Grilled Sausages with Artichoke Topping (GF/DF)

True confession: each season I get a set of the new products Pampered Chef that will debut in the upcoming catalog release. This is a perk of being a consultant! Sometimes when I get a product, I open it immediately and use it right away. Other times, the product(s) will get put away and I feel guilt when I think I should be using them. Sometimes it just takes me a while to fall in love. The Indoor/Outdoor Portable Grill was one of those times when I received it and just didn’t embrace it right away.

I often thought that this grill would have been the perfect companion for me when I live in my apartment! But now that I am in a beautiful home, Bill does the cooking on his charcoal grill (he refuses to use a gas grill but that’s another story for another day) and when I was growing up, my dad did most of the grilling so it wasn’t anything I had any experience with.  

When a customer purchases a product and I find out they haven’t been using it as much as they thought they would, I always suggest pulling it out and leaving it out so it would remind them to use and it will be readily available.  Then once it’s in the cooking rotation, then it can be stored away.  So that’s exactly what I did with the grill! It’s set up on a table on our deck right outside my kitchen and ready to go when I am.

A neat feature of the grill is that it can be used as an electric grill or can be used with charcoal!  Isn’t that fun and cool?  And it’s super easy to clean and there is no prep when using the electric feature other than preheating which takes less than 5 minutes.

Of course going through my PC recipes, I have several for the grill and dreamed of making them at some point… you know what I mean… those “some day” recipes we all have stashed away… Well, these grilled sausages will make your grill sizzle with the zesty topping that is unexpected and a tasty surprise.  Serve it up with baked beans or potato salad (or both) and you have the perfect evening meal.

Grilled Sausages with Zesty Topping
Makes 6 servings
Adapted from: Pampered Chef

1 cup white wine
1/2 cup chicken stock
1/2 cup water
10-12 Italian sausages (about 3 pounds)
1 12oz jar artichoke salad (I use this one)
1 medium green bell pepper, cut into 4 wedges
1 cup grape tomatoes, quartered

  1. Heat the Indoor/Outdoor Portable Grill for cooking at medium temperature. Combine wine, stock and water in the 12” Skillet. Prick sausages several times. Place sausages in the wine mixture; bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer 10-15 minutes or until sausages are no longer pink. Remove sausages from liquid and discard the liquid.
  2. Meanwhile, drain the artichoke salad using the Easy Read Measuring Colander, then chop the artichoke salad in the Manual Food Processor until coarsely chopped.  Quarter the tomatoes using the Tomato Knife and dice the bell pepper using the Quick Slice.
  3. Place the Grill Mat on the grill and add the artichoke topping.  Grill, covered, for 5 minutes.  Remove from the grill and keep warm.
  4. Add the sausages to the grill and grill, covered, 4-6 minutes or until sausages are evenly browned, turning occasionally with the BBQ Tongs. Remove sausages from the grill.
  5. To serve, place the sausages on serving plates and top with the artichoke topping. 

Enjoy!

SHOP MY KITCHEN!

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Some of the links in this post may be affiliate links. Colleen Finley is an independent advanced director for Pampered Chef. She earns a commission by linking to products she uses and trusts. If you purchase a product through her website link, your cost will be the same, and Colleen will automatically receive a small commission. Your support is greatly appreciated and helps us enrich lives, one meal and one memory at a time!

Everything on this site, recipes and photos belong to the author and any reprints are only by permission of the author.

Why You Need A Microwave Popcorn Maker

Have you ever looked at the back of the microwave popcorn bag and read the list of ingredients? Now have you ever looked at the back of a jar of popcorn and read that list of ingredients?

Let me enlighten you… On the back of the microwave popcorn bag, you’ll see ingredients in addition to popcorn such as:

  • artificial flavor
  • artificial coloring
  • ascorbic acid
  • extracts for coloring and flavor
  • high oleic oil
  • butter powder
  • citric acid
  • lactic acid
  • no-dairy butter flavor

What’s on the back of the jar of popcorn?

