Tuesday, January 29, 2013

I Dig You!


Such an adorable idea for unique Valentines to send with kids to school.  Last year I searched EVERYWHERE for these white shovels and had no luck.  I found lots of "assorted colors" but no solid white ones.  I should have started early for this year. 

Pampered Chef Chicken Penne al Fresco

I am having  Pampered Chef party tomorrow night and I'm really excited!  I love Pampered Chef and I believe in their products.  Some of my favorite things in my kitchen came from one of their parties or a catalog order.  And, no, I'm not a sales rep.  I just love their stuff!!!

While thinking about this upcoming party, I started going through my recipes for dinner ideas.  I found this PC recipe for Chicken Penne al Fresco and made it last night for dinner.  It turned out so yummy! 

 Pampered Chef - Grilled Chicken Penne al Fresco
Picture from plainchicken.com

4 garlic cloves, minced

2 cups whole grape or cherry tomatoes

3 cups uncooked mezze penne pasta (or any tubular pasta)

3 cups chicken broth

¾ cup dry white wine such as Chardonnay

½ tsp each salt and pepper

1 ¼ cups lightly packed fresh basil leaves divided

½ cup grated Parmesan cheese

1 cup shredded Parmesan cheese

2 cups diced grilled chicken breasts


Spray Deep Covered Baker with olive oil.  Add baker and tomatoes, cover and microwave 4-5 minutes or until tomatoes begin to burst, stirring after 2 minutes.  Crush tomatoes using Mix ‘N Chop.  Add  pasta, broth, wine, salt and pepper.

Return baker to microwave; cover and microwave 18-20 minutes or until pasta is tender.  Stir after 10 minutes.  Meanwhile, coarsely chop basil.

Add basil, grated cheese, and chicken to baker and mix well.  Sprinkle with shredded cheese, cover, and cook 1 more minute to melt cheese. 

Friday, January 11, 2013

Slow Cooker North Woods Wild Rice Soup

Slow Cooker North Woods Wild Rice Soup

Warm up your weekend with homemade soup! Here's one you don't have to watch over.

2 tsp vegetable oil                             
2 medium stalks celery, diced (1 c)
2medium carrots, diced (1 cup)
1 cup diced smoked turkey (6 ounces)
1/2cup uncooked wild rice
1/2 teaspoon dried tarragon leaves
1/4 teaspoon pepper
3 cups chicken broth
1 can (12 ounces) evaporated fat-free milk
1/3 cup Gold Medal® all-purpose flour
1cup Green Giant® Valley Fresh Steamers™ frozen sweet peas, thawed

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Ham and Poppyseed Sliders

Ham Sandwich Sliders on Hawaiian Sweet Rolls

I absolutely love these!!!  I made them for one of our Christmas get-togethers this season and they were a big hit (though I'll make some adjustments next time).  There are lots of recipes out there and I looked at several before choosing the one I wanted to try.  They turned out really well EXCEPT for the fact that they were a little soggy and difficult to cut because of this.  Next time, I will be more cautious about how much of the mustard mixture I spread on the inside of the sandwich.  Also, be sure to spread the mustard mixture on the TOP, rather than bottom of the buns.  This will keep them from getting too soggy. 

This is reblogged from Beyer Beware:

Start by chopping or grating an onion. I use the Pampered Chef food chopper. I get a pretty fine mince.  (Note from Nikki, you know I don't eat onions so I left these out but I left it in the recipe for those of you who do)
Onion Half
Mincing onions with Pampered Chef Chopper
Minced onion

Melt a stick of butter and then add the onions.

Melting Butter
onions sauting in butter

Add three tablespoons of Dijon mustard to the onions and butter, stir together.

Mustard in onions and butter

Then pour in two teaspoons of Worcestershire sauce.

Onions with worcestershire sauce

Finally, add three teaspoons of poppy seeds and simmer until onions are soft.

Onion, butter, mustard and poppy seed mixture

Grab a package of Hawaiian sweet dinner rolls and cut the entire package in half length wise as one large piece.
King's Hawaiian Sweet Rolls
rolls cut in half

Place the roll bottoms in a aluminum foil lined 13 by 9 pan. Spread the onion mixture on the entire bottom. You will want to save about 1/4 of the mixture back.

onion mixture spread on rolls

Grab some shaved hams, about a half a pound, and seven to eight slices of swiss cheese. Put the ham on top of the onions and then add the slices of cheese.

Ham and Cheese
ham layer
cheese layer

Add the roll tops after the cheese.

roll topped

If you have any onion mixture left, spread it over top of the rolls.

onions and butter spread over ham sammies

Cover with aluminum foil and refrigerate until ready to use. Bake on 350 degrees for 20 minutes, covered with foil.

Ham Sandwich Sliders on Hawaiian Sweet Rolls

When you remove from the oven, slice down the roll lines.

Ham Sandwich on Hawaiian Sweet Roll


Valentines Decor

Pinned Image

Yes, I'm one of those people who has the seasonally refillable jar.  I have a candle in the center of mine and I surround it with some sort of seasonable or holiday filler.  For Valentine's Day, I've surrounded a vanilla scented candle with conversation hearts.  Any heart-shaped candy will do.  It's a great, simple decoration for any room.

Monday, January 7, 2013

Happy New Year!!!

I can't believe the holidays are over and it's 2013!  Our Christmas was amazing, our trip to Disney World was everything I hoped it would be, and now it's back to the ol' day to day.  I always feel a little bit of a let down after New Year's Day.  My house is decorated from the beginning of October (for Halloween) through New Year's Day (Christmas) and when we take all of it down, it just seems so bare.  All of the hype and excitement is over.  There is no shopping to do, no family gatherings to prepare for, no holiday parties to attend...

I know what you're thinking.  Some people are glad it's over!  Some people are ready to end the hustle and bustle and get back to normal, less hectic days.  Not me. 

So, even though it's January 7th, I'm still contemplating my News Years Resolutions.  I know one is my old stand-by, the same resolution I make every year: Eat healthier and exercise more.  I'm not sure about the others.  I like to go with three, and I'm still working on my other two.

Did you make any resolutions?  What are they?