Sunday, November 23, 2008

Cakey Chocolate Chip Cookies

People! This is it! This is the one that has saved me! These are chocolate chip cookies that are actually GOOD for you. Sure, you still have to practice moderation, but the nutrition info on these babies makes me so happy. :0)

1 cup rolled oats
1/2 cup butter softened
1 cup packed brown sugar
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
8 oz. (1 cup) plain fat free yogurt
1/2 cup Egg Beaters
2 1/2 cups whole wheat pastry flour
1 1/2 cups mini semisweet chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Put oats in a shallow baking pan and bake 10 minutes. Place oats in a blender and blend until ground into a powder. Set aside.
In a large mixing bowl, beat butter with mixer for 30 seconds. Add brown sugar, baking soda, and salt; beat until combined. Beat in yogurt, eggs, and vanilla until combined. Mix in flour. Then, using a wooden spoon, stir in the oats and chocolate chips.
Drop dough by rounded tsp. 2 inches apart on cookie sheet and bake for 9-11 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack to cool.

Nutrition facts per cookie:
82 calories, 3 g total fat, 12 mg cholesterol, 54 mg sodium, 12 g carbohydrates, 1 g fiber, 2 g protein.

Ashlee side note: Ok, so if you're not wanting to go ALL the way healthy on these, you can use regular flour and use 2 eggs instead of the egg beaters. I made them with whole wheat flour and the egg beaters and they were a hit. Nobody knew they were whole wheat. :0) Tee hee...I snuck it in on them. I use the egg beaters because they are none of the fat, but all of the protein and are made from real eggs. Essentially eggs whites, but I don't have to throw away the yolk. :0) Oh! And I made these into cookie bars like I usually do out of laziness and they turned out great. I put them in a 9x13 pan, but don't remember how long I cooked them for. I just kept an eye on them and took them out when they started turning golden on the outside edge. They still look doughy in the middle, but after cooling are just perfectly moist and yummy.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Peanut Butter Autumn Spotlights

For all of you peanut butter lovers out there....

1 pkg. yellow cake mix
1/2 c. peanut butter
1/4 c. butter
1/4 c. water
2 eggs
1 c. Reeses pieces

Mix together all ingredients. Drop by rounded teaspoon on ungreased cookie sheet. Bake at 350 degrees for 8 to 12 minutes until lightly golden brown. Yield: 3 1/2 dozen cookies.

Ashlee side note: as you all know, I'm not big into making individual cookies. I'm too lazy. So, I just plopped this dough into a 9x13 pan and baked them as cookie bars. The temperature is still the same, I just had to bake them longer. Check them after 15 minutes to see how much longer they will need. The key is to pull them out when you see that the edges have just started turning golden brown. Even though the cookies still look doughy, they still bake after you've pulled the pan out of the oven because the pan is still hot. Let the pan sit until completely cooled and then cut into bars.
These are the devil. They are really good. I dare you to just eat one. :0)

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Strawberries and Cream Cookies

I made these for the first time yesterday and HOLY COW! So yummy! It was a nice change from a normal chocolate chip cookie, but still nice and sweet. :0)

3/4 c. sugar
1 c. unsalted butter, softened
2 c. flour
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 Tbsp. whipping cream
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 c. minced white chocolate
3/4 c. dried strawberries, coarsely minced

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Stack two baking sheets together and line top sheet with parchment paper.
In a food processor, whiz sugar to finely pulverize, about 10 seconds.
In a mixer bowl, cream sugar and butter on low speed until well blended. Then add flour, vanilla, cream, and salt and blend well. When alsmot blended into a dough, add white chocolate and dried strawberries, mixing by hand to incorporate and make a firm dough.
Knead dough gently on a lightly floured work surface about 1 minute to make dough more firm and get it to hold together. Flatten dough into a disk, wrap well, and refrigerate 30 minutes.
Roll out gently about 1/2 inch thick and cut into small round cookies {about 2 inches in diameter}.
Place on prepared baking sheets. Place in oven and immediately reduce oven temperature to 300 degrees. Bake until lightly browned around edges, about 40-50 minutes. Cool well before removing with a metal spatula.

Ashlee side note: Ok, so I changed a few things because I am super lazy. :0)
I couldn't find dried strawberries anywhere in town. If you find them...please let me know. The book says you can find them on, so you can try there.
I bought freeze dried strawberries at Fred Meyer, because that's the best I could find. They are like the kind you find in your cereal box. :0) So, when added to liquid, they reconstitute and become soft. Make sense? Just make sure you dry them well before adding them to the dough and mix extra carefully.
I also did not pulverize the sugar. Does this really make a huge difference? Maybe so, but I couldn't tell the difference and the cookies turned out wicked awesome yummy.
And....I used white chocolate chips instead of mincing white chocolate. :0) many of you know I am SUPER lazy when it comes to making several trays of cookies. It takes WAY too long. I did the first tray using a glass cup to cut the cookies into circles. But took 40 minutes to bake these babies. I wasn't going to sit around for several more hours doing them. :0) So, with the rest of the dough, I made a BIG cookie cake. I used my circle Springform pan and pressed the dough into the bottom of the pan {after spraying with nonstick spray}. It was about 1/4 inch thick. I still placed it on a second baking sheet like the recipe called for, and still baked it for 40 minutes. And honestly....I liked this cookie better. Because this is a shortbread kind of cookie, they are supposed to be crunchy. I prefer soft cookies, and baking the dough into a big cookie meant that the dough was softer. Why? Not a clue. I just cut the cookie into pie slices and ate them. Good stuff.

See? Lazy. But I baked something and these were SO good. Try it! You'll like it!

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Peanut Butter Truffle Brownies

OK is what you were asking for. I just ate the last one.....good thing these are so easy to make!

Brownie Base:
1 box (1 lb 6.5 oz) Betty Crocker® Original Supreme brownie mix
Water, vegetable oil and eggs called for on brownie mix box
1/2 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
2 cups powdered sugar
2 teaspoons milk
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
1/4 cup butter
1. Heat oven to 350°F. Grease bottom only of 13x9-inch pan with cooking spray or shortening. (For easier cutting, line pan with foil, then grease foil on bottom only of pan.)
2. In medium bowl, stir brownie mix, pouch of chocolate syrup, water, oil and eggs until well blended. Spread in pan. Bake 28 to 30 minutes or until toothpick inserted 2 inches from side of pan comes out almost clean. Cool completely, about 1 hour.
3. In medium bowl, beat filling ingredients with electric mixer on medium speed until smooth. Spread mixture evenly over brownie base.
4. In small microwavable bowl, microwave topping ingredients uncovered on High 30 to 60 seconds; stir until smooth. Cool 10 minutes; spread over filling. Refrigerate about 30 minutes or until set. For brownies, cut into 9 rows by 4 rows. Store covered in refrigerator.
Ashlee side note: Just use whatever box of brownie mix you have on hand and make your batch of brownies as you usually do. To cool these babies faster {because you will want to eat them sooner than 2 1/2 hours later!} just put the pan in the fridge about 20 minutes after you take it out of the oven. The pb mixture doesn't necessarily "pour" or "spread" easily onto the brownies. This is why you MUST make sure the brownies are completely cooled before putting on the pb layer. Kind of just scoop out a chuck and flatten into a pancake in your hand and then place over the brownie. Wierd...I know...but it worked really good and gives you the best even layer of pb. I didn't cool my chocolate layer for 10 minutes. I just spread it on after the chips were melted...about 45 seconds.

Monday, September 1, 2008

Cheesy Meatballs

Just a little tidbit here...

Though the hubby isn't a fan of meatballs, my son can't seem to get enough of them. What makes them even better for him, is when there is cheese hidden inside. :0)

Just make your regular meatball recipe, except as you are forming the balls, place a small slice of string cheese inside and wrap the meat around it. If you chop the string cheese the "short" way, you can make several meatballs out of just one stick of cheese. When you cook the meatballs it melts the cheese on the inside and adds a little something "extra".

Just thought I'd share.

