Monday, December 30, 2013

Celebrate New Years with this Buffalo Wings Flatbread Appetizer!

I love a New Years Eve Party! Well, I love just about any reason for a party, but....New Years Eve is a great reason, and if you are looking for a simple, but yummy, appetizer for your New Years festivities, this Buffalo Wings Flatbread is for you! One of the reasons I love this appetizer is because I used actual leftover buffalo chicken wings to create this recipe. My husband and I went to TGI Fridays to have some lunch. We tried some appetizers, one of which was a flatbread. We also ordered chicken wings, some other yummy food, and had a really fun time. As usual, our eyes were bigger than our stomachs, and we ended up bringing home a bunch of chicken wings. After 2 days, the wings were still in the fridge, and I wanted to do something with them. I remembered that I had some flatbread I had bought at the grocery. Then, I thought about the flatbread we had at lunch, and I thought, what if I do this and add this, and I ended up with this flatbread, kinda inspired by TGI Fridays!

Buffalo Wings Flatbread

1 Flatbread
4 oz. Cream Cheese-softened
1 1/2 teaspoon Franks Red Hot Wing Sauce
7 cooked Buffalo Wings
2 stalks Scallions
1 Roma Tomato
Ranch Dressing
Blue Cheese Crumbles

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
I bought these at the grocery store.
They were sitting on shelves in front of the deli case.
The first thing to do is de-bone the chicken wings. I tried
to use a little of the skin, for the great flavor,
 but I pulled out any really fatty pieces. 
Chop your scallions also.
Chop your tomatoes. 
It is best to make them bite size or smaller.
Bake your flatbread, with nothing on it, for 10 minutes in the oven.

While it is cooking, mix your softened cream cheese and 
the wing sauce together. Add more or less to your liking.
Spread the cream cheese mixture over the flatbread.
Top the spread with chicken, scallions and tomatoes.
Bake in the oven for 10 -15 minutes
 Drizzle with ranch dressing, or.......
add some blue cheese crumbles. Yum!!
I cut my flatbread like a pizza slice, but you could do squares
and serve a lot more guests!

Thank you for joining me today!

Have a Happy, Happy New Year !
See you in 2014!!









Friday, December 20, 2013

The Season of Sweets at P.F.Chang!

This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of P.F. Changs for SocialSpark. All opinions are 100% mine.

I admit it! I have an incredible sweet tooth. To satisfy it, I am always on the lookout for some new or revamped treat that will conquer my craving and leave me happy and smiling! During the holidays, sweets are everywhere, and they are easy to obtain. But P.F. Chang’s is offering some seasonal sweets that satisfy and delight!

How does a handmade Dessert Wonton sound? I know, right? It sounds incredible! Now, how about two different flavors~Chocolate Raspberry and Sweet Vanilla Cream. All I can say is bring them on, and bring both kinds! The Chocolate Raspberry is stuffed with a creamy chocolate-raspberry filling, dusted with powdered sugar, served with chocolate and raspberry sauces and fresh raspberries and mint. Oh, heaven!! And the Sweet Vanilla Cream? Warm and crispy wontons filled with vanilla cream cheese, dusted with powdered sugar and served with vanilla and raspberry sauces and fresh mint.  photo d3f7af4a-3858-4175-a9d5-7e42e8ad35ae_zps70fdfd3f.jpg

What about a Peppermint Mocha Cappuccino? It sounds like a great way to end a wonderful meal, doesn't it? You can enjoy a Crave Mint Chocolate Liqueur and vodka added to a classic cappuccino, finished with crushed peppermint candy. Are you in love with the aroma and taste of vanilla bean? Then treat your taste buds to a Vanilla Bean Bourban Milkshake!!  Woodford bourbon is blended with vanilla bean ice cream, graham crackers and honey, and served with a honey graham cracker pop. Pure bliss!

 photo 542c2e8c-e075-468c-9373-d329061a09a1_zps72d91a85.jpg

Drop in to P.F. Changs this holiday season and enjoy their traditional menu, which is always wonderful, and add some sweet to this sweetest of seasons by trying their delicious handmade dessert wontons or one of their two handcrafted holiday beverages.

If you get there before me, order me a Sweet Vanilla Cream Wonton and a Peppermint Mocha Cappuccino!

What are you excited about ordering?

 

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Thursday, December 19, 2013

Cardamom Orange Sugar Cookies, a Cookie Swap Party and a $50 Target Giveaway!

