we’ll be back

I tried to get my assistant to leave the beach, but she just won’t go…we’ll be back tomorrow

ice cream and…

2 of the very best ice cream dessert recipes…

Ice Cream Wafflewiches  (Recipe courtesy of Food Network Kitchen)


Toast frozen waffles, then let cool. Add scoops of ice cream between the waffles. Dust with confectioners’ sugar and enjoy…

Ice Cream Cake


  • 1/4 cup light corn syrup
  • 1 3/4 cups heavy cream, divided
  • 1/2 stick unsalted butter
  • 2/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder, plus more for serving
  • Salt
  • 3 pints vanilla ice cream
  • 18 graham crackers
  • 1 tablespoon confectioners’ sugar
  • Unsweetened cocoa powder


Lightly coat an 8-inch square cake pan with cooking spray; line pan with plastic wrap. Freeze pan at least 10 minutes

In a medium pot, combine corn syrup, 1/4 cup cream, butter, granulated sugar, cocoa, and pinch of salt; bring to a boil, whisking, over medium-high. Remove from heat and let fudge sauce cool. Meanwhile, remove 1 pint ice cream from freezer and let soften, about 15 minutes.

Evenly press softened ice cream into pan. Top with a single layer of graham crackers, breaking to fit. Drizzle with 1/4 cup fudge sauce and freeze 15 minutes. Repeat twice, omitting sauce on final layer. Wrap in plastic and freeze until firm, 8 hours (or up to 3 days). Cover and refrigerate remaining fudge sauce.

To serve, invert pan and run under tepid water to loosen cake. Invert onto a platter and remove plastic. Microwave fudge sauce in 30-second increments until pourable. Pour over cake and freeze to solidify, 5 minutes.

In a large bowl, using a mixer, whip 1 1/2 cups cream and confectioners’ sugar on high until stiff peaks form, 3 to 5 minutes. Dollop cake with whipped cream and dust with cocoa. Serve immediately.

ice cream cake is the only thing better than cake and ice cream…

best of the best food blogs

I love this list…

The Food Blogs You Should Be Reading Right Now, According To Saveur

The Huffington Post  | By Alison Spiegel

Best Cooking Blog

Best Baking and Desserts Blog

Best Wine or Beer Blog

Best Writing

Best New Blog

 btw- I get bundles of Ask Mom emails and there are questions and topics that show up all the time.  Starting next week and every Thursday I’m going to share some of the problems/questions and stuff that so many of us are dealing with…even if we don’t solve anything it’s good to know you’re not alone

so good and free

12 ideas for this summer that cost no money…

1. Check out the community calendar. Look at your town’s website (and cities and towns nearby) or stop by city hall to find a list of events going on in the community, many of which are free. There are interesting (and free) activities going on right now in your area.

2. Visit your community library. Not only is a library a warehouse of books, most libraries also have extensive CD and DVD collections you can check out. Many libraries also have film nights, book clubs, and other events that are – completely free.

3. Get involved in community sports. Many towns have community sports fields where both youth and adult sports leagues and activities are regularly going on throughout the weekend, watch the games for free…

4. Check out some podcasts. Podcasts are wonderful things – top-notch audio programs available for you to listen to for free. Check out podcasts by using iTunes.  Try The Splendid Table (on food topics), Marketplace (on economics and business), Fresh Air (interviews of general interest), This American Life (quirky general interest stuff), and This Week in Tech (technology news), among many others.

5. Play board games. Gather up your board games, and ask your friends to bring theirs and start playing or swap. Classic games like Monopoly and Pictionary are always good. Bust open your best games

6. Bake a loaf of homemade bread. You probably have everything you need to make a loaf of bread or pound cake in your kitchen right now (except for maybe the yeast). Anyone can do it.

7. Have a potluck picnic. Go through your refrigerator and cupboards and find any items that might have slipped to the back over time. Invite some friends to do the same, then get together for a potluck picnic prepared from only these ingredients and whatever else you have on hand. It makes for a “free” meal and a lot of fun for everyone involved.

8. Clear out your media collection – books, DVDs, CDs, etc. Just go through what you’ve got, decide which ones you’d actually like to keep, and get rid of the rest. You can either sell them at a used media shop or swap them online using services like PaperBackSwapSwapTree, and SwapADVD. In either case, you’ll get rid of stuff you don’t watch or read or listen to any more in exchange for either some money or new media to enjoy.

9. Go on a walking tour. Find out about the interesting historical and cultural sites in your town, then go on a walking tour of it. Pack a lunch in your backpack and have a picnic on the village green or in the park. You can easily turn this into a full day if you live in an interesting area.

