Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Happy Holidays!

The holidays are here!  My favorite part of the season is getting the opportunity to spend time with my family and friends.  Throughout the month, there are a lot of get-togethers, holiday parties and work functions.  I really like to take the few days between Christmas and New Year’s to spend quality time with my close family. 

Traditionally, my entire family will host a holiday party the weekend before Christmas.  We have such a large family with a lot of small children, so it tends to be difficult to get everyone together on Christmas Eve or Christmas Day.  I actually like it this way.  It gives everyone the chance to have a small, intimate holiday celebration at their homes without the hustle and bustle of visiting with ten or so aunts and uncles, dozens of cousins, grandparents, grandchildren… and it can go on!

My absolute favorite part of this family time is sitting around the tree on Christmas Eve, listening to festive music, drinking hot chocolate and enjoying my favorite holiday treat, Brie en Croute.   My absolute favorite recipe comes from Campbell’s Kitchen®.  As you all may know, I do work for Swanson® and as a part of the Campbell’s family, I am always trying delicious recipes! I particularly love this recipe because it’s a perfect combination of the sweet and tangy apricots and dried cranberries along with the crunch of the almonds and the creamy smooth brie.  It really adds a special touch to a classic holiday treat!

Holiday Brie en Croute 

From Campbell’s Kitchen®
Thaw: 40 minutes
Prep: 15 minutes
Bake: 20 minutes
Stand: 45 minutes
Makes: 12 servings

1 egg
1 tablespoon water
1/2 of a 17.3-ounce package Pepperidge Farm® Puff Pastry Sheets (1 sheet), thawed
1/2 cup apricot preserves or seedless raspberry jam
1/3 cup dried cranberries
1/4 cup toasted sliced almonds
1 (13- to 16-ounce) Brie cheese round
1 package (13 ounces) Pepperidge Farm Entertaining Quartet Distinctive Crackers

1.     Heat the oven to 400°F. Beat the egg and water in a small bowl with a fork.
2.     Unfold the pastry sheet on a lightly floured surface. Roll the pastry sheet into a 14-inch square. Spread the preserves on the pastry to within 2 inches of the edge. Sprinkle with the cranberries and almonds. Place the cheese in the center of the pastry. Fold the pastry up over the cheese to cover. Trim the excess pastry and press to seal. Brush the seam 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 20 minutes or until the pastry is golden brown. Let stand for 45 minutes. Serve with the crackers.

What is your favorite holiday tradition?

Best, and until next time, Kaitlin!

Thursday, December 16, 2010

A Holiday Gift-Wrapping Party!

Every year, I purchase about two to three rolls of wrapping paper with some to spare. My only gripe about the rolls is that I would like a little variety with my gift giving. Once all my gifts are wrapped, they all look the same! I recently came across the idea of throwing a holiday gift-wrapping party and I just had to share this wonderful idea with my Entertaining Escapaders. Perhaps this can even become a holiday tradition with your friends?

The idea is to have a festive holiday party, asking each of your guests to bring along one or two different styles of wrapping paper and a corresponding spool of ribbon for decorating. The hostess will provide tape, scissors, name tags and of course, delicious food, drinks and holiday goodies. It’s a really unique party idea, which will allow your guests to wrap their holiday gifts in a variety of different papers and ribbons.

Here are a few tips, courtesy of Campbell’s Kitchen®, to think about when you organize your holiday gift-wrapping party. Setting your party up into three worktables will help create a nice flow and keep everyone organized throughout the evening.

• The first table should supply boxes, envelopes, bags and other “outer” containers along with a few creative ideas for oddly shaped items (like mailing tubes). As a host, go through your own collection of boxes and packing supplies—it’s very likely that you’ll have plenty of material on hand to easily outfit the station without having to buy anything.
• The second station is for all the guest-supplied rolls or sheets of wrapping paper, tissue paper and decorative gift bags.
• The last table is for guest-supplied spools of ribbon, string, stick-on bows, tags and any decorative novelties or ornaments. Outfit this area with additional tape, glue/glue sticks, scissors, pens, a paper punch and stickers.

For more entertaining tips, recipe ideas and fun holiday tricks, visit Campbell’s Kitchen!

