Brownie Ice Cream Sandwiches

Mint Brownie Ice Cream Sandwiches | Pale YellowLately I’ve been wondering how much longer I can keep this blog going.  I’ve been reading food blogs for several years and had wanted to start my own for awhile.  When I finished my master’s degree, I knew it was time!  I had this teaching thing under control and had free time from not being in class, reading, and writing.  I surprised myself by being able to churn out three recipes a week to photograph, edit, type up, and publish.  It has always been a lot of work, but it’s been enjoyable; my hobby, my commitment, something to challenge myself.

Mint Brownie Ice Cream Sandwiches | Pale YellowNow that I’m back in grad school, working full time, and working extra hours, I just don’t know if I can swing everything.  I want to keep blogging, I still enjoy it; it’s just become one more thing on my massive to-do list.  Maybe I’ll do one recipe a week and one WILTW, I don’t know.  It just feels sad that I might not be continuing something I’ve worked so hard to build the last two and half years.  Besides school or work, this blog is the only thing I have ever truly committed to, and it’s just for me, because I want it.

Mint Brownie Ice Cream Sandwiches | Pale YellowHow many things do you do just for yourself?  Yes, I want readers and followers and bake most of the treats for others, but the whole process of blogging requires a lot of alone time and dedication.  I enjoy being apart of the blogging community and having invisible internet friends.  I like how much I’ve grown as a baker, photographer, writer, and social-media navigator.  I just wish I had about three more hours everyday.

Mint Brownie Ice Cream Sandwiches | Pale YellowRegardless of how I feel about blogging, you should make these ice cream sandwiches.  One – they are super easy, two – you could customize with any flavor of extract and ice cream your heart desires, and three – they are delicious!  The brownie is rich and chocolaty and the ice cream is cold and creamy; a perfect summer treat.  I went the mint route because you can’t go wrong with chocolate + mint, but I imagine there are endless possibilities.  Please, make this happen!Mint Brownie Ice Cream Sandwiches | Pale Yellow

Print the Recipe!

Brownie Ice Cream Sandwiches

Adapted from Smitten Kitchen

Yield – 10 sandwiches

3 ounces unsweetened chocolate

8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter

1 cup sugar

2 eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla or mint extract

1/2 teaspoon salt

2/3 cup flour

2 1/2 – 3 cups ice cream (I used mint chocolate chip)

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 ˚F and line 2 8×8” pans with parchment paper, liberally grease the parchment paper and set aside.
  2. Melt the butter and chocolate in a bowl over a double boiler, stir until it is all melted.  Stir in the sugar and the eggs, one at a time.  Mix in the extract.
  3. Add the flour and salt and mix until just combined.
  4. Divide the batter evenly between the two prepared pans and spread with an offset spatula.
  5. Bake for 12-15 minutes or until the brownies are set.
  6. Let cool completely on a wire rack.
  7. Let the ice cream soften slightly and then use a standard ice cream scoop to portion the ice cream on one brownie.  I used 5 scoops, but you could use more.  Press the second brownie one top.  The parchment paper is an excellent tool for moving the brownie slabs around.
  8. Return to the freezer to harden.  Cut into pieces with a hot, dry knife.  Wrap in parchment paper and store in the fridge.Mint Brownie Ice Cream Sandwiches | Pale Yellow
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What I Learned This Week #42

CSA goodies | Pale YellowFinished last week’s WILTW!

What I Learned This Week:

  • Fri. 7/18 – To live and work in Aruba you need to be Arubian.  If you’re not already Arubian, you need to marry one.  Even jobs like taxi driving are controlled by the government.
  • Sat. 7/19 – Do not, DO NOT, take pictures while waiting to go through customs at the airport.  Trust me!
  • Sun. 7/20 - The Starbucks in Howard Beach is filled with interesting people, very interesting people.
  • Mon. 7/21 - Do not go down the deep, dark rabbit hole that is the internet, it’s a bad place.  My paper writing procrastination has no bounds.
  • Tues. 7/22 – Totally should have take this week off work…
  • Wed. 7/23 – Chickens are a threatened species in the wild.
  • Thurs. 7/24 - I’m not quite sure what I got in my CSA box, but the red and white beans are tasty!

