Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Spiced-Gingerbread Men Tree Ornaments

Several years ago, my very talented mom made me and my four other siblings, 15 of the most darling non-edible Gingerbread men ornaments that I had ever seen! I was truly touched by my mom's thoughtful gift and have cherished these heirlooms. These little gingerbread men captured my heart (just like my husband did 7 years ago-sorry some times I get a little "scent"amental" *giggle*) and the ornaments have adorned our tree each year since my mom made them for me! My two little munchkins also love these ornaments not only because Nanna D made them for us but they smell "scentsational" as well! There is not a day that goes by during the month of December that I don't see one or both of my children hovering near the Christmas tree trying to see if they can smell the apple/spiced men! Even though they require a little time and effort to make, these Gingerbread men ornaments are very easy to assemble. The recipe calls for ingredients that you probably already have in your spice cabinet or pantry. After you assemble a soft-like cookie dough mixture you roll it out and cut out your men. Then after baking them in the oven for 2 1/2 hours, you are ready to assemble your men with ribbon, acrylic and puffy paints. This is a fun activity or may even be a new tradition to get the whole family involved!

Apple & Spice Gingerbread Men Ornament Tutorial

*Note* I'd like to suggest buying your spices at a Dollar store if you are planning on making several batches because spices are not cheap and this with help cut costs!)

1 c. Cinnamon
1 T. nutmeg
1 T. Ginger
1 T. Ground Cloves
1 T. Allspice
3/4 c. Applesauce (You want to use store bought not homemade. I like Western Family!)

1.) In a medium bowl combine all the spices and mix thoroughly with a spoon until all the spices are well combined.

2.) Add the applesauce and stir. To mix it well, I use my hands and mix it for 2-3 minutes or until the mixture is combined and makes a soft dough. If the dough is too dry and crumbly add 1-2 teaspoons of extra applesauce.

3.) Turn dough out onto a counter top and knead dough for 2-4 minutes or until the dough resembles cookie dough.

4.) Roll out dough to a 1/4" thickness. Make sure not to roll out too thin because they will fall apart. You want your ornaments to be sturdy and not break or crumble. Cut out your shapes using a metal cookie cutter.

5.) Transfer the cut outs to a un-greased cookie sheet. I like to use the air bake cookie sheets.

6.) Take a chopstick or pencil and and make a hole at the top of each of your ornaments.

7.) Bake in a 150 degree F. oven for 1 hour. (My oven didn't go down to 150 degrees so I baked mine at 170 degrees F. Don't forget to enjoy your house smelling like Christmas while your cookies bake!

8.) When the cookies have baked for one hour remove from oven and place on a cooling rack. Then immediately place the cooking rack into a baking sheet and then place back into the oven at 150 Degree F for another 1 1/2 hours. This will help harden your cookies.

9.) After baking time is over take out of oven and let cool completely. Place in an airtight container until ready to decorate or to store completed ornaments.

To Decorate You will need:
Ribbon, I chose Burgundy because that is the color of my tree
Glue Gun
White puffy paint
Black or Dark Blue Acrylic Paint
Thick Gold Thread or Ribbon
Black Sharpie

1.) Take your tole paint and using the end of a chopstick or tole painting brush dip in paint and make dots for eyes and the corners of the mouth. Then take your Sharpie Pen and draw a semi circle connecting the mouth.

2.) To make buttons on the Ginger bread men, dip tole paint brush or chopstick and make 3 circles down the middle of the Ginger bread mens chest.

3.) To make the white curly q's around the gingerbread mens arms and legs, take your White puffy paint and make a squiggly design around each. Allow to dry for 4 hours.

4.) After four hours you are ready to glue on a bow around the Gingerbread Men's Neck. I tied several little bow and then took my glue and glue gun and placed a dot of glue under the gingerbread men's smiles. Adhere bow to glue. Let dry.

5.) After the ornament has dried completely, now string your gold thread through the hole at the top of your Gingerbread Men's head and tie a knot. Repeat on all the other little men.

6.) Pat yourself on the back for finishing this long process and now proudly go hang your ornaments on your tree where everyone can see and "smell" your handywork!
Yields 12-15 gingerbread men.

I dub thee a Culinary Queen!

* Since this is a family recipe please note that if you share or blog about this tutorial please give credit where credit is due! Thank you!* -Ashlee

Merry Christmas Culinary Queen Bee Readers!
I hope you all Have a wonderful Holiday and New Year!
Come Back next week to see what I have been up to- See you next week!


