Sunday, August 28, 2011

Family Approved Granola

Granola can be a flavorful and filling snack, or it can be used to make healthier cookies.


1 quart Oatmeal
1/3 cup Wheat Germ (optional)
1/2 cup Coconut
1/3 cup Sesame Seeds (optional)
2/3 cup Sunflower Seeds (optional)
2/3 cup broken Nuts (whatever kind you like)
1/2 cup Oil
1 tsp. Vanilla
1/4 cup Honey
1 cup Raisins

1.Preheat the oven to 350-F degrees.
2.Mix the oats, wheat germ, coconut, seeds, and nuts in a large bowl.
3.Put the oil, vanilla, and honey in a small saucepan, and heat over low to medium heat until it's a little warm, stirring as it heats. Pour over the oatmeal mixture, and stir until all the dry and wet ingredients are blended.
4.Spread out on ungreased baking sheets. Slide them into the oven and set the timer for 45 minutes. When it dings, take a peek. If everything's all toasty, it's time to remove it; otherwise, bake for 5-10 minutes more. (But you can turn the oven off, because it'll stay hot that long, if you leave the door closed.)
5.When the granola is out of the oven and set on a heat-proof surface, sprinkle the raisins over the top and stir a little to mix them in. Allow everything to cool, and then store it in air-tight containers. You can keep them on the shelf with your other cereals.


If you made granola, you already have the prime ingredient for this recipe at the ready!

1 cup Butter or Margarine
3/4 cup White Sugar
3/4 cup Brown Sugar
1 tsp. Vanilla
1 large Egg
1 1/2 cup Flour
1 3/4 cup Granola
1 tsp. Baking Powder
1 tsp. Salt

1 cup Raisins
1 cup Nuts
1 cup Chocolate Chips

1.Preheat oven to 325-F degrees.
2.Cream butter and sugars. Add vanilla and egg.
3.Combine dry ingredients, and stir into the wet ones, blending well. (Beat for a couple of minutes.)
4.If you wish, add with some or all of the optional additions - raisins, nuts, chocolate chips, whatever you like.
5.Bake on lightly greased cookie sheets for just 12 minutes (check at 10). Remove to cooling racks.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Lunchtime with the Kids


Planning meals may not be an earth-shattering decision in your life, but the ability to make choices matters more than you might think to a child. Lunchtime planning can provide a great—and healthy—opportunity for kids to do just that. Begin by making a list of nutritious sandwiches and sides for them to choose from each day (or once a week if you like to organize meal planning and grocery shopping in advance). If your children are old enough, you can even enlist their help at the supermarket by asking them to read you the shopping list as well as assist in finding the items and putting them in the cart.

How do you get your kids more involved in lunch preparation and make it fun? Here are some tips to help:

•Read recipes through first so there are no surprises along the way.
•Teach your child basic preparation skills such as gathering all the bowls, pans and/or necessary utensils as well as measuring ingredients.
•Cut sandwiches into a variety of shapes with a cookie cutter (if suitable for the recipe).
•When packing lunch, have your youngster help wrap up sandwiches with colorful plastic wrap and seal with a favorite sticker.
•Add a crazy straw and colorful napkin and sneak in a surprise love note for your child.

Don’t forget to praise your youngster’s efforts and new-found kitchen skills consistently, to encourage more fun in the kitchen. This way, they’ll feel rewarded and get more enjoyment from cooking. And they just might be more likely to eat their nutritious lunch!

For a lunch treat, use the Pampered Chef Cut-N-Seal to make peanut butter and jelly or tuna sandwiches, or try the following “pizza substitute” for a special lunch or snack.


1 can (8 oz) pizza sauce
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
1 loaf soft white or wheat bread
½ cup butter, melted
1 pressed garlic clove

1.Preheat over to 400 F.
2.Combine pizza sauce and mozzarella cheese in small bowl.
3.Place one teaspoon of pizza sauce mixture in center of a slice of bread. Fold bread in half. Cut and seal bread with 3-inch Cut-N-Seal.
4.Repeat with remaining slices of bread. Place on baking stone.
5.Combine melted butter and garlic. Brush tops of tarts with garlic butter.
6.Bake 12-15 minutes or until golden brown.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

RoW - Colossal Chopped Salad

Feeding a crowd of teenagers? Need to take something to a summer gathering? The Colossal Chopped Salad is a favorite of mine. I usually make it as it is below, but sometimes I have extra cooked chicken or veggies that need to be used up. They fit wonderfully in this lively medley of color and flavor.