 Today I have the pleasure of joining in a Cookie Swap Party! Being a devout cookie lover, I decided to try something a little different this time, and I made a Cardamom-Orange Sugar Cookie.  The flavor of cardamom is one of my favorites (although I seldom use it), and when I saw this recipe from Dede Wilson of  Epicurious.com, I had to try it. I hope you enjoy it too!
 Cardamom Orange Sugar Cookies
2 1/2 cups Flour
1 1/4 teaspoons Ground Cardamom
1/2 teaspoon Salt
1 1/2 cups Butter, room temperature
1 cup + 2 tablespoons Sugar
1 1/2  teaspoons finely grated Orange Peel
1/2 teaspoon Vanilla
1 large Egg
1/2 cup Milk Chocolate Chips, melted
holiday sprinkles
 Whisk your flour, cardamom, and salt together in a bowl. Set aside.
In a mixing bowl, beat your butter and sugar until light and creamy. 
Beat in finely grated orange peel and vanilla.
Add your egg and beat to blend.
Add your flour to the wet ingredients in 3 increments.
Beat on low after each addition, just until blended.
Divide your dough in half. 
Wrap each half in parchment or plastic wrap.
Chill about 45 minutes. Dough can be chilled for
up to 24 hours if you want to make ahead.
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
Use a cookie scoop, or you can form with your hands,
and place dough on the baking sheet.
Bake for 8-10 minutes.
Let cool.
Swirl your melted chocolate on top of your cooled cookies.
Sprinkle with holiday colors!

A note about Cardamom~It is an expensive spice. It can be used
in lots of different recipes, not just sweets. It has a unique flavor,
which I love, and I am sure you will too.

Let's meet the hostesses of this fun link party:
Ang from Juggling Act Mama is bringing Toffee Chocolate Chip Cookies
Teri from The Freshman Cook is bringing Cardamom Orange Sugar Cookies
Jamie from Love Bakes Good Cakes is bringing Italian Anise Cookies
Carrie from Frugal Foodie Mama is bringing Biscoff Snickerdoodles
Paula from Call me PMc is bringing White Chocolate Chip Cherry Oatmeal Cookies
Stacey from Glued to my Crafts is bringing Almond Chocolate Cranberry Cookies
Deb from Cooking on the Front Burner is bringing Cranberry Orange Slice Cookies
Jaime from Mom's Test Kitchen is bringing Holiday Vanilla Pudding Cake Cookies
Marilyn from 4 You With Love is bringing Chocolate Peppermint Rice Crispy Treats
Please be sure to hop around and visit all the ladies and check out their tasty cookies! Join the Holiday Cookie Link Party!

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Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Gingerbread Cookies with Eggnog Topping!

Today I am sharing my official cookie of this years Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap. This is my third year participating in this fun, tasty and rewarding holiday activity~I just love it. The cookie swap is a great time because I actually send 1 dozen real, not virtual, cookies to 3 different participants. It is oh, so tasty because I receive 3 dozen yummy cookies from my swap partners.The rewards I reap are because the Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap participates in Cookies For Kids Cancer. This is a national non-profit organization committed to funding new therapies used in the fight against pediatric cancer, which claims the lives of more children in the US than any other disease.This year we raised $13,778.40 for Cookies for Kids' Cancer! Great fun, great Christmas Cookies and a great cause! Win, Win, Win!!!


So, what did I make this year? One of my old favorites, but with a new twist! 
Gingerbread Cookies with an Eggnog Topping
3/4 cup Butter, softened
1 cup packed Brown Sugar
1 Egg
3/4 cup Molasses
4 cups Flour
2 teaspoons Ground Ginger
1 1/2 teaspoon Baking Soda 
1 1/2 teaspoon Ground Cinnamon
3/4 teaspoon Ground Cloves
pinch of Salt
1/2 bag of Wilton Candy Melts~Eggnog flavor
Cream butter and brown sugar until light and fluffy.
 Add egg and molasses.
Combine flour, ginger, baking soda, cinnamon, 
cloves and salt.
Gradually add the dry ingredients to the creamed mix.
Divide your dough in half and refrigerate it for about 4 hours.
 Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. 
Scoop the dough into balls and place on your baking sheet.
Bake for 8-10 minutes.
Cool completely.
Melt about 1/2 package of candy melts
according to package directions.
Spread the melted melts on top of each cookie.
Let the tops set up.

I packed up the cookies,
decorated the cookie tin, and sent them on their way!

But, I did keep a few for quality control!.
I hope you enjoy this recipe.
Visit the Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap facebook page,
and find out how you can join us next Christmas!
Thank you 
Lindsay from Love and Olive Oil
and
Julie from The Little Kitchen
for all you hard work and dedication!
 

