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

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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…

ATTACK OF THE 65 POUND ZUCCHINI

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The world's largest zucchini, to date, is a whopping 65 pounds ~ the average weight of an eight-year-old boy. Wow!
"Why the fascination with giant zucchini," you ask? Well, it all started back in around 1981 when my family decided to turn our side yard into a vegetable garden. After several weekends of sifting rocks and debris from the sandy soil (my brothers and I didn't mind...we were pretending to be 49ers panning for gold), adding in some good ol' manure (remember this was back in the days before organic soil and compost were readily available), and hoeing some rows, we we were ready to "grow". Please pardon the garden puns ~ I clearly can't help myself. We planted carrots, tomatoes, strawberries, corn, an assortment of herbs, and zucchini.
I should probably mention that I grew up in Pebble Beach, California (simple little ranch home, not an estate) ~ an area not typically know for it's sunshine or good climate. We lived in the part of Pebbl…

LUNCHBOX HEROES REVISITED ~ starring YOU!

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Back in August, my friend Jill inspired me to put together an article taking on the issue of picky eaters vs. school lunch. It's an issue I can relate to. Packing a healthy lunch for my eight year old daughter is a daily challenge. It's involved much trial and error and a lot of uneaten food. I think I have it figured out for now, but my formula alone was not enough to solve the woes of all the other parents out there. So, I consulted the EXPERTS: my dream team of amazing mom friends. Thanks ladies!
I started off the discussion with one of my daughter's lunchbox favorites:
HOMEMADE TRAIL MIX: What's great about this is that it's a fun activity as well. We start out by picking healthy items from the grocery store ~ nuts, dried fruits, seeds, whole grain cereals, etc... Have the kids pour all the ingredients into a large zip-loc bag and shake to combine. Instead of buying all of those prepackaged snacks that are loaded with preservatives and sugar, you have a fun and …

WHEN LIFE GIVES YOU POLLY POCKETS...MAKE CAKE!

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A CREATIVE SOLUTION TO "THE POLLY POCKET PROBLEM" (cake model courtesy of Mackenzie Erickson, age 3) Rook No. 17 friend Gina H. from Oklahoma City recently posted a comment on Facebook that struck a chord, "We have entered the Barbie and Polly Pockets era of parenting." Anyone else been there? Are ya there now? It was just a few years ago when the Pollys invaded my home en masse. Their teeny tiny shoes and micro mini skirts were scattered everywhere and I'm absolutely certain that if our civilization were to vanish, Polly Pocket shoes would be one of the few things that archaeologists would be able to find. I'm getting a disturbing visual of cockroaches skittering across an Armageddon landscape in little pink rubber shoes, but I digress. It got to the point where I would vacuum even more than usual, in the hopes that I'd suck up half a dozen Polly pieces in the process, but this tactic was futile. Polly apparel is apparently the only thing that multiplies…

DON'T MISS THIS GIVEAWAY FOR YOUR LITTLE SPROUT!

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Our friends Jaime and Lisa at Sprout Boutiquehave generously given us three fabulous gifts for this week's SWEET SUNDAY giveaway (formerly Sweet Monday Giveaways, but we felt disingenuous calling Monday "sweet").
One lucky winner, drawn at random will receive all of the following (a $50+ retail value)
1) Long sleeve cotton thermal shirt with in the "Give Peas A Chance" motif (size 6).
2) One pair of b&w polkadot certified organic legwarmers from BABEROO
3) One slate gray, supersoft cotton "Chalk It Up" t-shirt with the apple motif. (size 8) unisex
(If you're the winner and need other sizes, the gals at Sprout have assured us that they'll accommodate) ENTERING IS AS EASY AS 1-2-3: HERE'S HOW TO ENTER:
Visit the Sprout Boutique page on Facebook and join the group. -- AND --Visit the Rook No. 17 discussion board on Facebook and post your answer to the baby related question Leave a comment at the end of this post to let us know that you've st…

TIRAMISU FOR DOTTIE & YOU!

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I was nudged out of retirement this week for an opportunity to make some of my favorite little chocolate towers (I call them Parapets) for a very special birthday celebration. The inspiration for the flavor was the classic Italian dessert Tiramisu. 


I started with a little round of lady-finger cake, soaked with Italian espresso; banded it in a collar of white chocolate with a cocoa butter transfer in a black floral scroll pattern (making me nostalgic for my mom's old calico dishes from when I was a child). Once the chocolate had set, the "Parapets" were filled with a dark rum laced mascarpone cream, and topped with a light dusting of cocoa powder. To commemorate the special occasion, I made chocolate letters that sat atop each Parapet to spell out "HAPPY BIRTHDAY DOTTIE". I made some extras so I could share the love around the neighborhood, and am posting a modified version of my recipes below so that you can make some for your friends and family too!
TIRAMISU PA…

GIVEAWAYS ~ THE WAY TO GO...

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We absolutely fell in love with this adorable backpack from Made by Rae, and offered as a Guest Giveaway at Grosgrain Fabulous!

