Friday, May 29, 2009
My grandma was truly amazing. As a child and teenager, I could barely keep up with her. She was always busy doing good whenever and wherever she could. She did everything from driving the tracker, to handling the cows, to canning their home grown produce and to serving others in whatever way she was able. She raised 4 pretty amazing kids, one of which was my mother.
My grandma was an amazing cook! She loved to make food for others and in her later years she loved to feed the missionaries. It wasn't uncommon to hear that she had 8-10 missionaries out to her house for dinner. She loved the missionaries! She also loved having the family at her home for dinners for holiday and regular occasions! We all loved her different Pudding Lush recipes- the chocolate variation can be found in 101 Things to Do With Chocolate and other variations which will be published in my soon to be released 101 Things To Do With Pudding.
Chocolate Lush from 101 Things To Do With Chocolate
1 cup butter or margarine, softened
1 cup flour
1/2 cup chopped nuts, optional
1 package (8 ounce) cream cheese, softened
1 cup powdered sugar
1 container (12 ounces) frozen whipped topping, thawed and divided
2 small boxes chocolate instant pudding mix
3 cups milk
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine butter, flour, and nuts, if desired, with pastry blender until crumbly. Press mixture into a glass 9 x 13-inch pan. Bake 10 minutes; cool completely.
In a bowl, mix together cream cheese and powdered sugar. Fold in 1 cup whipped topping. Spread cream cheese mixture over cooled crust. Mix together pudding mixes and milk until pudding starts to thicken. Pour pudding over cream cheese layer. Spread remaining whipped topping over top. Refrigerate at least 1 hour, or until ready to serve. Makes 20-24 servings.
Monday, May 11, 2009
Lemon Squares from 101 Things To Do With A Cake Mix
1 lemon cake mix
1/3 cup vegetable, canola, or olive oil
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a bowl, mix together cake mix, eggs, and oil. Mixture will be stiff. Spread mixture evenly into a greased 9 x 13-inch pan. Bake 13-15 minutes until slightly golden on top. Cool, then sprinkle powdered sugar over the squares.
Saturday, May 9, 2009
Tracking down the best deal
By: Sandy Rathbun
Published May 8, 2009
"In Stephanie Ashcraft’s home everything has a story. As she plays air hockey, she says, “This is the activity table that we were able to get for a screaming deal. They’re usually over $1,000 for a nice one, and this one we were able to pick up for just over $500.”
Across the room, she says, “We got our $2,300 sofa set for 1,000 bucks.”
“I have to find the deal,” she says. “If it’s not 50 percent off or more I hardly look at it at all.”
How does she do it?
Ashcraft says, “Tip number one is use cash and don’t be afraid to walk away.”
She says that’s how she and her husband bought a $200 dollar keyboard for their four young children.
Ashcraft explains, “They had a floor model left at one of the warehouse stores. We asked the manager, we have 100 bucks, that’s all we have. Are you willing to take that with the tax and everything?” And he was.
Her tip number two is “Be willing to ask for a deal.”
That’s how she bought a wooden organizer for her hobby room. She says, “My scrapbook organizing system never [goes] on sale. [So] I just contacted the owner and I said is there any way you can give me a 25 percent discount if I just pay you in full? And she said yes, we’ll do it, so don’t be afraid to ask. The worst they can say is no.”
Ashcraft’s tip three is to research prices.
She says, “The Internet is one of the best money saving tools out there right now. Within minutes you can have the lowest price on pretty much about anything.”
For example she pulled up prices for a cookbook she wrote called “101 Things To Do With A Salad.”
She demonstrated, “You look it up on pricerate.com or bizrate.com. The lowest price is $5.91. That includes the shipping.”
Suddenly she proclaims, “That’s cheaper than I can get it as the author.”"
Friday, May 8, 2009
University of Utah has a free downloadable Home Food Storage guide that you can save, print etc! It is only 21 pages long, so you can print it off to have on hand if you like! It is in PDF format.