Friday, November 29, 2013

Make your Black Friday Green with this Giveaway!!




42 blogs are bringing you an amazing giveaway to get your holiday season underway! We're hoping to make the holiday season easier for one of our lucky readers, $500.00 worth of easier that is! 

The winner will be able to choose from an XBOX 360 Kinect Nike+ Bundle, a Kindle Fire HD 8.9", or a KitchenAid 5 Quart Stand Mixer in the color of your choice! Oh and to top it all off, we're going to give you the difference in an Amazon gift card to make your grand prize total $500.00

For example, if you choose the Kindle Fire HD 8.9" as your prize, it's $229.00. 
$500.00-$229.00=$271 Amazon gift card. 
Amounts based on price at time of shipment.

Sounds like something you'd like to win, right? Well, without further rambling, on to the giveaway! Good luck!


Thursday, November 28, 2013

How to relax this weekend!

This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of Netflix for SocialSpark. All opinions are 100% mine.

Here in The Freshman Cook household, we are eagerly awaiting Thanksgiving Day and the entire Thanksgiving weekend! We have lots of big plans in the works, such as eating lots and lots of food,  shopping till we drop, laughing and sharing with friends and relatives, creating a Christmas craft or two, and relaxing!!! Mostly relaxing!!!!  One of our favorite ways to relax is to cook a great meal at home, and then snuggle down with a movie from Netflix!

I know you have heard of Netflix, but have you tried it? You really need to!! Netflix is just wonderful because you can enjoy your favorite TV show or movie anytime and anywhere you want.  And when I say, anywhere, I mean it. Watch your show on an iPad in your kitchen, on the big screen in the family room, or even on your phone while you are waiting in line at the grocery!What a great way to reduce the stress while shopping this weekend!!

We will definitely be watching Netflix Thanksgiving day while the turkey is cooking! Some of our favorites to watch are Revenge (we are still catching up), comedian Kevin Hart, and one of my very favorites, Next Great Baker ! I also just saw my all time favorite Christmas movie listed, White Christmas!! Love it!!

Not sure what you would watch? There are so many movies and TV shows to choose from! Netflix wants to make it easy to bring your family together on Turkey Day. Just log in and they will suggest shows and movies for you to watch while your turkey is baking.

But what are you cooking for the rest of the weekend?  I will be cooking this recipe for  Freddy's Sticky Saucy  Ribs.  Netflix is showcasing Chef Curtis Stone and this recipe created  just for Netflix. Try it out. I'll let you know how we liked it!! Let me know what you think!

So, this weekend when you are ready to unwind and just relax~think Netflix!

 

Freddy’s Sticky Saucy Barbecued Ribs

 

Every time I’m watching “House of Cards” on Netflix, I want to taste those ribs that Frank eats from Freddy’s BBQ Joint. Now we all can sink our teeth into those sticky saucy ribs right along with Frank! These ribs are served with a barbecue sauce more like the one you’ll find in North Carolina (where Frank is from originally) – one with plenty of vinegar, mustard, and a touch of heat. I’ve included two cooking methods for you to try – the original true barbecue method where the ribs are slowly smoked in the barbecue, and the quicker oven-baked version – both are finger lickin’ good!

 

Serves: 8

Prep Time: 5 hours (includes marinating time)

Cook Time: 4 1/2 hours (for barbecued ribs) or 2 1/2 hours (for oven-baked ribs)

Make-Ahead: The barbecue sauce can be made up to 2 weeks ahead, cooled, covered, and refrigerated; reheat before using.

Ingredients

Spice Rub:

1/4 cup packed light brown sugar

3 tablespoons sweet paprika

2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper

2 teaspoons kosher salt

1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper

1/2 teaspoon ground cumin


 

Barbecue Sauce:

2 tablespoons canola oil

1 yellow onion, chopped


3 garlic cloves, finely chopped

1 teaspoon smoked paprika

1/2 cup whiskey


1 1/4 cups cider vinegar


2 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth

1 1/2 cups ketchup

1 cup honey

2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce

2 tablespoons yellow mustard

1 teaspoon kosher salt

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper

 

Ribs:

4 racks pork baby back ribs (2 1/2-pounds each)

3/4 cup cider vinegar

 

Optional Special Equipment to Barbecue the Ribs:

One 13 × 9-inch (or larger) disposable aluminum foil pan

3 cups hickory wood chips, soaked in cold water to cover for 1 hour

Clean spray bottle

 

Method

To prepare the spice rub:

  1. The day before you cook the ribs, make the spice rub. In a medium bowl, mix the brown sugar, paprika, black pepper, salt, cayenne pepper, and cumin together. Place the ribs on 2 large baking sheets and rub the ribs all over with the spice mixture. Cover and refrigerate for at least 4 hours and up to 24 hours.

