Look out, Carvel! I’ve found an ice cream cake recipe and with my family’s approval, I’m deserting ( haha, what a pun) the expensive store bought cakes and making my own! I’ve made similar recipes before by simply placing layers of ice cream in an Oreo crust with whipped cream on top. This time is just a bit different because of the added toppings.
This time I chose my recipe from Dashingdish.com where the author provided a low fat version. I doctored it a bit to include regular cookie dough ice cream ( one of my husband’s favorites) and original Cool Whip. I figure if we are going to have dessert then it doesn’t need to be a low fat version. If I wanted that, I’d throw together a fruit salad. No, we’re going all the way with this one! I’m not generally a fan of whipped topping so instead I make real whipped cream. This time I tried it and it came out great!
I- premade Oreo pie crust
½ gallon ice cream of your choice, softened
1- 8 oz. Cool Whip topping, thawed
Fudge sundae sauce or topping
8-10 Oreo cookies crushed, with rolling pin
Chopped candy ( I used Reese’s Cups)
Set out ice cream and whipped topping at room temperature. It took about 15 minutes for the ice cream and 30 minutes or so for the Cool Whip. Then combine the two, stirring until mixed together.
Take Oreo crust from pie pan and crumble in a 10” springform pan tightly closed. Press down and flatten so it’s even. I know what you’re thinking…what a shortcut! If you wish, simply buy Oreo cookies and crush to flatten in pan.
Put 1\2 of soft ice cream in pan spreading around so it’s even.
Sprinkle crushed Oreos over the ice cream layer.
Top the cake with swirls of fudge topping, chopped up candy or chocolate chips and nuts if desired.
When I served this cake, I left it out on the counter for about 8 minutes just so that it was easy to cut through and it worked pretty well. This cake was for my husband Tom’s birthday, he turned 57 over a week ago. It was super easy and delicious for any occasion.
I hope you are all having a great start to your week! I’ll probably have another post or two this week so be on the look out!
All My Best,
Heart and Soul
When I think of summer weather, my thoughts focus on my vegetable garden. My blogger friend Rhonda asked if I ever post my garden’s progress so this post was born. Thanks, Rhonda! I believe that my last garden post was last month in the beginning of its birth. Since then all the vegetables have sprung up.
It’s been crazy weather here in northern New Hampshire! We’ve had beaucoup amounts of rain to the point of affecting some back roads. Tom knows all about that, as he works as an assistant road agent and has been drastically trying to bandage the town roads. About 2 weeks ago a powerful rain storm reaped havoc on our region, similar to hurricane weather and we even had a rare tornado warning. My husband heard that in our area we had 2-4 inches of rain in an hour! Since then we’ve had copious amounts of rain! At times my garden soil has resembled a pit of clay but after a few sun baked days, it dries out again until the next rainfall.
I can’t help wonder where summer is hiding, behind the clouds? Despite that and on a positive note, we have had some gleaming sun shining as well, just not enough for people to be completely satisfied.
Today has been a bright sunshine filled day, lovely growing weather for my babies! As they shoot up full and reach to the sky, I’ll post their progress! Until then if you’re a gardener, enjoy your labors, breathe the fresh air and absorb the God given sunlight.
All My Best,
Heart and Soul ❤
My front yard has come to a vibrant life! With our annual posies framing our house front, a vibrant splash of color greets passers-by. A few weeks ago I noticed how my Spirea bushes have grown immensely since I received them. Two years ago my co- worker, Laura Mulkigian gave me these full green beauties for my birthday. That day she also made me a strawberry cake and all the girls at lunch ate some in celebration. Every time I glance at these beauties, I’ll think of her. She recently passed away after a courageous battle with cancer, something I’m trying to come to terms with. ❤
After. Click on the link for picture from Microsoft Word.
It was our first year in our new house and I proudly planted them in front of our house, one on each side of the steps. These lovely shrubs host many small leaves and have grown magnificently! Both of them are spreading a few feet wide and are about two feet high. In the beginning we didn’t realize how big these bushes would grow! We may have to cut them back so they don’t block our window. I expect them to continue the growth spurt and as that happens I’ll replant my hostas to allow more breathing room.
Spirea betulifolia TOR bushes flourish with tiny white flowers in June even though the tag states that they bloom in the fall. I’m going to research it and feed them fertilizer to help the blossoms. This year it mildly hosted just a few flowers so my future goal is to have full bushes of flowers of a beautiful veil of white. It would be wonderful to see it bloom twice in the summer!
Do you have any unique bushes in your yard? Have they grown much larger than you expected? In coming years we’ll keep an eye on “ Laura’s bushes” and trim them if needed. I truly feel blessed that I have these to remind me of Laura.
Happy days to you all and thanks for stopping by! It means the world to me to have such lovely ” pen pal” blogging friends!
