Sweet Treats: Nice Cream

Sweet Treats: Nice Cream

Sweets are my biggest weakness. I’m sure that’s apparent, given that I created a section just to talk about it! Cookies remain my One True Love, but cupcakes are a close follower. Cake is also acceptable, as are other pastries. But when the weather gets warm, my thoughts turn to ice cream.

I was grocery shopping a few weeks ago when something caught my eye: a white container with a brown stripe and a pink label. It was a full end-cap display of ice cream, the little white pints neatly lined up, their brightly-coloured labels facing straight forward.

Nice Cream Times Two
The two cute little pints of Nice Cream nestled close together. I love the packaging! It’s simple and adorable.

I was intrigued because I had never heard of Nice Cream, and I became more intrigued when I continued to read the labels. I expected vanilla, chocolate, maybe strawberry, but instead found Earl Grey, carrot cake, lavender vanilla, and pistachio. It’s basically impossible for me to resist anything tea-flavoured that isn’t tea, so into the shopping basket it went!

When I reached the register and the ice cream was blipped across the scanner, I almost had a mild heart attack. It was very expensive–I hadn’t seen a price on the shelf, but I had a general idea of how much I thought ice cream ought to be. This was nearly $10 per pint! x_x (Ouch!) At that moment I almost decided to have it put back, but I took it home anyway and hoped it was really that good.

Thankfully, it was. It wasn’t the most perfect ice cream I’ve ever tried, but it was definitely different than typical Edy’s or Ben & Jerry’s. Nice Cream prides themselves on organic, local ingredients. I appreciate the use of real cream, real eggs, and no preservatives–you can absolutely taste the difference! However, it doesn’t have a very long shelf life due to the lack of preservatives, so it needs to be eaten fairly promptly.

Pistachio Honey Nice Cream
The pistachio honey flavor uses raw honey from beeline.

I picked out pistachio honey for my husband. He’s very laid back and generally likes anything, but I know he particularly likes pistachio. The pistachio flavour was very real, and there were pieces of pistachios studded in the pale green ice cream. The honey sweetness paired well with the nuts. He liked it so much he didn’t scold me for paying so much for ice cream. (Although, honestly, he never scolds me regardless of what silly thing I’ve done.)

Earl Grey Nice Cream
I love Earl Grey everything and anything, and this was soooooo tasty~ ♥

Earl Grey was the obvious choice for my ice cream~ The shortbread cookie pieces were so delicious that I’m thinking I might have to take a trip to Swim Cafe and buy some to eat non-frozen-and-ice-creamy. (But perhaps that is part of the charm?) My only qualm was that the bergamot flavour was very heavy–adding a very intense layer of “orange” above the taste of the tea. A little bit less orange would have been slightly more to my taste. I think if I tried it again, I’d go for carrot cake!

There’s always something extra-exciting to me about finding something new that is region-specific. The fact that this ice cream can’t be purchased in stores across the country, because it’s made in one place in small batches, provides a different level of quality and creativity. It makes me wonder what delicious ice cream companies are in other regions that I can’t get here! Or, in fact, what other undiscovered-to-me dessert companies might be right under my nose~

Daily Life: Mmm, Ice Cream

Daily Life: Mmm, Ice Cream

An Original Rainbow Cone
Originally uploaded by sweetmilktea

Today was an enjoyable and interesting day for two reasons: firstly, I saw my little sister ♥, and secondly, I started gradually introducing my workplace to lolita fashion.

My job does not have a dress code, and everything and everyone there is very casual and laid-back. There are some coworkers of mine who wear alternative fashions to work, and no-one gives it much notice. I have really wanted to wear some of my lolita wardrobe to work, but I worried about distracting my coworkers–a full sweet lolita coordinate can be very overwhelming–and I don’t even wear things too “over the top.” Gradually introducing aspects of the fashion seemed like a better choice to me, for a smooth transition to wearing anything I wanted.

I decided to start with a skirt. Lolita skirts are unique, but very easy to coordinate for a toned-down outfit. My goal is to present elements of the fashion to make it so that no-one even blinks twice when I finally come in with a headdress and parasol. I know from experience that hair accessories and knee socks really catch people’s attention, so those were not to be my first endeavor.

I wore my Bodyline-replica of Angelic Pretty’s “fruits parlor,” print, with a yellow-and-white striped mid-sleeve tee-shirt, flat brown shoes, and pigtails. My objective was casual and non-lolita, but with evident lolita fashion influence. (Of course, this would be the day they took my ID photo!! XD I look hilarious on it!)

Surprisingly, one of my coworkers identified my clothing! He started with a casual comment asking where I had gotten my skirt; my response was that it was from a Japanese retailer. Upon hearing that, he went, “Aha! You can’t buy stuff like that around here! That’s that… what’s the name… lolita fashion!” It was quite a shock that he would be spot-on~ (There were no negative connotations or suggestions of fetishes.)

After work, I met my little sister for some tea and coffee at a local shop. I always ♥adore♥ spending time with her! She brightens up my day no matter what~ We talked about lolita, mainly the local community. She expressed an interest in starting a few weekly regularly-scheduled meetups, which I would certainly enjoy, and we discussed the possibility of some kind of casual affair where even the non-fashion-wearing-but-interested would feel welcome to mingle among avid community members. Personally, I love our local community and am always coming up with ridiculous ideas to get us together more often and bring in more interested people~ With the opening of the BABY, the Stars Shine Bright store in San Francisco, I see more and more lolita-potentials coming out of the woodwork; I want everyone to feel welcome and get to know one another!!

I’m going to see her again tomorrow–after another weekend shift at work–we’re sure to scheme up more ideas! Maybe some of them we’ll have a chance to use!

Sweet Treats: Ice Cream

Sweet Treats: Ice Cream

When the sun shines so strongly that I feel blinded even with my sunglasses on and the rays of heat seem intent on burning a hole right through my skin, that is a day for ice cream! Ice cream is one of the best summertime treats out there, as it is sweet and chilled~

Normal ice cream, purchased at the grocery store, is generally okay. There’s always a wide selection of flavors and consistencies, and one purchase is usually several servings of ice cream–unless my brothers get to the container first. Some of the newer, “boutique”-type ice cream brands offer really inventive flavors that can please even the trickiest palate. In the summertime, it can be a lot of fun to sit around the kitchen table and talk while everyone’s ice cream slowly melts.

In fact, an ice cream social would be a really lovely summer meetup! Hmm, maybe I’ve just given myself an idea~

All that aside, although there is plenty of ice cream available in the summer, sometimes it’s best to go out to an ice cream parlor! An ice cream parlor is (of course) the best place to get sundaes and sodas and other creations…but it can also be the source of exquisite flavors and wonderful craftsmanship! My favourite places to stop are little personally-owned shops where they make their own flavors.

In my neighborhood, this means Bobtail! I adore everything about their shop, from the delicious signature flavors to the quaint surroundings and ambiance. I ordered “Lincoln Park Zoo,” a strawberry ice cream with rainbow sprinkles and frosted animal crackers swirled into it! (How could I resist something combining so many tastes I am fond of?) A carefully-layered scoop was pressed onto the pointy-tipped cake cone, the rainbow-dotted pink confection looking almost too good to be edible~

Sitting on the bench, swinging my feet and trying to keep my cone from dripping on my hand, summer never seemed so sweet!