Oatmeal Ice Cream Sandwich Cookies

I am still in Hawaii celebrating one year with K, so this was written a little while ago. If you checked out the apple pie ice cream on Wednesday then you know that today is Oatmeal Cookie day! Since my tastes tend to run sweet, and I like crunchy toppings with my ice cream, I thought that oatmeal sandwich cookies would go well with the apple pie ice cream. The next trouble was finding a good recipe. Part of the reason I chose this one from David Lebovitz over other ones is that he promised they would stay soft even while frozen. He has not let me down before, so I went with it. Unfortunately, I must have either overbaked them or just have a different definition of “soft” because they turned out super crunchy. I was so disappointed!

The flavor was still really good, so I decided to try them. As they cooled, they were still crunchy, but after pairing them with the ice cream, they reached the perfect consistency. They have crunch, but don’t cause the ice cream to go gushing when you take a bite. So, do not have the same fears that I did. These are truly awesome ice cream sandwich cookies.

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Apple Pie Ice Cream

Happy Wednesday! This is a super happy one for me because I am currently in Hawaii. We went for our honeymoon last year and had to return after having such a wonderful time. And before you get concerned, no I am not blogging in Hawaii. I did set this up to post long before I left. Probably the last thing on my mind is apple pie ice cream. More like sunscreen, fish, beach, buffet breakfasts, awesome hotel staff, loving husband, relaxation…you get the picture! Maybe I will share some pictures when I return to make you more jealous.

In the meantime, make this and you won’t feel as jealous (no kitchens or ice cream makers in my hotel room!). I saw apple pie ice cream recipes and thought it sounded really interesting. After all, apple pie goes so well with ice cream. Well, it turns out that I am more a chocolate ice cream girl than apple pie, but K loves it, and I loved it with oatmeal cookies in a sandwich. So, even if you do not want this “as is” wait until Friday and I will share the cookies I used for this.

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Tips-y Tuesdays: Shortcuts in Cooking

The final Tips-y Tuesday! I decided to reveal some shortcuts I use which many people (yourself included) might turn up their noses at. Do you ever use slightly prepped ingredients? Sometimes I use it for speeding up the steps, but sometimes it is just that I am as happy with what I can buy compared to what I can make.

Garlic: I admit, I use the minced garlic in the jars most of the time. If I want roasted garlic, or really want cloves, then I will buy the bulbs. Otherwise, expect to see the jar.

Onions: Unless the recipe needs sliced onions, I use frozen chopped onions. They work really well for sauteing and the bonus is I don’t have to shed any tears for the chopping.

Chopped Fruit: For sorbet, fresh fruit works fine but I like using frozen so that I don’t have to worry about prepping the fruit (especially for more challenging fruits like the mango) and it starts the chilling process early.

Room-temperature butter/eggs: For butter, if short on time, I use the microwave to heat it up slightly. For eggs, I hold them until warm water and then put them in a bowl of tepid water to speed it up a bit.

Here are some tips from America’s Test Kitchen. My favorite from their list is the salmon deboning one!

Feel free to share shortcuts you use!

Simple Blueberry Muffins

These are supposedly fail-proof, easy, etc. I would say that they are on par with an average muffin recipe. Nothing too crazy, no weird ingredients (such as yogurt) that you might not have on hand. Just make sure you have some blueberries. This recipe was easier than other versions I have made before because it did not have something like yogurt to worry about, and it also did not have a streusel topping. I found this from Kim’s Kitchen (really inspirational blogger) and decided that it would be interesting to try. My dad was getting muffins for this month’s treat, and these sounded more like a basic breakfast muffin instead of a super sweet dessert. They are not as unhealthy as some muffins, but they are also not health food.

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Chicken with Tomato and Herb Sauce

I hope you get over your shock that this is another non-dessert post. With summer foods like fresh tomatoes widely available, there have been many tempting dinner recipes I want to make. This one had been lurking on my list for a while, and I was really happy to taste the sweet cherry tomatoes at the farmer’s market.

The red ones were as good as the ones my dad grows, and the orange ones (sungold I think they called them) were even sweeter! The colors and flavor would be perfect for this chicken dish. The recipe is really easy and thus it allows you to make lots of adjustments for your family and palates. The basic idea is that you cook chicken with some tomatoes and herbs to get a flavorful dish.

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Brown Butter Fish

There are certain foods that you might love, and find simple to make, but do not make often because they are too decadent. Cheesecake and lasagna are some that come to mind for me. Brown butter definitely sounds decadent, but it is fairly simple to make after you do it the first time. This makes it something that want to incorporate in all sorts of dishes, but you feel like it should be relegated to special occasions. I have made brown butter brownies, brown butter chocolate chip cookies, and now brown butter fish. Every so often, I page through my America’s Test Kitchen binder and find new meals I missed before. We were super excited to try this, especially because it had a fancy sounding name. This is not as bad for you as you would expect because you do not need much butter to make a big impact with the flavor.

For this recipe, feel free to use many kinds of white fish. It has turned out well with sole, cod, and halibut so far. Sole works well because it cooks super quickly but I also really liked the halibut. I had never cooked with it before, but it was hard to resist since it was fresh at my grocery store, and local! When you use different kinds of fish, make sure you adjust the cooking times for whatever fish you have. A thin piece of fish will take about 3 minutes per side.

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Tips-y Tuesdays: How to Roast Garlic

Have you heard of the wonders of roasted garlic but not known what was involved? My mom used to stuff cloves of garlic in chickens before roasting them, and also leave big cloves in the pan itself. It was like treasure hunting to find all of those yummy bits she left for me. When she learned how much I liked them, she starting putting many more in the dish, much to my delight!

See the roasted cloves in this? Mmmm.

Now, being able to grasp control of that wonderful flavor without needing to roast a whole chicken just sounds amazing! The garlic flavor gets sweeter, less bitter, and a bit softer. It works well when mashed in with butter, oil, or some other alternative. You can use it on garlic bread, mixed with vegetables, as an accompaniment to a main course like steak and onions, or just plain if you are crazy like that.

There are many recipes for making roasted garlic, and I have done it several different ways since I first learned about it, so this is not the be-all, end-all recipe. This is just meant as a guide.

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