Perry’s Celebrates 100 Years with Retro Flavors and the Cutest Cartons

As I’ve mentioned before, I really love ice cream. This week, after a quick trip to Florida and springtime sunshine streaming through the windows back in Buffalo, I’m so ready to dig into a bowl of ice cream after dinner.

It just so happens that this week Perry’s, one of my favorite Buffalo ice cream brands, released 4 classic flavors to celebrate their anniversary. It’s not just any anniversary – Perry’s is celebrating 100 years as a family-owned ice cream company. The flavors are packaged in the cutest vintage ice cream parlor style cartons that really stand out on the shelf!

These retro flavors are limited-edition releases of past favorites from the 1950s to the 1990s. I know you’re wondering what they taste like, but don’t worry. Cody and I sacrificed an evening this week to let you know if any of these flavors are worth giving up your usual Panda Paws or Bittersweet Sinphony.

Parkerhouse, circa 1950s

Perry's Ice Cream Celebrates 100 Years | Parkerhouse circa 1950s

If you grew up in Buffalo, you know the thrill of stopping for Perry’s at a roadside stand. The classic sign pointing you towards one of these stands is actually a cone filled with the Parkerhouse flavor!

This ice cream has a classic amaretto base with maraschino cherries. Considering I don’t like either of these flavors, Parkerhouse was actually pretty good.

Heavenly Hash, circa 1970s

Perry's Ice Cream Celebrates 100 Years | Heavenly Hash circa 1970s

Chocolate ice cream and marshmallow swirls with Swiss chips and roasted almonds. What more could you possibly need in life? I may or may not be almost done with this carton already… It’s definitely my favorite of the retro collection.

Butterscotch Sundae, circa 1980s

Perry's Ice Cream Celebrates 100 Years | Butterscotch Sundae circa 1980s

So. Much. Butterscotch. Not only is the base ice cream a rich butterscotch, there are salty butterscotch swirls throughout with peanuts for a nice crunch. A small scoop was so good, but this ice cream is way too rich for any more than that!

Malt Shoppe, circa 1990s

Perry's Ice Cream Celebrates 100 Years | Malt Shoppe circa 1990s

If there was an ice cream Cody and I remembered from its original release, it would have been Malt Shoppee. The flavor didn’t ring any bells, but that didn’t stop us from loving it! This one is disappearing from our freezer as quickly as the Heavenly Hash.

For more information about these sweet flavors or if you want to try them for yourself, check out Perry’s website dedicated to their anniversary.

I received each of these retro flavors for free in exchange for writing a review on this blog. All opinions are my own.

5 Ingredient Cinnamon Raisin Oatmeal Bites

I’m constantly looking for snacks I can make Sunday to play double duty for me during the week. Some days, I need something quick before I go to the gym in the morning. Others, I eat breakfast at home but then need a snack at work.

A handful of almonds and craisins are an easy solution, but I like to add a little variety every few weeks. Last month, I made Oh She Glow’s Oil-Free Chocolate Zucchini Muffins (which last two weeks if I freeze half the batch). This week, I was searching Pinterest for something similar.

Oatmeal-based energy bites caught my eye. All had similar base ingredients: oatmeal, nut butter and honey. Most also included protein powder, soaked dates and chocolate chips, which seemed a little too complicated for Sunday night meal prep.

5 Ingredient Cinnamon Raisin Oatmeal Bites Directions

Instead, I mixed up these cinnamon raisin oatmeal bites, and they’re pretty good! I posted a picture on my Instagram story and asked if you’d be interested in seeing a recipe. The majority of you said yes, so here it is!

Cinnamon Raisin Oatmeal Bites

These are super quick to make. I ended up mixing them together on Monday morning before work. The recipe makes about 15 bites. That was perfect for me, because I had 3 for each day. And yes, there are really 6 ingredients, but I don’t think the cinnamon counts!

Ingredients

  • 1 cup quick oats
  • 2 Tbsp ground flaxseed
  • 2 Tbsp honey
  • 1/3 cup + 2 Tbsp natural peanut butter
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 oz box raisins

Directions

  1. Add the oats, flaxseed, honey, peanut butter and cinnamon to a food processor and mix. The ingredients will come together into a texture similar to a pie crust.
  2. After everything is mixed, add the raisins and process for just a few more seconds.
  3. Take the rough dough and shape into 15 bite-sized balls. Place the bites onto a cookie sheet.
  4. Cover the bites on the cookie sheet with a dish towel and stick them in the fridge for a few hours. After they set, you can transfer them to a container and keep them in the fridge for 3 or 4 days.

