Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Kraft Foods Gift Basket Giveaway!

Who would like a gift basket full of Kraft Foods products?  When a representative of Kraft Foods contacted me, I was excited to be given the opportunity to offer this giveaway to my readers.  Kraft Foods is generously providing a basket to me and a basket to one winner on this blog post.  Thank you Kraft Foods! 

The Kraft Foods Basket is filled with the following:  "4 delicious holiday recipes from the Kraft Foods Kitchens, a Zak Designs garlic peeler, an HA Mack olivewood mixing spoon, NEW Velveeta Rotini and Cheese Whole Grain, Planters cocktail peanuts, Planters pecans, Baker's semi-sweet chocolate, Stove Top, Honey Maid cinnamon crackers, Jet Puffed marshmallows, Oreos, Kraft salad dressing, NEW Maxwell House Blend coffee, NEW Ritz Brown Sugar Cinnamon crackers and NEW Wheat Thins Flatbread crackers".

Isn't that an awesome gift basket?
We have all grown up with Kraft products and we are very familiar with their brands.

Kraft Foods has recently re-launched their Facebook Fan Page (http://www.facebook.com/KraftFoods) and The Kraft Foods Channel on YouTube (http://www.youtube.com/KraftFoods).  Both of these sites have recipes and seasonal tips.  It also provides a forum to exchange ideas and recipes, ask questions and give feedback.  In addition, the YouTube channel is from the Kraft Cooking School and has many how-to videos demonstrating Kraft Foods recipes.

Kraft Foods also has a Twitter Handle for tweets of popular recipes from the Kraft Kitchens.  The link for their Twitter site is:  http://twitter.com/KraftFoods

Kraft Foods would like your feedback on these 3 different channels.  They want to hear your opinions, thoughts and suggestions.   

So, to qualify for this Kraft Foods Basket Giveaway, check out these sites and please leave me a comment letting me know what you think about any of these Kraft channels: Facebook, YouTube or Twitter.  What do you like on any of these sites?  Is there something different you would like to see?  Let me know and you will get an entry to win this basket and I'll pass on your feedback to Kraft Foods.

For a 2nd entry to win this food basket, become a follower to my blog.  See followers list towards the bottom of my right sidebar.  Then leave me another comment letting me know you're a follower.  If you already follow my blog, then just leave me a comment telling me you are a follower.

The deadline to leave a comment will be Friday, January 1st at 11:00 pm Central Time.  I will announce the winner on Sunday, January 3rd.  The winner will be randomly selected using Random.org.   

Ammended Note added 12/31/09:  This gift basket is open to US Residents only.

Mom's Cooking Club Lesson:  I want to wish everyone a very Happy Holidays and a Happy New Year!  I appreciate everyone that has visited my blog and left me comments this past year.  I look forward to 2010 where I'll be growing my blog and sharing more recipes.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Brown Sugar and Pecan Glazed Green Beans

This fabulous green bean recipe was given to me by my co-worker, Jessica.  She told me about these incredible string beans her boyfriend made for her.  I told her to please get me the recipe.  So, she immediately called her boyfriend and wrote down the recipe for me.  This is why I love the sharing of recipes.  Not only do I get to try new things and expand my recipe box, I get to share what I enjoy with all of you.

These green beans were really, really good.  I will definitely be making these over and over again.  We had them with grilled ham steaks and the green beans went perfectly with it.  

If you are looking for a special side dish for your Christmas or New Years dinner, then I would highly recommend these "dressed up" string beans.

Brown Sugar and Pecan Glazed Green Beans
Recipe made by Jamie (Mom's Cooking Club), recipe provided by co-worker, Source Unknown

Serves 4


1/2 lb. green beans, cut in half
1 small red onion, sliced in rings (I used about 1/2 cup sliced)
1/3 cup pecans, chopped in large pieces
3 tablespoons butter
3 tablespoons brown sugar
3 tablespoons orange juice
1 tablespoon dijon mustard
1/2 teaspoon salt


Boil green beans in water for 8 minutes.  Drain and set aside.
In small skillet, saute onion and pecans in butter until onion is tender.
Mix brown sugar, orange juice, mustard and salt in a small bowl.  Stir sauce into onion mixture for 2-3 minutes until sauce thickens.  Add beans and mix well until green beans are coated with sauce. 

Thanks for the recipe Jessica!  

 Next week I'll be having a basket giveaway so check back for the details.   


