Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Strawberry Pretzel Salad

This year for Thanksgiving we were planning on having both my family and my husband’s family here at our house.  But the day before my in-laws had to cancel due to the horrible weather.  So I was talking with my husband about what he wanted me to make, you know those special things that you always had at Thanksgiving growing up.  That your mom makes every year.  I realized that we didn’t really have a traditional dish for our “new” family.  This Strawberry Pretzel Salad, was the first thing that came to mind.  This recipes was given to me by a college roommate, I don’t make it often, but I absolutely love it.  It really probably shouldn’t be called a salad since it is not that healthy, more of a dessert really. 

Strawberry Pretzel Salad

{Photo Courtesy:  All Recipes}

2 1/2 cups crushed pretzels

3 tablespoons sugar

3/4 cup butter or margarine

1 8-ounce package cream cheese, softened

1 cup sugar

1 12-ounce Cool Whip 

1 6-ounce package Strawberry Jello

2 cups boiling water

1 -10 ounce bag frozen sliced strawberries

Whipped cream or Cool Whip for garnishing



Topping: Add 2 cups boiling water to Jello; mix well. Add strawberries to jello. Cool Jello mixture in fridge until thick.

Crust: Melt butter; add sugar. Crush pretzels with rolling pin and add to butter mixture. Press into bottom of greased 9×13 inch baking pan. Bake 10 minutes at 350 degrees; cool well.

Filling: Combine cream cheese and 1 cup sugar; beat well. Add Cool Whip; spread over cooled crust. Pour or spoon thickened jello mixture over cream cheese mixture and set until firm. Spread additional Cool Whip over the top, cover with foil & refrigerate for at least 2 hours.

I’m linking up to these parties


If you are here from a link party, I am in desperate need of help!  I would love your opinion as to which Christmas card design to choose this year!!  I would much appreciate your help, you can click HERE to see the post about my Christmas card dilemma!  Thanks!

Monday, November 29, 2010

Christmas Card Dilemma

One of my favorite parts of Christmas is getting Christmas letters from everyone, hearing about their year, and enjoying their cute Christmas cards.  This year I am sending out my own letter and cards for the first time.  Usually, my mom sends one out and I call it good, since she sends it to all the people I would anyway.  But this year we are venturing out on our own.  So I hopped on the trusty internet and started looking for cute photo cards to send out.  One of the first places I wet to was Shutterfly. 

We have been using Shutterfly for our photo printing needs for years.  Ever since my husband told me about a great sign-up promotion, one of those where you sign up and get 100 free prints.  To be honest we took advantage of this promotion at several different online photo printing websites, but Shutterfly is one that I have used again since getting my free prints! 

Shutterfly is always having great and promotions.  Currently they are having a promotion for bloggers.  No matter if you have 2 or 2,000 followers you can participate and get 50 free Christmas cards!  {To learn more click HERE}

Now the only question left is which card to choose?! 



imageI saw this one on Bakerella waay back at the beginning of November and fell in love with it then!





So what is your favorite part of Chirstmas?  Do you send out letters/cards?  Any thoughts and opinions in helping me decide on a card would be much appreciated (I am the most indecisive person in the world!).

Spinach Salad

I am a picky eater.  But boy do I love this Spinach Salad With Sugared Almonds and Poppy Seed Dressing, but we just call it Spinach Salad.  It is definitely something new and refreshing compared to your regular, iceburg lettuce, tomato, and ranch dressing salad.  Don’t be scared, it is still super simple to make!

We had this at Thanksgiving this year, but it is yummy all year long.  Your friends will be so impressed that you made your own sugared almonds and dressing (like it’s really that hard!  But don’t tell them that!)


{Spinach Salad}
1 head lettuce

1 bunch spinach

3/4 lb. sliced mushrooms

3/4 lb. grated Swiss or Mozzarella Cheese

1 red onion

1/2 lb. bacon, cooked and crumbled

1 cup mandarin oranges, drained

1/2 cup slivered almonds

3 Tbsp. sugar




3/4 Tbsp. poppy seeds

1/3 Cup White vinegar

3/4 cup oil

1/3 cup  sugar

1 Tbsp. grated onion (opt)

3/4 tsp. salt

2 Tbsp. prepared mustard




Cook sugar and almonds over low heat until light brown. 

Mix first 5 ingredients; sprinkle almonds, bacon, and oranges over the top.  Serve with Poppy seed dressing. 