Pizza Lasagna

Two different Italian dishes in one! Can't beat that!

9 uncooked lasagna noodles
1 (15-oz.) can pizza sauce
1 (14 1/2-oz.) can diced tomatoes seasoned with green pepper and onion, undrained
1 (15-oz.) container ricotta cheese
1 teaspoon dried Italian seasoning
8 oz. (2 cups) shredded mozzarella cheese
2 (3 1/2-oz.) pkg. pepperoni slices
1 (4.5-oz.) jar sliced Mushrooms, drained
1 (2 1/4-oz.) can sliced ripe olives, drained
1/2 cup chopped green bell pepper
2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese

1. Cook lasagna noodles to desired doneness as directed on package. Drain.
2. Meanwhile, heat oven to 350°F. Spray 12x8-inch (2-quart) glass baking dish with nonstick cooking spray. In medium saucepan, combine pizza sauce and tomatoes; cook until thoroughly heated.
3. In medium bowl, combine ricotta cheese and Italian seasoning; mix well.
4. Spread 1/4 cup sauce mixture in bottom of sprayed baking dish. Arrange 3 cooked noodles over sauce in baking dish. Spoon and spread half of ricotta mixture over noodles; top with 1/2 cup mozzarella cheese, 1 cup sauce, 1/3 each of the pepperoni slices, mushrooms, olives and bell pepper. Repeat layers once. Top with remaining 3 noodles, sauce, mozzarella cheese, pepperoni slices, mushrooms, olives and bell pepper. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese.
5. Bake at 350°F. for 30 to 35 minutes or until lasagna is bubbly. Let stand 10 minutes before serving.
Ashlee side note: if your children are like mine...the mushrooms, green peppers, and diced tomatoes just might KILL them. :0) Though I leave in the shrooms and make my kids pick them out, I usually omit the tomatoes and peppers. This means it might require a bit more pizza sauce, so better get two cans. :0)

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Chili's Queso Dip

This is one of my favorite things to eat at Chili's. Sometimes I will just order a side salad and chips and queso for dinner. It's THAT good. :0)

1 16-ounce box Velveeta Cheese
1 15-ounce can Hormel Chili (no beans)
1 cup milk
4 tsp. chili powder
2 tsp. paprika
1 Tbsp. lime juice
1/2 tsp. ground cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp. ground cumin

Cut the Velveeta into cubes. Combine the cheese with the remaining ingredients in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Stir frequently until cheese melts, then reduce heat and simmer for 20 minutes. Serve hot with tortilla chips for dipping.

Monday, August 18, 2008

'Tracy in Iowa's Sell-Your-Soul-to-Satan-For-One Brownies.'

That's what Christie calls them anyway. :0) I do have to say that they do look to DIE for.
Here's how hard it is.

Make a pan of brownies. I know...hard, right?
When cooled, spread with cream cheese frosting. You know the kind that comes in a little tub and says Pillsbury on the front? That cream cheese frosting.
Then, put 1 cup of peanut butter and 2 cups chocolate chips {might I suggest DARK chocolate?} into a microwave safe bowl and cook in the microwave until melted {about 1 minute}.
Add 3 cups of rice krispies cereal to the p.b. chocolate, mix until cereal is completely covered. Pout this mixture on top of the cream cheese frosted brownies.
Let the brownies set up {putting them in a refrigerator helps to speed up the process} and then eat them all up!

Not too difficult huh? So glad Christie decided to share the recipe with her bloggy friends.

Ashlee side note: When melting chocolate chips in the microwave, it helps to stir the chips after every 15 seconds to help prevent overcooking or burning. Just thought I'd share....

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Mini Fruit Pizzas

1 (18-oz.) pkg. (20 cookies) Pillsbury® Ready to Bake!™ Refrigerated Sugar Cookies
1 (8-oz.) pkg. cream cheese, softened
2 tablespoons frozen limeade concentrate, thawed
1/2 cup powdered sugar
10 fresh strawberries, quartered
1 kiwi fruit, peeled, cut in half lengthwise and cut into 10 slices
1/2 cup fresh blueberries
1/2 cup fresh raspberries
1. Bake cookies as directed on package. Cool 10 minutes or until completely cooled.
2. Meanwhile, in medium bowl, combine cream cheese, limeade concentrate and powdered sugar; beat until smooth.
3. Spread each cooled cookie with 1 tablespoon cream cheese mixture. Arrange fruit on top of each. Serve immediately, or cover and refrigerate up to 2 hours.
Ashlee side note: Aren't these such a good idea? I love fruit pizza and so when I saw these little individual ones I was so excited! Now, if you are truly lazy like me, you could just go and buy the pre-made sugar cookies at the store instead of making them. :0)

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Caramel Apple Trifle

I stole this from Amber...she has the best trifle recipes!

1 yellow cake mix (and the ingredients to make it)
3 cups cold milk
1 & 1/2 pkgs. vanilla instant pudding mix
1/2 tsp. apple pie spice
1 jar caramel ice cream topping
3/4 cup toasted pecans
1 can apple pie filling
1 (16 oz.) container cool whip
1. Prepare cake according to directions in a 9 x 13 inch pan. Allow to cool completely and then cut into 1 inch cubes. In a large bowl, whisk milk, pudding (save the extra half package for another time) and apple pie spice for 2 minutes. Allow to stand for 2 minutes or until soft-set.
2. Put a layer of cooled cake squares in the bottom of a 4 qt. trifle bowl. Pour about 3 ounces of caramel topping over cake layer. Sprinkle with 1/3 of the nuts, and then half of the pudding mixture. Spoon half the can of pie filling on top of pudding. Spread half carton of cool whip on top. Repeat all layers, ending with layer of cool whip. Drizzle with caramel topping and top with remaining nuts.
Ashlee side note: If you are like me, you'll make the extra pudding and eat that right away...since you'll probably have to wait a bit before you eat the trifle. Right? :0) And, as you all know, I'd rather die than add nuts to my recipes, but you can do so if you like. I also add a bit more cool whip than just one carton. But I likes me som cool whip, so add as much as you think is necessary. :0)

Friday, May 23, 2008

Death by Caramel Bars

Because I am too lazy to retype this recipe, I'm just going to link it for you. :0)
Christie posted this one and I'm dying to make them for myself. They look so ooey gooey and yummy. There's just something about caramel and chocolate that make my mouth water. {I'm drooling now....}

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Baked Beans

I've had a couple of requests for this recipe, so I thought I'd share it with the rest of you. This is my mommy's recipe and THE BEST baked beans I have ever had. It takes a couple of hours to cook pre-planning is a must...but they are SO well worth it.

1 lb. bacon, browned and cut into pieces
2 large cans pork and beans {I use Bush's Original}
1 medium onion, diced {I use the dried onions}
1/2 cup catsup
1 cup brown sugar
2 tsp. molasses
3/4 tsp. chili powder
1 tsp. celery salt
5 Tbsp. bbq sauce

Mix all ingredients together and bake at 350 for 2 hours.

Monday, April 28, 2008

Chocolate Peanut Butter Trifle

So, this is definitely NOT part of my 8 week challenge. But, I saw it over on Amber's blog and knew I needed it for safe keeping on my blog. Jaysen is a huge peanut butter cup fan, so I know this is one dessert he won't be able to resist. :0)

1 chocolate cake mix
1 pkg. peanut butter chips
4 1/4 C. cold milk, divided
1/2 C. whipping cream
1/4 tsp. vanilla extract
2 small pkgs. Instant Chocolate Pudding Mix
1 small carton Cool Whip
8 Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups
Prepare cake mix according to package directions. Pour the batter into a greased 13 x 9 baking pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 30-35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool completely on a wire rack.In a heavy saucepan, combine chips, 1/4 C. milk and 1/2 C. cream. Cook and stir over low heat until chips are melted. Remove from the heat; stir in vanilla. Cool to room temperature. Place the remaining milk in a mixing bowl; beat in pudding mixes on low speed for 2 minutes. Place pudding in the fridge for 3-4 minutes to set up a bit.To assemble, crumble half of the cake into a 4 qt. Trifle bowl or large bowl. Layer with half of the peanut butter sauce, pudding, Cool Whip and ½ of the crumbled Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups; repeat layers ending with Cool Whip and remaining ½ of crumbled Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups. Cover and refrigerate for at least 3 hours before serving.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Cabbage Buns

I just got asked for this recipe, so I thought I'd pass it on to the rest of you. We grew up eating these babies. I'd totally make them if I knew my kid wouldn't freak out over the cabbage. Sigh.

