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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!

What's for Dinner? Ask Linda (9/2018)


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 Month, Linda has selected the best of the summer and fall - perfect for a family get together or football party. Who says there's only one way to serve pizza and burgers? Give pizza dip and these delicious sliders a try. 



Infusion Water Bottle

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½ medium orange, sliced

¼ cup (50 mL thin mango slices

Quick-Stir® Pitcher        

1 medium orange, sliced

¾ cup (175 mL) thin mango slices

Family-Size Quick-Stir® Pitcher

2 medium oranges, sliced

1 peeled mango, thinly sliced


Use the Quick Slice to slice the orange: First cut in half lengthwise, then place cut-side down to slice crosswise. Peel the mango with the Serrated Peeler. Slice the mango with the Utility Knife.

Fill the bottom of the Quick-Stir® Pitcher or Infusion Water Bottle with the sliced fruit and then top with water.

Plunge the pitcher to combine. To get the best flavor, refrigerate at least 20 minutes before serving.


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⅓ cup (75 mL) creamy peanut butter

1 container (6–8 oz/175–250 g) vanilla yogurt

½ cup (125 mL) thawed, frozen whipped topping

Apple wedges, strawberries, celery sticks, pretzel or graham cracker sticks (your choice)


Put the peanut butter and yogurt in the Small Batter Bowl and whisk until it is smooth.

Add the whipped topping to the peanut butter mixture and mix well. Serve with your choice of dippers.

Yield: 12 servings of about 2 tbsp (30 mL) dip (excluding dippers)

Nutrients per serving: Calories 60, Total Fat 4.5 g, Saturated Fat 1.5 g, Cholesterol 0 mg, Sodium 45 mg, Carbohydrate 4 g, Protein 2 g

Cook's Tips:

If you're not going to eat the dip right away, place the lid on the batter bowl and put it in the refrigerator. When you're ready to serve the dip, spoon the dip into a serving bowl.


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1 medium zucchini

1 1/2 cups (375 mL) large fat-free seasoned restaurant-style croutons (see Cook’s Tip)

1 oz (30 g) Parmesan cheese, divided

1 egg white

1/2 cup (125 mL) nonfat plain yogurt

1/2 cup (125 mL) loosely packed fresh basil leaves

3 tbsp (45 mL) light mayonnaise

2 garlic cloves, peeled

1/2 tsp (2 mL) coarsely ground black pepper


Preheat oven to 450ºF (230ºC).

Line Cookie Sheet with Parchment Paper. Trim and discard ends of zucchini; cut in half crosswise using Chef’s Knife. Cut each zucchini half using French Fry Cutter (discard any thinner pieces). Place croutons in Manual Food Processor; cover and pump handle until finely chopped. Grate Parmesan cheese with Microplane® Adjustable Fine Grater. Place chopped croutons and half of the Parmesan cheese in Coating Tray; mix well.

Whisk egg white in Classic Batter Bowl until frothy. Add zucchini; mix gently until well coated. Dredge zucchini in crouton mixture, pressing firmly to coat. Arrange zucchini in a single layer on Cookie Sheet. Bake 14–16 minutes or until crisp.

Meanwhile, for dip, combine remaining Parmesan cheese, yogurt, basil, mayonnaise, garlic and black pepper in clean processor bowl; cover and pump handle until well blended, scraping down sides as necessary. Remove Cookie Sheet from oven to Stackable Cooling Rack. Serve zucchini fries with dip.

Yield: 10 servings of about 3 fries and 1 tbsp (15 mL) dip

Nutrients per serving: Calories 70, Total Fat 2 g, Saturated Fat 0 g, Cholesterol 5 mg, Sodium 180 mg, Carbohydrate 7 g, Fiber 0 g, Protein 4 g

Cook's Tips: For best results, choose croutons that are about 3/4 x 3/4 in. (2 x 2 cm) in size.


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1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese, softened

1 teaspoon Italian Seasoning Mix

1 cup (4 ounces) shredded mozzarella cheese

3/4 cup (3 ounces) grated fresh Parmesan cheese

1 can (8 ounces) pizza sauce

1/4 cup diced green bell pepper, sliced green onions or chopped pitted ripe olives

Toasted Baguette Slices


Preheat oven to 350°F. In Small Batter Bowl, combine cream cheese and seasoning mix; spread onto bottom of Mini-Baker.

In small bowl, combine mozzarella and Parmesan cheeses. Sprinkle half of the mozzarella cheese mixture over cream cheese mixture. Top with pizza sauce, spreading evenly. Sprinkle with remaining mozzarella cheese mixture. Bake 15-20 minutes or until bubbly. Top with bell pepper. Serve with Toasted Baguette Slices.

Yield: 14 servings of 1/4 cup

Nutrients per serving: Calories 80, Total Fat 6 g, Saturated Fat 4 g, Cholesterol 20 mg, Carbohydrate 2 g, Protein 4 g, Sodium 200 mg, Fiber 0 g

U.S. Diabetic exchanges per serving: 1/2 meat, 1 fat (0 carb)

Cook's Tips: To heat Hot Pizza Dip in the microwave oven, microwave on HIGH 2 minutes; turn. Microwave on HIGH 2-3 minutes or until mixture is bubbly and heated through.

Italian seasoning can be substituted for the Italian Seasoning mix, if desired.


