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 

Friday, August 22, 2014

Celebrate It! Blog Party #5

It's time for the Celebrate It Blog Party!  Link up any recipes you made, crafts you created, photos you took, DIY projects for your yard or house, back to school activities, end of summer parties, stories you told or heard, or anything that shows how you celebrate everyday life! After all, we celebrate life everyday! Link up and show us how you celebrate it!

 My first feature this week is this Garage Door Makeover
from Little Bitty Damn Houze
I love how simple this project is and how the garage
doors transform into carriage doors.

The second feature is from  Ten at the Table. 

Refried Beans are a favorite of mine and cooked
in a slow cooker makes them so much better!

Thank you to everyone who linked up last week.
I appreciate each link up!
Every link will be shared in social media and pinned to the Celebrate It!
pinterest board during the week. Thanks for sharing!

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Honey Bunny Bundt Cake/#BundtBakers

When I found out I would be making a bundt cake this month with honey in it for the Bundt Bakers group the honey bun popped in my mind, and I couldn't get rid of it. I don't really know why. I have eaten my share of honey buns, but not since I was a little girl. So as not to drive myself crazy, I made this Honey Bunny Bundt Cake to satisfy whatever this craving was. And now I know. My brain wanted my mouth to have this truly tasty experience.

 Honey Bunny Bundt Cake