Mom's Cooking Club Lesson:  I added a printable recipe feature on this post thanks to my sister-in-law Aggie from Aggie's Kitchen.  Aggie explains how to set this up by using Google Docs.  Click here for Aggie's instructions.  Trust me, if I can do it, anyone can.  Thanks a bunch Aggie!

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Three Cheese Pasta Bake

I had to take my computer to the "Tech Doctors" this past week.  Poor thing had a terrible virus.  But it's all well now and thank goodness so I can tell you all about this wonderful macaroni and cheese dish.  I make this pasta bake quite often because it is delicious, easy to prepare and the ultimate in comfort food.  I love the combination of the 3 cheeses:  White Cheddar, Gruyere & Parmesan.  We usually eat it as the main dish and have some vegetables or a salad to go with it.  It's also a great weeknight meal because it doesn't take long to make.  If you like macaroni and cheese, you must try this version.  I found this recipe in Southern Living magazine and you can print the recipe from the Myrecipe.com website.  Click here for the recipe.  

Speaking of cheese, we all love cheese in my house.  Do you know who else loves cheese?

Maximus and MJ, that's who!  My 2 Boston Terriers are under my feet every time I take my box grater out and start shredding cheese.  But, do you know what happens when you give a Boston Terrier cheese?  Let's just say it's a gassy situation! 

I'm sorry....I guess that was WAY too much information.  Well, I'll finish up by sharing some yummy photos of the Three Cheese Pasta Bake.

Cheesy and creamy!


Mom's Cooking Club Lesson:  Gruyere cheese is a swiss cheese that is made from cow's milk.  It is a hard, yellow cheese and it was named after the town of Gruyeres in Switzerland.  It's a good melting cheese which makes it perfect in this Pasta Bake.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Cookie Exchange by Cooking Light's Virtual Supper Club

I smell cookies in the air.  It's that time of year for baking up all sorts of cookies and there is nothing like a home baked cookie.  Welcome to the Cooking Light Virtual Supper Club's December theme of Cookie Exchange.  Five bloggers come together once a month to present a themed supper club menu.  I love baking so I was excited about this month's theme (but honestly I get excited about every month's theme).  I wasn't sure how cookies would be "light".  Most of Cooking Light's cookie recipes use less sugar, butter and eggs than a full fat cookie.  All the things you think should be in a cookie.  So, was I a little skeptical?....yes!

I chose a Slice and Bake Cookie called Raspberry Strippers.  They were rated 5 stars (Outstanding) on Myrecipes.com.  Well, I have to say, we rated these cookies Outstanding as well.  These were fun cookies to make.  The cookie was tender and the combination of the raspberry filling with the glaze on top made it really special.  Within 15 minutes of my husband coming home from work, he had already eaten 4 of them (that's ok since they are low fat, right?).  They lasted less than 2 days in the house.  I guess that means I have to make another batch.  These are perfect for a cookie exchange party because they are pretty and everyone will think you are an amazing baker.  Little secret....they are easy to make.

See what the other Virtual Supper Club members brought.  We got to "exchange" some really good cookies.  Also, read about us on Cooking Light's blog, Test Kitchen Secrets.

Shelby from The Life and Loves of Grumpy's Honeybunch - Chocolate Hazelnut Thumbprints 
Aggie from Aggie's Kitchen - Peppermint Patties  
Val from More Than Burnt Toast - Orange Walnut Tassies 
Helene from La Cuisine d' Helene - Maple Date Bars    
Jamie from Mom's Cooking Club - Raspberry Strippers   

Did you know that today, December 4th is National Cookie Day.  Celebrate this time of year by baking and sharing home baked cookies.  Not only will you carry on traditions and create memories but you will put a smile on the recipient's face.

  See some more pictures below on the baking of my cookie.  Note:  the only change I made to the cookie recipe was to use an entire egg instead of just the egg white.  I think using the whole egg made the cookie tender and moist without adding that much more to the fat content.  

Divide the cookie dough into 2 equal parts

Roll each dough ball into 12 inch logs

Place dough logs on cookie sheet and take a wooden spoon handle or your fingers to make an indentation down the length of the dough.

This is the raspberry preserves that I used.  You can use a variety of other jam flavors, like strawberry, apricots or cherry.

Fill the "trench" with the fruit preserves.

Drizzle the glaze over the baked cookies before cutting in diagonal slices (I used almond extract in the glaze but you can also use vanilla extract)


Mom's Cooking Club Lesson:  Cookinglight.com has some very good cookie articles such as Cookie Swap and Cookie Basics.  Give some of these lighter cookie versions a try.  You may be surprised at the results. 

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