grilled open-faced s'mores ice cream sandwiches

grilled open-faced s'mores ice cream sandwiches | what's cooking good looking
grilled open-faced s'mores ice cream sandwiches | what's cooking good looking

I am sharing two dessert/ice cream recipes in a row ....... and the only excuse I have is summer, heatwave. Serious heatwave. But I'm not complaining at all. A little extra heat to use as excuse to eat more ice cream is fine by me. 

Also, any excuse to spend a little less time in the kitchen and a little more time at the beach or poolside with friends in the dog days of summer is also fine by me. And while I love projects such as homemade ice cream and homemade pies, I also welcome a little sandra lee inspired simplistic meals. You know, the semi-homemade kind of recipes where you find the best of the pre-made stuff and throw it together so your dinner parties are that much easier. For me, the best quality dark chocolate, organic graham crackers, and dairy-free vanilla make the best/easy/summertime dessert.

Oh, and s'mores without the hassle of building a campfire is just taking this to a whole other level of lazy summer cooking. Cover a sheet pan in foil, place the chocolate on top of the graham cracker, cook until the chocolate melts. Scoop your favorite cold ice cream on top and that is one helluva delicious, semi-lazy, adult kind of s'more that you can eat with a fork and knife to save your fingers from getting super sticky. Boom. 

*This recipe is in partnership with Reynolds Kitchens. All views are my own. Head on over to the Endless Table for more easy summer recipe inspiration. Thank you for supporting the brands that support what's cooking good looking!

grilled open-faced s'mores ice cream sandwiches | what's cooking good looking
grilled open-faced s'mores ice cream sandwiches | what's cooking good looking
grilled open-faced s'mores ice cream sandwiches | what's cooking good looking
grilled open-faced s'mores ice cream sandwiches | what's cooking good looking
grilled open-faced s'mores ice cream sandwiches | what's cooking good looking

grilled open-faced s'more ice cream sandwiches

MAKES
2 s'more ice cream sandwiches

INGREDIENTS

2 square pieces of graham cracker
1 bar of chocolate, cut in half
2 scoops of ice cream (flavor of your choice)

METHOD

  • Pre-heat the grill to medium heat.
  • Fold the Reynolds Wrap® Foil for the grill in half, making a rectangle that is about 8”x11”, and place it onto the grill in the center. Or, if you're using regular Reynolds Wrap Foil®, then you can just cover a baking sheet in the foil. 
  • Place the graham crackers onto the foil, and place the chocolate squares on top. Close the grill, and cook for about 3-5 minutes, until the chocolate has melted. Using a spatula, transfer the crackers to a plate. 
  • Scoop some ice cream over top of one of the crackers with chocolate, and then top with the other cracker and chocolate. Top with any additional toppings you like such as marshmallows or crumbled graham crackers. Serve immediately.

*Reynolds Kitchens Tip: Using Reynolds Wrap® Foil for the grill allows you to melt the chocolate onto the graham cracker, with ease and without dripping chocolate onto the grill.

matcha mint chip ice cream (dairy-free)

matcha mint chip ice cream (dairy-free) | what's cooking good looking
matcha mint chip ice cream (dairy-free) | what's cooking good looking

Of all the foods out there, I think that ice cream has the most nostalgia surrounding it. For me at least. Ice cream was a ritual in my home growing up ..... it was a summertime treat, and we visited the same 2-3 ice cream places over and over again when the weather was warm. Not the fancy kinds that are all around me in nyc these days .... I'm talking about the suburban, chain ice cream places. Carvel and Dairy Queen. We were having dinner at a friend's house the other night, and he brought out Carvel Ice cream flying saucers (which is basically their version of an ice cream sandwich) and with one bite I was transported back to my childhood. Granted, I haven't had Cravel ice cream in a very very long time ....... but with one bite it was like no time had passed, it tasted just like summertime as a kid. 

One of my favorite memories of ice cream and summertime when I was younger was taking a family bike ride to Dairy Queen on weekend afternoons. Thinking back, it was a really ambitious bike ride, one worthy of a reward of ice cream. I would always order the same thing: the vanilla ice cream cone dipped into the red, hard, cherry flavored shell .... you know the kind that hardens within seconds. I think it was called a cherry bomb. God only knows what ingredients were in it to make it harden like that, but I definitely didn't care then. It was just so good. 