{A few things to note}

The oranges can make things a little soggy so add them at the last minute.

I always double the almonds and sugar because they make this salad so yummy and special.

But watch the almonds very carefully when you are cooking them, once the sugar starts to get brownish and forms little clumps things go quickly and burned almonds and sugar stink!

It is super delicious to add Crasins and/or strawberries.

This makes a ton of dressing, we fed eight people at Thanksgiving and we hardly made a dent in the dressing.  But it keeps well in the fridge.



{Photos Courtesy:  Food.People.Want}

Thanksgiving Recap

I have not gone completely crazy, I know the Thanksgiving boat has sailed.  It is over.  But I wanted to do a little “Thanksgiving Recap” and share my favorite recipes from our Thanksgiving this year and our small but lovely Thanksgiving décor. 

First up on our recap:


I have this HUGE shelf in our dining room.  I love it, it sure holds A LOT of “stuff”.  Here is what it looked like for our Thanksgiving feast. 

Left to Right:
Huge glass cookie jar, stuck in some silk leaves with double sided tape, added fallish ribbon. 

“Keep Calm and Gobble On” free printable found {HERE}

Pumpkin with brown ribbon

12 X 12 frame with fallish scrapbook paper and brown ribbon

Tall tin bucket/vase filled with weedish/wheat from our front yard



For the table I made some toilet paper pumpkins.  Leaf placemat from Walmart on clearance for a $1.  Lots of little leaves leftover from my “We All Fall Down” sign.



Yes, I took a picture of just a napkins.  I found these at Michael’s for $1 and loved them so much I just had to buy them!



I made these little trays with Dollar Store candle sticks and plates.  The plan was to be able to use the in December too, so I added a brown ribbon to make them less Christmasy and my Thanksgivingy.  {Check out this post for the how-to’s on making these easy inexpensive stands}


Next up my FAVORITE side dish recipes!

Saturday, November 27, 2010


I’ve been a little neglectful in blogging this week, I hope you will forgive me. 


{My List of Excuses}

We hosted our first ever Thanksgiving at our house!


Luckily my mom and dad, who are turkey masters made the turkey, but I’ve been cookin’ up a storm.  {More on this later!}


The wonderful hubs had some time off work, so we’ve been enjoying just spending time together, and of course getting a few things done we’ve been putting off for a while now . . . maybe more like since June!



We went to this super cute movie, I laughed, I cried, I wanted to sing along.


Worth the $7.25 we paid to go see it.  (And both my husband and I thought during the movie, “This would be soo cool in 3D”, so would be worth it to see in 3D.)


Of course, I have been enjoying our Thanksgiving leftovers.  Trying really hard not to eat too much of my mom’s yummy pumpkin roll . . . drool . . 



And who can’t resist a little Black Friday shopping?



Not mention spending waay too much time enjoying everyone’s cute crafty Christmas ideas.  Making lots of plans for some of my own Christmas Craftiness!  {Pictures are linked to sources is you’re interested}









Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Caramel Apple Turkey


Today for the first time ever I made homemade caramel!  Yeah!  The even better news is that it wasn’t a complete bomb.  I made some caramel apples to take to some women in my church that I work with.  Since caramel apples can be a little Hallweenie and that ship has long since sailed, I decided to use this idea that I found at Be Different . . . Act Normal, to Thanksgiving-ify things.  {Honestly I was sort of lazy and didn’t make all of them into turkeys.}  

I used this caramel recipe from Get Off Your Butt . . . And Bake!  Greatest recipe/blog/instructions EVER! 


{Action shot, how is it that Sweet and Condensed Milk makes everything soo good?}


I dipped my apples in caramel (of course) and then in semi-crushed up Reese’s Pieces and chopped pecans. 



Wrapped ‘em up in celophane (which I have decided is another one of my crafting musts.  Love that stuff.  Buy the huge roll at Michael’s with a coupon).  Added a ribbon and tag, and they are good to go. 




To make your caramel apple into a turkey:


Cut out feathers, head, beak, gobbler, eyes.  Glue eyes, beak, gobbler, smaller feathers to head.  Attach head feather to toothpicks with tape.


Insert toothpicks into finished cooled caramel apples. 


Here’s to what’s left of Fall!  Or what was left of it, we’ve had our first official snow, good stuff that has actually stuck around and not melted away.  Happy Thanksgiving!


I am linking up to all these awesome parties this week!

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Best Peanut Butter Fingers EVER!

