Thursday, December 30, 2010

Daisy Doggy Says Merry Christmas!

Sorry about the lack of posts lately. The holiday craziness has left me no time for blogging. Hopefully this weekend I'll get the ball rolling again with a slew of posts featuring Phildelphia Cooking Creme products! Stay tuned!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Santa Came Early This Year!

Hooray! My free stuff has finally arrived! As I mentioned previously, I have been selected to participate in a cooking contest using a new product from Kraft - Philadelphia Cooking Creme. My package of creme (4 varieties) arrived yesterday! YAY! So, tonight I begin experimenting with it. I can't wait. My husband and my brother are my taste testers this time around. Talk about some critics! LOL! My husband has to live with me so he is usually very nice when criticizing my cooking, my brother on the other hand - no mercy, LOL! Hopefully the texture of this stuff will be suitable for the uses I have in mind. I was just too tired yesterday to check it out firsthand. So, tomorrow I will be sure to post my first creation. Wait, perhaps I should wait until I submit it to the contest. Eh, nobody reads this anyway, LOL! But to be safe I will post the picture but maybe not the ingredients and method until later. That should work. So, look for some food porn tomorrow!

Friday, December 10, 2010

Another Photoless Post

Sorry folks! But we were so hungry for dinner last night that every last bit got scarfed down before I could even think about taking any pictures! What was it that put us in such a frenzy you ask - Chicken cordon bleu! MMMMM! While I was making Hubby lunch in the morning I realized that I had all of the necessary ingredients on hand so I grabbed some chicken breasts out of the freezer in anticipation of making it later. Husband LOVES this dish so I did not get any objections from him when I asked if that was something he would like for dinner. I was surprised how quickly this whole meal came together, too. Seriously, I prepped, assembled, cooked and ate it in a about an hour. I told you we scarfed it down! LOL! I used a standard recipe I found on and adjusted it for quantity and ingredients on hand.

Chicken Cordon Bleu
adjusted from allrecipes

2 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
2 slices Swiss cheese
2 slices ham
1 Cup all-purpose flour
2-3 teaspoon paprika (I didn't really measure, LOL!)
6 tablespoons butter
1/2 cup chicken stock
1 cup milk

Butterfly and pound chicken breasts. Place a cheese and ham slice on each breast within 1/2 inch of the edges. Fold the edges of the chicken over the filling, and secure with toothpicks. Mix the flour and paprika in a small bowl, and coat the chicken pieces.
Heat the butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat, and cook the chicken until browned on all sides. Add the chicken stock. Reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer for 30 minutes, until chicken is no longer pink and juices run clear.
Remove the toothpicks, and transfer the breasts to a warm platter. Blend 1-2 Tablespoons of the unused flour-paprika mixture with the milk in a small bowl, and whisk slowly into the skillet. Cook, stirring until thickened. Salt and pepper to taste and pour over the chicken. Serve warm.

I served the chicken with some rice pilaf and sauteed carrots. The entire meal was quite satisfying and really hit the spot!

Monday, December 6, 2010

Fenn Again's Restaurant - A Review

So, Friday night was date night for Hubby and me. We were kind of tired of our usual dinner places so we decided to try a new restaurant nearby that had been receiving fairly decent reviews. The restaurant, located in Hebron, CT, was billed as an Irish Pub called Fenn Again's. When we got there the place was packed and not at all what I was expecting. The room was brightly lit with high ceilings and was very loud. We waited in the bar for about 20 minutes until our table was ready. The bar area was rather small but had plenty of seating and a VERY good selection of beers on tap. After we were seated we looked at the menu and I was surprised to see only 2 items on it that could be considered Irish; Shepherd's Pie and a chicken version called Cottage Pie. The rest of the menu was burgers, sandwiches and hot wings. I have never seen a cheese steak offered as a house favorite in an Irish Pub before, LOL! WTH! OK, the special of the night was corned beef and cabbage to make that three Irish dishes on the menu. There was also a Reuben but, to me, that is not Irish food. No lamb stew made with Guinness, no bangers and mash, no fish and chips. Are you kidding me! I ordered the shepherds pie and hubby ordered the cheese steak. Our meal took nearly an hour to arrive, which was a bit irritating, not to mention that we were seated near the entrance and got hit with a cold draft every time somebody opened the door. When we finally did get our food it was OK. Nothing to rave about but it didn't suck. All in all, the experience wasn't good enough to make us want to come back.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

I'Ve Been Selected to Participate!