Best and until next time, Kaitlin.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

The Winter Welcomes Warm Soup

There is a chill in the air!  The only really nice thing about the colder weather on the east coast is a warm, cozy homemade soup.  I usually like to make soup on a Sunday afternoon and freeze all the leftovers for a quick, easy dinner during the week. 

Of course Swanson Chicken® has a ton of ideas, tips and recipes for soup and I am on a mission to taste them all!  Well, maybe I won’t be able to test them all this winter, but I would love to try.  The best part about the recipes feature below is that they are quick, easy and really fit my budget, especially when there are Holiday gifts to be bought! Here are a few of my favorites:

Easy Chicken Chili with White Beans 

In the mood for chili?  No problem...because you can have this flavorful chicken chili on the table in less than 1/2 hour.  It only tastes like it's been simmering all day.

Santa Fe Chicken Tortilla Soup
Santa Fe Chicken Tortilla Soup Using the Swanson canned chicken, prepared salsa and flavorful chicken broth allows you to make this satisfying soup in just 20 minutes.  Try's zesty and delicious.

Country Chicken Stew This hearty stew, chock full of carrots, green beans, onion, potatoes, and chicken, simmers in a creamy base to tenderness in just minutes. Garnished with crispy bacon and parsley, this colorful dish is a feast for the eyes as well as the palate.

What’s your favorite winter soup?

Best, and until next time, Kaitlin!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Family, Thanksgiving and the Best Leftovers

As I mentioned last week, I will be hosting my first Thanksgiving dinner this year.  Through all the planning, preparation and excitement about the upcoming holiday, including the glorious Black Friday deals, I almost completely forgot about my favorite part of Turkey Day, the leftovers! I typically don’t eat many leftovers.  Yes, I am that person who will let the leftover chicken casserole go to waste as I forage on to new recipes.  However, for some reason there is something really special about eating Thanksgiving leftovers.

As the host, I am sure to have a refrigerator filled with turkey, cranberry sauce, stuffing and gravy.  Today, I wanted to share a few great recipes I found around the web from last year.  The best part about most of the below recipes is that if you really enjoy one of them, you can always try substituting the turkey for Swanson’s Chicken so you can enjoy it all year round!

Now, on to the recipes…

·      Rosemary Turkey Squares from Taste and Tell. I love this recipe because the rosemary adds a lovely earthy undertone along with an elegant touch. It’s perfect as an appetizer or perhaps lunch. 

·      Hot Turkey Sandwiches from Campbell’s Kitchen. This recipe is a classic Thanksgiving leftover meal. It’s comforting and just brings me back a great time in my childhood.
·      Thanksgiving Leftover Panini from Annie’s Eats.  This recipe is unique and simply delicious! All you have to do is sandwich your leftover turkey and cranberry sauce together and add some cheese.  I even like to add a little gravy to the side for dipping.  It is winning recipe!
·      Thanksgiving Casserole from Lauren’s Kitchen.  All I can say about this recipe is that it’s DELICIOUS!  The casserole is the perfect chance to test out substituting the turkey for Swanson Chicken.
·      Turkey Cranberry Quesadillas from Real Mom’s Kitchen. This recipe is creative and is great for lunch after a long morning of shopping all of the Black Friday deals! 

I hope you enjoy the leftovers just as much as the big meal! Happy Thanksgiving!

Best, and until next time, Kaitlin!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Thanksgiving Entertaining

WOW! It’s mid-November already and I am getting a little nervous about Thanksgiving this year.  As you know, I am still quite new to cooking for myself which means I don’t have much experience entertaining at home.  This year, I am hosting Thanksgiving dinner for the very first time and it is quite nerve-wracking!

The menu will be pretty traditional.  I will have a roasted turkey, mashed potatoes, cranberry sauce and of course, green bean casserole.  In fact, I’m not that worried about the menu.  I think I have that all set from all the great tips at Campbell’s Kitchen. 

My concern this year is my décor.  I would really like enhance the overall experience of Thanksgiving with some great, yet easy decorations.  So, I have been doing some research and I found quite a few wonderful resources that offer some great tips for decorating for Thanksgiving.  I thought all my Entertaining Escapaders would love to hear all about it!

