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Friday, December 27, 2019


I've always wanted to try my hand at an ice cream cake, and I thought an ice cream roll would be a nice end to our Christmas Eve dinner.   I've made a pumpkin roll cake before, so I knew what I was in for with the process....but, I really love the flavor of chocolate and peppermint so I thought a chocolate cake with peppermint ice cream would be super yummy!    And, I have to tell you .... I was not disappointed!
I actually combined several recipes, so I'm calling this one my own.  I apologize for the sloppy serving platter.....I waited until the next morning to take pictures of the leftovers.   Cutting it (after freezing overnight) resulted in some of the ganache breaking, so less than perfect pictures....but I wanted some decent light.


½ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
¼ cup flour
½ tsp. baking powder
6 eggs, divided
¼ tsp. cream of tartar
pinch of salt
3/4 cup granulated sugar
½ tsp. vanilla

1.5 quart peppermint ice cream

2 4oz. semi-sweet chocolate bars
8 oz. cream
1 tsp. instant coffee granules


Heat oven to 375 degrees.   Coat a 15x10x1 inch baking with non-stick cooking spray.  Place a piece of parchment on the spray.  Once in place, spray the parchment paper.

In a small bowl, mix the cocoa, flour and baking powder.  Set aside.  

In a large bowl, whip egg whites and salt until frothy.  Gradually beat in ¼ cup of the sugar until medium shiny and stiff peaks form (approx. 5 minutes).    Set aside.  

With the same beaters, beat the yolks, the remaining ½ cup of sugar and the vanilla until thick and a pale yellow (approx. 4 minutes).

Fold the yolk mixtures into the egg whites.  Fold in flour mixture in 2 batches.   Spread into prepared pan and bake 12-14 minutes.  Until cake springs back when lightly touched.  

Run a knife around the edges of the pan.  Lay a towel dusted very lightly with confectioners' sugar on the counter.  Invert the cake onto the towel and remove the parchment.  Roll the cake  (including the towel) starting from the short side and allow to fully cool on the counter.  Approximately 30-40 minutes.  In the meantime, remove the ice cream from the freezer and allow to soften on the counter.  

When the cake is cool, unroll and spread the ice cream on top of the cake.  Re-roll and place in the freezer for approximately 1-2 hours before topping with the ganache.  

To make the chocolate ganache.  Break the chocolate into small pieces, place in the top of a double boiler with the cream and coffee.  Slowly simmer until fully melted and warm; stirring occasionally.   Let cool for approximately 15 minutes.  Stir and pour over ice cream roll.   I froze the entire cake for another 2 hours before I served it.


Saturday, December 21, 2019


Back in 2016, I shared a project my husband and I worked on to create a full length mirror for my studio.   It turned out great, and has been invaluable to me and my clients.  In actuality I was really hoping to incorporate a baroque style mirror, but frankly I just couldn't justify the cost of them.  Every time I spotted one, I'd always check them out and hoped I'd find a bargain, but three years have gone by.

Then Eureka!!!!  I found something that suggested that maybe I could create the embellishments I needed to re-work the existing frame into the baroque style I had always hoped for.  It involves using air dry clay and moulds.  I researched a ton, checked out lots of You Tube videos and decided.....I can do this!
I found the IOD moulds had what I was looking for in the way of designs and chose to purchase two of them.  You'll find them online and they cost anywhere between $18-20 each.  They are super sturdy, yet pliable and they clean up beautifully.  I used the "Hearty" super lightweight air dry clay.  I was able to find it at Hobby Lobby and of course, used my 40% off coupon.  I ended up using two packages to complete my project.    Add in the gold and dark umber paints I used and I'm still at under $75.  I have to tell you, from my "window shopping" experience, a full size baroque frame runs a minimum of $600. 

I'll be honest, this project took a crazy amount of time.  I had to make each of the pieces that I used.  Arrange them in a design, glue them to the existing frame, and paint them.  It was tedious to say the least.  But, I'm so pleased with the outcome.                                                                       
A couple other tips worth sharing....I did place the majority of the pieces when they were fresh out of the moulds.  It allowed me to place/shape them just how I wanted them while they were pliable.

I would tape them in place with painter's tape to hold them while they dried (the tape did not damage the clay at all).    I also found that dusting the inside of the mould with cornstarch made it super easy to remove the clay without harming the design, especially for some of the more intricate designs. 

As for the painting....I wanted the pieces to look aged/tarnished.  So, that took some time as well.  It was a process of layering, gold, black, and umber to create what I wanted.  I then also needed to blend those darker paints onto the rest of the frame to provide some continuity.  It was a lot of different techniques using brushes, fingers, rags, you name it!
I'm so loving the new look.  I probably could have kept going, filling up more of the frame with design....but I decided to stop after using two full packages of clay.    Who knows....maybe a few months from now, I'll decide to add more?!

Tuesday, December 3, 2019


If you've always enjoyed the flavor of a creamsicle, then this recipe is right up your alley!   Better still, if you are a cheesecake lover, this is a super simple no bake variety.


24 Golden Oreo cookies, crushed (including center)
6 Tbsp. melted butter 
pinch of salt

1 (3oz) box orange Jell-O
1 C. boiling water
2 C. whipped topping
2 (8 oz.) blocks, softened cream cheese
¼ cup sour cream
1 C. powdered sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
pinch of salt

1 C. whipped topping
1 clementine, peeled and separated into segments


In a large bowl, dissolve Jell-O in boiling water.  Set aside to cool completely.

Make crust:  In a medium bowl, mix together the Oreo crumbs, butter, and salt.  Press into the bottom of an 8" springform pan.

Make filling:  In another bowl, beat cream cheese and sour cream until smooth, then add powdered sugar, vanilla and salt.  Fold whipped topping into cream cheese mixture.  Pour half of mixture into the cooled Jell-O.   Whisk until smooth.

Onto the crust, alternate pouring ¼ cup dollops of cream cheese and Jell-O mixture until both mixtures are gone.  With a butter knife, gently swirl the layers.  Cover and refrigerate for 6 hours, or until firm.

To serve:  Place a dollop of whipped topping on the top of the cake.  Top with a segment of clementine, and serve.


recipe c/o: