Thursday, January 31, 2008

Super Bowl Goodies

Sunday, February 3rd is Super Bowl XLII. In professional American football, the Super Bowl is the championship game of the National Football League (NFL). This year the New York Giants and New England Patriots square off in Super Bowl XLII.

Are you planning a party to cheer for your favorite team? Here are some munchies to make your day super!

Baked Potato Skins

8 large baking potatoes
1/2 cup melted butter
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
Watkins Garlic Salt
Watkins Granulated Black Pepper
8 slices crisp cooked bacon, crumbled
Sliced green onions
Sour Cream

Scrub and bake potatoes. Bake at 350-400 degrees F until done, about an hour. Remove from oven. When just cool enough to handle, cut each in half, and with a spoon, scoop out the middle, leaving a 1/4 inch shell on all sides and the bottom. Cut each half in half. Melt butter, and brush both sides of potato shells with butter. Season with garlic salt and pepper. Place the potato shells on a baking sheet, scoop side up, and sprinkle with 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese, 8 slices of bacon, crisp cooked and crumbled. Bake at 350 for about 15 minutes until crispy.

Top with sliced green onions, and serve with sour cream while warm.

Salsa Tortilla Wraps

1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese
1/2 cup chunky salsa
4 sliced green onions
2 cups grated cheese, cheddar, jack, pepper jack
8 large flour tortillas
Sour cream

Soften 8 oz cream cheese. Beat in 1/2 cup chunky salsa. Stir in four sliced green onions and 2 cups grated cheese. Divide mixture evenly between 8 large flour tortillas. Spread to the edges in an even layer. Roll up, and chill, wrapped in plastic wrap. Before serving, slice across into 1" pieces, and arrange on serving tray. Serve with a bowl of salsa or sour cream.

Cracker Snack Mix

12 cups original flavor bugles
6 cups miniature pretzels
1 package (11 oz) mini butter-flavored crackers
1 package (10 oz) Wheat Thins
1 package (9 1/4 oz) Cheese Nips
1 package (7 1/2 oz) nacho cheese Bugles
1 package (6 oz) mini parmesan fish-shaped crackers
1 cup mixed nuts or peanuts
1 bottle (10 or 12 oz) butter flavored popcorn oil
2 envelopes ranch salad dressing mix

In a very large bowl, combine the first eight ingredients. In a small bowl, combine oil and salad dressing mix. Pour over cracker mixture; toss to coat evenly. Transfer to four ungreased 15 X 10 X 1-inch baking pans. Bake at 250 for
45 minutes, stirring every 15 minutes. Cool completely, stirring several times. Yield: about 8 quarts.

Spiced Nuts

2 (12-ounce) cans salted mixed nuts
2 tablespoons melted butter
1 tablespoon Watkins Chili Powder
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1/4 teaspoon Watkins Cayenne Pepper
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In large bowl combine all ingredients.
  2. Spread mixture in one layer on jellyroll pan or cookie sheet and bake for about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Makes 5 cups.

Make-ahead tip: Prepare several days ahead and store in airtight container

Spicy Southern Pecans

3 cups raw pecan halves
1 large egg white
1/2 cup Splenda
1 tablespoon Watkins Paprika
1 teaspoon Watkins Cayenne Pepper
1/2 teaspoon Watkins Cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon Watkins Nutmeg
2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce

  1. Preheat oven to 250 degrees F.
  2. Whisk the egg white until frothy. Mix the spices with the Splenda in a small bowl and blend well. Add the Worcestershire sauce to the egg white, and then the spices, mixing until well blended.
  3. Add the nuts to the egg white mixture and mix well to coat. Spread nuts in a single layer on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Pour any remaining egg mixture over nuts.
  4. Bake for 1 to 1 1/4 hours until the nuts are completely dry. Stir the nuts every 20 minutes to bake evenly. Makes 24 servings of 2 tablespoons each.

Avocado Dip

1/2 cup sour cream
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1 ripe avocado
2 green onions, chopped
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 clove garlic, minced
1 teaspoon fresh chopped thyme or 1/4 teaspoon Watkins Thyme

  1. Peel avocado and remove the pit.
  2. Cut into small pieces. Put all ingredients into a blender or food processor and process until smooth.
  3. Place dip in a small bowl, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 2 to 3 hours.
  4. Serve with vegetables or chips. Makes approximately 2 cups.


