I am...

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Orem, Utah, United States
I am a lover of my husband, adorable children, and last but not least food. I first started baking when I was just a little girl. My mom always had an amazing home-cooked meal on the table and she always encouraged me to help. Much of what I know has come from watching her in the kitchen. I used to love to pretend I owned a restaurant and cook things up for my siblings and their friends. Not much has changed :) Now my sweet husband and kids get to be my taste testers. I love exploring new ingredients and am always looking for the best of the best when it comes to recipes. I hope you enjoy the site as much as I do. Through this blog I will share just a few of my favorite things- my passion for child development, my wonderful family, and my love for food :) Happy blogging!

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Thursday, November 21, 2013

Apple Pie (NEW FAVORITE!!)

I will admit that I am somewhat of an apple pie snob.... or just a dessert snob in general. A few years back I came across this apple pie that changed my life. I was never before an apple pie lover. Till I ate this pie. Anyone who had this pie was asking me to make it again. So so delicious. WELL. I am also a huge lover of apple crisp. Who isn't? And so I decided today to combine/tweak two recipes to make them one. Can I admit that the pies I was making to give away almost ended up in my mouth instead?? So so perfect and delicious. Enjoy! This pie will definitely be making a grand entrance at our Thanksgiving next week :)

Ashley's Apple Crumble Pie


1 pie crust
1 egg white
6-8 apples, peeled, cored, and sliced
1/2 c. unsalted butter
3 T. flour
1/2 c. brown sugar
1/2 c. sugar
1/4 c. minus 1 T. water
1 T. vanilla


1/2 c. butter
1/2 c. brown sugar
1/2 c. sugar
3/4 c. flour
1/2 c. oats
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 dash nutmeg


Melt butter in saucepan over med. heat. Stir in flour to form paste. Add brown sugar, sugar and water. Bring to a boil and reduce heat to low to let simmer. Peel, core, and slice apples. Brush bottom of pie crust with egg white. Place apples onto crust. Stir vanilla into syrup and pour over the apples. Combine crumble ingredients by mixing dry ingredients and cutting in the butter in small slivers till nice and crumbly. Sprinkle crumb mixture over apples. Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes. You may want to place a cookie sheet or foil underneath pie while baking to catch drips. Enjoy!! (And don't forget the vanilla ice cream. Always a must :)

Monday, November 18, 2013

Thanksgiving Appetizer Winners!

After much thought I have definitely settled on having these two dips on our table before Thanksgiving dinner. Both are tried and true. Simply to die for. Hope you enjoy. These are great to have at any holiday gathering. The first comes from my sister in law Codee at readableeatables.blogspot.com. This has become a family favorite. It gets devoured instantly. I prefer to eat it with baguette slices, but it's up to you :) It's like an upgrade from restaurant artichoke dips. The second recipe is super refreshing to me and on the healthy side of things (minus the tortilla chips :). It's got everything- beans,corn, avocado, tomato, you name it. It is so delicious and addicting. ENJOY :)



Saturday, November 16, 2013

Make Ahead Thanksgiving Ideas

Got a little ahead today and was able to freeze my roll dough, my pumpkin roll, and my mom's famous raspberry slush (which I am more than excited about!!! I hope it makes it till Thanksgiving without me drinking it all...) All three recipes are some of my very favorite. Hope you enjoy. It is so nice having as much done as you can before a big meal like Thanksgiving. I don't know about you, but we go all out. So there is lots to be done! So fun though :)

I have yet to find better rolls than my Sweet Dinner Rolls listed on this blog. I raise the dough the first time, then punch down and freeze in a big ziploc. When ready to use, I thaw the dough for about 6 hrs. roll out, and raise for an hour before baking. They are always wonderful.


This pumpkin roll is super easy and delicious. Just make sure you follow their instructions and use parchment paper when baking. I never seem to and always end up struggling to get it out of the pan... I sprinkle a few chopped pecans on top before baking.


As for my mom's slush! I have never had better slush in my life. It comes from her grandmother who has never failed to pass on the tastiest recipes. Give it a try. You will not be disappointed and it took me like five minutes. Enjoy!!

Grandma Rose's Slush
3 packs frozen rasberries (12 oz. each) 
1 small frozen orange juice (thawed)
1 20 oz. can crushed pineapple (undrained)
2 cups water combined with 1 cup sugar (bring to boil to dissolve sugar)

Cool the water a little and combine all ingredients. Freeze. When ready to serve, thaw a little to break into pieces and serve with sprite in a punch bowl.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

What's New?

