Friday, September 30, 2011

Orzo Garden Salad

This is a perfect picnic recipe!  First of all it's quick and easy to make, and nothing in it will spoil easily.

1 cup dry orzo pasta
1 small zucchini (chopped)
1 medium carrot (thinly sliced)
2 medium stalks of celery (chopped)
1 Tbsp shallot (finely chopped)
1/4 cup Roma tomatoes (chopped)
1 tsp fresh basil (chopped)
1 tsp oregano
2 Tbsp Parmesan Cheese (grated)
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 Tbsp red wine vinegar

Cook the orzo according to the package directions.  I like to replace the water with veggie stock to add extra flavor.  While the orzo cooks, boil about 1" of water in a medium saucepan.  Add in vegetables (except tomato) and cover with a lid.  Reduce heat and simmer for about 3 minutes or until tender.  Drain and rinse vegetables under cold water.  Do the same with the orzo.  Drain very well.

Combine vegetables, including tomatoes, basil and oregano with orzo in a large bowl.  Mix well.

In a small bowl, combine oil, vinegar and Parmesan Cheese.  Pour dressing over mixed salad.

Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Cheese Garlic Biscuits

I can't believe I hadn't posted this ages ago.  I overlooked this recipe, and it's a winner.  I like to serve these when we have chili or potato soup for dinner.

2 cups Bisquick
1 tsp garlic powder
1 cup shredded cheese (I like cheddar or mozzarella)
2/3 cup milk

Mix all ingredients together.  Drop by large spoonful onto baking sheet.  Bake at 450 degrees for 10 minutes.

Simple - but delicious.  These are always a hit in our house.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Orange/Rosemary Chicken Breasts

This recipe features two new Pampered Chef pantry items I recently purchased.  This is so good, and so easy!

1/2 orange, unpeeled and cut into chunks (remove as many seeds as you can)
1 Tbsp honey
3 garlic cloves (minced)
1 tsp sea salt
1 tsp Rosemary leaves (dried)
1/2 tsp pepper
3 Tbsp Pampered Chef Orange Infused Canola Oil
3 Tbsp Pampered Chef Rosemary Infused Canola Oil
Pinch of red-pepper flakes
2 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
4 - 6 chicken breasts

Combine orange, garlic, rosemary, vinegar, oils, salt, pepper and pepper flakes in a blender.  Blend until orange is chopped into small pieces and mixture is well combined.  

Season chicken with salt and pepper.  Dip each piece in the marinade to coat and place in a large sealable plastic bag.  Pour extra marinade into bag and seal.  Refrigerate, turning the bag occasionally, for at least 2 and up to 8 hours.  

Heat grill pan over medium-high heat.  Remove chicken breasts from marinade and place on grill pan.  Cook six minutes on each side.  Flip one more time and leave grill pan on burner, but turn heat off. Leave for six minutes undisturbed.  Serve immediately.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Grilled Chicken Salad with Peanut Sauce

This is another good hot weather recipe.  Give it a try on one of our hot Indian Summer days.

6 cups Mixed greens
1 cup sliced carrots
Thin tortilla strips
2 Grilled chicken breasts sliced in this slices (I use Pampered Chef Chili Lime Rub to season the chicken breasts)

Lime Dressing:
1/2 cup lime juice
4 tsp honey mustard
7 1/2 Tbsp honey
4 Tbsp vegetable oil
2 garlic cloves (minced fine)
1/4 tsp pepper
1/2 tsp salt

Peanut Sauce:
4 Tbsp Peanut butter
4 Tbsp soy sauce
4 Tbsp hot water
2 tsp sesame oil
1 Tbsp ground ginger

Mix ingredients for lime dressing, then mix ingredients for peanut sauce.  Combine the salad ingredients and toss in a large serving bowl.  Drizzle lime dressing over salad ingredients and toss.  Drizzle peanut sauce on top - do not toss.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

AARP Create The Good Event for Feed My People

What a great day! We delivered more than $600 worth of food to Feed My People in High Ridge this morning. This was an event created to honor the tenth anniversary of September 11th. Family, friends, and local businesses contributed money to help feed hungry people in our community. 

Emma and I worked hard to find the best way to spend the money collected.  We watched the sale ads over the course of a month, carefully purchasing non-perishable items such as canned tuna, canned veggies, beans, Chef Boyardee meals, Campbell's soups, spaghetti and jarred meat sauce, baking mixes, breakfast cereals, oatmeal, and so much more.  For two weeks the dining room table was covered with bags and boxes of food.  The couple of days before our planned delivery day, we found fantastic prices on Lunchables, Del Monte fresh fruit cups, and baby carrots.  I wish you could have seen the look on Eddie's face when I asked him to make room in the extra fridge to keep all of those items.  He's much better at figuring out puzzles than I am.  Lo and behold, he made it all fit!  

We were fortunate enough to receive a huge tray of pastries from a local bakery to share too.  

This morning Paul, Katy and Christian arrived to help us pack up the refrigerated items and load everything into their van.  Christian was quite the helper and was absolutely delighted when he saw  all of the balloons attached to the Create the Good bags.  Emma, Kane and Baby Liam were here to help too.  

When we pulled into the delivery bay at Feed My People this morning, the pantry supervisor came out and introduced himself.  When Paul opened the back of the van and he saw the boxes and bags of food and all of the balloons, he said, "Wow, you made a party out of this!"  It really did feel festive.  It felt good to be there.  As the staff unloaded the van, the supervisor (I wish I could remember his name) told us they had been down to just three banana boxes full of canned fruit and canned corn this morning and they didn't know what they were going to do.  He said, "We prayed, and you guys are the answer to our prayer."  He assured me that the food in the bags was a huge blessing.  

I just want to say a huge thank you to all who contributed and made this experience possible.

Loomis Bros. Equipment Company, Dale & Elaine Loomis, Food for Less, David and Marguerite Kruse, Russell's Bakery & Cafe, Vicky Anderson, Paul & Katy Presson, Steven & Misti Kruse.  

This is a day I will remember for years to come, and it has inspired me to look for ways to help in the community every day.  Enjoy the pictures below, and I hope you find yourself inspired too.  

Monday, September 5, 2011

Zesty Potatoes with Sour Cream & Chives

I just love Ziploc Zip 'n Steam bags!  What a convenience in the kitchen.  Give this recipe a try - it's sure to become a new family favorite.

6 medium potatoes, cut into 1 1/2" pieces
3/4 cup chopped onion
1 1/2 Tbsp olive oil
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp chili powder
3/4 tsp salt

Place all ingredients in large Ziploc Zip 'n Steam bag and shake to mix.  Place bag in microwave.  Cook on full power for 7 minutes or until tender.  Allow bag to stand 1 minute before handling.  Gently shake the bag to distribute seasonings.  Carefully open bag and remove contents.

Sprinkle with 1 Tbsp chopped chives (I like the Melissa brand fresh chives from Dierbergs).  Add salt and pepper to taste.  Serve with sour cream.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

I Feel Great!

Emma and I began the shopping process for next Saturday's AARP Create The Good Event when friends and family will help load the car(s) with food and we'll deliver it to Feed My People.  We spent just slightly less than half of the funds donated, and my dining room is packed with non-perishable food.  We were able to shop the "Spend $50 and save $10" sale at Food for Less and Shop N Save.  That makes our donations go that much farther.  

We didn't buy anything no-name or generic, and none of it is out of date (of course).  This is all food I would be happy to feed my own family.  I hope it will make the lives of a few hungry families better.  

Thanks to all who have donated!  I'll be sure to take pictures and post them for all to see.  Stay tuned!