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Jun, 2012

It's Summer And That Means One Thing: Milk

OK, maybe it also means school’s out, family vacations and omg I have a lot of cellulite I’m never putting on a swimsuit again, but there are also some awesome things you can make and chomp with milk this summer.

My friend and super awesome milk-loving blogger, Marsha Takeda Morrison, and I attended a cooking class sponsored by the fab Got Milk folks. Now those of you who know me know that I love to bake. Cook… not so much. I’m a good cook and can follow almost any recipe, but I’m no stranger to a package of Top Ramen (“Oriental flavor” is my fave. I know.) only because I really don’t like to cook. I was a little concerned about the hands-on aspect of this event as I’m more of a mouth-on person when it comes to food, but I can honestly say, I had a blast! Especially since we made desserts! YUM!

We paired up with a cooking buddy at our own cooking stations and first made Swiss merengue topped chocolate pudding tarts with Danielle Keene from Top Chef! Danielle was awesome, but the best part was getting to torch the top of the merengue AND I still have my eyebrows. Phew.

They look good enough to eat, don’t you think? We thought so, and we did. YUM! (I’m going to use the word “yum” a lot, fyi.)

Then my favorite part came next! Michelle Quilles of Blooming Gelatin Art taught us how to make GELATIN ART with milk based, colored gelatin injected into clear flavored gelatin using hypodermic syringes! Seriously one of the coolest culinary things I have ever seen! She made these gelatin flowers right in front of our eyes in just a matter of minutes:

Then I tried my hand at making the easiest flower, a chrysanthemum. Gosh, I’ve always wondered how to spell that and now I know. Onward… here’s what I made. Not bad for a first timer:

The next morning, Aubrey and I ate it at breakfast and it was delicious!

Of course, the Got Milk people treated us to a delicious lunch and a table full of other amazing milky summer desserts, my favorites being the Lavender Vanilla Bean Panna Cotta with Berry Caramel Sauce (YES you read it right) and the Coffee Banana Malt Ball Milk Shake. These sound pretty fancy-schmancy, but you’d be surprised how easy they are to make right at home. Here are a couple recipes for you to try, because I love you so much. Oh, and thanks to Eatz for letting us mess up your kitchen.

Cheers to summer eats and don’t forget your lactaid if you’re Asian. xo Amy


Lavender Vanilla Bean Panna Cotta

 with Berry Caramel Sauce

Serves 8


  • 1 vanilla bean, split
  • 2 ¼ tsp. dried lavender
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 1 cup milk
  • 3 cups heavy cream
  • ½ cup crème fraiche
  • 1 tbsp. powdered gelatin


In a saucepan over medium heat, bring vanilla bean, lavender, sugar, ½ cup milk and 1 ½ cups of heavy cream to a simmer.  Cover, remove from heat and set aside to steep for 30 minutes.   In a separate bowl, mix gelatin powder in remaining ½ cup milk to hydrate.  Reheat vanilla mixture and pour over gelatin mixture.  Whisk until combined and gelatin is dissolved.  Whisk in crème fraiche and strain.  Cool to room temperature.

With an electric mixer, whisk remaining 1 ½ cups of heavy cream to soft peaks.  Gently fold in vanilla bean mixture in two parts.  Pour into small greased ramekins and chill for 6 hours or overnight.  Unmold and serve with blueberry caramel and fresh fruit.

Berry Caramel Ingredients:

  • 1 cup sugar
  • ¼ cup water
  • 1 ¾ cup fresh berries (in season), pureed
  • 1 tbsp. butter

Berry Caramel Directions:

In a saucepan over high heat, combine sugar and water.  Boil until mixture is an amber color. Add berry puree and butter.  Whisk until dissolved.  Strain and serve over panna cotta.


Coffee Banana Malt Ball Milkshake

Serves 4


  • 1 pint premium-quality coffee ice cream
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 ripe banana, sliced
  • ¼ cup malt balls
  • Whipped cream
  • Cinnamon
  • Chocolate sauce (optional)


Combine ice cream, milk, bananas and malt balls in a blender until smooth.  In a tall glass, top the milkshake with whipped cream, malt balls and a sprinkle of cinnamon.

Optional:  Before pouring milkshake, line glass with chocolate sauce for added touch.



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May, 2010

Summer With Fresh and Easy!

My display of Fresh & Easy YUM!

I LOVE it when I get a new Fresh & Easy delivery to my po box. I know there’s some awesome stuff inside and, of course, I get to brag about it and share the info with my friends. Then, I get to EAT it!!

The fine folks at Fresh and Easy are helping us get ready for all those summer barbecues with grill packs, chips, buns, condiments, cookies, booze and more! YEAH!
For under $10, grab a ready-to-throw-on-the-grill “Grill Pack” that includes nearly five pounds of hamburgers, chili-seasonsed chicken and Italian sausages. Top them off with the basics like Fresh and Easy’s organic ketchup, yellow mustard or Original BBQ Sauce, all for under $3 each!
Then toss your meaty McMeaterson on a Gourmet Wheat Hamburger Bun ($2.99) – baked daily at Il Fornaio, btw – and grab a handful of F&E Malt Vinegar & Sea Salt Kettle Chips and VOILA!!!! You have some serious kind of yum for social noshing.
Aubrey’s a fan of Fresh & Easy!
I also got a small vat of F&E Soft Cranberry Oatmeal Cookies with Walnuts ($2.99) and a bottle of The Vine Yard Pinot Gris ($6.99). I have yet to crack the bottle of wine and the cookies were ok, but I have to say the Malt Vinegar & Sea Salt Kettle Chips ($1.49) are some of the best I’ve ever had. You can really taste the malt flavor of the vinegar and they have just the right amount of tangy bite. Surprisingly, my 3 year old daughter even loved them, so we have another new favorite to add to our F&E list of loves!
As usual, I can never say enough about Fresh & Easy. They are absolutely, hands down, my favorite grocery store on the planet and I can’t wait for them to expand around the US so more of my friends and family can experience the love.
For those of you lucky enough to be here in SoCal, Fresh and Easy is partnering with award winning Grill Expert Neil Strawder (aka Bigmista) at four of their store locations to kick off the grilling season with special grilling tips and recipes and the first 100 people will receive a free reusable bag!
Fri, June 4, 5-pm
Fresh & Easy
4211 Eagle Rock Blvd, L.A. 90065
Fri, July 30, 5-7pm
Fresh & Easy
10930 Rosecrans Ave, Norwalk 90650
Sat, Aug 21, 4-6pm
Fresh & Easy
2121 W Main St, Suite 300, Alhambra 91801
Sat, Aug 28, 4-6pm
Fresh & Easy
19350-A W Nordhoff St, Northridge 91324

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