostly go to private events or to set areas for the day.  They’ve been at the Hollywood Bowl and lots of movie sets!  

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You don’t have to wait to hear the ice cream truck jingle to taste these treats!  Coolhaus sandwiches are found in freezer cases in 100 stores in 30 states!  Lassen’s is so happy that we feature them in ours.   

Come into Lassen’s where Coolhaus ice cream sandwiches are on special this month!
 
Love,
 

Lassen’s