Saturday, June 29, 2013

4th of July and the living is easy!

 I love the 4th of July! 
The picnic table over loaded with holiday favorites, swimming and relaxing in the sunshine, water gun and water balloon fights, family and friends coming together to laugh, eat, and tell stories, and the oohs, and aahs as the fireworks show up to magically end the day! What could be better?

Here are a few of the goodies you will find on our picnic table!.

 Have a great 4th!


Thursday, June 20, 2013

S'mores Popcorn!

Follow my blog with Bloglovin Today is the Improv Cooking Challenge reveal day! This month's two ingredients~fish and chips! Being a non fish lover, I decided to put a little fun twist on the traditional, and go with graham cracker fish and melted chocolate chips! What I came up with is a S'mores Popcorn, perfect for summer celebrations and campfires!
S'mores Popcorn
1 bag popped Popcorn
16.5 ounces Milk Chocolate Chips
1 cup Graham Cracker Goldfish
1 cup mini Marshmallows
Pop your popcorn.....
and spread your popcorn in a single layer on a baking sheet.
Melt your chocolate chips in a double boiler, 
or in the microwave.
Drizzle your chocolate over the popcorn.
Place your graham cracker fish on top of the chocolate 
drizzle throughout the baking sheet.
I got my graham cracker gold fish by buying a bag of
S'mores goldfish and picking out the graham cracker fish to use.
Then drizzle more chocolate over the popcorn
 and graham cracker fish in the opposite direction 
that you drizzled the first time.
Add mini marshmallows on top of the drizzled chocolate,
just as you did the graham cracker fish.
Drizzle more chocolate over the mini marshmallows,
drizzling every which way, making sure there is plenty
of drizzled chocolate over all of the popcorn.
Let the chocolate set up and dry.
Enjoy your S'mores Popcorn!

Check out the rest of the Improv Cooking Challenge entries:

Monday, June 17, 2013

Banana Mini Muffins

Today is Secret Recipe Club reveal day and I am so excited because this month the blog assigned to me is Canela Kitchen! I love this blog! There are so many recipes to choose from that I changed my mind about 4 times before I finally decided on these Banana Muffins. I made mine "mini muffins" to accommodate my family, but oh boy, these are sooooo good! I know there are a lot of banana muffin recipes out there, but I love trying new ones, and I know you will want to make these!!

Banana Mini Muffins

250 g plain flour
1 tbsp baking powder
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
130 g  sugar
75 g butter chilled and grated
1 egg
175 ml milk
  1 medium sized ripe bananas peeled
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
Add your flour, baking powder, cinnamon,
sugar and grated butter together in a large bowl.
Stir to coat the butter in the flour mixture.
Beat together the egg and milk and stir into
 the bowl until just blended.
Don't over mix - it should still be lumpy.
Place your muffin cups in your pan,
and add batter. Slice your banana into 1/2"
slices, and cut each slice into quarters.
Place a quarter on top of each cup of batter.
Bake for 15 minutes. 
I used this scale to measure out the ingredients.
It works great when you are making a recipe 
that is measured in grams.
Thanks for joining me today!
Thank you to Gloria from Canela Kitchen for such a great recipe!

Here's what everyone else made:


Monday, May 27, 2013

A Guest Blogger and a Recipe Swap!

Today's the day! Welcome to an Old Fashioned Recipe Blog Swap! I am swapping blogs with Tessa from tessacotton.  She has a fabulous recipe I know you will love! There are 30 different blogs participating! Click on the links of the swap hosts at the bottom of this post to see all of them!


Hey friends! My name is Tessa and I'm so excited to be guest posting here at The Freshman Cook as part of the Good Old Fashioned Recipe Swap. I run the blog over at tessacotton and I've created a simple fish and veggies bake (with a chicken option for those of you who don't care for fish).


Tilapia and Spinach Bake

Ingredients: 
10 oz chopped spinach (fresh or thawed and squeezed)
1 large diced tomato
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese (divided)
1 cup bread crumbs (divided)
2 eggs beaten
3-4 pieces tilapia
Salt and Pepper to taste
1 tsp red pepper flakes
1 tbs minced garlic

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. 



