Gluten Free Ice Cream Cake {The Easy Way}

What happens when your Gluten Free Girl asks for your traditional
Fourth of July ice cream cake you've been making for the past three years? 
The one that you make out of ice cream sandwiches? 
Well you set to work researching how you can make this happen. 
You start out by looking into gluten free pre-made ice cream sandwiches. 
You realize they are super expensive. Like a dollar a piece. 
You then realize that your annual ice cream cake will cost like forty dollars 
(possible exaggeration, but only by like ten bucks).
So you do what most millennial moms do, Pinterest. 
One quick search for "brownie bottom ice cream cake" and Hello success.

For the record, I searched "brownie bottom" because I had a box of Trader Joe's GF brownie mix, which is delicious. Even people who are not gluten free love this brownie mix, as evidenced by the guests who almost ate an entire pan of it before I could physically restrain them. You can't beat the price on this mix, under three bucks. Which in my book is a gluten free success!

This, my friends is going to be the easiest ice cream you will make. Promise. The hardest thing will be the brownies, because they require the actual use of an oven. Also this is not a baking/crafty blog, so this is not really a tutorial. Just go with it.

Gluten Free Ice Cream Cake - The Easy Way

1 box Gluten Free Brownie Mix, I used Trader Joe's
1 gallon of ice cream, flavor of choice, I used Vanilla
1 jar of caramel ice cream topping, I used Smuckers
1 bag of "Bites" (see photo above), I used Snickers
1 tub of Cool Whip
1 bottle of Magic Shell

Bake the Brownies according to the instructions in a 13x9 pan. This will give your ice cream cake a thin crust. Let the brownies cool, at least to room temperature. I put the pan in the refrigerator for thirty minutes. I also put the ice cream in the refrigerator at this time as well so that it would soften. Set your timer on your phone so you won't forget while you go back to Pinterest to pin Halloween costumes even though it's not quite August. After thirty minutes, take out the brownie pan and ice cream. Pour the caramel ice cream topping on the brownie crust. Then scoop out the ice cream over the caramel and spread with a spatula. Chop your Snickers bits with a knife (only if you prefer them that way) and sprinkle them over the ice cream. Spread the cool whip over the snickers. Pour the Magic Shell over the Cool Whip. Put the whole thing in the freezer. Some directions say two hours. I say over night. Let those flavors meld together. Then let it sit out on the counter at least twenty minutes before trying to cut it. But just so you know, no matter how you cut it, it's gonna fall apart. Don't worry, people will eat it anyway.

This is an after picture on some really fine China (Dixie brand). It looks a little on the sloppy side. This didn't stop the Fourth of July party goers from slicing it up and devouring it in less than ten minutes. I served it to four people, went back in the house for more, and it was gone.

Your Welcome. Insert fist bump and emoji hands here.

This is What Sumemer Looks Like

Summer looks like...
Ice cream all over our faces.

Lunching on different kinds of sandwiches.

Finding a way to get more water into our bodies.

Dairy Free, Gluten Free treats after deciding to go to Walmart way past our bedtimes.

Pepsi late into the night. Because it's summer and why the heck not.

Waiting in line at the drive thru on a Sunday afternoon, because let's face it, ain't no one cooking tonight. And also cooking would require a trip to the grocery store, and the couch seems like a much more suitable place to spend my time.

Wearing a sports bra/lounge bra because it's summer and it's hot. Wearing work out clothes all day and refusing to get dressed or wash my hair. Sporting a no make up face for days. Letting my kids eat chips and and drink soda at eight o'clock because they are hungry, AGAIN. Waking up late, not bothering to do anything thing important, letting the laundry sit another day. Because this is what summer looks like.

And damn it looks good.

Five on Friday {seven twenty four}

Five things I'm loving this Friday...

ONE: Amy Schumer. This movie. And Bill Hader as a leading man. This movie was hilarious but also emotional. Amy is funny and messy and loud, which is my kind of people. Then she turns it on you and gets real and emotional. The Hubbs and I went to see this on a date day and we laughed the entire time. In addition to starring in it, Amy Schumer wrote it, which is totally inspirational to me. It's a must see this summer.

