Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Being a little Bit Crafty...

is what I have been up to lately. This weekend we are planning on having our family pictures taken by one of my great friends. Go here to see what she is up to! She is such a good photographer and I am excited to have her take my little family's pictures. In an effort to get ready to have family pictures taken, I had another great friend sew me this little darling little sundress and bloomers for my daughter to wear. I would've attempted sewing the darling little outfit but I don't feel that confident in my sewing abilities quite yet.
In an effort to have my darling kidlets match, I decided I would attempt at making my son a tie to match his little sister's outfit. I recently bought a very simple tie pattern from Ashley Johnston. She is a very crafty and talented person and I love her easy to use patterns. You can order a tie pattern here and make cute little ties for the little man in your life. I have made two little ties for my little guy in the past day. They are so easy to make that I think will continue to make him a variety of ties. This pattern also doesn't require a lot of fabric so you could easily use left over scraps of material that you might have lying around in your craft room. Here are the finished products:
Also, I decided that Karmindy needed some hair bows to match her little outfit so I whipped these up last night so she would have something to wear in her hair and look even more precious in her little outfit.
I love being creative and making things for my little family, especially my kidlets! Stay tuned for the final results- Our Family Pictures!


Ashlee, The Culinary Queen

Monday, June 21, 2010

Shrimp Carbonara

I made this yummy dish last night for the father of my children. It was Father's Day, so I wanted to make my hunny a delicious dinner to celebrate his special day. I had never heard of this dish until I came across this recipe online and thought I would give it a try. It makes quite a bit and my little family will be eating on it for the next few days. If you do make this, I would recommend making it for a get together or if you are going to entertain. This dish only calls for 8 ingredients and is fairly easy to make. It has shrimp, chopped bacon and onions that are sauteed in butter and then added to a egg/whip cream mixture and then added to cooked spaghetti. The bacon and Romano cheese are what give this dish its incredible flavor. Once everything is made I twirled the spaghetti and topped it onto a crispy piece of french bread for a fancy presentation. Try making this dish tonight or for your next get together with friends or family, they will surely be impressed.
Shrimp Carbonara
1 1/2 lbs large raw shrimp, peeled and deveined with tails removed
1 1/2 cup bacon (diced)
1 c. yellow onion (diced)
1 teaspoon or less of black pepper
2/3 c. whipping cream
1 1/2 lbs. of spaghetti (cooked and drained)
2 c. freshly grated Romano Cheese
1/4 c. butter
4 eggs

Cooking Instructions:

Step 1: Cook pasta according to package instructions. Drain, rinse cover and set aside. In a large skillet over medium-high heat melt butter and saute bacon and onion until onions become transparent and bacon is crispy. Add shrimp and cook for 3-4 minutes or until shrimp have turned pink. Season with desired amount of pepper.
Step 2: In a bowl, whisk whipping cream and eggs until blended.
Step 3: Add noodles to skillet. Add egg and cream mixture. Then add Romano Cheese. Toss the Noodles with the sauce and turn down the heat. Keep cooking until the sauce is slightly thickened. Remove from heat. Divide into serving bowls or place onto a piece of crispy garlic bread for a beautiful presentation for your dinner guests. Top with fresh or dried parsley.


Ashlee, The Culinary Queen

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Baked Praline French Toast

I got this recipe from a friend that I went to high school with. She is super talented and she has a blog of her own, in which she showcases her very impressive sewing/craft abilities. If you are interested in checking out her darling blog and seeing what she is up to go here. When I saw this recipe featured on her blog awhile back I just had to try it out! This recipe is so scrumptious that it is more like eating dessert than eating breakfast! I have made it on several occasions for my family down in Southern Utah, as well as for my own little family. I always receive wonderful compliments when I have made this breakfast dish. With Father's Day just around the corner, this would be the perfect breakfast to serve to that special dad/man in your life. Enjoy!

Baked Praline French Toast
from the kitchen of Tamarynn Jones-Bennett

1 loaf of French bread* (I have found that Wal-Marts French Bread works the best for me because it is so dense. Pick a bread that isn't too soft in the middle because it will turn mushy.)
8 Large Eggs
2 c. Half n' Half
1 c. Milk
2 T. Sugar
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1/4 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg
Dash of Salt
Praline Topping

Cooking Instructions:
Step 1: Slice French Bread into 1- inch thick slices. Arrange slices in a generously buttered cookie sheet with raised edges. Place french bread in two rows.
Step 2: In a large bowl, combine the eggs, half and half, milk, sugar, vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt and beat with a whisk until blended but not to bubbly.
Step 3: Pour the mixture over the bread slices making sure all the slices are covered evenly with the milk/egg mixture. Spoon some of the mixture over the tops and in between the slices.
Step 4: Cover with foil and refrigerate overnight. (You can make this without refrigerating but it turns out best when you have let the toast sit in the mixture overnight.)
Step 5: The next morning when you are ready to bake the french toast, preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spread Praline Topping evenly over the bread and bake for 40 minutes until puffed and golden brown. Serve with Powdered sugar and maple syrup.

