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Welcome to This Awful/Awesome Life! My name is Frances Joyce. I am the publisher and editor of this magazine. We'll be exploring different topics each month to inform, entertain and inspire you. Meet new authors, sharpen your brain and pick up a few tips on life, love, entertaining and business. Enjoy and please share!

December 2018 - What's for Dinner? Ask Linda


Linda Cahill of The Pampered Chef shares some delicious recipes and cooking tips. Whether she’s demonstrating products for The Pampered Chef while preparing delicious recipes at a Pampered Chef party, helping out in her parish, entertaining friends and family, or making a meal for a sick friend, Linda always knows “What’s for Dinner?”

This holiday season trust The Pampered Chef to make your mornings just a little more special with an easy and delicious non-dairy creamer you can flavor with the extract of your choice. Linda’s thinking hazelnut, coconut, peppermint, cinnamon or chocolate, but you decide.

Keep Christmas Eve a little lighter this year with veggie mini-quiches and colorful rainbow veggie pizza. After the presents are unwrapped on Christmas morning, treat the family to light and fluffy pancakes and avocado toast with eggs.

Why not opt for a delicious herb seasoned beef rib roast with individual Yorkshire puddings, and steamed vegetables? Follow The Pampered Chef’s simple tips for perfectly steamed vegetables of your choice – try green beans and/or carrots with your beef roast.  Finish up with your choice of mini-red velvet bundt cakes or peppermint brownie trifle.


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1 cup (250 mL) unsweetened almond milk

1 tbsp (15 mL) extract (hazelnut, coconut, cinnamon, or any other flavor you like!)

2 tbsp (30 mL) sugar or 1 tbsp (15 mL) sugar substitute


Pour all the ingredients into the Measure, Mix & Pour®, then mix until they’re blended. Refrigerate until ready to use. Before pouring into coffee, mix well again.


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1/2 cup milk

2 eggs

4 slices bacon, crisply cooked, drained and chopped

1/2 cup finely chopped zucchini

1/2 cup finely chopped mushrooms

1 green onion with top, sliced

1/2 cup (2 ounces) shredded cheddar cheese

1 garlic clove, pressed

Dash of ground black pepper

1 package (15 ounces) refrigerated pie crusts (2 crusts)


Preheat oven to 375°F. Let pie crusts stand at room temperature 15 minutes. Lightly spray Deluxe Mini-Muffin Pan with vegetable oil using Kitchen Spritzer. Whisk milk and eggs in Classic Batter Bowl.

Chop bacon, zucchini and mushrooms using Food Chopper. Add bacon, zucchini, mushrooms, green onion, cheese, garlic pressed with Garlic Press and black pepper to batter bowl; set aside.

On lightly floured surface, roll one crust to a 12-inch circle using Baker's Roller®. Using 2 1/2” (6-cm) Biscuit Cutter, cut out 12 pastry pieces. Press one pastry piece into each muffin cup using Mini-Tart Shaper. Repeat with remaining crust to fill remaining muffin cups.

Using Small Scoop, fill each muffin cup with a rounded scoop of vegetable mixture. Bake 17-20 minutes or until crusts are light golden brown. Cool in pan 2 minutes; carefully remove mini quiches from pan. Serve warm.

Yield: 24 servings of 1 mini quiche

Nutrients per serving: Calories 100, Total Fat 6 g, Saturated Fat 3 g, Cholesterol 25 mg, Carbohydrate  9 g, Protein 2 g, Sodium 110 mg, Fiber 0 g

U.S. Diabetic exchanges per serving: 1/2 starch, 1 fat (1/2 carb)

Cook's Tips:

When using the Biscuit Cutter to cut out the pastry, start on the outside edge of the crust. Cut nine pastry pieces as close to each other as possible, then cut three pastry pieces from the center. If necessary, roll crust out just enough to accommodate the three center pieces.

