Chonky Boys: The Chocolate Chip Cookie Ice Cream Sandwiches that Scream Summer!

Featuring my thick and nuggy Chonky Boy Chocolate Chip Cookies, these ice cream sandwiches are the stuff that summer dreams are made of.  If you've ever had the Cookie Ice Cream Sandwich at Disneyland , you are going to LOVE these!  These big and bold chocolate chip cookies are based on a recipe from my culinary school studies at Auguste Escoffier, but with a few modifications to give them that Jennuine touch.  They make the perfectas book for a fat slice of real vanilla bean ice cream.  And those mini chips?  You just gotta have that extra cronch! Thank goodness this recipe only makes 8 sandwiches, otherwise I would be eating them for breakfast lunch and dinner.  This way, my big family can help save me from my inner child diet-saboteur.   Print With Image Without Image Chonky Boy Chocolate Chip Cookie Ice Cream Sandwiches Yield: 8 Author: Jenn Erickson Loaded with chocolate chips and buttery, brown-sugary vanilla flavor, these mall-sized cookies form a perfect partnership with a

iCarly Culinary Challenge: Spaghetti Tacos

If you  have a son or daughter between the ages of seven and thirteen, you're probably familiar of with Nickelodeon's hit show iCarly.  If you've experienced your share of Random Dancing, know that Sam loves ribs more than life itself, and have developed a maternal affection for Gibby, read on...  If you enjoy spaghetti and garlic bread, and are always up for trying something new (even if it's a little unorthodox) stick around for the ride...

Being huge iCarly fans, it was only a matter of time before my girls made their plea for "Spaghetti Tacos" ~ one of the wacky culinary creations of Carly's older brother, Spencer -- an artist and loveable goofball.  The gauntlet was thrown down, the challenge raised:  To create a Spaghetti Taco that would be enjoyed by kids and grown-ups alike, would have ease of preparation, but great flavor, and that you wouldn't be entirely embarassed to tell other people that you made and actually enjoyed them!

With our wrap-everything-in-a-tortilla, "Wrap" crazed culture giving me a comfort zone from which to begin, I approached this recipe as a "Spaghetti & Garlic Bread Wrap".  My goal was to create an amalgam of the best features of both the iconic Mexican taco and the classic Italian spaghetti Marinara. 

I started out with a flour tortilla, rather than corn, to synthesize a garlic bread-like foundation.  When the tortilla emerges from the oil, all golden brown and delicious, I hit it with a little salt and garlic powder.  

The "taco meat" was bulk Italian sausage, browned, crumbled and drained of as much fat as possible.  I used a standard dry spaghetti (Barilla), and a jarred sauce (Safeway Signature Artichoke & Pesto Marinara).  I considered adding a little Caesar salad for the something "green", but opted to serve this on the side instead.  The toppings stayed simple:  some freshly grated sharp cheddar cheese and a few sliced black olives for contrast. 

The results?  Fantastic!  Four out of four "tasters" approved.  No, I won't be serving Spaghetti Tacos every night.   Yes, I will continue to make my homemade sauces and breads, strive for organic and buy "locally grown", and never give up on trying to find new healthy and interesting foods that my kids will eat.  But, like the tater tot, every food has it's time and place (see my Fourth of July post).  "Everything in Moderation" and "All in good Fun"!

Want to make your own Spaghetti Tacos?  Why not throw an iCarly party this summer?  You can always burn off the extra calories with some "RANDOM DANCING"!

iCarly inspired
Spaghetti Tacos
Makes 6

1/2 pound dry spaghetti
1 ½ cups spaghetti sauce
1 pound bulk Italian sausage (no casings)
1 ½ cups spaghetti sauce
½ cup oil
2 Tablespoons butter
6 small flour tortillas8 oz finely grated sharp cheddar
½ cup sliced black olives
Salt and garlic powder to taste

Prepare spaghetti according to manufacturer’s directions.  Drain, reserving 2 TB of the cooking liquid.  Return spaghetti and 2 TB cooking liquid to pot and stir in the sauce.  Season with salt to taste.  Set aside.

In a large saucepan, break apart bulk sausage and cook over medium-high heat until cooked through and lightly browned and caramelized around the edges.  Drain and set aside.

In a large saucepan heat oil and butter, over medium-high heat.  Add tortillas, one at a time, browning on both sides.  Remove from pan to a paper-towel lined plate to soak up some of the oil.  Shake a little garlic powder and salt on one side, then fold in half so that the seasoned side is on the inside.

Serve:  Fill warm taco shells with a layer of sausage, following by a scoop of spaghetti, and garnished with cheddar cheese and black olives. 

A little Random Dancing after dinner will render this meal virtually guilt-free!

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