Monday, May 31, 2010

Ice Cream Cookie Sandwich

Need a dessert? Need a dessert for a BBQ without having to use plates or utensils? This is the dessert for you! 

I made these this weekend for a BBQ, and they were a big hit.

The night before the BBQ I made a batch of my mint oreo cookie ice cream, but instead of crushed Oreos I used 1 cup of chopped bittersweet chocolate.  I buy Bakers since I can find it at my grocery store, but use any sort of bar chocolate you like as long as you can chop it. This isn't too expensive, and the bittersweet works very well for this ice cream.

Mint chocolate chip ice cream fabulousity.  When you chop the chocolate you get little shards of chocolate throughout the ice cream that lends a nice texture, without having to use chocolate chips. Obviously you can use chips if you want to, but I really prefer the chopped chocolate.

I made this the night before so it could freeze to a solid enough consistency to assemble the ice cream cookie sandwiches the next day. 

The next morning I made chocolate chocolate chunk cookies and chocolate chip cookies with walnuts. You want to make the cookies far enough in advance so that you can assemble the cookie sandwiches and have them set up hard before you serve them. 

Cool the cookies completely before assembling your cookie sandwiches, or you will have a soupy mess!

If your ice cream is extremely hard set (if you use store bought for instance (gasp!)) you might want to let it sit out just for a few minutes to slightly soften, but not too much, otherwise you won't be able to make the sandwiches.

I chose to use homemade ice cream and made the cookies from a mix (I know, sometimes you have to choose your battles). If you're short on time, make homemade cookies and use store bought ice cream.  

Have fun and enjoy these little handfuls of summer fun!

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Cornbread and Birthday Cake

Have you ever seen the cast iron cornbread molds shaped like corn on the cob? My Mom bought one at Brimfield last week and made cornbread for my birthday breakfast this past weekend. So fun.

Cornbread Recipe? Ummm, ( was a mix...but oh so good!)

Birthday breakfast also included some JohnnyCakes....a RI special. In all honesty I had never made them before, but got a fun mix for my birthday. They didn't seem exactly like I remember them, but they still tasted pretty good.

JonnyCakes using Carpenter's RI Jonnycake Meal
Modified recipe from back of bag
1 cup JonnyCake Meal
1 Tbsp sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup boiling water
3-4 Tbsp milk

Mix cornmeal, sugar and salt,
Add boiling water and stir well.
Add milk, and stir until the mixture is of a thin consistency, similar to very thin mashed potatoes.
(I used about 4 times the amount of milk called for to get the right consistency)

Grease griddle with 1Tbsp of margarine or oil, and wipe most residue off of pan.
Heat pan over medium-high heat.
(My trick: Pan is ready when a drop of water 'dances' on the pan. Works great for pancakes!)
Drop by spoonful onto medium-hot pan.
Cook until nicely browned on each side.

You can eat with some butter smeared on top, even a sprinkling of salt.

You can't see the butter dripping down my arm here!
Syrup also tastes really wonderful on these Johnnycakes!

Check out my birthday presents! New cookie sheet, and the two David Lebovitz' books I've been dying to have! Hello Ice cream!

OK, so this is simply a picture of my favorite thing to eat on my birthday! FRESH Jax, and Grape Kool-Aid with crushed thing. ever. 

It really was a very nice birthday spent with my wonderful husband and family. Thank you!

Oh did I forget to mention the homemade vanilla cake with blackberry jam my Mom whipped up for me?! OMYUM.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Brimfield Antique Fair

Brimfield! I finally went! OK, what on Earth is Brimfield you're asking? Well, it's one of the largest antique fairs in the country. It happens three times a year, May, July and September. Brimfield is a town about an hour and a half West of Boston, and with lots of fields and open spaces, Brimfield is on the map due to this unreal exposition.

So knowing how overwhelming this amount of STUFF might be, I went in with a plan and some goals of what I wanted to look for.....bakeware and chocolate molds of course!

It was great having something specific in mind going into something this HUGE! It was SO MUCH FUN! Ok, enough with the all capital letters....ahem..

These choocolate molds were amazing! They were in fantastic shape, and just beautiful. I loved the cat sticking out its tongue, and the lobsters were my favorite! Seeing how the least expensive mold was $200, I settled for some pictures :)

There are hundreds and hundreds of vendors that travel from all over the country to go to Brimfield. What results is a phenomenal collection of collectors! Looking for an odd piece of Pyrex?

Looking for a rare tea tin to complete your collection?

So after walking around and seeing hundreds of vendors, what did I buy? Check it out!

I love this vintage tablecloth, I have a thing for them and I just love this one! The little scenes are very 1950s-1960s. You can see the three little teapots, the golf cart and flowers, and the lamp with flowers. I love it. You can also see the red white and blue bracelet I bought in this picture.

Can you say molds!? Ok, so they aren't chocolate molds, but I absolutely adore them. My Mom has similar molds that we used to use to make jell-o, but I have some fun plans for these babies.

The little gold frames are for some of my oil paintings, I've been looking for small, ornate gold frames and was thrilled to finally find these!  Once I have time to paint again, I can't wait to use them.

(Never start a sentence with "And", but...) AND, do you see my new Madeleine pan!? $3.
 Oh and how much do you love the little cross-stitch baker?!

Also in the mix, an old Pepsi advertising crate, which is perfect for my canvases and painting supplies.

I also took home two difference pieces of pyrex. If you haven't cooked with Pyrex, seriously, try it out. It can make your life and cooking easier.

Your next chance to experience Brimfield, is July, so bring your sunscreen, leave early, and wear your walking shoes!

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Happy Mother's Day!

Happy Mother's Day to all of the Moms, Grandmas, Aunts and motherly figures out there who *LOVE* so much, in every sense of the word.

Mom and Grandma came up today, and I made them both brunch, and had a blast setting the table and using all of our fun dishes we got for our wedding.

I bought some early, gorgeous peonies at Russo's in Watertown, MA. They have gorgeous fresh fruits and veggies, and had some beautiful flowers.

My husband and I also made a run over to Sur La Table yesterday and I found the nicest little flower molds! Time for sugar flowers! I did the same technique as for the sugar bunnies I made for Easter this year, except I played with using two or more colors in each mold. I LOVED how they came out. They are so fun!

I also tried out the new pan I bought yesterday, a mini-donut pan! SO fun!!

 I made the basic recipe that was on the back of package which was very easy, and then I made a simple glaze of confectioner's sugar and milk they also mentioned on the back. 

I modified another batch of glaze with lemon zest and fresh lemon juice for lemon glazed donuts. 

Another batch was chocolate for the husband.

They were a big hit!

After filling our bellies, we went to the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston and had a super nice afternoon walking around and soaking in all the great art. So lucky to live so close to so many great museums!

So, in case you didn't hear, HAPPY MOTHER'S DAY!!