A Warm Welcome
It is often said that first impressions of a home starts before you even open the front door.  I think it’s very important to greet your guests for Thanksgiving with a warm, autumnal welcome.  You can create some great, affordable fall décor with a little imagination.  I found a wicker basket at the craft store and filled it with a variety of small pumpkins and gourds and placed it on my front porch. I added a nice autumn wreath to the door and it turned out just wonderful for an affordable price!

The Centerpiece
The entire dinner will be centered around what you have on the table so, I thought it would be important to create something special.  I will be attempting to create my own centerpiece using a how-to guide I found on HGTV’s website. 

The Table Setting Tips
 I found a few wonderful tips for table settings on Martha Stewart’s website. One of my favor tips is the name cards made from sweet-gum-tree spurs.   

The great thing about these tips is that she includes a how-to tutorial for each tip and a lot of them are fun projects for the entire family.  You are sure to find some great ideas!

I hope you find my autumn decorating tips helpful and you try something new this year when you welcome your family and friends into your home for Thanksgiving!

Best, and until next time, Kaitlin!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

5 Recipes Under $10

If you are anything like me, you are always looking for delicious and easy recipes that fit a budget. Since working for Swanson, I have had great opportunities to not only test a lot of yummy recipes that fit my budget but to also share them with great people like my blog followers!

Today, I have chosen five recipes from Campbell’s Kitchen all under $10. Now, that is what I call eating deliciously for less!

BBQ Chicken Sandwiches - This flavorful recipe is great for the family or for casual get-togethers. It uses Swanson Premium Chunk Chicken and prepared barbecue sauce to make mouthwateringly delicious sandwiches.

Tortellini-Vegetable Toss - Cheesy ravioli and colorful vegetables are laced with Garden Combination Pasta Sauce for an easy, satisfying two-step supper.

Chicken and Bean Burritos - These quick and tasty burritos feature a zesty combination of Swanson Premium Chunk Chicken, bean soup and salsa inside a warmed flour tortilla and are ready to serve in about 20 minutes.

Asian Chicken Lettuce Wraps - Crisp lettuce takes the place of tortillas in these delicious wraps made quick and easy with Swanson Premium Chunk Chicken and crunchy vegetables tossed in an Asian-sesame dressing.

Chicken and Vegetable Stir-Fry - This delightful dish featuring Swanson Premium Chunk Chicken and a colorful combination of vegetables in a tasty sauce is on the table in minutes and so much better than take-out.

Do you have any delicious and affordable recipes to share? Please feel free to post them in the comments section below!

Best and until next time, Kaitlin.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Would you like Buffalo Chicken Dip with your penne pasta?

If you follow my blog, you know that Swanson has a Facebook page for our famous recipe, Buffalo Chicken Dip, aka BCD. The page is a fun place to share the recipe, host giveaways, conduct trivia contests and have fun conversations about sports, entertaining and just about anything related to BCD. A few weeks ago, I posted this question to our fans, which resulted in a lot of great, unique responses: Do you ever have Buffalo Chicken Dip leftover from your tailgate party? If so, what's your favorite tip for using leftover BCD?

Today, I wanted to share with you some of the best ways to use leftover Buffalo Chicken Dip – as supplied by the folks on Facebook. Not that we ever have any leftover after our parties, but should you ever have any, here are a few great tips:

- “Take Tortilla wraps, place a piece of iceberg lettuce in there and put the BCD on top of it and wrap it up like a burrito!” –From Patricia
- “Take two crescent rolls...unfold them onto a flat shallow baking pan...bake till brown, then spread BCD over the crust, add chopped onion, broccoli, cauliflower, or any veggie you want...” –From Gene
- “Won-ton wraps. Put a spoonful in the middle of a wan-ton shell fold it in half (to make a triangle, seal the edges) and the deep-fry. Delish!” –From Karle
- “Use tortilla scoops, add a spoon drop of Buffalo Chicken dip, and sprinkle with shredded cheese of your choice for an appetizer before dinner or an after school snack for kids.” –From Marianne
- “I like to put it over a nice bowl of penne pasta, it sounds strange but it is ohhhhh so good!” –From Brandon
- “I spread it on thick Italian bread, broil with cheese, and DEVOUR!!!” –From Kelly

What’s your favorite tip for using leftover Buffalo Chicken Dip?