  • popcorn

Enough said. Some of the things I listed above I don’t even know what they are and I’m afraid to look them up!

The Microwave Popcorn Maker gives you the convenience of a bag of microwaveable popcorn without the extra cost and chemicals. Just fill the cup with popcorn kernels, add oil or butter if you want, and put it in the microwave—you’ll have a healthy snack in minutes.

This microwave popcorn maker does have a learning curve though. You definitely want to place it on the outside of the rotating plate in your microwave, not in the center. Do not use the Popcorn setting on your microwave (that is for the bags that you buy that have all that yucky stuff in them). You want to listen and let your ears tell you when it’s done popping, not the timing of your microwave, although once you have it down, you’ll know how long for your microwave. When the kernels slow down popping, remove it immediately. It will be HOT when it comes out of the microwave so you’ll need oven mitts to remove it. It will take a minute or two for the silicone to cool down enough to be able to hold it but the popcorn will still stay warm. You can add oil or butter or omit entirely (that’s what I do) for more of an air-popped flavor.

It collapses flat for easy storage and is dishwasher safe too and also comes in a family size!

Grabs yours here: Microwave Popcorn Maker

SHOP MY KITCHEN!


Some of the links in this post may be affiliate links. Colleen Finley is an independent advanced director for Pampered Chef. She earns a commission by linking to products she uses and trusts. If you purchase a product through her website link, your cost will be the same, and Colleen will automatically receive a small commission. Your support is greatly appreciated and helps us enrich lives, one meal and one memory at a time!

Everything on this site, recipes and photos belong to the author and any reprints are only by permission of the author.

Chicken and Asparagus Risotto Dinner (GF/DF)

When I first started with Pampered Chef, I made this recipe A LOT because it made me feel fancy and accomplished! I was putting a beautiful meal on the table… like a restaurant-quality meal!  Then as my cooking skills increased, my palate became little more expanded and changing my diet, I realized this recipe wasn’t going to work for me anymore but at the same time, it remained one of my favorites and one that holds a special place in my heart.

To make it gluten-free, I swapped out the cream of mushroom soup and instant rice and I swapped out the parmesan for nutritional yeast to make it dairy-free.  Lastly, I adapted it to be prepared in the Quick Cooker Pressure Cooker to save time and effort.  So now it’s a win-win… healthier and easier to prepare!  The hint of fresh lemon gives this dish a vibrant flavor that is perfect any time of year.

Chicken & Asparagus Risotto Dinner
Adapted from: Pampered Chef
Makes 6 servings

1 tbsp olive oil
½ small onion, chopped
1 garlic clove, pressed
1.5 lb boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1/2 tsp salt, divided
1/4 tsp coarsely ground black pepper
1 cup arborio rice
3 cups chicken stock
1/2 lb fresh asparagus spears, cut into 1 1/2-in pieces
1 tablespoon nutritional yeast
1 tablespoon dairy-free cream cheese
½ lemon

  1. Set the Quick Cooker to SEAR and press START. Heat the oil in the inner pot for 3 minutes.
  2. Sprinkle the chicken with salt and pepper and sear and each side until browned, about 2 minutes per side.  Remove from the Quick Cooker and tent with foil to keep warm.
  3. Add the onion, garlic pressed with the Garlic Press, salt and pepper to the Quick Cooker and cook uncovered for 3 minutes, stirring frequently. Add the rice and broth stir to combine for 1 minute. Press CANCEL.
  4. Pace the wire rack into the inner pot with all three feet touching the bottom.  Place the chicken on the wire rack.
  5. Lock the lid, select the CUSTOM setting, adjust the time to 11 minutes, and press START.
  6. Meanwhile, cut the asparagus into 1 ½-inch pieces using the 5” Santoku Knife.  Zest the lemon using the Microplane® Zester and set aside.  Save the lemon for later use.
  7. When the timer is up, press CANCEL. Press the steam-release button to manually release the pressure.  Remove the chicken to a plate to keep warm and remove the wire rack.
  8. Stir in the asparagus and set to SEAR and press START.  Cook, uncovered, for 2 minutes, stirring frequently.  Stir in the nutritional yeast and cream cheese and stir for 1 minute longer.
  9. Press CANCEL. Before serving, Press ½ lemon into the rice using the Citrus Press.  
  10. Portion the risotto, asparagus and chicken onto serving plates.  Sprinkle with lemon zest and serve.

