Endless Ice Cream: Rose Petal

While not a prevalent flavor in the United States, rose is fairly common elsewhere. Across the Middle East, particularly Iran, it is used to flavor all manner of sweets. Ice cream is the only use of rose in food that I have found palatable. Rose candy tastes like grandma’s perfume to me, and rose scones just taste wrong. But the ice cream gives a nice rounded sweetness that is just right for such a delicate flavor. The rose petals themselves are not really potent enough to stand up to the amount of sugar and cream that ice cream requires, so it’s fleshed out with rose water.

Rose water can be found at most Middle Eastern grocery stores and at specialty stores. The potency of the rose water will vary from brand to brand, so you may want to start of by whisking in one teaspoon at a time until you are satisfied with the flavor. I used Nielson-Massey, which is pretty strong.

Rose petals should be unsprayed, or organic. The best would be from a friend or neighbor, as they would be the freshest. Otherwise try natural foods stores or a florist/nursery specializing in organic flowers.

Rose Petal Ice Cream

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How Do You Take Your Hummus?


A while back, BS posted on the deliciousness that is Sabra Hummus. Before discovering Sabra, I had sworn off store-bought hummus, but now I’ve been reconnected with my long lost chickpea love.

Growing up in an Armenian family, the only thing I ate hummus with was pita or a spoon (sorry for partying). However, my favorite restaurant at college serves their hummus plate with pita and a large assortment of vegetables (including onions and tomatoes??? What the fuck). My boyfriend frequently enjoys hummus with carrot chips (seen above) or green peppers.

I don’t understand this. I love the taste of hummus blended with warm, carb-packed pita. I can’t stand the taste of hummus+vegetables=too much moisture. Not enough hummus. Hummus slides off carrots. Watery mess.

Comments on my kid’s food post revealed that hummus is becoming mainstream, even for babies.  How are the kids these days consuming this delicious wonder? Is it being disguised by watery vegetables or eaten on a spoon?

Enlighten me.

Feed Us Back: Comments of the Week


– Don’t let anyone ever tell you ESers don’t know what to do with their fruit. All your recipe suggestions are worth reading, but I like Martha‘s:

Tarts, pies, buckles, cobblers, slumps, claufoutis, sorbets, ice creams, semifreddos – so many options! My favorite for a taste of summer in January are jams & preserves which are great for using up super ripe/verge of spoiling fruit and are actually pretty simple to make. When all else fails, toss just about any fruit in a blender with some ice and a healthy glug of tequila…done and done.

Erica has an even more to-the-point summary:

fruit + booze is as timeless a combo as hookers + sailors.

– And Karen reaches back to our hummus post to toss a secret our way:

I just found this and it looks like a winner… I’m going to try it. I just made my hummus with warm beans and that may be my mistake according to this story (recipe included!) Surprise secret ingredient makes for sublime hummus.

Cold beans! Who would have thought? Back to the hummus test kitchen…

(Photo: Flickrich)

Hummus That’s Not Ho-Hum


About a year ago, I found out about Sabra hummus. My life has never been the same since.

I don’t know how I missed this product for my first 26.5 years, but somehow it just slipped under my radar. I’d dipped the Tribe, the Athenos stuff, and all the others, but somehow this particular brand just never crossed my path. But one dip in and I was hooked. So rich, so creamy, so fresh-tasting: for me Sabra stands heads, shoulders, knees and toes above the rest of the hummuses (hummusi?) Plus, they have versions that come with chopped red peppers, garlic, or pine nuts on top (although not enough pine nuts, if you ask me). Nevertheless, hummus instantly went from something I would try at a party if there was a good dipping vehicle, to something that is an perpetual presence in my fridge (except for when I eat the whole container in one sitting).

I realize this sounds like an advertisement, but I swear it’s not. My purpose isn’t to convert everyone to Sabra, but rather to rant about why the hell every other hummus can’t taste this good. I’ve been on a bit of a hummus-making kick myself lately, thanks to a few lessons from my Dad and Gansie (but not DAD GANSIE). I just food process chickpeas + tahini + lemon + garlic + olive oil + salt + pepper, and pine nuts if I’ve got them on hand (hey, it’s the recession). The result is always good, but never Sabra good. Seriously, what do these bastards put in their damn hummus to make it so tasty? And why can’t I recreate it at home? Being a good investigative reporter, I went straight to the source:

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Butternut Cranberry Fusion (Or, A Procrastinator’s Guide to Thanksgiving in February)


The fact is, I’m a procrastinator.  I told gansie way back around Thanksgiving 2008 that I would share this yummy butternut and cranberry squash springroll recipe with the ES crowd.  And I had all the elements waiting: a ton of pics of the prep, a pic of the finished product, testimonials from other t-day attendees about how substantially delicious the springrolls were, a link to the recipe that inspired me, all but the actual text of this blog post.

And I let it sit… and sit.  I did everything but write this fucker.  I wrote a post about another subject in the meantime.  I kvetched about this and that in a gagillion comments on ES.  I made fun of (and bragged to others about) Gansie’s egg obsession.  I sent her and BS links to important food related articles.  I’m terrible.

And today I’m finally writing this frackin recipe down, frackin finally because I have to write a VERY IMPORTANT document to save babies around the world or some such thing, and I’d really rather procrastinate by writing down my overdue, Thanksgiving recipe for ES.  I was rather proud of how the recipe turned out, but posting it seemed like an awful lot of effort after having put forth so much effort doing the actual cooking.  Mehhh….

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Dip It, Dip It Good


When gansie and I first started cooking, one of the things we both made the most was dip. I’m not sure why, but I think one of the reasons is that dips are so easy to fool around with. Dips are the anti-baking. You can start with a recipe, but then keep adding a little bit of this, a little bit of that, until you get what you want.  Most times when I make a dip I end up with about a gallon of it, because I make it too spicy, and have to bland it down with more base, or make it too sweet and have to keep adding things. But it’s great, because you can always keep going until you get it just right. And if that doesn’t work, you can just top it with a thick layer of cheese and everyone will still think you’re a genius.

So throughout all these years of artichoke dip, sun dried tomato dip, hummus, pesto, and all the rest of it, I had somehow never considered a red pepper dip. I don’t know why, because roasted red peppers are one of my absolute favorite things in the world, and I put them on/in everything. But i never thought to just grind them up and make them the whole base of the dip. So when I saw this recipe in Bon App for Syrian-style Muhammara, it was like lighting struck.

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Hott Link: “Ralph Nader Can’t Even Get Hummus Right”


OK, I almost don’t want to link to this one b/c I hate to give Ralph Nader press on Election Day, but it’s just too good to pass up. Here’s how the man who couldn’t stop running is raising money for his latest bid. I shit you not, this is from an actual fundraising blog post Nader wrote:

I’ve had a lot of hummus.

Hummus is nutritious.

And delicious.

It makes you stronger and healthier.

… If you donate to Nader/Gonzales by midnight tonight an amount that has the number three in it (three being the number of lemons in my mom’s hummus recipe), we’ll e-mail to you Rose Nader’s hummus recipe tomorrow.

That simple.

Simple, yes, that was the word we were looking for.

And here’s the best part. Via Wonkette:

“FYI I paid $3 for Ralph Nader’s hummus recipe thinking it would make an interesting dish to bring to the election party I’m attending. It is WAY garlicky. It called for four cloves and I put in four cloves but the garlic is so strong it burns. Ralph can’t even get hummus right.”

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