Summer heat is not my friend. When the temperature gets close to 80 and the humidity climbs, I am one unhappy camper, because I can get so uncomfortable. And, when the temperature gets warm outside, I start craving cold things - like ice cream, milkshakes, and frozen coffee drinks. There’s nothing like something ice cold and tasty to help me cool down on a hot day!
So, let me report my findings on the Strawberry Banana Pound Cake ice cream that I bought last week. It was just so-so to me. I should have bought pound cake, strawberries, and vanilla ice cream instead.
But, vanilla ice cream does not tempt me much. As far as I’m concerned, its purpose is to complement other flavors. When I get an ice cream that has chunks of goodies incorporated into a somewhat bland ice cream, I find myself searching for the goodies and trying to get a bite that has the perfect blend of flavors. I find that there really is never a bite that has the perfect blend. I end up taking a lot of bites and never feeling very satisfied. Does that ever happen to you?
In this ice cream, there were chunks of cake, chunks of strawberries, and chunks of bananas in a base with a slight strawberry banana flavor. All the chunks were frozen, of course, so not quite the same as eating them in their softer form.
I bought some cones last week to use for portioning out the ice cream, but now I have no ice cream and almost a whole box of cones. So, the question is, should I buy another flavor of ice cream to put in those cones? I almost did that today, but decided to opt for a McDonald’s strawberry sundae instead.
Yesterday I had a small frozen coffee drink. I do love the taste of coffee, but only if it is very fresh. When there is not much of a chill in the air, I actually enjoy a room temperature version of coffee.
I make it myself by mixing a Starbucks Via coffee packet with an un-chilled bottle of water, some flavored creamer (toffee almond is my favorite), and some sugar substitute. (It’s important to drink a few ounces of the water first, to make the proportions right and give mixing room.) You can always pour this over ice, of course, if you prefer.
Another thing I find appealing in warm weather is something I am inclined to call “fruited Jello,” which is really not gelatin but “gel” in the individual little cups.
The kind I buy is not refrigerated in the store, but I refrigerate it at home. A favorite of mine that comes in little cups and is called Peaches and Crème Parfait. I have to warn you, though, that it contains 2 grams of saturated fat per serving. That is probably what makes it taste so deliciously creamy.
I find it so appealing, in fact, that I often go for a second cup or crave it during the day!
Also, Weight Watchers (much as I hate to support that concept) makes some very tasty frozen fruit and yogurt bars that are full of delicious strawberries.
Of course, one of the classic warm weather foods is watermelon. There is just nothing that compares with the sweet, juicy, unique texture of a perfectly ripened watermelon, is there?
I love all kinds of melon all year round, really, but especially in the summer. Fresh seasonal fruit is one of the best things about summer.
These days, though, we can get almost any fruit almost any time of year (for a price). Strawberries are the first fruit to come in season when the warm weather arrives, I believe, and they are quite a treat when they are perfectly ripe and sweet.
So how do you feel about warm weather? Is it as uncomfortable for you as it is for me? How do you stay cool and collected when the weather is warm? Do you have some favorite recipes for warm weather? I would love to hear from you on this topic.
P.S. Walnut Mix Update
I made a revised version of my walnut mix this week by using 2 cups of walnuts, 1 cup of dried cranberries, 1 cup of roasted soy nuts, and ¾ cup of tiny chocolate chips (the remainder of the bag). These proportions create a snack blend that seems to closely approximate the proportions of the mix sold as Omega 3 NUTrition by Planters. I think Planters may have stopped making it, based on me not being able to find it in my store.
My interest in nutrition developed from the weight issues I had in my youth. My sister and I always tended to be heavier than other kids, and we were teased about it, so naturally I wanted to "fix" myself by dieting. That worked pretty well in my teenage years, but adulthood was much more challenging. I started out as a dietitian who advocated dieting, but due to my own experience with my weight and dieting, as well as my extensive study of the subject of weight management, I have become an advocate of Health at Every Size. The first fellow professional who influenced my "conversion" was Ellyn Satter, who is also a dietitian. I got my Bachelor's Degree in Dietetics in 1975, (LSU) followed by a Master's in 1981(Univ of TN), and a PhD in 1997 (Univ of TN). I have worked in longterm care, public health, and one hospital. For the last 8 years, I have been teaching at the college level. I am the proud mother of a 24 year old son, and have been single since my divorce in 1993. That is when I moved to Atlanta from Cookeville, Tennessee. I moved around a lot in my childhood due to my father's job, but my parents grew up in Texas, and that is where my roots are. I lived in Brazil for 3 years as a teenager, and one of my sisters still lives there.