DQ Style Ice Cream Cake

As promised, some pictures of the homemade “DQ” ice cream cake. We didn’t take too many for fear that it would melt, but it actually held up perfectly!

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Playing Catch Up

I never mean to have such gaps between posts, but somehow it always happens! Here is a little catch up.

Ellen had her birthday yesterday (Happy Birthday Ellen!) and for her birthday I made everyone dinner and also made the cake. More often than not, if I’m making a birthday cake, I make a chocolate cake. This year, however, Ellen requested an ice cream cake. Now we (everyone in our family) love Dairy Queen ice cream cakes, and I mean LOVE them, but unfortunately we don’t have one near us. I was pretty excited about trying to make a DQ ice cream cake at home because, if it turned out to be a success, it would open a whole new world for us (the new world being one where we could have a DQ ice cream cake whenever we wanted – small things bring joy). I did end up making a DQ style ice cream cake and I’m happy to say it was delicious and pretty similar to DQ’S cakes. My sister has pictures of it on her phone which I’ll post as soon as I get them from her.

Biology, after an extremely slow start, is finally going better. I have a routine that is working for me and I’m progressing through the material. The fact that I only have half of the time left but most of the material is what helped motivate me to get organized and in gear. Hoping to be finished the first of three sections in January.

I had full intentions of running through this winter, a feat I’ve only accomplished once before and that was motivated by my Mt. Kilimanjaro trip (there was no way that I was going to let fitness level be a reason for not summiting), but I haven’t really run much since my New York trip. I have, however, taken up a new form of exercise. I bought a cycle trainer and have been using my bike indoors. Its great! Love being able to watch a movie or t.v. while working out. I still hope to go on some runs, but I know I now have another great option on those really cold, snowy days.

I’m in Improv level C at Second City and I seem to have gotten more nervous instead of less nervous – not really the direction I was hoping for! I think what’s nerve-racking about this level is that we have to perform in a show (something I didn’t know before I signed up). I’ll let you know how that goes – maybe. 😊

Still haven’t made bagels yet, but I finally got some sumac (thanks Marcio!) so it’s still on my to-do list.

Will share more soon, including ice cream cake pictures. 😊

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Recipe links

I decided to try a homemade bread recipe that a friend posted a link to on Facebook. You can find the recipe here. It’s called 5 minute artisan bread and the recipe worked out great! I ended up being able to make three loaves out of the dough. I don’t have a picture after I cut into it, but here it is soon after baking. I ended up using a cast iron skillet to bake it in as I do not have a pizza or bread stone. It worked great! I think this was my second or third loaf, I was a little generous when the dusting of flour.

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I have also been making almond butter cups from Oh She Glows. You can find the recipe here. I do not have any coconut oil so I used canola oil in the base and just used melted chocolate chips for the topping. As well, I use about 1/2 cup of almonds and a heaping 1/2 cup of oats as I was trying to reduce the calories somewhat. They are really yummy and I have probably made about three batches already.

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I plan to buy coconut oil in the near future and try these with that topping instead of the chocolate chips. But for now, they are super easy and take no time to make.

A future baking goal that I’m hoping to tackle in the next week or so are bagels! I’ll keep you posted.

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Halloween 2014

I love Halloween and was so excited that Adam was old enough to go trick-or-treating this year that I knew I did not want to miss it. Since my sister and her husband live in the “country” more or less, I asked if they would come to the city so we could all take Adam (and Ezra!) trick-or-treating. They agreed and then I thought since they were driving all the way down to the city on a Friday just for a few hours, that I would offer to take the kids for the whole weekend so that they could have some time for themselves. They enthusiastically accepted my proposal :)

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New York

My friend Marcio and I went to New York for the second time…well, my second time and his 100th maybe?? It’s almost like a second home to him :) Last time we were there, we had the worst weather. Rain, rain and more rain. We went in March and it was like the sun did not exist. This year, luckily, we had amazing weather!

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Thanksgiving 2014

We had a wonderful Thanksgiving weekend! The weather has continued to be beautiful and we are so thankful for that.

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This is what my plate looked like: Beets, bread, mashed potatoes, salad and buried under the salad is a wedge of acorn squash and a few wedges of sweet potato. It was super delicious!! What I didn’t take a picture of, but was super yummy as well, was the pumpkin cheesecake that my mom made. I am not a fan of pumpkin pie, always preferring apple pie, but my mom made a pumpkin cheesecake last year and it was amazing. I’m happy to say the tradition has carried on and I can finally participate in the pumpkin eating that goes hand in hand with Thanksgiving! Just can’t participate in the turkey eating, but that does not upset me as much as missing out on a dessert :)

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After lunch, we went out on a beautiful walk through the woods, down by the pond and then through some more woods.

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My brother Sasha made it back from Vancouver this year for Thanksgiving which made it really special. He always comes home for Christmas so usually doesn’t come back over Thanksgiving, but this year he surprised us. It was so great to see him! Here he is with our brother-in-law Paul! Twins in their plaid shirts and jeans!

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The leaves have fallen, at least by one of our giant trees down by the pond. Dare I say it…winter is coming…

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Some geese taking a pit stop on the pond on their way south.

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Sasha and Adam (and Adam’s mom in yellow in the back) having fun scaling rocks :)

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That was our Thanksgiving :)

Hope everyone had (or will have) an amazing Thanksgiving!

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Fall

There is something about every season that I love. With fall, I love the brilliant blue skies that we get, the warm but not too hot days of September and October, the feeling of change as we move from summer towards winter and the excitement of the holidays and getting ready to get cosy and hunker down for the winter. And I especially love the colours. The leaves have already started to change up at my parents’ place and it’s such an amazing part of nature.

Here are some pictures from this past weekend, with weather that was actually bordering on the too hot side, and that had my nephew Adam even venturing into the 15 degree pond! We were all very impressed (he did not venture in without his dear aunt Julie who waded in with him with shorts rolled up as high as possible so I could swing him around in the water).

Adam and Grampy on the tractor and unloading wood.

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Ezra walking like a champ.

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Amazing colours on the side of the house!

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A really perfect fall/end of summer day!

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