Nowadays, I am a little more conscience about the ice cream I eat ..... but that does not mean that I eat it less. In fact, once I found a dairy-free ice cream version that I liked, my freezer never goes without it. My favorite flavors are vanilla and mint chocolate chip, however, my all-time favorite way to enjoy ice cream is homemade, straight out of the churner. 

I am now making new ice cream memories which is all about making ice cream at home, experimenting with new flavors, and always including herbs from the garden. Last year I was big into experimenting with homegrown lemongrass .... later this summer it is going to be pineapple sage. Today, it's mint, with the addition of matcha. It's as if mint chocolate chip, and green tea ice cream had a baby. Also, I came up with a technique to make dairy-free ice cream extra creamy, and even closer to it's non-dairy counter part. The trick is to make a custard using egg yolk (which is how traditional ice cream is made) .... so while it is not vegan, it is a really delicious way to make a creamy (cream-free) ice cream, and is now a new summer tradition in my home. 

matcha mint chip ice cream (dairy-free) | what's cooking good looking
matcha mint chip ice cream (dairy-free) | what's cooking good looking
matcha mint chip ice cream (dairy-free) | what's cooking good looking
matcha mint chip ice cream (dairy-free) | what's cooking good looking

matcha mint chip ice cream (dairy-free) 

MAKES
about a pint of ice cream

INGREDIENTS

2 / 13.5oz cans of full fat coconut milk
1 cup of fresh mint

3 egg yolks
1/2 cup of regular (or coconut palm) sugar
1/2 teaspoon of salt
1 tablespoon of matcha green tea

2oz of dark chocolate
1 teaspoons of sunflower or grapeseed oil

METHOD

Steep the mint in the coconut milk:

  • Place the coconut milk into a medium sized heavy bottomed pot, and bring to a simmer. Remove from the heat, add the mint leaves, cover, and allow to steep for 2 hours. When it's done steeping, strain the mixture into a separate bowl, clean out that pot and use it in the next step to make the custard. 

Make the custard/ice cream base and refrigerate:

  • Place the egg yolks, sugar, matcha, and salt into the pot (not over heat yet), and whisk until they are combined. 
  • Pour the coconut mixture over the eggs and sugar and whisk until combined. Place the pot over medium heat and cook while whisking frequently (for about 10-15minuites) until a custard forms (basically until the mixture thickens enough to coat the back of a spoon). 
  • Transfer the mixture to a glass mixing bowl and place in the fridge for a minimum of 4 hours, or (ideally) overnight. 

Churn the ice cream, and add the chocolate:

  • Using an ice cream maker, churn the ice cream according to the ice cream maker's instructions. Typically you will churn for about 20-25 minutes continuously (that's what I do with my kitchen aid mixer).  
  • While the ice cream is churning, melt the chocolate either over a double broiler or in the microwave, and mix in the oil. 
  • When the ice cream is about half-way through churning (about 10 minutes), drizzle in the chocolate about a tablespoon at a time. The chocolate should break apart while churning and mix throughout the ice cream. 
  • When the ice cream is done churning, transfer to a container that you are going to store it in the freezer (preferably with a lid) or enjoy immediately from the ice cream maker (this is when the ice cream will be best!). Store any extra in the freezer, and enjoy at your leisure. 

chickpea crepes topped with smashed avocado + arugula

chickpea crepes topped with smashed avocado + arugula | what's cooking good looking

Keeping it short and sweet this week, since I have projects piling up up and there are always too few hours in the day! Oh, and also, I took two days off this week to go on a mini birthday adventure to Block Island with Michael. It was sooooo much fun and so needed, even if I will be playing catch up all weekend long. 

Speaking of projects, I have one major one in the works ...... more on that later ...... but, it has to do with recipes (hint!) and this recipe was going to be saved for that. However, I have been so smitten with these simple chickpea crepes, I can't stop making them for both breakfast and lunch. I have posted a few photos of them on instagram, and the recipe has been requested so many times that I knew that I couldn't save them for later. I needed to share these with you asap. 

