Strawberry ice cream, snowmen and power-outages = the week + that was

UPDATE:  1-25-2012

I started writing this post a few days ago – Like the first day we got power back (Monday night)… and then we lost power again and the post never got finished.  And then it came back…. but as I was writing, the power went out again.  This morning, I’m at home with two girls who could not go to daycare (no heat/no electricity/no water there) and our power has been on most of the day.  A few outages – for an hour here and there (EEK) which come when least anticipated and right when I’m lulled back in to living life normally again (as in:  doing laundry, trying to bake bread (in the electric-heated oven), etc.).  It’s amazing how dependent our lives are on electricity.  To be honest, I truly missed the heat… that was primary.  And then the thoughts of the refrigerator came next as the power outage looked to have no end.  Now?  Now we have both:  heat and the refrigerator.  Well, *right now* we do.  So I’m hitting POST on this update….. please forgive the typos if you find them.  (There are always some.).  But more than anything, thank you for the kind emails, loving thoughts and prayers for everyone in the PNW hit by this wild week.  Last night some wicked winds blew through town and knocked out more power lines… but this morning when I awoke, I discovered that the winds must have been warm because magically the 9 inches of snow that were on my rooftop are nowhere to be seen…. AND you can drive on actual ROAD today on our street.  Not yesterday!  All things have their golden lining – and while it’s NOT fun being cold, it is what it is.  For now, I’m just happy to be warm and toasty.  Hope you are as well.      ~Kate

Original Post Entry – begun 1-23-2012




But no action – well, not the normal action anyway.  We’re wiped out.  The girls are tucked in their toasty little beds and we are catching up online with news, friends, email, etc.

Man, what a week!

What started as an innocent little snowstorm (and I LOVE SNOW), turned in to a nightmare.  I think we would have toughed it out differently had we not had the munchkins in tow.

I had planned to cook/bake and build a freezer – but instead, I figured out the gluten free emergency route.  I’m glad I had many years of practice under my belt – because it would NOT have been fun without being able to figure stuff out on the fly.  I think I will have to gather my thoughts better to really write about what building a GF Emergency pack might look like.  In my case, I was feeling SUPER fortunate that we could cook at home (gas cooktop) and I had things on hand that merely required hot water.  But more on that later.

The girls made their first snowman.  (If you can call a 30 inch high, squashed-little thing a “snowman”).

And through them, I remembered the sheer delight of snow-suits….and how tipping over often meant the need for help from someone who could actually USE their arms and legs with normal rotation.  Boy was it funny to watch them tumble over like turtles on their backs.  They cracked me up with their squeals of delight…and then wobbles with attempts to get up before succumbing to my offers of help.

Amd with this much snow?  How can you not squeal with delight if you are a kid!

And while tonight I’ve read about how “wimpy’ WA state is about the weather, may I just say this:  if you had the HUMUNGOUS Douglas Fir trees that I have in your backyard, you wouldn’t want them coated with 18 inches of snow and a half-inch of ice on top of that either.  The sound of cracking trees branches followed shortly by the giant THUD (or crash….like when it hits your house as it did ours (no damage, don’t worry), you would understand the freak out.

Oh yes, and they don’t plow here.  I have not yet figure that out yet – but here is a photo of our street from Sunday.  The last day it snowed?  LAST Wednesday.  The shoveled trench along the street was intended to help the water drain down the hill into the drains and avoid the impending floods that are bound to hit.  And see those giant snow-laden tree limbs?  Yea.  Those are the things that were hitting people’s houses.  Oh.  And POWER LINES.  (Our power went out last Thursday morning and was restored today (Monday) sometime around 8AM.)  Do you love the piles of snow in the street?  I measured today – a mere 12 inches of snow still mounded up on the street.  YUCK.

Here’s a shot of the ice that covered the trees.  These are the branches – normally high up, but they were so laden with ice and snow that they hung heavily down to the ground.  The apple trees draped itself over our garage and driveway… the maple tree drop its long limbs with a giant thud in the middle of the night next to the house and the giant fir trees in back (about 100+ feet at least) hand their limbs crashing down on us and smashing into the roof several times over the weekend.

If you’ve ever been in a car accident and *remember clearly* the sounds, then you know the horror of listening to giant trees as their limbs crack and rip off their trunks…and then crash and thud someplace nearby.  Like your roof … just feet above your head.  It’s scary.


So we jumped shipped and brought the Chicklet and the Peanut on their first hotel adventure.  They LOVED it.    Zoe loved finding the room numbers in the hallway and I’m certain that Rory now thinks ice makers are KING.  (Ours broke a couple of months back…ah well.)

I think beyond getting hotel rooms, the BEST thing we did was make David Lebovitz’s Strawberry-Sour ice cream.  It’s from his book The Perfect Scoop which I’m very happy to have.  I’m quite the ice cream purist – I think I prefer to alter my flavors with toppings, but I love a good strawberry ice cream.  And with the storm in sight, I’m glad I used up the last of our strawberries with the girls like this.

We altered the recipe – there was no way I was going out to the store (we couldn’t drive down the street until Friday…three days after it all began).  Instead of the Kirsch or vodka, I used a bit of Gran Marnier.  And I used 2% milk in place of the heavy cream.

It was SO easy to make!  Since his recipe is posted other places online (including the link above), I don’t feel badly reposting it.  He has an amazing blog of HILARIOUS adventures combined with fabulous food.  I find his directions easy to follow and easy to modify.

Here’s our “riff” (we changed oh-so-little!) on his Strawberry-Sour Ice Cream.  Maybe it will help you survive an adventurous week as well?