Best, and until next time, Kaitlin!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Do you have a “Picky Palate?”

One of my favorite food bloggers in the online foodie blogosphere is “The Picky Palate”.  Jenny is a stay at home mom with two little boys living in San Diego.  Her food blog, “Dresses Up Original Family Style Recipes For Even Your Pickiest Eaters.” She has wonderful photography, delicious recipes and just great ideas when it comes to dinner.  Her blog is super popular even among those who aren’t moms but simply love cooking quick and delicious dishes.

We had the huge honor of working with Jenny this past summer for the Swanson Mommy Blogger Dinner Challenge and she was just wonderful.  She is a creative cook with a talented eye for food photography; you should definetly check out her blog.  Since Jenny was the winner of our Dinner Challenge, today I wanted to share with you her winning recipe: BBQ Chicken Soup.  Jenny created this recipe with just $10.00 and a 12.5 oz. can of Swanson Premium Chunk Chicken! 

BBQ Chicken Soup 
From: Picky Palate

2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 medium onion, finely chopped
2 Tablespoons fresh minced garlic
11 oz can corn with peppers, drained
2 12 oz cans Swanson’s Chicken, drained
1 1/2 Cups Chicken Broth
1/2 Cup BBQ Sauce
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon fresh cracked black pepper
1/4 teaspoon Lawry’s Garlic Salt
1/2 Cup fresh cilantro leaves, chopped

1.     Heat oil into a medium pot over medium heat.  When hot, sauté onions for 5 minutes or until softened.  Stir in garlic, corn and chicken breast; mix to combine.  Pour in chicken broth, BBQ sauce, salt, pepper, garlic salt and cilantro leaves.   Reduce heat to low and simmer for 5 minutes or until ready to serve.  Garnish each bowl with a fresh sprig of cilantro.

Best, and until next time, Kaitlin!

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

A Good For You Lunch

I often get off track when trying to eat healthy while balancing an intense work/social life.  If there is one thing I have learned on my journey, it’s that it can be difficult to create delicious, good for you meals on the go. 

Today, I have a delicious and easy recipe for lunch on the go.  You can easily make this the night before and simply put it together at lunchtime.  Asian Chicken Lettuce Wraps substitutes crisp lettuce in place of tortillas  -- ultimately creating a good for you wrap featuring Swanson Premium Chunk Chicken and crunchy vegetables tossed in an Asian-sesame dressing.   I hope you enjoy the recipe!

Asian Chicken Lettuce Wraps 
From Campbell’s Kitchen®
Prep: 10 minutes

1 can (12.5 ounces)* Swanson® Premium White Chunk Chicken Breast in Water, drained
2 medium carrots, shredded (about 1 cup)
3/4 cup diced red pepper
4 green onions, thinly sliced (about 1/2 cup)
1/4 cup reduced fat Asian-style sesame salad dressing
6 large Bibb or iceberg lettuce leaves

1.     Stir the chicken, carrots, pepper, onions and dressing in a medium bowl.
2.     Divide the chicken mixture among the lettuce leaves. Fold the lettuce leaves around the filling and serve immediately.

P.S. To make this even easier to eat while on the go – consider chopping up the lettuce and eating this as a chopped salad!  You get the same taste in a less messy and more travel friendly format!

Best, and until next time, Kaitlin!

Wednesday, October 6, 2010


Have you ever been to a tailgate party?  It usually entails a lot of food, some friendly taunting and trash talking from fans and, of course, the game!  Every year, I will typically throw two or three football tailgate parties for my friends.  I usually serve the typical football food items: chips and salsa, BCD, pizza, quesadillas… 

Since we know throwing a party is a bit overwhelming, here at Swanson® (where I work), we created an easy and delicious tailgate menu that anyone can throw together on Sunday morning.  Our tailgate menu can be downloaded right from Campbell’s Kitchen®. Whether you’re cooking for the whole team or just the offensive line, these dishes are guaranteed to satisfy even the heartiest of appetites!

