Monday, June 27, 2011

Cherry Rose Agave Ice Cream


It is STILL 100 degrees outside and this time cherries are on sale. The freezer is once again in dire need of homemade ice cream.. so I'm on it!

I decided to use the same basic eggless recipe as I did with the Blueberry Lavender Ice Cream. It involves a lot less time near a hot stove on a scorching day and is overall easier than the custard method.

Deep red bing cherries create a lovely rose color ice cream, which inspired me this time to add rose as a flavoring. Another change is the use of agave nectar as the sweetener. Honey is lovely but has a very distinct flavor of its own and I wasn't wanting its strong presence. Agave is a far more inert sweetener and my goal was to bring out the full bang of the Bing Cherries and June Rose (sounds like a couple of 1940's Hollywood starlets ;)

1 & 1/2 Cup Bing Cherries, pitted and rinsed
1/2 Cup Organic Genuine Agave Nectar
1/4 Cup Rose Hydrosol a.k.a Rosewater
6-8 Drops of cane alcohol based Vanilla Absolute
3 Cups Half-and-Half

In a medium size heavy bottom saucepan, bring cherries, agave, and half of the Rosewater to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce to a simmer and cook for about 2-3 minutes while stirring until the cherries soften slightly and begin to bleed their color into the syrup. Remove from heat. Blend with a stick blender until pureed. Using a sieve, strain into a bowl, pressing the cherry skins to release all the liquid. Refrigerate for several minutes until lightly chilled. Add the drops of Vanilla Absolute, then stir in the half-and-half and the remaining Rosewater . Pour mixture into an ice cream maker (1 1/2-qt. or larger capacity). Freeze according to manufacturer's directions until firm enough to scoop. Enjoy!

Note - The mashed cherry skins can either be added back to the ice cream mixture before freezing for additional flavor and texture or can be left aside, placed on waxed paper, flattened and dried to make fruit leather :)

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Inventory Time


**ALOF IS CLOSED FOR SUMMER INVENTORY & WEB MAINTENANCE JUNE 21 - JULY 4, 2011 . **
All pending and back orders will be shipped during that time, and all new orders will be shipped beginning July 5th. Also at that time new specials and freebie offers will be announced! Thank you! Summer Blessings to all!

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Blueberry Lavender Honey Ice Cream


It is 100 degrees outside and blueberries are on sale. To me that sounds like an invitation to make homemade ice cream.

Blueberries make a lovely lavender color ice cream, which inspired me to add lavender as a flavoring. Then I chose to use honey in this recipe because flavor wise lavender and honey compliment each other very well; to the point where the hint of lavender in this recipe is more a slight amplification of the wildflower flavor of the honey itself rather than a particularly distinct or powerful flavor of its own. I certainly didn't want anything to overshadow the flavor of fresh blueberries present at the party!

1 & 1/2 Cup Blueberries, rinsed
3/4 Cup local raw Honey
1/4 Cup Water
1 Pinch of pesticide free Lavender Blossoms
1/4 Teaspoon ground Cinnamon
1/8 Teaspoon ground dried Ginger
3-4 Drops of Lavender Essential Oil
3-4 Drops of cane alcohol based Vanilla Absolute
3 Cups half-and-half

In a medium size heavy bottom saucepan, bring blueberries, honey, and water to a boil over medium-high heat. Cook for about 4 to 5 minutes while stirring until the berries begin to pop. Remove from heat. Add dried lavender, cinnamon & ginger. Blend with a stick blender until pureed. Using a sieve, strain into a bowl, pressing the berry skins to release all the liquid. Refrigerate for several minutes until lightly chilled. Add the drops of Lavender Essential Oil and Vanilla Absolute, then stir in the half-and-half. Pour mixture into an ice cream maker (1 1/2-qt. or larger capacity). Freeze according to manufacturer's directions until firm enough to scoop. Enjoy!

Note - The mashed berry skins can be placed flat on waxed paper, flattened and dried to make fruit leather :)

Optional - Like a lot of flavor with an exotic flair? Add 1-2 drops of Cardamom Essential Oil to this recipe!

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Uncorked!


I grew up in NYC. While many of my youthful memories involve smells that were not always natural or pleasant, there was an abundance of Gaia's aromatic influences around me to put this child on the right track at a young age.

Mrs. Huie grew cascading pale purple wisteria on her balcony. Mr. Schneider had mounds of sweet golden honeysuckles. Old overgrown lilac & mulberry bushes were prolific all throughout the back alley. These are the natural fragrances and fragrant flavors of my childhood; seasonal scents & sweet sensations, annually anticipated and experienced with jubilation. I was hooked way back then.

As I grew into a teenager I became heavily involved in studying a variety of "aromatic arts", including cooking, aromatherapy, handmade incense, ancient perfumes, etc. These ingredients included herbs, spices, resins, oils, and a variety of fragrances both natural and synthetic. Rather quickly I gravitated away from the synthetics. They simply didn't suit my personal needs for a variety of reasons and I tended to make most of my creations without them, eventually phasing them out completely. Employment opportunities in my late teens and early 20's introduced me to a far wider range of aromatic materials than I had ever used before. This increased interaction and greater experience with essential oils, absolutes, concretes and other nature made heavenly scents only piqued my interests more.

Then came the internet .. In the mid/late 90's I found myself meeting other aromatic artisans and aromatherapists online. One of the folks I met was a botanical maven & Natural Perfumer named Anya McCoy. Since the early 90's she had been making and selling all natural, modern style perfumes, with commercially available natural aromatic ingredients and even some self created concoctions made from flowers and fruits growing in her own tropical garden. Once we got talking, I knew the sky was the limit for this art form and for me!

The rest is HerStory! Happy 5th Birthday Natural Perfumers Guild!

This is part of Uncorked, an anniversary celebration of five years of the Natural Perfumers Guild, with the following other bloggers/companies blogging today:

Adam Gottschalk, Lord's Jester
Alec Lawless,Being Led by the Nose
Anu Prestonia, Anu Essentials
Anya McCoy, Anya’s Garden Perfumes
Charna Ethier, Providence Perfume
Dawn Spencer Hurwitz, DSH Notebook
Denise Smith, gtt by gtt
Elise Pearlstine, Bellyflowers
Emily Pienaar, The Western Cape Perfumery
Ida Meister, Ca Fleure Bon
Isabelle Gelle, Les Parfums d’Isabelle
JoAnne Bassett, Natural Perfumes
Karen Williams, Aromatics International
Laura Natusch, Olive and Oud
Lisa Abdul-Quddus, Blossoming Tree Bodycare
Noelle Smith, Ellenoire
Robert Tisserand, I’m Just Saying
Ross Urrere, Olfactory Rescue Service
Susan Stype, Aromatherapy Contessa
Trygve Harris, Absolutely Trygve