All My Best,
Heart and Soul ❤
When I was a mere squirt I remember being called, “ little Mary” from my aunt Sandy and her family. The reason being was that we had a few Marys and it got confusing when all of us were around each other. I liked the nickname for it made me feel special in some way.
My great grandmother was a Mary, my maternal grandmother was Mary Elizabeth, ( who I was named after!), my cousin on my maternal side was Mary and yet another cousin on the paternal side Mary. I must include my sweet sister-in=law Mary Ellen! She is a dear person and continues the Mary tradition. All my love to her. Whew….that’s a lot of Mary’s for the family to sort out and differentiate from!
I’m proud of my given name and I believe that the old world origin fits my personality. Sometimes I feel like an old soul and that living long ago would have suited me, especially in Victorian times. I’m truly grateful that my mom and dad named me this!
Do you have a well used family name that stays alive by being passed on? I hope you do…there’s a lot of history and meaning in a name.
All My Best,
Mary aka Heart and Soul
A few months ago I read somewhere that “comparison is the thief of joy.” Ever since I keep revisiting that thought. It stuck with me because truthfully I’ve compared my life to others, when I was younger. Haven’t we all compared our life to another at one time or another? Maybe you’ve had fleeting thoughts of that how unfair it is that a person gets all the good breaks. How come that person seems anointed with luck and you continue to receive the short end of the straw?
It all stemmed from insecurities and what seemed to be competition from others. I think I, like many people, have developed a strong sense of self and with that competition and comparison has thankfully fizzled! As that maturity ages like a fine wine, my realization has been that engaging in this is a negative act.
I know some people who compete with others in everything they do and fortunately I’m not made of the same cloth. I’m just me and live the way I want, free of that whirlwind race. It shows how unhappy some people are and how comparisons can be toxic and damaging to their lives.
I try to think of it this way, EVERYONE LEADS A DIFFERENT LIFE! You have been led on a unique path, a collage of all your experiences that have happened to you. Have faith in your path and remember that your journey is entirely unique.
Stop comparing! Be happy with what’s dealt to you and refrain from toxic comparing. Sometimes it seems like others have a free ride, but you don’t know the whole story and they may not be happy. What matters is your joy and truly loving your moments, without longing for someone else’s life. Feel the joy in your life and cherish those special moments without comparing. Once you LIVE and LOVE YOUR life, there’s a freedom and a let go of comparisons.
Relish the joyful times and stay strong during the rough bumps. Maybe you’ve had a hard period and times have tested you but it WILL end. Stay positive, pray for guidance and be happy for people. You will join them in your own blessings soon enough but for now it’s a test. Do you have the strength to pass? I think so!
All My Best,
Heart and Soul ❤️
Summer breeze makes me feel fine
Blowing through the Jasmine in my mind…
Copywriter Jim Seals & Dash Croft 1972
The perfect summer day lives on
in your precious memory trinket box,
to open magically on frigid January days.
That honorable day would host the glory
of never ending sun kissing your skin
and virtuous flowers of colorful hues,
a mosaic of beauty indeed.
A cool breeze blows in continuously,
teetering trees and sending pine needles for a magic carpet ride.
The breeze ruffles your wavy hair and you just go with it,
accepting the free massage.
Hanging sheets float their glorious flowing dance,
the wind orchestrating its choreography.
The fresh spring smell infuses the cotton
and will be inhaled by a lucky sleeper tonight.
Cool hypnotic breezes sift through the window screen,
a thrifty air conditioner and less rattle and racket.
Groups of twittering birds ride the wind
and dance with a freeness
I wish humans could replicate.
Their acrobatic twists are enhanced by mother nature’s surge and a wonder for all to see.
They glide in a free state with a breezy flow,
There’s something special about a cool breeze…an entity to be appreciated and not ignored. I do hope you all take advantage of the summer breeze and get lost in its magic.
All My Best,
Heart and Soul
Here is sweet Katie, my special kitty who is celebrating 14 years of life this summer. She’s always been unique in many ways. First of all, she’s as skittish as they get! I know it’s because of her barn cat heritage and her mother, Rascal was crazy that way too! Just ask my former neighbors, that’s where we got our little cutie when she was a wee kitten. Even though she’s scared of her own shadow, she certainly is a lovely pet and we’ll keep her.
We talk to our kitties like children and they react and passionately purr. We know they are listening even though they don’t know what is said. I can tell you that I know they feel the love and loyalty in our voices. Katie follows me around the house looking for a quick scratch or a hug. She loves being picked up and walked around where it’s higher. Her favorite walk is when Branden clutches her and brings her through our living room high in the rafters. This pudgy lady really misses her Bran when he’s away at college. There are nights she will repeatedly scratch at his bedroom door, hoping that he will emerge and scoop her up!
Despite her anxiety, her missing the litter box sometimes (which I’m trying to be patient about but observant) and her feminine temper towards our male Smokey, we truly love her and her company. No pet is perfect, but like our children, Tom and I only harbor unconditional love for her and our Smokey.
