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Poached Peaches & Lemon Verbena Ice Cream. A Bit Of News Too…

Lemon Verbena Ice Cream & Poached Peaches

Leave it up to me to pick one hot evening to churn a fresh batch of ice cream thinking we were nicely gearing up for Summer early as usual only to get up to a little-big drop in temperatures. Intriguing. I like that last attempt of a crisp morning trying to wrap us up with a little breeze and a soft chill.

While taking the pups outside that morning, I was not thinking ice cream at all. More something like a hot cup of coffee and a warm piece of toast. But I instantly busted "this feels so nice! Like a juicy fresh peach on a warm Summer day!" I went back inside with that odd feeling that the weather had misplaced a chip somewhere. The pieces did not quite fit.

Baking With Peaches & Lemon Verbana

The season was going so well that in fact I had gotten the juiciest tiniest yellow cling peaches at the market a few days before. Dubious, I only got three. Once home and after the first bite, I wished I had gotten three more. As good as candy, albeit two months early in the season. Wacky. Yet good enough to make my toes curl so I wanted to do them justice and use them in a dessert somehow.

Yes. My measuring scale to things, foods, life, love, is how much something will make my toes curl. When I fall in love with people, my toes curl. When there is a dish that makes my brain circuits implode from intense pleasure, my toes curl also. For some it’s just an expression. For me, it’s a true manifestation that I am completely in tune with the moment, the person, the taste. I often put a piece of music on and realize 20 minutes into it that my toes are indeed curled from appreciation.

Lemon Verbena

That morning, in the cheer satisfaction of the present moment, a clemency in the weather, a few minutes of calm all to myself, my mind wandering about and around ice cream and peaches, my toes started to curl. Immensely. And as I am sitting here taking a break from packing, my toes are curling once more over a bowl of Lemon Verbena Ice Cream and Poached Peaches. Fragrant, refreshing and the perfect thing to break for.

I am heading to Sante Fe, New Mexico to teach a 2-day workshop organized by Angela Richie of the world renowned Richie Camp workshops. I’m heading out a bit early to get a chance to see the town before I immersed 12 people in an intense food photography and styling adventure. When I look at the list of instructors and hear feedback from attendees, my toes curl at the honor to be part of such a group!

Lemon Verbena Ice Cream

There are a couple of other things that make me enjoy a little serving of ice cream this evening. I realized I put the news on Twitter last month but never made a formal announcement here. Back in April, I got contacted by Chris from Primary Reps Photo Agency who expressed the wish to add me to his roster of photographers. My goal for 2011 was to get photography representation, a mutual partnership of work and more work and someone other than me futzing over contracts and quotes.

I liked Chris. I liked his honesty and clear approach to work. I liked him and he represents my dear friend Matt Armendariz too. My toes curled. Yes. Well, I am thrilled to announce that I am now represented by Primary Reps for anything and everything photography related and you can view my galleries here and here.


And here is announcement number 2. Things happen outside of my comprehension but I trust my soul that they happen when right. Things at work are fast and furious and I am loving every part of it. Contracts, clauses, presenting my work the best way possible while juggling everything else can get a bit crazy. When Amy Hughes, literary agent from McCormick & Williams in New York got in touch and asked if I had considered getting a book agent, I looked up to the clouds and uttered a quiet "Thank you!".

We met. We chatted. We asked questions. And my toes curled up again. Today I am psyched to announce that Amy is indeed my book agent. She is my sounding board and best advocate for current projects as well as others I have been asked to consider and work on. I am passionate about my work and when my toes kept curling more and more in the last few months, that’s when I knew it was time to team with people who knew how and where to best focus my energy.

Lemon Verbena Ice Cream & Poached Peaches

I am extremely grateful and can’t wait to get to work every morning! But now that it is almost midnight and my ice cream bowl is just about empty, I must go and finish packing my gear for Sante Fe. I doubt I’ll have time to post while I am there but I will try to post updates and phone pictures on Twitter (@SweetTartelette) and Facebook (page is here) and share info and tips as we workshop!

Have a wonderful rest of the week and gorgeous weekend!

