Yes Mom, I Had To Eat Two Bowls of Ice Cream

IMG_2097I thought about using “A Jaunt to Jordan’s” as the title of this blog post. It’s kind of catchy. But honestly, there was something much more monumental in my life last weekend, hence the more unusual title.

Easter Sunday is normally a fairly religious day for me. My morning started off that way – I played the piano and organ for two church services (and sang and led a choir for the second service). But by 11:15 a.m. or so, I’d finished playing, had a quick snack and headed out the door to meet my husband before we headed home via a to-be-determined ice cream location.

Since we were in Concord, and had to head north from there, our ice cream options were somewhat limited. I knew Arnie’s was nearby but I was hoping to check out a new ice cream place and report back to you. After a couple of quick Google searches, I stumbled onto Jordan’s Ice Creamery in Belmont, NH. Not only had I never been before, but I’d never even heard of it! But the flavors and photos they were posting on Facebook were out of this world (Salted Caramel Crunch! White Chocolate Chocolate Cookie! Sea Salt Caramel Cookies & Cream!) so I figured there must be some amazing homemade ice cream goodness to be had there. And conveniently for us, it was due north, only adding a few extra minutes to our trip. An easy stop on Rt. 106 near Tilton.

Ross, my husband, hadn’t been feeling well for quite a while, so we agreed that skipping a fancy sit-down dinner would be better for his health. And he knows my blog (and my ice cream addiction) is important, so he wasn’t going to get in the way of my plans! We set out in a bit of a caravan to our destination.

IMG_2105Easily found, we parked and headed toward the ice cream stand after I took a few photos. Well, I headed there, at least. I knew something wasn’t right because Ross seemed completely engrossed in his phone instead of smiling at me or looking at the menu. I tried to ignore it, but soon I had to ask him…and he admitted he really just wasn’t feeling good. Yes, he’d get something, but I should just order and not worry about him.

IMG_2106Well, I was kind of in heaven when I looked at the menu. Not only did they have a huge menu of ice cream flavors, but they also carry a LOT of frozen yogurt, both low- fat and non-fat, and they were unusual flavors too. Not to mention the no-sugar added silliness that I’m sure some of you might look for occasionally. (I can’t, Splenda makes me sick!) IMG_2108My plan is normally to get ice cream if I’m indulging in a once a week treat, but their variety of flavors reminded me of my favorite Just the Wright Place, so I knew I had to give their yogurts a try. I knew that Ross would most likely get ice cream, so that should mean I get to sample the real stuff as well and report back to you. (And also, you soft serve fans will be happy that they carry soft serve ice cream AND soft serve yogurt. Will have to come back to taste.)

IMG_2110The pricing was very reasonable. We paid less than $4 each for a regular, which was two good sized scoops. When we went to sit down, Ross started to realize he couldn’t eat much…and he really needed to go to urgent care while we weren’t too far from one. Rather than continue to “contaminate” his ice cream with his germs, he made an incredible sacrifice – he handed me his ice cream and asked if I would be able to eat it with my own frozen yogurt. Of course at this point I’d tried it and knew how amazing it was. IMG_2112“Of course!” I replied. So I gave him a hug, he went to urgent care, and I moved into my car (it was cold out) to enjoy two bowls of frozen goodness, for what I believe was the first time ever.

Life’s tough, right?

So here’s my full report on what we found at Jordan’s, besides a super nice employee who seemed to get a kick out of the fact that I’m a blogger – I mentioned it as an explanation for why I had to try so much. 🙂

Non-Fat Kahlua Fudge Hard Yogurt – It’s a pleasant Kahlua base. Not as good as the soft serve Kahlua I know so well from the Wright Place, but everyone has their favorites. It’s not too sweet. Occasionally it had an icy texture. The fudge tastes kind of healthy…not indulgent. It reminds me of the fudge in the fat-free ice cream I sometimes had as a kid in the early ’90s at home…It does have a great texture for fudge! I’d like a larger fudge to Kahlua ratio. If you don’t have yogurt or ice cream often and are okay with a healthier tasting yogurt, this could work well for you.

Low-Fat Milky Way Hard Yogurt – I wish it had a richer chocolate base. This one reminds me of chocolate malt. The chocolate chunks are dark and not too sweet – maybe semi sweet? The tasty caramel is kind of candy bar like, not rich. This is definitely a light yogurt taste but the chocolate chunks definitely class it up a lot. It might disappoint people who’ve gotten Milky Way elsewhere as there’s no hiding that it’s low-fat. Overall it’s too icy and light for me to rave about.

Wildberry Crumble Fat-Free Hard Yogurt – I only took a sample bite of this, so I can’t fairly compare it to the flavors I got. But oh my goodness, this is amazing!!! It’s got a brilliant raspberry flavor that takes over your mouth, an awesome sour fruity intenseness…and the crumble is everything you’d hope for. Should have gotten a scoop of this…hindsight and all that. Texture was great. As is the normal rule, it’s usually much easier to make a killer fruit yogurt than a killer chocolate yogurt. Whether you’re normally an ice cream or a yogurt fan, if you like fruity flavors like this, you should definitely get it. Wow. Honestly, you’d never suspect this could be fat free!