Let your guests serve themselves. Set up a taco bar with taco shells, meat, and toppings.
Warm corn and flour tortillas
Taco seasoned, cooked ground beef
Taco seasoned, cooked shredded chicken
Grated cheese
Chopped tomatoes
Chopped olives
Shredded lettuce
Diced avocado or guacamole
Taco sauce

Cinnamon Football Cookies

1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup butter or margarine, softened
1 teaspoon Watkins Vanilla Extract
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon Watkins Ground Cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon salt
24 whole blanched almonds

Decorating Glaze
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1 1/2 to 3 teaspoons water

Heat oven to 350 degrees F. In large bowl, mix brown sugar, butter and vanilla until smooth. Stir in flour, cinnamon and salt until dough holds together.

Shape dough by scant tablespoonfuls around almonds to form football shapes. On ungreased cookie sheet, place shapes about 1 inch apart.

Bake 12 to 14 minutes or until set but not brown. Remove from cookie sheet to cooling rack. Cool completely.

In small bowl, mix powdered sugar and just enough water to make mixture that can be piped from decorating bag. Place glaze in decorating bag fitted with number 3 writing tip. With tip, make football laces on cookies.

Touchdown Chocolate Fantasy Bars

1 (18.25 or 18.5-ounce) package chocolate cake mix
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 egg
1 cup chopped nuts
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 (14-ounce) can Sweetened Condensed Milk (NOT evaporated milk)
1 teaspoon Watkins Vanilla Extract
Dash salt
Purchased tube of decorating icing or homemade thick white icing

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease 13X9-inch baking pan. In large bowl, combine cake mix, oil and egg; beat on medium speed until crumbly. Stir in nuts. Reserve 1 1/2 cup of crumb mixture. Firmly press remaining crumb mixture on bottom of prepared pan.

In small saucepan, over medium heat, combine remaining ingredients. Cook and stir until chips melt. Pour evenly over prepared crust.

Sprinkle reserved crumb mixture evenly over top. Bake 25 to 30 minutes or until edges are firm. Cool. Cut into bars. Drizzle with icing (optional). Store loosely covered at room temperature.

Go Giants! Go Patriots!

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Cheesy Artichoke-Crab Dip

Are you planning a Super Bowl party or family gathering? Serve this warm winter dip.

Cheesy Artichoke-Crab Dip

1/2 cup/125 mL real mayonnaise
1 package (8 oz/227 g) cream cheese
1 tsp/5 mL Watkins Garlic Granules
3 tbsp/45 mL Watkins Crab Snack and Dip Seasoning
2 cans artichoke hearts, drained and chopped
1 cup/250 mL shredded mozzarella cheese
5 oz/140 g shredded parmesan cheese

  1. Mix together mayonnaise, cream cheese, Watkins Garlic Granules and Watkins Crab Snack & Dip Seasoning in a bowl until smooth.
  2. Add chopped artichokes and cheese; mix well.
  3. Bake in an ungreased baking dish at 350 degrees F/180 degrees C for 30 minutes or until edges begin to turn golden brown.

Serve hot with garlic-flavored bagel chips, bread sticks, or toasted baguette slices.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Comfort for Hospitalized Children


This post does not discuss Watkins products or our home based business opportunity but the topic is so important that I included it in my blog.

Last Fall a young girl named Sami asked that people send Crayons and Coloring Books to the hospitalized children at St. Jude Children's Hospital for her birthday. Many people were very touched by her wish. The request circulated around the internet. I sent coloring books and crayons, as I'm sure, many of you did.

I wondered if the hospital could accept these gifts of coloring books and crayons but I sent them anyway. I was pleased to receive a Thank You letter from the hospital with a list of patient gift items they could use. I've included that list in this post.

Whether you sent coloring books and crayons in honor of Sami's birthday or not I'd like to urge you to contribute to St. Jude Children's Research Hospital or to your local hospital. These gifts help comfort sick children and their families. Who deserves your generosity more than a sick child? Let your children feel the love of giving. Call your local hospital for a list of items they accept.

St. Jude Suggested Patient Gift List

Washable Plastic Mobiles
Crib/Musical Activity Centers
High Chairs
Umbrella Strollers*
Infant Seats/Car Seats*
Fisher-Price/Playskool Toys*
Bouncy Seats/Jumperoos
Baby Swings and Rockers
Baby Einstein Items*

Duplo Blocks
Toy Cash Register*
Play Telepone*
Baby Born*
Toy Doctor Kit*
Silly Six Pins Bowling*
Musical Instruments
See and Say*
Play Dish Sets and Play Food
Wooden and Plastic Puzzles (only)
Toy Cars/Trucks/Motorcycles
Playdough*/Activity Sets
Art Supplies/Coloring Books
Bed Bugs*
Mr/Mrs Potato Head*
Hungry Hungry Hippos*
Lucky Ducks*
To Grandma's House We Go
Sponge Bob/Bob the Builder
Thomas the Train/Veggie Tales*
Dora the Explorer*
Shape Sorter Toys

