Kitchen Mini Makeover

The right tool for the task often determines the measure of success.  This statement is so very true of our kitchens. 

Pampered Chef Organizer

I would like to encourage you to make 2014 the year you invest in your kitchen with a mini makeover.  We often give attention to what the exterior of our kitchen looks like and yet very little to what this space holds so we can efficiently provide nourishment.  

Here are some easy ideas:

Go through your drawers and cupboards and remove what is no longer useful clearing the way for tools that are.   Our kitchens are similar to a big toolbox.  We wouldn’t expect a carpenter to build a chair without the essential tools for the job; we shouldn’t expect any less from our kitchens.   One or two new tools (I don’t call them gadgets) can make a huge difference in how one feels about cooking.  Here are a couple of examples:

 A crisp crust on a pizza doesn’t happen without a pizza stone.

It takes twice as long to do something when one can’t find the correct tool – organize.  The above picture is a tool I purchased from Pampered Chef a year ago.  I had no idea how much I needed this.  The minutes it has saved searching through drawers for items I use on a regular basis has added up to hours I can spend doing something else.

A tool that cores and slices apples makes putting a pie together a breeze.

Labeling items that go in the freezer takes the guess work out of what is available for a quick lunch/dinner.

I am an equal opportunity purchaser of kitchen tools and one of my resources is Pampered Chef.   (Note:  I do not sell Pampered Chef products but it is my opinion that they make quality products.)  I received the invitation to a Pampered Chef Party on Saturday where I can see what is new, do a little shopping and the credits of my purchase will be used to raise money for Children’s Cancer Network (please click on link to find out more on this amazing organization.)  I’m inviting you to the party with the permission of  Patti Luttrell – Executive Director and Co-founder.

It is my hope that you might find one or two items that can enhance your kitchen experience and at the same time help make the life of a sick child and their family a little easier.

Here is the information – PS:  You don’t have to be at the actual party to purchase and help.  The details are below:

SAVE THE DATE Jan 11, 2014

You are invited to a very special event!

A Pampered Chef show like none you have attended before – WHY?

This show is being hosted by the CCN Fashion Show Committee and ALL of the host specials (free product credit) will be used to create special baskets to be auctioned off at the March Fashion Show. This means that your order results in free products to be used in this very special fund raising event. Come see and use the products before you buy them, get helpful hints and taste some of the recipes and most importantly kick off the New Year with your friends.

Saturday, January 11, 2014 at 1:00PM At the Children’s Cancer Network Office 6150 West Chandler Blvd, Suite 1, Chandler, AZ.

Please Bring A Guest or two and if you can’t attend you can shop online at my website and under host please type in CCN Fashion Show (as the first name) Party (as the last name). The Committee will still receive all of the credits.

If you have questions, please call me, Kendra Gould, your Pampered Chef Consultant at 602- 999-6523 or my eMail: I look forward to seeing and cooking for you.


Christmas Cupcakes

Christmas Cupcakes - dots

There are so many fun cupcake liners and ways to decorate, it’s very easy to turn a cupcake into a Christmas dessert.

Christmas Cupcakes - Tree Plate

Here are three of my favorite cupcake recipes:

Vanilla Cupcakes

Peanut Butter and Chocolate Cupcakes

Mini Carrot Cakes

How to decorate with frosting:

I use an 846 decorator tip.  Note:  This is not a Wilton tip.  It looks like this:

Frosting - 846 Tip

Here is one place you can buy:  Here  You can also find something similar locally — just find a tip with a wider opening.  Place a piece of parchment or wax paper on your counter and play – you can always place the frosting back in the bag once you decide which way you’d like to decorate your cupcakes.  Note:  Several craft stores are now selling cake boxes so you can take you masterpieces where they need to be in style.

You’ll also need a coupler and pastry bags which can be purchased at craft or cake stores.

How to use a coupler and pastry bag


Favorite Product – Food – Justin’s Almond Butter

 Product:  Justin’s Almond Butter

Justin's Almond Butter

I like the taste and all the nutritional goodness it brings.  This brand has 2 ingredients in it – look for a short list of ingredients.  Good rule of thumb is if you don’t know what it is or can’t pronounce it – don’t eat it.  Don’t be surprised that products that have a short ingredient list often cost more.  Why? –  because they are purer products.  Now keep in mind that there is fat in almond butter so go easy but don’t be fooled that you don’t need fat in your diet – you just need to choose good “fats.”

Here is a little information about almond butter.

Almond butter is made by crushing and smoothing almonds into a paste. Almonds are a highly nutritious food. By eating almonds or almond butter, you get vitamin E, potassium, magnesium, iron, calcium and phosphorus. Almonds are a good fiber source and also contain protein. Because of their high monounsaturated fat content, almonds are considered a healthy food choice. Almonds or almond butter provide healthy fat not typically found in foods high in saturated fats. (from FitDay)

Use in smoothies, on toast, along side pancakes, celery sticks and apples.