Tuesday, April 22, 2014


Strawberry Rhubarb Pie Ice Cream | A new kind of pie a la mode via Club Narwhal #icecream

The first time I had strawberry rhubarb pie was in high school when my friends and I made a pit stop at House of Pies in L.A. House of Pies is a divey little diner known for--would you believe it?--pies. Pies upon pies upon pies. Since it is both cheap and open past midnight, it was the perfect hang out for broke kids like ourselves. 

Strawberry Rhubarb Pie Ice Cream | A new kind of pie a la mode via Club Narwhal #icecream

Back then, we spent most of our weekends rooting around record stores or standing around waiting for bands to play. Nothing mattered more than my friends and our music. We were teenagers, right?

Pie Crust Hearts

For years before my House of Pies experience, my go-to pie was pecan. I actually kind of hated fruit pies, as they always seemed to be filled with gelatinous piles of wobbly bits that barely resembled actual fruit. But when I glanced down House of Pie's menu, rhubarb popped off the page. 

Strawberry Rhubarb Pie Ice Cream | Rhubarb Compote Swirl

It was the first time I'd ever so much as seen the word. I had never heard it said out loud. I had no idea what it looked like, or tasted like, but it had a homey feel to it. So I ordered it. With a great big scoop of vanilla ice cream on the side.  

Mini Strawberry Rhubarb Pies | Club Narwhal #pie

And that pie, it was a marvel. Sweet, sticky strawberries cut with the tart zing of rhubarb. All of that  bright stuff mediated by flaky, buttery crust and a spoonful of velvety ice cream. I could not believe that this pie had existed in the world for so many years without my knowledge. 

Strawberry Rhubarb Pie Ice Cream | A new kind of pie a la mode via Club Narwhal #icecream

Can you remember eating your favorite dessert for the very first time? I'm lucky that I came late to strawberry rhubarb pie because I can still taste that first bite. The simple rightness of it all. 

Strawberry Rhubarb Pie Ice Cream | A new kind of pie a la mode via Club Narwhal #icecream

And so, to celebrate what is sure to be a summer rife with my new ice cream obsession, I bring you my absolute favorite pie in ice cream form. Lightly roasted strawberries get pureed and folded into Jeni's Splendid Ice Cream's perfect base. Strung with ribbons of gorgeous rhubarb compote and generous crumbles of Warren's famous cream cheese pie crust, and you have bliss in a bowl. 

Strawberry Rhubarb Pie Ice Cream | A new kind of pie a la mode via Club Narwhal #icecream

Finally, a confession: remember that lovely Lemon Biscotti Ice Cream from a few weeks ago? I may have made four more batches of ice cream that weekend. Yes, I am going bonkers for ice cream! That all said, I have been trying to stagger them out so you won't be completely inundated with ice cream posts--but no promises.

Strawberry Rhubarb Pie Ice Cream | A new kind of pie a la mode via Club Narwhal #icecream

And yes, Warren made a batch of mini strawberry rhubarb pies for the sole purpose of eating this ice cream with its coordinating pie. Obscene? Yes. But also totally awesome. And it must be said that eating SRP ice cream with a slice of SRP is totally different from drinking a Strawberry Rhubarb Pie Milkshake, which is a real and glorious thing. 

Thus ends my ode to strawberry rhubarb pie. 

Strawberry Rhubarb Pie Ice Cream | A new kind of pie a la mode via Club Narwhal #icecream


To Assemble the Ice Cream

Line a bread pan with parchment (or wax) paper. Drizzle some rhubarb compote (recipes below) at the bottom, then layer with 1/3 of the Roasted Strawberry Ice Cream Base. Sprinkle with pie crust crumbles and drizzle with more compote. Continue layering, ending with a layer of compote and pie crumbles. Drag a knife through the compote to create a marbling effect. 

Press parchment or wax paper onto the ice cream's surface and freeze for at least four hours. Before serving, let it rest on the counter for 10 minutes. Serve hearty scoops atop (totally optional) mini strawberry rhubarb pies and enjoy! Makes 1 quart. 

