Salmon with Lemon, Capers, and Dill

The Oath of Ice Cream

“Cilantro-lime ice cream. People absolutely love that flavor, and it makes my heart smile because it’s my favorite.” Anthony Sobotik, cofounder of Lick Honest Ice Creams, speaks affectionately of the first flavor made specifically for the Austin, Texas-based ice cream shop that holds at its core the value of locally sourced ingredients.

Each time Anthony and his partner, Chad Palmatier, visited Austin, they would wonder aloud why there weren’t more ice cream makers taking advantage of the multiple growing seasons in Texas. Their careers in journalism and interior design, respectively, took them to New York City and then Ohio until they decided to take the huge leap, move to Austin, and open an ice cream shop. “We thought, ‘Let’s go there. Let’s do this.’ We put our house on the market, moved in September, and had a shop open by the following October,” Chad divulges.

Both Chad and Anthony were raised in small, rural, agricultural towns—Chad grew up in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, and Anthony in Hallettsville, an hour and a half outside of Austin. Anthony’s grandparents had a fully operating farm, and many of his friends lived on a ranch or farm in the country as well. His German grandmother baked homemade poppy seed rolls and kolaches. “I thought everyone’s grandparents had a farm. To me, that was just normal. It formed my views on how I eat, and knowing where my food comes from, and knowing how you should treat the land and your animals.” Chad explains, “We’re all hardworking families. Nothing was ever handed to me, and everybody I knew worked.”

Though Anthony loved cooking and baking from a young age, going to culinary school was not something his guidance counselor really recommended, so he focused on another passion—journalism—figuring he could write about food. And, in his spare time, he experimented with ice cream flavors in the ice cream maker his mom gifted him. After college, he chose to move to New York City, intent on being a food writer, but his lack of food clips led him to the catering business. While working in the industry, he realized his heart had been in the culinary field all along. He created recipes, collaborated with chefs, catered on his own, and worked for a bakery.

Meanwhile, Chad was pursuing interior design, specifically focusing on retail branding to help clients like Kenneth Cole and Victoria’s Secret build their spaces to enhance their identities. He dreamed of being a shopkeeper and of having the freedom to express his ideas. When he and Anthony decided to start their own business, they soon realized they had the perfect recipe for success.

Lick was the first name they brainstormed for the shop. It was fun and playful, but they wanted to be clear about their mission—making ice cream from local ingredients and forming relationships with those growers. Lick morphed into Lick Honest Ice Creams.

Everything is made from scratch in their kitchen, and they can vouch for every single thing that goes into the ice cream. “You really have to dig deep to find the root of an ingredient, dissect it, and find every source. A lot of companies will hide things that you don’t want in your product,” reveals Anthony of their meticulous research and production.

The milk is all sourced from one small dairy that’s eighty miles north of Austin. Explains Anthony, “It’s a family-owned business, and the dairy has been in the same family for seventy-six years now. The milk comes from 150 cows, and the family knows them all by number. They take amazing care of their cows. They have tons of open space and they’re grass-fed. They are happy cows. And I believe in that; I really do.”

The milk base they’ve created is purposely lighter than some ice creams because Texas is so hot, so people gravitate toward a less fat-dense ice cream. And they cater to vegans as well, with at least three or four dairy-free coconut ice cream flavors in the case at all times. Austin is known for being vegan-friendly, and both Anthony and Chad believe in everyone being able to enjoy ice cream. Says Anthony, “I associate ice cream with family, joy, and happiness. My favorite childhood memories were of eating ice cream with my grandparents.” Adds Chad, “Everyone should be able to eat ice cream. It’s heartbreaking to think about people, especially little kids, who are lactose intolerant, and we are happy to provide a dairy-free option so all can enjoy.”

After so many years of ice cream experiments and baking projects, Anthony amassed some interesting flavor profiles he was dying to put into production in the shop. The cilantro-lime, as previously mentioned, was the first. The most successful flavors overall are the dark chocolate, olive oil, and sea salt flavor, and the Hill Country honey vanilla bean. They have ten flavors that remain consistent all year round, an additional six to eight flavors that rotate seasonally, and another three or four dairy-free flavors. Every season there is a standout. One season it was sweet cream and strawberry. Says Anthony, “It’s based off of churning ice cream when I was a kid. My aunt made this sweet cream ice cream, and usually there were peaches in it, but we made it with strawberries.”

