Meringue-Topped, Layered Ice Cream Birthday Cake

Our home was a-buzz with birthday excitement last weekend, even if the party planning only started sometime Friday afternoon.

Mere moments after I had seen my parents out the door for their return trip home, I opened my trusty notebook, where I jot down ideas and details for every gathering we host. I wrote ‘Noah’s 11th Birthday’ and drew a line underneath the words, pausing for a moment to take in that number.

Eleven. It’s really teetering on the edge of childhood. There would be no robot cake this year, no pinata-thumping  or eating doughnuts off of string. Treasure hunts are a thing of the past for my 6th grader – and that is all okay; there will always be birthday cake.

Noah’s not into frosting at all, in fact, he wants nothing to do with it. He’s pretty keen on ice cream, however, and with this in mind, an idea for an epic (it must be epic) layered, ice cream cake began to take shape in my little book. A brownie layer would be good, and a chocolate cookie crumb base. He loves crisp meringues, why not work those into the topping.

After one shopping trip, lots of scooping and sculpting and melting and freezing, we had a birthday cake. An epic birthday cake.

[Read more…]

Muscavado Blueberry Plum Sorbet

Mid-summer wild blueberries and sweet plums tend to show up around the same time at the farm stands here, conveniently marketing themselves to be paired together in the kitchen.

I’ve long been a fan of the blueberry-plum flavour combination because it is a perfect balance of tart and sweet. These fruits also cook up into preserves and desserts of the most gorgeous purple hue that are hard to resist.

I’ve made a very successful fruit butter and pancake syrup with the two, now I’m marrying the berries and stone fruit into a vibrant sorbet perfect for summertime.

[Read more…]

Coming together over Cantaloupe Honey Sorbet

This post is sponsored by KitchenAid Canada.

Melons are a summer fruit we can all agree to like in my little family. Believe it or not, I have one boy who despises berries of all kinds and another boy who will have nothing to do with stone fruits. Melon, however, disappears as fast as I can cut it into wedges.

I’m trying to be patient with these peculiar tastes of my children, even though I’m yearning to make summer berry crisps and peach cobblers a part of our regular dessert line-up. (And sometimes I do, just for Danny and I.) Clara, on the other hand, eats all fruits, and all vegetables, for that matter. Can I attribute this to baby-led weaning? Partially, I am sure.

Taste buds can change – I’ve seen it happen – and I am confident the boys will eventually grow out of this picky phase. They heartily enjoy foods like beans, lentils, olives, avocado, seafood, and salads, so I have that to be thankful for.

For now, we’ll come together over cantaloupe, sticky our fingers with watermelon and hang out over a plate of honeydew on hot summer days. This sorbet is a perfect example of that happening.

[Read more…]

Strawberry Ice Cream Cake

We’re celebrating. Again! I know, it’s been a very good spring. The festivities planned for today are both of the birthday nature, as we honor both Danny and Canada simultaneously on this first day on July.

This red and white strawberry ice cream cake is how this party gets started. It is equal parts of vanilla ice cream and yogurt blended together and layered with strawberry honey jam. It couldn’t be simpler and it looks pretty on the plate.

You should serve it with a drizzle of strawberry coulis, or a big bowl of fresh or roasted strawberries, ideally, straight from the berry patch.

Speaking of u-picks, we are taking advantage of our national holiday, and jumping out the door this morning to pick strawberries. This post will be short, like strawberry season. I have to preserve the fruit before it is too late.

But I leave you with ice cream cake.

[Read more…]

Frozen Treats: Fresh Strawberry Granita

Beat the heat with our week-long series on frozen treats! Written by Kristen of Dine and Dish.

I remember it like it was yesterday… my first taste of strawberry granita. The fresh strawberry flavor combined with the sweetness of the sugar had me hooked at first bite.

It was in a little township outside of Pittsburgh, PA, of all places. We were vacationing with my sister-in-law and the temperatures had shot up well past 100 degrees. We had reached the end of a fun-filled day when my sister-in-law introduced us to a little place called Rita’s Ice.

The lines were long but she assured us it was well worth the wait. I devoured a strawberry granita ice treat topped with vanilla custard. I loved it so much I went back the next day and the next and the next. When we returned home from our trip one of the first things I did was look to see if there was a Rita’s near us. Nothing. I was so disappointed…

Desperate for my new found favorite treat, I even went so far as to see what starting a Rita’s franchise in our town would entail. My husband talked me down and promised that it probably wasn’t necessary to go to those kind of measures. I guess he was right.

It never crossed my mind to try to re-create the strawberry granita we tasted at Rita’s in Pittsburgh – until now. Little did I know that such deliciousness could be made in my own kitchen with just a few simple ingredients and my freezer. I can have my strawberry granita in Kansas and I’m a happy girl!

[Read more…]