Friday, December 23, 2005

A few of my favorite ingredients...

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In addition to the packages of goodies we sent out in the mail, we also gave packages to our neighboors. When I was making dinner tonight, the doorbell rang and Jeff went to go answer. Boy were we surprised when it was one of our neighboors and they had this huge basket for us!

How nice! We didn't expect anything in return - if you read this, thank you so much! It was filled with chocolate bars, lots of different kinds of pretzels (I wonder if they work for the Synder pretzel company.. hee hee!), a nice ornament and even a pair of tickets to go to the movies!

During this time of the year, there are two flavors that when paired, really spike my interest. Chocolate and peppermint are such a dynamtic combination and I love anything that includes them. I came across a recipe for an ice cream cake, I just knew I was going to make it... it was just a matter of when. Forgive what is underneath the cake - I had to improvise as I do not own cake plate (I know... I know.. I just never get around to buying one!)

When I saw the picture and recipe for this Peppermint Ice Cream Cake, I immedietly knew I was going to change it a bit because I had special baking pans that were just aching to be used. They have been waiting in the cupboard for far two many years and while I have used them before - it was quite some time ago. They create a tunnel inside the cake where you can stuff whatever you want inside. Here is what they look like so you can get an idea of how the cake ended up with a secret tunnel.

The cake texture itself reminds me of a cross between a chocolate cake and a brownie. I was happy to see the cake rose pretty high, even with the special indents in the pan. Instead of trying to spread the frozen layers with the softened ice cream, I turned the baking pans over and filled them with ice cream as a template so it would fit perfectly inside the cake. I also used lightly sweetened fresh whipped cream to cover the cake instead of the premade stuff that was suggested. It is the Holidays after all, a little indulgence is good! The frosting has a hint of peppermint and the crushed candies give a nice crunch and burst of additional peppermint flavor. Thank god this is frozen because I swear I could eat the whole thing in one sitting... you know... so it would not go bad or anything!

Dinner tonight has more of my favorite ingredients. Bacon, potatoes, and cheese - how could this go wrong?! Individual Potato-Bacon Frittatas would be great to make ahead for a quick breakfast on the go. Layered veggies, bacon, and cheese are envolped in seasoned beaten eggs that swell into these tasty little muffins. I wish I would have made a double-batch as I would love to have extra ones in the freezer.


  1. What a beautiful cake! But I want one of those fritattas!

  2. Oh my goodness Joe, that cake is GORGEOUS! I can see how you'd want to eat the whole thing! Cool cake pans. Dinner looks great too!

  3. Absolutely wonderful cake!

  4. Well, I can see you are eating VERY well, as always (OMG that cake). I just wanted to wish you all a Merry Christmas and thank you for helping to make Farmgirl Fare one of the most enjoyable things I have ever done. I can't remember ever laughing so much. It definitely wouldn't be the same without you. : )

  5. I love the cake, very pretty!! And what a good idea to use the pan as a template for the ice cream!
    Merry Christmas Joe and Jeff!

  6. Rorie - Thanks!

    Michelle - There is still some in the freezer, but it is slowly disappearing!

    Sailu - Thanks!

    Farmgirl - I'll make sure Jeff gets the message! You rock Susan!

    Ana - Thanks! Merry Christmas to you too!

  7. Very pretty but I am having trouble visualing how this works :-) Are you baking two layers (assuming you have two sets of the special pans) that are just rings, so there's room for a separate filling? But no, I see the finished cake has a solid bottom and top. Hmmm, so each layer has a carved out area? You freeze the cakes in the pans to enable handling when adding filling? Then add the filling and plop the two together? (grin)

  8. Joe, what is that pan called, and where can I get it? I must have one! :P

  9. where can I find a pan like that?