Mandy's Marvelous Meals

Recipes, tips, tricks, and my journey into cooking fabulous food!

Grilled Pineapple Sundae with Rum Sauce

This is a really easy and yummy dessert perfect for summer! I don’t even like pineapple, but I always eat this when I make it…it’s just that good (especially the rum sauce). You will impress whoever you make this for and little will they know that it was so simple!

I wish I could take credit for coming up with this on my own but I did read it somewhere. I think it was either in Food Network Magazine or on their website. I just remember seeing it and since it had minimal ingredients I was able to commit it to memory (shocking at my age ūüôā !) So I can’t give proper credit, but I’m definitely not trying to take all the credit! ūüėČ

So what are you waiting for? GO MAKE THIS!!!

Grilled Pineapple Sundae with Rum Sauce

1 small pineapple, sliced into rings

Vanilla ice cream

1/4 cup brown sugar

1/4 cup pineapple rum (i.e. Malibu)

1 tbsp. butter

  1. Combine the sugar, rum and butter in a small saucepan and bring to a boil, stirring often.
  2. Reduce heat to low and cook until sauce begins to thicken. Remove from heat and set aside.
  3. Grill the pineapple rings for 4-5 minutes per side.
  4. To “build” your sundae: place 1 pineapple ring on a plate, top with a scoop of ice cream in the middle and pour about 1 tbsp. of the warm rum sauce over the top. Serve immediately!

Twix Ice Cream Cake

Twix Ice Cream Cake

Every year for Hubby’s birthday I get him an ice cream cake. Since I bake cakes all the time it is a¬† nice treat to have an ice cream cake. This year I decided to make my own ice cream cake for his birthday. I’ve made ice cream cakes before but never made them like the kind you get at the store or an ice cream shop with the crunchy middle. I always just used regular cake layered with ice cream.

My Very First Ice Cream Cake

Strawberry Vanilla Ice Cream Cake

I must have gotten bit by a creativity bug because suddenly I had this great idea to make this a Twix ice cream cake (since Hubby likes Twix candy bars).¬† So, I found this recipe on King Arthur Flour to make homemade Twix bars. I only made the shortbread layer for the crumbly inside of the ice cream cake and mixed it with some caramel. I had intended to make my own caramel, but due to time constraints just ended up buying a jar of Smucker’s Caramel Topping. If you decide to make this for an event make sure you do it the day before or at least 8-9 hours in advance so the cake can freeze up completely. Like I said, I was on a limited time frame so not only did I have to work twice as fast to get everything set, but we weren’t actually able to cut the cake right when I presented it, because it would have been completely destroyed (Which was not a big deal since we had reservations for an all you can eat meat buffet…better known as “Na’Brasa Brazilian Steak House“).

Despite being crunched for time, I actually remembered to grab the camera to take step-by-step photos! I only missed one or two pictures! Yay for me!

So without further ado, here is how I made this awesome birthday cake!

Prepare the shortbread layer.

Since I was ultimately going to end up crumbling this up, I didn’t bother putting it in the baking dish all nice and neat, as you can see. You can make the shortbread a few days in advance if you want. That way you won’t have to worry about even more time with cooling it down.

Whip the ice cream in a stand mixer.

For the cake you will need 1-1.5 Qt. vanilla ice cream and¬†1-1.5 Qt. chocolate ice cream. A trick that I’ve learned from experience is to¬†soften your ice cream by¬†letting it sit out for about 10 minutes and then putting it in your stand mixer to mix up.¬†It is much easier to work with than letting it¬†just soften on its own. The first layer is half of the vanilla, so only mix half in the mixer and return the rest to¬†the¬†freezer. A WORD OF CAUTION….I do not recommend mixing the ice cream in your mixer if you do not have a heavy duty mixer. Although I’ve only done this with my Kitchenaid, I know that my old $30 middle-of-the-road stand mixer would not have been able to¬†handle mixing the ice cream!

Add the softened ice cream to the pan to make the first layer of the cake.

