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

Lemony Couscous Salad and Other Recipes for Gourmet Outdoor Cooking
{Campfire Cuisine Book Review and Giveaway}

The summer camping season is almost here!
Why not try out a menu that goes beyond baked beans and weenies?
Camping provides new challenges and 
exciting opportunities for those 
who love to cook and enjoy great food.

Recently I had the opportunity to preview Campfire Cuisine by Robin Donovan (Quirk Books, ISBN9781594746284, April 30, 2013). Slim enough to slip into a backpack, but packed with creative recipes, this 191 page book is the ultimate guide for die-hard foodies and novice cooks alike. You can enter to win a copy at the end of this post.  

My girls' annual Girl Scout camping trip provided the perfect opportunity to try out a handful of recipes from Campfire Cuisine with a big group of kids and foodie parents.

Our group campsite was situated on a bucolic private pond.
The girls had fun observing the wildlife and wildflowers in the area.
They also enjoyed some traditional Girl Scout activities like soap carving.
Campfire Cuisine  contains more than 100 recipes for cooking in the Great Outdoors, which are divided into the following categories:
  • Salad Dressings, Sauces, Marinades, and more
  • Breakfasts
  • Sandwiches, Salads, and such
  • Snacks and Appetizers
  • Entrees
  • Cooked Vegetables, Grains, and other sides
  • Desserts 

The book also includes a chapter thoughtfully arranged with tips on gearing up, playing it safe, stocking your pantry, and planning your menu.

We have several vegetarians in our group, so I decided to put only meatless recipes to the test.  Campfire Cuisine is loaded with delicious and easy recipes that are completely meat-free. 

Here's what we tried:

For Starters:
Savory Cheese S'mores
The Verdict:  A big hit with kids and parents alike!

This is a savory twist on the classic S'more.  It's so easy and makes an incredible appetizer!  Small balls of fresh mozzarella stand in for the marshmallow.  Olive tapenade or sundried tomato pesto take the place of the chocolate.  The graham cracker is replaced by pita crackers and rosemary flatbreads. 

Make It Again? YES

My tips:  The mozzarella toasts best when it's dry.  Drain the mozzarella at home, then store in a jar lined with paper towels.

Eastern flavor:
Baba Ghanoush
The Verdict:  Loved it! This recipe is so easy and is the perfect way to bring some international flavor to your outdoor dining.

Why let hummus have all the fun? This traditional Middle Eastern Eggplant dip is a natural fit for outdoor cooking.  It starts by pricking a whole eggplant with a fork.  The eggplant is cooked over the fire for 15 minutes till soft.  It is sliced in half and the insides scooped.  The tender, smoky eggplant is mixed with lemon juice, olive oil, garlic, tahini and spices.  We grilled up our pita bread before serving with our Baba Ghanoush.

Make It Again? YES

My tips:  It's important that the eggplant doesn't turn to charcoal on the outside before it has a chance to cook on the inside.  If you find that your eggplant is charring too quickly, find a cooler place in the fire or grill.  It needs the full 15 minutes to cook through to the middle.  For my spices, I used a 7-day pill box from the dollar store to transport a selection of spices, including salt, pepper, cumin and Za'atar.

On the side:
Lemony Couscous Salad

The Verdict:  Fresh, light and flavorful! Ready in a snap.

We were all amazed at how quickly this dish came together.  All we had to do was boil water and the added couscous was ready in 5 minutes!  This dish is so versatile.  You can add any vegetables that your family enjoys.

Make It Again? YES

My tips:  I chopped up my veggies and juiced and zested the lemons at home.  I placed everything in a single mason jar and stored it in our cooler.  That way, all we had to do at the campsite was boil the water and cook the couscous.  The whole dish was ready in under 10 minutes and was a real crowd pleaser!

Here's the recipe, compliments of Quirk Books:

Lemony Couscous Salad
serves 4

  • 1 cup water
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup uncooked couscous
  • Juice and zest of 2 lemons
  • 1 medium cucumber, peeled, seeded, and diced
  • 1 medium red, orange, or yellow bell pepper, seeded and diced
  • 2 green onions, thinly sliced
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil

Bring the water, with the salt added, to a boil.  Remove from heat.  Add couscous, stir,and cover.  Let sit for 5 minutes.  Fluff with a fork and allow to cool.  Stir in the remaining ingredients and serve.

A sweet ending:
Baked Chocolate Bananas

The Verdict:  Sensational! It's a great way to sneak a little fresh fruit into dessert too!

It's as simple as slitting open a bunch of bananas and letting the campers fill them with chocolate chips and other goodies.  The bananas are wrapped in foil and are cooked for 10-15 minutes.  When they emerge from the fire, they are perfectly roasted and oozing with melted chocolate.  As we enjoyed our bananas, we fantasized about all of the possibilities for fillings we could bring next year.

Make It Again? YES

My tips:  If making baked bananas for a crowd, be sure to have a Sharpie pen on hand so you can label the foil-wrapped bananas.  That way, everyone is sure to get their own creation.

Some of the other recipes that caught our fellow-camper's eyes:  

  • Bananas Foster French Toast
  • Skillet Scones
  • Pan-Fried Bread with Blue Cheese Pears and Maple Syrup
  • Barbecued Peking Duck Wraps
  • Spicy-Cheesy Corn Cakes
  • Prosciutto, Fig and Goat Cheese Sandwiches
  • Foil Baked Yams with Spicy Chili Butter
  • Rum-Baked Peaches
  • Maple-Caramel Baked Apples

Bottom Line:  People who love to cook, eat great food, and enjoy the great outdoors should slip a copy of Campfire Cuisine into their mess kit.  Not only are the recipes quick, easy, and delicious for cooking outdoors, they're good enough to want to make once you get back home too.

My friends at Quirk Books are giving away a copy of Campfire Cuisine to one lucky camper!  Enter below.  Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Disclosure:  I received a complimentary review copy of Campfire Cuisine.  I have received NO compensation for this review.  All opinions are my own.  

This post has been linked-up with:
The BFF Open House @ The Answer is Chocolate
Tickled Pink @ 504 Main
The Backyard BBQ Blog Hop @ All Done Monkey

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