vanilla ice cream

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When I was two—and I swear to you I remember the entire thing—I threw a raging fit in an ice cream parlor in Maine. I wanted a scoop of vanilla. The nice man at the counter handed me a cone with a scoop of ice cream. But it was clearly not vanilla. It was yellow.

“That’s banana ice cream!” I said.

“No, sweetie, the vanilla ice cream is just naturally yellow.” He pointed to another tub of ice cream in the case. “That’s banana, right there.” (Oddly enough, he happened to have banana flavored ice cream).

“But it’s white!! That’s vanilla!”

If you have ever tried to be polite to an obstinate two-year-old, you know this conversation went no where. My mom must have been in a really good mood since we were on vacation, because both she and my grandmother just let me carry on. As much as they tried to convince me to pick out an ice cream: strawberry, chocolate, tutti fruiti, whatever, I left the ice cream shop empty handed. I recall believing the man at some point, but I stuck to my beliefs on principle. Vanilla ice cream is supposed to be white. Not yellow.

This ice cream is sure to disappoint my inner toddler.

rosewater yogurt with white peaches and blueberries

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I spent the morning looking for inspiration for these gorgeous white peaches—the first I had ever found that actually tasted as beautiful as they looked. I searched through all my cookbooks, and dozens of magazines, but couldn’t find anything that didn’t require baking something. As much as I love baked goods, I was feeling a bit fat that morning, so anything baked would have taken me over the edge.

leafy greens, avocado, and blackened chicken salad

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Every cookbook library should have a nice, sharp pencil handy. So often, the best recipes are the direct result of improvising on another recipe.

The seasoning I used for this blackened chicken is made up of the ingredients I had in my cupboard: paprika from my local Indian store, ground dill and thyme.

You could, by all means, make a rub with a more cajun flavor, using white pepper and  onion powder. It’s up to you. But I didn’t have those things, so I made it my own way.

book club for july: sense and sensibility

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A few of you voted on which book to do for July, and Sense and Sensibility

Ah, Jane Austen. I don’t think we could have gone on with the book club very long without doing something from her. Not only did she write in a time when female authors were a rare breed, but she also wrote when the English novel was relatively new to the whole scene of literature. —I love how she takes strong women and places them in probable situations of her age—quite horrible situations, actually, where having the freedom to choose her own destiny was very limited.

I love Sense and Sensibility for the fact that it really has two main characters: Elinor and Marianne. And that will give us a lot to talk about.