Sometimes, there are moments in life that seem too good to be true. The ones where you stand back and go, “Wait, what just happened?”
I’ve had several of those lately. The first came this February at the Food Media South conference. I was there trying to learn how to be better at- well- everything that has to do with food. I learned a ton. Breakfast and lunch were delicious. But the coffee? Spectacular.
Growing up in Alabama, I am a huge fan of Royal Cup . Their passion for excellence and high-quality roasts make for a great coffee experience. My all-time favorite Royal Cup blend is Fancy Gourmet, a perfect, medium roast with full body and a divine richness. Once I realized they were in charge of keeping us fueled at the conference, and nearly assaulting the Royal Cup staff with my enthusiasm for their roasts, I was introduced to Mike Powell, Regional Manager at Royal Cup. After sharing with him my love for their product and a bit about Luv Cooks, he promised to send some Fancy Gourmet my way. And just like Royal Cup always does, they went above and beyond and sent a beauty of a package, overflowing with bags of Fancy Gourmet, Royal Cup mugs, lip balm- and a beautifully hand-bound book full of quotes on excellence (marked by their H.C. Valentine brand). Luv.
I also knew that to those much had been given much was expected. I knew I wanted to give Royal Cup a great recipe on the blog. And I knew in order to be great it had to come from my heart.
One of my favorite things to do with my dad is drink coffee. He is now a decaf guy (the regular version makes his hands shake before surgery), but we both share a love for a great, dark-roasted cup. He takes his black with honey; mine comes with cream, sugar, and more cream. Our perfect recipe? Coffee ice cream. With honey.
My second moment came last Saturday with my friend Heather Brown. She and I were given the awesome opportunity to style a “How to Be the Hostess with the Mostest” ice cream and cookies party for The Shops of Grand River. The ice cream bowls from the Le Creuset store in this shoot are adorable and I wish I owned them all! The platter is pretty too.
Heather has been featured on Luv Cooks before, and for those of you who keep up with the blog, you know that she is incredibly talented and vivacious and wonderful. But this shoot was special. Heather is pregnant (due this fall) and she was glowing. That type of glow where your face lights up and your whole demeanor changes. Not only was she a natural on camera (See our Cookies & Ice Cream party video below) she radiated with a type of happiness that was contagious. Not to mention, her cookies were so dang tasty that I took at least four. Maybe six. Total. Just click here for her delicious dark chocolate oatmeal cookies, and check out our video below for some excellent ice cream and cookie party hosting tips.
So y’all, in the spirit of our upcoming summer, and living in awe of life and those moments where we look back in complete gratitude and amazement- make some homemade (dairy-free!) ice cream, bake some cookies, and enjoy every bit of it with the ones you love. Because those are the memories that last longer than just ice cream (especially in the South:))
Royal Cup Coffee and Honey Ice Cream (recipe modified from the always inspiring Minimalist Baker)
This take on a classic coffee ice cream is rich and sweet, with a nice, subtle coffee flavor. Make the ice cream ahead of time; you will need to chill it for at least four hours in the freezer, with additional 30 minute increments in the mixer to soften it up.
What You Will Need:
- 14.5 ounces coconut cream (from two cans of chilled coconut milk*)
- 1/4 cup Royal Cup coffee
- 1/2 cup vanilla almond milk
- 2 tablespoons good quality honey (plus more for drizzling)
- 1/8 tsp salt
What You Will Do:
1. Line a loaf pan with parchment paper.
2. Pour coconut cream, coffee, almond milk, honey and salt into a large bowl. Using a hand mixer, mix on medium high for about one and a half minutes, until the mixture is creamy and smooth.
3. Pour the mixture into the parchment-lined loaf pan. Freeze for at least four hours.
4. Once the ice cream has been in the freezer for four hours, take it out and put it into the metal bowl of a stand mixer. Mix on low to medium for about a minute. This softens the cream mixture to about soft-serve consistency. If you would like more of an ice cream texture, put the softened mixture back into the loaf pan and re-freeze for 30 minutes.
5. Once left in the freezer for 30 minutes, put the hardened cream back into the stand mixer and mix once more (for a minute or so). Serve immediately, or continue the whipping process until you reach a desired consistency!
*The best way I have found to make coconut cream is to pour two cans of full-fat coconut milk in a glass bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and chill overnight in the fridge. Once you are ready, simply pour the milk over a metal strainer. The chunks that have hardened are the cream; the liquid you can save for other recipes that use coconut milk! #yum