Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Super Bowl Fun!-Chili and Queso Dip!

I think just about everyone knows that it is the last few days before the Super Bowl. I am not a huge football fan myself, but I do love all the festivities and of course, all the food and the creativity that goes in every dish. I mean, that part is fun!!! This Chili Queso Dip is definitely a fun dip to serve and easy to make. It's fun because it's always a winner, and it's easy because you can serve 2 party foods from 1 recipe. You start by making up a big batch of homemade chili. There's your first party food. Then take some of the chili to make your dip. Now you have something for everyone!

Chili Queso Dip
2 pounds Ground Beef
1 ounce Chili Powder
1 tablespoon Garlic Powder
1 medium Onion
16 ounces Tomato Sauce
6 ounces Tomato Paste
16 ounces Water
16 ounces Chili Beans
1 tablespoon Hot Sauce
Low Carb Flour Tortillas
1 tablespoon Vegetable Oil
1/2 teaspoon Garlic Powder
1 pound Cacique Queso 
Crackers 
Brown your beef over medium heat, drain the grease,
and add your chili powder and garlic powder.
Chop and add your onions.
Add tomato sauce, tomato paste, and water.
Drain and rinse beans, and add to chili.
Add your hot sauce. Mix together and let simmer for 1 hour.
Cut your flour tortillas. I cut them by cutting the tortilla into quarters.
I cut each tortilla  into thirds. You end up with 12 pieces per tortilla.
In a small bowl, mix together the vegetable oil and the garlic powder.
Place the tortilla pieces into the bowl and
 coat them with the oil and garlic powder.
Lay the tortilla pieces out on a baking sheet.
I covered my sheet with parchment paper,
but spraying it with pan spray will work also.
You are just trying to eliminate any sticking.
Bake at 350 degrees for 10-15 minutes.
Then let cool on a rack.
Take 2 cups of chili from your pot, and place in a smaller pot.
Cut your cheese in to small pieces,
and add it to the small pot of chili.
Stir occasionally. The cheese will melt into the chili.
I thought this chili dip would be perfect for a bread bowl,
and I saw these cute, ready to cut bowls at the grocery.
Fill the bowl with chili dip, top with cheese, and party!

Thanks for joining The Freshman Cook today!













Friday, January 25, 2013

Super Bowl Party~Southwestern Egg Rolls!

This recipe for Southwestern Egg Rolls (just like Chili's) is the perfect appetizer for your Super Bowl Party! I rolled some of the spicy goodness in flour tortillas and some in egg rolls wrappers. Then I baked them instead of putting them in the fryer. They are better for you, taste great, and they don't require you to stand by the fryer while everyone else is watching the game! Just pop them in the oven as you need them, and 7 minutes later, they are done!! Simple and scrumptious!

Southwestern Egg Rolls
(adapted from Most Wanted Recipes)

1 tablespoon Vegetable Oil
1 boneless, skinless Chicken Breast
2 tablespoons Green Onion, minced
2 tablespoons Red Bell Pepper, minced
1/3 cup frozen Corn Kernels
1/4 cup Black Beans, cooked
2 tablespoons Lettuce, chopped
Pinch of Cayenne Pepper
1 1/2 teaspoons Fresh Parsley, minced
1/2 teaspoon Ground Cumin
1/2 teaspoon Chili Powder
Pinch of Salt
3/4 cup Monterey Jack Cheese, shredded
5-8" Low Carb Flour Tortillas
Egg Roll Wrappers

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Cook your chicken in a pan sprayed with cooking oil.
Remove from heat and let it cool.
Once cool, dice the chicken, and set aside.
Heat your pan with the veggie oil over medium heat.
Stir in your green onion and peppers.
I just love those colors!!!
Cook for 5 minutes or until tender.
I had to switch pans here. :) Sorry, but my small
pan just wouldn't hold all of these ingredients.
I placed the cooked peppers and onion in to this pan,
then added the diced chicken.
Then add in the corn, black beans, lettuce,parsley,
cumin, chili powder, and cayenne pepper.
Cook, stirring for 5 minutes or until tender.
Remove from the hear, and stir in the Monterey Jack cheese
so that it melts.
When wrapping your mix in the tortillas, place the mix in the middle
of the tortilla.....
fold in the sides.....
and roll the tortilla tightly.
When wrapping your mix in egg roll wrappers, place the mix
diagonal between 2 opposite sides of the wrap.
Brush the edges with water.
Fold the 2 opposite sides in and roll the egg roll tight.
Using a pastry brush, spread a small amount of melted butter
over the egg rolls rolled in the egg roll wrappers.
It will help them brown a bit. It is not necessary for the
tortillas. Place the egg rolls on a baking sheet
and bake in the oven for 10-15 minutes.