So I'm great at doing quick mindless posts... not so great at documenting what actually goes on in our lives. NOT GOOD. This last little while has flown by since my last post. It is now hesitantly transitioning from fall to winter. Depending on who I talk to...... that is not normal for North Carolina. Apparently (according to most...) it usually stays warmer longer. I guess the summer wasn't as harsh as usual either. (no complaints here. the bugs were enough for me to handle...) The cotton is in full bloom. Although I have not quite figured out when they harvest the crop. Sure is fun and pretty to look at though :)

Now that the tobacco plants are nowhere to be seen, this is what covers large areas of the land surrounding us.

A quick update on the fam.... Flint is still in the grind of school. The work doesn't ever let up much. This week has been particularly rough because he and Kale were both sick with pink eye. Flint ended up catching something else along with it and is now experiencing terrible pain in the back of his head (a reoccurring problem over the past two years), along with uncontrollable nose bleeds. We are a little concerned. Hopefully we will be able to get things figured out soon. It helps that he is with doctors all day :) Pressures him to go see someone. Other than that, his grades are good and he has two more exams to end the semester. We are ready for a long break in about a month. Our schedule goes a little like this- Everyone is up at 6. We take Flint to school around 7:30 (lucky to live about 10 min. away). We pick him up around 5pm. We have dinner, get the kids to bed around 7 or 8. Then Flint goes back to studying either at home or at school.

I am busy with everything and nothing exciting :) Getting ready for Christmas. Reluctantly preparing my mom's famous Christmas candy...(I'm terrified.) Preparing for Thanksgiving. Patiently awaiting the visit of my sister Paige and niece Hadley! My days consist of trying to stay upbeat amidst a very stubborn potty-trainer, a very moody 18 mon. old (both very cute and sweet :), making meals, driving to and from preschool, ballet, taking Flint to and from school, cleaning house, attempting to nap (which rarely happens), attempting to give Allie a nap (which sometimes happens, but is ALWAYS needed :)....you moms know the drill :) Life is pretty good. Flint and I don't get much quality time, but the time that we do is wonderful. My pregnancy is going well. Haven't completely gotten over my many food aversions yet, but I have enough options that I don't get too sick too often. My back pain has subsided for a moment as well.

Allie is attending a preschool co-op twice a week for a few hours. Myself and a few other moms in the ward switch off weeks teaching. Allie really loves it. It's so good for her and has really helped her get to know the other kids in the ward. She also attends ballet once a week and enjoys that too.

As I said, Kale just got over pink eye. His eyes were a lot worse than Flint's and required an antibiotic. He was a sad sight. Lucky for us we were able to catch an ear infection accidentally when we took him in for his eyes.... Yes he has been one sad, mad boy. Meanwhile he biffed it down our driveway. His face looked pretty beat up. It was a rough week :) Right now he has a very intense horse obsession. Gratefully, his love for horses allowed me to FINALLY get him to love books! We were really struggling to get that active kid interested for quite a while.

So nothing too exciting! We found out this week that my mom will most likely need no chemotherapy which is more than a blessing. We are so grateful to Heavenly Father and the answering of our prayers. We also found out that my older sister Katie is expecting a baby as well at the beginning of July. Looking forward to a visit from Flint's parents right before Christmas, and a visit from my parents right after Christmas. We are planning to make a trip to Utah in July with the new baby. So lots of fun things to look forward to :)

Here are a few pics I captured this week. Have a good one :)

Kale's First Ice Cream Cone (I don't know what was more fun to clean up- Kale or the carseat...)

Allie's First Stick Figure Drawing

Followed by an addition of me and my mom carrying bags (A fabulous shopping spree? I will pretend... :)

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Yummy Jello Salads (Thanksgiving is near!!!)

Getting really excited for Thanksgiving with great family and friends. I will start posting a few of my very favorite Thanksgiving recipes. Hope you will all share some of your own as well :) Have a great day!

1. I love this jello. Always have always will. I sub raspberries for the strawberries, and rasp. jello rather than straw. if you can find it. But it's up to you :)


2. This is an old family favorite. We skip all the other fruit and just stick with the pineapple. So yummy.


3. My sister-in-law has me addicted to the most delicious and easy salad ever.... Just mix frozen berries with a can of sweetened condensed milk. It's amazing.

