Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Enchilada Soup on a not so cold day

I live in Texas and if you listen to the complainers on facebook, it's a million degrees too hot outside. Personally I am enjoying it. I got to wear a polo today and didn't need my jacket, perfect weather. It's not really soup weather, but ever since I saw the Enchilada Soup Mix I have wanted to try it. I LOVE enchiladas and any way to get that flavor in my mouth makes me a happy girl. I also thought this would be a soup my hubby would like. He was not a fan of the Taco Soup made for the open house, because it had beans and corn in it. The enchilada soup has tomatoes, but he will get over it. So the recipe was 7tbsp of the mix, some milk, water, a can of tomatoes and some pre-cooked chicken, simple like everything else! I threw it together in the pot gave it a couple stirs and left it to heat up then simmer 20 minutes. I love it!! My husband approved of it, and my daughter didn't try it. The tomatoes I used I think took away from the actual soup texture and flavor. I think I will try some rotel next time! I think this soup really captured the enchilada flavor without being too much of anything. I also think I would have liked some cheese on top of it, because every enchilada needs cheese! In all I was a happy camper and will gladly have more for lunch tomorrow even if it is 80 outside!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Skillet Chicken and Rice

I received my package from the Christmas Open House to find that one of the products had spilled. Now I can't give that to a customer so I did a damage report to get a new one. It had not spilled so bad that I would deem it unusable though so I had to sacrifice myself and my family to try it out. This was a good idea, except that it's a Skillet chicken and rice and my husband recently discovered that my skillet's coating was coming off, so it's not going to be used again (don't worry my sister bought me a new one at her job for a great discount!). So luckily right on the Homemade Gourmet package they had an alternative recipe for casserole Chicken and rice! Awesome, even better I had all the ingredients on hand! It called for a cream of soup (I had chicken it asks for mushroom) and some water and some chicken. I mixed the water and the soup and the rice together put them in the 9x13 pyrex, then placed some frozen chicken on top. Now the recipe just said chicken and I am lazy so I tried the frozen, can't hurt right? I do believe it would be better to go ahead and take the 5-10 min while the oven preheats to thaw the chicken, so lesson learned. I put this all in the oven for the required 40 minutes (I am doing this from memory so forgive me if I am wrong!) When I checked it at the time it said the chicken was almost done, but the rice was still fairly raw, so I threw it back in for 20 minutes. That did the trick.
The opinions of my family on this new meal: My daughter liked it with some hesitation, so not real sure if she really liked it or was just wanting us to be happy she was eating it. My husband thought the rice was over cooked. I can blame this on my extra 20 minutes (maybe should have been less) or the loss of some rice in the original spillage. I loved it, and have had most of the leftovers myself! I did like the flavor of the rice more than the chicken, but since the chicken just laid on top it didn't really get much flavor. We both agree we will try it again, but attempt the skillet version with my new skillet when it gets to me! All in all it was a success! Go ahead try some yourself!