TWO: Spending time with my "sister wives". My neighbors are always up for some fun and when the pregnant one of our group says she needs some girl time without the kids, we are always game. This was a quick trip to Party City, but we totally enjoyed ourselves. It was the perfect selfie opportunity.

THREE: Sunday I made waffles that are grain free thanks to Against All Grain. I have both of her cookbooks and when I want a treat I turn to her for the goods. These waffles are made using a cup of raw cashews, which sounds weird, but they were delicious. I've missed things like waffles since going grain free, and let's be honest, baking from scratch sometimes sucks. But these were super easy and totally worth it.
FOUR: This shirt Caitlin found at Forever 21. I wish they had it in my size. "Dear Summer, Stay Forever. XOXO" is a perfect mantra these days as there are just about four weeks left of this blissful summer! Why does it go by so quickly??? We are going to pack in as much fun as we can before school is back to being a priority.

FIVE: This book, Cutting Teeth. I wrote a review, and I'm giving away a copy via Instagram. It's such a good book and has become a new favorite. I loved Julia Fierro's writing style, it was a page turner for sure. Plus I'm a sucker for good book covers and I just love this one. If you need something to read soon, add this to your reading list.

What are you loving this Friday?


Cutting Teeth {Summer Book Review}

***Disclosure: I was given a copy of this book to review. 
All the opinions are my own. I was also given a copy to give away. ***

photo cred

There have been many books written about motherhood. Fictional accounts of the trials and tribulations that meet us along our journey into the world of motherhood. Many tell the stories of mothers similar to us, trying to survive the daily struggles of play dates and GMO free food. Some of the stories shed light on how mothers "hold it all together" in appearance only. Other books give honest accounts at how mothers, no matter their backgrounds lie, cheat, and quite possibly steal to give the appearance of "fine". Why is it that we just love to read about the lies we tell ourselves?

Cutting Teeth, by Julia Fierro is a wonderfully written book about modern motherhood. It tackles friendship, marriage, motherhood and how those relationships affect us and those around us. Cutting Teeth focuses on four families of a New York City playgroup. Despite wealth and education, these millennials struggle in the same ways you and I struggle when it comes to issues that face modern parenting. Financials, addictions, obsessions, and and even lust, Cutting Teeth paints a picture of what goes one behind those beautiful facades.

The four core members of the playgroup are all so different, and yet it's not hard to imagine why they all find some comfort in each other.

Tiffany is the youngest of the group and reckless with love and opinions. After traveling a very long and abusive road to the upper-middle class, she appears so confident to hide the fact that she is still so insecure and broken inside.

Nicole suffers from extreme OCD, but is desperate to keep up the facade of perfect. She buys organic, follows the World Health Organization daily for communicable disease updates, and wakes up feeling that there is impending doom to be met every day.

Susanna is a pregnant newlywed when we meet her, mother to twins, wife to Allie. Susanna loves being a mother, and is confused as to why her new wife Allie hasn't come to the same conclusion.

Leigh is a mother of two and the most "upper crust" of the group. She is the treasurer of her son's fancy Prep Preschool. She is struggling with the behavioral issues that have manifested in her son, and she has always been the group pushover, until very recently. With the help of her Tibetan nanny, Leigh is barely holding it together.

Rip is the token Dad of the group, but quite possibly the most comfortable in his skin. He is a "new world" Dad, staying home with his son until he can get work again as an actor. He enjoys all the comforts of a Pinterest Mom making candles and organic baby food. At times the voice of reason, but also the one with the most to lose. He wants another baby desperately. Now all he has to do is convince his wife.

These four different friends decide to vacation together over Labor Day weekend at a beach house belonging to Nicole's parents. This is the perfect place for the four playgroup parents to honestly interact with their spouses, their children, and each other. Secrets, alcohol, and children under five all make for one hell of a weekend. Between Nicole's paranoia, Tiffany's barely there bikinis, Rips pent us testosterone, and Leigh's discontent and discomfort, it's hard not to keep turning pages to see how this will all play out. On top of all of that you have a very pregnant Susanna bumping heads with Allie more than celebrating their very new marriage. Cutting Teeth gives a very accurate portrait of modern parents wrestling with the standards they have set for themselves.

