Ice cream and candy Thankgiving dinner

Ice cream and candy Thanksgiving pie | Me & The Moose. This genius way to use up leftover Halloween candy is also a hilarious make-ahead Thanksgiving dessert that will please the pickiest kids. #Thanksgivingrecipes #Thanksgiving #dessert #pumpkinpiealternative #icecream #leftoverHalloweencandy

I, for one, don’t need to see another mini candy bar for quite some time. However, I hate throwing food away (which makes parenting around mealtimes interesting when M declares himself full after four bites). So instead of dumping our excess candy, I’m repurposing it into a Thanksgiving dessert that is equal parts adorable and delicious.

Bonus: I promise you will live in the freezer, untouched, until Thanksgiving, which would certainly not happen if that candy stayed in its original form.

Ice cream and candy Thanksgiving pie | Me & The Moose. This genius way to use up leftover Halloween candy is also a hilarious make-ahead Thanksgiving dessert that will please the pickiest kids. #Thanksgivingrecipes #Thanksgiving #dessert #pumpkinpiealternative #icecream #leftoverHalloweencandy

Ice cream and candy for dessert might seem odd after a heavy meal, but let me tell you: We had a store-bought version of this plate last year (from the UConn Dairy Bar) and my family tore through it like we hadn’t just eaten our weight in stuffing.

My version of this pie starts with a layer of salted caramel topped with chocolate chip ice cream and then hot fudge sauce.

I chopped up some mini Snickers for stuffing; green M&Ms are peas; vanilla ice cream covered in crushed toffee bars with a white chocolate, pretzel, and marshmallow “bone” become a turkey drumstick; vanilla ice cream with more caramel are mashed potatoes and gravy; raspberry sorbet is sliced to look like canned cranberry sauce; and candy corn is stuck together with white chocolate as a corn cob.

Ice cream and candy Thanksgiving pie | Me & The Moose. This genius way to use up leftover Halloween candy is also a hilarious make-ahead Thanksgiving dessert that will please the pickiest kids. #Thanksgivingrecipes #Thanksgiving #dessert #pumpkinpiealternative #icecream #leftoverHalloweencandy

Extra bonus: There are many ways for kiddos to help make this pie: They can separate the green M&Ms, chop and smash the candy, unwrap the caramels, and pour and spread the caramel and ice cream layers. If they’re older, they could probably make the whole darn thing themselves.

Ice cream and candy Thanksgiving pie | Me & The Moose. This genius way to use up leftover Halloween candy is also a hilarious make-ahead Thanksgiving dessert that will please the pickiest kids. #Thanksgivingrecipes #Thanksgiving #dessert #pumpkinpiealternative #icecream #leftoverHalloweencandy
Ice cream and candy Thanksgiving pie | Me & The Moose. This genius way to use up leftover Halloween candy is also a hilarious make-ahead Thanksgiving dessert that will please the pickiest kids. #Thanksgivingrecipes #Thanksgiving #dessert #pumpkinpiealternative #icecream #leftoverHalloweencandy

And extra extra bonus: You can make this dessert now and be ready for Turkey day in three weeks.

Candy and ice cream Thanksgiving plate

10-inch graham cracker pie crust
12 oz chewy caramels, divided 
3 Tbsp heavy cream, divided
Flaky salt
1 pint chocolate ice cream
1 pint vanilla ice cream
1 small jar of hot fudge (about 12 oz)
1 pint raspberry sorbet (IN A PAPER, NOT PLASTIC, CONTAINER)
½ cup mini green m&ms
6-7 fun-sized snickers, chopped
12-15 fun-sized toffee bars (or 3 large ones), crushed
1 cup white chocolate chips, melted
1/2 large pretzel rod
1 large marshmallow, cut in half
Candy corn

Step 1: Caramel sauce, part 1
Combine 8 oz of unwrapped caramel candy with 2 Tbsp heavy cream in a bowl and microwave for 30 seconds. Mix and microwave for 30 more seconds. Mix again. Microwave for 15 seconds bursts, stopping to mix the caramel and milk, until it’s completely melted. Spread over the graham cracker crust, sprinkle with sea salt and place in the freezer until set, about 10 minutes.

Step 2: Ice cream
Let the chocolate ice cream melt a bit for easier spreading. I left it out while I made and spread the caramel and it was soft enough to spread. Freeze until solid, about 2 hours or overnight.

Step 3: Hot (but cold) fudge
Once the ice cream layer has frozen solid, dump the entire jar of COLD fudge sauce on top and smooth it out all the way to the edges. (I made the mistake of heating the sauce a bit and it immediately melted the ice cream underneath.)

Step 4: White chocolate
Melt your white chocolate in a tall thinnish glass. Microwave for 30 seconds on high. Stop and mix. Microwave for another 30 seconds on high. Stop and mix. Microwave for 10 second bursts, stopping to mix until the chocolate is melted.

Step 5: Drumstick bone, part 1
Snap a large pretzel rod in half. Cut a large marshmallow in half. Dip the non-broken end of the pretzel rod into melted white chocolate and press one half of the marshmallow on either side of the rod and hold in place for 10 seconds. Place on a sheet of parchment paper and refridgerate until set, about 5 minutes.

