Thursday, July 3, 2008

Now, That Takes The Cake!

What a way to start the day!  Our friend and loyal reader, Cheryl, forwarded this picture of she and her boys celebrating National Ice Cream Month (with what looks like FOUR gallons of ice cream, yummy topping, and some fun dishes).  I just love the idea that all around the country ice cream is being eaten and that I could have something...anything to do with it.

More announcements at the end.

Today is dedicated to the creative ways in which ice cream and cake intersect.  Bottom line... this topic is really inspired by a cake pan I saw and fell in love with.  The pan is actually a heavy cast iron mold, made by Nordicware.  It makes six ice cream cone shaped cupcakes, each to be topped with a scoop of ice cream and some sprinkles.  If you're beginning to know me at all, you know this is where I would typically insert a photo of me having made the ice cream cone cupcakes so you could enjoy the creative moment along with me.

Oh, but not today.  I can't.  I can't bake the cupcakes because, even though the mold is in my possession, it is not mine!  It belongs to one of you!  Yup, that's right.  I wrote away to the company, sharing my vision for this important week of ice cream blogging, and they agreed that the celebration of ice cream is no small matter.  So they sent me a free mold to be given away to one of our lucky readers.  

To check out the mold up close and personnel, visit and look for the item labeled Ice Cream Cone Cupcake Pan.  It will also serve as a nice way to thank Nordicware for supporting the activities of our fun community.

So how can you win the mold?  We'll get to that in a minute.

In the meantime, giving away an ice cream mold does not a blog entry make.  So I wanted something else.  I was sitting in the doctor's office last week with Jack (who was having trouble breathing) and I picked up this month's copy of Real Simple to read while waiting for our appointment.  Page 186 featured an easy ice cream cake recipe.  I committed to getting the magazine (my conscience would not let me rip it out) and making the cake for my family.

Here's why I liked the recipe and thought it worth sharing.  It's EASY and fast.  You know it's easy when the only ingredients are: 1 cup heavy cream, 2 tablespoons confectioners' sugar, 6 ice cream sandwiches (3.5 each) and 1/2 cup of chocolate chips.  This was all stuff I had in my house already.  It literally took me longer to whip the cream than it did to do anything else.
The recipe:
  • Line an 8 1/2 by 4 1/2 inch loaf pan with a piece of wax paper or parchment, allowing the paper to hang over both long sides.
  • In a large bowl, beat the cream and sugar until stiff peaks form.
  • In the bottom of the pan, arrange 3 of the sandwiches in a single layer, cutting them to fit as necessary.  Spread with half the whipped cream.  Repeat with the remaining sandwiches and whipped cream.
  • Sprinkle the top of the cake with the chopped candy bar.  Cover with plastic wrap and freeze until firm, at least 1 hour and up to 1 week.
  • Holding both sides of the paper overhang, lift the cake out of the pan and transfer to a platter.  Discard the paper, slice the cake, and serve.  
One small caveat for any other Type A people out there.  The only ice cream sandwiches I could find were 3.25 ounces each.  They did not COMPLETELY cover the pan.  I actually used a fourth sandwich on bottom and on top to assure it was completely covered and that the sandwiches were nice and snug.  In retrospect, I probably wouldn't do it again... and, in fact, didn't...

The cake was so easy to make, I decided right then and there to make two more I could give away as acts of kindness.  One went to the thoughtful neighbor who judged yesterday's whacks and the other went to Cheryl who came over last night so we continue work on the Altoid Table.  I tell you this hoping you might consider making one and delivering it to someone with a note saying, "Happy National Ice Cream Month."

Back to the Ice Cream Cone Cupcake Pan.  How can you win it?  I've always wanted to cut a pint of Ben & Jerry's down the middle to see how many pieces of "stuff" were inside.  This seemed like the perfect week.  So... for the winning cake pan...  How many Fudge Fish were embedded in half a pint (cut vertically) of Ben & Jerry's Phish Food?  If you've never tried this flavor, it's a must.  Chocolate ice cream with gooey marshmallow, caramel swirls, and fudge fish.  Yum, Yum.  The person who comes closest wins.  

Here's the final word on how we'll distribute the Starbuck's gift cards offered to us by the anonymous P.P.D.C.  We took into account each of your suggestions.
  • 1 for a blog reader whose gone above and beyond.
  • 1 to someone from my lucky Random Acts of Kindness (RAK) box of postcards.
  • 2 tucked inside a Random Acts of Kindness book left at a Starbucks.
  • 3 to someone whose down and out and could use a random  "Perk me up."
  • 3 to someone willing to start a Kindness Chain, by purchasing a coffee for someone behind him/her in line.
  • 5 to a completely random person we think has potential to be a new highlowaha reader.
We are looking for:
  • 2 volunteers to distribute the gift cards inside an-already-read-and-passed-along- RAK book
  • 3 volunteers willing to start a kindness chain by buying someone a cup of coffee at their local Starbucks.  
  • A minimum of 8 names of  people to receive a "perk me up" or potential new readers to whom we can send a card.  
  • Post to let me know if you are interested in either distributing via RAK book or starting a kindness chain.  Email with an address me if you want to "nominate" someone for the "perk me up" or potential new reader.
As for the other 2 cards...  

If I may, I will be bold and award the one card allocated to a reader who has gone above and beyond.  Peggy this one's for you.  Not only did Peggy (and Julie) submit ideas for the Tear Away Flyer, but she also promptly sent me items for the Altoid box AND another fun treat I'm hanging onto until the right moment.  Not to mention your daily posts are always fun to read. 
And the lucky winner from the lucky RAK box is... Debbie from Massachusetts.  Debbie is loyal reader, but has yet to post.  Maybe this will graduate her from "lurker-status" to "poster-status."

Now a couple of follow-up pics from readers who solicited our ideas and then used them...
Cassie P's house warming present for neighbors returning to a home in which they once lived

Carnival-themed birthday party for Andrea's son.
She used some of our ideas.  Looks GREAT!

Enough announcements for today.  Check back tomorrow for more.

Signing off until tomorrow...

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