What makes this book even more interesting is how it plays the character of the Tibetan Nanny, Tenzin. Tenzin is there to help Leigh with her children, but in the end she touches all there lives in little ways. What I loved about Tenzin's character is that she was a muted voice of reason. Tenzin is a refugee waiting to be granted amnesty. She has left her husband and her children in Tibet, while she awaits amnesty so she can bring them to New York. It leaves you to wonder, what Tenzin must think of all these "millennial" mommies and daddies? How odd they must appear with their gluten and sugar free diets. In reflection I feel like the author put her in the background to remind us that even our worst struggles would be some one's best. 

The twist and turns are natural playing into the characters self doubts and insecurities. The parenting situations are realistic no matter your socioeconomic background. Children often bring out our worst and best selves. This makes it difficult to keep up appearances when you are all under one roof. Called a great summer read by more that one news outlet, Cutting Teeth will satisfy your beach read hunger, but be warned. It doesn't put the story to bed in the way you might think.

And I think that is what I like most about it.

Want a copy of your own??? Hope on over to INSTAGRAM and enter my giveaway!!

Summer Field Trips

I'm enjoying every single bit of these summer days. Those slow mornings. The ones I missed so dearly during the school year. Waking up late, after an even later night playing with friends. How I've missed these summer days, with no agenda, no reasons to be out, just some freedom to do as we please. This day was one of those "field trip days". Where we did all the fun things we had been talking about since school ended. Going to our favorite spots. The used book store. Target. Eating our favorite foods.

Summer is made out of days like these.

When you wake up well past ten, you can have both Starbucks and french fries for breakfast. Mackenzie said her blueberry muffin and french fries paired well with her Starbucks iced tea. I went through two drive-thrus and then parked it in the parking lot so these kids could eat. No food allowed at our next stop.

We have an incredible two story used books store where we live. I've blogged about it before, but every time I go in, it feels like an incredible gift. Sure my kiddos are loud, they stomp up the stairs, they giggle and shout with delight, because they enjoy books as much as I do. I get lots of side eye from one of the guys that works there, but seriously dude, they are enjoying the books. I search for books from my childhood, some best sellers of yesteryear. My girls look at Little Golden Books and always let me know where the Harry Potter books are shelved. My mom joined us this time, and said that she would be back, because she needed a couple of extra hours. I totally get that mom, in fact, I think I'm going to join you, The Hubbs can watch the girls.

My haul this time included two books from my childhood, The Cricket in Times Square, because I think my girls will love it, and Island of the Blue Dolphins, because it's a classic. The Stephanie Evanovich was okay, your regular standard Harlequin romance type. I read it in like two days, skipped some of it, because I was pretty sure of the outcome. It was a quick and fun read, which is totally the point. The Anne of Green Gables is for me to finally read. That's right, me the lover of books has not read any Anne. I just started, so more on that later.

We hit up Target and this girl fell in love with some modern art. It's a model of a home, very art deco, and it included paint and wall paper and floor coverings (all vinyl). She was in love and worked on it well into the night. She has such a fierce imagination. She even skipped some of the wall coverings, deciding to paint her own designs on the wall. Then she asked her daddy for a saw and some help to make more windows and doors. That's my girl.

Then there was a little bliss for me. My mom came over and helped me throw this cobbler together. It's nectarine and blueberry, and it was super delicious. You can find the original cobbler recipe here, just change the fruit to whatever you have in your house. The crumble part is standard across the board. And it's grain free, gluten free, dairy free, sugar free, but I promise not taste free! And really, my mom made the whole thing, I just watched, which is how I usually help.

Field trip days are my favorite, because some days, just getting out of the house is a whole trip in itself. I'm looking forward to a few more careless days with my girls, before school starts and ruins everything.