Enjoy!

I took these egg rolls to a party, and they were a hit!
They were served with duck sauce and avocado ranch dip.

Thanks for joining me today!






Monday, January 21, 2013

Mini Cheeseball Bites!

Today is the Secret Recipe Club reveal! This month I was given the blog, The Avid Appetite, written by Rachel. This blog is amazing and wonderful! Rachel's blog is full of incredible recipes. She has them all neatly indexed, and they are so easy to find. She has everything from appetizers to breakfast to meats to desserts, and more. Even her desserts are categorized! Thank you Rachel, for making it so easy to browse your blog. The problem is, you made it hard for me to decide what to make! Everything looked great! I finally decided on Cheeseball Bites, and I am so glad I did! They were perfect for a football party we were invited to, and everyone loved them!!
Mini Cheeseball Bites!
There were 2 kinds of cheeseballs in Rachel's recipe.
They were both so easy to make, which make them perfect for
a party, and they both had just a few ingredients, which made them 
fantastic for entertaining!
Feta Cheeseball Bites
4 oz Cream Cheese, softened
3 oz Feta Cheese Crumbles
1/2 teaspoon Oregano
1/2 teaspoon Garlic Cloves, minced
Black Pepper, to taste
1/2 cup Mixed Nuts, finely diced

Cheddar Cheeseball Bites
4 oz Cream Cheese, softened
1/4 cup Cheddar Cheese, fine shred
1/2 teaspoon Paprika
Black Pepper, to taste
1/2 cup Mixed Nuts, finely diced

For either recipe, beat the cream cheese until soft.
Add the second cheese and mix together. 
Add in the spices and beat until mixed well.
Place each cheese mix in plastic wrap
and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.
Roll the cheese into 1 tablespoon sized balls
and roll them in walnuts.
Serve with crackers!
Enjoy!

I made some minor changes in Rachel's recipe because
I wanted to use what I already had in my kitchen. 
Stop by and see her original recipe for a lower fat version!

Best wishes to Rachel! She and her husband Shaun are 
expecting their first baby any day now!
How exciting!

Thanks for joining me today!
 




 

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Banana Nana Cheesecake!

It is Improv Cooking Challenge day and January's two ingredients are banana and nutmeg! Aren't those great ingredients? So many recipes and ideas came to mind, that, as usual, I had a hard time deciding what to make. I decided on this creamy Banana Cheesecake! I crunched up some left over sugar cones for the crust, added nutmeg to the batter, and made the cheesecakes in mini pans. I think they turned out fantastic!


 Banana Nana Cheesecake
Crust
10 Sugar Cones
4 tablespoons Butter, melted

Filling
3- 8 ounce Cream Cheese, softened
2/3 cup Sugar
2 tablespoons Cornstarch
3 Eggs
3/4 cup Mashed Banana (about 2)
1/2 cup Heavy Cream
2 teaspoons Vanilla
1/2 teaspoon Nutmeg
1/2 cup Heavy Whipping Cream
sliced Banana

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Place the sugar cones in the food processor, and pulse
until finely crushed. Place the crumbs in a bowl, add your melted
butter and mix together. Press the mix into a 10" springform pan
or 6 small pans. Refrigerate.
Beat the cream cheese in a mixing bowl until creamy.
Add your sugar and cornstarch and blend with cream cheese.
Add your eggs and mix them in.
Mix in your bananas, heavy cream, and vanilla.
Incorporate your nutmeg into the mix.
Place your pans on a baking sheet.
Pour your batter into your pans.
Bake for 15 minutes, then reduce the temperature to 
200 degrees and bake for 45-50 minutes for the small pans
and 1 hour and 15 minutes for the large pan. The cheesecakes
are done when the when the center is almost set.
Loosen the edges around the cheesecakes, 
and set them on a cooling rack. Once they are completely 
cooled, remove the sides.
Refrigerate for 6 hours. Before serving, let the cheesecake stand 
at room temp for 15 minutes. During that standing time,
whip your whipping cream with a mixer on high speed. 
Add your sugar and whip until stiff peaks appear.
Garnish with dollops of whipped cream and banana.
Enjoy!