5 Ingredient Cinnamon Raisin Oatmeal Bites Texture

5 Ingredient Cinnamon Raisin Oatmeal Bites Directions

A serving of three bites has about 11 grams of sugar, which seems high until you consider that about 1 gram is from the peanuts in peanut butter, 4 are from the natural sugar in grapes and the remaining 6 are from the honey. If you’re worried about the amount of sugar, decrease the amount of honey and add a touch more peanut butter!

5 Ingredient Cinnamon Raisin Oatmeal Bites | Honey

You can easily add in protein powder, chocolate chips or other dried fruit to make these to your taste. Cody has already said he’s going to make them without honey and see how it goes.

Do you have a snack that’s both breakfast and desk appropriate that you love? Let me know on Facebook or in the comments below!

Let’s Dough Buffalo 🏒

I love ice cream. Like, a lot.

Growing up in WNY, one of my favorite ice cream brands is definitely Perry’s. I very vividly remember a 2nd grade field trip with Mrs. Brauer’s class to their factory in Akron. We looked over the production floor, tasting different flavors as we watched ice cream being created and packaged.

It’s what neighborhood ice cream stands serve, and when I saw it in the dining halls freshman year at Ithaca College, I immediately felt at home choosing Panda Paws (as weird as that sounds!).

New Perry's Flavor Let's Dough Buffalo

Excuse Me While I Geek Out About Marketing

This year, Perry’s is doing some really cool marketing too. They collaborated with New York Beer Project for some innovative (and delicious) beers. Local social media influencers and publishers had some creative campaigns this summer to highlight Perry’s latest flavors. It’s really cool to see a regional company embracing such integrated earned media tactics.

Perry’s and their PR team is taking the launch of their newest flavor 1 step further, reaching out to the Buffalo Blogging Network to share their new Sabres-inspired flavor as the 2017-2018 NHL season kicks off.

Obviously, I volunteered myself and this blog to publicize the crap out of the new flavor – because, ice cream. There are weeks in the summer I spend more money on ice cream than actual substantial food…

We Found Where Momma’s Been Hiding the Cookies

The new Sabres flavor is cleverly named Let’s Dough Buffalo, and it’s delicious. As Cody noted when we dug into the new flavor, Perry’s cookie dough ice cream is already special because it’s not just vanilla ice cream with cookie dough bites. The base itself is cookie dough flavored, and Let’s Dough Buffalo is extra special because it also has actual cookie pieces swirled in.

New Perry's Flavor Let's Dough Buffalo

Cody decided that he’s a cookie dough purist and will be sticking to the original, but I’m all about this flavor mashup!

When you buy Let’s Dough Buffalo, a percentage of proceeds go to Cook n’ Share. This is a super cool program that teaches kids how to cook healthy meals they can share at home through the Resource Council of WNY.

I received free Let’s Dough Buffalo in exchange for writing a review on this blog. All opinions are my own.

Savoring September at Spring Lake Winery

Not going to lie, I was not very successful in completing my summer bucket list this year. One item I did get to check off was Spring Lake Winery, fitting it in right at the end of the season! Paige and I spent a couple of hours here on a sunny Friday afternoon a couple of weeks ago, tasting, wandering the property and watching them set up for the first of 3 weddings that weekend.

We walked in and were promptly greeted by friendly staff who walked us through our tasting, which included Zia Minx, their slightly carbonated moscato that won best white wine at this year’s Taste of Buffalo. I don’t particularly like wine, but this was so yummy!

Wine tasting at Spring Lake Winery, Lockport NY

Spring Lake Winery is on a gorgeous property, as most wineries are. There really is a small lake, and it’s encouraged that you take your glass of wine with you as you explore the trails around the lake. Obviously you didn’t need to tell us this twice; we explored the trails and vineyards before heading inside for a refill.

I went for a glass of wine, because “When in Rome” and all that jazz. Paige chose an Ellicotville Blueberry Wheat, because we really are beer people. We were both pretty impressed with the beer selection.

Wine tasting at Spring Lake Winery, Lockport NY

Wine tasting at Spring Lake Winery, Lockport NY

For us, this is the closest winery to home, so we’ll definitely be back!