For the Roasted Strawberry Ice Cream Base
  • 1 pint fresh strawberries, hulled and halved
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups whole milk
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 3 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 1/8 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 1/3 cups heavy cream
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons light corn syrup
  • 1 1/2 cup crumbled baked pie crust, divided in half (Warren whipped up our favorite Cream Cheese Crust adapted from The Pie and Pastry Bible but you can also just bake a pre-made crust and crumble that. Either way, before baking, brush the crust with milk and sprinkle with sugar.)
First, roast the strawberries. To do so, combine strawberries with 1/3 cup sugar in an 8-inch glass dish (do not spray or oil the glass). Roast for 8 minutes, or until just soft. Cool slightly, then puree the berries in a blender. Measure 1/2 cup of the puree and set the rest aside to top the ice cream or for another use.

In a small bowl, mix the cornstarch with 2 tablespoons milk to form a slurry. Set aside. In another small bowl, mix the cream cheese and salt together. Set aside. Put the rest of the milk, cream, sugar, and corn syrup in a large, heavy bottomed pot (like a stock pot). Bring to a boil and boil for exactly four minutes (I set my phone's timer to make sure it was accurate). It will boil and foam like crazy. 

While the milk is boiling, put a ziplock bag in a tall, wide container (I used my blender) and fold the top over the container's edge so you can safely pour the boiled ice cream base into the bag. Set aside. After four minutes, take the pot off the heat and add the cornstarch slurry. Return to a boil for one minute, take off the heat again. Add the cream cheese to the boiled milk and whisk any clumps out. 

Pour into the prepared ziplock bag, seal it, and submerge in an ice bath. If you're making the ice cream the same day, just make sure the base is very cold before adding it to the machine. Add the base to your frozen ice cream barrel and spin for 15 minutes. The base should be frozen, a little more liquid than soft serve. 

At this point, pour in the strawberry puree and let it mix in completely, until the ice cream is a pretty pink color. Add half of the pie crust crumbles and swirl until incorporated. From here you can assemble the rest of the ice cream. 

For the Rhubarb Compote
Adapted from Epicurious 
  • 2 cups fresh rhubarb, chopped in 1/2-inch pieces
  • 1 cup sugar
Combine rhubarb and sugar in a medium saucepan. Simmer over medium-high heat for 10 minutes, stirring every so often, until the rhubarb is syrupy (the sugar will liquefy over the heat and the rhubarb will break down). Strain through a sieve and chill until you are ready to assemble the ice cream. 

See what else I'm craving on my Pinterest boards.

Also, a few more reasons to love berries and ice cream:

Easy Triple Berry Tarts

Easy Triple Berry Tarts | Club Narwhal

Lemon Biscotti Ice Cream with Blackberry Swirls

Lemon Biscotti Ice Cream with Blackberry Swirls | Club Narwhal

Strawberry Rhubarb Pie Shake

Strawberry Rhubarb Pie Shake | Club Narwhal

Wednesday, April 16, 2014


Angel Food Bunny Cakes | Sweet spring treats just in time for Easter!

You guys. It snowed yesterday. In mid-April. I mean, I was told--as I am told every year since I moved to the hinterlands known as Michigan--that this would happen. "Beware, the Annual April Snowstorm" locals warned. But fair warning still didn't make it any easier to stomach, especially after a blissful weekend of balmy high-sixties degree days. 

Luckily, these adorable little Angel Food Bunny Cakes with fluffy orange cream cheese frosting exist in the world. Without them, I would probably spend the rest of the month huddled in a corner (apparently, my favorite winter activity, after curling, obvs) until winter ends once and for all.

Angel Food Bunny Cakes | Sweet spring treats just in time for Easter!

Also, did you know Easter is this weekend? I feel like it was just Christmas, then I blinked (aka, hibernated) and it was suddenly Easter. And I haven't even had a single Cadbury mini egg. How is that possible? I feel like a stranger in my own body, as this time last year I had consumed approximately 4,000 bags of those addictive candies (don't judge). 

