Wednesday, June 15, 2011

The Start of the Summer Season

Last year around this time, I shared the Cool Chicken Pasta Salad, which is perfect for a warm day at the beach. This year, I wanted to share with you a sandwich perfect to help get you ready for the beach and that means eating a bit healthier.

The Lowfat Chicken Salad Sandwiches from Campbell’s Kitchen® are super easy to whip together before work and they travel nicely when on the go. As we get ready for the 2011 summer season, keep in mind that eating a healthy meal doesn’t mean you have to skimp on flavor. Experiment with the below recipe. Try substituting a little curry powder instead of onion powder or maybe kick up the spice with a dash of cayenne pepper.

Enjoy and remember to have fun with your food!

Lowfat Chicken Salad Sandwiches
From Campbell’s Kitchen®
Prep: 10 minutes
Makes: 2 sandwiches

1 can (4.5 ounces) Swanson® Premium White Chunk Chicken Breast in Water, drained
2 tablespoons chopped celery
3 tablespoons low fat or fat free mayonnaise
1/4 teaspoon onion powder
4 slices Pepperidge Farm® Farmhouse™ Soft Oatmeal Bread
4 tomato slices
2 lettuce leaves

1. Stir the chicken, celery, mayonnaise and onion powder in a small bowl. Divide the chicken mixture between 2 bread slices. Top with the tomato, lettuce and remaining bread slices.

Best, and until next time, Kaitlin!

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

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Easter Sunday Dinner: Buffet or Family Style?

Easter Sunday is this weekend, and if your family is anything like my family, it’s usually celebrated with a large feast on a bright Sunday afternoon. 

This year, I am faced with a daunting decision: buffet or family style dinner?  I really enjoy family style because of the natural interaction with guests as they pass around the various dishes.  However, there are a few benefits to serving a buffet.  First, if you have limited space on your table, serving a buffet on the counter or separate table frees up a lot of room.  Second, as your guests move down the buffet, they won’t have to feel like they are insulting the host if they skip certain dishes they may not like.  I also think the set-up of a buffet is a bit easier than serving family style.

Since this year I’m feeling that easy = better, I’ll serve dinner buffet-style. 

Today, I want to share a few great tips I found online to help serve Easter dinner buffet-style:

1.     Set the table.  Even if you are serving your dinner as a buffet, you still need to create an aesthetically pleasing tablescape for your guests to enjoy.  They can simply grab their plates from the table and help themselves when dinner is served.
2.     Table Placement.  In order to avoid congestion on your buffet, separate your stations by salad, main dishes, drinks and dessert.  This will help with flow and avoid any back up of your guests.
3.     Serving Food. Keep hot foods hot, cold foods cold, and don't leave any food in the danger zone (between 41ºF and 140° F) for more than 2 hours.

What is your favorite style of serving dinner: buffet or family style?

Best, and until next time, Kaitlin!

For more great entertaining tips and recipes, visit Campbell’s Kitchen.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Spring Fever

"Spring is when you feel like whistling even with a shoe full of slush." - Doug Larson

How can you not love that quote? Now that we have set the mood for our “Spring Fever” post, I want to share with my Entertaining Escapaders the top five reasons why I love spring!
  1. This is quite obvious -- but the warmer weather kicks off my list of favorite things about spring. The warm weather also comes with green grass, spring flowers and a little bit more daylight every day.
  2. A fresh new start. Spring offers a feeling of new beginnings. Whether it’s planting a new garden, getting back on track with your exercise routine or a recommitment to a personal goal, spring is the perfect time to start over and have a fresh new outlook on life. 
  3. Nothing says spring more than Spring Training! How I enjoy the Philadelphia Phillies coming back from Clearwater to start a new season. Go Phils!
  4. I love having the opportunity to enjoy the great outdoors more often. Whether I take my little doggie for a long walk or simply enjoy sitting outside on our deck, the fresh air is purely rejuvenating.
  5. Delicious fresh food such as asparagus, apricots, spinach and fennel are all in season during the springtime. We just love visiting the local farmer’s market to pick the freshest fruit and veggies!

Best, and until next time, Kaitlin!

