Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Ultimate Brownies


I’ve always looked for a homemade brownie recipe that will be just as scrumptious as the Ghiradelli Triple Chocolate mix that I get from Costco. In my opinion NOTHING compares. Till now. This is the first homemade brownie recipe that has a deep chocolate flavor and chewy inside. They are perfection. I've already made them 3 times and only found the recipe about 3 weeks ago. I did add my own frosting, because everything is always better with a chocolate cream cheese frosting, right? Feel free to top them with a chocolate buttercream or just a chocolate glaze. To be honest, they don’t need a topping. But…put the chocolate cream cheese frosting on there:)

In a bowl, combine and stir until thickened:
3/4 cup cocoa
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/3 cup melted butter
1/2 cup boiling water

Add in order listed:
2 cups sugar
2 eggs, slightly beaten
1/3 cup melted butter
1 tsp vanilla

Then add:
1 1/3 cups flour
1/4 tsp salt

Stir in a little less than 1 cup chocolate chips. (no more or brownies may fall apart when cut)

Pour into greased 9x13 inch cake pan. Bake 30-35 minutes in a 350 degree oven, or until brownies begin to pull away from sides or toothpick inserted comes out clean. Do not over bake. Cool in pan.

Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting:

1 (8oz) pkg cream cheese, softened

1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter, softened

3 heaping T cocoa powder

2 cups powdered sugar

2-3 T sour cream

Cream cream cheese and butter together until smooth. Add cocoa powder and powdered sugar. Add sour cream to thin (you want the frosting to be creamier than an icing…and the sour cream adds just the right amount of creaminess without thinning it out.)

*Brownie recipe from stellabskitchen.com

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Sunday, March 25, 2012

Oven Omelette


I got this recipe from my Aunt Pam. I can’t count the number of times I’ve made it. It’s SO simple and SO delicious. I get rave reviews every time I make it. I usually like to make it when I have a lot of people visiting or am going to a brunch. It usually makes an appearance for Christmas day brunch or on General Conference Weekend. I recently made it when a bunch of family came into town and thought about making it because General Conference is coming up this next weekend. If you’re having family over, make it! I usually put ham in it, but you can easily substitute breakfast sausage or bacon…whatever you like!

1 dozen eggs

1/2 t salt

1/4 t pepper

3T dry minced onion

2 cups sour cream

2 cups shredded cheddar cheese

1-1 1/2 cups diced ham (I use leftover ham if I have it, otherwise I use deli ham)

Salsa for serving

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Beat with a whisk eggs, salt and sour cream until foamy. Fold in cheese , onion, pepper and meat. Pour into a 9x13 pan sprayed well with non-stick spray. Bake for 40 minutes until eggs are set and edges are slightly browned. Serve with salsa.

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Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Homemade Play Dough


I found this recipe and since I had all the ingredients I decided to try it. Boy am I glad I did! It was so easy and a perfect recipe for the kiddos to help on. They had a great time pouring ingredients, stirring and picking out the color they wanted their dough to be. It’s so much better than store bought play dough that I’m POSITIVE I will NEVER buy play dough again! It’s a lot more soft and pliable than store bought also. Definitely try it and include your kids!

1 cup flour
1 cup water
1/4 cup salt
1 T vegetable oil
2 t cream of tarter
Food Coloring (regular food coloring, or coloring gels)
Sparkles (If you wanna be a fun mom!)

Pour all ingredients into a saucepan. Stir until everything is mixed well and mostly clump free. Heat over MEDIUM heat. Stir. Don’t EVER stop stirring. After a few minutes it will start to clump up. Stir and stir some more until the dough clumps into a large ball. Remove from heat and dump onto cold counter. Knead by hand until a smooth texture is formed.

Once cooled, it’s ready to play! This took me about 5-10 minutes. I stored mine in empty Play Dough containers that I had left over from dried out Play Dough. You can also use the plastic baby food containers (either Gerber or Parents Choice.) Or you can just store them in a good ole fashioned sandwich bag. This would make such awesome party favors! Enjoy playing!

*From kristanlynn.com

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Sunday, March 18, 2012

Delicious Crock Pot Roast


I love using the crock pot. It just makes my life SO much easier! I also have to admit that crock pot meat is my favorite kind of meat. This recipe calls for a beef roast, but all I had in the freezer is a pork roast and it turned out great…so use whatever you’ve got! Perfect Sunday dinner!

1 (4 -5 lb) beef roast, or pork roast

1 package brown gravy mix, dry

1 package dried Italian salad dressing mix

1 package ranch dressing mix, dry

1 1/2 cups water

1/2 onion sliced thin

3 large carrots, peeled and cut

7-8 red potatoes washed and quartered

Add vegetables to the bottom of the crock pot. Place roast on top of the vegetables. Mix the dried mixes together in a bowl with water and pour over roast. Cook on low for 7-9 hours. To serve, remove roast to a platter to cut. Remove vegetables with a slotted spoon to a bowl. Pour sauce left in the crock pot through a strainer and serve as a gravy – you can thicken it with flour/water if you want the gravy thicker. Enjoy!