1 head of cabbage, chopped
1 onion, chopped
1 pound ground beef or turkey
salt and pepper
bread dough

Brown ground beef and onion. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Add chopped cabbage and continue to saute. Cook until cabbage is soft.
Divide bread dough into small amounts and roll out. Put cabbage mix in center and pinch together dough on top. Will resemble a hot pocket. Bake on greased baking pan at 350 degrees until golden brown {about 20-25 minutes}.

Ashlee side note: It's like a stuffed burger. All the stuff on the inside of an enclosed round bun. Heck, you could even add cheese in there if you'd like to. We never did though. It's perfect as is. Promise. My sister just makes up the bread dough in her bread machine, but if you are short on time, just use a couple cans of those refrigerator biscuits. flatten each biscuit out, put some filling on top of one, and then put another one on top of that. Pinch the sides together to make your "hot pocket". I'd bake these according to the can directions though. Usually about 11 minutes, and then check on them until they become golden brown.
And...I know this may sound wierd, but I remember eating these with soy sauce. Added a nice salty/chinese flavor to it. Just a thought.....

Saturday, April 5, 2008

Cake pops

I just found this and they were so fun and cute! I just had to share them with you!
All you do is bake a regular cake mix (has to be cake mix, not homemade) in a 13x9 pan. Then once it has cooled, you crumble it into a bowl. Then mix in a can of frosting. Then roll the cake/frosting mixture into balls, and stick a sucker stick or toothpick {depending on how big the balls are} in them. Freeze until firm, then dip them in melted chocolate. Enjoy.

Monday, March 31, 2008

Elder Nash Brownies

My sister made these brownies this last weekend and I ate two LARGE ones because they were so yummy. She got the recipe from a missionary she knew in Filer, and has no idea what the real name of the recipe is. So, she just calls them Elder Nash Brownies. It works! I am going to be making these for our Death by Chocolate Girls Night next week, because seriously will die when you eat them!

1 German Chocolate Cake Mix
1/2 cup evaporated milk
2/3 cube better, melted

Spread 1/2 the batter on bottom of a 9x13 pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 8 minutes.

Meanwhile, melt in saucepan the following ingredients:

50-60 caramels
1/2 cup evaporated milk

When cake is done, sprinkle with one bag of chocolate chips. Pour caramel syrup on top of chocolate chips and add remaining dough in clumps on top of the chocolate chips. Cook again for 16-18 minutes.

Eat! Enjoy!

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Strawberry Mousse

This is a lighter alternative for the yummy chocolate dessert posted below. :0) Lighter as in literally a lighter, fluffier dessert, and also as in less fat.

1 pkg. (8 oz.) PHILADELPHIA Fat Free Cream Cheese, softened
1 tsp. vanilla
1/2 cup boiling water
1 pkg. (4-serving size) JELL-O Brand Strawberry Flavor Sugar Free Low Calorie Gelatin
1/2 cup cold water
2 cups thawed COOL WHIP Fat Free Whipped Topping, divided
2 cups sliced strawberries

BEAT cream cheese and vanilla in large bowl with electric mixer on low speed until well blended; set aside.
STIR boiling water into dry gelatin mix in small bowl at least 2 min. until completely dissolved. Add cold water; stir until slightly thickened. Gradually add to cream cheese mixture, beating after each addition until well blended. Gently stir in 1-1/2 cups of the whipped topping and the strawberries.
SPOON evenly into 10 small dessert dishes. Refrigerate at least 1 hour or until firm. Top each with a dollop of the remaining whipped topping just before serving. Store leftovers in refrigerator.

Crockpot Chocolate Mud Cake

I had to dig to find my recipe for this. It's been forever since I've made it and now that I came across it, I want some NOW! :0) This is the best way to put your crockpot to good use!

1 cup all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
6 tablespoons butter
2 ounces semisweet chocolate (or 1/3 cup chocolate chips)
1 cup sugar (2/3 cup & 1/3 cup, added separately)
3 tablespoons plus 1/3 cup Dutch-processed cocoa
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup milk
1 egg yolk
1/3 cup brown sugar
11/2 cups hot water
Whipped cream or ice cream
1. Coat the inside of a 2 1/2- to 5-quart slow cooker with cooking spray. (Note: the cake's cooking time and final appearance will vary depending on your crock's size.)
2. Whisk together the flour and baking powder in a medium bowl and set aside. In a large bowl, melt the butter and chocolate in the microwave or over a pan of simmering water and mix well. 3. Whisk in the 2/3 cup of sugar, 3 tablespoons of cocoa, vanilla extract, salt, milk, and egg yolk. Add the flour mixture and stir until thoroughly mixed.
4. Pour the batter into the slow cooker and spread it evenly. In a medium bowl, whisk together the remaining sugar, cocoa, and hot water until the sugar is dissolved.
5. Pour the mixture over the batter in the slow cooker. Cover and cook on high for 1 to 2 hours, depending on the size of the crock pot.
6. Even when done, the cake will be very moist and floating on a layer of molten chocolate, but you'll know it's ready when nearly all of the cake is set and the edges begin to pull away from the sides of the pot. (As you check, try not to let the condensed steam from the lid drip onto the cake.)
7. When it's done, turn off the power and remove the lid. Let it cool for 25 minutes, then serve it in bowls topped with whipped cream or ice cream. Makes 6 to 8 servings.
Ashlee side note: This stuff is seriously to die for. You can use milk chocolate or even dark chocolate if you prefer the flavor over semi sweet. And, if you've got a bigger crock pot, this recipe can be doubled. And...not peeking at this until the time is over. Even if the smells are really tempting. It takes about 20 minutes for a slow cooker to regain the lost heat, so it may not cook as it should. :0)

Mac and Cheeseburger Bowl

This makes for a great quick dinner night. Lots of veggies, and mac and cheese for the kids. Nice!

1 pound lean ground beef
1 medium onion, chopped (1/2 cup)
6 cups hot water
1 package Hamburger Helper® cheeseburger macaroni
2 cups Green Giant® frozen broccoli cuts
2 medium carrots, sliced (1 cup)
1 teaspoon dried thyme leaves
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
Shredded Cheddar cheese, if desired

1. Cook beef and onion in Dutch oven over medium heat, stirring occasionally; drain well.
2. Stir in hot water, uncooked Pasta, Sauce Mix, broccoli, carrots, thyme, salt and pepper. Heat to boiling, stirring constantly.
3. Reduce heat; cover and simmer 15 minutes, stirring occasionally, until pasta is tender. Stir in parsley. Garnish each serving with cheese.
Ashlee side note: Surprisingly, this is also a fairly low fat dish. Only 9 grams per serving. I usually cook with ground turkey, which would make it even better. :0) I use frozen carrots too, instead of fresh. It's just easier. :0)

Olive Garden's Mushroom Ravioli in Cream Sauce

Yes, this is the actual recipe. Olive Garden released it. I'm thrilled!
12 oz. Ravioli or Tortellini
1/4 cup Walnuts, chopped
3/4 cup heavy whipping cream
1/4 tsp black pepper
8 oz. mushrooms, sliced
2 cups freshly grated parmesan cheese
2 Tbsp. Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Cook pasta according to package directions.
Meanwhile, heat olive oil in large skillet over medium heat.
Saute mushrooms and walnuts until mushrooms are golden brown.
Add heavy cream and cook, stirring frequently for 5 minutes until slightly thickened.
Turn heat to warm and when cream stops simmering, add pepper and parmesan; stir until sauce is smooth. Do not boil.
Drain pasta and place on a serving plate.
Pour sauce over pasta and serve immediately.