IMG_2115 (1)Kettle Cracked Corn Hard Ice Cream – This is one of the amazing flavors I saw posted online before choosing to visit, and I’m so thankful I saw it scribbled in at the bottom of the list. I tried it, went nuts over it, and then Ross ordered it. Thank you Ross! They describe the base as a kettle corn flavor. I don’t know what that means, but it’s awesome! In fact, my notes indicate I thought it was perfect! Smooth and creamy, like an idealized shake texture might be…It also has chocolate covered kettle corn pieces (yup!) and a sea salt caramel swirl. Surprisingly you don’t really notice the chocolate covered aspect because there is so much other stuff happening….the kettle corn was actually my least favorite part of the ice cream, but I liked it just fine, thank you and would eat it all again in a heartbeat. And the caramel…oh, the caramel…it’s rich and delicious and the perfect texture.

I am so glad I made it to Jordan’s to check out their ice cream! What a way to celebrate Easter, right? And yes, if you’re wondering, my husband is beginning to feel better. Also, if you’re wondering how much ice cream and frozen yogurt I can put away before I feel like I’m done (yes, it was my dinner), here is the aftermath.

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Last week I mentioned some of the great ice cream places that had opened or were planning to open. Here are some of the others I’ve heard about:

Cremeland in Manchester, NH is open

Memories in Exeter, NH is open

Moo’s Place, which I wrote about here, in Derry, NH is open today!

King Cone (not my usual homemade standard, but still) in Merrimack, NH is open

And my favorite New Hampshire place (so far), Just the Wright Place in Stratham, NH, opens this weekend!

Where are you headed for ice cream? Any other openings I should share (and check out)?

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Mission Accomplished in Milford

In an effort to save money (and save a bit of sanity as well), I’ve been cutting back on my discretionary spending this spring – which for me means seeing a lot less theater than usual. So last weekend, I made plans to usher for a theater production in Milford, New Hampshire. I’d never seen Noises Off before and it’s one of those shows that everybody seems to know and love, so I thought it was about time.

I don’t get out to Milford often anymore – I have lived in Windham, Londonderry and Manchester in the past, but currently there isn’t a reason to head that way – so I knew I should try to fit in an ice cream trip while I was in the area. In fact, I could make ice cream dinner (with an apple for health, of course) and allow myself a few extra calories.

I did a quick search and was reminded that Hayward’s has a Milford location – even though that shouldn’t have surprised me, I’ve only been to the Milford location once, so I always associate Hayward’s with Nashua. I knew for a fact that their Nashua location had opened, but I wasn’t sure about Milford….but I was running ahead of schedule, so I had time to check and abort if it actually was closed.

IMG_1988Lucky for me and the Milford area, they were indeed open, with a special Lucky Charms flavor for St. Patrick’s day too! Despite temperatures in their 30s and talk of snow the next day, I could absolutely get my homemade ice cream fix.

I knew I would allow myself two flavors today – I went with Coffee Oreo (for either a real or imagined caffeine kick, not knowing if it contained any) and the Caramel Tsunami, which was a caramel based ice cream with chocolate covered caramels and a caramel swirl. IMG_1989Coming to just under $4 for two flavors, it was a very generous portion – and they gave me a huge spoonful of Lucky Charms ice cream to sample at my request. It was research, of course! Green vanilla ice cream with lucky charms and an Oreo cream swirl.

The report:

Lucky Charms – I kind of liked the mushy lucky charms in the ice cream! The Oreo swirl was a delight. This was a very pleasant couple of bites. Not my favorite ice cream ever, but for a one time thing, very fun. I was pleasantly surprised.

IMG_1996Caramel Tsunami – The caramel ice cream base unfortunately wasn’t my favorite. I’m really not sure why. I loved the caramel swirl, it tasted like it was high quality, and the chocolate covered caramels were really to die for, just incredible. That being said, the more I ate it, the more the caramel flavor of the ice cream grew on me. Although it wasn’t my favorite in isolation, it sure worked as a vehicle for the swirl and chocolates!

Coffee Oreo – Such a classic. A smooth, strong coffee flavor – it tastes like real coffee. Not all coffees do! It’s not too heavy or too sweet. I am a huge fan of Oreo ice creams and this one definitely didn’t disappoint, I’d happily order it again! IMG_1993

I wanted to give a report on the state of seasonal ice cream in New Hampshire currently. Can you comment with your own additions?

As we’ve discussed, Arnie’s Place in Concord is open for the season.

Cremeland in Manchester opened on March 14 for the season.

Hayward’s is clearly open as I just visited! You can visit Milford or Nashua.

Mack’s Apples in Londonderry – their ice cream stand will open April 28th.

Meadow Ice Cream in Littleton (serving Slick’s) is open for ice cream and seafood.

Know of any other seasonal places that have opened for the season? Have any other opening dates to share? Please leave a comment below, and thanks!

p.s. Thanks for doing your usual Amazon shopping using my affiliate link!