As I was sitting down to write this, I realized I needed some inspiration. So out came a pint of Jeni’s Pistachio Honey Ice Cream. It is rich, creamy and best of all, tastes like actual pistachio nuts. It is not overly sweet. It is smooth and perfect in every way.

I first heard of Jeni’s Ice Creams from a friend. I was at their apartment in NY and he started telling me about these ice creams he orders from Ohio. Really? Ohio? I was incredulous. Surely he could get all sorts of good ice creams in New York, no?

Then I tasted it. Holy crap, it was good. (Hold that thought, I finished the pint… need to go get another flavor.)

Immediately upon returning home, I browsed Jeni’s website and began plotting to get me some. But how could I justify $25 to ship ice cream? And that was on top of the $8 per pint. But with flavors like Goat Cheese with Roasted Red Cherries, Salty Caramel and Queen City Cayenne, I was well on my way to justifying the cost.

Aha! It was genius, really. I had nothing in mind for Florida Keys Guy’s birthday, so this was a perfect “gift”. Never mind that a gift is supposed to be for the recipient, not so much the giver (he likes ice cream), I was convinced that this was a great idea.

The ice-cream-as-birthday-gift was a huge success. I highly recommend you try it. Oh, and try the Queen City Cayenne – spicy ice cream, who knew?

While I am on the topic of ice cream, last summer I made it my mission to find the best gelato in Italy. How, you may ask? Lots and lots of field research. I took one for the team and tried gelato up to three times a day. But boy did it pay off. This year, with mere hours in Florence, I will be making a bee line for Vestri. If you are in Italy, and happen to go to Florence, check it out. The chocolate orange is amazing.

More on Italy when I return next week.