*From Maries Cooking Adventures

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

French Spaghetti


Oh gosh…please forgive this picture! It has to be one of the worst I’ve taken. I’m a little embarrassed to put it on here. But listen…don’t judge this recipe by the picture! YOU WILL LOVE THIS DISH!! It’s so delicious. A combo of red sauce and white sauce – don’t pass this one up. I’ve actually made this a lot lately. It’s the perfect dish to have when you are expecting a large group cause it goes a long way. And the leftovers are to die for! Every time I make it for a bunch of people I get requests for the recipe. It even freezes very well. We made it one year for our family reunion – made it several days before and froze them and reheated them in the oven. I also have made it early in the day, put it in the fridge and then baked it later that night. Now of course it’s going to be the best using my homemade spaghetti sauce and guiltless alfredo, but if you’re in a bind, you can sub whatever you need. So we agree…you’re not going to judge the recipe on the picture and you WILL make it!

1 lb spaghetti

1 recipe Aunties Spaghetti Sauce found here (Or your favorite jar of spaghetti sauce) – which I definitely recommend because it has ground beef in it and the combo of beef and sausage is a awesome.

1 lb Jimmy Dean ground sausage

1 recipe Guiless Alfredo Sauce found here (or your favorite recipe)

1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Cook the pasta and place in a 9x13 pan. Pour Guiltless Alfredo Sauce over pasta. Sprinkle sausage on top. Spread spaghetti sauce on top and garnish with Parmesan cheese. Bake at 350 degrees for about 25-30 minutes. If you’re on the ball, you’ll already have some of Aunties Spaghetti sauce in the freezer, ready to go. Then it’s just as easy as whipping up the Alfredo sauce, layering up the casserole and baking it. ALWAYS a family favorite.

*Adapted from the Highland 23rd Ward Cookbook

Thursday, March 8, 2012

German Chocolate Upside Down Cake


I don’t know where I originally saw this, but the concept seemed SO delicious to me. We LOVE German Chocolate cake around our house. In fact it’s my husbands favorite cake…and my dads…and my father-in-laws. It’s also my husbands boss’s favorite. Guess it’s a guy thing:)


So naturally I had to try it. It was SO good! It’s the perfect alternative to making a whole layered cake and it even stayed moist and delicious the next day! When I sent it with Justin to work (after taking a slice for myself) I found myself thinking about it hours after he took it…then I called him later that day and told him to hightail it into the office kitchen and save whatever was left for me. It’s lick your lips good!

1 cup flaked sweetened coconut

1 cup chopped pecans

1 package (18.25 ounces) German chocolate cake mix

eggs, water, and oil as directed on package

8 ounces cream cheese, room temperature

1/2 cup butter, room temperature

1 pound (about 3 1/2 cups) powdered sugar

1 can sweetened condensed milk

Grease and flour a 9x13 baking dish. Heat oven to 350°.

Spread coconut and pecans on baking sheet and roast in oven until evenly toasted, stirring every so often.

Sprinkle coconut and pecans evenly over the bottom of the prepared pan. Prepare cake mix with the appropriate measurements of water, oil, and eggs, following the package directions. Pour the cake batter over the coconut and pecans. Beat together the cream cheese, butter and powdered sugar. Drop by spoonful's over the top of cake batter. Bake for about 45 to 50 minutes. A toothpick should come out clean when inserted into the center of the cake portion.

Cool the cake in the pan on a rack for about 10-15 minutes. To remove from pan, place the bottom side of a cookie sheet on top of the cake in the baking dish. Carefully turn over to release cake from the dish. Drizzle with sweetened condensed milk. You can enjoy it warm or cool…it’s divine either way!

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Honey Banana Muffins


Sometimes I get obsessed with what I feed my kids…especially when I’m pregnant and have lost most motivation to make an effort in this area. After a few days of noticing they aren’t eating the most healthy things, I go on a “health binge” with them. I’ve been wanting to find a really good “healthy” muffin and have tried several recipes and came up with these. There’s no sugar – it’s sweetened with honey, plenty of whole wheat flour and flax seed. I’ve become a HUGE supporter of flax seed as of late. It’s such a healthy grain that can be added to most anything. I ALWAYS add it to my muffins, pancakes, waffles, breads, etc. I highly suggest trying it – it bumps up the nutritional value significantly. I buy mine milled from Costco in a huge bag that has an incredibly long shelf life. I just throw it in whenever I can.

ANYWAY, I judge how good things are based on my kids’ reaction to them. If they finish it in a few seconds and ask for more, I know it’s a winner. After eating 2 of these and asking for a 3rd, I knew I’d found a gem:) They’re kid approved and hey, I say if its healthy and the kids love them, it’s a success!! So if you’re looking for a healthy option to give your kids while they still think they’re getting a special treat, look no further!!

1 cup whole wheat flour

1/2 cup all-purpose flour (you definitely can use ALL whole wheat)

1 t baking soda

1/2 t cinnamon

1/4 t salt

4 T milled flax seed (this can be left out if you don’t have it)

2 eggs, slightly beaten

1 cup mashed ripe bananas (usually 2 bananas)

1/2 cup unsweetened, all natural applesauce

6 T honey

1/2 cup raisins, crainsins, or chocolate chips (your choice)

In a large bowl, combine the first 6 ingredients. Combine the eggs, banana, applesauce and honey in another bowl. Stir into dry ingredients until just moistened. Fold in the raisins or chocolate chips

Line a muffin tin with liners and fill 2/3 full with batter. Bake at 375 degrees for 15 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool completely.

*I also like to make these in a mini muffin tin so they are easier for kids to pop them in their mouth. Or make them half mini and half regular.

*Makes about 14-16 muffins

* From All Recipes