To make the cake, use a springform pan with the bottom removed and¬†two 10″ round cardboard cake circles placed on the bottom¬†(sold in craft stores or wherever cake supplies/decorations are sold). Glue or tape the two cardboard circles together. This cake will be very heavy when finished so one circle probably won’t hold it!

Prior to making the layers, place the Springform pan in the freezer for 20-30 minutes to make it cold. You will have to be very careful not to move the cardboard or the pan or the ice cream will get all over. If you want, you can use a little tape to keep the cardboard in place. Medical tape works best, as regular tape loses its stickiness after it gets cold.¬†¬†It is¬†very important to put the cake back in the freezer after each layer…do not skip this¬†part of the recipe¬†or your flavors will run together and you’ll have a big old mess (I won’t mention how I know this, but I’m sure you can figure it out). Put the pan back in the freezer for about 20 minutes. Basically what I did was put it back in…set a timer for 10 minutes, take out the next ice cream that I was going to use (in this case chocolate) and allowed it to soften up for 10 minutes…then whipped it in the mixer….took out the pan from the freezer and added the next layer, putting it back in the freezer for 20 more minutes.

Crush the shortbread.

After you’ve completed the first two layers (1/2 the vanilla and all the chocolate)¬†and the pan is back in the freezer to harden, prepare the shortbread layer by putting it in a large ziploc bag and crushing¬†with a rolling pin. Add the crumbles to a bowl and add the caramel sauce 1/4 cup at a time mixing well between each addition until the crumbles are just moist. You do not want to add too much caramel. The crumbles should not be sticky¬†or too wet.

Add the shortbread/caramel crumble mixture to the pan.

Add the shortbread/caramel mixture to the pan spreading out evenly over the ice cream. I did not use all the crumbles (only about 3/4) but it is totally up to you how thick you want the layer to be. I basically stopped adding the crumbles when I could no longer see any ice cream. Return the pan to the freezer for another 20 minutes (after 10 minutes remove the remaining vanilla ice cream from the freezer to soften).

¬†You will need to crush or chop the mini Twix bars. I put them in a ziploc baggie and just pounded them with the rolling pin, however the caramel remained as one solid piece so I ended up having to cut it up with a knife. Next time, I’m thinking I’ll throw it in the food processor. Once you whip the remaining ice cream in the mixer, stir in the crushed Twix (forgot to photograph these last few steps!) Remove the pan from the freezer and add the final layer. Once completed, return to the freezer for a minimum of 4-5 hours or longer if you can. The longer you can freeze it the easier it will be to remove the pan and add the icing.

To remove, run a butter knife around the edge of the pan and then open the spring on the pan to release. Lift off carefully and you should have what’s pictured above!

The whipped cream frosting can be added either right before serving or after the cake has frozen completely. You can freeze the cake with the icing on it, but some people may not like it as much. I think it still tastes good so I just put it on right away. Finally finish the cake by drizzling caramel and chocolate over the top.

Twix Ice Cream Cake


2 sticks salted butter

1 cup confectioner’s sugar

2 tsp. vanilla extract

2 cups all purpose flour

  1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees F. Spray a 9 x 13″ pan lightly with cooking spray and set aside.
  2. In a medium-sized bowl, beat together the butter, sugar and vanilla. Add the flour. At first the mixture will seem dry, but will come together as you continue to beat at medium speed.
  3. Take the dough and press it evenly into the pan.
  4. Prick the crust all over with a fork to allow for more even baking.
  5. Bake the crust until it’s lightly golden brown on top and the edges are deeper golden brown, about 35-45 minutes.
  6. Remove from the oven and immediately run a knife around the edges to loosen the crust. Set it aside to cool completely.
  7. Once cooled, place in a large ziploc bag and crumble by gently hitting with a rolling pin or mallet. Keep aside until needed in recipe below.

Ice Cream Cake

1.5 quart vanilla ice cream

1.5 quart chocolate ice cream

1/4 – 1/2 cup of caramel ice cream topping (such as Smucker’s)

10 “fun sized” mini Twix Bars, chopped.