Ashlee side note: You can bet there won't be ANY walnuts in my pasta! That would ruin the entire meal!

Oven Ranch Chicken

This one is a little different from the next one, but it still has a great Ranch kick to it! It's a little easier too.

1/3 cup bread crumbs
1 pkg. ranch dressing mix
1/3 cup sour cream
4 skinless chicken breast halves

Heat oven to 375 degrees. Spray cookie sheet with nonstick cooking spray. {I usually line my tray with tin foil and then spray}
In shallow dish or pie pan, combine bread crumbs and salad dressing mix; mix well. Place sour cream in another shallow dish or pie pan.
Dip chicken in sour cream, coating well. Roll coated chicken in bread crumb mixture. Place chicken on cookie sheet. Discard any remaining bread crumb mixture and sour cream.
Bake for 30-35 minutes or until chicken is fork tender and juices run clear.

Ashlee side note: This is actually rather low fat if you use a low fat or fat free sour cream. It's super yummy. Like shake and bake with a kick! :0)

Sour Cream Chicken

This one is super yummy! It looks wierd, but is truly mouth watering. :0)

8 to 12 chicken tenders
1 envelope ranch dressing mix
1 (10 3/4 oz.) can cream of mushroom soup
1 cup sour cream
2/3 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1 (2.8 oz.) can French fried onions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Arrange chicken in a single layer in a shallow microwave safe baking dish. Sprinkle with dressing mix.
Combine soup and sour cream in a small bowl and mix well. Spread over chicken. Sprinkle with cheddar.
Cover with plastic wrap. Microwave on HIGH for 8 minutes. REmove and discard plastic wrap. Sprinkle with French fried onions. Bake in oven until chicken is cooked through, about 10-12 minutes.

Ashlee side note: If you don't have french fried onions, just sprinkle chopped green onions over the top. You still get the nice onion taste, you just miss out on the crunch! :0)


1 (16 oz.) package manicotti shells
16 oz. cottage cheese
1 1/2 cups grated Parmesan Cheese, divided
1 1/2 cups chopped cooked chicken
2 large eggs
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. black pepper
1 (14 oz.) jar spaghetti sauce
1 (16 oz.) jar Alfredo sauce
1/4 cup finely chopped fresh parsley, optional for garnish

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Generously butter a 13x9 dish.
Cook pasta shells using package directions; drain.
Combine cottage cheese, 1 cup parmesan, chicken, eggs, garlic, salt and pepper in a large bowl and mix well. Fill pasta shells with the cottage cheese mixture.
Arrange pasta shells in a single layer in prepared baking dish. Sprinkle with half the remaining Parmesan.
Pour Alfredo sauce crosswise over half of each pasta shell. Pour spaghetti sauce over the other half of the pasta shells. Sprinkle with remaining Parmesan. bake for 30 minutes. Garnish with parsley if desired.

Ashlee side note: easy way to do this is to take lasagna noodles and spread filling over each noodle like you are buttering a piece of toast. Then, roll up the noodle into a little spiral and place in the pan. I don't know about you, but I'm retarded when it comes to stuffing shells. I usually tear them. So, this is an easier way to have "stuffed" pasta. When you put the shells into the 9x13 pan, you will have two rows of about 5 shells. Cover half of each row with white sauce and the other half of each row with red sauce. So, you'll have white/red/white/red. Does that make sense? It makes for a nice twist on just having only white or only red sauce.

Ham & Broccoli Hot Dish

1 1/2 cups long grain rice
3 cups water
1 1/2 lbs. cooked ham, cubed
2 (10 0z.) pkgs. frozen, chopped broccoli, thawed, drained
6 Tbsp. butter, divided
1 medium onion, chopped
1/4 c. all purpose flour
1 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. black pepper
3 cups milk
2 cups bread crumbs
1 cup shredded Cheddar Cheese
Cook rice in water using the package directions. Spread in a 2 qt. baking dish. Layer ham and broccoli over rice.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Melt 4 Tbsp. butter in a medium skillet over medium high heat. Saute onion in butter until tender. Stir in flour, salt and black pepper. Add milk and mix well. Cook, stirring continually, until thickened, about 4 minutes. Pour sauce evenly over broccoli.
Melt remaining butter in a small saucepan. Add bread crumbs and toss to coat. Sprinkle over sauce.
Bake until hot and bubbly, about 30 minutes. Sprinkle with the Cheddar. Serve immediately.
Ashlee side note: For a little variation on this, add 1 cup shredded Swiss to the sauce instead of sprinkling cheddar on the top. It makes for a nice little twist. Once again, this is like a meal all in itself.

Creamy Chicken and Noodles

I bought a collection of recipes several years ago and just love most of the recipes. They are all of the old school classics that are just good down home cooking. This is a nice twist on your regular chicken noodle soup, and it's really easy.
8 oz. wide egg noodles
2 medium onions (about 1 1/2 cups chopped)
3 medium celery stalks (about 3/4 cup chopped)
4 cups water
1 lb. boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. dried thyme
1 bay leaf
1/8 tsp. white pepper
1 (10 0z.) can cream of chicken soup
1/2 cup buttermilk

Cook noodles according to package directions, omitting salt. Drain; set aside. Cover to keep warm.
Chop onions and celery stalks; set aside. Meanwhile, bring water to a boil in large saucepan or Dutch oven over medium to medium high heat.
Add chicken breasts, onions, celery, salt, thyme, bay leaf and pepper to sauce pan. Return to a boil.
Reduce heat to low; simmer, uncovered, 35 minutes. Remove chicken breasts from saucepan. Cut breasts into 1/2 inch pieces; cover and set aside.
Increase heat to high. Return liquid in saucepan to a boil. Continue cooking until liquid and vegetables have reduced to one cup.
Remove from heat; discard bay leaf. Whisk in soup and buttermilk until thoroughly blended. Add chicken pieces and noodles; toss to blend. Sprinkle with parsley, if desired.

Ashlee side note: That's a lot of onion for me. And, so my son doesn't have a heart attack when he sees little chunks of onion in his dinner, I usually just use the dry onion instead. Add as much as you like for taste. Just like chicken noodle soup, this is a meal in itself. So maybe a little salad and some garlic bread and you're good to go!

April Menu

Just finished up my menu for next month. So excited it's getting warm so we can start using the grill. We use our grill at least twice a week in the summer months. I'm ready for it! Right now, with the weather still uncertain I've only got us using it a couple of times. Hopefully we'll be able to get our grill on in May. :0)

Tuesday 1-Apr: Chicken Fried Steak/Mashed Tatos and Country Gravy
Wednesday 2-Apr: Grilling Hamburgers!/Pasta Salad/Roasted Potatoes
Thursday 3-Apr: Spaghetti and Meatballs/Green Beans/Garlic Bread
Friday 4-Apr: Garlic Bread Pizza
Saturday 5-Apr: Mushroom Ravioli in Cream Sauce/Salad
Sunday 6-Apr: Teriyaki Steak and Potato Steamers
Monday 7-Apr: Cheeseburger Soup
Tuesday 8-Apr: Egg Muffin Sandwiches/Hashbrowns
Wednesday 9-Apr: Oven Ranch Chicken/Rice/corn
Thursday 10-Apr: Creamy Country Sage Chicken and Rice/Broccoli
Friday 11-Apr: Dinner Group
Saturday 12-Apr: Creamy Chicken and Noodles/biscuits
Sunday 13-Apr: FHE at mom's
Monday 14-Apr: Parmesan Chicken with Spaghetti/corn
Tuesday 15-Apr: Parma Rosa Pasta/cauliflower and broccoli/crescent rolls
Wednesday 16-Apr: Beef Stroganoff/corn
Thursday 17-Apr: Turkey Kielbasa/Garlic and Olive Oil Pasta/broccoli
Friday 18-Apr: Bean and Cheese Burritos
Saturday 19-Apr: Shredded Beef Tacos
Sunday 20-Apr: Burnhams
Monday 21-Apr: Sour Cream Chicken/carrots/pasta
Tuesday 22-Apr: Shredded Beef Tacos
Wednesday 23-Apr: Extra Cheesy Chicken and Noodles
Thursday 24-Apr: BBQ chicken/mashed tatos/corn
Friday 25-Apr: Ham & Broccoli Hot Dish
Saturday 26-Apr: Easy Cannelloni/salad/garlic bread
Sunday 27-Apr: Burnhams
Monday 28-Apr: Pot Roast/potatoes and gravy
Tuesday 29-Apr: Hamburger Helper
Wednesday 30-Apr: German Pancakes
Dessert Options: Chocolate Mud Crockpot Cake, Strawberry Mousse

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Flank Steak Tacos

This is another fabulous recipe from my sister, Crystal. She says she makes these once a month for a fairly quick and easy twist on your everyday tacos.

