Dec 20, 2013

Jingle Bell Wreath

By: Amberly Asay

The season is here and just a few days away!  The sounds of the holidays are here and filling the air with cheer.  If you have extra jingle bells and ornaments around, gather them together and glue them to a Styrofoam wreath.

Hang your wreath where people can hear it!  (For example, on a door) And bring the jingle jangle of those bells into your home! 

Dec 19, 2013

Easy Holiday Cupcake

By: Amberly Asay

The holly and the ivy,
When they are both full grown
Of all the trees that are in the wood
The holly bears the crown

Holly is a traditional Christmas decoration that has been around for a while now.  We have a cute idea that will make holly a delicious Christmas treat!

Simply make some white cupcakes with white frosting.  Get those red cherry balls (You can get them from the Dollar Store or Maceys) and the mint leaf candies you can buy in bulk.

Place on your cupcake and enjoy this delicious treat!

Dec 18, 2013

Twiz the Season

By: Amberly Asay

Are you looking for a clever holiday gift but don't have a ton of money?  Well we have the perfect solution for you!  Grab a mason jar (these should be readily accessible if you've done any home canning or from all of the wedding receptions) and fill it with red vines or Twizzlers.

Find some twine  and wrap it around the lid.  Get some construction paper and write "Twiz the Season" on it.  Tie it all up and then you have the perfect holiday gift. 


Dec 17, 2013

Donut Snowman

By: Amberly Asay

This craft is really fun and very tasty!  Children especially love it.  All you need are some mini powder donuts, candy corn, licorice and some jelly beans.  Take a kabob skewer and place three mini powder donuts on the stick.  "Glue" (using frosting) your jelly beans and candy corn to the snowman.  Tie a piece of licorice around the snowman's neck and then draw on your snowman's face with your frosting.  The final step is to enjoy your delicious Christmas treat.

Dec 16, 2013

Candy Cane Centerpiece

By: Amberly Asay

Candy canes are one of the most beloved holiday treats and now can make great centerpieces or decorations.  You can dazzle your friends with your creativity and enjoy a candlelit dinner.  Grab any old candle, and buy some candy cane sticks from the dollar store.
Glue them around the candle and then tie a ribbon around the outside.  This cheap and fun centerpiece will decorate and dress up your entire table.

Dec 11, 2013

Grinch Themed Party

By: Amberly Asay

Christmas parties are one of my favorite events and I love having certain themed Christmas Party.  A lot of people struggle getting into the holiday spirit, just like the Grinch.  So to help them get out of their "bah-humbug attitude" through a Grinch Themed Christmas party!

For dinner serve roast beef sandwiches and Grinch Floats (Green Sherbet and Sprite).  You can change the bulbs in your lamps to green bulbs to help create a Grinchy ambiance. Watch "How the Grinch Stole Christmas," and eat whoville candy.  This party will definitely be a night to remember.

Dec 9, 2013

Santa Tulle Wreath

By: Amberly Asay

The Santa Tulle Wreath is a really fun and cute project for anyone's home.

You will need:

  • A floral wreath (preferably white)
  • White tulle cut into strips
  • A Santa Hat
  • Some ribbon
  • Hot Glue
Take your white tulle and cut into two inch wide strips.  Tie around your wreath and push close together.  Do this until your Santa's beard is really full.  Then glue on the Santa hat on the top of the wreath.  Take a ribbon and glue it to the back of your wreath and then hang it on your door!  In our picture I only had a green floral wreath, which obviously doesn't look as great, but it still is a really cute and fun idea! 

Dec 6, 2013

Festivities in the Kitchen

 By: Amberly Asay

Decorating for the holidays in your kitchen can be difficult, especially within your own apartment.  This is a cute decoration that will be a great hit!

All you have to do is glue magnets onto some glass bulb ornaments and stick them on your fridge!  You can use Christmas colors, opaque, or fun wintery colors.  Another fun thing you can do is get clear glass bulbs and fill them with fake snows and re-create your favorite Christmas scenes in the ornament.  Merry Christmas!

Dec 4, 2013

Christmas Lights


By: Amberly Asay

Looking at Christmas lights is one of my favorite activities during the holidays.  I love the look of the
soft, glowing lights on the white, powdery, fresh snow.  With Christmas music softly playing in the background, it can be the perfect holiday night.  Bringing some hot chocolate on the drive always helps with the mood.

However, if you just want a car full of friends looking at the beauty, you can make it more of a competition.  Create a Christmas Scavenger Hunt and the winner can be crowned your own, "Holiday Cheermeister".


Can you find?
A snowman?
Mickey Mouse?
A reindeer with a red nose?
A twinkly wreath?
A penguin?
A snowglobe?
Snoopy?
Icicles?
A dolpin?
3 deer together?
Colored lights on a tree?
Blue lights?
Nativity Scene?
The Grinch?
Santa?
Green lights?
Red lights?