The Perfect Housewarming Gift for Friends who Have Everything

Cody’s brother Patrick and my college roommate Shannon recently moved into a beautiful house in a neighborhood outside Rochester. After spending quite possibly the hottest day of the summer moving them into their new home, they spent a month making their new digs *perfect* before inviting us all back for a housewarming party.

Between the two of them and their families, Patrick and Shannon had just about everything they needed to make their new house a home. And to be fair, they specifically asked party guests not to bring housewarming gifts. But that’s not really my style, so what do you get for friends who have everything?

Housewarming Gift Ideas | Gifts for Friends

Cody and I decided on getting Patrick and Shannon everything they would need to make Coronaritas (the delicious summertime drink that involves tipping a mini Corona into a maragarita). This is super easy to put together:

Housewarming Gift Ideas | Gifts for Friends

Wrapping a 6 pack of beer is surprisingly difficult, but other than that, this gift could not have been easier! Now we’re just waiting for an invite to a margarita night 😉

4 Tips for Perfect Cold Brew

Walk into your local coffee shop or neighborhood Starbucks and you’ll likely see cold brew on the menu – and if you’re an early customer, you might even get a cup. When my sister texted me a few weeks ago to tell me that she made her own cold brew and it was both delicious and easy, I decided to try it for myself.

Is it really as easy as Paige and Instagram make it look? Paige sent me The Ultimate Guide to Cold Brew Coffee from Wellnesting, which she used to make her version. All the details on how to make cold brew are in the guide, as are a few delicious drink ideas. Here’s 4 more little details you need to know to make the perfect cold brew:

1. You can use pretty much any coffee and it will turn out just fine. Most guides online will tell you that you need to buy whole beans from your local roaster – and if that’s your thing, go for it. It’ll taste great. But if all you have is Maxwell House grounds (that’s my whole family’s go-to), that works too. The beauty of cold brew is that it makes any coffee taste delicious.

2. Use cheesecloth to strain your grounds. Trust me on this. A paper filter just doesn’t do this job. The coffee drained slowly and I managed to rip a hole straight through the filter while trying to make the coffee strain faster.

3. This stuff is strong. Like really strong. I filled a glass with ice and had 1 part cold brew with 2 parts almond milk, and I was still bouncing my legs at lunchtime. If you’re sensitive to the caffeine in coffee, be careful with your first few cold brews and experiment to find what works for you!

Cold Brew Coffee Tips | Succulents and Sunnies

4. Make more than just a single batch. Cold brew stays fresh in the fridge for a week and it’s perfect for summer – no need to turn on the coffee maker and use a million ice cubes cooling your hot coffee back down to a refreshing temperature. Plus it just tastes so good.

Cheers to the Weekend at 12 Gates Brewing Company

I’m not going to lie, when Google Maps told Cody and I we had arrived at 12 Gates Brewing Company, I thought Google was experiencing a glitch. That was the only reason I could think of that would explain why we were looking at the entrance of an industrial complex just minutes from the Buffalo Airport. After double checking the address with the brewery website, we turned into the parking lot and followed the signs to the back of the complex, where the brewery did in fact await us.

Cody and I were looking for a new brewery to try without driving to the Southtowns on a Friday afternoon (we still need to check out Hamburg and 42 North, but this wasn’t the day). 12 Gates fit the bill. It’s in Williamsville and serves a good variety of bar snacks that would tide us over until dinner with Cody’s family.

12 Gates Brewing Company | Succulents and Sunnies

After getting over our initial shock about the location and passing the door to a machine shop on our way to the tap room, we settled in with a flight and nachos inside. The bar was packed with a Friday afternoon happy hour crowd from surrounding businesses and everyone was happy to be there.

I tried the coffee porter, which was good in flight form but would likely get overwhelming in a pint. Instead, I went for the seasonal wheat, which was still the spring apricot variety. After polishing off our nachos we moved outside to enjoy the sunny day. The patio might just be a collection of picnic benches on a corner of the parking lot, but the tall wooden planters filled with hops and bright flowers help you forget that fact. There’s also corn hole and we saw four little bunnies hopping around behind the asphalt.

Because of the proximity the the airport, a plane approaches the runway every 15 minutes or so almost directly overhead. I rather enjoyed this added entertainment, but I can see it being a little bit anxiety-inducing for some.

The atmosphere, outdoor space and very nice bartender more than made up for the initial shock about the location. We thoroughly enjoyed our first trip to 12 Gates and we’ll definitely be back!