Posts in category "Food & Dining"

Brandied Fig & Raisin Ice Cream

First off, many thanks to Brenda of @MightyVanilla and Joy of Gourmeted for the recipe and getting their hands dirty in making this ice cream. Our girls’ nights are usually filled with food, fun and alcohol-fueled NSFW conversations. It’s probably best that I don’t share quotes on here ;)

This particular night we got our collective minds together in trying to figure out how to use up the organic Avalon whipping cream and goats milk. We heartedly agreed that making ice cream would be perfect especially if we can add my ‘leftover brandy’ to it.

With a wine glass in one hand, we dove right into our gourmet ice cream making process. As with cooking, one must organize and prepare ahead of time. We used an array of tools, pots, pans and, of course, ice cream maker, so do ensure you have enough stove and counter space.

Avalon Ice Cream Recipe

Secondly, this recipe does take time as you have to soften the figs, brandy the raisins, make the custard base then chill everything before putting it in the ice cream maker. So I highly recommend making this ice cream earlier enough in the day or the night before so you can enjoy it after your meal. OR because of the wine, time just flies by (I think there’s a theme here)

Avalon Ice Cream making

And after some patience and waiting, we created the most delicious delectable boozy filled ice cream that will keep my palate happy for the rest of the summer.

Avalon Ice Cream

Here’s the recipe, courtesy of Brenda (thanks!).

Brandied Fig & Raisin Ice Cream

1 cup dried black figs
2/3 cup plump raisins
1/2 cup brandy
3/4 cup goats milk
2/3 cup sugar
1 1/2 cups whipping cream, divided into 1/2 cup and 1 cup
pinch of salt
4 egg yolks
2 Tbsp brandy

Trim the hard stems off the figs and cut each one in half. Bring 1 cup of water and the figs to a simmer in a small saucepan over high heat. Reduce the heat to medium and simmer the figs, stirring occasionally, until the figs are soft and the water has reduced to about 1/3 cup. Remove from the heat and set aside to cool.
In another small pot, heat the raisins and the 1/2 cup of brandy together over medium heat. Let them simmer until most of the brandy has evaporated, then remove from the heat and set aside to cool.
Warm the goats milk, sugar, 1/2 cup of whipping cream, and salt in a medium saucepan.
Pour the remaining 1 cup of whipping cream into a large bowl and set a mesh strainer on top.
In a separate medium bowl, whisk together the egg yolks. Slowly pour the warmed milk into the egg yolks, whisking constantly, then scrape the warmed egg yolks back into the saucepan.
Stir the mixture constantly over medium heat with a heatproof spatula, scraping the bottom as you stir, until the mixture thickens and coats the back of the spatula.
Pour the custard through the strainer and into the cream. Stir until cool over an ice bath.
Add the 2 Tbsp brandy, softened figs and the remaining fig liquid to the ice cream mixture. Use a stick blender to blend the mixture until it is uniform and smooth. Chill the mixture thoroughly in the refrigerator.
Roughly chop the raisins into small pieces and set aside.
Freeze the custard mixture in an ice cream maker according to the manufacturer’s instructions. During the last few minutes of churning, add the chopped raisins.


NOW here’s your chance to make your own ice cream for the summer. I am giving away a Cuisinart Frozen Yogurt-Ice Cream & Sorbet Maker

Cuisinart Ice Cream Maker

TWO ways to enter**
On Twitter:
Follow @AvalonDairy and @SensesInspired and Tweet “Follow @AvalonDairy @SensesInspired for a chance to win a Cuisinart Ice Cream Maker. RT to Enter!”

On Facebook:
Comment on the Senses Inspired Facebook page on what kind of ice cream you would make with it

Good luck and have fun!

** Entrant must live in the United States or Canada and be of contest entry eligible age**

Social Bites #dinnerpartyYVR

Annika Reinhardt of Social Bites is putting together an amazing all encompassing event that showcases Vancouver’s best home cooks and helps out various charities at the same. Many of my friends are part of this so I want to give an extra shout out to them and encourage you all to grab a spot before it completely sells out (and there’s only a few seats left).

The Local Global, Vancouver: #dinnerpartyYVR is on Saturday, October 19, 2013 and the event is presented by local tech start-up Chimp. The immense #dinnerpartyYVR is a 30 individual dinner party behemoth, with up to 30 different hobby chefs across the city of Vancouver creating their own menus, choosing charities, and inviting groups of 4-6 strangers into their homes.

I’ve attended a Social Bites dinner, at a smaller scale, and it’s a memorable experience. The home chef would bring their talent, stories, and passion for food on to the table while welcoming you into their home with open arms. It’s a fun night of enjoying food, sharing laughs and making new friends.

Don’t miss out and take part in this great inclusive dinner experience. ¬†Tickets are $35 and can be bought online via event partner HomeDine and tickets include admission to a dessert after party at Hawkers Market. Diners will also enjoy beer and wine courtesy of beverage sponsors Granville Island Brewing and Serendipity Winery.

Vancouver Farmers Market

I love farmers markets and this year I made sure I took the time to visit them. There’s this certain friendly community vibe at farmers market that makes this city seem even more cozy and quaint.


This year my fridge was packed with fresh groceries from the West End and Yaletown locations; you can never have enough kale, greens, beets, mushrooms and fruits.


Many farmers markets around the city are coming to an end soon so make sure to check out your local convenient market

Trout Lake Farmers Market Saturdays, May 11 – October 19, 2013
9am – 2pm each week

Kitsilano Farmers Market Sundays, May 12 – October 20, 2013
10am – 2pm each week

West End Farmers Market Saturdays, June 1 – October 19, 2013
9am – 2pm each week

Kerrisdale Village Farmers Market Saturdays, June 15 – October 12, 2013
10am – 2pm each week

If you’re around the SOMA area shopping and brunching, there’s a new cute farmers market in that area too. There’s a few grocery stores in the Mount Pleasant area so it was nice to see this one pop up for the local residents. Since it’s still under the radar, it’s not as busy and thus no long line ups….unfortunately it ends this weekend so don’t miss out!
Mt Pleasant Farmers Market, Sundays, August 11 – October 13, 2013
10am – 2pm each week

One more thing…don’t forget to treat yourself and pick up some a fresh bouquet of flowers.

For more information, check out