11/30/2010

Tex Mex Turkey Chili

Looking for leftover turkey ideas? Look no further, we shipped up this sweet & spicy Tex Mex Turkey Chili for Tablespoon and it's absolutely delicious! Plus, it has only 5 minutes of prep time (which is important after you’ve been cooking like crazy for Turkey Day!). When the cold weather sets in, I become a slow cooker junkie! Most of the year it sits in my kitchen cupboard but as soon as the evenings turn dark and cold, it becomes my favorite way to cook.
This sweet & spicy chili has only 9 ingredients and is such a fantastic and easy meal for a chilly evening. My kids, who don’t normally like spicy food, loved this chili because of the sweetness from the Pork & Beans. My husband and I added our own hot sauce for a sassy kick and it was a winner all around. Could the directions be any easier? Throw everything into your slow cooker and let simmer on low for 6-8 hours (honestly you can get away with 3-4 hours if you're in a pinch). Enjoy!

Tex Mex Turkey Chili

Ingredients:
1 1/2 pounds cooked turkey breast, chopped or shredded
44 ounce can pork and beans
14 ounce can diced tomatoes
1 1/2 cups chopped bell peppers, any variety
1/2 medium onion, chopped
2 Tablespoons chili powder
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon salt
hot sauce, to taste
shredded cheese, optional, for garnish
sour cream, optional, for garnish

Directions:
Place all ingredients except hot sauce and garnishes into slow cooker. Cook on low for 6-8 hours. Add hot sauce to taste. Serve with optional garnishes.

11/22/2010

Thanks Giving Away!

Happy Thanksgiving!
If you have time today, could you vote for my Sunflower Sandwich Snackers on facebook? We're trying to win $5,000 to donate for families in need & you can vote every day until Nov. 29th!
Check out some of our favorite fun Thanksgiving ideas here. These doughnut turkeys are my favorite, I'll be whipping up a batch for my little gobblers.

In the meantime, I'd like to say that I'm thankful for YOU! So, as a little thanks, I'm having a Thanks Giving-Away Week Bonanza! Here are a bunch of fun giveaways of my favorite things that I'm hosting just for you, all in one place!
Now, I'm not Oprah so there will be no huge trips to Australia, but these things are still some of my favs and I'm excited to share them with you.

Just click on the images or links below be directed to each giveaway page. So, while you're waiting for that turkey and those pies to bake, click around and have some fun--hopefully you'll win something for the Holidays!

Click here to win a Mozaik prize pack with service for 8, serving utensils, platter, & bowl
(my very favorite way to entertain for the Holidays!)

Click here to win a $25 Kroger Gift Card & Chex Party Pack!
(You can buy a lot of Chex Mix Supplies!)

Click Here to win this hot Holiday gift, Cranium Scribblish!
(my fam's favorite new game!)

Click here to win a $25 Safeway Gift Card and a Fiber One Gift Pack
(LOVE Safeway & LOVE Fiber One!)


Click Here to win an autographed copy of Michael Chiarello's new book
and new Progresso Lemon Pepper Panko
(one of my latest fav chefs!)

Finally, Click Here to win a set of amazing Seventh Generation Products
(my favorite laundry detergent, I have a child w/ sensitive skin!)

Rachael Ray Feature

Keep your eyes peeled later today...I'm having a Thanks Giving-Away Week with a ton of great prizes for you all!

Today I sat down for my "blogging time" (aka it's naptime) to see that my Asparagus and Parmesan Cream Pastry is featured on the Rachael Ray Show website! Wow! Pinch me!
Yes, this is the recipe that won $25,000 and my hosting gig for Real Women of Philadelphia. If you're looking for an easy and elegant Thanksgiving Side Dish, this one is fantastic. Click here for full recipe. You also can catch a glimpse of myself and the other RWOP hosts on the Rachael Ray Show tomorrow, November 23! Plus, the fabulous Paula Deen will be preparing a delicious Pot Pie using Thanksgiving Leftovers. And, of course, she's up to her usual crazy and wonderful antics. Be sure to watch!