Angel Food Bunny Cakes | Sweet spring treats just in time for Easter!

Last year I also shared two of my all time favorite Easter recipes--Golden Hash Brown Crust Quiche (gluten free, though stuffed with copious amounts of goat cheese) and Lemon Cheesecake Swirl Rolls (courtesy the lovely Willow Bird Baking). Back then I had no idea that I would still be blogging on the regular a year later. I assumed I would have run out of ideas in a year's time, especially food-related ideas.

Turns out, the more I blogged, the more ideas I had--an unexpected but delightful consequence of exercising my creative muscles. 

Angel Food Bunny Cakes | Sweet spring treats just in time for Easter!

But back to these cupcakes. I have always been inordinately afraid of making angel food cake from scratch. A whole lot of emphasis seemed to rest on meringue, which I'm terrible at making (which is also the main reason--well, besides his perfect apple turnovers and berry tarts--I keep Warren around. He is a total meringue whisperer). So I was pleasantly surprised to find how absolutely non-frightening making angel food cake is, meringue and all.  

Angel Food Bunny Cakes | Sweet spring treats just in time for Easter!

These cupcakes turned out light-as-air with a golden brown crust. I topped them with a swirling tower of my favorite cream cheese frosting. The orange adds the perfect amount of sass. And you'll definitely want to lick the frosting bowl, which you should do by all means. 

And who can resist a cupcake topped with bunny ears? Not a single soul. 

Angel Food Bunny Cakes | Sweet spring treats just in time for Easter!

Here's hoping spring will someday come to dear Michigan. And that your weekends (Easter or not) are filled with good friends and good food. I can't wait to frolic with our families in sunny Los Angeles. Korean taco trucks, I am gunning for you!

Angel Food Bunny Cakes | Sweet spring treats just in time for Easter!


For the Angel Food Cupcakes
Adapted from Skinnytaste

  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • 2/3 cup cake flour, sifted (you can make cake flour out of all purpose)
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 8 egg whites from large eggs, room temperature
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar 
  • 1/2 cup white granulated sugar
  • zest of one orange

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Line muffin tins (I used circles of parchment paper since I ran out of regular liners). Whisk together the powdered sugar, cake flour, and salt. In another bowl, whisk the egg whites, water, vanilla, and cream of tartar.

Using a hand mixer, beat the egg mixture for about two minutes. Add the white granulated sugar a tablespoon at a time until medium peaks form (about five minutes--maybe a touch longer). If you dab the beaters into the meringue and pull up, the peaks will hold and look nice and glossy.

Fold in the orange zest. Then sift the dry ingredients into the meringue in two batches, folding to incorporate each time. Be careful not to over mix! Spoon about 1/4 cup of the batter into each cupcake liner and bake for 18 minutes, until golden brown. Cool completely before frosting.

For the Orange Cream Cheese Frosting
Adapted from Kraft Recipes

  • 1 (8 oz. ) package of cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup butter, room temperature
  • 4 cups powdered sugar
  • zest from one orange
  • 1 teaspoon fresh orange juice
  • 1 cup thawed whipped topping, like Cool Whip
Beat the cream cheese and butter together until light and creamy (about five minutes). Add the powdered sugar and beat until smooth. Add the zest and orange juice. Fold in whipped topping. Put frosting in a ziploc bag and cut the tip and make a pile of frosting swirls on top of the cupcakes. Top with homemade paper bunny ears, if so desired!

I believe in brunch, as my overflowing Breakfast for Champions Pinterest board proves.

Below are some of my favorite Easter brunch recipes, which I think you will enjoy immensely:

Hash Brown Crust Goat Cheese Quiche

Golden Hash Brown Crust Quiche with Goat Cheese | The absolute perfect Easter brunch quiche via Club Narwhal

Lemon Blueberry Cheesecake Swirl Rolls

Lemon Blueberry Cheesecake Swirl Rolls | Perfect for Easter brunch via Club Narwhal

Greek Yogurt Pineapple Upside Down Pancakes

Greek Yogurt Pineapple Upside Down Pancakes | The perfect brunch pancakes via Club Narwhal

Tuesday, April 08, 2014


Roasted Potato Salad with Asparagus | A lighter twist on potato salad via Club Narwhal #potato

Friends, I cannot say enough good things about this lovely Roasted Potato Salad! First of all, it has pretty much everything I adore in the world: roasted fingerlings and asparagus, egg, and a kicky lemon mustard vinaigrette. Oh, and let's not forget the avocado. Because you know how I feel about avocados. 

