Tuesday, February 10, 2009
The Pampered Chef - Part Deux
This is the second year that I participated in a Pampered Chef party--and this time I hosted my very own. It was a lot of fun and also entailed lots of preparation and details. I invited an eclectic mix of women in my life--my mom, my new mother and sister-in-law, cousins, aunts and friends. It was a good excuse to get together, chat, eat and cook.
For those of you who are not familiar with the Pampered Chef, it's a cool company that focuses on convenience and ease in the kitchen, through selling helpful kitchen gadgets and various tools of the trade.
In addition to what our Pampered Chef consultant, Michele cooked, my guests and I made a variety of dishes. Here are the food--and drink--highlights from the party:
Baked Brie with Apples and Cranberries - This is a really easy recipe for a party appetizer. It looked impressive (see picture above) and smelled and tasted terrific. Because it's baked, all of the fruit aromas came out beautifully and the topping of apples and cranberries was nice and tender. Once we put the melted brie on our toasty bread and popped it in our mouths, it was pure heaven.
Pampered Chef Products Used: Kitchen Spritzer, Food Chopper, Apple Corer/Peeler/Slicer, Korintje Cinnamon, Stackable Cooling Rack
Triple Citrus Mojitos - When it comes to drinks, I'm no expert. The only mixed drink that I pride myself in is my fruit sangria. So when I saw this as an option, I wanted to learn how to make it. The recipe was simple and didn't require any difficult ingredients. You can adjust the potency of your drink by adding more or less rum. We doubled the amount that the recipe called for and it wasn't too strong.
Pampered Chef Products Used: Citrus Press, Quick-Stir Pitcher, Ultimate Mandoline
French Breakfast Muffins - Since it was still technically brunch time, I wanted to make an easy breakfast muffin for my guests to enjoy. All Recipes had a great solution with an easy French Breakfast Muffin recipe. I added chocolate chips as a special touch, which was yummy. If you make these muffins ahead of time, like I did, I suggest that you warm them before serving. 15 seconds in the microwave should do.
Chocolate Chip, Toffee Cookies - This was Vicky's breakthrough dessert and everyone loved it. The cookies were super chocolatey and crunchy but not too rich. We were lucky that she made plenty for people to take home--I still have left overs and bring them to work to snack on every day. In case you're wondering, Vicky did not use almond brickle chips that the recipe asks for. Instead she used crushed SKOR toffee bars (about 5 of them), which work very well.
If you're interested in the Pampered Chef, click here. Enjoy!