This is an oldie but a goodie.  A looong time ago I posted about  my favorite school lunch treat

This weekend my sister in-law invited us over for dinner, I offered to bring a dessert.  I was so happy that my sister in-law that is allergic to peanut butter wasn’t going to be there so that I could take these yummy Peanut Butter Fingers (that sounds meaner than it was supposed to, we still love her even though she can’t eat peanut butter). 

Strangely this is also the most popular post on my blog, I’m guessing people (crazy ones like me that grew up loving these from the cafeteria) Google the recipe and mine is one that comes up.  Sadly, they don’t serve them any more due to too many  peanut allergies among the students. 

Peanut Butter Fingersimage
(Local Elementary School Version)

3/4 cup butter

3/4 cup sugar

3/4 cup brown sugar

2 eggs

3/4 cup peanut butter

3/4 tsp soda

3/4 tsp salt

1 1/2 tsp vanilla

1 1/2 cup flour

1 1/2 cup oats

3/4 cup additional peanut butter

Chocolate frosting

Combine first 8 ingredients; mix well.  Add flour and oats; press into 9 x 13 pan.  Bake at 320 for 20 to 25 minutes.  Top with additional peanut butter while still warm.  Cool.  Spread with frosting.  Cut into squares.

Stephanie Wilkey
Cedar Hills 2nd Ward Neighborhood Recipe Collection, pg. 153

Chocolate Frosting

1/2 bag powdered sugar

1 tsp vanilla

1 cube butter

1/4 cup cocoa

1/4 cup milk

Mix all ingredients together, add more milk if needed.

Stephanie Wilkey
Cedar Hills 2nd Ward Neighborhood Recipe Collection, pg. 157

{Picture: Cheesy Kitchen}

Friday, November 19, 2010

My Favorite Things

image320 Sycamore is hosting her annual My Favorite Things Party.  I loved reading all the other famous bloggers favorite things!  And am excited to share with you mine. 



{The Serious Side}


My Family


My Hubs giving smooches to my Babe, Halloween 2010


My Faith

Hi, I’m Ashlie.  I’m blogging crafting reading loving Utahan/Oregonian ice cream eating wife and mother.  I’m a Mormon.  {To learn more click on the button above}


My Friends


My two bestest friendies.  Yes, we are at New Moon this summer.   Yes, we ALL wore matching Edward/Jacob/Bella shirts.  Yes, I know you are jealous!



{The Silly Side}


My Circuit


What more can I say.  I love this thing!  Best money ever spent!  Use almost daily. 


Diet Mt. Dew


I’m addicted to this stuff!  Give me a DMD and everything will be alright.


Modge Podge


If you have never used this stuff, go now, use it.  Use it on anything.  It will change your crafting life as you know it!  Did you know you could by such a huge bottle?  Must find out where and get some ASAP!


Cover Girl Lash Blast Mascara


I have the shortest eyelashes ever and they point down, I’m being serious.  I have naturally curly hair, but my eyelashes aren’t curled.  I don’t leave the house without at least a quick swipe of this good stuff. 


Tillamook Mudslide


My favorite ice cream changes regularly, but this one has been at the top for awhile.  I have only been able to find Tillamook Ice Cream (outside of Oregon) at WINCO Foods. 




I love to read.  You know in Ever After Drew Barrymore says, “I could no sooner choose a favorite star in the heavens.”  I feel the same way, I couldn’t choose just one favorite book, but some of my favorites are in my Read With Me Wednesday label {HERE}

Three Little Turkeys

I posted about these cute little turkeys {HERE}.  And you can find the tutorial on Ucreate by Craft Goodies {HERE}.  I have been dying to make my own!  I ended up having almost everything I needed on hand, but have now exhausted my jumbo popsicle stick supply, so they where easy to pull together.

Two things I didn’t have, paint sticks and feathers.  I picked up my paint sticks at Lowe’s they were free and they had jumbo size, which was perfect for my bigger turkey.  The other thing I didn’t have, feathers.  Checked the Dollar Store and Walmart and found NO feathers!  I finally found some at Michaels’, actually almost a whole isle of feathers!  But I ended up using  raffia in place of feathers so it didn’t matter anyway. 

And now for the big reveal . . . .





If you would like rosy cheeks like Wendy’s turkey remember to do that BEFORE you Modge Podge on your beak and gobbler (no one at my house knew the official name of the red hangy beak thing, do you?).  Because after you Modge Podge all over you face, it ain’t comin’ up and there’s no going back. 

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