Enjoy!

SHOP MY KITCHEN!

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Some of the links in this post may be affiliate links. Colleen Finley is an independent advanced director for Pampered Chef. She earns a commission by linking to products she uses and trusts. If you purchase a product through her website link, your cost will be the same, and Colleen will automatically receive a small commission. Your support is greatly appreciated and helps us enrich lives, one meal and one memory at a time!

Everything on this site, recipes and photos belong to the author and any reprints are only by permission of the author.

Why You Need a Stackable Cooling Rack

Stackable Cooling Rack

I personally have six of them. Yes, I said it. I have six. When I do my massive holiday cookie baking, these are essential. But not just for the holidays! These sturdy racks are perfect for all kinds of baked goods, plus they are strong enough to support stoneware or bakeware. They will keep your countertops safe from hot dishes.

Here are the details:

  • 10” x 18”.
  • Small, nonstick grid prevents food from falling.
  • Durable, heavy-gauge steel.
  • Rubber feet protect counters.
  • Hand wash.

Plus, you can order them as a set too!

Do you really need a cooling rack for baked goods? The short answer: yes. Because the raised level of the rack combined with the open grid allows air to circulate, cooling your goodies quickly and evenly. No more soggy bottoms!

Stackable Cooling Rack Set

Are you wondering what else I use them for when I’m not baking massive amounts of cookies? I’m glad you asked!

My mother shared with me with brilliant hack of placing one in my freezer to offer another storage shelf. I also use them to rinse my produce when it’s arrived from the store before storing. I place the rack right over my sink and use the host attachment to rinse the vegetables. When we entertain, I use them under my tablecloths to create height for serving.

Do you ever make peanut butter cookies? Here’s my favorite hack for that: instead of using a fork to make the cross-hatch pattern after you’ve portioned your cookies onto a cookie sheet, use the rack to make the crosshatches all at one time. Genius!

But there’s more! Use it to chop avocados for guacamole, eggs or egg salad and potatoes for potato salad! How? Place your produce or eggs on a cutting board and press the rack over them. The contents will come right through the grid into chopped pieces.

On a side note, this rack is NOT oven safe so you won’t want to use it for roasting vegetables or making bacon, BUT you can use this Baking Rack for those things (and as a cooling rack too!). See? We’ve got you covered!

Get yours here: Stackable Cooling Racks

SHOP MY KITCHEN!


Some of the links in this post may be affiliate links. Colleen Finley is an independent advanced director for Pampered Chef. She earns a commission by linking to products she uses and trusts. If you purchase a product through her website link, your cost will be the same, and Colleen will automatically receive a small commission. Your support is greatly appreciated and helps us enrich lives, one meal and one memory at a time!

Everything on this site, recipes and photos belong to the author and any reprints are only by permission of the author.

German Chocolate Brownies (GF/DF)

German chocolate is such a classic flavor and a comfort food for us.  Bill loves coconut so whenever I can make anything that has coconut in it, I know he’ll be in love. 

In doing a little research I learned that the chocolate part is what is the German chocolate. I mistakenly thought that it was the combination of the chocolate, coconut and pecans that made it “German chocolate.”  And it has zero connection to being German in origin!

These brownies can be heated slightly in the microwave or air fryer to serve warm or can be cooled and refrigerated for up to a week, but only if they last that long.

