Sunday, February 20, 2011

Pampered Chef Party

It was so nice to have everyone over for my pampered chef party. Of course it was all the women and there weren't any kids around, so it was a great time to just be all of us 'girls'!!! I decided that we were going to have chicken fajitas for the party. They were awesome and cooked in the microwave!!! I couldn't believe how good these things were! In a deep dish baker all it took was:

1 onion - cut like an apple and just put into the bottom of the baker
1 green and 1 red bell pepper - sliced and placed into the baker
1/2 a lime squeezed onto all the veggies
3 tbsp Southwestern Season Mix (she said if you don't have that, taco season works good too)
Then lay 3-4 raw chicken breast onto of all that
1/2 of lime squeezed onto the chicken
1 tbsp Chipotle Rub on top of the chicken

Put this into the microwave for 20-25 minutes. Once this is done and comes out, Becky used the salad shears to slice everything up! Now we all thought that was pretty cool. The way they cut everything up and mixed it all up into the baker! That was awesome! I will so be using this recipe a time or 2. It was so quick and tasted so good!

Thanks to all those that came to the party, and thanks to everyone else who placed an order. So far, I've had a great show in sales and I'll be able to get some pretty awesome stuff!!

Until next time!

Pork Chops with Tomato Chutney

I have become a HUGE fan of chutney lately. I have made a peach/ginger chutney, which was the first one that I have ever made and my oh my was it a hit. I fell in love with the taste of the flavor combination of it. It was fantastic. I made it a few times for my pork chops and fell in love. Last month I came across another chutney, that I actually posted in my blog. It was the one with apples and onions, and again, the flavor combination was amazing. So, when I found another chutney, I had to try it. This dish was Saturday nights dinner with just Chris and I at the house. So, there isn't any adding to the ingredients. I did it exactly like the recipe showed, and it was FABULOUS!!!! I loved it! Chris did too!!!

1/4 cup olive oil
1 onion, chopped
1 14.5 oz can of chopped tomatoes
1/3 cup golden raisins
3 tbsp brown sugar
2 tsp grated fresh ginger
3 tbsp plus 1 tsp red wine
4 pork loin chops
salt and pepper

1. In a medium skillet, heat 1 tbsp olive oil over med-high heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 5 minutes. Stir in the tomatoes, raisins, brown sugar, ginger, 3 tbsp red wine and 1/2 cup water. Bring to a boil, lower the heat and simmer until the sauce has thickened, about 10 minutes.
2. Meanwhile, season the pork with salt and pepper. In a large skillet, heat 2 tbsp olive oil over med-high heat. Add the pork chops and cook, turning once, until browned and just cooked through, about 5 minutes.
3. Transfer pork to serving plate and top with chutney.

This was awesome!!! Completely wonderful!!! I didn't think that I would or could find another chutney that I would like, and this one was tomatoes. It wasn't sweet like apples or peaches, but oh my!! This was great! We served it up with some asparagus with hollandaise sauce. It was amazing!! I will be making this once again!!!

Chicken and Wine

We should all know by now that I love to cook! I love trying new things, and I'm always wanting people around to try my creations! Just this past Thursday night, after getting my new Rachael Ray magazine, I decided to cook her chicken and wine recipe. She says that it's her take on Coq au Vin. I thought yummy!!! Anything with wine in it is going to be good. So, here is that recipe that Metzi and her kids, along with my 2 ate that night for dinner. I served this up with some garlic bread and yum!!!!

1 tbsp flour
salt and pepper
1 pound skinless, boneless chicken breast, sliced into 8 cutlets and pounded thin
1 tbsp olive oil
1 1/2 tbsp butter
10 oz mushrooms, sliced
1 large shallot, finely chopped
1 cup red wine
1/2 cup chicken broth
2 tsp fresh thyme leaves

1. In a shallow bowl, combine the flour and 1/4 tsp each salt and pepper. Coat the chicken, shaking off any excess.
2. In a large, heavy skillet, heat the olive oil over med-high heat. Working in batches, add the chicken and cook, turning once, until just cooked through, about 5 minutes; transfer to a plate. Add 1/2 tbsp butter and the mushrooms to the pan and cook, stirring, until browned, about 5 minutes; transfer to the plate of chicken. Stir in the shallot and the remaining 1 tbsp butter. Add the wine and chicken broth and simmer until reduced by one-third, about 5 minutes.
3. Return the chicken and mushrooms to the pan, add the thyme and cook, turning, to heat through; season with salt.

I don't have anything to pound out my chicken so after I cut it into the cutlets, I used a frying pan (yes, I pounded, on my kitchen counter, with my frying pan, to thin out the chicken). It didn't say what kind of wine except for red wine, so, I have always been taught that if you don't like it when you drink it, don't use it to cook. You should only use wine that you are willing to drink to cook, so get a nice red, I prefer a Merlot wine, usually a Columbia of some sort. I was cooking for 2 adults, 1 bottomless pit teenager, and 3 kids, plus I needed enough left over for Chris the next night, so I just added a few more of everything. The flour, salt and pepper combo, I had to use 2 tbsp flour. I used a few more then 10 oz of mushrooms also, only because mushrooms are awesome!