CLICK HERE TO SEE IT
One of my other favorite food storage references is:
They have great excel worksheets to help you get started and organized! Click here to get to the worksheets!
Thursday, May 7, 2009
Paige, my cousin-in-law, asked me if I had a good bread recipe that she could use. This is my all time favorite bread recipe. Probably because I have great memories of coming home from school to the smell of this bread baking. This bread warm with butter and honey was my all time favorite after school treat! This bread is dense which I love.
Even my kids who don't like wheat bread love this recipe!
My Mom's Honey Wheat Bread
1/2 cup warm water
2 tablespoons or 3 envelopes yeast
2 tablespoons sugar
5 cups hot tap water
8 cups wheat flour
2/3 cup vegetable, canola, or olive oil
2/3 cup honey
2 tablespoons salt
4 cups white flour
In a 1-quart bowl, stir together 1/2 cup warm water, yeast, and sugar. Let yeast mixture stand 10 minutes while combining other ingredients. Yeast mixture will bubble and expand. In a Bosch kitchen machine, combine 5 cups hot water, wheat flour, oil, honey and salt until blended. Add yeast mixture and white flour. Knead for 10 minutes on low speed. Spray hands with cooking spray and divide dough into 3 greased loaf pans. Let dough rise in pans for 40 minutes. Then, bake bread for 40 minutes at 350 degrees. Serve warm with butter and honey or peanut butter and jam. Makes 3 loaves.
Tuesday, May 5, 2009
Frozen meatballs: not just for spaghetti anymore
By Caroline Dipping
Friday, December 12, 2008
"From party appetizers to family dinners, frozen meatballs have got you covered. Keeping a bag in the freezer means you've always got the building blocks for an array of quick and easy dishes.
This week's ingredient: Frozen meatballs
Fast food: Frozen meatballs are already fully cooked, so heating them up can take less than five minutes in the microwave.
Budget buy: A 96-ounce bag of Casa Di Bertacchi meatballs is $12.88 at Sam's Club.
Trivia: Amazon.com has “101 Things to Do With Meatballs” by Stephanie Ashcraft for $9.99. Chipotle Meatball Pasta, anyone?
Dish 1: Berry Barbecue Meatballs
In a 3 1/2-quart slow cooker sprayed with nonstick cooking spray, place 2 pounds frozen meatballs, 1 (16-ounce) can whole berry cranberry sauce and 1 cup barbecue sauce. Cover and cook on low 5 to 6 hours.
Dish 2: Meatball Stroganoff
Heat 1 1/2 pounds frozen meatballs according to package directions; drain liquid. Add 2 cans cream of mushroom soup, 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce, 1/4 cup water, dash Tabasco, 1 cup sour cream, 1 small can drained mushrooms. Simmer over medium heat 20 minutes. Stir occasionally. Serve over hot cooked egg noodles.
Dish 3: Philly Meatball Sub Sandwiches
Saute 2 sliced green bell peppers and 1 chopped onion in olive oil until tender. Microwave 16 meatballs with 2 tablespoons water for 4 minutes. Drain liquid. Combine 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce, 1/2 cup steak sauce with the meatballs. Divide veggies over 4 toasted sub rolls, add 4 meatballs and a slice of provolone cheese to each sandwich."
Tortillas Aren’t Just for Mexican Food Anymore!
Wrap ‘n’ Roll with 101 Simple Recipes for Tortilla Treats
Reviewed by Madelyn Miller, the TravelLady
"I can boil water. I can make peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. I can nuke frozen food in the microwave.
Now I have a new cookbook that makes me feel like a culinary genius.
101 Things to Do with a Tortilla takes this delicious, nutritious, no-fail recipe ingredient and proves that tortillas aren’t just for Mexican food anymore! Featuring recipes such as Italian Roast Beef Wrap, Tortilla Sushi Rolls, Green Chile Tortilla Soup in a Hurry, Tortilla Quiche, and Peanut Butter S’mores, this collection of distinctive and inventive tortilla treats is the perfect addition to every busy kitchen. Most recipes have less than 10 simple ingredients and all can be found at the local supermarket.
