Piece of Cake

When it’s over 100 degrees for a solid month, there’s little incentive to turn on the oven and bake.  So, what’s a girl to do?  Make ice cream cake!

This recipe is a Paxton family favorite and the world needs to know how to make this masterpiece, so I’m sharing it with you.  Don’t be fooled, just because I teach yoga and most of my recipes tend to be healthy, there is nothing healthy about this cake.  And I’m totally okay with that.  It’s the perfect treat for a summer birthday, anniversary, or a lazy Sunday afternoon!

You can use any flavors of ice cream you prefer.  I went for a coffee flavored cake, so I used Starbucks Java Chip on the bottom layer and Caramel Macchiato for the top layer.  Be creative and have fun!

Here’s what you’ll need for success:

1 package Oreos (regular kind)

6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

1/4 cup sugar

2 pints of ice cream, softened

1 package instant vanilla pudding mix (small box)

1/2 cup milk

1 container Cool Whip, softened

chocolate-filled wafer cookies, cut in half (see pictures)

hot fudge

1 springform cake pan

First, take 2 rows of Oreo cookies and place them in food processor and pulse until they form fine crumbs.

Empty the Oreo crumbs into a bowl and add the melted butter and sugar.  Combine with a fork.

Press the crumb mixture into the bottom of the springform cake pan.  Use a measuring cup the pat the crumbs and create a half inch crust along the sides, no higher.  Then put it in the freezer while you work on the fillings.

Let the ice cream & Cool Whip soften quite a bit.  Don’t worry, on a hot day, this will take no time at all.

Place the entire container of the softened Cool Whip into a bowl.  Add the milk and stir to combine.  Fold the entire package of vanilla pudding mix into the Cool Whip mixture.

Then, take half of the Cool Whip mixture and place in another bowl.  Add one pint of ice cream (whichever flavor will be the bottom layer) and fold into one half of the Cool Whip mixture.

Then, pour the ice cream/Cool Whip mixutre onto the Oreo crust and smooth it out with a spatula.

Take your wafer cookies and line them up around the side of the pan.  This is a little tricky, but I know you can do it!  If the ice cream gets too soft and the cookies don’t hold up, you can place the cake in the freezer for a few minutes to help the ice cream thicken.  Then, try lining up the cookies again.

Once all the cookies are lined around the side of the pan, place the cake back in the freezer until mostly set, at least 20 – 30 minutes.  While the bottom layer is freezing, place the last row of Oreo cookies in the food processor and pulse until you have small piece of cookies.  Now is a good time to fold the remaining half of the Cool Whip mixture into your second pint of ice cream.  Now is also a good time to take some of the hot fudge and warm it up (I used the microwave) and set it aside.

Once the bottom layer has set, sprinkle the Oreo cookie pieces on top of the bottom layer of ice cream.

Then, pour the second ice cream/Cool Whip mixture on top of the Oreos.  Using a spoon, drizzle hot fudge on top of the second ice cream layer.

Then, take a toothpick and make little swirls.  Cover the cake with plastic wrap, making sure that the plastic wrap touches the ice cream & hot fudge so that a film doesn’t develop on top of the cake.  (Also prevents freezer burn!)

Freeze for several hours or overnight.  Patience … it’s worth it in the end!

Once the cake is frozen solid, take it out and let it sit on the counter for a few minutes.  Remove the outer ring of the springform pan.

Use a very sharp knife to slice into pieces.  The Oreos in the middle are my favorite!

Enjoy your piece of cake!

Teachers

I have always loved my teachers.  When I was little, I wrote letters to my elementary school teachers over the summer.  I continued to write to my fourth grade teacher, Mrs. Stark, until I was in college.

Imagine my surprise when I recently attended a chakra cleanse workshop (www.innerpeaceyogatulsa.com), and the workshop focused on teachers.  Not the sort of teachers I used to write letters to.  These teachers were those people I have struggled to forgive, people who I want nothing to do with.  I was shocked that at each point of the chakra cleanse, Meghan (our instructor) asked us to recall someone who abandoned us, hurt us, shamed us, etc. etc.  And to thank them.  Not just once.  Not twice.  But throughout the entire workshop.  It became a mantra.

Thank you for being my teacher.
Thank you for giving me that experience.
Thank you for making me stronger.
Thank you for teaching me what I DON’T want to be.

At first I was really uncomfortable because the person who came to mind was my father. To make a very long story short, my father left my family when I was 16, and pretty much never came home. He left a huge mess for my mom and all of us (5 kids) to sort out. It was awful. We could have been on Oprah type of awful. I’ll just leave it at that.

 

As I sat with this mantra, it became clear to me that in many ways, my father did teach me valuable lessons that helped me become the strong woman I am today.  It’s possible that my father is one of my greatest teachers.  And that terrified me.

How could someone who caused so much pain and heartache be one of my greatest teachers?  How could he be among those who I adored and looked up to all my life?  Like Mrs. Stark?

For some reason – beyond my awareness and knowledge – my father is in my life.  The universe brought us together, for better or worse.  And while no one deserves to be hurt, shamed, or abandoned … sometimes it happens. My mom used to say, “All God’s children got somethin’…” Meaning, we all have pain.  We all have contrast in our lives.

But we don’t have to continue living in the contrast.

I think the best we can do is to see what the lesson is.  To acknowledge what the person or situation has taught us.  To really learn the lesson.  To grow from the contrast and move closer to what we really do want to experience.  And then be grateful for the lesson.

From my father – from the contrast – I learned to walk this life with integrity.  To be forthright and honest.  And on the occasion that I have done something wrong or hurt someone’s feelings, I apologize and acknowledge where I have fallen short.  Then, I begin again and strive to make things right.  I am grateful for these lessons, especially as I embark on starting my own business.

Our thoughts and our words create our experience.  So, let’s choose thoughts and words that will attract the types of teachers we really do want in our lives.  The kinds of teachers we would have written letters to when we were little.  The kinds of teachers we want to be when we grow up.  (Aren’t we all still growing up?)

It’s true that we can grow from the contrast – by learning what we DON’T want to be. But it’s also true that we can grow from inspiration.  I’d rather grow from inspiration.

 

Who will be your next great teacher? Choose wisely.

Peace,
Chelsea