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Archive for September, 2010

Chicken Pot Pastry Puffs

We tried this recipe from the Pepperidge Farm website.  It’s little mini chicken pot pies in a  puff pastry shell.  After taste testing, we decided that we prefer the traditional pot pie where you put the Bisquick on top of the pot pie.  They were really cute and really flaky, but, the truth of the matter is that sometimes mom’s version is always going to win.

Ingredients

1 package (10 ounces) Pepperidge Farm® Puff Pastry Shells
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 medium onion, chopped (about 1/2 cup)
1 can (10 3/4 ounces) Campbell’s® Condensed Cream of Chicken Soup (Regular, 98% Fat Free or Healthy Request®)
1/2 cup milk
1 package (10 ounces) frozen peas and carrots
2 cups cubed cooked chicken  or turkey

Directions
  1. Prepare the pastry shells according to the package directions.
  2. Heat the oil in a 10-inch skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onion and cook until tender.
  3. Stir the soup, milk and peas and carrots in the skillet and heat to a boil.  Reduce the heat to low.  Cover and cook for 5 minutes or until the vegetables are tender.  Add the chicken and cook until the mixture is hot and bubbling.  Spoon the chicken mixture into the pastry shells.

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Puff Pastry – Recipe Detail – Jalapeño Poppers in a Blanket.

Ummmmmm, yes please!  These will be featured in the very near future.

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Down With the Capital...

I recently got hooked on yet another teenie book series…”Hunger Games” (see my post below).  I’m almost through book II “Catching Fire” and while I’m excited to read “Mockingjay” I just want to know how she’s going to make it out of this alive!  I’m so compelled by the two different love stories and I just want to know how this is all going to shake out!

I’m not sure if anyone has picked these up yet besides me and my mom, but, if you haven’t you better be prepared for this series to get the popularity and similar following as Harry Potter or the Twilight fad.  I’m calling it RIGHT now!  There are “Team Peeta” and “Team Gale” t-shirts coming out in the near future and it’s a guarantee!  If you’re going to ask me which one I choose, I would have to go with a “Team Peeta” shirt (aka old reliable).  If you were a “Team Jacob” person, I’m willing to bet that Peeta will be your new heart throb this season.

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Water for Elephants

Water for Elephants is a story told about Jacob Jankowski’s account of the summer when he was 23 years old that he spends with a traveling circus called “The Benzini Brothers Most Spectacular Show on Earth”.  Jacob stumbles upon joining the circus after tragically losing his parents a week before graduating from an Ivy league school with his Veterinary degree.  It is narrated by Jacob at the age of 90 (or 93) and is a unique love and coming of age story that has been popular on the book club lists for a couple of years now. 

I finally picked it up on audiobook and am I ever glad that I finally did!  It’s actually gained enough popularity to be made into a movie (which usually says something).  I found a blog site that is actually dedicated to the movie coming out and is written by a fan of the book.  It’s going to be starring Robert Pattinson (yummy) and Reese Witherspoon as the main characters.  If you haven’t read the novel yet, don’t read this blog as it has some spoilers!  http://waterforelephantsfilm.com/

Review:
*****/5 stars.  I would recommend the book to anyone who might be captivated by a quick, riveting, depression-era read.  With the movie coming out in April of 2011 I suggest this as a great book to cuddle up next to by the fire this fall or winter.

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Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini

Kite Runner

 In Kabul, Afghanistan, a young boy named Amir tells a life spanning story of friendship, betrayal, loyalty, and understanding with his best friend, the son of his family’s servant, Hassan.   The story takes place during the Soviet’s invasion and the rise of the Taliban and is an emotionally complex narrative that tugs at your heart-strings.    I don’t want to give any more of the book away but I insist that this book is not a recommendation, it’s a “must read” as everyone has been telling me for the last couple of years.  MUST READ!

*****/5 stars.  I enjoyed this book so much that I immediately picked up Thousand Splendid Suns, the next book written by Hosseini and finished it within 3 days.  I enjoyed both of them equally

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Stillwater is my all time favorite place to be in the fall.  The St. Croix river, the leaves on the banks starting to turn, the smells of all the wonderful food running through the main street, the cougars running loose through the streets (ha ha), the cute shops, and romance running through the air.  It’s like getting a tiny  little piece of ocean side Maine here in Minnesota. 

My boyfriend Adam and I went on Saturday down to my favorite Mexican restaurant, Nacho Mamma’s.  Personally,

The tree of life, with Adam seated in the middle

 it’s not the kind of Mexican that my mom ever cooked so I guess I agree.  If you looking for some awesome Mexican with endless portions I recommend you look no further than this quaint little gem. 

After that we headed off to the Northern Vineyards Winery.  I wouldn’t recommend it especially on a busy Saturday.  It didn’t seem like there was any kind of method to the madness and even though we skipped all of the reds in the 10 wine list tasting, they kept forgetting about us even though there were only a few other groups besides us.  If I wouldn’t have had a coupon for the wine, I wouldn’t have stopped after seeing how the service was.

Then it was off to Aamodt’s!  Aamodt’s is a local “must do” for the fall.  It’s an over commercialized skeleton of a farm that has a  vineyard, winery, an apple barn with all kinds of different options, a few goats for the kids, a “hay ride” (which is actually a small tractor pulling a flatbed with no hay for maximum capacity), and more food to purchase that you can imagine.  It might be cheesy, but, it’s still fun to watch all of the parents push their kids around the orchard with a full bottle of wine in hand enjoying the fall afternoon.

There is truly no better way to start the fall than with a handsome guy, touring the St. Croix.

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 There are few things that I dislike more in this world than the Vikings….but the heck if I was going to turn down VIP seats and tickets to their premiere new spot at the Dome, the Grid Iron Club!/?*%  If this is how football food was all of the time, I’m pretty sure I’d be the size of a linebacker by game 11 in the season.  Good thing that we’re more the “pigs in a blanket” kind of crew on normal weeks! 

 

Duck, tenderloin w/ goat cheese and cranberries, bacon wrapped scallops, sushi, red velvet cake, apples foster, mini hotdog and brat bar….you know, just your everyday football food ; )

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