Friday, February 21, 2014

Canon Rebel or IPad Mini Giveaway!!!!

Join me, and some blogger friends, as we say "Happy, Happy Birthday" to Aubrey from Real Housemoms! Not only is Aubrey celebrating her birthday, but she is also celebrating reaching 200,000 facebook followers! Isn't that incredible! It is definitely something to "rah, rah, rah" about!!! So a mega celebration deserves a mega giveaway! Enter today and you could win one of the two fabulous prizes listed above. Good Luck!!

Thursday, February 20, 2014

French Toast Egg Rolls


Today I am participating in the Improv Cooking Challenge, and this month our two essential ingredients are bread and butter. Oh, my goodness! I really went round and round with this one. I had several ideas, but nothing really clicked and said "that's the one"! Until 2 days ago! Yeah, I love last minute stuff. Not at all!! So I came up with these french toast egg rolls. They are good! I wish I was still catering, because these would be perfect. The egg rolls kept the french toast interior hot and moist, so they are perfect for large gatherings, and they would be great for Sunday morning family brunch! I made these a rather basic french toast, but I think you could make them really shine by using pecans or a dried fruit in the egg mix or maybe a chocolate sauce over the top. You might be able to fit a few pieces of scrambled egg in there also!
French Toast Egg Rolls

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Oreo Rice Krispie Balls





I picked up a bag of Marshmallow Crispy Oreos the other day. I was intrigued as to what to do with them. They sat on the kitchen counter for a while so I could look at them as I was thinking about the best way to use them (other than sitting down and eating the entire package!). That is how I usually do things. So I decided to make these Rice Krispie Balls on a stick, but with a little twist. The inside ball is pure rice krispie, but the outside is covered with a mixture of marshmallow flavored candy melts and the inside cream of the oreos. The crumble on the top is the outside of the oreo, but crushed. The result is a rice krispie palooza!
Oreo Rice Krispie Balls

Pan Spray
7 ounce jar Marshmallow Cream
3 tablespoons Butter
6 cups Rice Krispie Cereal
10 ounce bag Mini Marshmallows
1 package of Oreo Marshmallow Crispy Cookies
1 package of Marshmallow flavored Candy Melts
Cookie/Candy Sticks
 These are the cookies, if you haven't seen them yet.
Separate the tops and bottoms from the cream of the cookies.
Crush the cookie tops and bottoms in your food processor. 
If you don't have one available to you, place the cookies
in a zip lock bag, and crush them by rolling 
over them with a rolling pin.
Whenever I make these I spray vegetable spray on
the utensils I will be using. This helps with clean up.
I started with the basic rice krispie recipe, except I used 
a jar of marshmallow creme in place of the marshmallows.
I have been told that the marshmallow creme made the treats
moister and softer. Melt the butter in a large pot on medium low. 
Add the marshmallow creme, stirring until it is smooth.
Take your pan off the heat.
 Add your rice krispies. At this point, the marshmallow cream 
was not enough to even cover the cereal, so I melted butter and a 
bag of mini marshmallows in another pan, and then
poured the melted marshmallows into the pot and mixed.
It covered beautifully.
Make small balls of cereal and place a stick in each one.

Using a double boiler, place the marshmallow flavored
 candy melts on the stove on low. Add the creme filling 
that you removed from the cookies. Mix together.
I found that the candy melts got slightly thick when 
mixed with the filling. I put a few drops of vegetable oil
into the mix and it thinned up a little. To coat the
balls, use a small spreading knife and cover the balls
with the melted mix. It goes quickly.
Don't allow your coating to get too hot. If it does, it will 
go on fine, but it will begin too heat up the rice krispie ball,
and it will start to break apart, melting the marshmallow in the ball.
As each ball is covered, sprinkle the crushed
cookie over the ball.
You have to have somewhere to go with the pops
so they can set up. They can be frozen or refrigerated.
This is what I rigged up in my fridge. This is 2 cooling racks
on top of a baking pan. It worked great. 
I also tried freezing some. That also worked.
These were a big hit. The inside of the marshmallow balls 
were moist and easy to eat. The outside with the 
cream filling mixed with the candy melts and topped with 
the crushed cookie added a great flavor. 

Thanks for joining me today!! 