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½ cup (125 mL) fresh parsley

½ cup (125 mL) dry Italian-style bread crumbs

2   garlic cloves

¼ cup (50 mL) shredded fresh Parmesan cheese (1 oz/30 g)

1   egg

1½ lbs. (700 g) 90% lean ground beef

8 oz (250 g) bulk mild Italian pork sausage

 Canola oil for spraying pan

8 hamburger buns, split


1½ cups (375 mL) marinara sauce

8 slices reduced-fat provolone cheese


In a small bowl, finely snip the parsley with the Professional Shears and place in the Classic Batter Bowl.

Press the garlic with the Garlic Press into the bowl and add the remaining burger ingredients (expect the buns) and mix until thoroughly combined.

Spray the Executive Nonstick Double Burner Grill with oil using the Kitchen Spritzer. Heat over medium heat for 3–5 minutes

Place half of the buns, cut-side down, into the pan and heat for 30–60 seconds, or until they're lightly toasted. Repeat with the remaining buns. Remove the buns from the pan and set aside.

Spray the Burger & Slider Press with oil. Using ½ cup (125 mL) of the meat mixture, press the meat into a patty and place onto the pan. Repeat with the remaining meat mixture until you have 8 total burgers.

Cook for 3–4 minutes (on one side) or until grill marks appear

Place the marinara sauce in the Small Micro-Cooker®. Microwave, covered, on HIGH for 1–2 minutes, or until warmed

Turn the burgers over. Top them with cheese and marinara. Cook for 2–3 minutes, or until the internal temperature is 160°F (71°C) Place burgers on buns and serve.

Yield: 8 servings of 1 burger with bun

Nutrients per serving: Calories 490, Total Fat 25 g, Saturated Fat 10 g, Cholesterol 115 mg, Sodium 920 mg, Carbohydrate 32 g, Fiber 2 g, Protein 33 g


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1   medium zucchini

½ oz. (15 g) fresh Parmesan cheese, grated (about ¼ cup/150 mL grated)

¼ cup (50 mL) part-skim ricotta cheese

1 oz. (30 g) fresh baby spinach (about 1 cup/250 mL)

¼ tsp (1 mL) salt

½ cup (125 mL) cherry tomatoes


Spiralize the zucchini using the fettuccine blade on the Veggie Spiralizer.

Add the zucchini to the Microwave Pasta Cooker. Cover it with the lid and microwave on HIGH for 2–3 minutes, or until the noodles are slightly softened.

Meanwhile, grate the Parmesan with the Microplane® Adjustable Fine Grater. Remove the bowl from the microwave. Add the cheeses, spinach, and salt, and stir well. Microwave, covered, for 1 minute

Cut the tomatoes in half with the Close & Cut. Remove the bowl from the microwave and top with tomatoes. Let it stand for 1–2 minutes.

Yield: 1 serving

Nutrients per serving: U.S. nutrients per serving: Calories 220, Total Fat 11 g, Saturated Fat 7 g, Cholesterol 35 mg, Sodium 1,020 mg, Carbohydrate 14 g, Fiber 3 g, Sugars 5 g, Protein 18 g


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1 pound (450 g) unpeeled red potatoes (3-4 medium)

2 large carrots

1 large yellow summer squash

1 large zucchini

8 ounces (250 g) fresh large mushrooms

1/4 cup (50 mL) olive oil

2   garlic cloves, pressed

2 teaspoons (10 mL) Italian seasoning

1/2 teaspoon (2 mL) salt

1/4 teaspoon (1 mL) ground black pepper


Preheat oven to 425°F. Cut potatoes in half lengthwise using Crinkle Cutter; cut each half lengthwise into 1-inch-wide wedges. Cut carrots diagonally into 2-inch lengths. Cut summer squash and zucchini into 2-inch pieces. Cut mushrooms in half.

Place vegetables in large bowl; toss with oil. Press garlic over vegetables using Garlic Press. Sprinkle with Italian seasoning, salt and black pepper; toss to coat evenly.

Spread vegetables in single layer on Large Bar Pan. Bake 40-45 minutes or until golden brown and crisp-tender, stirring after 20 minutes.

Yield: 6 servings

Nutrients per serving: Calories 170, Total Fat 9 g, Saturated Fat 1.5 g, Cholesterol 10 mg, Carbohydrate 21 g, Protein 4 g, Sodium 210 mg, Fiber 3 g

Cook's Tips: Italian Seasoning Mix can be substituted for the Italian seasoning.



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 Oil for brushing pan

½ cup (125 mL) water

⅓ cup (75 mL) creamy peanut butter

2   eggs

¼ cup (50 mL) sour cream

½ pkg (15–18 oz or 515–520 g) yellow cake mix (about 1⅔ cups/400 mL)

¼ cup (50 mL) semi-sweet chocolate morsels

¼ cup (50 mL) peanut butter chips

Optional Toppings: Chocolate Easy Cake Glaze, additional chocolate morsels and peanut butter morsels, chopped


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

In a large bowl, combine the water, peanut butter, eggs, and sour cream, and whisk until well blended. Add the cake mix a little bit at a time; whisk until well blended. (Or you can use an electric mixer on medium speed to combine the cake mix.)

Gently fold 1/4 cup (50 mL) each of the morsels and the chips into the batter.

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. Glaze and top with chopped morsels and chips.

Yield: 6 servings

Nutrients per serving: U.S. Nutrients per Serving: Calories 380, Total Fat 17 g, Saturated Fat 8 g, Cholesterol 55 mg, Sodium 430 mg, Carbohydrate 50 g, Fiber 2 g, Sugars 30 g, Protein 10 g

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

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