Friday, February 5, 2016

Panther Popcorn Pops

It is Super Bowl week, and that is pretty much all anyone is talking about! Especially if you live in North Carolina, like I do! So these Panther Popcorn Pops are doing double duty. I get to show my love for the Panther's and decorate my party table! And what's even better is that they are so much fun to make! Start with a simple popcorn ball, add a few drizzles of my new favorite colors, and you have a fun, festive centerpiece for your party! Go Panthers!

Panther Popcorn Pops
(printable recipe)
 (makes 10 pops)

2 bags Microwave Popcorn

1 cup Sugar

1 cup light Corn Syrup

1/4 cup Water

3 tablespoons Butter

3 ounces Warm Water

2 1/2 tablespoons Meringue Powder

1/2 teaspoon Cream of Tartar

1 pound Confectioner's Sugar 

Sticks for pops


Styrofoam 

Shot glasses


Use a heavy bottomed pan and mix together the sugar, corn syrup, and water. Cook until the candy thermometer reaches soft ball stage, which is 235 degrees. Cook popcorn, and remove all uncooked kernels.
Immediately remove pan from heat, and mix in butter. Pour mix over popcorn and stir until all popcorn is covered.
Once popcorn has cooled a little, start making small popcorn balls. 
Place one of the sticks into each popcorn ball.
Lay on a piece of parchment paper and let dry overnight, or several hours. Cover tray with saran wrap.
Use blocks of styrofoam to anchor the popcorn balls. Cover the blocks with plastic wrap to ensure that when the popcorn balls are decorated, frosting that falls on the blocks won't damage them.
Make the frosting by placing warm water and meringue powder in a large mixer bowl. Mix together with a whisk for 30 seconds. Add cream of tartar and whisk again for 30 seconds. Add confectioners sugar all at once and mix on low for 10 minutes. Once the frosting is mixed, make sure to keep it covered. Separate what you will need into a small container. Mix some frosting black, some blue, and leave some white. These pops don't use a lot of frosting, but it will depend on how many you are making. Drizzle frosting all over and around popcorn pops. Let dry.
I am using 4 of the pops for a table centerpiece, so I placed styrofoam in each little shot glass, and covered the styrofoam with lots of curly ribbon. The others I covered in plastic and tied blue, black and white ribbons around them for guests.


Have a great Weekend!


 GO PANTHERS!





Thanks for joining me today! 




Thursday, February 4, 2016

Celebrate It! Blog Link Party!

Welcome to Celebrate It! Blog Link Party!!

I am so glad you stopped by!
I hope you have been busy happily creating! 
I would love to see what you have been cooking, sewing, reading, DIYing, baking, painting, 
fixing, redoing, writing, clicking, reading, thinking,
or anything you would like to share
that makes you feel excited and creative!
We want to celebrate with you!


Here are last weeks most clicked links:

Lasagna
from

Valentine's Day Shadow Box Art Kids Can Make
from

Strawberry Torte Cake
from

Thanks you to everyone of you that stopped by to link up or to look around!
So glad you are here!
You make this a great party!
Here are a few things that will make this party fun for everyone:
 
1. Visit 2 or 3 other party goers if you can. It makes it so much more fun
to link up when someone clicks on your link and visits your page.

2. I pin each of your link ups to the Celebrate It! board,
 and I will also pin them to another Freshman Cook
 board that fits the pin.
 Your link up will get tweeted both times also!

3. By linking up you are giving me permission to feature your post on social media.
  Proper credit is always given. You may receive an 
email reminder about this party.


Look for your link ups on the  Pinterest  pages  for Celebrate It! 
  and on Twitter and Facebook!
Let's Have Fun!





Red Chip Valentine Cookies/ #Fill The Cookie Jar

What are Red Chip Valentine Cookies? After Christmas I found this bag of mint baking chips at a local store. I picked them up at a good price, but the reason I even looked at them twice was because they were red.  I don't think I have ever seen or used red chips before. So along comes Valentine's Day and what could be more perfect than red chips. But I wanted a white cookie recipe. After looking around, I decided to bake my "go-to" sugar cookie recipe that I usually use for cut out cookies. I made a batch and they were yummy and Valentine festive!
sugar cookies, red chips
Red Chip Valentine Cookies
(printable recipe)
(makes 5-6 dozen cookies)
 5 cups Flour
 3 teaspoon Baking Powder
 2 cup Butter
 2 cup Sugar
 2 Egg
 2 teaspoon Almond Extract
 pinch salt
 Red Mint Chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees

butter, sugar, eggs, flour, baking powder, red chips

In a separate bowl mix together the flour, baking powder and salt. Cream together the butter and sugar, add the eggs. 
flour, baking powder, salt
Add the dry ingredients to the butter mix. Add almond extract. Mix together. 
red chips
 Mix in red chips.  Use a cookie scoop or spoon and bake cookies on a parchment covered cookie sheet for 8-9 minutes.
cooling cookies
 Cool on cooling rack.
cookies, baking rack

Cookies, Valentines Day Cookies
Happy Valentine's Day!