Flank Steak Tacos

8 flour tortillas, heated
1 1/2 pounds beek flank steak, trimmed of fat
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons ground cumin
1 tablespoon chili powder
2 tablesppons vegetable oil
1/4 head cabbage, shredded
2 green or red bell peppers, seeded and sliced
1 small onion,. sliced
salt and pepper
2 tablespoons hot sauce
2 limes, 1 juiced, 1 cut into wedges
1/2 pound cheddar cheese, shredded
2 sliced avacoados
sour cream

Mix the ground cumin and chili powder together, rub onto flank steak. Cook on grill or on the stove. In another pan put the onion, peppers, and cabbage and cook until tender. Juice a lime into the pan, then add the hot sauce and salt and pepper. Stir around and let sit for a few minutes. When the meat is done slice across the grain. Put together like a taco. Eat and enjoy.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Ultimate Turtle Cookie Bars

I am making these to take over to my friend, Montay's, house as she just had a new baby girl. I am really sad that I don't actually get to deliver them due to this dumb cold. But, at least I got to make something so I can feel like I'm helping in some way. :0) Love you Montay! Enjoy the sweets!

1 pouch Betty Crocker® chocolate chip cookie mix
1/2 cup butter or margarine, softened
1 egg
1/2 cup coarsely chopped pecans
24 caramels, unwrapped
1 tablespoon milk
3/4 cup pecan halves
3 tablespoons semisweet chocolate chips
1 teaspoon shortening
1. Heat oven to 350°F. In medium bowl, stir together cookie mix, butter, egg and 1/2 cup chopped pecans until soft dough forms. Press evenly in ungreased 8-inch square pan. Bake 28 to 33 minutes or until golden brown.
2. Meanwhile, in 1-quart saucepan, heat caramels and milk over low heat, stirring frequently, until melted and smooth. Remove from heat.
3. Carefully spread melted caramels evenly over warm bars; sprinkle with pecan halves. Cool completely on cooling rack, about 1 hour.
4. In small microwavable bowl, microwave chocolate chips and shortening uncovered on High 30 to 60 seconds, stirring every 15 seconds, until melted and smooth. Drizzle over bars. Let stand about 30 minutes or until chocolate is set. For bars, cut into 4 rows by 4 rows.
Ashlee side note: remember...nuts are BAD! So, I don't use any...these are just caramel cookie bars for me. :0)

Monday, March 17, 2008

Grasshopper Fudge Cake

In honor of St. Patty's Day...I thought I'd post a GREEN recipe. Not green like in saving the planet or anything...just the color. :0)

1(18 1/4ounce)box Betty Crocker super moist white cake mix
1 1/4 cups water
1/3 cup vegetable oil
2 teaspoons mint extract
3 egg whites
12 drops green food coloring
2(16ounce)jars hot fudge topping
8 ounces frozen whipped topping, thawed
5 drops yellow food coloring
Andes mints candies, unwrapped and cut into pieces

1Heat oven to 350F for shiny metal or glass 13x9 pan (or 325F for dark or nonstick 13x9 pan).
2Spray bottom only of pan with baking spray with flour.
3Make cake mix as directed on box, using water, oil, 1 1/2 tsp mint extract and the egg whites.
4Reserve 1 cup batter; stir 3 drops of the green food coloring into the reserved batter and set aside.
5Pour remaining batter into pan.
6Drop green batter by generous tablespoonfuls randomly in 12-14 mounds onto the batter in pan.
7Cut through batters with a metal spatula or knife in S-shaped curves in one continuous motion.
8Turn pan 1/4 turn; repeat cutting for swirled design.
9Bake 28-33 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.
10Run knife around side of pan to loosen cake.
11Cool completely, about 1 hour.
12Carefully spread fudge topping evenly over the cake.
13In medium bowl, stir whipped topping, remaining 1/2 tsp extract, remaining 9 drops of green food coloring and the yellow food coloring until blended.
14Spread whipped topping mixture evenly over fudge.
15Garnish with candy pieces.
16Store covered in refrigerator.

Monday, March 10, 2008

Dinner Size Texas Chili Cheese Fries

My sister just sent me this recipe and it looks really yummy. She got it from her friend Rachael Ray :0)

4 Very Large Idaho potatoes, cut lengthwise into 6 wedges
2 tblsp grill seasoning
2 tblsps plus 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil, plus additional, divided
2 -2 1/2 pounds hamburger
1 large onion, chopped
3-4 cloves garlic, finely chopped or grated
1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and chopped
2 tblsps chili powder
2 tsp ground cumin
salt and pepper
3 tblsp tomato paste
Hot sauce, to taste
2 tblsp Worcestershire sauce
1 1/2 cups beef or chicken broth

Preheat oven to 450. Place potatoes onto a baking sheet. Sprinkle them with the grill seasoning and a good drizzle of olive oil. Toss to coat, then transfer to the oven and roast, until crispy and golden brown. Turn them over halfway through cooking time.

While potatoes are roasting, place a large pot over medium-high heat with 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Add meat to the pan to cook until brown. When done, push the meat to one side of the pan and addthe onion, garlic, jalapeno, chili powder and cumin to the pot. Cook until the veggies soften, and season with salt and pepper. Add the tomato paste to the pot and cook for about 1 minute, unitl it smells sweet and has caramelized slightly. Add the hot sauce, Worchestershire sauce adn stock to the pot. Bring everything to a bubble, then reduce the heat and simmer teh chili until thickened. To eat, Put your potatoes on your plate and pile on the chili and then some sour cream and cheese and's a yummy dinner!!! Enjoy!!!

Ashlee side note: For a quick and easy version of this meal...just open up a couple cans of chili {I use the fat free kind} and dump on top of the potato wedges. Or, just use the pre-made fries from your freezer section and bake those up. They have some yummy fajita fries I like to buy. They would be yummy topped with chili and cheese. :0)
Homemade is always better...but if you are short on time this would work great!
Thanks Crystal!

Saturday, March 1, 2008

March Menu

Ok, Honey Bunch, here is my menu. This month was clean out the cupboard month. Get rid of the stuff that's in there before it goes bad. All of the thing I bought that sounded like a good idea at the time, and then never used. Each meal also MUST have a vegetable, but all Mackenzee will eat is corn and green beans, so I don't write it over and over again on the menu.

