Friday, May 27, 2011

Fridays, Feasting with Friends- Featuring......Me!

Today I had the fun opportunity to be a guest blogger at Alicia's, Poise in Parma.  You probably all remember her as one of my recent features on Friday's Feasting with Friends.   She asked if I had ever completed my very own Fridays, Feasting with Friends and if not if I could do so today.  Yay!   I have to admit I had such a fun time doing it, and also so honored to be a feature on such a great blog.  Thank you Alicia!!

So without further delay, pay a visit to Poise in Parma and read all about little me!  

And don't forget to enter my newest giveaway for a chance to win a party pack full of great Tastefully Simple merchandise just in time for summer!  Click here for A "Tastefully Simple" Giveaway!

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

**GIVEAWAY NOW CLOSED!!** A "Tastefully Simple" Giveaway!!!

Are you all familiar with the company Tastefully Simple?  If so, I can pretty much guess you are a fan!  And if you are not familiar, you need to make yourself as soon as possible!  I first discovered this company many years ago when my best friend Adrianne was a consultant for them.  It only took one party for me to be convinced this stuff was great.  I was hooked!  They sell a variety of items ranging from spices, dip mixes, breads, desserts, drinks, to oils and dressings.  And the best part about his stuff (aside from the amazing taste) is that they can either be enjoyed right out of the container or be prepared with two additional ingredients or less.  It honestly doesn't get much easier then this.  They are perfect to bring along as a side dish for all those parties coming up this summer!  Here is a little more information about the company from their website:

Tastefully Simple is a direct sales company based in Alexandria, Minnesota.

What We Do
We offer a wide selection of convenient, easy-to-prepare foods designed to help people spend less time in the kitchen and more time enjoying the rest of their lives. Our products are available through independent Tastefully Simple consultants primarily at home taste-testing parties nationwide.
From tasty appetizers to luscious desserts, our catalog includes over 60 simple and delicious foods - ready with two ingredients or less.
What We Believe
Tastefully Simple is proud to be a member of the Direct Selling Association - the organization that maintains standards of practice for direct sales companies across the nation. We're also honored to belong to the Better Business Bureau, which promotes the highest standards for business ethics and customer service in the marketplace.
When my best friend had to stop selling Tastefully Simple due to family reasons, I have to admit I freaked out a little.  I kinda, may have hoarded my Bountiful Beer Bread Mix (oh man, this stuff is yummy!) and the Garlic Garlic Seasoning, my personal favorite, started being used more and more sparingly then I was used to.  But luckily for me Adrianne passed me onto her new consultant, Melissa Kroft, so I can now keep my pantry stocked with all my favorites.

As with all direct sales companies, hosting a party is the way to go.  You get to eat the entire time, socialize with your friends, and the rewards are amazing (can you say freebies?!)  But if you aren't the Party-Hosting-Type, you can also order directly through your personal consultant and online- which makes life so convenient.

Please take a moment and head over to Tastefully Simple's Website and look around.  I can pretty much guarantee that if you are a food lover, there will be something that will grab your attention!  Want to give some of these yummies a try?  Well today is seriously your lucky day.  Melissa is providing one lucky winner all of this awesome stuff below for free!  The Bountiful Beer Bread, like I mentioned earlier, is a big time personal favorite of mine.  I haven't met a soul that wasn't hooked on it after giving it a taste.  And the Hoppin' Jalapeno Dip Mix is my new favorite.  It is great as a dip for veggies and chips, but we also love, love it as a spread for grilled steak sandwiches.  Yumm-o.  The cookbook is a great go-to, especially with Party Season approaching, and now you will have the perfect spreader to go along with the dip!

If you just can't wait for the giveaway or are finding way too many awesome products you just have to have, you can contact Melissa Kroft, Independent Consultant ID# 0060063 at  or email her at  She will be more then happy to hook you up with all of your needs or set you up with a local consultant in your area.

Throughout the week I will be showcasing different Tastefully Simple products in my recipes demonstrating the great stuff you can do with them.  This is going to be a fun week!  Best of luck to you all!!


What You Win:
1 Hoppin' Jalapeno and Bacon Dip Mix
Creamy with a kick of heat and the ever-popular flavor of bacon. Add mayonnaise and sour cream, and serve with chips    or crackers. Also delicious spread on wraps and BLT sandwiches. Each packet makes about 1 cup dip.
1 Bountiful Beer Bread Mix
Our signature bread mix is so simple to make - no kneading, no rising time, nothing to add but beer or any carbonated beverage. In a matter of minutes, your house will be filled with the mouth-watering aroma of freshly baked bread. The perfect companion to our dips and soups. Kosher.
1 Simple Starters Recipes Cookbook
This handy little recipe book will help you get the party started with sassy snacks and anytime appetizers. Also makes a wonderful addition to any Tastefully Simple gift.
1 Host Collection Dip Spreader
Each ceramic handle is hand painted, so no two pieces will be identical. This unique ceramic and stainless steel piece was designed exclusively for Tastefully Simple to compliment our products and your way of life.  