Step 6: Corn cob
Pour a nickle-sized dollop of melted white chocolate on a piece of parchment paper. Place a circle of candy corn onto the chocolate with the white facing in and the yellow facing out. Try not to allow any space between the kernels. place another dollop of melted white chocolate on top of the white portion of candy and repeat. Continue until you have between 5 and 7 layers of corn kernels. Place in the fridge until set, about 10 minutes.

Step 7: Drumstick bone, part 2
Dip the set marshmallow and pretzel rod into the melted white chocolate (feel free to microwave for another 10 seconds if the chocolate feels thick) and let the excess chocolate drip off. Place back onto the parchment paper and spoon the melted chocolate over the rest of the pretzel rod, wiping away any excess on the sides. Place back in the refrigerator until set, about 10 minutes.

Step 8: Prep your candy
Chop the snickers, separate the green M&Ms, and crush the toffee.

Step 9: Sorbet
Slice the sorbet with a large serrated knife and put the slices back into the freezer.

Step 10: Caramel sauce, part 2
Place 4 oz of unwrapped caramel candy and 1 Tbsp of heavy cream into a bowl. Microwave for 30 seconds. Stop and mix. Microwave for another 30 seconds, stop, and mix. Microwave in 15 second bursts, stopping to mix in between, until melted. Set aside.

Step 11: Assemble
Scoop 1/2 pint of vanilla ice cream onto the top of pie. Next to it, pour your M&Ms into a pile. Smoosh the cut up snickers in your hands a bit while piling them onto the top of the pie as well. Add the corn cob. Next, form the rest of the ice cream into an oval ball and roll it in the crushed toffee. Place it on the pie and add the pretzel bone. Place the sorbet slice in the middle. Lastly, using a spoon, shape the vanilla ice cream to look like mashed potatoes and make a dent in the middle. Pour some of the cooled caramel into the hole and immediately place the whole pie back into the freezer. Let freeze overnight and then transfer to a box or cover tightly with plastic wrap.

Ice cream and candy Thanksgiving pie | Me & The Moose. This genius way to use up leftover Halloween candy is also a hilarious make-ahead Thanksgiving dessert that will please the pickiest kids. #Thanksgivingrecipes #Thanksgiving #dessert #pumpkinpiealternative #icecream #leftoverHalloweencandy
Ice cream and candy Thanksgiving pie | Me & The Moose. This genius way to use up leftover Halloween candy is also a hilarious make-ahead Thanksgiving dessert that will please the pickiest kids. #Thanksgivingrecipes #Thanksgiving #dessert #pumpkinpiealternative #icecream #leftoverHalloweencandy


Dole whip popsicles

IMG_7756.jpg

If Dole Whip isn't your favorite Disney park food, then what's wrong with you? For those of you who don't know, Dole Whip is basically pineapple soft serve. But's it's so so much better than that description implies.

I swear I'm going to tell you how to make it in a minute, but first I need to talk about some parenting challenges we're having. As always, skip to the next photo if you're only here for the food!

Lately, parenting has felt like being on a high ropes course. It's wobbly and scary and you rarely feel surefooted. Occasionally you reach a platform and feel like a badass who has everything figured out. But then you start the next leg of the course and feel even more wobbly because now you're tired and also annoyed at yourself for not learning enough from the earlier stages. And while you're taking all the necessary precautions, what if you prove the tragic exception?

The long and short of it is, M started preschool 2 months ago and isn't adjusting all that well. He's acting out a bit and having trouble sitting still and it's been hard to watch.

I want to chalk it all up to his being three and starting a new school (any school, for that matter), but words like "evaluation" and "sensory issues" have already been floated.

Maybe I'm just taking it too hard. To me, he's still the chubby cheeked baby with long eyelashes and a silly lisp, so to hear anything different is hard to accept. I'm sure most parents go through some form of growing pains the first time they get any negative feedback about their child. But oof, does it feel like a knife to the heart. 

And I'm doing my best not to let the feedback make me feel distant or separate from M. At first, hearing about his behavior made me feel like I didn't know him at all. But some 3-year-old acting out doesn't make him a bad kid and the more empathy I can have for him while we all hang in there and try to figure this out, the more successful he'll be when facing challenges in the future. 

But for now, it's just... rough.

IMG_7213.jpg
IMG_7214.jpg

Anyway, this recipe is a great one to make with kids. M loves adding the ingredients and pushing the button on the food processor and that's really the whole shebang. He also calls Dole Whip, Dole "Yip," and it kills me.

IMG_7226.jpg
IMG_7227.jpg

If you plan on eating this right away, then you get the true Dole Whip experience (well, a close approximation anyway). If not, and this recipe makes a lot so you won't likely eat it all in one sitting anyway, freezing it as popsicles is the most successful way to enjoy the leftovers. It freezes really hard, so trying to recreate that soft serve texture is nearly impossible later on. But the mixture makes oh-so-refreshing popsicles. Hang on to some for the first 90-degree day (here in CT, anyway) and thank me later.

IMG_7077.jpg

Dole Whip

2 large bananas, peeled and frozen
1 lb bag of frozen pineapple chunks
1 Tbsp lime juice
1 Tbsp lemon juice
1 can full-fat coconut milk

Add all ingredients to a food processor and blend until smooth. Eat immediately or pour into popsicle molds and freeze for at least 2 hours.

Yield: 24 small popsicles or about 4 cups of soft serve

Dole whip bowl. Feel no shame about eating this for breakfast.

Dole whip bowl. Feel no shame about eating this for breakfast.