In Praise of a Store Brand

Just a quick note, today. I love finding homemade ice cream in my travels. Going out for ice cream is literally one of my favorite things. But my budget and my waistline don’t allow me to go out every day. And much as I may try to convince myself to make other choices, I just love having ice cream every night, so I usually do.

I have a lot of favorite ice cream brands, including Tillamook, Gifford’s and Breyer’s. But I’ve really been enjoying trying store brands! It’s an easy way to save money, and often it’s really good too!

At Walmart, of all places, we discovered the tastiness of the cheekily named Hashtag Chocolate. And at King Soopers/Kroger’s, we’ve found that while their peppermint and mint ice creams aren’t worth the time of day, their chocolate-based ice creams, of all sorts, have really knocked it out of the park. Be sure to try French Silk – it’s outrageously indulgent. On the East Coast, we’ve always enjoyed Hannaford ice cream and frozen yogurt.

I’d love some insight into which companies make store brands for the respective stores. I’m quite curious, and I wonder if it varies by flavor.

Also, pro tip: if you’re prone to eating too much ice cream, get some adorable tiny ice cream bowls. That way you can stuff them to the brim and feel indulgent.

Do you ever get store brand ice cream? And do you have any favorites to share?

Return to Sweet Cow

I don’t often give a second review to a place, but there’s an exception to every rule, right? Honestly, I’m not revoking my original review by any means. But my husband and I were in Boulder, Colorado and he wanted to return to Sweet Cow (rather than Glacier, which was our overall favorite in Boulder), and since I’d already returned to Glacier, I was happy for an excuse to visit Sweet Cow. Sweet Cow, Boulder, CO | In Search of a Scoop

We went to a different location than last time (not quite as large but with the same awesome merchandise), and we tried several new to us flavors. Here’s what we sampled: Sweet Cow, Boulder, CO | In Search of a Scoop

Hammonds Peppermint Bark – This was delicious and would be an awesome winter flavor. Peppermint was on pointe here, and the giant chunks of chocolate and white chocolate are high quality and very tasty. I’m not sure it all came together as one, particularly, but if you like peppermint and chocolate, there’s nothing to complain about here. It’s very tasty.

Bourbon Corn Flake – Obviously this has gluten in it, so only Ross tried it. He really enjoyed it. The bourbon flavor is subtle, but he found the cornflake texture to be somewhere in between soggy and crispy, and thought that was just right. Sweet Cow, Boulder, CO | In Search of a Scoop

Comida Horchata – Based on the drink, popular in Spain and Latin-American countries, this is rice-based with almonds and cinnamon and it was truly delightful. Ice cream texture was super creamy, basically perfect, and both Ross and I loved it and got a scoop. It was also surprisingly refreshing for summer – I would have imagined it would be heavier somehow.

Pica’s Watermelon Sorbet – I don’t know who Pica is, and I didn’t think to ask. But Boulder has a Mexican restaurant and if it’s the same Pica, I need to go there. This sorbet is so good! Keep in mind that I love watermelon, but Ross only likes artificial watermelon flavor (he thinks the fruit is too bland), and he actually loved this too. I found it to be a heightened, real watermelon taste. It’s so great! It’s a truly excellent texture for a sorbet, and it’s ridiculously refreshing. I got a scoop, which almost never happens when I’ve got real ice cream flavors to choose from!

Boulder is so lucky to have several great ice cream options. Homemade ice cream is the best, and you will do very well at Sweet Cow. This go around, the consistency was better than last time, so it does seem to vary somewhat from flavor to flavor.

Have you tried Sweet Cow? If you missed my first review, it’s here. And you may also enjoy reading about Glacier or Heifer and the Hen in Boulder.

A Quick Trip For Custard

As you know, I’m all about the ice cream, but the extra creaminess (due to the eggs) of custard is tough to resist.

