Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Pamper Your Kitchen

Last month I attended a very nice Pampered Chef (PC) party and found out the host special for August was going to be the knives I have been coveting for the last year or so. I invited 30 of my closest friends, or at least people who I thought might come willingly and commenced to cleaning my house and planning my menu. I even did a little digital scrapbooking to make a cute postcard to send out.

I don't know why I get so excited about things that cause me so much work. I decided to go a new route from the tried and true PC marketing plan and have a come & go recipe/cooking party. Which would have worked a little better if I knew more people that actually liked me enough to come. So there were a few slow parts, but when there were people there it was lots of fun and overall I thought it turned out well. And I had a lot of great contributions to the recipe booklet I put together ahead of time. Then my show closed with double the sales I was planning on, thanks to all who ordered. And I'm thinking, "Awesome! I can get my knives (60% off) with the credit I earned and still get a lot of other nice things too." Turns out I missed one little detail of the PC marketing scheme. You can't use your credit on ANY specials. And I mean any. You can only use the credit on full price items. So, after much deliberation, and another thanks to all those who ordered - I got off with only $35 cash out of my pocket (let's not count the $40+ I spent on food) and a whole bunch of cool PC products that I'm excited for, and that were mostly free. But best of all, a fun night with friends and a lot of good leftovers.

Let me just give a quick list of how the days went leading up to the party. Institute, my first OB appointment, enrichment, a dentist appointment to get 2 fillings, ward temple night and then the ward camp-out without my husband, but with SIL Candice and new baby Jaycee. We had to leave early the next day to get high-fever running Emmett to the pediatrician for special Sat. office hours. We didn't make it. Got in Mon. morning to find he had nothing but a virus (I suspected ear infection). The party was Tues. night, which was just enough time for Alden to come down with the virus too. But somehow I wasn't too stressed and went ahead with the party as planned.

I have to give a special thanks to my marvelous visiting teacher, Linda Ellsworth, who called that morning, listened to all my woes, and did something to help. She hit the grocery store for me, and then ran to Kinkos to copy all my recipe books, even buying me a ream of paper because she had heard me mention I was almost out. Wow! I know you're all jealous, but she's my visiting teacher, all mine. And the sweetest and most thoughtful one around.

I will include one recipe from the booklet - which my PC consultant, Melanie McClure provided and demonstrated at the party.

Thai Chicken Stir Fry Salad

¾ cup creamy poppy seed salad dressing
2 garlic cloves, pressed
1 1-inch piece unpeeled fresh gingerroot, grated and juiced
1 package (6 ounces) fresh baby spinach leaves
1 package (12 ounces) broccoli slaw mix
1 medium cucumber, scored, seeded and sliced
1 small red bell pepper, sliced into thin strips
Chicken Mixture
1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts, flattened and cut into 1/2?inch cubes
¼ cup snipped fresh basil leaves
¼ cup peanuts, chopped

1. For dressing, in Stainless (2-qt.) Mixing Bowl, combine salad dressing and garlic. Grate gingerroot using Ultimate Slice & Grate. Gather gingerroot in palm of hand and squeeze over bowl to release juice; discard flesh. Whisk until well blended and set aside.
2. For salad, place spinach, slaw mix, cucumber and bell pepper in Simple Additions Large Bowl; refrigerate until ready to serve.
3. For chicken mixture, heat Stir-Fry Skillet over medium-high heat. Lightly spray skillet with nonstick cooking spray. Add chicken to skillet in a single layer, Cook without stirring 2 minutes or until chicken begins to brown. Stir fry 2-3 minutes or until chicken is no longer pink; remove from heat. Add basil, peanuts and ¼ cup of the dressing; toss to coat.
4. To serve, toss salad with remaining dressing; top with chicken mixture and serve immediately.

Variation: Thai Chicken Stir-Fry with Rice: Omit salad ingredients. Prepare dressing as directed in Step 1. Double the chicken mixture; prepare as directed in Step 3, stir-frying chicken in two batches. Toss chicken with all of the dressing. Serve chicken mixture over hot cooked rice prepared with Rice Cooker Plus.