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)