Wednesday, June 30, 2010

BOOM!

The sparks will fly...
this 4th of July!
When you make a
Fire Cracker Ice Cream Cake

for a red, white and ooh...yeah, finish on a spectacular night!
Here's the starring cast of characters, frozen yogurt, ice cream, ice cream sandwiches, cool whip, star shaped cookies, and raspberry sorbet...AND VANILLA WAFERS! This is the first time I have used Neapolitan ice cream sandwiches. I have used Fatboys even...your choice. This time my man made all the choices!
Begin by crushing vanilla wafers and blending in milk just until mixture holds together.
Spray a 9" spring-form pan with non-stick spray. Now work really quickly. Cutting 4 ice cream sandwiches in quarters; cut in half length wise and across. Quickly line the sides of your pan, packing them snugly together, and then do the same with the remaining sandwiches.
Spoon the crushed wafers into the middle of your pan. Press firmly over the bottom of the pan. Now cover well and freeze for 1 hour.
During your free hour, make your fire crackers! You'll need vanilla melts, marshmallows, red and blue sugar, and wooden skewers.
Melt the vanilla melts in your microwave stirring every 15 seconds till it's smooth.
Dip in vanilla melts coating the end of the marshmallow and a little up the sides.
Carefully dip into the red or blue sugar.
I dipped both ends...you can swirl and twirl...be creative!

After 45 minutes soften your yogurt, ice cream, or sorbet for 15 minutes....
So your cake's been in the freezer for 1 hour, add the softened yogurt...or your choice...I've used everything and it turns out great!
Then add the second layer...
again...the third layer...
Cover with thawed whipped topping....
Sprinkles...
Fire crackers...
and star cookies...
After my Fire Cracker Cake spent a frigid night in my big freezer, I discovered the freezer had mysteriously been turned down. Our life was so much easier when we had 5 kids at home to blame this kinda stuff on... anyway, after a few gooey, melty pictures, it's tucked back in for another night. However, even soft my man inhaled the missing piece and said it was a sizzling success! It's easy to make and always turns out fantastic.
Hooray! Here she is fully-frozen and easy to slice, showing off her red, white and whoo!

Fire Cracker Ice Cream Cake
  • 20 Vanilla Wafer cookies
  • 2 Tbsp. milk
  • 8 to 10 ice cream sandwiches, depending on size
  • 1 pint blueberry ice cream or sorbet
  • 1 pint vanilla ice cream
  • 1 pint raspberry sorbet
  • 1 (8 oz.) container frozen whipped topping
  • sprinkles (optional)
  • red and blue star shaped sugar cookies (optional)
Coat sides and bottom of a 9-inch round springform pan with non-stick cooking spray. Line side with wax paper, using spray to help adhere to pan. Finely crush the vanilla wafers in a food processor (or blender). Add milk; pulse just until mixture holds together. Set aside. (Now, another pair of hands helps for this next part if you can get them...I have done it by myself though) Unwrap 4 ice cream sandwiches. Working quickly, cut each into quarters, in half long wise and then across. Stack strips of sandwiches to form a stand up edge. Repeat with remaining sandwiches to form a stand-up edge. Spoon cookie crumbs into the center of the pan; press firmly over bottom. Freeze 1 hour. * Remove all 3 flavors of ice cream, frozen yogurt or sorbet from the freezer and let soften at room temperature for 15 minutes. When softened, (not completely) add food color if you'd like. Remove pan from the freezer. Spread 1st layer of ice cream on the bottom, top with the next one, and then the last one. Top with thawed whipped topping, swirling top decoratively. Top with sprinkles and star cookies. Cover well and return to freezer. Freeze overnight. To serve, remove the sides of pan, then waxed paper. Add fire cracker decorations. Cut into wedges.

To make decorative fire crackers: In a mug, melt white, vanilla melts in the microwave, at 15 second intervals. Using a wooden skewer, poke a marshmallow and dip it in the coating and then into red or blue sugar. Let it dry on a parchment lined jelly-roll pan. Repeat, dipping the other end. Dip 12 marshmallows to make 3 fire crackers. Refrigerate till set. Next, thread the marshmallows unto a long wood skewer. Cut the top and bottom off of a party straw (Target, of course), with red and blue streamers. Push the pointed end of the streamer into the ice-cream cake. Insert the straw over the top of the skewer and push it into the top marshmallow to secure.

Get ready for the sparks to fly...
enjoy and happy 4th all!

Monday, June 28, 2010

Red-Hot Redheads

Meet our new baby, Sam!
Take two redheads, add two more redheads, and create a furry everywhere you go!
Big brother, Carter was so thrilled baby Sam is here and he looks just like baby Carter did. I love his wiggly-tiny toes and soft, fuzzy, hairline. What a sweet, special little family. I'm so happy for them...
and for me!
Being a grandma is the best time of life even with the wrinkles and color-less old hair! It's hard for me to believe how fast life is whizzing by. Seems like just yesterday I was a young girl, dating and having the time of my life, with few cares! I wouldn't go back though, for all the world...how 'bout you?

Which brings me to today and a red-hot head of cabbage!
I just adore red-cabbage and it's perfect for summer picnics and potlucks. I love the bright color it adds to any plate. In my teens my friends and I would have escapades at The Northwoods Inn, in Covina, CA. It was a boisterous place where we threw peanut shells on the floor, could laugh and make noise, as we celebrated before and after dances, and had enjoyable food. I remember how amazing the red slaw they served along-side steaks, chicken and ribs was. I worked to duplicate it, and I have been making it ever since.

Northwoods Inn Red Slaw
You can chop away, or use a food processor...notice I've worn a hole in my pulse button! Can't live without it! You'll need a big beautiful red head of cabbage. Cut it up and shred away. I use my #2 blade to make half of it real fine and the #4 blade to make half more coarse. It's just more interesting.
My processor is a 11 cup model and I fill my bowl twice, dumping it into a large bowl that has a lid.
Make a delicious, fresh dressing, or use your favorite Italian brand...my man likes the zesty-Italian brand. I make it both ways and it's always enjoyed and admired by all...either way it's super easy!
Cover the cabbage in the bowl and toss. Next I put the lid on and toss it around too, just to make sure all the cabbage is covered with dressing so it can marinate. Now tuck it in the fridge to blend and soften for most of the day or preferably overnight.
Serve it with almost anything. It's marvelous along side all the traditional, potato salads, coleslaw, pasta and fruit salads. This recipe is often requested by friends and family alike. When I tell them how to make it they don't believe I'm giving them the full recipe because it's so simple...but I do, I promise!

Northwood's Inn Red Slaw
  • 1 large head of red cabbage
  • 1 cup oil, I use canola or olive
  • 1 cup plus 4 Tbsp. red wine vinegar
  • 6 Tbsp. sugar (or I use about 1 dropper of liquid stevia)
  • 2 tsp. salt
  • 2 tsp. pepper
  • 1/2 tsp. seasoned salt
  • 1 tsp. onion powder
Shred cabbage and mix all dressing ingredients together, or use a bottle of your favorite Italian dressing. Refrigerate most of the day or overnight to allow flavors to mellow, cabbage to soften, and to achieve the deep red color.

Here's to red-hot parties all summer long!

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