Homemade Java Chip Ice Cream

Homemade Java Chip Ice Cream

Java chip ice cream is my idea of heaven on earth. And while the summer may be waning, I couldn't resist the thought once it came into my head - homemade Java Chip Ice Cream, using a delicious base with an incredible coffee flavor, studded with lots of bittersweet chocolate.  

I used to be content with store-bought. The original Starbuck's version was just about perfect in my book. But then Starbuck's changed the recipe to a flavor called "Java Chip Frappucino," a pale imitation of the original, and I lost interest. After a few disappointing purchases of other brands, I gave up.

Moving on, I ate more than my share of nutella espresso cookies and drank coffee (hot or iced) with chocolate chess pie. They were good, even great. But when I really wanted a fix of Java chip ice cream, those substitutes just didn't do the trick. 

Homemade Java Chip Ice Cream

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Tangy Vegetable Salad with Feta

Tangy Vegetable Salad with Feta

In my book, a great salad should be bold. Take this one for example. A few simple add-ins and a tangy dressing elevate the vegetables way beyond the mundane salad bar-level. It is addicting in a sneaky way. Like potato chips (but way healthier), don't be surprised if you keep you coming back for more.  

At the moment, we have a heat wave - hopefully the last one of the summer. When I'm unwilling to turn on the oven and don't have time to grill, we have a big salad (and little else) for dinner. Whether it's a Salad Niçoise or a chopped salad like this one, I try to take advantage of fresh, locally grown vegetables. Even our local supermarket is now advertising which farms or areas their summer vegetables come from. Especially in the case of tomatoes and corn, the taste of good quality vegetables makes an immeasurable difference. 

The ingredients in this salad are not complex, but they play together beautifully. If you can't find small, thin skinned cucumbers (often called Persian cucumbers), you can substitute half of a long English one or a regular cucumber if you cut the cucumber open and scoop out the seeds. The Persian cucumbers have such small centers and such tiny seeds that taking them out really isn't necessary.

Tangy Vegetable Salad with Feta

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Watermelon - From Ancient Seeds to Modern Curry

Watermelon  - From Ancient Seeds to Modern Curry

What fruit can you add to stir-fry, drink as agua fresca or beer, and make into sashimi or curry? Watermelon. I know, it’s a bit of a surprise but stay with me. Of course, you can enjoy it in its natural state too, sliced and eaten “as is” or used as an ingredient in a simple summer salad.

I once assumed that watermelon was native to America or at least was most popular in the U.S. Boy, was I wrong! 

My new favorite way to use watermelon is in curry, a far cry from the all-American watermelon slices on the porch. Before I get to the curry recipes, here are a few facts that set me straight on where watermelon comes from and how it is enjoyed in cultures all over the globe.

Watermelon and Vegetable Curry 

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