Wee Cook Wednesdays: School’s Out … Favorite Kid-Friendly Recipes!

cakeI’d like to toss this weeks’ column out to my readers … What is your favorite recipe to make with your kids when you have an afternoon to bake or cook something nice for dinner, and they all want to play “Rachel Ray”?

Chris’ favorite is “Bird-in-a-Nest.”  Poke a hole in the bread, break an egg into the hole, and grill on both sides.

Sarah likes to make “Comfort Cookies.”  We made a batch last night (at Sarah’s insistence) to take to a neighbor lady whose dad had passed away. It tickles me pink to see those little empathy buds blossom into full flower!

My favorite recent cooking memory was the creation of my goddaughter’s First Holy Communion ice cream cake. Of course, Pokemon cake was right up there …

Gingerbread house, anyone?  (That’s more for Christmas break, of course …)

What do you like to make?

Wee Cook Wednesday: Ice Cream Cake, Anyone?

cakeThis weekend we were in Poughkeepsie for my goddaughter Ruth’s First Communion. The guest of honor had requested ice cream cake for the celebration, and . . . well, when I got a look at the wall of LOVELY cake pans on Elizabeth’s wall, I couldn’t help myself.

“No grocery story cake for us!  We’ll MAKE an ice cream cake!” We selected a seashell cake pan (the symbol of baptism), and got busy. We used (for this 10 cup mold):

1-1/2 half gallon cartons of vanilla ice cream
1 C crushed M&Ms (you can also use chocolate animal crackers and a squirt of chocolate shell syrup)
1 pint strawberries
1 recipe/jar your favorite chocolate sauce

Step 1:  Take ice cream out of freezer for about 1/2 hour beforehand to soften.

Step 2:  Line cake pan with plastic wrap. Open carton flat, and slice ice cream in 1/2 inch slices. Layer the ice cream in the mold, pressing into crevices with back of spoon. Repeat until entire mold is full about 1 inch thick.

Step 3:  Prepare filling as needed (crush M&Ms or combine chocolate cookie crumbs and chocolate shell), sprinkle over first layer of ice cream. Keep filling about 1 inch away from edges.

Step 4:  Layer another 1″ of ice cream over filling, pressing gently to seal.  When the mold is full, wrap with plastic wrap and freeze several hours or overnight.

Step 5:  When frozen, dip mold in warm water, pulling gently on plastic wrap to release cake. Invert onto plate. Return cake to freezer on serving plate.

Step 6:  Select 6 large strawberries, wash and pat dry. Slice not quite through from tip to stem to form about 6 thin layers (still connected to the stem). Fan by turning gently clockwise. Set on plate, repeat with remaining strawberries. Place on ice cream in decorative pattern. Freeze.

Step 7:  About 15 minutes before serving, remove from freezer. Squirt chocolate sauce in decorative pattern (I followed the lines of the shell).  Serve and watch it disappear!

I served this with my banana bread.