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Easy Ice Cream Pie (and Sewing and School)

We've embarked on another school year. I can't say I was exactly ready for the fun and free days of summer to end, but the kids are [mostly] thrilled to be doing school again, and have been eager to share their new knowledge with their daddy upon his arrival home each evening.  I'm trying to find my footing once more, figuring out how to keep a balance of school, housework, ministry, and play.  This summer I was blessed to be a part of a book group, on and off, that read and discussed Sally Clarkson and Sarah Mae's book, Desperate: Hope for the Mom Who Needs to Breathe.  One of my major takeaways was to not shy away from things that feel like work up front but will ultimately breathe life into my soul and home, and to regard my house as they put it, "with a subduer's eye." For me, that means things like taking the extra time to light a candle or put on music at dinner time, finish the dishes in the evening instead of leaving them for the morning so that I start the day fresh, keeping the top of my dresser clear of clutter.  It takes intentionality not to fall into habits of escapism, procrastination, and avoidance, and small niceties like these tend to be the first things to go when I'm feeling overwhelmed and tired.  But I'm trying to choose the upfront investment for the long term reward more often. 

This ice cream cake is a small upfront investment for a big reward.  If you can let a carton of ice cream thaw on the counter and wield a spatula reasonably well, you can make this one.

Easy Ice Cream Pie

16 graham crackers, ground into fine crumbs
4 T. butter (or more if needed)
1 carton of ice cream
1 container of Cool Whip or 2 c. fresh whipped cream
1/2 c. heavy cream
1 c. bittersweet chocolate chips

For crust: Mix about 16 graham crackers, ground into fine crumbs, with 4 T. melted unsalted butter (use more if needed to make crumbs stick together). Press into 9" springform pan, chill in freezer. (You could also make it in a pie pan and just use less of everything.)
For ganache layer: bring 1/2 c. heavy cream to a gentle boil, pour over 1 c. bittersweet chocolate chips. Whisk until smooth. Spread evenly over bottom of chilled crust, reserving a bit for decoration if desired. Return pan to freezer until ganache hardens.
For ice cream layer: Soften 1/2 gallon ice cream flavor of choice. I used a caramel swirl, but coffee, vanilla, chocolate, or peanut butter would all be great. Spread softened ice cream evenly into crust, chill again until firm.
For topping:
Spread 1 container softened Cool Whip or about 2 cups freshly whipped cream over ice cream layer, chill until firm.
Drizzle with remaining ganache (gently reheated if necessary). Chill until everything is firm, and enjoy! 

For those keeping up with the Sara-learns-to-sew Saga, you'll be pleased to know that progress has been made, and pajama pants have been achieved.  Yes, I have managed to create actual, wearable, customized garments for my dear ones, and I am unreasonably proud and already plotting future projects.  

My ultimate dream is to sew a soft structured carrier using the Sew Toot pattern. (You knew baby carriers had to come in somewhere, right?)  I have most of the materials purchased for it, but I'm thinking a bit more practice is in order before I attempt to make a weight bearing device. ;) 


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