These crepes are just perfect for breakfast with a poached egg and simple salad, or for lunch with some sauteed veggies and greens, but my favorite way is how I am sharing it today with smashed avocado and a lot of other love on top. 

One of my favorite things about these crepes, is that you can make the batter ahead of time, and save it in the fridge so you can throw together a fancy-ish, healthy, filling meal in no time. That's what I do, and it's been particularly convenient on the busiest of days when I want a home cooked meal but only have about 5 minutes to make something. 

chickpea crepes topped with smashed avocado + arugula | what's cooking good looking
chickpea crepes topped with smashed avocado + arugula | what's cooking good looking
chickpea crepes topped with smashed avocado + arugula | what's cooking good looking
chickpea crepes topped with smashed avocado + arugula | what's cooking good looking

chickpea crepes topped with smashed avocado + arugula 

As mentioned, you can top these crepes however you like, both sweet and savory toppings would work well here. Also, you can make the batter ahead of time and save it in the fridge in an air-tight container for up to a week, and make individual crepes as you wish. 

MAKES
4-5 crepes

INGREDIENTS

for the crepes:
1 cup of chickpea flour
1 cup + 2 tablespoons of filtered water
3 tablespoons of olive oil
1/2 teaspoon of kosher salt

ghee or olive oil (for cooking) 

optional topping:
1 avocado
the juice of 1/2 of a lime
a couple of pinches of pepper (such as alleppo or red pepper flakes)
a pinch or two of salt

a handful of arugula
a drizzle of olive oil
a splash of vinegar

other additional toppings: microgreens, sesame seeds or gomasio, chives/herbs

METHOD

Make the crepe batter:

  • Place all of the ingredients for the crepe into a medium mixing bowl and whisk until combined. Allow the batter to sit, at room temp, for about 30 minutes while preparing your toppings. Alternatively, you can store this batter in an air-tight container in the fridge for up to a week. 

Prep your toppings:

  • Prepare the toppings you would like, or if using the avocado, smash the avocado along with the lime juice, salt, and pepper together in a small bowl. In a separate small bowl, drizzle olive oil and splash some vinegar over the arugula and toss to coat. 

Cook the crepes, and assemble with the toppings:

  • Heat a large cast iron over high heat. When the pan is hot, lower it to medium heat and add enough ghee or olive oil to coat the bottom of the pan. Add about 1/2 cup of the batter, using a ladle, and spread the batter (just slightly) using the back of the ladle. Cook for about 2 minutes on each side. You will know the crepe is ready to flip when you see a good amount of bubbles that have popped on the surface (similar to when you cook pancakes). 
  • Transfer to a plate and top with the toppings of your choice. If topping with the avocado, add a thin layer of the smashed avocado, top with a pinch of the arugula salad and finish with any of the additional toppings that you like. Enjoy immediately. 

cucumber + zucchini + kelp noodle "pasta salad" with arugula pesto + roasted cherry tomatoes

cucumber + zucchini + kelp noodles "pasta salad" with arugula pesto + roasted cherry tomatoes | what's cooking good looking
cucumber + zucchini + kelp noodles "pasta salad" with arugula pesto + roasted cherry tomatoes | what's cooking good looking

Every year when tomato season comes around, there are very few days that my oven is not roasting away and my house doesn't smell like sizzling sweetness.  I very rarely eat tomatoes raw, I find their acidity too strong .... but more so because they taste of a roasted tomato is one of my favroite things in the whole world. Caramelized, drenched in olive oil with just the right amount of salt and pepper .... it adds a punch, a pop of color, and a subtly sweet flavor to anything you serve it on top of. 

On the weekends when we have friends over for lunch .... I always make a big summer veg salad, and the one ingredient that stays consistent is the roasted tomato. Sometime I make my salads with quinoa, sometimes they are all roasted veggies, and sometimes they are mostly veggies in the form of a veggie noodle with one other long noodle as a filler, just like this version I am sharing today. But there will always be those tasty little tomatoes on top. Rice noodles are a nice and light noodle to work into a summer salad, but I also love kelp noodles, because they have a great texture and I am always looking for ways to add more sea veggies into my meals. 

