Monday, December 31, 2012

Year End Fro-yo Wrap Up

Fro-yo girl here. Where has 2012 gone? It’s time for my year end summary of the world of fro-yo. 

Bay Area comings and goings: In Bay Area news, fro-yo shops continued to close but new ones, particularly from chains, continued to open. Red Mango returned to the Bay Area, opening a self-serve shop in Emeryville. Yogurtland finally opened a store in SF this month. SF earned the distinction of being the location for Pinkberry’s 200th store. I’m really happy that Easy Breezy opened in Noe Valley. Sadly, the Bay Area said goodbye to fro-yo shops like The Mix, YoSwirl, Yogurt Train, SoFrais, Luscious, and one of my former favorites, Culture Organic Frozen Yogurt. YoCup changed ownership.

Special fro-yo spoons: It was a very good year for fro-yo spoon fans. Yogurtland gave us four new limited time only Sanrio fro-yo spoon designs: TuxedoSam, Bad Badtz Maru, Hello Kitty and Little Twin Stars. Menchie’s introduced limited edition Chip fro-yo spoons. Tutti Frutti now carries fruit shaped logo fro-yo spoons in five colors. 

Supermarket fro-yo offerings keep expanding: Ben & Jerry’s, Ciao Bella, TCBY, Healthy Choice, Trader Joe’s, Stonyfield Oikos, and Yoplait launched new fro-yo flavors this year. The Ben & Jerry’s truck visited SF and handed out Greek fro-yo in May. Supermarket yogurt brands aren’t content to stay in the supermarket either. 

(Non-frozen) yogurt shops open: Chobani and Yogurt Culture Company (owned by Dannon) opened yogurt shops in SoHo and Midtown, respectively. Pinkberry launched Greek yogurt (not frozen) at a few locations.

More chains go self-serve: TCBY, Golden Spoon, and Yogen Fruz joined the list of self-serve fro-yo shops. With so much self-serve fro-yo, fro-yo creations now look uglier than ever. Pinkberry seems to be the only major chain that's holding out against the trend.

You know you love me. X0 X0, fro-yo girl.

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Best Swirls of 2012

Fro-yo girl here. I’ve examined all the pictures of fro-yo that I took this year and picked out my best swirls. It’s easier to get a pretty swirl with one flavor and a small cup. The fro-yo has to be firm enough. The swirls need to look well defined and be in the center of the cup.

I picked a one flavor and a two flavor example. They were both swirled at Yogurtland.

You know you love me. X0 X0, fro-yo girl.

Monday, December 24, 2012

Happy Fro-yo Christmas

Fro-yo girl here. It’s Christmas Eve and a perfect day for fro-yo. Doesn’t gingerbread or peppermint fro-yo sound good? I can’t say that I like egg nog fro-yo but I don’t like egg nog either. 

I made a delicious batch of cranberry frozen yogurt using my Cuisinart ICE-21 automatic frozen yogurt maker and I decided to share the recipe. It’s tart of course.

Cranberry tart frozen yogurt


  • 1 ½ cups of Greek nonfat plain yogurt
  • ½ cup of thawed cranberry juice concentrate
  • 3 tbsp light corn syrup
  • 1 tbsp sweetened condensed milk (optional)

Whisk all ingredients together till smooth. Sweeten further if desired (corn syrup, light agave nectar or baker’s superfine sugar will do). Add mixture to freezer bowl. The freezer bowl should already be frozen. Turn on frozen yogurt/ice cream machine and churn for about 20 minutes till desired consistency is achieved. Enjoy! Freeze any leftovers. 

I’m sure the recipe would turn out well with lowfat or full fat Greek yogurt. Or if you don’t have Greek yogurt on hand, strain regular plain yogurt for about 4 hours.

Hope you wake up and find fro-yo gift cards in your stocking. Happy holidays to all fro-yo fans!

You know you love me. X0 X0, fro-yo girl.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Christmas at Blush Burlingame

Fro-yo girl here. Christmas has arrived at Blush Burlingame. They went all out with their holiday decorations. There’s a Christmas tree in the center of the store with handmade ornaments. Giant ornaments hang from the ceiling and there are nutcrackers, reindeer, poinsettias and the world’s largest Xmas present. 

Be sure to visit the ornament station and create an ornament of your own. You can hang your ornament on the Blush Christmas tree. 

You should not miss one of the best Blush fro-yo flavors and one of the best flavors of 2011: Gingerbread. It’s the best gingerbread fro-yo that I’ve had. It’s sweet but not in the typical overly sweet way. It’s still yogurty. The blend of spices is perfect. Try a cone of gingerbread fro-yo dipped in chocolate.

Blush also serves gourmet hot chocolate from Lake Champlain. I haven’t tried it because I can’t say no to a cup of Blush fro-yo, but hot chocolate reminds me of the holidays.

You know you love me. X0 X0, fro-yo girl.

