So let’s not get tired of doing what is good. At just the right time we will reap a harvest of blessing if we don’t give up. Galatians 6:9

Blessed is she who has believed that what the Lord has said to her will be accomplished! Luke 1:45

Monday, March 25, 2013

Monday's Menu

As a general rule, I am leery of anything Pampered Chef. The majority of the 'recipes' I've seen have started with several convenience foods. And they still don't really taste all that wonderful in my opinion. If I wanted to feed my family a steady diet of convenience foods that don't taste all that great, I certainly wouldn't need to spend a bunch of money on their gadgets to do so.

The other issue I have with them IS all those gadgets. They are amazing and convenient and cool, I'll agree. But a lot of them have been around since before Pampered Chef even though they tend to take credit for coming up with them and have made a business of dressing such things up and slapped a tripled or quadrupled price tag on them. The stuff they actually do come up with frustrates me too because you don't need a special gadget to do that thing -- you can usually do it with what you have at home.

For example, I recently noticed a new gadget for cutting shaped pieces of watermelon or cheese. Can you say 'cookie cutter'? It was just a small cookie cutter on a handle. It looked very modern and acrylic but it was still just a cookie cutter. Wilton sells them for under a dollar in pretty much any size and shape you like. But I'm guessing that thing wasn't less than a dollar.

So there's my little rant about them. Suffice to say, I don't often seek out their recipes. This one however pleasantly surprised me. Shocked might be a better word.

Sometime ago, I gave in and bought one of their can openers hoping that it might hold out longer than the two I had recently bought (that stopped working right within a week). I had told Hubby I planned to purchase one from them next time a friend had a party. The next day I received an online party invite. As a result, I received a 'prize' for being the first to place an order -- a recipe book. I wasn't terribly excited about that. I just wanted a can opener that would work. So the recipe book has been sitting in my recipe binder.

The other day, I flipped through it and saw this recipe. After looking over the ingredients, it occurred to me that it sounded like it would be good but I still had my doubts. I decided to try it anyway. We all loved it. The few leftovers were even competed over. It was quite good. Pampered Chef shut my mouth. At least on this recipe. I'm still not their fan but I'll hang on to this one. Give it a try.

By the way, I haven't had any complaints about the can opener either.

Easy Pasta Carbonara

1/2 lb. bacon, chopped (can use turkey bacon)
1 medium onion, chopped fine
4 cloves garlic, chopped
1 14.5 oz. pkg. uncooked bow-tie pasta
4 cups chicken broth
1 12 oz. can evaporated milk
1 oz. fresh parmesan cheese, shredded
4 oz. cream cheese
1 1/2 cups frozen peas, thawed
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes (optional)

 Cook bacon in large skillet until browned. Drain. Add onion, garlic, and pepper flakes, if desired. Cook until onion is tender. Add pasta, broth, and evaporated milk. Cover and bring to a simmer (do not boil). Simmer 12-14 minutes or until pasta is al dente. Remove from heat. Stir in parmesan cheese, cream cheese, and peas. Let stand, covered, 5 minutes until sauce is thickened slightly and peas are softened.

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