Just about a week ago, my garden bursted and I now have so much arugula and basil that pesto will be a staple in the fridge from now until late in the fall. Arugula pesto is one of my favorite pestos because the spice and bite from the arugula makes for a super flavorful sauce. I don't add much to it, I keep out the cheese but I do add lemon juice and zest, and it goes so well on so many things. Eggs for breakfast, mixed in with a salad for lunch, a basic pasta for dinner, as a smear on a toast topped with avocado ... I can go on and on. 

If you asked me what my favorite meal of all time would be, I would without hesitation say pesto, pasta (in some form) with roasted tomatoes on top. Simple summer fare is the way to my heart. 

 

OH, and ...... nominations are open for the Saveur blog awards, until this Monday July 18th (also, my birthday!) it would be a huge present to me and this blog if you took two seconds to nominate what's cooking good looking, or any other blog that you enjoy reading and cooking from. Click HERE to nominate

cucumber + zucchini + kelp noodles "pasta salad" with arugula pesto + roasted cherry tomatoes | what's cooking good looking
cucumber + zucchini + kelp noodles "pasta salad" with arugula pesto + roasted cherry tomatoes | what's cooking good looking
cucumber + zucchini + kelp noodles "pasta salad" with arugula pesto + roasted cherry tomatoes | what's cooking good looking
cucumber + zucchini + kelp noodles "pasta salad" with arugula pesto + roasted cherry tomatoes | what's cooking good looking
cucumber + zucchini + kelp noodles "pasta salad" with arugula pesto + roasted cherry tomatoes | what's cooking good looking
cucumber + zucchini + kelp noodles "pasta salad" with arugula pesto + roasted cherry tomatoes | what's cooking good looking
cucumber + zucchini + kelp noodles "pasta salad" with arugula pesto + roasted cherry tomatoes | what's cooking good looking
cucumber + zucchini + kelp noodles "pasta salad" with arugula pesto + roasted cherry tomatoes | what's cooking good looking

cucumber + zucchini + kelp noodle "pasta salad" with arugula pesto + roasted cherry tomatoes 

If you are not familiar with or can't find kelp noodles, you can use any kind of long noodle here (such as a rice noodle or angle hair pasta) or leave out the non-veggie noodles all together. Alternatively, you can make this same recipe with all pasta, in which case I would recommend a short version such as a cavatelli. 

SEVRES
4+

INGREDIENTS

1 pint of cherry tomatoes, sliced in half
olive oil
salt + pepper

1/4 cup of pine nuts
2 cups of arugula, tightly packed
1 small clove of garlic, chopped
the juice and zest from 1/2 a lemon
1/4+ teaspoon of kosher salt
1/2 cup of really good olive oil

1 zucchini, spirilized or peeled with a julienne peeler
1 cucumber, spirilized or peeled with a julienne peeler
12 oz of kelp noodles (or any other kind of long noodle of your choice)

to garnish: a few pieces of torn basil, some microgreens, a handful of crushed pine nuts 

METHOD

Roast the tomatoes:

  • Pre-heat the oven to 425ºF. 
  • Place the halved tomatoes onto a parchment lined baking sheet and roast for 30-35 minutes until blistered and starting to char around the edges. Set aside until you're ready to assemble the salad. 

Make the pesto:

  • Lightly toast the pine nuts on a dry frying pan over low heat for a few minutes, until golden brown. Place them in the food processor with the arugula, garlic, lemon juice and zest, and salt. Pulse a few times to chop the ingredients, and then while the food processor is running continuously add in the olive oil in a continuous stream, scraping down the sides as need be. Taste and adjust seasoning if necessary. 

Assemble the salad:

  • Place the zucchini, cucumber, and kelp noodles into a large serving bowl. Pour the pesto over the noodles and gently toss until they are evenly coated. Sprinkle the tomatoes over top, and finish with the garnishes of your choice. Enjoy immediately. 

quinoa pea fritters + tarragon zucchini slaw

quinoa pea fritters + tarragon zucchini slaw | what's cooking good looking
quinoa pea fritters + tarragon zucchini slaw | what's cooking good looking

More and more recently, I find that it is hard to go about my work without stopping to acknowledge the recent heartbreak that's been going on all around. As incredibly important as I find food and meals as a foundation of family and life, a source of nourishment, and a way to bond and bring people together ...... at the very same time, food and making recipes can seem a bit trivial in a world that is exploding with hate and violence. 

