Panzanella & Salmon

Emily and I just moved into our first apartment! We are thrilled because we don’t have to go to the campus cafeteria anymore. This is a learning process as both of us learn to improve our cooking skills, budgeting, meal planning, and grocery shopping. We are excited to share more of our recipes and tips on cooking healthy dinners while also having an 18 hour school schedule and a part time job. Our first meal that we made in our new place was panzanella and salmon. Knoxville has a great farmer’s market and since tomatoes are well in season currently, this was the perfect meal to start off our week. Recipe and pictures below.

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Photo on 8-17-15 at 6.37 PM #2 Photo on 8-17-15 at 6.37 PM #3

Panzanella (modified from this recipe)


for the dressing:

  • 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice (about 2 lemons)
  • salt
  • pepper
  • 1/4-1/3 cup olive oil
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced

for the salad:

  • about 8 slices of day old bread, cut in to chunks (sourdough, Italian)
  • 1.5 lbs of largely diced tomatoes ( We used all different types of tomatoes for color variety)
  • 1/4 cup sweet onion, sliced thinly
  • 1 cucumber
  • 1 packet of fresh basil leaves, torn into medium size pieces
  • salt
  • pepper


  1. In a small bowl, add all of the dressing ingredients except for the olive oil. Once all the ingredients are mixed, slowly pour the olive oil while continuing to stir. When the oil is completely incorporated, set the bowl aside for 10 minutes.
  2. In the meantime, add all of the vegetables for the salad to a large bowl except for the basil. Pour half of the dressing on the vegetables and mix. Set for 10 minutes.
  3. Put the torn bread into the bowl with the remaining dressing and toss. Set for 10 minutes.
  4. Once everything has set, pour the soaked bread into the bowl of veggies and mix in the basil.

Cherry Chocolate Chip Blondies

Saturday night, we had a sweet tooth craving for something sweet and summery. We found this recipe that combines cherries and chocolate chips into a delicious blondie batter. This recipe was very easy and can be changed up with various fruits and simple additions such as toasted coconut. Next time, we want to try using raspberries, dark chocolate chips, and maybe pistachios. This treat was based on an Averie Cooks recipe. IMG_7570 IMG_7572  IMG_7574 IMG_7575  IMG_7586  IMG_7592 IMG_7593  IMG_7599   IMG_7610We ate our fair share of these blondies, but we also loved giving these to friends and family. What dessert do you like to make for sharing?

Biscoff Cookie Ice Cream

I had my first Biscoff cookie last fall and the taste was subtle but sweet and spicy. Then I was introduced into cookie butter, which is basically just the cookies made into a spread like peanut butter or Nutella. This ice cream was a crowd favorite and probably the best recipe I have made yet. Try it out! Pictures and recipe below.

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Biscoff Cookie Ice Cream

  • 1.5 cups heavy whipping cream
  • 1.5 cups half and half
  • 1 cup Biscoff Cookie Spread
  • 1 cup crushed Biscoff cookies
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • dash of salt


  1. In an electric mixer, add cookie spread and sugar and mix on a low speed until smooth
  2. Add vanilla and salt
  3. Slowly add the heavy cream and then the half and half
  4. Continue mixing until the ice cream base is blended
  5. Pour mixture into ice cream maker for 15-18 minutes
  6. During the last 2 minutes, add the crushed cookies to the ice cream maker
  7. Pour in a freezer container and allow to freeze for at least 12 hours

Sarah Grace Exclusive: Homemade Ice Cream

Ice cream is my favorite hobby (eating and making it). I have enjoyed making it for over three years since I received the greatest gift of all time, the Cuisinart Ice Cream Maker. Over time I have tried countless recipes including peanut butter cup, cookies and cream, strawberry, eggnog, pumpkin, and my favorite, mint chocolate chip. Recently, I tried a new recipe that excluded all dairy products. It’s called Matcha Mint Cookie Ice Cream, and I originally found it here. It exceeded my expectations of ice cream that did not contain any milk. I am all about health and eating right, but when it comes to ice cream, those morals are typically thrown out the window for me as I use heavy creams and thick creamy custard bases. Matcha is essentially condensed, powdered green tea. I truly enjoyed trying out this new recipe and wowing my family when I told them the ingredients.


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  • 2 (13.5 oz) cans coconut milk
  • ½ cup pure maple syrup
  • 2 teaspoons mint extract (I used peppermint)
  • 1 teaspoon matcha powder
  • 2 cups crushed Newman-O’s Hint O’ Mint cookies


  • In a blender, add the coconut milk, maple syrup, mint extract, and matcha powder until well blended.
  • Pour the mixture into a bowl and allow the mixture to chill in the refrigerator or an ice bath for two hours.
  • Pour ice cream base in an ice cream maker for about 15-17 minutes. About 3 minutes before the ice cream in finished, add the crushed cookies.

*Since this recipe does not contain dairy, after a few days in the freezer it becomes like ice. I would suggest making it the day you serve it.