Dec 2, 2013

Paper Snowflakes

 By: Amberly Asay

It is a truth, universally acknowledged that everyone knows how to make a paper snowflake.  Well I have discovered this to be untrue.  Many people must have forgotten how to make paper snowflakes.  And since this is such an easy and beloved holiday tradition, we have decided to show you how.  They make great holiday decorations for your apartment, and they are cheap too!  Here is an easy-to-follow photo tutorial on how to make your own paper snowflake.









Nov 18, 2013

Pilgrim Hat Straws

By: Amberly Asay

Thanksgiving is getting closer and it is time to start getting your table ready for all of the festivities!  At my house there is always a kids table and the adults table, this idea is really fun for the kids table.

Make a pilgrim hat out of construction paper.  Make two slits in it, one above the buckle and one a little bit away from the top of the hat.  Thread your straw through and watch the kids sip away at their drink.  Enjoy your Thanksgiving!

Nov 12, 2013

Pilgrim Hat Cookies

By: Amberly Asay

Do you need a cute treat for your FHE group or for your own Thanksgiving party?  This recipe is super simple and really cute. Make some delicious chocolate cookies, and if you need you can use a cake mix recipe!  Here is a link to one:
http://thefrugalgirls.com/2013/08/chocolate-cake-mix-cookies-recipe.html for your cookie dough.

Get a bag of mini Reese's Peanut Butter cups, add some frosting and place it on top of the cookie.  With frosting, make a hat band and draw a buckle with icing.  These cute little treats are easy to make and super delicious!

Nov 6, 2013

Fun with Thanksgiving and Candy Corn

By: Amberly Asay

Do you need a cute holiday gift but don't know what to give?  Are you looking for a cute candy holder to place on your table?  Well you are in luck, make a jar of Turkey Toes.

Simply take a mason jar and fill it with candy corn.  Create a turkey label (referring to the Candy Corn as "Turkey Toes") and tie with holiday ribbon or string.  This is a simple craft and perfect for the Thanksgiving season. 

Pretty Pinecones

Do you want an inexpensive yet classy holiday centerpiece?  This centerpiece may be used over and over again throughout the holiday season.  It is the perfect display for Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Years.

You simply take some pinecones and dip them into gold paint or spray paint them.  Next you spray glitter paint over the pinecone and let them dry.

Now you can fill a basket or a bowl with your newly painted pinecones.  Another thing you can do is put Christmas lights in the basket with the pinecones and watch them glimmer and light up.

Nov 1, 2013

Pumpkin Crumble

PUMPKIN FILLING:

30 oz cooked Pumpkin (or Butternut squash)

1 cup granulated sugar

1 cup firmly packed light brown sugar

3 eggs, beaten

1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract

1 (12 ounce) can evaporated milk

2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

1 teaspoon ground allspice

1 teaspoon nutmeg

1 Cup Walntus


MIX THE PUMPKIN, SUGAR, BROWN SUGAR, EGGS AND THE VANILLA, MIX UNTIL SMOOTH,.

ADD THE SPICES AND MIX  A LITTLE MORE.

ON THE BOTTOM OF A CAKE PAN SPREAD A SUGAR COOKIE DOUGH OR SWEET DOUGH, PAR BAKE FOR 8 MINUTES AT 350 F. LET IT COOL.

PUT THE PUMPKIN FILLING ON TOP THE SWEET DOUGH , SPRINKLE THE WALNUTS, BAKE AT 350 F FOR 20-30 MINUTES, REMOVE FROM THE OVEN AND TOP THE PUMPKIN WITH  CRISP TOPPING, RETURN TO THE OVEN FOR ANOTHER 20 -30 MINUTES AT 350 F.


CRISP TOPPING:

6  tablespoons butter, cut into small pieces

2/3 cup all purpose flour (spooned and leveled)

3/4 cup packed light-brown sugar

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg

teaspoon salt


MIX ALL THE INGREDIENTS TOGETHER IN A MIXING BOWL WITH PADDLE ATTACHMENT, MIX UNTIL COARSE CRUMBLE FORM, DON’T OVERMIX.

Oct 25, 2013

Grilled Cottage Fingerling Potatoes with Fresh Herbs and White Cheddar Cheese

Serves 6

Ingredients:

1 Lb. Fingerling potatoes, medium to large (halved lengthwise)
2 oz  Butter Melted 
2 oz  Olive Oil
3/4 Cp. White Cheddar cheese
3 Tb. Flat-leaf parsley bunch, chopped
1 Tb.  Fresh Rosemary Minced
1 Tb.  Minced Sage
1 Tb.  Minced Thyme 
T. T.  Salt and pepper

Method:

Slice potatoes in half lengthwise and cook in salted boiling water until they are cooked through but not soft, about 7 to 9 minutes. Remove from water and immediately submerge in ice water to stop the cooking process. Remove from water; reserve.

Combine olive oil, salt, and pepper, coat potatoes.  Place potatoes flesh-side down over a fire of hot coals and grill for 1 1/2 to 2 minutes. Turn potatoes over and let stand for 1 more minute.

After cooking toss with fresh herbs and butter, lay on a sheet pan and top with cheddar cheese.  Place the sheet pan under the broiler in your oven until cheese is melted and serve.

