I wanna be on the Deen Team!

I’m Christine. A 22-year-old college graduate from Colorado and I LIVE in my kitchen!

Paula, I admire everything that you do! Your passion for food and life shines through in all of your work! When your cookbook, Paula Deen’s Southern Cooking Bible came out last year, I skipped my class to come meet you in Glendale, CA!

You probably don’t remember me from this picture, but one thing I do hope you remember from my blog is how I want to encourage young women in their 20’s to start cookin’! I use step-by-step pictures of my cooking and baking process so that anyone who wants to cook can follow along every step of the way! Some of my recipes are my own and some are from my favorite cooks and bloggers (I always give credit where credit is due!). I do all of my own photography and although it’s not perfect, I practice taking pictures every day.

I use Google Analytics to track my audience and since March 2012, my blog has received over 1,000 visits. I promote my blog through Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest. I recently bought my own domain and transfered my food blog to my own food website!

Paula, I hope I can join your team and encourage younger women to cook! My mother and grandmother taught me the basics of cooking and I hope I can teach women my age what I’ve learned! Not a lot of young gals in my generation know their way around the kitchen and I hope that by being a part of your team and promoting the Deen image that I can put some Southern spunk into these girls!

Take a peek a my blog, I’ve made a few of your recipes :) You’ll see that I have the creativity and skill to bring young women to the kitchen and prove that happiness really is homemade.

From my kitchen to yours,

Christine :)

Turkey Avocado Grilled Cheese

Colder weather means comfort food in my house! I was craving a grilled cheese sandwich but didn’t want just cheese and bread. I added an avocado I found in the kitchen as well as some herb roasted turkey breast I just bought. The sandwich took me only minutes to make and was super filling! I suggest using provolone cheese because it has the most flavor and melted wonderfully onto the bread with the avocado. I only wish I could have made this into a true panini, but alas, being a poor college graduate I have to work with what I have available at home. So I just used butter and a skillet- the good ol’ fashioned way.

Turkey Avocado Grilled Cheese

(for one, lonely, but crazy delicious sandwich)

  • 2 slices of artisan sourdough bread
  • 2 slices of provolone cheese
  • 2 slices of turkey breast
  • 1/2 roma tomatoes (sliced up- optional)
  • 1/2 avocado
  • butter (for the skillet)

Take the avocado pit out with your knife (be careful).

Slice the avocado and spoon out.

Put a slice of cheese, turkey, tomato and avocado on each side of the bread and put together. I sliced the sandwich in half before I put it on the skillet so that it was easier to flip.

Heat up your skillet with a tablespoon or two of butter and cook the sandwich for a minute until golden brown. Flip the sandwich until both sides are grilled.

 

Baked Apples

Looking to make a tasty fall treat with minimal effort? Baked apples are your answer! This recipe is super simple and only takes a few ingredients. You can use any apple you’d like, but I’d stay on the sweet side (fuji, honeycrisp, gala or golden delicious). Besides baking with pumpkins during the fall, I love cooking with apples. You can bake the apple either whole or half. I chose to split the apples in half instead of coring them whole so that they were easier to eat. Note that if you want to bake a whole apple you might need to increase the oven temperature and baking time. Also, feel free to use whichever variety of nut for the topping. I went with a pecan and walnut mixture. Annnnd a scoop of vanilla ice cream (Blue Bell, all the way) on the side. :) Enjoy, and happy fall!

Baked Apples

(adapted from Real Simple)

  • 4 large apples (I used Fuji)
  • 1/4 cup walnut pieces
  • 1/4 cup pecan pieces
  • 1/6 cup light brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons of cubed unsalted butter
  • Vanilla ice cream (optional- but if you do, go Blue Bell)

Preheat oven to 350˚F. Line a 13 x 9 baking pan and line with foil. Half the apples and core out the middle with a melon baller or paring knife.

Combine the butter, brown sugar and nuts in a small bowl.

Sprinkle the mixture over the apples and place in the baking pan.

Bake in the oven for 45 minutes or until the apples are tender.

Add a scoop of vanilla ice cream on the side :)

 

Pumpkin Pound Cake

In light of the beautiful fall colors and crisp weather, I decided it was finally appropriate to bake some fall goodies :) Last fall, I made mini pumpkin cheesecakes and caramel stuffed apple cider cookies, but today I wanted to do something simple and something that my family would enjoy. I decided to take my traditional pound cake recipe and add pumpkin puree to it to make pumpkin pound cake. Within 30 minutes of baking my house was filled with spicy scents of autumn. Keep in mind that this recipe is for high altitude and may not work below 3,000 feet. I have never tried baking this at sea level so I don’t know how it will turn out for all you ocean folk out there.

When I took out the pound cake I had just enough sunlight to take pictures of the pound cake against some of the glorious fall trees in my neighborhood. Sadly, autumn doesn’t last that long in Colorado because it gets so cold and the leaves fall so soon. But that doesn’t put a stop to fall baking 😉

Pumpkin Pound Cake

  • 1/2 cup butter (1 stick), softened
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 15-ounce can of pumpkin puree
  • 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice

Preheat oven to 350˚F. Cream together the butter and sugar in a mixer.

Add in the eggs one at a time and continue mixing.

Alternate adding in the dry mixture (flour, baking powder and salt) with the milk and vanilla.

Add in half a can of the pumpkin puree and the pumpkin pie spice.

Spread in a buttered loaf pan and bake for an hour to an hour and ten minutes. Take a toothpick and poke a hole in the middle to see if it comes out clean.