Meanwhile, to make the barbecue sauce:

  1. In a large saucepan, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring often, for about 5 minutes, or until tender. Stir in the garlic and cook for about 3 minutes, or until the garlic is tender.
  2. Stir in the paprika, then stir in the whisky and vinegar, bring just to a simmer, and simmer for 3 minutes. Stir in the broth, ketchup, honey, Worcestershire sauce, mustard, salt, black pepper, and cayenne. Bring the sauce to a simmer over high heat. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer uncovered, stirring often to prevent scorching, for about 30 minutes, or until the sauce reduces and thickens slightly. Remove from the heat.

To barbecue the ribs:

  1. Prepare an outdoor grill for low cooking over indirect heat: For a gas grill, place the foil pan over one or two unlit burners and half-fill the pan with water. Turn on the remaining burner(s) and heat the grill to 300°F. Spread 1 cup of the drained wood chips on a piece of heavy-duty aluminum foil. Place the foil directly on the lit burner and wait until the chips are smoking before you add the ribs to the grill.
  2. For a charcoal grill, place the foil pan on the charcoal grate on one side of the grill and half-fill the pan with water. Build a charcoal fire on the other side and let it burn until the coals are covered with white ash and you can hold your hand just above the cooking grate for 4 to 5 seconds. (To check the temperature more accurately, cover the grill and drop a long-stemmed metal candy thermometer through the top vent; it should register about 300°F.) Sprinkle 1 cup of the drained wood chips over the coals.
  3. Combine the vinegar and 3/4 cup water in the spray bottle. Season the ribs with the salt. Place the ribs on the cooking grate over the water-filled pan. (Don’t worry if the ribs extend over the pan, as the pan will still catch the majority of the dripping juices.) Grill, with the lid closed, turning the ribs over and spraying them every 45 minutes or so with the vinegar mixture, adding another cup of drained wood chips at the same intervals, for about 3 hours, or until the meat is just tender. For a charcoal grill, you will need to add 12 ignited charcoal briquettes (or the equivalent in hardwood charcoal) to the fire along with the chips every 45 minutes to maintain the grill temperature. (Light the charcoal in a chimney starter on a fire-safe surface, or use a small portable grill or hibachi.) For either grill, do not add more wood chips after the 1 hour and 30 minute point, as too much smoke will give the ribs a bitter flavor.
  4. Once the ribs are tender, begin brushing them lightly with the barbecue sauce every few minutes or so, allowing the sauce to set before applying the next coat. Continue brushing the ribs with the sauce, turning occasionally, for about 30 minutes, or until the meat has shrunk from the ends of the bones. Transfer the ribs to a carving board and let rest for 5 minutes.

Alternatively, to bake the ribs:

  1. Position the racks in the center and upper third of the oven and preheat the oven to 375°F. Cover the ribs on the baking sheets with foil. Bake the ribs, rotating the baking sheets and basting the ribs after the first 45 minutes, and recovering them with foil, for 1 1/2 hours, or until the ribs are tender and the meat has shrunk from the ends of the bones.
  2. Uncover the ribs, baste them with the barbecue sauce and continue baking for 10 minutes, brushing them lightly with the barbecue sauce every few minutes or so, allowing the sauce to set before applying the next coat.

To serve:

  1. Using a large sharp knife, cut the racks into individual ribs. Arrange the ribs on a platter and serve with the remaining sauce on the side.

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Thursday, October 31, 2013

Happy Halloween!

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Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Cash Giveaway!

If you have never had the pleasure of reading the blog, SayNotSweetAnne, you must get over there now!  The blog is authored by Kayla, who is a graphic designer, and her blog is overflowing with fun, creative things like costumes, recipes (love the graveyard cupcakes!), things to make for your home, and a gorgeous blog planner, just to name a few! Kayla's blog is turning 2, so today she has a special post on her blog today from her friend, Ashley, that you have to see, it's so cute! Plus she is sponsoring a giveaway!!! You can win a $300 Amazon.com gift card. Perfect timing with the holidays quickly approaching!! So enter below to win, and drop by SayNotSweetAnne to see one really creative paper craft!!

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Monday, October 14, 2013

Chocolate Halloween Sandwich Cookies!

Today I made some cookies so you can start getting in the Halloween spirit! They are Chocolate Sandwich Cookies with an orange filling, and they are not only tasty but festive also!