Ashlee, The Culinary Queen

Monday, December 20, 2010

Apple Pecan Pancakes

Today, I have another Christmas morning breakfast idea for you. Apple Pecan Pancakes! These have to be one of my FAVORITE PANCAKE recipes! I love apples and nuts and when you combine the two flavors in these pancakes you get a light crunch to these fluffy pancakes and an explosion of flavor! These pancakes are easy to prepare and have a nice cinnamon flavor as well. They make a hearty breakfast which is perfect on those cold crisp winter mornings; especially for a holiday brunch! Top with butter and maple syrup or even try topping with this buttercream syrup recipe for an extra special treat!

Apple Pecan Pancakes

1 c. all-purpose flour
2 T. brown sugar
2 teas. baking powder
1/2 teas. salt
1/2 teas. ground cinnamon
3/4 c. plus 2 T. milk
2 eggs, seperated
1 teas. vanilla extract
1/2 c. apple, finely chopped and peeled
1/2 c. finely chopped pecans

In a bowl, combine flour, brown sugar, baking powder, salt and cinnamon. Stir in milk, egg yolks and vanilla. Add apples and pecans. Beat egg whites until stiff peaks form; fold into the batter. Pour batter by 1/4 cupfuls onto a hot greased griddle or skillet. Turn when bubbles begin to form and the edges are golden. Cook until the second side is golden. Yield 12 pancakes.


Ashlee, The Culinary Queen

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Stuffed Mushrooms

I can't believe that Christmas is only 5 days away! I am really looking forward to seeing my kids' faces on Christmas morning as they open their presents. I think that I am more excited for Christmas this year than they are! With Christmas only being a few days away it may mean that your Holiday get to-gethers are winding down. If you still have a few more parties to attend and need an appetizer to share with loved ones, I have just the recipe for you! Stuffed Mushrooms! Stuffed Mushrooms are my favorite appetizer! My husband is very found of them as well. We both can't resist mushrooms to begin with, but combine mushrooms with maple sausage and cream cheese and place it in a mushroom, you have an hors d'oeuvre straight from heaven! These little bite-sized appetizers are hard to resist and will keep you coming back for more. You truly can't eat just one! Stuffed Mushrooms are elegant but are so easy to make. Your guests or family members will think that you spent hours in the kitchen making them when they only take a few minutes to prepare! Also another great perk about this recipe is that the mushrooms can be made ahead of time and then you can pop them right into the oven before your guests arrive or while you are getting ready to leave for your night out! I hope you enjoy this family favorite recipe of ours!

Stuffed Mushrooms

2 (12 ounce) packages white button mushrooms, cap size doesn't matter
1 (8 ounce) brick of cream cheese, room temperature
1 (8 ounce) packaged sausage, (I like to use Jimmy Dean maple flavored but any kind of sausage will work)
Stems from mushrooms finely chopped
1/4 c. melted butter, optional

1). Preheat oven to 350 degrees. 2). Separate caps from stems while cleaning the mushrooms. If cleaning with water, let them drain for a little bit. 3). While mushrooms drain, chop mushroom stems finely and place them along with the sausage in a skillet and fry together until the sausage is golden brown. Drain off any excess grease and add your cream cheese and combine until the cream cheese has melted and all ingredients are incorporated. 4). Fill each cap with cream cheese/ sausage filling and then lightly brush melted butter over the tops. Add a small amount of water to the bottom of the pan, just enough that the bottom of the pan is covered. 5). Bake for 35-40 minutes or until the tops are crusty and the mushrooms have turned dark. After baking time is up, pull out of the oven and remove mushrooms with a slotted spoon onto desired serving dish. Serve warm.

*Variation #1:
Add dry bread crumbs to the mix to make a larger batch with out adding more cream cheese or sausage. Onions would also be a great addition to the mixture.

* Variation #2:
Use one 8 oz. brick of cream cheese and 2- 8 oz. pkgs. of sausage. It makes for a larger batch that is less rich but tastes the same.

*Fun Hint*:
The Cream cheese mixture is also very good served on crackers or bread! If you have any non mushroom lovers, set aside some of the sausage/cream cheese mixture for them to dip with.


Ashlee, The Culinary Queen

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Creative Christmas Card Display...

