Monday, November 14, 2011

Club Baked~Buckeyes!

It's another edition of Club Baked!! This time around we made buckeyes! Buckeyes are peanut butter candies, dipped in chocolate to look like a nut called a buckeye. Being born and raised in Ohio, the Buckeye State,  I  can"t remember a holiday season without buckeyes.  And, even though we moved away quite awhile ago, we always have buckeyes during the holiday. It's a tradition! So, I was very excited about making these.  The recipe from Baked Explorations, by Matt Lewis and Renato Poliafito is slightly different from the one I have always used, but I followed their recipe, (except I used milk chocolate instead of dark) curious to see how they differ in taste from mine. I was not disappointed. They were delicious!
 This recipe was easy. There was what I would call 
an "unusual ingredient" in the recipe.
Can you guess what it is?
The scooping and.....
rolling took some time. But it was so worth it!
 Callebaut Milk Chocolate finished off the buckeyes. 
Oh, so good! 
To  read how other Club Baked members created their buckeyes,
or to become a member, check out the Club Baked page.

Many thanks to Karen at Karens Cookies Cakes and More for hosting 
this edition of Club Baked. If you stop by her blog you will find the 
Buckeyes Recipe, and what the "unusual ingredient" is, with lots of other great recipes.

Thanks for stopping by The Freshman Cook!!

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Blogger Love

Thank you to Kris  from SugarBeams and other Half Baked Adventures for honoring  me with a

It is so nice to be receiving this special recognition from a fellow blogger. A Liebster Award
is given to an awesome blog that has under 200 followers, but is on their way to many more. Now it is my chance to pass the award onto five other bloggers in the spirit of pay-it-forward.
Here are the recipients:

1. Darn Near Domestic
2. The Savvy Kitchen
3. Julie's Eats and Treats
4. Sweet Beginnings
5. A Tale of One Foodie's Culinary Adventures

I will be contacting each of you to let you know about your award.
The rules are that you pass it on to five of your favorite,
under 200 members blogs, and mention and link back to the person who awarded
the Liebster to you.


Friday, November 11, 2011

French Dip with a Side of Fries!

I love French Dips. I don't know why I don't make them more often. They are simple, easy, and only a little time consuming. But well worth it. When making this French Dip I chose a really good cut of meat. Because there is nothing going on the sandwich, other than the meat, the meat becomes the most important aspect of the food. I bought Prime Top Sirloin from the grocery. It melts in your mouth. It has a higher cost than choice graded meats, but well worth it. I bought the meat at Costco. They always have a nice selection of prime graded meats at a decent price. I picked up really fresh rolls from the bakery in the grocery store. Yum!!
French Dips w/Oven Baked French Fries
Prime Top Sirloin
1 Roll per Sandwich
Beef Base
See how, in the picture of the meat, it looks slightly frozen?
I did that on purpose. This beef will slice much better
on the slicer if it is frozen some. Not all the way, just for about
2 hours before you are going to cut it. This makes it is so much easier to
slice thin on the slicer, or slice thin with a knife.
The fries take about 35-40 minutes to bake,
so we will put those in the oven first.
Wash your potato. Set your oven at 350 degrees.
Slice your potato in quarters.
Start slicing the quarters into slices like in the pic.
Place on a sprayed baking sheet or use
parchment paper.
Sprinkle the fries with garlic powder and light salt.
Bake. About half way through the baking, turn each wedge
over so the other side can bake easier.

 Lets make your au jus.
I used a beef base to make the au jus. I needed to boil
1 cup of water.

Once the water boils, add 1 tablespoon of beef base.
Turn heat to simmer for about 5-10 minutes.
It's done.

 I cut all of the meat on a slicer.
If you don't have a slicer, you can use a knife, just be sure to
cut the meat thin.
In your frying pan, melt a pat of butter.
Once the butter is melted turn up the temp to medium high.
Put your meat in and cook quickly.
It tastes better if cooked quick and on high.
 Slice your yummy, fresh roll.
Fill with your cooked sirloin.
Pour enough au jus in a dish so you can dip your dip!
Take your french fries from the oven and.....

Thanks for joining The Freshman Cook!

Next up~ Cranberry Pumpkin Bread Pudding!

Mango Chutney Cheese Ball

This week I am continuing my quest for the best of the best when it comes to appetizers. As the holiday parties are quickly approaching, I find myself trying to find some new, delicious, never before served by me, appetizers! So this week I tried a Mango Chutney Cheese Ball.  I didn't want to buy the chutney because, well, I like to make the food myself. That way I know it is good, and I know what is in it. I only needed a couple tablespoons of the chutney for the cheese ball, but the chutney recipe I used made 2 1/2 cups. But that's alright. Chutney makes a delicious accompaniment  to chicken and pork  and is perfect for fall.  So we have 2 recipes here. We will make the chutney first, and then the cheese ball.This is so good. I know you are going to like it.
Mango Chutney
(this is adapted from a recipe by Robert Pickens)
2 1/2 cups diced Mangos
1" piece of peeled fresh Ginger
1 Serrano Chili~minced
1 clove Garlic~minced
1/4 teaspoon Salt
1/2 cup Cider Vinegar
1/2 cup firmly packed Light Brown Sugar
1/2 cup dried Cranberries
Freshly Ground Black Pepper
Peel the mangos. It took 2  1/2 mangos for  2  1/2 cups.
Mangos can be difficult to peel. Cut the ends off.
Let the mango sit firmly on one end. 
Cut around the center, leaving the core alone.
Be very careful. The mango is so slippery, it can fall out
of your hand and you end up cut.
Slice the pieces you cut off the mango, and then chunk the pieces.
Place the mango in a medium saucepan.
Cut the ends off of the serrano pepper.
Slit the pepper down the middle. Remove the seeds
by running the pepper under running water. DO NOT
inhale over the water as the seeds are being hit by the water.
It will make you cough and choke.
All clean and seed free!
Cut the halves into thirds.
Chop the thirds into very small pieces.
Add to the pan.
Smash the clove of garlic.
Chop the garlic into slices.
Chop the slices into small pieces.
Add to the pan with the mango and the pepper.
Add the piece of ginger in. Keep it whole.
Add the salt and the cider vinegar.
Add the light brown sugar into the saucepan.
Add the cranberries and the pepper.
Mix the chutney together and bring it to a boil. 
Once it is boiling, reduce the heat, and simmer until
it becomes thick, about 25 minutes. 
It will look like this when it is done. Let cool.

Cheese Ball

8 oz Cream Cheese~softened
2 tablespoons Mango Chutney~chopped
1 teaspoon Curry Powder
1 teaspoon Ground Ginger
1/2 cup chopped Pecans
Start by chopping the pecans.
They should be a pretty fine chop because they are
going to coat the outside of the cheese ball.
The fine chop will stick better and look prettier.
Put the cream cheese in the food processor.
You can use a bowl and a mixer if you like.
Add the chutney.
Add the curry powder and the ginger.
Pulse until well mixed. 6-8 times.
Form the cheese mix into a ball.
Roll the ball in the chopped pecans.
Keep rolling and covering.
Keep at it until it is completely covered.
You should use all the pecans you chopped.
Cover the cheese ball with plastic and refrigerate.
Serve with crackers!

Let me know if you like this appetizer!

I will keep trying new ones every week until
about the second week in December.

Thanks for stopping by
The Freshman Cook!