Some people were born to be outspoken leaders. To take charge in rough times, speak out, organize rallies and get out there to try and generate bigger change.  Some people (like myself and many) are more quiet observers. I like to pay attention, to listen, to know what is going on in the world and take it all in, no matter how far removed it might be from my own. My heart is so heavy right now. I cry when I hear that someone, anyone, loses their life for any reason, but even more so when it's completely unfair and wrong. I have never felt more sad or disturbed by the world that we live in than I have in the past month. I have never cried as much over news stories, videos, strangers, than I have in the past several weeks. I wish things would change, but sometimes, as an observer, I feel so helpless. I feel that the problems of today are so much bigger than any one person. But then I remember that we can all do something. Doesn't matter how big or small, we can all do something. Spread love, do good deeds, go out of your way to help someone, buy that person who looks hungry a sandwich, smile at stranger. It might seem small, but it's a start. We have so much work to do, but by reading and sharing the bigger stories of hope and compassion out there right now, I am hopeful that soon, this story will slowly start to change. 

And there is still food. We have home cooked meals, where we can turn off the news and have real conversations about what's going on and how we can spread more love. I think that we can all agree that some of the most important conversations start at the dinner table, and those loving moments are what we need now more than ever. <3

quinoa pea fritters + tarragon zucchini slaw | what's cooking good looking
quinoa pea fritters + tarragon zucchini slaw | what's cooking good looking
quinoa pea fritters + tarragon zucchini slaw | what's cooking good looking
quinoa pea fritters + tarragon zucchini slaw | what's cooking good looking
quinoa pea fritters + tarragon zucchini slaw | what's cooking good looking
quinoa pea fritters + tarragon zucchini slaw | what's cooking good looking
quinoa pea fritters + tarragon zucchini slaw | what's cooking good looking
quinoa pea fritters + tarragon zucchini slaw | what's cooking good looking
quinoa pea fritters + tarragon zucchini slaw | what's cooking good looking

quinoa pea fritters + tarragon zucchini slaw 

This recipe can be made with fresh or frozen peas. I prefer fresh (which happen to be in season right now near me). To cook the fresh peas, just blanch them for about 1 minute in hot water.  If you are using frozen be sure to defrost them by using the same method. 

MAKES
about a dozen fritters

INGREDIENTS

for the fritters:
2 cups of cooked quinoa
2 cups of cooked peas
1 cup of loosely packed basil, roughly chopped
2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil + a couple of tablespoons for frying
2 tablespoons of chickpea flour
1 teaspoon of kosher salt
1 egg, lightly beaten

for the tarragon zucchini slaw:
1 zucchini shredded with a julienne peeler or mandolin
2 tablespoons of mayo (vegan or regular, etc)
1 tablespoon of lemon juice
2 tablespoons of minced tarragon
a pinch or two salt

METHOD

Make the fritters:

  • In a medium bowl, roughly mash the peas using a masher. Add in the quinoa, and continue mashing for a bit, still keeping some texture (the mashing helps the fritters stick together better). 
  • Then, stir in the basil, olive oil, flour, salt, and pepper until evenly incorporated. Lastly, add in the egg and stir to incorporate. 
  • Form the patties by pressing about 1/4 cup of the mixture together between the palms of your hands. Place onto a plate or flat surface. When all of the patties are formed, place in the fridge for about 30 minute while you make the slaw (this will help them hold together better when frying). 

Make the zucchini slaw:

  • In a medium  bowl, mix together the mayo, lemon juice, tarragon, salt + pepper. Add the zucchini to the bowl, and toss to evenly coat. Set aside in the fridge until you're ready to assemble and serve. 

Fry the fritters:

  • Heat the oil (enough to cover the bottom of the pan) in a cast iron over medium heat, and cook the patties for about 4-5 minutes on each side. You will want to do this in batches to keep from crowding the pan. I like to do about 3 at a time. Also, try not to disturb them too much while cooking, and be gentle when flipping them to keep them from falling apart. 

To serve:

  • Place the cooked fritters onto a platter, and top with a pinch of the slaw and some microgreens (if you like). Serve warm. If you have any leftovers, the fritters can be reheated in the cast iron for a couple of minutes on each side.