Sunday, July 29, 2012

Frozen Slice

I've been enjoying my vacation this week (visiting sunflowers and spending time with family and friends).

We celebrated my sister's birthday this weekend. She asked for a "Gourmet Hot Dog/Hamburger Bar." Despite the rain (thank you to my husband for grilling), we had just that, complete with at least 18 different toppings (sauerkraut, coleslaw, green peppers, raw and cooked onions, cucumbers, pickles, relish, ketchup, yellow mustard, Dijon mustard, roasted red peppers, yellow banana peppers, lettuce, tomatoes, bacon, mayonnaise, American cheese, provolone cheese, .....).

My sister requested a gluten free dessert for her birthday which somehow involved Reese's Peanut Butter Cups. Here's what I came up with:

Ice Cream Cake - {Peanut Butter Brownie}
1 tub whipped topping
1 1/2 quarts peanut butter cup ice cream
1 package trader Joe's gluten free brownie mix
3 tablespoons peanut butter chips
6 Reese's peanut butter cups (chopped)

Spray a 10 inch spring form pan with nonstick spray. Prepare brownie mix according to package directions. Mix in peanut butter chips. Spread brownie batter evenly into spring form pan and bake according to package directions. Let cool completely in pan.

Let ice cream sit out on counter for about 15 minutes, to soften. Once brownie bottom is cool, spread ice cream evenly on top of it. Cover with plastic wrap and place in freezer for at least 2 hours (I left it overnight).

Once ice cream is set, spread a layer of whipped topping over the top. I piped a design around the top for detail. Then sprinkle/decorate with Reese's chopped pieces. Cover and freeze for about 2 hours (again, I left this overnight).

When ready to serve, leave ice cream cake out for about 5-10 minutes before cutting. Remove side of spring form pan and cut. *The brownie was a little hard to cut because of the peanut butter chips which did not entirely melt. I may suggest leaving these out for a smoother cut.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Fresh Throwdown

This weekend my husband and I attended the Rhode Island Ice Cream Throwdown presented by RI Food Fights.

The Throwdown Featured 11 ice cream competitors and about 700 eaters/judges for people's choice. We had a lot of fun sampling all of the interesting flavors (although some were the traditional flavors).

Our favorite was from Newport Creamery, Graham Central Station. We also liked Bliss's version of this ice cream. Our third favorite was from Teas and Javas (an Alex and Ani creamery), Peanut Butter Oreo.

I didn't bake anything today, as I was on a sugar high from all of the ice cream! I did however get to use some basil from our growing garden (the squash has started to take over). I chopped up some tomatoes from my mother-in-laws garden, fresh mozzarella, and some basil leaves. I served them on a platter with some oregano and basil balsamic vinegar on the side. The freshness of Summer.....

Sunday, July 15, 2012


I finally got an iPhone! That means that I get the Internet on my phone, I can play words with friends, and I can send my own photos to my email (thanks for putting up with me Kelley)! It was time to get a new phone since my old one started dying sporadically and we don't use house phones. My old phone did last for quite some time and through 2 moves and after being dropped in a sink full of water (3 days in a bowl of rice brought it back to life). It was good while it lasted but I'm excited to see everything my new phone can do!

Homemade Peanut Butter Chocolate Cups
1 bag milk chocolate chips or dark chocolate chips
1 bag peanut butter chips

Melt 1 cup chocolate chips in a microwaveable bowl  for about 1 minute. Place melted chocolate in candy molds. Place in fridge for about 10 minutes.
Melt 1 cup peanut butter chips in a microwaveable bowl  for about 1 minute. Place melted peanut butter chips on top of molded chocolate. Place in fridge for about 10 minutes.
Melt 1 cup chocolate chips in a microwaveable bowl for about 1 minute and add your final layer to the molds. Place in fridge for about 10 minutes.

The mold I used was quite large, I would recommend going on the smaller side. Also, we all thought these would be good chopped up as an ice cream topper.

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Patriotic Administrator

Part 2 of professional improvement done! I am now a certified administrator (albeit without an administration job, but still). It's been a long year of sitting in classes for 5 to 6 hours a night and doing crazy amounts of homework (which I may or may not have always found helpful). I am looking forward to enjoying my Summer without homework, for a little while. I'll start tutoring and working on a summer program for at risk incoming freshman soon. Meanwhile we're enjoying sitting by the pool and spending time with family and friends. Hope everyone had a Happy Fourth of July!

Red, White, and Blue Strawberries

1 bag White Chocolate Chips
Blue Sugar

Melt the chocolate chips in a microwaveable bowl for about 1 minute. Dip cold strawberries in the chocolate and sprinkle with blue sugar. Place on a cookie sheet lined with wax paper. Serve or place in fridge for later!

Sunday, July 1, 2012

To Old Friends

Did you ever have a friend who moved away? Were you the one who moved? Did you try to write but soon found that your new lives took over? I've been thinking a lot about the people that I have moved away from over the years. You try to not say "Goodbye," but rather, "see you again." How many of them do you see again? It certainly takes effort and the will of both parties to make that happen. I know, that even if I don't visit often, I'll always have the memores, inside jokes, and experiences to think about. Is that enough? I'm not entirely sure it is, but at some point you have to realize that if you're meant to be friends then you'll find a way. Otherwise, they were an important part of your life, no matter how short of a time.

Oatmeal Raisin Cookies
adapted from
Oven 350

1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
2/3 cup granulated sugar
1 cup packed light brown sugar
2 large eggs, at room temperature
1 3/4 cup flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 3/4 cup old –fashioned rolled oats (not instant or quick-cooking)
1 1/2 cups raisins

In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat the butter and sugars until very light and fluffy, about 5 minutes.

Meanwhile in a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, salt, nutmeg, and cinnamon, making sure there are no lumps of baking soda. Stir in the oats and raisins.

Add the eggs, one at a time, and beat until thoroughly combined. On low speed, or by hand, gradually add the flour and oat mixture to the creamed butter, mixing until completely incorporated.
Chill the batter a few hours or overnight, covered. (This step is optional, although recommended.)

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat. Drop the dough in 1/4 cup balls evenly spaced on the baking sheet and flatten the tops slightly with your hand. (I got about 6 cookies per baking sheet.) Midway during baking, rotate the baking sheet and tap the tops of the cookies down somewhat firmly with a spatula to flatten the domes. Bake the cookies for 20 to 22 minutes, or until they just start to turn brown across the top, but do not overbake.

Remove from oven and cool completely.
Storage: Once cool, the cookies can be stored in an airtight container for up to three days. The dough can be stored in the refrigerator for up to one week, or frozen for up to two months.