Showing posts with label 4th of July. Show all posts
Showing posts with label 4th of July. Show all posts

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Red, White and Blue Party Centerpieces!

I don't think I have ever posted a craft on this blog. After all, we are all about cooking. It kinda says that in the title; The Freshman Cook. But today I wanted to post a tutorial on this centerpiece.  About 20 years ago, my mother in law turned 75, and my husband and I threw her a huge party. There were about 150 guests, and she had a wonderful time. For the tables, which were banquet tables, I made these centerpieces. They were a little different because the candles each had hurricane glasses around them and they were all done in metallic colors of blue, green and purple. After the party, anyone who wanted one took them home. The thing is, they were truly festive! So, I made some for the 4th of July because it deserves to be festive!
  Red, White and Blue Centerpieces
Red, White and Blue Curling Ribbon
E6000 Glue
Dollar Store Clear Candlestick
Dollar Store Candle Plate
Straight Pins with balls at the end
Styrofoam (cut into 1" squares)
I made 5 of these centerpieces for the 4th of July,
so I needed a lot of ribbon. To speed up the cutting, I 
wound the ribbon around a piece of cardboard about 30 times.
Then I cut the ribbon at the end of the cardboard on one end,
and then cut it at the other end.  I put the ribbon in
a bag with a bottom that stands up. I accessed my
ribbon from the bag easily.
To begin, glue the candlestick on to the bottom of 
the candle plate. Let dry.
Glue the pieces of styrofoam onto the top of the
candle plate, like the picture.
I curled the ribbon and attached it before curling anymore.
There is no wrong way to curl it. Some of mine was loose,
and some very tight.
Attach the curled ribbon by placing the pin in the center
of your curled ribbon, and then sticking the pin into the
styrofoam. I used the pins with the balls in the top
 because the ones without the balls rip through the ribbon
and don't hold it well. Attach ribbon in the front, 
the sides and the top. Don't attach the ribbon to the inside
of the styrofoam square. You need to leave room for 
the candle. 
Keep attaching ribbon to fill in each of the squares. 
There is no point of perfection with this project.
At the end, I went back and added ribbon where
I thought it might be a little low in puffiness.
Also, don't worry about the pins showing. They will 
get covered up by the ribbon.
See how the blue ribbon is long and the red ribbon is short.
It should look that way.
Continue until your foam is full of ribbon!
Add your candle.

There are lots of ways to make this centerpiece.
You could make it less full than I did.
You could also attach a 4th of July sign to it,
or maybe some flags.
The best thing about this design is that you can change it
to match any party decor.

Thanks for joining me on Day 13 of
"15 Days of Red, White and Blue"!

Have fun and Happy 4th!

We are partying at the following fun spots:
Tasty Tuesday 

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Red, White and Blue Malted Waffles

Today is Day 12 of our "15 Days of  Red, White and Blue" series, and it is also Club Baked day! This worked out really well because the Club Baked recipe for Malted Waffles worked out perfectly when retrofitted for the 4th of July! Here's to a festive and delicious breakfast!
Malted Waffles
2 cups Flour
1 cup Malt Powder
2 tablespoon firmly packed Light Brown Sugar
1 teaspoon Baking Soda
1 1/2 teaspoon Baking Powder
1/2 teaspoon Salt
2 eggs, at room temperature
2 1/2 cups Buttermilk
6 tablespoons Butter, melted and cooled to room temperature
Syrup, Butter, Chocolate Chips

In a large bowl whisk together flour, malt powder, sugar,
baking soda, baking powder and salt.
 In a separate bowl, whisk the eggs slightly, .....
add the buttermilk and butter and mix again.
Make a well in the middle of the dry mixture, 
and pour the buttermilk  mixture into it.
Fold the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients
gently, just until combined. There will be lumps.
Cook the waffles according to your waffle iron instructions.
Serve immediately with maple syrup, butter and chocolate chips.
Whipped Cream, a plump, beautiful strawberry,
some fresh blueberries, and some sprinkles.
Anyway you top it, it's going to be good!

Do you know about Club Baked ?
It's a wonderfully fun club! Twice a month we bake
a recipe from the book, Baked Explorations, written by
Matt Lewis and Renato Poliafito. 
Club Baked is fun, no pressure, and we
baked delicious food. Come join us!