German Chocolate Brownies


Adapted from: Detoxinista and 365 Great Cookies & Brownies
Makes 16 servings

1 cup almond flour
1 cup coconut sugar
1/3 cup cocoa powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
¼ teaspoon salt
3 eggs
3 tablespoons plus ¼ cup ghee, melted, divided
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/3 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup oat milk
1/3 cup chopped pecans
1/3 cup flaked coconut

  1. Heat the oven to 350F.  line an 8” square baking pan with foil or parchment paper.
  2. Mix the almond flour, coconut sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt in the Medium Stainless Mixing Bowl using the Small Mix ‘N Scraper.  Add the eggs, 3 tablespoons ghee, and vanilla and mix well.  Spread in the prepared pan and bake 25-30 minutes.
  3. Remove the pan from the oven to a Stackable Cooling Rack to cool.  
  4. While the brownies are cooling, combine ¼ cup ghee, brown sugar and oat milk in a small saucepan.  Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer 3 minutes.  Stir in the chopped pecans and flaked coconut.  Spread the topping over the brownie layer in the pan, then allow to cool completely.
  5. Cut into 16 squares.

Enjoy!

SHOP MY KITCHEN!

Screen Shot 2019-03-10 at 4.49.00 PM

Some of the links in this post may be affiliate links. Colleen Finley is an independent advanced director for Pampered Chef. She earns a commission by linking to products she uses and trusts. If you purchase a product through her website link, your cost will be the same, and Colleen will automatically receive a small commission. Your support is greatly appreciated and helps us enrich lives, one meal and one memory at a time!

Everything on this site, recipes and photos belong to the author and any reprints are only by permission of the author.

Why You Need A Micro-Cooker Set

Whether or not the majority of your cooking is done in a microwave oven or not, this Micro-Cooker set is a kitchen essential.  When I started with Pampered Chef, the Small Micro-Cooker came in the starter kit and while I wanted to like it, I just couldn’t!  I found it hard to attach the lid to the pot and with the long handle, it was a challenge to store.  It went in my cabinet and I rarely used it.  Fast forward to moving to a new place to live and not having a microwave, it wasn’t needed.  When I finally did have a microwave, I had been so out of the habit of using it, frankly I’d forget that it was an option.

When the newer style was introduced, I figured I’d feel the same way about it because I really don’t do much microwave “cooking” and if I were to, I’d opt for stoneware.  But then one day, I pulled them out to use and instantly fell in love!  What happened?

Well, a few things! First, they are much easier to store! Look at how easily they stack and the lids snap together so there isn’t a chance that one will be misplaced.  The lids are also completely easy to twist on and off.  The struggle is gone!  Plus, the lids have holes that let steam escape and make any liquid easy to drain off without getting out a colander or burning myself.

So, what are these essential little pots used for?  The 1-Qt is perfect for melting butter and chocolate, heating soup and steaming vegetables and perfect for one-dish microwave meals.  I end up using it often when Bill is traveling and I’m cooking for myself. 

The 2-Qt is the right size for family meals, poaching chicken, larger servings of soup and vegetables.

The 3-Qt Micro-Cooker Plus makes cooking starchy dishes like potatoes, quinoa, pasta, polenta and rice a breeze!  The special lid insert circulates the liquid and prevents boil-overs so there are no microwave messes to clean up!  All three sizes are microwave safe too.

This set is perfect for dorms, apartments, empty nesters and frankly anyone who owns a microwave.  And of course, all are BPA free so they are completely safe to cook with and are sold in a set or separately, depending on your needs.  Did I mention they are dishwasher safe?

You can grab yours here: 

SHOP MY KITCHEN!


Some of the links in this post may be affiliate links. Colleen Finley is an independent advanced director for Pampered Chef. She earns a commission by linking to products she uses and trusts. If you purchase a product through her website link, your cost will be the same, and Colleen will automatically receive a small commission. Your support is greatly appreciated and helps us enrich lives, one meal and one memory at a time!

Everything on this site, recipes and photos belong to the author and any reprints are only by permission of the author.