Praline Topping
1 c. butter
1 c. packed light brown sugar
1 c. chopped pecans
2 T. Light corn syrup
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. ground nutmeg

Combine all of the ingredients in a medium bowl and blend until well combined.


Ashlee, The Culinary Queen

Pizza Casserole

This casserole is very easy to make and it will appeal to all age groups. Who doesn't enjoy a good slice of pizza? This casserole tastes just like the real thing and what is even better is that it is kid friendly. When I made this casserole last night for the first time for my family, my husband and kiddos gobbled it up. The recipe makes (2) 9X13 pans so you can easily freeze one for another night when you don't feel like cooking. This recipe is also a wonderful one to make if you are feeding a huge crowd or are in charge of bringing something for a potluck dinner. Enjoy!

Pizza Casserole

2 lbs. Ground Beef or Turkey
1 large onion(chopped)
1 clove garlic (minced)

1 teaspoon Italian Seasoning

2 T. Olive oil
2 (26 ounces) Jars of Spaghetti Sauce (I like to use Emeril's "Kicked up Tomato")
16 ounces rotini pasta, cooked and drained
5 cups (20 ounces) shredded mozzarella cheese
1/2 c. Cheddar Cheese
1 1/4 c. Mini Pepperoni's or 8 oz. of Large Pepperoni's*
(*You can find the mini pepperoni's by the large pepperoni's and Canadian bacon.)

Cooking Instructions:
Step 1: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. In a large skillet add oil and heat to medium-high heat. Add ground beef or turkey, onion and garlic. Add Italian seasoning. Cook until beef or turkey is browned. Drain off grease.
Step 2: Stir in pasta sauce and 3 cups of mozzarella cheese and mini pepperoni's into the meat mixture. Place mixture into 2 greased 9x13 baking dishes. Sprinkle with remaining mozzarella cheese and cheddar cheese. If you are using the large pepperoni's then place on top of cheese.
*This Dish can be covered and frozen at this point if you are saving it for another night. When you are ready to cook: take pan from freezer, let thaw in refrigerator overnight and then cook according to cooking directions.
Step 3: If you are cooking the casserole now, Bake in the oven at 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes.
Makes 15 servings.


Ashlee, The Culinary Queen

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Spanish Rice

This rice is so spicy and delicious. I suggest serving it with the Grilled Lime Chicken Recipe. It compliments the chicken well. This rice is first browned and then simmers for 30 minutes with onions, green peppers, chicken broth and diced tomatoes and chilies until all the liquid is absorbed. I was a little hesitant about cooking rice on the stove in a sauce pan because I have never had much luck cooking rice, other than using a rice cooker. I was afraid that the rice wasn't going to be cooked all the way through and would be crunchy. I know that some of you know what I am talking about! Wink, Wink. Well, to put your palette to ease, just know that this is definitely a fool proof recipe; especially, for those of you that are new to the kitchen or are just embarking on any cooking quests. This is one tasty side dish, so don't be intimidated!! I know you will enjoy it!

Spanish Rice
2 T. Vegetable Oil
1 cup Uncooked white rice
1 medium onion, chopped

1/2 green bell pepper, chopped
2 cups water (I use chicken broth)

1 (10 ounce) diced tomatoes and green chilies
2 teaspoons Chili Powder

1 teaspoon Salt

Step 1:
In a deep skillet over medium heat add vegetable oil.
Add rice, onion and green bell pepper. Saute' until rice is browned and onions are tender.
Step 2:
Stir in water or chicken broth and tomatoes and green chilies. Season with chili powder and salt. Cover and simmer for 30 minutes until rice is cooked and liquid is absorbed.
* Note: I stirred the rice about half way through the cooking time so it wouldn't stick to the bottom of the pan and burn.


Ashlee, The Culinary Queen

Grilled Lime Chicken

Grilling season is definitely underway at our home. My husband is the grilling chef extraordinaire! We have made a non verbal pact, I make the food and he grills it up! Great compromise don't you think? I think so. We tried this recipe for the first time last night on some friends. They loved this recipe and so did we! We will be making it again soon. For as tasty as this chicken is, it is very easy and simple to make. A nice thing about this recipe is that it calls for ingredients that you have on hand in your spice cabinet and fridge. The chicken can marinate for several hours or overnight. I recommend marinating it overnight for maximum flavor. We actually marinated ours for two nights. The chicken is very tender and has a kick to it. If you like oriental inspired flavors like our family does, than this grilled lime chicken is a recipe for you! Enjoy!!

