Before I give you the link to this evening’s Pampered Chef dinner, I have to tell you first that I changed the cooking process. The ingredients and amounts are all the same (with the exception of my improvised basil and citrus rub, and the chicken) but the way I cooked the chicken and sauce is different. Here is the link to the recipe.
In the instructions it says to microwave everything and to be honest, I’m not a big fan of microwaving food. Leftovers yes, but raw meats? Not so much.
I used boneless and skinless chicken thighs, cut into bite size pieces. For the basil rub I used whatever lemon rind I had left over (you need about 2 tsp of lemon rind for the sauce but you can probably get more than that out of one lemon) and about a tsp of lime rind. With my fingers I rubbed the rinds together with about a tbsp of dried basil leaves and I coated the chicken pieces with that.
For the sauce I melted the butter in a saucepan over medium heat and then added the flour and stirred until it was nice and thick. Next I added the lemon rind, garlic, and milk. I cooked that for about five minutes and then I added the homemade pesto Jay’s mom gave us. I’m not sure if there was salt in the pesto so the sauce turned out a little bland but very flavourful so I would suggest you taste the sauce and add salt to your liking. I added the chicken pieces to that same saucepan, covered it, and continued to cook everything on medium heat for about 20 to 25 minutes, stirring occasionally. While the chicken cooked I made the pasta noodles – I used fettuccine.
I really liked this meal but I think the sauce would be much better suited for shrimp. Even as I made the sauce I could visualize shrimp in it so keep that in mind if you ever feel inclined to try this Pampered Chef recipe.
Meatloaf is something I very rarely make – by rarely I mean twice in my life – and I have no explanation for this. Seriously, why don’t I make meatloaf more often? The last time I made meatloaf was when I made chicken loaf. I’ve finally realized that this kind of dish is incredibly versatile, there is so much room to play around with the ingredients and it’s definitely worth experimenting.
Tonight’s dinner came from The Pampered Chef website because I seem to have a new found obsession with their products and recipes. For the BBQ sauce I simply Googled “BBQ sauce recipe” and I came across one on chow.com. Recipe is here and it is super tasty. The meatloaf recipe can be found here.
Even though I didn’t make the full amount of BBQ as shown on the recipe I still have plenty left over. I’m hoping to use the rest this week…perhaps some succulent ribs?
I absolutely love this loaf pan – I didn’t have to spray or coat it with oil, just shaped the meat into a loaf and baked.
This meatloaf was incredible – full of flavour and juicy. I paired it with pesto mashed potatoes from a previous entry.
For dessert I made a Chocolate Almond Cheesecake, as well, from The Pampered Chef website and the recipe can be found here. The spring form pan is awesome. The pans I had before were of much lesser quality but this one was so worth getting. My cheesecakes don’t stick and I don’t need to grease the sides.
This cheesecake was rich and silky. The almond extract is such a good combination with chocolate. In this recipe it says to use semi-sweet chocolate but I may try it with dark chocolate next time. I’m not a big fan of decorating cheesecake with whipped cream so I left it naked – it’s that good on its own. But you can also sprinkle some almond slices for a nice crunchy texture.
Remember that shipment of Pampered Chef products we ordered? Well, last night I decided to try out the spring form cake pan to make a cheesecake. I was originally going to use a recipe I found in my recipe box (I recently put the box together because I had all these little scraps of paper and magazine cut outs with random recipes that were stuffed inside a torn envelope, very annoying) but then I also found the recipe that came with the spring form cake pan and it happened to be for cheesecake. Joy! After the success of my Apple Oat Muffins I knew I had to try this Pampered Chef recipe.
And wow! I am never using another recipe for (baked) cheesecake again. That is how good it is.
The recipe can be found here. My slight modification was that I added about a tea spoon of my own pumpkin pie spice mix as I used the leftover apples from my Mini Apple Pies for the cheesecake topping. The combination of spiced apples and cheesecake was divine. I’m now remembering a while back I made a lemon bars recipe that came with my old Pampered Chef stone baker and if I remember correctly those turned out quite amazing as well. If all their recipes are this awesome I need to try them all out! Of course, I will let you all know how the recipes turn out.
I better not step on a scale though.
Yesterday our shipment of bakeware from The Pampered Chef arrived. To say that Jay and I were excited would be an understatement. We squealed and giggled as we gently pulled out a rectangle stoneware baking sheet, muffin pan, stoneware loaf pan, and spring form cake pan.
About ten years ago I purchased a square stoneware baking pan from The Pampered Chef. It was my absolute favourite pan until yesterday when we welcomed the new additions. If you’ve never baked with stoneware, I strongly suggest you do as these baking pans and sheets absorb the heat and distribute it for even baking. What I also love about this product is that because you only wash it with hot water (no soap) after several uses it begins to form a somewhat greasy coating. After a while the baking pan doesn’t need to be greased prior to baking.
Once we had our bakeware out on the kitchen table I decided to immediately make use of at least one item. I chose the baking sheet to make Halloween-themed sugar cookies. The recipe comes from Joy of Baking and I recommend watching the video for some tips on making the cookies.
I baked one batch on the baking stone and one batch on my non-stick baking sheet using a Silpat. The cookies on the stone were baked to near perfection while some of the cookies on the other sheet came out half burnt on the bottom. Some were golden and some not so much. The recipe, by the way, is awesome. I left my cookies sans icing sugar as they are subtly sweet on their own.
Of course I couldn’t just stop there. We have a basket-sized amount of apples on our counter, which I’ve been wanting to use for a pie but I still haven’t replaced my broken pie plate. Luckily The Pampered Chef products each came with recipes and one of them was for Apple Oat Muffins. The recipe can be found here. Not only were the muffins fast and easy to make but they turned out amazing. The sweet cinnamon crumble on top gives each bite a little spicy crunch and the apple bits lend their natural sweetness to the mix.