School Age/Adolescent
Action Figures
Spiderman*, Hulk
Transformers*, Yu-Gi-Oh*
Wooden and Plastic Puzzles (only)
Etch A Sketch*
Lego Bionicles/Clikits*
Barbies/Bratz Doll
Hello Kitty/Polly Pocket
Strawberry Shortcake*
My Little Pony*
Toy Cars/Trucks/Motorcycles
Sports Balls
Snap-Tite No Glue Models (only)
Arts, Crafts and Scrapbook Items
Fuzzy Posters*
Gameboy and Games*
XBox/Game Cube and Games*
Handheld Electronic Games*
Telephones*/Alarm Clocks*
Card Games* Uno* Skip Bo*
View Master*
DVD Movies (G or PG13)
Personal MP3/CD Players*
Music CDs*
CD Cases*
Nail Polish Kits

Board Games and Travel Games
Apples to Apples*
Oodles of Doodles*
Catch 22*
Ants in the Pants*
Don't Break the Ice
Guess Who*
Raging Rapids*
Trivial Pursuit*
Jenga Extreme*
Uno Attack*

School Supplies
Backpacks and Misc. Items

All Ages
Pre-paid Phone Cards* (International and Domestic)
Batteries* (All Sizes)
Disposable Cameras*

Gift Certificates
Toys R Us*
JC Penney*
Old Navy*
Best Buy*
American Eagle*
Abercrombie and Fitch*
Gap*, Baby Gap* and Gap Kids

* = Items specially needed due to numerous patient requests

Per Doctor's Orders to maximize effectiveness of patient treatment and reduce chance of infection or serious allergic reaction) handmade/fabric items should be from pet-free, smoke-free areas and must be sealed in a ZipLoc Bag.

This includes items such as
Do-Rags/ Bandana Head Coverings*
Tote Bags
Bibs/Burp Pads

Unfortunately, we cannot distribute or use any of the following items
Stuffed Animals
Toy Guns
Cloth Body Dolls
Porcelain Dolls
Religious Items
Soap Bubble Mixtures
Food Items
VHS Movies
Used Items of Any Kind

Please Do Not Gift Wrap Items

Call Donor Services at 1-800-822-6344

Please Ship Items to
St. Jude Children's Research Hospital
Attn: Vilma Carnahan
595 N Parkway
Memphis, TN 38105

From All The Children And Families Of St. Jude Children's Research Hospital Thank You For Your Kindness, Concern, And Loving Generosity!

Saturday, January 19, 2008

January is National Soup Month


January is National Soup Month. A delicious steamy bowl of soup is the perfect winter comfort food.

Homemade soups use a variety of ingredients including meat, poultry, fish and seafood, vegetables, fruits, milk, cream, sour cream, cheese, wine, eggs, herbs and spices, grains, and noodles.

Soups can be chunky or smooth, thick or thin, clear broth or creamy, hot or cold. Various types of soups are served hot, warm, room temperature, and chilled. Cold soups tend to lessen the effect on the taste buds so require additional salt, pepper, herbs, and spices for proper taste.

Many soups use a thickener for the proper consistency. The best method to thicken most soups is to remove some of the cooked vegetables, puree in a blender, and return the pureed mixture to the pot.

If you are short on veggies or there are none in your soup, make a paste of flour mixed with twice as much cold stock, milk or water. Add the paste and stir slowly at a simmer for about 5-10 minutes. The ratio is 1-1/2 teaspoons of flour to 1 cup of soup.

A roux of butter and flour can also be used as a thickener. The longer the roux is cooked, the darker and more flavorful it becomes.

Cream is another alternative to not only thicken soup, but to also add a luxurious richness.

A cornstarch slurry of 1 part cornstarch to 2 parts liquid will also thicken, but should not be boiled or the thickening will break down.

Soup can be served as an appetizer, a first course, a sandwich accompaniment, a main course, or a dessert.

Soup accompaniments include crackers, crusty rolls, breads, and corn muffins. Use toppings like sour cream, grated cheese, fresh herbs, chives, croutons, or tortilla chips.

Many soups taste best if cooked and then refrigerated so the flavors blend. Fat that solidifies on the surface of the chilled soup can be easily removed.

Who knew there were so many kinds of soup? I found the following kinds of soups at online cooking web sites and in various cookbooks.

