Ice Cream Week Wrap-up

Ice Cream Week Wrap-up

Figgy Ice Cream by Modern Day Forager

Well, this week has been an interesting one, here at MDF…who would have ever thought that the trials and tribulations would be so overwhelming with a little local blog?  Every week we strive to bring the best we have to offer, blended with the best the valley has to offer, wrapped up in a pretty little package we call Modern Day Forager.

A novice to the food styling and photography world, (“recipe dude”) as I am called, can tell you, this blog is no small undertaking.  When I suggested ice cream as a theme, (in my infinite wisdom, I thought that ice cream in the valley of the sun, in the dead of summer, sounded like a great idea) my partners, to their credit, didn’t bat an eye.

Sunday, our first day of shooting was a BIG disaster, to say the least.  Heat, sun, humidity, me reacquainting myself with making ice cream, my renewed ice cream skills and techniques (hadn’t made scratch ice cream in about 10 years), had devastating effects on our results.  I can tell you from personal experience, Traci and Heather can do the impossible and come together to make just about any photo look good but when these “oh no I’m melting” photos did not pass their litmus test, it was back to the kitchen for me, and we re-shot everything the following day and boy are we glad we did.  (Plenty of shots for out take week)

First up, was our chocolate stout ice cream, now my new favorite, because of it is rich chocolaty taste and creaminess.  For me, it coated my mouth in all of the right places and but had a slight bitter hoppy finish that lingered, which is just how I like my beer.  Next, we tackled Traci’s grown up take on the old-fashioned ice cream float.  The flavors were inspired by a close friend, brew master and Master Cicerone Brian Helton’s house made chocolate stout, that we tried about a year ago and still talk about to this day.

Number two on the list, was our figgy ice cream; we chose this one to bring one of our favorite fruits to the table and use the fig all the way from beginning to end.  In order to really bring out the fruits flavor we incorporated AZ Bitters Lab Figgy Pudding bitters and to fully appreciate the texture we added even more fresh figs for their seediness and complexity.  Bitters in ice cream, come on, oh yes, we did!!!

Number three, and our final ice cream was, pink peppercorn goat cheese.  We had to bring a savory ice cream into the mix that really exemplifies one of the things we like to do at urban table.  The goat cheese brings a mild delicate creaminess with a whole lot of tang, while the pink peppercorns bring a very slight peppery finish with the addition of floral notes.  We couldn’t just leave it alone, we had to push it a little farther, so we stirred in pieces of honey comb and drizzled honey in the batch for just the right amount of sweet and savory, it really pushed the boundaries and it became a winning combination for us.

To finish up this theme of ours, Heather took over the writing reins and shop girl, to introduced us to an old school ice cream machine, reminiscent of one she used as a child.  She shared the two books we read in preparation for ice cream week, both of which are great resources, (I am a big fan of the Humphry Slocombe book and took inspiration from it when writing the recipes), and finally she gave us a link to Joy cones, the perfect cone for our chocolate stout ice cream.

We sure hope you enjoyed this as much as we did!  Please send us your feed back here or on our facebook page.

Figgy Ice Cream by Modern Day Forager

Modern Day Forager


Street Food Week: Wrap-up

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Street Food Week

We had a very busy and productive week.  We were very excited to bring street food to the pages of Modern Day Forager; it is a subject matter that is near and dear to our hearts for so many reasons, it is a culture we truly enjoy when we travel both here and abroad, it is a part of what we think will bring “community” back to our communities, it’s a connection to a simpler time and its just so darn tasty!  Monday we got even more excited when we learned that our Summery Watermelon Soup from last week’s post was being re-published on a national healthy living web site called Hella Wella… Healthy living for the real world.  Then, Tuesday we got an email from the Huffington Post asking us if they could use our photograph and recipe for the Simply Sensational Melon Sangria on their HUFFPOST TASTE .

Singapore by Modern Day Forager

Our week was filled with the hunt and we were in of search of ingredients and inspiration, our first stop was at the Super L Ranch Market at The Chinese Cultural Center in Phoenix, where we found several ingredients on the MDF shopping list, a whole bunch of provisions that just looked fun and of course props, we are always in search of that perfect little treasure and this is the place.  Next, we were off to Pro’sRanch Market in search of the perfect tortilla, specialty produce and props, of coarse. props.  Our last stop was to Saffron Market which is located in north Scottsdale, were we found our dried chickpeas and ingredients to make our tahini sauce.

Singapore by Modern Day Forager

One of the best parts of our field trip was that Heather’s daughter Bailey, who is nine, was along for the ride and adventure and how many cool food products we got to experience with her, she is not a stranger to these kinds of trips, however, we were thrilled we got to see it through her eyes as well as share and show her some things we have learned about these foods and cultures.  The hunt, the find and the get is something we talk about a lot here at Modern.  Doing the R&D is a blast and is so satisfying.  We reap the rewards by going to these markets and learning new things.

If you missed any of the posts this week page down and take a look.  Tuesday featured an introduction written by Traci explaining why we are so fascinated with street food, the street food culture and why we think it is so important that we embrace it. Wednesday we gave you our first impressions of the new Scottsdale Food Truck Caravan, what a treat, you should stop by some Saturday evening and check it out and please let us know your thoughts in the comments area or on our facebook page.  We jumped right into recipes on Thursday with our take on one of the most popular United States street foods, the Korean short rib taco, popularized by the LA food truck scene.  If you have never experienced a First Friday in Venice CA. you are truly missing out.   Next, we jumped across the pond to the United Kingdom (and Australia) for one of my favorite dishes Fish and Chips featuring a double or triple cooked chip and simple beer battered haddock or cod. For those of you that jump all over me for using lard in my recipes I fought the urge this time and went with peanut oil just for you, and its high smoke point.  Yesterday we featured what I think is the most under appreciated sandwich here in the States, the  Banh Mi.  We did our MDF version with a lemongrass and spice infused pork, but you can use any meat you have on hand, the crunchy, sweet, savory and spicy elements in this sandwich are what pushes it over the top and Traci added an MDF twist to ours with Granny Smith apples and pickled watermelon rinds.

Let us know your thoughts on the anything and everything we are doing here at MDF.  Thanks.