In the past couple of weeks, I’ve made two visits to local chain Good Times Burgers & Frozen Custard here in Fort Collins. I highly recommend it!Good Times Burgers and Frozen Custard, Fort Collins, CO | In Search of a Scoop

First off, I don’t review burgers. But this West Coast burger was delicious, with the perfect amount of melty cheese, tasty beef patties, sauce and all well-wrapped in lettuce since I don’t do gluten. In my memory, it stands up to the best of fast food burger options.

But I bet you’re wondering how the custard was? Of course.Good Times Burgers and Frozen Custard, Fort Collins, CO | In Search of a Scoop

I’ve had it two ways. The first time, I had the custard (it’s vanilla of course) and I had hot fudge on top. The second time, I had hot fudge mixed in. Both ways are delicious. I’m especially fond of the latter – it’s like an even more indulgent version of a chocolate shake. Or if you just stir a hot fudge sundae a lot. (It’s so good that I can almost forget how hard it is to get good hard ice cream here!) Can you tell I enjoy hot fudge? Does anyone not, actually? Good Times Burgers and Frozen Custard, Fort Collins, CO | In Search of a Scoop

Good Times is delightful fast food. Maybe it’s like Dairy Queen with better sourced food and less grease. Yum!

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Robin’s Nest in House of Windsor, CO

Do you ever have a day where, despite every attempt, you’re just off? Things don’t go as expected, you can’t stay calm and happy despite a wonderful and fun day….this Wednesday I had one of those days. My husband and I had set out to explore a nearby town in Colorado, and as part of our adventuring, he had done his due diligence to find us a place to get ice cream during the visit.

When he told me about it (it sounded like a very cute diner), I was sorry to inform him that I’d already researched it and the ice cream wasn’t homemade. But, I’d heard good reviews, and I was happy to stop in anyway.

When we arrived, my awkward headspace combined with the lackluster ice cream offerings (but great other offerings) and my husband, seeing my disappointment, said hey, would you rather go somewhere else? Let’s go somewhere else. I apologized and we left.

Thank goodness that when I plugged in ice cream for a stop on the way home, I ran into Robin’s Nest at House of Windsor in Windsor, Colorado. Although my research told me they get their ice cream elsewhere too (in this case, Longview Creamery), I was delighted to walk in and see a truly charming space that combines the feel of a cafe with the feel of a diner. The staff was friendly and flexible, and although I had to have my banana split without the banana (yup – they ran out), I still enjoyed my treat, as did my husband. Here’s what we got:Brickle-ish shake, Robin's Nest, Windsor, CO | In search of a scoop

Brickleish – This is really tasty. It’s their version of butter beer, basically, with hints of butterscotch. I think it would make a neat alternative to a coffee ice cream. Ross had his in a sundae, and I had mine as part of my sundae.

Sirius Chocolate – This is a classic light chocolate ice cream. There’s almost a grainy or malt feel to it, but I’m embarrassed to say that because the ice cream is super smooth and consistent…so I’m not sure how else to describe it, but trust me that it’s very good! It would make an excellent milkshake base. I had a scoop in a sundae.

Bing Cherry – This was my least favorite, but if you dig cherry maybe you’d like it more? I think the cherries must be preserved, and I wasn’t as fond as I’d hoped of the almost candied flavor…but the texture of the cherries was perfectly preserved and the base was delicious. It’s perfect to pair with hot fudge.

I skipped the nuts and, of course, the banana, on my banana split. They carried 11 flavors while I was there, and past experience tells me that mint chocolate chip is also a great choice from Longview Creamery.No banana split, Robin’s nest, Windsor, CO | In Search of a Scoops

The diner serves real food as well, with a bakery case with at least one gluten-free treat generally in stock. It was a great place to visit, and we’ll happily return when we’re back in town.

Thanks for saving the day, Robin’s Nest at House of Windsor!

p.s. Thanks for supporting my blog by doing your usual online shopping via my Amazon affiliate link!