Roasted Potato Salad with Asparagus | A lighter twist on potato salad via Club Narwhal #potato

Could these gorgeous potatoes be any prettier? They remind me of the insides of geodes, which reminds me of my childhood hobby of rock tumbling, which I was actually not very good at (let it be known that it is very hard to be bad at rock tumbling, but I somehow managed it). Shiny geode-like rocks still make me swoon. I snagged a massive bag of these jewel-toned taters at Costco and do not regret it for a single second. 

Roasted Potato Salad with Asparagus | A lovely twist on potato salad via Club Narwhal #potato

I love spring because it means asparagus by the armfuls! When it hits ninety-nine cents a pound, I am filled with glee. As is my fridge. And freezer. All of which makes for a happy me. 

Roasted Asparagus | An easy spring side dish via Club Narwhal

While I admit that have a special place in my heart for traditional potato salads (yes, smothered with mayo and all) with spring in full swing, I wanted to lighten it up just a tad. Enter this kicky lemon mustard vinaigrette, which adds the perfect amount of zest to this lovely meal. Plus, it's only three ingredients and works on everything from salad to fish to chicken. 

Lemon Mustard Vinaigrette | The perfect spring dressing via Club Narwhal

Nothing makes me feel more fulfilled in life than a pan of crisp, golden potatoes. Nothing. Okay, except maybe popcorn (I am so addicted to popcorn). But that's a whole other story for another day. 

Roasted Potatoes via Club Narwhal

Roasted Asparagus | An easy spring side dish via Club Narwhal

This salad is delightful served warm or cold and will make you go back for seconds (and thirds--I won't judge)!

What is your favorite part about spring? 

Roasted Potato Salad with Asparagus | A lighter twist on potato salad via Club Narwhal #potato


For the Potato Salad
  • 2 pounds fingerling potatoes, halved
  • 2-3 tablespoons olive or coconut oil
  • spices like dried thyme, garlic, salt and pepper
  • 1 bunch asparagus
  • 6 eggs, hard boiled (I baked a dozen for 30 minutes at 325 degrees, then put in an ice bath)
  • 2 avocados, halved or diced
  • lemon wedges for garnish
Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Pour a little oil on a baking sheet and rub around so it evenly coats the pan. toss the potatoes with more olive oil and spices. Roast for 25-30 minutes, turning once at the halfway point. I like to roast my potatoes cut side down to get them golden grown.

Toss the asparagus in olive oil, salt, and pepper and pop in the oven for the last 10-15 minutes of the potatoes. To make the salad, just pile the potatoes and asparagus on a platter and nestle halved eggs and avocado throughout. 

For the Lemon Mustard Vinaigrette
  • 1 lemon, juice and zest
  • 1 tablespoon dijon mustard (I like super grainy mustard, but feel free to use what you have)
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • pinch of salt and pepper
Whisk all ingredients together and drizzle over salad. 

Looking for more spring delights? Take a gander at my favorite spring recipes below or follow along on Pinterest

Baked Avocado Rolls with Greek Yogurt Cilantro Lime Dipping Sauce

Baked Avocado Rolls via Club Narwhal

Hash Brown Crust Goat Cheese Quiche

Hash Brown Crust Goat Cheese Quiche via Club Narwhal

Thai Chicken Satay Salad

Thai Chicken Satay Salad | Club Narwhal

Lemon Biscotti Ice Cream with Blackberry Swirls

Lemon Biscotti Ice Cream with Blackberry Swirls via Club Narwhal

Free Printable | Earth is Like A Child that Knows Poems via Club Narwhal