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Archive for July 7, 2011

TIP OF THE DAY: Make Chocolate Chip Ice Cream

July is National Ice Cream Month, and we’re devoting ourselves to one huge celebration.

We love chocolate chip ice cream, so we’re fortunate that it’s so easy to find vanilla chip, mint chip and chocolate chocolate chip flavors.

But what if you want coffee chocolate chip ice cream? Strawberry chocolate chip? Cherry chocolate chip? Peanut butter chocolate chip?

You can convert any flavor of ice cream into “chocolate chip” ice cream by stirring in chocolate chips.

Soften a pint of ice cream on the counter, enough to stir in the chips; return to the freezer to harden. Or simply sprinkle the chips underneath and on top of a scoop of ice cream.

 

Add chopped chocolate bar for a chocolate chip or chocolate chunk sundae. Photo courtesy Vosges Haut Chocolat.

 

Make your ice cream even more interesting by chopping up flavored chocolate bars to substitute for chocolate chips.

  • Green & Black’s makes chocolate bars flavored with butterscotch, cherry, ginger and mint, among other flavors.
  • Vosges Haut Chocolat has edgier chocolate bar flavors. A sampling: Barcelona (hickory smoked almonds and fleur de sel), Black Salt Caramel, Blood Orange Caramel, Mo’s Bacon Bar and Red Fire (ancho & chipotle chilies and cinnamon dark chocolate).
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    You can apply the same technique to make cookie ice cream and toffee ice cream.

    Let us know about your favorite creations.

    ICE CREAM TRIVIA: MOST POPULAR FLAVORS

    According to a consumer survey by the International Ice Cream Association, here are the flavors people named as their favorites:
    1. Vanilla, 29%
    2. Chocolate, 8.9%
    3. Butter Pecan, 5.3%
    4. Strawberry, 5.3%
    5. Neapolitan, 4.2%
    6. Chocolate Chip, 3.9%
    7. French Vanilla, 3.8%
    8. Cookies and Cream, 3.6%
    9. Vanilla Fudge Ripple, 2.6%
    10. Praline Pecan, 1.7%
    11. Cherry, 1.6%
    12. Chocolate Almond, 1.6%
    13. Coffee, 1.6%
    14. Rocky Road, 1.5%
    15. Chocolate Marshmallow, 1.3%
    All others, 23.7%

      

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    PRODUCT: Cheers For The Ninja Blender

    We don’t know why it’s called Ninja. but it does a great job. Photo courtesy Euro-Pro.

     

    Do you need both a blender and a food processor?

    If you make shakes, smoothies and cocktails, you need a blender. But if you’re going to buy a blender, get one that excels in more than blending.

    In these days of overcrowded kitchen counters, a blender needs to earn its keep. In addition to blending, it should do a great job of puréeing (for soup, vegetables and other recipes), chopping and grating. A high-functioning blender can multitask for people who don’t cook enough to need a food processor.

    Months ago, we gave away our 20-year-old-blender and got a $99 Ninja. The old blender was built to last (solid chrome base, glass pitcher), but technology has changed.

    What attracted us to the Ninja was the “six blade technology.” Instead of one four-pronged blade at the bottom of the blender, the Ninja has a seven-inch “blade pole” running through the center: three sets of two blades whirring, approximately two inches apart.

    That’s why the Ninja purées so quickly, and why it can easily turn ice cubes into “snow” for snow cones.

    More of what we like about our Ninja:

  • A 1000-watt professional-grade motor for heavy duty blending and processing.
  • A generous, 72-ounce pitcher, large enough for party drinks and big batches of soup.
  • The pitcher, lid and blades are all dishwasher safe.
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    Just as we were about to publish this review of the Ninja Blender NJ600 XL, the July issue of Consumer Reports named the more modest version of the Ninja as a favorite.

    Consumer Reports tested the Ninja Master Prep Professional QB1004, at $60, and named it a Best Buy, citing smooth blending for drinks, the best blender tested for chopping, and puréeing and grating capability nearly as good as the top-rated blender, the $450 Vita-Mix 5200.

    So if there’s a blender on your shopping list, consider the Ninja.

    Why Is It Called A Ninja Blender?
    We don’t know.

    A ninja was a mercenary agent in feudal Japan (1185–1868), when life was dominated by powerful regional families (daimyo) and the military rule of warlords (shogun). Experts in martial arts and stealth, ninjas were hired for covert ops, ranging from espionage to sabotage and assassination.

    You don’t need to fear your Ninja blender. But you can’t use it to spy, sabotage or assassinate, either.

      

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