Are you wondering what to do with all those Darling Christmas Cards that you have been receiving from your loved ones throughout the month? Well, I have a crafty way to display those wonderful Christmas mementos! Make a Family and Friend Christmas Tree design on the doors throughout your home! Your kids and friends will love to see their Christmas Card displayed in such a fun and creative way, plus you can enjoy them all month long instead of filing them away in a box or basket, where they are hardly looked at or enjoyed! By picking a high traffic door in your home and decorating it you will enjoy and get to see those Christmas Cards all month long. For me my front door to my home is the most used and is one that is highly visible when walking about in our home. My children love to look at our "Christmas Tree" on our front door and see all the pictures of our friends and family. All I did to start the tree was cut out a star from yellow cardstock. After that all you do is wait for those Christmas Cards to arrive and start building your Family and Friends Christmas Tree. This has been another fun and creative activity to keep my kids occupied during the month. Each day they look forward to checking the mail with mom and then take any Christmas Cards that we receive and tape them on the front door. They have truly loved watching our family and friends Christmas Tree Grow! What are some of the things that you all do to display your Christmas Cards?


Ashlee, The Culinary Queen

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Gingerbread Pancakes

I have made these pancakes for my family the past couple of years during the Holiday Season and they have become not only a family favorite but a fun tradition. Whether you make these for a fun weekend breakfast to celebrate or for Christmas morning, your family will enjoy this holiday recipe. The pancakes have a great gingerbread flavor and are topped with a pretty fruit topping of apple pie filling, sprinkled with cranberries and a drizzle of maple syrup. I don't know a single soul that wouldn't get excited for this delicious breakfast! Pair these pancakes with bacon or sausage and eggs and you have a very festive Christmas Morning Breakfast for your family and Holiday Guests!

Gingerbread Pancakes
recipe and photo courtesy from

1 c. all-purpose flour
2 T. sugar
1 teas. baking powder
1/2 teas. ground cinnamon
1/4 teas. ground ginger
1/4 teas. ground all-spice
1 egg
3/4 c. milk
2 T. molasses
1 T. Canola oil
6 T. maple pancake syrup
3/4 c. apple pie filling, warmed
3 T. dried cranberries

In a large bowl combine the first six ingredients. Combine the egg, milk and molasses and oil; stir into the dry ingredients just until moistened. Pour batter by 1/4 cupfuls onto a greased hot griddle; turn when bubbles form on top. Cook until the second side is golden brown. To serve, place two panckes on each plate; drizzle with 2 T. maple syrup. Top with 1/4 c. apple pie filling; sprinkle with cranberries. Yield: 3 servings.


Ashlee, The Culinary Queen

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Brownie Batter Cocoa- Fudge Cupcakes

OR DEATH BY CHOCOLATE is what these cupcakes should be called. CHOCOLATE LOVERS will adore this recipe!! Proceed with caution though when making these because these fudge-like cupcakes might cause you to slip into a chocolate induced coma after eating just one, but I can't think of a better way to leave this life than by eating one of these scrumptious cupcakes *Swoon*. The cupcake is made up of 3 components: delicious cakey brownie, the fudgy brownie centers, and the smooth and creamy chocolate frosting that tops off this sinful dessert. After making a batch of these, be prepared to share with your girlfriends or even guy friends because this recipe makes and frosts 36 godlike cupcakes. I promise that they really will thank you for putting them into a chocolate cupcake induced coma! Enjoy MY fellow Chocolate Lovers!

Brownie Batter Chocolate Fudge Cupcakes

Brownie Batter
1/4 c. butter, melted
1/3 c. fat free sweetened condensed milk
1/3 c. milk
1 (18.25 oz.) box Devils food cake mix

Directions: Combine all ingredients in a large bowl and mix On medium speed for two minutes until well combined. Using a small scoop (about 1.5 tbsp) drop batter onto a parchment lined cookie sheet and freeze overnight.

1 (18.25 oz.) box of Devils food cake mix
1 (3.9 oz) Instant Chocolate Fudge Pudding mix
1 c. Sour Cream
1 c. Vegetable Oil
4 eggs, beaten
1/2 c. milk
2 c. mini semi-sweet chocolate chips

Directions: Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Spray muffin tin with cooking spray and then line muffin tin with cupcake liners. Combine all ingredients except Chocolate chips into a very large bowl and mix on medium speed for 2 minutes until well combined. Stir in Chocolate chips. Using a Large Scoop (3 Tbsp.) drop batter into cupcake liners, filling 2/3 the way full. Remove brownie batter from freezer and press into the cupcake batter. Bake for 22- 28 minutes. Allow to cool completely before frosting.