March Monthly Menu
Saturday Mar. 1 - Calzones (SET OUT FROZEN DOUGH!)
Sunday Mar. 2 - Mom's
Monday Mar. 3 - Broccoli Cheese Soup with crossaints
Tuesday Mar. 4 - Chicken Strips with baked french fries
Wednesday Mar. 5 - Mini Meatloaf with mashed potatoes
Thursday Mar. 6 - Chicken Noodle Soup
Friday Mar. 7 - Steak Kabobs with rice
Saturday Mar. 8 - pizza
Sunday Mar. 9 - Chicken Scaloppini with garlic bread
Monday Mar. 10 - Stuffed Ground Beef
Tuesday Mar. 11 - Mesquite Chicken and Rice
Wednesday Mar. 12 - Salisbury Steak & Mashed Tatos
Thursday Mar. 13 - Lasagna with garlic bread
Friday Mar. 14 - Utah
Saturday Mar. 15 - Utah
Sunday Mar. 16 - Chicken Francais p.367 Cooking Light with rice
Monday Mar. 17 - Bean and Cheese
Tuesday Mar. 18 - Turkey and Rice
Wednesday Mar. 19 - Frito Pie {chili and cheese over Fritos}
Thursday Mar. 20 - Shake and Bake with pasta
Friday Mar. 21 - Cajun Chicken Alfredo with garlic bread
Saturday Mar. 22 - shredded beef tacos
Easter Sunday Mar. 23 - family dinner
Monday Mar. 24 - shredded beef tacos
Tuesday Mar. 25 - Spaghetti and Meatballs
Wednesday Mar. 26 - Chicken and Stuffing Casserole
Thursday Mar. 27 - Sloppy Joe Supreme
Friday Mar. 28 - BBQ ribs with mashed potatoes
Saturday Mar. 29 - tacos
Sunday Mar. 30 - Burnhams
Monday Mar. 31 - Beef and Rice Casserole

I only spent $100 at the grocery store for this month's menu! Of course, I will have to go back for more milk and bread throughout the month, but I was so excited at the small bill! I had oodles of Rice a Roni, so I'm using that up, and a box of Shake and Bake, that last box of Chicken get the idea. I also really made myself stick to my grocery list instead of just adding oodles of junk I didn't need.
Anyway...there you go! If you want any of the recipes, just let me know! I won't post some of them until I have tasted them and made sure they were super yummy. :0)

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Johnny Carino's Chicken Scallopini

Everytime we go to Johnny Carino's I order this. It is sooo mouth wateringly delicious. I am drooling just thinking about it. :0) I found a copycat recipe for it. So now I can make it any time!

Lemon butter:
1/2 lb butter
1 tablespoon lemon juice
2 tablespoons white wine
1/2 teaspoon garlic , minced
4 tablespoons butter , melted
2 chicken breasts
1/2 cup roma tomatoes
1/2 cup sliced mushrooms
1/2 cup cooked bacon , chopped
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pepper
1 teaspoon garlic salt
10 ounces spaghetti
8 ounces heavy whipping cream

Combine Lemon Butter ingredients in a mixing bowl and beat at a medium speed until a smooth consistency in the batter is formed. Once combined, keep refrigerated until needed.
Put Spaghetti on to boil & prepare as you usually would.
While it is cooking halve each chicken breast (you will have 4 pieces).
In a warm saute pan, combine melted butter & chicken breast pieces. Saute until chicken is browned & just about done. Add tomatoes, mushrooms, bacon, and spice mixture. Simmer until tomatoes begin to dissolve & chicken is done. Add heavy cream and allow to boil to the middle of pan. Remove from heat, add one cup lemon butter, and fold together to make sauce.
Serve over spaghetti.

Ashlee side note: The lemon flavor is hardly noticeable, so don't think it's like lemon chicken. It's kind of like grilled herbed chicken with a creamy herb sauce. And the bacon, mushrooms, and tomatoes give it a nice kick. I'm getting hungry just talking about this!

White Chocolate Macadamia Nut Cookies

I tried these at 'Death by Chocolate' the last month and they were SOOO good. They even offered everyone the recipe. Like I was going to pass that up! They were my pick for winners. And even though I don't like nuts, these cookies were so scrumptious, I didn't even notice them. :0) The recipe is from Bridgeview Retirement Center here in Twin Falls.

1 c. softened butter
3/4 c. sugar
3/4 c. brown sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
2 eggs
2 1/4 c. unsifted flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1 pkg. white chocolate chunks
1 jar roughly chopped macadamia nuts

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Cream butter, sugars and vanilla together until smooth. Beat egg and then add to sugar mixture. Mix this together and gradually add flour and soda. Stir in chocolate chunks and nuts.
Use a small #40 scoop to drop dough onto ungreased cookie sheets. Bake 8 to 10 minutes.

Ashlee side note: I usually prefer to bake my cookies at 350 degrees for 10-12 minutes. They seem to turn out softer that way. I'm a soft cookie gal. :0)

Thursday, February 21, 2008

I got this recipe from my sister in law Jodie. I remember eating these Cookie "cakes" at bday parties when I was growing up. They were ALL the rage. So, when I saw her post about one a while back I asked her for the recipe. Here you go!

Cookie Pizza

½ C packed brown sugar
¼ C granulated sugar
½ C butter, softened
1 t. vanilla
1 egg
1 ¼ C flour
½ t. baking soda
½ t. salt
1 package miniature chocolate chips (regular work too)
Heat oven to 350 degrees. Mix sugar, butter vanilla and egg. Stir in dry ingredients. Stir in chocolate chips. Spread dough onto ungreased 12 inch pizza pan or cookie sheet. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes or until golden brown. Cool. Just before serving, decorate with whip cream. (Frosting is good too.)
Ashlee side note: I always remember my "cakes' being piped with chocolate frosting.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Meatloaf, Meatloaf, Yucky Yucky Meatloaf

My hubby doesn't like meatloaf. He used to sing those words growing up when his mom would make it. Now, in my house, meatloaf was AWESOME! We loved it! This first recipe is the one my mom passed down to us. The one we grew up on. I altered it to accomodate hubby's tastes and so you can read on it at the bottom. This is a "by request" from Sister Honey Bunch.

1 1/2 lb. lean ground beef (I think we just used a package of it, which is usually just a pound)
3/4 cup oatmeal
1 onion, chopped
1 1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
1 egg
1 can tomato sauce
1/2 tsp. Worcestershire sauce

Mix bround beef with oats and chopped onion. Work in salt, pepper, egg, Worchestershire sauce and tomato sauce until texture is consistent throughout. Pat into a loaf pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour.

1/3 cup catsup
1 Tbsp. mustard
1 Tbsp. brown sugar
Stir together until smooth. Spread over raw meatloaf before baking.

Ashlee side note: Because hubby said he didn't like meatloaf, I changed the recipe up a little bit to accomodate him. {the things we do out of love}

1 lb. lean ground beef
1 egg
1 package onion soup mix
Worcestershire sauce

I know, I know...there are no measurements there for the flavoring. And you can't do a taste test with raw meat. But as long as you don't WAY overdo it, you can't really screw this up. It's meatloaf for heaven's sake!
So, put beef, egg, onion soup mix, some salt, some pepper, and a few good shakes of Worchestershire sauce in a bowl {get at least 1/2 tsp in there but no more than 1 1/2 tsp} and get your hands in there and squish it all up together until you get a smooth texture. I'm sorry if that grosses you out, but honestly, it's the best way to get it all mixed properly. Use gloves if you need to, and I would STRONGLY suggest the removal of rings before squishing. :0)
Anyway, here's my other BIG difference. I bake my meatloaf in muffin tins. So, you get little mini meatloaves instead of one big log of beef. I don't know if it just tricks the hubby into thinking it's something different and fancy, but he eats them. And so do the kiddos. Just fill up each tin and bake up at 350 degrees for about 30 minutes or so. You'll probably want to check one to make sure they are cooked through.
I don't schmear the top of mine either. But you can if you prefer. We do the smearing of catsup when it's on our plates. Cold catsup, warm meatloaf. MMMMmmmmmmm!

I hope this is what you were looking for Honey Bunch!

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Pappy's Fajitas Seasonings

I don't know if this is really a "recipe" but I'm posting it anyway. Because of Jaysen's LOVE for all foods Mexican I try to find new recipes to try out that will perk up his tastebuds. After eating over at a friends' house in December where they served a nacho/taco bar using shredded beef instead of ground beef, he wanted me to do the same. Except I was put to the test to find a different seasoning for the meat. The seasoning they used wasn't bad, it just didn't have the "kick" he was looking for apparently. :0)
This is what I found.