Here is a quick list of recipes you will find in the Swanson Quick and Easy Tailgate Menu:

·      Frank’s® RedHot® Buffalo Chicken Dip
·      Chicken Nachos
·      Sweet & Spicy Chicken Wings
·      Lighter Chicken Quesadillas
·      Easy Meatball Parm Hero
·      Chocolate Goldfish Pretzel Clusters

What are you waiting for?! Download the Swanson Tailgate Menu today!

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Save Money and Shop Smart

If there is one thing I have gotten really good at after college, it is how to shop smart.  Not only am I able to find the best deals when shopping, I would also call myself a master of eating healthy on a budget.

Today, I would like to share with you one of my favorite, good for you, weeknight dinners, Quick Chicken Stir-Fry.  This recipe will be featured in local Sunday papers across the country this coming weekend, so make sure you look for it in the coupon section. It will also have a great offer on Swanson Premium Chunk Chicken!

Once you are able to get your coupon, then it’s off to the grocery store to shop.  Here are a few great tips from Campbell’s Kitchen® ( on Smart Shopping:

  •  Make a shopping list and stick with it! Type up a master grocery list of foods in the supermarket you typically purchase. Then each week print out the list and circle what you need.  
  • Organize your food list based on the MyPyramid food categories. This helps ensure that your grocery cart has a healthy balance of food.  
  • Read labels! Compare nutrition labels between brands and varieties of your favorite foods to make choices that best meet your family’s needs.
  • Don’t shop when you are hungry! Eat a small meal or healthy snack before you shop. This will help you stick to your list and reduce impulse purchases.
If you would like more great tips about smart shopping, visit the Campbell’s Kitchen’s Smart Shopping section. It’s a great place to learn about eating and shopping healthy.

Quick Chicken & Vegetable Stir-Fry 
From Campbell’s Kitchen
Prep: 15 minutes
Cook: 15 minutes
Cost per recipe: $8.01
Makes: 4 servings (about 1 cup and 1 cup rice each)

2 tablespoons cornstarch
1 3/4 cups Swanson® Chicken Stock  
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
4 cups cut-up vegetables *
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 can (12.5 ounces)** Swanson® Premium White Chunk Chicken Breast in Water, drained
4 cups hot cooked rice

1.     Stir the cornstarch, stock, and soy in a small bowl until the mixture is smooth.
2.     Heat the oil in a 10-inch skillet over medium-high heat. Add the vegetables and cook until they're tender-crisp. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute.
3.     Stir the cornstarch mixture in the skillet. Reduce the heat to medium. Cook and stir until the mixture boils and thickens. Stir in the chicken and cook until the mixture is heated through. Serve the chicken mixture over the rice.

  *Use a combination of broccoli flowerets, sliced carrots and green or red pepper strips.
**Or 3 cans (4.5 ounces each)

Just a reminder, in case anyone forgot, I’m fortunate enough to work with Swanson Chicken, which is why I have love to share all these delicious recipes, great tips and money saving offers!

Best, and until next time, Kaitlin!

Friday, September 24, 2010

Can you share that recipe with me?

Did you ever get asked that question? Up until a few months ago, no one really asked me for advice on cooking or entertaining.  Since I started working in the “real world,” it has been a great learning process.  Yes, I get a lot of advice from co-workers (I do work for Swanson) and my family, especially my mother, who is one of the best cooks I know, but most of my successful dishes comes from trial and error in the kitchen. If someone asks me for a recipe, I think it is one of the highest forms of flattery!

Whether you are career focused single woman, like myself, or a busy mom raising a family, recipe sharing is the way to go when looking for easy, quick meals.   My favorite source for recipes is, of course, Campbell’s Kitchen®.  Here are a few of my other favorite recipe-sharing websites:

·      FoodBuzz is similar to Facebook but it’s all about entertaining, food bloggers and sharing great recipes.  You can create a profile, share updates, tag your favorite recipes and follow some of the best food bloggers.  Check out my profile:
·      Tastespotting is all about making food look really good! It’s an online space for food bloggers to share beautiful photographs of their kitchen creations.  At Tastespotting, first impressions come first!
·      GroupRecipes is another food website with social networking capabilities.  You can create a personal profile, upload recipes, share recipes, create menus and more.  It’s a great resource for new recipe ideas!

