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!