The Pampered Chef ® Colossal Chopped Salad Recipe

1 package (16 ounces) uncooked penne pasta
1 head romaine lettuce, thinly sliced
2 cups diced cooked chicken
1/2 cup sliced red onion
1 yellow summer squash or zucchini
2 plum tomatoes
1 large carrot, peeled
1 can (3.25 ounces) pitted ripe olives, drained
1/2 cup (2 ounces) grated fresh Parmesan cheese
1 cup Italian or ranch salad dressing

Cook pasta according to package directions in (8-qt.) Stockpot; drain and rinse under cold running water using large Colander. Spoon pasta onto Simple Additions® Large Round Bowl.

Meanwhile, thinly slice lettuce and dice chicken using Chef's Knife. Slice red onion using Ultimate Mandoline fitted with v-shaped blade. Slice yellow squash with Ultimate Mandoline fitted with crinkle blade; cut slices in half using Santoku Knife. Slice tomatoes using Tomato Knife; cut slices in half. Cut carrot into julienne strips using Julienne Peeler; cut strips into 1-inch pieces using Paring Knife. Slice olives using Egg Slicer Plus®.

Top pasta with lettuce, chicken, onion, yellow squash, tomatoes, carrot and olives. Grate Parmesan cheese over vegetables using Ultimate Mandoline fitted with grating blade.

Drizzle dressing over salad; toss using Bamboo Spatulas just before serving.

Yield: 16 servings

Nutrients per serving: Calories 230, Total Fat 10 g, Saturated Fat 2 g, Cholesterol 15 mg, Carbohydrate 25 g, Protein 11 g, Sodium 230 mg, Fiber 2 g

Cook's Tip: If desired, one of the four delicious salad dressing recipes printed on the side of the Measure, Mix & Pour™ can be substituted for the bottled salad dressing.

© 2009 The Pampered Chef used under license.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Have a Kid-Friendly Kitchen and Recipes

Some of these tips may be "common sense", but I have found that common sense really isn't that common. Hopefully you will see something new, but maybe your kitchen is already kid-friendly! Did I miss something? Let me know and I'll add it to the list!


1.Store matches, lighters, sharp utensils and household cleaners in a cabinet accessible only to adults.

2.Put child-safety latches on all lower-level cabinets.

3.Unplug appliances when not in use and keep cords out of reach of children.

4.Never pour hot liquid near a child and never leave hot drinks within reach.

5.Use the back burners of the stove and turn pot handles toward the back.

6.Watch out for tablecloths - since small children enjoy pulling on the cloth, glasses and plates can come crashing down.

7.Keep stools and chairs away from counters and stoves.

8.Be sure to keep alcohol locked away from children.

9.Many kitchen accidents occur within seconds. Use a child-safety gate, if possible, in the doorway to keep children out of the kitchen completely when you are in another room.


1.Before starting any food preparation, review basic hygiene with young cooks. Have them wash their hands with soap and warm water as long as it takes to sing "happy birthday." An apron will protect clothing and a Twix-it Clip is perfect to keep long hair away from food.

2.Help your child identify and assemble all the equipment needed for the recipe. Teach less-experienced cooks techniques such as measuring and the difference between liquid and dry measures (use the Measure-All Cup).

3.Show your children how to cut, slice, and chop foods safely. Introduce children to kid-friendly cutting/slicing tools such as the Egg Slicer Plus, Apple Wedger, Crinkle Cutter, and Food Chopper.

4.Kids will warm up to breakfast with "Eggs in a Nest." Kids can use any Cookie Cutter to cut a shape out of the center of a slice of whole wheat bread. Melt a teaspoon of butter on the 8” Saute Pan or spray with oil with the Kitchen Spritzer. Place the bread on the griddle and break an egg into the cut-out shape. Cook until egg is set and bread is golden brown. Flip the nest over, cook until egg is slightly firm and bread is golden brown, about one minute.

5.Kids can create fun lunch sandwiches by cutting slices of bread, cheese, and deli meat with any cookie cutter. Stack cheese and meat slices between bread slices; secure by poking a pretzel stick through the center of each sandwich.

6.If French fries are the only potato your kids will eat, try "Baked potatoes a la Mode." Potatoes "baked" in the microwave are quick and easy, and they're a great way to introduce kids to the microwave oven. Pierce a potato several times with the Hold 'N Slice; microwave on HIGH until tender. Split potato; top with shredded cheese, salsa, and sour cream. For "Stuffed Spuds," core the center from a large potato. Fill with finely chopped broccoli and shredded cheese or seasoned ground meat; wrap in aluminum foil and bake 1 hour or until done.

7.Let the kids make their own pizzas! You can prepare dough ahead of time and store the rolled-out rounds in the freezer (stack them between sheets of waxed paper). Have each child top the dough rounds with his/her favorite toppings (pizza sauce, shredded cheese, chopped veggies, and sliced pepperoni) to make funny faces, clowns, etc. Place on a flat baking stone and bake according to recipe directions. If you're pressed for time, refrigerated biscuit dough, bagels, pita bread, or English muffin halves make great crusts.

