first image


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!

What's for Dinner? Ask Linda

050 TAAL 0917 Lina Cahill 012.JPG

Linda Cahill of The Pampered Chef is with 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 month Linda selected delicious, easy to prepare recipes using beer or wine to help kick off the start of baseball season.

Visit to see all the wonderful kitchen tools and recipes.

107 TAAL 0418 LC1 chicken dijon.jpg


Vin Blanc is a classic French sauce with a light velvety texture made using White wine, stock, shallots and cream.


2 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves (about 6-7 ounces each)

2 tablespoons all-purpose flour

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/8 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper

1 tablespoon clarified butter (see Cook's Tip), divided

1/2 shallot, finely chopped

2/3 cup chicken broth

1/2 cup dry white wine such as Chardonnay

2 tablespoons heavy whipping cream

1 teaspoon Dijon mustard

Crispy Beet Straws (optional, see Cook's Tip)


Pound chicken to 1⁄2-inch thickness and combine flour, salt and black pepper in shallow dish.

Dredge chicken in flour mixture, shaking off excess.

Heat 2 teaspoons of the clarified butter in 8 inch Sauté Pan over medium heat until hot.

Add chicken; cook 14-16 minutes or until chicken is no longer pink and juices run clear, turning after 7 minutes.

Remove chicken from pan; keep warm.

Heat remaining 1 teaspoon butter in same pan over medium heat until hot then add shallot; cook and stir 30 seconds.

Add broth and wine; simmer about 10 minutes or until liquid is reduced to 1⁄4 cup, stirring occasionally. Whisk in cream and mustard using Silicone Flat Whisk; simmer 2 minutes.

Cut each chicken breast into 5-6 thin slices, cutting on a bias; place on serving plates, fanning out slices. Drizzle each serving with 2 tablespoons sauce and garnish with Crispy Beet Straws, if desired.

Yield: 2 servings

Nutrients per serving: Calories 310, Total Fat 22 g, Saturated Fat 10 g, Cholesterol 460 mg, Carbohydrate 6 g, Protein 20 g, Sodium 520 mg, Fiber 1 g

U.S. Diabetic exchanges per serving: 1 vegetable, 2 1⁄2 medium-fat meat, 2 fat (0 carb)

Cook's Tips:

Crispy Beet Straws: Peel 1 large beet (be sure to wear plastic gloves) and thinly slice using the Ultimate Mandoline® fitted with thin slicing blade. Stack slices and cut into thin julienne strips.

Heat 1 inch of vegetable oil in a 3 quart Saucepan over medium heat until hot (about 375°F); place half of the beet strips in hot oil.

Cook 3-4 minutes or until crisp. Remove with slotted spoon; drain on paper towels.

Sprinkle lightly with salt, if desired. Repeat with remaining beet strips.

107 TAAL 0418 LC2  HD bites.jpg


A True Chicago-style hot dog has many toppings. It’s often said to have been “dragged through the garden."


2 pkg (12 oz/340 g each) refrigerated flaky buttermilk biscuits (see Cook’s Tip)

2 tsp (10 mL) poppy seeds

3   hot dogs

2 small whole dill pickles (about 1/2 cup/125 mL coarsely chopped)

1 small onion

2   plum tomatoes

4 oz (125 g) sharp cheddar cheese

1/4 cup (50 mL) yellow mustard


Preheat oven to 400ºF (200ºC).

Pull apart biscuit layers horizontally in half to form 40 biscuits, and arrange biscuits over Large Round Stone with Handles, overlapping as necessary.

Sprinkle with poppy seeds and bake 13–15 minutes or until golden brown.

Meanwhile, using a Paring Knife, cut hot dogs in half lengthwise then crosswise into 1/4-inch-thick (6-mm) half-moons

Place hot dogs into Small Micro-Cooker®; microwave, covered, on HIGH 30–45 seconds or until hot. Coarsely chop pickles and onion using Food Chopper.

Blot excess moisture from pickles using paper towels.

Seed and dice tomatoes

Combine pickles, onion and tomatoes in Small Batter Bowl; mix well and set aside.

Grate cheese using Microplane® Adjustable Coarse Grater.

Remove baking stone from oven to Stackable Cooling Rack.

Top biscuits with hot dogs and cheese

Bake 3–4 minutes or until cheese is melted.

Remove from oven; top with vegetable mixture and drizzle with mustard.

Yield: 20 servings

Nutrients per serving: Calories 160, Total Fat 8 g, Saturated Fat 3 g, Cholesterol 10 mg, Sodium 530 mg, Carbohydrate 15 g, Fiber 0 g, Protein 5 g

Cook's Tips:

The biscuits will be easier to pull apart if you keep them in the refrigerator until ready to use.

