Pumpkin Spice

Flavors, Hard packed Pints, Ingredients | posted on October 19, 2015

Every Thanksgiving we put Pumpkin Spice in the soft serve machines – it just seems like one of those flavors that everyone wants.  I have never been an avid pumpkin person during the fall, as I am equally satisfied with apples, pears, quince, and bourbon.  But Pumpkin Spice Everything is a fun game to play this time of year, and I didn’t want to sit on the sidelines watching anymore.  For the spice part we use Quatre Epices – a combination of four spices usually used for pates and other charcuterie.  The two previous years we used black pepper, nutmeg, ginger, and cloves.  I wanted to try another variation on the blend that I had heard of, so this year we switched it up.  We use black pepper as the base note, and add cinnamon, allspice, and mace.  A fun fact is that mace is actually what is wrapped around nutmeg (in what is called “blades”- two spices from the same plant.  I am loving this combination so far.  It is spicy, peppery, subtle, and exotic all in one.  You can purchase some Pumpkin Spice in the store or online.


Saffron Ice Cream

Hard packed Pints, Ingredients | posted on June 4, 2015

My favorite spice shop in the city is SOS chef in the East Village.  The owner, Atef, always has something special there that makes me feel so happy to work in food.  Usually it is some amazing honey from some exotic part of the world that she gives me on a beautiful wooden spoon.  She carries all sorts of spices, spice blends, teas, grains, floral and herbal essences, etc.  I always try something new or see something that I haven’t seen before when I go there.  The last time I stopped in, she had Persian saffron that was so fragrant, that I could not resist buying some.  I bought a few grams and made some Persian Saffron ice cream with it the other day.  I was thinking of what I would mix into it, and almost stirred in some pistachios, but when I tried the ice cream in its purity, I felt like it would be a sin to marr it by adding something superfluous.  It is just what it says it is, Persian Saffron ice cream.  Made with the most valuable spice in the world.

Mastic Mondays

Events and Occasions, Ingredients | posted on May 9, 2015

When I was younger and running my cooking website, I used to work part time at the Mastiha Shop on Orchard Street for some extra cash.  My dear friend, Artemis Kohas, ran the store for 7 years.  I loved that job.  I loved listening to Greek pop music that I didn’t know the words to, but which I eventually memorized.  I loved chewing on mastic, and the slight camphoric scent that filled the room.  She used to sell Greek coffee granules that were scented with the healing resin, which led me to start making my own mastic coffee at home.  Way before any seedling thought of Victory Garden had been planted, I would  infuse goat milk in a sauce pan with a few drops of the oil and a spoonful of sugar.  I would then pour it over freshly brewed espresso made in my Moka for me and anyone who was staying with me.  It wasn’t before long that my mother would wake up and request mastic coffees in the morning.  “Make me a mastic coffee” she would say excitedly as she ambled into the kitchen.  I was so happy to share the mastic love. My mother passed away a month after I opened the shop, but her presence is here with every mastic coffee that I prepare.

Mastic Coffee #MasticMondays

Mastic Coffee #MasticMondays

Every Monday is now Mastic Monday, mainly because it rhymes with Manic Monday, and well, it is always just another Manic Mastic Monday.  Mastic Coffees are $3.00 and other mastic-y things will present themselves too.

Fennel Pints

Flavors, Hard packed Pints, Ingredients | posted on April 16, 2015

Fennel is in my top 10 favorite flavors of our ice cream.  I love desserts with anise, and the fennel flavor that we do encapsulates the wonderful versatility of this refreshing vegetable.  We cook down about a dozen bulbs in some olive oil and goat butter, then combine them with fennel seeds that we toast and grind, as well as some fennel pollen.  The result is fennel heaven.  Since we are now able to offer hard packed versions of our flavors in our freezer, we will be offering some of these more popular flavors for the fans who miss it after it is gone from the soft serve machines.  We have about 2 dozen pints of this VG classic.

Fennel Ice Cream

Fennel Ice Cream

These Chili Flakes

From Our Barn, Ingredients | posted on March 18, 2015

I discovered these chili flakes through my friend Artemis Kohas, who owns  She was carrying the full line of Daphnis & Chloe spices and herbs at her shop, and I immediately fell in love.  The Greek company curates herbs and spices from different farms in Greece, selecting only the finest varieties that are traditionally hand harvested.  The varieties of these spices are often unique to where they are grown, giving them incredible flavor and subtlety.  Ever since discovering these chili flakes, no other chili flake matters.  They are smoky and slightly spicy, and change everything that you put them on.  I mix them into scrambled eggs with feta and tomatoes, as well as use them to garnish a simple hard boiled egg.  They do wonders to roasted potatoes as well.  Here at the shop, they are what distinguish our King Avocado sandwich from the others you might find in the city.  They also accentuate our Kale Pesto Couscous salad.  Hands down, they are the most amazing chili flake you will ever put in your pantry.  But the best part is. . . we now sell them!  Come in and pick some up next time you are here.