Oct 21, 2013

Spooky Pretzel Treats

By: Amberly Asay

Halloween is approaching, and it is time for everyone to start putting together their Halloween tricks and treats.  Pretzels are a cheap and tasty treat. Here are some fun ways to spice up your pretzel treats a night with friends or when you're enjoying a cherished quiet night away from the crowd.

Bone Pretzels
Buy stick pretzels, mini marshmallows and white chocolate.  Put a marshmallow on either side of your pretzel stick to make a good femur-ish shape.  Melt your white chocolate, and cover the pretzel and marshmallows in white chocolate.  Put them on wax paper, and let them cool.   The resulting bony treats are as delicious as they are spooky.


Witches Brooms
People love Reese's peanut butter cups, especially the mini ones.  Buy some mini cups and place them upside down.  Then place a pretzel through the top, and magically you have some deliciously tasting witches brooms.


Candy Corn Pretzels
Do you like the look of candy corn, but not the taste?  Well, for this recipe you can get cute looking pretzels that are delicious as well.  Get some white chocolate, and melt it down.  Separate it into three different bowls, and make white, orange and yellow chocolate (use food coloring).  Then, dip the pretzels in your three candy corn colors.  Cover the pretzels in colored sprinkles and let them cool.



Oct 14, 2013

Fancy Halloween Drink

By: Amberly Asay

Are you planning a Halloween party but can't decide on a festive enough drink?  We have some
simple tricks to make a delicious Halloween drink.

Put some apple cider in a pitcher, and mix it with Sprite or Seven-Up. Crush up Oreos, and wet the top of your glass. Dip your glass into the Oreo crumbs, and pour in your delicious sparkling cider drink.  Then enjoy!

Oct 11, 2013

Hot Cocoa with Cinnamon Marshmallow

Hot Cocoa

1/2 Cp. Granulated Sugar
1/2 Cp. Brown Sugar
1/4 Cp. Hot Water
1/3 Cp. Dark Cocoa Powder of choice
4 Cp. Milk
1 Cp. Cream
1 tsp Salt
1 Ea. Vanilla Bean or (2 tsp. Vanilla extract)

In a sauce pan, add sugar and cook on medium high heat stirring occasionally until sugar dissolves and becomes a dark amber color.  Pour some hot water into the pan to shock the sugar, and turn the heat to medium, adding milk, cream, salt, vanilla, and cocoa powder.  Bring the liquid up to a simmer, and turn to low being careful to stir frequently and not allowing it to scorch. Adjust the heat as needed.  Serve with marshmallow and whipped cream with shaved chocolate for garnish.


Cinnamon Marshmallow

2 1/4 oz. Gelatin unflavored
1 1/2 Cp. cold Water
6 Cp. Sugar
2 Cp. Light Corn Syrup
3/4 Cp. Water
3/4 tsp. Salt
1 Tb. Vanilla Extract
3 Tb. Cinnamon Oil
Cornstarch & Powdered Sugar for sprinkling

In a mixing bowl, sprinkle gelatin over 1 1/2 cups cold water, and allow gelatin to soak for 10 minutes.  Combine sugar, corn syrup, and 3/4 cup water in sauce pan and bring to hard boil.  Boil for 1 minute.  Pour boiling syrup into gelatin in your mixing bowl, and fasten a whisk to the mixer.  Mix on high speed for 9 minutes.  Add salt, vanilla and cinnamon oil.  Continue to mix until incorporated. Spray a baking sheet with cooking spray.  Use a spatula to scoop marshmallow into the pan, and spread to desired thickness.  Allow to cool for a couple of hours, cut and sprinkle with a cornstarch, powder sugar blend to prevent sticking.

Oct 7, 2013

White Bean, Chicken Chili

2 Tb. Olive Oil
1 Tb. Whole Butter
3 Tb. Flour
1 1/2 lb. Ground Chicken Meat or (Turkey)
1 Cp. Large Diced Yellow Onion
1 Tb. Minced Garlic
1 Tb. Ground Cumin
1 Tb. Fennel Seeds
1 Tb. Dried Oregano
2 Tb. Chili Powder
1. Cp. Fresh or Frozen Corn
1/4 Cp. Green Chilies (Anaheim)
4 Cp. Chicken Broth
3 Cp. White Beans Great Northern (cooked)
TT. Salt, Black Pepper
1/4 Cp. Cilantro minced

In soup pot, cook ground chicken, onion, garlic with olive oil and butter.  Once chicken is cooked add flour, cumin, oregano, and fennel and continue to cook for five more minutes.  Add the chicken broth, green chilies, white beans and corn bringing up to a simmer stirring while it thickens.  Once the soup is at a simmer add chili powder, salt and pepper adjusting seasoning as needed.  Simmer for about an hour, add cilantro at the end and it is ready for service.  Serve with sour cream and garnish of choice.

Trick or Treat?

By: Amberly Asay

Inception is a great movie, but during Halloween some things are left up to deception.  This prank, if pulled off well, will have people talking about it for years.  Gather some onions that are similar to apple shapes and cover them in caramel.  They look just like caramel apples!