Combine 1/2 cup breadcrumbs, 1/2 cup cheddar cheese, 2 eggs, garlic, tomatoes. spinach, red pepper flakes, salt and pepper in a med bowl, mix well.



Spread spinach mixture on the bottom of a 9x9 or similar sized pan. Arrange tilapia in a single layer on the spinach. Top with remaining breadcrumbs and shredded cheese.  


Bake 17 min or until fish is flaky and cooked through. There you have it! 
**To make with chicken, preheat oven to 350 degrees, cover dish with foil, bake 35 min, remove foil for last 10 min**


for hosting! Go ahead and click through to one of the hosts to check out all the great blogs participating in this fun recipe swap. 




Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Father's Day Man Cave Giveaway!!!

FATHER'S DAY IS COMING!
I am excited to be joining bloggers and authors Lexie Lane and Becky McNeer, along with a lot of your favorite bloggers in an exciting and fun Father's Day Giveaway! We are giving away cash prizes and 3 people have a chance to win!! So make all the entries to have the best chance! Each entry you make gives you another chance to win!
Have you ever wondered if there is a better way to blog? How to do it? How to do it effectively? Should you do it, or not? Well, a lot of your answers can be found in the new book, "The Blogger's Survival Guide".  This book is not just for new bloggers. Written by Lexie Lane and Becky McNeer, this book will simplify your blogging life! Check out this great book!


Enter below for your chance to win! 
The more entries you make, the more chances you may be a winner!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, May 20, 2013

Cannoli Cupcakes

Today is Secret Recipe Club reveal day! This month I was the lucky blogger who was assigned the blog Mele Cotte, which is authored by Chris. I had a really difficult time deciding which recipe to choose. There are so many great ones and now I have a lengthy list of Chris's recipes that I will be making in the future! I finally decided to make the Cannoli Cupcakes and I was so glad I did. These cupcakes are just like the Italian pastry, and oh, so tasty!

Cannoli Cupcakes
2 cup cake flour
1 ¼ cup unbleached all-purpose flour
1 Tbsp. baking powder
1 tsp. cinnamon
½ tsp. salt
1 ½ cup sugar
1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
4 large eggs
1 cup whole milk
1 tsp. vanilla extract

Cannoli Filling
1 cup whole milk ricotta cheese
 (drained in a fine-mesh strainer for 2 hours to remove excess liquid)
1 cup mascarpone cheese
½ cup confectioners sugar
½ tsp. vanilla
½ tsp. cinnamon
pinch of salt

Mascarpone Buttercream
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
16 oz. Mascarpone cheese, room temperature
4-5 cups confectioners sugar
chopped pistachios

Whisk flours, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt in a bowl; set aside.
Cream butter and sugar, mixing until just light and fluffy. 
Add eggs 1 at a time until combined, 
scraping down the bowl after each addition.
Add flour mixture in three batches, alternating with two additions of milk 
and vanilla to batter until completely mixed scraping down the bowl as you mix.
  Scoop batter into baking cups filling about 2/3 full. 
Bake until a cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean, 17 to 20 minutes.
In a large bowl, mix filling ingredients using a wooden spoon. 
Cover and refrigerate until ready to fill cupcakes, at least 2 hours.
When ready to fill cupcakes, transfer the cannoli filling into a pastry
 bag fitted with a plain tip.
 Push the tip gently into the bottom of a 
cupcake and squeeze in the filling until the cupcake plumps.
 Continue with the remaining cupcakes.
Using an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, 
cream butter and Mascarpone until light and creamy.
 Add sugar and continue beating until smooth.
Top with mascarpone buttercream.
Add chopped pistachios.
Chris added a cannolli shell to the top of each of the cupcakes,
and they look so cute!
Thanks for joining me today!
Stop by Mele Cotte and see this great recipe and so many others.

Check out what all the other Secret Recipe Club members made today.


Saturday, May 18, 2013

It's An Old Fashioned Recipe Swap!



I’m participating in a Good Old Fashioned Recipe Blog Swap! Julie {White Lights on Wednesday}, Kelley {Miss Information} and Rachel {i love my disorganized life} have paired up 30 incredible bloggers to trade blogs for the day.

