Author Archives: jennifer

(No-fry) Fried Ice Cream Dessert

My mom started making this dessert when I was a girl, and we still love it.  It has the delicious crunch and taste of fried ice cream, except there’s no frying involved and you can make it in 20 minutes.  This no-fry fried ice cream dessert is one of my favorite go-to recipes when hosting a party or taking dessert to a gathering.  The ingredient list is short and simple, it can be made in advance, and everyone always asks for the recipe.  Today it is my gift to you.

No-fry Fried Ice Cream Dessert

Ingredients:

3 1/2 cups crushed Rice Chex cereal
3/4 cup butter
1 1/2 cup brown sugar
1 cup shredded coconut
1 (8 ounce) package slivered or sliced almonds
1/2 gallon vanilla ice cream, softened (the kind in the box works best)
fresh or frozen fruit, or chocolate sauce for topping

Directions:

Remove ice cream from freezer to soften.  Crush cereal and set aside.   In a large saucepan, melt butter over medium-low heat.  Add brown sugar and mix well.  Remove from heat and stir in coconut and almonds, then add cereal and mix well to be certain everything is coated with sugar mixture.  Spread half of the cereal mixture into the bottom of a 9×13 pan and press gently.  Open box of ice cream by unwrapping box from around the ice cream.  With a large knife, slice ice cream into slices about 1″ thick and lay across the cereal mixture in pan.  (I usually have to cut the last slice or two into smaller segments to fit.)  Sprinkle remaining cereal mixture over ice cream.  Cover and freeze for at least 3 hours before serving.  Serve with fresh or thawed fruit, hot fudge, or any other topping.  Serves 15-20, depending on serving size.

A few notes:  When preparing this dessert, I usually check in advance with guests to be sure there are no allergies to almonds.  If you need to omit the nuts, simply add a little more coconut to the pan.  In the summer, we eat this with fresh fruit.  In the winter I serve it with hot fudge sauce and berries so my guests can choose their topping.  It looks especially pretty in an Emile Henry pan (my favorite baking dishes, which also make lovely gifts).

This no-fry Fried Ice Cream Dessert is always a crowd pleaser.  It’s also a win for the hostess:  it looks beautiful when served, feeds a crowd, can be prepared in advance and in just a few minutes, and has a short and inexpensive ingredient list.  It’s a winner!

I hope you’ll try this dessert for yourself, and I hope it saves you time and stress!  If your family is like mine, you’ll be making it for years to come.

Happy hosting!
Jennifer

Christmas Color Stack Quilt Top

Every year I promise myself more Christmas themed sewing, and every year I somehow fall short.  This year I promised myself at least one finished Christmas quilt top, and given the frenzied pace of life right now, I needed a fast and simple project.  I decided to make a Christmas Color Stack quilt.

Like my original Color Stack quilt top, I cut strips from my stash to use in this quilt, but it would also look great with a couple of Christmas themed jelly rolls.  I chose a variety of reds and greens and added some blue, pink, aqua, and even a bit of orange.  I’m excited to have a colorful, festive quilt to use for the holidays, and I really like the modern vibe.  Rather than Christmas themed quilt blocks, it’s a mash-up of holiday colors and it really makes me smile.

I followed my original design, except in this version of the quilt, instead of piecing the 1.5″ strips in the pattern (available here for only $3), I fussy cut strips of an Alexander Henry nutcracker print that makes me smile.  This print will also be the backing for the quilt.  *Note:  if you’re making a Color Stack quilt and want to do something like this, cut three strips 2.5″ wide by 32.5″ long and insert them in the narrow columns as shown in the pattern.

The quilt top measures 66 x 80 inches and because of the simple design, was completed in a couple of afternoons.  The backing is pieced (a habit I have – I always piece the backing immediately after finishing a quilt top) and awaiting quilting.  I would love to get this finished before Christmas.

Yesterday we got our first dusting of snow for the season, and I couldn’t resist going out in the cold to snap a photo against the white backdrop.  We’ve had unseasonably warm weather in Utah, so this change in temperature really makes it feel like Christmas is around the corner!

Quick links:
Fully illustrated pattern available for download here
Free tutorial for color stack block is available here

If you’re looking for a fast finish, or need to make a quick quilt to gift for the holiday, this pattern is a great place to start.  I hope you enjoy it as much as I have!

Jennifer

Thanksgiving: Hungry, Full + FREE Gratitude Quotes to Download

Today as I left the grocery store I saw a man standing at the stop sign with a very simple cardboard sign in his hands.  It read, “hungry.”

The sign, the man, his situation – it always tugs at my heart, but “hungry” really got to me today, leaving me with tears running down my cheeks when I drove away.  “Hungry.”  Aren’t we all?  And for so much more than food?

My pie-making tools are on the counter awaiting the first pie of the season, my refrigerator stocked with everything for the big meal.  Yet in the hustle of it all, I’m both “full” and “hungry.”  Full, because I see the hand of God in my life and know that even in scarcity and adversity He is trustworthy, and that the darkest of days only make His light brighter when it appears.  Thanksgiving has become for me a time to take a step back emotionally and mentally and look hard to “see what God hath done.”  He does it masterfully, so my heart is full.  And I’m hungry.  Not just for the mouthwatering food that will grace the table, but more so for my family.  I’m hungry for them to feel it.  I want nothing more than for my children to have eyes to see, and for them to hunger for the feeling of “full” that can only come from recognizing our blessings AND their source.

Don’t you love having a holiday that reminds us to count our blessings?!  We should obviously live in thanks all year, but it’s wonderful to have a time of year that helps us focus on gratitude.  I have great confidence in what gratitude does for us when we practice it.  Early in the month our family started a gratitude jar with the invitation to write down what you’re thankful for and add it to the jar.  But the month always flies by with school and athletics — suddenly the holiday is tomorrow and I look around at my children and want so much for them to get it.  Are we truly grateful?

This year I went looking for some gratitude quotes that capture my feelings on this subject.  Tonight each of my children will find a different quote waiting for them at their place setting and we will discuss them together over a simple meal.  I’m really interested to hear what they think.

I’m hoping everyone enjoys it.  I printed them on parchment paper and decided it might be fun to start a little collection of gratitude quotes and do this more often!

I compiled eight of them in a PDF to share with you.  CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD GRATITUDE QUOTES

I will also be sharing my all-time favorite Thanksgiving quote with my extended family at our Thanksgiving dinner.  It’s by William Bradford, taken from his history of Plymouth Plantation, and I re-read it every year.  I love the way he testifies that God can work in our lives without all the luxuries we sometimes think are necessary.

I’ve shared this quote before, but decided it was time to type it up.  It is also available to download.  CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD BRADFORD QUOTE

I had a local copy shop print mine in color on their nicest, smooth cardstock for a few cents and I love how it looks.

I really hope these things help prepare my children’s hearts to want to live gratefully.  Quotes such as these are a blessing to my soul – they center me, offer perspective, and give me confidence in Christ and hope for the future.  The best kind of “full.”

Wishing you happy – and grateful – Thanksgiving.
With all my heart,
Jennifer

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