For a real trick, arrange caramel onions and caramel apples on a table, and watch your victims surprised face as they bite into something bitter while they were expecting sweet! 



Oct 4, 2013

Tasty Greek Yogurt Salmon and Berry Dessert!

Greek Yogurt with Salmon and Cucumber

4 Servings

2 Cp. Greek Yogurt (Plain)
1 Cp. Cucumber (peeled seeded and diced)
6 oz. Smoked Salmon
3 Tb. Olive oil extra virgin
1 tsp. French Dill Minced
2 tsp. Lemon juice fresh squeezed
TT Salt and pepper

In serving dish add Greek Yogurt and top with cucumber, salmon, olive oil, dill, lemon juice and season to taste with salt and pepper.



Greek Yogurt with berries and peanut butter

4 Servings

2 Cp Greek Yogurt (Plain)
1/4 Cp. Blueberries
1/4 Cp. Raspberries
1/4 Cp. Blackberries
1/8 Cp. Honey
1/4 Cp. Brown Sugar
6 Tb. Peanut Butter (fresh ground)

Add berries with honey and brown sugar and mix until berries are partially broken up and allow to it for about an hour.

In serving dish add Greek Yogurt and top with berries and peanut butter and serve.

Sep 27, 2013

Peach and Apple Foster

3/4 Cp. Peaches (Peeled and Diced)
1/2 Cp. Apples Diced
1/2 Cp. Brown Sugar
1/2 Cp. Butter
1 tsp. Cinnamon
Pinch Nutmeg
1 Tb. Apple Juice
1 Tb. Lemon juice fresh squeezed
1 Tb. Orange juice
Granola for garnish
BYU Ice cream of choice

In a saute pan add brown sugar and butter, cook over medium heat until bubbly about 3-5 minutes.  Combine apple, lemon and orang juices to pan with nutmeg and cinnamon.  Add peaches and apples continue to cook while stirring for another couple of minutes.  Serve over ice cream with granola topping.

Sep 19, 2013

Watermelon Tarragon Lemonade

3/4 Cp. Sugar
1/2 Cp. Honey
4 Cp. Water
4 Cp. Watermelon (Seedless, blended)
1/4 Cp. Tarragon (fresh)
1 Tb. Lemon Zest

Combine sugar, honey and water into a sauce pan, turn the heat up slowly until the honey and sugar are dissolved.  Pour over chopped Tarragon and lemon zest, reserve in refrigerator for three hours until the flavors have developed.  Strain the lemonade and add watermelon with ice and serve.  You can also garnish with fresh tarragon, lemons and sliced watermelon.

Sep 18, 2013

Cobweb Candles Mantle Display


By: Amberly Asay


Halloween is quickly approaching and it is time to get everything ready!  Cobwebs and candles are always a little scary, so bring this creepy mantle display to your home.

Get two dinner candles and place them in some fancy, antique looking candle holders.  Add your cobwebs and your spiders and voilĂ !  You have a creepy mantle display for all of your guests to enjoy.

Sep 11, 2013

Autumn Centerpiece


By: Amberly Asay

Autumn is here, and it is time to start getting creative with your centerpieces.  This one is unique and adaptable enough to use through the Halloween and Thanksgiving season.

Simply grab a vase, and fill it halfway with popcorn kernels.  Get a pillar candle, and tie an autumn leaf around it with twine.  Then, light your candle, and enjoy your dinner.

For a more complex center piece, you can use three different size vases with three different sized candles, and arrange them on your table. 

Sep 9, 2013

Panzanella Salad with Italian Meatballs

Ingredients

3 Tb. Olive oil
2 Cp. Ciabatta bread, cut into cubes
1 Tsp. Kosher salt
1 Tsp. Black pepper

3ea. Large ripe tomatoes, cut into 1-inch cubes
1ea. Cucumber, peeled, seeded and diced
3ea. Kalamata olives cut into slices
3 Tb. Capers, drained
1/2 ea. Red onion diced
20ea. Basil leaves, thin sliced

Dressing

1/2 Cp. Olive oil
1/4 Cp. White Balsamic Vinegar
3 Tb. Brown Sugar
6 Cloves, roasted garlic cloves
Salt and pepper to taste

Directions

Coat the ciabatta bread with olive oil, salt and pepper and cook in a 275 degree oven for about an hour or until it's mostly crunchy.  Reserve for salad.

For dressing, mix the ingredient in a food processor or with hand blender until garlic is chopped and smooth.

In a large bowl, mix the tomatoes, cucumber, capers, Kalamata olives, red onion and basil.  Add the bread cubes and toss with the vinaigrette.  Season liberally with salt and pepper.  Serve, or allow the salad to sit for about 20 minutes approximately for the flavors to blend and bread to soak up juices.