If desired, this recipe can be prepared on the Large Bar Pan. Preheat oven and prepare biscuits as directed in Step 1. Arrange biscuits over bar pan, overlapping as necessary. Sprinkle with poppy seeds and bake 16–18 minutes or until golden brown. Proceed as recipe directs.


107 TAAL 0418 LC3 RB ribs.jpg


1 rack of pork back ribs (about 2–4 lbs. /1–2 kg)

2–4 tbsp (30–60 mL) barbecue rub (1 tbsp/15 mL rub per 1 lb. /500 g ribs)

6 oz (175 mL) root beer

1–1½ cups (250–375 mL) barbecue sauce


Remove the membrane from the rack of ribs (see cook’s tip).

Season both sides of the ribs with the barbecue rub, and then cut between the bones to separate into four portions to fit into the pan.

Add the root beer to the Rockcrok® Dutch oven and then add the ribs.

Cover and place in the Rockcrok® Slow Cooker Stand.

Cook on LOW for 6–8 hours or on HIGH for 4 hours.

During the last hour of cooking, add the barbecue sauce.

Yield: 4 servings

Nutrients per serving: U.S. Nutrients per serving (about ¼ rack of ribs): Calories 560, Total Fat 35 g, Saturated Fat 12 g, Cholesterol 150 mg, Sodium 810 mg, Carbohydrate 20 g, Fiber 0 g, Sugars 16 g, Protein 41 g

Cook's Tips:

The membrane on a rack of ribs is tough and holds in excess fat. To remove the membrane, lay the rack meaty-side down. Use the tip of a small knife to gently cut under the membrane on one corner. Lift the corner of the membrane and gently pull it away from the bones.

This recipe can be made in the Rockcrok® Everyday Pan with a smaller rack of ribs (up to 2 lbs. /1 kg).

107 TAAL 0418 LC4  BC chicken.jpg



1 medium green bell pepper

1 medium red bell pepper

1 medium yellow squash

1 medium zucchini

1 medium yellow onion

1 tbsp (15 mL) each smoked paprika and garlic powder

1 tsp (5 mL) each onion powder, dry mustard, salt and coarsely ground black pepper

1 1/2 tbsp (22 mL) olive oil

1 whole broiler-fryer chicken (about 3 1/2-4 lbs. /1.6-1.8 kg)

1 - 12 oz/350 mL can of beer


Prepare grill for indirect cooking over medium heat.

Cut vegetables into 1-in. (2.5-cm) pieces.

For seasoning, combine paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, dry mustard, salt and black pepper in small mixing bowl; mix well.

Combine vegetables, oil and 1/2 tbsp (7 mL) of the seasoning in large mixing bowl; toss to coat.

Trim excess fat from chicken, if necessary. Sprinkle outside of chicken with remaining seasoning.

Pour out about one-fourth of the beer from can. Place beer can in can holder in BBQ Roasting Pan & Can Holder.

Place chicken over can holder so that the can is upright in the cavity of the chicken.

Arrange vegetables around chicken.

Place roasting pan on grid of grill.

Grill, covered, for 65-75 minutes or until thermometer registers 165ºF (74ºC) in thickest part of breast

Rotate pan once during grilling (If necessary when using charcoal, add 12 new coals on each side of grill after 30 minutes).

Remove roasting pan from grill. Carefully remove chicken from can holder.

Serve chicken with vegetables.

Yield: 6 servings

Nutrients per serving: Calories 370, Total Fat 21 g, Saturated Fat 5 g, Cholesterol 110 mg, Sodium 500 mg, Carbohydrate 8 g, Fiber 2 g, Protein 36 g



12 ounces (1 1/2 cups) beer, non-alcoholic beer or sparkling fruit juice

1 pouch (19 ounces) Beer Bread Mix – available from The Pampered Chef

1 tablespoon butter or margarine, melted (optional)


Preheat oven to 350°F.

Lightly brush Stoneware Loaf Pan (or 5 x 9-inch metal loaf pan) with oil.

Pour beverage into large bowl. And add bread mix; mix just until dry ingredients are moistened. (Do not overmix.)

Spoon batter into pan; drizzle with butter, if desired.

Bake 50-55 minutes (45-50 minutes for metal pan) or until cake tester inserted in center comes out clean and top is golden brown.

Cool bread in pan 5 minutes; remove from pan. Serve warm or cool.

Yield: 12 servings

Cook's Tips:

For variety, substitute 12 ounces of your favorite flavored sparkling water, carbonated soft drink or fruit juice for the beverage.

Linda WFD image.jpg



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



Allegheny YMCA Spin-a-thon by Maritza Balta

Spring Cleaning: Getting Started and Staying on Task by Fran Joyce