Thursday, March 17, 2011

It’s Time for March Madness

I have never really bought into the hype of March Madness (probably because I’m not much of a basketball fan!).  As you know from my previous posts, I really enjoy entertaining during the football season. My sports enthusiasm pretty much ends at the Big Game and starts back up during baseball season. Despite this, so many people around me get excited about March Madness, today I wanted to share with you the perfect recipe to serve during any sports party!

This recipe comes from our Ultimate Football Challenge winner, Laura Powell from Real Mom Kitchen.  We had the pleasure of meeting Laura in January when she visited the Campbell’s Kitchen to compete in our cook-off. The result of the exciting competition was her amazing and popular recipe for Quick Chicken Enchilada Nachos.  You can see her winning recipe on Campbell’s Kitchen, or you can visit her blog for more yummy and delicious creations.

Quick Chicken Enchilada Nachos 
Campbell’s Kitchen and Real Mom Kitchen
Source: Campbell's Community
Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 10 minutes
Makes: 14 servings

1 can (12.5 ounces) Swanson® Premium White Chunk Chicken Breast in Water, drained
1 can (15 ounces) black beans, rinsed and drained
1 can (about 15 ounces) whole kernel corn, drained
1 jar (16 ounces) Pace® Picante Sauce
1 can (10 3/4 ounces) Campbell's® Condensed Cream of Mushroom Soup (Regular or 98% Fat Free)
1 can (4.5 ounces) chopped green chiles
1 tablespoon chili powder
1 bag (12- to 14-ounces) tortilla chips
Assorted Toppings (shredded Cheddar cheese or Mexican cheese blend, sliced ripe olives, chopped green onion, diced avocado, sliced jalapeño peppers and/or chopped fresh cilantro leaves)

1.     Heat the chicken, beans, corn, picante sauce, soup, chiles and chili powder in a 4-quart saucepan over medium heat until the mixture is hot and bubbling, stirring occasionally.
2.     Arrange the tortilla chips on a large serving platter.  Top with the chicken mixture and Assorted Toppings, if desired.

Best and until next time, Kaitlin.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

A Case of the End-of-Winter Blues

Nothing seems to get me down more than the very end of these winter months. At this point of the season, I drag my feet and get a little case of the end-of-winter blues.

And there is nothing better to heal my sluggish behavior than delicious comfort food!

Today, I would like to share my winter blues dinner cure: Homestyle Chicken & Biscuits. This yummy dish will taste just like what your grandmother made -- in half the time and less the cost of most of today’s Chicken & Biscuit recipes!

Homestyle Chicken & Biscuits
From Campbell’s Kitchen
Prep: 15 minutes
Bake: 30 minutes
Makes: 4 servings

1 can (10 3/4 ounces) Campbell's® Condensed Cream of Chicken Soup (Regular or 98% Fat Free)
¼ cup milk
¾ cup shredded Cheddar cheese
¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
1 bag (16 ounces) frozen vegetable combination (broccoli, cauliflower, carrots), thawed
2 cans (4.5 ounces each) Swanson® Premium White Chunk Chicken Breast in Water, drained
1 package (7.5 ounces) refrigerated biscuits (10 biscuits)

1. Heat the oven to 400°F. Stir the soup, milk, cheese and black pepper in a 3-quart shallow baking dish. Stir in the vegetables and chicken.
2. Bake for 15 minutes or until the chicken mixture is hot and bubbling. Stir the chicken mixture. Top the chicken mixture with the biscuits.
3. Bake for 15 minutes or until the biscuits are golden brown.

Best, and until next time, Kaitlin!

Friday, February 18, 2011

Celebrate American Heart Month With Delicious Recipes

February is American Heart Month sponsored by the American Heart Association®.  Every year, the AHA educates Americans about building healthier lives and preventing heart disease.