Lemon Verbena Ice Cream And Poached Peaches:

Serves 8

For the lemon verbena ice cream:

4 egg yolks
1 cup (100gr) sugar
1 cup (250ml) heavy cream
1 cup (250ml) whole milk
1 small handful lemon verbena leaves.

In a large bowl, whisk the egg yolks and one cup of sugar until pale and thick. In a saucepan set over medium heat, bring the cream, milk, and lemon verbena to a simmer, without letting it come to a full boil. Slowly pour the hot cream over the egg yolks mixture while whisking to temper the egg yolks. Pour the whole mixture back into the saucepan and cook over low heat, stirring constantly, until the cream coats the back of spoon. It should register 170F on a candy thermometer. At this point you have made a custard sauce, also known as "creme anglaise". Let cool completely, and refrigerate until cold.
Once the custard is cold, strain and process according to your ice cream maker manufacturer’s instructions.

For the poached peaches:
4 peaches
1 vanilla bean split in half
juice of one lemon

Prepare the peaches:
Place the peaches, vanilla bean, lemon juice and enough water to cover them in a tall saucepan and bring to a boil over medium high heat. Lower the heat and let them simmer for 15-20 minutes or until the peaches are just soft (poke with a toothpick to check).
Remove from the water using a slotted spoon and allow to cool on paper towel or baking rack.

To plate: cut each peach into thin slices and serve with a generous scoop of ice cream. Sprinkle with chopped pistachios if desired.

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Lynn May 5, 2011 um 5:24 am

Congratulations! Have fun at Sante Fe!
Oh, the ice cream sounds amazing!

Robyn | Add a Pinch May 5, 2011 um 5:37 am

I'm so proud of you, Helene! You absolutely deserve for your toesbto keep right on curling, my friend!

Rosa's Yummy Yums May 5, 2011 um 5:59 am

Congrats! I am so happy for you.

That is a beautifful dessert!



Sips and Spoonfuls May 5, 2011 um 6:10 am

Good things happen to good people Hlene and you're on of those good people. Have a fabulous time in Santa Fe…..wish I would have been able to attend! You're more then welcome to come to the middle east and teach us a thing or two!!!

Jessica May 5, 2011 um 7:21 am

Congratulations Helene! If anyone deserves it, you do!

These peaches look heavenly. I have never thought about poaching a peach…but now I am not sure I will be able to get them out of my mind!

peachkins May 5, 2011 um 8:17 am


Annika May 5, 2011 um 9:15 am

This post made MY toes curl! It is lovely to see a person doing what they love and being so successful with it!

martina May 5, 2011 um 9:22 am

I'm very happy for you! You deserve every moment, keep curling your toes! Cheers Martina

Brian Samuels Photography May 5, 2011 um 10:10 am

Congratulations!!! All such exciting news! And how wonderful that you wake up every morning with so much joy for what you do. May 5, 2011 um 10:15 am

Congratulation! This is such wonderful news! I've been following your blog for a couple years now & its great to see all the success your getting! You deserve it!

Barbara May 5, 2011 um 10:25 am

Congratulations Helene. How wonderful for you. Have fun with your folks….and give your Mum a hug from me.

Cool Chic Style Fashion May 5, 2011 um 10:30 am

Come sempre i tuoi post sono deliziosi, ciao

LizNoVeggieGirl May 5, 2011 um 10:41 am

SO incredible! Congratulations! Have a wonderful time 🙂

Averie May 5, 2011 um 11:05 am

Photography agent, a book agent, your book that's coming out, your amazing talents as a photographer and chef…truly, you INSPIRE ME!!

And I am KICKING myself that I didnt plan better and am not in Santa Fe this weekend.

Please put more dates on your 2011 calender. I WILL be there, where ever they will be. And for sure in 2012, too!

Congrats on everything!

Steph @Lick My Spoon May 5, 2011 um 11:43 am

Congrats, Helene! And inspirational. Proof that taking those difficult steps towards living the life you want pays off. Btw, I am also an involuntary toe curler! Here's to happy feet 🙂

yummy supper May 5, 2011 um 12:19 pm

Congrats on all fronts! And what a delicious combination of flavors – creamy lemon verbena ice cream and peaches… yes please!

