Before I was lucky enough to have met my love, I went on a few noteworthy (in the incredibly hilarious sense) dates. I decided in the midst of these dates that there *really* should be a huge map of life. Something similar to a road map with windy and twisting roads along side the interstates and express lanes. Each road would have different pit stops along side marked with phrases that would indicate a person’s mental state at the moment (or lifetime mood, in some cases).
Take this thought, for instance….
Picture the road map with a long windy road alongside some campgrounds and lakes. These “pit stops” could be marked with phrases like “I’m not looking for anything serious, just recreation.”
Or more literally…. a broken down car along the freeway of life could just announce, “I have baggage, can you help me schlep it along?”
There are a million scenarios, I’m sure. And I don’t know if I’m expressing what I see in my brain well enough or not. But here’s the point. At some point in the first date, you could just take out the road map, slap it on the table and point to your spot on the roadway and say, “I’m here. Where are you on this thing?”
Wouldn’t that just cut to the chase? LOL Okay, maybe not graciously, but I have been (and I’m sure you have as well) on a few dates where it would have made pointing out the obvious lack-of-connection a HECK of a lot easier. (Boy, howdy! How I could have used this help with a couple of wonderful souls too.)
This past week, my love and I have found ourselves staring at the decisions revolving around the adoption process together. Some moments it was like watching fish in a pond where we could both silently meditate on the dream of having our own family. Other moments were like looking for gold flakes in the sandy bottom of the pond as we tried to figure out the details and make sure we had all the things we needed in place.
And when there is the pain of not being able to have our own children together, there is a lot to contemplate and meditate. We’ve been trying for years and have seen the doctors. Our options are either fertility or adoption. Neither one of us knows if we are strong enough to go through the loss of another pregnancy, so we’ve chosen adoption.
And just when you think you’ve made your decision, you ease out onto the path you’ve chosen only to see that it, too, is riddled with a million more decisions we have yet to make. The longer we take, the longer we wait for the dream.
Oh, man! I am NOT as patient as I think I’m going to have to be on this path. Why is it that when you think about having kids or adopting, every pregnant woman and every baby born within a 100 mile radius of your house just HAPPEN to be shopping at the same store you are shopping at? Is it just me, LOL, or does this happen to you as well?
So, what is one to do when lost in dreams and big thoughts? Why make something in the kitchen, of course! In honor of my weekend wishes for summer sunshine and kids playing at my feet, I made some ice cream sandwiches. Last night, I delivered them to my sister and her family. Not only are ice cream sandwiches completely kid-worthy, but I sure as heck didn’t need 8 of them sitting my freezer. It’s bad enough I ate one before it was frozen the same night I made then! (Now I know why they make movies of women eating ice cream when they are contemplative. Ice cream sandwiches work better though. Trust me.)
Just a side note before the recipe: I’m going to a conference for three days/nights this week. This is a completely unusual event for us teacher-people. I have to admit that I am quite anxious to (1) mind our adoption budget which means spending little to nothing and (2) eating gluten free while managing a (1) budget) and (2) living in a hotel/convention center for three days. Any tips guys? I’d LOVE LOVE LOVE to have them. Thanks for your help.
While I figure out how to get myself ready for a hotel, I know I will wear off the anxiety by baking and cooking a little. In fact, I think maybe this is the perfect time for me to get some baking down from my “Adopt-A-GF Blogger” event with Seamaiden at Book of Yum. I’ve “adopted” Naomi from Gluten Free Mommy. She’s got a million recipes I’ve had my
tummy eye on and now is the time to get them done. I think I will start with her much raved about sandwich bread. If you have an inkling to adopt a GF Blogger, please check out Seamaiden’s event idea here.
While you are figuring out your own adoption, maybe you should whip up some ice cream sandwiches (takes under an hour to make… and then they freeze overnight)?
The treats will be ready by the time you’ve figured out your next move. I promise. It worked for us.
For the outside cookie:
7 tablespoons butter, melted
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powdered (or dark chocolate cocoa powder)
2/3 cup sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla
3/4 cup gluten free flour mix (rice or bean based)
OR – in place of the GF flour mix use:
1/2 cup rice flour + 1/4 cup tapioca starch
For the center:
1 quart of your favorite GF ice cream flavor – don’t be shy! Any flavor works here
(I found it easier to work with ice cream sold in square cartons as it is easier to cut, but any ice cream will work.)
For the outside “edge decoration”:
mini chocolate chips
mini peanut butter chips
mini M & Ms, Reese’s, etc
or just omit this idea
- Preheat oven to 350F.
- Line a large cookie sheet or jelly roll pan with parchment paper. Butter the parchment or spritz with oil.
- Mix melted butter and cocoa powder together until smooth.
- Add sugar and blend again until smooth.
- Add vanilla and eggs. Blend again until smooth.
- Add gf flour (or flour/starch) and beat together for 2 minutes. Mixture will be like thick brownie dough but should not have any lumps.
- Using a spatula dipped in water, spread the cookie batter to 1/2″ thickness into a large rectangle (about 12″ by 10″ or larger). If the dough sticks to the spatula, dip the spatula into cool water and continue spreading. Try *not* to get the dough “wet” or have standing water on top.
- Bake the cookie at 350F for 15 – 18 minutes or until firm/set but not crusty on top. (It will harden as it cools.)
- Working quickly once the cookie is out of the oven, either (1) use ice cream sandwich molds (follow instructions from manufacturer), (2) cut the rectangle in half so that the two sides can fit one over the other or (3) cut out your sandwich shapes with your favorite cookie cutter and set them on a cooling rack. (I cut my heart shapes out and let them cool while I readied the ice cream.)
Making the Sandwich:
- Soften your ice cream just enough that it slides out of the its container easily but isn’t wet/squishy. (I found that leaving it on the counter when I’m cutting the cookie shapes works perfectly.)
- Use a wet knife to loosen the sides of the ice cream from the carton and slide it out onto a cutting board.
- Slice the ice cream into slabs as thick as you would like your ice cream center to be (about 1″ in my case).
- Use your cookie cutter to cut your ice cream into shapes, lift the cut shape up and put two cookie shapes on for the top and bottom.
- Roll the ice cream sandwich edges into your “edge decoration” of choice (mini chocolate chips, etc) and set onto a plate in the freezer.
- Work quickly to finish making/rolling ice cream sandwiches, storing each completed sandwich in the freezer as you finish.
- Once all of the sandwiches are done and store in the freezer, it’s time to pack them so they stay fresh.
Packing/Storing your Ice Cream Sandwiches:
- Wrap each sandwich in plastic wrap. Be sure to have the plastic wrap touching the ice cream edges to prevent freezer burned ice cream.
- Wrap each plastic wrapped sandwich in wax paper.
- Store the wax paper wrapped sandwiches in either two Ziploc freezer bags (one inside the other) or one Ziploc and one freezer airtight plastic container.
These sandwiches will store well and, if your house is like mine, the sandwiches will disappear before you know it.
Happy GF Eating and Baking… and living!