Bisque a thick, rich soup usually consisting of pureed seafood and cream. Newer recipes may use poultry or vegetables in place of seafood. Two examples are Crab Bisque or Pumpkin Bisque.

Billy bi a French soup made with mussels, onions, wine, cream and seasonings. The classic recipe strains the mussels to leave a smooth soup, but the mussels are often left in as an added bonus these days. (Also "billi-bi")

Bird's Nest a Chinese soup actually made from the white or black nests of a small Asian bird. The nests are difficult to harvest, thus very expensive.

Borscht a soup from Russia and Poland made with fresh beets, assorted vegetables, and sometimes with meat and/or meat stock, usually garnished with a dollop of sour cream and served either hot or cold.

Bouillabaisse a French seafood stew made of fish, shellfish, onions, tomatoes, white wine, olive oil, garlic, saffron and herbs.

Bouillon a broth made from cooking vegetables, poultry, meat or fish in water.

Bourride a Mediterranean fish soup with garlic, onions, orange peel, and sometimes saffron, thickened with egg yolks and flavored with garlic mayonnaise.

Broth a liquid resulting from cooking vegetables, meat or fish in water; same as "bouillon."

Brunswick Stew a hearty squirrel meat and onion stew originating in Brunswick County, Virginia, USA. Modern versions substitute chicken or rabbit for the squirrel and may also add other vegetables such as okra, lima beans, tomatoes and corn.

Burgoo a thick stew of a combination of meats, including pork, veal, beef, lamb and poultry, with various vegetables including potatoes, onions, cabbage, carrots, sweet green peppers, corn, okra, lima beans and celery; originally made with small game such as rabbit and squirrel and popular in the Kentucky region of the USA.

Callaloo a Caribbean soup made with callaloo leaves (from taro root), coconut milk, okra, yams and chiles.

Chowder a thick, chunky seafood or other rich soup containing chunks of food.

Cioppino a rich Italian fish stew made with tomatoes and a variety of fish and shellfish, usually highly-spiced.

Consommé clarified meat or fish broth

Coulis originally this term referred to the juices from cooked meats. It can also be a thick pureed shellfish soup. Nowadays, many different types of thick purees are called coulis, including vegetable and fruit mixtures.

Court-Bouillon a broth made from cooking various vegetables and herbs, usually an onion studded with a few whole cloves, celery, carrots and bouquet garni (parsley, thyme and bay leaf), perhaps with a little wine, lemon juice or vinegar; used as a poaching base for fish, seafood or vegetables.

Fumet a concentrated stock, particularly one made from fish or mushrooms, used to add flavor to less intensely-flavored stocks or sauces.

Gazpacho an uncooked soup made of a pureed mixture of fresh tomatoes, sweet bell peppers, onions, celery, cucumber, bread crumbs, garlic, olive oil, vinegar and sometimes lemon juice which is served cold; also served chunky-style. You may also see this spelled "gaspacho."

Menudo a hearty, spicy Mexican soup made with tripe, calf's feet, chiles, hominy and seasonings reputed to be a great hangover cure.

Minestrone a thick Italian vegetable soup usually containing pasta along with peas or beans and sometimes other vegetables.

Mulligan Stew a stew made literally of what's on hand including meat, potatoes and vegetables in any combination.

Mulligatawny a rich meat or vegetable broth highly seasoned with curry and other spices with bits of poulty or other meats and can include rice, eggs, coconut shreds and/or cream; originally from India.

Irish Stew a stew made of seasoned lamb or mutton chops, potatoes and onions, covered with water or broth and stewed for several hours.

Potage a French soup usually pureed and often thickened with cream or egg yolks.

Pepper Pot a thick soup of tripe, meat, vegetables, pepper and seasonings also known as Philadelphia pepper pot.

Posole a Mexican thick, hearty soup made of pork or chicken meat and broth, hominy, onion, garlic, dried chiles and cilantro and served with chopped lettuce, radishes, onions, cheese and cilantro as optional additions at the table.

Scotch Broth a Scottish soup made with lamb or mutton, barley and various vegetables.

Soup basically any combination of vegetables, fruit, meat, and/or fish cooked in a liquid.

Stew a dish containing meat, vegetables and a thick soup-like broth made from a combination of the stewing liquid and the natural juices of the food being stewed.

Stock strained liquid that is the result of cooking vegetables, meat or fish and other seasonings in water.

Vichyssoise a rich, creamy potato and leek soup garnished with chives and served cold.

Won Ton a Chinese favorite made of won tons (bite-size dumplings filled with a minced mixture of meat, seafood and/or vegetables) cooked in and served in a clear broth flavored with various ingredients such as scallions, celery and soy sauce.

