What I Learned This Week #45

There are too many words, so it appears there are no words.

What I Learned This Week:

  • Sat. 8/9 – Two Broadway shows – one day!  Once was beautiful and touching and the cast was so talented.  They play all their own instruments and sing & dance. Les Misérables was an amazingly wonderful show.  The production, the voices, and the talent were almost too much to handle!  Seeing two Broadway shows on the same day was a bucket-list item I didn’t know I had, but glad it’s complete!
  • Sun. 8/10 - You blanch green beans by trimming the edges and dropping them in a pot of boiling, salted water for 2-3 minutes and then dunk in ice water.  Wrap in paper towels and freeze until you think of a purpose.
  • Mon. 8/11 - Although delicious, cheeseballs are a poor choice for road-trip snacking.
  • Tues. 8/12 – No one prepares you for what dying looks and feels like; books, movies, tv, second hand stories aren’t reality.
  • Wed. 8/13 – To cook corn (yes, it’s embarrassing that I had to look it up) add shucked corn to a pot of boiling, unsalted water and cook for 4-5 minutes, room and enjoy.
  • Thurs. 8/14 -At the end, all you need is love from family and friends.
  • Fri. 8/15 – Last Rites are no longer referred to as such; it’s called Anointing of the Sick.  My Catholic education has not served me well.
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Around the Internets:

  • Goodbye or ghost?  Ghost for life!
  • Always in need of a good laugh, people are so funny & creative.
  • Butterscotch pudding in a chocolate chip cookie crust, sounds tasty.
  • It’s tough being a lady.
  • Quite possibly my new favorite site!
  • New goal – learn to be properly polite all the time.
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Filed under Not a recipe, What I Learned This Week

Salted Caramel Chocolate Hazelnut Chip Cookies

Chocolate Hazelnut Chocolate Chip Cookies | Pale YellowDespite a week without posts, it has not been a week without baking, there is a rarely a week without baking! I worked at what I’ve been calling DNA camp for the past week and it’s fantastic to be with students again.  I appreciate the ridiculousness of high school students so much!  The boys who don’t take lunch until 2 because they loose all focus after eating so their teacher pushes hard in the morning and the girl who takes charge like a full-fledged adult, not a 16-year-old, make my day.  I wanted to make them a treat, because teenagers love treats!

Chocolate Hazelnut Chocolate Chip Cookies | Pale YellowAs of right now, I’m on my way to Michigan and I don’t know what to anticipate.  I want to spend as much time with family and not over- or even extend myself.  There will need to be some quiet time.  Hopefully I’ll get my head back in the blogging game and churn out some recipes and posts.  No work, no grad school, no excuses!

Chocolate Hazelnut Chocolate Chip Cookies | Pale YellowOne way I’m getting back into the game is my membership into the Secret Recipe Club.  It’s a neat way to discover new blogs, meet online friends, and share the blogging love!
Secret Recipe ClubMy first assignment is to create a recipe from Jenny’s lovely blog – Jenny’s Cookbook.  While looking for something to make I first thought about the pickled green beans because I have tons of green beans in my fridge that I don’t know what to do with.  But then I found this, and immediately went searching for a use!  Salted caramel + chocolate + hazelnut is a home run in flavor town!  Click on the link below visit more sites and recipes.

Chocolate Hazelnut Chocolate Chip Cookies | Pale YellowThese are good cookies – perfectly soft and chewy.  Adding chocolate spread makes the cookies moist and creates a lovely texture.  And the addition of chocolate chips takes the cookies over the top, always add chocolate chips, I feel like I should have added more!  This is a super easy cookie to whip up with just a bowl and spoon sure to bring a smile to anyone’s face!Chocolate Hazelnut Chocolate Chip Cookies | Pale Yellow

Print the Recipe!

Salted Caramel Chocolate Hazelnut Chip Cookies

Adapted from Jenny’s Cookbook

Yield – 2 dozen 2-tablespoon cookies

1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
1/3 cup sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup salted caramel chocolate hazelnut spread, or Nutella
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/3 cup flour
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
sea salt for sprinkling
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 ˚F and line cookie sheets with parchment paper.
  2. Add the butter and sugar to a bowl and mix with a wooden spoon until light and creamy.  Mix in the spread, egg, and vanilla.  Make sure to mix until well combined.
  3. Stir in the powder, soda, and salt.  Add the flour and mix until barely combined and then stir in the chips.
  4. Use a 2-tablespoon scoop to portion the batter on the cookie sheet.  The cookies spread, so leave plenty of space between cookies.
  5. Sprinkle each cookie with sea salt.
  6. Bake for 10-12 minute or until just set.  Let cool 5 minutes on the cookie sheet before moving to a wire rack to cool completely.Chocolate Hazelnut Chocolate Chip Cookies | Pale Yellow



Filed under Cookies

What I Learned This Week #44

All the dishes | Pale YellowMichigan, here I come! I didn’t mean to not blog this week, it just happened.  There will be more posts next week.

