Saturday, April 21, 2012

Baby Cookies on Cookie Journey Thursday

Thanks for joining me for Cookie Journey Thursday! My son's friend had a baby girl recently, and he asked me if I would send some cookies to celebrate this special occasion. Well, you know I said yes! This is what I made.
 Whenever I make cookies as a gift, I like to send the cookies in something the recipient can use.
I found this pink basket and matched up some pretty receiving blankets to put in the basket. The blankets also gave me a color scheme to use. I just love the light and dark pink with a little light green. I made the icing  that I always use, and I colored some of it light pink using Americolor #132, some darker pink, using Americolor #164, and the rest light green using very little Wilton Willow Green.

The Bib:

Outline the bib with the light pink.
Immediately fill in.
Let dry completely.
 I am not happy with the way there is a distinction
between the outlining and the fill. At first I thought it might be
because I live in a very dry climate, but after checking into it more,
I think it was because I did not make the icing thin enough.
Using a #2 tip and the light green, I randomly piped
some mini petals on the bib. I just made four very short
lines in the pattern shown. 
Then using a #2 tip, and some dark pink, I piped small little dots
in the middle of each one.

The Rattle:
Pipe and fill in the top ball and the bottom ball on the rattle.
I decorated this rattle several times before I was happy with it.
I thought I had more pics of the work in progress on the rattle,
so I apologize. I piped and filled in the light green areas.
Then I piped and filled in the light pink center.
When it was completely dry, I piped a little scroll design,
and added the two dark pink dots.
I thought the top ball needed something, so I piped the same scroll
design on it, and added the two side dots.

The Onesie: 
 I piped and filled in the onesie with light green.
I let it completely dry, then I piped along the design of a onesie.
I wasn't too sure what design to use, so I looked through
lots of outlined onesie cookies online, and found one I liked.
I followed the design along the edges of the onesie, then I went
back and piped on the extra, like at the neck and the sleeve.
After everything was dry, I put little dots on the onesie
in light pink and dark pink.

The Bottle:
I outlined and filled in the base of the bottle.
Let dry completely.
I tried several ways to decorate the band that goes
across the bottle, but I wanted something with a
little texture. So, I took the light green, and I squiggled
across the band area, and then I squiggled back across it.
I think it added just the right amount of dimension.
I piped and filled in the nipple part of the bottle with
dark pink.
I finished the baby bottle by adding
a design like on the bib, only
bigger. I still used the #2 tip,
but when I piped out the light green,
 I pushed a little more icing thru the
tip, making the piping thicker.

The Monogram:
Pipe and the fill in the circle cookies.
I added the initials of the baby in light pink and the
little heart, like I made here.
 After all the cookies were dry, I dropped them in little cello
bags and tied coordinating curly ribbon around the bags.
Don't they look festive?
I unfolded each of the receiving blankets, and bunched them
together in the bottom of the basket, then I covered
the blankets with the cookies.  I added a little card
and sent them on their way.

What do I need to work on?
I need to work on my icing consistency and my
outlining. Circles are a problem for me.

What do you think?
Thanks for joining me today.

Next week I am making cookies for my son.
He will need the nourishment for finals!!
Hope to see you soon!

Thursday, April 19, 2012

P B and J Ice Cream Sammies~Improv Challenge

It's time for the Improv Cooking Challenge! This month our 2 ingredients are: Peanut Butter and Jelly! Is there a better combo of flavors? There are so many different ways to go on this one! I decided to make  Peanut Butter and Jelly Ice Cream Sandwiches! It's already hot here, so these are a delicious, welcome treat!
PB and J Ice Cream Sammies
(adapted from Gale Gand's Just a Bite)
1 stick Butter-cut into pieces
1/2 cup Sugar
1/2 cup packed Light Brown Sugar
1 Egg
1/2 teaspoon Vanilla
1 1/2 cups Flour
3/4 teaspoon Baking Soda
1/4 teaspoon Salt
1/2 cup smooth Peanut Butter
1 pint Vanilla Ice Cream
1/2 cup Strawberry Jelly

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Cream your butter until smooth
Add sugars and mix well
 Add egg and vanilla
Add flour in three different additions, mixing after each one,
add peanut butter and mix well
Roll your dough into 1" balls.
Crisscross each cookie with the back of a fork.
Bake for 5-7 minutes. Let cool.
While cooling, let the ice cream soften a little,
and then add the jelly, folding it in gently.
Make sandwiches by spreading the ice cream mix
on top of the flat side of a cookie, and then top it with 
another cookie. Freeze until ready to enjoy!

Thanks Kristen for the great ingredient combo!

Monday, April 16, 2012

Mother's Day is May 13th!!

