Saturday, March 27, 2010

Product Endorsement: Macaroni Grill Meals

Our family loves to eat at Macaroni Grill. It's relaxing, delicious, expensive, get the idea. I was pleasantly surprised when they branched out and began offering some of their staple entrees in the dry pasta section of the grocery store. I will admit that I thought the boxed meals were still expensive so I purchased them on occasion or waited until they were on sale.

Last week I had chicken breasts in the freezer and these two boxed meals in my pantry so I thought we'd cook them both up for dinner and offer the first, of hopefully many, product endorsements.

I made the Chicken Alfredo. The instructions were easy to follow and the ingredients that I had to add were readily available in my kitchen (chicken, butter, milk.) In both meals the boxed pasta cooks for a few minutes and then you turn off the heat and let it continue to cook for another 5 minutes. I think this works well to yield the perfect bite to the pasta for each dish.

Mark made the Chicken Piccata. The sauce was just right - not too thick or thin. The chicken was quite tender. We had all the ingredients listed on the box, but the Piccata at the restaurant also includes a few capers. We had some expired ones in the fridge so out they went. Next time I will make sure I've got fresh capers on hand to add that finishing touch. The meal doesn't lack in flavor for want of the capers, I just really enjoy them.

My rating for both boxed meals is a: 3

Rating Scale:
1=distasteful/won't buy again
2=good/might buy again
3=loved it/will definitely buy again

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Corn Chowder

Although it seems I start with "This is one of our favorite..." all the time, it really is true! We're such food lovers around here. Anyway, this is one of our favorite soups. It's hearty because of the vegetables, and comforting 'cause of the cream. I've made this recipe for a family with a new baby and used lowfat milk and turkey bacon to suit their tastes. They loved it and asked for the recipe. So feel free to change it up!

Corn Chowder


1-14 ½ oz. can of vegetable or chicken broth
2-3 med potatoes, peeled and diced
1 carrot, peeled and diced
1 celery rib, diced
1 med onion, chopped
½ red pepper, diced
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1-10 oz. pkg frozen corn niblets
1-14 ¾ oz. can creamed corn
1 T. Dijon mustard
1 C whole milk or heavy cream
1 T. unsalted butter
Salt and pepper to taste
2 chopped scallions, for garnish
6 strips bacon, cooked and crumbled for garnish

In a large saucepan, combine broth, potatoes, vegetables, and garlic. Add a little water if necessary. Bring to a boil over med-high heat. Reduce the heat to medium, cover, and simmer for 15 min, or until vegetables are fork tender. Add frozen corn, creamed corn, mustard, milk, and butter. Cook for another 5 min, uncovered, on low heat. Add salt and pepper to taste. Ladle into bowls, garnish with scallions and bacon.

Serving: 3 quarts
Recipe Given By: BabyTalk Mag, 11/2001

Sunday, March 7, 2010

And the winner is...

Kelly Kahler!

Congrats, Kelly! I'm so happy to share my Homespun Give-Away with you.

I used the Random Sequence Generator, assigned the three ladies numbers for your entries, beginning with 1 for Lori, 2-9 for Nel and 10-12 for Kelly based upon the order in which you left comments, the blog followings and shout-outs about the give-away.

The results:

Here is your sequence:11
Timestamp: 2010-03-08 02:30:19 UTC

# 11 is first in the sequence, hence, the winner. (So easy to use at!)

Thanks for sharing in my blogiversary everyone!