Saturday, October 8, 2011

Southern Banana Cream Pie

As we cleaned out our refrigerator this week, my husband made a dessert that is a deliciously, welcome take on a southern classic. Everyone is very familiar with the ingredients, I'm sure. Take a look, then have a taste. Delicious!
Southern Banana Cream Pie
3 ripe Bananas
Nilla Wafers
Vanilla Instant Pudding
3 cups Milk
1 cup Whipping Cream
2 tablespoon Sugar
Put your mixing bowl in the freezer, so we will have a chilled
bowl to prepare the whipping cream in. Let it get
nice and cold, about 30 minutes worth!
While the bowl is chilling, layer a pie plate with nilla
wafers, along the side and on the bottom. Slice bananas
over the nilla wafers on the bottom. Make the
vanilla pudding. Once it has set up, layer the pudding 
on top of the bananas. Then slice more bananas and place 
them on top of the pudding. 
Make the whipped cream below, and top 
the entire pie with whipped cream.

Pour the whipping cream in to the cold mixer bowl.
Add sugar and mix until stiff peaks appear.
Here it is!
It is creamy and delicious, and the nilla wafers become so soft!

Skillet Fried Potatoes

Our side dish this week is skillet fried potatoes. Potatoes are such a versatile dish, aren't they? I mean you can change up a potato dish about 100 different ways! They go with just about everything, and pretty much everyone loves them! Like these potatoes we made this week. They could definitely be served with the steak, which was our entree this week, or they could be served with breakfast. You could add onion or cheese or vegetables or bacon. See what I mean. The list could go on forever!
Well, our potatoes for this week follow the KIS rule. Keep it simple! That's what I did, and they are sure to please everyone.
Skillet Fried Potatoes
Potatoes(1- 1 1/2 per person)
Garlic Powder
1 tablespoon Butter
I don't really use the microwave a lot.
I learned to cook in restaurants that didn't have them, 
so it just became second nature to do it another way. But I
really like potatoes cooked in the microwave.
Besides, 10 minutes beats 60 minutes every time!

Wash your potatoes, then poke them with a fork twice
on both sides. This gives the heat somewhere to escape to.
Microwave on high for about 8-10 minutes. 
I put mine in for 5 minutes, then checked them every minute.
They should be cooked, but not over cooked,
because we will be frying them up in the skillet.
Once they are cooked, cut them in half to cool.
Cut each half into strips.
Turn the potato around, and cut the strips into bite size pieces!
Pull out your skillet! We are ready to go.
Place the butter in the skillet, and throw your potatoes in.
Sprinkle them with salt, pepper and garlic powder.
Let them cook for about 10 minutes.
Toss them around in the pan so they all get an even browning.
Let them get as brown as you want. I cook mine until they have
little chrunchies on them. They taste great that way!
Serve 'em up, hot and steaming!

Thanks for joining me today! 
Stop by later for this weeks dessert,
Banana Cream Pie!

Friday, October 7, 2011

Crazy Cooking Challenge~Chocolate Chip Cookies!

This is my first time participating in the Crazy Cooking Challenge. For the challenge I was to pick a fellow blogger who had posted a recipe for "something special", and make the recipe. Every month, the "something special" changes. Well, I am so lucky because this month the "something special" is chocolate chip cookies. One of my all time favorites. I went searching for the perfect blog and the perfect recipe, and I found it at
Kirbie's Cravings.
Kirbie and her future husband eat, and then share their experience, in their blog about the San Diego area. Their blog is gorgeous, the photography is spectacular, and if all the recipes are as good as the Soft Chocolate Chip Cookies,
well, lets just say, plan on spending some time when you go browsing on their site.  This recipe had a great texture, smelled heavenly, and delivered on its name.
Here's the recipe! I know you are going to love it!  

 Soft Chocolate Chip Cookies

4 3/4 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
2 cups butter, softened
1 1/2 cups packed brown sugar
1/2 cup white sugar
2 (3.4 ounce) packages instant vanilla pudding mix
4 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
4 cups milk chocolate chips

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Sift together the flour and baking soda, set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, cream together the butter, brown sugar, and white sugar.
  3. Beat in the instant pudding mix until blended. Stir in the eggs and vanilla.
  4. Blend in the flour mixture.
  5. Stir in the milk chocolate chips, trying to spread evenly through cookie dough.
  6. Make balls of cookie dough, about 1 inch in diameter.
  7. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes in the preheated oven. Edges should be golden brown.
In the original recipe, Kirbie used semi sweet chips, and another time, she used swirl chips. I wanted to use  the swirls, but I could not find them anywhere. Thank you Kirbie, for a great, fun recipe!

Would you like to find out more about the Crazy Cooking Challenge?
Click on the button!!


