A little piece of Ice-Cream History, Aurora, Illinois

During a short visit to the state of Illinois, one of my co-workers stated that we had to go to “this” ice-cream place that was walking distance from the location where we were dining in Schaumburg, Illinois.

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So after a fabulous dinner at Bonefish Grill of some good ‘ole Bang Bang Shrimp , Coconut Shrimp, etc, which of course had to be accompanied by a lovely Fresh Watermelon Icicle Aphrodisiac™ Martini, the time finally arrived to go and visit “The” ice-cream place which is actually called Oberweis Ice Cream and Dairy Store.

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As you walk up to it, the store front has this lovely candy stripe red and white decor that already makes you feel kind of mushy but in a good way if you know what I mean.

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In we walked and for some reason it make me think of an old ice-cream parlor, all we needed were some roller blades and appropriate music and we were all set!

I settled for a Double Scoop, Dulce de Leche and their seasonal Pumpkin Ice Cream which turned out to be delish! There were a lot of other tempting options and if “fall” had been the season, the Apple Crisp Sundae might have been the one to go for ❤

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I wouldn’t say its the best ice cream I ever had, but what I really liked is the family history behind a place like this.

It all began in 1915 when a dairy farmer called Peter J. Oberweis began selling is extra milk to friends and neighbors. Check out the entire story by clicking on “How it Began”.

In 1951 the first Oberweis Dairy store opened in Aurora, Illinois and they have been in business every since…:-)

So next time you find yourself in the state of Illinois, swing by and have a little refreshing taste of Ice-Cream History!

Here are some fun facts that I found interesting about James D. “Jim” Oberweis, an American businessman, investment manager and politician from the state of Illinois. The owner of Oberweis Dairy, in North Aurora near Chicago, he is currently a member of the Illinois Senate, representing the 25th district since January 2013….

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Its not just a Banana Bread….

Banana Bread is something that I make 1 or 2 loaves of at least 3 to 4 times a month! I am happy to say that they don’t all get consumed by my family as at least 75% of them are enjoyed by my coworkers 🙂

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Does anyone else have the “banana” issues that I have? If I don’t buy bananas, the family complains that there are no bananas. And when I buy bananas, they eat a couple and the rest are pushed to a corner and left to rot! That is how my banana bread are born every single time!

Thinking maybe this is a family conspiracy to make me make Banana Bread nearly every week, but wouldn’t it be just easier to tell me?

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Anyway, today is one of those days where 3 very unhappy bananas were staring at me when I came back from work. To which I added 3 more not so unhappy ones to make a 2 loaves.

Banana Bread is just fabulous on its own, but my adventurous spirit and always looking for something different crazy brain decided that today we needed a little twist. And can you think of anything better than a cheesecake/banana bread combo?

So with that thought in mind, I prepared my banana bread the usual way and then mixed the following ingredients to make a cheesecake filling in the middle of it.

  • 8oz of cream cheese
  • 1/4 cup of sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 3 tbsp of flour
  • 1 tbsp of vanilla extract

Once I got the above nicely mixed I layered half the mixture of my banana bread into the mold, followed by the cream cheese mixture and then topped with the rest of the banana bread mixture.

The result is a fabulously moist banana bread with a big fat vein running through it of a luscious cheesecake consistency filling! Now how is that for a change?

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This week everyone got lucky, as one of them is staying home (had to slice it to take a pic) and the pretty one is going to work ❤

Mac & Cheese with a British Twist ……

Wednesday night, rainy night calls for cozy food! So I decided to make an American favorite with an English twist…..

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….instead of making your traditional cheese sauce with your regular cheddar and so on, I threw the English twist into it by using some Horseradish flavored cheese as well as lots of black pepper.

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I was in Horseradish Heaven, kids ate it without complaining and the Norwegian Hubby complained that it tasted like glue (obviously he must have eaten glue quite often in order to make that statement, must be an Engineer thing)!

To make a statement my helping had a little extra shredded horseradish cheese and more black pepper :-)!

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Jalapeño Cheese Cookies

Found this fantastic recipe by Trisha Yearwood that I thought I would try out! She calls them Jalapeño Cookies and I don’t intend to change the name but they truly remind me of a cross between Jalapeño Poppers and Cheese Cookies and when you read the ingredients you will know why.

First of all let me point out that when handling Jalapeños or any type of hot peppers you either need to wear gloves or if you are like me (don’t wear gloves), remember to not touch your face, eyes or mouth! I swear I followed my instructions and did not touch any of the above, but what I did do was move my wine glass at some stage and touched the rim…….you can imagine the rest of the story! Feel like a got Botox on my lips!

Ok stories aside, here is Trisha’s wonderful recipe and they turned out to be a little bite of spicy heaven!

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  • 1 x 8 oz pack of cream cheese
  • 3 x tablespoons of seeded and chopped jalapeño peppers
  • 8 oz of grated parmesan cheese
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tsp of jalapeño jelly (this is not part of the recipe but I couldn’t resist)
  • 3 cups of plain breadcrumbs (I only used 1 cup)

Mix the cream cheese, Parmesan, jalapeños and egg to form a paste (I used my hand blender to make it easier).

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Shape into balls using about 1/2 tablespoon of paste for each. Roll the balls in the breadcrumbs.

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Place on an un-greased baking sheet and bake for 10 to 15 minutes (15 mins is perfect), until golden brown. Serve warm.

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Pasta Frola with a twist

As stated before, rainy days usually inspire me. So I got thinking about a simple but very tasty traditional dessert from my lovely country, Uruguay. Its called Pasta Frola and it is a simple sweet pastry tart filled with Quince Jam “Dulce de Membrillo” , (similar to Guava). Whilst living here in Florida I came across some Cuban treats called Pastelitos, some have Guava and  cream cheese in them, which made me wonder, what would happen if I added some cream cheese at the bottom of my Pasta Frola?

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The result was just wonderful, the cream cheese complements the sweetness of the Quince Jam perfectly so this one is for the books! I guess the name of Pasta Frola with a Twist is quite adept unless someone wants to suggest something else!

For the next one I think I will swirl the cream cheese through-out the quince jam for a nice marbled effect.