Today I am participating in #Fill The Cookie Jar, a cookie group where every month members share cookies based around a common theme. This months theme is Valentine's day! Interested in joining?
Here's the link: Fill the Cookie Jar


Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Red Velvet Cream Pie / #FoodieExtravaganza

I love Valentine's Day, but I try not to take it too seriously. Of course, you should show your love to those that are important to you everyday, but it is fun to send funny, lovey dovey heart cards, eat chocolate, and make Red Velvet Cream Pie! This pie is rich and sooo creamy. Add the whipped cream topping and you will be in love with this pie! Make sure you make it the day of the morning  you want to serve it. It needs 4-6 hours to set up and chill. Happy Valentine's day! 

Looking for more pie recipes? No worries! We are all about pie today at #FoodieExtravanganza. Scroll down below this post to see what everyone else made for this day!
chocolate, red coloring, graham cracker crust, whipped cream topping
Red Velvet Cream Pie

10 Chocolate Graham Crackers
4 tablespoons Butter, melted
1/3 cup Sugar
4 Egg Yolks, beaten
3/4 cup Sugar
1/4 cup Cornstarch
3 cups Whole Milk
3 ounces semi sweet chocolate chips
1 teaspoon red food coloring
1 tablespoon Butter
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
2 cups Heavy Duty Whipping Cream
1 cup Confectioner's Sugar
Edible Heart Decorations

preheat oven to 350 degrees
graham crackers, sugar, butter
 Mix together the crushed graham cracker crumbs, sugar and butter.
chocolate, graham crackers, butter, sugar
Pour mix into a 9" pie plate and pat down around plate, and up the sides until it is covered. Use a flat object, like the bottom of a measuring cup to flatten crumbs. Bake in oven for 10 minutes. Allow to cool completely.
Stir together the sugar and cornstarch. Over medium high heat, add the milk, stirring to combine.
Add the chocolate and red food coloring. Keep stirring until the chocolate is completely melted, the color is red, and the mix has thickened  with a couple bubbles. Once the bubbles begin, continue to cook and stir for 90 seconds more. Quickly remove from heat.

 Take 1 cup of the very hot filling and slowly integrate it into the eggs. I like to pour a little in, and whisk it together, then pour a little more in and whisk again. The purpose is to temper the eggs. You are basically getting the eggs used to the heat before you pour them in to the hot filling. If they are not tempered they will curdle and start to cook, which will ruin your filling. It would not be usable because you would basically have scrambled egg in your pie filling.
Pour the egg yolk mixture into the pot with the hot filling. Bring to a gentle boil, all the while stirring or whisking. Stir for another 90 seconds. Remove from heat. Add vanilla and butter and stir well.

Pour filling in to cooled pie crust. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 5-6 hours.
 Place whipped cream and sugar in a mixing bowl. Mix together on high until it is thick and fluffy.
Fill a pastry bag with the whipped cream and using a Wilton M1 tip, decorate the top of your pie. Sprinkle with hearts and serve!
Enjoy!

Thank you to Wendy from A Day in the Life on the Farm for hosting today!

Here's is what other members of the #FoodieExtravaganza family made for today:

Foodie Extravaganza
Posting day is always the first Wednesday of each month. If you are a blogger and would like to join our group and blog along with us, come join our Facebook page Foodie Extravaganza. We would love to have you! If you're a spectator looking for delicious tid-bits check out our Foodie Extravaganza Pinterest Board! Looking for our previous parties? Check them out HERE.
Thanks for stopping by today!




 

    Sunday, January 31, 2016

    Southwestern Flatbread and a "Design Your Own Flatbread" Table / #SundaySupper

    What is the "Big Game" without food? Well, for me it is not nearly as fun! So for this years game I  am serving a Southwestern Flatbread and a "Design Your Own Flatbread" Table that has something for everyone!
    flatbread, salsa, cheese, chicken, sour cream, avocado, peppers, onions
    Southwestern Flatbread
     printable recipe
     (makes 8)
    3 cups Flour
    1 1/2 teaspoons Baking Powder
    2 teaspoons Garlic Powder
    1 teaspoon Salt
    2 tablespoons Vegetable Oil
    3/4 to 1 cup Water
    Chicken-grilled w/ chipotle seasoning
    Salsa
    Sauteed Peppers and Onions
    Avocado
    Mexican Style Cheese
    Sour Cream 