  1. Remove the bottom from a springform pan and attach two 10″ cardboard cake circles to the bottom with medical tape.¬† Place in the freezer for 20-30 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, soften vanilla ice cream by sitting out at room temperature for about 10 minutes. Place half the vanilla in a mixing bowl and using ONLY a Heavy Duty Mixer, mix the ice cream at medium speed until it is just a little bit harder than soft serve ice cream.
  3. Remove the prepared pan from the freezer and spread the ice cream in the bottom. Place back in the freezer for 20 minutes.
  4. Repeat Step #2 with the chocolate ice cream, however use the entire container for the second layer.
  5. Prepare the shortbread by crushing with a rolling pin. Place shortbread crumbles in a bowl and add caramel sauce 1/4 cup at a time, mixing well between each addition. You want the crumbles to be moist, but not sticky or wet.  Return to freezer for another 20 minutes.
  6. Chop the mini twix bars and set aside.
  7. Mix the remaining vanilla ice cream in a Heavy Duty Mixer to almost “soft serve” consistency. Stir in the Twix pieces and place this on top of the cake as the last layer.
  8. Return to freezer for at least 5 hours. More is better. Once cake is pretty much frozen solid, remove the pan by sliding a knife around the edges then opening the spring on the pan and pulling off gently.
  9. Top the cake with Whipped Cream Frosting (recipe follows) and decorate as desired.

Whipped Cream Frosting

 2 cups heavy whipping cream

1 tsp. vanilla

1/4 cup powdered sugar (or more to taste)

  1. Using the whisk attachment on your mixer, combine all ingredients and mix on medium speed for a few minutes until light and fluffy.
  2. Taste the whipped cream and add more sugar, if desired. (I added about 1/2 cup +2 tbsp. because I wanted a sweeter frosting).


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Girl Scout Cookie Fix & Why Slow Weight Loss Wins

Today was my Week 7 weigh-in with a loss of another 1.5 lbs. bringing my total loss so far¬†to 13.5 lbs. Even though I strive to lose 2 lbs/week that has not¬†been happening…and after indulging in some Panera Bread (why do they offer a ‘side of bread’ when you order a sandwich? I swear¬†I wanted to say ‘apple’ but¬†a craving¬†for refined carbs took over!!)¬†on Monday I thought for sure I’d only lose another pound so I was pretty excited to see that extra 1/2 lb. on the scale.

In last week’s weigh-in post I mentioned that it was probably time for me to start exercising….so some of you may be wondering how that is going….well it’s NOT!!! What can I say? I’ve been so worn down and have had allergy-related migraines for the past 3 days so it’s been a struggle just to make it to work each day. Hopefully I’ll start to feel better and I’ll have no more excuses! And hopefully that will help me get back to 2 pounds per week.

Even if it doesn’t….I am ok with that. Or at least that is what I keep telling myself. I read this article “Why Slow Weight Loss Wins”¬†on the Weight Watcher’s website and it is a nice little reminder how losing weight too quickly will pretty much guarantee that you’ll put it back on. I can definitely relate to this because I’ve been through many diets and with a lot of them I lost pretty fast, but yet here I am back to my larger self….so obviously something went wrong. Maybe all those cliche’s are right…”slow and steady wins the race”, “one pound is better than no pounds”??

Anyway…on to the good stuff: Girl Scout Cookies! I am proud to say I survived Girl Scout Cookie Season unharmed…even though everywhere I turned there were cute little girls outside of stores asking me to buy and my co-workers had boxes perched on their desks…I did not eat any!! What is in those things anyway? Some form of Girl Scout crack?!?!

My favorite kind is Thin Mints and so when I came across Edy’s Light Thin Mint Ice Cream (Available for a limited time only!) at the grocery store I grabbed it and it tastes awesome!

I pair it up with¬†Fiber One Brownies¬†¬†for a “brownie sundae” that is low-fat, low-cal heaven! Have you tried these brownies? I was a little skeptical at first, but they are only 2 WW PointsPlus so I gave them a try and was blown away by how good they taste. They are sooooo chocolatey!!