Grilled Lime Chicken
Photo and recipe adapted from
4 chicken Breasts

1/2 c. Soy Sauce

1/2 t. mustard
1 T. Worcestershire Sauce

1/4 c. lime juice
1/2 t. pepper
1/2 t. cayenne
2 t. garlic (minced)

Cooking Instructions:
Step 1:
In a large bowl or ziploc baggie, mix all marinade ingredients. Add chicken and marinate for 6 hours or overnight. Marinating overnight is recommended!

Step 2: Grease and heat an outdoor grill. Cook chicken until no longer pink inside and juices run clear. (Internal temperature of chicken should reach a temperature of 165 degrees.)
Makes 4 servings.


Ashlee, The Culinary Queen

Friday, June 4, 2010

Beef Stroganoff

I am sure most everyone has tried Beef Stroganoff before. I have had it many times in my lifetime and my mom would make it for us growing up. I love this comfort dish. I came across this recipe online and I thought I would try making it. The thing that caught my eye about this particular recipe was that it called for sliced steak. I have always made mine with ground turkey or ground beef. This dish is very good; although, I still prefer ground beef or turkey in mine. The steak was a little tough when I browned/cooked it in the pan. I didn't care for it. I did love the sauce though and so next time I will use ground beef or turkey.

Beef Stroganoff
1 lb. sliced steak or ground beef or turkey
1/2 c. onions, minced
1 c. sour cream
1/4 c. butter
2 T. flour
1 teas. salt
1/4. tea. black pepper
2-3 cans of sliced mushrooms
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1 small bag of egg noodles

Cooking Instructions:
step 1: Saute onions and garlic in butter over medium heat for a few minutes. Meanwhile, cook egg noodles according to package directions.
step 2: Add in sliced steak (or ground beef or turkey) and brown. Stir in flour, salt, mushrooms and pepper. Cook for 5 minutes.
step 3: Stir in sour cream and cook until heated. Serve over egg noodles. Enjoy!!


Ashlee, The Culinary Queen

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Summer in Sicily Salad

I recently tried this salad while visiting my parents in Southern Utah a few weeks back. Whenever my parents know that me and my little family are coming for a visit, they roll out the red carpet for us. My mom especially goes the extra mile and cooks us delicious things to eat while we are there. My mom is one of the best cooks I know and I always look forward to going home for one of her home cooked meals. During our stay, My mom served this light salad. I love that it is versatile and you can use whatever fruits are in season: apples, strawberries, mandarin oranges etc. I also really love the crunch this salad has with the Caramelized nuts that are scattered throughout. The dressing also is tangy, so it is a nice compliment to the caramelized nuts. I love the sweet with the salty. This salad is really easy to make but takes some prep work. All the prep work is worth it though!! Try making this light salad for your next picnic or summer get together.

Summer in Sicily Salad
3/4 c. Red Wine Vinegar
3/4 c. Extra Virgin Olive Oil (must use extra virgin)
1/2 c. Sugar
3-4 cloves of garlic, freshly pressed
1/2 teas. paprika
1/2 teas. salt
1/2 teas. white or black pepper ( I use black because it is what I have on hand)
1 head of Romain lettuce, shredded
1 c. of desired fruit: Sliced strawberries, mandarin oranges(drained), apples, craisins.
Caramelized Nuts

Whisk together the first seven ingredients together. Store the dressing in the refrigerator until ready to use. Meanwhile, wash lettuce leaves and pat dry. Shred lettuce into salad bowl of your choice. Add fruit of your choice and mix around into the lettuce leaves. Add caramelized nuts. Store in the refrigerator until ready to serve. 30 minutes before serving remove dressing from the fridge and let sit at room temperature. Whisk dressing and pour over salad. Enjoy!
* The dressing makes more than enough for this salad, I only use about 1/2 of the dressing to coat the salad. Save the rest of the dressing for those that may want to add more to their salads or keep it in the fridge for up to two weeks.

Caramelized Nuts
2c. pecans, walnuts or sliced almonds
1/3 c. mayo
1/3 c. Brown sugar, packed

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. While oven is heating up, mix mayo and brown sugar together in small bowl until well combined. Then add nuts and mix until well combined. Spread nuts evenly into a greased 9X13 pan. bake for 10-15 minutes until bubbly and light brown. Let cool for several hours before adding to your salad.