Of course, not all flavor experiments are so successful, which makes for good stories, even if they didn’t sell as well as they had hoped. Anthony defends one of his experiments: “Smoky melon was a flavor that didn’t work so well. It was roasted cantaloupe with a little bit of mesquite-infused olive oil. I loved it and could eat a whole pint, but it didn’t sell that well.” Another flavor started what would become affectionately known as “Trail-mix-gate.” Says Anthony: “We did a trail mix flavor that we thought would be a huge hit. We named it trail mix. Customers were so invested, they started e-mailing to let us know it should be named fruit and nut mix because it lacked chocolate.” Then there was the one time they made tomato ice cream . . . “It had tomato sauce. It was real tomatoey. People were like, ‘Uh, it’s pasta sauce,’” laughs Chad. On the flip side, some flavors that don’t initially sell well end up becoming popular due to food trends. Anthony talks about that phenomenon: ”Persimmon and sage ice cream didn’t sell well for three years, but in our fourth fall season, it sold three times as much. That year, persimmons started cropping up in food publications. The food trend thing is very real.”

The shop has been both personally rewarding and financially successful for the duo, with four shops now open in Texas—three in Austin and one in San Antonio—and other cities begging for them to open other locations. Anthony explains that, when it comes to opening new shops, “We have grown very organically. It’s an ongoing conversation and collaboration with the dairy and our other local farmers and artisans. We are all growing together and we have to consider everyone’s capabilities as we expand.” Chad revels in the variety of challenges from day to day and a lack of monotony. “Every day is different,” he shares. “There’s not a lot of routine. There’s something great about that. We’re still a small company. There are new ideas all the time and new ways of doing things.”

They’ve treated the company like a big family, with employees who are excited to be there and help grow the business and growers who want to collaborate to make a quality product. It’s clear that relationships are at the top of their hierarchy of values. “It’s collaborative growth—synergy. The fact that we’ve succeeded is very gratifying because we put all our money into this and said to each other, ‘OK, here it goes,’” says Chad.

It seems the people of Texas are in full agreement with the co-owners of Lick Honest Ice Creams—they are crazy about Lick’s delicious ice cream, locally sourced ingredients, and that cilantro-lime!

Buffalo and Beer Wings

Cioppino Cassoulet with Garlic Bread Crumbs

Turkish Coffee Ice Cream with Sesame Caramel

Maple Garlic Roast Turkey

Vegetarian Breakfast Strata

This is the vegetarian breakfast you need to add to your morning lineup! Full of flavor, veggies, and protein, you can’t go wrong with this dish.

Recipe courtesy of Nicki Sizemore and From Scratch Fast, in partnership with Hood Cottage Cheese

Serves 6

Ingredients

  • 3 cups 1-inch baguette cubes (regular or gluten-free)
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided
  • 1 medium leek, white and light green parts only, halved and thinly sliced
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme
  • 1 (10-ounce) package frozen chopped spinach, defrosted and squeezed dry
  • 8 large eggs
  • ¾ cup milk
  • 1 cup Hood Cottage Cheese with Chive
  • ½ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese, divided

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350ºF.
  2. Heat 1 tablespoon of the olive oil in a 10-inch cast iron skillet over medium heat. Add the bread cubes, and season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring often, until the bread is golden and crisp in spots, about 3 to 4 minutes. Transfer the bread to a plate. Wipe out the skillet.
  3. Heat the remaining tablespoon of olive oil in the skillet over medium-low heat. Add the leek, garlic, and thyme, and season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring often, until softened, about 3 to 4 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat, and stir in the spinach and bread cubes.
  4. In a large bowl, whisk the eggs and milk until smooth. Whisk in the cottage cheese and half of the Parmesan. Season with salt and pepper. Pour the egg mixture over the vegetables and bread in the skillet, and nudge everything around to evenly coat. Sprinkle the remaining Parmesan over top.
  5. Bake the strata until it’s puffed, golden, and the eggs are set, about 30 to 35 minutes. Let cool at least 5 minutes before serving.

Summer Fruit and Sour Cream Tart

This fruit tart is truly a masterpiece. Sweetened sour cream pastry filling is layered underneath a bounty of fresh summer fruit, making this a dessert no one will forget.