Want to see the Malted Waffles all the other club baked
members made? Go here!

Happy 4th of July!

Thanks for joining me today for our
"15 Days of Red, White and Blue"!!

Red, White and Blue Rice Krispie Cake Batter Pops

It is Day 11 of our "15 Days of Red, White and Blue" series, and today we made Cake Batter Rice Krispies, and then rolled them into balls, and stuck them on a stick! Simple? Yes! Time consuming? Slightly! But delicious, and oh, so cute!
Rice Krispie Cake Batter Pops
(adapted from How Sweet Eats via Gimme Some Oven)
3 tablespoon Butter
1 10 oz. bag mini Marshmallows
1/4 cup Yellow Cake Mix
6 cups crispy Rice Cereal
1 (1.75 oz) container of Sprinkles
Red, White, and Blue Candy Melts
Sticks for Pops
Melt the butter over low heat in a large pan.
Add marshmallows.
Stir until they begin to melt.
Add in dry cake mix 1 spoonful at a time until combined.
Stir in cereal until it is completely covered with marshmallow.
Add sprinkles and mix in.
Start rolling the rice krispies into balls.
You can make them any size you want, but they look the best
when they are all a consistent size.
I wear gloves to do this, and I spray the gloves with
cooking spray to prevent sticking.
Melt  some white candy melts in a double boiler.
Dip the bottom of the sticks into the candy melts,
and then insert them into the rice krispie balls.
Let them setup.
Dip each ball into the white candy melt.
Melt some of the red candy melt.
Using a fork, dip it in the candy melt, and then swing it
side to side in the pan, over the rice krispie balls.
Let dry.
Melt blue candy melt.
Using a fork, use the same motion with the blue melt as you
did with the red melts, putting the blue over the red in spots.
Let dry.
Happy 4th of July!

Thanks for joining me today.

Stop by tomorrow to see what we are making
for Day 12~a 4th of July breakfast treat!

  We are partying at the following fun spots:
Crazy Sweet Tuesday
Tasty Tuesday

Saturday, June 30, 2012

Freedom Nachos!

Today is Day 10 of our 15 Days of Red, White and Blue and we are celebrating day 10, Friday, summer, and anything else you want to "woo~hoo" about with one of my favorite things to munch on~Nachos! I even went a little upscale with this dish, adding some additional ingredients I think you will be happy to see and taste!

Freedom Nachos
Red, White, and Blue Nacho Chips
Muenster Cheese
         Cowboy Beans(recipe)
Sour Cream
Filet Mignon Chunks
Sauteed Red and Green Peppers with Onions

Make your beans first. They take a while to make.
You will want to start the day before you need them.
But they are so worth it. Delicious!
Just follow the link to the recipe above.
The same goes for the salsa. 
I didn't take any pictures of it, but you might want to
make it the day before also.
I bought a nice piece of filet. Because it was so big,
the remainder can be used for another meal, making it a much 
better price! I sliced some very thin pieces of beef,
and then chopped them to small chunks.
Cook the beef in a small frying pan.
Saute your peppers and onions at the same time.
Now lets put everything together!
Cover the nachos with the muenster cheese and microwave to melt it.
Place beans, beef, avocado, sauteed veggies and sour cream
in separate bowls for easy access for everyone.
Set out spoons and forks for easy serving, and dig in!
Happy 4th of July!

Thanks for joining me today.

I hope you stop by tomorrow for Day 11 of
15 Days of Red, White and Blue!!

Friday, June 29, 2012

Red, White and Blue Star Cookies!

For this weeks Cookie Journey Thursday, we are making star cookies! Red, White and Blue ones! These cookies are simple, don't take all that much time, and oh, so pretty.They will make any table look festive and happy!
Red, White and Blue Star Cookies
I used the No Fail Sugar Cookies recipe, and 
Antonia74 for the icing. You can find both
of the recipes here.
Americolor Holiday Red
Americolor Royal Blue
I made 1 small, 1 medium, and 1 large star cookie
for each person attending the party I made these for.
Some will eat more, some less!
Outline your blue cookies.....
and fill in.
Do the same....
for the red cookies....
and once more....
for the white ones.
Let them dry completely.
I let these dry overnight.
Pipe small dots on the star. Use contrasting colors so that
you get the Red, White and Blue effect throughout your
cookies. Pipe the dots in the same place on each cookie.
Use blue dots on the white cookie at each angle.
Then place the red dots on the white cookie in 
between the blue dots.
Do the same dot design on the blue cookies, using
red and white icing.
Do the design one more time on the red cookies,
using blue and white icing.
Happy 4th of July!