Thanks for joining me today!

Here is where we are partying:
What's in your Kitchen Wednesday? 
Don't forget to check out what everyone else cooked up today!


Tuesday, January 15, 2013

The Perfect Appetizer - Triple Berry Brie

This time of year, I am all about party food, particularly appetizers. I am getting ready for a large and loud  Super Bowl party, and a really nice dinner for Valentine's Day. Throw in Mardi Gras, Easter, a couple birthdays, and an upcoming college graduation, and I really need to get busy with some party planning! One of the foods I love to serve, no matter what the occasion, is warm brie with fruit and bread chunks on the side. It is simple, quick, and always so, so good! This time, I wanted to dress it up a little! So, I set the brie on a bed of triple berry jam, and wrapped it in a coat of puff pastry. I popped it in the oven, and what emerged was warm, creamy, sweet goodness. Heavenly!
Triple Berry Brie
(recipe courtesy of Smuckers)
1 sheet frozen Puff Pastry
1/3 cup Smucker's Northwest Triple Berry Preserves
8 ounce wheel Brie
1 Egg
1 tablespoon Water
Crackers, Apples Slices, Bread Chunks  

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
If you have ever used frozen puff pastry, you know 
that it is easy to use. Unless, of course, you ignore the
directions-like I did. I let the dough sit out on the 
counter top for so long that it was impossible to unfold it.
So I had to roll it out with a rolling pin-like pie crust!
It worked fine, but I recommend following 
the package directions. :)
Spoon the preserves into the middle of the dough.
Place the wheel of brie on top of the preserves.
Fold the pastry over the brie making sure to cover it.
Trim off any extra pastry, and put aside. Don't throw
them away. Press together any open seams. Make an egg
wash by whisking together the egg and the water. 
Brush the seams of the pastry with the egg wash. 
This will help them seal together.
Place the brie seam side down on a baking dish.
 Roll out your pastry scraps, and cut out 
a decorative design for the top. Because it has been
so cold here, I thought snowflakes would be appropriate!
Brush the snowflakes with egg wash.
Bake for 20-25 minutes. 
Let your baked brie sit for 20 minutes before cutting.
Serve with crackers, fruit or bread.
Enjoy!

Thank you for joining me today!   
 

  

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Homemade Egg Roll Party!

We love egg rolls at The Freshman Cook! No doubt about it. Actually, I guess I should say that we love homemade egg rolls, where we pick and choose what we want in our egg rolls. My college senior son was home over the holidays, so we made these homemade egg rolls, one of his favorites.
Homemade Egg Rolls
I cut up the following ingredients, and then everyone that was
eating picked what they wanted to fill their egg rolls. Here is
what we offered:
  • Chicken Chunks
  • Corn
  • Scrambled Egg
  • Diced Onion
  • Chopped Green Onion
  • Rice 
  • Shrimp
  • White Cheese
  • Soy Sauce 
  • Teriyaki Sauce
 You will also need egg roll wrappers, water, and oil.
I cooked the chicken in a frying pan with pan spray. I sprinkled it with 
garlic powder. I bought the shrimp raw, deveined both sides, and 
boiled it with Zatarans seasoning.
Here is my husbands egg roll, filled to the top
with corn, rice, egg, onion, shrimp, and cheese.
He also sprinkled some Teriyaki sauce on top.
I did the wrapping. I used a pastry brush dipped in water
to go round the perimeter of the wrapper. Then fold in the sides,
and roll up, making sure to not leave anything loose or open.
I used very little oil, and just kept turning the egg roll
to brown it on all sides.
We didn't get very fancy on plating these egg rolls.
Actually, we just stood round the kitchen and munched.
They were very good and tasty!
This is the shrimp egg roll. Yum! We served
cocktail sauce, sweet and sour, and duck sauce on the side.
All the variations were delicious. We were talking about all the
different items we could put in the next egg rolls as we were eating these.
Enjoy!

Thanks for joining me today!

We are partying here:
Wicked Good Wednesday
Cast Party Wednesday
Foodie Friends Friday