Giveaway Rules:
You must be 18 years or older and a U.S. resident to enter. Mandatory entry MUST be completed before any optional entries will be counted. Winner will be selected by random drawing, using Deadline for entry is midnight (EST), Saturday, June 4th.

Mandatory Entry:
Leave a comment, below, telling me which Tastefully Simple Product you would love to add to your kitchen pantry. I need a specific name, so if you’re not sure or you don’t know what a wide variety of products they offer, you can check out the list on their site.

Optional Entries:
You may complete any or all of the following optional entries after the Mandatory Entry is completed. Please be sure to leave a separate comment for each action telling me you've done so.  The more entires, the more chances you have for winning!  

1. "Like" My Retro Kitchen on Facebook and leave a comment below with your Facebook name, letting me know you did.
2. Follow @Amiekanen on Twitter and leave a comment below with your Twitter handle, letting me know you did.
3. Follow My Retro Kitchen on Google Friends Connect. Use the “Follow” button in the right-hand sidebar. Leave a comment letting me know you’ve done it.
4. Post this giveaway on your Facebook page. "Enter to win a Party Pack from Tastefully Simple at which includes their Bountiful Beer Bread Mix, Hoppin' Jalapeno & Bacon Dip Mix, "Simple Starters Recipes" Cookbook and a handcrafted Dip Spreader. You’ll love the ease that Tastefully Simple can bring to cooking!" Leave a comment below with a link to your post.
5. Sign up for the Tastefully Simple monthly Newsletter with Consultant Melissa Kroft by contacting her at and leave a comment below letting me know you did.

I received Tastefully Simple Products in order to conduct this review. No monetary compensation was received and a positive review was not required. As with all My Retro Kitchen reviews, the views and opinions expressed are wholly my own. The winner will receive their prize directly from me, at My Retro Kitchen at the conclusion of the giveaway.

"Sweet" and Smokey Turkey Shepherd's Pie

print this recipe

"Sweet" and Smokey Shepherd's Pie
adapted from Rachael Ray

2 large (orange) sweet potatoes, also named yams, peeled and cubed
1 large Idaho potatoes, peeled and cubed
Coarse salt
cooking spray
1 1/3 pound ground turkey breast
1 tablespoon smoked paprika, available in small cans on spice aisle of market
(You may substitute 1 1/2 teaspoons each sweet paprika and cumin combined- which is what i did.)
Coarse black pepper
2 tablespoons, 5 or 6 sprigs, fresh thyme leaves
1 medium onion, chopped
2 carrots, peeled and diced
1 ear of corn, kernels cut off (you may also use 1 cup frozen corn)
1 small red bell pepper, seeded and chopped
1 cubanelle pepper, seeded and chopped
1 cup frozen peas
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 cups chicken broth
1 cup sour cream or greek yogurt, divided
3 tablespoons butter
1 large egg, beaten
fresh chives, chopped or snipped

Bring a medium pot of water to a boil, salt it, and cook the potatoes until tender, 12 to 15 minutes.

Heat a deep, large skillet over medium-high heat. Spray your pan evenly with nonstick cooking spray. Add ground turkey to the pan and break it up. Season the turkey with smoked paprika, salt and pepper, and thyme. When turkey browns up, add onions and carrots. Season the veggies with salt and pepper. Cook 5 minutes, then add red pepper, corn and peas cook another 2 minutes. Stir in flour and cook flour 2 minutes. Whisk in broth and combine. Add 1/2 cup of sour cream and combine. Simmer mixture over low heat.

Preheat your broiler to high.

When potatoes are tender, add a ladle of cooking water to the egg. Drain potatoes and return to the warm pot to dry them out a little. Add remaining 1/2 cup sour cream, butter, half of the chives, and salt and pepper. Smash and mash the potatoes, mashing in the beaten, tempered egg. If the potatoes are too tight, mix in a splash of milk.

Pour turkey mixture into a medium casserole dish. Top turkey with an even layer of smashed potatoes and place casserole 5 inches from hot broiler. Broil the potatoes until golden at edges and remove the casserole from the oven. Garnish the casserole with the remaining chives and a sprinkle of smoked paprika.