I found it on the spice aisle at WinCo. Nowhere fancy. What I really liked about it was this....No MSG, No Preservatives. Just spices. Good stuff. make our "fancy" shredded beef tacos you'll need the following:

  1. Pappy's Fajitas Seasoning
  2. A beef roast...small enough to fit inside whatever size of crock pot you've got.
  3. If you don't have a crock pot, you'll need one of those too.

Here's how to do it:

Plug in the crock pot. :0) Put a small amount of water in the bottom of crock pot. {Just to make sure nothing burns. The roast will create liquid of it's own while cooking, so it doesn't need to be tons.} Place roast in crock pot. Sprinkle generously with Pappy's Fajitas Seasoning making sure to cover both sides. Turn crock pot to low and cook for about 8 hours or so. {If you don't have that much time, turn it to high and cook till done} About 4 hours into it, I flip over the roast. That way one side doesn't get more moist than the other sitting in all the now juicy water. Then, about 6 hours into it, I put more seasoning on the meat...both sides. Mmmmmm....your house should smell really good at this point.

Once the meat is done, remove from crock pot and let cool for about 5 minutes to let the juices settle. Then, using two forks, shred meat into VERY small chunks.

You now have yummy Shredded Taco Meat. Jaysen enjoys this so much I now have to cook it monthly. I'm not kidding either. I don't mind. It's yummy.

I used this seasoning for my regular ground turkey tacos last night and it was really good too. Just add 1/3 cup of water to the meat before adding the seasoning. It's my new favorite.

Friday, February 8, 2008

Ooey Gooey Turtle Bars

I made these for Girls Night last night and they were soooo yummy. Plan ahead for these though as you want them to have plenty of time to cool and set up.

1 roll (16.5 oz) Pillsbury® Create 'n Bake® refrigerated sugar cookies
1 bag (12 oz) semisweet chocolate chips (2 cups)
3 cups Fisher® Chef's Naturals® Chopped Pecans
1/2 cup LAND O LAKES® Butter
1/2 cup packed Domino® or C&H® Light Brown Sugar
1 jar (12.25 oz) SMUCKER'S® Caramel Ice Cream Topping
1 cup graham cracker crumbs (16 squares)

1. Heat oven to 350°F (325°F for dark or nonstick pan). Press cookie dough evenly in bottom of ungreased 13x9-inch pan.
2. Sprinkle 1 cup of the chocolate chips and 1 1/2 cups of the pecans over dough; lightly press into dough. Set aside.
3. In 2-quart saucepan, melt butter over medium-high heat. Stir in brown sugar, caramel topping and graham cracker crumbs. Heat to boiling, stirring constantly. Pour over crust in pan; spread evenly. Sprinkle with remaining 1 cup chocolate chips and 1 1/2 cups pecans.
4. Bake 25 to 32 minutes or until edges are deep golden brown and pecans are lightly toasted. Cool on cooling rack 30 minutes; loosen sides from pan, but do not cut. Cool completely, about 3 hours longer. (For firmer bars, let stand an additional 2 hours.) For bars, cut into 6 rows by 4 rows.
Ashlee side note: As I have said before...I hate nuts. So, I omitted the layer of pecans in the middle and just used a whole bag of chocolate chips instead of just one cup. Then poured the caramel mixture on top of those and then sprinkled roasted peanuts on top {just a couple of handfuls} and mini chocolate chips on top of those {just a couple of handfuls}. They turned out super gooey and super yummy!

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Velvety Vegetable Cheese Soup

This was so simple to make and so yummy! Even Landon raved! It's a great way to get your kids to eat their veggies.

1 pkg. (16 oz.) frozen broccoli, cauliflower and carrot blend
2 cans (14 oz. each) fat-free reduced-sodium chicken broth
3/4 lb. (12 oz.) VELVEETA Pasteurized Prepared Cheese Product, cut up
Salt and pepper to taste

PLACE vegetables and broth in large saucepan; cover. Bring to boil on medium-high heat. Reduce heat to low; simmer 10 min. or until vegetables are tender.
MASH vegetables with potato masher to desired consistency.
STIR in VELVEETA; cook 5 min. or until VELVEETA is melted and soup is heated through, stirring frequently.

Ashlee side note: You could just use broccoli or just cauliflower for the soup if you prefer, but it was really good with all three veggies smushed up in there. I did leave a few small chunks because that's the way I like it, but you can make it as smooth as you like.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Beef Noodle Bowl

This was such a quick and easy dinner. You do have to plan for it as it required specific ingredients not usually kept on hand...but it was yummy. A nice change from the normal dinner.

1/2 lb. linguine, uncooked
3 cups broccoli florets
3 carrots, peeled, sliced
2 tsp. oil
1 lb. beef sirloin steak, cut into strips
1/4 cup KRAFT Asian Toasted Sesame Dressing
1 Tbsp. teriyaki sauce

COOK pasta in large saucepan as directed on package, adding vegetables to the boiling water for the last 2 min.
MEANWHILE, heat oil in large nonstick skillet. Add meat; cook until browned on all sides, stirring occasionally. Stir in dressing and teriyaki sauce; cook 2 min. or until sauce is thickened, stirring occasionally.
DRAIN pasta mixture; place in large serving bowl. Add meat mixture; toss to coat.

Ashlee side note: If you aren't a big fan of steak, or don't have it on can definitely use strips of chicken or pork tenderloin instead. I also just used frozen veggies instead of the fresh. It was easier. I just dumped however much I thought looked good in with the meat after the meat was cooked through instead of cooking with the noodles. And..I like lots of sauce, so I doubled the sauce mix of dressing and teriyaki sauce.
Hope you enjoy it!

Chocolate Caramel Bars

I made these last night and thought I had died and gone to heaven. We ate them still warm last night because we couldn't wait till they had cooled and even though they wouldn't hold up as a cookie bar and oozed all over the plate :0) they were still soooo good. Even better today. :0)

1 box Betty Crocker® SuperMoist® devil's food cake mix
3/4 cup butter or margarine, softened
1 egg
2 cups quick-cooking or old-fashioned oats
1 bag (14 oz) vanilla caramels, unwrapped
1/4 cup milk
1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup chopped pecans or walnuts, if desired

1. Heat oven to 350°F (325°F for dark or nonstick pan). Generously grease bottom and sides of 13x9-inch pan with shortening or cooking spray. In large bowl, beat cake mix, butter and egg with electric mixer on low speed until well mixed.
2. Stir in oats until crumbly (use fingers if necessary). Reserve 1 1/2 cups cake mixture. Press remaining mixture in pan (use plastic wrap or waxed paper to press mixture if it is sticky).
3. In heavy 2-quart saucepan, heat caramels and milk over medium-low heat, stirring frequently, until melted. Pour over chocolate layer in pan. Sprinkle with chocolate chips and pecans. Sprinkle reserved cake mixture over top.
4. Bake 22 to 28 minutes or until caramel bubbles along edges and cake mixture on top appears crisp and dry. Run knife around sides of pan to loosen bars. Cool completely, about 1 hour 30 minutes. For bars, cut into 6 rows by 4 rows. Store tightly covered.
Ashlee side note: I obviously would not ruin such a tasty dessert by adding nuts to it. I only baked it for the 22 minutes. You don't want to get the top too crusty. At 22 minutes it was still a little moist and cookie-like. Not crunchy. If you want crunchy...go for the full 28 minutes.
I was also thinking about what other cake mixes I could use for this recipe. A blonde caramel bar would be good using a yellow cake mix....Get a little crazy. It could be yummy!

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Chicken Manicotti

Another new recipe I tried tonight. I'm trying to find things that Landon will actually LIKE, but that will be fun and yummy for Jaysen and I as well. This one was pretty good! I got it off of where they've got a lot of yummy time saving recipes.