Tessa from TessaCotton and I will be sharing a fabulous recipe on each other’s blogs {but we can’t tell you what they are, because they’re a secret!}. Be sure to visit both of us on May 27th, we wouldn’t want you to miss out on any deliciousness!

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Caramel Cinnamon Muffins

Today is the day for the wonderfully fun, Improve Challenge, and this months 2 ingredients are equally fun~cinnamon and sugar!! How many yummy things can you make with cinnamon and sugar? Probably, like, a zillion! But as difficult as it was, I narrowed it down to just one~Caramel Cinnamon Muffins! There is no way you won't like these!

Caramel Cinnamon Muffins
(adapted from King Arthur Flour)

Muffins
4 tablespoons Butter
3/4 cup Sugar
2 teaspoons Baking Powder
1 teaspoon Cinnamon
Pinch of Salt
1 teaspoon Vanilla
2 large Eggs
2 1/2 cups Flour
1 1/4 cups Milk

Cinnamon Filling
1/2 cup Sugar
2 teaspoons Cinnamon
2-3 tablespoons Melted Butter
 12 Individual Caramels

Topping
1/4 cup Sugar
2 teaspoons Cinnamon

Preheat your oven to 325 degrees.
Mix together the butter, sugar, baking powder,
cinnamon, salt and vanilla.
Add the eggs and beat until smooth.
Add 1/3 of the flour, and half of the milk, and mix together.
Add some more flour, the rest of the milk, and mix together again.
Then add the rest of the flour and mix together one more time.
In a separate bowl, mix together the cinnamon, sugar,
and butter to make the filling. When you add the butter,
add 2 tablespoons first and mix together. Add the third
tablespoon if needed. The mix should be thick.
Spoon 2-3 tablespoons of batter into each muffin cup.
Place 2 tablespoons of cinnamon filling over the batter
of each muffin.
Cover the cinnamon filling with more batter.
Take a caramel and place one into each muffin. The caramel
won't be totally submersed in the batter. A little might show
on the top. Make your cinnamon sugar by mixing
1/4 cup white sugar with 2 teaspoons of cinnamon.
Sprinkle cinnamon sugar on top of each muffin batter.
Bake for 20-22 minutes. Let cool just a little.
Serve right away and the caramel will be totally molten.
If you wait 15 minutes, the caramel will ooze. If the muffins
cool completely, pop them into the microwave  to warm.
Thanks for joining me today!

Check out what everyone else made!

 

Sunday, May 12, 2013


I hope everyone had a wonderful Mother's Day,
and you were blessed with happiness and joy!

Thank you for reading
The Freshman Cook!

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Reese Cup Popcorn!

My son is currently studying for his final exams of his senior year of college. It's almost over!! I know you can't see me, but if you could, you would be seeing me with a huge smile on my face! :) So, to help him get through some long and tough study sessions, I made him some of this Reese Cup Popcorn. It's yummy, addicting, and so easy to put together. You are gonna love it!
Reese Cup Popcorn
1 bag microwave Popcorn
1 package Nestle Peanut Butter and Milk Chocolate Morsels
1/4 cup Party Peanuts
2 small bags Mini Reese Cups
Pop your popcorn according to package directions.
Place the popped popcorn into a pan to cool.
Use a pan that will fit into your freezer.
Take out the unpopped kernels.
Separate the peanut butter chips from the
milk chocolate chips.
(it doesn't take as long as you might think!)
Melt the peanut butter chips in a double boiler, or 
refer to the package directions for other
methods of melting.
Pour the melted peanut butter chips onto the popcorn.
Mix until totally covered.
Add the peanuts, and mix in.
Place in the freezer for 15 minutes.
Melt the chocolate in a double boiler, just like the 
peanut butter chips.
While the chocolate is melting, chop each of the
 mini reese cups into 4 pieces.
Add the chocolate chips and the 
chopped reese cups to the popcorn.
Mix together well. 
Place in freezer for 15 minutes.
Enjoy!
Thanks for joining The Freshman Cook today!