Sunday, March 15

Chocolate Chip Cookie Ice Cream Sandwhiches

It's spring break, and this 80 degree weather was signaling for  ice cream. When it comes to sweets, my first love has always been cookies. My second is ice cream. 

Before bedtime, my dad and I would always either have milk and cookies or a big bowl of ice cream. Now when I eat sweets, my body automatically wants to go to bed. Does anyone else have this problem? or is it just me?

Here is the obvious answer for ringing in spring: Chocolate Chip Cookie Ice Cream Sandwiches. For kids and adults alike, this combo is irresistible. Now you may remember, I have featured my chocolate chip cookie recipe here, but you can always do like I did and just pick up cookies from your local bakery. It'll save you time not only making the cookies, but then allowing them to cool.

No doubt these will be enjoyed in a hurry!


1 gallon of chocolate chip ice cream
2 dozen chocolate chip cookies
1 10oz package of bittersweet chocolate chips (optional)
1/4 cup of vegetable oil (optional)
sprinkles, toffee, or nuts for topping (optional)


Lay half of your cookies flat on a foil lined baking sheet. Evenly spread ice cream over the top (I let mine set out for 20 minutes to soften). Top the ice cream with the remaining cookies. Place in the freezer for 2 hours. With a knife, trim the edges of to make the ice cream sandwhiches more even. Place back in the freezer for about 1 hour.

You can stop there, or continue with dipping the cookies in chocolate. Heat up the chocolate chips with the oil in the microwave for a minute and a half, stirring every 30 seconds. Allow the chocolate mixture to cool (I placed mine in the refrigerator for about 30 minutes). Then dunk your cookies into the chocolate, topping immediately with the treat of your choice.

These can be made 2 days ahead and wrapped individually for safe keeping.

Friday, March 13

Beef and Brocoli Stir Fry

While attending college, my husband and I were kind of into this hole in the wall Chinese place - Jade China. We would get take out, eat on it for three days, you know, in typical college years fashion. His go-to order was always beef and broccoli. Over time, it became mine too.

The past few years I've made stir-fry weekly (that is no exaggeration). Most of the time, it involves a hunk of flank steak and, you might of guessed it, broccoli. I add other veggies based 1) what's in the fridge and 2) what's on sale. In this particular stir fry, I am pretty partial to carrots, red peppers, and snap peas.

My sauce varies (in addition to the veggies added), and I usually end up with some blend of soy sauce, oyster sauce, brown sugar, rice vinegar, sesame oil, and Sriracha.That's the fun part... playing around with ingredients you have, tasting as your go, and making something delicious.

Here is a rough drat to guide you in building your perfect beef and broccoli stir-fry. Enjoy!

Serves 4

1 lbs (atleast) of flank steak evenly sliced into strips
2 cups of broccoli chopped into bite size pieces
1 red pepper
1 cup of carrots
1 cup of snap peas
1-2 tbs minced garlic
1/4 cup of soy sauce
2tbs oyster sauce
2tbs brown sugar
1tps rice vinegar
1tbs seasame oil
Sriracha to taste
Salt and pepper to taste
Red pepper flakes (optional)


Start by mixing up your sauce, test tasting as your go, then setting aside.

Using a wok or saute pan with fairly high sides, heat your sesame oil and garlic. Salt and pepper your steak, then evenly add it to your wok in rows, turning to ensure an even cook. Once the steak meets your desired temp (I like ours medium rare here because it will cook a little more later), remove it with a slotted spoon to a plate and set aside. This takes 6-8 minutes.

Add your broccoli and carrots. Saute until starting to soften up and the broccoli turns bright green. Then toss in your the remaining veggies. Once all the veggies are done, add your meat back to the wok. Pour your sauce over the stir-fry incorporating it into the meat/veggie mixture. Allow to cook 10 or so minutes. Top with red pepper flakes.

Delicious served on its own or over rice.

Wednesday, March 4

Chocolate Chip Cake with Strawberries

The Strawberry Festival in Plant City, 30 minutes or so outside of Tampa, is in full effect. Sadly, we missed it last weekend due to the rain, but I hope to get to try their world famous strawberry shortcake this Saturday! 

While it rained, I channeled all my festival vibes and threw together this lovely chocolate chip cake topped with sliced strawberries. Chocolate is such an obvious pair with strawberries, plus I love the texture chocolate chips add to cakes!

The prep work here is minimal, but the cake does cook for a good hour. Like with any cake where fruit is the star, it is best enjoyed fresh and will keep for three days tightly covered. 

Serves 8


1 and 3/4 cups flour
1 and 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons butter
3 tablespoons greek yogurt
1 and 1/4 cup sugar
1 large egg
1/2 cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup chocolate chips, plus more for the top of the cake
1 pound of strawberries, hulled and sliced


Preheat the oven for 350. 

Sift the first three ingredients together in a medium bowl then set aside. Cream butter, yogurt, and sugar in a stand mixer.  Incorporate the egg fully, then mix in the milk and vanilla. Add flour mixture in three parts. Fold in the chocolate chips while trying to avoid over mixing.

Pour batter into a greased pan (I used a 9 inch round ceramic tart pan). Top the cake with sliced strawberries, then add chocolate chips into open spaces.

Bake for 1 hour or until the middle has started to turn golden. Let cake cool and enjoy with a cold glass of milk.