Boy, did that make me smile when I saw in my inbox this morning. Apparently, because I had participated in a past contest, I was invited to participate in a new contest from Philadelphia Cream Cheese. This time it's for a new product that hasn't hit the stores yet - cooking creme. I am not really sure what it is but what the hell! It's cream cheese so it has to be good. The best part is - I GET FREE STUFF! I love free! Since I made the entry cutoff and will be participating, Kraft will be sending me a container of each of the four flavors of cooking creme to use in the upcoming contest. I already have a pretty good idea of how I am going to use 3 of the 4 flavors (depending on the contest rules, that is). Now, I just need to find the time to test my ideas and make videos of my submissions. I haven't done video stuff in so long I don't remember how to edit them. LOL! It takes about three different programs to download them from the camera, edit them and then convert them to the appropriate file format. I'm going to have to figure all that out again, LOL! Wish me luck!

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

One Great Cake!

So, I survived my first Thanksgiving as the hostess. Let's just say I will not be volunteering that duty for a while. Other than my Mother taking her shirt off in the kitchen (not even kidding) it all went pretty smoothly but, man was it exhausting. You cook for two days and in a matter of minutes....It's over. WTF! Most of the stuff I was tasked to prepare was pretty standard; turkey, mashed potatoes, corn, stuffing, gravy, etc. But what really was impressive was my dessert - Praline-Pumpkin Cake. Not only did it look impressive but is was SUPER easy and delicious. The recipe came from the kind folks at Betty Crocker and even though I messed it up a little it still tasted fantastic. The mess up came when halfway through making this my darling husband called in a panic because he had to work late and could not get to Comcast to upgrade our cable box. He absolutely HAD to watch Thanksgiving football on his new TV in HD. So, being the kind devoted wife that I am, I turned everything off in the kitchen and took care of it. This interruption however, resulted in me forgetting to add the cream to the caramel. BUT, what I ended up with was a candied pecan topping on my cakes that was scrumptious! Now, I will have to make this cake again correctly and see which way I like it better!

Praline Pumpkin Cake

1/2 cup butter or margarine
1/4 cup whipping cream
1 cup packed brown sugar
3/4 cup coarsely chopped pecans
1 box Betty Crocker® SuperMoist® yellow cake mix
1 cup (from 15-oz can) pumpkin (not pumpkin pie mix)
1/2 cup water
1/3 cup vegetable oil
4 eggs
1 1/2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
1 container (1 lb) Betty Crocker® Rich & Creamy cream cheese frosting
Caramel topping, if desired
Additional coarsely chopped pecans, if desired

1. Heat oven to 325°F. In 1-quart heavy saucepan, stir together butter, whipping cream and brown sugar. Cook over low heat, stirring occasionally, just until butter is melted. Pour into 2 (9- or 8-inch) round cake pans; sprinkle evenly with 3/4 cup pecans.

2. In large bowl, beat cake mix, pumpkin, water, oil, eggs and 1 teaspoon of the pumpkin pie spice with electric mixer on low speed until moistened. Beat 2 minutes on medium speed. Carefully spoon batter over pecan mixture in each pan.

3. Bake 43 to 45 minutes or until cake springs back when touched lightly in center. Cool 5 minutes; remove from pans to cooling rack. Cool completely, about 1 hour.

4. Stir remaining 1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice into frosting. To assemble cake, place 1 layer, praline side up, on serving plate. Spread with half of the frosting. Top with second layer, praline side up; spread remaining frosting to edge of layer. Drizzle with caramel topping and additional pecans. Store loosely covered in refrigerator.