Friday, July 20, 2007

Peanut Butter Ice Cream Cake & other things I made for Rob's birthday

I decided to make my first ice-cream cake for the occasion of Rob's birthday. I'm not a huge fan of birthdays, but I love Rob and sweets, so really it was the perfect opportunity. To make the cake, I used 2 containers of PB & Chocolate Soy Delicious and squished them down over a bed of Whole Foods chocolate & vanilla sandwich cookies.
Then, I made a peanut butter icing out of chunky peanut butter, earth balance spread, & powdered sugar, and spread that on top.
Next, I melted some Whole Foods brand chocolate chips and drizzled that on top of the icing.
Last, I decorated with a vanilla buttercream frosting.

I realize the picture looks like something a kid threw together during 3rd grade art class, but damn was it good.
I was inspired to make an ice cream cake after seeing a friend's Baked Alaska. I was trying to think of how I would imitate the egg white coating on the traditional Baked Alaska, and Bonnie, an extremely experienced & talented baker, unlike yours truly, suggested I try marshmallow fluff. As you might know, there is an excellent vegan version of this called "RiceMellow Cream"

which is quite good out of the jar. If, like me, you lack control completely, you might find yourself eating 3/4 of the tub and feeling a pain in your stomach. Don't be like me.

Also for Rob's birthday I made some Field Roast pups. Or Wellingtons, a great chef told me they were called.

From the same type of biscuit dough, I fashioned a heart biscuit during Rob's birthday week (thanks Anne for the idea of extending the bday celebration for an entire week) and made biscuits & gravy.

One of Rob's favorite dishes in Greece is something my aunt Katie makes called "YemistA." It is basically stuffed tomatoes and green peppers, loaded with rice, sauce, potatoes, and she adds raisins. I didn't have any rice on hand, so I stuffed these with orzo, texturized vegetable protein, potatoes, and a nice Tom Ka sauce I got from the Asian store. Though I hate green peppers, I must say that they infused quite a nice flavor into the stuffing, and this made the entire package edible and this recipe repeat-worthy.

I don't recall if this pie was a part of Rob's bday week. I think he bought the blackberries and said something like, "I thought maybe you could make a pie for my birthday." He did not know I was going to surprise him with the ice cream cake. So I made this:

I've done better. I hope. It was okay, but needed a bit more sweetening.

Saturday, July 14, 2007

100 Degrees? Have some tea. Adam likes it.

Pomegranate Iced Tea.

From Wikipedia:
The Pomegranate (Punica granatum) is a fruit-bearing deciduous shrub or small tree growing to 5–8 m tall. The pomegranate is native from Iran to the Himalayas in northern India and has been cultivated and naturalized over the whole Mediterranean region and the Caucasus since ancient times.


I only knew the pomegranate by its Greek name, "Rodthi," (ροδι) for many years. I first had a pomegranate while staying in a small room on the island of Crete. The home owner cut one up and put it on a small plate for me while I was swimming, so when I came in from the sea I saw this odd thing on the table. It wasn't quite clear (to me) how to eat it, but with anything uncertain, sometimes it is best just to dive in. The seeds were like little pink raindrops and though the taste isn't as great as, say, a strawberry, I give this little fruit credit for presentation.

But apparently, it was good enough for Eve. Also from Wikipedia:

It is more likely that the Forbidden fruit from the Judaeo-Christian story of Genesis was a pomegranate rather than an apple, given its etymology and the location's assumed habitat.

So Eve would have had to work a lot harder to get Adam to take that first bite. Or it would have taken him awhile to get it all opened up. I hereby surmise that he had time to think about his decision, and thus we of women-kind are absolved of all fault. What a relief.

I made the above-pictured Pomegranate tea using tea bags given to me by a kind person. I boiled down some sugar, and let the tea bags steep in that. Then, I added some lemon for an extra layer of flavor. It was just the right thing for heat stroke.