Friday, December 18, 2009

Christmas is one week away! Shopping, wrapping, baking, cooking, planning…. Stay calm.

This is the week when things start to get super hectic around here. Between finishing decorations, shopping, baking cookies and finishing up last things at work, it is almost like a tornado! I just have to stop myself every other moment and tell myself to breath… oh and of course to remind myself to eat! Yes, between store hopping and munching on those cookies I just baked, I tend to let actual dinners go out the window.

Tonight I have dinner planned. I’m not going to let this one slip! I will be having one of my absolute favorite recipes from Campbell’s Kitchen: Chicken Pot Pie! This is the ultimate comfort food and is just perfect after a busy day. I hope everyone enjoys it, I know I will.

Chicken Pot Pie
From Campbell’s Kitchen
Prep: 20 minutes
Bake: 45 minutes
Makes: 6 servings


1 package (15 ounces) refrigerated pie crust (2 crusts)
1 can (10 1/2 ounces) Campbell's® Chicken Gravy
3 cups cooked cut-up vegetables *
2 cans (4.5 ounces each) Swanson® Premium White Chunk Chicken Breast in Water, drained


Let the pie crusts stand at room temperature for 15 minutes or until they're easy to handle. Place 1 pie crust into a 9-inch pie plate.

Stir the gravy, vegetables and chicken in a medium bowl. Spoon the chicken mixture into the pie plate. Place the remaining pie crust over the filling. Press the edges to seal. Cut several slits in the top crust.

Bake at 400°F. for 45 minutes or until the crust is golden brown.

*Use a combination of sliced carrots, peas and cubed potatoes.

Best, and until next time, Kaitlin!

I also wanted to let all of those Buffalo Chicken Dip lovers know that I found this really cool Evite for New Year’s. If you haven’t sent out all your invitations, what are you waiting for… next year?!

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Shopping is Stressful!

We are only in week two of December and I am already stressed about Christmas gifts. Throughout the year, I generally like to take mental notes whenever close friends and family members mention products or ideas for gifts. Unfortunately, all those mental notes get lost somewhere between Thanksgiving and Christmas!

On top of all the stress of finding the perfect gift, my annual Christmas party is this weekend! Every year, I invite about ten of my closest friends for a night of good food, stories and a little game we like to call Secret Santa also called White elephant gift exchange. It’s similar to a Pollyanna but you can steal a present from someone! Here is a link to how we play: {} If you never played this before, it’s great way to celebrate the holiday without breaking the bank. On top of the Secret Santa, we will of course be enjoying some great food! I will, of course, be serving the infamous Buffalo Chicken Dip (it just wouldn’t be a party without BCD!}. I will also be serving a great holiday recipe: Puff Pastry Wrapped Brie. This appetizer is always a big hit during the holidays. And did I mention it’s only three steps!

Puff Pastry Wrapped Brie
From Campbell’s Kitchen
Prep: 10 minutes
Bake: 25 minutes
Stand: 20 minutes
Makes: 6 servings


1/2 of a 17.3-ounce package Pepperidge Farm® Puff Pastry Sheets (1 sheet), thawed
1 (8 ounces) Brie cheese round
1 egg
1 tablespoon water

1. Heat the oven to 400°F. Unfold the pastry sheet on a lightly floured surface. Place the cheese in the center. Fold the pastry up over the cheese to cover. Trim the excess pastry and press to seal. Reserve the pastry scraps for decoration.

2. Beat the egg and water in a small bowl with a fork or whisk. Brush the seam of the pastry with the egg mixture. Place seam-side down onto a baking sheet. Decorate with the pastry scraps, if desired. Brush with the egg mixture.

3. Bake for 25 minutes or until the pastry is golden brown. Let stand for 20 minutes.

Best, and until next time, Kaitlin!

Friday, December 4, 2009

Turkey Leftover Overload and Holiday Entertaining

Wow! Thanksgiving left as quickly as it came. Needless to say, I am completely over my leftovers. Every night this week included at least something that was made last Thursday. As much as I love the Ultimate Mashed Potatoes and the Green Bean Casserole, I am actually happy to say that I will be making dinner tonight that doesn’t include Thanksgiving leftovers.

December is a very busy month for everyone. Holiday parties are quickly filling my calendar and of course, Swanson is very popular this time of year! Over the next few weeks, I will be focusing on superb entertaining that will not only be easy on your wallet but will ease the stress of the season. My first recipe that I want to share is dinner tonight: Chicken and Vegetable Bake. It’s easy, delicious and really affordable (it’s less than $10 for 4 people)!

Chicken and Vegetable Bake
From Campbell’s Kitchen
Prep: 10 minutes
Bake: 30 minutes
Serves: 4


1 can (10 3/4 ounces) Campbell's® Condensed Cream of Celery Soup (Regular or 98% Fat Free)
1/2 cup milk
1 cup cooked broccoli flowerets OR cauliflowerets
1 cup cooked sliced carrots
1 cup cooked cut green beans
2 cans (4.5 ounces each) Swanson® Premium White Chunk Chicken Breast in Water, drained
dash Ground black pepper
1 can (2.8 ounces) French's® French Fried Onions (1 1/3 cups)
1/4 cup cooked red pepper strips (optional)


Stir the soup, milk, broccoli, carrots, beans, chicken, black pepper, 1/2 can onions and red pepper, if desired, in a 1 1/2-quart casserole.

Bake at 350°F. for 25 minutes or until the chicken mixture is hot and bubbling. Stir the chicken mixture. Sprinkle with the remaining onions.

Bake for 5 minutes or until the onions are golden brown.

Serving Suggestion: Serve with a tossed salad with ranch dressing with crusty Italian bread. For dessert serve pineapple chunks.

Best, and until next time, Kaitlin!

P.S. In case you are new to Entertaining Escapades, I want to remind everyone in the interest of full disclosure that I work with Swanson Chicken.