Yes, you read that right. Asparagus chips. I recently made roasted brussels sprouts and loved them. I thought, why not make roasted asparagus. The asparagus came out so crispy and delicious, I called them asparagus chips. They are easy to make. Just wash and snip tough ends off asparagus spears. Lightly coat with olive oil and sea salt. Spread on a cookie sheet (I line the cookie sheet with aluminum foil for easy clean up). Bake 400 degrees for about 40 minutes, and yum! (I roast the brussels sprouts the same way.) It’s OK if they get dark, as that is when they are super crispy.
I love dark chocolate and one of my favorites is sea salt dark chocolate. In Raleigh, NC, there are two chocolate makers, Escazu Artisan Chocolates in Mordecai on Blount Street and Videri Chocolate Factory on West Davie Street in the Warehouse District. Escazu’s sea salt dark chocolate bar is 65% cocoa; Videri’s, 60%.
I decided to do a taste test involving three other people. We tasted both of these (they blind, me knowing) and it was 50/50 split of which is best. Two tasters thought Videri was too bitter and preferred the flavor of Escazu’s chocolate. (Escazu’s chocolate also has vanilla in it.) Two tasters thought Escazu’s was too salty while the other two thought Videri’s was too salty. Go figure. The taste and texture of both chocolate bars is different. For a taste test yourself, visit both shops. For $5, you can tour Videri’s factory.
I wasn’t on my way to get ice cream. I was hurriedly walking somewhere else when I spotted the light blue Itizy ice cream truck and a small line forming in front.
The small menu features a few classic flavors like vanilla and some creative ones like coffee brownie. I chose vanilla, as vanilla is the staple by which I judge if someone can make ice cream or not. I also chose the roasted banana special.
It’s rare these days that I’m blown away by an ice cream, but Itizy ice cream did just that. This is some seriously good ice cream. You want that authentic flavor in your ice cream (made from using fresh and organic ingredients), and you also want it to be creamy and delicious (it’s made from farm-fresh cream and milk). Making ice cream is more than just using good ingredients though, as I’ve had ice creams made from good ingredients that just didn’t make the cut. Itizy has the right ratio of cream and milk to create a clean, creamy consistency. It’s got perfectly-shaped scoops. It’s got that old-fashioned vanilla flavor and the ripe taste of banana. Itizy is everything you want in ice cream.
There are some interesting toppings on the menu that I’d like to try another time. They include sea salt & caramel, maple pecan granola, chocolate almond toffee crunch, crushed Oreos, Ghiradelli chocolate sauce and Ghiradelli caramel sauce. And the best part of eating a scoop of Itizy? For every five scoops they sell, they donate a meal to a child in need.