Strawberry-Sour Ice Cream

Original recipe by David Lebovitz


  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1 cup milk (recipe calls for heavy cream)
  • 1 pound of fresh strawberries, washed and hulled and sliced
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 1 Tablespoon vodka, Kirsch, gran marnier (OPTIONAL)


  1. Mix together sliced strawberries, sugar and alcohol (if using).  Set aside – at room temperature – for an hour.  Stir occasionally.  Go out and build that snowman. 😀
  2. Place the strawberry mixture into your food processor (or blender).  Add sour cream, milk and lemon juice.  Blend together until smooth (or leave a few strawberry pieces out and add them for some fruity pieces in your finished product).  Place into your fridge to cool – 30+ minutes.
  3. Add to your ice cream maker and proceed as directed.  (We use this one – which we bought on eBay ages ago for nowhere near the price listed on Amazon – so shop around, people.  And yes, you have to crank ours to make the ice cream.  I just store the insert in the freezer – ’cause ya never know when you will want to make ice cream and that piece has to be frozen for the thing to work.)

Gluten Free Ice Cream Sandwiches (with Molasses Cookies)

**Please be sure to sign up for the Virtual GF BBQ Party!**
(See this post for more information)

Okay, now I know you think I’m absolutely nuts. I’m complaining about how cold it is around here (63F, hello? It’s JUNE!) and now I’m posting about ice cream sandwiches. Really… I know the end of the year is taking a toll on me, but it’s not that bad. I promise.

A little over a week ago, it was warm and toasty here. And yesterday, as I sat shivering and watching the late news (under a comforter, mind you), I saw that my family in Chicago had 91F yesterday. HOLY CATS! I bet they wish the same thing I did – that they could send me at least SOME of that! I wouldn’t mind.

Needless to say, my ice cream sandwich making was inspired not necessarily by the weather but by Tovolo. I found a set of Tovolo Ice Cream Sandwich Molds that I watched and coveted. But I have made ice cream sandwiches before with just cookie cutters. I couldn’t figure out why I would want an “ice cream sandwich molds“. Well, lemme tell ya, I know now!

And I’m not turning back. No way.

The Tovolo molds have three parts and work not only as a mold, but also as a cookie cutter. The first thing you do is bake your cookies as a thin pan cookie (or however thick you want them). Then you separate (easy, peasy…like Tupperware) the bottom/base and the press from the mold. You use it like a cookie cutter to cut two (a top and a bottom) from the pan cookies. Then you put the base back on, scoop in a scoop (or scoop and a half ) of ice cream, place another cut cookie shape on top and press together with the press that is part of the Tovolo mold. (Here’s a four part picture of the process AFTER cutting the cookies.)

Here’s a close up of the heart-shaped mold I used.

The Tovolo molds saved me a HUGE amount of time and mess. When I used the cookie cutters, I was cutting through ice cream to shape it to the sandwich. With the molds, I just press and go. It’s so easy.

I bought the traditional shaped Tovolo molds. You know, for the “public” ice cream sandwiches.

And… um… I’m coveting the Tovolo Farmyard Ice Cream Sandwich Molds. Come on! A chicken head ? A cow’s head? A pig’s head? Who could resist! Seriously…. they have officially been added to my Amazon Wish List. 😀 If it makes you laugh? Well, then…it’s irresistible.

For these Ice Cream Sandwiches, I made Molasses Cookies. I made a large recipe (which made a 14+sandwiches with lots of edges/leftovers for a pie crust later). I imagine this recipe would make 3 dozen cookies if I made them into regular cookies.

I hope you get a chance to enjoy a tasty ice cream sandwich. There are so many, many ways to vary them and keep them fresh and fun. Changing the ice cream or sorbet or sherbet….. Using different cookies (lemon? vanilla? pecan?) and rolling the edges in your favorite toppings (mini-chocolate chips? , nuts? berries?).

Wrap your sandwiches in plastic wrap individually and freeze all together in a large Ziploc or airtight container. (I left mine out a tad longer than I would have normally because I was playing photographer. LOL)

I’d love to hear your favorite ice cream sandwich combinations. What would you make your chicken-headed ice cream sandwich taste like? Or are you more about the stars, hearts, and squares? Whichever you chose, please feel free to try it with these Molasses cookies. They are a tasty addition to my usually chocolate ones.

Gluten Free Molasses Cookies/Bars
Makes 3 dozen cookies or 14 ice cream sandwiches

1 cup sorghum or rice flour
1 cup potato starch (NOT flour)
2/3 cup tapioca starch
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 Tablespoon baking powder
1/2 Tablespoon (1 1/2 teaspoons) cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground cloves
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1 cup butter, softened
1 1/2 cups brown sugar
1/3 cup molasses
2 eggs


  1. Preheat oven to 350F
  2. Cream together butter and brown sugar until light and fluffy.
  3. Add molasses and eggs. Beat together for 2-3 minutes.
  4. Whisk together dry ingredients (flour through ground ginger).
  5. Add to wet ingredients and beat to combine.
  6. TO MAKE COOKIES: Spoon onto parchment paper or silpat baking sheet (2 tablespoons = 1 cookie, approximately). Bake for 11-13 minutes or until the edges begin to crisp.
  7. TO MAKE ICE CREAM SANDWICHES: Line a large pan (I use an 18 by 24 inch jelly roll pan) with parchment paper. Use a wet rubber spatula to smooth out the cookie dough to be evenly thin on the pan. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until the center is cooked through and the edges are slightly crispy. Let cool for 2-3 minutes and then cut into the desired shapes for ice cream sandwiches. To make the sandwiches, either follow the Tovolo directions (as outlined above) or these.

Happy SUMMER Weather (for those of you who have it!) & Ice Cream Sandwiches for ALL!

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