The Blue Bell doth toll for us.
Your Lunch Bloggers were invited by Blue Bell Ice Cream to join them at The Culinary Center of Kansas City for Staff Lunch and an ice cream tasting last week.
Held every Tuesday, Staff Lunch is when The Culinary Center opens its doors to the public, and the chefs there make whatever they’re in the mood for. And since by “ice cream tasting,” what Blue Bell really meant was “five full scoops of ice cream,” it’s a good thing that today The Culinary Center’s chefs felt like making a salad.
Fine. It was a monster Cobb salad with lots of avocado, hard-boiled egg and barbecue chicken, plus chili-lime ranch dressing.
Fine. There was also a big hunk of super-tasty jalapeno cornbread with honey butter.
It was still a salad, and it was mighty delicious.
After that, it was ice cream time. Here’s what we got to try.
- Homemade Vanilla: Considering this is neither chocolate nor are there chunks in it, I truly don’t understand how it’s Blue Bell’s #1 selling flavor. Still, as vanilla goes, not bad.
- Southern Blackberry Cobbler: My favorite part of pie is the crust. This flavor of ice cream has pieces of pie crust in it. Good stuff.
- Strawberry Cheesecake: When it comes to cheesecake, I think I prefer actual cheesecake.
- Mocha Almond Fudge: Chocolate plus coffee, and thus easily my favorite. Very rich.
- Caramel Kettle Crunch: Vanilla with a ribbon of caramel sauce and crunchy caramel-coated popcorn. Because we all have to have dreams, apparently Blue Bell has been trying to figure out how to successfully infuse popcorn with ice cream for a while now -- mission accomplished. This is just the right amount of sweet, and if you get a bite with one of the bigger pieces of popcorn in it, you are a winner.
Staff Lunch also includes dessert, and today’s was a chipotle brownie served alongside a couple of scoops of Caramel Kettle Crunch and garnished with popcorn. We saw some of them going out to diners in the main room, but thankfully for those of us attending the tasting, after five scoops of ice cream The Culinary Center had the foresight to box up our brownies to go. Blue Bell sent all the attendees home with a half-gallon of Caramel Kettle Crunch, too. (Available in grocery stores for $6.29.)
To keep it cold, the ice cream was packed with dry ice. Don’t think for even a second that as soon as I got home I didn’t put that dry ice in the sink and try to give my kitchen an awesome rock show fog. Because I did.
Like a sucker, I split the brownie with my wife later that night. The plating in the picture is mine own -- the ones served to lunchers at The Culinary Center looked much fancier.
It was a pretty phenomenal brownie, sweet and a little spicy. Totally crave-worthy -- one week later, and I’m in serious need of another chipotle brownie fix.
In the meantime, I’ve got a spoon and a half-gallon of Caramel Kettle Crunch. Now all I need is a cable movie marathon. I’m hoping for Rocky.
Staff Lunch at The Culinary Center of Kansas City is on Tuesdays from 11:30 a.m. until either the food runs out or 1:30 p.m. It’s $12 and the menu varies week to week.
Big thanks to Blue Bell Ice Cream for the invitation.
The Culinary Center of Kansas City:
7920 Santa Fe Drive | Overland Park, KS 66204