Pumpkin Bisque

1 large onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 tablespoon butter or margarine
1 16 ounce can pumpkin puree
4 cups chicken stock made with Watkins Chicken Soup Base
1/2 teaspoon Watkins Black Pepper
1/4 teaspoon Watkins Allspice
1/2 teaspoon Watkins Cayenne Pepper
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1 cup half-and-half or light cream
1/4 cup dry sherry
Watkins Nutmeg

Sauté the onion and garlic in the butter until they are soft and transparent.

Add the pumpkin, stock, cayenne pepper, ground pepper, allspice, sugar, and sherry. Bring to a boil and cover. Simmer the soup for 30 minutes. Place the mixture in a blender and puree until smooth.

Return the soup to the pot, add the half-and-half, and simmer until heated. Garnish with the nutmeg and serve.

This soup can be served either hot or cold. Serve it hot with grilled fish and seasoned green beans or cold as a luncheon entree with a crisp salad. Makes 4 servings.

Gazpacho (A cold soup)

1/2 pound tomatoes (about 2 or 3 medium), divided use
1 cup chopped sweet onions, divided use
1 medium cucumber, peeled and chopped, divided use
1 medium bell pepper, seeds removed, divided use
5 ounces roasted, peeled red peppers (can use canned)
1 (14-ounce) can tomato juice
1 clove garlic
2 teaspoons olive oil
2 or 3 slices of bread, cubed
1 Tablespoon balsamic vinegar
1 teaspoon hot sauce, or to taste
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon Watkins Black Pepper
3 Tablespoons chopped chives

Place half of each of the tomatoes, sweet onions, cucumber, bell pepper, and roasted red peppers into a food processor or heavy-duty blender.

Add 1 cup of the tomato juice and puree until smooth.

Pour puree into a large mixing bowl and mix in the remaining tomato juice. Cover and chill for at least 2 hours. Place serving bowls in the refrigerator to chill.

Rub the clove of garlic around the interior of a large skillet. Heat over medium heat until hot but not smoking, then add the bread crumbs and saute until golden brown. Set bread cubes aside.

Chop remaining vegetables to a uniform 1/4-inch dice. Place in a small mixing bowl along with balsamic vinegar, hot sauce, salt, and pepper. Toss to combine. Let marinate at room temperature up to 1 hour, then mix into the refrigerated puree.

To serve, ladle gazpacho soup into chilled bowls and garnish with chopped chives and toasted bread cubes. Makes 8 servings.

Crock Pot Chicken Tortilla Soup

1-2 lb. cooked chicken tenders
2-3 potatoes
2 cans cream of chicken soup
2 cups water
3 teaspoons Watkins Chicken Soup Base
1/2 cup chopped onion
1 clove minced garlic
1 diced tomato
1/4 cup tomato paste
1 teaspoon Watkins Chili Powder
1 small can diced green chilies
Fresh cilantro, to taste
3 flour tortillas
Grated cheese
Avocado slices

Cut cooked chicken tenders and potatoes into cubes. Place all ingredients except tortillas, cheese, and avocado into a crock pot and cook on medium heat for 5-6 hours. Cut flour tortillas into small strips. Fry in batches in deep fat until slightly golden brown.

Ladle soup into bowls. Top with fried tortillas, grated cheese, and avocado slice.

Minestrone Soup

This filling vegetarian soup is bursting with beans and other flavors from the garden.

1 C. celery, minced fine
1 C. onion, minced fine
1 C. carrot, minced fine
1/4 C. butter
1/2 C. garbanzo beans
1/2 C. kidney beans
1/2 C. whole dried peas
1/2 C. white pea beans
3/4 C. sliced carrots
3/4 C. coarsely chopped onion
3/4 C. sliced celery
3/4 C. chopped bell pepper
1/2 C. rice or barley
1 C. shell macaroni
2 tbsp. minced parsley
1 tsp. Watkins Oregano
1 tsp. Watkins Basil
2 tsp. soy sauce
Watkins Pepper to taste
Parmesan cheese

Slowly sauté finely minced onion, celery and carrot in butter until very brown. Add peas and beans and about 3 quarts of water. Cook slowly until beans are almost done; about 2 hours. Add the remaining vegetables, rice, spices and more water to cook another hour. Add the macaroni 30 minutes before serving and more water if needed. Ladle into bowls and sprinkle with Parmesan cheese.