5 sticks of butter, softened
8 oz. powdered sugar
1.5 cups of unsweeted cocoa powder
a pinch of table salt
1.5 cups of light corn syrup
2 tsp. vanilla extract
16 oz. Milk chocolate chips

Directions: Melt chocolate chips in the microwave stirring well every 30 seconds. Allow to cool for 5-10 minutes. Meanwhile, combine butter, sugar, cocoa and salt in a food processor and process till smooth, about 30 seconds. Scrap the bowl as needed. Add the corn syrup and vanilla and process until just combined about 5-10 seconds. Scrape the bowl again, then add the melted chocolate chips and pulse until creamy and smooth. If you don't have a food processor, you can use your mixer, just don't whip the butter too much. Frost cupcakes with knife or put frosting in a ziploc baggie and cut off tip to make an elegant frosted topped cupcake!


Ashlee, The Culinary Queen

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Christmas Countdown Craft

Back in November I got together with a few friends in my neighborhood and we made these darling CHRISTMAS COUNTDOWNS. I can't take credit for the craft idea, my darling friend Heather had made one last year and her and another neighbor gal cut out all the cute little pieces with their Cricuts and ordered the cutest embellishments to make these countdowns absolutely adorable! What a huge undertaking to gather all the supplies for over 20 women! Heather this SHOUT OUT is for you, you ROCK Girly! I think they turned out to be gems! All you do is decorate the 2x2 decorated square with your desired embellishments/papers and then glue magnets on the back and then stick them to a mini muffin tin. Then hide your desired treats or a special outing or two written on a piece of paper and put them behind the decorated squares. My kids are loving counting down until Santa makes his annual visit to our home and truly can't wait to see what the BIG JOLLY GUY brought them! I also can't wait till Christmas Day gets here, what a joy Christmas is when watching young kiddos!
I truly love the Holidays and I Hope you are all enjoying your Holiday Season as well!


Ashlee, The Culinary Queen

Friday, December 10, 2010

Ghirardelli Seven-Layer Brownie Bars

'Tis the Season for desserts; especially brownies! I found this super fudgey-rich brownie recipe on the back of a Ghirardelli Double Chocolate Brownie mix and decided to give it a go! If you LOVE CHOCOLATE like I do and if you have tried Ghirardelli Chocolate before you know that they don't mess around...that is right, no funny business. They take their chocolate serious, the way it should be taken. They truly do have the best chocolate products out there and that includes their Brownie Mixes. I only buy their mixes when I really need a chocolate fix because their brownie mixes are truly divine! *HUGE SIGH* Their mixes are a little more than I usually like to spend on a brownie mix but for a extra special treat, I make the exception and splurge on the finest! You won't be disappointed! This 7-layer brownie recipe is sure to please those chocolate fanatics at your home, and what is wonderful about this recipe is that it starts with a Ghirardelli Brownie mix and a few other ingredients that you have right in your pantry! These would be a great dessert to serve at your next Christmas or Holiday get together. I love that you can just grab them and pop them in your mouth-
a perfect hors d'oeuvre!

Ghirardelli's Seven Layer Brownie Bars

1/2 c. butter, melted
1 box Ghirardelli Double Chocolate Brownie Mix
1 c. Shredded Coconut
1 cup Butterscotch or Peanut Butter chips
1 c. Ghirardelli Semi Sweet Chocolate Chips
1 c. chopped pecans
1-14 oz. can of sweetened condensed milk ( I like to use fat free! They actually make fat free sweetened condensed milk and it tastes just like the real deal! Hallalujah! Don't you just love cutting calories!

Preaheat oven to 350 degrees. Coat bottom of 9 X13 pan with melted butter. Sprinkle brownie mix over the butter. Top with coconut, butterscotch or peanut butter chips, chocolate chips and pecans. Drizzle with sweetened condensed milk. Bake 30-35 minutes or until edges are bubbly. Cool thoroughly before cutting. Makes 24, 2 inch bars.


Ashlee, The Culinary Queen

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Shrimp and Sausage Gumbo

I love all recipes that involve seafood and the DEEP SOUTH! This recipe has become a favorite at my house especially on those cold wintry nights when you need something filling and warm. Plus as an added bonus, both my kids and "the hubs" love this gumbo! This recipe is a wonderful one because it is made with fresh vegetables, shrimp, smoked sausage, with a rich, full-bodied broth that can be served over fluffy white or brown rice. This gumbo is very filling, rich and a little bit spicy which is a whole Lotta delicious! If Shrimp isn't your forte, then you can easily substitute Chicken. If you do like shrimp and Chicken you could easily use both for a 3 meat gumbo!