Sara, Ms Adventures in Italy May 5, 2011 um 1:27 pm

wow – I didn't think you could have even more news, and I was wrong. Excellent, excellent! Can't wait to see what the new projects are 🙂

Michelle Stiles May 5, 2011 um 1:35 pm

You are a dear Helen! Way to go, you are proof that hard work lets talent shine. Dream big – you rock!

Maria May 5, 2011 um 2:10 pm

I am SO happy for you. I am smiling from ear to ear. Congratulations on all of your accomplishments and success. You deserve it! Hugs and love!

london bakes May 5, 2011 um 2:12 pm

What a wonderful post – full of lovely pictures and such food news. You are such an inspiration!

Book of Ruth May 5, 2011 um 2:16 pm

Congratulations on the wonderful news! It made me smile as I read this morning 🙂 Nothing feels quite like reaching goals!

shaz May 5, 2011 um 2:27 pm

Congrats Helene, so happy to hear all your wonderful news! Have a toe-curling great time in Santa Fe 🙂

Theresa Fernandez May 5, 2011 um 2:40 pm

Congratulations! I just purchased your book and absolutely love it! I'm an aspiring food photographer and your book is just what I was looking for! Do you ever have workshops in the Dallas area? I would love to attend!

Bea May 5, 2011 um 3:00 pm

J'adore la verveine citronnée! L'année dernière j'ai fait un gâteau pêche – verveine, c'était délicieux! Ta glace me fait donc très envie 🙂

Pétra May 5, 2011 um 3:09 pm

My toes curling is not in my repertoire but that ice cream would do the trick.
Congratulations on your new reps!

Unknown May 5, 2011 um 3:17 pm

Helene, I'm so happy for you! I think this is what they mean when they say, "Do what you love, the rest will follow."

I just bought your book this weekend and it is *fabulous*!

COngratulations on your good news. 🙂

Vanessa Elizabeth | Ruffled Rose May 5, 2011 um 3:25 pm

What fantastic news! Congratulations! I cannot wait to pick up a copy of your book.

The Prudent Homemaker May 5, 2011 um 4:07 pm

I'm just waiting for you to come to Las Vegas 🙂

Our peaches are almost ready; they will ripen this month. The winds have been harsh and there are only a few because of it, but I know they will be delicious. The figs are getting close, too, and the birds know it!

Andrea Meyers May 5, 2011 um 5:56 pm

Congratulations Helene! You deserve all the good things coming your way.

Rey May 5, 2011 um 6:13 pm

A HUGE congratulations! I'll be in line for your book!

Those peaches and that ice cream look divine!

Sari @ Cook Your Dream May 5, 2011 um 6:15 pm

Wonderful news indeed! Congratulations for everything you have achieved, Helen! Your success is well deserved. I'm so happy for you. You are a great inspiration to me.

Caroline @ French Ponytail May 5, 2011 um 6:25 pm

I just bought your book! I was never crazy into photography before until I had the (obviously not terribly original) idea to turn the camera to my plate. Now I'm a little obsessed. I'm excited to find a book that can help me hone my skills. Thanks (and beautiful blog!).

Elizabeth @ Saffron Lane May 5, 2011 um 7:22 pm

Wow! This is all really great news. One of these days I can only hope to be as talented/fortunate.

Congrats, congrats!

DessertForTwo May 5, 2011 um 7:31 pm

Such a good post full of such good news! Congrats on everything! xoxo

Anonymous May 5, 2011 um 7:57 pm

Congrats, Helene! 🙂

Sense of Home Kitchen May 5, 2011 um 8:19 pm

Congratulations and thank you for a wonderful summer recipe.


Vicki Bensinger May 5, 2011 um 8:46 pm

Congratulations! Funny how suddenly everything just falls into place. Have fun in Santa Fe and with all the exciting things life has in store for you.