Split Pea and Ham Soup

3 tablespoons olive oil
1 small onion, chopped
2 carrots, chopped
1 stalk celery, chopped
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 (1 1/2 to 2 lbs.) smoked ham hock
1 package (1 lb.) dried split peas
1 Watkins Bay Leaf
1/2 teaspoon Watkins Thyme

  1. Heat oil in a 6-quart pot over moderate heat. Add onion, carrots, and celery, season with salt and pepper, and cook, stirring, until softened, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and cook, stirring, 1 minute. Add 3 quarts water and remaining ingredients; simmer, loosely covered, until split peas are very tender, about 1 hour.
  2. Remove and discard bay leaf. Transfer ham hock to a cutting board. Puree soup in small batches in blender until smooth. Transfer to a clean pot. Remove skin and fat from ham hock. Pull meat from bone and shred into bite-size pieces. Add 3/4 of ham to soup and reheat over moderate heat, stirring occasionally; salt and pepper to taste.
  3. To serve, ladle soup into bowls and garnish with remaining ham. Makes 8 servings.

Southwest Chicken Corn Chowder

Mild green chiles, chili powder, and cilantro give a Southwest flavor to chicken corn chowder. Serve in toasted bread bowls for an impressive and tasty presentation.

1 Tbsp butter or olive oil
1/2 large sweet onion, peeled and diced
4 cups chicken broth made with 4 cups boiling water and 6 teaspoons Watkins Chicken Soup Base
2 red potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces
1/2 tsp Watkins Oregano
1/2 tsp Watkins Poultry Seasoning
1/2 tsp Watkins Chili Powder
Salt and Watkins Pepper to taste
3 cups fresh or frozen corn kernels
1 (4 ounces) can chopped mild green chiles, drained
1 large raw chicken breast cut into 1-inch bites
1 cup heavy cream or half-and-half
2 cups Mexican 4-cheese blend shredded cheese
1 roasted red pepper, cut into 1-inch strips (jarred is fine)
1 Tbsp chopped fresh cilantro
Hot sauce to taste
Shredded cheese and additional chopped cilantro for garnish
Bread bowls for serving

In a large Dutch oven, saute the sweet onions in butter or olive oil until they begin to turn translucent and fragrant.

Add the chicken broth, potatoes, oregano, poultry seasoning, chili powder, salt, and freshly ground pepper to taste. Bring to a low boil and simmer about ten minutes, until potatoes are just barely tender. Add the corn and simmer until corn is heated through.

Remove about 1-1/2 cups of the chowder and puree in a blender or food processor. Return puree to the chowder and add green chiles and chicken. Simmer about 5 minutes to cook chicken. Add cream and shredded cheese. Stir until incorporated and cheese has melted. Gently stir in red pepper, cilantro, and hot sauce to taste.

Serve in toasted bread bowls with additional shredded cheese and cilantro for garnish. Toast the top of each bread bowl and eat with soup. Makes 6 servings.

Slow Cooker Beef Barley Soup

1 1/2 pounds boneless lean beef, cubed
3 Tbs. vegetable oil
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. Watkins Black Pepper
2 tsp. Watkins Garlic Powder
4 cups beef broth made with Watkins Beef Soup Base
6 C. water
4 stalks celery, chopped
6 carrots, chopped
6 green onions, chopped
1/2 C. chopped fresh parsley
1 C. barley
1 tsp. Watkins Thyme

In a skillet over medium heat, sauté the beef in the oil for 5 minutes, or until browned. Stir in the salt, pepper, and garlic powder and place seasoned meat in a slow cooker. Add a little water to the skillet and stir to pick up the browned bits. Add to the slow cooker. Add the broth, water, celery, carrots, green onions, parsley, and barley. Cover and cook on low setting for 6 to 8 hours, or until the vegetables and barley are tender. Add the thyme just before serving. Makes 10 to 12 servings.

Chilled Strawberry Orange Soup Recipe
Whip up this delicious fruit soup in a food processor or blender in a matter of minutes. Frozen strawberries may be substituted for fresh.

1 pound fresh or frozen unsweetened strawberries, slightly thawed (about 1 pint)
1-1/2 cups fresh orange juice
1/4 cup sugar
2 Tablespoons lime juice (optional)
1 teaspoon grated ginger

Process strawberries, orange juice, sugar, lime juice, and ginger in a food processor or blender until smooth.

Summer Fruit Soup

Fruit Soup - easy to make and refreshing to eat - is the perfect summer dessert.