Italian Meatball

8 oz. Ground Beef
8 oz. Ground Pork
3ea. Eggs
1/2 Cp. Otameal
3 Tb. Milk
3 T. Siracha Sauce
1 Tb. Italian Seasoning
1/4 cp. Shredded Romano Cheese
1 Tb. Salt
2 Tsp. Black Pepper

Combine the ingredients in a mixing bowl and mix thoroughly.  Roll into the desired size of meatball and lay on an oiled sheet pan.  Bake in 350 degree oven until cooked through.  Serve on Panzanella salad.

Sep 6, 2013

Rolo Treats!

By: Amberly Asay

Growing up we loved eating Rolos!  They are just delicious with everything.  Well, one Christmas my mom made these, and they have become a must for every holiday celebration.  Set the oven for 200 degrees fahrenheit.

Put down wax paper, and lay out pretzels on the pan.  Put one rolo on each pretzel.  Cook for about eight minutes, and pull the pretzels out.  Immediately put a walnut on each rolo, and smush it down.  Let it cool, and enjoy! 

Sep 4, 2013

Cheese and Herb Biscuits with Sausage Gravy and Farm Fresh Vegetables

Cheese/Herb Mixture:
2 Cp. sharp cheddar cheese, grated
1 Tsp. Chives
1 Tsp. fresh thyme, minced

Biscuit Dough:
2 3/4 Cp. All-purpose flour plus some for dusting
2 1/2 Tsp. baking powder
1 Tsp. sugar
3/4 Tsp. salt
1/2 Tsp. baking soda
1/2 Cp. (1 stick) unsalted butter, frozen
1 1/2 Cp. buttermilk

Freeze butter.  Preheat oven to 400 F degrees.

Chop up all the fresh herbs and mix them in with grated cheese.  Cut the butter in small pieces (pea size).

In a mix bowl using the paddle, mix dry ingredients and butter together to incorporate everything well, but you are still going to see little pieces of butter, add the cheese and herbs, then add buttermilk. Mix until it all comes together, don't over mix.

Transfer the dough to the table, roll lightly, cut circles 3 or 4" thick.

Bake for about 10-15 minutes at 400 degrees.

Sausage (Bacon) Gravy: 
2 Tb. Butter
4oz Sausage
3 Tb. All-purpose flour
1/4 Cp. Diced Onion
1 1/2 Cp. Milk
1/4 Cp. Cream
Salt and pepper to taste
Dash of Tabasco pepper sauce or two

In sauce pan add butter, sausage and cook over medium high heat until sausage has cooked.  Remove sausage leaving behind the fat, add onions and sautĂ© until translucent then add flour to the fat and cook for 1 minute.  Stir in milk and cream slowly while flour absorbs liquid, bring to a simmer and cook for 20 minutes.

Sauteed Farm Fresh Vegetables:
1 Tb. olive oil
1/4 Cp. Diced Peppers Red, Green
1/4 Cp. Corn removed from cob
1/8 Cp. Zucchini diced
1/8 Cp. Yellow Squash diced
1/8 Cp. Red onion
1/8 Cp. Diced Tomato
Salt and pepper to taste

Sauteed Vegetables until cooked to desired consistency.  Add fresh tomatoes at the end of cooking and serve on top of biscuits and gravy.

Aug 23, 2013

Corn Fritter with Cally's Jalapeno Jelly Creme Fraise

1 Cp.   Flour
3          Whole eggs
1.5 Cp. Milk
2 tsp.    Baking Powder
1 Tb.    Minced Parsley
1 Tb.    Minced Chives
2 tsp.    Salt
1 tsp.    Pepper
3 Cp.    Fresh Corn cut off of the cob.

Beat eggs and milk together and then slowly beat in flour and baking powder until batter is smooth.  Stir in parsley, chives, salt and pepper and corn.

Scoop a 1 1/2-ounce heaping tablespoon of batter per fritter and spoon into a 350 degree fryer and cook for approximately 3 minutes or until batter is cooked.

1/2 Cp. Creme Fraise
3 Tb.     Cally's Jalapeno Jelly

Combine into a bowl and mix reserve chilled for fritters. 

Aug 19, 2013

Kale, Peach and Berry Salad

Ingredients:

1 bunch green kale

5 Tb. cup extra-virgin olive oil

tt. Kosher salt

tt. Pepper

1 Tb. Brown sugar

3 Tb.  Honey wine vinegar

1 Tb. Dijon Mustard

2 Tb.  Diced red onion

2 Tb.  Diced red pepper

1/2 Cp.  Berries Fresh of choice

3/4 Cp. Diced peaches

3 Tb.  Toasted Almonds

3 Tb.  Toasted pistachios

1 Tb.  Sunflower seeds


Instructions:

Wash kale thoroughly and remove stems from leaves, chop kale to a medium consistency.  Mix oil, Dijon, honey vinegar, brown sugar, salt and pepper.  Combine dressing with kale, fruit, vegetables and serve.