By the way I'm enjoying your book. Now to implement all that I'm learning.

terri May 5, 2011 um 9:33 pm

congratulations! may all the good things you deserve continue to come your way!

marla May 5, 2011 um 11:00 pm

Helen, this post is FILLED with toe curling great news! Congrats on your new agent partnerships. I always think seasoned representation is well worth it. Chris is wonderful, met him recently.
I look to you as a positive source of huge inspiration. I strive to become "pro" on many aspects of my life. With patience, practice, determination & smiles along the way 🙂 xo

Crystal May 6, 2011 um 1:44 am

Fabulous news – congratulations!

girlleastlikely May 6, 2011 um 2:38 am

A hge congratulations for all of these wonderful and exciting things that are happening! You work so hard and definitely deserve it!

The icecream and peaches look amazing too!

Asha @ FSK May 6, 2011 um 2:39 am

My dear dear Helene, CONGRATTULATIONSSSs!!! I am sooo happy for you :))) HUGS

Julie May 6, 2011 um 3:27 am

Wow – congratulations! and that ice cream – it's making my toes curl just to look at it!

Debugcooking May 6, 2011 um 9:23 am

Helen…serious toe curling or goose bumps news here….You are such an inspiration to me…Love yr work,Love yr pics and love yr recipes…Lady you deserve everything and much more 😉

kimberlycun May 6, 2011 um 9:56 am

i am aching for an ice cream maker now 🙁

The Teacher Cooks May 6, 2011 um 1:33 pm

A big congratulations to you! The ice cream looks divine.

Jennifer Brody May 6, 2011 um 7:20 pm

I'm so happy I found your blog! Your photography and styling are exquisite. And I love that you are gluten-free (I also write a blog with recipes that are naturally gluten free). This recipe look so yummy–I can't wait to try it.


Domestic Divas
"Food Is Love"

Julie from May 6, 2011 um 8:36 pm

Congratulations, Helene!!! 🙂 I'm so proud of you and so happy for you!!

Unknown May 6, 2011 um 10:54 pm

I am breathless with reading this article and seeing all that can transpire from a wonderful blog. I followed the link about the workshop this weekend and it just sounds too dreamy. This is all so right up my alley of passions. Thank you for being such an inspiration. Congratulations all of the good things happening.

Katherine May 7, 2011 um 12:01 am

I live about an hour away from Santa Fe. It is a beautiful city and a lot of fun. I take day trips there whenever I can. Hope you enjoy your visit!

Y May 7, 2011 um 7:56 am

Such wonderful news! Congratulations! Love that ice cream too by the way. I have a lime verbena plant on my balcony and have been meaning to make ice cream for ages!

Darina May 7, 2011 um 1:40 pm

Congratulations, Helene! I just got your book and it is fantastic. All that I hoped it would be. I'm sure it will be extremely helpful to me in improving my photos. Thanks for having an open heart and sharing so much great advice.

La Cuisine d'Helene May 7, 2011 um 2:40 pm

Félicitations! This is great news. I just ordered Plate to Pixel and can't wait to get it.

The InTolerant Chef ™ May 8, 2011 um 6:37 am

I love the flavour of lemon verbena, lovely. Great news for you too, hope it all comes together harmoniously for you.

Karin May 8, 2011 um 1:15 pm

Congratulations! And this ice cream looks delicious. Thanks for being such an inspiration.

Shawnda May 9, 2011 um 3:27 am

Congratulations! Everything sounds like it's all falling into place! (PS My husband ordered your book as part of my Mother's Day gift – I can't wait to dig in to it!)

meg May 9, 2011 um 6:35 pm

Is it ever the wrong time for ice cream I'd like to know?
Right now we're acting as our own agent, but I can tell you that things are a lot smoother with one. Congrats!

Chris Armstrong May 11, 2011 um 4:09 am

I'm very excited to have you on board as well Helen. I like you too 🙂

Sonya May 11, 2011 um 6:35 pm

Nam, nam, I can't wait to try this one.

Aggie June 4, 2011 um 7:56 pm

can't wait to get some lemon verbena in my garden now, thank you for sharing.

I love hearing good news!! Smiles all around.

Can't wait to see you again at Evo next month!

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