best ice cream EVER

I don’t remember when I first discovered Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams–I was familiar with the OUTRAGEOUSLY priced pints ($10 each at Dorothy Lane Market!) before I first tried their “Salty Caramel” flavor at Susy’s house.

It was amazing.  Salty Caramel is perhaps their best-selling flavor; it’s slightly creative without being too off the wall.  That’s the thing about Jeni’s–they don’t have just plain vanilla or chocolate or cookie dough.  They offer flavors like Ugandan Vanilla Bean and Riesling and Poached Pear.  Seriously, they do.  And they all taste exactly how they sound.

Andrew and I made a pit stop on our way up to NY Sunday.  Jeni’s has seven (I think) locations in the Columbus area, and we always go to the High Street shop when we’re in Short North.

It’s on the corner of Lincoln and High Streets.

I love chalkboard signs.  They make me want to have my own little shop so I can write on them.

This is what you see when you walk in.  Well, not everyone gets to see a very indecisive Andrew looking much like ‘The Thinker.’  That’s it–he can’t give me any more crap about taking too long to decide what I want to eat.  I now have proof he has his moments of indecision, too.

Thank goodness for the explanation of flavors!  I’ve had Bangkok Peanut before, and it’s HOT.

I love that every flavor is so fresh.  For example, the Lime Cardamom with Rhubarb you see above was just Lime Cardamom this spring when we were here for Dave’s track meet and stopped in Easter Sunday (They were open on Easter Sunday, of all days!  while I thought it highly sacrilegious, I was happy to have some Jeni’s).  It was yummy then, and it’s only better with the addition of rhubarb.

This is Jeni.  I love funky glasses.  I was actually a teensy bit disappointed when I got PRK a couple years ago knowing I wouldn’t need glasses for another 15 years.  They can be such statement pieces without even trying.  Anyway, about Jeni.  She certainly looks proud of herself; and she should be.  She’s doing something she loves and worked hard enough and was blessed with enough luck to actually make it big.  You go, girl!

This is Andrew thoroughly enjoying his ice cream.  He got Ugandan Vanilla Bean (his usual), Strawberries and Buttermilk, and something else.  I can’t remember and it was hidden at the bottom of his cone.  Side note:  the t-shirt he’s wearing is from Homage, a vintage t-shirt store off Pearl Street behind Jeni’s.  We stumbled upon it after dining at Tasi, a French bistro also behind Jeni’s, when we were here for the Family Life Marriage Conference a few months ago.  Anyway, we LOVE Homage and Tasi.  You must visit both next time you’re in C-bus.

I got Bourbon Buttered Pecan, Sour Cherries and Goat Cheese, and Pistachio and Honey–YUM.  The Pistachio and Honey was awesome–I saved it for last.  It was slightly salty, slightly sweet and a little nutty.

Loved it.  The best part?  Susy got me Jeni’s just-released ice cream COOKBOOK for my birthday!  Cannot wait to make room in this tiny freezer here in the hotel to try out some recipes!  Yes, I did bring my ice cream maker to the hotel.  I figured, why not?  I can’t bake and it’s summer and I knew I was getting the cookbook…

magnificent dinner and Amazon rocks

This is what I made for dinner last night:

I roasted farmer’s market asparagus in the toaster oven (something I did at home a ton), made barley and added my own frozen herbs from last years’ garden and grilled steak on my grill pan.  I see the grill pan getting A LOT of use this summer in the kitchenette.  I drizzled my all-in-Italian balsamic syrup over the steaks.  Served them up with the last of the Fingerlakes Riesling our friends JD and Sara gave us a bit ago.  Again, not bad for a kitchenette.

A moment on photography:  I suck.  Seriously.  I do not know how to use Andrew’s camera to save my life.  The above photo was taken in the kitchenette on the “no flash” setting.

This one was taken by the window:

I don’t really like either of them.  I realize natural light is better, I just don’t think I used it properly.

Amazon to the rescue!

I found Anna Pump’s newest cookbook, Summer on a Plate, on Amazon for $9 yesterday, and because she is Ina’s (a.k.a. The Barefoot Contessa) best friend and partial inspiration, I knew this was one I had to have in my collection the moment I first saw it a month or so ago.  (Thank you Susy, for showing me it’s OK to have a gazillion cookbooks–they are both beautiful AND functional!)

ANYWAY, in order to get free shipping we all know you have to spend $25…so I called Andrew to see if there was anything he had been eyeing on Amazon.  No luck.  I put it in my cart and logged off.  And then I remembered…

…Pioneer Woman’s macaron and photography weekend at the Lodge!  No, of course I didn’t win.  I never win anything from her…might be because 60 THOUSAND other people want to win, too.  Helene, from Tartlette, just came out with a food styling and photography book, Plate to Pixel, and PW was raving about it (and was included in her weekend prize package), so I decided to take a peek on Amazon to see how much her book was.

Wouldn’t you know it was only $16???

Needless to say, both of those goodies will be arriving on my in-laws’ doorstep in just a few days.

lunch, etc…

This was my lunch today:

Pretty good for a hotel kitchenette, huh?  (Although I guess none of this required ACTUAL cooking, but still.)

I used the strawberries and red lettuce greens I got at the farmer’s market yesterday to make my strawberry balsamic salad.  I added some gorgonzola cheese crumbles (still getting used to it–I so want to like blue cheese!), toasted pecans (I was too lazy to caramelize them) and red onion into the mix as well.  I topped it with a drizzle of sunflower seed oil and some swirls of this balsamic syrup my mom brought back from one of her trips.  The label is all in Italian…

I burned a couple corners of my GH Cinnamon Swirl bread (boo!) and added a dollop of hummus and some cucumber.  I like the hummus from Patricia Wells’ Salad as a Meal cookbook.  It’s garlicky and fresh as opposed to most that have cumin in them.  Her version includes cilantro, something I’d never thought to add but is actually very good.

Today is the first day I can say that I’m actually bored.  Like, seriously bored.  Part of it’s the weather.  It’s one of those ‘overcast one minute, sunny the next’ kind of days.  I tried to go outside to read with Hadrian and wouldn’t you know we got all the way to the sitting area and it started to sprinkle.  Grrr.  I’ve tried alternating reading (just started Steve Martin’s ‘Shopgirl’), computering and taking Hadrian outside.  Oh, and getting coffee (see below).

I thought running with Hadrian would completely tire him out, but it doesn’t seem to be the case.  I’m looking forward to upping our mileage together, both for him and me.  Right now, I take him out for one mile (which provides a nice warm-up for me), then bring him back, give him a couple ice cubes in his crate (a great way to help cool him down without allowing him to slurp up too much water at once), then head out for my “real” run.  I really like the companionship he provides, especially in unfamiliar territory, but it does add a bit to the morning routine.

Our hotel has coffee (regular, dark roast and decaf) available 24-7.  This is bad.  I find myself wandering to the lobby WAY too often to grab a bit here and there.  I do try to mix the decaf with regular in the afternoons, but still.

I’m completely unmotivated to count my calories right now.  I should be, since I only have a couple stubborn pounds left, but I just can’t bring myself to do it.  Maybe I just need a couple more days to get motivated again.

I’m planning on making a pretty ambitious meal tonight in our kitchenette–steaks, asparagus and barley–if I remember, I’ll take a photo!