Shrimp and Sausage Gumbo
recipe and photo adapted from
2 Tbs. Butter
1/2 c. diced onion
1/4 c. diced celery
1/4 c. diced red bell pepper
1/2 tsp. salt
1 Tbsp. minced garlic

4 c. chicken stock
1/4 tsp. ground black pepper
1/8 tsp Cayenne Pepper

1 c. Brown or White Rice
2 c. water
1 tsp salt

2 Tbsp. Butter
2 Tbsp. Flour
1 Tbsp. File' powder
3/4 lb. shrimp, peeled and deveined
1/2 lb. smoked sausage

In a large pot or dutch oven, melt 2 tbsp butter over medium low heat.When foamy add the onion, celery, red bell pepper, salt and "sweat" for 5-7 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add garlic, and cook 5 more minutes until the onions start to become translucent.

Add the Chicken stock. Add the black pepper and cayenne pepper and stir to combine. Bring to a boil and then reduce to simmer and cover.

Start the rice-combine 1 c. rice, 2 c. water and 1 tsp. salt. Bring to boil, cover, and let simmer for 13-15 minutes.

Meanwhile, slice the sausage and add to a skillet. Turn the heat to medium and cook, tossing occasionally until browned- about 7-10 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer sausage to the gumbo. Pour of any excess fat the the skillet.

In the same skillet, melt 2 tbsp. butter. When foamy, add 2 tbsp flour and whisk until combined and the roux is a light brown and fragrant. about 2-3 minutes. A ROUX is a a thickening agent of fat and flour. This is what is going to help thicken up your gumbo. Add roux to gumbo and stir, then add the file' powder. and stir until well Incorporated.

Add the shrimp. turn off heat, and cover. Allow to sit for 10 minutes before serving. Serve over rice. Enjoy!


Ashlee, The Culinary Queen

Monday, December 6, 2010

Scentsy Winner!!

My very first GIVEAWAY has come to an end! I happy to announce that the winner of the warmer and the sugar cookie bar is:

Congratulations to Teresa! She said: "I love scentsy, and I am a follower!"
Teresa, You have 24 hours to contact me to claim your prize...

To all my Culinary Queen Bee readers, thank you for your love and support in making my blog a success!! I love sharing my love of cooking with all of you! Check back later for more GIVEAWAYS!


Ashlee, The Culinary Queen

Oatmeal Wheat Pancakes

I am always looking for recipes that are healthy and that utilize the ingredients that I have on hand in my pantry or food storage. I came across this super healthy pancake recipe that is not only healthy but KID FRIENDLY. Occasionally, as a family we will make breakfast for dinner. My kids love when we have breakfast for dinner and so do I because it is something that can be made quickly and put on the table in a short amount of time! We don't have BIG breakfasts very often because I am NOT A MORNING PERSON. If I had it my way, no one should be allowed to be awake before 9 am, I am just saying. :D This pancake recipe calls for oats and whole wheat flour, and makes 12 of the lightest fluffiest pancakes that you will ever try. I was surprised because oatmeal and wheat can make for heavy recipes but these pancakes were so light! This recipe is very easy to make, all you do is throw all the ingredients in your blender and viola! you are ready to start grilling pancakes. I also really love that you can dress up these healthy pancakes with a variety of syrups and a squirt or two of whipping cream to camouflage the "healthiness" of this breakfast food. My kids were none the wiser and I liked knowing that they were getting their whole grains! What mom isn't for nutritious foods that taste great and are healthy for her family? I know that I am a big fan of these kinds of recipes! Hope you enjoy this recipe as much as my little family does.

Oatmeal Wheat Pancakes
recipe adapted from

2 1/2 c. Milk
1/3 c. oil
2 eggs
1 t. salt
2 1/2 teas. baking powder
2 c. Oatmeal
1 c. whole wheat flour

Place all ingredients in your blender and give all the ingredients a whirl! Make sure all the ingredients are thoroughly blended. Let the batter set for 2-3 minutes. This allows it to thicken. After 2-3 minutes, pour batter on a hot griddle pan to cook. Cook for 2-3 minutes or until hot, browned and bubbly. Flip and cook another 2-3 minutes on other side. Serve with a variety of syrups and butter.


Ashlee, The Culinary Queen

Friday, December 3, 2010

Pumpkin Mousse Cupcakes

JOY TO THE WORLD! Boy, do I have a fabulous cupcake recipe for you today! Pumpkin Mousse cupcakes! I came across a recipe for these little darlings about a week ago and I decided that I needed to make them! Ok, it was more of a want than a need!I am telling you though that these cupcakes are irresistible with their pumpkin cakey texture, creamy pumpkin spice Jell-O mousse filling, and topped with decadent cream cheese frosting. What is not to love about these cupcakes? Not one thing! Needless to say, I justified making these beauties for a church function and let me tell you when it was time for me to retrieve my cupcake platter, there was not a single cupcake in sight. In fact, I couldn't even find my platter that I brought them on! That is another story for another day, but truly these cupcakes are truly so good that it will have your family, friends and neighbors singing JOY TO THE WORLD if you shared this recipe with them! Enjoy!

