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No-Churn Cookie Ice Cream

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I don't think I've ever had this problem before.  I'm talking about the problem where I don't eat ALL the Girl Scout cookies 3.5 days after receiving them.  It's truly unheard of.  However, that's what has happened and I'm not proud of it.

Since cookies do have an expiration date, I decided that I needed to use these up somehow.  Coincidentally, I was also knee-deep in sweetened condensed milk.  And by knee-deep, I mean I had two cans in the pantry.  Seeing as I hardly ever use this type of milk, I consider this to be a complete horde at my fingertips.  This calls for no-churn ice cream!

We are in the final throes of summer so we better make all the ice cream that we can get.  Fall is my favorite season of life, but I do want to savor the heat for another few minutes, thank you very much.  As mentioned above, I used Girl Scout cookies in my ice cream (Tagalongs, what!) but obviously you can use whatever you have available.  Do the happy ice cream dance!

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Cous Cous Salad with Feta & Mint

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Alright.  I'm going to state the obvious now.  It's hot.  Yup, it's hot and humid and I think my eyeballs are even sweating.  Nothing can escape it!  I am trying to just roll with it.  I'm thinking back to the days when I was bundled in my winter coat and scarf and hat.  I'm recalling when I could see my breath on the air and when the air hurt my face.  I need to appreciate the humid sweltering mess that we're living in right now.  The only recipe I could think to create during this time was a nice cool salad.  (I mean, I COULD have made ice cream, but I haven't decided the flavor that I want to go with yet.  Hopefully I'll have a new ice cream recipe posted on this blog for you soon!)


So....salad!  I wanted to go with a meatless salad option since I'm impatient when I'm hot, which means that I don't want to wait for any meat to cook through.  Don't get me wrong.  I realize that I'm impatient all the time, but it's magnified even more when I'm hot and uncomfortable. #hotandhangryI decided throwing cous cous and vegetables and cheese into one bowl, along with a lemon-flavored dressing would be a marvelous idea.  It would allow me to eat something healthy but filling and tasty.  And guess what!  I was right!

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Gnocchi, Sausage & Kale Bake

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Oh my gosh, this could be one of my most favorite Secret Recipe Club recipes ever!  This lovely recipe comes courtesy of Nicola from the Lemon and Cheese blog.  First of all, let's chat about this name.  I love it!  I'm really into lemon and as you all know, I'm about that cheese life.  Well, it turns out that Nicola is also down to hang out with lemon and cheese, which is why she used them in her blog name!  That's one smart lady (aka - I wish I had thought of that!).  Nicola is also a librarian in London (where I'm going next month on vacation! Woohoo!) and I find it super interesting to see what people in other parts of the world are eating!

I perused several recipes on Nicola's site and was really keen on making the Salsa Verde Quinoa Bake, Squash Sausage and Chard Pasta, and the Crab Macaroni and Cheese (Let me tell you that this one was STRONG contender and I would have made it as well if this past month wasn't so busy!).  However, I finally settled on the Squash Gnocchi, Sausage and Kale Bake.   I've been trying to incorporate more vegetables into my food recently.  I also haven't made anything with gnocchi in a while and I thought that now would be an excellent time to revisit this tasty treat.

Though I have made homemade gnocchi before, this time I went the store-bought route to save me a little time.  I figured that was acceptable since we are basically making a CHEESE SAUCE -- yes, that needs to be said in capital letters -- to pour on top of the gnocchi and the other ingredients.  This sauce was everything!  I definitely recommend making it an drizzling it over everything within reach.  It's truly that good.  Whip everything together, top with even more cheese, and bake until you have the most perfect lunch or dinner combination.  Nicola, you have outdone yourself!

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Chicken Pesto Pizza

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Remember how I was growing my own basil and how well it was going?  Well, friends, I'm sorry to say that my basil is definitely not looking its best.  In fact, some may say that it's mostly dead.  I'm holding out hope that it'll spring back.  I think it's been struggling due to the intense humidity we've faced for the past few weeks.  I also may have been over-watering it a tad.  I've cut back on my heavy-handedness with the H2O and the weather has been cooling down a bit so I'm seeing some promising signs that the basil may spring back to life.  Crossing my fingers and praying to the basil gods that the fight isn't over yet!

I wish I could have used my own home-grown basil to whip up a batch of pesto for this recipe, but it wasn't meant to be.  All the same, I have to say that this is one of my favorite pizzas ever.  I know that's a strong statement, but this combination of chicken, pesto, and corn, topped with an abundance of mozzarella cheese will not be ignored!  Can I eat this pizza for the rest of my life?  I dare you to not enjoy this!

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Grilled Lemon Garlic Zucchini

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Zucchini!