Around the Internets:

  • Nothing wrong here.
  • I used to not like coconut or pineapple, but now I do and I’m ready for my pina colada.
  • Love this Instagram comparison!
  • A friend from college wrote these beautiful words about learning how to love yourself.
  • Yummy dinner idea.
  • Good to remember!
  • Sounds like the right way to visit all the states – I’ve been to a few like Juniors and Cafe du Monde and Ben & Jerry’s.

Fresh Flowers | Pale YellowTwo Years Ago – Crack Pie

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Strawberry Coconut Overnight Oatmeal

Strawberry Coconut Overnight Oatmeal | Pale YellowI got home from work today and had nothing important to do, yay!!!!  Now that my paper is finished, my summer is wide open!  It’s time for fun and ice cream sandwiches and jello shots, there are some good things in your future.  Vacation hangover finished.

Strawberry Coconut Overnight Oatmeal | Pale YellowYou know how I used to make you tons and tons of quinoa recipes?  Move aside quinoa, it’s overnight oatmeal time!  Forever and ever. Quinoa isn’t over, it just needed a time out for a few months.  Now that it is summer I really enjoy leafy salads instead of grain based salads with cooked vegetables; much needed in the winter, not so much in the summer.

Strawberry Coconut Overnight Oatmeal | Pale YellowNo worries my friends, I have some fantastic ideas for fall overnight oats including those with pumpkin spice and apple pie.  Those are fall flavors and I don’t want to rush, I’m way too into summer to rush into fall!  There maybe one more I might make, but an unhealthy, decadent overnight oatmeal.  Until then, you’ll have to make due with this delicious version that’s a little bit decadent.  Creamy coconut milk mixed with chopped strawberries and coconut flakes make a delicious treat (and mostly healthful) way to start your day!

Strawberry Coconut Overnight Oatmeal | Pale YellowTwo Years Ago – Cookie Crazy Cupcakes

Print the Recipe!

Banana Nut Overnight Oatmeal
Adapted from Lemon Blueberry Overnight Oatmeal
Yield – 1 serving, 16 ounces

1/2 cup old fashioned oats
2 tablespoons chia seeds
1 tablespoon honey
splash of vanilla extract
1/4 cup unsweetened coconut flakes
1/2 cup chopped strawberries
1 cup unsweetened coconut milk, I was decadent and used the sweetened vanilla version

  1. Add all the ingredients to a 16-ounce mason jar or other container.  Shake or stir to combine.  Make sure the honey and chia seeds become incorporated and don’t stick to the side.
  2. Cover and refrigerate overnight.Strawberry Coconut Overnight Oatmeal | Pale Yellow

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Chocolate Cookies with Pretzels, Caramel, and White Chocolate Chips

chocolate cookies with pretzels, caramel, and white chocolate | Pale YellowI’m sitting in Starbucks on a beautiful Sunday afternoon writing a paper.  Or at least trying to write a paper.  So far I’ve texted a bunch of people, checked Facebook 12 times, looked at my classmates’ papers to see how they use APA properly instead of looking up an actual APA manual, and pre-ordered two cookbooks from Amazon.  I’ve contemplated emailing my professors asking for an extension because *tear* I’ve been on vacation in Aruba for a week and now I don’t know if I can get my paper done by Tuesday.

chocolate cookies with pretzels, caramel, and white chocolate | Pale YellowI know.  I’m whining and need a smack in my privileged face.  I am so fortunate to have a career that allows me time off to travel and supports my lifestyle choices.  I am fortunate that I can continue my education in a program that has so far excited, engaged, and challenged me.  I am fortunate to have the luxury of free time to blog and write papers and grocery shop at my leisure.  Done whining, I just gave myself a little face slap.  And I finished two paragraphs of my paper.

chocolate cookies with pretzels, caramel, and white chocolate | Pale YellowTo continue the theme of privilege, when I was in Costa Rica three weeks ago (yep, that happened too), my amazing landlords moved my car for me the whole week.  I live in a neighborhood where street parking is not allowed on the weekends and there are two days of alternate side during the week.  They moved my car on and off the lawn as needed and made sure I didn’t get a ticket;  I am very fortunate to live where I do with these people.  Needless to say, they needed a big thank you.

chocolate cookies with pretzels, caramel, and white chocolate | Pale YellowCookies are always an appreciated thank you gift.  The youngest boy immediately took the plate to the couch and started chowing down!  I’m not surprised, the cookies are soft and chewy, chocolatey and crunchy.  The coca adds depths of flavor and the caramel and white chocolate chips adds interest.  And there’s pretzels, you can’t go wrong with pretzels in your cookies.  You should make these cookies as a perfect thank you to some who deserves appreciating or just a thank you to yourself for being awesome.chocolate cookies with pretzels, caramel, and white chocolate | Pale YellowPrint the Recipe!

