I recently discovered the Secret Recipe Club, brain-child of Amanda Formaro, of Amanda’s Cookin’, and decided to join the fun in June. Every month, participating blogs are assigned another foodie blogger’s website. They browse the recipes on their assigned site and select one to prepare for that month’s secret recipe club, putting their own creativity, [...]
I recently discovered the Secret Recipe Club, brain-child of Amanda Formaro, of Amanda’s Cookin’, and decided to join the fun in June. Every month, participating blogs are assigned another foodie blogger’s website. They browse the recipes on their assigned site and select one to prepare for that month’s secret recipe club, putting their own creativity, flair and nuances into the mix. At the exact same time, on the exact same day, all the recipes are posted and the secret recipe blogs are revealed. It’s a fun way to find new recipes and meet other foodie bloggers. For June, I was assigned Debbi Does Dinner…Healthy and Low Calorie.
So, what was the recipe post that made my tastebuds dance, just looking at the picture? I visited Debbi’s site and the recipe on her homepage, that day, was calling my name. I definitely put our own family’s spin on it, but Debbi was my inspiration for this absolutely delicious and easy recipe. The recipe that inspired my June Secret Recipe Club submission is her Buffalo Chicken Stuffed Shells. I incorporated my family’s love of Mexican and southwest flavors and created these heavenly Mexican Chicken Stuffed Shells. You’re gonna want them for dinner, tonight!
You could definitely cut this recipe in half, if you’re cooking for a smaller crew. We had company for dinner and I made 38 stuffed shells. The recipe left me with about 1 1/2 cups of extra filling, which was promptly devoured for lunch the next day in tortillas!
Here’s how to make them.
- Boil pasta shells to al dente, then drain and cool them while you mix up the filling.
- Dice the chicken, peppers and green onion. (My chicken was pulled from the freezer, pre-cooked and diced. Freezer cooking is a great time-saving idea for recipes like this.)
- To make the filling, mix diced chicken, drained black beans, green onions, diced peppers, and cumin in a large mixing bowl. Thoroughly incorporate all the ingredients.
- In a separate bowl, mix the cream cheese, chicken stock and undrained diced tomatoes w/chiles (Rotel). When thoroughly combined, pour it over the chicken mixture and mix well.
- Spread 3/4 cup of picante sauce in the bottom of a large baking pan.
- Stuff each of your cooled shells with the delicious chicken, cheese and veggie filling you just created and arrange the shells over the picante sauce in your baking pan.
- Drizzle remaining 1/4 cup of picante sauce over filled shells.
- Sprinkle shredded cheddar over the entire pan of stuffed shells. Cover tightly with foil and bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes or until hot and bubbly.
They’re going to make you SOOOOO hungry!
I realize I am probably in the minority on this topic, but until recently, I had never eaten a sun-dried tomato. <gasp> I love tomatoes, fresh, juicy and succulent, right off the vine in the garden, and even canned when I’m cooking. Somehow, the craze that has swept the nation, eating our tomatoes sun dried, [...]
I realize I am probably in the minority on this topic, but until recently, I had never eaten a sun-dried tomato. <gasp> I love tomatoes, fresh, juicy and succulent, right off the vine in the garden, and even canned when I’m cooking. Somehow, the craze that has swept the nation, eating our tomatoes sun dried, had eluded me. Fortunately, the generous folks at Mooney Farms remedied that situation, when I reviewed products from their Bella Sun Luci Sun Dried Tomatoes collection. Look at the wide variety of what I received to test.
Being the huge tomato fan that I am, I started searching out recipes, immediately. There are tons of them that add sun dried tomatoes directly to a salad. I have to tell you that I was not a fan, when they were used this way. Something about the dry, chewy texture just doesn’t work for me, when my brain thinks “tomato”. The flavor was fairly strong and more bitter than fresh tomatoes, which actually surprised me, since drying fruits usually concentrates the sugars. But, no worries. There are far more interesting recipes than salads and all I learned is that I won’t necessarily eat sun dried tomatoes, straight from the bag.
I decided to explore the recipes on the Mooney Farms website and was delighted with the selection I found there. I decided I was going to try the Sun Dried Tomato Vermicelli, but hearty it up for my favorite carnivores. That was easy enough to do by adding browned Italian Sausage. A few bell peppers for flavor and color, and it was a pretty and tasty one-dish meal.
I cannot express strongly enough, how much I loved the jarred varieties of Bella Sun Luci Sun Dried Tomatoes in olive oil. The flavors were so rich and lended themselves perfectly to cooking wonderful, savory dishes. Just opening the jars created an aromatic sensation that made me want a bite! Love, love, love these! I wholeheartedly recommend that you visit the Mooney Farms website and check out all the fabulous products available — sun dried tomatoes in every imaginable form, olive oils and fantastic gift baskets. (I think their “Dinner for Two” gift basket would be such a neat bridal shower gift! ) The site is educational, beautifully illustrated with gorgeous photography and chock-full of recipes you’ll be anxious to try.