 

It's the summer months and I've been seeing this vegetable errywhere!  My favorite thing about it is how versatile it is to cook or bake with (I'm looking at you, Zucchini Banana Bread!).   I had some leftover zucchini the other day and decided that this would be the perfect side/snack to make with it.  Can we also not forget how tasty lemon and garlic is with anything?  Never forget!

In case it isn't obvious from my pictures below, I didn't exactly "grill" this zucchini.  You could say that I've taken a few liberties with my wording.  I don't have a grill pan and I'm most definitely not able to properly grill a thing in my 4th floor apartment.  The fire escape is, unfortunately, not an option.  So, what do we do?  Grab a frying pan and "grill" to your heart's content!

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Champagne Gummy Bears

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I can't be the only one who watched Disney's Adventures of the Gummi Bears growing up.  Anyone?  Anyone?  Well, that's got me thinking that maybe gummy/gummi is spelled with an "i"...BUT when I purchased my gummy bears, the package shows that it's spelled with a "y".  The Disney cartoons of my childhood can't be wrong!  But this packaging though...

It's too much.  Good thing these things are being soaked in JUST a little bit of alcohol to help me get over this dilemma.  Any way that you want to spell it, these gummy bears are de-lish-ous.  I soaked them overnight in the fridge for about 10 hours, and they were a nice chewy texture the next morning, which I would definitely recommend.  IF, however, you continue to keep the gummy bears in the fridge (like I did), then be prepared that they will morph into a Jell-O-like texture within the next 24 hours.  Prepare thyself.  I hate Jell-O myself (it's a texture thing) so I got rid of these with a quickness!  But, if you happen to love Jell-O, then this could be for you.

Also, I feel the need to address why I own Patron champagne flutes.  These were sent to me in a completely random care package from Patron.  I have no idea why the package was sent to me in the first place, so perhaps the Patron team was just cleaning out the warehouse and wanted to get rid of a few things.  I don't drink champagne very often, as it gives me a headache, so I never bothered to purchase champagne glasses.  Of course, this WOULD be the time that I needed champagne glasses!  Figures.
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Slow Cooker Savory Citrus Chicken

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I'm always looking for new ways to cook chicken.  I'm not sure if I've talked about this before here, but I had this conversation with a few friends this weekend.  We were checking out the menu at MichaelAngelo's in the Little Italy neighborhood in the Bronx.  (Can we just talk about how cute that place is!  It was the best restaurant recommendation I've received in a while!)  Anyhow, the entire table agreed that we very rarely order chicken dishes when we go out to eat.  We aren't chefs, but we do agree that chicken is the easiest protein to make at home, so why would we order it at a restaurant instead of something else that you wouldn't actually cook at home?

I was super excited to try out this particular recipe because I'm really into citrus right now and also, this recipe calls for beer.  What is there not to love here?  I used Blue Moon beer to amp up that citrus flavor, which I think ended up being a good choice.  I also used a variety of spices because "can't stop, won't stop".  If you're feeling creative yourself, you could switch up the spices to your liking.  This recipe is pretty forgiving and easily tailored, which is great for someone like me.  Enjoy!

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Serenata: A Review

I haven't done a review on here in a minute, so let's change that!  This time, I can't even take the credit for this find.  One of my friends found it and I was completely game because I can eat Mexican food wherever and whenever.

Seranata is a healthy Mexican restaurant that you can find tucked away on a side street in the beautiful Chelsea area in NYC.  They have outdoor seating options, which is definitely a bonus.  Just look at it!
 

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Bacon Feta Guacamole

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Oh yes, we're doing this today.  We're going there.  We're taking all of our favorite flavors and ingredients and we're putting them into one thing.  Yes siree...that's how we roll.

This recipe comes to you courtesy of this month's Secret Recipe Club match, I Am A Honey Bee.  Nicole is the brainchild behind this blog.  I think she and I would get along fine because:

1) she hates olives.  This product is the highest on the list of things I really dislike.  It's even higher than pickles and that's saying a lot.

2) she labels everything.  I had to laugh when she mentioned that she labels the kitchen cabinets.  I may or may not have labels on anything stored in a container in my pantry.  I mean, how else are we gonna know what's in there?

3) Nicole is the grammar police.  Yep, I'm guilty of this too.  Though I wouldn't say that I feel guilt when correcting grammar.  I think of it more as a service :)

So now that you know we're long lost sisters, I've got even more evidence for you in the form of this bacon feta guacamole.  Yup.  Keep breathing.  Guacamole and I have a thing.  It's a good thing and it's not going anywhere.  But anytime we can expand upon such a thing, maybe we should do that.  Adding bacon and feta allows you to take a few awesome things and combine them together, and clearly create another most awesome thing.  Thanks for this recipe Nicole!

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