Ashlee, The Culinary Queen

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Ginger Chicken Burgers

With grilling season in full swing, my hubby and I made up these extremely tasty burgers to celebrate the Memorial Day weekend. You will not be let down in the flavor department when making these juicy, moist burgers. My husband and I have added this burger recipe to our "Favorites" list. This recipe is simple to make and would easily impress even the pickiest of dinner guests! I can not rave about this burger recipe enough!! These burgers are made with ground chicken, which is easy on your pocket book as well as your waistline! The burgers are flavored with just the right amount of seasoning for a little kick and are topped with a creamy ginger mayo sauce. The burgers are also topped with lettuce and cucumbers to help cool down the touch of "heat" in the burgers! Try this recipe for your next summer get together!

Ginger Chicken Burgers
photo courtesy of blogchef
recipe adapted from blog chef

1 1/4 lbs. ground chicken (Make friends with your butcher at your favorite grocery store. He will gladly grind up the chicken for you)
2/3 c. Panko bread crumbs or regular breadcrumbs
1 egg, slightly beaten
2 green onions, chopped
3 T. cilantro, chopped
1 garlic clove, minced)
1 tea. chili sauce
1 tea. salt
1/2 c. teriyaki sauce
4 teas. Honey
6 hamburger buns
1 cucumber, peeled and thinly sliced

Ginger Mayo
1/2 c. Mayo
2 teas. sweet pickle relish
2 teas. minced fresh ginger
2 teas. lime juice
1 garlic clove, minced
1/4 teas. salt


Step 1:
to make ginger mayo- in a medium bowl combine mayonnaise, pickle relish, ginger, lime juice, garlic powder and salt. Mix well, cover and refrigerate until needed.
Step 2: In a large bowl combine the ground chicken, breadcrumbs, egg, green onions, cilantro, garlic, chili sauce and salt. Mix well and form into 6 patties. In a small bowl mix teriyaki sauce and honey. Step 3: Brush grill grates with oil and heat an outdoor grill (this recipe can also be done in a fry pan but grill is best!) to medium high heat. Add chicken burgers and brush with teriyaki glaze while turning and cooking until chicken has reached an eternal temp of 165 degrees.
Step 4: Place burgers on a bun, top with lettuce, cucumber and ginger mayo.
(Makes 6 good size burgers)


Ashlee, The Culinary Queen

Pico De Gallo

This simple Pico De Gallo recipe can be used to top burgers or as a condiment in any of your Mexican Cooking adventures! Enjoy!!

Pico De Gallo
Recipe and photo courtesy of Blog chef
4 roma Tomatoes (seeded and chopped)
1/2 c. onion (finely chopped)
2 jalepano peppers (seeded and chopped)
2 T. Green bell pepper (chopped)
2 tea. Cilantro (chopped)
1 teaspoon Lime Juice
Salt and Pepper to Taste


Ashlee, The Culinary Queen

Shrimp Fajitas

If you enjoy eating Fajitas and Shrimp, then try combining the two for one tasty main dish!! This easy to prepare main course can be made in just under a half an hour and is so good!! I can guarantee your taste buds will be doing a happy dance!! The shrimp is marinated in a seasoning mixture and then pan cooked with yummy vegetables. This dish is perfect for summer evening meal times, especially when you don't want to heat up your home!! Enjoy!!

Shrimp Fajitas
Recipe and photo courtesy of blog chef
1 1/4 lb. Medium Raw Shrimp (peeled and deveined)
1/2 tea. salt
1/2 tea. ground cumin
1/2 tea. Chile powder
1/2 tea. Oregano
1/4 tea. Garlic Powder
1 Lime (juice of one lime)
8 flour or corn tortillas
2 T. Vegetable Oil
6 green onions, chopped
2 green Bell Peppers
Shredded Monteray Jack Cheese
1 medium red onion
Fresh Cilantro
Sour Cream
Pico De Gallo (see Recipe)

Cooking Instructions:
Step 1 : In a large bowl, or sip lock bag combine shrimp, salt, cumin, chile powder, oregano, garlic powder and lime juice. Mix well and toss shrimp to coat. Place into the refrigerator and let marinate for 10 minutes.
Step 2: In a large skillet heat vegetable oil. Add green onions and peppers. Cook while stirring for 2 minutes or until vegetables are crisp tender. Add shrimp with the marinade and cook while stirring for 3 - 5 minutes or until the shrimp are pink in color.
Step 3: Spoon shrimp and vegetables into warmed tortillas. Top with cheese, cilantro, red onions, gaucamole, Sour cream, and Pico de Gallo. Enjoy!!
Makes 8 Servings.


Ashlee, The Culinary Queen

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