The Small Scoop is a practical tool for filling tart shells, scooping cookie dough, making melon balls and forming meatballs.

Choose green onions with crisp, bright green tops and firm white bases. Store them, unwashed, in a plastic bag in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.


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1 - 16 oz (450 g) ball fresh pizza dough

 Canola oil

 Assorted fresh vegetables such as broccoli, yellow pepper, orange pepper, grape tomatoes, red onions and purple potatoes

1/2 cup (125 mL) prepared pesto

1 cup (250 mL) shredded mozzarella cheese


Preheat the oven to 425°F (218°C).

Brush the White Large Round Stone with oil. Place the dough in the center of the stone. Roll the dough to the edges with the Baker’s Roller®, pressing with fingers as needed. Pierce the entire dough with the pastry tool. Bake the crust for 14–18 minutes, or until the edges are light golden brown.

Meanwhile, prepare your vegetables. Slice broccoli with a Utility Knife, use the Close & Cut to halve grape tomatoes, and use the Simple Slicer on the #1 setting to slice the purple potatoes. To dice the yellow and orange peppers, cut them into strips with the Quick Slice, then dice with a utility knife.

Remove the crust from the oven and lightly brush the edges with oil. Top with ½ cup (125 mL) of prepared pesto sauce and 1 cup (250 mL) of shredded mozzarella cheese. Arrange the vegetables as shown and bake for 18–21 minutes.

Yield: 8 servings 


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¾ cup (175 mL) milk

2   pinches of salt

1 cup (250 mL) flour

4 tsp (20 mL) baking powder

8 tsp (40 mL) sugar

2   eggs


Using the instructions on the side of the Pancake Shaker Bottle, add all the ingredients. Cover the bottle with the lid and shake for 30 seconds.

Pour the batter onto a greased Executive Nonstick Griddle. When the batter starts to bubble, turn the pancakes over and heat until both sides are lightly browned. Repeat with the remaining batter.

Yield: 4 servings

Nutrients per serving: U.S. Nutrients per Serving (3 pancakes per serving): Calories 190, Total Fat 3.5 g, Cholesterol 95 mg, Sodium 370 mg, Carbohydrate 31 g, Fiber 1 g, Sugars 7 g, Protein 8 g

Cook's Tips: You can cut this recipe in half. Use the measure markings on the Pancake Blender Bottle and shake for 20 seconds.




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2   eggs

1 piece precooked turkey bacon

1   sandwich thin or English muffin

¼–½   fresh avocado, seeded and mashed


Crack the eggs into the bottom of the Breakfast Sandwich Maker and whisk. Add the bacon to the deep insert and microwave for 1 minute.

Add the bread to the shallow insert and microwave for 30 more seconds. Remove from the microwave, assemble, and top with mashed avocado.

Yield: 1 serving

Nutrients per serving: U.S. nutrients per serving: Calories 370, Total Fat 19 g, Saturated Fat 4.5 g, Cholesterol 380 mg, Sodium 480 mg, Total Carbohydrate 6 g, Fiber 3 g, Sugars 1 g, Protein 20 g


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2 tablespoons chopped fresh thyme leaves or 2 teaspoons dried thyme leaves

4   garlic cloves, pressed

1 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper

1/2 teaspoon salt

6-8 pounds well-trimmed beef rib roast (2-4 ribs), small end

2 medium onions, sliced

1 can (14 1/2 ounces) beef broth, divided

3/4 cup water


Preheat oven to 350°F. Chop thyme leaves with Food Chopper. Combine thyme, garlic, black pepper and salt. Press evenly over surface of beef roast.

Slice onions into 1/4-inch-thick slices using Ultimate Mandoline. Cover bottom of Rectangular Baker with onion slices. Add 3/4 cup of the beef broth and water; reserve remaining broth for Mushroom Sauce.