Did you know that Mother's Day is Sunday, May 13th?  That is less than a month away!! Yikes!! I knew it was soon~but not that soon!!! The way things are going around here, it will be here, and I will not be prepared. However, I came across a site that I know will make the upcoming gift giving season very easy for you. Your only problem will be which one to choose! They are cute, personal and so original, it's hard not to love them!! They are from Shutterfly, and they are fantastic! Check them out!

 Is this iphone cover not the perfect gift  for Mother's Day?
Every Mom I know would love this!!

What about these personalized covers for a special graduate?!
They are just the cutest!

Every year it seems as if at least one of my friends has a son or daughter
graduating from school. I usually make the graduate special school related sugar 
cookies, and I spend a lot of time looking for the perfect box 
or container to put them in. I want it to be something the recipient can use again,
and when they do, I always hope they will think about me and smile.
 A personalized mug, like this one, is perfect!
Maybe a picture of you and the graduate, or one of the graduate and their friends,
or what about a Class of 2012 personalization with pictures as a reminder
of the special day! Fill the mug with cookies, or their favorite candy.
It's a gift that lets them know that you not only thought of them, 
you thought about what they would like. 

Don't forget Father's Day coming up faster than you think on Sunday, June 17th!

How about surprising Dad with a personalized photo book?
You can customize the book just the way you want it,
let Shutterfly make it for you!
Either way it's an original, beautiful book that 
preserves Dad's (and your) memories and it's something Dad 
will look at and cherish over and over for years.
It really is a priceless treasure.
Wouldn't one of these Desktop Plaques look great in Dad's office
or maybe his dresser at home?
You can choose from 3 different sizes and lots of 
stylish backgrounds to match a favorite picture that you know Dad will cherish!

Shutterfly offers so many wonderful designs and ideas for
personalized gifts, that you have to check out their web site
and your creative juices will begin to overflow!
 Shutterfly is all over the web:
       Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/shutterfly/
I was compensated by Shutterfly for this post, but all ideas and comments are mine!

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Grasshopper Bars and Club Baked!

It's that time again! Time for Club Baked! This time around we made a delicious dessert called Grasshopper Bars! So tasty, and just perfect for spring! You can get the recipe from our hostess this round, Kirsten. You can also find the recipe in the book we are using, Baked Explorations, written by Matt Lewis and Renato Poliafito.
This recipe took some time to make, but it was so worth it. 
I did make one change to the recipe. The center cream is
 actually green, but it is hard to tell in the picture. I should have made
it darker, but when I was mixing in the color, it looked so pretty! 
I mixed it because I did not use the creme de menthe.
I used 3 tablespoons of additional whipping cream,
1/2 teaspoon of mint flavoring, and 2 drops of  liquid 
green food color. It was wonderful!

This recipe would be great for a luncheon or a brunch.
It's perfect because you can make it ahead of time,
which is always a big help!

Thanks for joining me today!

Next Club Baked~Baked Cheese Grits!

Friday, April 13, 2012

Getting to Know You~The Ultimate Blog Party!

Ultimate Blog Party 2012

I have linked up to one of the best parties going on this week. The 2012 Ultimate Blog Party!
Thank you for stopping by The Freshman Cook today.! In case you have never been here, let me introduce myself~My name is Teri. I started writing this blog as a way of teaching beginner cooks how to cook.  I have been in the restaurant business for about 23 years, and although I have done just about every restaurant job there is, my favorite job was always in the kitchen as the chef; cooking, baking, and teaching anyone who would listen. So, I wanted to carry the excitement I got from helping someone discover a love for cooking onto this blog. I try to give step by step directions with step by step photos. ( I am still working on making the photo prettier!) I also have had a couple giveaways, and I participate in a few online baking and cooking clubs. One of the newer fun things we do is called Cookie Journey Thursday. I love to decorate cookies, but I am not very good at it. So I started Cookie Journey Thursday as a day to practice this art that I desperately want to learn to do well. So, go through The Freshman Cook, and get to know me. If you have any questions, please ask!!  See you at the party!

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

I've been given an award!

Just before Easter weekend, I received The Versatile Blogger award from Tandy, author of  the blog  Lavender and Lime. Thank you so much Tandy!

It's so nice to be a part of such a group!

The award works like this:
  • Thank the person who awarded you by linking back to their post
  • Pass the award on to 15 other new or newly discovered blogs
  • List 7 interesting things about yourself

So, here are 7 things about myself that I hope you find interesting:
  1. I live in Las Vegas, Nevada.
  2. I have owned three restaurants with my husband, who is my best friend.
  3. I love country music, dogs and have lived in 6 different states.
  4. I put my self through college as a blackjack dealer.
  5. I have a son who is in college.
  6. I walk 2 1/2  miles a day.
  7. In August, I will have been married 30 years.

See you soon!