1 can (10-3/4 oz.) condensed cream of chicken soup
1-1/2 cups water
1/4 lb. (4 oz.) VELVEETA Pasteurized Prepared Cheese Product, cut up
2 cups frozen broccoli florets
12 manicotti pasta, uncooked
1 lb. boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1/2-inch strips
1/4 cup KRAFT 100% Grated Parmesan Cheese

PREHEAT oven to 400ºF. Mix soup, water and VELVEETA in microwaveable bowl. Microwave on HIGH 3 min. or until VELVEETA is melted and mixture is well blended, stirring after 2 min. Pour one-third of the soup mixture onto bottom of 13x9-inch baking dish; set aside. Add broccoli to remaining soup mixture.
STUFF pasta with chicken strips; place in baking dish. Cover completely with remaining soup mixture. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese. Cover with foil.
BAKE 45 to 50 min. or until pasta is tender and chicken is cooked through.
Ashlee side note: So, I changed up this recipe a little bit, though I'm sure it would be good as is. I cooked the manicotti noodles per package directions. And pre-cooked the chicken as well giving them a little garlic/onion flavor. By precooking the noodles I didn't really need the water to be added to my I used 2 cans of cream of mushroom soup to mix with the Velveeta. I also added some garlic and onion powder to the soup for flavor. I have to use the powder so sonny boy doesn't know I did it. Sneaky huh?
So, put 1/3 of the soup mixture onto bottom of 13x9 baking dish and then add the broccoli to the rest of the soup. Stuff the shells with the chicken strips and put in baking dish. Cover completely with remaining broccoli soup mixture. Sprinkle with FRESHLY grated parmesan cheese. Bake for about 15-20 minutes or until broccoli is cooked through and cheese is bubbly.
Such a nice yummy dinner. of the best new recipes I've tried in a while. I really liked the broccoli with it too. Landon said, "This is really good mom!" There you have it. This one is a keeper!

Monday, January 21, 2008

Simple & Creamy Tortellini Alfredo

I made this for dinner tonight and it was a hit! Landon did pick out the peas...but what can you do? It was super easy too!

1 can (14-1/2 oz.) fat-free reduced-sodium chicken broth
1 cup water
2 pkg. (9 oz. each) refrigerated cheese tortellini
4 oz. (1/2 of 8-oz. pkg.) PHILADELPHIA Cream Cheese, cubed
1 cup frozen peas
3/4 cup KRAFT Finely Shredded Italian* Five Cheese Blend
6 slices OSCAR MAYER Bacon, cooked, drained and crumbled

POUR broth and water into large saucepan; stir. Bring to boil on medium-high heat. Add tortellini. Reduce heat to medium-low; cover. Simmer 8 to 9 min. or until tortellini is tender. (Do not drain.)
ADD cream cheese and peas; stir. Heat 2 to 3 min. or until cream cheese is completely melted, stirring occasionally.
STIR in shredded cheese and bacon.
Makes 6 servings, 1 cup each.

Ashlee side note: This did not have enough Alfredo taste for me, so I would definitely add some garlic flavoring to it next time. Even just some garlic powder to it after the cream cheese has melted. What might also taste super yummy in here is mushrooms, and maybe some sun dried tomatoes. Nothing my children would eat of course...but it's just a thought!

Broccoli Casserole

Doesn't that sound interesting? Broccoli Casserole? It's good I promise!

1 packet Hidden Valley Ranch Dressing Mix
8 oz. cream cheese
3/4 cup milk
1 pound fresh broccoli cooked and drained
1/2 cup shredded cheddar

In a blender, combine dressing mix, cream cheese, and milk. Put cooked and drained broccoli in a 9/13 baking dish. Pour blender ingredients over the top of the broccoli and stir well until evenly coated. Top with cheese and bake for 25 minutes at 350 degrees. Makes 4 servings.

Ashlee side note: Please make sure you cook the broccoli! I forgot the last time I made it and ruined the whole thing. Sigh. Steam it good people! The ranch adds a nice kick to a normal broccoli cheese dish. Enjoy!

Thursday, January 17, 2008

No Time!! Baked Pasta

This was so yummy that my kid actually THANKED me for dinner. Crazy huh? I did leave out the spinach and green peppers though. The spinach for me, and the green peppers because we didn't have any and I wasn't about to go to the store.

2 1/2 cups whole wheat pasta (I used Penne)
2 cups spaghetti sauce
1 lb. lean ground turkey
1/2 cup fat free cottage cheese
1 cup frozen spinach, thawed
1 garlic clove, minced
1/4 cup green peppers, chopped
1/4 cup parmesan cheese, shredded
3/4 cup part-skim mozzarella cheese (divided)
garlic powder (to taste)
basil (to taste)
oregano (to taste)

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
2. Cook pasta according to package directions. Set aside.
3. Meanwhile, in a small pan brown ground turkey. Remove from heat.
4. Combine ground turkey, spinach, garlic, cottage cheese, green peppers, 1/4 cup mozzarella, herbs and parmesan cheese in 9x13 baking dish. Stir well.
5. Top with remaining mozzarella and bake for 15 minutes, or until cheese is melted and bubbly and casserole is nice and hot.

Ashlee side note: This was really a hit tonight. My hubby had seconds. He only does that with Mexican. It's kind of like a lasagna casserole. It took a total of 45 minutes from start to finish. Not too shabby for a weeknight dinner. And insanely low fat. Only about 15 grams of fat per serving. This recipe serves 4, and honestly, those are huge servings. We've got leftovers and there were three of us that ate regular size portions. So, good stuff! And oodles of protien. Love it!

Salsa Chicken

Got this recipe off of Alicia's recipe blog that she shares with her family. It was really yummy, and made for a nice change for dinner.

12 chicken tenders
1 can tomato soup
1 can cream of chicken soup
1 Tbsp. chili powder
1/2 cup salsa
cheddar cheese

Put chicken in baking dish. Combine all other ingredients in a bowl and pour over chicken. Top with cheese. Bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour.

Ashlee side note: I made chicken tacos with these instead of just eating the chicken. Landon's not a huge fan of a piece of chicken on his plate. Sigh. he's not a huge fan of anything really. But that's besides the point. I just put a tender on a tortilla and shredded it and then poured a little of the red sauce left in the pan over the chicken. Smothered it with cheese and sour cream and tah dah! So easy. Seriously. Alicia's recipe says you can put the chicken in a crock pot with the sauce and then just shred the chicken after it's all nice and tender and yummy at the end of the day. I didn't get to do that otherwise, I would have been all over that. So, you can make this dish ahead of time and throw it in a crock pot, or have dinner in an hour. Either way...yummy!

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Hot Cheesy Spinach Dip

Got these free recipe cards in the mail the other day, and out of about 12, I kept 4. :0) This was one of them. I love spinach dip....though I don't love spinach. Wierd huh? Anyway...This one is a warm version with lots of ooey gooey cheese. Don't worry Amy, I'm making the traditional dip for girls night tonight. :0)
2 Tbsp. butter
1/4 cup chopped onion
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 Tbsp. all purpose flour
1 3/4 cups half and half
2 pkgs. frozen chopped spinach, thawed, well drained
1 can (8 oz.) sliced water chestnuts, drained
1 cup shredded Cheddar Cheese
1 pkg. (1 oz.) dry vegetable soup mix
1/4 cup shredded Parmesan cheese

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Melt butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add onion and garlic. Cook and stir until onion is crisp-tender and garlic is fragrant, 2-3 minutes.

Stir in flour; cook and stir an additional minute. Add half and half and cook, stirring constantly, until mixture boils and thickens, about 2 minutes.

Remove saucepan from heat. Stir in chopped spinach, water chestnuts, Cheddar and vegetable soup mix. Spoon dip into a 1 quart casserole or gratin dish. Sprinkle with Parmesan.

Bake dip until it is bubbly and sheese is melted, 10-15 minutes. Serve warm. Makes 8 servings.

Ashlee side note: As I'm not a HUGE spinach fan, one pkg. of spinach is PLENTY for me. Otherwise it's too much spinach flavor and not enough of the good stuff. ;0) I usually leave out the water chestnuts as well, because most people don't like them and they don't add too much to the dip besides a nice crunch.
If you are worried about this affecting your figure since we are all on our New Years diets, use fat free half and half and low fat cheddar. It's a great healthy alternative and you don't have to deprive yourself! Enjoy!