Now, I would like to hear from you!  What’s your favorite place to find delicious, easy and quick recipes for your family?

Best, and until next time, Kaitlin!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Football! Football! Football!

It’s that time of the year, again! It’s September, time for football, tailgating and a lot of Buffalo Chicken Dip consumption. Once the weather and the leaves start changing, you know it’s fall and you cannot say fall without thinking about football and of course what’s football without the most popular tailgating dips!  Nothing says fall like football and Buffalo Chicken Dip! Buffalo Chicken Dip has become so popular, it not only has it’s very own website,, it also has more than 28,000 fans on Facebook

There are a lot of recipes for Buffalo Chicken Dip, aka BCD, but my favorite is made with Swanson Premium Chunk Chicken and Frank’s RedHot Sauce.  Using the canned chicken makes my life a lot easier and because it is so convenient, I won’t have to miss a moment of the game! Today, I would like to share my favorite recipe with you and also share my favorite way of serving BCD to all my football-loving friends.  Try serving your Buffalo Chicken Dip in a bread bowl.  All of your guests can tear off pieces of the bowl until the entire dish is gone.  Clean up has never been easier!

Frank’s RedHot Buffalo Chicken Dip 
Frank’s RedHot Buffalo Chicken Dip 
From Campbell’s Kitchen®
Prep: 5 minutes
Bake: 20 minutes
Makes: 32 servings (2 tablespoons each)

1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup blue cheese salad dressing
1/2 cup any flavor Frank's® RedHot® Sauce
1/2 cup crumbled blue cheese or shredded mozzarella cheese
2 cans (12.5 ounces) Swanson® Premium White Chunk Chicken Breast in Water, drained
Assorted fresh vegetables and Pepperidge Farm® crackers

1.     Stir the cream cheese in a 9-inch deep dish pie plate with a fork or whisk until it's smooth. Stir in the dressing, hot sauce and blue cheese. Stir in the chicken.
2.     Bake at 350°F. for 20 minutes or until the chicken mixture is hot and bubbling. Stir the chicken mixture before serving. Serve with the vegetables and crackers for dipping.

Best, and until next time, Kaitlin!

Friday, August 20, 2010

Is it the End of the Summer?

As we are nearing the end of August, I can’t help saying, “where did the summer go?!” It seems as if the months just fly by us! August is filled with last minute vacations and day trips to the beach and the last few weekends of the summer are jam packed with things to do. It’s like we just ‘turn off’ the summer after Labor Day. Today, I want to share one of my favorite summertime recipes from Swanson Chicken. Not only is it one of my favorite recipes, it is also so popular, Wal-Mart TV will be featuring it as their end of the summer recipe. What a great way to end the summer with a bang!

As you all know, I work with Swanson and I just love to share any great news, recipes and more from Campbell’s Kitchen. Since we are jamming the rest of the summer into the next two weeks, I wanted to share with you our Heart Healthy Chicken Salad Stuffed Tomatoes, which is great for a quick lunch on the beach or a picnic. Like I said earlier, this delicious recipe will be featured on Wal-Mart TV across the country until the end of August. You should check us out at your local Wal-Mart store!

Enjoy the recipe!

Heart Healthy Chicken Salad Stuffed Tomatoes

2 tablespoons nonfat plain yogurt
2 tablespoons light mayonnaise
1/3 cup chopped celery
1/2 small onion, finely chopped (about 2 tablespoons)
1 can (12.5 ounces)* Swanson® Premium White Chunk Chicken Breast in Water, drained
4 medium tomatoes
6 cups shredded lettuce

Stir the yogurt, mayonnaise, celery, onion and chicken in a medium bowl.

Cut each tomato into wedges, cutting down to about 1/2 inch of the bottom, without cutting all the way through the tomato.

Place 1 1/2 cups lettuce on each of 4 serving plates. Top with a tomato and spoon 1/2 cup of the chicken mixture into each tomato.

Best, and until next time, Kaitlin!

Monday, July 19, 2010

The First Annual Mommy Blogger Dinner Challenge with Swanson!

