I feel like I should prefice this post with a disclaimer: please don’t try this at home. I mean it was delicious and all, but I don’t feel so good.
Today was my nephew’s 18th (!) birthday, so we all got together for dinner. My sister asked what kind of food he wanted, and he said : lots. (Mission accomplished.)
My Mom decided to decorate the house with his favourite thing: chips. Giant bags of them, all kinds, stuck on the walls to resemble balloons. Then, out in bowls, chips and dip, cheesies and two kinds of M&M’s (hey, he’s 18 and plays a lot of soccer). W and his cousins thought they died and went to little-boy heaven. (I did a little bit too.) If I wasn’t reaching critical mass before, I certainly am now. I’m looking forward to a full-on food hangover tomorrow. I kind of wish I had a big soccer game to play in.
I actually had nothing to do with dinner prep tonight. Steaks were done with salt and pepper under the broiler (they are pre-move, and the barbecue is gone) and topped with sauteed mushrooms, Caesar made from chopped romaine, bagged sourdough croutons and Renee’s uber-thick dressing from a jar. The twice-baked potatoes were the best part, I think – something my sister made that I don’t think I would have thought of. When I think of twice-baked potatoes what comes to mind are the frozen Costco ones circa 1995, filled with piped-in whipped potatoes with bacon and cheese. These were made with bacon and cheese too, but could not have been better than the Costco kind. It made me consider all the possibilities here – really, all you do is bake potatoes (russets work well on account of their sturdy skins), let them cool, scoop out their insides and mash them with anything you like – feta and green onions would be good – or grated cheddar and crumbled bacon. Pile the potatoes back into their shells and give them another turn in the oven just to heat through. Also an easy thing to make ahead of time, and let me tell you, everyone was thrilled to see them.
“First we melted butter and mixed it with Oreo crumbs and pressed it into the bottom of the pan. [A Corningware casserole dish, which was difficult to liberate the cake from – a springform would be ideal for this sort of cake.] The we got chocolate crackle ice cream soft so it wouldn’t wreck the crust and spread it over top. Then we put 10 Oreos in a bag and smashed them with a pizza cutter and sprinkled them over the ice cream. Then we spread vanilla ice cream overtop and then we pressed Two Bite Brownies around the top and decorated it with icing.”
So there you go. I always forget how easy ice cream cakes are (or perhaps I just fear them because I know I’ll eat whatever everyone else doesn’t) – on a graham or chocolate cookie crust you can layer any combination of softened ice cream and stir-ins; to make clearly defined layers, freeze each one before spreading with the next. There’s no need to spend $30 on one at DQ; they aren’t the only ones who can make an ice cream cake, you know.
I’m looking forward to no birthdays for awhile. Or at least 5 days.