4. This is like the famous family green jello. We don't use the pecans.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Mom's Chicken Pockets

This is a recipe I grew up with. I love these because not only are they a great warm comfort food, but they freeze great and can be heated up whenever (hot pocket style :). My mom's dough recipe is listed below, but I also use my SWEET DINNER ROLLS dough and it works great. Hope your family enjoys these as much as I always have :)

For the dough:
3 Tbs yeast
1 Tbs sugar
3/4 cup warm water
1 qt hot water
1 cube butter
1 Tbs salt
1 cup sugar
6-7 cups flour

In a bowl combine 3 Tbs yeast, 1 Tbs sugar and 3/4 warm water and let the yeast froth for about 5-10 minutes.
In a mixer combine 1 qt hot water with the butter, salt, 1 cup sugar and 2 cups flour. Add the yeast mixture and slowly add in the rest of the flour 1 cup at a time until the dough is easy to work with. (its okay if its a little sticky) Butter a bowl and place the dough in there to rise for about an hour.

For the filling:
8 chicken breast halves, cooked and shredded
2 8oz cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup butter, melted
1/4 cup chopped onion (I do green onions)
salt and pepper to taste
*I also like to add sliced black olives.

Combine all the ingredients in a bowl and mix until well combined.

Once the dough has risen, roll out in to a large rectangle. Use a pizza cutter and cut about 3-4 inch squares and place the chicken mixture into the center of each one and wrap the dough around it and pinch at the bottom.  Place the seam side down on a greased cookie sheet. (At this point, I usually like to let my dough rise again. My mom does not.) Bake at 350 degrees for 25 minutes or until golden brown.

For the gravy:

1 can cream of chicken soup
1 1/2 cup sour cream
1/4 cup milk

In a small saucepan combine all the ingredients and warm through. Serve over hot rolls.

THE BEST Peanut Butter Fingers (no lie!)

So after receiving many versions of this much sought after school lunch favorite... I have created my own recipe using what I liked from them all :) These are truly amazing. I told Flint that we need to get rid of atleast half the pan ASAP or I will 1. probably suffer some terrible pregnancy heartburn and/or 2. we will both gain about ten pounds. (We are huge suckers for chocolate and peanut butter... in just about any form) Enjoy! So yummy.

Peanut Butter Fingers
1 Cup Butter
1 tsp. Vanilla
1 cup Sugar
1 tsp. Baking Soda
1 Cup Brown Sugar
1/2 tsp. Salt
2 Eggs
2 Cups Flour
2/3 Cup Peanut Butter (plus more to spread on top)
2 Cups Oats
Mix all ingredients together. Press into greased 11x17 cookie pan, bake 350 degrees for 15 minutes. Do not Overcook!  While still warm, frost with a layer of peanut butter and then frosting. I let my peanut butter cool slightly before I poured on the frosting. 
1 C. Butter
4 C. Powdered Sugar
1/4 C. Cocoa
1 tsp. Vanilla
1-5 T. Milk
Mix butter, cocoa, and vanilla in pan. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Add powdered sugar. Beat. If mixture is too thick, add 1-5 T. milk. Frosting sets up quickly, so be prepared to spread it immediately. 

Bavarian Pot Roast (from Codee at readableeatables.blogspot.com)

roast beef Pictures, Images and Photos

Planning out my menu for the rest of the week and thought of this pot roast that I adore. This recipe comes from my sister-in-law Codee who I love dearly. Not only is she amazing, but she makes amazing food and loves doing it. So we bonded quickly... :) This just may be my favorite roast. For one, I am like a rice fanatic. This roast is so delicious over white rice. Second, it is not your typical roast that EVERYONE makes. The flavors blend perfectly and it is just yummy! I am usually hesitant cooking meat/fruit combos. This changed me :) Third, you cook it in the crock pot.....which is heavenly. One side note... I have personally not had the best luck making my gravy in the crock pot. I usually just put a couple cups of the juices in a saucepan and add some cornstarch. Heat till thickened. That's what has worked for me :) Hope you enjoy.

1 Pot Roast
1 tsp Vegetable oil
1 1/2 tsp Salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1/2 tsp ground ginger
3 whole cloves of garlic ( I insert them right into the roast)
4 medium size apples, leave the skins on
1 small onion, sliced
1 cup apple juice
3-4 tbs flour
3-4 tbs water

Lightly rub top of meat with oil, dust the meat with salt and pepper and ground ginger. Insert the garlic cloves into meat. Place the apples and onion slices in the bottom of a crockpot and put the roast on top. Pour in the apple juice. Cover and cook on low for 8-10 hours. When its done remove the roast and apples to a platter and turn the crockpot on high. Make a paste with the flour and warm water and stir the paste into pot bring to a slight boil until it thickens. Use as gravy when serving the roast.

Homemade Pizza!!