* BLUSH BURLINGAME: 1212 Donnelly Ave., Burlingame, CA

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Fro-yo Holiday Gift Card Offers

Fro-yo girl here. Fro-yo gift cards make the perfect gift or stocking stuffer and there are many deals to be found this time of year, including the following holiday promotions:
  • Red Mango: Buy $25 gift card, get $5 card, offer expires 12/30/2012 or while supplies last
  • Pinkberry: Buy $25 or more gift card, get $5 card, offer expires 12/31/2012
  • Yogurtland: Buy $25 in gift cards, get 10 ounces free card on your next visit, while supplies last
  • Nubi: Free cup of fro-yo (up to 10 ounces) when you buy $15 or more in gift cards
  • Tutti Frutti: Buy $25 in gift cards, get $5 bonus gift card, offer expires 12/31/2012
Check your local fro-yo shop to see if they have any holiday promotions. Spread the gift of fro-yo!

You know you love me. X0 X0, fro-yo girl.

Monday, December 17, 2012

First Yogurtland in SF Opens as Gossip Girl Comes to an End

Fro-yo girl here. Alexander Graham Bell once said when one door closes, another opens. And today is one of those days where something important comes to an end (Gossip Girl’s series finale) and something important just begins (San Francisco’s first Yogurtland location opened its doors). 

Yogurtland opened at 5 PM today and the first 25 or so people (the ones who were there when the doors open) scored a cup of free fro-yo and toppings. Word had clearly gotten out because there was a line waiting outside for the doors to open. Today was the soft opening. Hopefully a grand opening celebration will follow. The new location has 16 flavors of self-serve fro-yo and a nice toppings bar for 37 cents an ounce. 

I will be eating fro-yo as I watch the final episode of GG. Hope I don’t cry...speaking of GG and fro-yo, remember how Jenny Humphrey and Eric van der Woodsen visited Pinkberry in 2009?

You know you love me. X0 X0, fro-yo girl.

* YOGURTLAND SAN FRANCISCO: 1250 Ocean Ave., San Francisco, CA 94112

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Fro-yo Gift Ideas: Fancy Fro-yo Bowl

Fro-yo girl here. Shopping for a Christmas gift for a stylish fro-yo fanatic who appreciates modern Italian design? I spotted some stunning Alessi “Big Love” bowls designed by Miriam Mirri at Bloomingdale’s. The bowls ($56 each) come in four colors: blue, green, orange, pink. Each bowl comes with a matching heart shaped spoon. Aww. 

The Big Love Bowl features:

  • Set of one ice cream bowl and spoon
  • Bowl is made of 18/10 stainless steel and thermoplastic resin
  • Spoon is 18/10 stainless steel
  • Inset dish can be washed and chilled separately
  • Dimensions: 5.9" height, 4.7" diameter

You can buy the Big Love Bowl online at Amazon.

You know you love me. X0 X0, fro-yo girl.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Fro-yo Gift Ideas: Fro-yo Artwork

Fro-yo girl here. I added some new fro-yo art to my wall this year. It’s a fro-yo print by Steven Weinberg, a Brooklyn based illustrator who had a show of frozen yogurt watercolors at Brooklyn’s yogurt shop, Culture. The prints start at $15.60 and are still available at society6. You can get them framed or on canvas. They’d make a wonderful gift for the fro-yo fanatic in your life.

You know you love me. X0 X0, fro-yo girl.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Future Fro-yo Shop Picture: Menchie’s Oxnard

Fro-yo girl here. I saw the Menchie’s sign while driving on the 101. Menchie’s is coming to the new complex, The Collection, in Oxnard. I spotted space for 8 fro-yo machines, so they’ll have 16 flavors of fro-yo a day. The new shop is close to Starbuck’s.

The Collection looks like a mini downtown, anchored by Target (currently open), REI, Century Theaters, and Whole Foods. It’s better than the Esplanade and promises to be a major shopping, dining and entertainment complex. Dining options will include Five Guys, Panera Bread, Starbucks, Gen Korean BBQ, Famous Dave’s BBQ, and Gandolfo’s Italian Deli.

* MENCHIE’S FROZEN YOGURT: 667 Town Center Dr., Space 2316, Oxnard, CA 93036

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams Fro-yo Review

Fro-yo girl here. Last Christmas I received Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams at Home cookbook and this year I was finally able to try her fro-yo. I came across pints at Gelson’s for $10.99. They had one flavor of fro-yo, lemon, 9 flavors of ice cream and ice cream sandwiches for $6.99 each.

Jeni’s is handmade in Columbus, Ohio with Snowville milk and cream (from grassfed cows in Ohio). They use the freshest local ingredients and responsibly raised exotic ingredients.

* Lemon frozen yogurt: The texture is dense, thick and very creamy. It’s very tart and much creamier than a sorbet. The sweet tanginess reminded me of lemonade. The lemon flavor was intense and pure. The lemon fro-yo has live and active cultures.

You can order ice cream and fro-yo pints from Jeni’s website. The fro-yo flavors available include: Apricot, Blackcurrant, Grapefruit, Lemon, Lime Cardamom, Lime Cardamom with Lingonberries, Mango Lassi, Passionfruit, and Raspberry

The website lists the stores that carry Jeni’s. You can find Jeni's Ice Creams locally at Molliestone's.

5 out of 5 stars.

You know you love me. X0 X0, fro-yo girl.

* GELSON’S MARKETS: 245 E. Green St., Pasadena, CA