Stay tuned for Day 10
15 Days of Red White and Blue!

Thanks for stopping by!

We are stopping by the following parties:
Crazy Sweet Tuesday 

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

4th of July Cupcakes!

We are smack in the middle of our "15 Days of Red, White and Blue" series, and I just couldn't wait any longer to post some really festive 4th of July cupcakes! I mean, what's a celebration without cupcakes? These cupcakes are not only perfect for the 4th of July, but they would fit right into an Olympic Celebration!!
4th of July Cupcakes
1 box Duncan Hines White Cake Mix
1 cup Sour Cream
1/2 cup Vegetable Oil
3 large Eggs
1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
Americolor Holiday Red
Americolor Royal Blue

Antonia74 Frosting
6 oz warm Water
5 tablespoons Meringue Powder
1 teaspoon Cream of Tartar
2.25 pounds Confectioners Sugar

Marshmallow Fondant
1 cup of Mini Marshmallows
1 tablespoons Water
1 1/2 - 1 3/4 cup Confectioners Sugar

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
Place the cake mix, sour cream, vegetable oil and eggs
in a mixing bowl. Mix for 1 minute on low, then turn the 
speed to medium and mix for 2 additional minutes.
This recipe is from the Cake Doctor, white cake mix.
Divide your batter into thirds. I used three bowls, and tried
to distribute it evenly. Take the first bowl, and drop a few drops 
of Holiday Red into the batter. Stir until it is combined and
you are happy with the color.
Take your second bowl, and mix in a few drops of the 
Royal Blue. Mix well.
Use a small scoop or a tablespoon to place 1 scoop
of each color in your cupcake papers.
 Bake until done, about 20-25 minutes.
Let cool.

Let's make frosting!
I have used this frosting recipe a lot. I just love it!
It is called Antonia74 Royal Icing. I found it several years
ago on the recipe page. It was developed by Antonia74.
Thank you Antonia!
In a mixing bowl, pour in the warm water and the meringue 
powder. Mix it with a whisk by hand until it is frothy
and thickened, about 30 seconds.
Add the cream of tartar and mix for 30 more seconds.
Pour in all the confectioners sugar at one time.
Using your paddle attachment, and on the lowest speed,
mix slowly for a full 10 minutes.
You will not need all the icing this recipe makes for the
cupcakes. Scoop some into a bowl for the red, 
some for the blue, and then the white. Using a Wilton
#2A tip decorate the cupcakes with the icing like above.
As you can see,
I tried 3 different ways to put the icing on the cupcakes.
The middle one was my favorite, so I made
 the rest of the cupcakes just like it.

Let's make fondant!
Place the marshmallows in a 1 cup measuring cup 
and push down to pack them in.
Microwave for 20 seconds. Just long enough for
them to soften and puff up. Stir with a spoon
until well combined. It should look soupy at this point. 
Add the sugar and mix until it is not sticky. 
Now take it out of the bowl and knead
with your hands. Knead for about 5-7 minutes. 
You only need a small amount for these cupcake
toppers. Pull three equal size pieces from your
piece of fondant. Flatten each piece out. 
Use gloves if you have them. Curve the flattened
piece a little, and drop a few drops of holiday red onto the small
fondant piece. Kneed the fondant piece until it is the color you want.
Do it again with the royal blue color. 
Once you have colored the fondant, 
take a small piece off of each color.
Place then together like above.
Start to knead the three colors together.
You want to create a piece of fondant that shows all the
colors clearly. Over kneading will make the 
colors meld together too much.
Once you have the colors looking pretty, 
roll the fondant with a rolling pun.
Cut out the letters USA from your piece of fondant.
The letters at the top were cut first.
Each time you knead the colors together,
they get a little more distorted.
They still look great, just darker.
Place the letters on top of the cupcake.
Happy 4th of July!

Thanks for joining me today!

We are starting the party early for the 4th!
Here's where we are linking up:
Cupcake Tuesday