Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Pampered Chef - A Taste From Memory Lane

Back in 1993 I was introduced to the Pampered Chef home show circuit. Not really knowing what it was all about I attended my first party. Ok, it's kitchen stuff and that is right up my alley so needless to say I was instantly hooked. Back then I was still single and living on my own, so my kitchen repertoire was not as filled as it is now, so I signed up to host my own party in hopes of being able to get a few free items or at least a discount towards my purchase. Once my party sales were in, I was overwhelmed by my outcome. I had nearly $1000 in sales and was able to get a ton of stuff for free and my discount was huge. I was able to get nearly every piece of the classic stoneware for free! What I did buy out of pocket was dirt cheap so I really raked in.

Now, that was over 16 years ago, so...do I still use my Pampered Chef items? I most certainly do!! In fact, I was never so happy to move to our new home last year. Our old house had a nice kitchen but it was next to none in the cupboard department. So needless to say from the time I moved from my apartment and then married and traded up to our house, kitchen space was very limited. My pampered chef stoneware stayed in their boxes and were stored on the shelves in our garage. Each time I wanted to use them I had to go out there and pull a piece out. It worked but it was a hassle at times. Now I have cupboards galore and each piece is nestled in it's own little home inside a cupboard and no longer living in their boxes. That was one of the first things I unpacked and made sure I had a place for.

Among other things, one of my favorite Pampered Chef memories was my first taste of the show. Yes, I'm talking food here. We were served a taco ring and boy was it tasty! I since then have made this easy meal for my family and friends over the years and each time have gotten rave reviews. My Mother reminded me of this dish just last night so now that it is fresh on my mind, I thought it would be perfect to make for an easy dinner today. Some of you may have sampled this before but for those of you who haven't, here's the easy and quick recipe for it.

Taco Ring

3/4 lb ground beef
1 (1-1/4 oz) pkg taco seasoning mix
1 c. shredded cheddar cheese (not featured in photo above as I forgot to add it to the picture)
2 Tblsp. water
2 (8-oz) pkgs refrigerated crescent dinner rolls (I made 3 rings in this batch, therefore the reason for so many int h photo)
1 medium bell pepper
1 c. salsa
3 c. shredded lettuce
1 medium tomato
1/4 c. chopped onion (optional)
1/2 c. pitted ripe black olives (optional)
sour cream (optional)

Preheat oven to 375°F.

Cook ground beef in large skillet over medium heat until no longer pink; drain. Remove pan from heat. Stir in taco seasoning mix, cheese and water.

Unroll crescent dough; separate into triangles. Arrange triangles in a circle on a round pizza stone with wide ends overlapping in center and points toward outside. (Make sure to leave a round hole in the center - kind of like a doughnut hole...therefore your crescent rolls will not be touching in the middle.) If you are not using a pizza stone a large cookie sheet will work, just remember to lightly grease it before placing your crescents on it to keep things from sticking.

Scoop meat mixture evenly onto widest end of each triangle. I use a cookie scoop as it makes it easier for me. When completely filled with meat, take the small end of each triangle and gently roll it up over filling and tuck under wide ends of dough at center of ring. (Filling will not be completely covered). Bake for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown.

Shred lettuce and chop tomato, onion, olives, and bell pepper (if desired). If you want to do something fancy, scoop out a bell pepper and fill with salsa and put into center of ring. Garnish with toppings and finish with more shredded cheese and sour cream.

Click HERE for printable recipe

Recipe Source: Pampered Chef

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