Aug 6, 2013

Banana Upside-Down Cake

Ingredients:

·     1 cup firmly packed light brown sugar

·     6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature

·     2 large ripe bananas, sliced



·     1 1/2 cups cake flour

·     3/4 teaspoon baking soda

·     1/2 teaspoon baking powder

·     1/2 teaspoon salt

·     1 cup mashed ripe bananas (about 2)

·     1/2 cup buttermilk

·     1 teaspoon vanilla extract

·     1 1/4 cups sugar

·     1/3 cup soft butter

·     2 eggs


Preparation:

Position rack in lowest third of oven and preheat to 350°F. Using electric mixer, cream brown sugar and butter in medium bowl until well mixed. Spread brown sugar mixture over bottom of 9-inch square baking dish with 2-inch high sides. Arrange banana slices atop brown sugar mixture, covering completely. Set cake pan aside.

Combine flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt in small bowl. Mix mashed bananas, buttermilk and vanilla in another small bowl. Using electric mixer, cream 1 1/4 cups sugar and butter until fluffy. Add eggs 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Add dry ingredients alternatively with buttermilk mixture, mixing until just combined. Pour batter over bananas in pan. Bake until cake pulls away from sides of pan and tester inserted into center of cake comes out clean, about 30-40 minutes. Transfer to rack and cool slightly. Turn cake out onto plate when still warm.

Serve warm or at room temperature.

This recipe can be made with other fruits like pineapple and coconut, cherries, peaches, etc.




Aug 1, 2013

Fresh Fruit Crumble Cake

Ingredients:
  • 1/2 cup butter (4 ounces), room temperature
  • 1 cup light brown sugar, packed
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 cups flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/3 cup milk
Topping: 
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 4 tablespoons butter, room temperature
  • 1/4 cup light brown sugar, packed
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
Filling
  • 20 ounces of fresh fruit, suggestions: apple, cherries, peaches or blueberries 
Preparation:

Grease and flour a 9-inch baking pan.  Heat oven to 350 degrees.
Combine 1/2 cup of butter and 1 cup brown sugar; beat until light.
Beat in the eggs and vanilla.

Combine the flour, baking powder and cinnamon mixture; add to the batter, beating slowly, alternating with the milk.  Beat on low until smooth.

Spread about half of the batter in the prepared baking pan.  Spread the fresh fruit over the batter.

Spoon the remaining batter evenly over the peach layer and spread gently to cover the filling. Combine topping ingredients; sprinkle evenly over the top.  Bake for about 45 to 55 minutes, or until the cake springs back when lightly touched in the center.

Jul 30, 2013

How to serve Ice Cream at parties

By: Amberly Asay

Ice cream became a popular treat during the second half of the 20th century, after cheap refrigeration became common.  You can find ice cream in almost every grocery store or restaurant, and it has become one of the most popular desserts ever.

I have thrown many ice cream parties, and at the end have found several broken ice cream scoopers.  After the last two broken ice cream scoopers I have decided to try another attempt.  If you cut ice cream with a knife, it makes it much easier to cut.  It's easier for serving at parties and helps with portion control.  

Jul 23, 2013

Prevent Wilted Lettuce

By: Amberly Asay

Let's face it, sometimes as college students it is difficult to eat healthy.  Healthier food is expensive and spoils easily, especially lettuce.  Nothing is worse than going to make a salad and only having wilted or brown lettuce.  Here is a simple trick to keep your lettuce crisp.

Put your lettuce in a dry brown bag instead of plastic bags or food containers.  The paper will absorb the condensation and stop lettuce from wilting.  You can now impress yourself and your friends with how happy you are to eat that salad, now that your lettuce is crisp.


Jul 17, 2013

Avocado

By: Amberly Asay


The avocado is a popular vegetable right now, and you can find it in almost anything!  However we have all had the vegetable salsa/dip whose avocados are rock hard and impossible to chew.  I have discovered that a lot of people don't know how to tell if an avocado is ripe or not. 

Simply pull off the stem on the end of the avocado.  If it is dark brown or black it is too ripe.  If it is green or lighter it isn't ripe enough.  If it is a light brown it is just perfect!

Here is a delicious recipe for salsa that includes avocado:
1 can corn
1 can diced tomatoes
1 can black beans
1 can black eyed peas
2 avocados cut up
1/4 cup cilantro
1/4 cup green onions chopped
1 packet Good Seasons Italian Zesty Dressing - make dressing according to directions on back of package.  Needs oil, water and vinegar.

Drain all canned items and add to bowl.  Cut up the onions and avocado and add them to the canned items.  Make the dressing, and add most of it to the bowl until it looks right to you.  Stir and enjoy your creation with chips!

Jul 15, 2013

Buttermilk Substitute

By: Amberly Asay

The other night, my friends and I decided that we were going to make banana bread.  However the recipe called for buttermilk, and I didn't have any.  Then, one of my friends showed me a trick I will never forget.

If you are in need of buttermilk, you can make your own!  Simply add one tablespoon of white vinegar or lemon juice to one cup of milk, and let it sit for a few minutes.  Voila!  You have a perfect buttermilk substitute for baking.


Jul 10, 2013

Fairy Glow Lantern


By: Amberly Asay

"Do you believe in fairies?  Say quick that you believe. 
If you believe, clap your hands."
James M. Barrie

For most grown-ups, it is difficult for them to remember how to make believe, or how to pretend.  They get too busy in their day-to-day business, and they sometimes forget the magic that a warm summer evening in the outdoors brings into our lives.  That's when a little magic is needed most to rekindle the light of wonder that hides inside each of us.

