Thursday, April 30, 2015

Make It & Take It Event

It is not often that I enter contests and it is even more rare that I win. On a whim I entered to win a spot at a Make It & Take It event. I actually won! Even better, I got to bring a friend. The event was sponsored by the Iowa Food & Family Project and was held at the Ankeny Prairie Trail Hy-Vee. 

The purpose of the event was to help Iowans get to know where their food comes from. The focus was dairy so the Dairy Princess (we compared our favorite State Fair foods) was there and shared her story with us. 
 Spending time with royalty. This is Rylie Pflughaupt, the Iowa Dairy Princess.

The majority of the time was spent preparing six meals that could be put in the freezer. There were twelve of us and six tables with the food we would need for each recipe. Each group of two picked a table and made 12 (12!) meals.

 The Hy-Vee dieticians were on hand to help answer any questions. 
(photo courtesy Iowa Food & Family Project) 
 Two of the winners putting together a recipe for Chicken Enchiladas. 
(photo courtesy Iowa Food & Family Project)
All six groups hard at work!
(photo courtesy Iowa Food & Family Project)

My friend Jenny and I picked the Chicken Cordon Bleu Casserole. We started out with the easy stuff. We divided milk into a freezer bag, bread crumbs into another and labeled the bags. Those bags were put into a gallon freezer bag. Then the real work began. Jenny had 12 pounds of ham to cube and I had 24 pounds of chicken breast to chop. The chicken and ham would eventually be put into bags along with cubed swiss cheese.  We would have been there all night but luckily some of the other ladies finished their recipes and helped out with the slicing and dicing. 
Jenny and I getting ready to pack up all of our freezer meals.

Two hours after we got to Hy-Vee all twelve of us were leaving with six fabulous meals ready to be put in the freezer, a goodie bag and a Hy-Vee gift card. 

The Iowa Food & Family Project and Hy-Vee are partnering on more of these events throughout the summer so you should enter to win a spot at one of them! The next event is May 12th at the Mills Civic Parkway Hy-Vee in West Des Moines. You can enter here

Thanks to everyone who helped to put on this event - it was a very fun night! 

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Zucchini Saute

This side dish is a great way to use up fresh vegetables you have in the fridge.
Sometimes when I'm cooking I realize I've just thrown together a dish that has four ingredients and a new four ingredient recipe for the Register is born. That is exactly what happened with this zucchini saute. 

We try to make a point of eating at least one fresh vegetable at every meal (or leftovers, if it's for lunch). Some days that is harder to do than others (like when I need to get to the grocery store). I didn't have a lot of any one vegetable the first time I made this dish but I had a little bit of a lot of different veggies. Zucchini, mushrooms, peppers and garlic made it into this skillet. 

A bonus of this recipe? The leftovers were fabulous mixed in with scrambled eggs the next day. 

Here's the story with the full recipe.

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Pasta Toppers

Here are two four ingredient recipes I created for the Des Moines Register. They both use the same main ingredients - ham and peas. Both recipes were a hit with the kids but I think the version with alfredo sauce was their favorite.

On a hot summer day I would choose the version with mozzarella. I've made this version with asparagus and prosciutto before (in place of the ham and peas) and it was fabulous. Cut the asparagus into 2-inch pieces, boil for a few minutes then put into ice water to stop it from getting mushy. Add to the pasta at the end with the cheese and prosciutto.
Here's the link to the full article.