Thursday, September 18, 2014

Celebrate It! Blog Party #9

It's time for Celebrate It!

Join our blog party and show us what you have been up to lately.
Have you made any fall dishes? Celebrate your culinary skills by sharing them with us!
How about that new craft you created for your mantle? We would love to see it!
At Celebrate It! Blog Party we are celebrating everyday life.
The things we do everyday to show our love, our creativity, our passions, our talents.
Share a photo you took of a special place or loved one.
Show us your fall decorating, your front door wreath, your leaf raking party!
We want to Celebrate It! with you!!

So, linkup as many links as you would like.
We can't wait to see them!

Thank you to everyone who visited our blog party last week!

Here are my two featured link ups:
What a motivating quote shared by Marti who blogs
    at Magna Artistic Photos! She has others
that are super motivating, too.
Love these, Marti!
Doesn't this
Overnight Crock Pot Oatmeal look amazing?
shared this morning meal and says
it may be the reason she has been so organized
on these first couple mornings of school!
Thanks for a great recipe, Jenn!
By linking up, you are giving The Freshman Cook permission to feature your post on social media and our blog using a photo, title, and link to your site. Proper credit and links will be given to you.

 Now, let's get this party started!

Chocolate Caramel Apple Bundt Cake/#BundtBakers

This month the #BundtBakers cake was a lot of fun! How does Chocolate Caramel Apple Bundt Cake sound? I know, sounds good, right? The theme this month was Autumn Harvest, so my brain immediately went to apples. But I wanted to add a little decadence to this treat, so I stuffed the cake with chunks of apple, and then I topped it with chocolate fudge sauce, apple pie filling, and caramel sauce. Definitely, decadence elevated!
Chocolate Caramel Apple Bundt Cake
(adapted from How To Cook Everything by Mark Bittman)
1/2 Granny Smith Apple, peeled and cut in to tiny pieces
1 stick butter, softened
2 cups Flour
3 ounces unsweetened Chocolate, melted
1 cup Sugar
2 Eggs, separated
1 teaspoon Vanilla
2 teaspoon Baking Powder
1/2 teaspoon Baking Soda
1 1/4 cup Milk
Chocolate Sauce
4 ounces semisweet Chocolate
4 tablespoons Butter
1/4 cup Sugar
1/4 cup Water
1 teaspoon Vanilla
Caramel Sauce
10 individually wrapped Caramels
2-3 tablespoons Heavy Whipping Cream
Apple  Filling
3 cups Granny Smith Apples
1 tablespoon Lemon Juice
1 1/4 cup Water
1/3 cups Sugar
1 tablespoon Cornstarch
1/2 teaspoon Cinnamon
Dash of Nutmeg
(I made this filling here
Make your pie filling first. I won't bother you with
the details again. Follow the link.
Cream your butter, and then little by little, add your
sugar until well blended and fluffy, 3-4 minutes.
Add in your egg yolks, one at a time.
Add your vanilla and your melted chocolate.
Mix together your flour, baking soda, and
baking powder in a bowl.
Alternate adding your flour mixture.....
and your milk until the batter is smooth.
In a separate bowl, whip the egg whites until soft peaks appear.
Fold the egg whites in to your cake batter very gently.
Add your chopped apple pieces, about 7-8 per mini bundt.
Bake the bundt cakes in your oven at 350 degrees for 15-20 minutes.
Take out and cool before removing from the pan.
You can see the little apple pieces sticking through the cake.
Make your chocolate sauce by adding all the ingredients,
except the vanilla, into a pan with the melted chocolate.
Cook on low until everything is combined.
Add the vanilla, mix in and remove from heat.
Melt your caramels over low heat in a double boiler.
Once they are melted add 2-3 tablespoons of warmed up
heavy cream and mix together.
 I warm my cream in the microwave for convenience.
Put your cake together by topping the cake first with
 chocolate sauce,  then apple filling,
and top it with your caramel sauce!

Special thank you to  Tux Loerzel from Brooklyn Homemaker for hosting this month!

Check below to see what my #bundtbakers friends made this month!

Interested in learning more about us?? #BundtBakers is a group of Bundt loving bakers who get together once a month to bake Bundts with a common ingredient or theme. We take turns hosting each month and choosing the theme/ingredient. You can see all our of lovely Bundts by following our Pinterest board right here. Links are also updated after each event on the BundtBaker home page here. If you are a food blogger and would like to join us, just send an email with your blog URL to If you are just a lover of Bundt baking, you can find all of our recipe links by clicking our badge above or on our group Pinterest board. sp;

Monday, September 15, 2014

Blogland Tour!

