Wednesday, February 29, 2012

The Family's Favorite New Pampered Chef Product

Every once in a while you have one of those situations arise that make you go Hmmmm.

The new Pampered Chef products for Spring arrived at my house yesterday.  I spent the evening unpacking and finding places for the new goodies to be stored.  In my little house, that's no easy task.  I must say there are a few items still waiting to find a place, like the new double wall tumbler.  Emma saw it last night and she spent 15 minutes telling me why she should have the tumbler for driving back and forth to school and for at school.  Tonight, Luke came home from work and decided it looked like the perfect cup/glass for his iced tea.  He didn't ask, he just picked it up, filled it up, and proceeded to get comfy and watch TV.

I want the tumbler.  It's perfect for me to use at work.  I'm afraid we may have to buy a couple more of these.  We have other family members who haven't seen this yet, and I have a sneaking suspicion they'll want it too.

Stay tuned for the outcome!

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Pampered Chef Spring Samples Arrived Today

Quite an exciting evening!  I unpacked two boxes of new products tonight.  I am looking forward to lots of new BBQ recipes this Spring and Summer.  There is a new veggie basket, a grill pan (for pizza of all things), a grill pan for beer can chicken (it can be used with or without the beer can), and tons of new pantry sauces and spices.  There are lots of new dinnerware pieces too.

If you've been toying with the idea of a Pampered Chef party, this is the time!

Lemon Poke Cake

2 round white cake layers (9" ) baked and cooled
2 cups boiling water
1 pkg (6 oz) Lemon flavored gelatin
1 pkg (3.4 oz) Lemon flavored instant pudding
1 cup cold milk
3 cups thawed whipped topping

Pierce prepared cakes with large fork all over.

Add boiling water to gelatin mix; stir until completely dissolved.  Pour over cake layers.  Refrigerate 3 hours.

Beat pudding mix and milk in a large bowl with whisk for 2 minutes.  Stir in the whipped topping.  Dip 1 cake pan in warm water and then unmold onto plate.  Spread with about 1 cup of the pudding mixture.  Unmold second cake layer and carefully place on the first cake.  Frost top and sides of cake with remaining pudding mixture.  Refrigerate one hour.

Monday, February 27, 2012

Roasted Chicken for Dinner Tonight

1 - 7 lb roaster chicken
3/4 tsp rubbed sage
1/2 tsp minced garlic
1/2 tsp rosemary leaves
1/2 tsp thyme leaves
1/2 tsp coarse ground black pepper
3/4 tsp parsley flakes
1/2 tsp Kosher salt
2 tsp olive oil
1 orange sliced into thin slices

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Rinse chicken under water and place in a 9 x 13" baking dish.  Slice orange into very thin slices.  Do not peel and do not use ends.  

Lift skin on chicken to separate from meat.  Combine all spices with olive oil in a small bowl.  Rub spice mixture under skin and all over skin to season chicken.  Stuff all orange slices into chicken.

Bake for 2 1/4 hours.  Remove from oven and let sit for 15 minutes before serving.  

Luke told me this was the best chicken ever!

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Onions, Garlic, Shallots

Store onions, garlic, and shallots in a cool, dry spot, and they'll last a month. Handy to have: red, yellow, and sweet onions.

Do not store onions and potatoes near one another.  They emit gasses that shorten the shelf life of one another.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Almond Chicken - A quick dinner idea

3 boneless skinless chicken breasts
1/4 cup of your favorite Italian salad dressing
2 1/2 cups chicken broth (divided)
2 cups fresh green beans (trimmed and halved)
1 cup white rice
1/4 cup sliced almonds

Combine 2 cups of chicken broth and 1 cup white rice in a saucepan with 1/2 tsp salt.  Cover and cook over high heat until it comes to a boil.  Reduce heat to simmer for 20 minutes or until rice is soft.

Meanwhile, cook chicken in Italian dressing in large skillet on medium-high heat for about 4 minutes on each side or until evenly browned.  Add the remaining 1/2 cup of chicken broth and bring to a boil.  Cover; simmer for five minutes.  Add the trimmed green beans; cook for 5 more minutes or until chicken is done.

Place cooked rice on a serving platter.  Top with chicken and green beans.  Sprinkle with almonds.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

A Whole New World

Today, in just a few moments time I saw my seven month old grandson discover a whole new world.  We recently discovered he had some trouble with his vision and today he got his glasses.  His little face was just lit up all evening as he finally reached for the things that he could never really focus on before.  What a joy to watch him pick up snacks and reach for toys.  His little face was filled with wonder all evening.  There is simply nothing better!

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Sauteed Veggies

2 small zucchini
2 small yellow squash
1 small white onion
1 small fennel bulb (also called anise)

Wash, peel and slice all veggies into bite-sized pieces.  Heat a skillet over medium-high heat.  Add 1 Tbsp butter and one Tbsp olive oil.  Add veggies and saute until softened.

This is so easy and soooo good.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Oven Roasted Veggies - Works on the Grill Too

1 zucchini, cut into 1 1/2" chunks
1 cup button mushrooms
1 yellow squash, cut into 1 1/2" chunks
1 cup large cherry tomatoes
1/4 cup Zesty Italian Dressing
2 Tbsp Grated Parmesan Cheese

Heat grill to medium-high heat.

Combine vegetables, tomatoes and dressing.  Spoon onto center of large piece of heavy-duty foil.  Bring up foil sides.  Double fold top and ends to seal packet, leaving room for heat circulation inside.

Grill 8 - 10 minutes or until vegetables are crisp-tender, turning after 4 minutes.

Cut slits in foil to release steam before opening packet.  Sprinkle vegetable mixture with cheese.

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Grandchildren Are Blessings

 Eddie and I are so fortunate.  Pictured above are grandson, Christian who is 2 1/2, grandson Liam is 7 months, and granddaughter Elisa was born just a week and a half ago.  They are truly bright spots in our lives.

Today, my mom and my sister's family came for a quick visit and had the opportunity to see just how much energy can be created in one room by three small children.  I have a feeling that the energy meter will only continue to go up from here.  It was great to spend time with Mom, Kim and family.  We went to Paul and Katy's so they could see Baby Elisa.  She is such a dainty little girl, so sweet and so content.

It's such fun to play with the kids!  I sure do go to bed tired after I spend a day with any of them.  I ask you, can you possibly have a bad day when you come home after work and hear a 2-year-old scream "Bammy" with brightest smile plastered across his face?  Or see the big smile of a 7-month old when he sees you're home?  There just simply isn't anything better than knowing they love you.

I'm looking forward to lots of quality time with Baby Elisa too.  She's still a little young for her crazy Grammy to get her all wound up.  It won't be long though.  Once Katy goes back to work, Eddie will be watching all three of them during the day.  I think Papa's gonna get a work out!  I can't wait to see our own little Mickey Mouse Club in action.

Guess Who Needs Glasses

At a well-baby check up two weeks ago, the pediatrician suggested that we have Liam see a Pediatric Ophthalmologist to have his eyes evaluated.  Last Tuesday Liam saw Dr. Beck, and after a lengthy exam she determined that he's far-sighted.  The vision in his right eye is worse than his left, often causing his right eye to drift to the center.  She recommends corrective lenses.  Is there anything more adorable than a baby in glasses?  Check out this picture of Liam at his fitting on Thursday.