3 cups fresh fruit, diced (peaches, nectarines, apricots, plums, grapes)
6 cups water
1/2 cup sugar or honey, or to taste
1/4 teaspoon Watkins Cinnamon
2 Tablespoons cornstarch
1/4 cup cold water

  1. Combine all fruit, water, sugar or honey, and cinnamon in a large pot.
  2. Bring to a boil, cover, simmer over low heat for 1 hour.
  3. Mix 2 Tablespoons of cornstarch into 1/4 cup cold water. Then stir the cornstarch mixture into the soup. Cook for 5 more minutes.
  4. Remove from heat, cool, and refrigerate.
  5. Serve cold.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Confetti Corn Bread

This moist sweet savory cornbread tastes great with chili, soup, or stew. The basic batter (without onion flakes, pimento, and green chiles) tastes similar to Marie Callender's corn bread. If you like your corn bread sweet you can increase the sugar to 1/2 cup. Serve with butter, honey, or honey butter.

2 eggs
3/4 cup milk
2 tablespoons melted butter or margarine
1 1/2 cups Bisquick
3/4 cup cornmeal
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon Watkins Baking Powder
1 teaspoon Watkins Onion Flakes
2 tablespoons diced pimento
2 tablespons diced canned green chiles

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Combine Bisquick, cornmeal, sugar, baking powder, and onion flakes in mixing bowl.

Mix eggs, milk, and melted butter and add to dry ingredients. Stir until blended.
Stir in pimento and green chilis. Mix well.

Pour into greased 8 inch pan, greased muffin tins, or greased cast iron skillet and bake for 25 to 30 minutes until golden brown. Baking cornbread in a dark pan or cast iron skillet gives it a crunchy crust. Makes 9 servings.

Cornmeal is made from dried corn kernels that have been ground into one of three textures: fine, medium or coarse. Fine is often called "corn flour," medium is the most commercially available, and coarse is also known as "polenta."

Cornmeal is yellow, blue or white depending on the type of corn used. It lends a sweet, robust flavor to everything from pancakes and spoonbread to Parmesan polenta and fried green tomatoes.

Cornmeal is available in two main styles: steel-ground and stone- or water-ground. Steel-ground, most commonly found at the supermarket, is commercially milled with huge steel rollers that completely remove the corn's husk and germ. Stone-ground, produced the old-fashioned way, is ground with mill wheels that use water power. Because this process retains some of the hull and germ, stone-ground cornmeal is more nutritious. It can be found at natural food stores and some supermarkets.

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Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Chocolate Raspberry Pudding Cake

Serve this delightful dessert warm from the oven on a chilly winter afternoon or evening. This gooey, moist cake is easy to prepare.

Chocolate Raspberry Pudding Cake

1 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup Watkins All-Natural Baking Cocoa
1 tablespoon Watkins Baking Powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup milk
3 tablespoons butter, melted
1 teaspoon Watkins Vanilla
1 (10-ounce) package frozen raspberries in syrup, thawed
1 cup hot water
1/3 cup chocolate flavor syrup
Powdered sugar
Fresh raspberries

Heat oven to 350 degrees F. Place flour, sugar, cocoa, baking powder and salt into greased 8- or 9-inch square baking pan; stir with fork to combine. Stir in milk, butter and vanilla until well mixed. Stir in raspberries.

Combine hot water and chocolate syrup in small bowl. Pour evenly over batter. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes or until center is set and edges pull away from sides of pan. Let stand 25 minutes. Sprinkle with powdered sugar and garnish with fresh raspberries, if desired.

Monday, January 07, 2008

When Should You Take Your Vitamin Supplements?

If you take supplements, vitamins or herbs, the following can help to lessen or prevent any side effects and help to promote the benefits vitamins can provide.

  • Take your supplements during or after a meal, unless directed otherwise, and drink plenty of fluids as well.
  • Take consistently to achieve maximum health benefits. It usually takes two to three months before you feel the full positive effects of adding nutritional supplements.
  • Take as indicated. Your supplements may be recommended or packaged for morning, noon or evening dosages, based on your individual health needs. For maximum benefit, take your supplements at the time of day indicated on the package.
  • Keep your physician informed. Discuss any symptoms or health concerns with your physician, and inform them that you are taking dietary supplements.

Watkins offers a variety of nutritional supplements for specific needs and lifestyles.

On Sale This Month

Fruit Veggie Complex, item number 02268, January Regularly $17.99 Special $16.99, (60 caplets, 30-day supply)
Getting your fruits and vegetables has never been easier. This supplement contains 41 varieties of fruits and vegetables, all-natural mixed carotenes, vitamin C equal to 4 glasses of juice and potent fruit enzymes equal to ten glasses of juice, all in one convenient bilayer caplet—and without sugars and sodium.

