California Pizza Kitchen inspired Thai chicken pizza

cpk-thai-chicken-pizza

People usually debate that either New York or Chicago has the best pizza in the United States. Outside of the United States of course there is Italy and I have heard good things about Japanese pizza. Personally, I love California pizza. Full disclosure, I have never been to any of the places listed above except California, where I have lived my whole life. So I guess I’m pretty biased. In California, we’re not afraid to put off the wall toppings on our pizza. One of my favorites at a place in Santa Monica was salad pizza. Yes, really.

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Corn cookie and mixed berry ice cream sandwiches

Two of my favorite summer flavors are sweet corn and fresh mixed berries. You don’t typically see them together, but corn and berries actually go really well together in a dessert.

For the Trader Joe’s ice cream sandwich last week, I made corn cookie and mixed berry ice cream sandwiches. For the contest, I named these “Berry Corny Ice Cream sandwiches.”

The winners of the contest are to be announced today. Although Trader Joe’s hasn’t posted the Instagram post announcing the winners yet, I don’t think I’m one of them. The contest rules said they would direct message the winners before the announcement and I didn’t get one. But I still thought it would be fun to share my ice cream sandwich idea and recipe here. I hope you like it!

These ice cream sandwiches only have five ingredients and they were all purchased at Trader Joe’s. One of the contest rules was to use no more than five ingredients and to get them all from Trader Joe’s.

Equipment
Baking sheet
Large bowl, at least 2 quarts in size
Small saucepan
Loaf pan or brownie pan

If these were sold in stores at Trader Joe’s, they would come with some very corny dad jokes on the box. For my entry in the #TJsIceCreamSandwichContest berry ice cream is sandwiched between two corn cookies for the perfect summer treat.

corn cookie and mixed berry ice cream sanwich

Corn cookie and mixed berry ice cream sandwiches

1 can Corn Cookie baking mix
1 large white egg
2 sticks unsalted butter
1 quart French Vanilla Ice Cream
1 bag frozen Fancy Berry Medley

1. Make corn cookies according to directions, using one large egg and two sticks of unsalted butter. Let cool.
2. While cookies are baking, make the berry ice cream. Add 1 1/2 cups fancy berry medley to a small saucepan and heat to medium. Once berries begin to release their juices, turn off the heat. Wait 10 minutes for the berries to cool. Meanwhile, scoop entire contents of French vanilla ice cream into a large bowl, at least 2 quarts in size. Add berries once cool and stir to combine. It’s okay if the mixture melts some. Add all the ice cream mixture to a loaf pan or brownie pan and freeze until solid, about 4 hours.
3. Assemble ice cream sandwiches. For each sandwich, place one corn cookie flat side up on a flat surface. Top with one scoop of berry ice cream (about 1/3 cup), add top cookie and gently press the two cookies together until the ice cream spreads to the edges. Eat immediately or wrap each individually in plastic wrap to save for later.

Note: My mom and sister both said these cookies look perfectly round, which I thought was a nice complement. I used a cookie scoop to get that look.

Sparkling lemonade

sparkling lemonade

When I was growing up, we had a lemon tree in my backyard and my mom used to frequently make lemonade from scratch when lemons were in season. Our tree would overflow with lemons onto the floor in summer. She has moved houses since, but this house has lemons too. I don’t think they have given much fruit off lately though.

I love making homemade lemonade in the summer, whether with extra lemons from a backyard tree or, as it happened recently, after realizing a bought a bag of lemons to use in savory dishes and I forgot to use them.

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Pineapple cotija salad

“pineapple

Surely you’ve heard of watermelon feta salad. Now meet pineapple cotija salad. It’s simple and refreshing, as any summer salad should be.

I was already buying pineapple for the pan grilled pork chops with pineapple salsa I was planning on making and I had been wanting cotija cheese for tacos this week, so I thought why not combine the extra from the two and make a salad? Of course, then the pork chop recipe used an entire pineapple, so I had to wait for the next week to make this salad.

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Pan grilled pork chops with roasted pineapple salsa

pork with pineapple salsa

One of my favorite summer meals is pork chops with pineapple salsa. I don’t make homemade salsa often, but I love this recipe. It’s straightforward and always tastes great.

The marinade for the pork makes it tender and flavorful. I love that both the marinade and the salsa are spicy and sweet.

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Coconut mango popsicles

coconut mango popsicles

I love homemade smoothies and popsicles in the summer time. They are such a special treat. I like that with homemade popsicles I can be sure that they are relatively low in added sugar, free of additives and full of fruits or veggies.

These mango coconut popsicles check all the boxes. Refreshing? Yes, definitely! But also full of fresh fruit and relatively low in added sugar. They are dairy-free and vegan too, if that matters to you.

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Lemon-herb chicken with blueberry balsamic sauce

Lately I have been making two more involved meals a week for dinner and everything else has been super easy. I only want to make things on the easy nights that don’t require a recipe. This lemon-herb chicken with blueberry sauce was a more involved recipe that felt like something I would get at a restaurant. In other words, it’s worth the effort.

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Zucchini cream cheese bread

This recipe comes from my Grandma Donna’s collection. When we went through her cookbook collection several years ago to put together a family cookbook, I wanted to include a zucchini bread recipe because I remember her baking it at least a few times when I was growing up. I believe this recipe came from a church cookbook that she owned.

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