Saturday, July 30, 2011

smoky chicken fettuccini

I've prepared this recipe at two Pampered Chef parties and it is yummy! It's an easy fix and there are a few shortcuts to make it a super quick recipe. If you've been to a Pampered Chef party you will know there is no time for taking pictures so no pictures for this recipe, but when I make it at home I'll be sure to document it with the camera!

For this recipe I used the Pampered Chef Manual Food Processor and Professional Shears and both products were ordered at the party. These are two kitchen neccessities!

The Pampered Chef exclusive heavy-duty shears are perfect for kitchen prep and other household tasks: cutting through chicken bones, trimming meats and veggies, snipping herbs, cutting twine and fresh flowers...the list goes on and on! The springloaded design and ergonomic soft-grip handles help you do it all comfortably. Includes a protective storage cover. Dishwasher safe.

Just drop in ingredients and pump the handle! Our unique curved blades chop, slice, and blend ingredients in seconds. The more you pump, the finer the cuts. Includes a handle lock for convenient storage, measure marks for easy measuring, and nonskid base for stability. 3 cups. Vessel and blade post are dishwasher safe.

To purchase these items and much more, visit my Pampered Chef website at

Smoky Chicken Fettuccini

8 oz fettuccini, broken in half
1 cup frozen peas
6 slices bacon
6 garlic cloves
1/2 cup diced onion
1/2 coarsely chopped bell pepper
2 cups diced cooked chicken
1 cup half and half
2 oz grated smoked Provolone cheese
1/2 tsp coarsely ground black pepper
1/4 tsp salt
2 tbsp snipped fresh parsley

Cook pasta according to package directions. Add peas to pasta; drain.

Cut bacon into 1/2 inch pieces. Cook bacon in skillet over medium heat 8-10 minutes or until crisp. Remove bacon from skillet; drain on paper towels. Drain grease from skillet. Do not wipe out.

Thinly slice garlic. Add garlic, onion, and bell pepper to skillet. Cook over medium heat 2-3 minutes or until vegetables are tender. Add pasta, peas, bacon, chicken, half and half, cheese, black pepper, and salt to skillet; toss well to coat. Cook and stir over medium heat 8-10 minutes or until sauce is slightly thickened and mixture is hot. Sprinkle with parsley; serve immediately.

Yield: 6 servings

a few recipe notes :)

*This recipe is just as yummy if you don't use peas. If you are like me, green peas are not tasty!
*The professional shears are great for dicing the chicken and bacon. The manual food processor is a quick tool to use to dice the onion and bell pepper.
*The past two times I've made this recipe we haven't been able to fine grated smoked Provolone cheese so you will have to grate or thinly slice your cheese.
*I use minced garlic ;)


Tuesday, July 26, 2011

beach bum

I have a little confession.  The reason I haven't posted in a while is because:

1. I have started reading blogs on Google Reader and I can't stop!  Too busy reading to post.

2. I have discovered the world of teaching blogs and one leads to another which leads to another, etc. and that's ALL I do!  Have gotten some great ideas and considering starting one and/or selling teaching products online.

3. I was in Destin for a week laying on the white sandy beaches playing and reading "The Help" and while I loved the sun, I also loved umbrella life.  I have been given the name "beach bum" by my family because when no one else would be on the beach, I would be!

Which brings me to my picture overload :)

the view outside our condo. 

the farmer and our nephew who LOVES his uncle matt. and loved looking at the water during breakfast each morning!

the kid was in LOVE with the water!  uncle matt got a workout dipping him in and out of the water. just try to overlook the farmer's "farmer tan" - such a true depiction of the phrase.

dinner at "the back porch"

we were total beach bums!

captain michael in his boat! 

my WONDERFUL in-laws who took us to Florida!

my brother-in-law had to work all week (short notice trip!) so he flew down on Friday to spend the weekend.  weather was not so great on Saturday, but we got some beach time in!

our last dinner was at McGuire's Irish Pub and was the best meal by far!

home of "the grand burger" that cost...

$100! That was not ordered at our table!

guess we could have borrowed some money from the ceiling ;)

Poor little Michael had fever most of the week, but it was still a great vacation!  Condo is already booked for next year :)  I probably shouldn't start counting down the days.  It might be a long year.  But, I CAN'T WAIT!

I have a Pampered Chef party Thursday night - stay tuned for a YUMMY new recipe!


Saturday, July 9, 2011

the dukan diet

Well, hello there.  It's been a while.  I'm back and 8 1/2 pounds lighter all thanks to The Dukan Diet.

This, my friends, is how the French stay skinny and how Kate Middleton's mom lost her weight before the royal wedding.  It's been around a little while, but I just started hearing about it the past few weeks and one of my best friends had been successfully losing weight on it, so I figured I'd give it a try. Plus I've gained a considerable amount of weight since my wedding, and well, I'd like to be back down closer to that weight.  Turns out my mother-in-law was thinking about doing it too so off to Barnes and Noble we went and bought the book and got started two days later.  Surprisingly, the farmer and his father are doing it too so it's a family affair. 

It didn't sound too bad.  The first 5 days is protein, non-fat dairy, and eggs only.  You also have to incorporate 1 1/2 tbsp of oat bran a day so we add it in to vanilla yogurt and it's not bad...and it fills you up!

For breakfast we started eating eggs or omelets and yogurt with oat bran.  For lunch we'd have some lunch meat and cheese and if I was feeling super energetic I'd grill hamburger patties or chicken at 10:30 AM so it'd be ready for lunch.  We've eaten a lot of steaks for dinner, which gets absolutely no complaints, shrimp, or grilled fish.  The first week I was down 6 pounds.

Starting on the sixth day you can add vegetables in with your proteins, but no corn, potatoes, or anything starchy.  Mom came in town that day and she was very happy it was a vegetable day so she didn't have to eat meat only!  We've eaten a lot of green beans and grilled squash, onion, and zuchinni.  As of today I am down 8 1/2 pounds and have been doing the diet since Sunday, June 26. 

You are supposed to alternate 5 days of protein only with 5 days of protein and vegetables until you meet your goal weight.  I'd like to lose about 15 more pounds so I'll be doing this a while!  The next stage you can add in two slices of bread a day and fruit and you can also have two celebration meals a week. 

It's worked out pretty well, but I have to admit that I'm getting a little tired of snacking on reduced fat string cheese and yogurt.  I'd like to at least have some fruit or something!  We splurged on 4th of July and had a great meal with some friends, but it didn't hurt us too bad.  I also had two workshops this week and we ate out for lunch, but I ate a healthy food option and had protein only for dinner. 

Vacation is coming up and I'm not quite sure how we will do while we are gone, but we are going to try to choose healthier options to keep our weight loss going!  Or that's what we say at least :) 

Of course, with any diet, you are supposed to exercise.  This diet calls for a daily 30 minute walk.  I haven't been too good with that part of the diet, but the days I have walked I lost about a half pound more than usual. 

I can't really tell that I've lost 8 1/2 pounds when I look at myself, but my pants do feel a little looser today so I guess that's a good sign.

Another note about the diet - it's been pretty easy to do since I'm off of school for the summer, but it may be a little trickier to do when I am back at school.  Guess I will cross that bridge when it comes - if I'm still on the diet! I'm hoping by that time I am just used to eating healthier and smaller portions and can control it without a strict diet. 

Here's to heatlhier eating!



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