Ginger Sage Cashew Ice Cream (V, GF)

There are certain times of day where everything feels quieter. Calm. Every now and then it feels like this at six in the evening on warm nights, but only when it’s overcast and just about to rain. The feeling is always there at five in the morning, regardless of weather or temperature. I spent a lot of time awake at five am over the past year or so, but now that I actually sleep through the night, I’ve been missing it. I used to crawl out of bed and walk around and just listen to the calm. The early risers on a morning jog. The all night-pullers just leaving the library with their laptops and exhausted faces. For me, being up at that time wasn’t about going for a run or doing work, it was just about being awake and alive. I kinda miss that. But not as much as I missed sleep.

I like this summer. It feels less hectic than others. Without a doubt, I’m busier than I’ve been in years past, but I like keeping my time occupied. I usually tend to let my brain wander into circles, revisiting every possible scenario and outcome of any situation I find myself in. It gets hectic. I don’t like feeling that way. It’s better to be busy and let things just happen as they may, otherwise who knows what I may trick myself into thinking. Now that I’ve started working, I’m pretty beat at the end of the day. Which, for this job, is in fact four in the afternoon. It sounds early, I know. But you try teaching fifteen 12-year olds how to draft a bodice block pattern or corral them around New York City and then you might get where I’m coming from. I’m never too tired to cook though, which is a comfort. This brings me to the reason for this post: sage ice cream. Yes. Yum.

This recipe isn’t complicated at all, it just involves a bit of planning ahead. You have to give the cashews time to soak and the custard time to chill and the ice cream time to freeze. But it’s soOOooOo worth it, let me tell ya! Side note: I’m sure this would be just as good with a dairy custard base (or perhaps a yogurt one?) but I made this dairy free to enter a contest featured by Food52. I really really RLY want to win a Vitamix. Keep your fingers and toes crossed for me!

ps- the fresh sage comes from the herb garden my mother planted and it makes me SO happy. Speaking of which, does anyone need any basil?? Because we have a literal mountain of it..and there’s only so much pesto a girl can make!

A few notes: I recommend using organic cashews, as the nonorganic may be treated with icky pesticides. I know they’re pricey, but I think it’s worth it. But that’s your call! And be careful not to soak the cashews for more than 24 hours, as they can start emitting a weird gel (yum veganism!); it’s easily washed off, but that means you’re getting very close to over soaking, which could turn the nuts rancid. And you don’t want that! 

Ice Cream (makes about 1 1/2 quarts)

1 3/4 cup organic cashews
1 cup unsweetened nondairy milk (or regular milk if you don’t care about this being vegan)
1/2 vanilla bean, scraped or 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
6 roughly chopped fresh sage leaves
1/4 cup maple syrup/agave/honey
1 cup water
1/4 cup chopped crystalized ginger
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
3 tablespoons cocoa nibs (optional, sub chocolate chips if you like it sweeter)

Place the cashews in a large jar and cover with filtered water. Soak for at least 6 hours or overnight (highly recommend an overnight soak if you don’t have a Vitamix or other high-powered blender.) Drain and rinse well.

Place the vanilla bean paste, scraped vanilla bean, chopped sage leaves, and milk of choice in a saucepan on medium heat, stirring occasionally until the mixture is almost boiling. Remove from heat, cover, and let steep for 10 minutes. Let cool. Pass through a fine mesh sieve.

Place the rinsed cashews, vanilla sage milk, sweetener, and 1 cup water in a blender or food processor and blend into a smooth creamy custard. Transfer to a bowl, cover with plastic wrap and chill in the fridge for at least one hour.

Transfer to the bowl of your ice cream maker and freeze according to the instructions. Once the custard starts to thicken, add chopped ginger, sea salt, and cocoa nibs. Eat it right away or store in a freezer-safe container until snacking time! If it’s frozen solid, let the ice cream thaw for 20+ minutes before digging in.

Desserts, Snacks

sixty seven

Mini Post: S’mores à la Mode

Yeah, you read that right. This s’more has ice cream in it. Are you excited? This recipe comes to Spices and Spatulas courtesy of my sister so THANKS MADDY YOU’RE AWESOME! I actually made these on my last night of summer break a few weeks ago, but let me tell you, nothing makes you want a s’more more than being back at school after reading 75 pages about violence in ancient Mesopotamian art. So I’ll probably be making a round of these in about ten minutes. This is an incredibly simple recipe, so I’m just gonna get to it so you can go ahead and make one for yourself!

S’mores (makes one, but I dare you to just have one)

– 1 graham cracker

– 1 or 2 squares of chocolate (I just went with simple 60%, but if you really want to get crazy these are AWESOME. And the perfect size)

– 1 extra large marshmallow

– 1 scoop vanilla (or whatever flavor you like) ice cream

Break the graham cracker in half (whew, that was hard, I know). Place the chocolate on one square of the cracker. Toast the marshmallow over fire of some kind or in the microwave on medium heat for 15-20 seconds (this depends on your microwave, watch it closely so nothing sticky explodes in your electrical appliances). Scoop out the ice cream and place it on the other graham cracker, squishing it down a little bit for easier assembly. Put the marshmallow over the chocolate covered graham and put the whole thing together. Y U M.

