Ina Garten’s Mocha Chocolate Icebox Cake

Ina Garten's Mocha Chocolate Icebox Cake 027 (2)

Oh the irony… I started this blog to master the most difficult techniques in baking and the pastry arts, and as of today my favorite dessert is this extremely easy, unbelievably delicious, no-bake icebox cake. If I could change my blog’s name to All Icebox Cakes All Of The I would.  Ina Garten’s chocolate mocha icebox cake is a play on the classic dessert.  Good-quality, store-bought chocolate chip cookies, and chocolate/Kahlua flavored whipped cream are layered upon each other to create this masterpiece.  Last but not least, the chocolate shavings on top add a regal flair it rightly deserves.  This dessert is simple yet decadent; effortless to make yet looks complicated; and the taste is to-die-for. Make. This. Cake. Now. Continue reading →


Gluten-Free Seed And Nut Loaf

Gluten-Free Seed And Nut Loaf 008 (2)

It is that time again for all of us Daring Bakers to try something new. Susan from the beautiful blog The Kiwi Cook has issued the challenge to make a gluten-free seed and nut loaf. It’s serendipitous that this recipe has come into my life at this time.  I am in need to find a new, healthy food for my son Wesley who has been having some health issues lately.  I also am about to start teaching myself the ins and outs of healthy, vegan, and gluten-free baking. Finally, I am currently training for a half marathon, so to make a homemade snack that is packed with fiber, protein and other nutrients is a win for me.  Thank you so much Susan for opening my eyes to this baking possibility! Continue reading →

Strawberry And Basil Ice Cream

Strawberry And Basil Ice Cream 007 (2)

My youngest son Wesley has been having some health issues.  Ever since he was 6 months old he’s had a team of doctors watching out for him.  Between his food allergies, acid re flux, developmental delays, and his consistently slow weight gain (sometimes he even loses weight), we’ve had our work cut out for us.  This week we are meeting with a Genetic Pediatrician in New York City.  I am hoping that this doctor can help us solve the mystery.  One of Wesley’s main problems is that he is of very low weight.  Every time he loses weight our pediatrician recommends giving him avocado, peanut butter, cheese, even bacon so as to fatten this boy up.  This is particularly difficult because Wesley doesn’t seem to want to eat at all.  Some days I can only get him to take in watered-down juice.   But I carry on, and try new things in the hopes that maybe his appetite might change.  This week I made strawberry and basil ice cream especially for him.  Because Wes is allergic to eggs I used a non-custard base.  I bought the strawberries and fresh basil from a local farmers market.  I used heavy cream and half and half for added fat. Finally, I churned the cream with great love using my Cuisinart ice cream maker, all the while, crossing my fingers that he’ll have at least a few licks..  The verdict is in… Wesley is not hungry for homemade strawberry and basil ice cream.  Now, if you’ll excuse me, I am going eat the rest in frustration and defeat. Continue reading →

Brown Butter And Rosemary Ice Cream

Brown Butter And Rosemary Ice Cream

Last month while strolling down a New York City street with my sister Amanda, we saw a large neon sign that read PSYCHIC. Of course, we walked right in.  A grey-haired woman, looking to be in her mid-70s, and wearing a dress similar to what Mrs. Roper would wear in “Threes Company”  greeted us at the door and ushered us to sit down at a round table. On the table sat a crystal ball.  She asked which one wanted to go first.  I raised my hand. The grey-haired psychic then told my sister to watch the baby while she read my future.  It was then that we saw this baby boy sitting in a bouncy seat on the ground.  Before she began, she asked me how old I thought the baby was.  I wanted to answer her with my mind, but I chickened out. Instead, I threw out a number.  I believe I said 10 months. She shouted with a satisfied smile on her face, “he’s 3 months old!”  Okay, get to it. When my session was over I made my way to the ground and started playing peek-a-boo while my sister sat down in front of the crystal ball.  We then paid $60 each, said our thank yous and left.  Here’s what we could gather from our readings: Amanda is going to have a vacation home one day, I am going to run a long race, and that baby is very big for its age.   My sister has already started thinking about where this second home should be (Florida or New Hampshire), today I registered for a half marathon in October, and that baby is now 4 months old.  Mind blown.  Let’s make brown butter and rosemary ice cream! Continue reading →