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Christmas Open House

I have a friend who sells Scentsy and she decided to do an Open House at her home for Christmas and invited myself, Jillybeans Treats, Avon and Pampered Chef to come set up a table and sell our stuff. So I got to try a couple more recipes!
I decided my menu on Friday for the Saturday Open House. I decided to go with things I had the stuff for and would not be opening new containers more inventory in hopes of selling that instead of taste testing it all! So the menu for my table became the Garlic Lemon Chicken and Pumpkin Pie Cheesecake Ball. The menu for stuff to go on the food table with everyone else's stuff was Garlic Basil Dip and BLT Dip.
Friday night I put together the 2 dips and mixed the cheesecake ball. Now I know from experience you can cheat with cream cheese and "soften" it in the mixer. I learned you can't cheat with butter this same way, but if you mix and find it doesn't work just leave it on the counter to soften the long way and mix again and all is well. This was thankfully my only snag in making my foods for the open house. The cheesecake ball was super simple cream cheese, butter (softened) and the mix. If you really soften the butter and cream cheese first it would take only the time it takes your mixer to mix these 3 things. If you try and cheat like I did it takes about an hour cause you have to let the butter soften. The two dips were equally as simple, and since I have the pantry staples for both it was measure mix and done!
The hardest part was that the open house started at 9am. First I had to decide if I should even bother with something like chicken or if it would be wiser to just do the dips. I went with the chicken hoping it would inspire more in sales. I did get one comment from Jillybeans treats about the smell of garlic at 8am (while we were setting up), and not everyone tasted the chicken, but that was a risk I took, not sure if I would have done better with different choices or if it was a mute point. Anyway the chicken I chose was the Garlic Lemon chicken. I partly chose this because it was my only pantry staple I had not yet used, and in case I didn't like it I could give it away to my host or one of the other ladies there. I was worried about my liking this one because I don't like lemon as a primary flavor. Thankfully it's not an overpowering lemon flavor. If you like lemon the 4 meals in 4 minutes recipe you can use margarita mix which I am sure will accent the lemon flavor. Back to what I actually did. I used 2tablespoons of butter a quarter cup of water some of the seasoning and then 3lbs of chicken. I went ahead Friday night and put the butter, water and seasoning in the crockpot, then set my alarm for 5am to wake up dump the frozen chicken in the pot and go back to bed. That is exactly what I did, and I think it turned out well. If I were doing it again I would have put water, butter and seasoning in on top of the chicken so it would maybe get more of the seasoning flavor, but when I am thinking about doing something in the middle of the night the less I have to do the better!
In all the open house went well, I got a few orders and possibly a few new customers that may or may not become regulars. I also decided I would "trade parties" with the Scentsy consultant to possibly help both of us out, and I want some Scentsy, but can't think about spending money on it right now.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Spaghetti even my husband likes!

One of the problems in our marriage is the food I like and the food my husband likes aren't the same. I am okay with veggies (although my mom wasn't great at feeding them to us because she doesn't love them) and I am okay with odd foods (Spam is yummy!). He likes things spicy and the fewer veggies the better. One of my favorites from childhood is my mother's spaghetti sauce. It's great and it's what I grew up with so I love it. The problem is it's very tomato heavy. This is not okay for my tomato hating hubby. So I make it he tolerates it and I have a week of leftovers. Sometimes this is great, sometimes this is not so great. Now for the Homemade Gourmet solution. When I got the Pantry Staples for myself I was excited about two (the two I already tried) and could go either way on the other two. The Homestyle Spaghetti Seasoning is one of the ones I wasn't sure of. I love my current recipe for Spaghetti sauce why mess with it? Well I will try for my husband this new recipe. So yesterday about 3 hours before dinner I know it's too late to do some chicken (not to mention we didn't have any). The dinner choice then becomes Spaghetti Sauce. I decide to try the new seasoning for dinner tonight, worse case I don't like it and I eat plain spaghetti it would not be a first. I read the recipe 15oz tomato sauce 6oz paste and 2 cups of water with some of the Homestyle Spaghetti Seasoning. Easy dumped it all in the slow cooker (too early for the stove and although it says 4 hours I know it will not hurt us to eat it in 3). I did ask my husband if he needed meat in the sauce and he did so a run to the store was in order. The sauce cooked up easily and about 5:00 I cooked the ground meat, threw some water on to boil. I added the cooked meat to the crock pot and when the pasta was ready made some garlic bread (butter, garlic powder and bread) then we ate. The result a husband happy with the spaghetti sauce! My personal opinion it's not my mom's but nothing ever lives up to mom's! My daughter also was not a fan, but she eats the plain pasta so that's okay!
On another note Monday I received my free Homemade Gourmet cooler for having $1000 in sales my first month!! Thanks to my customers! I can't wait to show it off at an Open house this Saturday. If you are in the Houston Area I would love to see you there!