Chocolate Cookies with Pretzels, Caramel, & White Chocolate
Adapted from Barbara Bakes
Yield – 2 dozen 2” cookies

1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
3/4 cup sugar
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup flour
1/3 cup dark cocoa powder
3/8 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup caramel bits
1/2 cup chopped chocolate covered pretzels
1/4 cup white chocolate chips

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 ˚F and line your cookie sheets with parchment paper.
  2. Cream the butter and sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer with a paddle attachment for 2-3 minutes or until pale yellow.
  3. Beat in the vanilla and egg until well incorporated.  Scrape the bowl as needed.
  4. Add the flour, cocoa, baking soda, and salt; mix on low until just barely combined.  Add the caramel, pretzels, and chocolate chips. Mix until combined.
  5. Use a 2-tablespoon scoop to portion the dough on the parchment paper, leave about 2” of space between each cookie.
  6. Bake for 10-12 minutes or until just set.  Let cool completely on a wire rack before storing.

chocolate cookies with pretzels, caramel, and white chocolate | Pale Yellow

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What I Learned This Week #41

Butterflies | Pale YellowI spent four days of grad school at the zoo – cue more animal facts.  Also, I’m in Aruba!

What I Learned This Week:

  • Fri. 7/11 – Komodo dragons can eat up to 100 lbs of food in a day!  Plus they kill their prey by biting them, letting their poisonous saliva do its work as they follow the animal for several days, and then the komodo dragon eats its prey.
  • Sat. 7/12 – Snapping turtles are the state turtle of New York.
  • Sun. 7/13 - If you are ever in the Bronx Zoo, step out and visit the Riverwalk, it is gorgeous and peaceful, you feel like you’ve been transplanted to another world.
  • Mon. 7/14 - Pere David’s deer are in the middle of a rutting, and by rutting I mean alpha males beating beta males to get all the ladies into their harem.
  • Tues. 7/15 – If I want chicken fingers bad enough, I’ll make them myself.  They were fantastic!
  • Wed. 7/16 – Wedding’s in Aruba are simply the best, so easy!
  • Thurs. 7/17 - Aruba is only 19 miles long and  7 miles wide, you really can see most of the island on ATV.  Also, ATV-ing is terrifying/thrilling.

Around the Internets:

  • You had me at streusel!
  • Homemade coffee syrup without sweetened condensed milk for iced coffee = project August.
  • Parenting around the world, read them all!
  • #3, 6, 14, 15 – especially 15!

Homemade Chicken Fingers | Pale YellowTwo Years Ago – Lemon Blueberry Cupcakes
One Year Ago – Slutty Cheesecake Bars

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Dirty Hairy Monkey Cocktail

Dirty Hairy Monkey Cocktail | Pale YellowIn Costa Rica there was a lot of drinking, when it’s free, there is no reason to go for it.  We made our own sangria at lunch from wine and fruit, had pre-dinner cocktails, wine with dinner, and our post-dinner toast.  But the best drinking moments took place at the swim up bar.  Every pool should have a swim up bar.

Dirty Hairy Monkey Cocktail | Pale YellowWhen you’re enjoying happy hour in a pool, fruity cocktails are a must! Whether you fancy mojitos, daiquiris, margaritas, or pina coladas, your drink should be cold, colorful, and delicious.  Sometimes the drinks weren’t very strong, but there is an easy fix – “strawberry daiquiri con mucho rum, mucho, mucho rum!”

Cocktail Time | Pale YellowAwesome Spanish aside, there was a “drink-of-the-day” at the resort.  One of the drinks was called a dirty monkey.  I think it was called a dirty monkey, honestly I can’t remember and I kept calling it a hairy monkey.  No matter, I Googled the cocktail stateside and made my own adjustments.