Chocolate Halloween Sandwich Cookies
(loosely adapted from BH and G)
3 1/2 cups Flour
1/2 cup Cocoa Powder
1 teaspoon Baking Powder
1 teaspoon Baking Soda
1 teaspoon Cinnamon
pinch Salt
1 cup Butter
1 cup Sugar
1/2 cup packed Brown Sugar
2 Eggs
1 tablespoon Vanilla

Frosting 
(Antonia74 Royal Icing)
6 ounces Warm Water
5 tablespoons Meringue Powder
1 teaspoon Cream of Tartar
2.25 pounds of Confectioners Sugar

Mix together your flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, 
baking soda, cinnamon, and salt. Set aside.
In a mixing bowl beat butter, sugar, and brown sugar, 
until light and fluffy.
Add eggs and vanilla. Beat until combined
Add the flour mixture, and mix together. 
Take dough and divide into pieces. Roll out between wax paper.
Freeze pieces in the freezer overnight.
 Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
Take 1 frozen piece of dough out of the freezer at a time.
Cut out the outside circle with your cutter. 
Then cut out your inside design.
Reroll scraps of dough, and refreeze for 30 minutes.
Cut a back and a front for each cookie.
Bake for 8 minutes. Let completely cool.
Make your frosting:
   Pour warm water in a bowl and add the meringue powder.
         Mix with a whisk by hand until it is frothy-about 30 seconds.

 Add the cream of tartar and whisk for 30 seconds more. 

Pour all the confectioner's sugar into the bowl.
Mix together on low speed for 10 minutes.

Place some of the frosting in a small bowl and color it orange.
Put the remainder of the frosting into a bowl and cover to prevent drying.
If the frosting is too thick, thin with water, a tiny amount at a time.
Using a small knife or an offset spatula spread the frosting
onto the solid cookie base.
Place the top of the cookie gently over the frosting.

If you make these cookies I would love to hear about them!
I know you will enjoy them!
 Happy Halloween!!!











Thursday, October 10, 2013

Chocolate Pumpkin Swirl Mini Cake w/Cream Cheese Frosting

This Chocolate Pumpkin Swirl Mini Cake is the perfect and tasty way to celebrate fall. Topped with Cream Cheese Frosting and sprinkles, they are a great way to round out a dinner party or family get together.
 Today is one of my favorite days of the month! It is the day we reveal our desserts for The Behind The Curtain Dessert Challenge This month our two ingredients are pumpkin and cream cheese~Yum, Yum!!

Chocolate Pumpkin Mini  Cakes
w/Cream Cheese Frosting
2 Eggs-room temperature
2 1/2 cups  Flour
2 teaspoons Baking Soda
2 teaspoons ground Cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground Nutmeg
pinch of Salt
1/4 teaspoon ground Cloves
15 oz. of Pumpkin
1/3 cup Milk
1 cup Sugar
1 cup packed Brown Sugar
3/4 cup Shortening
2 teaspoon Vanilla
1 cup semisweet Chocolate Chips

Cream Cheese Frosting
4 ounces Cream Cheese
1/2 cup Confectioners Sugar
1 teaspoon Vanilla
3-4 tablespoons Milk

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
In a bowl, mix together your flour, baking soda,
cinnamon, salt and cloves.
In another bowl, combine your pumpkin and milk.
Set both bowls to the side.
In a large mixing bowl, mix the eggs,sugar, brown sugar,
shortening, and vanilla. Blend on medium speed for 2 minutes. 
After the 2 minutes, switch your mixer speed to low. 
Alternately add your flour mix and then your pumpkin 
mixture to your egg mixture.
Divide your batter in half.
Pour the semisweet chips into a bowl and microwave
on full power for 1-2 minutes. Stir every 30 seconds.

Stir the melted chocolate into 1/2 of the batter.


Divide 1/2 of the pumpkin batter between the
prepared pans.

Spoon the chocolate batter over the pumpkin batter.
Spoon the remaining pumpkin batter over the chocolate
batter, and swirl with a toothpick to marble the batter.
Bake for 20-30 minutes or until checked with a toothpick.
Beat your cream cheese until smooth and creamy. Beat in
powdered sugar. Stir in vanilla, and add milk to
gain the correct consistency. Remember you will be piping the icing,
so it should be thick.
Remove the cakes from the oven and let cool completely.
Pipe the cream cheese frosting over your cakes.
Sprinkle with chocolate sprinkles.
Enjoy!!

Here's what everyone else made:

Lady Behind the Curtain Dessert Challenge



The Freshman Cook is partying here:
Church Supper