Monday, October 24, 2011

Secret Recipe Club~Andes Mint Brownies

It's Secret Recipe Club time, and today I have made a recipe from the website, The Boys Made Me Do It! This is a wonderful blog written by Cara. Cara is the mother of 3!!! boys, hence the name. God bless you Cara! It must be fun, and you must be so busy, having 3 boys. I made the Andes Mint Brownies posted on Cara's blog, and they were delicious. She states in her post that they may be the perfect homemade brownie recipe, and she is right. They are fudgy, (my favorite), with just enough of a cakey texture to be wonderful!

Andes Mint Brownie Bites 

1/2 cup Butter, softened
1 cup Sugar
2 Eggs
1 teaspoon Vanilla
2/3 cup Flour
1/2 cup Cocoa 
1/2 teaspoon baking Powder
1/2 cup Andes Creme De Menthe Chips

Place the butter and sugar in your mixing bowl.
Cream together.
Add the eggs, and mix well.
Add vanilla and mix in.
In a separate bowl, add together the flour and cocoa.
Add baking powder.
Whisk dry ingredients together. The original recipe called 
for these ingredients to be sifter. I don't have a sifter, so
I just whisk it all together. 
Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients. Mix well.
Add the Andes Mint chips and mix in.
I made my brownies into brownie bites. I send a lot of
goodies to my son, in the mail, and bite travel well.
Spray a pan with pan spray, and dust with flour.
Cook for 15-20 minutes.
 When they are done in the oven, add a few pieces of the 
mint chips to the top of each brownie bite.

Thanks for joining me to see my Secret Recipe Club recipe!
I made a few changes to the original recipe, but nothing to change the
recipe much. I eliminated the salt. The original wanted a 1/2 teaspoon 
of salt added. I also used a salt free baking powder. I could not tell any
difference in the taste.
See the original recipe here
This was a great recipe. Andes also makes a peppermint chip that would taste wonderful
in the recipe. they would be great for the holidays!

Thank you Cara, for posting a fantastic recipe.
For more info about Secret Recipe Club, just click.

Creature from the Deep Soup!

This soup is the perfect soup for your Halloween buffet. It is spooky, has green stuff, and is covered in goo!  It will also keep you warm when you are trick or treating.
Creature from the Deep, Soup
5 tablespoons Butter, divided
1 small Onion
1 stalk Celery
3 cups Chicken Base  
8 cups Broccoli Florets
3 tablespoons Flour 
  2 cups Milk
 Black Pepper
2 cups Shredded Cheddar Cheese
Chop up the stalk of celery into bite size pieces.
Chop the onion also.
Melt 2 tablespoons of the butter and saute the onion and celery
in a large pot. Cook until tender.
Make base according to directions . I love to use
Tone's Chicken Base. To get the 3 cups we need, I just 
mixed 3 teaspoons of base with 3 cups of rolling boiling 
water. Tone's has a great flavor, and it is easy to store 
in the refrigerator. Add the broth to the pot.
Chop up the broccoli into small bite size pieces. 
Cut all excess stalk off of the broccoli.
Add broccoli to the pot.
Cover and cook for 10 minutes.
In a small saucepan, add 3 tablespoons of butter, and the flour.
Then add the milk, stirring until thick and bubbly.
Add to soup. Mix.
Add cheddar cheese, and stir.
The heat will help the cheese melt, 
and it will become creamy.

Thanks for joining me!
Next up~ Yummy Mummy Calzones!!

See you then!

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Improv Cooking Challenge~Caramel Apple Cupcakes!

This is the first installment of The Improv Cooking Challenge! It is hosted by Sheryl of Lady Behind the Curtain. I am so excited to be a part of this fun challenge. It really is fun. It had me working overtime to decide what to create! But it's fun work! Here's how it works: Every month Sheryl will give you 2 different ingredients that you must create in a recipe. That's it!! Easy! This months ingredients are caramel and apple. My recipe: Caramel Apple Cupcakes! I hope you like them!
 Caramel Apple Cupcakes
1 box Duncan Hines Spice Cake Mix
1 cup Buttermilk
1/3 cup Vegetable Oil
3 large Eggs
1/4 teaspoon Cinnamon
2 Granny Smith Apples

Caramel Frosting
1/2 cup + 2 tablespoons Sugar
1/3 cup Heavy Whipping Cream
1/2 cup solid Vegetable Shortening
1/2 cup Butter
4 cups Confectioners Sugar
2 tablespoons Milk

     Peel your apples.
Chop into mini bite size pieces.
Mix cupcakes according to ingredients listed above.
Add the chopped apples into the batter at the end.
Bake at 350 degrees for 10-12 minutes.
Place sugar and 1/4 cup of water in a pan on medium high.
Let sugar dissolve and the liquid become clear.
Let the mix boil until the mix becomes amber color.
Take off heat  and mix whipping cream in.
Stir until smooth.
Set aside.
In a mixing bowl beat the vegetable shortening and butter.
Add the sugar 1 cup at a time.
Add all the caramel.
Mix in a little milk. Mix well.
Thank you Sheryl for hosting such a fun experience.
I really enjoyed this!
The Improve Cooking Challenge



Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Ghostly Hollows Dip

This dip is a fantastic way to kick off your Halloween Dinner Party, bring to an office celebration, a pot luck,  or add to the party buffet. It's full of everything everyone loves; salsa, cream cheese, guacamole and ghost chips!
Ghostly Hollows Dip 

To make ghost chips:
20 Flour Tortillas
3/4 teaspoon Garlic Powder
3/4 teaspoon Ground Coriander
3/4 teaspoon Paprika
1/4 teaspoon Ground Black Pepper
Ghost Cookie Cutter