Dirty Hairy Monkey Cocktail | Pale YellowThis doesn’t take exactly like what I had in Costa Rica, but close enough!  Cold, fruity, strong, and a slight hint of banana and chocolate.  The only way to improve the cocktail is to drink it in a pool instead of at the table while working on homework.  Boo to homework, yay to dirty, hairy monkeys!

Dirty Hairy Monkey Cocktail | Pale YellowTwo Years Ago – Shepherd’s Salad

Print the Recipe!

Dirty Hairy Monkey Cocktail
Adapted from Monkey Ball
Yield – 1 drink

1 part dark rum
1 part light rum
1 part banana schnapps
1 part kahlua
6-7 ice cubes
chocolate syrup + banana for garnish

  1. Add the rums, schnapps, kahlua, and ice to a blender.  Blend until smooth.
  2. Coat the inside of a glass with chocolate syrup and pour the drink inside.
  3. Garnish with a banana slice and enjoy responsibly

DSC_01Dirty Hairy Monkey Cocktail | Pale Yellow64

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S’more Rice Krispy Treats

S'more Rice Krispy Treats | Pale YellowI’ve spent the past three days at the Bronx Zoo and am there again today for graduate school.  Despite all the learning, fun, and viewing of baby sea lions & lemurs, I’m exhausted.  Class gets over at 3:30 and I have a lot of energy that slowing dissipates over my hour-plus drive home.  Saturday I was pumped to go out and be social but after eating a lobster roll, I rode my bike home at quarter to eight to drink wine and go to bed because I was just too tired!  But hey, at least I’m still able to post!

S'more Rice Krispy Treats | Pale YellowThere is this little boy I know who turned two and is renowned and loved by all who meet him.  I was fortunate enough to be in attendance at his second birthday; it was great fun with pizza, a Thomas cake, and adorable decorations.  “Choo, choo, I’m two!”

S'more Rice Krispy Treats | Pale YellowObviously I wanted to bring a treat, but I wanted one that didn’t require an oven.  I also wanted something that was easy; it’s summertime, we all need a break from complicated desserts.  A quick browse through my Pinterest boards brought me here.  Bonus – mini blowtorch required!

S'more Rice Krispy Treats | Pale YellowNot only are these treats easy, they are super tasty.  I don’t think I’ll be able to go back to plain rice krispy treats now that I’ve had a chocolate version, chocolate for everyone!  Any recipe that requires two bags of mini marshmallows is a winner and has plenty of sweetness.  The treats are soft and chewy with a decadent topping.  This is a perfect recipe for any summer event!S'more Rice Krispy Treats | Pale Yellow

Print the Recipe!

S’more Rice Krispy Treats
Adapted from Foodie Crush
Yield – a million little pieces (or about 48)

4 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 10-ounce bags mini marshmallows, divided
1 12-ounce bag semi-sweet chocolate chips, divided
1/4 teaspoon Kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1 sleeve graham crackers, crushed and divided
5 cups rice krispy cereal

  1. Cover a 9×13” pan with foil, spray the foil liberally (very liberally, trust me!) with cooking spray.  Set aside.
  2. Add the butter to a large saucepan to melt.  Stir in 1 1/2 bags of mini marshmallows.  Stir and heat until all the marshmallows are melted.
  3. Turn off the heat and stir in about 1 cup of chocolate chips.  Stir until the chocolate is melted.
  4. Crush the graham crackers into medium-fine crumbs and stir in one cup into the marshmallow-chocolate mixture.  Stir in the salt and vanilla.
  5. Add the cereal and lightly toss until all the cereal is coated. Press evenly into the prepared pan.
  6. Use a piece of wax paper to spread the mixture evenly in the pan.  Sprinkle the remaining graham crackers over the top.  Evenly sprinkle the remaining chocolate chips over the graham crackers.
  7. Sprinkle the rest of the mini marshmallows over the top.  Use a mini blowtorch to toast and melt the marshmallows.  Or, if you’re uncool and don’t have a mini blowtorch, use the broiler.
  8. Let cool complete before cutting and serving.S'more Rice Krispy Treats | Pale Yellow

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