Look at the delicious center!

Pumpkin Mousse Cupcakes
recipe adapted from the kitchen of

Ingredients for the Cupcakes:
1 -Spice cake mix
1- 3.4 ounce Pumpkin Spice Jell-O pudding mix (I found mine at the Super Wal-Mart, it is a seasonal item so it can be hard to find)
1/3 c. flour
1/3 c. oil
1/3 c. Sour Cream
1 1/2 c. water
1 t. vanilla
4 eggs

Mousse Filling:
1- 3/4 ounce Pumpkin Spice Jell-O pudding mix
1 3/4 c. half and half

1 -8 ounce package cream cheese, softened
1/4 c. butter, softened
1 t. Vanilla
Dash of Salt
3-4 c. powdered sugar
2-3 T. milk

1-In a large mixing bowl, or in your stand mixer, combine the cake mix, pudding mix and flour. Stir around to combine. Add oil, water, eggs, and vanilla and mix on low for about 1 minute. Then mix on medium speed until batter is silky smooth like butta! This process should take about 3 minutes.
2-Line your muffin tins with cupcake liners and fill each cupcake liner 3/4 of the way full with batter. Bake in a 350 degree oven for 13-15 minutes. After cupcakes are baked, cool on a wire rack.
3-While your cupcakes cool, you can start on your filling. Pour pudding mix and half and half into a medium sized bowl or stand mixer and mix until thick. This should take about 3 minutes.
4-Using a sharp knife cut a small hole out of the top of each of your cupcakes. Spoon some of the pudding mixture into each hole. If you have a piping bag you could fill it with the pudding mixture and with a straight tip fill each cupcake.
5- To make the frosting, beat the cream cheese and butter together in a medium bowl. Add vanilla and dash of salt, combine. Then add the powdered sugar and 1 T. Milk. Mix well. If the frosting is too thick add more milk. If the frosting is too runny add more powdered sugar.
6- Now you Frost your cupcakes. You can either frost them by hand or go the extra mile and make a fancy swirl on top with a cake decorating bag or I just put the frosting in a Ziploc baggie and cut off a corner of the bag to make a decorator bag then squeeze a pretty little swirl on top. When done frosting just throw Ziploc baggie away for quick and easy cleanup. Enjoy!!


Ashlee, The Culinary Queen

Thursday, December 2, 2010

2010 Christmas Cards

Hi Readers! Remember that Shutterfly promotion that I blogged about on Wednesday? Well, tonight I got my coupon code to redeem my 50 FREE CHRISTMAS CARDS! It was so hard narrowing down which card design to use for 2010 but I finally picked one out and I loved the final results! I can't wait to get my cards out in the mail and send Christmas well wishes to my friends and family! If you are interested in participating in this promotion click here to read about how you can receive your FREE CHRISTMAS CARDS:

You have until the 9th of December to redeem this offer; especially if you want to get your cards before or by Christmas!
Merry Christmas Culinary Queen Bee Readers!!


Ashlee, The Culinary Queen

Hawaiian Pineapple Chicken

ALOHA!! Boy, do I wish that I was blogging from the Big Island right now. It has been rather cold here in Utah along the Wasatch front. Even though I won't be able to head to Hawaii anytime soon, I decided to bring the flavors of the Big Island to my dinner table by making this savory Hawaiian Pineapple Chicken. I served this Hawaiian Pineapple Chicken a top of a healthy serving of brown rice and my family devoured it. This recipe is a healthy one and at this time of year when Holiday treats are in abundance, it is nice to have a healthy meal to balance at all those treats that are laying around. Here is a healthy recipe to help combat all those savory dishes that you will be eating this month. Enjoy the flavors of the Big Island tonight!