All in all this was a great meal. Just keep in mind, you need to have a taste for wine, so if you can't stand the stuff, then this may not be for you, but if you can stand wine, even just a bit, then you are probably going to like this dish. Great with the garlic bread, and would even be good with a green salad!


A few weeks

I know, it has been a few weeks since I have blogged, but honestly nothing interesting has happened in the last couple of weeks. Chris goes to work, kids go to school, I do my every day house work and cooking. We did have a good birthday for Chris back on the 11th. That whole weekend was fun. Friday the 11th we had just a ton of friends over and a lot of kids. Chris and I did dinner for everyone. We had caught 6 big trout over the previous few weeks and decided that this was the perfect time to have them eaten up. Chris got his smoker from Ethan and we got all  6 of those fish smoked up for everyone. With a green salad Brianne made and Candy's German potato salad it was awesome! I did make some bourbon chicken for those that were not into the fish eating and also did some hot dogs for the kiddos that were here. With plenty to drink in the house (adult beverages and non adult beverages), it was a fun time had by all.

We then decided that we would take all the kids to go see Gnoemeo and Juliet. Invited Candy and her 2 boys, and off to the movies we went. Of course they only had it in 3-D which was fine with us all. But did you know that if you don't have the glasses, you much purchases those glasses (and keep them for later use) to use. So, for 6 of us (4 kids 2 adults) to go see this 3-D movie and buy the glasses, we spent $61.00!!!! OMG!! Are you serious?!?!?!? Thank god we all got a $10 gift card for the movies at Christmas time. So, guess what we used to get in? This meant of course that I would have to pay out of pocket for the goodies. Now, with 4 kids it can get spendy. We got a kid snack pack for each kid at $4.75 each, and then a drink and popcorn for Chris and I to share. I spend $29.00 just at the concession stand for all that. Crazy how the movies have gotten so pricey and this is for an afternoon movie!!! I know that it's been getting bad, and we like to take the kids to the movies to give them that exposure, but this is starting to get crazy!

After the movie we headed over to Chris's moms house so we could do the "family" dinner night. Sally (Chris's mom) was doing all of Chris's favorites. Turkey, dressing, potatoes and salad. Only the turkey for some odd reason wasn't cooking fast enough. At 6pm the turkey was still only at 125* and if you know meat, it has to be at least 170* before you can serve it. Which is going to take at least another hour. The kids are starving at this point!!! Dennis (Chris's brother) heads up to the grocery store to get some New Yorkers that we can just throw onto the BBQ and eat now! He gets back with the steaks and onto the BBQ they go, and we are eating within 15 minutes. Dinner was awesome and it was nice sitting down and able to have Chris enjoy a nice birthday weekend.

Other then that, not much going on. I have tried some new recipes over the last week, so I will be posting those, along with the awesome Chicken Fajitas we had at my Pampered Chef party that we had today! That was some pretty good food!!

Until next time!

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Spaghetti is so yummy!!!

My mom has the most amazing spaghetti sauce. I have the recipe and have made it a few times, but because of the time consuming recipe that she makes along with the ump-teen million ingredients she puts in it. I tweeked it a bit. I have found a packet of seasoning that works and makes it taste just like moms. Plus depending on my mood I'll add this or that but, the basic part of it is all the same. It starts off as just a basic marinara sauce that can be used for anything including chicken  parmesan. I start it in the morning in the crock pot, and just let it sit on low all day long, stirring it when ever I go into the kitchen.

3-4 - 15 oz cans of tomato sauce
2-3  15 oz cans of diced tomatoes
2 packets of a thick and zesty speghetti seasoning
1 onion chopped small
nice pinch or salt
liberal on the pepper
sprinkle in some garlic powder

and there you go. That's the marinara part of it. I use this on my chicken parmesan, or if I just want a non meat sauce on some pasta. Good for a vegitarian friend or family too. Now, for the speghetti sauce part of it, which I also use in my lasagne, too:

1-1 1/2 lbs of ground beef
1/2 lb of mushrooms (which of Candy or Bri you don't have to do this!)

And then depending on my mood and what I have left over in the fridge, like today, I had 1/2 a  green bell pepper and only 1/2 an onion. So, I chopped both of those up finely and added those instead of the whole onion. I also had some olives I needed to use up, so I chopped those up finely and added those. See with my kids, I have to hide some of the healthy stuff. What better way then to chop it all up so finely and hide it in the sauce. I also use this with the lasagne. It stores great and freezes great. I always make a huge crock pot full of the marinara sauce, then just take out what I need for chicken parmesan, then add the rest to it. I can freeze it for quite some time, and just pull it out and heat it up later.

Hope you all enjoy!!