Monday, July 23, 2007

Home SWEET Home

Like mother, like daughter (tries to be)...

During the past 3 days of a whirlwind visit home to Atlanta, I was reminded what an amazing cook and hostess my mom is... I can only hope that one day I'll be able to entertain, cook and bake with the ease that she does, but until then, I will continue to seeking her advice and copying her creative flair.

Upon our arrival, even into the wee hours of the night, thanks to an AirTran delay, we were treated to one of my summer favorites... a cold salad with marinated strips of steak, potatoes, and fresh green beans and asparagus. It hit the spot, as I'd been strangely craving red meat. This is a great salad for a crowd, and guys especially like it because of the strips of tender steak throughout.

As soon as we'd had enough of that, my dad, who, I'd noticed, had been lingering around the kitchen, whips out some homemade ice cream sandwiches. My mom had sandwiched some vanilla ice cream between two of her giant "Kitchen-Sink Cookies" and individually wrapped each one.

Friday we visited and had a quick lunch with Granny and then headed back to my parents to prepare for the evening festivities. Before everyone arrived, as if we weren't going to eat enough later, we had a casual (but delicious) meal of "white gazpacho" with a variety of bite-sized mix-ins, including cooked shrimp, green onions, sliced almonds, and diced tomato. Talk about refreshing!

That evening, we hosted some family friends for a fun and competitive night of Tripoley... AND, of course, everyone brought some munchies and mom provided the dessertS. I've asked her, from now on, to give me advance warning when she's going to serve something as incredible as the layered ice cream cake she pulled out later in the evening - so let this be your notice as well.

(This goes without saying) but this cake is both professional looking AND delicious (and secretly SO easy to make!)... it was absolutely perfect for the heat of an Atlanta summer.

Ice Cream Cake

1 qt each of chocolate, butter pecan, and coffee ice cream
1 1/2 pkgs of chocolate wafers
1 1/2 jars of Smuckers Chocolate Fudge Sundae Sauce
1 jar of Smuckers Wet Walnuts

Line a 10-inch spring form pan with chocolate wafers. Line sides of pan with wafers; you will need a layer of ice cream to hold wafers in place. Spread first quart of ice cream in pan. Next place a layer of chocolate wafers and then spoon 1/2 jar of chocolate fudge sauce. Spoon second quart of ice cream over cake. Repeat wafer and fudge sauce layer. Spread third quart of ice cream and top with walnut sundae topping, some fudge sauce, and crumbled/broken chocolate wafers. Freeze before serving.

*Mom altered the recipe by making a chocolate wafer crust (processed wafers with butter) and pressed it about 2-inches up the sides of the springform pan. To cut some of the richness of the dessert, we recommend not using all of the fudge sauce.

In a great weekend that was all about food (as it turns out)... Saturday afternoon, we met up with our friend, Denise, for what we thought would be just a fun lunch. Turns out we were treated both to a delicious Cuban meal at Papi's (we recommend the Cuban Sandwich, I had it without mayo and it was still amazing) and a walking tour of everything new and upcoming in Midtown. Yes, I'm from Atlanta... but don't ask me how to get ANYwhere in the city, though I now know all about the new SoNo District and how the city is revamping the Buckhead strip to be Atlanta's "Rodeo Drive" (you still won't find me there).

That night we headed (with the rest of Atlanta) to Stone Mountain for the Laser Show which has always been one of my favorite things to do. The show was even more patriotic this year than usual so it was very well-received. And so was my mom's picnic spread... gouda and crackers, shrimp salad on croissants, broccoli salad, and fruit salad. Coming home to left-over ice cream cake wasn't half-bad either!

As usual, Sunday was bittersweet... we visited again with Granny who had finished recovering from Friday night's game night, and great friends, Lindsay and Ron, but then packed up and headed out for one last meal, at The Brickery, on our way to the airport.

And while our flight, this time, actually wasn't delayed, we decided to volunteer to get bumped in order to get a free roundtrip! THIS kind of delay didn't put me in nearly as foul of a mood as I'd been on Thursday trying to get home to mom's cooking.

Thanks, Mom & Dad, for such a great weekend! See you soon!!

*If you're interested in any of these other recipes, let me know... I'm waiting for my mom to pass them along but I'd be happy to send them your way as soon as I get them myself!


  1. That cake looks INCREDIBLE. What a fun trip! It sounds like you have a wonderful family. So fun!

  2. ditto on the cake - looks scrumptious! so glad you got to eat and "be" with your rockin mom... far are you in HP?


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