Hawaiian Pineapple Chicken
recipe adapted from
1 lb of cubed chicken (I bought mine already cubed at my local grocery store)
1/2 c. wheat or white flour ( I used the wheat flour for a healthier option)
1 t. Salt
1 T. Lemon Pepper
3 T. Olive oil

1 can of pineapple chunks, reserve the juice.
1 1/4 c. pineapple juice, (use the juice from the pineapple can. You won't have enough to equal 1 1/4 cups so just add water to make up the difference.)
3/4 c. apple cider vinegar
1 t. soy sauce
1/4 t. ginger
1 chicken bouilion cube
1 c. Sugar
2 T. Cornstarch
Green Onions, optional

In a dish mix the flour, salt, and lemon pepper. Dredge chicken in flour mixture. Into a large HOT skillet, add the olive oil. Place the chicken in the HOT skillet. Over medium heat, cook the chicken until each piece is golden brown. After chicken is browned, spread into a greased 9 x13 pan. Meanwhile, pour the juice from the pineapple can into a measuring cup. Add enough water into the measuring cup to equal 11/4 c. In a medium saucepan, mix together ginger, sugar and cornstarch. Add all other sauce ingredients to dry mixture and stir until well combined. Bring the sauce to boil over medium heat. Let boil for 2 minutes, stirring occaisonally. Pour 2/3 of the sauce over the top of your chicken. Bake uncovered at 375 degrees for 30 minutes.
Take the chicken out of the oven after those 30 minutes and pour the pineapple chunks over the top. Pour the rest of the sauce over the top of the chicken and return to the oven. Bake for another 10-15 minutes. Sprinkle with green onion and serve over brown or white rice.


Ashlee, The Culinary Queen

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Merry Early Christmas From Shutterfly!

I am excited to let you all in on a wonderful little promotion that is being offered from! Shutterfly is offering an amazing deal for you to receive 50 FREE CHRISTMAS CARDS by simply blogging about this promotion and sharing it with those you love. I love all my Culinary Queen Bee Readers and I didn't want any of you to miss out on this great giveaway to help you save a little cold hard cash this holiday Season on you holiday cards! I thought this promotion came at a wonderful time, since we are living in difficult economic times. It is truly nice to know that some things do come FREE in life and that you really can find deals out there that can save money for your family.

I have to honestly say that I have always been extremely pleased with the products that I have purchased from Shutterfly. Their selection of customizable cards, thank you notes, calendars, and home decor is incredible and there user friendly programs lets you personalize your projects to let it reflect your personality!

This year Shutterfly is showcasing some of the most darling Christmas cards I have ever seen! They have something for everyone tastes. I know that it will be hard for me to pin point and select just one design for our Holiday Cards this year. To view Shutterfly's selection of Christmas Photo Cards click here:

I am truly excited to get the opportunity to use our Family Pictures that we had taken this past June. My darling and creative friend took them for us at Historic Wheeler Farm in
Salt Lake City, Utah.

Here are some of my Favorite Photo Christmas Cards that are featured on Shutterfly... Which one will I pick for 2010? You will just have to wait and find out! :D

Click here to see all of the Christmas Cards that Shutterfly is offering. They so many styles to pick from:

Don't want to just stop at your Christmas Cards, you can also personalize thank you notes. I can't think of a better way to say thank you to someone than sending a handwritten message of appreciation. To make/order your own personalized thank you notes click here:

Also, with 2011 just around the corner, you can also customize your very own calendar to keep track of all those important dates for your loved ones or your kidlets. I also think that it would make a great gift for a grandparent with a picture of their grandkids featured each month. Click here to see what Shutterfly has to offer:


Merry Early Christmas from Shutterfly!



Ashlee, The Culinary Queen

Saturday, November 27, 2010

A Scentsy Giveaway

I am so EXCITED to SAY that this is my FIRST GIVEAWAY here at the Culinary Queen Bee!!!

Meet My darling friend Stephanie, she is an independent Scentsy Consultant and is the cutest mom to her three kidlets and is Oh, so very talented!! She is the one that is sponsoring this giveaway for me so I am very appreciative!

You can visit Stephanie and see what products, warmers and scents are new!
Visit her here or here! (Please Click on the links to visit Stephanie's websites).

Stephanie would like to give away this cute warmer and a sugar cookie scentsy bar to one lucky Culinary Queen Bee Reader (a $40 dollar value!)

I am ashamed to say that I was not a Scentsy customer before this giveaway but after having tried and tested out some of their amazing products, I have FALLEN in LOVE!
There is truly something for everyone-
both old and young!

I love these darling little stuffed Scentsy buddies. They would make GREAT cuddly companions for that special little girl or boy in your life. I love that each buddy has a zippered pocket which HOLDS a SCENT OF YOUR CHOICE. I think they are SO CUTE and would be a
GREAT STOCKING STUFFER since Christmas is just around the corner! Can't wait to get the lion for my little guy and the lamb for my little girl!

I also love the FRAGRANCE FOAM! It is an alcohol free antibacterial hand soap. I love it because it doesn't dry your hands out like other antibacterial soaps out there. I also love that it leaves your hands smells soooo GOOD! BLISSFUL SIGH! This would be a wonderful gift for that special teacher or girl friend to keep those nasty little germs at bay this holiday season! They have 6 yummy scents to choose from!

