Why to Eat Ice Cream in the Winter: Our Ample Hills Date

Ample Hills Date | Big Girls Small Kitchen

This winter, Alex and I have been getting out of the house–out of town, even–on fun dates we booked using our HowAboutWe for Couples membership. You might have heard about the site more as a place for dating, but there’s also a whole section for people in relationships to book interesting, out-of-the-ordinary evenings and day dates in cities across the U.S., without having to hash out the exact details ourselves. I’ve been pretty thrilled to put the planning in HowAboutWe’s capable hands, and we’ve had the best time fending off the seasonal doldrums on our dates.

So far, we’ve headed up the Hudson for a whiskey tour, drunk cider and eaten serrano ham at Tertulia, taken a bike repair course, and attended an all-vegetarian supper club.

Which brings us to a snowy Saturday in Brooklyn, when we walked up Vanderbilt Avenue to Ample Hills, maker of delicious ice cream in flavors like cookie au lait, peppermint pattie (my favorite), and salted crack caramel (the rest of the world’s favorite). The weather was cold (which meant no lines at the ice cream parlor,  epically crowded in summer), but winter has never stopped me from eating ice cream before.

Hearts materialized above our head while we were debating flavors! Valentine’s Day is tomorrow, after all.

Our date included a full-on brownie sundae, plus two warm drinks. All this was free with our HowAboutWe membership, which was really cool, and it also made deciding to go out to ice cream and spend some quality time together a really easy decision. Happily, all memberships come with one free date a month–everything from a decorate-your-own donut date in L.A., to a 73-story ride to the top of Seattle’s Sky Observatory, to a piñata-making date in Chicago!

For our sundae, we chose a brownie base.
My scoop was pistachio squared (pistachio AND pistachio brittle), while Alex went for the coconut fudge sorbet (so rich!). We asked for hot fudge, because who on earth chooses caramel sauce when there is hot fudge on offer?? The Ample Hills scooper piled all the whipped cream on my scoop, since Alex doesn’t eat dairy.

We had fancy maraschino cherries planted on top of each of our scoops. And then rainbow sprinkles, too. Of course.

For the hot drink, we went for espresso, a much needed antidote to the rich, icy bowl of goodness. We sat around, dove into the sundae, laughed, and looked out the window at the other brave souls who’d left their apartments in the cold.

I love how the tables at Ample Hills are covered in old ice cream ads. And I love the ice cream. Ample Hills ice cream is the best I’ve ever eaten–and this from a connoisseur who’s sought out every ice cream vendor from Florence, Italy to Maine. It was really lovely to pause on a Saturday afternoon and share a humungous sundae at a cool neighborhood joint together. We might just make it a tradition.

If you’ve never tried HowAboutWe for Couples, you can join as a new member and get $50 off any date in the collection by following this link (offer expires 5/31/14). I think the Chef’s Counter at Nourish Kitchen Date and the Lucy’s Whey Cheese-Inspired Dinner look like so much fun!

With tomorrow being Valentine’s Day, it might be fun to join together, or, if you’re booking a date as a Valentine’s Day present, make sure to click “make it a surprise”!

We went on this date, and I wrote this sponsored post in partnership with HowAboutWe for Couples. Thanks for supporting the sponsors that help inspire BGSK’s content! Photos by Ryan C. Jones.


  • http://www.Eclectic-Unions.com Jessie

    What a fun date (and the pistachio ice cream sounds divine!). Adorable pictures of you guys!!

    • http://www.biggirlssmallkitchen.com/ BGSK

      Thanks, Jessie!

  • Elizabeth Cooper

    Oh gosh, I’m sorry, I don’t mean to troll, but this hard to read. I love your recipes, they’re great and I use them all the time, and I appreciate that you must seek sponsorship in order to, well, pay yourself. But the obvious lovey dovey photo shoot is rather vomit inducing. Please get back to the recipes!

    • http://www.biggirlssmallkitchen.com/ BGSK

      Thanks for the feedback, Elizabeth. Not trolling! I’m genuinely glad to hear your opinion. I’m always on the fence about putting myself on the site (and rarely do), but I figured I’d try it out here, so thanks for letting me know it’s not working for you. There will be plenty of new recipes soon!

      • Elizabeth Cooper

        Really glad I didn’t cause offence because I honestly didn’t mean to. I have no problem with your putting yourself on the site, you should, it’s your site, and I’m only one person! It’s just the staged nature for the photos (you obviously must have had a third person with you to take them) that is a little distasteful. Maybe it’s because I’m British, we’re not as used to sponsorship I guess! Please keep doing what you are doing, your recipes, your writing, it’s refreshing, new and often used in our house. I admire you and think your awesome, and I’m sorry it’s only in criticism that I actually bother to comment!

  • http://liquidyolk.com/ Kate

    I love Ample Hills! I don’t stop craving ice cream even in this weather… not sure what that says about me! And what a great idea to get out of the city in winter. I’m going to try to get my boyfriend to Hudson Valley Distillery.

    • http://www.biggirlssmallkitchen.com/ BGSK

      I think it says only good things about you!

  • http://sugarandspicemag.tumblr.com/ Heather

    Ice cream in winter = awesome! I live in Brooklyn and I’m definitely going to try out Ample Hills. I have your cookbook (the guac recipe is my fave!) and I check your blog all the time – seeing you in these photos is awesome and a fun change of pace. I love it!

    • http://www.biggirlssmallkitchen.com/ BGSK

      Oh you must try out Ample Hills! Like, today. So glad you have the book, love the guac, and enjoy the blog. Thanks for commenting!

  • http://www.sarahledermandesignstudio.com/blog Sarah @ SLDS

    You guys always look so adorbs in these date posts. Evan and I have pretty much zero pics of each other minus our wedding photos. Is it weird to have a photographer trail you on your dates?

    • http://www.biggirlssmallkitchen.com/ BGSK

      Aww, thanks, Sar! I’ll be sure to play paparazzo next time you and Evan are looking cute together. Usually the photographers are fun people, so we don’t mind having a third wheel, but yeah, it’s a little weird! xx

  • http://aweekfromthursday.com/ heidi

    Sounds like fun! I’ve always wanted to check out HowAboutWe for couples. Also, I’ll definitely have to check out that ice cream parlor. Sounds amazing.

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