I’ve been doing “quiet” projects since my accident. One of the projects I’ve worked on has to do with recipes. Wonderful recipes, inspiring recipes…recipes that make the mouth water, recipes that spark memories….

“Hello, my name is Cheri and I am a recipe addict”. 

Anyone relate? It doesn’t help that my mama also loves cooking magazines and sends them all to me when she is done.  I had a large stack of newspapers, family recipes and magazines to get organized.  I worked on these using my method of organizing recipes. I wrote a tutorial  on this. You can read – part 1, part 2, part 3 and part 4 if you have a need to get your recipes organized and need a little help.

I haven’t been able to cook for a month!  That was nice for about 4 or 5 days.  My boys say I was complaining about not being able to cook in less than three days.  You and I both know they exaggerate. So..I drooled over recipes and planned menus instead.  The first round of new things to try are safely organized in my menu-planning book.  I hope to have an e-book finished on menu planning soon! Anyone struggle with this?

I decided that my plan of action was going to be trying many of these new recipes that I’ve been collecting. Then my boys would rate them – keeper or not a keeper.  I thought you might like to see a few of these recipes.  I’ll post some after we’ve eaten them and let you know our findings.  I often “tweak’ a recipe that I see in a book – I like to make them my own.  I will also take two or three recipes for the same thing and pull from each to create something entirely new. I’ll let you know if I do either of those.

If you aren’t a cook and don’t have a recipe addiction, feel free to skip the posts entitled “Recipes”. If you love to cook, then perhaps this can be another avenue to feed your addiction help you collect some new recipes.

My friend Julie and I have talked for a long time about putting together a cookbook. She and I both love to cook and do a lot of it….rare these days it seems.  Just think – two southern women sharing all of their secrets…maybe one day!

So to start this off I’m going to share something completely decadent!

Y’all know how I usually post about eating healthy, organic, natural  foods?  Today, if you are looking for that, run….leave now while you can….trust me on this – you don’t want to stay around for the pictures!

Birthday cakes are a really big deal in my family – I’ve made cakes with mountains, clouds floating above mountains, farms with fields full of crops, rivers, pirate ships battling on the open seas in fog, jungles filled with dinos, waterfalls and more.  I’ve done it since the boys were little and don’t even remember how it started. But this year Doodle came to me asking for something different for his birthday – he wanted an ice cream cake.  It went something like this….”Mom, I’d really like to have a Peanut Butter Cup Ice Cream Cake for my birthday ….like Dairy Queen makes…but if you’d make it, it would taste a lot better and be healthier!”  Imagine big brown eyes with very long lashes at this point.  Big, brown, pleading eyes…I am such a wimp!

So, I did some research to see what DQ sold…wasn’t too impressed.  Looked around for some recipes – and began to pull together an idea of what I wanted to do.  I knew I couldn’t make a “healthy” ice cream cake but at least I could avoid some of the chemicals! Warning: This “cake” has to be made in stages.

Here’s what I ended up with – what do you think?
Here’s what I did.  I used my springform pan.  I whipped up some brownies (avoid the box mixes for a healthier choice!) and warmed some crunchy, all natural peanut butter on the stove until soft.  Then I swirled it into my brownie batter (this is something I do at times to create a chocolate/peanut butter brownie). I baked a half batch of brownies in the bottom of the springform pan.  (You could bake the rest in a small square pan). After it is completely cool, stick it in the freezer in the springform pan.
Next, I took some vanilla ice cream (home churned if you have it – if not buy a high-quality brand) and let it get just a little soft.  I took some crunchy, all natural peanut butter and used my stick blender to blend it into the ice cream.  I don’t know how much – just keep adding peanut butter till you get the taste you want.(I suppose you could use smooth peanut butter too).  Then I chopped peanut butter cups and folded them into the ice cream mixture.  If I hadn’t been in this wheelchair,  I would have made my own peanut butter cups (something I do during the holidays) to avoid the yucky stuff in the store bought cups.
I placed 1/2 of the ice cream mixture on top of the brownie crust (still in the springform pan) and stuck the cake and the extra ice cream mixture back in the freezer.  While it was getting good and hard, I whipped up some caramel sauce – I left it a little on the runny side since it was going to be frozen. (You can always melt some caramels with a little milk in a double boiler but home made is way better!)  I let the carmel sauce cool to room temperature.
When the cake is frozen solid – pour the carmel over the ice cream layer.  Reserve some caramel for decoration.  Stick the cake back in the freezer – this time it won’t take long to get the carmel cold.  Then top the carmel with the rest of the peanut butter cup ice cream you’ve made.  And…back in the freezer.
I pulled the cake back out before it was really firm and pressed more chopped peanut butter cups all over the top of the cake.  Then I took the remaining caramel sauce and drizzled it over the surface.  Back in the freezer – this time overnight.
About an hour before serving, I piped whip cream around the base of the cake and sprinkled chopped peanut butter cups on top of that whipped cream.
I also piped 13 circles of whip cream on top of the cake and placed a whole miniature peanut butter cup on each circle.  Back into the freezer for about an hour.
I purchased a can of “whipped cream” to do this.  I picked the one with the least chemicals and the most ingredients that were real food.  I’ve never used a can of whipped cream before – didn’t even know how to operate the can!  I  probably won’t purchase that again – tasted like sweet air – yuck! It went in the trash as soon as I was done.  I wonder if I could take my own cream and whip it to such a consistency that I could pipe it?  Anyone ever done this?
We took a metal nut pick and hollowed a small hole next to each  of the 13 peanut butter cups on top and stuck a candle into each hole. Slice very thin – it’s extremely rich!
It wasn’t hard to make but it was time consuming – all that in and out of the freezer and all.  It was worth it to me when I saw Doodle’s reaction when he saw it for the first time…
He has said that this might become a new tradition – he has other “flavors” he’d like to try.  Oh.my.

Happy eating!