Place roast, fat side up, on onions in baker. Do not cover. Insert Digital Pocket Thermometer, so tip is centered in thickest part, not resting in fat or touching bone. Do not cover. Roast 2 hours, 15 minutes to 2 hours, 30 minutes for medium rare; 2 hours, 45 minutes to 3 hours for medium doneness.

Remove roast from oven when thermometer registers 135°F for medium rare; 150°F for medium. Remove roast to Reversible Bamboo Carving Board; loosely tent with aluminum foil. Temperature will rise approximately 10°F during standing. (See Cook's Tip.) Let stand 15-20 minutes to allow juices to set and for easier carving.

Increase oven temperature to 425°F. Using Baster, remove meat drippings from baker; reserve for preparing Individual Yorkshire Puddings. Carve roast using Carving Set. Serve with Mushroom Sauce.

Yield: 8-10 servings of 4 ounces cooked beef

Nutrients per serving: Calories 270, Total Fat 12 g, Saturated Fat 5 g, Cholesterol 90 mg, Carbohydrate 3 g, Protein 33 g, Sodium 290 mg, Fiber 0 g

U.S. Diabetic exchanges per serving: 4 meat, 1 vegetable

Cook's Tips:

You may want to ask the meat retailer to remove the chine bone for easier carving. Trim fat to 1/4-inch thickness.

Once meat has been removed from the oven, it will continue to cook during the standing time due to the internal residual heat. That's why it's important to remove this roast from the oven when the thermometer registers about 10°F below a desired ending temperature of 145°F for medium-rare doneness or 160°F for medium doneness. Upon carving, the beef roast will be moist and tender, and not overcooked.


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2   eggs

1 cup milk

1 cup all-purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon salt

2 tablespoons beef fat drippings (reserved from Herb Seasoned Beef Rib Roast)


Preheat oven to 425°F. In Small Batter Bowl, beat eggs with Stainless Whisk; add milk, whisking until well blended. Gradually add flour and salt; whisk until smooth.

Spray 12-Cup Muffin Pan cups with canola oil using Kitchen Spritzer. Place 1/2 teaspoon drippings in each cup. Using Large Scoop, fill each cup with one level scoop of batter. Bake 25 minutes or until puffed and deep golden brown. Serve immediately with Herb Seasoned Beef Rib Roast.

Yield: 12 puddings servings of 1 pudding

Nutrients per serving: Calories 60, Total Fat 1.5 g, Saturated Fat .5 g, Cholesterol 35 mg, Carbohydrate 9 g, Protein 3 g, Sodium 20 mg, Fiber 0 g

U.S. Diabetic exchanges per serving: 1/2 starch (1/2 carb)

Cook's Tips:

Yorkshire pudding gets its name from England’s northern country of Yorkshire. Puffy and golden brown, it’s most similar to a popover. It is typically made in individual muffin cups or a large, shallow baking dish.

Butter or margarine can be substituted for beef fat drippings.

The batter can be made up to an hour ahead, covered and refrigerated. Stir well before filling muffin cups.



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Vegetable                    Quantity    Time*

Asparagus                           2 lbs. (1 kg)         8-10 minutes

Baby Carrots                      2 lbs. (1 kg)         16-18 minutes

Broccoli Florets                           2 lbs. (1 kg)        8-10 minutes

Cauliflower Florets         2 lbs. (1 kg)         9-11 minutes

Green Beans                      2 lbs. (1 kg)         10-12 minutes

Red Potatoes (whole)   4 lbs. (2 kg)        38-42 minutes

Spinach                1 lb. (450 g)       3-4 minutes

Sweet Potatoes-cubed 2 lbs. (1kg)          13-18 minutes

*Or, Steam until Tender crisp


Fill the cookware with 4 cups (1 L) of water. The 12" Steamer fits on top of our cookware with a 12" (30-cm) top diameter (Examples: Executive Nonstick Stir-Fry Skillet, Executive Nonstick Skillet, or the Stainless Steel 12" (30-cm) Covered Skillet). 