    flour, baking powder, salt, garlic powder, oil, water
    Mix together the flour, baking powder, salt and garlic powder. Add the oil and enough water so that it is soft, but not sticky. Let rest for 30 minutes. Weigh the dough and divide it into 8 equal pieces. Roll each piece into a ball and cover with plastic wrap. Let rest for 5 minutes.
    rolling, dough, flour
    Roll out each piece into 6-8" circles. Don't worry about having perfect circles. 
    flatbread, oil
    You can cook your flatbread on a griddle if you have one, but they can also be cooked on medium heat in a frying pan. Add a small amount of oil to the pan, and brush it all over. Brush both sides of your flatbread also.
    flatbread
    You will start to see bubbles in the flatbread. Flip it over to the other side.
    flatbread, stove top
    Cook for a minute or two longer. Set aside.
    design your flatbread, chicken, beef, pork, shrimp, beans, slaw, BBQ sauce, scallions, mozzarella, salsa, avocado, cheese, sour cream, beef,
    I set the "Design You Own Flatbread" Table so that it offered BBQ Pork, Shrimp, Chicken, and Beef. That should cover most of your guests. Then I expanded on each of the entree categories to include items that compliment them.
    flatbread, chicken, beef, shrimp, pork, beans, slaw, onions, peppers, mozzarella cheese, creamy sauce, salsa, avocado, sour cream, cheese
    With the Shredded Pork BBQ, I also offered  beans, slaw, and BBQ sauce. The pork was made in the eastern Carolina style. 
    With the shrimp, I offered a creamy shrimp sauce, scallions, mozzarella cheese, and lettuce, similar to what you would find on a 'Po Boy sandwich.
    london broil
    For the beef, I grilled a London Broil and sliced it down very thin. To accompany it I added sauteed peppers and onions, and a three cheese shredded cheese mix, chopped lettuce and fresh mozzarella.
    For the Southwestern Flatbread I offered small diced pieces of chicken, cooked with a chipotle seasoning, salsa, fresh avocado, a Mexican cheese blend, and sour cream.
    flatbread, chicken, beef, shrimp, pork, beans, slaw, onions, peppers, mozzarella cheese, creamy sauce, salsa, avocado, sour cream, cheese
    I also added some hummus and sauteed mushrooms to the table. The toaster oven at the end of the table? That is to heat your flatbread, and melt your cheese! Five minutes on toast does it.

    Of course, the whole idea is to "Design Your Own Flatbread", so you want your guests to mix it up and build their flatbread how they enjoy it! I wanted to show you how I got to my decision of what kinds of flatbread toppings to offer. 

    This is the Southwestern Flatbread:
    flatbread, cheese, chicken, salsa, sour cream, avocado, peppers, onions
    I topped the flatbread with salsa first, then I added chicken, sauteed peppers and onions, and the Mexican cheese blend. It went in to the toaster oven for about 4 minutes (as soon as the cheese melted). After that I added the sour cream, more salsa and fresh avocado pieces. It was incredible!

    This idea was a lot of fun to plan, cook, and eat! There are so many combinations of food that you could come up with, and it doesn't have to be the whole party. I planned it to be only one stop in a party full of food!

    The Sunday Supper family has many more recipes for the "Big Game". No matter if you are entertaining a gang or just yourself, I know you will find something you love! Just scroll down!

    Appetizers and Sides
    Main Dishes
    Desserts and Drinks

    Sunday Supper MovementJoin the #SundaySupper conversation on twitter on Sunday! We tweet throughout the day and share recipes from all over the world. Our weekly chat starts at 7 pm ET. Follow the #SundaySupper hashtag and remember to include it in your tweets to join in the chat. To get more great Sunday Supper Recipes, visit our website or check out our Pinterest board. Would you like to join the Sunday Supper Movement? It's easy. You can sign up by clicking here: Sunday Supper Movement.

    Thursday, January 28, 2016

    Celebrate It! Blog Link Party!

    Hi, and thanks for stopping by Celebrate It!
    Last week we had a lot of Valentine's Day link ups, including yummy food and sweet crafts, Super Bowl ideas for food and decor that are amazing, cold weather recipes which I think we all needed last week, and a great mix of everything!
    Thank you so much for taking the time to link up!

    Here are the 3 most clicked links from last week:

    Valentine's Day Chocolate Raspberry Cream Cheese Mousse
    from

    DIY Chalkboard Banner
    from

    January Soup~Winter Vegetable
    from

    Thank you to everyone who stops by to link up or just to browse!
    So glad you are here!
    You make this a great party!
    Here are a few things that will make this party fun for everyone:
     
    1. Visit 2 or 3 other party goers if you can. It makes it so much more fun
    to link up when someone clicks on your link and visits your page.

    2. I pin each of your link ups to the Celebrate It! board,
     and I will also pin them to another Freshman Cook
     board that fits the pin.
     Your link up will get tweeted both times also!

    3. By linking up you are giving me permission to feature your post on social media.
      Proper credit is always given. You may receive an 
    email reminder about this party.


    Look for your link ups on the  Pinterest  pages  for Celebrate It! 
      and on Twitter and Facebook!
    Let's Have Fun!