Here’s how I did it.
- Brown and drain Italian sausage and set aside.
Heat reserved olive oil in a large pot until smoking. Then break spaghetti noodles into the oil and stir constantly while browning.
Add the sun dried tomatoes, chicken stock, salt and pepper, then bring to a boil.
- Once the pot comes to a boil, reduce the heat and simmer until pasta has absorbed most of the liquid (about 15 minutes).
- Once the liquid has been mostly absorbed, stir in the Italian sausage, peppers and onions. Continue cooking over low heat for one or two minutes until the veggies are heated through and tender-crisp.
- Transfer to a serving dish and sprinkle with parmesan cheese or save on the dishes and serve it right from the pan!
I also made a tasty snack/appetizer that was so simple, it was hard to believe how delicious it was. I love salted bagel crisps with just about anything on them. I used the Bella Sun Luci Bruschetta and the Tomato Pesto, spread onto a bagel crisp, topped with fresh mozzarella cheese slices and broiled until the cheese was bubbly and melted. Garnish with some fresh basil or any herbs you have on hand. I didn’t have any fresh herbs, the day I made them, but I used some sea salt, fresh black pepper and dry Italian seasoning on top of the cheese. They couldn’t be simpler or more delicious and my kids can’t get enough of them! They’re like little baby cheese pizzas.
I can’t wait for you to try your own delicious sun dried tomato products from Mooney Farms! One of you will win an assortment for your own kitchen in our giveaway and entry is super simple! And for the rest of us, there’s a printable $1.00 coupon at the Mooney Farms site.
You must be 18 or over and a US resident to enter. Winner will be selected in a random drawing using random.org. Deadline to enter is midnight (CST), Sunday, June 19, 2011.
In a comment below, tell me the title of a recipe from Mooney Farms you would most like to try.
Optional Additional Entries:
- Like Mooney Farms on Facebook and leave a comment to let me know you’ve done it.
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- Subscribe to the Busy-at-Home Newsletter with this link or by entering your email in the right-hand sidebar. You will receive an email confirmation with a link that must be clicked to confirm your subscription. Once you click the email link to confirm your subscription, leave me a comment to let me know you’ve done it.
- Tweet this giveaway (maximum of 1x per day, please). Win a selection of healthy and delicious Bella Sun Luci Sun Dried Tomato products @busyathome @BellaSunLuci http://ow.ly/5fbEz Leave a comment below with a link to your tweet.
- Post this giveaway on your Facebook page. I just entered to win a selection of healthy and delicious Bella Sun Luci Sun Dried Tomato products at Busy-at-Home! http://ow.ly/5fbEz Leave a comment below with a link to your post.
I received the selection of Bella Sun Luci products detailed above in order to test them and conduct this review. No monetary compensation was received and a positive review was not required. As with all Busy-at-Home reviews, the views and opinions expressed are wholly my own. Giveaway prize will be shipped directly to winner by Mooney Farms.
Did I travel from the corn fields of Nebraska, to be nestled in the peaceful, quiet woodlands of Vermont and experience the most thrilling and educational 48 hours a baker can imagine at the King Arthur Flour Baking and Education Center? Yes, yes I did! Did I take 863 pictures and learn so much that [...]
Did I travel from the corn fields of Nebraska, to be nestled in the peaceful, quiet woodlands of Vermont and experience the most thrilling and educational 48 hours a baker can imagine at the King Arthur Flour Baking and Education Center? Yes, yes I did!
Did I take 863 pictures and learn so much that my head is about to explode from wanting to share it with you? You bet!
Did I decide I have to share just a taste of it with you, now, before I leave on a week-long mission trip with 5 other brave adults and 26 Jr. High youth from our church? I sure did!
Did I meet the most fascinating and friendly food bloggers with the same fascination for food and taking pictures of it, as I have? Yup! (and tremendously talented instructors from King Arthur, and celebrity chef, Sara Moulton, and two delightful ladies from FLAVOR Magazine, PLUS Alison Furbish, the warm and talented web media coordinator at King Arthur who organized this educational baking extravaganza and we also got to meet and have lunch with the King Arthur flour bloggers.)
So, did I learn anything? Yes, I did! Volumes!
There is so much more to share with you, but I’m afraid this page will take 45 years to load with all the pictures. When I get back from the mission trip, we’re going to break this down into several posts. I’m going to share recipes and tutorials, everything I learned about flour and baking chemistry, all that Sara Moulton taught us (It’s so good!) and all that is amazing about King Arthur Flour. You are going to love it!
Oh, and in case you were wondering….