In the classic Peter Pan movies, flying out of a window in the middle of the night is a good way to make your life more magical.  All you need is a little faith, trust and pixie dust, and off you go!  In real life this could end in injury or even fatality, so we suggest making a fairy jar instead.  It's just as magical, and all you'll need is a mason jar or other glass container, glow sticks and glitter.

To make the lantern, simply cut open the glow sticks and dump the contents into your jar along with some glitter.  The glitter will glow.  And, as you mix it around, it will take on the luminous appearance of glittering pixie dust.

This is the perfect way to mystically light up a late night hike or picnic while you're on that magical outdoor date.    



Jul 2, 2013

Festive Fourth of July Drink

By: Amberly Asay

Independence Day is among us and it is time to celebrate.  Everyone is having barbecues, lighting fireworks and just having a grand old time.  But there is one drink that will wow your guests and have them focused on their taste buds more than the fireworks.

Layered drinks are fun to make and delicious to the taste.  You can stack your drinks in layers within a single glass based upon the sugar concentration in each beverage.  Put the most sugary drink in first, then the second and the least sugary drink on top. Based on the order of color you want, the drinks you use will vary.

If you want to do a red, blue and white drink, get cranberry juice, blue Gatorade and Diet 7up or Diet Sprite.  Fill your glass to the top with ice, and slowly pour in the cranberry juice until the glass is a third of the way full.  Then get your Gatorade, and SLOWLY pour in another third.  And finally top it off with your Sprite.

We wanted a different order with white on the bottom, red in the middle and blue on the top. We used Pina Colada Sobe, Fruit Punch Powerade and Powerade Zero for the top.  Watch the video below to see our experiment in action! 





Jun 26, 2013

Thai Chicken Tacos


Here's a video from Studio 5 on KSL featuring Campus Floral's Michelle Virtue Jensen. Michelle prepares one of her favorite Thai fusion dishes and shares the recipe on the show. Great job Michelle, and thanks for sharing!

Jun 24, 2013

Cut the Cake

By: Amberly Asay

We all know those people who we don't want anywhere near our cakes, and we especially do not want them cutting them.  Why?  Because they destroy them of course.  Well, this is a simple tip for cutting the perfect slice of cake and other soft bakery items without making a mess.

Use unscented dental floss or fishing line to cut cakes, cheese and other soft solids perfectly.  Simply hold the floss tight and cut across.  Then, slide the floss out along the bottom of the platter.  With this tip, you can cut clean slices of cake in straight lines without disrupting the icing and creating a crumbly mess.

Check out this video where we illustrate the simple technique required to produce perfect cuts:


Jun 19, 2013

Use a fork to dip your Oreo cookies in milk while keeping your fingers clean.


By: Amberly Asay

We all have our favorite cookie, but according to one brand they are "America's Favorite Cookie".  The Oreo was developed in 1912 and has been a staple for most children ever since.  They did have their dark days in the 1920s with a lemon filled variety, but they seem to have gotten it right since then.

Since this dessert is such a favorite, we decided we would share a simple tip to make your Oreo cookie eating experience just a little bit better.  Put the tip of a fork through the creamy center of an Oreo cookie, so your fingers don't get messy when dunking them in your milk. This way, you can enjoy the sugary goodness of your cookie without making a mess or chilling your fingers in cold milk.  

Jun 17, 2013

Rainbow Cake

By: Amberly Asay

Summer is here ,and there are many fun recipes and cute ideas that can be implemented during this warm season.  One of my favorites is the rainbow cake.  All you need is two white cake mixes and some food gel coloring.  Not food coloring, but gel food coloring.

Make your cake mixes and separate them into six different bowls.  Take your food gel, and place into each bowl: green, blue, purple, yellow, orange and red.  Mix the food coloring in the batter.  Place each color of batter into its own cake pan.  Cook each cake for fifteen minutes, or until it is done.  Let all of the layers cool before frosting with cream cheese frosting.

Immediately after frosting your cake, be sure to cover it with rainbow sprinkles.  The most effective way to frost and sprinkle it is by frosting two layers together and then rolling it in a pan of sprinkles.  Do that with the three different cake layers and then stick it all together. 