Serves 6–8

Ingredients

  • Ready-to-bake piecrust
  • 2 c. half-and-half
  • 2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • ½ c. sugar
  • 5 egg yolks
  • 3 tbsp. cornstarch (dissolved in 3 tbsp. of half-and-half)
  • 1 c. sour cream
  • 6 strawberries, sliced
  • 2 kiwis, sliced
  • ⅔ c. blueberries
  • ⅔ c. raspberries
  • ⅔ c. blackberries
  • ⅔ c. mandarin orange slices
  • 4–6 fresh figs
  • Fresh mint sprigs, for garnish

Instructions:

  1. Bake piecrust according to package instructions, and let cool.
  2. In a large saucepot over medium heat, whisk together half-and-half, vanilla, and ¼ cup sugar. Bring to a scald of 180°F, whisking frequently.
  3. In a large bowl, whisk together yolks with remaining sugar until fluffy. Using a ladle, pour the hot half-and-half in a thin stream into the egg mixture, while whisking, to temper the eggs. Pour mixture back into the pot, and whisk in cornstarch mixture. Whisk for 2–3 minutes or until thickened. Remove from heat, return to the bowl, and let cool to room temperature. Fold in sour cream until combined. Keep refrigerated until ready to assemble.
  4. Fill baked piecrust with pastry cream, and top with fresh fruit. Refrigerate until ready to slice and serve. Garnish with mint.

Strawberry Mousse Pretzel Pie

Strawberries are so delicious in summer, it’s imperative to use them in your cooking for as long as you can. This cool and creamy pie is full of fresh strawberry flavor, combined with salty, crunchy pretzels for a contrast of flavor and texture in every bite!

Ingredients: For the crust

  • 2 cups finely crushed pretzel sticks
  • 6 tablespoons butter, melted
  • ¼ cup firmly packed light brown sugar

Ingredients: For the filling

  • 1 (14-ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
  • ½ (8-ounce) package cream cheese, softened
  • 4 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon strawberry gelatin, or ½ (3-ounce) package
  • 2 cups sliced fresh strawberries, pureed and strained, seeds discarded
  • 2 cups whipping cream, divided
  • ⅓ cup sugar

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Mix all ingredients; firmly press on the bottom, up the side, and onto the lip of a lightly greased 10-inch pie plate. Bake 10–12 minutes, or until lightly browned. Remove from oven to a wire rack, and cool completely.
  2. Beat condensed milk, cream cheese, and gelatin at medium speed with an electric mixer until smooth. Add strawberry puree, and beat at low speed just until blended. Transfer to a large bowl.
  3. Beat ¾ cup whipping cream at high speed until soft peaks form; gently fold into strawberry mixture. Spoon into prepared crust. Cover, and freeze 8–12 hours, or until firm.
  4. Beat remaining 1¼ cups whipping cream at high speed until foamy; gradually add sugar, beating until soft peaks form. Spread over pie.
  5. Freeze 1 hour, or until whipped cream is firm. Serve chilled.

Give this scrumptious summer dessert a try, and let us know what you think! Share photos of your creation on Instagram and Facebook using the hashtag #ALMbites.

Alternatives to Plastic Straws

This past year, an issue came to light that not many had considered in their daily routine. Plastic straws are bad for the environment, and since the news broke many restaurants have gone straw-less. Here is a list of some of the most practical plastic straw alternatives. 

What’s the issue with plastic straws?  

Americans dispose of over 500 million plastic straws a day. This clear excess of plastic, even when recycled, often ends up in the ocean. Straws are too small to be processed through recycling machines.  

Portable/compact straws 

This option has a major convenience factor to it, because you can carry this straw with you on the go. These are good for carrying every day, or when you know you might be going out to a restaurant. Startups such as FinalStrawFIN Straw, and SUX are affordable options, though there are many more on the market.  

Single-use biodegradable straws 

Perfect for parties, single use or reusable biodegradable straws can be purchased in bulk. They are made of a variety of different materials such as bamboo, seaweed, and paper. Good places to look for these are in your local grocery store, but if you’d like to order online, check out StrawFreeHarvest Straws, and LOLIStraws.  

Metal, glass, and silicone straws 

Consider getting glass or metal straws to keep around your home or at work. All of them typically come with a cleaning brush so you don’t have to worry about your straw getting gunky. Materials include stainless steeltitaniumsilicone

Unconventional materials 

Looking for a straw made of an unconventional material? Try out The Amazing Pasta Straw and Ice Straws. 

Any of these options are great substitutes for conventional plastic straws. In addition to reusable straws, you can also opt to skip using straws altogether. Many cities such as LA now require servers to ask before setting down straws on the table. The sea turtles (and the entire ecosystem) thank you for your decision to live more sustainably.  

For more well being tips visit starthealthy.com/category/health/well-being/