What I Learned This Week:

  • Fri. 8/1Her is a beautiful movie, but slightly terrifying in how believable that reality could become in a few years.
  • Sat. 8/2 – I’m at the point in my life where I have an established career and am making moves to improve upon said career.  Long term planning!
  • Sun. 8/3 - Going for daily beach walks refreshes my soul; I forget how important exercise is to my mental health.
  • Mon. 8/4 - Some days are just rough.
  • Tues. 8/5 – Filipino food is tasty.
  • Wed. 8/6 – There are not enough hours in the day.
  • Thurs. 8/7 - There are only about 12 species of life reliant on humans, but about 20,000 reliant on ants
  • Fri. 8/8 – Racoons will dig underground to get in a chicken coop and just eat the heads of chickens

Around the Internets:

  • Current students are in the “Selfie Generation,” God, help us all!
  • Banana Cream Pie Blizzards – no words needed.
  • I wish I liked popsicles.
  • Peanut. Butter. Pie.  Love.

Cuteness Overload | Pale YellowOne Years Ago – Chocolate Peanut Butter Banana Pudding in Jars

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What I Learned This Week #43

Specimen collection | Pale YellowAnimal facts done, DNA camp beginning – being a science educator is the best!

What I Learned This Week:

  • Fri. 7/25 – Racoons can live up to 15 years, but rarely make it past 5 years because of human interactions, i.e. cars.
  • Sat. 7/26 – Two year-olds have energy!!  Where did the energy to run around and be silly go?
  • Sun. 7/27 - Men have fears about dying alone in their apartment and being eaten by their pet too!
  • Mon. 7/28 - DNA barcoding can be completed on fungi using the ITS region of the DNA, awesome.
  • Tues. 7/29 – The entire staff is exhausted this summer and everyone is prone to after work naps.
  • Wed. 7/30 – Ingrid Michaelson is AMAZING live, her talent is pure and she gives a fantastic performance.
  • Thurs. 7/31 - Sometimes, no matter how closely you follow the protocol, your DNA extraction just doesn’t work out.

Around the Internets:

  • It’s been along time since I’ve made an actual cheesecake, the problem is finding people to eat it…
  • I want a bourbon slush right now.
  • Our words impact children, an important reminder for parents and teachers.
  • Comfort food.
  • Baking has given me several marriage proposals, maybe I need to make these cookies!

CSA Dinner | Pale YellowTwo Years Ag0 – M & M Cookies

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Iced Coffee with Vanilla-Almond Syrup

iced coffee with vanilla-almond syrup | pale yellowSometimes I go off coffee for a few weeks or a month.  It’s an exercise in health and control; I don’t like to admit I have a slight addiction to coffee.  If I don’t wean myself properly, I get terrible withdrawal headaches.  The problem about not drinking coffee is the exhaustion – I’m thirty years old, I guess I need coffee everyday to function.

iced coffee with vanilla-almond syrup | pale yellowOn the other hand, I’m exhausted when I drink coffee (and a diet coke) everyday and have been napping in the evenings after work.  I am not a napper, but this summer I’m wiped out.  All my colleagues and I are in agreement, working during the summer is rough.

iced coffee with vanilla-almond syrup | pale yellowLife is better when you have delicious, fresh cold-brewed coffee in your fridge awaiting each and every caffeine craving.  Add some fancy simply syrup, almond milk, and some ice, and you have a beverage sure to pick-you-up and help you make it through these dog days of summer!

iced coffee with vanilla-almond syrup | pale yellowTwo Years Ago – Double Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Ice Cream

Print the Recipe!

Iced Coffee with Vanilla-Almond Syrup

Adapted from How Sweet It Is

Yield – 4-5 servings

1 cup coarsely ground coffee

2 quarts water

1 cup sugar

2/3 cup water

1 vanilla bean

1/2 teaspoon almond extract

  1. Coffee – Buy some fancy coffee beans, mine were from Costa Rica.  Take them to the grocery store and get them ground on the coarsest setting.  Return home.
  2. Add the coffee beans to a nut milk bag, yep, I said it.  Add the tightly closed bag to a pitcher with 2 quarts of water.  Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.
  3. Vanilla-Almond Syrup – add the sugar and water to a small saucepan and begin heating.
  4. Split open a vanilla bean and scrape out the seeds.  Add the seeds and the pod to the sugar syrup.  Stir and heat until all the sugar is dissolved.  Stir in the almond extract.
  5. Strain into a little jar to cool.
  6. To make your delicious iced coffee add ice, coffee, a bit of syrup, and almond milk (or another milk if that’s your fancy), stir and enjoy with a cute straw!iced coffee with vanilla-almond syrup | pale yellow

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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


Filed under Frozen

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


Filed under Not a recipe, What I Learned This Week