I won’t be back from my trip until late on the 17th, but no worries. I have some great posts scheduled to publish through the week, while I’m gone; and when I get back, we will explore King Arthur Flour and the Blog and Bake together!
In the meantime, check out the views from some of my other blogging and magazine friends and get their perspectives on this fun two-day event!
Love & Scraps
Recipes, Rantings and Ravings from a Vermont Kitchen
The Naptime Chef
Fitting great food into family life
Good. Food. Stories.
A chronicle of delicious conversations
Scotch Plains, NJ
Bluebonnets & Brownies
Tex-Mex and Southern comfort food
A Boston Food Diary
Food, family and fun on a frugal budget.
Vermont’s Independent Voice
Kittery Point, ME
for all things delicious!
Savoring the Thyme
The Apron Archives
vintage traditions in today’s homes and kitchens
Well, at least the glass is. Actually, as someone old enough to remember pulling half my body into a cavernous oven and proceeding to scrub, scratch and scrape while my eyes watered, head got woozy and I became encrusted in toxic black sludge — self-cleaning ovens are nothing short of miraculous inventions! I love them. [...]
Well, at least the glass is. Actually, as someone old enough to remember pulling half my body into a cavernous oven and proceeding to scrub, scratch and scrape while my eyes watered, head got woozy and I became encrusted in toxic black sludge — self-cleaning ovens are nothing short of miraculous inventions! I love them. They save me time AND brain cells. All the stuff that used to take hours to scrub away and left the skin peeling off my hands from cleaning chemicals, now just ends up as a manageable little pile of gray dust, to be swept away, at the end of the self cleaning cycle. That being said, it really isn’t terribly effective on the glass. You know, that little window, that lets you drool and anticipate as things are baking, without opening the oven door? Yah, that one. Well, the self cleaning cycle doesn’t clean it. Splatters and grease bake on, turning hard and brown; and when the cleaning cycle is over — the splatters and grease? — still baked on and brown. Ummm…fail.
There is one other issue with oven glass — that vent that runs across the top of the oven door. Now, if I was in a contest, and to win, I had to splatter something off the top of my range, into the narrow louvered slots of that horizontal vent and allow it to drip down in between the two panes of glass that comprise my oven window — forGET about it! There is no way I could pull that off. However, in some mysterious miracle of physics and irony, there is ALWAYS something splattered and dripping between those panes of glass. It makes me crazy! How on earth do I do that?
So, every so often, I have to do something to get that glass sparkling, again. Fortunately, it doesn’t require any awkward sort of stuffing myself into an appliance or asphyxiating with toxic fumes. It costs only pennies, doesn’t damage the glass and isn’t difficult to do. You won’t be needing any of that blue stuff in the spray bottle. It’s no match for this cleaning job. You need something tough, but that won’t scratch your glass while you’re scrubbing — Arm and Hammer baking soda. My sister-in-law, Elaine, suggested baking soda to me, years ago, for cleaning the film off of windshields. It worked like a dream and I have used it for tough glass cleaning jobs, ever since.
It really is as simple as sprinkling some baking soda on a damp cloth and scrubbing the glass. Use just enough water to keep the wash cloth moist. You don’t want a lot of dripping and the soda works best when it’s more paste-like on the cloth. See how quickly it starts to come clean? Look at the difference in that one small area!
Rinse your wash cloth, as needed, and apply more baking soda. Once you have finished scrubbing the glass, rinse it with cool water and wipe away any remaining soda residue. It really is that easy.
Now to tackle the drips between the panes. You’ll need a screwdriver, because you will take out the two screws at the top inside corners of your oven door. Yes, that handy-dandy tool bag, as well as the screwdriver, is pink. My tools used to disappear on a regular basis, never to be seen, again. I’ve noticed that pink ones are almost always right where I left them.
Here are a couple of “before shots”, once I got the screws out and the door sections separated. There is usually a pane of glass in each section; and this being the first time I have disassembled my new oven door, I discovered that this model actually has three! Just check your owner’s manual, if you’re not sure about your specific oven.
Use the same method, scrubbing both pieces of glass with a damp cloth and baking soda, then rinsing with cool water. For my oven, the glass in this top section has space behind it, as well. Leaving no path unexplored, my mystery drips have even gotten on the back side. I am able to slide it out of the metal track that holds it in place, clean it thoroughly, and slide it back into place.
Replace the two screws that hold your oven door sections together and you will have successfully polished your oven door window to perfection! See how pretty mine turned out? You’ve gotta love how easy and budget-friendly that job was, using nothing but a damp cloth and a few pennies-worth of Arm and Hammer baking soda. Check out these other great tips for cleaning with Arm and Hammer baking soda.
Next thing on the to-do list? It’s time to make a little pile of gray dust! Think I’ll enjoy a glass of iced tea and watch a little Food Network while I “work”. Self-cleaning is an amazing concept!
