Ice Cream Sandwich Dessert

Another birthday, another frozen dessert.  Hey, it’s summer and I’m pregnant.  I guess that baking cakes hasn’t been too high on my list.

This recipe is super quick and easy, but tastes great.  All you need are 24 ice cream sandwiches, a tub of cool whip (I know it’s not the real stuff, but consider how many fabulous no-bake treats call for it), nuts of your choice, and a jar of hot fudge sauce.  That’s it.  4 ingredients.  And about 10 minutes.  Doesn’t get much better than that.

Unwrap enough ice cream sandwiches to cover the bottom of a glass 9 x 13 inch pan.

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I usually have to cut one off a little bit for the last corner.  But that’s never been a problem because I usually have at least 7 volunteers clamoring to take care of the leftover piece.  I should say that I don’t usually use all 24 ice cream sandwiches, but my experience has been that they usually come in boxes of 12, so I buy 2 boxes and like I said, the leftovers get taken care of pretty quickly.
Next, warm up your hot fudge sauce just enough to make it spreadable and spread half of the jar over the ice cream sandwiches.

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Sprinkle some nuts over the chocolate.  Usually we like peanuts, but this time I decided to try chopped almonds for fun.  They ended up being yummy, too.  One person who tried it actually thought it was toffee, which made me think that you could use toffee instead, and it would taste great.

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Now spread half of the Cool Whip over the chocolate and nuts.

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Layer one is now assembled.  Just repeat for a second layer.
First ice cream sandwiches.

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Then hot fudge sauce.  I love the way it all starts dripping down inside the edges of the pan.

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More nuts.

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I should probably note here that my ten year old daughter grabbed the camera part way through the first layer and became the photographer for the remainder of the recipe.  And I must say, she did a pretty good job, especially considering that I didn’t bother to tell her what I was hoping for.

Back to the recipe.  Add one last layer of Cool Whip.

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We decided to drizzle some chocolate across the top since it was Dad’s birthday and we love him.

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Place in the freezer for a couple of hours and then serve.
This is a ridiculously simple recipe that my family has enjoyed for years.  I love that it can be assembled in minutes, and it’s also a great recipe for kids to help with.  And in case you can’t tell, I’m a big fan of recipes that can be prepped ahead of time.  Every time I serve it, people love it.

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Do you blame them?


Happy Flag Day!

Is it a holiday at your house?
It’s a holiday at mine!  June 14th.
Today is Flag Day!

I just want to wish you a happy one.

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What is it about the red, white and blue?
I could go on and on about how much I love the flag of the United States of America.

For me, summer is about a lot of things, and the flag is undoubtedly one of them.
For me, red, white and blue are the colors of summer.
At the beginning of June I start craving the sight of flags, and Flag Day is a great excuse for me to start celebrating!

I can’t help it, flags start popping up all over my house.

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I start sticking them anywhere it pleases me.
I just love the sight of the flag.

It represents so much.
Sacrifice.  History.
My heart swells with gratitude every time I see the flag unfurled to the breeze.
It really is sacred to me.

Today, I invite you to ponder for a moment what the flag means to you.
Learn a little more about proper use and care of the flag, if you need a brush up.
And if you have a flag, PLEASE get it out!

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Have a wonderful holiday!

Organize a Desk

For months, my daughter’s desk has been driving me crazy.  It’s always so covered with stuff that there is no point in having a desk.

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I think that secretly I’m probably inclined to be a neat freak, but having 7 children really curbs my opportunities to enforce that kind of lifestyle.  I’ve concluded it’s a good thing; probably God’s way of rescuing me from developing OCD.  Still, neat and tidy goes a long way toward making a happy mother in this house.   We all have piles sometimes, myself included, but I really strive for some sense of order.  With this desk, I’ve tried multiple ways of encouraging her to keep things a little bit neater, but all to no avail.

Here is my little office space.  We have a room in our home that doubles as a guest room and my own space.

I love it.

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I really love the fact that my rack is filled with containers that are whimsical and fun to look at, which are filled with supplies I use all the time for sewing, wrapping gifts, paper projects, etc.  I can get things out and put them away in a matter of seconds.  I love the easy access, the fact that I can store an awful lot in such a small space and in plain view.  Organizing my spot like this was one of the best ideas  I had when we moved into this house.

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The thought occurred to me the other day that perhaps my daughter would like to have a space like mine.
(I was pretty sure she’d go for it, given the amount of time she spends going through my stuff.)

After searching high and low, I finally got my hands on another baker’s rack like the one I already have.
We cleared the space and got busy.  All you need are two basic things:  the rack or shelves or whatever you’re going to put things on and a variety of cute containers for holding stuff in.  Pretty simple.

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Here’s a sampling of the containers we used.

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My theory with the containers is the cheaper the better.  The yellow bowl I’ve had for years but now it has a crack in it so I never use it in the kitchen.  Then there is the ceramic bowl with holes that I picked up on clearance after Easter.  The blue bucket was the same.  The blue wood paper organizer was just kicking around the house.  That’s pretty much what we did:  we walked around the house and looked for things we could re-purpose to make for an interesting display.  We found a glass candle holder in the pantry to use, a small white flower pot for pencils and pens, and so forth. You get the picture.  This was not an expensive undertaking.  But my theory is that the whole point is to be creative and find ways to encourage her to take care of her space in a cute, fun, but tidy way.

We started by sorting like objects into their own containers and began placing just a couple of things here and there.

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We made room for her jewelry box and cd player, and kept filling it in.

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The finished product:

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She’s got everything she needs within arm’s reach:  paper, markers, pencils, pens, stapler, glue, books, music, and so forth.  She likes it because it is cute and  makes her feel grown up.  I like it because she can see everything she has, use it and put it away easily, and there is actually a white desk underneath it all for her to work at!  I also like that there’s room for us to add more containers as needed.  And, at the date of this writing, her desk has been clean for almost two weeks.  Now THAT is impressive.  A ten year old girl with a clean desk… this could be a world record in the making!

Using a baker’s rack like this can be a fun way to organize a space.  As I said, I’ve loved it in my office and am hopeful about the long-term potential for my daughter.  I also have a smaller one that I hung above my bathtub to help organize that space, too.

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Honestly, they’re cool racks for a kitchen and someday I’d love to have one displaying pretty plates, but I love their potential in other ways, too.  Kitchen, office, bedroom, bathroom, and think how cute it would be on a potting table storing gardening supplies!  These racks are awesome because they’re so versatile.

As for the desk, mission accomplished.   Hooray!

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