For more than 25 years, Campbell Soup Company has also focused on promoting heart healthy products and recipes.  As you may know from reading this blog, Swanson® Premium Chunk Chicken meets the criteria for AHA heart healthy foods that fit into a heart healthy lifestyle.  Some of the other great Campbell products that offer a heart healthy option include Campbell’s® Healthy Request® soups, Low-Sodium V8®V8 V-Fusion® juices, Prego® Heart Smart Italian sauces and Pepperidge Farm® whole grain breads.  For more information about Campbell’s dedication to heart health, their long history with the American Heart Association and how you can get involved in this year’s campaign, please visit Campbell’s AdDress Your Heart initiative. 

Now, back to the delicious recipes! Today, I would like to share one of my favorite “Heart Healthy” recipes found on Campbell’s Kitchen.  I hope you enjoy these Heart Healthy Stuffed Tomatoes!

Heart Healthy Chicken Salad Stuffed Tomatoes

From Campbell’s Kitchen® 
Prep: 15 minutes
Makes: 4 servings

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

1.     Stir the yogurt, mayonnaise, celery, onion and chicken in a medium bowl.
2.     Cut each tomato into wedges, cutting down to about 1/2 inch of the bottom, without cutting all the way through the tomato.
3.     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!

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

Thursday, January 20, 2011

It’s a Football Challenge!

Do you have a killer recipe for football fans? Does everyone rave about your food after the Big Game? This year, Swanson® Chicken asked bloggers across the social media space to create the winning football/tailgating recipe using Swanson Premium Chunk Chicken.

As you all know, our famous Buffalo Chicken Dip has more than 35,000 fans on Facebook and is one of the most requested recipes of the past two years. With the overwhelming success of Buffalo Chicken Dip, we set out on a quest to find the next BIG recipe for football entertaining and we found it!

This past Wednesday, the three finalists of our Swanson Chicken Ultimate Football Challenge ventured on an all-inclusive trip to visit the Campbell’s Kitchen®. The three finalists were chosen based on recipe creativity, use of the ingredients and reader engagement. Once at the Campbell’s Test Kitchen, the chosen bloggers met with Campbell’s® Chefs, viewed the facilities and prepared their winning recipes for a select panel of Campbell’s® judges. The three finalists in our Ultimate Football Challenge were:

Real Mom Kitchen's Quick Chicken Enchiladas
Hazzard in the Kitchen's End Zone Empanadas
Taste and Tell's Chicken, Bacon & Cream Cheese Mini Taquitos

And the Ultimate Football Challenge winner is… Laura Powell from Real Mom Kitchen. Laura's Quick Chicken Enchilada Nachos was chosen as our winner and will have the opportunity to be featured on Campbell’s Stay tuned and visit us online to see the winning recipes!

Best, and until next time, Kaitlin!

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Lunch Time! Chicken Salad with a Twist

As many household budgets have gotten a bit tight over the past few years, it’s very common and financially-savvy for people to bring lunch to work.  Spending money at take-out counters and restaurants can not only hurt your wallet, but also your waistline as well.  Taking your lunch to work can be simple, delicious and good for you.

Campbell’s Kitchen® has several great tips and ideas on how to make “Desktop Dining” easy and economical.  I am always looking for new and delicious recipes to prepare for lunch and I recently came across this delicious Chicken Salad Sandwich with a yummy twist.  The crunchy almonds, fresh jicama and tarragon all add a lovely layer of flavor to a classic chicken salad sandwich.  What is your favorite twist on a traditional chicken salad?

Miami Chicken Salad Sandwiches
From Campbell’s Kitchen
Prep: 15 minutes
Serves: 2

2 tablespoons light mayonnaise
2 tablespoons reduced-fat sour cream
1 teaspoon dried tarragon leaves, crushed
1 can (4.5 ounces) Swanson® Premium White Chunk Chicken Breast in Water, drained
1/4 cup slivered almonds, toasted
1/4 cup chopped jicama or celery
4 slices Pepperidge Farm® Whole Grain Soft Honey Oat Bread, toasted
1 mango, pitted, peeled and sliced
2 green leaf lettuce leaves

1.     Stir the mayonnaise, sour cream and tarragon in a medium bowl. Stir in the chicken, almonds and jicama.
2.     Divide the chicken mixture evenly between 2 bread slices. Top with the mango, lettuce and remaining bread slices.

Best and until next time, Kaitlin.