To make Salsa:
4 Roma Tomatoes
1/2 Large Onion
1 Serrano Pepper
1 teaspoon Garlic Powder
1 teaspoon Fresh Cilantro
Dash Salt

To make guacamole:
 2 Avocados
1 Small Tomato
1/4 cup Onion
Dash Lemon Juice
1/4 teaspoon Garlic Powder

You also need:
8 ounces Cream Cheese~softened
2-3 tablespoons Sour Cream

To make the ghost chips, cut out the chips with your
cookie cutter. I got 4 ghosts out of every tortilla.
  Keep the scraps and bake them to use in tortilla
soup or in another recipe.
Place the ghosts on a cookie sheet covered with parchment
paper. You could also spray the sheet with pan spray
instead of using the parchment. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
In a small bowl, mix together the garlic powder,
ground coriander, paprika, and pepper.
Lightly spray the tortillas with pan spray.
Sprinkle the ghosts with the dry mix. I sprinkled half with
the dry mix and half with garlic powder only.
Both taste great!
Bake for 5-8 minutes or until just a little brown on the edges.
Let's make Salsa!
Cut the 4 roma tomatoes in half.
Cut the halves in quarters.
Chop the quarters into bite size pieces.
Put the chopped tomatoes in a bowl, and cut the
ends off of the onion.
Peel the onion, and cut the onion in half. Take the half
and cut 3-4 slices from it.
Chop the slices into bite size pieces.
Chop the top and bottom off of the serrano chili.
Wear gloves if possible, and be careful of inhaling the
aroma of the pepper. It is extremely strong, and it can
make you cough, and feel as if it is in your throat. You
also should be careful to not get any pepper
juice on your skin. It itches!!
Cut it down the middle.
Wash the peppers under cold water. This is where you
need to be careful of the aroma. While you hold the
pepper under cold water scrape the seeds and the
insides until the inside of the seed is bare.
It should look like this. Slice each piece down
the length of it.
Chop each piece into very small pieces.
Cut about 7 leaves of cilantro. Roll them together
and chop into very small pieces.
Now, our guacamole!
I didn't take a lot of pics for this, but it is pretty
much what we did for the salsa.
Peel 2 avocados.
Place in bowl.
Smash them down with a fork.
Chop your small tomato, and put it in with the avocado.
Chop your onion, like we did when we made salsa.
Add it to the tomatoes and avocados.
Add the lemon juice and garlic powder.
Mix or smash together.
Add the cream cheese to the salsa.
It should be soft to mix easy.
Place the salsa cream cheese mix in a pie plate.
Level it across the top.
Add the guacamole on top of the salsa.
Add a circle of sour cream.
I wish I would have made the sour cream in the shape
of a tombstone. It would have looked
great with ...
the dancing ghosts!!
(Scary music here!)

Thanks for joining me today.
See you next time for our
Creature from the Deep Soup!

I'm Off To See The Grocer!

It's Tuesday, and I am already running to catch up! The story of my life lately! Anyway, here is the menu and grocery list for this week. It's all about Halloween!


Appetizer~Ghostly Hollows Dip
10 Flour Tortillas
Garlic Powder
Ground Coriander
Ground Pepper
8oz. Cream Cheese
4 Romas Tomatoes
Large Onion
Sour Cream
2 Avocados

Soup~Broccoli Cheese
1 1/2 cups Chicken Broth
4 cups Broccoli Florets
2 cups Milk
4 oz. Shredded Cheddar Cheese
Black Pepper to taste

Entree-Yummy Mummy Calzones 
 2 loaves of Frozen Bread -1lb each
8 ounces shredded Mozzarella Cheese
1/2 cup Pizza Sauce
small Onion
1 Egg
2 Olives

Side Dish-Family Recipe Pumpkin Bread
Baking Soda
Corn Oil
4 Eggs
2 cups Pumpkin
Cream Cheese

Dessert-Candy Corn Shooters
Candy Corn M and M's
Heavy Whipping Cream
Sweetened Condensed Milk
Yellow, Orange Food Color
4 oz White Chocolate

Thanks for joining me!

Hope to see you this week!

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Club Baked~Sawdust Pie

Today at Club Baked, as we work our way through the cookbook, Baked Explorations, we are making Sawdust Pie. That's a great name, isn't it? The pie is similar to a pecan pie, but with a twist. This book we have been using, written by Matt Lewis and Renato Poliafito, constantly surprises me, as all the recipes appear to be classic, but with a twist. That must be what makes it all taste so good. Because it is all good! I haven't been disappointed yet!
 I made a couple changes to the recipe. First, I used sweetened coconut, and I cut it down to 1 cup. It's what I had on hand. I also took note of a small side bar to the recipe that stated that adding some chocolate might not be such a bad idea. Well, I didn't think it would be such a bad idea either, so I added 4 ounces of Scharffen Berger semi sweet chocolate.  This is the first time I have used this chocolate. I prefer the Callebaut whenever I need a high end chocolate, but this was great tasting.  This is a delicious pie! Very fall~ish, and perfect for a dinner party or Thanksgiving!
   For the complete recipe, stop by and see Tessa, our hostess for this recipe.  Her blog, The Cookin' Chemist, is full of wonderful recipes. 

Thanks for joining me today!
The Freshman Cook is all moved in and ready to celebrate
Halloween with a week long menu and  holiday tablescape!

Stop by tomorrow to see our menu!


Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Ghost Kitchen!

The Freshman Cook has been busy moving. I won't be posting this week due to a kitchen malfunction, but  I will be back next week with a fun Halloween menu and party plans to soothe even the most restless of spirits!