Scarlet’s Bakery provides hope, second chances and bomb cinnamon rolls

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Inspiration for blog posts reaches me at the oddest moments, like a couple of weeks ago when I was trapped in the hell that is the Shelbyville Road Plaza parking lot on a Saturday afternoon. There was a segment on NPR about the memorial service for the anti-war activist Father Daniel Berrigan. A friend once asked Berrigan what the meaning of life was. His response: “If you want to be hopeful, you have to do hopeful things.”

That’s a pretty heavy observation on a Saturday in the suburbs.

Berrigan’s instruction about hope made me think about a local business I had just visited the day before: Scarlet’s Bakery in Shelby Park. This new sweet shop and café blends baked goods and business acumen to give women an opportunity to improve their lives and, in turn, build hope for a better future.

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Scarlet’s Bakery is a brick-and-mortar culmination of “Scarlet Hope,” a non-profit organization/ministry that began eight years ago that “helps women in Louisville who have been victims of trafficking and exploitation,” WDRB reported. Women from that program work at Scarlet’s Bakery to learn work skills that will help them build new careers. 

I can’t speak to the business savvy these women learn at the bakery. But I can comment on the area I know best, aka the end results of their labor: baked goods.

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On my first visit to Scarlet’s, about a dozen different kinds of pastries covered the gleaming white countertops. There was a little something for everyone, from the bite-sized doughnut holes that would fit perfectly into the hands of Scarlet’s youngest customers to the more grown-up, savory combinations like the spinach-feta turnover or bacon-cheddar-chive muffins. Though I was there in the morning, selections such as bourbon-ball macarons and horseshoe-shaped iced sugar cookies made me think ahead to afternoon snacking opportunities.

I thank the pastry gods for leading me to the cinnamon roll that day. I could barely see the cinnamon swirl of the roll through the hearty schmear of cream cheese frosting. Each bite was as smooth as velvet as my teeth sank into the airy dough. It was a rich pastry, but managed not to be too sweet. This cinnamon roll was the perfect sort of decadent to get a good day started.

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Everyone who is a part of Scarlet’s Bakery should be proud of the work they do. It turns out that hope is a dish best served sweet (or savory, if that’s what you’re into).


Scarlet’s Bakery

741 E. Oak St., Louisville

Closed Mondays and Tuesdays

For more information, visit the Scarlet’s Bakery website or Facebook page

Save your quarters for 25-cent scoops at Homemade Ice Cream and Pie Kitchen

Gadzooks, that's a lot of chocolate.
Gadzooks, that’s a lot of chocolate.

The mosquitoes are humming, the air has grown stagnant and the sweat has stopped evaporating from my brow.

Yep, it’s almost summer in the Ohio Valley.

Now, we all promised that we wouldn’t complain about the heat after such a long, dreary winter (I wasn’t complaining in the opening — those were scientific observations). Instead, let’s cool off with the Ninth Annual 25¢ Ice Cream Social at Homemade Ice Cream and Pie Kitchen.

From noon to 5 p.m. this Saturday, May 31, all single scoops of ice cream are 25 cents at any of the 10 Pie Kitchen locations. There is some fine print: waffle cones and all other scoops such as doubles and triples are normal price.

So go forth with your change, friends, and treat yo’ self to a scoop. Just don’t complain about the heat.

It’s that time again – 25-cent ice cream scoops at Homemade Ice Cream and Pie Kitchen, 6.22.13

Gadzooks, that's a lot of chocolate.
Mr. Ashlee Eats enjoying the 25-cent ice cream social.

The temperature has climbed, and the humidity has settled over the Ohio Valley. A scoop of ice cream sure sounds delightful right about now.

Homemade Ice Cream and Pie Kitchen will offer ice cream scoops for 25 cents each tomorrow, June 22. The offer is good at all 10 Pie Kitchen locations from noon to 5 p.m.

Plan your day accordingly.

Hear that music? The GelatoMobile might be in your neighborhood

Picture courtesy of Kristin Gilbert.

*UPDATE: The GelatoMobile will be at the Gray Street Farmers’ Market from 10:30 a.m. – 2 p.m. and Burger’s Market from 3 – 5 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 25.

The family behind Gelato Gilberto have taken their product to the streets.

Justin and Kristin Gilbert, the owners of the Gelato Gilberto shop in Norton Commons, rolled out the GelatoMobile last week. They have snaked their way around Louisville neighborhoods to sell gelato pops, a frozen version of the rich, Italian dessert.

I first experienced Gelato Gilberto at the Jeffersonille Italian Festival a few weeks ago. A big bowl of the chocolate gelato made me swoon. Imagine my delight when I learned that the Gilberts had created their gelato truck.

The Gilberts have always wanted some kind of vehicle to sell their wares, Kristin said. At one point, the couple explored buying a double-decker bus from London in which they would make and sell gelato (and live on the top floor).

The couple currently serve three different kinds of gelato pops out of the GelatoMobile — chocolate with sprinkles, strawberry sorbet and a Bomb Pop-like combination of strawberry and Blue Sky flavors, Kristin said. Each pop is $3 or two for $5.

“It helps to have a friend,” Kristin said.

Don’t worry if you visit the brick-and-mortar Gelato Gilberto — the shop is still open at 9434 Norton Commons Boulevard. You can also get pints of Gelato Gilberto at a few area grocery stores, including Whole Foods Louisville, Paul’s Fruit Market and Earth Fare.