In 2010, Swanson Chicken launched a larger sized can of chicken at about the same price of its predecessor.  In order to ‘get the word’ out about the value, convenience and the ease of use a can of chicken can offer busy moms, Swanson created the first Mommy Blogger Dinner Challenge!
Earlier this summer, we selected five popular mommy bloggers to compete in a recipe challenge.  The challenge was to take $10.00 and a can of 12.5 oz. Swanson Chicken and create a healthy and delicious meal for their family. Today, I would like to introduce you to the competitors and share their yummy creations! 
·      Mommy? I’m Hungry!  Rachelle is a mom from San Diego who loves to share family favorite recipes, both old and new along with product reviews & giveaways. Her recipe entry is Tex Mex Swanson Chicken Wraps!
·      JDaniels4 Mom  Deirdre was a teacher and educational technology trainer for twenty years.  Her blog shares her reflections and resources for moms, product reviews and great giveaways.  Her recipe entry is a Fruitful Chicken Salad.
·      Doughmesstic  Susan is a wife and stay at home new mom who blogs about the trials and tribulations of learning how to become a cook, a wonderful wife and a great mother.  Her entry is a Tart Apple Salsa and Chicken Po’Boy
·      Picky Palate Jenny is the “on the go” stay at home mom with two little boys with picky little palates.  She is a wife to her high school sweetie of 12 years, and a retired (for now) dental hygienist.  Her entry is BBQ Chicken Pizza Soup
·      Little Nummies  Kellie is a wife and mother of three little girls.  She is a stay at home mom with a jewelry business.  Her entry is BBQ Chicken Quesadillas.

I hope everyone enjoys all the wonderful and yummy recipes created by our mommy bloggers.  Best of luck to all mommies!

Best, and until next time, Kaitlin!

Thursday, June 17, 2010

It’s a Picnic!

One of my favorite summer activities is going to the park and having a picnic. Now that the weather is perfect for outdoor activities, I like to visit the park with a packed lunch and a good book to read. It’s a relaxing and affordable way to spend the summer days!

These days, you can find a variety of stylish and fun picnic baskets at any local store. I get a lot of use out of mine but they also make for a wonderful and unique gift for a close friend or family member. Today, I am going to share with you a delicious recipe to pack into your picnic basket but I am also going to share with you a few great tips for packing a picnic basket. I found some of these tips on one of my favorite websites, Delish {}. I also added a few of my own ideas!

Summer Picnic Tips

Be prepared. Choose an easy recipe, which you can prepare beforehand. I chose a Heart Healthy Chicken Salad Sandwich from Campbell’s Kitchen! It’s perfect for a summer afternoon and good for you too!

Don’t forget the drinks. Freeze a few water bottles, which will not only keep your food chilled but they will melt throughout the day for a refreshing and cool drink!

Stay cool. If you're not planning to eat right away, pack mayonnaise-based dishes in a cooler to maintain proper temperatures. Since my recipe below contains mayonnaise, I will pack my cooler with a frozen ice pack and a few frozen water bottles. It will keep my sandwiches fresh until I am ready to eat!

Be comfy. Don’t forget to pack a large blanket for you to sit on and enjoy your lunch!

Heart Healthy Chicken Sandwiches
From Campbell's Kitchen
Prep: 15 minutes
Makes: 4 sandwiches

2 tablespoons nonfat plain yogurt
2 tablespoons light mayonnaise
1/3 cup chopped celery
1/2 small onion, finely chopped (about 2 tablespoons)
1 can (12.5 ounces) Swanson® Premium White Chunk Chicken Breast in Water, drained
8 slices Pepperidge Farm® Very Thin 100% Whole Wheat Bread
8 slices tomatoes
4 lettuce leaves

Stir the yogurt, mayonnaise, celery, onion and chicken in a medium bowl.
Divide the chicken mixture among 4 bread slices.
Top with the tomato, lettuce and remaining bread slices.

Serving Suggestion: Serve with carrot and celery sticks and dill pickle spears.

Just a reminder, in case anyone forgot, I’m fortunate enough to work with Swanson Chicken, which is why I have access to all these delicious recipes.

Best, and until next time, Kaitlin!