Tortillas are second only to fresh breads in U.S. sales and outsell bagels two to one. From burritos to wraps and chalupas to tacos, this staple of Mexican and Southwestern cooking is revolutionizing mealtime across the world. In 101 Things to Do with a Tortilla (Gibbs Smith, Publisher; $9.95; Spiral-bound paperback with spill-proof plastic cover; 1-58685-469-0; 5 ¼ x 7 ¼ in; 128 pp; April 2005), Stephanie Ashcraft and Donna Kelly offer 101 yummy recipes to tempt the appetite, fill the tummy and simplify mealtime.
With Helpful Hints, Appetizers, Quesadillas and Wraps, Kids and Snacks, Soups and Salads, Breakfast, Main Dishes, Mexican Favorites and Desserts, 101 Things to Do with a Tortilla is the go-to guide for quick, easy recipes for every busy life. For a simple, tasty solution to snack-time, try the Peanut Butter S’mores, Happy Clown Faces or Creamy Fruit Roll-ups. Perfect for appetizers or game-time goodies are Pepper Jelly Bites, Never-Fail Nachos or Tortilla Pinwheels. BLT Wraps, Open-Face Pesto Quesadillas or Tuna Melt Triangles make a good alternative to the tired old sandwich for lunch, and Green Chile Tortilla Soup or Seafood Tostada Salad are healthy snacks for that mid-afternoon craving. Don’t forget classics like Mom’s White Enchiladas, Shredded Beef Tacos and Chicken Flautas, plus new classics like Southwest Lasagna, or Polynesian Bundles with Chocolate Raspberry Burritos for dessert.
101 Things to Do with a Tortilla joins the best-selling “101” Series that has sold over 750,000 copies. Also available in the series is 101 Things to Do with a Cake Mix, 101 More Things to Do with a Cake Mix, 101 Things to Do with a Slowcooker, 101 More Things to Do with a Slowcooker, 101 Things to Do with a Potato and the also-new 101 Things to Do with a BBQ.
Stephanie Ashcraft, author of the original 101 Things to Do with a Cake Mix, was raised near Kirklin, Indiana. She received a bachelor’s degree in family science and a teaching certificate from Brigham Young University. She lives in Idaho; this is her sixth book. Donna Kelly was born and raised in tortilla country – Southern Arizona. She has four children and works as a prosecuting attorney. This is her first book.
Founded in 1969, Gibbs Smith, Publisher specializes in books on design and architecture, and also features titles from categories including western, holiday, cooking, inspiration and children’s activity (featuring the celebrated Sierra Club Books for Children series). Additional cookbooks from Gibbs Smith, Publisher include Three Guys from Miami Cook Cuban, American Sandwich, El Farol: Spanish Tapas and Cuisine, and The Golden Door Cooks Light and Easy.
101 Things to Do With a Tortilla
Stephanie Ashcraft never expected to sell thousands of copies of the book of recipes that she and her husband once assembled by hand in their small living room in Utah. She created the first copy of her first book 101 Things to Do With a Cake Mix, as a college class project. Over 200,000 copies of that first book have now sold to date, and sales of all her books combined now top 750,000 copies.
Stephanie is a full-time homemaker and mother, and has been creating and perfecting her recipes since she was a child. She grew up in Indiana, and then moved to Utah to pursue a bachelor’s degree in Family Science. She has taught cooking classes for the last seven years. Stephanie lives in Idaho and looks forward to finding venues to teach and share her cooking skills with people across the nation. This is her sixth book.
Donna Kelly was born and raised in tortilla country – Southern Arizona. She has a lifelong passion for southwest cooking and grew up making tortillas, tamales and all varieties of Mexican food. Tortillas are still a staple in her kitchen, and she has spent 30 years taking traditional recipes and giving them her own southwest flair. Her greatest food critics are her very patient husband, Jim, and four children, who all dine on tortilla dishes on a regular basis. Donna works as a prosecuting attorney in Utah. This is her second book.