Here are some other Rice Krispie recipes you might enjoy:

Rice Krispie Cake Batter Pops



The Freshman Cook is partying at these fun venues:
See Ya in the Gumbo

Monday, February 17, 2014

Homestyle Marinara w/ Chicken and Whole Grain Rotini

My husband and my son are pasta lovers. They could eat it everyday! I am not a pasta lover. I have always loved Italian sauces, but the pasta, no, it wasn't my thing. But last night I decided to cook some whole grain rotini I bought last week at the grocery. What a treat! It was so good-maybe I do love pasta! I covered the pasta with a homemade marinara that is simple, quick, and tasty! That actually describes the entire meal!
Homestyle Marinara w/ Chicken and Whole Grain Rotini 
1-28 ounce can of Whole Peeled Tomatoes
1-2 cloves Garlic
Vegetable Oil
1-2 teaspoons Dried Italian Seasoning
Pinch of Sugar
1 Bay Leaf
1 box Barilla Whole Grain Rotini Pasta
1 pound raw Chicken Breasts
Vegetable Spray
Cheese-Mozzarella or Provolone
Place your can of tomatoes in your food processor and puree them.
If you don't mind tomato pieces in your sauce, there is no 
need to puree. I have some picky eaters in this house! You can 
just chop the tomatoes into small bite sizes pieces.
It will look nice and smooth like this.
Chop up your garlic clove.
Heat your garlic clove in the vegetable oil.
Once your garlic pieces start to brown go ahead and
add your sauce to the pan.
Add 2 teaspoons of dried italian seasoning, a pinch of sugar
 and 1 bay leaf. Let simmer for 30-40 minutes.
Boil the water and cook your pasta.
Cut your chicken into bite size pieces and grill them
in a pan sprayed with vegetable spray.
Put it altogether. I layered rotini pasta in the bottom, sauce
on top, then chicken, more sauce, and then cheese. I used the rotini
because all the edges in the pasta hold the sauce. That is also why I
served this in bowls. I used a 4 cheese mix because that is what
I had on hand. It was actually pretty good on the pasta!


Thursday, February 13, 2014

Cherry Coke Parfait!


This month the ingredients for the Behind the Curtain Dessert Challenge are coca cola and cherry. Since I  officially became a resident of the south this past December, I felt it was time to embrace my new home, and make my first official cola cake. I have heard about these cakes before, but until now, I had never made one. I am sure glad I did. It is moist and has those yummy pockets of marshmallow that just make your mouth smile! I cut the cake into small bites, stuffed it in a mason jar, piled on some cherries, topped it with whipped cream, and make Cherry Coke Parfaits. Yum! I hope you enjoy them!
Cherry Coke Parfait
(cake recipe from Cake Doctor)
1 package White Cake Mix
4 tablespoons Unsweetened Cocoa Powder
8 tablespoons Butter-melted
1 cup Cola
1/2 cup Buttermilk
2 large Eggs
1 teaspoon Vanilla 
1 1/2 cups Mini Marshmallows
1 can Comstock Canned Cherries
1 cup Heavy Whipping Cream
1/2 cup Confectioners Sugar
1 teaspoon Vanilla

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
Spray a 13'x9' pan with vegetable cooking spray.
Don't add flour.
Put the cake mix, cocoa powder, melted butter, cola,
buttermilk, eggs and vanilla in your mixing bowl. Blend on low 
for 1 minute, then kick it up to medium for 2 more minutes.
Scrape down the sides of your bowl. 
Add the mini marshmallows, and fold them into the batter.
Place the batter into your baking dish and cook for 40-42 minutes.
Let it cool for 15 minutes. 
Once cool, cut some of the pieces into small bite sizes.
Place the small pieces in the bottom of your jar or cup.
Top with some cherries.
Then add another layer of cake and a layer of cherries.
Pour your heavy whipping cream into your mixing bowl.
Start to mix on medium using a whisk beater.
 Add your sugar and vanilla.
Turn mixer to high and mix until the cream becomes
whipped cream.
Place whipped cream in a pastry bag,
and use Wilton M tip to top the parfait.
Garnish the whipped cream with
hearts or chocolate sprinkles!
Enjoy your Cherry Coke Parfait!
Thank you for stopping by The Freshman Cook Today!
I am so glad you did!

Check below for all the other entries in the Dessert Challenge:
 

Lady Behind the Curtain Dessert Challenge

 

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Hearts and Kisses Valentine Popcorn!


Here is a quick, cute Valentine popcorn that everyone will love! 
It is quick to make, uses minimal ingredients, and it is pretty much loved by all.
And, it looks pretty!
Hearts and Kisses Popcorn
 2 bags Popped Popcorn
1 cup White Candy Melts
Valentine Conversation Hearts
Mini Hershey Kisses
1 cup Pink Candy Melts


Pop your popcorn. Let it cool. That happens pretty fast anyway!
Melt the white candy melts in the microwave or a double boiler.
Pour the melted white candy melts over the popcorn
and mix well so they are all coated.
Spread the covered popcorn out over a baking sheet.
Place conversation hearts in the popcorn, trying to get it to
hold to the popcorn with the wet candy melt.
Do the same thing with the mini kisses, placing them
where you want them. Let dry.
Melt the pink candy melts in the microwave or double boiler.
Place the melted pink melts in a squeeze bottle, 
and squeeze all over the popcorn, hearts, and kisses.
Go in one direction. . . . . .
and then in the other. This looks pretty, but it is also to 
secure the candies to the popcorn. You really can't 
use too much pink!
Once the popcorn is dry, gently break it into pieces .
Serve in cups or plastic bags tied with ribbons!

Thanks for dropping by The Freshman Cook today!