SO, it is hot outside and it is time to discuss something we all love, and is super important. This is of course, ice cream.
I am about as much of an ice cream connoisseur (needed spell check for that word) as the next person, but I am usually too cheap to take the family out to get 5 single scoops of ice cream at the Baskin Robbins, so my go-to for ice cream is the local Vons, or Ralphs, whichever is closer. You can feed all five of us more than once, for $3-5 (2 half-gallons for $5.00 anyone?)- and that totally works for me.
Here is a list of my favorite ice cream flavors you can buy at the store, and why. Granted some of these are sentimental choices- I am sure you also have good memories associated with certain flavors as well. Or maybe it’s just me… anyway.
10. New favorite bar: Magnum Bars. These are all the thing in Europe (totally a world traveler these days), and they are amazing. Super rich, super decadent, super expensive, but who cares? I was so excited when I found out that they were released in the US, that the first time I found them I sent pictures to my friends who share the Magnum passion and posted on Facebook. I think I may have blinked back a tear or two in the process. Seriously- they are that good. Favorite flavor- Magnum Gold. This is a vanilla ice cream bar, coated with a layer of milk chocolate, dipped in this amazing, shimmery, golden colored caramel coating. Yum.
9. Old favorite bar (but still super awesome): It’s-It Ice Cream Treats. I am not sure if these are available everywhere- but oh my goodness, they should be. They are the ultimate cookie ice-cream sandwich with a twist. The classic flavor is vanilla ice cream sandwiched between two delectable chewy-cold oatmeal cookies. The whole thing is dipped in, you got it, chocolate. It also comes in mint ice-cream. These are based out of San Francisco which was a favorite vacation spot when we were kids. I have many good memories of eating It’s-Its on a park bench outside of a campground store (I always loved those little stores).
8. Favorite local flavor only found rarely and with great excitement: McConnell’s Turkish Coffee. McConnell’s Ice Cream is a local chain that is based out of Santa Barbara. When we were at Westmont College, Krista, Dayl and I would regularly jump into Dayl’s old Saab and make a late night run to State Street for McConnell’s Turkish Coffee. Of course it is super-caffeinated, with all of those bits of ground up espresso beans, but no matter! We were in college and didn’t even notice. Every once in a while I find this flavor in the store and figurately jump up and down with excitement and remember my college days with my best friends. This is the All-time Best Coffee Ice Cream Ever, in my opinion. I did recently get a different McConnell’s coffee ice cream at Costco, so it could still go global, you never know.
7. Favorite for when I am counting calories: Fudgsicles! I went to one Weight Watcher’s meeting ever and they mentioned fudgsicles as being low in calories, fat and even having a low point value! Perfect. Also a sentimental favorite from childhood. Who doesn’t have great memories of making fudgsicle mustaches? Still chocolaty fun AND good for the diet.
6. Best comeback: Breyer’s Natural Vanilla. BREYERS IS BACK! Remember those Breyer’s commercials back in the 90’s? Only four ingredients: Milk, Cream, Sugar, and Vanilla. It was awesomeness in a bowl. The perfect vanilla ice cream. Then something went really wrong. They started adding stuff. Who knows what it was, but it was weird and yucky and not close to the original flavor. Every 3-4 years or so I would buy it again in hopes that the vanilla beauty would be back, to no avail. BUT, just last week, we tried it again (the husband was reading ice cream ingredients again- and felt like taking a risk). You know what? It was really good. Maybe not quite perfection, but darned close. We tried a few more flavors this week to be sure the “All Natural” was for real (any excuse, I tell ya), and they were yummy and did not leave that nasty aftertaste that has plagued Breyer’s for years. Yay! I am cautiously optimistic, and that is good.
5 and 4. Best store brand: Denali Original Moose Tracks and Mint Moose Tracks. These Moose Tracks ice creams are sold as store brands- but don’t be thrown off by the label. They are SUPER good. The original flavor has chocolate ice cream and has this really cool and amazing flaky chocolate layer thing going on and includes these delectable mini peanut butter cup things to make it chunky and flaky and amazing. The mint one has the same layer chocolate stuff (how DO they do that?) but with mint ice cream and mint mini chocolate cup things. I can’t decide which one I like better, so I listed both. YUM YUM YUM.
3. The rest of the list has to go to Ben and Jerry’s: Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough. This was THE ice cream flavor of my teen years- and nobody does it better than Ben and Jerry’s. Something about that creamy rich vanilla and the texture of the doughy slightly salty chocolate chip crunch is just perfection.
2. Ben and Jerry’s Half Baked: Remember when they were mixing every two flavors they could think of together in those little pints? Some of the mixes were amazing, and some were not so great, but this one was my favorite. Thankfully a lot of people seemed to agree, because it is one of the only mixes that is still around. Chocolate chip cookie dough/brownie dough/chocolate ice cream/vanilla ice cream all mixed together pretty much cannot be beat.
1. Major sentimental favorite: Ben and Jerry’s Chunky Monkey. My husband and had our first serious conversation over a shared pint of Chunky Monkey ice cream, and we have loved it ever since. Totally original with banana ice cream and huge walnut and chocolate chunks- it is our most regularly bought ice cream, and number one favorite- for many, many, good reasons. 🙂
I hope you enjoyed my list, now go out and buy some ice cream!
I’d love to hear your favorites and try them too!