11/19/2010

White Chicken Chili and NYC

I just got back from an amazing trip to NYC with my fellow Real Women of Philadelphia Hosts, Caryn, Sheila, and KC. We got to spend some time with Paula and even got to sit in on a taping of the Rachael Ray Show. It airs on November 23, so be sure to watch and you might catch a glimpse of us!
We sure got spoiled, I don't know if I can go to NYC again without having a car waiting for me wherever we go.;) You can see all the pictures from our trip here.
Waiting in the lobby of the Rachael Ray Show...
Now, I know you don't want to hear about my trip, you're here for FOOD!
Here's our latest "comfort food" favorite that I whipped up for Tablespoon.
This time of year, my slow cooker has a permanent place on my countertop. There is nothing more wonderful than to come home on a cold day and smell a pot of something delicious simmering away, ready for my family to dive in and warm up! One family favorite is this White Chicken Chili.
Traditional chili is always a Wintertime favorite but my kids’ very favorite is this creamy and not-too-spicy version. It smells AMAZING while cooking and everyone loves serving up a bowlful with their favorite fixin’s on top.
The best part about this recipe is there is very little prep! You simply cut up your chicken, drain your beans, then throw all the other ingredients in your slow cooker! That gets bonus points from this busy mom!!
For bonus points with the kids, serve your chili up with fun garnishes and ingredients so everyone can “customize” their bowl.
My hubby likes extra cheese and sour cream, Little Miss Fancy Pants loves it straight up…
and as for me….well, I love it with EVERYTHING!
But honestly, what I love most about this dish is that it literally takes me 5 minutes to prep and throw in the slow cooker. And, I always get rave reviews from the fam! I always make sure to cook a big batch to freeze in gallon ziploc bags for other quick weeknight meals. Do you have any favorite & easy slow cooker recipes that your family loves?

White Chicken Chili
Ingredients:
1 1/2 pounds uncooked chicken breast
32 ounces chicken broth
1 10 ounce can diced tomatoes with green chilies
1 4.5 ounce can Old El Paso Green Chilies
2 11 ounce cans Green Giant Mexicorn
1 15 ounce can white or great northern beans
2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
8 ounces cream cheese
1 lime slices optional, for garnish
1 shredded mexican cheese, optional, for garnish
1 sour cream, optonal, for garnish
1 chopped green onion, optional, for garnish
1 tortilla chips, optional, for garnish
1 chopped tomatoes, optional, for garnish

Directions
1 Cut chicken in to bite-sized pieces and place in a slow cooker.

2 Rinse and drain beans, add to slow cooker.

3 Add all other ingredients except cream cheese and optinal garnish ingredients. DO NOT drain corn or chilies.

4 Simmer in slow cooker for 5 hours on low or 3 hours on high.

5 Microwave cream cheese for 60 seconds to melt. Add to slow cooker and stir well.

6 Serve with your favorite garnishes such as: shredded cheese, sour cream, chopped tomatoes, green onions, or tortilla chips.

11/15/2010

Elegant Salad Cups

I'm in NYC for a few days, I can't wait to share the details with you when I get back!
The Holiday Season is upon us, can you believe it? I want to share with you one of my favorite "tricks" for elegant entertaining...Salad Cups! They are SO EASY and gorgeous on the table!
The truth is, you could fill these cups with anything! Also, you could use large cookie cutters for a more shaped look (check out our pomegranate mousse in snowflake cups from last year)

Elegant Salad Cups
Makes 6
Shell Ingredients:
1 can Pillsbury Refrigerated Pizza Crust
Nonstick cooking spray
Extra large cupcake or muffin tin
fresh herbs or parmesan, optional
Directions:
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Spray muffin tin with nonstick cooking spray. Open pizza crust and unroll on cutting board. Cut into 6 rectangles. Pick up one rectangle, flatten slightly in hand, and press into muffin tin, letting edges come up over the sides. Remember, this is a rustic cup, so don't worry about making it look perfect! The charm is in it's funky shape.:) Bake at 400 degrees for 10-12 minutes until browned. Let cool completely and fill with favorite salad.
Notes: You could sprinkle fresh herbs or parmesan on the dough before baking for extra flavor or color. Also, you can use ANY size muffin tin to fit your needs. For example, if you want to put a chicken salad in the cups, I'd use a regular size muffin tin. For a leafy green salad, use the extra large muffin tins. For mousse or small savory bites, use a mini muffin tin.
Our Favorite Salad Ingredients:
1 apple, diced
2 green scallions, chopped fine
½ c. slivered almonds (or candied pecans, yum!)
1 can mandarin oranges, drained
1 Head romaine lettuce, torn into pieces
1 pear, diced
1 c. fresh raspberries

Directions: Mix all salad ingredients and toss with dressing just before serving.

Dressing:
1 c. canola oil
½ c. sugar or Splenda
1/3 c. apple cider vinegar
1 1/2 T. poppy seeds
2 T. red onion, chopped fine
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. dry mustard

Directions: Mix all except oil and poppy seeds in blender. Blend on medium speed while slowly adding oil. Add poppy seeds and pulse a few times. Chill at least 2 hours or overnight.