Pan Fried T-Bone Steak

The entree for this week is a pan fried T-bone steak. The reason the T-bone is a great steak is simple. The T-bone contains both a piece of filet mignon and a strip steak!  It is such a great piece to buy if you are splitting the steak. In my case, my husband loves the strip steak, and I love the filet. We buy 1 T-bone, and we are both happy! You will be too!
There is the filet on the left side and the strip steak 
on the right.
Start cutting out the filet by beginning on the outside of the 
steak at the top where the bone is.
Cut all the way around until the filet looks like....
this. It should look a little more familiar now!
That leaves us with the strip. Cut around the bone at
the top, and down the center of the bone.
There is your strip steak.
I only like to use pepper on my steaks, so now is the
time to season them.
Start cooking in the pan. Add a pat of butter to give them
a nice flavor and color. I cooked these on medium-high.
They are medium rare after about 4 minutes
on each side. I try to only flip them only once.
 Here is your filet!
You can cut it with a fork.

Thanks for joining The Freshman Cook!
Tomorrow we will be making pan fried potatoes
and southern banana creme pie!

See you then!

Monday, October 3, 2011

Beef and Bean Tostadas!

This appetizer is one that keeps you wanting it again. I made these a couple days ago, and several times I have wondered if I still have some leftover to make again. I have to look because my husband has been asking himself the same thing. However, he may have acted on his craving and not let me in on it! That's how powerful delicious these are! These could easily be served as a meal of course, but I love them as appetizers for a Fiesta Night, or a Football Party, or even a snack!!
Beef and Bean Tostadas
Crema(Table Cream)
Roma Tomato
!/2 pound Ground Beef
Cowboy Beans
(make it here)
1/2 Onion
Shredded Cheese

Place ground beef in frying pan to brown. As you are 
browning the meat, chop it up with your spoon or spatula.
Continuously turn the meat to get an even brown color.

Chop the onion. I started with a 1/2 onion, 
so I cut it into slices, and then chopped the slices.
 Add the chopped onion to the ground beef.
Chop the roma tomato by slicing the tomato and then
chopping the slices.
Start building the tostados. Place hamburger on the bottom,
then spoon on some crema, a mexican table cream,
add cowboy beans,

lettuce, tomatoes,

and a scoop of sour cream.
Garnish with a slice of avocado.

Thanks for joining me today!

Stop by tomorrow when we will
still be cleaning out the fridge, 
and we will be eating a salad of
 roma tomatoes, mozzarella pearls,
onion slices and a squeeze of lemon.

See you then!

Potpourri Week

This week we will be making a bunch of recipes that will help me clean out my fridge. I sometimes forget what is in there, and food gets ignored and forgotten. Like most cooks, I hate to throw food out!

Appetizer~Beef and Bean Tostados
Salad~Tomato, Onion and Mozzarella Pearls
Entree~Pan Fried T-Bone Steak
Side Dish~Pan Fried Potatoes
Dessert~Banana Cream Pie

Grocery List:

1/2 pound Hamburger
Cowboy Beans~See Below  
1/2 Onion
Sour Cream

Roma Tomatoes(1 per person)
1/2 Onion
Mozzarella Cheese Pearls

T Bone Steak
Garlic powder

Idaho Potatoes(2 medium)
Garlic Powder

Banana Cream Pie
Nilla Wafers
Vanilla Pudding
Whipping Cream

There you have it. This is our week.
Hopefully it will end with a clean refrigerator!!

See you tomorrow!

By the way~I realize that I did not post the
Mile High Apple Pie on Friday,
due to logistical complications. I will try and remedy
the problem by Wednesday.
Thank you!

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Club Baked:Pumpkin Cheddar Muffins

Today for Club Baked we are making Pumpkin Cheddar Muffins. YRB4AHERNFUY This recipe is perfect for the beginning of fall. It even has a fall taste to it. Ok, maybe that's not possible, but it does remind me of fall, and all the good foods that are available this time of year. The strong pumpkin taste is definitely in control of the finished product. The insides are soft and fluffy like a good muffin should be, and with a smattering of soft cream cheese, oh,  it is so very good! This is an easy recipe that may just become your family favorite!
The recipe features the usual suspect list
of ingredients for baking muffins, 
except for one surprise visitor.
What is it?
Cayenne Pepper! I would have never guessed that 
these muffins contained cayenne pepper, but they do!
It makes the muffins interesting and complex!?
I don't think I have ever used that word to describe
a flavor before, but it actually fits these muffins!
Of course, you already figured out that 
there is cheddar cheese involved.
 They are gorgeous and rustic looking,
don't ya think?
Super pretty, super tasty, super muffins!

This is a great recipe. You will be glad you tried it. 

To see the entire recipe go to
Billie is our hostess this week!

The recipe we used at Club Baked is from Baked Explorations.
It is written by Matt Lewis and Renato Poliafito.
So far, I can't find any recipe in the book that I don't like.
We are baking our way through the book, and it is so much fun!
If you would like to join us, visit us at