10. Take some digital photographs. Take your digital camera out with you and take pictures of anything you find interesting. Take lots of them, then go home later and see if you’ve taken anything beautiful and compelling. Great images can make for the basics of homemade cards, desktop wallpaper, screensavers, or many other interesting uses.

11. Share those digital photographs with others. Sign up for a free Flickr account, then upload some of your most interesting pictures to share with others. Spend the time to title them appropriately, add interesting captions, and allow them to be used under a Creative Commons Attribution license so your images can be enjoyed by as many people as possible.

12. Start a blog on a topic that interests you.

– See more at: http://www.thesimpledollar.com/100-things-to-do-during-a-money-free-weekend/#sthash.ZvhiTI1u.dpuf

thinking out loud

Dear Mom, every time I complain to my friends or family they say I told you so, or give me advice that I don’t want and then I’m furious about that, too and I wish that I didn’t say anything. Should I stop talking to everyone?

It sounds like you just want to be mad out loud and complain. You’re not asking for their advice or opinion, so before you start telling someone your problem tell them to just listen and give you advice only when you ask for it. They probably think that they’re helping, so you’re going to have to come out and say please just listen and don’t answer, I’m thinking out loud!


Dear Ask Mom, I wish I had a better job and a better place to live and more money, but I don’t know how to get everything I want that will make me happy. Can you tell me how to do it?

Why not start out by being grateful that you have a job, a place to live and some money instead of wanting more? I’m not sure that anything is going to make you happy until you appreciate what you have, that so many other people don’t.

good-for-you snacks

summer good-for-you snacks

Deluxe Tropical Trail Mix (Makes about 4 Cups)

  •  1 cup puffed quinoa or puffed millet
  • 1/4 cups unsweetened coconut flakes
  • 1/2 cup whole roasted almonds
  • 1/2 cup raw pepitas
  • 1/2 cup raw cashews
  • 1/2 cup dried banana chips (broken in half)
  • 1/4  cup chopped dried mango or papaya
  • 2 tablespoons candied ginger
  • 1/4 cup dark chocolate chunks (or chocolate chips)

In a medium mixing bowl, toss all ingredients together until evenly combined.

Store in an airtight container for up to 1 month or in the refrigerator for a  prolonged period of time.

Za’atar Popcorn

  • 8 cups popped popcorn, still hot
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt (*omit if your za’atar blend already contains salt)
  • 2 tablespoons za’atar
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

Pour oil over hot popcorn, toss to coat. In a small bowl, mix salt, za’atar, and pepper. Pour mixture over popcorn and toss until well-incorporated.

Add 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper for a spicy kick
If serving to non-vegans, add freshly grated Parmesan

Curry-Roasted Pistachios

Serves 6 to 8

1 tablespoon brown rice syrup
1 tablespoon coconut oil
1 tablespoon lime juice
1 tablespoon unsalted, mild curry powder blend
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
Zest from 1 lime
1 1/2 cups raw pistachio meat or raw pistachios in the shell (See Recipe Note)
1 tablespoon cane sugar

Preheat the oven to 300°F. Combine the brown rice syrup, coconut oil, lime juice, curry powder, sea salt, cayenne, and lime zest in a small sauce pan. Warm over low heat, stirring frequently, until the coconut oil has melted and everything is well combined.

Place the pistachios in a bowl and pour the hot curry seasoning over nuts. Toss with a spatula or spoon until the nuts are fully coated. Spread the seasoned nuts onto a parchment-lined baking tray. Roast the nuts for about 25 minutes, stirring once at halfway mark, until the coating looks baked on and dry.

Remove nuts from oven and sprinkle with cane sugar. Let them cool completely then break apart and transfer to an airtight container.

eat, drink and be…

 the best apps for finding really good places to eat at home or away…

  • Yelp
  • Urbanspoon
  • Zagat
  • Foodspotting
  • LocalEats


lots of things can happen while you’re on vacation, some of them not so good, here’s the cure for whatever happens…anything worse than this-find a doctor!

puffy eyes– lie down with a cold gel mask or cold cotton balls on your closed eyes for about 10 minutes

sore hands- try a gentle hand with warm oil and try compressing and letting go with your fingers to increase circulation

puffy face– sleep on two or three pillows and drink lots of water and caffeine-free drinks

achy feet– soak your feet in warm water then cold water for 10 minutes each and keep your feet elevated when you’re sitting down

stinky hands and breath– order water with a lemon slices and drink the water and use the lemon slices for your hands and breath!


think positively

ask mom- I’m afraid that I’m going to get fired from my job every day. how can I stop feeling this way?

Stop thinking about being fired and start think about doing a good job every day. Don’t think about what you don’t want to happen, think positively…