So let me start by adding that Kale has been a nightmare and what was going to be a gourmet meditteranean pizza ended up being topped with a simple sauce, pepperoni, and cheese (oh and olives at Allie's request :) I also ended up having to make my dough only an hour before baking it... which I was worried about, but having an hour to rise worked just fine. Next time maybe I will have a better day and use mel's method :) I do not own a pizza stone, so we baked ours for about 12 minutes at 425 degrees. I also used mel's sauce recipe. Next time I would probably cut the sugar in half. Just my own personal taste preference. Hope you enjoy these recipes. They made a delicious pizza :) Here's to a meditteranean delight some other day :)
Homemade Pizza Sauce (from Mel at melskitchencafe.com)
1 14.5 oz. can diced tomatoes
1 small can tomato paste
1 tablespoon sugar
Garlic powder
Italian seasoning
Crushed red pepper (optional)

Combine all ingredients in food processor or blender and blend until desired consistency. I leave mine slightly chunky. On the seasonings, I just sprinkle them in to taste. If I use crushed red pepper, I only use a few flakes because my kids don’t like spicy things, but it definitely adds a nice kick to the sauce to use it. I also substitute for whatever I don’t have: basil leaves for oregano, garlic salt for garlic powder, etc. This recipe is open to interpretation. Use what you like and it will be delicious.
Yummy Homemade pizza dough!
from Mel at melskitchencafe.com
  • 1 1/4 cups warm water
  • 2 teaspoons instant yeast
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
  1. Make the dough the night before or early the morning on the day you want to make the pizza. In a large mixing bowl (or in the bowl of a stand mixer), mix the water, yeast, sugar, honey and oil. (If using active dry yeast, increase the amount of yeast to 2 3/4 teaspoons and proof the yeast in the water until foamy before mixing in the sugar, honey and oil.) Then mix in 1 cup flour and the salt. Continue mixing in all the remaining flour until you get a nice, soft dough. Knead until dough is soft and smooth, about 10 minutes by hand or 5 minutes with a stand mixer.
  2. Shape the dough into a ball and place in a lightly greased bowl and cover tightly (with a lid or plastic wrap). Place the dough in the refrigerator to slowly rise until three hours before baking. Three hours before baking, remove the dough from the refrigerator and let it come to room temperature, keeping it lightly covered.
  3. 45-60 minutes before baking, move the rack to the lowest position in the oven (if the lowest rack in your oven is nearly touching the oven floor, move it up one notch - you don't want it that close or the bottom of the pizza will burn), place the pizza stone on it and preheat the oven to 500 degrees. Don't be nervous about a hot oven! I used to be scared to death to cook anything above 400 degrees but I promise 500 degrees is the only way to go when cooking pizza. If your oven is a bit sketchy at that temperature, bake at 475 degrees. Also,I think a pizza stone makes all the difference in good versus great pizza. I have this pizza stone and I love the rectangular shape. I have baked many a pizza on this stone and it is awesome.
  4. Here's a few different methods for making great pizza:
  5. Pizza Paddle/Peel: I have a wooden pizza paddle, like this, which I sprinkle with cornmeal and place the pizza dough on. I layer my toppings on the dough and slide the dough quickly onto the hot pizza stone. After about 8 or 9 minutes, the pizza is baked to perfection and I slide it onto a cutting board to slice and eat.
  6. Alternative Pizza Paddle/Peel: If you don't have a pizza paddle, you can use the underside of a baking sheet (I use an 11X17 size) or a large cutting board as a makeshift pizza paddle. Cover it lightly with cornmeal, flour or parchment paper, make your pizza on the floured baking sheet or cutting board and gently slide the pizza off of the makeshift paddle onto the baking stone when ready to bake (if using parchment paper, you can let the parchment paper slide onto the baking stone with the pizza). Bake for 8-9 minutes until the crust is nicely browned. Retrieve the pizza with a pair of tongs or a spatula and slide the baked pizza quickly onto a waiting cooling rack.
  7. Rimmed Baking Sheet: If you currently bake pizzas using cornmeal on a pizza paddle, you'll know how messy it can be - cornmeal everywhere. In fact, right now, my oven is in serious need of a good vacuuming. So, ofttimes, I'll still preheat my baking stone like normal and instead of using my wooden pizza paddle, I stretch the dough into an irregular shape on a lightly greased rimmed baking sheet (I don't worry about pressing it into the corners to give it a rustic look), add the toppings, and slide the entire baking sheet on the pizza stone to bake. Bake the pizza for 9-10 minutes until the crust is nicely browned. This method still browns the crust nicely - and while you don't get the extremely authentic pizza crust, it is still mighty delicious and I can make more pizza at once rather than sliding them one at a time onto the baking stone.