Showing posts from May, 2014

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…

Quartz Crystal Rock Favor-Gift Idea and Free End-of-School-Year Printable

Earlier this year, I completed my teaching program in a 2nd/3rd-grade combination class with a wonderful master teacher!  It was a fabulous experience, and it was really hard to say goodbye at the end of my 8-weeks.  I didn't want the school year to end without visiting the kids and my mentor, so I popped in the other day for a surprise visit.  I remembered from my time there, that the kids were fascinated with hunting for rocks and minerals.  So, I came up with this rock-solid end-of-the-school-year gift for each of them.

Rather than candy or junky toys, these little gifts offer up a piece of the earth's history -- a real quartz crystal.  These natural wonders make an excellent gift for students to pass out to their classmates for the end of the year or Valentine's Day, for a teacher to give to their students, or as party favors at a science or archaeology themed party.  

I was lucky to have a friend bring my crystals back from a trip to Brazil, but I did a little research …

Free Vintage Scrap: Angel Children

Just look at these sweet little Victorian faces!
This sheet of vintage scrap came from a store that sold German imports in Carmel-by-the-Sea many decades ago.  Aren't they darling?
I've cleaned up a few of the angel girls individually for you to use as well.

Free Printable Movie Ticket Style Invitations: How to Train Your Dragon

It's heartwarming to hear all the stories and receive all the thank-yous from families who have used my free birthday party templates to celebrate the special day of a loved one (The Lego Movie and Frozen).

I've decided to continue to make these freebies a regular feature here at Rook No. 17.  This time, I'm featuring How to Train Your Dragon from DreamWorks.  To say that my family loved the first movie would be an understatement.  We only hope that the sequel will offer up an equally enchanting story and memorable characters as the first.
Below, are the three different How to Train Your Dragon themed Movie Theater Style Invitations that can be downloaded for free, personalized and printed.
Disclaimer -- PLEASE READ -- These templates are not for sale and are not for profit. I'm sharing the templates free of charge, but as such, am not able to provide any custom work or tech support for how to use photo editing software. If you're new to photo editing and are am…

Recipe Rewind: Cool Off With An Orange Creamsicle Cooler

Cool and creamy as vanilla soft-serve and bursting with sunkissed orange, the Creamsicle is a classic summer cool-off treat!

Of course, a summer's day and frozen sunshine-on-a-stick can lead to a pretty sticky situation. So today I'm sharing this recipe for an Orange Creamsicle Cooler that I originally created for Pfister last summer. What better way to enjoy the lazy days of summer than lolling in a hammock or reclining on a lawn chair, taking long slow sips of this frosty treat?  

And when the summer swelter gives way to the crisp air of fall, it's nice to know that a sip of summertime and childhood nostalgia is only a few whirrs of the blender away .

Creamsicle Cooler  Makes two 8 oz. glasses 2 regular scoops orange sherbet1 regular scoop vanilla ice cream1 cup orange juice (we use fresh squeezed)1/2 cup lowfat milk
Combine ingredients in a blender at high speed for 10 seconds, or until frothy. Pour in a glass, top with homemade whipped cream. Sit back, relax, and enjoy!

Recipe: Whipped Lemon Olive Oil Butter with Fresh Thyme

My husband and I had the most wonderful housemade butter at a local restaurant this weekend.  It was made with goat cheese, butter, and lemon olive oil.
I had some heavy cream in the fridge, leftover from making truffles. It's just been sitting there, getting older by the day.  It was time to use it or lose it.

So after enjoying that amazing butter, I decided to whip up a homemade version of my own, without goat cheese. Homemade butter is ridiculously easy to make. All you need is heavy cream, an electric mixer (stand or hand-held) and cheese cloth.

The beauty of this gourmet whipped butter is that it's made with both cream and olive oil.  The texture is smooth and silky and the flavor is light and fresh.  Because the lemon flavor comes from an infused oil, you don't get the pithy tastes that often comes from using fresh zest.

If you're looking for a way to cut down on butter in favor of healthier fats, forget those processed grocery store blends.  You can make your own in…

Feed your Body and Soul: Chicken Parmesan {Wheat Free}
With Barilla® and Feeding America

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Barilla®.  All opinions are genuine and are my own.

Here's an easy and delicious supper recipe that everyone will enjoy -- whether they're on a gluten free diet or not.  The Parmesan crusted chicken breasts are crispy and tender.  You won't miss the soggy wheat.  This recipe uses ingredients that are whole; no preservatives, no junk.  

My recipe uses Barilla® sauce, which is gluten-free, kosher, and preservative free.  The ingredients read like a recipe for homemade sauce. 

Here's where this recipe gets even better:  Barilla® has partnered with Feeding America -- the nation's largest organization dedicated to fighting domestic hunger through their network of food banks.  You can "Taste the Difference and Make a Difference" with your purchase of Barilla® sauce.  For every jar purchased through the end of May 2014, Barilla® will donate $0.05 to Feeding America's National Produce Program with a minimum do…

Happy Star Wars Day: The Making of Darth Chocolate

A long time ago In a galaxy far, far away...
...Before Star Wars candy and ice cube molds could be found at geek emporiums throughout the universe...
...Fans had to rely on their own creativity, and channeled the force to bring their Star Wars dreams to life...

When I saw these Star Wars themed Easter treat containers at Target this year, I didn't know immediately what I would do with them, but I had to have them.  I cleared the shelf and stashed away my collection of mini Darth Vader helmets; as happy as a Wookie with a cookie.

I'm not the only Star Wars fan in the family -- My husband and I have made sure to raise our kids right.  So, as Star Wars Day (May 4 -- "May the Fourth Be With You") approached, there was a clamor from our little jawas to make a Star Wars themed treat.

That's where Chef Andre, chocolatiering instructor -- my culinary Obi Wan -- comes in.  One of the most profound jewels of wisdom passed down by this Jedi Knight of the Chocolate Arts was that cand…

Recipe: Balsamic Glazed Mushroom Ragout Over Polenta

This is one of my favorite meatless meals.  The balsamic glazed mushroom ragout makes for a hearty addition to the crisp-on-the-outside, creamy-on-the-inside panfried polenta. 

The dish is table-ready in less than 30 minutes, is gluten-free and can be modified for vegetarian and vegan lifestyles.

 Ready to dig in?

Balsamic Glazed Mushroom RagoutServes 2-3 1 Tablespoon butter (you can substitute oil)1 Tablespoon bacon grease (you can substitute oil or butter)1 pound Crimini mushrooms stemmed and cut into small cubespinch of kosher salt1 shallot, finely chopped1 large clove garlic, minced1 teaspoon fresh thyme, choppedpepper to taste1/2 cup chicken stock (or veggie broth), divided3 Tablespoons aged balsamic vinegar (the thicker, the better)1 Tablespoon heavy cream 2 teaspoons fresh parsley, chopped, plus more for garnishStep 1:  In a large skillet, melt butter and bacon grease (or substitutes).  Add mushrooms, salt and shallot, cooking on medium-high, stirring occasionally, until mushroom…