This is a wonderful recipe; completely comforting and full of a great mingling of flavors.  The original recipe from Rachael Ray adds in bacon and uses only Idaho potatoes.  I am heading towards my big grocery shopping day, so I needed to improvise with what ingredients I still had in my pantry.  I only had  one Idaho potato and two sweet potatoes, and I also had one ear of corn.  So I thought it would make a nice contrast adding in the sweet potatoes and sweet corn to play on the smokiness of the paprika.  I also omitted the bacon from the original recipe because I was fresh out- I know, how depressing!  We definitely didn't miss the bacon, although I am sure it would be a tasty addition.   We all agreed that this recipe is a keeper and one that will easily slide into our regular rotation of favorite meals.  It is also a huge kids pleaser!  Jackson love, LOVED this meal.  He gobbled his right up telling me it was so yummy.  And the fact that it only goes under the broiler for about 5 minutes, you get a nice comfort meal without heating up your kitchen.  Perfect.

**Be sure to come back tomorrow for My Retro Kitchen's next giveaway!  It is an awesome one provided by my friend Melissa Kroft of Tastefully Simple!!  You don't want to miss out on this one- I promise!

Monday, May 9, 2011

Steak Fajitas

Do you remember that amazing steak marinade I told you about?  It is a great stepping stone, and just with a squeeze of lime and a substitution of Southwest Seasoning Salt (I love Tastefully Simple's!) and you have a wonderful Mexican flavor that is perfect for Steak Fajitas!  These are a simple dish- no fuss really.  And with the fresh spinach and greek yogurt you are giving yourself some great health benefits!  Of course you can totally use any lettuce you have on hand and sour cream for the greek yogurt.  But trust me, this is de-lish!

Steak Fajitas

1 lb thin cut tri-tip (flank steak and skirt steak also work great for this dish)
1 medium red onion, thinly sliced
1/2 pint cherry tomatoes, chopped into halves or forths, depending on size)
a handful of spinach, roughly chopped
cheddar cheese, shredded
greek yogurt (or sour cream), for serving
favorite taco sauce or salsa, for serving
flour tortillas

for the Fantastic Steak Marinade
3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
2 tablespoons grill seasoning, such as McCormick's Montreal Steak Seasoning
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
Southwest Seasoning Salt (Tastefully Simple's version Simply Southwest Seasoning and Rub is perfect) and freshly ground black pepper (if you don't have southwest seasoning salt, sea salt will work just fine.)
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
juice of half a lime

Mix Together the garlic, grill seasoning, Worcestershire sauce, Southwest Seasoning Salt, lime juice and pepper. Whisk in the EVOO. Pour into a 9x13-inch glass dish or a sealable plastic bag. Add the steak and coat it evenly in marinade. Let stand for at least 10 minutes.

Grill Steak for 2-4 minutes a side, depending on thickness of your meat.  Remove from grill and allow to rest under tented foil for 10 minutes before slicing into thin strips, diagonally against the grain.

Meanwhile, over medium heat, saute sliced onions in one tablespoon extra virgin olive oil until tender and caramelized.

Top each tortilla with steak, caramelized onions, spinach, cheese, tomatoes, greek yogurt and sauce/salsa.  Wrap and enjoy!

The next afternoon, I had the leftovers for lunch.  I couldn't decide on having a fajita like the night before- or using some bagged shredded coleslaw mix (this stuff is awesome to keep onhand!) and teriyaki sauce, and making a version of my Teriyaki Pork Wraps.  So I made both!  Soooooo good!

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Apple Muffins with Cinnamon and Sugar

These muffins are wonderfully light, and despite the sugar topping, they are the perfect sweetness.  Not too sweet- just right.  You will love these.  I promise.  

Apple Muffins with Cinnamon and Sugar
makes 6 3-inch muffins or 24 mini muffins

3/4 Cup all-purpose flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
2 tablespoons granulated sugar, plus more for sugarcoating the muffins
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/4 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 large egg
1 cup skim milk
6 tablespoons canola oil
1/2 cup frozen apple-juice concentrate, thawed
1/4 teaspoon lemon extract
1 large apple, peeled, cored and finely chopped

Position rack in the center of oven and preheat to 400 degrees F.  Lightly grease or line with paper baking cups six 3-inch muffin cups.

In a large bowl, blend together the two flours, 2 tablespoons sugar, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg.  In a medium bowl, beat the egg, milk, oil, apple juice, and lemon extract until smooth.  Stir in the apples.  Combine the two mixtures, blending until the dry ingredients are just moistened.

Spoon the batter into the prepared muffin cups, filling each about 3/4 full.  Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until the tops are golden and a cake tester or wooden toothpick inserted into the center of a muffin comes out clean. Cool in the pan on a wire rack for 5-7 minutes.

Serve warm, or invert onto the rack to cool completely.  While still warm, coat the muffins with sugar.

I doubled the recipe and made a batch of mini muffins as well as regular sized. I LOVE the mini muffins! These are the perfect flavors for a little bite-sized treat. I definitely recommend making them tiny like this. Isn't anything more fun when they are small?  Plus, this way you can have more then one and not feel guilty....


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