Showing posts from December, 2010

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.  
PrintWith ImageWithout Image Chonky Boy Chocolate Chip Cookie Ice Cream SandwichesYield: 8Author: Jenn Erickson Loaded with chocolate chips and buttery, brown-sugary vanilla flavor, these mall-sized cookies form a perfect partnership with a fat wedg…

BACONIAN MEASURES -- Bacon & Caramelized Onion Brie

Bacon?  Brie?  Yes! Why?  Why not? It's Bacon for Pete's sake!
A few weeks ago my good pal Holly and I were crafting and kibitzing over cheese and crackers when suddenly our brie was under attack by my eldest daughter who has a habit of extracting the creamy middle from a slice of brie with vampiric speed and accuracy, leaving only a flopping shell of white rind in her wake.  This is the same child who swears off all meat, but would (if allowed) devour an entire pound of bacon in one sitting.  So, Holly and I joked that the perfect food for my daughter would be a dish that combines both bacon and brie.  We laughed about it momentarily, but then the gears started turning and the room went deadly quiet.  "What if...?" we pondered.  There's already bacon popcorn, bacon candy, bacon pancakes, and my favorite -- Holly's Bacon Chocolate Chip Cookies (recipe HERE).  Why not a brie with bacon then?

And that is how the Bacon and Caramelized Onion brie was born.  I caramel…

NEW YEAR'S TRADITION -- Silver Dollar Pancakes for Luck & Prosperity!

To achieve this celebratory look, you can use numeric refrigerator magnets, or print and cut out numbers from your computer.  Giving the paper numbers a quick dunk in a bowl of water will insure that the numbers stick to the pancakes (without affecting taste).  Sprinkle with powdered sugar, and remove paper numbers.
click the thumbnail above to download  New Year stencil template

All over the world, different cultures have unique ways of celebrating the New Year and symbolizing luck, happiness, and prosperity for the coming year. I've learned that in Spain it is customary to eat 12 grapes at midnight.  I'm looking forward to sharing this custom with my friends (it's perfect for the kids and those not drinking champagne) this New Year's Eve.  In the American South, Hoppin' John, a dish made with black-eyed peas is a popular first meal of the New Year.  In this tradition, dating back to the Civil War, the peas are said to symbolize coins, and are often served with colla…

Holiday Tidings -- Nutcracker Suite Inspired Mixed Media Christmas Card

For our family Christmas card this year I created a mixed-media collage using bits of vintage paper, ephemera, and vintage images printed from the computer.  The Nutcracker is "played" by my youngest daughter (who fancies herself a bit of a tomboy).  The body of the "Nutcracker" is from an old French paper doll set. "Clara" is "played" by my eldest daughter.  Her body was made from a copy of a photograph of my paternal grandmother when she was a child.  After completing the collage, I scanned it in to my computer and uploaded it to an online service that printed the image on personalized postcards.  The postcards were a no-brainer, since they were unique, cost-effective, and a greener option than our usual Christmas cards, since they use less paper and don't require envelopes.
To all of the wonderful people who've made my year special by being a part of the positive vibes and creative sharing here at Rook No. 17, I wish you the warmest a…


You've perhaps heard it mentioned that I have a particular weakness for glittery things.  It is, in part, what inspired the name of my blog (black birds have a natural attraction to shiny objects).  So, each time I visit my friend Holly's place and my eyes catch sight of one of the incredible glittered flowers she's fashioned out of simple wood pieces, I go into a sort of glitter induced trance.  
Recently, Holly added some of her magnificent jewel-toned creations to her Christmas tree, and I nearly went catatonic from the glitter euphoria.  Fortunately she was able to lull me back to reality with the promise of brie and some of her homemade spinach dip.  But I digress...
I'm truly honored to count Holly, the amazing gal behind 504 Main, not only as a great friend and ally in the blogosphere, but as a real-life friend as well.  I was thrilled when she agreed to share her Glittering Flowers tutorial here at Rook No. 17.   Without further ado, I give you Holly: -------------…

Snowman S'more Bar Kit in a Jar -- An Easy, Last Minute Gift Project for the whole Family

There hasn't been a lot of time for cookie baking or candy making this year at our house.  Still, the girls wanted to continue the tradition of making homemade gifts for their friends, and I found the perfect project from Loralee at No Fuss Fabulous, by doing a Christmas twist on her Bunny Brownies.

These adorable S'more Bar kits can be put together in just minutes and are fun for the kids to make.  I'm looking forward to keeping one to bake up and sample with the girls.
Here's what you need to make 6 kits:
6 1-Quart Canning Jars 4 12.60 oz. bags holiday M&M candies 4 packages Peeps Snowmen 2 boxes (6 sleeves) Graham Crackers 2 cups light brown sugar Snowman S'more Kit Labels (optional) -- FREE download below Snowman S'more Kit Instruction Labels (optional) -- FREE download below
To assemble a jar:
Pour in 1 1/4 cups M&Ms Insert one group of Snowmen on top of M&Ms (The Snowmen are packaged 3 to a group) Complete the circle with another trio of Snowmen Using a lar…


I've been trying to manage my time a little better lately, and as a result I had the opportunity this past week to visit the blogs of some of the creative and talented people out there.  
I was thrilled to have come across a post by Lisa at "The Pursuit of Happiness" where she shared her recipe for Cranberry Upside-down Cake (adapted from a Cooking Light).  We were having dinner with friends on Sunday, and the festive cake sounded like just the perfect sweet treat to bring. I got an extra surprise when my husband offered to do the baking!  He doubled the recipe and baked it in a 12" round cake pan lined with parchment.  
It came out beautifully.  The cranberries glistened like ruby-red Christmas baubles.  The cake was absolutely delicious!  Because we doubled the recipe, each family was able to take some cake home for the next day.  My husband and I enjoyed ours with our coffee in the morning.
Whether you're looking for an easy and elegant cake for a holiday desser…

Charitable Gift Giving with a Fanciful Twist -- Glittered Gift Box Tutorial

During these tough economic times, many of us have come to the realization that "less is more" and that "we already have enough stuff".  When it comes to holiday gift-giving, what does one get for the person who "doesn't really need anything"?  Charitable donations are one of my favorite ways to honor a person who already has a lot of stuff, by helping another person who has nothing.  
There are so many incredible, worthy charities to choose from, and it's easier than ever to make donations quickly and securely online.   Many charitable organizations have certificates that you can print online to share with the honoree.

But, if you're looking for a little something EXTRA -- a way to add some sparkle and magic to the gift of charity, then I have a whimsical and (believe it or not) EASY project for you!

You can customize these glittered giving boxes to complement the charity you choose.  For my gifts this year, I chose two of my favorite organizat…