Bukovo Chili Flakes

Bukovo Chili Flakes

Orange Blossom Time

Flavors, Hard packed Pints, Ingredients, Seasonal Beverages, Smoothies | posted on March 16, 2015

Every year when the weather starts to change, and Spring starts to creep in, I am always haunted by a deep sense of nostalgia.  I can never pinpoint exactly what the nostalgia is for, but it is there, burdening me all Spring long.  My favorite way to cure my feelings is through orange blossom and neroli.  There is something about the floral that reawakens and recenters.  I shower with neroli body wash, I make cocktails with orange blossom and kumquat, and at Victory Garden, we make orange blossom vanilla ice cream.  We have always made this flavor, as orange blossom is as connected to my brand as goat milk.  The combination of orange and cream is not new, it exists in our culture as it does in many others.  Our orange blossom smoothie, after all, is modeled after the Dominican shake, morir soƱando, or to die dreaming.
Last week we received fresh orange blossoms from California and made a real version of our Orange Blossom Vanilla.  The blossoms are subtle, yet intoxicating.  We recommend this with a touch of orange marmalade boiled down with some water. These pints are only available for what we have in stock.  We hope that you pick up a pint and you too, die dreaming, of how delicious this Mediterranean creamsicle is.  Enjoy!
Orange Blossoms from California

Orange Blossoms from California

Healing Powers of India

Ingredients, Recipes and Fixations, Soft Serve | posted on September 17, 2014

I thought of the Healing Powers of India the first September that Victory Garden was open.  When the days started to get a little chillier, and the light started to change, I started to worry about having an ice cream shop in the Fall.  I thought that I needed a flavor that matched the way I was feeling- in need of some deep comfort. I wanted to make a flavor that would reflect the change of seasons in a calming way; a flavor that was healing, with a little bit of soothing spices.  HPI is a combination of carrots, turmeric, ginger, and nigella seeds.  None of those flavors explode, they all just sing a beautiful melody together.  I always think of it as the type of flavor you would want to eat after a yoga session.  I hope you enjoy!


Corn Ice Cream

Flavors, Ingredients, Soft Serve | posted on September 9, 2014

This year is the first year that we have made a corn ice cream.  There is nothing that I love more at the end of August than an ear of fresh corn on the cob.  I love diving into the cob, the crunch of the kernels on my teeth, the sweetness and the juiciness as I chew.  I eat corn the way I eat mangoes, with passion and to the bare bone.  I will gnaw on a corn cob until it can’t give me any more juice or meat.  The sweetness of corn makes it a great match for ice cream.  The first lick of this flavor might not convince you.  The second one will leave you more intrigued.  The third will have you hooked.  Come in and try this delicious Summer flavor.


Goaty Milky Chocolate

Flavors, Ingredients, Soft Serve | posted on August 16, 2014

Chocolate Victory has always been the signature chocolate of Victory Garden.  With its double dose of Valrhona cocoa powder and Taza stoneground Mexican chocolate, it is rich and delicious in both texture and flavor.  We have not done another basic chocolate flavor in a long time, because we always have had Victory around when we were not doing Chocolate Rosemary, Chocolate Mastic, or Chocolate Sea Salt.  However, Askinosie Chocolate recently reached out to me with some samples of their Dark Milk Chocolate, which they make with goat milk.  Not only is it a phenomenal chocolate, but it is also sourced directly from a farm in Davao, Philippines, where the farmers receive more than fair trade prices for their cacao beans.  I love the fact that Askinosie is dedicated to fair trade and sustainable practices for sourcing their chocolate.  As for the flavor of this dark milk chocolate- you will literally die.  I come upstairs way more often now from doing my administrative duties to grab a sample here and a sample there of this amazing milky chocolate.  I am normally a 99% bitter chocolate girl, but this goat dark milk chocolate has me changing my tune.  We named it Goaty Milky Chocolate because, well, that is exactly what it is.  And it sounds kind of cute too.

Goaty Milky Chocolate

Goaty Milky Chocolate

Watermelon Salad

From the Market, Ingredients, Salads | posted on August 14, 2014

There are so many things that I find at the farmers market that are named “watermelon” this and “watermelon” that.  I wanted to combine them all into a salad that is all things watermelon.  This is our Watermelon Salad, inspired by the Mediterranean way of eating crispy, juicy melons with feta.  It includes watermelon cucumbers (sanditas), watermelon radishes, watermelon seeds, crispy halloumi, feta, mint, and watermelon rind pickles.

Watermelon Salad with feta, watermelon radish, watermelon rind pickles, watermelon cucumbers, mint, basil oil, and halloumi cheese.

Watermelon Salad with feta, watermelon radish, watermelon rind pickles, watermelon cucumbers, mint, basil oil, and halloumi cheese.

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