Stephanie and Donna teamed up when Donna found the other “101” titles. The two are an ideal team for this book, with Donna’s passion for southwest cuisine and Stephanie’s knack for simple and practical recipes of all kinds. They spent nearly two years collaborating on the recipes, improving and refining them to perfection and streamlining them for minimal preparation time with maximum flavor.
Tortilla Facts and Helpful Hints
Tortillas are second only to fresh breads in U.S. sales and outsell bagels two to one. Industry experts predict that by 2004, tortillas will be the most popular bread product in the U.S.
Americans eat 7 billion pounds of tortillas a year, the equivalent of one tortilla per person per day
47% of all households purchased tortillas in 2001
Flour tortillas are a low-fat food (about 4 grams of fat, 157 calories each) and are available in a low-carb variety. They contain iron and other B vitamins as well, and come ready to eat in a variety of shapes and sizes
Corn tortillas are low in fat and sodium (average 120 calories and 1.5 fat grams). They also contain calcium, potassium and are a natural source of fiber. Generally, corn tortillas come in a standard 6-inch size and must be cooked before being eaten
To heat and soften tortillas before use, place one at a time on a medium-hot, ungreased, non-stick skillet, turning frequently until hot. To heat in a microwave, place up to 4 tortillas at a time on a plate and cover with a paper towel. Microwave 20-30 seconds, or until tortillas are soft and bendable
Store tortillas in a sealed package. Dry storage tortillas will last at room temperature for about 5 days. In a refrigerator, flour and corn tortillas can be stored for about 60 days. Frozen tortillas can be stored for approximately 90 days
There are about 300 U.S. tortilla manufacturing companies, but tortillas are booming in Europe, too: A Mexican operates a successful tortilla company in Germany, capable of cranking out up to 2 tons of tortillas per day (Mexican and TexMex restaurants and food are becoming increasingly popular abroad)"
Reviewed by Carem Bennett
"101 Things to do with a Cake Mix is as stylish and fun as its packaging. The book comes in a 7 1\2 by 5 1\2-inch size, with spiral binding and a plastic cover. The binding makes the book extremely useful -- no propping the pages open or worrying about wrecking the cover by dropping cake batter all over it. All cookbooks should be this easy to have in the kitchen.
101 Things to do with a Cake Mix will please a wide range of bakers, but parents will value this book as a treasure chest of family fun. The final chapter of the book is "Children's Delights." The recipes include "Delicious Dirt," which is a recipe for a chocolate pudding cake, covered with "dirt" (crushed Oreo cookies). There are seasonal recipes for holiday activities, such as "Valentine Cookies," "American Flag Cake," "Halloween Spider Cake" and even a "Peppermint Cake." The children's chapter is filled with fun for cooking with your children during the holidays.
Two recipes in 101 Things to do with a Cake Mix particularly stand out: "Heavenly Brownies" and "Sweet Delights." "Heavenly Brownies" is a classic cream-cheese brownie recipe, without the brownie mix. Ashcraft substitutes a chocolate cake mix in place of the traditional brownie mix. These brownies bake wonderfully, they are moist and decadent. The "heavenly" twist in the name makes them ideal for church bake sales and Sunday school classes. I pack them in tins and give them away as "care packages."
The "Sweet Delights" recipe is a sure kid-pleaser. My test audience was my one-year-old nephew. He gobbled these cookies down, leaving behind nothing but a chocolate-covered giggle and fudgy handprints on his highchair. The cookies are moist, chewy and don't involve measuring a large amount of ingredients. The recipe relies solely on a cake mix (of any flavor, I chose Devil's food), brown sugar, oil, eggs and chocolate chips. They were almost too easy for how good they tasted. A winning recipe.