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Chocolate Chip Cookie Ice Cream Sandwiches

I don’t think anyone’s a stranger to the Chipwich, that cookie sandwich you could get from the ice cream truck on hot summer days during a long afternoon at the park. I know two things to be true about this treat: 1) It was always at least two full dollars more expensive than everything else at the truck and 2) One always risks breaking several teeth if one intends to eat their cookie sandwich immediately following purchase. I ask you, is this wallet and mouth shattering dessert worth it? Yes. The answer is yes. Whoever thought this  up was a hero*. Ice cream AND cookies. You don’t have to choose between them any more!

chipwich packaging

I’ve recently realized that the ice cream truck no longer goes down my street every day. And if that weren’t heartbreaking enough let’s also keep in mind that since the tips I make as a café-counter girl are the majority of my spending money (and yesterday I made a grand total of $1.75 in a full half day shift) I can’t really afford to spend double that on a snack. Sigh. Can you hear the violins playing? Who wins at first world problems? This girl! I decided that the economical decision here would be to make my own version of the Chipwich. And boyyyyy was I right. These are awesome. I’m so serious. Plus I went for the rainbow sprinkle side decoration instead of the more traditional mini-chocolate chips. Make these. I’m not kidding. 

*His name was Richard LaMotta. And although he was not a hero, he did go to law school and start his own record label before inventing the Chipwich, successfully marketing it, and eventually selling it to a division of Nestlé. This guy.

Cookies (adapted from Nestlé Toll House)

– 2 1/4 cups flour

– 1 tsp baking soda

– 1 tsp kosher salt

– 1 cup (2 sticks) softened butter

– 3/4 cup granulated sugar

– 3/4 cup packed light brown sugar

– 1 tsp vanilla extract

– 2 eggs

– 1 bag semisweet chocolate chips

– 1 cup chopped nuts (optional (walnuts or pecans are the best))

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Line several baking pans with parchment paper. Sift the dry ingredients in a medium bowl and set aside. In a mixer beat the butter and sugars until creamy. Add eggs one at a time, beating well between additions. Add vanilla with the second egg. Stir in the flour mixture. Fold in the chocolate chips and nuts until just combined. Drop rounded tablespoons onto cookie sheet and bake 9-11 minutes. Cool completely on a wire rack before moving to preparation of the sandwiches.

Sandwich Preparation

– 1 gallon (more or less) of your favorite flavor of ice cream/frozen yogurt (I was going for classic so I went with vanilla, obvi. This or this are my favorites of the store-bought varieties)

– Rainbow sprinkles for outside decoration (feel free to get creative here: chopped nuts, peanut butter chips, candied ginger, ets)

Once the cookies have cooled, place them back on the baking sheets. Line the cookies upside down on the tray. Slightly soften the ice cream and place generous scoops on half of the overturned cookies. Use a spoon to smush down the scoops a bit and turn the other cookies right side up on top. Place the sprinkles in a bowl and roll the edges of the sandwich in them. Put the sandwiches in the freezer for at least 15 minutes and then devour!

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PS- I try to blog about most things I make, but I don’t get to everything. You should follow me on Instagram, where I post pictures of everything I make. Encourage me to post more by asking for recipes!


twenty two

Almond Gelato

Once again, I feel obligated to share with you the wonder that is retro television. Here’s just your….er, normal ice cream commercial. It does in fact feature a family of cows telling you their favorite way to eat ice cream. It’s moments like these that make you understand why a lot of people just read books.

While the 50s did not invent ice cream (insert obligatory “duh”), they were truly a decade that celebrated it. Teenagers piled in their Thunderbirds and drove down to the nearest ice cream parlor to hang for hours. Of course, they most likely did not eat almond gelato while killing time before the sock hop, but it’s fine. Why? Because I say so!
In other news, this will most likely be my last post before heading back to school. Basically in my dorm I live like a queen, what with all the watered-down dining hall coffee and a microwave to share with the whole floor! Perhaps any friends with apartments or dorm kitchens will take pity on a poor girl looking for a stove? (they’ll be rewarded with free food!) However, I did recently get my hands on a toaster oven, so we’ll see how that goes. In the meantime, who’s up for radiator quesadillas?


This recipe only makes about 1 quart so if you’re looking to feed more than say, yourself, maybe double it..

– 3 cups whole milk

– 2/3 cups sugar

– 1 1/2 tbsp cornstarch

– 1 tsp vanilla extract

– 1 scant tsp almond extract (a little goes a LONG way, you may want to do more along the lines of a large 1/2 tsp)

– 1/2 cup shaved almonds

Place 2 cups of milk in a saucepan over medium heat, stirring occasionally. In another bowl, combine last 1 cup of milk with sugar and cornstarch, blending completely with a whisk. When the milk on the stove begins to simmer, add the cornstarch mixture and stir. Raise the heat and bring to a boil, stirring continuously. If the milk does not thicken at this point, continue to cook for another minute or two. Remove from heat and pour into a shallow baking dish (unnecessary, but it speed up the cooling process) place dish in refrigerator until cold. Then stir in vanilla and almond extracts. Pour into ice cream maker and churn, adding the shaved almonds right before the gelato is ready. Serve immediately or freeze until ready to eat!