8.Next time your kids have a snack attack try these quick fixes: "wrinkly" carrot or cheese sticks (Crinkle Cutter); melon balls (Core n More); apple and peanut butter wedges (Apple Wedger). Flavor popcorn with finely grated Parmesan cheese (deluxe Cheese Grater); cinnamon-sugar (Flour/Sugar Shaker); or melted garlic butter (Garlic Press/covered micro-Cooker).

9.For healthy "warm weather" treats, kids can spoon their favorite flavored yogurt into Ice Shaver Tubs and freeze. For fast fruit pops, cut wedges of watermelon with the Crinkle Cutter. Slide a flat wooden stick into the fruit; wrap in plastic wrap and freeze. For milkshake lovers, try "I-Can-Do-It-Myself-Milkshakes." Put 2-3 large scoops of vanilla ice cream or Frozen Yogurt into the Quick-Stir Pitcher. Add chocolate syrup and 1 cup cold milk and plunge until thick and frothy!

10.Kids love "mini" foods and many of our dessert pizzas such as Taffy Apple Pizza and Banana Split Brownie Pizza can be made into personalized creations. Instead of making 1 large cookie or brownie, make smaller, individual crusts and have kids top their own. Kids will love using the Deluxe Mini-Muffin Pan to make bite-size cupcakes, muffins, and other sweets.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

RoW - Strawberry Amaretto Pastries

Dainty and delectable, these petite pastries are embellished with sliced strawberries and orange zest. These can be made a few hours ahead without getting soggy.

The Pampered Chef ® Strawberry Amaretto Pastries Recipe

1/2 package (17.3 ounces) frozen puff pastry sheets (1 sheet), thawed
1/2 cup sliced almonds, divided
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
1 container (8 ounces) sour cream
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1/4 teaspoon almond extract
1 1/2 cups thawed, frozen whipped topping
12 large strawberries, sliced
1 orange

Preheat oven to 400°F. Unfold pastry dough onto Large Bar Pan. Finely chop half of the almonds using Food Chopper. Combine chopped almonds and sugar in Prep Bowl; sprinkle evenly over surface of dough. Lightly press almond mixture into dough using Small Mix 'N Scraper®.

Using Pizza Cutter, cut dough lengthwise into three strips; cut strips crosswise into four squares for a total of 12 squares. Using Mini-Serving Spatula, separate squares evenly over surface of bar pan. Bake 16-18 minutes or until puffed and golden brown. Remove from bar pan to Stackable Cooling Rack; cool completely.

Place remaining almonds in (8-in.) Sauté Pan. Cook over medium-high heat 2-3 minutes or until lightly toasted, stirring occasionally; remove from heat. Coarsely chop using Food Chopper and set aside.

Whisk sour cream, powdered sugar and almond extract in Classic Batter Bowl using Stainless Whisk. Fold in whipped topping using Small Mix 'N Scraper®. Slice strawberries using Utility Knife. Split open each pastry square; arrange half of the strawberries into bottom of each shell. Top each with about 2 heaping tablespoons of the filling and sprinkle with chopped almonds. Top with remaining sliced strawberries. Zest orange over strawberries using Microplane® Adjustable Grater. Place tops of pastry shells over filling. Serve immediately.

Yield: 12 pastries

Nutrients per serving: (1 pastry): Calories 230, Total Fat 13 g, Saturated Fat 5 g, Cholesterol 15 mg, Carbohydrate 24 g, Protein 4 g, Sodium 75 mg, Fiber 3 g

Cook's Tip: Sliced peaches or nectarines can be substituted for the strawberries, if desired.

Cut the pastry squares in half BEFORE cooking to make 24 smaller servings.

© 2009 The Pampered Chef used under license.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Cooking with Teens

Giving your teenager(s) the ability to make meals for the family can be a lifesaver! They choose what to make - I do suggest having a selection of recipes the whole family approves - and you won't have to worry about someone "not being hungry". It could also lead into science projects, math homework and a new creative outlet. I have seen some amazing cakes decorated by teenagers! Below the tips you will find a list of Pampered Chef products you might want to have available in your kitchen. Each product has a few simple and quick ideas to go with it.

What do YOUR children do (or want to do) in the kitchen? Drop me a line to let me know!