Cover the cookware with an Executive Nonstick Glass Lid and bring the water to a boil over high heat. 

Remove the lid by lifting it with the handle toward you, allowing the steam to escape away from you. 

Place the food in an even layer over the bottom of the steamer and position the steamer over the top of the pan.

Cover the steamer with the lid and reduce the heat so that the water continues to boil and begin timing. Steam for the recommended time given in the chart or until the vegetables are crisp tender.

TIP: If the food is layered, stir it halfway through to promote even cooking. 

To remove the steamer, turn off the heat source. Remove the steamer from the pot using heat-resistant oven mitts or pads. Remove the lid by lifting handle toward you, allowing the steam to escape away from you.

Place the steamer on a heat-safe cooling rack or cutting board, allowing any excess water to drain. 


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 Oil for brushing pan

1½ cups (375 mL) flour

2 tbsp (30 mL) unsweetened cocoa powder

½ tsp (2 mL) baking powder

¼ tsp (1 mL) baking soda

½ cup (125 mL) butter (1 stick), softened

¾ cup (125 mL) sugar

½ tsp (2 mL) salt

1   egg

½ cup (125 mL) fat-free Greek yogurt

½ cup (125 mL) whole milk

½ tbsp (7 mL) red gel food coloring

½ tbsp (7 mL) vanilla

½ tsp (2 mL) white vinegar

Optional Toppings: Easy Cake Glazes


Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C). Brush the Mini Fluted Cake Pan with oil using the Chef’s Silicone Basting Brush.

Combine the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, and baking soda in a medium bowl. Set aside.

Combine the butter, sugar, and salt in a large mixing bowl. Beat with an electric mixer on medium speed until it’s smooth and light and in color.

Add the egg and beat until fully combined. Add the Greek yogurt, milk, food coloring, vanilla, and vinegar, and beat until smooth, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed.

Add the flour mixture and beat until the ingredients are just combined and there are no lumps.

Use a Large Scoop to divide the batter evenly into the wells of the prepared pan. Lightly tap the pan on the counter to even out the batter. Bake for 20–25 minutes, or until the Cake Tester & Releaser inserted in the centers comes out clean.

Let the cakes cool in the pan for 5 minutes before releasing. Carefully invert the pan onto a cooling rack. Let the cakes cool completely before glazing.

Yield: 12 servings

Nutrients per serving: U.S. Nutrients per Serving: Calories 200, Total Fat 10 g, Saturated Fat 6 g, Cholesterol 40 g, Sodium 160 mg, Carbohydrate 26, Fiber 1 g, Sugars 13 g, Protein 7 g


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1 pkg (18.3 oz or 450 g) fudge brownie mix (plus ingredients to make brownies)

1 pkg (10 oz/300 g) peppermint hard candies, unwrapped

1 container (16 oz/450 g) thawed frozen whipped topping


Preheat oven to 325°F (160°C). Spray wells of Brownie Pan with nonstick cooking spray. Prepare brownie mix according to package directions. Divide batter evenly into wells of pan. 

Bake 23-26 minutes or until wooden pick inserted into center comes out clean. Remove from oven. Let stand 5 minutes. Remove from pan and cool completely.

Cut each brownie into four squares. Place candies into a large resealable plastic bag and coarsely crush using flat side of Meat Tenderizer. 

To assemble trifle, place half the brownies in bottom of Trifle Bowl. Top with half of the whipped topping, spreading to edges. Sprinkle with half of the crushed peppermint candies. Repeat layers. 

Yield: 16 servings

Nutrients per serving: Calories 280, Total Fat 6 g, Saturated Fat 4.5 g, Cholesterol 0 mg, Sodium 125 mg, Carbohydrate 50 g, Fiber 0 g, Protein 0 g

Linda WFD image.jpg

For more delicious recipes and to order products for your kitchen, visit Email her at


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December 2018 in Pictures