All My Best,
Heart and Soul ❤
My Top Ten Summer Ideas….
These are just a few things you can do this summer ( in no specific order, just try them all)
1. Have your morning coffee on your deck or outside table! Here in New Hampshire the evenings and mornings are mostly cool. The refreshing air wakes you up and of course that delicious cup of Joe tastes delicious outside! Listen to all the summer birds sing their morning song and be grateful for it. I’ve indulged in this tranquil time twice and intend to do it more this summer.
2. Go for walks before or after work. I find lately I really enjoy walking in the morning while there are less cars and more wildlife. I bring my camera for that sudden photo opportunity and have a little bell to ring to scare off bears. Truth be told I think most bears are more scared of us but the thought of a protective mama bear and her cubs crosses my mind now and then.
3. Add fruit to your lemonade or iced tea pitcher. I was planning on doing this anyway but I was surprised one day when I caught my son Branden making it. His first pitcher was an experiment and the lemonade tasted primarily of watermelon. Since then he’s abandoned the watermelon idea and instead added a small amount of raspberries, strawberries or blueberries. It’s super easy…wash them good, cut the ends off the strawberries and pick the little stems from the blueberries. Blend well in your blender and then add to iced tea or lemonade! If you don’t have fresh fruit but you have a lemon or lime, slices of that make the drink special too! Don’t forget to add lots of ice to the pitcher!
4. Fire up the grill and smoker! Marinate beef, chicken, pork, shrimp…you get the idea and grill while you sip a glass of wine. Sit out at your outside table while grilling and enjoy it. Grill corn on the cob or veggies. Sometimes I use foil for potatoes or veggies to grill or I have a grilling pan meant for the high heat to cook sides dishes. It works great and cleans up well.
5.Visit your local ice cream stand! I am lactose intolerant but found that a soft serve cone doesn’t bother me. Yummy! Enjoy that juicy watermelon, sweet strawberries and blueberries, crisp corn on the cob and fresh garden veggies picked from the soil. I know what you’re thinking, that some of my favorite summer things are definitely foods but how can you truly enjoy summer without relishing in it’s cuisine?
6. Go to the lake. Go fishing (only if you have a license), take a boat ride and snap photos and swim in the fresh water. Watch the trout jump and the ducks dive for bugs and relish in the goodness of it all. Bask in the sun and be thankful for the quiet moments away from work and the stresses of everyday life.
7. Visit new places, especially ones that are just open this season. I’ve lived in the north country all my life and I’m just minutes from Mount Washington but I’ve never been up it. This summer Tom and I may ride the Cog Railroad up the Mountain. A hot July day can be cool or even snowy so bring a jacket and take in the amazing views! I’ll keep you posted if we go on this adventure!
8. Read books! Compile a wishlist…I do this on Pinterest and record the books I read every summer. So far I’ve read Turpentine Lane by Elinor Lipman. I just picked up The Signature of all Things by Elizabeth Gilbert and look forward to it. She is such a great writer and when I read her books, it flows. A great book sucks you in and you don’t want to put it down. If you’re making yourself read a book just to finish it but you don’t ENJOY it, discard it! Reading is for enjoyment so choose something that excites and fascinates you.
9. Do you have a green thumb? Then start a Garden! In our neck of the woods it’s a short growing season but a beautiful way to become one with nature and feel peace in your heart. Perhaps you want to grow a small garden…if so, plant seeds that grow fast like lettuce, spinach, and radishes. You could always garden in containers, with already grown plants, flowers or herbs. I make it a point to browse through my gardens everyday but if you work then try to tend to it a few times a week. If these ideas aren’t possibilities, definitely seek local farmer’s markets. They sell all home grown vegetables and fruits, honey, have cut flowers, hand made crafts, and many other goods.
10.Last but not least spend valuable time with the people you love. Recently a dear co-worker and friend of mine passed away from cancer at the young age of 54. This wake up call further instills the importance of making memories and time count. So far this summer I’ve seen my three siblings at my nephew’s high school graduation, saw my dad and will visit him and Corinne next Friday, my mom, and my friends Laurie and Michelle. My mother-in-law Theo will be visiting in a few weeks and we’ll see Tom’s sister Pam and her husband Jim. I’ll also get to spend some time with Tom’s sister Bev, who I always look forward to seeing. Although I have summers off, I have much to do and garden around home. Even so, I make it a point to see my family and friends who I love because time is precious and I know that making time for loved ones builds relationships.
My favorite photo of my sister and I taken a few years back and Alexis (my son Dylan’s girlfriend who is part of our family now) and Tom and I in Maine.
Have fun this summer and make sure that you try new things..taste different foods, visit new places and learn more about the world around you. Share with me experiences you’ve pursued this summer. I would love to hear from you.
All My Best,
Heart and Soul ❤️