•Presuming they have done the above, let bake cookies, brownies or cakes independently
•Encourage them to make an item for the family meal
•Allow them to try piecrust or yeast bread from scratch
•Incorporate the “science” of cooking, such as what happens with yeast and other leavening agents, and keeping sauces and custards smooth
•Encourage them to make something as a gift for a teacher, relative or friend
•Encourage learning to prepare a “show off” dish that they can fix independently when their own friends come for dinner. Chili, BBQ beef or chicken, omelets, pizza and soft tacos or taco salad are all suitable and easy

Apple Peeler/Corer/Slicer to make apple slices; microwave applesauce
Apple Wedger for apple snacks
Baker's Roller for rolling out various doughs (pizza, cookies)
Cheese Slicer for cheese and crackers
Citrus peeler for oranges and grapefruit
Crinkle Cutter: Carrots, cucumbers and other veggies
Cut n Seal: Flying saucer sandwiches, pizza tarts, pocket desserts with pie filling or pudding
Deluxe Mini-Muffin Pan: For kid-size muffins, cupcakes, rolls, cookies; sort cake/cookie decorations
Egg Slicer: Bananas, strawberries, olives, kiwis, mushrooms – and egg salad
Flour/Sugar Shaker: Fill it with Jell-O or cinnamon sugar and sprinkle onto sliced apples as a treat
Food Chopper: Chop nuts and veggies easily and safely with enclosed blades
Salad Spinner: Spin lettuce, fruits, veggies, and other foods to dry for Mom!
Micro cookers for safer heating in microwave, doesn't get as hot as glass
Mini Whipper: Chocolate or strawberry milk
Pitchers: Make juice, lemonade, and milk shakes easily with the built-in plunger
Small Bar Pan and Small Spreader: Perfect for little hands, little recipes
Suds Pump: Wash their hands or play in the bathtub; also great for baby shampoo
Manual Food Processor: Simple Salsas

Saturday, August 6, 2011

RoW - Lemon Chicken Pasta Toss

In about 30 minutes you can make a family friendly meal that is bursting with color and flavor! This will soon become a family and entertaining favorite!

The Pampered Chef ® Lemon Chicken Pasta Toss Recipe

8 ounces uncooked radiatore pasta
1 medium onion, chopped
1 small carrot, peeled
3 garlic cloves, pressed
1 small red bell pepper
2 cups small broccoli florets
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 cups diced, cooked chicken breasts
1 cup prepared Alfredo sauce
1/2 cup hot water
1 lemon, cut in half crosswise
1/4 cup (1 ounce) grated fresh Parmesan cheese
Snipped parsley and coarsely ground black pepper (optional)

Cook pasta in (4-qt.) Casserole for 2 minutes less than package directions; drain. Meanwhile, chop onion using Food Chopper. Slice carrot using Crinkle Cutter. Lightly spray Stir-Fry Skillet with oil using Kitchen Spritzer. Cook and stir onion, carrot and garlic pressed with Garlic Press over medium heat 4-5 minutes or until carrots are crisp-tender. Meanwhile, slice bell pepper into strips; cut strips in half. Combine bell pepper, broccoli and salt in Large Micro-Cooker®. Microwave, covered, on HIGH 1-2 minutes or until vegetables are crisp-tender.

Add pasta, steamed vegetables, chicken, Alfredo sauce and water to skillet. Squeeze lemon halves over pasta using Citrus Press; cook and stir until heated through. Grate Parmesan cheese over pasta using Deluxe Cheese Grater; sprinkle with parsley and black pepper, if desired.

Yield: 6 servings

Nutrients per serving: Light: Calories 340, Total Fat 11 g, Saturated Fat 6 g, Cholesterol 80 mg, Carbohydrate 35 g, Protein 27 g, Sodium 530 mg, Fiber 3 g

Cook's Tip: For extra flavor, season chicken breasts with Pantry Citrus & Basil Rub or Pantry Crushed Peppercorn & Garlic Rub and grill. Proceed as recipe directs.

Add different or more summer vegetables if desired.

© 2009 The Pampered Chef used under license.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

TSoW - Cooking Show CLUB

Have you ever wanted to host a Pampered Chef Cooking Show but you worried nobody would come or order? A Cooking Show Club is your answer!

Each member agrees to a minimum purchase each month. This allows you to chip away at your wish list. I know the host and guest specials a few months in advance, so I will help you get the most for your money! Out of the 6 month time frame each member is the "host" once. With a guaranteed amount of orders each month there is a guaranteed minimum amount of host benefits. If you want more free, invite more people and collect more orders. My favorite benefit is that we get to delve into techniques that we normally don't have the time for at a regular cooking show. So get 5 friends together and we'll get going!

To participate

•Must have 6 or more members to begin
•Each member must provide a wish list
•Agree to meet once every month (place tbd or round robin of members)
•Agree to spend $30 on products each month - you must find a substitute if you cannot participate one month
•Each member is the "host" one month and receives “benefits”: free items, half-price items, discounts, and Host Special for the month
•Host provides the ingredients for the recipe
•Club continues until all members have had the opportunity to be the host
•The club will remain open after this only by a unanimous decision of All club members