Jun 12, 2013

60 Things you can do with a Y-shaped Cookie Cutter from the BYU Creamery

  1. Cookies
  2. Rice Krispie Treats
  3. Pancakes
  4. Jello Y
  5. Brownies
  6. Sand Sculpture
  7. Pizza
  8. Y-shaped Peanut Butter and Jelly
  9. Y-shaped Mini Cakes
  10. Carve Pumpkins
  11. Make clay ornaments
  12. Popsicle
  13. Y-shaped Pepperoni for Pizza
  14. Watermelon
  15. Use as a photo frame
  16. Fried Egg
  17. Make a pin cushion
  18. Make a wreath
  19. Use as a napkin ring
  20. Bruleed Mini Cheesecakes
  21. Organize candy in a tin gift pan
  22. Make a Y-crayon (melt it)
  23. Freeze whip cream on a cookie sheet and cut out Y's to go in hot chocolate
  24. Cut cheese with them
  25. Put felted elbow pads on sleeves
  26. Make homemade cards
  27. Cake Decorating (sparkles inside an indent on a cake)
  28. Ice Cream Sandwiches
  29. Toast
  30. French Toast
  31. Cream Cheese Mold
  32. Grilled Cheese Sandwiches
  33. Stocking Stuffers
  34. Fridge Magnet
  35. Ice Cream Mold
  36. Butter Mold
  37. Beach Toy
  38. Stationary Stencil
  39. Place Cards
  40. Balloon Weights
  41. Quilt Patterns
  42. Cut out play dough shapes
  43. Bread Dough Shapes
  44. Fudge (Bookstore fudge?)
  45. Making soap
  46. Homemade Chocolates
  47. Hamburgers
  48. Drink Coasters
  49. Give as a gift!
  50. Use as a key holder (keychain)
  51. Make a bird feeder
  52. Create a floating candle
  53. Stained Glass Candy (using jolly ranchers)
  54. Make a cookie cutter night light
  55. Paint an autumn tree (using the Y as a stencil for the leaves)
  56. Cut out a Y of beeswax and connect it to a pillar candle
  57. Create a bird feeder
  58. Make baked cheddar crackers
  59. Cookie Cutter Handle Glued Onto Glass (cup)
  60. Ice Cubes 
Need to get one of these classic metal cookie cutters?  You can buy one at the BYU Creamery on Ninth East or online from the BYU Bookstore

Here's the link:
http://www.byubookstore.com/ePOS/form=robots/item.html&item_number=40003669225&store=439&design=439


Jun 7, 2013

Cereal 24/7

By: Amberly Asay

Living on your own you may realize a couple of things.  You have to learn to be strong, to be happy, to forgive, to study and most importantly how to cook.  When learning how to cook many people realize they love the creative outlet it provides as much as the nourishing comfort of the food itself.  But cooking takes time and money for a lot of ingredients that might not already exist in your kitchen.

Well General Mills and Betty Crocker have created a fabulous website that helps people come up with recipes using the easiest ingredients from the college student's main food group, cereal!  Did you know you can make chicken, desserts, snacks and smoothies with your favorite breakfast cereals?

The Betty Crocker website gives you themed recipes for full course meals and desserts.  It contains some classic treats, tips and awesome date ideas.  We hope that you enjoy cooking with your favorite cereals as much as we have. 

Visit the website to browse this collection of fun recipes:
http://www.bettycrocker.com/recipes/product-recipes/general-mills-cereals-recipes/all-general-mills-cereal-recipes 

May 13, 2013

Sprinkler Party

By: Amberly Asay

If you aren't one of the thousands who has a Seven Peaks pass or your apartment complex doesn't come with a pool and you need a way to cool off this summer, there is a simple solution.

Create your own mini water park.  Turn on the sprinklers or find some sprinklers and go crazy!  Run through them, start water fights and go back to your five year old days.  Invite all of your friends and cool off from the summer heat. 

May 8, 2013

Prevent those messes!

By: Amberly Asay

It takes 12 lbs of milk to make a gallon of ice cream and it takes approximately 50 licks to finish an ice cream cone.  When it's warm outside your 50 licks may be decreased however, due to the hot temperature melting your ice cream.

To prevent the ice cream drips, simply place mini marshmallows in the bottom of your ice cream cone.  This will prevent the ice cream from coming out of the cone and saves an additional tasty treat for you at the bottom!

May 6, 2013

Picnic

By: Amberly Asay

When I think of summer I think of barbecues, camping, smores, fireworks and fun times with friends.  One of the most simple and fun ideas that is often overlooked is an outdoor picnic.

You can be fancy and go up Provo Canyon and enjoy the mountain air at an official picnic table.  Or you could just spread a blanket in your backyard.  All you need is food and then you are good to go!

May 1, 2013

Congratulations Chef John!

 By Amberly Asay:

Congratulations to BYU Executive Chef John McDonald on winning the American Culinary Federation Western Region Chef of the Year Award.  The competition took place in Coeur d'Alene Resort in Idaho, April 12-15, 2013.  Hundreds of professional chefs, cooks and food services attended the competition.  Chef McDonald took home the most prestigious award of best Western Region Chef.

This award also accompanies his Utah Chef of the year Award.  BYU is proud to have such an amazing chef leading the dining operations of this great campus.

Apr 10, 2013

Summer Ice Cubes

By: Amberly Asay

Although it still seems far away you can make today seem like summer.  These summer ice cubes are an easy trick that will add a refreshing chill and splash of flavor to your beverage of choice.

To make lemon or blueberry flavored ice cubes, take freshly cut lemons and fresh blueberries and place them inside ice cube trays.  Just add water, and freeze!  You can also use strawberries, raspberries,  oranges...the possibilities are endless.  Freshen up your juices, sodas and water today!