For fans of bundt cakes, Ashcraft includes recipes for eight different varieties. The recipes include classic favorites such as "Death-By-Chocolate" and "Luscious Lemon." Newer favorites include "Pistachio Pound Cake" and "Cream-Cheese Lemon Pound Cake." The variety of bundt cakes in this chapter seems designed to please every palate.
On the whole, 101 Things to do with a Cake Mix relies on readily accessible ingredients: cake mixes, brown sugar, eggs, oil, chocolate chips, powdered sugar, nuts and flour. Some recipes, however, require planning as they use ingredients that you may not keep handy. Cherry pie filling, lemon instant pudding, wheat germ, cream cheese and sour cream are examples of ingredients I did not have stocked as I perused the recipes.
My one difficulty with using this book is that there are no pictures. Not one. There's not even a smiling picture of the author. Not having a reference for colors and textures is aggravating; you have to guess your way along unfamiliar recipes. There is also no guide for decorating ideas. This requires a fair bit of experience and creativity on the part of the reader. However, it's an inexpensive book: the cover price makes it a bargain purchase, pictures or no pictures."
Carem Bennett is a freelance writer and cake decorating enthusiast.
Thanks, Melissa, for posting the following to Gibbs Smith, Publisher's blog! "There are so many easy and tasty recipes in one of the newest additions to our 101 series, you're bound to be surprised! The seasons of spring and summer bring many days of barbecuing with them. The first recipe you should try this season is from 101 Things To Do With Meatballs by Stephanie Ashcraft. I hope you enjoy!
These are so yummy! We'll definitely be making these simple kabobs again soon.
I know the cobbler pictured isn't cherry, but this goes to show you how versatile my recipes can be. I was in the mood for dutch oven cobbler, but there was no way I was going to go to that much trouble to make it. So, I used the Cherry Jubilee recipe from my book 101 Things To Do With A Slow Cooker. It's Dutch Oven made easy!
I debated using peach or apple pie filling and finally settled on apple. Good choice! It was delish! We served it warm with whipped cream, but hot with vanilla ice cream is amazing as well. Here is the original recipe!
2 cans (21 ounces each) cherry pie filling
1 package (18 ounces) yellow cake mix
1/2 cup melted butter or margarine
Spread pie filling in the bottom of greased 4 1/2 to 6-quart slow cooker. Sprinkle dry cake mix powder over the top. Pour melted butter over the top. Cover and cook on high heat 2 hours or on low heat 4 hours. Makes 10-12 servings.
Serve with vanilla ice cream or whipped topping.
Those who know me well know that I love my 9 slow cookers and use them quite often! Maybe that is the reason there are two 101 Slow Cooker books written by Janet Eyring and myself.
Sunday I made the Burritos recipe from my book 101 Things To Do With A Slow Cooker. I was in the mood for easy Mexican. I already had 1 pound ground beef that had been cooked, drained, and frozen. This made this recipe even easier! In less than 5 minutes, I had dinner simmering. It was nice coming home from church to a dinner that required mainly setting the table! We served the filling nacho style over tortilla chips with grated cheese sprinkled over the top! It was delicious!
Tonight we are serving the leftover filling over warmed pita bread as Navajo Tacos with shredded cheese and diced tomatoes. Yummy! Or you could just follow the recipe as written.
1 pound ground beef, cooked and drained
2 cans (16 ounces each) refried beans
1 envelope taco seasoning
1 can (8 ounces) tomato sauce
1/2 cup water
Combine all ingredients except tortillas in greased 3 1/2 to 5-quart slow cooker. Cover and cook on low heat 4-6 hours. Spread hot bean mixture on flour tortillas. Fill with favorite burrito toppings. Fold and enjoy. Makes 4-6 servings.
Burrito toppings might include tomatoes, whole kernal corn, green onions, cheese, guacamole, caramelized onion, and red or green salsa.
Monday, May 4, 2009
My specialty is frugal quick and easy. As a mother to 4 young children, my time is extremely limited. My hope is that my recipes can save you time and money in your kitchen as well! I hope you enjoy my new blog!