With this recent blast of warm weather, Kristin said the GelatoMobile will probably be on the streets through the end of this week. Then, they will let the truck hibernate until spring.

“We’re having a hugely good time,” Kristin said.

Do you want the GelatoMobile to visit your neighborhood? Leave a comment, or contact the Gilberts directly at justin@gelatogilberto.com or visit their Facebook page.

[The Sweet Fix] Cool down with the start of gelato season at Proof on Main

I spent most of last week between the coach and the bed, writhing in misery while my insides burned like the set of The Towering Inferno

A photo illustration courtesy of Pixlr-o-matic of the heat coming from my fever. That's supposed to be a grimace, not a smile.

It turns out that I’m allergic to sulfur, which resulted in a fever that I couldn’t shake for a week. Maybe I could’ve been cured (or at least comforted) if I had known that gelato season started last week at Proof on Main.

Each spring, the restaurant inside 21c Museum Hotel rolls out a cart and sells gelato on Thursday afternoons. Follow Proof on Twitter to find out what flavors will be available at the cart each Thursday.

The Sweet Fix: Homemade Ice Cream and Pie Kitchen

(Blogger’s note: The Sweet Fix is an occasional feature that will run throughout the summer featuring ice cream and dessert places in the Louisville. Have a suggestion? Let me know.)

Gadzooks, that's a lot of chocolate.

There’s always a line when I visit the Homemade Ice Cream and Pie Kitchen on Bardstown Road in the Lower Highlands.

The shop, one of nine locations throughout the area, is near the intersection of Baxter Avenue and Bardstown Road, a corridor filled with bars, restaurants and plenty of people who want some dessert after an evening out.

Though Homemade Ice Cream and Pie Kitchen is open year-round, this location is bustling during the summer as customers skip the cakes, pies and cookies and head toward the only dessert that can provide some relief from this monstrous humidity — ice cream.

Homemade Ice Cream and Pie Kitchen employees begin churning the ice cream each day at 7 a.m. They spend the rest of the day with their arm halfway down the dozens of buckets, scraping up scoops of delectable dairy to pack into cones and cups.

My favorite thing about this dessert shop is its 25-cent ice cream scoop day about which I have previously blogged. For one day in the summer, Homemade Ice Cream and Pie Kitchen sells scoops of ice cream for a quarter each. As you can imagine, the lines are long and the employees are tired. But is it worth it? INDEED.

Rob, Roscoe and I made our way to Homemade Ice Cream and Pie Kitchen near the end of the 25-cent scoop day. Since Rob had to wait outside with Roscoe (sorry, no pups allowed inside), he requested that I surprise him with a scoop of something with chocolate in it. I fulfilled this request fourfold when I brought Rob a scoop of Peace, Love and Chocolate, a flavor that is made up of four different kids of chocolate.

Scroll back to the top of the page to take a look at Rob’s reaction to all the chocolate-y goodness of his scoop. I took a lick (or two) myself. I didn’t know you could pack so much chocolate into ice cream. It tasted like the dairy equivalent of eating a handful of Hershey’s Kisses drizzled with chocolate sauce with chocolate shavings sprinkled on top. Yum.

Though the 25-cent day is over, it’s still worth swinging by Homemade Ice Cream and Pie Kitchen for something sweet. That Peace, Love and Chocolate was definitely delicious enough for me to shell out the full price.

Homemade Ice Cream and Pie Kitchen

1041 Bardstown Road, and eight other locations throughout Kentuckiana

 

The Sweet Fix: The Comfy Cow Ice Cream

(Blogger’s note: The Sweet Fix is an occasional feature that will run throughout the summer featuring ice cream and dessert places in the Louisville. Have a suggestion? Let me know.)

A generous cone of Strawberry Fields Forever at Louisville Slugger Field.

Gas prices have been too high to venture more than 15 minutes away from Ashlee Eats HQ, aka my Old Louisville apartment, so I haven’t made it out to The Comfy Cow in Westport Village.

Fortunately, this local ice cream shop has spread its creamy confections to Louisville Slugger Field.

Slugger Field and The Comfy Cow have entered a partnership this season that has left me smiling. The Comfy Cow is the official ice cream of the Louisville Bats. Local ice cream business plus minor league baseball? Yes, please and thanks.

The Comfy Cow offers an abridged, rotating selection of flavors from its regular menu at the ballpark. Cake Batter Up and Mint Chocolate Chippy were two of the options that day. During a Louisville Bats home game last month, I bought a regular cone of Strawberry Fields Forever for about four bucks (my receipt got lost in the abyss that is my purse, so that’s an estimate).

When you order strawberry ice cream from The Comfy Cow, don’t expect a bright pink ball of artificial flavor. This was the freshest strawberry ice cream I had ever tasted. Bits of strawberry dotted the three hearty scoops of my cone. And for such a hot evening, the ice cream held up really well. I didn’t get a drop on my hands, which is no small feat for this messy eater.

A trip to the ballpark is always fun. But the addition of The Comfy Cow makes baseball even sweeter.

The Comfy Cow
Available at Louisville Slugger Field, home of the Louisville Bats minor league baseball team
402 East Main Street, Louisville, Ky.