Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Grasshopper Ice Cream Cake

For Thomas' birthday earlier this month, I (for the first time ever) made an ice cream cake. I adapted a recipe found in Fabulous Freezer Meals. The original recipe used 2 kinds of ice cream and was made to fill a 9x13" baking dish, but I wanted a smaller cake (8x8") and I used only 1 ice cream flavor. It was a hit at our household!

 Grasshopper Ice Cream Cake
1 bag (32 oz) Oreos or other cream-filled chocolate cookies (the Great Value brand at Walmart is a great substitute choice)
1/4 c butter, melted
~4 c mint chocolate chip ice cream, softened (I used most of a 1/2 gallon container)
chocolate syrup
  1. Reserve 1/3 of cookies. Crush rest of cookies in a Ziploc bag or food processor. Reserve 1/4 c crushed cookies for topping.
  2. Combine cookie crumbs and butter and press into bottom of an 8x8" glass baking dish. Freeze for 15 minutes to firm up.
  3. Spread some chocolate syrup on top of frozen cookie crust and place several whole cookies around sides of pan. Freeze for another 15 minutes.
  4. Spread mint chocolate chip ice cream over cookie crust. Pour on some more chocolate syrup and sprinkle with remaining cookie crumbs.
  5. Freeze until firm. Remove from freezer 10 minutes before serving.

Monday, December 26, 2011

Sausage Stuffed Acorn Squash

A while back, Thomas and I got a second-hand craft/idea/cook-book called "Homespun Christmas". We decided since it is the season, after all, that we would try out some of the recipes.

One success we have had is a recipe (p. 78) for sausage stuffed acorn squash. We had never had acorn squash before, so it was an interesting experiment for that reason alone! We learned that acorn squash looks and smells a lot like pumpkin. It seems sweeter if the outside has some orange spots. To really get all the squash meat out you will need a spoon to eat this dish, or perhaps it would be helpful to peel the squash before baking.

Sausage Stuffed Acorn Squash
1 lb. pork sausage meat
3 medium acorn squash
1/4 c butter/margarine (melted)
10-oz. package frozen mixed vegetables
1 c cheddar cheese, cubed (we did not use this much... more like 1/4 c shredded)
  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. 
  2. Brown sausage on stove. Drain and discard fat.
  3. Cut squash in half length-wise and remove seeds. Place halves, cut side up, in baking dish (we actually only used 2 squash and they fit in a 9x13" pan... but there was too much filling for just the 4 halves).
  4. Brush insides with melted butter and sprinkle with salt.
  5. In a medium bowl (or the pan you used to brown sausage), combine sausage, vegetables, cheese, and salt to taste.
  6. Divide mixture among squash halves. Brush with remaining butter.
  7. Cover pan tightly with foil and bake 1-1 1/2 hours, or until squash is fork tender.