Made by Rae Jackpack Backpack GUEST GIVEAWAY!!!! Giveaways a a wonderful way for new companies, artists, crafters and bloggers to get international exposure and gain a fan following. If you have a product that you would like to promote through Rook No. 17, please contact us. HERE WE'VE HIGHLIGHTED SOME OF OUR FAVORITE GIVEAWAYS IN THE BLOGOSPHERE THIS WEEK: 250 Greeting Cards from "Stay At Home Mom": ENTER HEREA pair of SEE KAI RUN shoes ~ your choice: ENTER HEREHoney Mommy is having a great toy giveaway sponsored by AllChildrensFurniture.com, who sells everything from kid's chairs to toys. ENTER HEREVisit Otherhood for a chance to win a $50 Gift Certificate to Curly Cue Wall Graphics ("Want to spice up your walls or put some spunk in your room? Curly Cue offers really cute and unique wall graphics".) ENTER HEREDolce Mia is offering on…

HALLOWEEN SCAVENGER HUNT ~ Free PDF!

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Last year for my daughter's 7th birthday she requested that her party include a scavenger hunt. My husband and I had a lot of fun just putting the list of items together. We combed the internet, drove around town seeking inspiration, and went into a few local stores and public buildings making arrangements with the people who worked there. What resulted was an outrageously fun time for about twenty of my daughter's friends, plus their parents, siblings, and even some grandparents.

What I loved about this party was that it got everyone outdoors in the fresh air, moving around, seeing our hometown from a new perspective. It required teamwork and strategy, creative thinking and a good sense of humor. We live in the small Victorian town of Pacific Grove, California. Folks that know ol' "PG" will know right away that I likely reside in a "cottage", "bungalow", or "Victorian Charmer", all euphamisms for teeny-tiny-house-on-a-postage-stamp-…

THE BEES KNEES

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We think Sarah at Bit of Whimsy Dolls is simply "the bees knees"! In fact, the girls and I have Sarah to thank for keeping us "busy as bees" last week when we were home sick. The girls and I were getting cabin fever, and had the itch to be creative, so we shut off the tube, jumped online, purchased one of Sarah's PDF patterns for her original Baby Bumblee, and went to work. Our baby bees turned out absolutely adorable and are being snuggled by two very happy, and now healthy little girls. Thanks Sarah!

To purchase patterns from Bit of Whimsy Dolls, visit
http://www.bitofwhimsydolls.com/pdf-epatterns/
Check out Sarah's blog: http://www.bitofwhimsydolls.com/blog/
You can even try out a pattern, for "Eddie Earthworm" FREE here: http://www.bitofwhimsydolls.com/eddie-earthworm/

ROOK NO. 17 SAY'S "I DO" TO:

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If there's a wedding in your future, or if, like me you're happily married but still enchanted by the dresses, the cakes, the whimsy and drama of weddingdom, you won't want to miss a new blog from author, wedding planner, style maven, and our very good friend, Holly Lefevre. HIP, STYLISH, AND TOTALLY COOL WEDDINGS is the ultimate "glam guide for the savvy bride." Holly describes this latest creative endeavor as, "Hip, stylish, & totally cool weddings for the budget savvy bride with above-average style, a fabulous and fun sense of herself, and distinctive ideas about her wedding. It speaks to the hip bride who knows the importance and impact smart spending and savvy thinking can have on her life and her wedding style."



We especially enjoyed the first installment of her feature tackling "WEDDING MYTHS".
We're looking forward to an interview with Holly precluding the release of her latest book, "The Everything Wedding Etiquette Book&…

FLOWER FAIRY TUTORIAL

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By popular request, we've put together a free PDF tutorial so you can make some of these enchanting little flower fairies at home. Please share and enjoy. If you'd like to enter for a chance to win a Flower Fairy Kit (includes everything you need to make three flower fairies, except the glue and wire cutters), please leave a comment below. Be sure to note an email address where we can reach you if you're the lucky winner of the October 1 drawing. Two winners will be chosen at random.
Flower Fairy Tutorial


All-Day Apple Butter ~ A Must-make crockpot recipe for fall

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With the crisp, cozy, cinnamon-spiced season of Fall just around the corner, what better way to usher in the season than with a day of apple picking at a local farm? This month, farms all over the country open up their orchards to give us cityfolk the opportunity to stroll beneath their leafy canopies, heavy with crimson and golden fruits; to fill our bushels and baskets to the brim; to share the bounty with our friends and neighbors, the smell of flaky pies and tender dumplings wafting from our kitchen windows...

For those on the Monterey Peninsula, the place to visit is Gizdich Ranchlocated at 55 Peckham Road in Watsonville. From 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. daily you can pick Golden Delicious, Red Delicious and Pippin apples for just $1.35/pound. Bring your own boxes or baskets, a picnic lunch and enjoy a memorable day with the family.
Try one of our favorite family apple recipes ALL DAY APPLE BUTTER (it's absolutely divine over vanilla ice-cream ~ like a warm apple pie sundae!) 5 1/2 POU…