Today I am taking part in The Blogland Tour. Thank you to Shannon from Bohemium Junktion for including me in this fun and interesting activity. The Blogland Tour is a great way to learn about who I am and why I am a blogger, and then I will link you to another blogger so you can learn more about her also. It's a lot of fun and so interesting, plus you get a lot on insight into other blogs and what makes them tick! So here we go:

1. What am I working on right now?
    For the last few days I have been working on several fall posts. I have a seasonal Bundt Cake coming up, and I have been baking a lot for an event happening in a couple weeks. I also am half way through some fall cupcakes, some bar desserts, and I have a list of about 20 things to make, of which only half will ever happen. I love making seasonal items and autumn is my favorite, so the blog is loaded with them. In past years I have made this Apple Cinnamon Creme Brulee that is one of my favorites.

I also made these Apple Crisp in Jars that were really well received, and was one of my more popular posts.

2. How does my work differ from others in the same genre?
    I present every post in a step by step tutorial manner so that it is easy to understand. My posts are written for the new cook, so I try to keep it simple and straight forward so as not to discourage. I try to bring out the creative side of a person, as I find cooking, baking, and even frying (haha) to be a very creative process. These Candy Corn Shooters are a good example of my step by step tutorial style of writing.
3. Why do I create what I do?
    Basically because I love to cook and experiment in the kitchen. It makes me happy. As a former restaurant chef, I taught many employees to cook. I enjoyed it immensely, and it gives me great pride to know some of them went on to become chefs. I create food and recipes because it is fun, lots of work and very rewarding. Blogging helps me have control over what I am doing. I feel very lucky to have this opportunity! Here is a Chocolate Pumpkin Swirl Cake that I have made a variety of different ways. Just start with the bundt cake, add pumpkin, or cherries, apples, or caramel. This is an example of how I create. I try to take a basic item, such as the bundt cake, and give it a twist to make it fresh and exciting!

4. How does my writing and creative process work?
    Usually I have a list a mile long of things I want to try and creative. Sometimes I will get ideas from a restaurant, or maybe from a menu or even their television ad. I might like what I see, but I think it should contain something different, so I create mine from their idea, but my recipe. Most of the time you can find me wandering through the aisles of Target, or stores that carry different types of foods, such as World Market, Trader Joe's or even Home Goods. I try to find something I like and then figure out what I want to make with it. I also like to set the product on my counter in the kitchen so I can look at it as I go about my day, hoping inspiration will strike. That works pretty well actually! My husband is a constant source of inspiration. He was a chef long before me, and he is wonderful at thinking outside the box! We worked on this Apple Pumpkin Brown Betty together!
Once I have my idea, I usually start trying it out, photographing every step and writing all of it down. I have to write it down! I have lots of fails! Sometimes an idea that sounds so perfect ends up to be such an inedible mess, that I quickly figure out why it has never been done! It is discouraging, but that is all part of the process.

Thanks for joining me today!

Now I want to introduce you to Erin from A Tale of One Foodies' Culinary Adventures  I am loving this Bacon, Cheese and Carmelized Onion Quick Bread. I can definitely see this warm from the oven with some soup on a chilly day!

Yum! Doesn't this look wonderful!
Stop by and see Erin and what she is up to!
She will be posting next Monday, September 22.
Follow her blog so you don't miss it! 

Friday, September 12, 2014

Celebrate It! Blog Party #8!

 Welcome to "Celebrate It" Blog Party!
I am so glad you are here! This blog party is all about celebrating our everyday lives.
 Link up anything you want that shows how you celebrate life. 
Maybe it's a special recipe for dinner, or a little something special for your child's lunch box! Did you make a great craft that you want to share? We would love to see it!! Did you write a blog post about something important to you? Share it here so we can read it too!What about that great picture you took?
We want to see it! Link up with us and celebrate the everyday things we do that make up this wonderful life!

Here are the features for this week:
This glittery wooden turntable is so cute,
and what a great idea! Two Keck Girls
made this wooden turntable sparkle!

I am using these Tassels on a Stick from Woods of Bell Trees 
to decorate for an upcoming party. They add color and fun,
and the "how to" tutorial is easy to follow!

Thanks to everyone who linked up last week. Hope to see you this week!

By linking up, you are giving The Freshman Cook permission to feature your post on social media and our blog using a photo, title, and link to your site. Proper credit and links will be given to you.

Let's go to the party!

