David Nicholls One Day is about to be released as a movie starring Anne Hathaway. I saw the trailer, and I must say, I did not buy her British accent at all! So when I saw the book in the store, I figured, I better read this quick before the movie ruins it. I am glad I did - maybe the movie will be great, but the book was a wonderful, fun, romantic read. The book follows two Brits - Dexter and Emma, and explores their lives and relationship by checking in with them on the same day - July 15, every year. As you can imagine, there are great ups and downs, and the characters are sometimes charming and sometimes awful and are sometimes wonderful to each other and sometimes horrible to each other. The book breezed by but ended with a bit more drama and emotion than I was prepared for. That's all I say. I should have made something British but I got in my head I should make something heart shaped since this was a book about love. These strawberry cheesecake ice cream sandwiches (made with homemade graham crackers) fit the bill of being both heart shaped and season appropriate. Enjoy!
One Day starts on July 15, 1988, when Dex and Emma spend an almost scandalous night together on the day they graduated from University. Their encounter is awkward - they seem mismatched. Emma is a quirky politically active liberal feminist student - not really sure where she is going in life. Dex seems like more of an old boy, from a posh family and a bit of a heart breaker. The morning after their night together (July 15), could have ended with an uncomfortable sneak out, but instead the two end up going on a hike to the highest point in Edinburgh, and a real connection is formed. Over the years there lives take very different paths. Early on, Emma seems lost, without real purpose in life, working miserable jobs, like in a Mexican restaurant, dating people that are not quiet right for her. Dex starts out better, getting a job as the host of a cheesy music television program - living it up, with a great apartment, an active social life and fancy warddrobe. The two keep in touch, despite the different trajectories of their lives. Eventually, Emma's life starts to head in the right direction, just as Dex's life falls apart. Throughout the book, each year the reader thinks that these two will finally realize that they are meant to be together, and this anticipation really pushes the novel along, it is one of those can't put it down books. I think most people will recognize themselves or their friends at some point in this book - whether it is the lost trying to find yourself time in your twenties or the period in your thirties when everyone you know is getting married and having kids. Even when these characters are annoying, we love them, are laughing at them and are routing for them. Great beach read.
Graham Cracker and Strawberry Ice Cream Sandwiches
Strawberry Cheesecake Ice Cream
Adapted from epicurious.com [This was one of the easiest, yummiest ice cream I have ever made, highly recommend!)
1 quart strawberries, hulled
8 ounces softened cream cheese
3/4 cup sugar
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 cup milk
pinch of salt
1/2 cup heavy milk
Directions: Puree all ingredients except heavy cream in a blender or food processor. Stir in the heavy cream. Refrigerate till totally cook then put through your ice cream maker. Line a baking pan with plastic wrap, spread ice cream over it and cover and freeze till totally hard.
Graham Cookies Adapted from Heidi Swanson's 101cookbooks.com
I think if you rolled these thinner they would be closer to a true graham cracker. Because I was using them for these ice cream sandwiches, I left these cookies a little thicker.
1 and 1/2 cups of all purpose flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 cup dark brown sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
7 tablespoons unsalted butter, very cold, cut into small cubes
1/3 cup of honey
1 cup whole milk
2 tablespoons vanilla extract
Directions: In either a food processor with steel blade or food processor with paddle attachment (that's what I went with) combine all the dry ingredients, mix together. Add butter and pulse until mixture is like crumbs.
In a small bowl combine the honey, milk and vanilla. Add the milk mixture to the flour mixture and mix until combined and dough barely binds together, it will be sticky.
Turn the dough out onto a floured work surface and kneed slightly and form a rectangle. Wrap in plastic and refrigerate for at least 2 hours, or overnight.
When you are ready to bake, preheat oven to 350. Line a couple of baking sheets with parchment paper. Roll out dough, it should be about 1/4 - 1/2 inch thick for these ice cream sandwiches. Cut out using a cookie cutter of your choice, put on parchment lined baking sheet. Poke holes in it with fork. Refrigerate for about 30 minutes. Then bake for about 22-25 minutes, till edges are lightly browned. Let cool completely on wire racks.
To assemble: Take the ice cream out of freezer and let it soften a tiny little bit. Use cookie cutter to cut out a shape in the ice cream, put the cut out onto the backside of a cookie, put another cookie on top, wrap immediately in plastic or foil and put back in the freezer. Repeat many times. These are best I think frozen over night, the cookie softens further so you can bite into them. Enjoy!