Happy New Year 2023

Life has it’s up and down and can certainly be interesting.

Ferrero brownie ice cream cake

I don’t really have a specific recipe for this as I have many variations on a theme.

Brownie ice cream cake seems a good title.

I made a brownie, you can either make a packet mix or your own recipe as per usual instructions in a round spring form cake tin. Pop the brownie out to cool when cooked.

When the brownie was cold I put it back into the spring form tin making sure there was baking paper  on the bottom so it comes out easily when it’s ready to serve.

I softened up about  1.25 – 1.5L of vanilla ice cream, I then mixed some chopped chocolate through.

I cut some Ferrero Rocher chocolates in half and placed cut side down on the brownie. I then covered with the softened (like thick cream) and now spreadable ice cream gently pushing to the crevasses and smoothed off the top.

Lastly I covered the top of the ice cream with cling film so it was sitting directly on top then wrapped the whole of the tin in cling film and put back in the freezer.

Be careful as you need the ice cream soft to work with but not runny. 

Before I serve I will release the tin taking off the side, top with some strawberries and a dollop of cream and a few chocolate shavings. Christmas dessert done!

Can be done with any cake or even a large cooked and cooled biscuit/cookie. Any chocolate chopped and mixed through. Enjoy.

Edit: Things I learnt after making this delicious ice cream cake.

While Ferrero rocher chocolates are wonderful cold, not so much frozen, as in this dessert they were hard to cut through even with a hot knife (knife dipped in boiling water).

Next time I think I would try a chocolate to cut up that didn’t go so solid when cold/frozen so maybe try one before adding more to the dessert.

Will I do this style again, absolutely.

Puzzle or two.

The grand kids are now growing up with a 4th on the way and we are going through toys, games and puzzles at an alarming rate, they get bored of the same pictures.

I decided to expand upon my previous paddlepop stick puzzle using a printed image with something new, simple drawings of shapes with a felt tipped pen. Anytime the mood for a puzzle changes I can either go back to using a printed image or write numbers or the alphabet or whatever takes my fancy. His or her name.

I also made a matching or what we call a ‘same same’ game. I laminated shapes in this case flowers and a star onto a sheet of cardstock. I laminated the exact same flowers and a star as themselves and cut out around them. This gives me the shapes to lay on their matching partners. Do you have to laminate them, no but make sure they are on a thicker cardboard like cereal box thickness.

As times and tastes change the same same game can change as well. These are pretty simple easy to make out of scraps or things around the house.  It can be as simple or as complicated at you like.


Freezer Storage

I was over at my mother in laws the other week and I noticed a couple of these containers (see pic below) sitting in the sink. As a throw away comment I just said,  you’ve been laying the marg on thick to be going through a couple of containers at a time or have you been cooking up a storm?

Her reply was, no I use them as my freezer meal containers, that one’s spaghetti bolognaise for Roger and that one is shepards pie for me I’ll cook up some vegetables to go with it.

I thought that was a really good idea as they only have a small freezer and these containers stack well and are the correct portion size for them. Easily replaced if broken.

Her hints are to label well. If your food does not fully take up the container press a bit of cling wrap on top of the food.

Don’t put containers in the microwave, they are easy to run under some hot water, invert and pop out the food into a suitable heating container if not defrosted.

Yay mum in law!

Use what works for you.

TVP – Textured Vegetable Protein

No particular reason for this brand except that it was $2 at my local grocery. I’m not vegan nor vegetarian. This is based on soy.

I decided to give TVP a try simply because at the moment fresh vegetables and meat is  getting quite  expensive and I wanted not exactly a total alternative to meat but a way to bulk it out and still keep the meal filling.

Things I learnt and what I did to make my meal below.

TVP needs to be hydrated and it needs flavour. I used equal amounts of hot stock (using a cube) and TVP in a bowl, let sit for 5 mins or so giving it a stir and covered.

While that was sitting I made my spaghetti bolognaise as per usual but only putting about 1/4  the amount of beef mince in. When all was ready and gently simmering I mixed in the hydrated TVP and let simmer for as long as able to absorb all the flavours.

My hubby didn’t notice anything amiss so I’m guessing that this meal was ok and served with garlic bread as usual.

Will I use again, yes.

I think for the moment I will keep it to meals with sauces like spaghetti sauce, lasagne, taco, burritos or maybe my next try will be as a savoury mince.

From what I can gather there is a different way to prepare  the TVP, different stock to TVP ratios for things like rissoles, meatballs, hamburgers, meatloaf etc.

For now I think I’m happy with how it’s going. My meat to TVP ratio will probably change as time goes by.

Let me know if you’ve given textured vegetable protein a go.

Load more