Friday, September 5, 2014

"Celebrate It" Blog Party! #7

What are you celebrating today, tomorrow, this week, last week? I hope you will share what you are celebrating at this weeks "Celebrate It!" blog party! Link up what you cooked for dinner, something special that happened at work or school, an exciting picture that you took, a craft that changed a room or a tabletop, a special treat you created, a favorite DIY project. Anything that shows how you celebrate the everyday days that make up this wonderful life.

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Caprese Pasta Salad

This Caprese Pasta Salad is cool and refreshing. Now, that is something I would think I would be writing in July, for sure. But it is September and it is very hot and terribly muggy here in North Carolina. This salad is just the thing to help you cool down. It has the traditional caprese ingredients, tomatoes, fresh mozzarella, and basil. I didn't do it here, but you could add some shredded chicken and make this salad a meal! Enjoy and try to stay cool!

Caprese Pasta Salad

2 tablespoons Tarragon Vinegar
2 teaspoon Dijon Mustard
Salt and Ground Pepper
1/4 teaspoon Confectioner's Sugar
6 tablespoons Sunflower Oil

Whole Wheat Pasta
Cherry Tomatoes
Fresh Basil thinly sliced
Mozzarella Block

Start by putting your vinegar, mustard, 
and salt and pepper in a bowl.
Add the confectioner's sugar.
Mix ingredients with a whisk.
Drizzle in the oil, whisking gently until smooth and blended.
Taste test to check if additional salt or pepper is needed.
Wash your tomatoes and......
roll your basil leaves together and then chop thinly.
I used a block of mozzarella because that is what I had on hand.
I used this very small scoop to make mozzarella balls.
They were the perfect size. You could also use mozzarella 
balls that are already round when you buy them. They
are very tasty and some are marinated.
Place everything but the vinaigrette together in a bowl.
Toss together with just a little vinaigrette and add more
if you need.
I hope you enjoy this simple, refreshing salad!

Thanks for stopping by today!

Here are some other recipes you might enjoy:

Seaside Pasta Salad

Super Simple Spaghetti Salad

Strawberry and Avocado Salad 

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Waffle Crusted Apple Pie Parfait / #Foodie Extravaganza

September is National Waffle month and along with a bunch of other bloggers we are having a Foodie Extravaganza all about Waffles! You can see all of the delicious recipes at the end of this post. #FoodieExtravaganza

Welcome to the Foodie Extravaganza!
foodieextravaganza 300
So today, I made Waffle Crusted Apple Pie Parfaits! I love waffles, so this was a fun and tasty challenge for me!! I wanted a little bit of fall in my recipe, even though it is not officially here yet, so I chose apples, which led me to apple pie, which led me to using the waffles as the crust in the apple pie that is not really a pie, but a parfait. Yep, that's how this brain works. 
Anyway, I hope you like this Waffle Crusted Apple Pie Parfait with Whipped Cream!

Waffle Crusted Apple Pie Parfait

Sunday, August 31, 2014

Orange Cream Tart

Happy Labor Day Weekend to everyone! I hope your celebrations are full of fun and relaxation!! Today I shared my Orange Cream Tart with Mindie at Bacon Time with the Hungry Hypo. Pop on over and see how to make this yummy, tasty ode to the last days of summer!

Orange Cream Tart  
 This tart is refreshing and simple to make. You could also 
substitute lemon for the orange, or key lime too!

Thanks for stopping by!


Friday, August 29, 2014

Celebrate It! Blog Party #6

 Thank you to everyone who shared with us last week.
 We had a great crowd, and I appreciate you taking the time to stop by.
Remember that you can share as many links as you want.
 I can't wait to see how you celebrated our everyday lives this past week!

Here are my two features from last week:

Amanda from Dixie Delights shared an incredibly fun and
festive Back To School party with us! I wish I could have been there!
The treats, the decor, what a great shindig!

Hatch Green Chile Chicken Soup

The Tumbleweed Contessa shared her Hatch Green Chile
Chicken Soup. This looks amazing, doesn't it!
I can smell it cooking!
Hatch Green Chiles are some of the best ever and
my absolute favorite. When I lived in Las Vegas, some of the stores
would roast the chiles outside during the season. Oh, goodness,
you could smell them around the corner. Incredible! If you ever get the
opportunity to try them, you won't be disappointed!

On to the party!
Every link that you share will be shared on social media and
on our pinterest board.

Have a safe and Happy Labor Day!

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Southwest Deviled Eggs

As you are making plans to celebrate Labor Day weekend, I thought I would share these easy Southwest Deviled Eggs! These deviled eggs are more than just an add-on or an after thought side dish. They are more of a mini meal. They are stuffed full of diced chicken and piled high with avocado and salsa. Serve these to your family and friends for a unique take on an old favorite!
Southwest Deviled Eggs