With Christmas just around the corner, I enjoy having my home smell like the Holidays! One of my favorite Winter scents is CHRISTMAS COTTAGE. It has a inviting and cozy smell of oranges, raspberries, cloves and other spices. This scent is not overbearing and has left my house smelling like the Holidays all Thanksgiving Weekend Long!! LOVE LOVE IT!

I also can't wait to get this darling little warmer for my kitchen so when I am not baking or cooking up a storm, my kitchen can smell delightful!

There are So many wonderful products to pick from!! If you are interested in winning the adorable warmer and sugar cookie bar you have two chances to put your name in the drawing!

#1: Become a Follower of The Culinary Queen Bee and leave a comment for me saying that you are a follower in the comments. If you are already a follower, then also leave me a comment! I love to hear from my readers!

#2- For a second chance to win, visit Stephanie's websites here and sign up for her newsletters! This is also a great way to see what new products, scents and warmers are coming out. This is also a great way to get to know Stephanie! Leave me a comment saying that you signed up to receive her newsletters!!

**Please note that This giveaway will close Sunday December 5th. Winner will be announced Monday December 6th!***



Ashlee, The Culinary Queen

Monday, November 22, 2010

Turkey Place Setting Tutorial

We are now down for the count and the BIG Turkey day is only a couple days away! I am so excited to dive into all that luscious food and do the back stroke! I can't wait! One of my responsibilities this year is to make the Place settings for the BIG FEAST. I wanted to get my little guy involved in this project and so I went roaming the net to find a cute idea that would be kid friendly and adorable. Never fear, your Culinary Queen did not come up empty handed!! These adorable TURKEY PLACE SETTINGS caught my eye. I can't think of a better way to welcome your guests to the table then these adorable big-footed feathered friends. I couldn't wait to make these, so I went right to work and hopped in the car and headed to my favorite craft store in the whole wide world for supplies: HOBBY LOBBY! They have everything under the sun!! I know of no other store that offers the kind of variety that they do! It truly is my home away from home. After my not so brief visit to my second home(I always get distracted in such a place as Hobby Lobby), I went to work assembling these darling feathered friends with my kidlets. I hadn't planned on sharing this craft but decided that it was just too cute not to share! I think that this would a wonderful craft to keep the kids/guests busy while they are waiting for that delicious turkey dinner!
To make your own Thanksgiving Turkey Place Settings, follow this easy and simple tutorial-

Thanksgiving Turkey Place Setting Tutorial

Tan polymer clay, approximately 1 ounce per foot base. (I used the Premo by Sculpey in Brown)
Butter Knife
Card stock in 6 colors, including light brown, tan, white and
red or whatever card stock you have on hand. (Preferably Fall hues)
Double sided tape or glue dots
Glue and Glue Gun
Googly Eyes
Colored marker or crayons for writing names on name cards
Mini Clothespins

Step One:
For each turkey, mold 1 ounce of clay into 1/2 inch thick fan shape
then use a butter knife to cut V shapes for toes. Make a small hold in the middle of the foot base by pushing floral wire halfway through. Make sure you don't push wire all the way through. Re
move the wire and bake the clay according to the package directions. Mine was in a 275 degree oven for about 15-20 minutes.
Step Two:
Meanwhile, push one end of a 6 inch piece of floral wire through the metal spring of a mini clothes pin (the beak), bend it around the pin and twist it back around the wire. Next use scissors or pinking shears to cut out 3 semi circles in graduated sizes from different colors of card stock. Cut a small light brown oval for the head, a tan beak and a red wattle. You can down load the templates right here.
Step Three:
Stick together all the card stock pieces and glue with your
glue dots or double sided tape. I hot glue gunned my googly eyes and the assembled card stock turkey to the clothes pin for extra hold! You don't want a googly eye falling off into your yams or smashed potatoes and gravy! :D
Step Four:
When your clay foot base is cooled, insert the wire into hole. If it fits to loosely then add a drop of hot glue from your glue gun to make sure that it securely holds.
Step Five:
You're almost there!! Now make personalized name cards for your guests. This is where I am going to get my little guy involved. He is working on his penmanship and this is a perfect way to let him practice! ;) After you are done with your personalized
name cards clip them to the turkey's beak! Hurray!!! Now go and put your feet up and relax and enjoy the Thanksgiving Holiday!

Happy Turkey Day!


Ashlee, The Culinary Queen

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