11/10/2010

Help us play Secret Santa!

Our fun Sunflower Sandwich Snackers Recipe is in the finals for the California Raisins "Let's Re-do Lunch" Contest! I hate asking you all for votes, but we decided that if my recipe wins, we're going to donate the entire $5,000 prize to local families in need this Holiday season...I am double crossing my fingers that we can win and have some serious fun playing Santa to families in need!!!

So, PLEASE click below and vote for Sunflower Sandwich Snackers in the California Raisins Facebook contest! Voting Ends 11/29 and you can vote every day!!:)


On Monday I've got a GORGEOUS (and quick!) entertaining idea coming your way! I'll be in NYC for most of the week with the fabulous Paula Deen doing some press and hopefully an appearance on Rachael Ray! I'll keep you posted!

11/09/2010

Double Rainbow Cupcakes

Tablespoon is having Double Rainbow Week and we contributed some Double Rainbow Cupcakes! I was so surprised to open my Tablespoon Newsletter to see them front and center, what an honor! Thank you!

Click here for recipe or click on the photo below.

My kids loved these cupcakes so much that we made 72 of them to take to school and share. They were a huge hit and definitely something we’ll be making often. My favorite part is that the kids get to help mix, mash and drizzle the colored batter. There’s something for everyone to do and a great way to make some fun kitchen memories. First, gather up your ingredients, prepare the cake mix according to package directions and divide into 6 quart-sized freezer bags.

Add food coloring to each bag (one for each color of the rainbow), seal tightly and let your little helpers mix and mash until combined. After all your colors are mixed, you’re ready to pipe out your cupcake batter!
Cut a small piece of the corner of each bag and squeeze about 2 tsp into each cupcake wrapper. Don’t worry about covering the entire surface with each color, just make sure they get added in “rainbow order”. Bake at 350 degrees for 18-22 minutes, until done. While your cupcakes are baking, melt each color of chocolate and spoon each into quart freezer bags. Tape down some wax paper and draw rainbows! If you’re like me and need some guidelines, you can download this rainbow template and place underneath your wax paper. Let set completely, about 15 minutes. Don’t worry if they look messy on the back, when you peel them off, the smooth side will be gorgeous!
Frost the cooled cupcakes with white icing and place a chocolate rainbow on top. Now if there were only a pot of gold included! ;)

11/07/2010

A Touch of Giving

I feel so lucky to be a part of the Real Women of Philadelphia, being one of their hosts was a dream come true for me and today I feel PROUD as well as lucky.
This weekend, Kraft Foods just announced a new program called
"Touch of Giving"
They've teamed up with Feeding America, the nation’s leading domestic hunger-relief charity. And, WE (yes, all of us!) can all get involved to help provide meals for hungry Americans this Holiday season! Here's Adam Butler to tell you all about it:

What a great project to do with your kids! We already have several meals in the works! Sometimes it's hard to find ways that small children can help in the community, this is a great way to spend some quality time in the kitchen as well as helping those in need.

What you need to do is grab some of the new Kraft Natural Shredded Cheese with a touch of Philly (you can download a $1 off coupon here), and simply snap a photo of you making a dish, giving the dish away, etc.. If you upload it onto the Real Women of Philadelphia (you need to create a profile, it's free and guys are welcome to join, too!:)) Kraft will donate 20 meals to Feeding America for each photo. If you make a video, Kraft will donate 40 meals!

So, grab your kids, grab some cheese, and make something to share! Let's kick of the Holiday Season by sharing with others!

11/02/2010

Candy Corn Coolers

We're having a big family Thanksgiving this year and I've been thinking about a fun and easy drink to serve. So, I created these "Candy Corn Coolers" and they were a hit with everyone I tried them on! They're definitely going on our Thanksgiving menu!I'm still working on other dishes to make--do you have some family favorites? Let me know, I'd love to try them! The recipe below is obviously estimates--you'll want to adjust depending on the size of your glasses. Basically, fill your glass half full with orange juice then add syrup and whipped cream. :)

Candy Corn Coolers
Ingredients
24 ounces orange juice or lemonade
18 ounces Torani orange syrup
refrigerated aerosol whipped cream

Directions
1. Fill six 8 oz. glasses half full with orange juice or lemonade.
2. Carefully pour 3 oz. orange syrup into each glass.
3. Top with whipped cream and serve!