Rezist Plus, 02272, Regularly $19.99 January Special $18.99, (60 caplets, 30-day supply)
Who has time to get sick? Rezist Plus can help you to stay well through the winter months, and all year long!

Rezist Plus contains ImmunEnhancer™ with arabinogalactan (AG), found to be twice as effective as echinacea in boosting the immune system. Lactospore, FOS and AG enhance the body's natural defenses to help ease allergy symptoms and headaches; they also work to ease lactose intolerance and gas and bloating while enhancing absorption of calcium and helping to maintain normal cholesterol levels. It keeps working year round.

Skin, Hair, Nails, 02270 Regularly $14.99 January Special $10.99, (30 caplets, 30-day supply)
Revitalize your skin, hair, and nails with this unique blend of vitamins, minerals, essential oils and antioxidants that protect from aging and help rejuvenate new growth of skin, hair, and nails while replenishing them with essential nutrients for a healthier, more vibrant appearance.

Sunday, January 06, 2008

Philosophy For The New Year 2008!

The following is the philosophy of Charles Schultz, the creator of the Peanuts comic strip. You don't have to actually answer the questions. Just read the post straight through, and you'll get the point.

1. Name the five wealthiest people in the world.

2. Name the last five Heisman trophy winners.

3. Name the last five winners of the Miss America.

4. Name ten people who have won the Nobel or Pulitzer Prize.

5. Name the last half dozen Academy Award winner for best actor and actress.

6. Name the last decade's worth of World Series winners.

How did you do?

The point is, none of us remember the headliners of yesterday. These are no second-rate achievers. They are the best in their fields. But the applause dies. Awards tarnish. Achievements are forgotten. Accolades and certificates are buried with their owners.

Here's another quiz. See how you do on this one.

1. List a few teachers who aided your journey through school.

2. Name three friends who have helped you through a difficult time.

3. Name five people who have taught you something worthwhile.

4. Think of a few people who have made you feel appreciated and special.

5. Think of five people you enjoy spending time with.


The lesson: The people who make a difference in your life are not the ones with the most credentials, the most money, or the most awards. They are the ones that care.

Pass this on to those people who have made a difference in your life.

- Charles Schultz
"Don't worry about the world coming to an end today. It's already tomorrow in Australia."

J.R. Watkins Apothecary Personal Care a Hit at the Toronto Film Festival!

This past September, Watkins was given the opportunity to participate in a gifting suite at the 32nd Annual Toronto International Film Festival. This gifting suite allowed Watkins to share J.R. Watkins Apothecary personal care products with A-list Hollywood celebrities by giving those who attended gift bags filled with samples.

J.R Watkins Apothecary was a huge hit among the Hollywood crowd! Celebs like Angelina Jolie, Liv Tyler, Woody Harrelson, Charlize Theron, Mena Suvari, Samuel L. Jackson, Aaron Ashmore, Shawn Ashmore, Kevin Zegers, Peter Stormare and Ryan Gosling all enjoyed receiving the product. Mena Suvari specifically commented on how much she loved Lavender!

Around the Kitchen Table - Watkins Newsletter - January 1, 2008

Happy New Year 2008! Welcome to another issue of Around the Kitchen Table!

I plan to bring you more delicious recipes and cooking tips this year. Each month I'll give away a free Watkins product. I'd like to see more of you enter the contests.

Recipes this issue include Apple Puffed Pancake, Lighter Chicken Potpie, Baked Chicken Romano, Super-Easy Manicotti, and Pound Cake with Maple Glaze.

In 2007, grocery store food prices rose sharply, increasing an astounding 6.7 percent (according to U.S. Department of Labor - Bureau of Labor and Statistics) in just the first nine months of the year. Everything from soda to milk has seen an increase. Compared to 2006 (2.1 percent increase the entire year) this is a significant increase. If the trend continues, 2007 could see the largest rise in food prices since 1980. While the grocery market is experiencing this significant price increase, we are pleased to announce Watkins products will have an overall increase of less than 1 percent on a limited group of products.

If you are interested in starting your own Watkins Home Business get all the details at Watkins Business Details Join for the discount, for part time or full time income!

Build your own home business so you can stay home with your family, save for your children's college fund, retire early, pay off bills, or save for retirement. With consistent effort you can build a thriving business! Let me help you.

Join Watkins to buy your favorite products at a discount, to earn part time income, or for a full time career. For details about Watkins, the Summit Group, Starter Kit Choices, and How to Sign Up online visit

Read this issue January 1, 2008 Issue

Until next issue,