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

Our Favorite Kid-Friendly Appetizer: Bacon Wrapped Water Chestnuts

A little history:  The origin of the bacon-wrapped water chestnut recipe (a mock-Polynesian dish called Rumaki) can be traced all the way back to Palm Springs in 1941.  I can't claim to have been there, but do I remember hovering near the Rumaki tray at my parents' cocktail parties back in the 1970s.   Flash forward to the present:   For my gluten-intolerant, bacon-loving daughter's birthday party, I made a tray of bacon wrapped water chestnuts, and it's been a family favorite ever since.  Crisp, crunchy, salty and smoky, these bite sized appetizers are as easy for kids to prepare as they are to eat!  Try them for your next party! Kid-Friendly Finger Food: Bacon Wrapped Water Chestnuts Makes:  24 Time:  10 minute prep, 30 minute bake 2  8oz. cans whole water chestnuts, drained and dried with a paper towel or lint free cloth 12 pieces high quality bacon, divided into two shorter pieces Preheat oven to 425° F.  Arrange an oven rack on the to

Lemony Cucumber Bulgur Salad with Greek Yogurt Dill Dressing

The other day I discovered a quick and delicious recipe for baked salmon that is table-ready in 15-minutes ( HERE ).  While the salmon was baking, I whipped up a healthy and delicious side dish -- Lemony Cucumber Bulgur Salad with a garlicky Greek yogurt dill dressing .  It's the perfect accompaniment to a light dinner of baked fish or chicken.  Here's how it's done: Lemony Cucumber Bulgur Salad with Greek Yogurt Dill Dressing Serves:  6 Time:  15 minutes   1 cup quick-cooking bulgur (I used Trader Joe's ) Two small lemons, juiced and zested 2 Tablespoons plain, nonfat Greek Yogurt 1 large garlic clove, crushed 1/4 cup olive oil 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt 1/2 teaspoon McCormick® California Style Onion Powder 1/2 teaspoon Lawry's® Seasoned Salt 1 teaspoon McCormick® Dill Weed 1/2 an English Cucumber, diced 2 Roma tomatoes, seeded and diced Step 1:  Prepare bulgur by bringing a large pot of salted water to a boil.  A

Baked Crusted Salmon - Table ready in 15 minutes
{Sponsored by McCormick & Company}

This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of McCormick & Company . All opinions are 100% mine. Dinner time is an important time for families to sit down, share the events of the day and tuck in to a healthy and delicious meal.  At the end of a long day, however, I often find that I lack the energy to put on an elaborate production in the kitchen.  That's why I'm thankful for a handful of treasured recipes that allow me to prepare fantastic meals that the whole family enjoys, but take under 15 minutes to whip up. My most recent such find is the  Baked Crusted Salmon from .  This simple, elegant dish is as perfectly suited to a family dinner as it would be to impress a date.   Accepting an opportunity to work with McCormick was a no-brainer.  After all, McCormick spices have been a part of my kitchen as far back as I can remember.  McCormick Lemon-Pepper is my favorite seasoning on broiled Tilapia and baked chicken.  A tuna s

Tips & Tricks for the Perfect Caramel Apple

  I make caramel apples twice every year -- for Halloween in the fall and for the end of the school year in the spring.  While my caramel recipe remains constant, I'm ever striving to tackle the common pitfalls of caramel apple-making. Have you ever made caramel apples and had the caramel start to puddle when you set the apple on the tray?  This year, I came up with a simple solution that creates a nice smooth even coat of caramel all over the apple.  I used a baking rack to invert the apples as the caramel, and later the chocolate, set.  If you don't have a high baking rack, you can set either side of a legless baking rack up on a few cans.   Once you've bitten through the sweet candy outside, you're left with nothing but an apple on a stick, right?   Problem solved -- cut your apple with an apple slicer.  You lose nothing but the core!  I used to play around with different flavor combinations, but the ones that always get the most applause

Better With Sprinkles: Fall Pinwheel Icebox Cookies
{PLUS a Sprinkles! Cookbook Giveaway}

There are two sights that will never fail to send me into fits of girlish glee -- sprinkles and glitter. Wherever they are sprinkled, joy is sure to follow.  So it was with childlike delight that I greeted the arrival of an advanced copy of Sprinkles! Recipes and Ideas for Rainbowlicious Desserts by Jackie Alpers (release date October 15, 2013). photo source: Jackie Alpers Playful and creative, this book of sugary sweet recipes and eye-popping photography is a delight to behold.  An award-winning photographer, Alpers brings an artist's eye to the table as she presents dozens of ways to liven up breakfast sweets, cookies, cakes, pies and party snacks with sprinkles.  For the super sprinkle smitten, she's even included a tutorial for how to create your own sprinkles from scratch! photo source: Jackie Alpers Here are some of my favorite selections from the 143-page book: Embroidered Sugar Cookies, page 63 Starry Night Fruit Leather, page 121

My Pet Cloud -- An Adorable, Easy and Inexpensive Craft

Adorable, super easy, and less than 15-cents to make... That's what I love about the "Pet Cloud" project. A few months back I saw this ingenious little idea on Pinterest and traced the source to the SWAPS-a-lot website -- a great source for readymade Girl Scout swap kits.  Fast forward to this final week of student teaching in a first-grade classroom.  I wanted to give each student a little something to remember me by.  I wanted to do something sweet, inexpensive and with an inspiring message.  I thought immediately of the Pet Cloud.  The original version is miniaturized to be handed out as a swap at Girl Scout events, but for my clouds, I wanted something a bit bigger. So I put my personal twist on this delightfully squee project by making up a custom tag and poem (free printable below).  My eight-year-old and I whipped up two dozen in less than half and hour and all for around $2.00.  The kids' reactions were priceless!   These swee

Recipe: Dark Chocolate Pumpkin Cheesecake Truffles
{with salted pumpkin seed brittle}

  Happy October!  Student teaching has kept me pretty busy lately, but I couldn't help but whip up a new fall confection over the weekend to share with the staff at my school.  I love the combination of pumpkin, autumn spices and dark chocolate.  It all goes back to childhood with my mom's chocolate chip pumpkin bread that she'd always make around this time of year.     For this two-bite treat, I combined the flavors of pumpkin cheesecake and dark chocolate ganache.  For a crunchy contrast to the smooth truffles, I added a garnish of salted pumpkin seed brittle.  Dark Chocolate Pumpkin Cheesecake Truffles {with salted pumpkin seed brittle garnish} Yield:  Approx. 3 dozen     For the pumpkin cheesecake 2 ounces cream cheese at room temperature 3 Tablespoons pumpkin puree 1/2 Tablespoon butter at room temperature 1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice 1/2 Tablespoon heavy cream 1/4 cup powdered sugar  1 teaspoon real maple syrup For the chocolate