So here is my recipe for a quick and tasty snack with a total WW Points Plus value of 4! Enjoy

Thin Mint Ice Cream/Fiber One Brownie Sundae(Makes 1 serving; 4 WW PP)

1 Fiber One Fudge Brownie

1/4 cup Edy’s Thin Mint Light Ice Cream

  1. Unwrap brownie and place in a bowl. Scoop out 1/4 cup of ice cream, place on top of brownie and indulge!!!



Celebrate Good Times with Slimmed Down Milkshakes

Today is a good day. ‚ÄúWhy?‚ÄĚ you ask. Well I‚Äôve lost 10 pounds over the last four weeks! Only 30 more to go! Initially, when I weighed-in this morning, all I could focus on was that I only lost 1 pound this past week. I felt totally disappointed because I had been losing 2 to 2.5 per week. But then I told myself to get a grip and look at the big picture. I then realized I had lost 10 lbs. in one month, thus making me feel much much happier.

So to celebrate, today’s Slimmed Down Sensations are some easy and tasty milkshake recipes.

No celebration is complete without cake & ice cream, right?! I had been seeing cake batter this and cake batter that all over Pinterest and did an internet search on my own to find a cake batter milkshake. The one that looked the best to me was this one from Betty Crocker.

Of course, it had way too many calories for me to be able to enjoy and still stick to my diet, so I played around with it and came up with the version in this post.

And speaking of cake…has anyone tried the special edition Birthday Cake Oreo?

As soon as I saw them I knew I had to try them, but I put it off because I am trying to be a good girl and Oreo’s are not only one of my favorites but are one of my biggest weaknesses. To have a pack of Oreo’s in the house would not be pretty (could probably eat half the pack in one sitting, at least!). Today, however, I gave in and decided to pick up a pack anyway. These are 2 WW Points Plus per cookie, but soooo worth it!  Sooo goood!

I already make an Oreo milkshake, which is basically made the same as the Cake Batter Milkshake with a few minor modifications. Decided I would just substitute one birthday cake Oreo for the reduced fat one I normally would use. This bumped up the WW Points Plus from 4 to 5, but still not bad for such a yummy treat!

So here’s to shedding my first 10 lbs!  Yummmmmmmm!!!

Slimmed Down Cake Batter Milkshake (WW Points Plus = 4)

¬Ĺ cup almond milk

1/3 cup fat free vanilla ice cream

2 tbsp. vanilla (yellow or white) cake mix

2 tbsp. sugar free vanilla syrup (i.e. Torani or DaVinci)

1 cup ice

1 tbsp. rainbow sprinkles

2 tbsp. fat free whipped cream (optional)

  1.  Combine all ingredients except for sprinkles in a blender and blend until smooth and ice is crushed.
  2. Pour into a glass and stir in half of the sprinkles.
  3. Top with whipped cream and remaining sprinkles.
  4. Enjoy!

Slimmed Down Oreo Milkshake (WW Points Plus = 4)

¬Ĺ cup almond milk

¬Ĺ cup fat free vanilla ice cream

2 tbsp. sugar free vanilla syrup (ex. Torani or DaVinci)

1 cup ice

1 Reduced Fat Oreo Cookie

2 tbsp. fat free whipped cream (optional)

  1. Combine all ingredients in a blender and blend until ice is crushed and desired consistency is reached.
  2. Top with whipped cream, if desired.

Slimmed Down Birthday Cake Oreo Milkshake (WW Points Plus = 5)

¬Ĺ cup almond milk

¬Ĺ cup fat free vanilla ice cream

2 tbsp. sugar free vanilla syrup (ex. Torani or DaVinci)

1 cup ice

1 Birthday Cake Oreo Cookie

2 tbsp. fat free whipped cream (optional)

  1.  Combine all ingredients in a blender and blend until ice is crushed and desired consistency is reached.
  2. Top with whipped cream, if desired.
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