Do you have a self-cleaning oven? How do you keep the glass clean in yours? One lucky Busy-at-Home reader will win a $25 Visa gift card for sharing how they tackle their toughest kitchen cleaning challenge! In a comment below, just share your tip for conquering a tough kitchen cleaning challenge and you’re entered. It doesn’t get easier than that!
You must be 18 or over and a US resident to enter. Winner will be selected in a random drawing using random.org. Deadline to enter is midnight (CST), Sunday, June 19, 2011.
This is a sponsored post for Church & Dwight Co., Inc, the maker of ARM & HAMMER branded products, who is compensating me to try different products. Save 50¢ off two 2lb or 4lb boxes of ARM & HAMMER® Baking Soda. And be sure to visit The Switch & Save Challenge to tap into more resources and enter to win $25,000.
In about three hours, I’ll be boarding a plane for Norwich, Vermont, to visit the King Arthur Flour Baking and Education Center and tour their facility. I get to spend the next two days baking with 14 fabulous foodie bloggers, working and eating with a celebrity chef and learning all kinds of terrific new tips [...]
In about three hours, I’ll be boarding a plane for Norwich, Vermont, to visit the King Arthur Flour Baking and Education Center and tour their facility. I get to spend the next two days baking with 14 fabulous foodie bloggers, working and eating with a celebrity chef and learning all kinds of terrific new tips and techniques to share with all of you. I can’t wait to share everything that I learn. Anyone know how to build a brick fire oven? lol Maybe that should be part of my Backyard Makeover series. I’ll be using one on my trip and I’ll take lots of pictures. Talk to you soon! King Arthur Flour rocks!
Congratulations to our three latest giveaway winners! Mastermind: #110 Karen M Mastermind Towers: #139 Rosey Bodycology Gift Basket: #275 Raven in a Blue Room Emails have been sent to each of you. Please reply to them with the requested shipping information, within 48 hours, so your prizes can be shipped.
Congratulations to our three latest giveaway winners!
Mastermind: #110 Karen M
Mastermind Towers: #139 Rosey
Bodycology Gift Basket: #275 Raven in a Blue Room
Emails have been sent to each of you. Please reply to them with the requested
shipping information, within 48 hours, so your prizes can be shipped.
I leave on Sunday for a fabulous visit to King Arthur Flour’s Baking and Education Center in Vermont! I can’t wait to share all the fun things I learn there! In the meantime, I wanted to share this press release & video series about the farmers who work with them. I ♥ King Arthur Flour. [...]
I leave on Sunday for a fabulous visit to King Arthur Flour’s Baking and Education Center in Vermont! I can’t wait to share all the fun things I learn there! In the meantime, I wanted to share this press release & video series about the farmers who work with them. I ♥ King Arthur Flour.
Employee-owned Company Highlights Farmers Who Grow Its Wheat in Videos Exploring Contemporary American Agriculture
May 24, 2011 – Norwich, Vt. – King Arthur Flour this week launched a compelling series of online videos featuring the farmers who grow wheat for the company telling their stories of family farming, stewardship of the land, and the challenges and rewards of wheat farming in America today.
“When we went to Kansas in the summer of 2009 to meet some of the family farmers who grow wheat for us, I knew we had to go back with a camera crew. I wanted to get to know them better, find out why they do what they do and what keeps them at it. I wanted to hear their stories. And I wanted our customers and business partners to hear it all straight from them, too,” says King Arthur Flour Marketing Director Tom Payne, who writes about the experience on the company’s Baking Banter blog. “In 2010, we visited these farmers again, conducting on-camera interviews that led to a documentary-quality presentation exploring contemporary American agriculture. We’re thrilled to be able to share our farmers’ stories and to consumers gain a better understanding of where their food comes from.”
Thirty-two short videos are grouped around four themes: Families Growing Wheat, The Life of a Farmer, Preserving the Land, and the King Arthur Flour Connection with Farmers. Each topic includes an overview video, plus a selection of more in-depth interviews with individuals.
Visit kingarthurflour.com/ourfarmers to watch all the videos in the series.
America’s oldest flour company, King Arthur Flour has grown from a regional staple to a brand known nationwide not only for its high-quality flours but for its passion in sharing the joy of baking; from a small mail-order business with five employees in 1990 to the premier baking resource with more than 250 employees today; from a family-owned operation for five generations to a 100 percent employee-owned business. King Arthur Flour offers more than 1,000 professional-grade baking tools and ingredients through its catalogue, online at kingarthurflour.com, and at The Baker’s Store in Norwich, Vt. Its on-site and traveling baking education programs reach thousands of home and professional bakers annually. Through all of these activities, the company strives toward its mission: to support and expand all aspects of baking by being the highest quality product, information, and education resource for, and inspiration to, bakers worldwide.
(This press release was supplied by King Arthur Flour.)