Eating: The other day, I hosted a Pampered Chef party, the first one in 4 years. I had a terrific turnout with a really fun bunch of friends. Since it was around lunchtime and the recipe demonstrated was a salad, I decided to supplement with some additional food. I like to feed people, what can I say? I think I inherited it from my grandma. Many people asked for recipes so here they are.
Thai Chicken Salad - This was the recipe demonstrated. I somehow did not get a copy of the recipe so this is what I remember it being - one of the party attendees who received the recipe can correct where I am wrong. Also, the consultant said something about serving the chicken part with rice for a meal - not sure if that is just the chicken or with some of the veggies or what. I really liked this salad and am happy to have enough of everything that I can make it again!
Chop 1 lb. boneless skinless chicken breasts into about 1" cubes. Cook in skillet with a little olive oil until no longer pink.
Pour 3/4 C. creamy poppyseed dressing into a small bowl or measuring cup. Grate 1" of fresh gingerroot (can leave the skin on) - squeeze the juice from the ginger into the dressing. Add 3 cloves of garlic, pressed. Stir. Pour just enough of dressing mix onto chicken in pan (about 1/4 C) and toss to coat.
Chop one small bunch of fresh basil and about 1/4 C. peanuts together (in the Manual Foodprocessor, if you have one). Stir that in with chicken.
In a large bowl, combine a 6-8oz bag baby spinach, one 8-10oz bag of brocolli slaw, 1/2 red pepper diced, and 1/2 medium cucumber sliced and halved. Add in the chicken mixture. Pour on remaining dressing mix and toss all together.
Chicken Rice Soup - I won't post my chicken soup recipe again - you can read it here. This time I added some cooked brown rice, frozen peas, and sliced zucchini. I made the stock and cooked the chicken the night before, then put all the ingredients in the crock pot and heated it for lunch. It was not my best soup effort ever - stock was weak and soup overall kind of bland. Sorry, for those who ate it - I can do better. I also apologize for the coffee - I had trouble with the new grinder and ended up with brown slightly coffee-flavored water.
Taffy Apple Pizza - This recipe goes back to the days when I was selling Pampered Chef, around 2002/2003. I made this recipe at all my first shows. Easy and yummy, it is "old school Pampered Chef". It helps to let the cookie dough and the cream cheese soften at room temperature.
Spread the contents of one tube (18oz) of sugar cookie dough onto pizza stone with a rolling pin until you have a 14" circle. Bake at 350 for 16-18 minutes or until lightly golden brown. Cool 10 minutes. Carefully loosen cookie from stone using a serrated bread knife. Cool completely.
Combine one 8oz package cream cheese, 1/2 C packed brown sugar, 1/4 C creamy peanut butter and 1/4 tsp vanilla. Mix well. Spread mixture evenly over the cookie.
Peel, core and slice 2 medium apples (the recipe says "Granny Smith" apples but that is mainly because they work the best with the Apple Peeler/Corer/Slicer. Any good crisp apples will work - I used Gala.) Arrange apples evenly over cream cheese mixture.
Heat 1/4 C caramel ice cream topping in microwave on High for 30-45 seconds, or until warm. Drizzle over apples. Top with 1/2 C peanuts, chopped. Cut into wedges with pizza cutter and serve.
Reading: I am nearly done with the book for Sunday bookclub (which will meet Saturday this week for our annual potluck), The Latehomecomer by Kao Kalia Yang. It is the memoir of a Hmong woman and her family who comes to Minnesota from Laos (by way of Thailand) in the mid 80s as refugees. She tells the story of her family's escape from Laos, about life in the refugee camp where she was born and lived the first 6 years of her life ("camp" makes it sound like a better place than it was), how they came to Minnesota with virtually nothing but a debt to pay for their flights to the US. She ties in a lot of cultural information along with the story of the family's struggle to adapt, to learn the language, to find work and raise their children. I really am enjoying this book.
I am also almost done with Winnie the Pooh - just one more chapter/story. I have to finish it by the end of the night tomorrow to meet my 2012 prediction of reading 3 books per month. Wouldn't want to miss that predicition in the first month. That would be like a new year's resolution then!
Well, off to read. I'll have a new recipe for you next time, and promise it is easy, tasty, and gives you another option for what to do with chicken.
Until we eat again,